The First Congregational Church of Greenwich

Meetinghouse Monthly

July, 2003

The Pastors' Column

Dear Friends,

As many of you know I have loved the State of Maine for over twenty years as a vacation destination. About a dozen years ago I took a further step and bought my home in Camden. Over the last four years I have been dean of the Arts Alive conference at Pilgrim Lodge for a week each summer. Now the time has come for me to take my next step. During the last year I have been actively searching for a church in the Maine Conference. Last weekend I preached my candidating sermon and was unanimously -called to be the new pastor of Windham Hill United Church of Christ in Windham, Maine.

Windham is a suburb of Portland and the church is located just two miles from Sebago, the large recreational lake in southern Maine. It is a small, New England, white clapboard meetinghouse with a fellowship hall behind the church. The parsonage is located next door. Windham is the fastest growing town in Maine and is in an area rich in the performing arts. My congregation is composed of young professionals and their families and native Maine residents who have their heritage in this small town. I feel a strong sense of call to be their pastor.

I have always had a good feeling about anniversaries. August 1st will be the exact twenty-fifth anniversary of my joining the staff of First Congregational Church. It seems appropriate that it should be my last day as well. I plan to take the month of August as a vacation and time of transition. I will begin my ministry at Windham Hill on September 2. I will also use this month as a time to move my home and office to Maine.

Over the years I have said repeatedly that I have never been bored for even one day of our life together here at First Church. This job has grown and changed from my first job description as Minister to Youth to added responsibilities for Outdoor Ministries as I became Assistant Pastor twenty years ago, to the addition of Parish Life and travel activities as I became Associate Pastor and the challenge of further administrative tasks as Senior Associate. You have raised me in ministry and for that I will always be grateful. Now it is time to launch me as a missionary, carrying training and traditions to a new place.

Grace and peace,

Sally Colegrove

June Worship Schedule

Sunday, July 6
Rev. Sally Colegrove
“A Bag of Letters”
Communion Served

Sunday, July 13
Founder’s Day
“Signed, Sealed, Delivered”
Rev. Susan M. Craig

Sunday, July 20
Rev. Thomas L. Stiers
“The House that God Builds”

Sunday, July 27
Rev. Sally Colegrove


Dear Friends:

We all are feeling so many emotions as we contemplate Sally's leaving for her new church in Maine. Feelings of:

  • Joy for the wonderful times we have shared together over the years,
  • Thanks to God for the blessing of Sally's ministry among us these many years,
  • Wonder at the marvelous works our church and our youth have accomplished with Sally's leadership,
  • Having been blessed by her nurture of a full generation of our youth as she touched each of them individually,
  • Sadness at the thought of going forward without her, and
  • Excitement about her new ministry at a wonderful and growing church in Maine.

Let me be the first, on behalf of all of you, to say "thank you" to Sally for 25 years of bringing the Holy Spirit to each and all of us. Whether we are in the Meetinghouse, the Youth Room, Silver Lake, Home Co-op, or Honduras, we will always remember Sally being there with us before.

Now she is preparing to bring these same wonderful gifts to a new ministry, and we wish her success, happiness and God's love in this new endeavor. We know she will, with the grace of God, be a smashing success in Windham Hill, Maine.

During July, each of us will want to express our own feelings to Sally individually. Then on Sunday, July 27th, we will gather all together to celebrate Sally's ministry with us during the worship service, a special coffee hour, and at a potluck supper in the evening. Save this date for a time of sharing joys and good wishes together.


Rick Derr
Senior Deacon

Sally's Celebration

As we wish Sally farewell and Godspeed we have planned a day of celebrating her 25 years of ministry at First Church. We wish her all the best in her move to the Windham Hill UCC in Windham, Maine.

Sally will preach her last sermon on Sunday, July 27th and we invite you to attend several events that day as follows:
t 10:00 Worship
t 11:15 Extended Coffee Hour with cake and a few brief presentations
t 6:00 Potluck dinner with a few presentations, music and photos

We hope that everyone will attend the worship and coffee hour. If you would like to attend the potluck, we do ask that you RSVP so that we can plan for tables and chairs.

We ask that you bring the following item if your last name falls in these categories
A-H Entrée
I-R Salad
S-Z Dessert (finger food please)

Can you help? We need you. Please sign up to help on the reservation form below or speak to Aaron Sinay if you can help in another way.

Reservations for Potluck Supper for Sally's Celebration 27 July 2003



Please reserve ______ spots for me and my family.


I can help with:

_____ Set up (3:00 on Sunday) _____ Accepting and sorting food (5:30)

_____ Beverages (5:00 set up) _____ Serving food (6:30)

_____ Clean up (7:30)

Ashley Grant

The Church Committee and the Board of Trustees are very pleased to announce that M. Ashley Grant will be joining First Church as Associate Pastor beginning August 1, 2003.

Ashley is a recent graduate of Yale Divinity School where she won the Wolcott Calkins Prize for preaching and was president of the student body. She earned a B.S. in Biology from The University of Georgia in 1999 and spent the following year in Reno, Nevada as program coordinator for the Nevada Conservation Corps, working with at-risk high school students.

Prior to and during college, Ashley had extensive experience with outdoor ministries and youth in her native Georgia. She loves hiking, environmental ethics, gardening and planning outdoor trips, as well as journaling, poetry, sewing, folk music and "struggling on the guitar." Ashley lives with her husband, Adam, in the parsonage at Milford Congregational Church where he is associate pastor.

Ashley currently is "in care" with the New Haven Association of the UCC's Connecticut Conference and will not be ready for ordination until the beginning of 2004. In August and September, you will have many opportunities to meet her and hear her preach. The Church Committee will schedule a congregational meeting to formally vote to extend Ashley a call as associate pastor in the fall. Until her ordination, the Church Committee will work with the New Haven Association to license Ashley to administer our sacraments of communion and baptism, and to perform weddings.

Ashley's initial responsibilities will include middle school ministries (JPF and Pastor's Class), young adult ministries, membership, and adult education.

Please extend a very warm welcome to Ashley Grant. We feel blessed to have her join us.

Interim Pastor Search Committee

The search committee continues to meet to identify candidates for the interim ministry of our church. During the week of June 16 and 23 we will have met with at least 4 people and there are others we want to meet.

We recently became aware of a book titled: "Temporary Shepherds" which was written by Roger Nicholson. It is full of special insights into interim ministry, but a passage that seemed to be especially appropriate is: " The interim time is a moment in the congregation's life when members have a chance to look back and appreciate their history, both recent and long term; it is also a moment to consider the present scene, discerning the good and the not so good in the congregation's life; and it is a very special opportunity to look ahead and chart out a future course of the congregation. Every change of pastoral leadership is a unique opportunity for a local congregation to learn from its past, weigh its strengths and weaknesses, and prepare itself for a new future under the guidance of a new pastor."

A picture of your search committee has been posted on the Church Committee bulletin board outside the lounge. These are the people to talk to should you have questions regarding our work.

Jerry Isaacson


Still Dizzy?
by Dee Coover

Dizziness, particularly the potential causes of this disorder, was the topic of last month's Parish Nurse column. As a condition, dizziness is a common complaint, especially among individuals who have chronic illnesses that require management with medications. High blood pressure is one such condition. Medications used to treat high blood pressure, or hypertension, can cause dizziness as a side effect. Or, dizziness may occur as a result of the primary action of the drug, i.e., promoting diuresis or producing an increase in urinary excretion, which in turn, can dehydrate the consumer, thus causing dizziness.

There are a number of strategies for coping with the symptom, dizziness. First, uncovering the cause of the symptom is paramount. When a specific etiology cannot be identified, learning strategies for managing your life with the symptom becomes essential. In all cases, reporting the symptom to your physician is very important. Your doctor many ask you to monitor the dizziness for an interval of time in order to get a better picture of your particular situation. You may be asked the following questions: How often are you dizzy?; how long do the dizzy "spells" last?; what kind of activity seems to prompt the dizziness to occur or get worse? What activity makes the dizziness go away, or decrease? Follow-up testing is indicated when episodes of the symptom continue without relief, or worsen. Only your MD can order these levels of diagnostics. Also, consider if you have added a new medication to your daily routine - this would include over-the-counter drugs and herbal supplements. Dizziness due to drug interactions increases significantly with multiple medication use. Talk to your pharmacist about potential detrimental interactions you may encounter whenever you change (add, delete or change) drugs or dosages.

Summer is here and dizziness can come as a result of too much sun - Individuals frequently develop sunstroke secondary to dehydration when ambient temperatures are significantly elevated for several days at a time, and individuals don't match the loss of fluids through their skin (with perspiration) with oral intake of liquids. Minimum fluid intake on hot days is two quarts of liquids. If you enjoy liquids containing caffeine (colas, coffee, tea), total fluid intake needs to be increased to three or four quarts (liters) per day. Drinking alcohol-based beverages in the summer can enhance the consequences of dehydration particularly when you are active.

Likewise avoiding strenuous activity or exercise immediately after eating can prevent the occurrence of dizziness. Walking for exercise rather than jogging, especially on hot days or when there is peak humidity, may be a sensible alternative that can reduce the incidence of dizziness and possible falls. Use of a walking stick may be indicated particularly when you are traversing uneven terrain. Also, at night, a walker plus a night light, can help promote stability and safety with ambulation to the bathroom.

Other environmental causes of dizziness that can be modified include good lighting, wearing eyeglasses, getting vision and hearing tested every year, or when there is a significant change in the acuity level. When you are in to see your doctor, ask her or him to check your ears for wax buildup. You may find that your hearing is much improved (as well as your dizziness relieved) when earwax is removed.

Just as fluid levels are important to maintain, so are glucose (sugar) levels. Consistent meal times are important; an evening snack may be in order if dinner and breakfast times are separated by more than 10 hours. Additionally, not skipping meals is essential to maintaining good energy levels.

If dizziness is brought on by movement or changes in position, slow down when you turn, or change position from lying down to standing up. Add in some break times if your job requires looking at a computer screen for long periods of time - avoid tilting your head back to look up quickly. Lastly, refrain from activity that causes you to bear down or hold your breath - such as weight lifting. Always seek your physician's approval before you begin a weight-training or fitness program.
Dizziness may be a symptom that occurs commonly. It is also a symptom that must not be overlooked or ignored. If you have further questions about dizziness or how to evaluate it, please contact your Parish Nurse, Dee Coover, RNC for finding resources and referral. She is "IN" Sundays and Wednesdays, 8 AM to 3:30 PM, and Tuesdays until 12:30 PM.

Tod Hedrick Quartet

If you enjoyed the music at the Tom Stiers celebration on Saturday, May 31, join us for a "Jazzy Starry Night" when Tod Hedrick's Quartet plays outside at the SoundWaters Community Center for Environmental Education in Cove Island Park, Stamford. Doors open at 7:00 p.m. and the music begins at 8:00. Cost is $12 for SoundWaters members and $15 for non-members. Call 323-1978 for reservations and parking info. Attendees are invited to bring food and beverages for cabaret seating. Let's make it a mid-summer First Church picnic!

First Church/First Sunday

Summer months are the hardest ones to keep the shelves filled at our local food pantries. Please don't forget to bring in your monthly donation of non-perishable food on Sunday, July 6 and Sunday, August, 3. Although all gifts are appreciated, the most needed items are usually cereal and canned fruits. If you forget on Sunday, bring your donation to the church office.

News from the Quilting Frame

We just put the 2004 Raffle Quilt on the frame and are looking forward to many happy quilting hours. We will also start on planning and assembling the 2005 Raffle Quilt. If you always wanted to take up quilting, now is the time. While you are working with us you will pick up a lot of know-how and will also get help with your own quilting projects. We meet in Room 203 every Monday, 9 - 12. Hope you will be inspired to join us.


Diamond Wins at the Van Cliburn Competition

Carolyn Diamond was a winner at the Van Cliburn Piano Concerto Competition! The TCU/Cliburn Piano Institute (Texas Christian University) in Fort Worth is a prestigious annual international summer event that nurtures and unites pianists worldwide. Whatever the age and background of the participants, the Institute, in its 17th year, endeavors to instill in everyone the thrill of probing into the depth of classical piano music. Over nine days, the performing participants are involved through recitals, masterclasses and concerto performances, and they interact with recognized artists and other renowned music professionals.

Every four years a competition is presented to adult pianists to play a movement of a concerto in concert with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra. To qualify, an audition is presented; this year twenty-four applicants were selected from the United States, Canada, Brazil and Japan. Following a live audition, a select group of six had the opportunity to perform with the orchestra. Carolyn played the first movement of the Piano Concerto in A Minor, Opus 16, by Edward Grieg.

She states that this experience was thrilling and uniquely rewarding. Since she had played a ‘condensed’ version of the concerto at the age of ten at a local grocery store competition in Robbinsdale, Minnesota, she feels she has fulfilled a life long ambition to perform the ‘real thing.’ She also insists that her first love is playing the organ for congregational hymn sings!


by John Stansell

First Church has one of the few area choirs that sings throughout the year. In the summer we leave our robes on their hangers and forego our usual Thursday evening rehearsal. We meet on Sunday mornings at 9:00 in the Meetinghouse to prepare old familiar anthems or very easy new ones for the service. If time permits, we take a glance at the next week's pieces. After our rehearsal we enjoy refreshments up in the Choir Room.

The summer is a great time to give the choir a try. There's a great feeling of camaraderie and we promise to welcome you with open arms. If you're interested in singing but uneasy about your music-reading abilities, John would be happy to meet you during the week to go through your part, or you could take the sheet music and practice at home. Who knows, singing in the choir might give your life just the lift it needs.

Think about it! You can just show up on a Sunday at 9, or give John a ring during the week at the church,
637-1791, ext. 22.