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Judea Weekly eNews - Jan 4 - Epiphany!

Judea Weekly eNews - Jan 4 - Epiphany!

Friends,

     For those of you reading this in the northeast, happy white and blustery winter day to you!  For those elsewhere...  I wish you could see the beauty outside my window!  There is definite drifting and everything out there is muted in the white haze.  Days like this slow us down give a chance to take in the beauty and power of creation.  And it reminds me of the importance of preserving our environment and our global ecosystem so our kids and seven generations (at least) forward get to enjoy that as well.  That is why Terri Tibbatts, Pastor Cheryl and I will be meeting next week to discuss the formation of an environmental stewardship group at our church to explore what we can do as families and as a congregation to reduce our carbon footprint and share ways to protect and preserve our planet.  If you are in the very least interested in tapping in to what we are up to on that front, please do send me an email and we can keep you informed of what we are doing and ways you can get involved.

     Just when you think the holiday season is over.... comes Epiphany!  Yes, this Sunday we share the rest of the Christmas story with the appearance of yet another angel and a plea to get up and get going.  A plea to us to bring the hope, peace, love and joy of Advent into our world in 2018.  There will also be a baptism of the Eklund-Kaplan and Melgoza-Gomes twins - blessing them as they get going on their respective and collective spiritual paths.  AND there is an important quarterly meeting in which we will present and hopefully approve the members of the new Pastoral Search Committee.  Since there WILL be a vote this Sunday, we encourage all active members to attend to be informed, discuss and have your voice heard as we bless and empower this group to embark on the very important process of finding a replacement for Pastor Cheryl when she retires in March 2019.

    And we will be kickinig off the new year with a month or so of Working for Justice, including our annual Neighbors in Need offering at the end of January and opportunities to learn more about some of the justice ministries supported through our membership in the United Church of Christ (UCC) and your individual contributions this month.  It may just give you some ideas of ways you can incorporate justice work in your own life.

     If your new year's resolutions include doing something more positive to affect your world AND you want to develop your spiritual side, consider joining our new group that will gather for an hour each month to pray/ focus healing intentions on a whole variety of people, situations, and things.  The research behind this also indicates there is a boomerang effect (haven't we always kind of known that?  What you do/say/ and how you are in the world will come back to you...) with the prayers/intenders receiving benefits from the process.  Like an old energy healing teacher used to say to me: "Give a healing, get a healing."  Read more about this group in the announcement on the right about bringing more Hope, Peace, Love and Joy into 2018. 

Read all the announcements on the right for additional news.  And if you missed the January-February Journal that came out last week, you can download it now for some fireside reading.

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

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

Announcements

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.
Agenda:

  • Approval of minutes from the September 24th Quarterly Meeting
  • Committee Reports
  • Pastoral Search Committee vote on nominees: Scott Brady, Judie Gorra, John Turner, John Lintner, Emelie Burl, Dimitri Willert, Dave Werkhoven and Cara Michalski

See you there!  
Trish Grinnell, Moderator

Bring more HOPE, PEACE, LOVE and JOY into 2018

Be the messenger you were empowered to be and intentionally bring more HOPE, more PEACE, more LOVE and more JOY into your life and world.  We’d like to help you with this new program beginning in January.

Book Study:   “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:  Day/time to be determined by those interested

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.

This group will read and discuss the book.  Optionally, we will consider forming our own group to practice intention/prayer.  The intention idea is not a  new one.  Consider joining us in this new year 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 - in January

We are in need of hosts for January 14 & 28.

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.

2018 Calendars! Not too late to get yours!

The Youth Group is still selling 2018 Calendars! That's right: Enjoy a monthly photo of the youth group all year long!

Calendars are $20 each and all proceeds are going toward helping those affected by natural disasters. See any youth group member during coffee hour to get yours while supplies last! 

Don't want to wait till Sunday?  contact Emelie by email to place your order.

Food Bank - Contribute this Week!

Eating does not have a season. Won’t you please pick up a few extra items for the cart so that those who need it can have some nutritious food or personal care items they might not be able to buy this month.  Remember, the money starts running thin towards the end of the month – before it finally runs out in that last week, or before.  Donations are especially needed NOW.  A list of items is available in the cart or online.

This month, we will direct our donations to the New Milford Food Bank. As Jeanne shared with us in church recently, they really could use coffee, oatmeal, healthy lunchbox snacks, baby wipes, among a few other high demand items. 

Bring your donations to church on Sunday or they may be placed in the Parish House shopping cart any time the building is open (Monday through Friday, 9-5 pm, and Sunday mornings)
TeenTalk January 14 - Open to New Members

This group for high schoolers meets once a month at 11 am in the Parish House Youth Room to gather and Teen Talkdiscuss the ways in which they can not only get involved in the church, but also let their faith get involved in their lives outside of the church.  Pot luck lunch, too!

This group is open to new members in September and January.  If you are interested in participating, please contact Emelie Samuelson. EmelieBurl@gmail.com  or 203-405-6710.

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.

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.

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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