February 2020  
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Judea Journal - Mar 15 - Temptation lurking

Judea Journal - Mar 15 - Temptation lurking

Dear Friends,

    In this final Lenten week before Palm Sunday, Rev. Anne-Marie Davenport will be preaching on the topic of Temptation - but not in the way you might think!  Do come and hear this interesting perspective on things that may cause you to wander off your path. As with the other topics during this season in the Dark Wood, there are gifts to be had here, too!  If you have not been to one of these special Lenten services - or if you've been to them all - come and be inspired to new growth this spring!

    I'll take just a few more moments of your time to call out some of the time-sensitive announcements on the right:  our service date for Loaves & Fishes is coming up on March 29 and we still need most of the food items and a few more people to volunteer to help setup/serve/cleanup, but especially to interact with the grateful guests whom we serve.  Please click through on the link to sign up now.  And it is time to order your Easter Memorials.  Flowers and gifts of food and shelter are available for you to honor a loved one present or passed.  That form is downloadable for you to print and include with a check or cash and return to the church office.  And the spring Quarterly Congregational Meeting will be held on Palm Sunday, March 25.  Important discussions are on the agenda this month so all members should plan to attend.   Details are in the announcement.

    The full March-April issue of the Judea Journal is ready for you with news of upcoming events and important scheduling information plus the always popular monthly letter from Pastor Cheryl.  Click here to download your copy!    

Blessings on your week ahead and hope to see you on Sunday!

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


Loaves and Fishes Next Service Date - Thurs March 29

Our next service date for the Loaves and Fishes Hospitality Kitchen is Thursday, March 29. 

We will need all of the usual food items plus volunteers to help setup/ serve/ cleanup.  Please click here to select your volunteer option and sign up. 

If you have any questions about it, please contact Dick Connor or the church office by phone at (860) 868-0569 or by email.

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 Servicewoman for Friday March 16, 2017

Daniel Wichter
Attn: Any Sailor®
UNIT 100318 BOX 1352
FPO AA 34094

Added here: 19 February 2018
Expected to leave On Ship: 15 Aug 2018
Contact for approx number of Males: 25, Females: 1
Unit is from: Florida

19 Feb 2018:

Good Afternoon, We are all Aviation support equipment technicians(mechanics) and are stationed out of Mayport Florida onboard the USS Iwo Jima for 6 months. My shop consists of about 25 male sailors and marines and one female sailor(white). We do have electricity onboard but do not have the capabilities to cook food on our own but we do have microwaves, refrigerators and a Freezer. As well as our own washer and dryer. Some things that we will need is good tasting coffee grounds and/or K cups (Town Hall Gang Note: We have enough K cups to send) , everyday toiletries such as deodorants, air fresheners, mechanics gloves, dish soap, nail brushes to clean the grime from under our nails, AAA and AA Batteries, flashlights. We will not have access to the Navy Exchange while out to sea. On behalf of myself and everyone in my shop, we thank you for supporting sailors/marines/soldiers/airmen while they are deployed. Not everyone has someone back home to send them care packages, its greatly 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

March for our Lives, bus to Washington DC 3/24/18

The Western CT Citizens Action Group is sponsoring a bus from Danbury to Washington DC and is open to anyone wishing to attend the March for Our Lives, a youth project in response to yet one more mass school shooting in our nation.  Some members of our Youth Group are already planning to go.  If you are interested in hitching a ride on this bus, you need to sign up early.  Seats are available on a first come, first served basis. 

More information is available at http://bit.ly/2oDmni1 .

Order your Easter Memorials Now

In addition to a variety of flowers, our Easter Memorials include alternative options that will provide food and/or shelter to our neighbors in need in Washington and beyond and will be distributed by our Missions Committee to organizations most in need in our area.

Gifts may be given in memory of the faithful departed, as thankfulness offerings, or anonymously in celebration of the new life that Easter brings. 

All memorials (flowers, food or shelter) are $20 each item selected.  In addition, we are offering a wider selection of flowers this year!
Download the order form here!

Holy Week Services - Days and Times

Palm Sunday - March 25  at 10:00 am

Maundy Thursday - March 29 at 7:30 pm

Our Maundy Thursday worship begins at 7:30pm, and is a service of communion and tennebrae which includes readings and the progressive darkening of the sanctuary.  Many members find this the most moving worship of the church calendar.

Easter Sunday - April 1

  • 6:30 am Sunrise Service on New Preston Hill and
  • 10:00 am Traditional Easter Celebration and Easter Egg Hunt for the kids!
Time to recycle those plastic Easter eggs!

Our Christian Education Team is working on some awesome new features to our annual Easter Egg Hunt on Easter Sunday.  It promises to be fun, engaging, and interactive (in a low-tech kind of way).  We are in need of these plastic eggs.  (If your child was the finder of eggs last year and you took them home, please recycle the eggs!)  You can drop off any donations for this to the church office or bring to church BY Sunday, March 18 so we have them for stuffing in advance.

Healing Prayer/ Intention Group Meets on Wed, Mar 21

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

Volunteer Opportunity at theEmpty Bowl Benefit Dinner - Sat, March 24

Volunteers needed for the following tasks during the event:



Other help at tables

Setup/ Cleanup help


WHEN:  Saturday, March 24 from 4:30 – 7:30 PM

WHERE:  St. John’s Church in New Milford


Have fun while contributing to this vital fundraiser to help them reach their new building goal.  If you can help out, please contact them at loavesfishes@charter.net

Or by calling (860) 350-6612 or (203) 417-1333.

Call to Quarterly Congregational Meeting - Sunday, March 25

The meeting will be held Refreshments will be available.

  • Approval of minutes from the January 7th Quarterly Meeting
  • Committee Reports
  • Discussion and approval of Bookkeeper position
  • Discuss Treasurer position and potential chnge of role descrip in By-Laws.  (No vote @ this mtg.)
  • Green Fair

See you there!  
Trish Grinnell, Moderator

Bag It! Pot Luck and a Movie - Fri,April 6

A few of us who are very concerned about the need for more action on caring for our Earth are forming a Green Team here at the church.  People of all ages* are welcome to join us in the effort.  All you need is a willingness to make changes and make an impact. 

We are planning a gathering to kick off our new Green Team.

WHEN:  Friday, April 6, 6-9 PM  (Movie starts at 7 pm)
WHERE:  First Congregational Church Parish House
                 6 Kirby Road, Washington, CT

WHAT:  Pot Luck Supper and Movie Screening
REGISTER:  Click here for an online form  or contact Terri or Karen.  We need to know: how many people will be coming?  Will you be there for dinner or just the movie?  If so, what will you bring?

"Bag It!  Is your life too plastic?" 

(Note that movie is 1.5 hours and so may be a bit tedious for children under 10 unless they are pretty mature.   There is no "bad" language, though.)

Even if you are just curious about the issue, you are welcome to join us.  We have some activities in mind for implementing here at church, in our homes and in our communities.  But we are open to all ideas and plan to make this a permanent part of our church's life.  If you are interested in coming to the pot luck movie screening and/ or want to get involved in other activities, please send an email to Terri Tibbatts or the church office

Trivia Night... Saturday, April 21

Individuals and couples are invited to play with us on
Saturday, April 21

The First Congregational Church of Washington, in conjunction with the Litchfield South Association of the CT Conference of the UCC,
is holding a TRIVIA NIGHT to benefit
the Loaves and Fishes Hospitality House in New Milford.

Loaves and Fishes is one of our regular missions and is near and dear to us so we would like to join in.  AND… it promises to be great fun!

The game will consist of TEN TEAMS of 5-6 people.  Each team will contribute $100 to play.  That amounts to $20 or less per person for a night of fun and challenge.  There will be other opportunities to contribute, too, with a 50/50 raffle.

Teams will bring refreshments and arrive between 6 and 6:15 for check-in and getting everyone seated.  The game will begin at 6:30 pm.

We are currently accepting registrations for teams.  If you want to play but don’t have a team, contact us and we can hook you up with a team.

Please contact Karen by email or phone 860-868-0569 as soon as possible if you are interested in participating as a contestant or if you wish to help out as volunteer. 

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.

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

A Prayer for the Pastoral Search Committee

Committee Members:  Scott Brady, Emelie Burl, Judie Gorra, John Lintner, Cara Michalski, John Turner, Dave Werkhoven, Dimitri Willert.

     As our newly elected Search Committee prepares to lead us through the work of a pastoral search, please hold them all in prayer.

     Recognizing God’s calling; this congregation has places our trust in the wisdom and dedication of this group of people.  We commission them to work on our behalf to find the next pastor and teacher to minister with and among us.  With gratitude for their willingness to undertake this important work; we promise our cooperation and our prayers.

    May God strengthen your friendship and deepen your faith.  May God give light for your path and fill you with understanding and wisdom to discern the spirit and needs of the congregation.  God grant you eyes of the heart to recognize the spiritual gifts of the one God is sending.  May God give you patience and perseverance.  May God keep you and your families safe and well. 

     And in the coming months, if you don’t know any of them, introduce yourself.  Get to know those fellow members who are doing this important work for our congregation.


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