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

News

World Communion Sunday

The whole world is coming together to symbolically celebrate the bravery of Jesus’ sacrifice.

(Posted October 4, 2019)Reverend Pat Kriss

There's a communion of more than our bodies when bread is broken and wine drunk.- M. F. K. Fisher, 20TH century American Writer

Now here’s a question I’m going to guess that no one has asked you in the last week: What do you think is happening when you take the bread and grape juice on Communion Sunday? How does it affect you?  And how did the whole tradition of what we call The Lord’s Supper get started?

Church Services on Sunday

Service begins at 10 a.m. All are welcome to worship with us. 

On this, our World Communion Sunday, how does it make you feel to know that people around the world are experiencing the same thing, sending up similar prayers for peace and reconciliation? Our congregation increasingly reflects the diversity of what the greater Danbury area has come to represent. In honor of our shared communion and of our rich cultures, this Sunday Sanjay Patel will play his harmonium and bring the spice of Indian music to our service along with our Chancel Choir. Sanjay’s music was so well-received some five years ago when he first shared his musical talents. Come join us to share news of how the whole world is coming together to symbolically celebrate the bravery of Jesus’ sacrifice, and how people are restoring his kind of love and compassion around the world. - Pastor Pat Kriss
 

Loneliness, Conviviality and Healing

Self-imposed separation only isolates us even more from the very thing we need most -- other caring people.

(Posted October 11, 2019)Reverend Pat Kriss

"Healing is impossible in loneliness; it is the opposite of loneliness. Conviviality is healing. To be healed we must come with all the other creatures to the feast of Creation." --- Wendell Berry, 21st century Poet and Writer

The funny thing about anxiety -- if there is anything funny about it -- is that, when we are in its grip, we are convinced that we are utterly, totally alone, the only person that we know who is going through it. In this lonely state we are reluctant to tell anyone for fear that people will think we’re strange or weak. Of course, this self-imposed separation only isolates us even more from the very thing we need most -- other caring people.

Church Services on Sunday

Service begins at 10 a.m. All are welcome to worship with us. 

These are anxious times we live in, anyway, and in these past few weeks I have seen way more than a small number members in a pastoral care capacity for different manifestations of the same thing: anxiety. There are several things they share in common. They are genuinely wonderful people, highly responsible people who feel beholden to their family, friends and church. When anxiety makes them unable to be, in their own eyes, as productive as they feel they need to be for others, what results is a sense of guilt, of letting people down. They don’t want to tell the people they love that they’re hurting. And that isolation helps feed anxiety even more. These are our friends who tend to try to live in the future in an effort to divert the next disaster they think that’s coming, a “what if” imaginary thing that actually only lives inside them. No one can actually live in the future, or undo the past, so undue, advance worry accomplishes nothing.

So what’s the answer?

Wendell Berry had part of the answer in the quote above. We need to come together, in honesty and trust, to understand that we are not alone but bonded with “the other creatures in the feast of Creation.” I am currently arranging for Clinical Social Worker Anne Wennerstrand, who came to visit with us a few years ago about depression, to return in the next couple of weeks and spend time with us. She will help teach us techniques for dealing with and relieving anxiety. Another answer can be found by opening your Bible -- and look at the many times that God or God’s messengers tell us to “fear not.” The Angel Gabriel said it to Mary when he surprised her in her room. The choir of angels singing over Bethlehem sang to the frightened shepherds that what was coming was not disaster, but great joy in the form of a tiny baby. Most of all that tiny baby grew up and one day told us this:

“….Be not anxious for your life, what you shall eat, or what you shall drink; nor yet for your body, what you shall put on. Is not the life more than the food, and the body than the raiment? Behold the birds of the heaven, that they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; and your heavenly Father feeds them. Are not you of much more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add one cubit unto [a]the measure of his life? And why are you anxious concerning raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: yet I say unto you, that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these…Be not therefore anxious for the morrow: for the morrow will be anxious for itself.” (Luke 6:25-29;34)

See you Sunday for a wonderful Baptism and discussion of healing. - Pastor Pat Kriss

Rethinking Our Approach to Land Ownership

Imagine if our approach to land ownership came from an attitude of abundance and grace.

(Posted September 28, 2019)
Mission Moments tells stories of how United Chruch of Christ congregations are connected to the wider church. It is published by the United Church of Christ.

Jeremiah, faced with a people and a situation devoid of hope did what you would expect a man of God to do. He engaged in a risky real estate transaction. 

Okay, you’re right. That’s actually the very last thing you’d expect a man of God to do when faced with the destruction of his people, his holiest place of worship, his city and his culture.

You’d expect him to exercise prudence, to be careful, to guard what little he had against the coming difficulties. Instead Jeremiah negotiated the purchase of a piece of land. 

Chief Seattle, leader of the Suquamish and Duwamish people in the Pacific Northwestern United States, said “humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect.” 

Today’s passage reminds us that God’s children have not always gotten land ownership right. We have too often used land ownership as a mode of severing ourselves from our connection with all things. We have made land ownership a tool or a weapon, forgetting that our God is the God of all the world, not just the God of a single people. Forgetting the connection that binds us with all humanity, we have made land ownership a divine right in our own minds, even committed terrible atrocities to control the land we think we own. 

Too often, land ownership has been a matter of greed controlled by violence, instead of a reason for hope and opportunity to experience God’s grace and joy. What if we thought of stewardship of the land as our part of the web of a connected creation, rather than the opportunity to acquire resources? What if land ownership was not a divinely ordained right, but instead, we approached our care of all land as the joyful result of our interconnection with all beings.  

Imagine if our approach to land ownership came from an attitude of abundance and grace.  How would this have changed our history? Is there a way that we could bring that attitude with us into the future?

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Today on American Indian Ministry Sunday, we recognize The Council for American Indian Ministry (CAIM). According to caimucc.com, CAIM “is comprised of five ministries with 22 congregations in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota…We are an integral part of the life of the United Church of Christ. We maintain our Indian traditions by employing our Native values and cultures to witness in our communities through authentic and postcolonial Indian expressions of the Christian faith. We are a gathering ‘place’ for all UCC Indian people who seek such a place.”

 

Information

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

Phone: (203) 744-6177
Email: fcdanbury@att.net

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    9:30 a.m.–11 a.m.

 

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