Sunday February 25, 2018

Second Sunday in Lent

Worship Service 8:00 a.m., Walker Chapel

Worship Service 10:00 a.m., Meetinghouse

The Rev. Theresa Borchetta preaching
Reading: Mark 8:31-38

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Lenten Meditation

For what other great nation has a god so near to it as the Lord our God is whenever we call…?

Deuteronomy 4:7

It is so frustrating to keep calling someone on the phone and receive no answer or to keep getting that pre-recorded voice saying “please leave a message.” The author of Deuteronomy reminds us that this is not the way it is with our God who hears us whenever we call. God does not turn away or pretend not to hear. When we do not feel the Lord’s presence, it may be difficult for us to believe that God is close by and always listening to us. We simply have to trust God’s promises. Again and again, the Scriptures assure us that God is near, that we will always be heard. Always heard, but not always in ways that we expected. Ask and you shall receive does not guarantee what we shall receive. Sometimes it takes a while, or a long while, to learn that we have been heard. Still we pray:

Good Shepherd, encourage me to call upon you,

to trust that you will always be there.

Joyce Rupp’s Inviting God In, adapted


2018 Lenten Series

Join us for the second week of our Lenten series focusing on

“The Other, My Enemy”.

Our “fears are conquered…not so much through better ideas but by actually living encounters.” Is this true? Have you or someone you know been helped with an unrealistic fear?

We will be coming together for a soup supper on Wednesday, February 28th, from 6:00-6:30pm and then the program will be from 6:30-7:30pm.

Please click here for a link to the sign-up for soup, salad, bread,

set-up and clean-up.

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Yale's Mixed Company

The Musical Arty Society is having a scholarship fundraiser concert by Yale’s Mixed Company in Pilgrim Hall on Friday, March 2nd at 7:30pm.


Men's Group

At the February meeting of the Diaconate a discussion was held about the possibility of creating a men's discussion group within our church. We are trying to determine what level of interest there would be for such a group. The group would tentatively meet every two weeks on a Wednesday morning from 7:00 AM - 8:30 AM. This is all very flexible. If a different time or day works better for everyone we will try to accommodate the most convenient day and time. It will be a series of discussion questions with rotating facilitators. It would not be a Bible study!

It would be open to all men but during our discussion it was pointed out that we have a good amount of retired men in the church so that would be our target group.

Please let Alfred Mahan or Jeff Buggee know of your interest in attending or questions. You can approach them at church or during coffee hour. You can also reach out to Alfred at 203-488-2992 or Jeff at 203-415-6322.


Scholarship Program

The purpose of the First Congregational Church of Branford Scholarship program is to provide some financial aid to needy and worthy young men and women who are members or are children or grandchildren of members of The First Congregational Church of Branford (FCCB). Applicants for a scholarship grant must be a senior at a private or public secondary school, who are planning to attend a post-secondary school. Scholarship grants are given to the recipients for use during their first year of postsecondary education and are paid in two halves. The first half of the grant is paid to a recipient after confirmation of the school the recipient will be attending. The second half is paid to a recipient after the recipient provides to the Scholarship Committee a copy of their first semester transcript, showing they have achieved at least a “C” average. Applications are available in the office. The deadline is April 1, 2018.


Book Group 2018

These are the books we have chosen for the next 4 months. All are welcome to join us whenever you can. We meet the first Wednesday of the month in the Russel Room. For the March meeting we will convene at 7:30 after the Lenten supper and program.

March 7, Before We Were Yours-Lisa Wingate
April 4, News of the World-Paulette Jiles
May 2, Lab Girl-Hope Jahren
June 6, TBD
Barbara Colley


Can you help the Hospitality Committee?

Even if you don’t serve coffee/tea on Sunday or bake the cookies, you can greatly help – buy a $25 Shop Rite gift card to donate to the Committee. This money would buy milk, drinks for the kids, and possibly snacks. Here’s another win-win situation. You are not only giving needed support to Hospitality but buying the gift card helps support the church. Just ask Julia or the members who sell on Sunday to give to the appropriate people. Thank you for your support.

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Lead Deacon

The Lead Deacon for the Month of February is Al Russell.
Al can be reached via phone at: 203-488-2733 or by email at


For Our Prayers This Week

We give thanks for......
The first Lenten supper and program
The hopes and actions of our youth regarding their own safety in schools
Natural and divine light in our lives

We pray for.....
The healing of all involved in the high school shooting in Parkland, FL
Both caution and action for the safety of all our school children, faculty and staff
Those caught up in addiction of all kinds

We grieve with…..
The family of Hugh Buchanan, whose memorial service will be held here on February 24th

Ongoing prayers for…
Betsy & Peter Boynton, Daria Carlson, Edward DeFrancesco, Dormer Family, Eleanor Eadie (Emily Fielding’s sister), Robert & Margaret Gehm (parents of Nancy Gehm), Mary Gundersen (Lynda Barker’s mother), Alison Hobbie (Betsy Gay’s daughter), Frank Malinconico, Ethel Marchesseault (Linda’s mother), Joe Mele (Jen McCaughtry’s uncle), Maria & Adam Melillo, Mary, Kirsten & Rosabelle (Sharon Reynolds’ niece and family), Barbara Mehring, Rose & Tom Moore (mother & brother of Sharon Reynolds), Sylvia O’Brien, Debbie Pearl (friend of Lil Sakai), George Spear, and Janet Young.


Church Calendar

Sunday, February 25 – Salad Collection
8:00 am Worship Service Walker Chapel
10:00 am Worship Service Meetinghouse
10:40 am Youth Chimes Rehearsal Room 25
1:00 pm TAVF Board Meeting Russel Room
6:00 pm High School Youth Group Pilgrim Hall

Monday, February 26
10:00 am Branford Transition Program All Purpose Room
6:00 pm CDC – School Readiness Program Pilgrim Hall

Tuesday, February 27
10:00 am Staff Meeting Russel Room
4:30 pm Youth Bells Sanctuary
5:15 pm Family Group Night Pilgrim Hall
7:00 pm Adult Bell Rehearsal Sanctuary

Wednesday, February 28
8:30 am WIC All Purpose Room
11:00 am Evergreen Woods Bible Study Evergreen Woods
6:00 pm Lenten Program Pilgrim Hall

Thursday, March 1
8:30 am WIC All Purpose Room
12:00 pm Branford Garden Club Luncheon Pilgrim Hall
7:00 pm Choir Rehearsal Sanctuary

Friday, March 2
10:00 am Branford Transition Program All Purpose Room
10:30 am CDC – Happy Feet Pilgrim Hall
7:30 pm Musical Arts Society Concert Pilgrim Hall

Saturday, March 3

Sunday, March 4 – Communion
8:00 am Worship Service Walker Chapel
10:00 am Worship Service Meetinghouse
11:15 am Christian Education Board Meeting Russel Room
12:00 pm Refugee Potluck Gathering Pilgrim Hall

Practicing Joy Together program has been cancelled for February and March because of Lenten program*


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

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Grocery Cards

Grocery cards are on sale Sundays after service or in the church office,
Monday-Thursday 9:00-3:00 pm.

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

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