First congregational church espire

Sunday March 24, 2019

Third Sunday in Lent

Worship 8:00 am in the Chapel

Worship 10:00 am in the Meetinghouse


As we prepare for our mission trip to Puerto Rico I cannot help but to think about what it actually means to organize a mission trip to this beautiful island. This will be the first time I personally have ever been a part of a mission trip experience that is off the mainland and where English is not the primary language. I have to admit this a little daunting. However, it is exciting as well. We will be going to an area that really needs our help. Nothing is worse than spending all this money, effort, and time to go on a mission trip where the work is not there. This happened once and I vowed it would not happen again. The work is there, the organization called Praying Pelicans appears to be very organized and have been working hard to make sure everything is set up for us regarding lodging, food, transportation, and work. We just need to get ourselves there.

I am very clear to our youth and other chaperones that we are not going down there to “save the day”. We are going to get as much out of this trip than anyone we help, if not more. We will learn about the culture and hopefully embrace the culture. We will become part of a community, not just our own community but a village community where it will be rich in culture.

The trip is about the work but it is about so much more. It is about our youth and adults learning about a different culture, building relationships with a diverse group of people, and putting their love and faith into action. All this often makes for a powerful and life- changing experience. We are grateful to the church for making this a reality!



As Rev. Theresa Borchetta is leaving us April 7, please spend some moments between now and then to speak some words of appreciation to her - have your time of closure with Rev. T. Jennifer McCaughtry is receiving items for the memory book which will be presented to T on April 7. You may write her at or call at ‭+1 (618) 954-8439‬ if you’d like to contribute a memory, gratitude, a picture, or a blessing.

You may also contribute to a purse which we’ll also present to T on the 7th. Please make those donations through Pat Carroll in the church office. In addition, staff will be taking Theresa to lunch on April 2nd and presenting a gift to her.‬‬‬‬


Lenten Supper Series: Wilderness Wanderings - all ages welcome!

at 6 pm in Pilgrim Hall

followed by a 6:30 pm-7:30 pm program:

March 27, Wandering in the Wilderness of Joy with Comic Kristin Pippin (a little light in the darkness of Lent!)

Sign up to bring food here:
If you have issues with signing up, contact Jennifer McCaughtry at 618-954-8439

April 3: Seder at 6 pm in Pilgrim Hall

April 18: Maundy Thursday service at 7 pm in Pilgrim Hall

April 19: Good Friday Ecumenical service
beginning at Noon at St. Mary’s

April 21: Easter Sunday Sunrise Service at 6 am at Killam’s Point, Love’s Beach;
9 am and 11 am services in the Church Meetinghouse

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easterlilies copy

Easter Lilies

IN MEMORY OF…………………………...……………………...…………

IN HONOR OF ………………………………………………………………..


CONTACT NAME…………………………………………..……………………………..



Deliver my plant to a homebound person

I will take my plant home after worship on Easter Sunday

Cost: $12.00 - Please make checks payable to First Congregational Church and note Easter Lilies in the memo line.

Please drop this form in the collection plate or at the Church office.

Deadline is 4/14/2019


Disciple sayings:

Would you like to come to church with me this Sunday?

I’m so glad you’re here.

Let me introduce you and show you around.


Shoreline Churches' Men's Communion Service and Breakfast

Dear Fellow Christians,

Tabor Lutheran Church in Branford is honored to host the 62nd Annual Shoreline Churches Men’s Communion Service and Breakfast on Sunday, April 7, 2019. The worship service will begin at 7:00 AM and be followed by breakfast in our Fellowship Hall.

The donation for this year’s breakfast will be $5 which will help offset the cost of breakfast and raise money for a local charity. We ask that you publicize this event in your weekly bulletin. Please encourage all men, both young and old, to attend.

Tickets will be sold at the door, but we ask that you let us know by Wednesday, April 5th how many from your church will be attending so that we can plan accordingly. You may call the church office at (203) 488-2541 or send an email to Ken Bjork at with your final head count.

We look forward to seeing you for a morning of worship and fellowship.


Book Group - Important Updates!

The next book group meeting will be on a different day because of church Lenten programs. We will meet on Thursday, April 4 at 7:00 pm. The April Book is The Midwife’s Tale by Sam Thomas.

The May book is The Wife by Meg Wolitzer, May 1 at 7pm

The June book is Inheritance by Dani Shapiro, June 4 at 7pm

Everyone is welcome. We meet in the Russel Room.
Barbara Colley


Jersey Mike’s Subs & TAVF

For the month of March each Jersey Mike’s Subs throughout the nation is participating in the Month of Giving and each store gets to pick their charity partner. Once again the local Jersey Mike’s Subs and its owner Marc Ferns has selected TAVF as its charity partner for its Month of Giving. Each time you make a purchase in Branford you will have the opportunity to make an additional donation of either $1, $3 or $5 all of which will go to TAVF!!! This is at the Branford Jersey Mike’s Subs, 845 West Main Street, Branford, CT 06405. This is the strip mall going up Branford Hill just past Five Guys.

On Wednesday March 27, 2019 100% of the day’s sales (yes sales, not profits, but sales!!) will go to TAVF. Please stop by and bring a great sub home for dinner. If your company would like to place an order for lunch or dinner TAVF will deliver in the nearby area, for multiple subs only! You will get a great meal and help a great cause, TAVF. A truly win win. Please stop by and help TAVF. Remember 100% of all the funds raised go back to veterans.

TAVF is in need of some new volunteers, so if you have any interest please speak to Jeff Buggee, Dave Crockett, Ray Luhn, or Don Potter.

Thank you
Take a Vet Fishing


Killam's Point - Branford Land Trust Programs

At Killam’s Point, God’s grace is experienced in the beauty of the land and sea, the warmth of human relationships, the joy of growing into a whole person and the understanding that all things are connected. It is a place for youth, adults and families….

• To learn about oneself, one another, the world and God
• To reconcile with oneself and with one another
• To contemplate and renew one’s spirit
• To preserve open space for the benefit and enjoyment of future generations.

Once again Branford Land Trust and First Congregational Church of Branford will join forces and cosponsor events open to the public on Killam’s Point.

Jutting into Long Island Sound, Killam’s Point is an ecological resource with stunning beauty. Its pitch pine stands, pockets of upland forest, salt meadows, bird populations, varied plant and insect life and diverse species of animals invite us to enjoy reconciling with nature.

June 6, 2019 7:30 to 9:00 pm. Our Living Fossils, the Horse Shoe Crabs, led by Martha Rice, Branford Land Trust

Martha will describe Sacred Hearts’s research and how the creature is important to our existence. Come for a hands-on experience with these fascinating fossils. Children love this program.

August 4, 2019. 10:00 to 12:00 noon. Native Americans Summer at the Shore, led by Town Historian Jane Bouley

Centuries before the English arrived, Native Americans spent summers on Killam’s Point. Food was readily available, shelter in caves protected them from the elements, travel by water simplified moving and a spring supplied drinking water. Join us for a look at a different culture that teaches us not to own land but to protect it for future generations. Kids of all ages will tour the past with promise for the future.

October 19, 2019 10:00 to 12:00 noon. Killam’s Point in Fall Splendor, led by educator and naturalist Jim Goggin

Walk the trails and enjoy the magnificent views from granite bluffs. Watch the birds and animals preparing for winter. Wonder over the forest in amazing color. Diversity and serenity awaits those joining us for a family outing.

For Registration, required for each event, call 203 747 4184.

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Branford Builds Update

Great news! The Mission Board has received several applications for assistance with home repairs. What an exciting opportunity for our church to show love and compassion for those in need! The work will be completed during the weekend of May 4th and 5th. Please save the dates! The opportunity to volunteer to be a member of this team will be announced soon, so watch for it! The needs will be plentiful and varied! In other words, we need you!

So, mark your calendar right now—May 4th and 5th. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to spread hope and show God’s grace to others!

Making Christ’s love known in word and action! Amen!


“Theocracy to Democracy” is now available online at On their site look for the latest videos. Also, don’t forget to send in your memories of our church to us. You can use this email: Ask your family and friends to send in theirs.

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A note from the Christmas Fair Group:
It’s spring cleaning time and we are starting to collect for two sections of the Christmas Fair. The first is Christmas Revisited. The second is the Jewelry Dept. We are collecting jewelry, jewelry boxes, belts, gloves, scarves, hats, pocketbooks, and tote bags. You may bring these items at any time to the Church Office and Carol Hoadley will store them.

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"Jesus is no king of the jungle – in this story or any other. What he is is a mother hen, who stands between the chicks and those who mean to do them harm… She has no fangs, no claws, no rippling muscles. All she has is her willingness to shield her babies with her own body. If the fox wants them, he will have to kill her first…" If you missed it, please read Rev. Suz' powerful sermon "As A Hen Gathers Her Brood."


Starting at the beginning of March, Lotus Yoga will be offering Intermediate Level Stress Release Yoga classes for older adults at FCCB! Classes will provide an emphasis on decreasing tension and increasing flexibility and will be taught by Gina Macdonald MA,LPC. a certified yoga instructor with 20 years of experience. Sessions are held on Wednesday evenings, 5:45-7:00 pm. Cost is $10.00 per session/$15.00 drop in. Contact Gina at 203-710-6665 for more info.

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What Shall We Bring?

From your Stewardship Board:

Thanks to those members and friends who have submitted their pledges for the Church in 2019. We have received $180,475 from 108 pledging units to date and appreciate your support.

If you have not yet pledged, please remember to do so either in church, online at the website, or by email to

We are well on the way to our goal of $200,000, yet need your support to make it happen. Please help us reach our goal.


No More Pledge Numbers!

The new computer program that Pat, our bookkeeper uses to track offerings no longer requires pledge numbers. Simply be sure your name is on your envelope, especially if it contains cash.


Hospitality in March and April

Each month a group will be asked to donate a snack or treat one Sunday and when possible serve coffee. In March all those who whose last names begin with an R are asked to bring a snack or treat and serve one Sunday in March.

In April those members whose last names begin with an S or T are asked to bring a snack or treat one Sunday and serve coffee one Sunday during the month. That means you are asked to bring food and serve coffee once during the year!

John has the coffee ready for us each Sunday.

Each month supplies will be available in the kitchen: milk, half & half, sugar and juice for the children.

In March, if your last name begins with R, send me an email if you can serve one Sunday during the month.

If you have any other questions, email, text, or call me:, 203-483-8039
Deanna O’Connell


Confirmation Calendar

April 7 4:00-5:30 The Faith Journey Continues
April 28 4:00-5:30 Confirmation at 10:00 am Service


High School Youth Group Calendar

(All times will be 6:00-7:30 unless noted otherwise)

April 7th & 28th
May 5th (5:30pm start) Youth Group Tool Time


New Email Address for Church Office

To contact the church, please email

Office Hours

Mondays: 3-6pm
Tuesdays: 5:30-7:30pm
Wednesdays: 5:30-7:30pm
Thursdays: 3-6pm


For Our Prayers This Week...

We give thanks for...
The 9 church members who’ve answered the call to serve on the Pastoral Search Committee
The comedian (Kristen Pippin) who will bring some light in the darkness of Lent during
this Wednesday’s Lenten programming
Those who use their talents to bring joy to the lives of others

We pray for...
Those grieving or suffering after a gunman opened fire at 2 mosques in Christchurch,
New Zealand on Friday, killing 50 and injuring dozens more
For those affected by severe flooding in the Midwest following a powerful storm
Honesty and Ethics in college admission practices

Ongoing prayers for…
Grace Chaplin, Ira & Nancy Heller (friends of the Reifs), The Guay family (friends of Ray Luhn), Rick Buggee (Jeff Buggee’s brother), Nancy Dougherty, Joseph Arnson (Take-A-Vet Fishing Volunteer Care Member), Sean St. Pierre, Wayne Childs, Nancy Johnson, Bob Zettergren & family, Jeff Buggee, Marge Nalewajek (Meghan St. Pierre's mother), Norm Roberts, Ella Furjes, and her mom, Gwen (Jennifer and Mareyna McCaughtry’s friends), Grace Chaplin (Paul’s mom), Judy Whittaker, Cory Martens (Kelly Marten’s brother), Rick Barker, Jim Bolan, Betsy & Peter Boynton, Edward DeFrancesco, Dormer Family, Robert & Margaret Gehm (parents of Nancy Gehm), Martha Hickman (Lil Sakai’s mom), Alison Hobbie (Betsy Gay’s daughter), John D. Kelly (Mindy Yester’s brother), Ethel Marchesseault (Linda’s mother), The Family of Sharon Reynolds, Sylvia O’Brien, Debbie Pearl (friend of Lil Sakai), George Spear, and Lou Wells.


Life Among the Believers

Sunday, March 24
8:00 am Worship Service Walker Chapel
10:00 am Worship Service Meetinghouse

Monday, March 25
9:00 am Public School Transition Program All Purpose Room

Tuesday, March 26
9:00am CDC-Dental Visit Pilgrim Hall
10:00 am Staff Meeting Russel Room
7:00 pm Human Resources Board Meeting Russel Room
7:00 pm Bell Rehearsal Sanctuary

Wednesday, March 27
8:30 am WIC Program All Purpose Room
9:30 am CDC-CrossFit Pilgrim Hall
5:45 pm Lotus Yoga Class Pine Room
6:00 pm Lenten Supper Series: Wandering in the Wilderness of Joy Pilgrim Hall

Thursday, March 28
8:30 am WIC Program All Purpose Room
10:00 am Knitting, Purling, Praying Russel Room
10:30 am CDC: Happy Feet Pilgrim Hall
7:00 pm Choir Rehearsal Sanctuary

Friday, March 29
9:00 am Public School Transition Program All Purpose Room
9:00 am Committee of Church Governance Russel Room

Saturday, March 30

Sunday, March 31
8:00 am Worship Service Walker Chapel
10:00 am Worship Service Meetinghouse
12:00 pm Branford High School Cast Party Pilgrim Hall & Kitchen




Our weekly worship service is recorded and replayed on BCTV
Channel 18 or 1070 for Comcast customers,
Channel 6004 for Frontier customers
at 5:30pm on Sundays.

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Sanctuary Flowers

The 2019 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 will now only be sold after worship on Sundays.

 Big Y  Stop and Shop 

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