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The First Congregational Church of Greenwich

Meetinghouse Monthly

July 1, 2002         Patty Kolb, Editor        http://www.fccog.org

Save the Date! Sunday, September 15
Homecoming 2002

This Is The Big One!
A Homecoming Sunday to Remember
Help Us Raise $25,000
A Chance to Help the Future of First Church
An Auction to Benefit Our Endowment

On Homecoming Sunday this year we will have a wonderful, new, special event. During our annual Homecoming Picnic we will have a Silent and Live Auction for the Endowment. This economic year has been difficult on our endowment funds, so we thought we would give this important resource of our church a little help. Our endowment helps to pay the bills for buildings and programs. It is also our insurance against a very rainy day. So we need to take care of the Endowment Fund and have a little fun as we do.

We need donations: what do you have that you would be willing to give to the Auction? Examples: a nice painting, an antique chair or desk, a piece of crystal or silver, a small boat. What do you have that you would be willing to provide for the auction: six batches of cookies, five hours of babysitting, a dinner on your boat, a catered party for ten, lessons in fishing, boating, writing, Spanish? What do you have that you would be willing to share with the auction: a week at your ski house, a week at your summer cabin, use of your Yankees' box seats, theater series tickets? There are many ways to help out!

We also need your help as we prepare. If you would be willing to work on the auction with a team of three of our deacons and three of our trustees, along with Sally Colegrove and Aaron Sinay, please get in touch with Sally at 637-1791 ext. 15. This is a limited commitment volunteer job that we hope will have a large return. If you can't help us prepare, then prepare yourself for a great time by buying tickets to the Homecoming Picnic, on sale the last Sunday in August, and then coming to the picnic and auction as a bidder. See you there!

July Worship Schedule

Sunday, July 7
8 am at Greenwich Point
10 am in the Meetinghouse
Rev. Sally Colegrove
“In Steadfast Love”

Sunday, July 14
8 am at Greenwich Point
10 am in the Meetinghouse
Rev. Sally Colegrove
“The Flames of Faith”

Sunday, July 21
8 am at Greenwich Point
10 am in the Meetinghouse
Bob Ferry
“Our Beliefs in a Time of Change”

Sunday, July 28
8 am at Greenwich Point
10 am in the Meetinghouse
Dr. Thomas L. Stiers
“It’s Like a Mustard Seed”

The Pastor’s Column

Dear Summer Friends,

Summer is a rich time in our family for birthdays and other celebrations. June 3rd was our oldest granddaughter Hadley’s sixth birthday and on June 9th, she graduated from kindergarten. This July 3rd will be my 64th birthday. On July 23, our youngest granddaughter Abby will turn four. I am highly energized by these family celebrations. Brenda and I have been enjoying the presence of Hadley and Abby while they are here attending the first session of First Church Day Camp.

This summer began with the puzzling experience of Brenda’s car being stolen. We are still waiting for the insurance company and the NYPD to resolve the issue of our car.

June was a month packed with many wonderful moments: several baptisms (the beginning of the post 9/11 boom?) and the wedding of long-time First Church Sexton Lloyd Cooke’s son Wayne. He was married to a young English woman in a wonderfully diverse ceremony.

We enjoyed a visit by UCC Western Regional Minister Joe Neville. His message concerned the church and hospitality. After the Coffee Hour, he met with senior leadership of our congregation to discuss issues of transition.

On June 23, we welcomed Rev. David Spollett, Senior Pastor of First Church, Congregational, of Fairfield. This church is an Open & Affirming Church. Here at First Church, we continue to explore the subject of inclusivity. Our proposed statement of inclusivity reads:

“First Church welcomes worshipers and members to our church community of all backgrounds, including age, culture, economic class, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, physical or mental capacity, race, or religion.”

This will be discussed in depth by the Church Committee this fall.

On July 8, the Professional Staffing Committee will give its preliminary report on their insights concerning the history of our staffing patterns over the first 25 years. This committee, under the leadership of Rufus Winton and Chuck Wheelock, has been working hard to discern patterns of strength in our recent history.

Join us at the beach for our 8 am services or in air-conditioning at 10:00 on Sunday mornings. Think of First Church during your travels and send us a post card! Enjoy the fruits of summer.

Warm Regards,

First Church was proud to honor its members of 50 years or more on Heritage Sunday (May 26). Pictured here are (from left) first row: Carolyn Colegrove, Reg Gisborne, Betty White, Barbara Van Buren, Rev. Dr. Thomas L. Stiers; second row: William Henry, Dorothy Perna Robertson, Dorothy Pidgursky, Ruth Reed, Gif Reed; third row: Erling Anderson, Warren Dennison,
Louise Guy, Joyce Ferris, Charles Ferris.

From the Trustees
First Church Facing Financial Problem

As Chairman of the Board of Trustees, I need to report to the congregation on a financial problem that we're facing.

Problem Statement

As you may remember, the 3-year Shelter Strong capital campaign was followed by a supplemental 1-year capital campaign called Finish-the-Job. Together, the two campaigns were a great success, and raised over $2 million in pledges. Based on those pledges, the Trustees authorized construction costs and I'm glad to be able to report that our expenses did not exceed pledges.

However, pledges to the 3-year Shelter Strong campaign were due to be paid up by December 31st of last year. Unfortunately, I'm here today to report that as of this moment, $104,000 of those pledges are past due, and a good portion of that $104,000 may ultimately need to be written off as uncollectable.

Action Taken to Date

Here's what we've done so far:

  • Everyone with a past due Shelter Strong pledge has been contacted by letter and/or telephone.
  • We have also written to new members who joined our church family during the last two years, asking whether they might be willing to make a contribution to help cover the shortfall in collections.
  • The Trustees voted to suspend future Shelter-Strong Outreach grants, which were originally expected to be $45,000 per year for three years. We felt it wouldn't be prudent to make a third round of $45,000 grants from funds that we may not ever receive.

Which Commitments Should be Waived?

At this moment, we're still waiting for responses from many people to let us know whether they truly cannot pay, or whether it now just seems relatively more difficult to pay. Only the pledgers themselves can make that distinction.

I want to emphasize that we're being as careful as we can to avoid adding a burden of guilt to those pledgers who cannot pay. Anyone who has lost a job, or who is facing other severe financial hardship should know that their pledge is willingly forgiven. We will rally as a congregation to meet any shortfalls, and keep you in our prayers.

As for everyone else with an unpaid balance, we're trying to remind people that their pledge is still critical. We spent based on pledges. We didn't spend less because of declines in the stock market. Even though the commitment was originally made a long time ago, we need those people to reaffirm and honor those pledges today.

Trustees' Plan for Response

We're still hopeful of being able to make some further collections, but when the shortfall is finally tallied up, the Trustees do not plan to pass this debt through to future generations by simply deducting it from our Endowment. Instead, we plan to ask the current congregation to make up the shortfall from our annual giving over the next year or two.

Aside from the Shelter Strong problem, the church's financial performance seems to be on track with our budget for the year-to-date period.

Lastly, when we remember to wear them, the Trustees will be recognizable by our blue name badges. We bought them in hopes of meeting more of the congregation, so please come up to introduce yourself and tell us what's on your mind.

Bill Dakin
Chairman, Board of Trustees

Gardeners Needed!

One of our budget cutbacks this year has been in the area of landscaping. Our beautiful gardens are now being tended by volunteers, an effort spear-headed by Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees Barbara Norrgard. Can you spare an hour here or there to lend a hand? If so, please call Barbara at 637-3703. Thanks!

Rummage Room Update

Our Mother’s Day and Father’s Day shops were very successful, thanks to all who donated!

On our wish list: a dark suit or blazer, size 44-46; plastic fish tank, 30-40 gallons; double stroller; golf trolley; man’s tuxedo, 36-30/32; regular stroller and wedding items.

Our Summer Calendar is now available in the store.

People, Places & Things

A Teacher Thank You

Susie Craig (who is on sabbatical but was delighted to hear the good news) and I would like to thank everyone who has signed up to teach Church School this coming year. We have a wonderful exciting team of teachers across the board and we are looking forward to working with all of you.

Please mark your calendars for Thursday, September 5th at 7:30 pm for Teacher Training. You will be receiving a mailing with more details in August, but we just want you to "save the date". Have a relaxing, enjoyable summer and we look forward to seeing you all in the fall.

With heartfelt thanks,

Lynne Lehman
Church School Coordinator

Planned Giving

I believe that sometime during the lifetime journey of each of us this is a subject that most of us will want to think about and ultimately to act upon. The emphasis is not so much on meeting a future need within the church, but rather primarily on fulfilling a need within ourselves. In the Second Hour on June 16,
I talked a little about that need and the personal satisfaction and sense of fulfillment that can come from putting in place an estate plan that includes planned giving to church as well as to other charitable causes.

For most people, making a will is not easy. Perhaps that is why millions continue to avoid doing it. Four presidents of the United States -- Ulysses S. Grant, Abraham Lincoln, Andrew Johnson and James Garfield -- each married with children, died without a will. Today 60% of the adult population living in the U.S. in households with children do not have a will. 60%!

I wonder whether this pattern is characteristic of this particular congregation. Perhaps people put it off because they are afraid to face their own mortality.

I think more people would be inclined to make a will if they thought about their wills as a way to extend their love for their spouse, their care for their children and grandchildren, and their generosity and gratitude to friends and charitable causes that brought them special blessings during their lives.

Executing a will and keeping it up-to-date is certainly the first step in creating our own plan to ensure that what we have accumulated in this life in the way of financial and physical assets will go where we want them to go after we’re gone. There are a lot of other planned giving strategies that can be used to achieve these objectives as well -- from participating in the First Church Pooled Income Fund, to establishing your own charitable remainder trust, adding First Church as a secondary beneficiary of your IRA, or even making an immediate outright capital gift to the Church’s Endowment Fund. The tax implications of these various approaches, and others, can be very significant.

You may be young and overburdened right now with the financial demands of your kids’ education and providing for your own future retirement, but the subject is still relevant and there are even now actions you may want to consider taking, or planning for sometime in the future, that would be good for you and your family. Or you may already be retired but inclined to procrastination. If that’s the case, do yourself a favor-- start thinking about it today. Give me a ring at 637-9315 and let me try to answer any questions you may have, get some relevant literature into your hands, or otherwise help steer you to where you can find the help you need.

Dana Low
Director of Planned Giving at First Church

Baptisms at First Church

November 23, 2001
Emma Quinn Gregor, daughter of Liv Bridget Lindstrum Gregor and Andrew Gregor, III

December 9, 2001
Eva Barrett Moore, daughter of Laura Wilhelm Moore and Earl Stanley Moore, III

January 20, 2002
Daniel Patrick Jachimczyk, son of
Carrie and David Jachimczyk

and Madilyn Shaw Perez, daughter of Sarah and Joel Perez
and
Christian Joel Perez, son of Sarah and Joel Perez

Demarest Grace Janis, daughter of
Elizabeth and Peter Janis

February 17, 2002
Thomas Dunn Simmons, son of Anne and John Simmons

Elizabeth Corris Mohn, daughter of
Elizabeth Press and Mark Mohn

February 24, 2002
Hugo William Berry, son of Aurelie and Jonathan Berry

March 10, 2002
Parker Blaisdell Freeman, daughter of
Linda and Randall Freeman

March 31, 2002
Ryan Elizabeth Hudgins, daughter of
Tracey and Thomas Hudgins

April 14, 2002
Ashley Grace Marshall, daughter of
Michelle and Geoff Marshall

Matthew Daniel Kilmurray, son of
Tamara and Daniel Kilmurray

April 28, 2002
Olivia Renee Gurciullo, daughter of
April and Peter Gurciullo
and
Peter Charles Gurciullo, son of April and Peter Gurciullo

Sarah Brooks Riley, daughter of Taylor and Stancel Riley

May 7, 2002
Jordan Noah Liebowitz, son of
Maureen andDavid Liebowitz

Frank William Osborn, son of Jody and Frank Osborn

May 12, 2002
Elizabeth Breckenridge Huth, daughter of
Barbara and Henry Huth

May 19, 2002
Owen Huntington Lee, son of Christina and Erik Lee

June 2, 2002
Paige Frances von der Linden, daughter of
Stacy and Gregory von der LInden

Megan Victoria Henry, daughter of
Jennifer and James Henry

Axel Beebe Ladd, son of Katarina and Willard Ladd

June 9, 2002
George Curran Wheelock, son of
Deborah and Charles Wheelock

Eduardo Healy, son of Martha and Heriberto Healy

Kathryn Atkin, daughter of Claudine and Gerald Atkin

June 16, 2002
Ella Hope Carlson, daughter of Susan and Don Carlson

Taylor Elaine Pratt, daughter of
Jennifer and Zachariah Pratt

Aydin Gabriel Rose, son of Virginia and Bruce Rose

July Calendar

1  -                    7:30 pm Work Transition Group, Lounge 
2, 16, 23,30  -         1:00 pm Parkinson’s Support Group, Lounge
4-5                     Independence Day Holiday, Office Closed
14 -                    10:00 am Founder’s Day service, Meetinghouse
Committee Meetings
8                       12:00 pm Rummage Room Committee, Lounge
                         7:30 pm Church Committee, Lounge
9                        7:30 pm Stephen Ministers, Lounge
15                       1:00 pm Stephen Ministers, Lounge
                         7:15 pm Wellness Committee, Room 203
17                       7:30 pm Trustee’s Meeting at Bill Dakin’s home
22                       7:30 pm Safe Church Committee, TLS Office
25                       3:00 pm Historical Committee, TLS Office

Weekly Events
Sunday 9:00 am Chancel Choir rehearsal, Meetinghouse 
Wednesday 6:00 pm SPF Summer Dinners (call Sally Colegrove for locations)

Lost and Found

The Lost & Found area at First Church is behind the door to the Church Office, or, in the case of coats, in the Church Office closet. Some of the items that are currently missing their owners:

  • woman’s camel hair coat, size 12, found at the Women’s Fellowship Day of Discovery (it is thought that the owner accidently took another church member’s coat by mistake);
  • man’s beige raincoat, size 40R, found March 2;
  • an infant’s knitted cap (pale green), found April 21;
  • car keys to a Ford (with house key);
  • various glasses and sunglasses.

Weddings at First Church

December 1, 2001
Krista Manna Freyer and Mark Edward Mezzanotte

February 9, 2002
Dana Michelle Elter and John Gregory Oppenheimer

March 9, 2002
Lindsay Bartlett Harrison and Terrance Michael O’Brien

April 12, 2002
Suzanne Charlotte Claire Henderson and
Samuel Joseph Spano

April 27, 2002
Gillian Stuart Robertson and
James Francis Molesworth-St. Aubyn

June 1, 2002
Karen Julie Finch and Wayne Ivano Cooke

Amanda Darlene Myers and Douglas William Kilmartin

June 14, 2002
Dianna Sarah Truss-Rakip and Joseph Theo Santora, Jr.

June 22, 2002
Frances Jean Unrine and Robert Mauro

BIRTHDAYS

1	William Sherwood
	Kate Kretschmann
	Adrienne Myer
	Ted Fraser
2	Sheila Hitchens
	Shirley Robinson
	Alison Clare Benoit
	Morgan Fletcher
3	Albert Primo
	Dr. Thomas  Stiers 
	Anne T. Cooksey
	Christina Rossetti
4	Suzanne Provoost
	Marion Richardson
5	William C. Henry
	John Simmons
6	Barbara Cioffari
	Jerry Carnegie
	Caroline Houseknecht
7	Ruth White
	David Sawyer
	Margaret Sherman
	Peggy Krempecki
8	June Horn
	Carolyn Paulus
	Sophie Thalheim
9	Betty Ficker
	Dorothy Perna Robertson
	Kim Reynolds
	Alexandra Oztemel
	Ann Lamie
	Emily Berntsen
	Mark Bourdin
	Dudley Bonsal
10	Robert Luce
	Allen Green
11	Betty Finney
	Stanley Wright
	Joy Kruger
	Douglas Davidson
	Paul Blandori
12	Pat Schmitt
	Andrew Gregor III
	Cory Seznec
	Ryan Anderson
13	Carl Stanley
	Letty Militana
	Pamela Savage
	Emily Henry
	Jack Snyder
14	Robert Weeks
	Ross Willard
	William Anderson
	Douglas Waine
15	Barbara Rawn
	Matthew Vanrhyn
16	Kimberly Bender 
	Evan LaRiviere
17	Willis Ryckman
	George Manning
	Michael Lepoutre
18	Robert Mendelsohn
	Melanie Garnett
	Geoffrey Ayres
19	Ruth Pope
	Amy Vandivort
20	Brian Bailey
	Judith Miller
	Charlotte Wolter
	Jan Benedict
	Alyssa Henry
	Caroline Wolter
	Justin Shaw
	Teddy Arsenault
	William Arsenault
	Jenna Hascher
	Jaclyn Schofield
21	Ruth Lindegren
	Andrew Watt
	Leighton White
	Stetson Newman
22	Florence Stewart
	Enid Norris
	Dorothy Fisk
23	Mikael Hietala
	Abigail Dorn
	Christopher Stone
24	Pierre DeVilliers
	Robbie Phelps
	Riley Davis
	Catherine Ziac
25	Carol Sweger
	Victoria Dakin
	John Alexandre
	Robert Button
	Emily Fiorentino
	Johnny Alexandre
26	Marge Wolfe
27	Kathy Riley
	Caroline Robbins
	Leah Tagliarino
	Tommy Heidt
28	Alice Ell
	Marc Johnson
	Evan Cook
	Chase Kreuter
	Gibby McHugh
	Julie Goff
29	John Standish
	Anika Norrgard
	Katherine Saviskas
30	Erika Ahrens
	Alison Flierl
	Scott Anderson
	John Fryback
	Rebecca Rieke
31	Bernice Whittemore
	Barbara  Littlefield
	Kristen Blasberg
	James Graham
	Madeline Graham
	Lucy Hoffman
          

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.

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.

Save The Date!!
All-Church Retreat at Silver Lake October 11-13

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