The First Congregational Church of Greenwich
Fall has been described as the time of year when "God shifts to Technicolor!"
As the calendar shifts to October, the air is turning crisper, leaves are letting go and making their way to the earth and within a few weeks our eyes will behold the richness of creation's changing in "Technicolor". To live in grace and share in the gift of Christian community is to know the rich blessings of God. We celebrate the variety of unique individuals coming together in one common bond. We are a splendid array of God's creation!
By the middle of October (as the colors are changing), we will shift our worship focus from liturgy to our role as stewards of God's created order. We want to be clear that stewardship involves all of life and not just one Sunday of the year when we support the church's ministries through our pledged intentions.
Stewardship does have to do with the responsible use of our financial resources, but it is much more than that. And so, we will pursue a Sermon Series entitled, "Parables of Promise: Striving as Stewards". With two interlude Sundays in the middle, the flow will be as follows:
Our late fall Sermon Series holds the promise of celebrating the rich variety of gifts we have been given as individuals and a community of faith and all of life. I hope you will share in our worship life as we express the vastness and richness of God's creation known as First Congregational Church.
September 27, 2005
The formal Installation Service of Dr. David D. Young to be the 41st Senior Pastor of First Congregational Church of Greenwich takes place on Sunday, October 30, 2005 at our 10a.m worship service. An Installation marks the covenant between a pastor and a congregation and links us all to the wider church.
Representatives from the Fairfield West Association and other invited clergy will join us as part of this special service. Reverend Dr. Donald J. Longbottom, Senior Pastor of Countryside Community United Church of Christ in Omaha and close friend of Dr. Young's, will be the guest preacher. His sermon title will be "Sailing Under Sealed Orders." A reception in the Auditorium will follow the service with refreshments provided by the Women's Fellowship.
It is my sincere hope that as many of us as possible will be present on October 30 to celebrate God's calling together of Dr. Young and First Congregational Church in this, our 340th year.
As part of the weekend's activities, Dr. Longbottom also will offer a workshop, "Creating Connectivity," on Saturday morning, October 29. The workshop will focus on church growth and hospitality and should help us all to invigorate our church experience! See the flyer in this newsletter for further details.
Pat Mendelsohn, Senior Deacon
Mission Fair 2005:
On Sunday, October 23, the Christian Outreach Committee will host at least thirteen local social service agencies here at First Church. To begin immediately following the 10:00 service, the Mission Fair will feature exhibits by many of the vital organizations which have been supported by our Outreach grants. Members of our congregation will have the chance to meet some of the personnel of these agencies, learn more about the great work they do, and discuss all manner of volunteer and giving opportunities.
Even as we respond so generously to the ravages of Hurricane Katrina, Mission Fair 2005 will serve us well in underscoring the critical and ongoing need that exists close to home. The agencies you'll meet serve a wide range of that need, from hunger to housing, young people to seniors, health to security. Every day, these agencies offer themselves as beacons of hope and trust to an ever-growing population of those who feel ever more isolated and alone.
Year after year, First Church is there for so many. Mission Fair 2005 will not be only for those seeking to give. Rather, it will serve also as a chance for these agencies to thank you, the members of the congregation that help make their work possible and practical. Please, join us to celebrate the remarkable network of caring that our church helps sustain every day.
Save the Date:
Thomas Woodman and Holly Sorensen Lead "Fludde" Cast
As a boy, baritone Tom Woodman was part of the chorus of animals in First Church's first performance in 1968 of Noye's Fludde by Benjamin Britten, and he makes his third appearance in the title role of Noah in our 2005 production, with performances scheduled for Sunday evening, November 5, at 7:30 pm, at the 10:00 am worship service on Sunday, November 6, and again at 4:00 o'clock that same afternoon. The role of Mrs. Noah will be sung by mezzo-soprano Holly Sorensen, the Greenwich native who charmed us in our performances of Handel's Messiah last December.
Noah's sons and their wives will be Charlie Baird, Anika Norrgard, Simon Tebbe, Brooke Cantwell, Donald Haviland and Sarah Gordon. The roles of the Dove and the Raven will be danced by Olivia Hartwell and Sarah Bradley, with Olivia Berman to understudy both roles and take one performance. We welcome Stage Director/Choreographer Andrea Andresakis with her fresh insights, including new dance elements to enhance the storm, a central element of the work. Bill Bonnell has designed a new set and built it with the help of Bob Ebersole, Ben Menegon and Jack Sweger. Deborah Bonnell will be creating a new sun, a new moon and new stars for the closing scene, as well as organizing a crew to paint the new set.
There is much more behind-the-scenes work to be done. Contact production coordinator Hilary Lawrence (637-1214) to see where you might fit in. Costume manager Sandy Baird (203-655-3493) is looking for people who can sew to make any needed repairs and assemble any new tunics that might be required.
Do you have a decorative BIRD CAGE? We would like to borrow one for the performances. Let John or Hilary know.
Tickets for the Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon performances are free and will be available at coffee hour on October 16 and 23. They will be made available to the public in the church office beginning October 24.
You have already received a request for financial contributions toward the Fludde production. This is an expensive undertaking (well worth it!) so please be generous. Patrons will be listed in the program and will have preferred seating at the ticketed performances. Additional envelopes are available.
"Hats Off" is Coming!
This fall we hope you will consider being part of our women's book group, "Hats Off". We read a wide variety of books, share our life journeys, and also travel from time to time.
Why the name "Hats Off"? Because, we choose to spend time together, removing the many hats we wear, the many responsibilities we carry, and simply being women together. We meet from 9:45 to 11:30 am Thursday mornings and will begin on October 6. If you need childcare, speak to Susie Craig and we will see what we can arrange. We want everyone to be welcome.
Over the course of this summer we are reading Empire Falls by Richard Russo, an interesting study of values and relationships as viewed during the era of small mill towns in Maine with their wealthy mill owners, and struggling citizenry inviting us into their lives. Pick up a copy in the Church Office.
All are welcome - members of First Congregational Church, neighbors, and friends. While we meet frequently, there is also much latitude as we all have different schedules and availabilities. We hope to see you on October 6! Please call Susie Craig if you have any questions.
Special Apartment For Rent
The upstairs apartment at 106 Sound Beach Avenue will be available as of September 1. This is in the gray house adjacent to the rear of the Parish House. Because of its proximity to the church buildings, the Memory Garden, and the church lawns, we feel it would be best occupied by someone in the First Church family. The apartment consists of a spacious living room, small office, bedroom, kitchen and bathroom. The front porch is shared with the downstairs apartment. Monthly rent is $1,650 plus utilities and we maintain a no-pets policy. If you know of someone in the congregation who would be interested in the apartment, please call George Handley at the church office, extension 29.
"Client Choice" Pantry at Neighbor to Neighbor
Neighbor to Neighbor introduced its new "client choice" pantry to its clients and to the community on September 6. Great space has been made available at Christ Church for this new effort.
Based upon an increasingly popular national model, each client is now given a list of the kinds and amounts of food he or she can select according to family size. The new guidelines are more closely based upon meeting nutritional needs according to the new USDA Food Guideline Pyramid. The goal is to provide sufficient amounts of grains, fruits, vegetables, milk products, and protein food (meat and beans) to meet these needs. The clients can make food choices based on their own food preferences, needs and circumstances. (Remember, at Neighbor to Neighbor, all food clients are screened for eligibility by the Department of Social Services.)
Volunteers in a food pantry know how frustrating it can be to guess at what a family will actually eat. Often they pack and bring bags out to the client waiting area and hand them to a woman waiting quietly with two small children in tow. She is uncomfortable speaking English. She is handed her bags and seems grateful. How different it is when the client comes in, gets a small grocery cart and moves down the aisle making selections of the food items she wants. She can prepare meals she is sure her children will eat and enjoy! Volunteers are available to answer questions, make menu suggestions, hand out recipes (bi-lingual, of course), restock shelves and help in bagging the chosen food items. In addition to frozen meats and cheese, the shelves are stocked with primarily healthy items, such as some fresh fruits and vegetables, Parmalat milk and yogurt, 100% juices, canned and dried beans as well as rice and other grains.
The goal of course is to support clients' independence, encourage self-respect and recommend healthy food choices. An indirect result will be less waste.
As NTN works to re-educate the local clients, they also have begun to re-educate the community about "what to donate" during community (and church) food drives. Often food pantries are the receptacle for "cupboard cleaning/purging", non-nutritious items we don't want on our own shelves at home. Under the guidance of a nutritionist, NTN seeks to wean clients from high-sodium items (like canned soups, boxed macaroni & cheese) and from high-sugar foods (like sugar-coated cereals, syrupy canned fruits) and provide meal ingredients that encourage healthy eating.
Healthy food costs more. NTN will need more support in terms of cash and appropriate food donations and more volunteers to staff the food area. Please call 622-9208.
This year the Connecticut Conference of the UCC will hold its Annual Meeting in Waterbury on October 21 and 22. The theme is "Lively Faith...Faithful Lives" and will focus on enhancing local churches and their ministries, with an emphasis on inspiration, teaching and dialogue. Rev. Anthony Robinson, who is known for strengthening congregations and their leaders for the challenges and opportunities of the present moment, will give the keynote address. The program will include a presentation on the Silver Lake Campaign and worship with Holy Communion. This meeting gives us a great chance to see the CT Conference in action and get to meet many people from UCC churches across the state. We are looking for nominations for official delegates to the meeting. If you are interested, please call David Young or Pat Mendelsohn. If you can only attend one of the days of the conference, please do not let that deter you from participating in this meeting.
October in the
The month of October holds many exciting opportunities for our children to worship, to be creative, and to do some very powerful learning through traditional curriculum materials. Take a good look at our calendar so you don't miss anything!
10/2 World Communion Sunday
Children in Grades 3 - 8 will be in the Meetinghouse with their families or if need be, they may sit in the chapel area where some teachers and Task Force members will be sitting as well. 2nd grade and younger classes will have Regular Church School. While our younger children become more acquainted with the routine of class time, worship time, their teachers and their peers, we hope our older children can have a meaningful experience surrounding the subject of communion in worship. Having considered the subject in Second Grade this should be a meaningful experience as they participate in the Sacrament of Communion and also hear of its significance to them as people of faith through many different aspects of our service. We hope our children will either attend church that Sunday with their parents, or will sit with Church School teachers and Task Force members in the chapel.
10/9 Family Worship and All Church School Event
On this Sunday our children will begin worship in the Meetinghouse. After the Children's Sermon, they will be invited to a a special Noyes Fludde art event in the Daniels' Center.
10/16 Back to the Classroom
Our classes will be learning about how we are like Jesus and how we are identified with the church through their continued study of Paul's letters.
10/23 A Lesson to Hold Onto
Our children learn that they are embraced by divine love and how they may ever so gently love others and themselves.
10/30 David Young's Installation as Senior Pastor While the 6th Grade and Pastors' Class attend worship for the installation service, our children learn about God's Word at Work through us. We will also look at the religious origins of Halloween - All Hallow's Eve, the night before All Saints Day.
There are many things happening in our world today that can make our children feel very insecure. Images of suffering on television, in newspapers, or even on the radio are almost completely unavoidable, and hearing about or seeing such tragedies can deeply affect children. They may need a little extra love, attention, reassurance, and affection from you right now. Not only that, let us remind them that they are surrounded by God's love which is stronger than all the evil the world can call into being. Our God is a God who chooses to be with us. It might be an encouraging word for bedtime prayers.
Some Church School Statistics
Special Message to the Women of First Church
Hold the Date for the annual fall Women's Fellowship Luncheon Wednesday, October 19. Watch for your invitation with details of the timely and compelling program.
Prayer Shawl Ministry
This "hands-on" ministry combines our gifts of knitting and prayer to create a shawl to be given to someone experiencing serious illness or loss. As the wearer wraps the shawl around their shoulders, they feel God's embrace and love. The wearer is also surrounded by the prayers, warmth and caring of our church.
The Prayer Shawl Ministry will meet to work together but most of the knitting will be done at home! If you cannot knit, we'll teach you. If you are a "terrible knitter," this yarn is very forgiving.
Everyone has an opportunity to participate: make a monetary gift which can be sent to the church office marked "Prayer Shawl Ministry."
Men, Women, Youth are welcome! Our next meeting date is: Wednesday, October 19 at 11am in the Lounge (immediately preceding the Women's Fellowship Luncheon) or 7:30 pm in room 203.
For more information, please pick up a pamphlet in the church office, check us out on the web-site or call Penny Lehman 637-4585 or Angela Stevens 698-1709.
Red Cross Blood Drive
Saturday, October 15, 2005
Sponsored by the Women's Fellowship, this annual event is like a festive party in the church auditorium! As donors, you'll be entertained with live piano music and dine on a full menu of sandwiches, cakes, devilled eggs, and juice (Critics call it the "premier culinary Greenwich blood drive")
Donors are urged to give a unit of blood which can save up to three lives in our local hospitals. If you are 17 or older (no upper age limit) and in good health, you are probably eligible. To assure adequate staffing from the blood center in Farmington and to help with a smoother flow of donors, please call 869-8444 to make an appointment to donate. And, here's the secret to a "speedy" donation. . . make your appointment late morning or noontime, after the early morning 'rush' is over (we promise not to run out of food)!
If you can help staff the Drive and/or bring food, please call Julie Johnson (698-1710). There is also a sign-up in the Church office for volunteer help.
First Congregational Church Endowment Fund
The Trustees in coordination with the Asset Management Committee and the Planned Giving Committee have documented and implemented formal investment policy objectives and guidelines for the First Church Endowment Fund. This policy statement is intended to ensure that the Fund is managed prudently and consistently over time to meet the long term goals of the church and its contributors. If you have made or are considering making a gift to the First Congregational Church Endowment Fund you may be interested in reviewing this document. Copies are available in the church office or can be mailed to your home, if requested, through Donna White at the church office. Special thanks to Gary Klingner, past trustee and current member of the Asset Management Committee, who spearheaded the effort to establish this document.
The Trustees are pleased to report that as of Friday, September 16, 2005, the Young family has moved into their new residence at 81 Riverside Avenue. This is an exciting milestone for both the church and the Youngs.
The Trustees would like to recognize some of the key people who worked tirelessly on behalf of the congregation to make this happen.
Sincere thanks to David and Michelle who exhibited trust and patience throughout the process.
Special thanks to Ivey, Barnum, and O'Mara, lawyers, Michael Allen, Elaine Vlahakis, Tom Ward and Miles McDonald all of whom made significant contributions to this effort.
Finally, special thanks to the Trustee sub-committee of Bobbie Hopkins, Steve Sotzing, and Frosty Friedman who were charged with the responsibility of representing the church in the process of acquiring a home for the Youngs. All three worked for many months to plan our approach, address issues, clear obstacles, and accomplish this complex acquisition in a way that would be fair and beneficial to both parties.
If you have any questions or desire additional information, please contact any Trustee. Thank you again to everyone who supported this important effort.
Walk & Worship
Join us Tuesdays at Noon to nurture and nourish your body and soul. Meet Sue Asselin, Parish Nurse in room 203 for a brisk walk followed by a time of uplifting devotion and a healthful snack. You'll leave feeling relaxed and replenished. Rain or shine. RSVP's appreciated, ext 21.
Life Line Screening
Life Line Screening will be here on Tuesday, November 8, performing ultrasound screenings for carotid artery disease (risk of stroke), abdominal aneurysms, and peripheral arterial disease, as well as osteoporosis.
Life Line Screening has been saving lives through preventative health screenings since 1993, by making people aware of potentially serious conditions that are difficult to detect in routine check-ups. The screening focus is on people 40 years of age and over who are currently without symptoms for these conditions. Since the lack of symptoms makes it difficult for doctors to order these types of tests and have insurance pay for them, this is an opportunity for individuals to receive these screenings for a reasonable price.
These fast, painless, and non-invasive tests, using Doppler ultrasound technology, are conducted by experienced sonographers. A board certified physician reviews the results of each test. Individuals whose screenings suggest further evaluation are encouraged to seek appropriate follow-up care with their own physician.
The screenings allow problems to be detected early and addressed before they become more serious. Each individual screening takes about 10 minutes. The cost for each vascular test is $45. The cost of the osteoporosis screening is $35. Discount packages are as follows: All 3 vascular tests for $109, All 4 tests for $129. Call 1-800-324-1851 to schedule an appointment.
The Wellness Committee will present an information session at Second Hour on Sunday October 9, at 11:15 am in the Auditorium. Bonnie Loglisci, Health Service Coordinator for Life Line Screenings will review the particulars and answer questions. For more information, call the above number, or contact Sue Asselin, Parish Nurse, ext. 21.
New - "After Hours Quilters"
To accommodate you working girls and moms of little kids we have started a new branch of the Kettle Quilters. Currently we are working on a tulip appliqué quilt for the 2008! Women's Fellowship raffle. There is also quilting to be done on the 2007 Irish Chain quilt.
Prerequisite to join: You must be able to thread a needle.
Room 203, 7- 8:30 pm October Dates: Monday Oct 3, Oct. 17, Oct 24
If you plan to come let us know: Betsy Kreuter 637-3016; Hilary Lawrence 637-1214
Thirteenth Annual Organ
Wednesday, October 5, at 8 pm
Sunday, October 16, at 4 pm
Wednesday, October 26, at 8 pm
Three fascinating programs, as different as the people performing them, will make up our 2005 Organ Oktoberfest. The series begins with Heiner Grasst, familiar to this audience as he has performed frequently throughout the history of our festival. Highlights of his program include Franz Liszt's monumental "Fantasy and Fugue on 'Ad nos, ad salutarem undam'" (Mark gave us a preview of a portion of this piece as his September 18 prelude) and J. S. Bach's beloved "Fantasy and Fugue in G Minor." Also by Bach is the familiar chorale "Wachet auf." Known as an interpreter of early organ music, Mr. Grasst always brings a surprise, pre-Bach hit, this year a prelude by Georg Leyding, and he likes to close with lighter fare, this year a toccata by 20th century Soviet composer Georgi Muschel.
At this writing Mark Swicegood's program is still evolving. Sure to be included are Pierre Cochereau's "Variations on Adeste Fideles" (O Come, All Ye Faithful), Edwin H. Lamare's transcription of the "March from Tannhäuser" by Richard Wagner, and the "Introduction, Passacaglia and Fugue" by 20th century Canadian composer Healey Willan.
John Stansell will play a program of music by composers he knows or knew, interspersed with comments about his connection to each. Selections by Paul Ramsier and Daniel Pinkham were actually composed for John. A centerpiece on the program will be "Autumn Cadences" by the late Donald Joyce, a piece in the "minimal music" style (think Phillip Glass). John will be joined in this piece by Cindy Bernier and two other members of Bernier Dance, a Norwalk-based professional company. Two movements from "Five Dances for Organ" by Calvin Hampton, "Sweet Sixteenths," by William Albright in ragtime style, and a piano/organ duet with Mark Swicegood by jazz pianist and composer Joe Utterback will be on the program, as well as one of our own Constance Walton's organ preludes.
The recitals are free, though we do ask for a ten-dollar donation from those able to contribute. Each program is followed by refreshments in the Lounge and an opportunity to greet the performer(s).
First Congregational Church Flu Vaccine Program
It's that time of year again, to consider getting the influenza vaccine in order to protect ourselves and our loved ones during the upcoming flu season. While for some of us the flu is uncomfortable and inconvenient, for others it can be life-threatening. Let's address some common questions:
# 1 question I receive: Will we have a flu shot clinic here at First Congregational Church this year?
The Wellness Committee and I are doing our best to provide the vaccine here at church this fall. The manufacturer that was shut down last year (which supplied approximately 50% of the US's vaccine supply), regained approval to produce, but was delayed, and is therefore estimating a decrease in total production.
WHY get vaccinated?
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) offers these facts to encourage us to be immunized: Each year the flu causes 36,000 deaths in the United States, primarily in people age 65 or older. Influenza hospitalizes 114,000 people in the United States annually, half being under 2 years old, and half being over 65 years old. If you fall somewhere in the middle of these age groups, consider getting immunized to protect others that you come in contact with.
WHAT is the vaccine?
There are 2 types of influenza vaccine, an injectable "flu shot" and a nasal-spray vaccine. The flu shot is the most common form and is approved for most people over 6 months old. The nasal-spray vaccine is approved for a much more limited population.
WHO should get vaccinated?
Anyone who wants to prevent getting ill from the flu should get vaccinated, but it is especially important for these people to get immunized:
• Adults aged 50 and over
Very few people should not get the flu vaccine, provided supply is adequate. Speak to your doctor if you have had an allergic reaction to eggs or to a previous influenza vaccine, or if you have a history of Guillain-Barre Syndrome. If you have a fever, postpone your immunization until you are well. If there is a shortage, as there was last year, then prioritizing would take place, ensuring that people in the above categories received vaccines before others.
WHEN should I get vaccinated?
Flu season runs from November to March, peaking sometime between late December and early March. After vaccination, it takes about 2 weeks to develop immunity to the flu. The optimal time to get vaccinated is in October and November, but it is still beneficial anytime during the flu season.
WHERE should I get vaccinated?
If you are a Medicare recipient, the flu shot is offered at no charge to you, at the Town of Greenwich Senior Health Fair on Tuesday, October 18 at the Harding Road Civic Center. Your doctor's office can also bill Medicare for the vaccination. (We are not able to bill Medicare.) Pregnant women, and young people under the age of 18 should see their private physicians. Here at First Congregational Church, we will offer the vaccine to people at least 18 years of age, for an estimated fee of $20.
Anticipated Flu Vaccine Clinics
Senior Sexton Position Open
We are in need of a senior sexton. If you know
of anyone who would be interested in this position, please call me at the church
office (extension #29). We need someone who has mechanical repair ability, a
strong work ethic, ability to handle the physical demands of the job, and a
positive, outgoing personality. This is a full-time job and requires working on
alternate weekends. I can provide further details, including job description and
compensation, to any interested party.
Typing Volunteers Needed
With September coming up and the church coming back to a full church schedule, we are looking for some volunteers who will help with typing the sermons. We can set you up on a computer here, or if you like you can take hand written manuscripts home and use your own computer (compatible with Word).
If you have any interest, please contact Donna White at ext. 14 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org .
The Members of The First Congregational Church of Greenwich, Ministers
David D. Young, Senior Pastor
Sunday Services of Worship - 8 &