The First Congregational Church of Greenwich
Springtime Blooms by David D. Young
"Everything is blooming most
With springtime trying its' hardest to break the stronghold of winter, the German poet expresses a truth beyond the natural order. Faith surpasses predictability, hope overcomes despair, light exposes darkness, and love conquers evil - when the human blossoms with the transforming energy of the divine.
Easter is our season of affirmation! We affirm the powers of life over death and the "unbelievable shrieking" of Easter morning when our faith (not our common sense) affirms that God's life springs forth from the tomb.
"I am the resurrection and the life.
Yesterday's Easter services were fabulously moving and meaningful experiences of faith! It was first Sunrise Service at the beach for the Young family and we were in awe of both the beauty of the setting (at such an early hour) and the youth (and advisors) who did such a terrific job of putting on the service. And then the two festival services with brass and timpani nearly lifted me right up to the ceiling. To everyone who participated and made Easter such a bright and inspiring celebration - thank you!
What a joy it has been to have our entire family here for this past Easter weekend! Again, I want to say how wonderful it is for us to be here in Greenwich, and more particularly, to be here at First Congregational Church.
Thank you for allowing us the opportunity to join with you in the ministry of this church. It is with true joy and excitement that we look forward to the days and months ahead!
St. Francis of Assisi once observed, "Every day is a new flower." With the hint of springtime already here, may we look for new flowers in God's beautiful creation and for new flowers of faith.
April Worship Schedule
The Senior Pilgrim Fellowship Makes Ready for H.O.M.E.!
On April 17 the Senior Pilgrim Fellowship will be departing for their eighteenth year to work with our friends and neighbors at H.O.M.E. Coop in Orland, Maine. H.O.M.E. , which stands for Homeworkers Organized for More Employment serves the rural poor of Hancock County, Maine. Their mission is to "Serve first those who suffer most". This is done by responding to need. A lumber mill, shingle mill, and carpentry shop provide materials for the now nearly 40 homes built on their land trusts around d the county. Operation Woodstove makes firewood available for heating homes during the long Maine winters. A day care center, a hot lunch program, a food pantry, an alternative high school, literacy training, auto mechanics training, a cobbler shop provide training in a number of areas. Their work with weaving, pottery, quilting, leatherwork and other arts supply the Craft Cooperative also on their main site.
The main campus of H.O.M.E. is augmented by Mandala Farm where a number of houses provide homes for those in need, as well as work with farm animals and gardens.
This year our First Church Preschool will be sending us north with a number of needed items responding to needs made known to us by H.O.M.E. Our children will be collecting the following goods and packing them for us to deliver.
Their wish list for the preschool includes:
Food for the Food Bank
In addition, should we have access to such supplies, their wish list includes:
6-8 gallons of Barn Red paint
This year we will be present for H.O.M.E.'s Annual Meeting. We look forward to hearing from their members as to what has transpired for them over the course of this past year. Thank you in advance for your support.
Thank You for Your Generous Support of our Lenten Offering! Your generosity has translated our concerns with hunger in our area and with medical care in Honduras into dollars and cents, soon to become food and medicine. As of Easter Monday, we have raised $6753 for Local Hunger Needs and $16,553 for our work in Honduras. This is augmented by a matching gift of 10,000. The opportunity not only to deliver such needed gifts, but to have a part in the process of their delivery will now be forthcoming. Our concern for neighbors near and far is a mark of what it means to be First Congregational Church, but the raising of needed dollars is just the first step. Now we hope to put prayer and concern into action. Be sure to watch the Meetinghouse News as we both learn and participate in the delivery of these gifts. May God bless your Easter Season.
Church School Teacher Recruitment BeginsHave you ever wondered what it takes to be a Church School teacher?
Do you think you do not have enough time or skill to teach?
Tom and Brenda Stiers
77 East Missouri Ave Unit #4
The Church of the Beatitudes
Some Spring Cleaning
by Sue Asselin, RN
This month my column is a little messier than usual. Rather than having one single creative writing inspiration, my mind is filled with many thoughts including gratitude for recent programs and ideas for new ones. So, I'd like to tidy up some details for our busy Wellness Committee.
First, I must thank all those involved with the February "Cooking for the Heart" event. We were blessed with a huge success, as over 20 people prepared healthy entrées for 70 attendees. Dr Schuster was well received, and First Congregational Church's hospitality truly radiated out to the community.
So many of the diseases I write about are affected by diet and life style, I sometimes feel like a broken record (or for you kids of the 21st century: a scratched CD). But here I go again: Eating wisely can help prevent many ailments including heart disease, high blood pressure, cancer, and osteoporosis, as well as boost your immune system and your energy level. All of these will be addressed at an evening nutritional series here at church:
EAT WELL - LIVE WELL
Beginning April 26 for four consecutive Tuesdays 6-8 PM
Barbara Schmidt, Certified Nutritionist and Registered Dietician will discuss:
Sponsored by the Greenwich Department of Health , this great program is FREE. Healthy snacks provided by Porricelli's Food Mart and the Wellness Committee. To Register Call Victoria Quatrone at 622-7850.
For people currently certified in CPR/AED (automatic external defibrillator): One of my responsibilities as AED site coordinator is to keep a record of those certified. Please call me to let me know your certification dates. If you were certified here at church last spring, then I have that information. And for all certified individuals who want to refresh their skills, we now have two classes scheduled for Saturday April 16, at 10:00 and 11:30 AM. Thanks to the generosity of the Greenwich EMS, and to the church covering the reduced fees, we can offer the class at no cost to you. Call me at extension 21 to register.
Lastly, the Lifeline Screening will not take place at our church this spring, due to some changes within their company. We will consider arranging one in the future. Speak to me if you are concerned or would like to be screened at another location.
That just about cleans up a lot of the details. Happy Spring Cleaning to you!
Lift Your Voice
Those who have participated in John Stansell’s Wednesday evening sessions for self-described non-singers have learned that their individual hindrances to singing were not at all insurmountable, and they have had a lot of fun exercising their emerging skills. There will be six more sessions, March 30, April 6, 13, 27, and May 4 & 11, at 8:00 pm for about forty-five minutes. Consider coming, even if you can only come a time or two, and even if you would only like to observe. A revelation is almost assured!
Middle School Ministries
Friends are always welcome!
Church School Teacher
Have you ever wondered what it takes to be a Church School teacher?Do you think you do not have enough time or skill to teach?
Every year teams of interested parents and high school students have found answers to these questions and more by helping our children from infancy to 8th grade learn about faith, Christianity, the Bible and worship.Are you "qualified"? Everyone is qualified if only by your love of children and a willingness to share your faith. The ability to hear your children's questions is important, but you don't have to have all the answers. You need a willingness to teach - but also be taught. Many of us were motivated to teach because our congregation asks each family to donate two years of your time for each of your children in the Church School. Once you do it, you realize the rewards far outweigh the risks.
Recruitment has just begun and twelve slots are filled. MANY THANKS TO THE EARLY BIRDS. There are the following openings for each class:
Where do you sign up? There are signup boards in the Auditorium and in the Undercroft. Stop by to sign-up or call Susie Craig, Rosemary Lamie or Jenny Lepoutre at 637-1791.
The Church School Embarks On A Month Of The Things That Make For Peace!
"The things that make for peace" is taken from the following passage in Luke 19:42. "As he (Jesus) came near and saw the city (Jerusalem), he wept over it, saying, "If you, even you, had only recognized this day the things that make for peace!"
We would hope to have our children learn about and express their ideas about PEACE - peace in our hearts, peace among our families and friends, peace in our communities and peace in the world. Through reading, writing, drawing, making music and crafts, we will have many opportunities to engage our children.
Although each class will have age appropriate activities, we plan to have one project which will include work from each child. Through this project we will illustrate how the whole is greater than its parts and that is one way peace can be found. If you would like to help in a class at any time during the month of April, please call Rosemary at ext. 20 and we will find a place for you.
First Church/First Sunday
In Greenwich at our local food pantry, we've recently been blessed with the annual Boy Scout community effort to collect food from local schools and households. The scouts took all this food to local firehouses, sorted it and brought 200 boxes to Neighbor to Neighbor. This wonderful cache will last for only about three weeks, as the pantry at NTN is now providing 'supplemental' feeding to 275 families each month in Greenwich. Please remember that your donations make a huge difference each month. Special needs this month are: grape jelly, Parmalat milk, tomato/pasta sauce, jello/pudding products. Always look for store specials for canned fruits and cereal.
Women’s Fellowship Quilt Raffle
The intricate “Star of Bethlehem” quilt created by the Kettle Quilters will be on display in the Rummage Room window in mid-April and will be on display at Coffee Hour on May 1. You may purchase tickets to win this lovely work of art for $2.50 each at Coffee Hour or at the Rummage Room. The raffle will take place at the Women’s Fellowship Spring Luncheon on Wednesday, May 4. The winner does not have to be present at the drawing and will be notified by telephone. Thank you for your support. Please note that the quilt is not a King size but a “generous” Queen size. Sorry for the error.
Need Money for College?
The First Congregational Church College and University Loan Fund has funds available for children of church members who are going off to college and need some extra financing.
We currently lend $750 per semester on a note guaranteed by a parent. All we ask in return is your commitment to commence repaying the loan, without interest, when you graduate.
Application for loans are available in the church office. If you have questions, call Bob Goodchild, the Treasurer, at 637.0763.
Senior Pilgrim Fellowship Update
April will find the SPF preparing for our annual mission trip to the H.O.M.E. Co-op in Orland, Maine. We appreciate your support for our young people's desire to serve some of the neediest people in our country. Our trip will be April 17-23 this year. We look forward to reporting back next month the good work we get accomplished!
Apartment For Rent
For at least 30 years or more, the downstairs one-bedroom apartment in the gray house adjacent to the Memory Garden (106 Sound Beach Avenue) has been occupied by a member of the First Church clergy - most recently, Ralph and Beverly Ahlberg. It is now vacant and we do not anticipate its use by a clergy member in the near future. Because of its proximity to the church buildings, the Memory Garden, and the church lawns, we feel it would best be occupied by someone in the First Church family. The apartment consists of a spacious living room, dining room, bedroom, kitchen and bathroom. It is in excellent condition following a major renovation in 2003. Monthly rent is $1,500 plus utilities. If you know of someone in the congregation who would be interested in the apartment, please call George Handley at the church office.
First Church Summer Day Camp
We are now accepting registrations for the First Church Summer Day Camp. The Summer Camp is open to children ages 3 through children entering 1st grade. The camp offers 3 two weeks sessions: June 27 – July 8, July 11 – July 22, and July 25 – August 5. Campers will participate in fun filled theme weeks: The Rain Forest, The Circus, and Below the Ocean and Outer Space. Campers will also enjoy music activities, creative movement, sports, and arts & crafts. Campers will also be going to the beach at Tod’s Point.
For information on how to register, please contact Libby White, Preschool Director at firstname.lastname@example.org or 637-5430.
The Members of The First Congregational Church of Greenwich, Ministers
David D. Young, Senior Pastor
Sunday Services of Worship - 8
& 10 am