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

Sunday -- December 16, 2018

Third Sunday of Advent – Ugly Sweater Sunday


From Reverend Pat Kriss

"When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy."-- Rumi, 13th century

I know a lot of people find the whole shopping experience for Christmas presents to be a major drag. But I have to say that there’s something about the experience of thinking of people and determining what gift of cheer would delight them that makes ME happy. I guess if I were always buying out of obligation instead of willingness, I’d be grumpy, too. But when you choose the joy of giving, it changes everything.

This Sunday is what is known to older Christianity as Gaudete Sunday. It’s the “pink candle” on the Advent wreath Sunday that is when we rejoice that our long waiting in the dark for the birth of the Baby who will be the Light of the world, is almost over. Gaudete translates, literally, into Rejoice.

This Sunday at First Church is one we also greet with a bit of silliness. It’s Ugly Sweater Sunday (or ugly tie or ugly suit Sunday, too. Do your best to have the worst taste you can in clothing.) It’s our way of saying that we’ve done our best with the solemnity of the season, and now it’s time to relax. Oddly enough, the Gospel for this Sunday has John the Baptist being anything but giddy with the people who have followed him into the desert. John has a way of telling it like he feels it, and he lays down some serious corrective measures to these early followers who he calls “a brood of vipers.” Then again, I guess I would be grumpy too if all I ate was bugs and honey.

We won’t be grumpy this Sunday, however. I’m going to ask you all to think about what Jesus would like for Christmas, whether you think of Jesus as the Babe in the manger, or whether it’s the resurrected Jesus for whom you’re going to select a gift. Give that some thought, and bring it with you wrapped in the ugliest sweater you can think of. Until then, PEACE. --- Pastor Pat Kriss

A special thank you to so many in this hectic season: We owe the highest thanks to Jim Moriarty, the choir and soloists who have enriched our times together this month in the Sanctuary. You have stood by us during not only our special services, but during the moving funeral for Al Jennings. And it goes without saying that we owe so much to all those generous volunteers who set up and served a beautiful reception after the funeral service. Thank you to Mayor Mark Boughton for his moving personal testimony about faith in the face of serious illness. We must thank and congratulate Pat Moriarty and her great Children’s Chorus for the concert of music and performance from the Nutcracker. Finally, but far from least, we are grateful to Doug Hartline and Company for the incredible Christmas Jazz Concert that lit up our Sanctuary this past week. To all who worked so hard to make their work a gift to the Church, thank you.—Pastor Pat

From Jim Moriarty, Music Director

“Music is the language of the spirit. It opens the secret of life bringing peace, abolishing strife.” – Kahlil Gibran

Dec. 15 – The Annual performance of the Messiah presented by the DMC will feature 80 voices and over 20 instrumentalists. The performance beginning at 3pm   will be held in our wonderful sanctuary. In the past this performance has filled our sanctuary - both balcony and downstairs. And it is free, although any donation will be welcomed.

Dec. 23 – Fourth Advent Sunday – a very different anthem, and preservice music of Jim Brickman.

Dec. 30 – Festival of Carols Service.  If you have a special carol you’d like to sing/hear please let me know! This service will be mostly musical.

Peace and Joy through Holiday Music,

Jim Moriarty


First Church Knitters Group.  We plan on meeting to knit and crochet at 5:30 pm in the Parlor on alternate Thursdays.  Everyone is welcome. Seasoned knitters and crocheters as well as people who want to learn to knit or crochet. Fellowship and friends meet to Heidi at 204 798 0476 or 203 826 6827 to RSVP/next date.


To submit article ideas for the website or Facebook, contact Greg Pings:


Deer Hill Thrift Shop

Great merchandise, low prices, very friendly staff.

Please consider volunteering for the holiday season – contact Pat Moriarty or Terry Hansen.

Holiday Hours – Fridays 9:30-2:30; Saturdays 10 – 3. 


The Dorothy Day Overflow Shelter has opened in our gym.  We welcome our homeless guests and the volunteers who staff the shelter every night throughout the winter season.  Donations of cup-of-soup, hot chocolate and coffee are always welcome.



Christmas Eve Worship

7 pm

Traditional Service of Lessons and Carols

E-Tidings Date: 
Thursday, December 13, 2018


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    9:30 a.m.–11 a.m.