February 2020  
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Judea Journal February Issue is Here

Judea Journal February Issue is Here

Dear friends,

     We are coming into the home stretch of Pastor Cheryl's time here and I know she hopes to see many of you over the coming Sundays as she, too, prepares to bid farewell to us.  We hope you will join us for worship this Sunday at 10 am.  Because we will share communion that day, the Sunday Schoolers will be in the Parish House the whole time so parents please deliver your child directly to the Sunday School room before heading into the church.

     If your calendar is not already marked with Mary's special cello recital this Saturday at 4 pm, now is the time to take note!  Mary Costanza is performing at this recital to honor Pastor Cheryl and her 22 years of ministry at this church and everyone is invited to this free event in the Meeting House.  Invite your friends! 

    And Sunday, during coffee hour, the Green Team will host some faciliated conversations.  If you would like to participate, just find a table to sit and chat.  Otherwise, the usual coffee hour will be available for you.  We would love to hear your thoughts in response to some specific questions about environmental concerns.  See the announcements in the side bar for more information on both of these events.  We will start promptly after worship so we can end at noon.  More details in the side bar announcement.  We hope you can attend!  

   The February Judea Journal supplement is now available for you to download.  It includes the latest updates on the search for a new pastor and assorted other goodies.  Download now.

I hope to see you in church!

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



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.

Conversation Cafe - Environmental discussions on Feb 3

Plan to join in on the discussions planned for coffee hour on February 3! 
(Postponed from Jan 20 due to weather.)

The Green Team will host a Conversation Cafe to discuss YOUR concerns about the environment and where you think we should focus over the coming year.  This will be INTERGENERATIONAL, so youth are welcome to join if interested and willing to participate.  Otherwise, childcare will be arranged during this time.  Refreshments will be provided.  We plan to wrap up by noon.

Please contact the church office if you plan to be there. 

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

Neighbors in Need (NIN) Offering accepted thru Feb 28

The Neighbors in Need offering, supports the United Church of Christ (UCC) ministries of justice and compassion throughout the United States. We will accept contributions to this throughout the month of February. Special envelopes are available on the table in the rear of the sanctuary.

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.

Whose Water is It? A talk at the Library on Feb 28

RE: Whose Water Is It? Talk & Visual Presentation by the Washington Environmental Council at Gunn Memorial Library

The Washington Environmental Council will present, as part of the Harwood Lecture Series, Whose Water Is It? What to Know about CT’s Water & How to Protect It? The talk and visual presentation will be delivered by Washington resident Hugh Rogers, a Rivers Alliance of CT Board Member. This event at Gunn Memorial Library in Washington, CT will take place on Thursday, February 28, 2019 @ 6:30pm.

Water, one of the three, vital, natural resources, is around us, over us, in us, and beneath us. How we balance the water needs of human activity and those of the natural world will determine our present and our future. Is our water supply and quality protected? What is the State Water Plan, and what is it intended to do? Is water a public trust resource or a private commodity? And who decides? This presentation will explore these complex issues around this simple, but all important natural resource.

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

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 to this Airman in November and for the holidays.  Click here to read his thank you note.

In return, we received this wonderful letter (attached).

Our Airman for Friday February 1, 2019

Randy Croft
Attn: Any Airman®
c/o Chaplain
451 AEG/HC
APO AE 09347

Airman's Title: Group Chaplain
Added here: 09 November 2018
Expected to leave Afghanistan: 10 Apr 2019
Contact for approx number of Males: 50, Females: 50
Unit is from: Composite Unit

09 Nov 2018:

Just arrived in eastern Afghanistan, and we have numerous Airmen and Soldiers we serve--mostly Airmen under my role as chaplain. We have a 24/7 Resilence center for Airmen to gather R&R, reading, audio, and toiletries and snacks. I also visit the troops daily in the units to help keep morale up. I'm new to this assignment, but I see how little things mean a lot to the morale for these hard working warriors.
Thank you for the consideration! I'm not requesting in any official capacity...just as a chaplain seeking to gather helpful morale snacks and toileties that can be stretched to bless the troops here.

Very Cordially,

Ch, Maj Randy Croft
Group Chaplain
451 AEG/HC
Kandahar Air Field, Afghanistan


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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