The First Congregational Church of Greenwich

Meetinghouse Monthly

February 1, 2002         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.

The copy deadline for the Meetinghouse Monthly is the 15th of the previous month. The issue should arrive in homes by the first Sunday of the month. Deadline for the Meetinghouse Minute is the first of the month, to arrive in homes by the third Sunday of the month.

February Worship Schedule

Sunday, February 3
8 & 10 am in the Meetinghouse
Rev. Dr. Thomas L. Stiers
“The Sacred Fire of Awakening”
Communion served

Saturday, February 9
5 pm in the Auditorium
Rev. Dr. Thomas L. Stiers
Music, prayer and communion

Sunday, February 10
8 &10 am in the Meetinghouse
Rev. James Ebert
“Head in the Clouds”
Ash Wednesday, February 13
7:30 pm in the Meetinghouse
Rev. Dr. Thomas L. Stiers
“The Way of the Pilgrim”

Sunday, February 17
First Sunday in Lent
8 &10 am in the Meetinghouse
Rev. Dr. Thomas L. Stiers
“Hope Unfolding”

Sunday, February 24
SecondSunday in Lent
8 &10 am in the Meetinghouse
Rev. Dr. Thomas L. Stiers
“The Cry of the Heart”

Please remember
First Church First Sunday
Food Drive!
February 3
We are in particular need of cereal and canned meals (stew, ravioli, chili, hash).
If you cannot bring your donation on Sunday, drop it by the Church Office by Wednesday, February 6.
Thank you!

Lent 2002
Hope Unfolding

Dear Friends,

The theme of Lent 2002 is “Hope Unfolding,” an idea that is based on the suffering and struggle of the Lenten season, then the good news and promise of the Easter story. It begins on Ash Wednesday, February 13. Throughout February, there are many, many important events and services taking place at First Church related to this most solemn season.

On Sunday, February 3, I will preach a sermon entitled “The Sacred Fire of Awakening.” There will be a Second Hour led by our own Turhan Tirana entitled “The Church in Early Connecticut.” He will recreate for us what it would have been like to be a citizen of this area--a theocracy at the time-- in the mid-1600’s. Second Hour takes place in the Lounge at 11:15 am after the Worship Service. At this same time, our Fifth Grade Church School class will be cooking for the soup kitchen in keeping with their focus on Outreach. Later that day, Grupo los Santos, a Cuban/Brazilian jazz quartet (see John Stansell’s accompanying article), will perform at Sunday Afternoons Live at 4 pm in the Auditorium. The JPF and SPF will travel to Silver Lake to ski this weekend.

On Saturday, February 9, the Women’s Fellowship will sponsor a “Day of Discovery,” a day of learning, enlightenment and friendship beginning at 9:30 am here at First Church. That afternoon, there will be an Informal Worship Service at 5 pm in the Auditorium. During this service, the Second Grade Church School class will receive the Sacrament of Holy communion for the first time, following a month devoted to communion education. For those of you who have attended these services, you are familiar with the warm, quiet intimacy that characterizes these “come as you are,” intergenerational services.

On February 10, James Ebert will preach a sermon entitled “Head in the Clouds.” Following the Worship Service, there will be the first in a two-part Second Hour series (the second part will take place the following Sunday, February 17) that will feature Rabbi Charlie Rabinowitz speaking on the subject of Jewish Mysticism. These presentations are consistent with the emphasis First Church has placed (both before and after September 11) on understanding other religious faiths in the belief that understanding breeds acceptance, tolerance and respect. This same morning will find the Fourth Grade Church School class visiting the First Congregational Church of Norwalk for that church’s “Diversity Sunday” service. The Sunday Afternoons Live performance will feature Gabor Fuchs on piano.

For the Ash Wednesday service (February 13 at 7:30 pm in the Meetinghouse), I will preach a sermon entitled “The Way of the Pilgrim.”This is a service of prayer, scripture, meditation and silence.

The next day, February 14, our Honduras Travel Group will depart for San Pedro Sulo with suitcases full of much needed medications. (See accompaning article for list.)

On February 17, the first Sunday in Lent, I will preach a sermon based on our Lenten theme “Hope Unfolding.” The Sunday Afternoons Live program will present the Claremont Duo on Guitar and cello.

On Sunday, February 24, the Sixth Grade and Pastors’ Class will travel to Nyack, NY to visit the Jerahi Mosque to conclude their month-long study of Islam. I will preach a sermon entitled “The Cry of the Heart.”

Events to note in early March include:

  • The Men’s Retreat on Friday, March 1;

  • Communion Sunday, March 3: The Third Grade Bible Breakfast (they receive their Bibles in June following a yearlong study of Bible stories!) and Dr. Rebecca Chopp, Dean of Yale Divinity School, preaching at the 10 am Worship Service;

  • The arrival of our Theologian-in-Residence Rev. Anthony Andres on Wednesday, March 6. He will preach on his Lenten theme of “The Sound Surrounding the Silence,” at 7:30 pm in the Meetinghouse.

As you can see, though February is a short month with a long school vacation in the middle of it, First Church will be alive and buzzing with activity and spirit. We hope you will make time to share these spiritual, musical and fellowship events with us as you begin your journey through Lent 2002.

Coming Up Soon

Second Hour on Local History
February 3 Speaker--Turhan Tirana
"The Early Connecticut Congregationalists"
Did you know that in the 1600’s, the Greenwich Congregationalists, because they were so wicked, had to attend church in Stamford for six years? If you belonged to what became First Church in the 1600s, you'd be summoned to Sunday service by the roll of drums. You'd march into the Meetinghouse, where you'd stay all day except for a lunch break. A guard would be posted at the door to warn against Indian attacks. If you dozed off during three-four hour sermons, your nose might be tickeled by a feather. You'd exchange gossip afterwards. Life was different then...would you have enjoyed it? Come to Second Hour at 11:15 am in the Lounge on February 3. Local author and history buff Turhan Tirana will tell you more!

Sunday Afternoons Live

Candlelight concerts throughout February

Our popular, candlelit Sunday afternoon concerts continue for the four Sundays of February, beginning on the 3rd with Grupo los Santos playing a "heady mix of Jazz, Afro-Cuban and Brazilian music." William "Beaver" Bausch, son of our own Bill Bausch, is the group's drummer. The other members of the group are Paul Carlon, tenor sax, Pete Smith, guitar, and Nicholas Walker, double-bass. Grupo los Santos has been playing every Wednesday for two years at El Taller, a Latin-American cultural center on Manhattan's Upper West Side. Their program should be of interest to every jazz lover.

Sunday Afternoons Live began as a way of featuring our church's 9-foot concert Steinway. On February 10th, we will hear Soviet-born pianist Gabor Fuchs in a program of Schumann's "Kinderszenen," Liszt transcriptions and Chopin's "Sonata No. 3." Mr. Fuchs has played to critical acclaim in the U. S. and Europe and returns for his second recital here.

The very unusual combination of guitar and cello, the Claremont Duo, will present the February 17 program with an eclectic program of music by Bach and Boccherini, Fauré and de Falla, and lesser known 20th century composers Piazzolla and Gnattali. The unique acoustics of our Auditorium will bring this music to marvelous life. The guitarist is Peter Ernst from Germany. Cellist Maxine Neuman has appeared here with the early music ensemble Breve.

To conclude the series on February 24, will feature a return engagement of Chinese-American pianist Cathy Tao Yin. Her program will consist of Mozart's "Nine Variations on a Minuet by Duport," Beethoven's "Sonata, Op. 31, Nr. 2," and Schumann's "Carnaval."

Tea, hot chocolate and cookies are served from 3:30. The concerts begin at 4 pm and conclude around 5:15. There is no admission charge; a ten-dollar donation is requested. If you haven't yet attended, plan now to treat yourself to at least one of these world-class performances.

People, Places & Things

Day of Discovery
It’s not too late to register for The Women’s Fellowship Day of Discovery scheduled for Saturday, February 9, at 9:30 am at First Church. This will be a day of enlightenment, fellowship and relaxation. Registration forms are available in the Church Office--the programs will feature a personal development coach, a discussion by a Muslim women’s leader; yoga; and a spirited new musical production. A gourmet lunch will be served: call the Church Office to sign up.

Ushers Serve the Lord
Answer the Lord’s call to serve as an usher. Your presence welcomes and honors those who come to worship. Ushering is a sacrificial ministry: you give up some quality of your own worship to enhance the experience of the entire congregation. Receive the joy of the Lord through service to others. Call Peter Flierl at 637-3417 or by e-mail at fbtworld@aol.com to volunteer.

Covering Mailing Costs
If you receive Meetinghouse Monthly and Minute but do not support the church through a pledge, please consider a yearly contribution of $50 to cover the costs of mailing. If you do not wish to receive the Meetinghouse Monthly or Minute, please notify Mary Babbidge at 637-1791 x 31.

Checked our Web Site?
Have you seen our website recently? It is now updated several times per week with sermon reprints, the latest issue of Meetinghouse Monthly and Meetinghouse Minute (especially useful if, like many Stamford and out-of-town readers, your bulk rate mail is delivered slowly). If you listen to the radio broadcast of the service, you can find the bulletin and calendar on the website each Sunday. The address is www.fccog.org

Covering Mailing Costs
If you receive Meetinghouse Monthly and Minute but do not support the church through a pledge, please consider a yearly contribution of $50 to cover the costs of mailing. If you do not wish to receive the Meetinghouse Monthly or Minute, please notify Mary Babbidge at 637-1791 x 31.

Apartment Available
Do you know of anyone who might be looking for a rental apartment? The apartment over the gray house next to the church is vacant and anxious for a new tenant. Call George Handley at the Church Office if you are interested.

Considering College?
The good colleges are getting fussier as more and more quality students apply. Where do you fit in? Talk with our own Mary Leinbach, an experienced and respected college consultant. Her $200 charge goes to the First Church College Loan Fund and is tax deductible. You can reach her at 531-9434.

February Calendar

Special Events            
1 5:00 PM JPF and SPF leave for Annual Ski Trip to Silver Lake
2 9:00 AM Training for new church officers, Lounge
3 11:15 AM Second Hour, Turhan Tirana, “Early Congregational History,” Lounge 
    3:30 PM Sunday Afternoons Live, Grupo Los Santos, Auditorium
5 7:30 PM New Members Class, Lounge
7 7:30 PM Empty Nesters Brainstorming Session, Lounge
9 9:30 AM Women’s Fellowship Day of Discovery, Auditorium
   5:00 PM Informal Worship Service, Meetinghouse
10 9:00 AM New Members gather before joining church, Lounge
   11:15 AM Second Hour, Rabbi Charlie Rabinowitz, “Jewish Mysticism,” Lounge
   3:00 PM Honduras Group packing medical supplies, TLS office
   3:30 PM Sunday Afternoons Live, Gabor Fuchs, piano, Auditorium
13 7:30 PM Ash Wednesday Service, Meetinghouse
17 11:15 AM Second Hour, Rabbi Charlie Rabinowitz, “Jewish Mysticism,” Lounge
   3:30 PM Sunday Afternoons Live, Claremont Duo, guitar and cello, Auditorium
23 8:30 AM Red Cross/First Church  Blood Drive, Auditorium
24 3:30 PM Sunday Afternoons Live, Cathy Tao Yin, piano, Auditorium
Committee Meetings          
4 1:30 PM Stephen Ministers, Lounge
    7:30 PM Church Committee, Lounge
5 7:30 PM Stephen Ministers, Lounge
6 7:30 PM Church School Task Force, Lounge
19 7:30 PM Stephen Ministers, Lounge
25 1:30 PM Stephen Ministers, Lounge
27 7:30 PM Board of Trustees Meeting, Lounge
Weekly Events            
Sunday  11:15 AM Cherub Choir rehearsal, Room 104 (not on 2/10)
         Youth Choir rehearsal, Choir Room 
   5:00 PM JPF, Room 103 (not on 2/3 or 2/24) 
    7:00 PM SPF, Room 103 (not on 2/3)
Tuesday 5:00 PM Cancer Support Group, Lounge
     6:00 PM Confirmation class (not on 2/19)
Wednesday  5:00 PM Children’s Choir rehearsal, Choir Room 
     6:00 PM Children’s Choir Pizza Supper, Room 303 
Thursday 9:30 AM Hats Off, Lounge 
   7:30 PM Chancel Choir rehearsal, Choir Room 

From the Parish Nurse
Heart Health and Preparing for Surgery

Traditionally, February is designated as "heart month" by most programs dedicated to health awareness. Prevention of heart disease is the focus of a number of events planned by Greenwich Health including a Town Meeting scheduled for 1- 2:30 pm in the Nobel Conference Room, February 6 at Greenwich Hospital.

Another "heart-related" program soon to be introduced to the Greenwich Hospital community is called “Prepare for Surgery, Heal Faster.” The mind-body connection is involved in this innovative clinical program. Peggy Huddleston, MTS and author of the book by the same name, is the principle investigator for the project that focuses on ways the heart and human spirit enhance surgical outcomes and healing.

The premise of the intervention is that post-operative recovery can be positively influenced with "mind setting" using principles of guided imagery several days to two weeks before surgery. This technique also can be applied to other interventions such as preparation for diagnostic studies, chemotherapy and dialysis treatments.

There is a sequence of five simple steps required by the individual who chooses to employ the Heal Faster Program. Practiced in advance of surgery or other intervention, the following steps are key to reducing anxiety and improving outcomes:

1.)Twice daily, the individual concentrates on going to a "heart spot" -- a place in the conscious mind where they "feel a great sense of love.” This may be an experience with family members, a pet or a place where there is a feeling of warmth--the imagery allows the individual to relax and develop a sense of calmness;

 2.) Visualize the healing, specifically expected outcomes of the surgery, e.g., increased mobility, absence of pain, etc;

 3.) Organize a support group of family members and friends--they are asked to "surround" the individual "in a blanket of love" during the time of the procedure(s);

 4.) Staff attending with the individual during the surgical or other procedure are asked to speak "healing statements" because the sense of hearing is very much intact, even under anesthesia; and

 5.) Establish clear patient-doctor relationships with the anesthesiologist and surgeon who will actively support the use of "healing statements" during the course of anesthesia.

Research findings from projects underway at Beth Israel Medical Center and New York University show that individuals who actively prepare for surgery using guided imagery experience less post-operative side effects such as nausea and pain medication. Consequently, length of the hospitalization stay is significantly reduced, and recovery is considerably hastened. This technique promises to be useful in a multitude of situations. For further information about Peggy Huddleston's book or workshops, please call your Parish Nurse, Dee Coover, RNC.

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

Congregational Heritage Tour with Dr. Stiers

This September, Dr. Stiers will lead a tour group to the beautiful English countryside to discover the roots of the Congregational church. It will begin at Windsor Castle and Stonehenge, then progress to the ancient city of Bath; Stratford-upon-Avon (the birthplace of Shakespeare), Coventry and the bucolic Lake District; the Scottish seaports of Iona and Oban; historic St. Andrews and Edinburgh; then to the historical Congregational area of York; and finally conclude with a tour of Cambridge and London.

The tour is sponsored by Garlin Travel and will depart on September 18, returning October 2. The price is $2,799 per person double occupancy with a New York departure.

Please speak to Dr. Stiers if you are interested or would like more information.

February Birthdays

1 Nicholas Tagliarino 10 Cappy Nickerson 18 Melinda May
  Ellen McDonald   MaryEllen Swanson   Tommy Grunow
  Sophie Waine   Brenda Stiers   Alexander Dadzis
  Marilyn Olsson   Cheryl Osgood 19 Richard Derr
  David Langhorne   Allison Whittemore   Robert Pearson
2 Webb Williams   Jordan Reiss 20 Janet Savage
  Sean Menges   Chris Hallowell Jr.   Andrew Wall
  Janet Toy   Jenna Sood   Virginia Low
3 Stanley Rawn 11 Matthew Pruner   Jeffrey Arsenault
  Elizabeth Baker   Valeri Primo 21 Harold Kneen
  Cynthia Cooke 12 Janet Sotzing   Betty Sleath
  Matthys Hoekstra   Colin Murphy   Jefferson Watkins
4 Pat Remmer   Matthew Shattuck   Edward Bryant
  John Sweger   Tanner DeMott   Katharine Derr
  Lissa Wachsman Arnold   Kristen Morris 22 Daniel Shanks
  Clark Shaw   Morgan McGonagle 23 William Boles
  Judson Saviskas 13 Sally Colegrove   Gary Lico
  Ashley Whitcomb   Elizabeth Olson Hasler   Samantha Stone
  Anne Johnson   Britt Carnegie   Kate Scrivan
5 Barbara Crilley 14 Oliver Servadio   William Frillici
  Elizabeth Kreuter   Edward Thomas 24 Sallie Williams
  Erin O'Rielly   Lynne Lehman   Louis Paris
  Kelly Anne Boles   Dawn Hewitt   Robert Small
6 Carolyn Colegrove 15 Caryn Urciuoli Jacoby   Jeanne Simpson
  Katherine Bonnell   Julia Guard   Karen Phillips
  Mary Alice Braddock   Joseph Claps   Danny Wurst
  Kelly Dodd   Andrew Scrivan 25 Joan Osgood
  Nathaniel Willard   Sarah Ciofarri   William Sisley
7 Robert Phelps   Mark Angland   Becki Burdick
  William Graham   Jeanne Boyer 26 Arthur Berman
  Allison Ariyibi 16 Andrew Hanson   Diane Rakip
8 Fred Richards   Shaw Speer   Michael Lamie
  Lois Kramer-Metraux 17 Matthew Hoster   Juliette Brindak
9 William Osgood III   Emma Nicole Kirchner   Brandon Pitt
  Anne McGonagle     27 Megan Shattuck
  Katherine Sweet       Elizabeth Beam
  Haley Norrgard       Barbara Trepanier
  Michaela Fossum     28 Daniel Catchpole
  Juliet Primo        
  Chloe Kimberlin         

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