February 1, 2002 Patty Kolb, Editor http://www.fccog.org
The Members of
The First Congregational Church of Greenwich, Ministers
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
Saturday, February 9
Sunday, February 10
Sunday, February 17
Sunday, February 24
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:
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
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
Checked our Web
From the Parish
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.
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.