Sunday July 28, 2019

Seventh Sunday after Pentecost

Worship at 9:00 am

Worship will be held at 9:00 am in our Meetinghouse through September 8th.


Fresh Salad Sunday

Fresh Salad Sunday is coming up for the Community Dining Room. Please make sure to bring in your donated fresh produce for this wonderful cause!


Life Among the Believers

Hahahaha, Beloved! Here’s another: In a moment of creative inspiration, the entrepreneur who owned the coin-op laundry beside the church commissioned this sign for his window: “Where cleanliness really is next to Godliness!” hahahaha

Wherever you are right now, whatever’s going on for you, I invite you to take a little break. Could you use a little laughter? Who couldn’t?! I’ve long praised God for clowns and comics, these ministers of the spirit. Weeping endures for the night, but joy comes in the morning - it lasts longer. Laughter opens us up - must be all of that extra air we take in when we’re laughing! Weeping and depression can make us spiral downward, but joy lifts us heavenward. The joy of the Lord is my strength and my salvation.

On Sunday we’ll pray A Clown’s Prayer, read an Affirmation of Humor Litany, hear 6 one verse scriptures which all mention laughter, and the sermon title is A Time to Laugh. At the end of the sermon I’ll invite you to tell a joke, or I’ll have some bad jokes to tell. We’ll sing O For a 1,000 Tongues to Sing, Come, Christians, Join to Sing, and He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands. Our very own Al Daniels will treat us to two musical pieces, one called The Wings of a Dove (by Bob Fergusson), and an original one titled In a Loving Way. Jim Boak will be our liturgist.

I do want to backtrack a little, though, and mention what a great job The Rev. Marilyn Kendrix did with her talk on mass incarceration on July 21, followed by another presentation in the Russel Room. Some have asked what concrete steps we can take. One member offered that an individual could get on CT representatives email lists about upcoming legislation. I wrote Rev. Kendrix about this and she said, “One church where I spoke gathered a small team of folks who kept up with legislation being considered in Hartford who then kept the congregation aware of it and sometimes suggested what church members should communicate to legislators. In addition, the CTUCC has a legislative advocate, Michelle Mudrick, who advocates in Hartford for issues that we as a Conference are concerned about. She is a great resource for what’s going on and is willing to meet with church groups in order to help them be effective advocates as well.”

Marilyn offers that folks can volunteer with the Department of Correction. “Becoming a prayer partner with an inmate is very meaningful for them. Just the fact that someone who does not have to, comes to visit and pray with an incarcerated person helps them understand their own value as human beings. It is highly motivational for reducing recidivism upon release. If someone is interested in becoming a volunteer within the Department of Correction they may contact the Administrator of the Volunteer Services Unit, Counselor Supervisor Calma Frett at For more information see Administrative Directive 10.4 Volunteer and Recreation Services (CT Department of Correction website)”.

Some years back I was a prayer partner of an inmate (Melanie) at Niantic Women’s Prison. It turned out that our time coincided with the last two years of her sentence, so I was able to see her through it. Upon her release, the church I was serving at the time was willing to donate various household items to help set her up in an apartment in New London. It was both meaningful and enlightening to walk with Melanie during this challenging time in her life.

This Sunday, July 28 is Fresh Salad Collection for the Food Pantry. We’ve seen less collection over the past year. Let’s try to beef this up (lol) again with more people bringing their fresh salad offering forward during the Sunday offering.

Camp Totokett donations need to be in the church kitchen by this Sunday, July 28th.

Missy Van Vliet will be out of the church office for a few weeks, beginning July 31st. She’ll be checking voicemail and email messages. Please continue to send articles or announcements for the eSpire. The summer eSpire will go out August 8, 22, September 5, then will return to its normal weekly delivery. Rev. Suz will cover office responsibilities while Missy is away.

Seen on a church sign:

Addicted To The Hokey Pokey

So I Turned Myself Around

Sunday Services 9:00 am

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Community Dining Room

Hi everyone,

Six times a year we have a unique opportunity to serve our neighbors-in-need in the Branford area by preparing and serving 40-60 wholesome and delicious, hot midday meals at the Community Dining Room on Harrison Ave. Our volunteer team is one of many who contribute to a daily work schedule at the CDR. It's coordinated through the First Congregational Church of Branford and we welcome anyone who would like to help! FCC volunteers work on the first Sunday of even-numbered months.

Thanks to each of you who turned out last time!

Sunday, August 4th, is our next service date at the Community Dining Room.

Start time is 9:30am for prepping (after your morning church service is fine too).
If you're serving only, please come by 11:45am.
We do need more servers! for typically 50-60 meals.
And of course, we clean up and do dishes…and are done by 1:30/1:45

Thank you, and we look forward to seeing you as always!
A QUICK REMINDER! ...RSVP is appreciated


Ray Luhn
CDR Service Coordinator
First Congregational Church of Branford
203-675-3266 or

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Intergenerational Peach Potluck!

August 15, 2019

6:00 pm

What's one of the best things about August? Peaches! What's your favorite peach recipe? Peach pie? Peach crisp? Peach cobbler?

Join your FCCB family for a peach potluck on Thursday, August 15th at 6pm.

Bring your favorite peach dessert and we'll provide the paper goods and drinks. If the weather is nice, we'll set up tables in the circle as well as in Pilgrim Hall and you can listen to the Branford Jazz Concert as we share a wonderful summer evening.

Please call or email Jennifer McCaughtry if you'd like to attend!

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Killam's Point Conference Center ... Did You Know?

By now, many of you have had the opportunity this summer to attend worship, view the wonderful new photographs in the Point House, help out at Killam's Point Day Camp or attend an Intergenerational Picnic at Killam's Point. Did you know that you can rent Killam's Point Conference Center? Weddings, memorial services, board or committee meetings, retreats...Killam's Point is a beautiful place to hold any of these events.

Check out our website, and our reservations page for more information.

We hope to be able to host you soon!
Killam's Point Management Team

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Grocery Cards

Did You Know… FCC Branford makes 5% of every dollar on the grocery cards we sell?

If you buy a $100 grocery card, you get $100 in groceries, and FCC gets $5! It’s that easy. This currently adds up to about $2000 income annually for FCC and could easily be more. We offer both $50 and $100 Stop and Shop cards and $50 and $100 Big Y cards.

Cards are only sold after worship every Sunday. Why not try them out and help support FCC?

Thank You!


A Moment from the Mission Board

Summer is the time for carefree living…kids playing outside, family time at the beach, on the boat, pool parties, camp, trekking off to see new sights. We are so fortunate that God has bestowed such wonderful gifts on us! Enjoy this Summer! But also look around you. Notice the people hanging around outside Branford’s coffee shops. Folks who are always on the same corner when you drive through New Haven. Children gathering at our schools and playgrounds at mealtime, people holding signs at the Pretzel and the exit of Walmart. These people, our neighbors, are our brothers and sisters in Christ. Too many of our neighbors struggle to pay rent and put food on the table. Those who live in Branford have the blessing of the Community Dining Room which through daily meals served at the Dining Room, takeout meals, Tuesday family meals, and home delivery to shut-ins, served 52,649 meals in 2018 to our neighbors in need of a little help. While you are enjoying your next family picnic or other Summer Fun, please remember the CDR and all the people it serves.

The CDR’s Summer Wish List is as follows:
Bottled Juice (apple, grape, orange), Drink mixes (iced tea, lemonade, etc.) peanut butter (low sugar/salt), whole grain pasta, ground coffee, canned vegetables (low salt), vegetable or olive oil, cooking spray (ex. Pam), corn muffin mix, chicken, beef, vegetable stock, jars of tomato sauce, breakfast syrup
Non -food items: tall white kitchen trash bags, white napkins, 21-gallon zip lock bags, 6” white desert plates, plastic knives, 42-gallon heavy duty garbage bags, gift cards for perishable items.

All items can be dropped off at CDR Monday through Friday between 9am and 2 pm. Please label items for CDR.
While you are at it, think about coming to serve dinner, visit in the Dining Room and meet some new friends. Volunteer workers are always needed. So, enjoy your bountiful Summer, praise God who gives us all good things, and remember our brothers and sisters whose fortune depends in large part on how much we are willing to share ours.

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Our thanks to the Board of Directors of Center Cemetery for the donation of a painting of the Rev. Samuel Russel house. It was painted by Jeanette Bartholomew, a long-time member of this church, and is now hanging in the Russel Room. ~ Carol Hoadley, Church Historian

The Board of Directors of the Branford Center Cemetery has established the Cemetery Enhancement and Restoration Fund to commemorate the advent of our 375th year. This church established Center Cemetery in 1645 and we are proud that the cemetery has become non-denominational over the years. The cemetery funds are used for the necessary long-term upkeep and maintenance of our 16 acres.

The Board of Directors of the Branford Center Cemetery is planning to update and enhance the administrative building on the grounds and create a center for genealogical research and historical education. Branford Center Cemetery is looking for contributions to this fund. If you would like to give, donations may be mailed to Branford Center Cemetery, P.O. Box 146, Branford. We thank you! ~ Carol Hoadley, Church Historian and Board member of the Branford Center Cemetery


Camp Totokett Food Donation Request

It’s that time again – sign up sheets for Camp Totokett are posted on the Youth Bulletin Board in Pilgrim Hall (to the right as you enter from the Sanctuary). As most of you know, this camp is a mission outreach of our church, serving both refugee children and children whose lives are affected by HIV/AIDS in their families. Because funds are limited, we ask your help in providing some of the food products and supplies we need to feed 100 people daily.

We are very appreciative of your generosity. Please clearly mark all items “Camp Totokett” and leave in the church kitchen by Sunday, July 28th.

Sample Items Needed: Frozen 12 oz. apple juice concentrate, packages of string cheese snacks, Ranch and Italian salad dressings, 8 oz. cream cheese tubs, watermelons, bags of 6 bagels, cans of real whipped cream. If you can’t get to the church to sign up, please call Mindy Baker for details: 203-500-8096.

Attention All Bakers!

The children love your homemade cookies! There is a sign up sheet in Pilgrim Hall (see above). Please leave all cookies in the church kitchen on Sunday, July 28th before 3:00.

If you can’t get to the church to sign up, please call Mindy Baker for details: 203-500-8096.

Heartfelt Thanks,
The Camp Totokett Kitchen Staff

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A Walk Through History at Killam's Point

August 4, 2019. 10:00 to 12:00 noon.

with Town Historian Jane Bouley and Naturalist Martha Rice

Sponsored by Branford Land Trust and First Congregtional Church

Centuries before the English arrived, Native Americans made Killam’s Point their home. Food was readily available, shelter in caves protected them from the elements, travel by water simplified moving and a spring supplied drinking water. Learn more when you join Town Historian Jane Bouley and Naturalist Martha Rice for A Walk Through History on Sunday, August 4 at Killam's Point, 10:00 a.m. to Noon.

Killam's Point is an ecological treasure, habitat for many species of bird and animals, with healthy forested uplands, expansive salt marshes, inviting sandy beaches and spectacular granite bluffs. The Branford Land Trust and the First Congregational Church of Branford are collaborating to provide programs like A Walk Through History to introduce the public to the stunning beauty, serenity and fragility of the Point.

The walk will start at the entrance of Killam’s Point, and is approximately 1.3 miles. Young children may need assistance; please do not bring dogs to this event.

Attendees must park at Orchard House Adult Day Center on Short Beach Road.

Registration Required.
Call 203-314-7128 or email

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How do you show mercy? Here's the sermon from July 14th.


Book Group

We will be meeting again in September. Here is a list of the books we have chosen:
September 4A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
October 2Maid by Stephanie Land
November 6Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf
January 8a biography or memoir of your choice
February 5The Island of Sea Women by Lisa See
March 4Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
April 1Rules of Civility by Amor Towles
Now you have lots of ideas for your summer reading pleasure. Please plan on joining us when you can. We meet in the Russel Room, usually at 7 PM.

Barbara Colley


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: August 4, 11, 18, 25; Sep 1, 8

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


The flowers in our sanctuary are given in Memory of Helen Giddings by Donna

For Our Prayers This Week...

We give thanks for...
The easy laughter of children and how they invite us into their joy
Those helping family and friends with childcare needs this summer

We pray for...
Safe and meaningful experiences for all those involved in Camp Totokett
The people of Puerto Rico as they celebrate a victory of the people and embark upon positive changes in the governance of the island

Please remember these Connecticut Conference Churches in Your Prayers…
United Congregational Church of Tolland UCC; Torrington, Center Congregational UCC; United Congregational Church Torrington; Trumbull Congregational Church; Trumbull, Unity Hill UCC

Ongoing prayers for…
Jo-Ann Farrell (Linda Mitchell’s Aunt), Charlie and Mamie Morris (Uncle and Aunt of Lonnie Snyder), Bob Zettergren & family, Carol Rutt, 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, 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), Ethel Marchesseault (Linda’s mother), Sylvia O’Brien, Debbie Pearl (friend of Lil Sakai), George Spear, and Lou Wells.


Life Among the Believers

Sunday, July 28 - Fresh Salad Collection
9:00 am Worship Service Meetinghouse

Monday, July 29

Tuesday, July 30

Wednesday, July 31
6:30 pm PSC Meeting Russel Room

Thursday, August 1

Friday, August 2

Saturday, August 3

Sunday, August 4
9:00 am Worship Service – Holy Communion Meetinghouse
(Guest Preacher, Wayne Jacobson)
11:15 am CE Board Meeting Russel Room

Monday, August 5

Tuesday, August 6
7:00 pm Land & Building Meeting Room 25

Wednesday, August 7
6:30 pm PSC Meeting Russel Room
7:00 pm KPMT Meeting Killam’s Point

Thursday, August 8

Friday, August 9

Saturday, August 10

Sunday, August 11
9:00 am Worship Service Meetinghouse

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June 30 – September 8, 9:00 am: Worship in Meetinghouse


New Email Address for Church Office

To contact the church, please email

Office Hours

Tuesday - Thursday: 9:00am – 2:00pm & Friday 9:00am – 12:00pm

Attention: Our bookkeeper, Pat Carroll, will be on vacation from Monday, July 29th – Tuesday, August 6th. She will return to the office at 9:30 am on Wednesday, August 7th.




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, 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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