Sunday May 26, 2019

Sixth Sunday of Easter

Worship at 10:00 in the Meetinghouse

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Life Among the Believers

Greetings, beloved patriot. We’re coming upon another Memorial Day, when we remember and honor and celebrate those who’ve made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom, who gave their lives in the service of others. We ask God to comfort those who grieve the loss of their loved ones. There are service men and women who have been injured and/or disabled by the fighting and carry those reminders with them. We thank them for their sacrifice, and ask that God reach out to them in special ways that they greatly know God’s love and peace.

In 150 countries, including Afghanistan, Iraq, and Korea, may God hold our service women and men in his strong arms, to cover them with his sheltering grace and presence as they stand in the gap for our protection. We remember the families of our troops, and ask for God’s unique blessings to fill their homes and may God’s peace, provision and strength fill their lives.

May the members of our armed forces be filled with courage to face each day and may they trust in God’s mighty power to accomplish each task. Finally, may God help us to shape and make a world where we will put down the arms of war and live in the harvest of justice and peace.

This Sunday we’ll sing My Country ‘Tis of Thee, and we’ll pray a Memorial Day Litany. Our Sanctuary Choir has something special for us in an anthem called The Journey by Joseph M. Martin. One choir member called it a two handkerchief song. Deacon Al Mahan will be our liturgist. The scripture passage is John 5:1-9, in which Jesus firmly counsels that whatever pain, whatever hardship you carry, stand up, take your mat and walk. Do you want to be made well? Healing is such a mystery. Maybe sometimes healing comes as amazing grace, and other times we’re asked to take part in our healing. We find when we take one step toward Jesus, he’ll take two steps toward us. What does it mean to be made well?

May the Angels in their beauty bless you.

May they turn toward you streams of blessing.

May the Angel of Awakening stir your heart

To come alive to the eternal within you,

To all the invitations that quietly surround you.

May the Angel of Healing turn your wounds

Into sources of refreshment.

Making Christ’s Love Known in Word and Action,
Rev. Suz, Interim Minister
(~happy to visit with you in your home, church office, cafe, a walk~)

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Intergenerational Picnic at Killam's Point

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Save the Date!

Saturday July 13th 3 - 6 pm

Details will follow, but we want you to save the date for an Intergenerational Picnic at Killam's Point on Saturday July 13th. We'll fire up the grill for burgers and dogs, and there will be potluck dishes to share, kids' games, trails for walking, beaches for swimming, and chairs for just sitting and enjoying the beautiful view.

All are welcome! Young and old, families and singles...mark your calendar now!

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On Sunday May 12th, during the holy month of Ramadan, the Diyanat Mosque on Middletown Avenue in New Haven, was intentionally set on fire. First Congregational Church contributed $1000 towards rebuilding efforts. We received this thank you from the creator of the GoFundMe rebuilding campaign to which we contributed.

Thank you so much for the donation. You are appreciated beyond words! Your solidarity is what proves that humanity will always prevail against evil. We are beyond grateful and thankful for your donation.

Faraz Sabir


Worshipping Together

Worship will be held in the Meetinghouse at 10:00am every Sunday through June 9th. June 16th will be at 8:00am in the Meetinghouse. June 23rd will be at 9:00am at Killam’s Point. From June 30th on, worship will be held at 9:00 am in our Meetinghouse.

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A Note To All Musicians

Enrich our summer Sunday worship!

If you are able and interested in performing a solo, duet, or as a small ensemble for a Sunday anthem this summer, we would love to hear you. We need musicians on the following dates: July 7, 14, 21, 28; August 4, 11, 18, 25; Sep 1, 8

If you can bless us with your talents, please contact Philip Rinehart, Music Director, or Julia Novaco in the church office. Many thanks.


Hospitality for May and June

We are completing nine months using a new approach to serving coffee after church. Many have volunteered to donate a snack or treat one Sunday and serve coffee. No Sunday has been without someone to serve coffee and a snack. Thank you to everyone.

In May all those who whose last name beginning with V, W, Y and Z are asked to bring a snack or treat and serve one Sunday in May. Please send me an email if you can serve one Sunday during the month.

In June anyone who would like to bring in a snack and/or serve coffee would be greatly appreciated. We will start our rotation of names again in September. Have a great summer.

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.

If you have any other questions, email. text or call me. doconnell28@comcast.net 203-483-8039
Deanna O’Connell


Book Group - Important Updates!

Please note change in time for June meeting.

Our last meeting will be June 5 at 7:30. We will be discussing ‘Inheritance ‘by Dani Shapiro.
For our summer reading, we have chosen ‘Tale of Two Cities’ by Dickens.
Barbara Colley


Our 375th Anniversary Continues!

Our program from Pilgrim Hall on Sunday April 28th “The First Great Awakening: from the professor and the preacher“is now available online and on cable television. You can find it online at https://vimeo.com/336724888. It will be airing this week on Comcast channel 18/Frontier channel 6004: Friday 5/24 - 8:30 p.m., Saturday 5/25 - 11:00 a.m. & 8:30 p.m. and Sunday 5/26 - 7:30 a.m.

Don’t forget to write up your recollections of our church for our Memory Book. We have received some; we welcome many, many more. Think of something quirky, or something really meaningful to you. I encourage you to talk to many people around you and ask them for their stories.

You may have many stories, or a few. Please write them up and send them to us, leave them in the 375th mailbox in the office or email them to 375@firstcongregationalbranford.org.

Length – long or short, our team will edit as needed.


High School Youth Group Calendar

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



The flowers in our sanctuary this Sunday are in celebration of their grandson Adoniya’s graduation from high school with love from Sharon & Bill Reynolds.


For Our Prayers This Week...

We give thanks for...
The men and women of our armed forces who served to protect our nation’s freedom
Those engaged in justice work for women’s healthcare and reproductive rights

We pray for...
The faith community of Diyanet Mosque in New Haven where a fire was intentionally set; we pray for the end of the hatred of who people are and for what they believe
Intervention and healing in the nationwide opioid epidemic (in CT overdoses increased almost 40% from 2015 to 2018)

Please remember these Connecticut Conference Churches In Your Prayers…
First Congregational Church of Old Lyme; First Church of Christ in Saybrook (Congregational); Orange Congregational Church; Oxford UCC Congregational; The First Congregational Church of Plainfield

We grieve with…
The family of Claire Bennitt, who died on May 5, 2019

Ongoing prayers for…
Kathy Gibbons (Barbara O’Keefe’s cousin), Jean Andros, Colin & Justin Williams (Linda Mitchell’s cousins), Bill Mayer (friend of Linda Mitchell), Kelly Martens and family, Grace Chaplin (Paul’s mother), Nancy Heller (friend of the Reifs), Rick Buggee (Jeff Buggee’s brother), Nancy Dougherty, Joseph Arnson (Take-A-Vet Fishing Volunteer Care Member), Wayne Childs, Bob Zettergren & family, Marge Nalewajek (Meghan St. Pierre's mother), Ella Furjes, and her mom, Gwen (Jennifer and Mareyna McCaughtry’s friends), Cory Martens (Kelly Marten’s brother), Rick Barker, Jim Bolan, Rose & Tom Moore (Sharon Reynold’s Mom & brother), 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), Sylvia O’Brien, Debbie Pearl (friend of Lil Sakai), George Spear, and Lou Wells.


Life Among the Believers

Sunday, May 26 – Fresh Salad Collection
10:00 am Worship Service Meetinghouse

Monday, May 27 – Memorial Day
Church Office Closed

Tuesday, May 28
6:00 pm Human Resource Board Meeting Russel Room
7:00 pm Bell Rehearsal Sanctuary

Wednesday, May 29
5:45 pm Lotus Yoga Class All Purpose Room
6:00 pm Pastoral Search Committee Meeting Russel Room

Thursday, May 30
7:00 pm Adult Choir Rehearsal Sanctuary

Friday, May 31
9:00 am Public School Transition Program All Purpose Room

Saturday, June 1
10:30 am Claire Bennitt Memorial Service & Reception Meetinghouse/Pilgrim Hall

Sunday, June 2 - Communion
10:00 am Worship Service Meetinghouse
11:00 am Christian Education Board Meeting Russel Room
6:00 pm Mandatory Mission Trip Meeting Pilgrim Hall


New Email Address for Church Office

To contact the church, please email


Office Hours

Mondays through Thursdays: 3-5:30 pm




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

Please consider contributing $35 to the flower fund. It would be amazing to have people signed up each Sunday to help defray the cost of weekly Sanctuary Flowers.


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 smile.amazon.com, and First Congregational Church can receive donations from AmazonSmile.

StartWithaSmile at smile.amazon.com/ch/06-6042800 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 www.firstcongregationalbranford.org and there is a sign-up form. Don’t miss another issue!

The eSpire is now available on our website at http://www.firstcongregationalbranford.org/newsletters.html

Grocery Cards

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

 Big Y  Stop and Shop 

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