Sunday January 14, 2018

Second Sunday after Epiphany

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

Worship Service 10:00 a.m., Meetinghouse

The Rev. Sarah Vetter, preaching
Reading: John 1:43-51


Call to the 2018 Annual Meeting of the First Congregational Church

The 374th Annual meeting of the First Congregational Church of Branford will be held on Sunday, January 28, 2018, following the 10 am service. The purposes of the meeting will be:

• To approve the minutes of the 373rd Annual Meeting held January 29, 2017

• To receive the annual reports of officers, boards, committees and organizations affiliated with FCCB

• To transfer $30,000 of the moneys realized from the 2013 sale of the Manse from the First Ecclesiastical Society Fund to the 2018 Operating Budget to offset ministerial housing compensation costs

• To transfer $25,500 from the First Ecclesiastical Society to the 2018 Operating Budget for Capital Improvements for Lead Abatement and Electric Cost Reduction Lighting Project

• To act upon the proposed FCCB budget for 2018

• To elect officers, board and committee members and delegates of the church for 2018

• To take any other action that may properly come before the meeting

2017 Annual Reports will be available in Pilgrim Hall Sunday, January 21st and in the church office thereafter.

The Annual Meeting of the Child Development Center of the First Congregational Church will also be held on January 28th, before the FCC Annual Meeting.

Dave Reif


Ponderings….a year of Christmas

It is amazing how quickly Christmas passes, isn’t it? Even if we extended it to the 12 days of which the carol sings, still it seems to be over very fast according to the way many of us celebrate it. Perhaps not too rapidly given all the frenzy that goes in to making it “happen,” when we wonder if it will ever get here, and breathe a sigh of relief when it’s over and life returns to normal. But the truth is most of us need to keep Christmas a lot longer to face all that the New Year will bring.

Ups and downs, hopes and fears, successes and disappointments, accomplishments and mistakes – all these will be entwined in our lives in 2018 (and beyond). And we need the promise of Christmas to keep us strong throughout the coming days and months. The promise that God is with us and for us…not just some of the time, a few days a year, even 12, but all the time. This gives us courage to face whatever is ahead.

We might call this Christmas courage. Courage that allows us to keep on when it feels our hearts are broken; courage to hope when all seems destroyed; courage to love again when we’ve been betrayed; courage to pick up the pieces and start again; courage to rejoice in the midst of trouble; courage to face opposition without hatred; courage to be who we are meant to be. Courage that comes from confidence that God continues to keep God’s promises, that God is indeed walking with us, that God will in time bring all things to a good end.

So be of good cheer and strong heart, and keep Christmas alive as you move through winter, spring, summer and fall. It’s truly meant to be a year ‘round festival.

Peace and blessing,

Susan PT
Susan Power Trucksess

Please join us for worship on Sunday, January 14th as the Rev. Sarah Vetter preaches “You Will See Greater Things Than These,” based on John 1:43-51.


The Work of Christmas

When the song of the angels is stilled,
When the star in the sky is gone,
When the kings and the princes are home,
When the shepherds are back with their flock,
The work of Christmas begins:
To find the lost,
To heal the broken,
To feed the hungry,
To release the prisoner,
To rebuild the nations,
To bring peace among brothers,
To make music in the heart.

Howard Thurman

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Killam's Point Website

It may be cold and snowy, but the Killam's Point Management Team is looking forward to its 2018 season. We're happy to announce our brand new website, and hope you'll take a look.


Book Group 2018

These are the books we have chosen for the first half of the year. All are welcome to join us whenever you can. We meet the first Wednesday of the month in the Russel Room at 7:00 pm.

February 7, Ordinary Grace-William Kent Kreuger
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

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Martin Luther King Jr. Breakfast

Come celebrate the legacy of The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Monday, January 15th at a community-wide breakfast. “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter” is this year’s theme; the speaker is State Senator Ted Kennedy, whose father was instrumental in making Rev. King’s birthdate a national holiday.

The event starts at 8:30am at St. Therese Church Hall, 105 Leetes Island Rd. in Branford. Tickets will be sold after Sunday services in January and are $10 for adults, $5 for students and under 5 free. A family of 4 is $20. And, patrons who wish to support this event, may make their checks out to Martin Luther King Breakfast Committee. Proceeds will be donated to the Shoreline Fuel Assistance Program.

For more information please email Margot Hardenbergh,


Mission Moment

Happy New Year to everyone. Thanks to your generosity this year’s Christmas offering was $3,795.10!

Two thirds of that, or $2,530.05, will go to our Ministers’ Compassion Fund to help the needy of our church and town. The remaining $1,265.05 will go to the Asian Rural Institute. ARI helps develop and train rural farmers in sustainable agricultural practices.
We should all be proud of how our giving helps those less fortunate than we are. Thank you very much.


From the Nominating Committee

We are nearing the Annual church meeting which is on the last Sunday in January 2018. All of our boards and committees are in need of 2-3 new members due to expiring terms. If there was ever a time you thought you might share your gifts and talent on one of the boards, NOW is the time to serve your church. The Nominating Committee is eager to reach out to all who want to discuss the functions of the boards and how your talents and gifts can enrich you and serve the church. Please email me at doconnell28@comcast.netor call 203-483-8039. Someone from the Nominating Committee will contact you.

Deanna O’Connell
Nominating Committee, Chair

Please drop in offering plate if you have talents and gifts to share.

Yes, I want to share my talents:

____Deacons ___Christian Education ___Finances

___Music ___Other

Name: __________________________________________________________________

Please contact me by email at: ________________________________________________

Or call me at: _____________________________________________________________


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 January is Jeff Buggee.
Jeff can be reached via phone at: 203-415-6322 or by email at


For Our Prayers This Week

We give thanks for......
The courage and vision of MLK Jr.
Sarah Vetter’s presence and preaching in our midst over the past few months
The bravery of our youth and chaperones for venturing forth on the Midnight Run

We pray for.....
The courage and vision to embody MLK Jr’s dream
This church as it looks at the year past and into the future
The efforts of the Interim Search Committee

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, Joe Mele (Jen McCaughtry’s uncle), 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, January 14
8:00 am Worship Service Walker Chapel
10:00 am Worship Service Meetinghouse
10:40 am Youth Chimes Rehearsal Room 25
11:00 am Youth Choir Rehearsal Music Room
11:15 am Music Board Meeting Room 25

Monday, January 15 – MLK Jr. Day
Church Office Closed

Tuesday, January 16
10:00 am Staff Meeting Russel Room
2:00 pm CDC – Training All Purpose Room
4:30 pm Youth Bells Meetinghouse
5:15 pm Family Group Night Pepe & Rose Restaurant
7:00 pm Adult Bell Choir Rehearsal Sanctuary

Wednesday, January 17
10:30 am CDC – CrossFit Pilgrim Hall
11:00 am Evergreen Woods Bible Study Evergreen Woods
7:00 pm Church Council Meeting All Purpose Room

Thursday, January 18
10:30 am CDC - Happy Feet Pilgrim Hall
7:00 pm Choir Rehearsal Sanctuary
7:00 pm SAA Meeting All Purpose Room

Friday, January 19

Saturday, January 20

Sunday, January 21
8:00 am Worship Service Walker Chapel
10:00 am Worship Service/Baptism Meetinghouse
10:40 am Youth Chimes Rehearsal Room 25
11:00 am Youth Choir Rehearsal Music Room
3:00 pm Branford Musical Arts Society Pilgrim Hall
6:00 pm High School Youth Group Meetinghouse


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 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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