Sunday April 15, 2018

Third Sunday of Easter

Worship Service 8:00 a.m., Walker Chapel

Worship Service 10:00 a.m., Meetinghouse

The Rev. Suzanne Personette preaching
Readings: The Gospel According to Luke 24:12-35

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Life Among the Believers

Hello, Beloved! As we spoke to our neighbor in worship this past Sunday, you’re here and you matter. You matter to God, and you matter to FCC. Spread the word!

Okay, one more Sunday of my preaching, and then it will be Rev. Susan Power Trucksess’ turn! I wanted you to get to know me and my style a little, so I decided to preach 4 Sundays in a row. On average, I’ll preach for 3, and serve as liturgist the other Sunday. Beginning in the Fall, I may occasionally visit our Sunday School when I’m not preaching.

Just sharing: two or three years ago I started listening to a Christian pop station called The Message, and there’s another one called enLighten, that is Gospel music. I primarily listen to them on my way in to church on Sunday morning. It’s very heart and soul centered music. My favorite artists are Chris Tomlin, Matt Maher, Laura Story, Big Daddy Weave, Casting Crown, Natalie Grant, Zach Williams, and so many more! We have Amazon’s Alexa in the house and I’ll often say, Alexa, play music by Chris Tomlin. If you haven’t already, check out these artists if you’re interested.

This Sunday is one of those stories we love to tell, The Walk to Emmaus, Luke 24:13-25; you know, when the disciples were forlorn and heartbroken without their friend, Jesus, when lo and behold, as they were sharing and lamenting, Jesus shows up - like he always does when two or more are gathered. The Message is titled, Stay. You may not recognize these hymn titles, but the tunes are all familiar: A Hymn of Glory Let us Sing, I Want Jesus to Walk with Me, and Christ Beside Me. The Sanctuary Choir will rouse us with Round of Praise.

Life Among the Believers

6 Small Group Sharings and 2 all-church Gatherings

May 2: 7pm, Pine; May 6: 11:30am, Pine; May 7: 2pm, Russel;
May 10: 7pm Russel; May 17: 10:00am, Russel; May 20: 11:30 am, Russel

Two all-church gatherings to share the results from the small groups:

June 3: 11:30am, Pilgrim; June 10: 11:30am, Pilgrim

You don't need to sign up ~ Just show up!!

I hope everyone will be able to find one meeting to attend; and hopefully,
commit to attend the two gatherings on June 3 and June 10.
(Childcare will be available May 6, May 20, June 3, June 10.)

I’m so impressed with you, FCC, including your wonderful youth, and all the good ideas you have through your board and committee work. I just read our Board of Christian Education’s minutes from last Sunday, and they have some excellent plans!

Ken, Abe, and I had prior planned some time away, beginning April 16. I’ll return to the church office on April 24. Rev. Theresa Borchetta’s group trip to Ireland is happening next week, too, so she’ll be away, as will Office Manager Julia Novaco, also taking that trip. They depart tomorrow, 4/13. Rev. Susan Power Trucksess will be on call during the week, and there’ll be receptionists at the desk Monday-Thursday from 9a-12p. Rev. Trucksess will lead worship and preach on April 22.

See you believers at 8a and 10a this Sunday!

Stay : )
Rev. Suz, Interim Senior Minister
Office Hours: T-Th 9am-3pm (or 1p-3p visits) if evening mtg., 3pm-9pm; church (203) 488-7201, ext. 107; cell (860) 304-1054


Office & Staff Coverage for the week of April 16th

• Rev. Suz will be away on vacation from April 16th - April 23rd
• Rev. Theresa will be away on vacation from April 13th – April 28th
• Julia Novaco will be away on vacation from April 13th – April 23rd
• Pat Carroll will be in the office Monday – Thursday from 9:30am-2:30pm
• There will be receptionist coverage from 9:00am-12:00pm Monday – Thursday
• Rev. Susan PT will not physically be in the office at specified times, however, she can be contacted at or be reached for emergencies at 203-887-9512
• No grocery cards will be sold through the office this week.


Spring Fling Sale

To welcome our spring season, we will have a Spring Fling sale in Pilgrim Hall on April 29 and May 6 after the 8a.m. and 10a.m. services. Plants from Vaiuso Farms can be pre-ordered and we will offer homemade fudge and handcrafted items for Mother's Day. Please plan to join in on the spring celebration! Do your Mother's Day shopping with us!

Make sure you return your payment and order form to the church office by April 29th

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Come Play Bridge With Us!

Starting Thursday, April 26, 2018, the First Congregational Church of Branford will host a "Novice Bridge Night" at 7:00 PM. This will be a "supervised" game, which means that you can ask the director questions about bidding or play during each hand. The evening will begin with a "mini-lesson" of about 15 minutes about Bridge fundamentals, and we will play until about 9:00 PM. If you don't have a partner the director will try to pair you with someone - everyone that comes will have a chance to play. Since this is a teaching game, we will usually play "duplicate" style, with everyone playing the same hands - but there will be special events for "party" or even "home-style" games. The fee for each evening is $6.00 per person, with a portion of the fee going to First Congregational Church of Branford for hosting the game.

You don't have to commit to more than one game at a time, and you can come to whichever games you please. So that we can anticipate how many to expect each evening, please sign up in advance at There will be a sign-up sheet at each game for you to reserve a space for future games.

The teacher-director is Don Brueggemann, who teaches Bridge classes in Branford and Madison, and is the director of the ACBL duplicate game in Branford.

The First Congregational Church of Branford is located at 1009 Main Street, Branford. Results and event information for this game will be posted at - you may also access a google map of the location on that website


Sisters in the Spirit

Wednesday, May 9th

6:00-8:00 in Pilgrim Hall

Sisters in the Spirit
We are women.
We are women of faith.
Our experiences of faith may look different from one another’s.
Yet we have much to share and learn from one another as we worship the One God.

We continue in our series of conversations with women who outwardly may seem to be on a different path than ours, but who have much to share with us about being faithful seekers of truth and meaning and service. On May 9th we will have a meal and spend time with Patty Neulsen who remains rooted in her Roman Catholic tradition even as divinity school, Nicaragua, personal experiences and professional commitments have led her toward worshipping with a UCC congregation. An amazing and inspiring journey – and woman.

Join us…..Wednesday, May 9th -6:00 – 8:00 in Pilgrim Hall

We can accommodate up to 30 women for dinner, so reserve a place by signing up after worship or calling the church office. A donation of $10 would be appreciated so that we can offer support to an organization helping women and children as we share as women with other women.


Book Group 2018

The next book group meeting will be May 2 at 7:00 in the Russel Room. We will discuss Lab Girl by Hope Jahren. Please join us.

May 2, Lab Girl-Hope Jahren
June 6, Little Fires Everywhere-Celeste Ng
Barbara Colley

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I am sharing with you an opportunity to have family fun and support a good cause.

On May 6th, KidsHugs is holding their annual Kids Ride for Kids.

KidsHugs is a shoreline nonprofit that offers support for families who have a parent with a serious illness.

The ride takes place at Jacobs Beach in Guilford and is a great time for the kids to get outside and be active.

Here is the link for registration and to receive more information:

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.
Dawn Perrotti -
(Killam’s Point Day Camp Director)

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It's my pleasure to invite you all to our annual Volunteer Recognition Reception & "Luau Party" at the beautiful Owenego Inn.

This is about you, and your willingness to serve others, and it's a chance for us to say Thank You for your time and your caring! What better way to usher in Spring...which will most surely have arrived by then!

I encourage anyone who has helped us out at the CDR since late 2016 (some of you didn't make it last time) to please join us for a fun evening together at the Owenego, a local favorite venue overlooking the Long Island Sound.

Please RSVP as soon as you can, preferably by April 20 so I can let our CDR Volunteer Coordinator, Courtney Rosenberg know how many to expect from our group.

Looking forward to seeing as many of you as possible!
Parents are welcome to join their kids.

Yours in service,
Ray Luhn


2018 Nature Programs on Killam's Point

In cooperation with the Branford Land Trust, our church will host four events open to the public giving all who attend the opportunity to enjoy the Point and to learn about how we interact with nature. Space is limited so to register for attendance, please call 203 747 4184.

May 19, 1:00 pm. Spring on the Pointl
Join environmental advocates from the Land Trust for a walk on the Point's trails. Observe and identify the trees, flowers and creatures native to one of the shoreline's most beautiful preserves.

June 7, 7;00 pm. Protect Our Valuable Neighbors, Horseshoe Crabs
Martha Rice will describe the work being done with horseshoe crabs to learn how to protect the species and the research project of Sacred Heart University. Tag a crab and marvel at its complexity.

August 18, 9:00 am. Summer on the Point
Martha Rice will share her extensive knowledge of the Point. Hike the trails as Summer fades. Birds are preparing for migration, fish are in a feeding frenzy and the Point shimmers as Fall approaches.

October 14, 1:00 pm. A Virtual Treasure Hunt

Educator and environmentalist Jim Goggin will lead a family oriented walk that will feature why the Point is so special. Bring your instant cameras and binoculars for an unusual afternoon.


Mission Minute

Thank you to all who contributed so generously to the One Great Hour of Sharing offering. This year we raised over $1300 to help the United Church of Christ with their worldwide missions of natural disaster relief, health and educational resources, clean water supplies and more. Together, with other churches in the U.S. and Canada, First Congregational Church of Branford did More Than You Can Imagine.


Can you help the Hospitality Committee?

Even if you don’t serve coffee/tea on Sunday or bake the cookies, you can greatly help – buy a $25 Shop Rite gift card to donate to the Committee. This money would buy milk, drinks for the kids, and possibly snacks. Here’s another win-win situation. You are not only giving needed support to Hospitality but buying the gift card helps support the church. Just ask Julia or the members who sell on Sunday to give to the appropriate people. Thank you for your support.

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Lead Deacon

The Lead Deacon for the Month of April is Jeff Buggee.
Jeff can be reached via phone: 203-415-6322 or
email at


For Our Prayers This Week

We give thanks......
For the ideals on which our country was built
For hints of Spring
For all who contributed to the One Great Hour of Sharing offering
and helped raise over $1,300.00

We pray.....
For the family, friends and community experiencing the tragedy of the Canadian hockey team
For traveling mercies for all those enjoying some vacation time
For the people of Syria caught in a disastrous civil war

We grieve with…..
Norb Church at the death of his father on April 8th
All who are feeling loss of loved ones

Ongoing prayers for…
Jim Bolan, Betsy & Peter Boynton, Daria Carlson, Edward DeFrancesco, John Paul Dineen, Dormer Family, Eleanor Eadie (Emily Fielding’s sister), Robert & Margaret Gehm (parents of Nancy Gehm), Mary Gundersen (Lynda Barker’s mother), Martha Hickman (Lil Sakai’s mom), Alison Hobbie (Betsy Gay’s daughter), Frank Malinconico, Ethel Marchesseault (Linda’s mother), Joe Mele (Jen McCaughtry’s uncle), Maria & Adam Melillo, Mary, Kirsten & Rosabelle (Sharon Reynolds’ niece and family), Barbara Mehring, Rose & Tom Moore (mother & brother of Sharon Reynolds), Sylvia O’Brien, Debbie Pearl (friend of Lil Sakai), Lincoln Shaw (Frank Shaw’s brother), George Spear, Johnny Vaccino (Julie & Keith Shadman’s nephew), and Janet Young.


Church Calendar

Sunday, April 15
8:00 am Worship Service Walker Chapel
10:00 am Worship Service Meetinghouse

Monday, April 16

Tuesday, April 17
7:00 pm Adult Bell Rehearsal Sanctuary
7:00 pm Human Resources Board Russel Room

Wednesday, April 18
11:00 am Evergreen Woods Bible Study Evergreen Woods

Thursday, April 19
10:30 am CDC – Happy Feet Pilgrim Hall
7:00 pm Adult Choir Rehearsal Sanctuary

Friday, April 20

Saturday, April 21
9:00 am Annual Town Litter Day Town Green

Sunday, April 22
8:00 am Worship Service Walker Chapel
10:00 am Worship Service Meetinghouse
11:00 am Youth Choir Rehearsal Music Room
11:30 am Inquirers Class Russel Room

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Sanctuary Flowers

The 2018 Sanctuary Flower chart has now been placed on the bulletin board where the board minutes used to be located, outside of the Russel Room.

Please come and fill in the dates!

A $35 donation to the flower fund is suggested.




Check Out The Church Facebook Page

This is a public page for everyone to be able to see everything going on at OUR church.

Please be reminded that this page is open to the public and therefore no pictures should be shared of children unless the parents are asked specifically. The FCCB Youth Ministries CLOSED GROUP is where pictures including children can be posted.

Click the link below to be brought right to the page and like it! And be sure to share with your friends.


Amazon Smiles Donations

PLEASE shop at, and First Congregational Church can receive donations from AmazonSmile.

StartWithaSmile at for your purchases and Amazon donates to First Congregational Church.

Information Regarding The eSpire

• The deadline for an article to be published in the weekly e-spire is 12pm on Tuesdays.
• There is no longer a monthly paper spire. Those who have requested a paper copy now receive a copy of the weekly e-spire in the mail.
• The e-spire is only mailed out weekly if it can be done in a timely fashion.

Are You Connected?

Make sure you get all emails and updates from First Congregational Church. It’s easy and automatic to sign up for our email list – just go to and there is a sign-up form. Don’t miss another issue!

The eSpire is now available on our website at

Grocery Cards

Grocery cards are on sale Sundays after service or in the church office,
Monday-Thursday 9:00-3:00 pm.

 Big Y  Stop and Shop  Shop Rite 

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