February 2020  
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Judea Weekly eNews for Feb 7 - Meet Rev. Robyn Gray!

Judea Weekly eNews for Feb 7 - Meet Rev. Robyn Gray!


     If you attended church last Sunday, you would have gotten to be among the first to hear that the Search Committee has indeed invited their candidate of choice to come to our church for a "Candidating Weekend".  They provided us an announcement, which you can download from the link in the very first announcement on the right.  The Rev. Robyn Gray's bio is included in that document, along with a message from the Committee.  The general announcement to the right also begins to tell you about Candidating Weekend, which will be March 16/17.  To be sure you get the latest information about this, please make it a point to check these emails coming through weekly.  Any news related to our hiring a new pastor will get top billing so it does not get lost.  You can also always check our website home page for the latest announcement.  Meanwhile... Save that date!

     Also, I was surprised to encounter two people this week who did not know about the big celebration on Sunday, February 24 at 3 pm (see announcement on the right).  Surprised though I was, I understand everyone is very busy but we are inviting the entire congregation and our local community.  Please be sure to talk it up to people; you just might help keep someone from missing it.

     Clearly, a lot of people DO know about Pastor Cheryl's Farewell Service.  Thanks to all those people who jumped at the opportunity to help with the reception!  Trish Grinnell agrees it was an incredibly heartwarming and hair-blowing-back experience.  We have such a wonderful congregation and I am so grateful to be a part of it.

     Pastor Cheryl has prepared another service for this Sunday tailored to help us get ready for the change and I know she hopes to see many of you there.  Please join us for worship this Sunday at 10 am.  The kids will start in the Meeting House with us so they can enjoy another children's sermon with Pastor Cheryl.

     Finally, if you have not had a chance to review the proposed Safe Church policy presented at the last congregational meeting, please read the announcement on the right.  This policy will govern how we protect the children and vulnerable adults in our church.  The review /feedback period ends on Feb 15. 

    The February Judea Journal supplement is now available for you to download.  It includes Pastor Cheryl's last monthly article so be sure to read.  We make it easy:  Download now.

I hope to see you in church this month!

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



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.)

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

In Memory of...

Click here for this week's memorial intentions for flowers and steeple lighting.

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

Compassionate Communication Practice Group - Feb 13 @ 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 their daily lives in between meetings.  Our next gathering is on Wednesday, Feb 13 at 6:30 pm.   Optional pot luck supper at 5:45 pm.  Check in with us if you are interested in attending.

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

The group's regular meeting day is the 2nd Wednesday of each Month.  The time is 6:30 pm with pot luck supper at 5:45.

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.

Soldier Boxes - Donations needed by FRIDAY, February 8

"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 Soldier for Friday February 8, 2019

SSG Reagan Q. Cruz
Attn: Any Soldier®
1st RSSB ( BAF)
APO AE 09354

Soldier's Title: Civil Affairs NCO
Added here: 01 February 2019
Expected to leave Afghanistan: 29 Oct 2019
Contact for approx number of Males: 200, Females: 55
Unit is from: Kansas

01 Feb 2019:

We are the 1st Sustainment BDE we are compose of different kind of jobs mostly to sustain our troops in the battlefield, we are the movers, logistics, admin and transportation. We have different locations with teams that reports the safe and the best logistical support from transporting personnel, equipment and food for our troops. In your generous hearts the following items are mostly requested by our lower rank soldiers.

Hygiene Needs. I.e. Shampoo, conditioner, toothbrush, toothpaste, shaving gel, razors, deodorants, air fresheners,lotion, mouthwash,bodywash, cotton buds, shower sponge, nail clippers, hand sanitizers,lip balm, female accessories. And hygiene needs. Hand wash cologne, after shave, perfume, baby wipes, facial wipes, napkins.

Batteries size AAA, AA, survival gear gerbers,multi tool, small flashlights,any cool gear.wall hooks, Clothes, White or Black crew socks, small towels (Tan or brown.)


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

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.

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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