Sunday October 21, 2018

Worship at 8:00am in the Chapel

Worship at 10:00am in the Meetinghouse

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Life Among the Believers

Love and tenderness to you, blessed friend. Looking around this past Sunday morning, we had a couple of folks who are recovering from falls, someone diagnosed with cancer, another member whose mother has been diagnosed with cancer, we have struggling teens, and there are those who are enduring the loss of a loved one. And, there’s the approaching reality of Rev. Susan Power Trucksess’s retirement on November 18th. While we lift up the joy of Susan’s retirement, there’s grief to be experienced, too - joy and tears. We’ve also now heard the report of the Discernment Team. We don’t yet know what the result of that report will be, but change is upon FCCB. Let’s all just take a big breath through all of these things. On Sunday we sang a hymn entitled, Let your heart be broken. Yes. We need to feel our brokenness, to not sweep it under the carpet. Honor our fragile bodies, our relationships, and the seasons in our church. And, let us also remember another piece of music that was sung on Sunday, How Firm a Foundation. Through it all, beloved, we are held in the hand of a loving God, our Emmanuel, God with us. Be not afraid. God goes before us always, come, follow him, and he will give us rest - and strength for our beloved community.

Life Among the Believers Follow-Up Conversations

December 2, 11:15 a.m. in Pilgrim Hall; December 9, 11:15 a.m. in Pilgrim Hall; January 6, 11:15 a.m., Pilgrim Hall. Copies of the Discernment Team report are in the church office.

A common question that is circulating these days is “why church?” Why come to church? I recently saw this response in First Congregational Berkeley, UCC’s newsletter:

It’s a shared reality: As a community we believe different things, but for the most part we share an understanding that there is “Something More” that gives life meaning beyond our individual identities and experiences. We share a commitment to following in the way of Jesus.
Self-Expression & Contribution: People often discover and hone their leadership skills in the church. Church can be the place where you’re encouraged to claim and use your voice.
Self-Acceptance: Through church I learned I am “fearfully and wonderfully made,” that there is nothing I can or need to do to be more loved by God, and that nothing I do (or fail to do) will ever separate me from God.
Effectiveness: Through church I am part of a collective body that has the power, through our actions and advocacy, to bend the arc of the moral universe towards justice a little quicker and more effectively than my individual efforts alone.
Challenge: Church challenges me to align my behavior with my values and beliefs, holding me lovingly accountable to being my most authentic self.
The list goes on: compassion, celebration, belonging, beauty, inspiration, connection...
There is no community that will meet all my needs all the time. But during this season of stewardship as I reflect on what value the church has in my life, I am grateful for how many of my needs are met consistently through my engagement with First Congregational. And, equally important, investing my time, talent and treasure in this community of faith provides the opportunity to contribute to meeting the needs of others.

This Sunday we’ll welcome Kit Collier to FCCB! Christopher Collier PhD, Emeritus Professor of History at the University of Connecticut and previously the official State Historian of Connecticut will deliver a non-theological discourse entitled "The Citizen Saint.” Professor Collier will speak as part of our stewardship campaign, in conjunction with the opening kickoff of the the 375th celebration of the church (and the town), which will happen in 2019.

October 28th is also Reformation Sunday. On such a profound Sunday, we’ll sing A Mighty Fortress Is Our God, The Church’s One Foundation, and O God, Our Help in Ages Past. I’ll share some time with our children, and we’ll have a blessing for them as they leave for Sunday School. Dr. Collier won’t be with us at the 8:00a service, so I’ll offer a sermon there.

The peace and joy of Christ which passes all understanding be yours this day, and every day.

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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From the Board of Christian Education

The Sunday school has gotten off to a great start. We have Franklin Brown teaching the 1st-4th graders and Linda Mitchell teaching Pre-K and K. We need some substitutes, though! We have a curriculum that we follow so all the planning is done for you. If you are willing to be on our list, please put your name and number on the pew pads with the comment, Sunday School Sub. Thank you for supporting our children, and our church!

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Christopher Collier PhD, emeritus professor of history at the University of Connecticut and previously the official State Historian of Connecticut will deliver a non-theological discourse entitled "The Citizen Saint" at the 10:00 am service on Sunday, 28 October.

Professor Collier has been a well-known historian and with his brother, James Lincoln Collier, has written numerous novels based on historical events. Additionally multiple books aimed at children and teens have been published. Probably the most familiar book of that genre is "My Brother Sam is Dead" which dealt with the American Revolution. One of his adult books included the historical outlook of "Roger Sherman's Connecticut".

We have invited Professor Collier to speak as the opening kickoff of the the 375th celebration of the church (and the town) which will occur officially next year. Please plan to attend the presentation by such a welcome and respected scholar.

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Old Testament Study Group

The remaining two sessions of the Old Testament Study Group will be led by Rev. Betsy Dorsi on Wednesday 11/7 and 11/14 in Pilgrim Hall at 5:30-6:30 pm.

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Thanksgiving Basket Items For Food Pantry Event On November 13.

1 can gravy
2 cans vegetables
1 box stuffing
2 boxes instant pudding
1 can cranberry sauce
1 can frozen Juice
1 can pie filling
1 pie crust mix
1 can coffee
1 pound butter

And/or 10-12 pound turkey

Items due 5:00 pm November 13 to church kitchen

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Walter Woods, the twin brother of our church Sexton, John Woods, died October
16. Visitation will take place at Clancy Memorial Funeral Home in Branford, Friday October 26, from 10-11am, with the service following at 11am.

Our prayers surround John and the Woods family at this tender time.

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Intergenerational Tai Chi

When: October 30th 6:00pm to 7:00pm with light vegetarian meal after the program
Where: Pilgrim Hall
Wear comfortable clothing and shoes
What is Tai Chi?
An art embracing the mind, body and spirit – Originating in ancient China, tai chi is one of the most effective exercises for health of mind and body. Although an art with great depth of knowledge and skill, it can be easy to learn and soon delivers its health benefits. For many, it continues as a lifetime journey.


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The New Haven Academy of Performing Arts will be presenting "A Wonderland Cabaret" in Pilgrim Hall on October 27th at 3pm and 7pm; as well as October 28th at 2pm and 5pm. Tickets are on sale on their website, The cabaret is inspired by the story of Alice in Wonderland. Since 2013 NHAPA has helped thousands of students begin and continue their performing arts journey.

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North Guilford Congregational Church will be hosting its annual delicious Yankee Pot Roast Dinner on Saturday, October 27, at 6:00 pm. Potatoes, carrots, green beans and rolls will be served along with homemade applesauce. Apple crisp and brownies with ice cream will be served for dessert. Take out meals will be available. The cost is $18 for adults and $5.00 for children under 12. Tickets may be paid for at the door but reservations would be appreciated. Please call the church at 203-457-0581 or Linda McGuire at 203-453-6812.

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Musical Art Society Scholarship Fundraiser with the Korey Brodsky Band
Sunday, November 4 at 3:00

This quartet of Berklee students will perform bluegrass, jazz and old-time music in Pilgrim Hall, to benefit a music scholarship for a Branford high school student. Tickets are $15 ($6 for students) available at the door.

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New Email Address for Church Office

To contact the church, please email

Office Hours

Tuesday to Thursday: 9 am – 2 pm

Friday: 9 am – 12 pm

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Intergenerational Activities

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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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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A new approach for ALL to participate in the coffee hour after the 10:00 AM service when we 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 November those members whose last name begins with E, F, or G 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 November, if your last name begins with E, F, or G, send an email if you can serve one Sunday during the month. For this month report to Rowena Gatta at We’re counting on everyone to serve at least one coffee hour.

If you have any other questions, email. text or call me. 203-483-8039
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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(All times will be 6:00-7:30 unless noted otherwise)

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

The Book group has decided that for the winter, until the time changes in the spring, we will continue to meet at 5:30 pm.

The meetings will be as follows:
November 7, 5:30-Ethan Frome by Elizabeth Wharton
December 5, 5:30-Pachinko by Min Jin Lee
January 8, 5:30-Biography or memoir of your choice
February 6. 5:30-Sourdough by Robin Sloan

Everyone is welcome. We meet in the Russel Room.

Barbara Colley

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For Our Prayers This Week

We give thanks for…
The opportunity to vote in the upcoming elections
For community spirit and festivities

We pray for….
A safe celebration of All Hollow’s Eve
The humane treatment of the thousands marching across Central America
Respect for the rights of the transgender community
Our Secret Service and other law enforcement personnel who have intercepted bombs sent to political figures.
We pray for our nation in this heightened political season.

We grieve with….
The Colley family upon the death of David’s brother, Bruce, last week
The Woods family upon the death of John’s twin brother, Walter, on October 16th
The Ferranti family upon the death of John’s mother, Ida, on October 5th

Ongoing prayers for…
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, October 28 – Salad Sunday
8:00 am Worship Service Walker Chapel
10:00 am Worship Service Meetinghouse
2:00 pm “A Wonderland Cabaret,” New Haven Academy of Performing Arts Pilgrim Hall
5:00 pm “A Wonderland Cabaret,” New Haven Academy of Performing Arts Pilgrim Hall
4:00 pm Confirmation Class Pine Room
6:00 pm High School Youth Group Baptist Church

Monday, October 29
7:00 pm Youth Mission Trip Fundraising Meeting Russel Room and Pilgrim Hall

Tuesday, October 30
10:00 am Staff Meeting Russel Room
3:30 pm 375th Committee Pilgrim Hall
6:00 pm Intergenerational Tai Chi Pilgrim Hall
7:00 pm Bell Rehearsal Sanctuary

Wednesday, October 31
11:00 am Bible Study Evergreen Woods

Thursday, November 1
10:30 am CDC – Happy Feet Pilgrim Hall
7:00 pm Adult Choir Rehearsal Sanctuary

Sunday, November 4
8:00 am Worship Service Walker Chapel
10:00 am Worship Service Meetinghouse
11:15 am CE Board Meeting Russel Room
12:00 pm Intergenerational Event Ronald McDonald House, New Haven

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Looking Ahead

November 4: Daylight Savings Time ends (fall back an hour) Holy Communion; Roll of Remembrance in honor of All Saints’ Day; Intergenerational Event at the Ronald McDonald House, 12:00 pm
November 7: Old Testament Study Group with Rev. Betsy Dorsi, 5:30 pm, Pilgrim Hall
November 11: Stewardship Sunday; Stewardship Brunch 9:00-10:00 am, Pilgrim Hall
November 13: Thanksgiving Baskets for Food Pantry, 5:00-8:00 pm, Pilgrim Hall and Kitchen
November 14: Old Testament Study Group with Rev. Betsy Dorsi, 5:30 pm, Pilgrim Hall
November 18: Thanksgiving Service with Rev. Susan Power Trucksess, and Retirement Party




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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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?

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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