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

From Pastor Pat: Insights About Jesus' Love for Doubters

A time in praise and support of people who think, people who doubt.

(April 10, 2015) This Sunday is a time in praise and support of people who think, people who doubt. People who don't just accept things at face value. First of all, this is the weekend when we will distribute a brief survey that is meant to get you thinking about what has made this church a home to you, and what you think creates a welcoming environment for people who might visit First Church and decide to stay.

Survey work is a time to think deeper about what makes us us. It means looking beyond the superficial. This particular study, part of my ethnographic study work at Yale, hopefully will give our membership a usable tool to enhance those things we're already doing right. So thank you in advance for your taking a few minutes to give me your thoughts. All comments and surveys are confidential and analyzed by me, unless a respondent chooses to reveal his or her name. We'll collect them after church.
The Sunday of Thomas the Doubter
And on a theological note, this is the Sunday of Thomas, the doubter. We journey from the empty tomb to stand by the apostle that couldn't take things at a superficial, face value. Thomas the skeptic. Thomas the "Show me he's not still dead" guy who needs to sit with his sometime painful doubts about his God and his Savior. And there we will find some insights we've never noticed before about Jesus's love for us doubters. And Thomas will go forth, converting his doubt to the energy to go preach, far away, among the people of India.
My favorite UCC poet, Maren Tirabassi, wrote a special prayer for all of doubters, included below, to strengthen our faith at this point in our belief journey. Please use it not only this week, but whenever you are called to question God and this sometimes chaotic world. -- Pastor Pat
Tom-me, God.
Invite my hands to your side
pierced with the sorrow
of the world,
pierced with the despair
of your children,
pierced with grief
and suffering and injustice.
Touch me, 
and let me touch you –
my hands hole and holy
to be your hands,
my feet hole and holy
to walk your way.
Tom-me, God.
I thank you 
for my unbelief
every time a child is in pain,
and ask you to shake 
my belief 
when it grows complacent,
creed-proud, booth-busy
on the mountain.
Let me be the one healed 
by spit and mud,
and not by centurion-approved
remote control.
Tom-me, God.
I offer you myself,
like some long-lost twin
of your disciple -
tattooed with all my doubts,
and dressed in the 
ragged courage
of a touch-hungry faith,
for I love 
and live among a people
desperate for clinging.
( John 20: 24-29)
A Rousing chorus of Bravos to Jim Moriarty, our Chancel Choir, and all the Deacons and Staff who made our Easter rejoicing such a meaningful experience last week. Last but not least, thank you to all of YOU who found the courage to lend your voices to the Alleluia Chorus that capped our morning. We provided the Alleluias we needed to dust off our winter blues. As we keep in mind, "Christ is Risen -- He is Risen, Indeed!


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

Phone: (203) 744-6177

Office Hours:
Monday Closed
Tuesday 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Wednesday 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Thursday 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Friday Closed

Thrift Shop Hours:
Saturday 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Sunday Worship:
Sunday   10:00 a.m.–11 a.m.


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