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

Remembering on Memorial Day

A look at the Faithful Centurion

(Posted May 23, 2024)

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
    That mark our place; and in the sky
    The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
    Loved and were loved, and now we lie, 
    In Flanders fields ...

…. John McCrae

Rev. Dr. Pat KrissThere’s something about the American Spirit that loves a parade. Most of our national holidays

manage to work a parade or two into the plans, along with an obligatory family gathering and barbeque. In recent decades our holidays have homogenized themselves, so that each one becomes the excuse for gigantic sales of cars, mattresses, and hot dog buns.

(Happy?) Memorial Day

The other day I heard a TV announcer close her broadcast for this weekend, with the words, “Happy Memorial Day!” The thing is, Memorial Day is not one of our national holidays like the others, meant to be full of joy and potato salad. This is a holiday where we’re supposed to shoulder the responsibility to remember all those men and women who no can no longer lie on a lawn chair with a beer and family. Because they and their hopes and dreams lie beneath the earth in a graveyard, far away from the plans they had for the rest of life they thought they would have.

Recognize the Men and Women in the Military

These days, I’m glad to see a return of American recognition of people who have served in the military, and have personally witnessed, at the airport, people spontaneously recognizing returning troops with the words, “thank you for your service.” 

The thing is, those who serve in the military -- literally for thousands of years -- have been viewed performing their tasks, sometimes with admiration, but also sometimes with fear. Those who end up in armies and navies are there sometimes out of choice, but oftentimes out of conscription. They are taught to do what the government at the time tells them to do. And sometimes they don’t comply.

The Faithful Centurion

This Sunday we will spend time with one such individual of considerable military standing: the Faithful Centurion. While he was in rank well up the Roman ladder of domination over Israel, his own observations of Jesus brought him to his knees before this amazing teacher and healer. What could possibly drive the Centurion to take such a risk? Could it be that a hunger for peace lies beneath all of the fighting?  We will find out this Sunday, amidst wonderful music and singing by some of our choir.

Come and “pull up a pew seat” with us before the lawn chair at your own picnic.

And remember those who have made it possible.



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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