Sunday September 8, 2019

Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost

Worship at 9 am in the Meetinghouse

Scripture Lessons: Jeremiah 18:1-6; Luke 14:25-35
Sermon Title: "Have Thine Own Way" Rev. Suzanne Personette
Special Music: "Come Sunday," by Duke Ellington, played by Jill Walthall


Welcome Home! Welcome Back! Let’s all rally round FCCB on September 15th as we celebrate Creation and being Created during our 2019 Rally Day Creation Celebration!

Our Sunday School Curriculum begins the year with a unit on Creation and explores various parts of our great earth- sky, sea, storms, plant and animal life and our place as created within creation. Using Scripture as a portal, our children will enter into awesome exploration of our physical world and contemplate the great love which formed the world, created them and cares deeply for all of creation. So let’s join them in exploring creation in a whimsical way through crafts, games and even Science. Together we will see how important and loved we are-each and everyone of us- and all of as community.

Rally Day, the traditional Congregational way of starting a new Sunday School and fellowship year in the church, will begin with 10 am Worship in the Meetinghouse. As we leave Worship we will enter pilgrim Hall where Parents/Guardians will register children for Sunday School and everyone can take a look at our new curriculum Seasons in the Spirit. Then its in and out and all over FCCB for everyone! Tables and areas will be set up and CE Board members will be on hand to help students of all ages have fun exploring our magnificent world. Hotdogs, hamburgers and drinks will be provided by Church. Please visit sign up genius and bring a side or dessert to complete our shared party menu. If you are unable to use sign up genius, please call Jennifer McCaughtry at 618-954-8439 to sign up your dish.

Let’s have fun together, rally together, as family back from vacation and ready to be FCCB!

Betsy Dorsi, Sunday School Co-ordinator

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The Sexton's Corner

The start of my employment journey started back on January 23, 1993. I had a lot of Supervisors who helped me along the way for the past 26 plus years of service to FCCB, with the support of The Sarah Employment Service, and Job Coaches, to lead me down the right track to teach me how to clean things or set up for a church or outside event, or to come up with a job list so I can check off when a job is complete.

The Church Staff back then to 2019 has made me into the man I am today. My family has also guided me as well. I say thank you to Church Staff, the members of Human Resources, Church Council, friends, and the Child Development Center. I try my best to make sure the Church looks its Sunday best every day of the week. I also set up for Coffee Hour and help clean up after.

I would like to send a special Shout-out to Rev. Suz for the help she has given me for the 17 months she has been at the FCCB. My office is at the end of the Christian Education hallway. Stop and say hi.

God Bless and Thanks,

John Woods


Worshipping Together as One at 10 AM

Following much thought, discussion, and prayer, the Board of Deacons decided at their August 13 meeting to continue to worship together as one. A single worship service supports our growing fellowship at FCCB, while a 10 AM time continues our usual fall through spring schedule and offers continuity and convenience for our oldest and youngest worshippers. The new schedule will begin on Rally Day, September 15th.

Nancy Beccia, Senior Deacon

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Up next from the 375th Committee

Branford Walking Historic Tour

Sept. 15, 2019


Lead by Al Russell, local historian

Raindate Sept. 22, 2019

Starts on the First Congregational Church of Branford steps, proceed past the War Memorial, Town Hall, Trinity Church, south on S. Montowese Street past the Academy and then across the street to Center Cemetery.

FREE but must register for the Tour

If you haven’t had one from noted Branford historian and friend of our church, Al Russell, here’s your chance. Call or email today to get your name on the list; first come, first served. It’s free but limited to 15 so reservations are needed. Al wants to be sure all are able to enjoy the tour. This invitation will be opened to the public soon, so email now. There’s a special email address to contact,, or call the church office at 203-488-7201.

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, or leave them in the 375th mailbox in the office. We even have an email address that’s printed in the letter.

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


Youth Group Leader

Hi members and friends of FCCB! Our Church needs your help! We are blessed with 16 children for our Sunday School in the Fall and we have just confirmed 7 high school youth. Yes, we are in a time of blessing!

We are ready to launch our newly re-established Pilgrim Fellowship with volunteer co-leaders. We need to do it right if we want our new program to grow and to thrive and our youth to have a meaningful time of self-discovery as they begin their own personal journey of faith. Our program really needs the leadership of an energetic, compassionate, loving leader.

Please take some time in prayer to consider our needs. Please understand that there will be plenty of support, and no one ever leads a youth group alone! Our co-leaders are ready to team up with someone who feels called to this ministry. The job may seem daunting, but the rewards for our youth, and for every worker in the vineyard are beyond the scope of words! Please, let us pray together for God’s will to be done as we search for leadership for our youth.
Betsy Dorsi, Sunday School Coordinator

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Did you miss the sermon from September 1? You can read it here.


Save the Date!

Sisters in Spirit

October 9, 2019

The Christian Education Board is sponsoring another program in the Sisters in Spirit series on Wednesday October 9, 2019.

Dana Casetti, from the Romanian Orthodox Church in New Haven has been invited to share with us her faith and how it impacts her daily life. Invite a friend and join us for a meal and enlightening sharing of another religion. More info to follow.

Deanna O’Connell

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Sunday Flower Chart

The flower chart is looking pretty bare through the rest of the year. If you’re able to contribute the $35 toward the flowers (the church flower fund picks up the rest), please consider signing up on the bulletin board outside of the Russel Room, or call or send an e-mail and Missy will sign up for you. Include who/what you would like the flowers to be in honor/memory/celebration of. Thank you so much for keeping our altar adorned, and our flower fund supported!


The Upper Room daily devotional booklets are very good! Pick up a free copy in either the narthex, Pilgrim Hall, or outside of the Russel Room. It has two months of devotions, and our sexton, John Woods then puts out the next two-month supply.



We will be using the same approach to Sunday Hospitality as last year. This is the time, each Sunday after the service, to greet each other and make new friends to share a cup of coffee. Following this schedule each member is asked to serve only once each year by bringing a snack and serving coffee after the church service.

• Supplies will be provided: juice, cups, milk, half and half, sugar,
sweeteners, and sometimes tea and hot chocolate.
• John will make the coffee.
• Set up and clean- up is simple, again John is very helpful.

In September if your last night begins with A or B, bring in a snack and pour coffee one Sunday during the month.
In October if your last name begins with C or D, provide a snack and serve one Sunday during the month.
We’re counting on you.

Let me know if you can provide a goodie or snack and serve coffee.

Deanna O’Connell


Book Group

Here is a list of the books we have chosen:
October 2 – Maid by Stephanie Land
November 6 – Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf
January 8 – a biography or memoir of your choice
February 5 – The Island of Sea Women by Lisa See
March 4 – Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
April 1 – Rules 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


The flowers in the sanctuary are given by the church in celebration of our worship attendance through the summer, and in anticipation of all of the new possibilities in the coming church year, beginning next Sunday.

For Our Prayers This Week...

We give thanks for...
Pastor James Hill 20th Year of Ordination and Fifth Year serving as Pastor of Stony Creek Congregational Church
Those individuals who respond to emergency hotlines in service to others

We pray for...
Our nation as we remember the events of September 11, 2001
Those suffering in Alabama where 10 teens were wounded by a shooter at a football game
“Unless something dramatic changes, gun violence will remain a distinctly American problem for the rest of our lives - background checks or no”. (~ Dylan Matthews, arguing that large-scale confiscation of guns is necessary for a significant reduction in
firearm violence in America)
“It’s not politicizing an event… [to say that] we have not just a gun epidemic in this country, but we have a hate epidemic in this country”. (~ Veronica Escobar)
Those in the path of Hurricane Dorian as it caused destruction in the Bahamas and heads toward the U.S. east coast; we pray for family and friends who are enduring the loss of life of loved ones:
Consider donating to disaster relief through our denomination at
and/or through AmeriCares at

Connecticut UCC Conference Churches we lift up this week...
Weston, Norfield Congregational UCC; Westport, Saugatuck Congregational UCC; Westport, The Congregational Church of Green's Farms, UCC; The First Congregational Church of Willimantic; The Federated Church of Willington UCC

We grieve with…
The family of Earl W. Firth, brother of Sharon Criscuolo, who passed away on August 26, 2019
Those in Odessa, Texas after a gunman killed 7 and injured 19 others
Family and friends of the 34 people who lost their life in a boat fire in Santa Cruz, California

Ongoing prayers for…
George Spear, Janet Young, Jo-Ann Farrell (Linda Mitchell’s Aunt), 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), 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), Lou Wells.


Life Among the Believers

Sunday, September 8
9:00 am Worship Service Meetinghouse
10:00 am CE Board Meeting Russel Room
11:00 am Music Board Meeting Room 25

Monday, September 9
9:00 am CDC Music Class Pilgrim Hall
9:00 am Church Governance Meeting Russel Room
7:00 pm Stewardship Board Meeting Room 25

Tuesday, September 10
9:00 am CDC Crossfit Russel Room
4:00 pm Branford Cemetery Assoc. Trustee Meeting All Purpose Room
7:00 pm Diaconate Meeting Russel Room

Wednesday, September 11
8:30 am WIC Program All Purpose Room
6:30 pm PSC Meeting Russel Room
6:30 pm Christmas Fair Meeting Pilgrim Hall

Thursday, September 12
8:30 am WIC Program All Purpose Room
10:00 am Knitting, Purling, Praying Russel Room

Friday, September 13

Saturday, September 14
8:00 pm Branford Folk Music Society Pilgrim Hall

Sunday, September 15
10:00 am Worship Service – Rally Sunday Meetinghouse

Beginning September 15th (our Rally Sunday) through June 14, 2020, our single worship service will be held at 10:00 am.


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



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 Big Y  Stop and Shop 

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 sold after worship every Sunday. Why not try it out and help support FCC?


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.


Check Out The Church Facebook Page

This is a public page for everyone to be able to see everything going on at OUR church.

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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