First Congregational Church
164 Deer Hill Ave.
Danbury, CT 06810
Phone:(203) 744-6177


For Valentine’s: Renewal of Vows and Honoring All Relationships

(Posted February 5, 2019)

Our 10 a.m. pre-Valentine’s Day service will begin with a candle lighting ceremony that honors all relationships, including those whose partners have gone before them to God.

Immediately following our 10 a.m. service, you and your spouse are cordially invited to renew your marriage vows. To join this lovely pre-Valentine’s Day ceremony, please call the church office at (203) 744-6177, or contact Pastor Pat.

All are welcome.

From Reverend Pat Kriss: Marriage Draws Its Strength From ...

... the most basic principle in [the Bible], and that’s the concept of Covenant.

(Posted February 9, 2019)Rev. Pat Kriss

“Marriage is a relationship in which one person is always right. And the other is the husband.”

There’s a never-ending supply of marriage jokes in this world, and no wonder. Being married requires a wonderful sense of humor to get us through the highs and lows of the journey together. I’ve explained sometimes in pre-marital counseling that you’re not really married until you have meat loaf firmly lodged in your wedding rings, or until that point that all those personality quirks that you saw in each other as cute when you were dating, are now full-blown flaws that you see daily – and you still love one another.

All Are Welcome

Services begin at 10 a.m. Come worship with us.

Reverend T. Merton Rymph, my late pastor and the man whose prayer of dedication for the offering is the one I recite every Sunday at the Doxology, had a saying. Speaking about the inevitable little spats that almost all couples have, Mert said that one of the great things about long term marriage is, the longer you’re married, the shorter the fights get. That’s because, he said, the better you know a person, the better you know where the buttons are to push to get a rise out of them, and therefore, the tiff is over much more quickly. Mert and his wife Jackie were married over 60 years.

Why DO we get married, anyway? The legalistic minds among us might respond, so that we have rights and responsibilities to the other party in marriage, and protection for any children. The romantic among us might say that it’s because we have found a soul mate who is the yin to our yang, the butter to our bread, and that’s all that matters. But those of us who have paid attention to our bible will know, that marriage draws its strength from the most basic principle in that book, and that’s the concept of Covenant. God made a covenant with Abraham and with all humankind, so that God would be their God and they would be God’s people. When we wed, we make a solemn promise to the one we love to place their lives and happiness first in our lives. AND, in a sanctified marriage, we make that that covenant not only with our spouse but with God. It’s a three-way covenant. So yes. There’s a reason that we marry, and make that promise for life, as the old wording goes, “for richer, for poor, in sickness and in health, till death us do part.” A tall order to be sure, but long after the bouquet’s flowers have faded and crumbled, it’s in the autumn of our lives that we can look at the garden of mutual care as our reward.

So come this Sunday to our Valentines service, and at the end, join with us as we renew our wedding vows, together. You’ll be glad you did. - Pastor Pat Kriss

'Blessed Be' for Valentine's Day

[The Sermon on the Plain]challenges us to consider the four blessings, AND the four woes

(Posted February 14, 2019)Rev. Pat Kriss

It was so wonderful this past Sunday to conclude our Service with eight couples renewing their wedding vows. Through thick and thin, we’ve all weathered the challenges and joys of marriage. This week I came across a moving poem by one of my favorite poets, Rev. Maren Tirabassi, who writes not only about love, but about the blessings and woes that Jesus spoke about, when he gave the Sermon on the Plain. Less known and less loved by the readers of the bible, it challenges us to consider the four blessings, AND the four woes, that Jesus says awaits all of us in the way we express our love and care for others. I share her poem today for our consideration.

All Are Welcome

Services begin at 10 a.m. Come worship with us.

A Valentine’s Day Reading of Luke 6: 20-26 - By Rev. Maren Tirabassi

Blessed are you who are poor
in pink greeting cards and chocolate,
because you love someone with dementia –
for God remembers you both.

Blessed are you who are hungry for a love
forbidden by family or culture,
by law or religion,
by damage sustained in heart or spirit,
or by ICE agents who tear your family apart –
because God promises you
the taste of kisses.

Blessed are you who are shunned or bullied
in person and online,
for you will have a day
when you will see yourself in a mirror
and laugh with joy at your beauty.

Blessed are you when they refuse
to bake your wedding cake,
or let you show your love of country
with military service,
when they call the child you love –
“just a foster kid,”
bar the way of the therapy dog
who holds your heart together,
because your wounds do not fit
their definitions,
or turn you away in tears
from an ex-spouse’s visiting hours.

Re-joy in that day, for you understand
the Corinthians psalm to love
as more than a link
on a wedding planner’s website.

But woe to you who hoard a loving family,
rather than sharing it with the lonely,
for you are consoled now.
Woe to you who expect life
to be all honeymoon,
for you won’t be resilient to disappointment.

Woe to you who laugh at anyone
who is unloved,
or whose love is dismissed –
for you will never be able to take it back
when tears teach you wisdom.
Woe to you when all congratulate
your penmanship in life,
for you may forget the teacher
who once told you to make
a Valentine, not just for those like you,
but for everyone in class,

no, not the teacher in second grade --
the one two thousand years ago.


First Congregational Church
164 Deer Hill Ave.
Danbury, CT 06810
Est. 1696

Phone: (203) 744-6177

Office Hours:
Monday 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Tuesday 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Wednesday 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Thursday 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Friday 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Thrift Shop Hours:
Friday 9:30 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Saturday 9:30 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Sunday Worship:
Sunday    10 a.m.–11 a.m.