The First Congregational Church of Greenwich

Meetinghouse Monthly

November 1, 2001         Patty Kolb, Editor        http://www.fccog.org

The Members of The First Congregational Church of Greenwich, Ministers
Thomas L. Stiers, Senior Pastor
Sally Colegrove, Senior Associate Pastor
Susan M. Craig, Associate Pastor
James D. Ebert, Assistant Pastor
John Stansell, Director of Music, Senior Organist
Carolyn Diamond, Associate Musician
Dr. Joyce Baker, Missionary in Honduras
Dr. Reniery España, Dir. of Medical Services, AIEH
Sunday Services of Worship—8 am & 10 am
Church School—10 am
Nursery Care provided during the 10 am Service.
The 10 am Service is broadcast live
on WGCH 1490 am Radio.

Sunday, November 4
10 am in the Meetinghouse
Benjamin Britten’s Chancel Opera, Noye’s Fludde

Sunday, November 11
8 &10 am in the Meetinghouse
Rev. Dr. Thomas L. Stiers
“Look Forward in Faith”
Communion served

Harvest Sunday, November 18
10 am in the Meetinghouse
Rev. Dr. Thomas L. Stiers
“Praise God for the Harvest”

Sunday, November 25
8 & 10 am in the Meetinghouse
Rev. Sally Colegrove
“Into the Way of Peace”

Informal Worship Service
Saturday, November 10
5 pm in the Meetinghouse

Some Thoughts on Stewardship
Let the Light Shine Forth

The following is the text of a Moment of Concern delivered on Stewardship Sunday by Chairman of the Board of Trustees Chuck Ainsworth:

Good morning everyone! A few months ago we celebrated together in this Meetinghouse the virtual completion of the Shelter Strong capital improvement projects. At that festive event I suggested embracing the metaphor used by Bill Shore, in his work, "The Cathedral Within," that of finding the sustained commitment within us, to view social change and the pursuit of justice for all people, in the same way that the cathedral builders of the middle ages viewed their tasks, namely that masons and carpenters and stained glass cutters were not likely to see the completed cathedrals in their lifetimes. Nonetheless they were motivated to give of their talents, time and treasure in the belief that fulfillment of a great vision in praise of the glory of God would one day occur. We completed our projects and celebrated the beauty of our house, but we also realized that we had strengthened part of our cathedral - the physical structures that enable us to fulfill our mission to seek to know and make known, God, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. Our next task would be to proclaim the strengths of our other assets, namely this community of faith, of volunteers and staff, ministers all, to be seekers of truth and enlightenment and companions to others in the journey. We also knew that we had reached that opportune moment to sharpen our focus on the work within and outside our "cathedral." As with the building of great cathedrals, we were and are called upon to continue our cathedral building though the continued commitment of our talents, time and treasures. By now most of you will have received the mailing created by your Stewardship Committee. Hopefully the beauty of Laura Pugliese’s design of the Stewardship brochure induced you to review with appreciation the many messages of our ministries and to contemplate the kind of value you place on being part, like the great cathedral builders, of an effort that was begun before our time, and, with our contribution, will continue generations after us.

It is for this reason that I am here this morning. It is about our commitment and contribution to help "Let the Light Shine Forth." It is about asking each of us to consider in especially unsettling times, when many demands are being placed upon us, which of our many gifts we will place here. Time, talent and treasure!

Let's focus for a moment on the first two - time and talent. In keeping with the idea of "Let the Light Shine Forth" I was looking through an old file that had not seen the light of day for many years. I found an article I had clipped - it was a column written by Erma Bombeck whose common sense and wit will be remembered by many. Her column was called "Being a Volunteer--A Noble Profession" and she wrote:

“I was a ‘thousand points of light’ long before volunteerism lighted up the sky and had an official name. I had my lights short-circuited, burned at both ends and occasionally punched out. I hang in there because generally volunteerism is a dazzling galaxy of gems that streak across the sky and illuminate the world when it falters and cannot find its way."

This morning's service is strong testimony to the dazzling galaxy of gems - the volunteers who bring us beautiful music, the preparations of the deacons, the service of the ushers, the greeters, the radio crew, the volunteers who will deliver flowers, the members of the committees who will meet after our worship service to consider outreach allocations, those who will serve us coffee, the teachers in our church school, the volunteers who designed our Stewardship materials and themes - a dazzling galaxy of gems, indeed. There are "settings" for more than 300 "gems" who will be needed in the year ahead to allow the Light of First Church to Continue to Shine Forth! At a time when all of us harbor concerns about national and world events, about our families and friends, we need to consider the gifts of our time and talent - the cathedral within, if you will - that will be part of our return to God. Bringing these gifts will continue to be needed and appreciated.

As the Stewardship brochure so artistically explains - the physical and spiritual beauty of this place - comes also with certain real costs. This is the time of the year in which we decide how much of our treasure we will make available to enable the continuation and development of our ministries for 2002. This is the time that the Trustees ask each of us to make a commitment of our dollars, to sign a pledge to pay over the 12 months of 2002 a generous portion of our financial resources. For those who are able, we are asking an increase of 15% over this year's commitment. Our average pledge of $1,700 in 2001 still lags behind other comparable community churches. If you can do more with your treasure, we ask that you prayerfully consider doing so.

As you may already know, this past year, for all of its emotional or financial challenges , we have been able to maintain a steady long-term course, even though the short run has had a few rocky shoals. The Deacons and the Trustees together with many other interested members of the congregation, or rather "dazzling gems," have pursued a Strategic Plan that has had us focused on: 1.) developing new opportunities for worship, such as the experimental Saturday evening service, and 2.) implementing new ways to understand our "welcomeness" to visitors through a different focus of our Membership Committee. Thanks go to Allison Arsenault, Sarah Thalheim, Jan Gelb, James Ebert and others for creating new materials to be used to interpret our message and uniqueness (with the help of Robin Loughman, Patty Kolb, Laura Pugliese, Peggy Briggs, Barbara Cooper, to name a few). We have also been considering groups and individuals whom we are not reaching through our Inclusiveness Task Force (Kathryn Pugh and Chuck McConnell, chairs) as well as through the newly identified Accessibility Task Force with Marge York and others. We have been studying the use of our real assets under the leadership of Ty Anderson and others; the development of stewardship through Colin Murphy, Robert Riley, Dave Williams, et al; and the development of Endowment/ Planned Giving (Dana Low, chair). There is, of course, no possible way that we could ever afford the time and talent of the many people who are laboring on our behalf and for them I am most grateful.

But we wrestle with many practical issues: 1.) increased costs of buildings and grounds with a continued focus on deferred maintenance issues, especially at our housing properties; 2.) the need to attract and retain qualified staff and clergy and not let our clergy and staff fall victim to operational expense squeezes; and 3.) the cost of energy, of programs, of staff training. These factors are all a part of what we personally need to consider as we complete our pledge cards this morning or in the days ahead. As we are challenged to expand our giving in response to disasters and meet the needs of unwitting victims, or simply to maintain the normal and enriched life of this church community, we are reminded of the tireless efforts of our clergy and staff to center us in our grief and to remind us of the promise. Your prayerful consideration of your financial commitment is needed, and, for those who have already acted or will act in a timely way, very much appreciated, so that we can translate that commitment into the allocation of resources in a meaningful and responsive church budget and church program next year. Thank you, everyone, for your willingness to stretch in your personal commitments of time, talent and treasure to this special community of friends and neighbors.

The Fludde Is Coming!
Saturday, November 3, 7:30 pm and Sunday, November 4, 10 am and 4 pm

The Meetinghouse has been filled with the happy sounds of over 100 children and adults (singers, dancers, waves and animals!) hard at work rehearsing Benjamin Britten's chancel opera "Noye's Fludde." It will be presented the weekend of November 3 & 4, Saturday at 7:30 pm and Sunday, at the 10 am worship service and again at 4 pm. The Britten work is a musical setting of the medieval Chester miracle play about Noah and the Ark. Britten composed the work for the local singers and instrumentalists at Aldeburgh in 1958. Productions have been mounted every four years at First Congregational Church since the second production in 1969. The colorful production will involve more than two hundred children and adults, including an orchestra of strings, recorders, handbells and percussion. Thomas Woodman will perform the role of Noah. Lucinda Winslow will be the stage director, Sheila Hitchens, choreographer and John Stansell, musical director. Anne Wachsman and Hilary Lawrence are the production coordinators.

Joining Mr. Woodman will be Trish Hussey, mezzo-soprano, as Mrs. Noah, and Martha Ahrens will be The Voice of God. Noah's sons and their wives will be sung by John Garlid, Andrew Sisley, Tim Garlid, Kate Bonnell, Maggie Houseknecht, and Holly Hanbury-Brown.

Free tickets are available at the Church Office. A ticket assures the holder of a seat if presented at least fifteen minutes before the performance. A freewill offering will be received with a suggested donation of $15. Tickets with reserved seating are also available through prior contributions in various Patron categories ($50, $100, $250 and $ 500).

If you have seen this production, you know how entertaining and moving this delightful opera is and will not want to miss it!

Harvest Festival Weekend
Festival Week

The Senior Pilgrim Fellowship is proud to sponsor...

The H.O.M.E. Craft Show and Sale
Saturday, November 17
and Sunday, November 18

Maine crafts including: pottery, quilts, wooden toys, jams and jellies, sweaters, scarves and mittens, Christmas decorations and much more. Saturday from 10 am to 4 pm and Sunday from 11 am to 2 pm in the Auditorium.

Harvest Sunday, November 18

Celebrate our Service of Thanksgiving by bringing a harvest offering of nutritious, non-perishable foods for the Food Bank and H.O.M.E. Suggested donations: canned meats, stews, soups, fruits and vegetables, and cereals. We bring our offerings forward to the worship platform while singing familiar American hymns.

People, Places & Things

Red Cross Thanks First Church
The Greenwich Chapter thanks First Church for hosting another successful fall blood drive on Saturday, October 20. Fifteen members of the Women's Fellowship staffed the drive, and 23 members brought food for the donor 'feast'. Bob Button entertained and soothed the donors with his piano playing. And thanks to First Church members who rolled up their sleeves to save other lives!

Movie Night Is Coming!
Save the date! The Women’s Fellowship will sponsor a Family Movie Night on Friday, November 9, 6:30 - 9:30 pm. It will take place in the Lounge and pizza, popcorn and beverages will be served! Bring a blanket, your family and tuck in for a relaxing, entertaining Friday night for all ages.

Soup Kitchen Cooks!

First Church volunteers prepare and serve the noontime meal at the New Covenant House Community Kitchen in Stamford on the first Monday of each month. Thanks to the annual efforts of about 80 church members, we will have provided over 1,100 individual meals of chili/rice, salad and fruit over the year.

This volunteer project is simple: 5-7 volunteers each month shop and prepare the meal and 3-4 volunteers serve the meal at the 'Soup Kitchen'. No experience is necessary - the shopping and cooking directions are well-defined! Often a family decides to "take the month", a group of friends may ask to cook together, a church group (e.g..: SPF, JPF, or Church School parents) will request to prepare the meal as a team-building activity.

This year the volunteers who shopped, cooked and served include: Lucy and David Cowles, Harriet Starr, Marcia Livingston, Zoe Hannson, Lea Fountain, Pat Myer, Sue McCalley, James Ebert's Pastors' Class and JPF, Sally Colegrove's SPF, Karen, Nicole and Kim Pacent, Jennifer Feenstra & Friends, Colette Rogers, Barbara Oppedisano/Jane Howland & Friends, Shona and Frank Quinn, Gene and Lindsay Waggaman, Nancy Whiteman, Inge Thalheim, Shirley Robinson, Fred Arndt, Kathy & Jenna Sood, Barbara Van Buren, Barrie Richmond, Joan & Paul Johansen, Lois MacDonald, George Manning, Mary Jane & Bill Penwell, Mary & Bill Bausch, Beth Rollins, Lu Baldwin, Lucy Henjes, Marcia Wilson, Nancy McLarnen, Rosemary Lamie, Barbara Davidson and Cyndy Anderson.

Shopping for provisions may take several hours and a couple strong backs for lugging the groceries to our church kitchen. A group of 5-7 volunteers can finish their cooking/prep chores in less than two hours. The serving crew donates about two hours on the first Monday.

Bill Penwell is coordinating the serving volunteers and Mary Bausch coordinates the 'shopper-cookers'. Please call them if you can spare several hours in the coming months.

Pat Myer stirs the pot.

The mother/daughter team of Barbara Van Buren and Barrie Richmond.

Soup chefs extraordinaire: from left; Mary Bausch, Bill Penwell, Mary Jane Penwell and Lois MacDonald.

Office Volunteers Needed!

The First Church receptionist position is handled by a wonderful group of dedicated volunteers. Currently, though, we need to add to our corp of substitute receptionists.

  • Do you enjoy a vibrant, warm working environment with good hours and friendly co-workers?

  • Do you have a couple of hours a week that you could donate to the church?

If so, would you please consider becoming a substitute receptionist? Please call Senior Administrative Assistant Donna White at 637-1791 ext. 14 if you are interested. M/F--an equal volunteer opportunity-- we look forward to hearing from you!

Several of our corp of front desk volunteers offer their own thoughts on their work here at First Church:

Several of our corp of front desk volunteers offer their own thoughts on their work here at First Church:

It’s fun and there’s never a dull moment! Persis Alden

I love learning new things and being busy. Ann Robinson

I was so grateful for all the help from the clergy when my husband died, I decided it was a good way to give something back. Jan Ruxton

What I love is being involved with all the action and all the fun people who work here. Anne Wachsman

There’s a real need for help and if you have the time, why not help out?
Thelma Colegrove

Thanks to the Stewardship Volunteers
The stunningly beautiful Stewardship booklet you received in the mail recently is the product of a group of dedicated (and, obviously, talented) volunteers. Graphic designer Laura Pugliese, wordsmiths Barbara Cooper and David Williams and the Stewardship Committee (chaired by Colin Murphy and Bob Riley) devoted many hours to this project. The next time you see them, give them a pat on the back for this lovely keepsake of our treasured stained glass windows and the ministry of our church.

The Preschool children are enjoying their new playground truck installed last month. Fundraising efforts by the Parents Committee at the Book Fair and Parents’ Playdate will help defray the cost. Pictured in the truck is Elly Orozco.

Father Paul Keenan Radio Broadcast
Many of those who attended The Women’s Fellowship October luncheon at which Father Paul Keenan spoke have asked about his radio shows. They are As You Think, on WOR radio (710 AM) on Saturdays from 9 - 9:30 pm; and Religion on the Line, on WABC radio (770 AM) on Sundays from 6 - 9 am.

November Calendar

The Chancel Committee needs pumpkins to decorate the Meetinghouse for Harvest Sunday. Please drop off in the Narthex during the week of November 12 - 16. Thanks!

Please remember
First Church First Sunday
Food Drive!
Sunday, November 4

We are in particular need of cereal, canned vegetables and canned soups. Tote bags available in the Narthex or Coffee Hour. If you cannot bring your donation on Sunday, drop it by the Church Office by Wednesday, November 7.
Thank you!

Special Events
1 7:30 PM New Members Class, Lounge
3 9:00 AM Stephen Ministers  Retreat, Villa Maria, Stamford
7:30 PM Noye’s Fludde Performance, Meetinghouse
4 10:00 AM Noye’s Fludde Performance, Meetinghouse
4:00 PM Noye’s Fludde Performance, Meetinghouse
6 7:00 PM 20/30-Something Dinner, the Ziac’s home
9 5:30 PM Confirmation Class Retreat leaves for Silver Lake, parking lot
6:30 PM Family Movie Night, Lounge
10 5:00 PM Informal Worship Service, Meetinghouse
11 9:15 AM New Members gather before joining church, Lounge
11:15 AM Flu Immunization Clinic, Room 203 (call Dee Coover, 637-1791 x 21 for details)
3:00 PM Confirmation Class Retreat returns from Silver Lake, parking lot
12, 19, 26 7:30 PM Adult Education, “A New Religious America,” Lounge
17 9:00 AM Stephen Ministers Retreat, Lounge
10:00 AM H.O.M.E. Craft Show and Sale, Auditorium
18 10:00 AM Harvest Sunday Worship Service,  No Church School
11:15 AM H.O.M.E. Craft Show and Sale, Auditorium
11:15 AM Christian Outreach Committee, Lounge
22, 23 Church Office Closed for Thanksgiving 
25 5:00 PM Family Wreath-Making Event and Potluck Supper
29 7:30 PM New Members Class, Lounge
Committee Meetings
5 6:00 PM Nominating Committee, TLS Office
7:30 PM Church Committee, Lounge
Memorial Gifts Committee, Room 203
Membership Committee, Lounge
7 9:15 AM Women’s Fellowship Board Meeting
7:30 PM Church School Task Force, Lounge
8 7:30 PM Communications Task Force, TLS Office
11 11:15 AM Church School Teacher’s Meeting, Room  103
19 1:00 PM Rummage Room Committee, Lounge
21 7:30 PM Trustees Meeting, Lounge
28 7:30 PM Church School Task Force, Lounge
Weekly Events
Sunday 11:15 AM Cherub Choir rehearsal, Room 104 (not 11/4)
Youth Choir rehearsal, Choir Room (not 11/4)
5:00 PM JPF, Room 103 (not 11/4)
7:00 PM SPF, Room 103
Tuesday 7:00 PM Confirmation Class, Room 103
Wednesday 5:00 PM Children’s Choir rehearsal, Choir Room
(not on 11/21)
6:00 PM Children’s Choir Pizza Supper, Room 303
(not on 11/21) 
Thursday 8:45 AM Palmer Handbells, Meetinghouse
9:30 AM Hats Off, Lounge 
7:30 PM Chancel Choir rehearsal, Choir Room

Church School News

Children and the Church
"Wandering Through the Wilderness"

Our life in the Church School this fall has been a very important time - in that we have come together with a new appreciation for things that matter - our freedom, our families, and our faith. We are wandering through uncertain times, and the wilderness has much to teach us. For so long we have felt totally in control, now we look for One who is stronger yet, and in that constancy, challenges our understanding.

In ways unlike previous years our children are coming to class with clearly recognized concerns, and a real hunger to know God and learn about the promises of hope made possible through the life of God's son, Jesus Christ. They reflect us all with their hopes and fears. In spite of our efforts to protect them and offer comfort, they also are walking with us into a time the likes of which we have never before encountered.

As parents we have experienced a powerful time together as we have worshipped in the Meetinghouse. Just so, life in our classrooms has also been powerful. Our teachers have met and prepared with a new understanding of the roles their presence and teaching play in the lives of our children. There are not words sufficient to thank them for all they are doing, but I hope we will all find ways to let them know how much their efforts mean.

This is a time for prayer and praising. It is also a time for courage - and for supporting one another and living our lives fully. As the events of our fall unfold in the world at large, and at First Church, we continue to invite all who would come. It is important to be able to gather together. Our Saturday 5 pm services are becoming part of the fabric of our children's worship life. We are looking forward to Noah's Flood (November 3 and 4 at 10 am) to our Harvest Sunday Festival Service on November 18 (don't forget your food offering), and to our Family Wreath- Making Dinner (November 25, 5 pm).

As we enter this Thanksgiving season, let us be sure to celebrate the blessings that surround us, the most important of which is God's continued presence.

Adult Education

The next adult education series will be based on a timely and informative book, “The New Religious America” by Diana L. Eck. The discussions will take place on Mondays, November 12, 19 and 26 at 7:30 pm in the Lounge. Please join Dr. Tom Stiers and Rev. James Ebert in examining this very important book.

Father Paul Keenan Broadcast

Many who heard Father Paul Keenan speak at The Women’s Fellowship October luncheon have asked about his radio shows. They are: As You Think on WOR Radio (710 AM) on Saturdays from 9-9:30 pm; and Religion on the Line on WABC Radio (770 AM) on Sundays from 6-9 am. Hope you get a chance to listen in!

Young Adults
Social Group

A new fellowship group is forming at First Church. Under the guidance of Rev. James Ebert, a group of adults in their 20’s and 30’s will hold a dinner gathering at the home of Emily and Josh Ziac on Tuesday, November 6, at 7 pm. The group is currently calling itself the “Not-So-Youth Group.” Please RSVP by e-mail to jamese@fccog.org.

The Women’s Fellowship invites you to...
A Christmas Wreath-Making Workshop
and Potluck Supper for all ages
Sunday, November 25
5 o’clock in the Auditorium

This year marks the return of this very popular First Church tradition. We gather in the Auditorium with evergreen wreaths, decorations and ribbon and work our magic on the greenery. Following the workshop will be a potluck supper. Everyone in the family is invited to take part in this wonderful early-Christmas-season event!

For reservations, please return the form below, with an accompanying check payable to The Women’s Fellowship, to the Church Office or mail it to First Congregational Church, 108 Sound Beach Ave., Old Greenwich, CT 06870, or sign up at Coffee Hour on November 4, 11, and 18. The deadline for reservations is November 18.

Please make your reservations early to help us in our planning.

The Women’s Fellowship Wreath-Making Workshop and Potluck Supper

Name_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Phone_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Please save a space for_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _  (number of people)

Names _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Reserve_ _ _ _ _ _ _ (number of wreaths) @$11/wreath
Make check payable to The Women’s Fellowship

I will bring (circle one): (serving 10 to 12 people)


Hot Casserole

Finger Dessert

From the Parish Nurse
Diabetes: Are You at Risk?

Dee Coover, R.N.,
Parish Nurse
Available at First Church
Sunday & Wednesday
8:30 am to 3:30 pm
Tuesday 8 am to 12:30 pm
203-637-1791 x21

Diabetes ranks high on the list of health threats among Americans. Diabetes is a condition that affects glucose metabolism in the body. The effects of severely elevated glucose levels are serious - causing altered nutrition of the body's tissues that lead to complications such as heart attack, kidney failure, stroke, and blindness.

Screening to detect elevated blood glucose levels is important for prevention of diabetes, or a condition known as early diabetes. Impaired glucose tolerance is a condition that precedes full-blown diabetes. It is a "symptomless" condition in which blood sugar levels are higher than normal.

Early diabetes occurs in individuals who are overweight, consume a diet high in fats, do not exercise on a regular basis, and find themselves in on-going stressful life situations. Overweight and high stress makes the body store fat around internal organs in the abdominal (visceral) area. Visceral fat is linked to increased fat storage in the liver. This situation leads to increased blood sugar levels, and to extra fat stored in peripheral muscle cells, which in turn, leads to insulin resistance by the very cells that need insulin to convert glucose into energy.

Research findings show that individuals impaired glucose tolerance will develop Type II diabetes within 10 years. Early diabetes raises one's risk for heart disease, hypertension and stroke, and contributes to the development of "bad cholesterol" or elevated LDL levels, which cause clogged arteries. By the time an individual develops Type II diabetes, damage has already occurred to nerve fibers causing burning pain and numbness (known as peripheral neuropathy), and potential loss of sensory function, particularly, vision.

It is important that you take the first step to determine your risk for diabetes or its precursor, impaired glucose tolerance. On Wednesday, November 14, there will be a diabetes-screening event at First Church. Make a date with yourself to take advantage of the blood screening procedure, information sessions presented by two well-known Greenwich physicians on recent developments in diabetes, and heart disease, and printed information available to take home with you for further study. The program begins at 9 AM and runs until noon. An appointment is needed to get your blood screened. Call (203) 863-4444 to have your name added to the appointment list. Please contact your Parish Nurse for further details about this important event.

Opportunity to Help

Used Car Needed

Mustafa and Emsa Hodzic and their three young sons arrived in the U.S. eight years ago after escaping the terrors of the Serbian attack on Bosnia. They were sponsored by the First Congregational Church of Greenwich, the Second Congregational Church of Greenwich and the Round Hill Congregational Church. They found work and a home to live in.

The two older sons worked in Manhattan, one in the World Trade Center, the other nearby. Fortunately both escaped the attack of September 11, but they are struggling with shock and the memories of the genocide in Bosnia.

The family has a car, but it is worn out and must be scrapped.

If you would like to donate a used car to this fine family, it would be greatly appreciated. The best way would be to donate the car to First Church so that you can take a charitable deduction on your tax return.

First Church Business Administrator George Handley has the proper form to be filled out. You may contact him at the Church Office at 637-1791.

Planned Giving

Might now be the time for you
to take the plunge?

The terrible events of September 11 have caused many of us to re-evaluate what is truly important. In addition to experiencing a heightened sense of personal spirituality as we search for meaning and hope amidst tragedy, many are also reawakening to the value of community, particularly the Church community. Now, more than ever, we are aware of the importance of First Church in our lives and for the well?being of generations to come. By making a gift to the First Church Pooled Income Fund you can provide a source of funds for the long?term needs of the Church while retaining a lifetime income interest in the donated property for yourself and/or your family members.
For more information about the First Church Pooled Income Fund and other ways you can leave a lasting legacy at First Church, please contact Dana Low, Director of Planned Giving, at (203) 637-9315 or via e-mail to danalow@aol.com.

First Church Legacy Society

Last year’s annual report included for the first time a list of members who have made planned gifts, or made personal arrangements for planned gifts or bequests, to benefit First Church. These gifts can take one or more of these forms:

  • bequest provision in your Will

  • gift to The First Church Pooled Income Fund

  • charitable remainder or similar trust in which First Church is the ultimate beneficiary

  • life insurance policy naming First Church a beneficiary

  • IRA making First Church a beneficiary

  • other types of planned gifts

The 2001 annual report will include an updated list of Legacy Society members, so if you were not listed last year but qualify to be listed now and are unsure of whether or not we already have your name on our roster, please notify Dr. Stiers, or contact Dana Low at the numbers on the left.)

Prudames Family Leaves Bequest

The Church was recently blessed with a generous bequest from the estate of Mott and Ida Prudames. Many in the congregation will remember the Prudames, who were active members of First Church for 34 years, from 1957 until they moved to California in 1991. Both served in a number of leadership capacities during that time, and it is gratifying to know that they kept a special place in their hearts for us.

A Letter from a Visitor
The following is an excerpt from a letter we received from a grateful visitor during the days after September 11:

”...On Friday, September 14, when churches across the land called for a day of mourning and remembrance, I was at work in Stamford. Not knowing the area’s churches very well (I belong to Notre Dame Church in Easton, CT), I drove around searching for a church, and was fortunate enough to come upon First Congregational Church. I’m certain there were many others there that day who did not normally attend your church, joined together with your many parishioners, all looking for answers and for God’s help in coping wtih this disaster.
I want to thank the First Congregational Church for taking me in on that sad day, and for helping me to begin coping with the tragedy that befell us all. My thoughts and prayers are with you and with your parishioners, particularly those who were undoubtedly more directly impacted by the attacks than I was. May God’s peace be with you all.
Very Kind Regards,
Michael E. Spicer
Easton, CT

November Birthdays

1 Anne Almy 13 Bjorn Wisecup
Katherine Kabot Susan Alden
Julie Ann Smith Armond Heerman
2 Thomas Woodman John Glendon
Jonathan Colegrove Paul Ghaffari
Endy Anderson Griffin Sandberg
3 Theodore Fox Hunter Serenbetz
Earl Moore, Jr. Hayden Murphy
Cynthia Servadio 14 Carol Mawhinney
Jim Sawyer Clinton Olsen
Todd Gaulocher Craig Breismeister
4 Marie Phillips Katherine Toy
Lee Watkins Duncan Graham
Richard Almy Sam Grunow
Gretchen Almy 15 Cindy Bailey
Stevie Eveland Steven Lico
5 James Starkweather 16 Ruth Davidson
Kathryn Sood Peter Grunow
Sally Graham 17 David Siever
Alexandra Smith Nathaniel Sadler
Anna Wilkinson David Silliphant
6 Richard Mahoney 18 Lucille Jackson
Debra Shaw Dorothy Zavattaro
Meg Stewart Mark Schmitt-Fellner
Christopher Tierney 19 Betty Bonsal
7 Joyce Carlson Bobby  LaCivita
Kirk Young 20 Katja Esrey
Deborah Graves Rebecca Berlin
Robin Loughman Richard Gilbert
Sarah Starkweather 21 Judy Goodchild
Rebecca Assing Richard Low
Patrick Carey Taylor Craig
8 Doris Sisley William Fossum
Ferdinand Veith 22 Suzanne Dakin
Charles Livingston Kimberly Dempsey
Sandy Phelps 23 Julie Jones
Judy Davis 24 Dorothy Lenhart
Francis Pataky, Jr. Jennifer Provoost
Carson Davis Julia Lonski
9 Joey Cesare 25 Maesie Clarkson Wylie
10 Ann Isaacson Caroline Farriss
Mary Jane Penwell 26 Patricia Larrabee
Elizabeth Cooper 27 Sandra McCue
Emma Wilfert 28 Rosina Primo
11 Charles Kolb Laura Jones
12 Doris Neikirk 30 Tony Friend
Hazel Atwood Johnson Jenna Benoit
Richard Miller Chloe Mackell
Peter Schay Sloan Jacoby
Jerry Carnegie

Informal Saturday Services

This fall, we began offering an informal worship opportunity on Saturday evenings. The intention is to bring the informal, intergenerational, “come as you are” intimacy of the beach services to these evening services. The next service will take place at 5 pm on Saturday, November 10. In addition to Dr. Tom Stiers preaching, there will be a wedding ceremony (see box on right) and communion. The final service for 2001 will be on December 1, while the 2002 schedule will be announced at a later date. Join us as we embark on a new spiritual undertaking this year.

Dorothy Perna and John Robertson invite you to be present at their wedding during the Informal Worship Service on Saturday, November 10. The service begins at 5 pm and will be held in the Meetinghouse. They then invite you to join them in a reception
to be held in the Auditorium.

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