Sunday September 23, 2018

Worship at 8:00am in the Chapel

Worship at 10:00am in the Meetinghouse

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Life Among the Believers

Hello, beloved! Looking at this heart-warming picture, it makes me think of Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so. He loves the little children, and he loves you and me. Thank you, Jesus!

At the conclusion of the Who do you say that I am message last Sunday, September 16, I wrote on an easel with newsprint, the name, Jesus, then I wrote in the answers that were given all around that wonderful name:
from 8:00am worship: Son of God, Christ, Teacher, Love, Redeemer, Leader, Friend, Pain-Bearer, Man, Servant, Healer, Word, Brother, Light
from 10:00 worship: Redeemer, Savior, Unconditional Lover, Friend, Healer, Communicator, Storyteller, Inspirer, Watcher, Brother, Guide, Hugger, Rule-breaker
I also showed a sheet that I had prepared: Healer, Friend, Inviter, Forgiver, Lover, Peace-Maker, Unifier, Justice Bringer, Joy Giver, Tear Dryer,Teacher, Second Chance, Glory Maker, Chain Breaker, Freedom Maker, Redeemer, Son of God, Light of the World.

Jesus. There really is something about that name. We sang that hymn afterwards!

This Sunday, we’ll see that name reflected in Jesus’ love for children when the disciples argued about who among them was the greatest, and Jesus took a child in his arms and said, whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me. (Mark 9:33-37) This would’ve been a shocking thing to do, as children weren’t seen as important in the least! That Jesus, breaking boundaries! Come, and let’s sing Jesus Loves Me, and O Jesus, I Have Promised. The Sanctuary Choir will sing the stirring Gather By the River to Pray. Carol Rutt and I had an interesting conversation this summer about children, and I invited her to share some of what she’d said in Time with our Youth after I spend some moments with them.

We won’t be taking up a special collection for the victims of Hurricane Florence, but there are many organizations who are receiving donations, including our denomination, the United Church of Christ. This is a safe and secure link if you’d like to give through the denomination:

See you Sunday!

Making Christ’s Love Known in Word and Action,
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

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New Email Address for Church Office

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Introduction to the Old Testament

Beginning October 7, 2018 after 10:00 worship

Ever wonder why our bible is so big and only a small part documents Jesus’ life and ministry? How do you pronounce all of those long names and what do they have to do with my life as a Christian? Why is the Old Testament God so angry and mean? I would read the Old Testament but its boring and I don’t understand it.

If any of these thoughts sound familiar to you or you just want to learn more about the Old Testament, the Christian Ed Board has a class for you. Come to our four week survey class and learn more about the Old Testament. Betsy Dorsi will be presenting a brief introduction to the Old Testament covering it from a historical and spiritual perspective that will provide a framework for future study. During this 2nd hour class you can expect to hear about the origins of some of the texts, discover some Bible humor, learn some anthropology and hear God speak in some new and challenging ways.

We will meet in the Pine Room following 10:00 Worship on 10/7 and 10/14, and the two dates will be determined by the participants. Come for all sessions to get the complete survey or come to which ever you can as each week can stand alone.

Please bring a Bible (any translation) and be ready to take notes if you are a note taker!

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2018 Nature Program on Killam's Point

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

In cooperation with the Branford Land Trust, our church will host its last event of 2018 open to the public, giving all who attend the opportunity to enjoy the Point and to learn about how we interact with nature.

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

Space is limited so to register for attendance, please call 203 747 4184.

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Images from Intergenerational Piemaking!

Lots of smiles here, as well as at the Community Dining Room when the pies were delivered! We invite you to join us one one of our next activities.

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Intergenerational Activities

Saturday, October 20
Food Gift Love from 5-8pm
We will make homemade treats that can be given away as gifts. Our hope is to give these gifts to those who are home bound.

Tuesday, October 30
Tai Chi from 6-8pm
If you're looking for a way to reduce stress, consider tai chi (TIE-CHEE). Originally developed for self-defense, tai chi has evolved into a graceful form of exercise that's now used for stress reduction and in a variety of other health conditions. Often described as meditation in motion, tai chi promotes serenity through gentle, flowing movements.

Sunday, November 4
Ronald McDonald House beginning at 12pm
We will cook several meals for the families to store for the week as they go back and forth to the hospital. Check out the website for Ronald McDonald House New Haven -at the top is a short video describing their mission.

Tuesday, November 13
Thanksgiving Baskets For Food Pantry from 5-8pm
This is our 12th year making baskets! We will put together baskets and turkeys for home delivery by the Branford Food Pantry. Our goal is between 80-100 of each.

Tuesday, December 4
Painting Night from 5:30-8pm
The folks from Fired Up will come over and host a painting night. The painting will be pre-determined. They will supply all of the materials. There will be slight fee for this evening (TBA)

Tuesday, December 11
Gingerbread Making Night Extreme from 6-8pm
The folks from the Christmas fair will be helping our youth decorate gingerbread houses!!

Note: We are working with the folks from Sanctuary Kitchen to have an intergenerational cooking event in Pilgrim Hall. They will do a cooking demonstration by refugee Chefs and then we will eat together. (DATE TBA)

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A Thank You Note from a Vet

Dear Congregation:
I would like to personally thank each and every member if your fine congregation for sponsoring “Take A Vet Fishing,” which was held last Saturday. This was my first time attending such an event. The scenery was spectacular and if I had to explain what I would like heaven to look like-well, this is it. I do realize how much work and cost is involved to pull off such an event. Once again, a big thank you to everyone.

God Bless,
A very Appreciative Vet

P.S. The food was excellent!

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From your Stewardship Committee: We’re almost three quarters into the year and we’ve almost received three quarters of your pledges. Keep your pledges coming in please.

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Sisters in the Spirit

Wednesday, October 24th - 6:00-8:00

Our guest Mahogany Thomas wrote her first sermon at age 7 (her dad was a preacher in a Baptist church in Missouri), and she’s still preaching and afire for the Lord. Now at Yale Divinity School (after some time in banking, for heaven’s sake), she is a candidate for ordination in the UCC.

Come, hear and share the journey of this amazing dynamic black sister. Sign-up will be available soon and we can feed 30 with a Southern-themed menu. An honorarium is requested to cover the food costs and make a contribution to an organization that helps women and families in need.

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We have a new approach for all to participate in during the coffee hour after the 10:00 AM service where we’ll greet each other, share a cup of coffee and meet new friends.

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

In October, those members whose last names begin with a C or D, are asked to bring a snack or treat and serve coffee one Sunday during the month. That means you are asked to bring food and serve coffee only 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 September, last name begins with A or B, send me an email if you can serve one Sunday during the month. or call 203-483-8039. We’re counting on everyone.

If you have any questions, email or call me.

Deanna O'Connell

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Confirmation Mentors Are Needed
Would you like a chance to have an impact on a young person’s life? We are looking for adults to be disciples to our confirmation class. You would be paired up with a young person and meet four times between September and April. The meetings are structured and guided. It is so important that our young people have an opportunity to learn from and connect with adults from our congregation.

Here is a great chance to make a positive influence with a young person. Let me know as soon as possible if you would consider this opportunity. Rather than aiming to have one adult leader for every five students, it’s better to aim for connecting every teen with five adults who are willing to invest in the teen in some way, even if rather small. According to LifeWay Research, “teens who had five or more adults from the church invest in them during the ages of 15 to 18 were less likely to leave the church after high school.” Contact Theresa if you are interested

The Rev. Theresa Borchetta

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Have you ever wanted to review parts of a sermon which you heard on Sunday? Have you ever wanted to share a sermon with a friend? We'll try to post links to sermons here. Just click the sermon title and it will take you to the sermon on our website.

We've got two sermons to share this week!

The first is from Rev. Susan Power Trucksess Lord, Teach Us to Pray from September 9, 2018.

The second is from Rev. Suzanne Personette Who Do You Say That I Am from September 16, 2018

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

September 30 Mandatory information meeting for all interested in attending Youth Mission Trip in the church

October 21st & 28th
November 11th & 25th
December 2nd & 16th
January 6th & 13th
February 3rd & 24th
March 3rd & 17th
April 7th & 28th
May 5th (5:30pm start) Youth Group Tool Time

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Book Group

I hope everyone is enjoying the second half of the summer.

As a reminder, here are the books we have chosen for the remainder of the year:
October 3-The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin
November 7-Ethan Frome by Elizabeth Wharton
December 5-Pachinko by Min Jin Lee
January 8-Biography or memoir of your choice

Please join us on October 3rd, at our new time 5pm!

Barbara Colley

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

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For Our Prayers This Week

We give thanks for......
The cycling seasons which bring us Autumn blessings
For our church Deacons who served a ministry of hospitality during the two memorial services last Saturday

We pray for.....
Those who have been affected by Hurricane Florence and the typhoon in the Philippines and China
For our neighbors in the Boston area affected by the deadly explosions

We grieve with.....
The family of Douglas MacDonald who died on September 4th
The Wheeler family at the loss of Nancy, a member of FCCB for 66 years

Ongoing prayers for…
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, Jeff Buggee, Jim Bolan, Betsy & Peter Boynton, Rick Buggee, 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.

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October 7: World Communion Sunday, and Neighbors in Need Offering

Life Among the Believers

Sunday, September 23
8:00 am Worship Service Walker Chapel
10:00 am Worship Service Meetinghouse

Monday, September 24
9:00 am Branford Transition Program All Purpose Room

Tuesday, September 25
10:00 am Staff Meeting Russel Room
5:30 pm Discernment Team Meeting All Purpose Room
7:00 pm Human Resources Board Meeting Russel Room
7:00 pm Bell Rehearsal Sanctuary

Wednesday, September 26
8:30 am WIC All Purpose Room

Thursday, September 27
8:30 am WIC All Purpose Room
10:00 am Knitting, Purling, Praying Russel Room
10:30 am CDC – Happy Feet Pilgrim Hall
7:00 pm Adult Choir Rehearsal Sanctuary

Friday, September 28
9:00 am Branford Transition Program All Purpose Room
6:00 pm Outside group Set-up Pilgrim Hall

Saturday, September 29
2:00 pm Outside Group – Baby Shower Pilgrim Hall

Sunday, September 30
8:00 am Worship Service Walker Chapel
10:00 am Worship Service Meetinghouse
4:00 pm Confirmation Class Pine Room
6:00 pm High School Youth Group Pilgrim Hall
6:00 pm Mandatory Mission Trip Meeting Meetinghouse

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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.

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Grocery Cards

Grocery Cards will now only be sold after worship on Sundays.

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

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