Sunday February 4, 2018

Fifth Sunday after Epiphany


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

Worship Service 10:00 a.m., Meetinghouse

The Rev. Susan Trucksess preaching
Readings from the Jewish and Christian scriptures


Ponderings.....winter dry bones

We’ve turned a page on the calendar and headed into the dead of winter. The season of Lent approaches and we are back to solemnity, repentance, and purple. The days may be getting longer, but there is still a lot of darkness out there. It can feel kind of drab. I don’t know about you, but sometimes I feel like I am in the valley of the dry bones (Ezekiel 37:1-14). Medical research talks about SAD (Seasonal Affect Disorder) and the depression that comes upon many folks when they don’t get enough sunlight. But spiritual malaise is just as debilitating.

Perhaps you too yearn to be inspired, to be lifted up, set free beyond the place of deadness, to have flesh and supple skin and breath. To be put together so we can dance. That would be good. But maybe this is a season to be patient with ourselves and trust that the Spirit is calling us to new life. Or maybe this is a time to move beyond our own dullness to deliberately try to be a life-giver to another…to remember, and reach out to someone …

...Who struggles to believe in their own goodness

...Who can’t seem to get ahead

...Who lives in the grips of addiction or faces an illness

...Who has too much or too little to do.

Surely this is a time to pray: Oh God, breath of life, help us to trust in you, to believe in your dance of life in us. Bless our dry and dusty spirits with your deep and stirring energy. Renew our dreams. Fill us with enthusiasm for waking up, even on a dim February morning, for another day of living and loving (Joyce Rupp, May I have this Dance?).
Peace and blessing,

Susan PT
Susan Power Trucksess
P.S. To Eat or Not Eat is NOT the Question is the title of my sermon on a February Sunday where we are invited to a feast at the Lord’s Table as well as to consider fasting as a Christian ritual. Hint: It is not an either/or, but a why.

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Mardi Gras Pancake Breakfast

Tuesday February 13, 2018

7:30am in Pilgrim Hall

Join your church friends for a Last Day before Lent celebration of Mardi Gras! Also known as Pancake Day, Mardi Gras is the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday and the perfect time to have a delicious pancake breakfast with all the fixin’s! Enjoy the food and fellowship, possibly a bite-sized meditation, and get your Fat Tuesday (and Lent) off to a grand start! No reservations required, just show up and bring an appetite!


2018 Lenten Series

Join us for a Lenten series that invites you to consider the Gospel command to love (and not merely tolerate) those considered to be “other” or outside mainstream Christian culture. The authors of this series bring a non-technical, Wesleyan perspective to bear on what may be the hardest thing for people of faith to do: keeping and loving the Other as Other.

This series will be emphasizing the biblical mandate to receive Others in their particularity and difference as gifts and mysteries bearing the grace of God.

We will be coming together for a soup supper from 6:00-6:30pm and then the program will be from 6:30-7:30pm.
“Please click here for a link to the sign-up for soup, salad, bread,set-up and clean-up.”

2017 Contribution Statements

2017 Contribution Statements have been mailed out. You should receive them by the end of next week.

If you don't receive one by then, or have questions concerning your statement, please contact Pat Carroll, the bookkeeper, at 203-488-7201.


Thank you from Louise Lind

I want to thank the FCCB family for your support to Earl during his times of illness and treatments. You were there for him in prayer, in calls, in visits, in cards and delivering beautiful altar flowers. You were there to celebrate his life. You showed the unfailing love of the Lord never ends.



Book Group 2018

These are the books we have chosen for the first half of the year. All are welcome to join us whenever you can. We meet the first Wednesday of the month in the Russel Room at 7:00 pm.

February 7, Ordinary Grace-William Kent Kreuger
March 7, Before We Were Yours-Lisa Wingate
April 4, News of the World-Paulette Jiles
May 2, Lab Girl-Hope Jahren
June 6, TBD

Barbara Colley


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 February is Al Russell.
Al can be reached via phone at: 203-488-2733 or by email at


For Our Prayers This Week

We give thanks for......
The capacity to feel gratitude at all times
The freedom to choose the life we want to live

We pray for.....
The continued preparations for the Lenten season
The Spirit’s guidance as we continue to move through the Interim search process

Ongoing prayers for…
Betsy & Peter Boynton, Daria Carlson, Edward DeFrancesco, Dormer Family, Eleanor Eadie (Emily Fielding’s sister), Robert & Margaret Gehm (parents of Nancy Gehm), Mary Gundersen (Lynda Barker’s mother), Alison Hobbie (Betsy Gay’s daughter), Frank Malinconico, Joe Mele (Jen McCaughtry’s uncle), 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), George Spear, and Janet Young.


Church Calendar

Sunday, February 4 - Communion
8:00 am Worship Service Walker Chapel
10:00 am Worship Service Meetinghouse
10:40 am Youth Chimes Rehearsal Room 25
11:00 am Youth Choir Rehearsal Music Room
11:15 am CE Board Meeting Russel Room

Monday, February 5
7:00 pm KPMT Meeting Russel Room

Tuesday, February 6
10:00 am Staff Meeting Russel Room
4:30 pm Youth Bells Meetinghouse
5:15 pm Family Group Night Pilgrim Hall
7:00 pm Land & Building Meeting Room 25
7:00 pm Adult Bell Choir Rehearsal Sanctuary

Wednesday, February 7
11:00 am Evergreen Woods Bible Study Evergreen Woods
7:00 pm Book Group Russel Room

Thursday, February 8
10:00 am Knitting, Purling, Praying Russel Room
10:30 am CDC - Happy Feet Pilgrim Hall
7:00 pm Choir Rehearsal Sanctuary

Friday, February 9

Saturday, February 10
11:00 am Smile Anyway Meeting Pine Room
8:00 pm Branford Folk Music Society Pilgrim Hall

Sunday, February 11
8:00 am Worship Service Walker Chapel
10:00 am Worship Service Meetinghouse
10:40 am Youth Chimes Rehearsal Room 25
11:00 am Youth Choir Rehearsal Music Room
11:15 am Music Board Meeting Room 25
6:00 pm High School Youth Group Pilgrim Hall


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?

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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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