The First Congregational Church of Greenwich
The Pastors’ Column
Each year when November rolls
around my thoughts move to the themes of gratitude and grace. We begin the
month with a celebration of "All Saints" on November 3rd. We will remember and
honor with gratitude those who have died during the past year.
November is the season of
Thanksgiving, a time to be grateful for all that God has done for our family
and our church and our community. The events of September 11, 2001 have
changed our lives here and around the world. I believe that we are in God's
hands. Because of God's grace, each of us is given a number of gifts. These
gifts enable us to meet our personal and family needs. These God given gifts
enable us to enrich the life of our community and the world. We as the Body of
Christ make a difference each day.
During the All Church Retreat I
had a small group experience that sharpened my feeling of gratitude. During
the retreat the participants were divided into small groups called "ships". I
felt the Holy Spirit moving in the dynamics of the retreat. The "ship" that I
was assigned to was composed of six persons. One was in third grade, one was
in eighth grade, one was a mother, one was a father, one was a grandmother and
I was the grandfather. We were invited to share stories about our families of
origin, our fishing habits, and our thoughts about the nature of God. The
third grader and eighth grader became the natural leaders of our "ship." I was
grateful to their parents and to our church school for their Christian
formation. On the retreat I glimpsed again that First Church is a part of the
Body of Christ. So I want to send you this message from my "ship" to your
I hope you will worship with us
often during November. Plan to join us for the Harvest Dinner on November 17th
and hear our conference minister, the Reverend Doctor Davida Foy Crabtree. She
is an inspirational speaker. Please consider joining us, as we work together
for good in a variety of ministries and missions here and abroad. We do our
best to serve you as you prepare to answer God's call in your life.
Our new church school curriculum
suggests the following thought for All Saints Sunday:
It is always good to give thanks
Who has created us
And never stopped loving us
God has such a great love for us
That we can call ourselves the children of God;
And indeed that is what we are:
We are God's children
Thanks be to God.
In the grace of our Lord Jesus
November Worship Schedule
Sunday, November 3
8 am &10 am in the Meetinghouse
Rev. Thomas L. Stiers
“We Have Been Made Saints”
Sunday, November 10
8 am &10 am in the Meetinghouse
Rev. Susan M. Craig
“Finding Hope, Keeping Faith”
Sunday, November 17
8 am &10 am in the Meetinghouse
Rev. Sally Colegrove
“Concerning the Times”
Sunday, November 24
8 am &10 am in the Meetinghouse
Rev. Thomas L. Stiers
“This, Then, Is How We Live”
Confirmation Class has begun for the new school year and we have a very large
class this year. Thirty-four young people have registered for the 2003
Confirmation experience which is being taught by Rick Woodman, Rev. Susie
Craig and me. The class meets on Tuesday evenings and has already considered
Biblical topics, done some group building activities and has had a lengthy
discussion of creation.
Creation is a subject which is
covered in school in Freshman Biology classes. Our young people have many
questions about what to believe. Through discussion and the use of some
helpful articles by medical and scientific professionals they have a chance to
form opinions which include both our Biblical story from the Book of Genesis
and the Big Bang Theory. Couldn't the Big Bang have been God saying, "Let
there be light"?
Throughout this year we will
explore many questions of faith as our ninth graders come to adult decisions
about what they believe and whether they feel ready to join First Church. It
is always a pleasure and a privilege to work with the Confirmation Class. The
class work hard when they come together on Tuesday evenings. This month they
will also go on the first of two retreat weekends. On Nov. 1 - 3 they will go
to Silver Lake Conference Center, each one accompanied by a parent, to focus
on the life of Jesus Christ. The title of the retreat is Jesus of Nazareth.
While the Confirmands are
considering Jesus, the Senior Pilgrim Fellowship will begin auditions and
rehearsals for "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" which they will
perform January 23, 24 and 25. But more about that next month. Special thanks
to the six SPF members who acted as our Child Care team on the All Church
Happy Fall, Stay Warm,
The H.O.M.E. Craft Show and
proudly hosted by The Senior Pilgrim Fellowship
In the Auditorium at First Church
Saturday, November 23rd
from 10:00 to 4:00
Sunday, November 24th
from 11:00 to 2:00
Quilts, jams, Christmas
decorations and gifts, woolens, pottery, wooden toys, weavings, Maple syrup,
sweaters, and much more.
This is the Senior Pilgrim
Fellowship's sixteenth year of association with H.O.M.E. Co-op. H.O.M.E.
stands for Homeworkers Organized for More Employment and is a craft
co-operative working with the rural poor in Hancock County, Maine. In addition
to sponsoring this annual craft show, which is H.O.M.E.'s largest, the SPF
journey to Maine each April to work with the Co-op's housing program, building
homes for homeless families on H.O.M.E.'s land trust.
In a recent conversation with
Lucy Poulin, founder and President of H.O.M.E. we learned that donations are
down this year as donors here in New England have been affected by the
downturn in the economy and loss of discretionary income. But more folk are
out of work and are looking to H.O.M.E.'s outreach and housing programs for
help. The food bank at H.O.M.E. is empty and every bed in H.O.M.E.'s shelters
are full. We hope that First Church will be generous to our old friends in
their time of need and come to the craft show in addition to remembering to
bring canned and non-perishable donations for the Harvest Offering.
Interim giving statements,
showing contributions received this year up to and including September 30,
have been mailed out as a reminder to all those who, as of September 30, had
not completed fulfillment of all of the following pledges: Stewardship 2002,
Shelter Strong Capital Campaign, Finish-the-Job Capital Campaign.
Final 2002 statements will be
mailed early next year to everyone who made a contribution to First Church
this year. At this time, however, if the above pledges have been fulfilled -
or if you have contributed but did not make a pledge - you will not be
receiving an interim statement.
Call to a Special Meeting on
November 17, 2002
Members of the First
Congregational Church of Greenwich are hereby called to a Special
Congregational Meeting on November 17, 2002 following the 10 am worship
service to create and elect a Search Committee for a new Senior Pastor and
conduct any other business that may properly come before the meeting.
Judy Nelli, Church Clerk
Church School Leadership
Come, browse and borrow!
October 20 until Thanksgiving is
a very special month for our youngest children in the Church School beginning
with our Three-Year-Old Class and running through our First Grade. Each of
their families will be receiving a booklet of prayers and graces as a gift
from First Church. In it can be found prayer resources for the entire family.
In addition, their classes will be using these prayers and graces during class
time. If you have not had the opportunity before this time, this is a way to
introduce prayer into your family faith traditions. You might choose to say
grace before a meal, or a special prayer of thanksgiving on a special
occasion. Three and Four-year olds will be learning prayers and graces in
class. Then again, you might begin the practice of bedtime prayers. Our First
Graders will be focusing on the Lord's Prayer. Resources for these occasions
and many others will soon be coming in a Church School mailing.
In addition our children in
Kindergarten and the First Grade will be introduced to the Church School
Resource Center. Here a collection of Bible Stories, videos, games and more
are available to be borrowed. Bible stories are some of the best literature
and core teachings we can make available to our children. We also have
resources for parents. Come, browse and borrow!
Hail and Farewell
The Church School has just said
"Hail and Farewell" to Lynne Lehman who has ably served our children and
families for nearly five years. We are pleased for Lynne as she is fulfilling
a life long dream to move to Rhode Island. However, we here "at home" both
feel her absence and with our children's best interests in mind are now
actively looking for someone to assume Lynne's responsibilities as soon as
What Is Involved?
The position of Church School
Coordinator is a fulltime position that includes a day off each week, in
addition to Sunday morning responsibilities. We are looking for someone who
values our children and the opportunity to enable our broad ranging ministry
to children and their families. This position provides the opportunity for
creative planning, thought and interaction with families and teachers, as well
as the everyday needs for mundane errand running and the gathering of needed
materials for lessons or events. There is also room for personal initiative.
It calls for someone who can be a team player to work with Susie Craig,
Director of Children's Ministries, the Church School Task Force, and the staff
of First Church. Should you or someone you know be interested in further
exploring this possibility, please have that person contact Susie Craig at
637-1791, ext. 25.
In the Meantime
While we look for the right
person for this position, the Church School Task Force, our teachers and I are
committed to maintaining the same high quality of programming, teaching and
worship life to which we are accustomed. To make this possible we are seeking
volunteer support and part-time paid support as people are able to provide. If
you would like to lend a hand and support our children, please let us know.
The Church for our children is a
place that matters. It is a second home, a safe haven and a place to celebrate
all the occasions of our lives. We are honored to be part of this experience
for our children and their families. If you can join us in this process, you
are most welcome. I look forward to hearing from you.
From the Parish Nurse
THE IMPORTANCE OF"FLU"
It's November, and once again it
is time to get your flu shot! Good news for everyone! There is no restriction
on influenza vaccine for the 2002-2003 flu season. This means that anyone who
is 18 years of age or older can get a flu vaccine at First Church this year.
The Wellness Committee will
provide 150 doses of the flu vaccine on two Sundays in November - the 17th and
the 24th. There will be a sign-up sheet in the Church Office beginning Sunday,
November 3rd for this event. The cost for the influenza vaccine is $15.00 for
all customers. Financial aid is available to assure that all who want the
vaccine are able to get immunized.
Individuals who are Medicare
eligible are encouraged to get their immunization at Flu Clinics offered by
the Department of Health, Town of Greenwich at one of several locations
through the month of November. Please call 622-3774 for further details
regarding times and clinic sites.
Getting your flu shot in
November or early December is important to develop immunity against the most
virulent strains of the flu before the actual flu season begins around the
Holidays and into January. The vaccine for 2002-2003 contains three
components: A-Moscow-like, A-New Caledonia-like, and B-Hong Kong-like strains.
Please note: a flu shot will protect you only against these three identified
strains of illness. Immunization may help to diminish the symptoms of other
strains of flu virus, but does not offer protection from all symptoms or
complications of influenza.
Immunization against the flu is
very important for individuals of all ages. Reports from the Centers for
Disease Control (CDC), Atlanta, Georgia, indicate that the incidence of
influenza or flu during the winter of 2002 was mild to moderate. Influenza
activity increased mid-January and peaked during mid-to-late February.
Influenza A viruses predominated early in the season, with Influenza B viruses
most frequently identified from late-March to mid-May.
Clinical signs and symptoms of
uncomplicated flu include an abrupt onset of fever, muscle aches, headache,
malaise, non-productive cough, sore throat and runny nose. Influenza viruses
are spread from person to person primarily through coughing and sneezing.
Symptoms of flu typically resolve after a limited number of days (4 to 7) for
most individuals. Cough and fatigue can persist for more than two weeks
following infection. Complications from flu including pneumonia, generally
occur among people whose health is compromised from the presence of other
conditions, e.g., lung disease, diabetes, heart conditions, and advanced age.
Immunization is recommended for any person older than six months who is at
risk for complications arising from influenza. Parents of infants and children
- please consult your pediatrician regarding vaccination of your babies and
For further information about
the flu clinics at First Church Sunday, November 17th and Sunday, November
24th, please contact your parish Nurse at (203) 637-1791 Ext 21 Sundays,
Tuesday mornings and all day Wednesdays, or leave a message.
November 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 November offerings are:
November 3: Rufus Winton will present the findings of the Pastoral Staffing
November 10: Senior Deacon Robin Loughman will discuss what the search process
for a pastor is like.
November 17: Theresa Joseph of the Junior League will present the findings of
their study of Hunger Issues in Greenwich.
December 1: Maryan Ainsworth, from the Metropolitan Museum of Art will make a
presentation in the Daniels Center.
Some of the upcoming events
provided by the Wellness Committee and the Parish Nurse Program were
introduced in last month's column. Still another event coming to First Church
on November 7th - Diabetes Awareness Day -- is worth highlighting for
Do you know that…
• 16 million Americans have diabetes - a metabolic disorder…
• 80 to 85% of this number are below the age of 65 years…
• Statistics indicate that the incidence of diabetes is on a sharp increase
-2,200 individuals are diagnosed with this condition every day…
• 95% of all individuals with diabetes have Type 2 diabetes - which is a
Come then to the Diabetes
Awareness Program, Thursday, November 7, 2002, between 10 am and 2 pm at The
First Congregational Church. The morning sessions will feature two
physicians who will address the cause, treatment and management of Type 2
diabetes; also, cardiovascular complications of the disease will be discussed.
In the afternoon, speakers will present dietary and exercise modifications
that can help prevent the disease or modify the influence of the metabolic
imbalance. Through the course of the day, the Town of Greenwich laboratory
staff will provide blood glucose and blood cholesterol testing free of charge.
Educational materials will be available in print from representatives from
pharmaceutical and other manufacturers along with diabetes counseling and
blood pressure monitoring.
The Parish Nurse Program in
cooperation with Greenwich Health sponsors this screening event. Disease
detection through screenings like this is a proactive way to ensure and
maintain good health. Diabetes, or other conditions associated with the
disorder (e.g., insulin resistance), can be reversed when detected early.
Diabetes is the cause of many serious complications - death of body tissues
and organs that lead to significant disability specifically…heart disease,
stroke, blindness, skin breakdown, infection, poor wound healing, and kidney
failure - these conditions, once established are not reversible. You owe it to
yourself and the health of the community to join us on November 7th to learn
more about your potential risk of developing this disorder.
Dee Coover, R.N.,
Available at First Church
Sunday & Wednesday
8:30 am to 3:30 pm
Tuesday 8 am to 12:30 pm
Available at First Church
Sundays, November 17 & 24, 2002
in the Parish Nurse Office, Room 203, from 11:00 am until noon. Please call
Dee Coover if you have any questions,
SAVE THE DATE
The dates are set, Saturday and
Sunday, December 21 & 22, at 4:00 p.m. each day, for our annual presentation
of Part I of Handel's great oratorio Messiah and the "Hallelujah" chorus.
Soloists this year will be soprano Cheryl Hill, mezzo-soprano Sharon Gordon,
tenor Terry Beaurline and baritone Gregory Gardner. Ms. Hill comes from
Danbury where she collaborated with Mark Swicegood at his former church. Ms.
Gordon lives in Hamden and will also be opening our 2003 Sunday Afternoons
Live series on January 12. Terry Beaurline is a long-time friend of First
Church and has participated in our Messiah both as chorister and soloist.
(This year he says he'll do both!!) Mr. Gardner was most recently heard here
in Britten's “Rejoice in the Lamb” last Music Sunday.
Tickets will be available to the congregation at coffee hour beginning
December 1 and to the general public December 9.
Swell the Chorus!! If you have choral skills, why not consider joining the
chorus for Messiah. Rehearsals are Tuesdays and Wednesdays, December 10th,
11th, 17th and 18th, at 8 p.m. Registration begins at 7:30 p.m. on the 10th,
but it is possible to sign up at subsequent rehearsals. Just be sure to bring
$ 20.00 as a deposit for the required use of First Church's hard-bound scores.
There are no auditions; everyone is welcome. The singers always have a great
time. Just ask one!
Sunday Afternoons Live Schedule is
Candlelit tables in our
Auditorium set the mood for our winter series of vocal, chamber music and jazz
concerts. The 2003 season of Sunday Afternoons Live will celebrate the
rebuilding of our Steinway concert grand piano made possible by the fund
established in joyful memory of Dorothy Crabill. Refreshments are served from
3:30 PM and the performances begin at 4:00, concluding between 5:15 and 5:30
PM. There is no admission charge; a $ 10.00 donation is requested.
Sharon Gordon, mezzo-soprano,
Beth Palmer, piano
Constantin Popescu and friends
performing on historically important string instruments
The Joyce DiCamillo Trio, jazz
The Woodland Scholars, a
cappella vocal ensemble, Larry Allen, director
Eric Comstock , pianist and
Duo pianists Millette
Alexander & Frank Daykin
Maryly Culpepper, flute, Dan
Culpepper, French horn, Brian Krinke, violin, Jenny Undercofler, piano
violin and piano
NEW ORGAN STOP!!
Mid-September a new stop was
installed into our organ. The old Cymbel (a high-pitched stop with three pipes
per note) in the Positiv (the part of the organ cantilevered on the right over
the console and played on the bottom keyboard) was poorly voiced, hard to
tune, and almost unusable. All one hundred ninety-eight pipes have been
replaced with new ones which have solved those problems. The Cymbel isn't used
very often but you will notice it as the extra sparkle on the last stanza of
some hymns. In organ music of the Baroque period it will be used when there is
a contrast between the Great (the main division of the organ cantilevered on
the left) and Positiv divisions. Our gratitude goes to Frank Crabill who
provided the funds for the new stop through the fund he established in joyful
memory of Dorothy Crabill.
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.
Sunday, November 3
First Church - First Sunday - Food Drive
Please bring your non-perishable
food donations to worship on Sunday,
November 3, or to the Church Office the week after. The supplies at our local
pantries are very low. Bring some extra food if you can. Most needed items are:
canned soups, cereals, canned fruits and vegetables, peanut butter/jelly and
pasta sauces. To assist you in your shopping, we can direct you to the best
bargains at our local grocery stores the week before. We’ll set up a group
e-mail list to clue you in on what’s needed and where to find it. Please send
your email address to email@example.com.
Thank you for your generosity!