The First Congregational Church of Greenwich

Meetinghouse Monthly

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


The Pastors’ Column
Tears and Hope

Dear Friends,

September comes as a time of tears and of hope. We remember with tears the events of last September 11. While my brother was visiting us in late August, Brenda and I went with him to visit the site of the former twin towers. We stood with hundreds of others looking into the vast pit that temporarily marks the spot of tragedy. After standing there prayerfully for several minutes, we crossed the street to the cemetery next to St. Paul's Chapel. Affixed to the fence surrounding the cemetery were pictures and loving poems memorializing some of the people who lost their lives that day. It was in front of those pictures and poems that I cried. I cried in sympathy with the families of the victims. I cried tears of hope because I believe we can remove terror from the human heart. I thought hopefully of the teaching of Jesus: "I have come that you may have life and have it more abundantly." (John 10:10)

As you commemorate the first anniversary of those events, I urge you to attend the town-wide interfaith service on September 10 at St. Catherine's at 7:30 pm. The Church Committee has invited the congregation to a spiritual response to 9/11 on September 11 beginning at 8:30 am in the Meetinghouse. (See the article entitled Prayer Vigil for more information.) At 10:29 am we will join with other congregations in tolling our bells at the moment the second tower fell. A service of worship to conclude the vigil will take place at 7:30 pm in the Meetinghouse. You may call the Church Office to sign up for your 15 minutes of meditation time.

To give you an opportunity to experience healing of memories, I am working to put together a panel of church members to share their memories and experiences around September 11. This panel will give their presentation at the Second Hour on Sunday, September 8 (11:30 am in the Lounge).

As a spiritual way of preparing myself for the events of the coming year I recently attended a retreat lead by the Venerable Thich Nhat Hanh, the spiritual leader of the United Buddhist Church. Some 900 of us gathered for this retreat on the campus of Springhill College in Easton, MA. He offered concrete practices and tools for nurturing our inner strength and renewing our joy. We began each day with outdoor walking meditation. By taking steps in joy, I was able to realize the presence of loved ones, friends, members of our congregation, and the beautiful things around me. It was also a retreat looking deeply into the most pressing issues of our society with colleagues, families, and with those gathered in community.

In our on-going effort to enhance our understanding of our relationship to the United Church of Christ, we will have a special opportunity to meet with Rev. John Thomas, president of the UCC. He will be meeting with us on Saturday, September 7 from 9 to 11 am in the Lounge. If you had the chance to hear Rev. Thomas preach here last year, you know what a vibrant, insightful speaker he is. Please call the Church Office to reserve your space.

September is a time when many of us will be searching for true security and peace. Come and join us at First Church to experience the solidarity and hope of our faith.

Warm regards,
Tom Stiers

September Worship Schedule

Sunday, September 1
8 am at Greenwich Point
10 am in the Meetinghouse
Rev. Susan M. Craig
“How Then Shall We Live?”
Communion served

Sunday, September 8
8 am at Greenwich Point
10 am in the Meetinghouse
Rev. Sally Colegrove
“The Gospel and CNN”
Sunday, September 22
8 am &10 am in the Meetinghouse
Rev. Dr. Thomas L. Stiers
“The Word on the Street”

Homecoming Sunday, September 15
10 am in the Meetinghouse
Dr. Thomas L. Stiers
“I Am Home”
Picnic and Auction
to follow

Sunday, September 29
8 am &10 am in the Meetinghouse
Rev. Sally Colegrove
"What Does It Mean to Follow Christ?"

Sunday, September 1
First Church
First Sunday
Food Drive

 Please bring your non-perishable food donations on Sunday, September 1, or to the Church Office the week after Labor Day. The supplies at our local pantries are nearly gone. Neighbor to Neighbor is feeding over 100 families a week now. Bring some extra food if you can. Most needed items are: canned soups, cereals, canned fruits and pasta sauces. Pick up your bag at Coffee Hour on Sunday, August 25. Thank you for your generosity!

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.

Come Home,
Come to the Auction,
Come to the Picnic,
Come and Bring Friends!!!

The Parish Life Committee and the Auction 2002 Committee are putting the final pieces in place for a spectacular homecoming festival on Sunday, September 15. Never before have we anticipated such a selection of activities and such a wealth of treats for our congregation.

Sign-up Now for Our First
Photo Directory in 10 Years!

Produced by Olan Mills Photography, a leader in the church directory business, these are wonderful keepsakes and a great way to connect faces with names.


Each family unit receives a free directory and an 8 x 10 portrait, just for participating. Plus, you get to see a digital preview of your pose on site and order additional copies if you wish. There's no obligation.

First Church, too, will receive extra directories based on our participation rate. They're very helpful for new members who join the church after the directory is published by providing a way for them to "meet us" through photos.

Bring your calendar and sign up at Coffee Hour beginning
September 15 for one of the dates below.

Thursday, October 17: 3 pm-9:20 pm
Friday, October 18: 3 pm-9:20 pm
Saturday, October 19: 10 am-4:50 pm

For more information, call the Church at 637-1791.

Our Traditional Homecoming Picnic

Following the worship service on Homecoming Sunday, we hope that you will all plan to stay for our cook-out and potluck picnic lunch on the church lawn. Amid displays of the All Church Retreat, the Women's Fellowship new cookbook and booths from many of our organizations, and as we preview the magnificent selection of items and begin to bid on the silent auction, we will enjoy our coffee hour cup of coffee and fellowship with friends we have not seen since June. For the children there will be balloons and the stuffed animal parade. Then at 11:30 as the bidding gets more intense and the smell of charcoal cooking becomes overwhelming the Parish Life Committee will begin to serve hot dogs and hamburgers, potato chips, lemonade and ice tea. The potluck nature of the picnic comes from the delicious array of salads and desserts which all picnic-goers have brought to share. There will be tables for eating both in the Memory Garden and on the lawn within sight of the auctioneers perch on Sally's porch. There will be plenty of time for everyone to be served before the live auction begins.

The cost of tickets for the picnic is $5 and $4 for children under 12 and seniors over 65 if you make an advanced purchase. Prices will go up by $1 per ticket on the day of the picnic. We ask that people bring a dessert if you last name begins with A - K and a salad if your last name begins with L - Z. This year for the first time we will offer veggie burgers for non-meat eaters. Please call the church office or let the ticket seller know so that we have a count of how many are needed.

Auction 2002
An Auction for the First Church Endowment

At a time when we are all aware of the necessity of caring for our investments it is particularly appropriate and uplifting to make a positive contribution to the ongoing well-being of First Church. How much better it is that we are going to have fun and come away with some great treasures and vacation destinations as a dividend!!! Auction 2002 which is sponsored jointly by the Church Committee and Board of Trustees is a combined silent and live auction.

The venue for Auction 2002 will be the front lawn of First Church at the height of the Homecoming Picnic. Silent auction items will be shown on tables around the eating areas. Bidding on the silent auction items will run from the benediction of the Homecoming Sunday worship service through coffee hour and the serving of hot dogs and hamburgers and will conclude at 12:30. that moment will be marked by a drum roll and the introduction of our auctioneer Jim Loughman who will begin the live auction of just 20 choice items and vacation packages. The festivities should conclude as usual around 1:30.

We do ask that all bidders come prepared to pay for your items and able to take them home following the last gavel. Our hope in to raise $25,000 to restore borrowed funds to the main church endowment fund. Already many members of our church family have been exceedingly generous with donations of wonderful items and ideas. Take a moment to look at the partial list on the following pages. It is not too late to become a donor. On our donation wish list are sports or theatre tickets, food items or dinner parties, artwork and antiques. We currently have offers of vacation weeks in Maine, Vermont and Florida. Think about inviting friends or neighbors to come with you for our very special homecoming celebration.

Excitement is growing for Auction 2002! Many of you have put your creative thinking to work and come up with wonderfully inventive and attractive items. Following is a list of items we have already received for the auction. Please read this list and be further inspired--we need to hear from all our members--and remember, your donations are tax deductible!

Antique silver candlesticks
Piano and music composition lessons
2 Waterford crystal champagne flutes and champagne
Etching “Three’s company”
4 hours computer assistance--set-up, how-to
Oil paintings
Nordic Trac exercise machine--”Walk Fit”
Sterling silver sugar tongs
White antique wood framed mirror, 22 x 28“
2 eight-hour shifts of private nursing services
Week in Florida condo in Jensen Beach, FL
Week in 3-bedroom house in Camden, ME
Week in Vermont
Copy of “The First Three Hundred Years” (history of First Church designed by Bradbury Thompson)
Be Senior Pastor for a day
Babysitting services--up to five hours
Baby quilt from the Kettle Quilters
Hand-crocheted green and white afghan and a winter reading package
Two Waggs the Clown children’s birthday parties
Catering for a lunch or dinner
Sailboat outing
Course in Media Training and Public Speaking
Dinner for 2 at Riverside Yacht Club
Macintosh-compatible scanner
2 tickets to a NY Liberty game at Madison Square Garden
4 Mets tickets for the 2003 season
2 NY Knicks tickets at the Garden
2 tickets to U.S. Tennis Open (2003 season) including parking
2 hours silver polishing
Lessons for 2 to weave a Nantucket Lightship basket
Kayaking adventure including lunch

If you have been wondering how you might take part in donating to the auction, please read our wish list.
We have many ideas, but need the people willing to give these gifts of time:

Singing telegrams
Caricaturist for a child’s birthday party
Use of your car service for an airport trip
Handyman services
Make a child’s Halloween costume
Basket created around a theme--hats, appetizers, be creative
Pianist to play for a private party
Carolers for a Christmas party
Internship for a student at your store or business

We are willing to consider any donation. Would you be willing to donate 2 hours a week to do shopping or errands for a senior or a new mother? Put on your thinking cap and fill out the form!

Special Events
      2                  Church Office Closed for Labor Day holiday
      5        7:00 PM   Church School Teacher Training
      7        9:00 AM   Rev. John Thomas, UCC President speaks in Lounge
     10        7:30 PM   Town-wide September 11 Memorial Vigil Service, St. Catherine’s
     11        8:30 AM   September 11 Prayer Vigil until 7:30 pm
                         in the Meetinghouse, worship service at 7:30 pm.
     15       10:00 AM   Homecoming Sunday Worship Service, Picnic and Auction
     26        6:00 PM   Dinner for Honduras Missionary Dr. Joyce Baker, Auditorium
               7:30 PM   New Member Class, Lounge
     29        9:15 AM   New Members gather before joining, Lounge
               6:00 PM   Confirmation Parents Meeting, Auditorium
Committee Meetings
      4        7:30 PM   Church School Task Force, Lounge
      9       12:30 PM   Rummage Room Committee, Lounge
               1:00 PM   Stephen Ministers, Lounge
               6:30 PM   Pastoral Staffing Committee, Lounge
               7:30 PM   Church Committee, Lounge
     10        7:30 PM   Stephen Ministers, Lounge
     18       11:30 AM   Women’s Fellowship Board Meeting, Lounge
     19        7:30 PM   New Members Committee, Lounge
     22       11:30 AM   Christian Outreach, Lounge
     23        1:00 PM   Stephen Ministers, Lounge
     24        7:30 PM   Stephen Ministers, Lounge
     25        7:30 PM   Board of Trustees, Lounge
Weekly Events
Sunday        10:00 AM   Church School and Pastor’s Class meet (begins September 15)
              11:15 AM   Cherub Choir rehearsal, Room 104 (begins September 22)
                         Youth Choir rehearsal, Choir Room (begins September 22)
               2:00 PM   Grief Support, Lounge
               5:00 PM   JPF, Room 103 (begins September 8)
               7:00 PM   SPF, Room 103  (begins September 8)
Wednesday      5:00 PM   Children’s Choir rehearsal, Choir Room (begins September 25)
               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

September Second Hours

The spiritual education of adults is a priority at First Church. This lecture series offers a wide range of topics from Bible study to spiritual and physical health.. Sundays, 11:30 am-12:30 pm in the Lounge. The September offerings are:

Sept. 8: First Church Members “Remembering September 11”
Sept. 22: Trustees Discuss 2003 Budget
Sept. 23: Special Monday evening program “Becoming an Open and Affirming Church” with Lile Gibbons and Chuck McConnell
Sept. 29: Dr. Joyce Baker, our Missionary in Honduras, will look back on her career as a missionary in Honduras.

Musical Notes

The Music Program This Fall
The Chancel Choir (adults, high-schoolers also welcome) meets Thursdays, 7:30 to 9 pm, beginning September 5.
The Children's Choir (grades 3-5), Rally Monday, September 16, 10 am to 2:30 pm. Rehearsals Wednesdays, 5 to 6 pm,followed by pizza supper, beginning September 25
The Cherub Choir, (grades K-2), rehearses after Sunday worship, beginning September 22
The Youth Choir, (middle- and high-school), Sundays, meets 12:15 to
1:15 pm, beginning September 22.
The Palmer Handbells, Thursdays, 8:45 to 9:45 am, begins rehearsals September 19.


A big choir is better than a small one. We hope to grow all the choirs this fall. Because of their busy, rich lives, members of The Chancel Choir often must miss several Thursdays and Sundays. Normal attendance is about twenty-seven out of a membership of forty-four. Don't let an inability to commit to every Thursday and Sunday keep you from joining the choir. With a pool of fifty-five to sixty singers, we might have forty on a usual Sunday. The bigger the choir, the better! Talk to John Stansell about joining. He's at extension 22.

The Children's Choir will kick of the fall season with a Rally Day (see above). At the Rally we get a head start on new repertory for the year, work on rehearsal techniques with our new members, have lunch together, and play games, this year under the supervision of Aaron Sinay. A big choir is better than a small one. It is rewarding to belong to this great choir. Kids, get your parents to bring you! Parents, encourage your children to participate!
Holly Beneville wants to keep the second graders in the Cherub Choir. With their experience they are able to encourage the younger ones to sing out. Here, too, a big choir is better than a small one, and with bigger children. Parents, bring your young ones!

Last year Carolyn Paulus proved that a big choir is better than a small one by her great job of recruiting for the Youth Choir. She'll be at it again this fall.
Mark Swicegood has big plans for the Palmer Handbells. Only this group uses a finite number of people for a given piece of music. But Mark would love to build his pool of ringers and would help those interested with individual instruction as required. Give him a ring at extension 24.
We are a musical church. If you're musical, we probably have a place for you. Join the song.

Great Organ Music

First Church is blessed with a fine organ and a staff of people who know how to play it. In celebration of that fact, and of the new organ stop which will be installed mid-September, John Stansell and Mark Swicegood have scheduled great organ music of Johann Sebastian Bach and César Franck for the second and fourth Sundays respectively of every month of the 2002-2003 season. The schedule for September and October will be as follows:

September 8: Trio on "Herr Jesus Christ, dich zu uns wend'", Bach (Mark)

(This and many other of Mark's selections are pieces he will be playing at the International Organ Competition of the City of Paris in November.)

September 22: Prelude, Fugue and Variation, Franck (John)
October 13: Toccata, Adagio and Fugue in C Major, Bach (Mark)
October 27: Fantasy in A, Franck (John)
(John first played at First Church 15 years ago this Sunday.)

Plan to arrive by 9:45 am to hear the organ music. Program notes will be provided so that all may grow in their appreciation of this great musical heritage.

In other organ news, note that our Tenth Annual Organ Oktoberfest begins on Sunday, October 6, with a return visit by the Italian virtuoso Roberto Bertero, in the Meetinghouse at 4 pm.

First Church Programs for Middle School

Our 7th and 8th graders are invited to the Pastors' Class starting in the Meetinghouse during the 10 am service on Sundays. Join us as we look at the parts of worship services, the differences and get to know the pastors and peers. Pastors' Class starts Sunday, September 15, and continues throughout the school year.

The Junior Pilgrim Felllowship group focuses on fellowship, service and activities for 6th, 7th and 8th graders. We meet on Sunday evenings 5-6:15 pm in the Youth Room during the school year. JPF starts Sunday, September 8 and we hope to see you at the Homecoming Picnic on September 15. We will meet at 5 pm that evening.

On the first Sunday of the month, we will offer a family worship service that will take place between JPF (which will run from 5- 6 pm on those nights) and SPF which begins at 7 pm. Please plan to join us for this new worship opportunity. For any questions regarding the middle school programs, please call Aaron Sinay at 637-1791 ext. 23 or e-mail aarons@fccog.org

People, Places & Things

Services Planned for September 11

As the one-year anniversary of September 11 approaches, we would like to let you know about local services. On Tuesday, September 10, there will be a town-wide interfaith service at St. Catherine’s at 7:30 pm. On Wednesday, September 11, we will hold a Prayer Service beginning at 8:30 am concluding at 9 am and including the moment of the first impact. From 9 am until 7:30 pm, there will be a continuous Prayer Vigil in the sanctuary with 15-minute intervals during which individuals may pray and meditate. The pastors will provide materials such as scripture passages, prayers and poems for you to meditate on, some of which have been provided by the UCC. More than one person may be present during each 15-minute. interval. There will be a sign up sheet beginning September 1 at Coffee Hour. At 10:29 am, First Church will join with New York-area religious houses in tolling our bells at the moment the second tower fell. A service of worship to conclude the vigil will take place at 7:30 pm in the Meetinghouse.

The prayer vigil will begin at 9 am and continue until 7:30 pm. It will be broken into 15-minute intervals. One or more people may sign up for any of the slots. There will be a poster with all of the times at Coffee Hour and in the Church Office. The times will be designated as this example shows:

9:00 _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _        _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

9:15 _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _        _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

9:30 _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _        _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

9:45 _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _        _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

There will be materials and prayers from many different traditions located on the worship table. Already the United Church of Christ has sent us helpful readings for that day. Please also feel free to bring your own resources. This is a most solemn and historic anniversary and it is important that First Church take part in significantly recognizing it.

Rummage Room Re-opening

We will re-open for shopping on Monday, September 3, at 10 am. We begin accepting donations on Tuesday, September 4 at 9 am. We hope you all had a great vacation and look forward to seeing you soon!

20/30’s Group

Looking for something more in the church? The 20/30’s group will start meeting in September for regularly scheduled activities and special events. Please contact Aaron Sinay at 637-1791 ext. 23 or aarons@fccog.org

"Follow Me"

The Outdoor Ministries Committee has been hard at work during the summer and now cordially invites all members of our church to save the Columbus Day Weekend, October 11 - 13, for the Annual All-Church Retreat at Silver Lake Conference Center in Sharon, Connecticut. This weekend will be at the height of the fall foliage in the foothills of the Berkshires.

Jesus Christ says to his disciples and to all of us, "Come and follow me." What does it mean to listen to Christ's call? What voices do we listen to and obey? What calls do we follow? At every age and each point along life's journey we need to make the conscious decision to follow Christ, to follow our convictions, to listen to our inner voices calling. This weekend will explore just what it means to listen to Christ's call in the third year of the new millennium and in the days following September 11, 2001.

To follow Christ is to find the joy and the commitment of our faith.

This is truly a topic for all ages and everyone is encouraged to have significant input to the planned discussions. If you are twenty, or eighty, or twelve, married, single, in pre-school or grad school, you will be an important part of our community for this weekend.

The cost of the retreat will be $90 for adults and $80 for those under 18. The maximum cost for a family is $350 and there is scholarship help available due to the continuing generosity of the Women's Fellowship. Registration for the retreat will begin at the All-Church Picnic on Homecoming Sunday, September 15.

Volunteers Needed!

The First Church office staff is very busy in September--could you come and help out with one or more of our large mailings? The work is easy and the company enjoyable. Please contact Donna White at 637-1791 ext. 14 if you can help. Thanks!

Dr. Joyce Baker to Visit First Church

Save the evening of September 26 for a very special potluck supper with Dr. Joyce Baker. Joyce has been First Church's Second Mile Missionary in Honduras for over 15 years. She is just retiring from her career as a medical missionary to the rural villages of North Western Honduras. During her 34 years of missionary service Joyce began clinics in Pinalejo and Subirana, Honduras and pioneered work in children's nutrition programs in several locations. We have been privileged to have Joyce as our partner as we have built the new AIEH clinics in these villages with her guidance. This is our chance to celebrate with her and honor her. To sign up for the potluck supper please call the Church Office or fill out one of the tear-off slips in the bulletins at September worship services.

Women’s Fellowship
Kick-Off Luncheon
Tuesday, October 15

Appetizers 11:45 am in the Lounge
Luncheon 12:30 in the Auditorium

Mark your calendar, invite a friend and join us for an afternoon of good food and conversation. Our opening luncheon will take place on Tuesday, October 15 at beginning at 11:45. The guest speaker will be Kay Maxwell, recently appointed president of the national League of Women Voters.

Ms. Maxwell is Vice President of International Executive Service Corporation and a Greenwich resident. Her first priority in her new role is to increase fundraising and membership in the 82-year-old group whose purpose is to better educate voters, encourage them to participate in government and understand public policy issues.

Women’s Fellowship is a very active organization that includes every woman in the congregation. Among its many charges, Women’s Fellowship oversees The Rummage Room and allocates its profits to local and worldwide mission every year.

The cost of the luncheon, which will precede Ms. Maxwell’s talk, is $10 per person. Please join us!

Yes, I’m Coming to the Luncheon!

Name _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Address _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Telephone _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Number of people attending (at $10 each)

Please make your check out to The Women’s Fellowship and mail or bring to the Church Office.

Church School Teacher Alert

Teacher Training will take place on Thursday, September 5, at 7 pm. We begin in the Lounge with introductions and pictures being taken. Then we follow with curriculum orientation, team meetings and a tour. You will also meet your Church School Task Force Liaison so please join us for as much of the evening as possible. You will be receiving a mailing August 27-28--be on the lookout for it. We look forward to seeing you all.

Church School

At First Church we would have our children know that they are precious in the sight of God; that they are never forgotten, never deserted, always forgiven, and always loved by their Creator.

Church School classes will open on Homecoming Sunday, September 15. Registration for classes will take place in the Auditorium beginning at 9:30 am. Classes will follow as usual at 10 am. Children in the second grade and younger should be met at their classrooms following the service.

Defusing Religious Violence

The Greenwich Forum addressing issues of war and peace will present “Defusing Religious Violence,” a program that will examine the traditions and scriptures in the Christian, Jewish and Muslim faiths that contribute to violence and explore how people of faith reconcile these traditions with ideas of forgiveness, peace and “love thine enemy.”

Rabbi Rob Lennick, the Reverend Avery Manchester, Father Gilbert D’Souza and an Islamic representative will moderate. The discussion takes place on Thursday, September 19, at 7:30 pm at Second Congregational Church in Greenwich. For information, call Jane Milliken at 637-7723 or e-mail jem@igc.org

First Church Memory Quilt

We are planning to make an old-fashioned “First Church Signature Quilt” If you are able to sew a straight seam either by hand or on your sewing machine, you qualify to make one of the simple blocks, which will assemble and quilt to create a Future Heirloom. Your family’s name will appear on the center strip of your block. Fabric and instructions will be available at Coffee Hour after Church or on Monday mornings in Room 203 between 9:30 and 11:30 am. Do not miss the chance to see your name immortalized on our quilt! Deadline to hand in blocks is October 1.

Questions? Ask: Ginny Breismeister, 637-2461, Jenny Lepoutre 203-840-0650, Beth Rollins, 637-9551, Inge Thalheim, 637-9614 or Barbara Van Buren, 637-2373.

From the Parish Nurse
The Value of Community

September is here, and a renewed level of excitement is in the air---can't you just feel it? Homecoming Sunday activities promise some interesting and innovative programming that must not be missed. Church School starts up once again, Fall meetings schedules are set, and there are Second Hour topics booked to stimulate our intellectual appetites. Overall, we can look forward to gathering again as a Church congregation and a community of faith.

Coming together as a community of believers offers more than beginning a new Sunday School year or experiencing a change of season. Let us recognize the "excitement" we sense as the Spirit of the Lord that abides in our Church community. In Matthew 18:20 Jesus promises that "where two or three are gathered together in My name, there I am in their midst." Coming together offers opportunity for healing and renewal.

One of the first special events planned for the Fall is a community service at First Church to honor those who died September 11, 2001. Our evening service on September 10th is also for the living-to seek God's Blessing for our country, and to ask for strength, healing and unity. Come join us and bring a neighbor.

In recent weeks, a number of individuals have raised concern about how to cope with remembering the events surrounding the September 11th disaster. Other voices ask about how to manage the consequences of that incident---as overcoming losses and fears continue to be an on-going, daily challenge.

Members of Clergy and I have planned activities to address the physical, emotional and spiritual pain that exists among members of our congregation. Included in the offerings is a Grief Support Group that I will begin Sunday, September 8th at 2 PM in the Lounge. This ministry is open to anyone who is bereaved, having suffered losses of loved ones to death or disability.

Our Stephen Ministers are available to support, and comfort members of our congregation who are facing crisis situations. Requests for a Stephen Minister can be made to the Parish Nurse, or to any of the Pastors. Friends Helping Friends is another group of members who commit themselves to acts of kindness such as assisting individuals with errands, marketing, or trips to the doctor. Other areas of service include: providing help with insurance forms, or preparing meals for individuals coming home from the hospital with a new baby or for those who are incapacitated with an injury or after surgery.

Anyone who needs prayer for solace, for strength, for healing - can be included on the Prayer Chair whether it is for themselves, or for loved ones. Incredible miracles occur when there is a body of believers committed to daily prayer.

The presenter for Second Hour on Sunday, October 6th is Lorenzo Monroe, LCSW. He is a social worker at The Den for Grieving Kids who has counseled with many individuals and families who have experienced Post Traumatic Stress Disorder resulting from the September 11th tragedy. He will lead the discussion that day regarding the management of symptoms of PTSD. This session is open to the community.

If you have any questions about these events or groups, please contact your Parish Nurse….

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

First Church Programs for High School

Calling All Ninth Graders! Confirmation Class 2003

Confirmation Class will begin on Sunday, September 29th with a gathering of parents and confirmands at 6 pm in the Auditorium at First Church. There will be a chance to hear about our confirmation program and enjoy light refreshments. The actual classes begin on October 8th and will be held on Tuesday evenings from 7:00 to 8:00 in the Youth Room. If you have a ninth grader you should receive a mailing about our Confirmation program by September 9th. If you do not or wish to check to see if your young person is enrolled, please call Sally Colegrove at 637-1791, ext. 15.

Senior Pilgrim Fellowship to Begin on September 8

The Senior Pilgrim Fellowship, or SPF, is our church's fellowship program for young people in grades nine through twelve. It's time for SPF to begin for the new school year. We will meet on Sunday evenings from 7:00 to 9:15 in the youth room beginning on Sunday, September 8th which is one week before Homecoming Sunday. This year will be very exciting as we plan to take two mission trips and produce "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" in addition to our weekly meetings, local service projects and retreat weekends. If you have questions about SPF please call the church and ask for Sally Colegrove, ext. 15.

September Birthdays

1  Eric Schless           11 Linda May               21 John Bertuzzi
   Kevin Carey               Jason Bealer               Patty Kolb
   Timothy Cleworth       12 Edward Oppedisano          David Stewart
2  Marie Preucil             Gerald Anderson            Albert Horling
3  Cheryl Musgrave        13 Meredith Sadler            John Beneville
4  June Freeman              Kirsten Atkins             Daniel Erickson
   Genevieve Friend          Kelsey Norrgard         22 Betty White
   Grayson Lang              Caitlin Brady              Elizabeth Perry
   Christopher Toogood    14 Debbie Osgood              Katherine Hileman
   Heather Cook           15 Thomas Ng-Yow           23 Hilda Cardwell
5  Wynne Delmhorst           Megan Tedford              Jake Schinto
   Thomas McGonagle          Alison Tedford             Marc Merlin
   Nicholas Robbins       16 Joan Gray               24 Chuck McConnell
6  Nicholas Tierney          Donna Harrington           Donna Gargagliano
   Philippe Alexandre        Nancy Hill                 David Larrabee
7  Nancy Fairchild           Ardith Williams            Nora Pollack
   Mary-Therese Braun        Christinana Lauridsen   25 William Penwell
   Heather Lehman         17 Brian Savin                John Raynolds
   Wilburn Bonnell IV        Dwight Warren              Christine Reynolds
8  Lois MacDonald         18 Giff Reed                  Courtney Chapman
   Marilyn Ragland           Jean Serenbetz             Martell Simpson
   Charles Ferris, Jr.       Kirsten O'Rielly           Jennifer Wheaton
   Inge Thalheim             Neil Horn                  Sara Anibal
   Christina Gregor          John Garlid                Marilyn Hoffman
   Andrew Toy             19 Nathaniel Gelb          26 Julia Andrews
9  Lenore Hill               Gillian Wachsman           Horace A. Sawyer, Jr.
   Charles Wheelock          Rebecca Kruger             Robert Starr, Jr.
   Marcus Zavattaro          Jack Davidson              Lorna LaRiviere
   Courtney Stewart       20 Tina Birkic                Eugene Waggaman, IV
   Lindsay Olsson            Phoebe Griffith            Daniel Maxwell
   Avery Welch               Lauren Ghaffari         27 Martin Berlin
10 James Standish            Molly Silliphant           Linda Hoster
   Jane Ellen Hudson                                    Kris Burbank
   Wells LaRiviere                                      Christopher Ziac
   Sandy Baird                                       28 Frank Crabill
   Jason Wisecup                                        Jean Jankovich
                                                        Brad Hanson
                                                     29 Thelma Colegrove
                                                        Gary Miller
                                                        Walter Jewett
                                                        Jon Hunt
                                                        Tyler Davis
                                                     30 Anne Savage

Is your birthday missing from this list? If so, please notify Mary Babbidge at the Church Office.

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!

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.