February 2020  
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Judea eNews for Jan 24 - More blessing and letting go

Judea eNews for Jan 24 - More blessing and letting go

Dear friends,

     We are going to try this again.  Church was indeed held last Sunday for a small group of folks who braved the weather.  This weekend is not expected to be so...  so... wintery so we hope to see lots of you in the Meeting House on Sunday morning at 10.  The youth group will hold their annual Lock-In this Saturday into Sunday so don't be surprised if you see a contingent of bleary-eyed teens and equally tired Emelie and Mike in the pews on Sunday morning.  And pajamas should also not surprise you...  From what I hear, they have a very full event scheduled so YOU can rest assured that they will be tired from having so much fun! 

     The two events that were planned for last weekend, Mary's special cello recital to honor Pastor Cheryl and the Green Team's Conversation Cafe, will be held now on February 2 and 3, respectively.  See the announcements in the side bar.  We hope you can attend them both!  

     Loaves & Fishes meal service is coming up very quickly!  As of now, we still need a salad to serve 10-12 and a dozen sandwiches.  If you can help out with either of those, please click through to our online sign-up form and make your selection.

     Finally, our annual Neighbors in Need offering will be taken this Sunday and envelopes will be available on the table in the back of the Sanctuary.  Donations to this fund help to provide small grants to churches and non-profits for justice issues.  Whatever amount you can donate, you can be sure that it will be directed to programs working for justice in this country and globally.  The announcement on the right has more information about this very important annual offering.

I hope to see you in church!

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



Neighbors in Need (NIN) Offering to be taken on Jan 27

The Neighbors in Need offering, which we will receive on January 27, supports the United Church of Christ (UCC) ministries of justice and compassion throughout the United States. 

Two-thirds of the offering is used by the UCC’s Justice and Witness Ministries to fund a wide array of local and national justice initiatives, advocacy efforts, and direct service projects.  Through UCC.org/justice, our national Justice and Witness ministries office offers resources, news updates, and action alerts on a broad spectrum of justice issues.  Working with members of the UCC Justice and Peace Action Network (a network of thousands of UCC justice and peace advocates), Justice and Witness continues its strong policy advocacy work on issues such as the federal budget, voting rights, immigration, health care, hate crimes, civil liberties, and environmental justice.  Neighbors in Need also supports our American Indian neighbors in the UCC. 

One-third of the offering supports the UCC’s Council for American Indian Ministries (CAIM).  Historically, forebears of the UCC established churches and worked with Lakota, Dakota, Nakota, Mandan, Hidatsa, Arickara, and Hocak in North and South Dakota, Wisconsin, and Northern Nebraska.  Today there are 20 UCC congregations on reservations and one urban, multi-tribal UCC congregation in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  These churches and their pastors are supported by CAIM.  CAIM is also an invaluable resource for more than 1,000 individuals from dozens of other tribes and nations who are members of other UCC congregations in the U.S.

Neighbors in Need helps make another world possible.  It needs your support.

Please give generously on or before January 27.

A few items still needed for Loaves and Fishes Thurs, Jan 31

Our next Loaves & Fishes service date is Thursday, January 31. 

We still need salad and 12 sandwiches.  Please help.

To sign up using our interactive online form, click here.

Or you can sign up on the clipboard in the church hall, or by emailing Jim Esslinger or the church office.

Any questions?  Please contact Jim Esslinger or the church office by phone at (860) 868-0569 or by email.

Cello Concert to Honor Pastor Cheryl - Feb 2

The recital by cellist Mary Costanza will take place at 4 pm, Saturday, February 2 in the Meeting House.  Accompanied by pianist Ray Pierpont, Mary will perform an all-French program, including works by Offenbach, Saint-Saens and Franck.

This event is being presented as a tribute to the Rev. Cheryl Anderson, who is retiring after 22 years as pastor of First Church. Admission is by free-will offering, and all proceeds will go towards the pastor’s moving fund. Everyone is welcome!

For full press release and more information about both of these musicians, click here.

Chairs free to good home

Pair of armchairs

2 La-Z-Boy Armchairs of Pastor Cheryl's
No stains, rips or wear.
Delivery not included.
Call Scott at 860-868-3355

Feb 24-Farewell service for Pastor Cheryl

On Sunday February 24th at 3pm, we will host a special service to ‘decommission’ Pastor Cheryl and allow the other ministers in the area to honor her time with us.  We will have a reception afterward in Wersebe Hall of the Parish House.  Church members and the community at large are all cordially invited to attend this culmination of 22 years of her time with us.

To offer your assistance with the reception, or for more information, please contact our Moderator

Safe Church Policy - Proposed for Review

To review safe church policy, click the link below.   Or borrow one of the printed copies that will be available on the left octagonal table in the Parish House hallway after Jan 15.
If you have any questions, comments or concerns, please contact a member of the committee before February 15.  After that date, the committee will work to formulate a revision to be distributed for review and then voted on in the next quarterly congregational meeting on March 31.

Proposed Safe Church Policy (pdf document)

Be sure to copy and paste the entire link, especially if it is wrapping in your phone’s email.

NOTE: A pop-up box will likely appear prompting you to either log in or create a DropBox account.  There is a link on the bottom of that that says "No thanks".  Simply click that and it will take you to the document.
Be aware that the first page is BLANK!  When you reach a blank page, scroll down for the contents.

Committee Members:  John Lintner, Carrie Loyd, Pastor Cheryl, Emelie Burl, and Millie Johnson

Special Recycling Programs at First Church

We now sponsor THREE special recycling streams here in the Parish House.

The ORAL CARE program for recycling of items not included in the single-stream municipal recycling programs is SPONSORED BY the Washington Environmental Council.  It is MADE POSSIBLE BY a generous grant from the Khurshed Bhumgara Fund at the Northwest Connecticut Community Foundation


  • Used Toothpaste Tubes & Caps (leave screwed on)
  • Toothbrushes
  • Oral Care Packaging (toothpaste boxes)
  • Floss Containers


The box is located in the Parish House entry.

We also now collect for return:

Brita and PUR Water Filter Materials - See Karen in the office

Other recycling boxes around town:

Backpacks - Location: Steep Rock Association Office
Art Supplies - Location: After School Arts Program
Beauty Products & Packaging - Location: J. Seitz & Co.
Art Supplies - Location: Washington Montessori School
Writing Instruments - Location: Washington Montessori School
Beauty Products & Packaging - Location: Byrde & the b
Art Supplies - Location: Shepaug Valley School
Candy & Snack Wrappers - Location: Washington Primary School

Remember, these boxes are only available until they are full, so take advantage of this program while you can!

Soldier Boxes - Donations needed by FRIDAY, Jan 25

"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.

Note1: Remember that we cannot send aerosol cans so shaving cream must be in tubes.

We sent boxes (including one for the holidays) to this soldier in November.

Our Soldier for Friday January 25, 2019

Spencer W. McCormack
Attn: Any Soldier®
TFI 6-7
APO AE 09316

Added here: 03 November 2018
Expect to not mail past: 01 Apr 2019
Contact for approx number of Males: 6, Females: 0
Unit is from: Texas

20 Jan 2019:

This is SPC McCormack from the 86th checking in. Hope that everyone had a great holiday season. We received an incredible out-pour of boxes and letters over the last few weeks. Some people sent decorations that we livened up our workspace with. Everyone got stockings and gifts. Nothing beats being with your family over the holidays, but it meant a lot to us seeing how many people thought of us during the season.

Because of the sheer volume of boxes and letters we have received, we haven't been able to reach out to many of those that sent us mail. We are much more likely to reach out to your letters if you include an email. What we have gotten has exceeded what our small group of soldiers can reasonably go through, so we have been sharing with soldiers, sailors and airmen around us who have not been getting so much. So the impact has reached farther then on just the six of us who came out here together.

We have been extremely busy out here, working as if nothing was any different through the holidays. But getting mail is an exciting time for all of us, and a reminder that people back home care about us and want us to succeed.

Thank you to everyone who sent us gifts and letters.

03 Nov 2018:

Group of six soldiers from the 86th Expeditionary Signal Battalion, attached to a unit deployed to Iraq for nine months. We are from Fort Bliss, in El Paso, Texas.

Living in buildings, 220V electricity available. All male soldiers.

Doing own laundry with provided machines. Buying our own Tide pods and dryer sheets.

Access to running water, microwave, refrigerator and freezer.

No access to stove or cookware.

No need for gear or tactical supplies.

Very small PX available, converted semi-truck. Expensive and far away. Limited selection.

Everyone works 12 hours a day on various shifts, every day. Some soldiers work at times with limited ability to go to dining facilities, or have to work through meals on busy days.

Soldiers all live in good conditions, but work long hours, through weekends and holidays.

Soldiers would appreciate food, snacks, candy, especially less common ones that can't be found out here. Coffee, teas, beverages in powder form. Have access to a Keurig 2.0, and ability to make drip coffee as well.

Thankful for any comfort items, letters, or other reminders of home


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. 

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

Honor Someone by Sponsoring a Pew Memorial Plaque

Pew plaques are a great way to honor/ celebrate loved ones this holiday and for years to come!   Dedicate pew space in our sanctuary!

A permanent plaque will be mounted on a pew with your personalized dedication.  Simply complete and return this form to the church at  PO Box 1285, Washington, CT 06793.

Your donation helps offset some of the cost of renovations made to our sanctuary in 2017.

Our pews are mostly the same pews that were installed when this church was rebuilt. Last year, as part of the renovations we did to repair and replace elements and generally make more beautiful our sanctuary, the pews were all removed, repaired and painted. Some were revised to allow space for better accessibility for wheelchairs, complementing our lift that helps make the church itself more accessible and welcoming.
This year we continue to offer an opportunity to memorialize the pews for members, friends and members of the community at large who appreciate this historic building and all that it offers to us and the community.

Complete and return this form to the church at PO Box 1285, Washington, CT  06793.

Volunteer Chaperones Needed for New Milford Shelter

The shelter in New Milford also has need of overnight volunteers.   A few of our members already do this.  If you want to hear what they have to say about it, talk with John Turner or Steve Wadelton.

Give them a call anytime.  Contact:  Rufus at (860) 592-0142  for details.

New Milford Homeless Shelter Coalition, Inc., PO Box 1016, New Milford, CT 06776

Volunteer Assistants Needed for Sunday School and Nursery

Would you be willing to assist in the Sunday nursery or Sunday school room a few times a year or every so often?
Please contact Carrie Loyd and let her know how you would like to help.

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 subject matter for every interest!

Silver Lake Conference Center, 223 Low Rd., Sharon

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

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. 

Weather-Related Cancellations

It's that time of year again!  With the possibility of weather-related cancellations, we intend to post cancellations or important Alert! here on our home page and also send out an email blast.  However, just to be safe, please tune in to WFSB / Channel 3.  Closings, cancellations, or late starts for any activities, including worship, will be posted there.

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