February 2020  
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Judea Weekly eNews - Feb 1 - Justice Begins with Love

Judea Weekly eNews - Feb 1 - Justice Begins with Love


     In this church, we are blessed with opportunities to nurture and grow our spirit as well as reaching out to others who might be in need - working for justice. At church on Sunday mornings in the carefully arranged services and sermons that Pastor Cheryl puts together weekly, along with support from Music, Christian Ed and this office.  In Sunday School for the youngsters and Confirmation Class, Youth Group and Teen Talk for our tweens and teens.  In the weekly book studies on Wednesday mornings and other times when there is enough interest by members and others.  In the periodic meditation series that Pastor Cheryl offers and in the monthly Compassionate Communication gatherings for those who wish to cultivate compassionate interactions with others as a way of making change in this world, one person, one relationship at a time.  Or the Comfort Shawl ministry where members and friends pray their way through shawls and blankets as a way of surrounding recipients (and themselves) with love and prayer.  Or our very new 1 hour prayer group beginning the evening of February 21 and continuing once a month for 6 months.  Or in the newly forming ministry that will focus on environmental justice.  And ongoing missions work with a host of organizations we support as a church in both hands on and with financial support.

     Yes, we are very blessed here in this church with a community who may have varying beliefs but who come together to follow the teachings of Jesus.  All the programs I mention in the previous paragraph are great and we are fortunate to have them offered here in one place.  We could simply stay at home, or go for a walk in the woods, or a run on some back road and spend time with God by ourselves.  But we choose to come together as a church community because it is in community that we grow and love and enjoy our lives in connection.  Together.  As John Lintner wrote in the song he debuted last Sunday, "This church is your church, this church is my church....this church is made by you and me".  As you know, Pastor Cheryl is retiring in March 2019 and the Pastoral Search Committee needs your help in the long process of finding a new pastor.  If you have not already completed the survey that was distributed by email last weekend, please do so TODAY - or at least before February 12.  We need input from all members and attenders of this church!  Follow the link in the email you were sent last weekend, or contact one of the members of the Search Committee for assistance.  They are there to help.

     Justice begins with love.  And we nurture love here.

    TONIGHT is an interview with a best-selling author by Kim Shariff at the Makery in New Milford.  The book talks about first-hand experience of racism in America and how the healing power of community helps to overcome the sense of isolation in being considered "the other".  For more information and link to the ASAP website to purchase your ticket, read the first announcement on the right.

     This Sunday, we will conclude our focus on Justice as we celebrate our working together.  Come join us for some uplifting music and prayer and communion together.  The kids will be in the Parish House beginning at 10.

    You are invited to make an offering to the annual Neighbors in Need appeal on Sunday, February 11.  In participating, you will be helping to bring justice to this world that so badly needs it.  Watch for a letter in the mail next week.  To learn more about Neighbors in Need now, along with stories of how your contributions are at work in our world, go to www.UCC.org/NIN.

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

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


Judea Journal February Supplement is HERE

Click here to download the February supplement to the Judea Journal. 

A Converation with Author Julie Lythcott-Haims to benefit ASAP

with interviewer, Kimberly Ayers Shariff

WHEN:  Thursday, February 1 at 6:00 pm.
WHERE:  The Makery, 20 Bank St., New Milford, CT

Come for an inspiring conversation with Julie Lythcott-Haims, the New York Times bestselling author of How to Raise an Adult and Real American: A Memoir. Special guest Kimberly Ayers Shariff will interview Lythcott-Haims and moderate a Q&A.

In her latest book Real American: A Memoir, Lythcott-Haims stirringly evokes her personal battle with the low self-esteem that American racism routinely inflicts on people of color. Real American expresses also, through Lythcott-Haims's path to self-acceptance, the healing power of community in overcoming the hurtful isolation of being incessantly considered "the other." Her memoir will be available for purchase at Makery Coworking.

All proceeds from this event with benefit ASAP! and it's many programs.

Go to the ASAP website for tickets or more information.

*Patron Reception will take place prior to the event at 5:00pm at Makery Coworking.

Preferred Dining Option (across the street from Makery Coworking):

Lucia Ristorante *Due to limited seating, Lucia has requested you make your dinner reservations by January 25th.

Compassionate Communication Practice Group - February 7 @ 6:30 pm

Are you interested in becoming a more compassionate person?
Improving your relationships with self and others?

Join our Compassionate Communication practice group, based on the work of Marshall Rosenberg, who initially shared it as “Non-Violent Communication”.  The group meets once a month and members of the group are encouraged to practice in between.  Our next gathering is on Wednesday, February 7 at 6:30 pm.   Optional pot luck supper at 5:30 pm.  Check in with us if you are interested in attending.

Click here for more information and downloadable resources, reference information and videos.

Learn to Practice Inention/ Prayer for Healing of Others and the World

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.

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 February 21 and through July 18

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

Coffee Hour Hosts Needed - on February 25

We are in need of hosts for February 25.

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 or consult our guidelines document, available by clicking here.

Bag It! Pot Luck and a Movie

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, March 2, 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

Silver Lake Registration Time is Here Again!

Conference registration is open!  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. 

Register by January 31 and save $50 off your conference fees!  Enter the code:  EARLY18 at checkout.

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


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.


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.

We sent boxes to this soldier in November and for Christmas.

Our Soldier for Friday February 2, 2018

Christopher Q. Sturtevant
Attn: Any Soldier®
TF Provider 3ID RSSB (BAF) APO AE 09354
APO AE 09354

Added here: 28 October 2017
Expected to leave Afghanistan: 24 Jun 2018
Contact for approx number of Males: 7, Females: 3
Unit is from: Georgia

28 Oct 2017:
Send anything


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

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.  However, if there is no such announcement, 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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