February 2020  
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Judea Weekly eMail - Feb 28 - Thank you! from Cheryl Plus Monthly Journal is here

Judea Weekly eMail - Feb 28 - Thank you! from Cheryl Plus Monthly Journal is here


The glorious day-long retirement celebration this church put together for me and Scott last Sunday was tremendous fun, deeply moving, at times hilarious, always beautiful, and wonderfully delicious. I can’t begin to express my gratitude for all the creativity, planning, practicing, cooking, decorating, and love – and clean up – that went into the day’s services and dinner. There will be many evenings that Scott and I sit and reminisce as we look through the book of photos that Karen and Jim created. We’ll be wrapped in the prayers of my beautiful comfort shawl, with the afghan that Shirley knit for Scott over our laps. The parable of the prodigal will never be the same again. I leave with a heart filled with love and appreciation for the time, talents, commitment and dedication of this caring congregation that so embodies the Way of Christ – seeking God, caring for each other, and warmly welcoming all who wish to share the journey. My fondest hope and most earnest prayer for First Congregational Church’s next chapter is that you fall in love with your new pastor and this congregation continue to flourish and grow.

~ Cheryl


Editorial Note:  PLEASE read through the announcements on the right.  Especially the first one about release of the lastest issue of the monthly newsletter, and the next one about Candidating weekend, and the next one....  you get the idea.  ~ Karen

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



Judea Journal March-April Issue is HERE

We are an amazingly wonderful congregation and are in change together.  That is why this issue of the Journal (newsletter) has some especially important information (news, dates, etc) inside.  It contains several different voices and some new that I think you will enjoy.  So please make it a priority to download and read through today or this weekend.

Click here to download the March-April issue of the Judea Journal. 

Introducing Rev. Robyn Gray, Candidate for Pastor

Click here for a to read the announcement from our Search Committee, along with her bio.  Print copies are available on the table in the back of the Sanctuary.

Save the Date! Candidating Sunday will be March 17, when Rev. Gray will lead the Sunday worship service.  Then we will have a special congregational meeting where we will vote on whether or not we call her to be our next Pastor.  On Saturday the 16th, there will be a social event where we will have the opportunity to meet and get to know her a little better before the service and vote. This is still in the planning stage but details will be shared soon. Stay tuned! (Especially keep an eye out for an email with info.)

3 Conference Ministers Respond to United Methodist Vote

CT-MA-RI Conference UCC - Together as One




The following is a letter from Connecticut Conference Minister The Rev. Kent J. Siladi, Massachusetts Transitional Interim Conference Minister The Rev. Don Remick and Rhode Island Transitional Conference Minister the Rev. Marilyn Kendrix.

“Revolutionary love is a well-spring of care, an awakening to the inherent dignity and beauty of others and the earth, a quieting of the ego, a way moving through the world in relationship, asking: ‘What is your story? What is at stake? What is my part in your flourishing?’ Loving others, even our opponents, in this way has the power to sustain political, social and moral transformation. This is how love changes the world.”  ~ Valarie Kaur

We stand in love: a decision, a choice, not just an emotion.
And emotions are running high for many right now in response and reaction to the decision of the special session of the General Synod of the United Methodist Church.
Each of our Together, As One conferences have voted to be Open and Affirming. And across our UCC, local churches and conferences have taken a stand to declare themselves Open and Affirming. We have debated and talked, we have searched scripture, history and tradition, we have brought the voices and stories of our LGBTQI siblings into the center, we have listened to our still speaking God. We have chosen an extravagant welcome proclaiming “No matter who you are, or where you are on life’s journey, you are welcome here.”
It has been a long road. And in honesty and vulnerability we confess that it is still a debate within many of our churches and we, as conferences, still have a long way to go to fully center the voices and experiences that have too long been kept on the margins. We have work to do, even as love and justice for our LGBTQI kin is one of the core values of the vision that is shaping the development of our new Together, As One Conference.
So our hearts go out to our siblings within the United Methodist Church. There are many whose wounds are being freshly opened. There are many who are even less certain of their safety and place within their treasured spiritual homes. There are many longing for a world and a church that is ‘awakened to the inherent dignity and beauty of others…” And so, as The Rev. Dr. John Dorhauer, General Minister and President of the UCC, has written: “We hold the entire United Methodist Church in prayer as it seeks to heal and to express its faith in light of their understandings of scripture and the gospel.”
And we invite you to pray and reach out in revolutionary love to those that are grieving, hurting, angry, worried and longing for a better way to be as God’s children. “This is how love changes the world.”

Connecticut Conference Minister The Rev. Kent J. Siladi
Massachusetts Transitional Interim Conference Minister The Rev. Don Remick
Rhode Island Transitional Conference Minister The Rev. Marilyn Kendrix

Coffee Hour Host Needed - March 10 and April 7

Thanks to all who signed up for coffee hour hosting since the last quarterly meeting, we are just shy of coverage for 2 weeks.  We are currently in need of a host or co-hosts for coffee hour on March 10 and April 7 AND Debbie Swigart could use some help on April 28 if someone would like to partner up with her.  Please contact the church office if you don't have her phone number.

Our deacons are encouraging a simple approach to coffee hour.  Ask one of our deacons, or Karen in the office, for a copy of these simple guidelines for your reference.

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.

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.

Soldier Boxes - Donations needed by FRIDAY, March 1

"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: We currently have enough razors, hand sanitizer, deodorant and toothpaste/brush. Please remember shaving gel must be non-aerosol. Thank you!!

Our Local Airman for Friday March 1, 2019

Joseph Murphy
407 AEG/55 EFS
Unit #63314
APO AE 09319

Joe Murphy, the son of Colleen Murphy, is currently deployed in Afghanistan with the 407th Air Expeditionary Group. Let’s let Joe know that everyone at home is thinking of him and wishing him a safe return stateside.

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

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

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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