February 2020  
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Judea Weekly eNews - Angels are among us! #MorePeace

Judea Weekly eNews - Angels are among us! #MorePeace

     And the angel said...  "Do not fear."  In the Bible the angels say that a lot when they appear to startled characters.  In my life, they just seem to appear at just the right time to say or do just the right thing.  No fanfare, just help when I need it.  Like this week, I was picking up a bunch of gorgeous poinsettias, all wrapped for protection.  Who'd have guessed that the protection would act as sails in the gust of wind that just seemed to pick up as I was trying to load them in my car with one of the garden center workers.  Two plants flew off the cart.  And there, out of the blue, show up this big man with the tiniest of poinsettias cradled in his hands.  Not sure what he did with that little plant but while he helped us but he stepped in and was sheilding and holding up at least half the cart of my rather large plants to protect them while I loaded.  As soon as we were done, he wished us a happy holiday and walked off with his sweet little plant to the parking lot from the out-of-the-way spot where I parked for the pickup.

     Have you been seeing angels lately?  They are all around and among us.  Pastor Cheryl challenged the congregation (the Youth Group was already active spotting and reporting angels) to see how many they could see - and share the sightings.  While the Youth Group member who spots and reports the most gets to pick the movie for their lock-in in January, Pastor Cheryl pointed out that the adult who spots the most just gets to be the happiest person in the congregation! 

     Advent is upon us!  And Angels are Among Us!  #DoNotFear!  #MorePeace.  Now as much as ever, there is need for and reason to - PEACE.  Come to church this Sunday at 10 am in the Meeting House and see what it's all about.  Come for upliftment, come for #more peace.  The Chancel Choir will sing and the angels in the Christmas story will continue to appear during our dramatic readings of the encounters.

  The December Supplement to the Judea Journal is available.  Download it now.  In it, Pastor Cheryl talks about our new Advent theme, Angels Among Us.  And you will find information on a the new children/youth programs as the special services for Advent and Christmas that are listed in the announcements on the right. 

Blessings on your week ahead.  Looking forward to seeing you on Sunday!

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

PS.... Download the December Journal now!


Advent Children’s Choir - Saturdays- 10-10:45 am

Saturday mornings 10 - 10:45 am in the church hall, December 2, 9, 16, and 23.  We welcome children ages 5 to 12.  The children will have lots of fun while learning songs of the season, including popular Christmas carols.  They will start with basic songs and then 3rd graders and up will learn some Advent rounds.  Members of the group will sing in at least one Sunday service but children are welcome to just come and enjoy the time singing together on Saturday mornings.

Pastor Cheryl will be leading the choir.  Please contact the church office (860) 868-0569, or Pastor Cheryl at Pastor.Cheryl@firstchurchwashingtonct.org, if you are interested.   If Saturday afternoon would be better, please let us know that, too.

Ornament Workshop - Sat Dec 16 - 10:30 - noon

We will be hosting an ornament making workshop on Saturday, December 16th from 10:30am -12 noon in the church hall. Come and create ornaments to decorate your tree or to give as gifts, make some new friends, and celebrate the season!  This workshop is open to all children  - we would love to see you there and bring your friends! 

Please contact Carrie Loyd at with any questions.

Advent in 2 Minutes

Not quite sure about the relationship between Advent and Christmas? Check out Busted Halo's two-minute video that describes why we celebrate Advent and wait to celebrate Christmas:  Advent in 2 minutes

If you like this, try more content from Busted Halo, an online magazine for spiritual seekers. 

Christmas Memorials

     We are now taking orders for Christmas Memorials.  Click here for PDF form or MS Word Doc

     Remember your loved ones with a gift of food or shelter for those in need, or flowers if you prefer!  All memorials will be listed in the Christmas Eve and Travelers' Christmas bulletins and are due back no later than December 14 in order to be included in the listings for those services.  Click one of the links above and read the order form for all the details.

A Travelers' Christmas - Sun, Dec 27 - 5:30 pm

If you travel at Christmas to be with family somewhere else, and never get to celebrate Christmas Eve here in our beautiful part of the world in a classic New England Meeting House; come to the First Congregational Church of Washington on Sunday, December 17th at 5:30 pm for our early Christmas Eve with Christmas readings and carols, the lighting of candles and the traditional gift of oranges for all the children. An hors d’oeuvres reception will follow in the Parish House.

Please join us to make merry a little early and add your voice to “Silent Night” and “Joy to the World!”

Comfort and Peace Christmas Service - Fri, Dec 22 - 7:30 pm

If the holidays are difficult for you this year, please join the First Congregational Church at 6 Kirby Road in Washington, CT for a very special “Service of Comfort and Peace.” This service is especially helpful for those who, for various reasons, are struggling to get into the expected festive spirit of joy this season. The service will be held Friday evening December 22, 2017 at 7:30 PM, followed by refreshments served in the Parish House. Please join us for this very special evening.

Christmas Pageant - Sign up now!

Annual Christmas Eve Pageant

If your family plans to be at our 5:30 pm Christmas Eve service on Dec 24 (OR our new "Travelers' Christmas" on Sunday, December 17 at 5:30 pm), your kids have an opportunity to participate in the annual pageant.  We would love to have all children and youth participating in the service in some way.  If your child/ren is/are interested and you plan to be at one of the two services mentioned above, kindly let Carrie Loyd, our Sunday School teacher, know as soon as possible so we can ready the costumes and get the different parts sorted out. 

You can tell her in person on this Sunday, but better yet send her an email before you forget!

Christmas Eve Services - Dec 24

Help Support this Church by Sponsoring a Pew Memorial Plaque

Our pews are mostly the same pews that were installed when this church was rebuilt in 1801.  This past winter into spring, as part of the renovations we did to repair, 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. 

To help offset some of the cost of these renovations, we are offering 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.

A permanent plaque will be mounted on a pew with your personalized dedication.

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

Call to Quarterly Congregational Meeting - Sunday, Jan 7

The meeting will be held in the church hall immediately following worship.  Please plan to attend!  A quorum of members will be required for voting.  Refreshments will be available.

  • Approval of minutes from the September 24th Quarterly Meeting
  • Committee Reports
  • Pastoral Search Committee

See you there!  
Trish Grinnell, Moderator

Provide a care package to a family in US Virgin Islands

Adopt A Family, USVI pairs supporters with families in the US Virgin Islands who are struggling due to impacts from Hurricane Irma and Maria. It is a wonderful way to come together and remember the true meaning of giving back. 

Families in the USVI are facing difficult living situations such as having no power, no hospital, no running water. Although it will be quite some time until the community is up and running, one thing we can provide now is, HOPE! Through Adopt A Family, USVI you will have the opportunity to provide a care package for a family in need that has either individually registered, or asked for assistance through the Family Resource Center (http://frcusvi.org/)  on St. Thomas. Your support and generosity in providing care packages speaks volumes and will touch the lives of both adults and children.

To find out how you can help, go to:

http://www.adoptafamilyusvi.com/about-us/           Webpage where you can adopt a family

https://www.facebook.com/AdoptAFamilyUSVI/ Facebook page

http://www.virginislandsdailynews.com/news/    For local news coverage of the recent hurricanes and their impact

Or you can contact Sue Elliott, who has kept up with the latest news of local impact from her daughter, who is living and working on the island of St. Thomas.

Adopt-a-Family USVI is a grassroots organization started to help garner support for the people in the US Virgin Islands who have been impacted.  It is not an established/rated charity but is working with the Family Resource Center on St. Thomas for distribution of supplies.   The Family Resource Center on St. Thomas is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization addressing domestic violence.

If you prefer to give to a long-established foundation, the Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands is another way to give.   And, of course, prayers are always welcome and much needed!

New Years Day Concert - 4 pm - Jan 1, 2018

Click image for larger view.  Tickets and more information are available at:  http://washingtonct4music.blogspot.com/


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