Sunday September 15, 2019

Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost

Rally Sunday!

Welcome Home!

Worship at 10 am in the Meetinghouse

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Life Among the Believers

Beloved! RAH, RAH, SIS BOOM BAH, GOOOOOO CHURCH!!! At long last we are coming back to the weekly routine of church! It’ll be so good to gather together for the start of a new church year. I’m coining this year, The Year of Positivity! I sure do think there’s been a heapload of sowing, and I suspect, God willin’, FCC’ll be a reapin’ in 2019-2020, and beyond. One thing’s for sure, your Pastoral Search Committee is about to set sail the church profile to searching ministerial candidates! Let so many of our prayers be about blessing that venture and the one who is coming to join the party of Believers!

On Sunday we’ll sing “I Love to Tell the Story,” “Shine, Jesus, Shine” (in the refrain we’ll substitute Jesus with FC!), and “Amazing Grace.” Our Sanctuary Choir and Choir Director are back, and they’ll grace us with “Peace Like a River.” I’ll have a Time with our Youth before they head off for Sunday School. The scripture passage is Luke 15:1-7 (finding what is lost and bringing it home). The sermon title is “F-C-C-B-!” Carol Titcomb will be our liturgist!

After worship we’ll re-gather in Pilgrim Hall for our time of refreshments. The Board of Christian Education will provide hamburgs and hot dogs (John Ferranti at the grill!), condiments, lemonade, and paper goods. They’ve asked for sides, so if you can bring a side or dessert, please sign up on the genius link, or email Jennifer McCaughtry to let her know what you’ll bring: There’ll be activities for all ages, along with a closing piñata ceremony! The Board would very much like for you to stay, eat together, and take part. If the weather is nice we’ll have tables and chairs outside, too. Let’s show our support for FCCB! Go, Church!

Pretty funny, throughout the summer I was opening worship with all of these 3 welcome intros: “Whoever you are, wherever you are on life’s journey, you are welcome here, at First Congregational Church Branford,” “a place to belong”, “where you’re here and you matter.” The first part of the intro is directly from our denomination, The United Church of Christ, who suggested many years ago to open worship with those “whoever wherever” words. Early summer I came up with “A Place to Belong,” and for my 18 months with you I’ve been saying at various times in worship, “you’re here and you matter.” Maybe it’s a bit too much to say all 3. What do you think? Let me know. Which one would you let go of? Would you say something else?

Lastly, I thought it would be meaningful for you, dear reader, to see a different voice in this spot once a month. Last week, under “Life Among the Believers,” we had the Sexton’s Corner, with John Woods. Each month I’ll invite a staff-person or church leader to contribute an article as part of our Life Among the Believers.

Come Sunday and be found. Feel loved and blessed at F-C-C-B-! Rah-Rah!

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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“I Am Not Invisible”

“My photo was submitted as part of a campaign for Women Veterans. It is titled “I Am Not Invisible”. A lot of people assume that women are not Veterans, but we served too. I was in the Air Force from 1995-2003. I am a Veteran”. ~ Jennifer McCaughtry ~


FCCB in the Branford Columbus Day Parade

The Joy Tribe is putting together a float celebrating the 375th Anniversary of FCCB that will be in the Branford Columbus Day Parade. We'll also build a scarecrow for the Branford Garden Club's scarecrow display on the Green.

There will be scarecrow painting on Septemer 29th in Pilgrim Hall after worship. Stay for pizza and help build and paint the scarecrow. We'll also be working on our parade float. Help paint a replica of our church! There’ll be work for all ages!

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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.

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Did you miss the sermon from September 8? 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

If you’re able to contribute $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 – The Boston Girl by Anita Diamant
December 4 – Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf
January 8 – 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

Please plan on joining us when you can. We meet in the Russel Room, usually at 7 PM.

Barbara Colley


The flowers in our sanctuary are given in honor of Parker & Kathy Fox’s 56th Wedding Anniversary.

For Our Prayers This Week...

We give thanks for...
Rally Day at FCCB!
Youth voices who stand up for justice
The utility, emergency, and health care workers who respond to weather disasters like Hurricane Dorian

We pray for...
Those grieving or suffering in the Bahamas and the east coast after the effects of Hurricane Dorian:
Consider donating to disaster relief through our denomination at
and/or through AmeriCares at
Families in the throes of an opioid addiction

Connecticut UCC Conference Churches we lift up this week...
Wilton Congregational Church, UCC; Winchester Center Congregational Church, UCC; First Church in Windsor, UCC; First Church of Winsted, UCC; Wolcott Congregational Church

Ongoing prayers for…
George Spear, Carol Rutt, Janet Young, Jo-Ann Farrell (Linda Mitchell’s Aunt), 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 15 – Rally Sunday
10:00 am Worship Service; Meetinghouse
11:00 am Lunch & Activities in Pilgrim Hall

Monday, September 16

Tuesday, September 17
9:00 am CDC Movement Class Pilgrim Hall

Wednesday, September 18
6:00 pm Mission Board Meeting All Purpose Room
6:30 pm PSC Meeting Russel Room
7:00 pm Church Council Meeting All Purpose Room

Thursday, September 19
7:00 Choir Rehearsal Sanctuary

Friday, September 20

Saturday, September 21

Sunday, September 22
10:00 am Worship Service Meetinghouse
6:00 pm Youth Group, Grades 8-12 Youth Room

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September 22: Bill Hall & Joe Cutrona - Dialogue Sermon, “Preparing the way!”
11:15 am, Inquirers Orientation in the Russel Room (with Rev. Suz &
Deacon Richard Radune)

September 29: Scarecrow Painting in Pilgrim Hall after worship. Stay for pizza and help build and paint the scarecrow for the Branford Garden Club’s scarecrow display. The Joy Tribe will also be working on a float to celebrate the 375th Anniversary of FCCB that will be in the Branford Columbus Parade. Help paint a replica of our church! There’ll be work for all ages!

October 6: World Communion, and Neighbors-in-Need Special Offering
1:30 pm, Blessing of the Animals on Branford Town Green

October 20: UCC Connecticut Conference Minister Kent Siladi, Guest Preacher (followed by his Second Hour with Council members)

October 27: Celebrating our Flentrop’ organ’s 50’th Anniversary during Second Hour with Music Director Philip Rinehart


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.

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