The First Congregational Church of Greenwich
Celebrating Life and Journeying in Joy!
May, at First Congregational Church is the month for celebrating. Across all the Sundays of this month, we look forward to celebrating the fullness of our life as a congregation from our youngest members in the Church School all the way through to our 50 years-plus members on Heritage Sunday. We hope you can be with us for worship and fellowship as we offer our thanksgiving for God's many blessings across this year.
May 7 Church School Recognition Sunday - Join us as we recognize the growth our children have made this year and take time to thank all those who taught and encouraged them. Jesus said "Whoever does not receive the realm of God like a little child, shall not enter into it." In this Jesus recognized the simple and forthright nature of our children's faith. From this perspective, our children have been teachers as well. Their questions, observations, and their sense of wonder have been the secret ingredients that have made the Church School all it has been this year. We hope you can be with us to celebrate all their accomplishments.
May 14 Confirmation Sunday - This Sunday our confirmands share their Statements of Faith and are confirmed. Much fun, discussion, and serious searching have taken place to bring them to this point. Our young people bring with them a broad range of experience with First Church as they prepare to become adult members. They have much to bring to our life together. We hope you can be on hand to welcome them into the church.
May 21 Music Sunday - Come and hear the joyful noise of all our choirs and make some of your own joyful music as well. Through introits and anthems, hymns and our instrumentalists, we will praise God and worship through the beauty of music. Music Sunday is both an experience and longtime tradition here at First Church where "in our music God is glorified". Our Cherubs, Children, Youth and our Chancel Choirs look forward to sharing their gifts and leading us in worship.
May 28 Heritage Sunday - On this Sunday we look forward to honoring our 50 Year Members, as well as those entering their 25th year of membership. History and tradition will run rampant. But in the midst of our honoring long lives of faith, we also look forward to celebrating the Sacrament of Baptism as we welcome two of the newest members of First Church.
Each day is a day that our Lord has made for us. Let us rejoice and be glad!
The Lenten Project
Helping the Neediest in Our Community and
in Our Nation
The 2006 Lenten Project directly addresses the basic human needs of food and shelter, both in our local community and in rural Hancock County, Maine, one of the poorest counties in the United States.
Thanks to you, we MORE THAN made it! Surpassing our Goal of $50,000
Many thanks go to all who traveled, worked, spoke, and held our friends in need in their prayers and in their giving. Now we look forward to sharing the good news with them, and watching as our gifts are put to good use.
This is a season of promise and of deep joy! For us as people of faith, and now for our neighbors in need! THANK YOU!
36th Annual Quilt Raffle
We are pleased to announce that the 36th Annual Quilt Raffle will be held during our Spring Luncheon on May 24, 2006 at approximately 12:00 pm. The Kettle Quilters of First Church have created a lovely queen size quilt in a "Dresden Plate" pattern combining many pastel colored calicoes on an off-white background. The quilt will be on display at the Rummage Room during the week of May 8 as well as at the Coffee Hours on May 14 and May 21.
Tickets are $2.50 each and are available at the Rummage Room and the church office. They will also be available at the Coffee Hours on May 14th and 21st and before the drawing on the day of the luncheon.
All proceeds from this raffle will help assist many local, national and international organizations. The Women's Fellowship greatly appreciates your continued support.
Buy a ticket today!
Any questions, please contact Susan Tedford (637-8251) or Lori White (637-5251).
Music Sunday is May 21
"The Dance of Music and Movement" will be the theme of Music Sunday 2006 on May 21, the third in our May cycle of festivals services. The Children's Choir will sing a Spanish song, "When the Spirit of the Lord Moves in My Soul," and when the music starts to dance, for certain your spirit but perhaps also your body will start to move. Psalm 150 calls on us to employ all our resources to praise the Lord and the combined forces of our Chancel and Youth Choirs in a setting of that text will deliver the message loud and clear. The Youth Choir will also perform an upbeat setting of "Make a Joyful Noise unto the Lord." The Cherub Choir, newly under the direction of Stephanie Hanbury-Brown, will add their praises with an Israeli beat. The Chancel Choir will also present a lively, bossa-nova-inspired Alleluia. Of course The Palmer Handbells will be in "full swing" with their offering, "Danza."
The sermon on the theme of the day will be a dialogue between David Young and John Stansell and after the service, we will enjoy our traditional strawberries and croissants on the lawn and watch as the Maypole Dancers go through their paces. All in all it promises to be a glorious morning of melody, rhythm and movement. Don't miss it!
Senior Pilgrim Fellowship 20th H.O.M.E. Trip
The Senior Pilgrim Fellowship had a successful trip to the H.O.M.E. Co-op during the public school's Spring Break. Our group of 16 spent a majority of its work time learning and practicing building skills on a home to be sold at cost to low-income families in the area. Volunteer groups like ours are what make such high-quality homes available to folks who don't have the resources to afford a home otherwise.
In addition, we attended the fantastic H.O.M.E. Annual Meeting where we learned more about how H.O.M.E. operates, and just how many lives it touches. The Directors Lucy Poulin and Marie Ahern recognized Brad Craig for his longstanding commitment of 20 years to H.O.M.E. in a touching presentation. Our group worked and played hard, and as Jim, the retired Construction Manager reminded us so eloquently, "Are you on vacation? No! You're working hard. And what you and your parents are sacrificing now will be paid back to you two-fold by God."
Thanks to everyone for their support!
First Church Preschool is Celebrating Fifty Years!
The First Church Preschool is celebrating it's fiftieth year of educating young children. We are thrilled to share this milestone with current families, past families, church members and the community. Please join us Wednesday, May 17 from 11:00 am until 1:00 pm. The First Church Parent association will be planting a tree near the playground to commemorate the occasion and the preschool board invite you come visit the classrooms and have some ice cream. It is an exciting, wonderful time and we hope many of you will be able to join us.
A Message from Sue Asselin, Parish Nurse
May Parish Nurse Hours:
This month the Wellness Committee is looking forward to our Women's Fellowship Spring Brunch. As the Women's Fellowship has taken up the focus on health, we look forward to being present for the different worships on exercise, parenting, and living in a fashion that addresses preventative health measures In addition, we are very excited about our community's plans to address the issues of Older Americans and taking part in their programs which will focus on independence, dignity, and choice.
May is a month that also calls us to go
outdoors into our parks and gardens, and to the beauty that surrounds us and
lifts our spirits. As we celebrate the fullness of our lives through our worship
services this month, we hope everyone will take time to care for themselves.
Jesus taught that we should "Love our neighbors as ourselves." (Matthew 19:19).
My hope is that we may all not only realize the permission, but the importance
of self-care this month as we find our ways through our busy calendars.
Sunday, May 14 is Time for Confirmation!
Last fall our Confirmation Class began the year-long process of preparing for the exciting events of this month. Their time has been filled with teaching and learning, questioning and exploring. Statements of Faith have been labored over, and the results are impressive. We hope you will be on hand to hear our young people as they share their beliefs during worship on the 14. Afterward, at our Celebration Coffee Hour, join us in welcoming them into First Church as our newest members.
Don't forget at 7 pm that day SPF challenges the Confirmands to a wet and wild game of Capture the Flag in Binney Park followed by an ice cream social.
SPF vs. the 2006 Confirmation Class:
Confirmation Sunday May 14th - A Water-war Capture the Flag Match-up (start
getting your water balloon and water gun arsenal now!) followed by an Ice-Cream
The Wellness Committee greatly appreciates Greenwich Emergency Medical Services (GEMS) for their help with CPR/defibrillator training. In March and April, 25 churchgoers were CPR certified, at a greatly reduced rate, thanks to GEMS. We also gratefully acknowledge the volunteers who took the training course.
Women's Fellowship Brunch
You and Your Family's Health; the Truths and the Myths: Learn the top 10 things that you Can Do To Keep You and Your Family Healthy, Happy and Safe
Smart Exercise: Anne Harris, a certified yoga instructor, Reike Master and Holistic Health Counselor, will speak on the benefits of yoga and a holistic approach to one's health. Learn the benefits of living a life that nourishes both the body and soul.
Smart Parenting: Dr. Katherine Noble,
pediatrician at The Pediatric Center in Stamford and previously at Children's
Hospital Boston, will speak on the most important issues in raising healthy and
happy children. Learn how to encourage healthy habits in your home and find out
ways to keep your children healthy.
Please join us in the First Congregational Church auditorium on Wednesday, May 24 from 10 am to 12 pm for brunch and fellowship as you learn about healthy living for you and your family. Sign up sheets are located in the church main office, Sunday school, and church auditorium; ten dollars per person is appreciated.
A Letter On Behalf of Our Children
Dear Friends of our Children,
I am writing to all of you who care about our children - to parents and grandparents, and to each of us who promise to support our children as they grow in faith - as we do at each baptism.
Encountering faith in a meaningful way - whether in the Church School or in our worship services in the Meetinghouse - is a priority for families that faces many challenges. Sunday morning time is no longer "Sabbath time" as it was in the past, when life seemed to be put on hold on Sundays, and that day, at least for us in the Christian tradition, became time for church and family. Today, families have many priorities to meet on Sundays, not the least being finding time to raise their children in faith.
In addition, with the increasing attention being paid to the concept of the separation of church and state, Christian values are not included in the school setting. For this reason, the provision of educational and faith experiences falls to the church and a family's personal expression of their faith at home.
What I'm trying to say is that what we do on Sunday mornings matters. To raise our children in faith and to support our families, is no small feat. It takes a real commitment of time, energy and care. I am astounded that with one moment of concern in early April, already thirty parents and young people have responded to be teachers…but we are not finished yet. We hope you can help. There is much flexibility in our teaching schedule, but at the same time, we cannot underestimate the importance your presence makes.
We are a church that loves our children. Let's put that love into action! Consider being a teacher next year!
Church School Teaching Teams 2006 - 2007
CHURCH SCHOOL CELEBRATES “RECOGNITION SUNDAY” - MAY 7, 2006
“Measuring the Marks of Faith” is this year’s theme for Recognition Sunday, the day when we celebrate the end of another year and the wonderful teachers who have made Church School possible and important for our children. Traditionally each class has an important role to play in the service, usually something that reflects their grade level emphasis for the year. For example, 1st grade is the year we make a special effort to teach the Lord’s Prayer so our 1st graders can lead the congregation for that part of worship.
There will be a representation of what our children have learned this year in art and words as they reflect on how their faith has grown through their experiences in church school and other church activities. The third graders will receive their Bibles and they will be celebrated with a “personalized” cake during coffee hour. Our eighth graders will “graduate” and be invited to join the Confirmation Class of 2007.
Another traditional highlight of this day is the “budding” of the flower cross where everyone takes part putting blooms on the Flower Cross assisted by our 6th graders who also lead the procession into worship with the cross. Our teachers will also take the opportunity to close the service with the Benediction Response sending our children on their way at the close of the service.
Recognition Sunday is a day of celebration for our church family. But you should also know that Church School meets once more on Sunday May 14. This is a special Sunday where classes more personally remember their year, worship together, say farewell, and are sent forth in special ways.
Looking ahead, Summer Church School begins on June 11. More details to follow – just think creation and the arts!
All in all, Recognition Sunday is always a wonderful beginning of our May month of festival Sundays. Our children hope you can be with them.
The Members of The First Congregational Church of Greenwich, Ministers
David D. Young, Senior Pastor
Sunday Service of Worship - 10