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Judea eNews for April 26 - More Sabbath

Judea eNews for April 26 - More Sabbath

Dear Friends,

     Are you a newcomer among us?  Or maybe you have been here a while and want to learn more about how we govern or about our spiritual life here at First Church, and/or about becoming a member?  If so, then join Pastor Cheryl and members of our council and deacons for lunch after worship this Sunday, April 29 or on May 6.  Read the announcement on the right for the particulars.

     People in church last Sunday were again asked to come up with a response to a question, write it down and then offer it up for Sabbath. This time, however, the beneficiary of the Sabbath commitment was the Earth.  Our environment.  A big takeaway is the message that our environment needs a Sabbath rest from all of the burdens humans have placed on it over the years.  We were all asked to come up with something that we could do to help.  How can we Reduce, Reuse, or Recycle more?  I have compiled the actions that the people shared in the hope that other people in this congregation may inspire YOU to pitch in.  If you are already doing things with the aim of reducing your garbage footprint, consider expanding your focus.  Pick something else and start doing it now.  Or think of something that isn't on this list but be sure to share it with us!


  • #pointless packaging (become more aware)
  • Use less plastic
  • Bring re-usable bags to all stores and USE them (6 people)
  • Mention to store employees why I do not want that plastic bag
  • Use my bike basket
  • Use re-usable produce bags (2 people)
  • Do not purchase plastic water bottles at all (or reduce consumption) (3 people)
  • Find more info on degradable eating utensils and plates; Find the cost and use those instead
  • Eliminate the use of disposable utensils and plates.
  • Use re-usable and biodegradable stuff at work – can I change my co-workers and boss’ mind?
  • Get cloths for clean-up instead of paper towels
  • No plastic coffee containers [first 21 days], next no straws
  • Buy in bulk
  • Grow a [bigger] garden
  • Conserve water.  Water the flowers after I rinse lettuce.
  • Buy a “soda” machine to make my own seltzer H20
  • Drive less often
  • Print less


  • Recycle
  • Garbage – sort recyclables better
  • Recycle plastic flower pots and baskets
  • Stop to pick up garbage on the side of the road


  • Stainless steel (re-usable) straws
  • Buy whatever I can find in re-usable (now use plastic) containers
  • Buy good spray bottles [to refill with purchased or homemade cleaners]

Let us know if you have anything to add, any questions, or if you found this list helpful. 

     And if you want to learn more about renewable energy in our state, on Sunday, April 29 in the afternoon, the Gunn Library is hosting a speaker on the topic of renewable energy and the current energy strategy in Connecticut.  Reservations are required to assure your seat. See the announcement in the side bar or on our home page for more information.

For more on the personal benefits of Sabbath, come recharge with us this Sunday!

Karen Esslinger
First Congregational Church | admin@firstchurchwashingtonct.org | www.FirstChurchWashingtonCT.org | Calendar


Newcomers Lunches, Sunday, April 29 and May 6

The Church Council and Deacons, along with Pastor Cheryl, would like to invite anyone new to our church, or interested in joining, to a Newcomers Lunch immediately following worship on Sunday, April 29 or May 6.  Members of the Church Council and Deacons will be on hand for discussion/ Q&A on matters of governance and spiritual life of the church. 

Whether you have been attending for a while, already know this church is your church, or have only attended a few times and are unsure and have questions, this event is for you!  

Please join us for good food and good conversation, we would love to have you!    RSVP to Pastor Cheryl

Coffee Hour Host needed for May 27

We are in need of a host or co-hosts for May 27 (Memorial Day).

Effective this Sunday, we are introducing our new "Keep it Simple (Green)" Coffee Hour!

Our Deacons have out their heads together and come up with a simplified format so it will be easier for more people to volunteer host. 

A few simple items: 

  • Dip and chips (salsa or hummus, etc. and any kind of chip)
  • Fruit or veggies
  • Finger desserts
  • Cheese and crackers
  • Half and Half (for coffee/tea)

Instructions for making the coffee are on the back of the cabinet door where the coffee and tea are stored. 20 cups is usually enough.

And to keep it green:

  • Please use the ceramic mugs (top shelf) in the coffee cabinet so we can eliminate the need for the disposable hot cups — Please use the spoons and plates in the drawers and cabinets near the counter. Use the small dishwasher to clean them but don’t run it unless it is full.
  • Put the Britta water pitcher on the coffee/tea table with a few (glass) water glasses.

Please sign up on the list in the church hall on the bulletin board, or by emailing the church office.  If you’ve never done it, but want to, ask a Deacon of the Month for some help.

Food Bank - Please Contribute this Week

Eating does not have a season. Won’t you please pick up a few extra items for the cart so that those who need it can have some nutritious food or personal care items they might not be able to buy this month.  Remember, the money starts running thin towards the end of the month – before it finally runs out in that last week, or before.  Donations are especially needed NOW.  A list of items is available in the cart or online.

Our donations are currently being directed to the New Milford Food Bank.
Jean's most recent check-in with the Food Bank director indicates that CANNED SOUPS
are still currently the item in need.

Bring your donations to church on Sunday or they may be placed in the Parish House shopping cart any time the building is open (Monday through Friday, 9-5 pm, and Sunday mornings)
Soldier Boxes - Donations needed by FRIDAY

"The Town Hall Gang" sends two boxes to military personnel stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan every week.  One box is for personal care items and the other is for food items.  They send to a variety of troops - some with connection to people in Washington and others are total strangers.

Note: Remember that we cannot send aerosol cans so shaving cream must be in tubes.

Our Marine for Friday April 27, 2018

Cpl Jeremiah Garcia
Attn: Any Marine®
APO AE 09354
Marine's Title: Radio operator
Added here: 22 April 2018
Expected to leave Afghanistan: 16 Oct 2018
Contact for approx number of Males: 19, Females: 0
Unit is from: Florida
22 Apr 2018:
We have no females on our team. We are a team from 2D anglico jait requesting snacks, hygiene items, clothing items and tons of motivation! Some patches would be nice and protien bars or powder would be appreciated!


The team normally packs for shipment on Friday evenings upstairs in Town Hall. 

Items can be dropped off weekdays at the Town Hall in Bryant Plaza. Please place items in the upstairs room next to kitchen. 

Click here for lists of items:   General items collected every week - On-going

Contact Denise Arturi if you have any questions about the program or items in

found on a weblist of troops requesting supplies. Also, for shipping purposes, any canned food should be small.

For more information, contact Denise Arturi:  860-868-2880

Healing Prayer/ Intention Group Meets on Wed, May 16

WHAT:  Practice Group based on the book:   “The Power of 8, Harnessing the Miraculous Energies of a Small Group to Heal Others, Your Life, and the World” by Lynne McTaggart, (author of “The Intention Experiment”)

WHEN:  3rd Wednesday of each month, beginning March 21 and through August 18

A new adult group is forming to help you improve and expand your prayer practice and join the power of your prayers with others for greater impact.

Discover how to tap into your extraordinary human capacity for connection and healing, using astonishing new findings about the miraculous power of group intention, or prayer, and its boomerang effect.   In The Power of Eight, Lynne reveals her remarkable findings from ten years of experimenting with small and large groups about how group intention/ prayer can heal our lives – and change the world for the better.

No prior experience is necessary!  Pastor Cheryl will teach the processes/ exercises that are described in the book.  However, participants might find it helpful to read the book as it will give you some background information on the practice and its effectiveness. 

Consider joining us to explore a way of making positive change.  Contact Pastor Cheryl to register your interest, letting us know what days and times are best for you.   868-0569, ext 11

Environmental Speaker on Renewable Energy in CT - Sun, Apr 29 - 1 pm

The John Millington Community Conversation Series Presents

Chapter Chair of the State of Connecticut Chapter of the Sierra Club

Ms. Klein will discuss Energy Strategy for the State of Connecticut, The Need to Transition to Renewable Energy, and Legislative Opportunities in our State.

Sunday, April 29, 2018 at 1:00 pm
Gunn Memorial Library, Washington Green

Registration is requested. Please contact Kevin Comer at 917-613-9883
or email kevin@hedgelawnfarm.com

Free and open to the public. Light Refreshments.



Compassionate Communication Practice Group - May 9 @ 6:30 pm

Are you interested in becoming a more compassionate person?
Improving your relationships with self and others?

Join our Compassionate Communication practice group, based on the work of Marshall Rosenberg, who initially shared it as “Non-Violent Communication”.  The group meets once a month and members of the group are encouraged to practice in between.  Our next gathering is on Wednesday, May 9 at 6:30 pm.   Optional pot luck supper at 5:45 pm.  Check in with us if you are interested in attending.

Click here for more information and downloadable resources, reference information and videos.

The group's regular meeting day is the first Wednesday of each Month.  The time is 6:30 pm with pot luck supper at 5:45.

Support Groups Begin May 7 and 8

Find solace, compassion, empathy and laughter in a welcoming community.

New Beginnings of Northwest CT is now taking reservations for its next series of support groups.  

Single Life Discussion Group begins Monday evening, May 7 from 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM.  It runs for ten weeks and is held in the parish house of the First Congregational Church at 6 Kirby Road on the Green in Washington. 

Divorce Support Group begins Tuesday evening, May 8 from 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM.  It runs for ten weeks and is also held in the parish house of the First Congregational Church at 6 Kirby Road on the Green in Washington. 

For more information, on these groups, click here or call one of the numbers listed below.

Each support group is led by experienced lay facilitators.  Pre-registration is required.  For further information on this group or subsequent groups please call the Church Office of The First Congregational Church in Washington at 860-868-0569 or call Barb at 203-266-4706.

For regular reminders on this and other upcoming activities and events, subscribe to them in our online calendar.

SingOut!CT Spring Show - May 13

Come out for a wonderful Mothers' Day celebration!

Please join us for this joyful FREE concert to usher in the beauty of spring.

Click HERE to enlarge image.

Judea Garden Volunteer Opportunities

Welcome to the 2018 gardening season!

Volunteers are the backbone of Judea Garden. Without them, the Garden would not be able to provide fresh produce to those in need.

There are so many ways to help, whether in the Garden itself, helping with distribution or doing supportive work that keeps the Judea Garden project going. There’s a place for every volunteer to use their skills or develop new ones.

Our church sponsors the broccoli crop and is coordinated by Judie Gorra.  If you wish to give her a hand in any way and any amount of time, please contact her today!

Go to http://www.steeprockassoc.org/judea-garden/judea-garden-volunteers/ for a list of opportunities.  Or you may contact Judie Gorra (860.868.7852), by email. or Denise Arturi (Denise.Arturi@steeprockassoc.org).

Silver Lake Registration Time is Here Again!

Conference registration is open and brochures with all camp conferences listed are on the literature table in the Meeting House!  Those who have attended in the past have probably received their brochures already.  If you are new to Silver Lake and will be going into 4th and up, you are elible to attend. 

Conferences include:

  • Circle of Friends (Pastor Cheryl and Cara Michalski, leaders)
  • Bon Voyage and Happy Trails  (Karen & Scott Brady, leaders)
  • Family Camp
  • Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get
  • My Loved One and Me
  • Silver Lake Sings
  • Branching Out
  • With Great Power
  • Around the World
  • Leave No Trace
  • Connect 24
  • God Song
  • My So-Called Life
  • Fun in the Sun
  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
  • Silver Lake's Funniest Videos

Silver Lake Conference Center, 223 Low Rd., Sharon

Registration: http://www.silverlakect.org/register

Learn more about Silver Lake’s tiered pricing in this video: Juggling... The New Silver Lake Cost Options


Give to the Jack Jewett Fund for Silver Lake Scholarships

Silver Lake Registration Time is Here Again!  Please help our kids who cannot afford to grow at camp for a week this summer by contributing to our Jack Jewett Fund.  Each year, this fund helps to offset some of the cost for our kids to continue to experience God in our world through lively and engaging programs, amazing social opportunities as well as spiritual growth.

You may send your check to First Congregational Church, attn: Jack Jewett Fund, PO Box 1285, Washington, CT 06795.  Or place a check in the Sunday offering with "Jack Jewett Fund" in the memo line.

To hear more about it, visit the Silver Lake website for information and an overview video on the home page. 

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