The First Congregational Church of Greenwich
''We become what we know. We are that which we
deeply contemplate.'' -
With the turning of summer and these beautiful days, we now face an exciting church year ahead!
Images and symbols are an important part of who we are and who we can become. For Christ, the cross shaped his identity so much for his followers that even though we do not know what he looked like, we do know in a very deep sense who and whose he was and is.
And so as we kick off the fall we will begin a Sermon Series entitled: ''Images and Identity for the People of God''. It is my hope that, as we explore several different images, our identities as Christians will be prompted toward a deeper level of faithfulness. The schedule for the next five weeks can be found in the next column.
Sunday, September 10th is Homecoming Sunday and it holds great promise as we begin a new church year together! Plan to start your fall season with a lift to your spirit by joining with your church family for worship - either in the warmth of Christian community in the sanctuary (which will be air conditioned if it's too warm) or by tuning in the radio broadcast. And then plan to stay for the Homecoming picnic and festivities. The children begin their classes, opportunities for involvement abound, and God is calling us toward a growing identity and a wonderful future! With Excitement
FUN, FOOD, FELLOWSHIP
The First Church Grillers will be cookin’
Anyone can enter the Pie Baking Contest!
Ministry to Children and
''Finding God's Stories In Our Stories'' is the theme for our Church School program this year. God's stories can be found not only in the Bible but in the lives we live everyday. Their truth and their guidance are something we need - and our world needs. As we teach our children about God and living faithfully, we hope they will feel God's love in their everyday lives. As adults who promise at every baptism in the Meetinghouse to support our children as they grow in faith, we need to help our children learn the important lessons of our faith by our own actions and values.
We are so fortunate to have 79 committed volunteers to teach our children. This includes 56 teachers returning from last year, 8 returning from previous years, and 15 new this year. Of the 79, 25 are high school students, 21 returning from last year, and 4 new this year. In addition to these individuals, we have both adults and high school students who will substitute. Would you like to be part of this lively and important ministry? If so, call Susie or Rosemary for details.
Each year we incorporate new initiatives in the Church School to hold the interest of our children and to help them learn to live faithfully. The highlights of this year are:
So, either register for Church School on Homecoming Sunday, or better yet, mail in or drop off your family registration at the Church Office.
SEE YOU ON SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 10!
Note: The ''Ministry to Children and Families'' 2006-2007 handbook was mailed in August. Please call or stop by if you did not receive one. It is filled with many details about our programs this year for children from infants through 8th grade, as well as introductory information on our programs for High School students. If you know other families who would like to know about our Church School program, please call the Church Office and we will send the handbook to them
First Church is embarking on an exciting and informative series of Adult Education offerings this Fall. Our mission is to enrich and expand our individual faith journeys, while offering varied opportunities and formats for Christian growth and fellowship. The following is a brief description of what is planned:
Hats Off South - Heads North September 25-29
This fall Hats Off will be venturing north in response to an invitation from our friends in Windham, Maine (Hats Off North). There, in the Portland area, we hope to visit with our sisters in faith, consider the life stories of Maine women, and our own life stories as women today in the New York and Maine areas. There will be much we will find in common, and much we can learn from one another, about the realities that face women today, and also about who we are in the year 2006 as women of faith.
Our discussions will stem from a reading in common of the book More than Petticoats, Remarkable Maine Women, by Kate Kennedy. Those interested in making the trip should be in touch with Susie Craig by September 5th. More details will be forthcoming as we know our numbers and the availability of drivers.
Sign-ups are being taken in the Church Office. Books are available there for a cost of $9.00. Checks can be made out to First Congregational Church, marked for Hats Off in the corner and left in Kirk Young's box.
We hope you can join us for this time when we can explore our faith and enjoy a time of fellowship and camaraderie!!
We extend our congratulations for the following baptism and wedding held during August:
We offer condolences to the families of those who have died recently in our church family:
A message from the Rummage Room
It seems like every year the summer gets
shorter. It’s almost time to think about fall. The Rummage Room reopened its
doors on Monday the 28th of August. Many thanks to all our wonderful volunteers
who helped us out throughout the year and a special thanks to those who helped
us get ready for opening day: Lee Baer, Jo Beers, Mary Blackwell, Betty Bonsal,
Sue Harmon, Rob Harmon, Ann Nemetz, Barbara Norrgard, Erna Olsen, Tim Palmer,
Sharon Paris, Gloria Salerno, Winnie Shortman, and anyone we regretfully
omitted. A special thank you again to our two heroes, Jack Sweger and Benny
Menegon, who installed another beautiful rack in the children’s corner. Perfect
job as always! We hope everyone had a great summer and don’t forget to stop by.
See you soon.
From the Parish Nurse......Opportunities Abound by Sue Asselin, RN
Are you a health nut? That is, are you interested in promoting the physical and spiritual health of yourself and others? Then you may be perfect to sit on the Wellness Committee. The mission of the Wellness Committee is to promote the health and well-being of the First Congregational Church parishioners and the surrounding community. The committee acts as an advisory board to the Parish Nurse, meeting approximately every other month. Members offer ideas and insights, and assist with promotion and implementation of Wellness programs such as educational events, screening events, and safety initiatives. Some members have a medical background, and assist with taking blood pressures on the Sundays when the Parish Nurse is not available. We're excited about our plans for the new program year, full of healthy traditions and caring initiatives. Please contact your Parish Nurse at extension 21 if you can help. We're always looking for a few more ''nuts''.
Get Ready. September is National Preparedness Month and the Greenwich Chapter of the American Red Cross is offering many programs to ready us for emergencies. Check out the Wellness Committee bulletin board (outside the lounge) for details. The web site www.ready.gov has information on how to prepare your family for a disaster.
Do you know someone alone? As we enter hurricane season, thoughts turn to the many members and friends of FCCOG that may live alone and need some special attention during a disaster. As they were in the recent heat wave, homebound people are the most vulnerable. The staff has been compiling a list of individuals we would like to check on during any wide-spread crisis. If you know (or you are) someone who would benefit from a concerned caller, please share this with one of the clergy or your parish nurse.
Can you help a Friend? Sometimes it's a ride to church or a doctor visit. Other times it's a friendly call, an errand or a meal. We're updating our records of Friends Helping Friends, the practical help ministry. If you'd like to offer your assistance, let your parish nurse know.
Soup (or Casserole) for the Soul… Yet another chance to help one another. We need individuals or whole committees that can spare a couple of hours to cook in bulk. The packaged meals would then be delivered by clergy or Friends Helping Friends volunteers.
With all these opportunities, the question is not whether, but how, to help. So remember, ''Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you a part of it.'' 1 Corinthians 12:27 Or, if Nike wrote bible verses: ''Just do your part.''
September Parish Nurse Hours:
THE CHERUB CHOIR is for children in kindergarten through second grade. Director Stephanie Hanbury-Brown began in this position last spring and has already demonstrated her ability to draw on a wide range of resources to engage the children in happy music making. Rehearsals are for 30 minutes immediately following Sunday Church School, beginning September 17. A complete schedule will be available on Homecoming Sunday.
THE CHILDREN'S CHOIR, under the direction of John Stansell, will begin rehearsals on Wednesday, September 13, at 5:00 pm in the Choir Room, followed at 6:00 by our pizza supper. The choir is for children in grades three through six. One can pre-register on Homecoming Sunday at Church School sign-up or simply come on the 13th. We have a good time and a good reputation! The children improve as singers and learn a lot about worship and the church. Do encourage your children to participate!
The Children's Choir will again participate this year in the Central Connecticut Choristers Guild Festival on Saturday, March 17, 2007, at a yet to be determined location.
The Chancel Choir Wants You!
The Chancel Choir is a friendly group that knows the joys of making music together and of serving the church. Choristers often comment that they leave rehearsal feeling invigorated and spiritually uplifted. Some read music very well, others less so, many have only average voices, but everyone learns his/her part and the result is often glorious!
Can't come every week? Few choir members can. But we work several weeks in advance. And only a large membership ensures that we have sufficient numbers each Sunday.
Rehearsals are Thursdays from 7:30 to 9:00 p.m. in the third floor Choir Room. (That's directly above the Lounge, if you've never been there.) We begin September 8.
Do come! We will welcome you! If you want to speak with John Stansell beforehand, don't hesitate to call him at the church, 637-1791, extension 22, Tuesday through Friday. (He says most people underestimate their own ability to sing.)
An Organfest to Delight and Dazzle
Whatever dreary reputation the organ might have, this year's Organ Oktoberfest, our 14th annual series, is guaranteed to destroy that image. See the box on the back page for the exciting line up of performers. You will especially want to come on Saturday, October 21, for the very entertaining Hector Olivera who will play our organ and his Roland Atelier, an ultra-synthesizer that he can play in real time or program to accompany him while he plays our pipe organ. It's an unbeatable show! Consider inviting friends for dinner beforehand, and join the patrons for a dessert reception after the concert. Watch for details.
A Letter to Parents of
The Youth Choir is one of the many blessings in my life, as I have heard it is for many of you. Since I began as its director in the fall of 2001, on an interim basis at first, I have developed a sincere affection and respect for these young people. But the reality of all school-age choirs is that there is a graduating class every year. I am asking for your help in encouraging your 7th to 12th graders, who enjoy music and singing, to participate in the choir so that we maintain, even strengthen this vital program, in spite of yearly attrition.
I don't need to tell you that scheduling is always difficult. Every year there are more games and practices scheduled for Sunday mornings and even out-of-town tournaments held on Easter weekend. We can work around these conflicts, but because of them, we need the largest possible group base so all parts are covered comfortably each week. (Of course it's best when choristers attend regularly.)
Please encourage your young person to join. Starting on Sunday, September 17, we will meet weekly from 11:20-12:20 following the service. The Choir sings for worship about once a month.
Remember that singing in the choir is a community service. It not only contributes to the life of the church, but is viewed favorably in applications for the National Honor Society and colleges.
I look forward to a bright future for the Youth Choir, full of good fellowship and inspiring music making. If you have any questions or if your child wants to give choir a try, please contact me at 357-9661. Thanks for your consideration.
First Church to Host 5th Anniversary 9/11 Observance
On Monday, September 11th, at 7:00 p.m. the entire Greenwich community is invited to Binney Park for a brief service of remembrance. This simple service will include candle lighting, readings, prayers and silence. In addition to remembering our loss, it will also carry a message of hope that all of God's children are special and all life is precious. In the event of inclement weather, the observance will be held in the church sanctuary
Food Pantry Needs
For September September 3rd is the first Sunday in September and the food barrel will be out again. Food donations slackened during the summer months. Consequently, we need to fill specific shortages to maximize the effectiveness of our contribution. The following items are most needed: juice, jam, fruit, cereal, and canned corn.
Begins its third year on Monday, September 25th at 7:30 PM in the Church Lounge. We have enjoyed two years of fellowship among the women of First Church and would love to welcome new people. If you would like the opportunity to get to know some of those women you see each Sunday, just drop in. No reservations are ever necessary. We will enjoy some snacks and catch up on the events of our lives as we toss around some ideas about what to explore in the coming year. If you would like to bring a snack or beverage, that would be lovely. If life after summer is already too crazy, just bring yourself and de-stress with us. Any questions, please call Debbie Lacivita at 698-0179 or e-mail at DBLTLC@yahoo.com . The e-mail list is at 32 and growing!
Office Help Needed
We are looking for substitute reception desk volunteers for the mornings (9:00 - 12:30) or afternoons (12:30 - 4:00). You would be contacted by one of the permanent volunteers to see if you could cover their shift. Some of the responsibilities are:
This is a great opportunity to get to know the staff and the inner workings of First Congregational Church.
On a slow day - bring your favorite book to read. If you are interested contact Donna White at ext 14 or firstname.lastname@example.org .
14th Annual Organ Oktoberfest Line-up
Reminder for the Beach Service: When the weather is unfavorable on Sunday morning a white paper is taped to the sign board in front of the church. This indicates that the service has been cancelled. If you would like to attend worship, please come later that morning to the Meetinghouse at 10:00 am. There will be no Beach Service September 10th.
The Members of The First Congregational Church of Greenwich, Ministers
David D. Young, Senior Pastor
Thomas L. Stiers and Sally Colegrove,Pastors Emeriti
Sunday Service of Worship - 8:00
AM Beach Service10 AM Church Service