Sunday May 13, 2018

Seventh Sunday of Easter

Mother’s Day

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

Worship Service 10:00 a.m., Meetinghouse

The Rev. Suzanne Personette preaching
Readings: John 17:6-19

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Life Among the Believers

Hello, Beloved Believer!

First, let us pray for our brothers and sisters in Hawaii who are under siege from the erupting volcano and numerous earthquakes. Lord, hear our prayer.

In one of our Life Among the Believers small group sharings, someone happened to mention the need to be kind, for everyone is fighting a hard battle. That quote is attributed to Plato, who lived in Athens 2,300 years ago. The need for kindness and compassion has been with us for a very long time. This morning I read a quote by Dr. Bernie Siegel, “Remember, we are all wounded. Be an angel and when someone is having trouble with their wings, lift them up. You will be uplifted, too.”

As we go along in our small group sharings, where I ask participants 3 questions, the last is, what keeps you coming back to FCCB, it has been heartwarming to hear, this is my home. And, because I have been given so much, I want to give back. While hard things are being said about our church (hard things are said about any church because they all have human beings in them!), one participant shared that their faith in God is stronger than the issues in the church. Amen. I imagine that’s a very common answer for why people remain in their church home. Glory to God in his highest heaven!

Mother’s Day is here! One part of Sunday’s Call to Worship will invite us to vocally lift up the names of women who have worked for justice and peace. Be prepared to call out a name! Some examples: Susan B. Anthony, Sojourner Truth, Mother Theresa, Betty Friedan, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Gloria Steinem, Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Madeline Albright, Margaret Thatcher, Harriet Tubman, Sandra Day O’Connor, Rosa Parks. Our scripture lesson is John 17:6-19 in which Jesus prays for his disciples, not unlike your mama prays for you. We’ll sing a wonderful hymn called Bring Many Names (strong mother God, warm father God, old aching God, young growing God, great living God). The message is titled Our Mother. The Sanctuary Choir will sing the warm and joyful _All Things Bright and Beautifu_l.

Looking ahead: Pentecost Sunday is May 20th WWWHHHOOOSSSHHH went the Holy Spirit! I’m counting on those Pentecost winds in Life Among the Believers! May 20th will also be our Music Sunday! Red is the color of Pentecost - if you have some red to wear, please do!

Life Among the Believers

(No Sign-Ups, Just Show Up! to one)

TONIGHT, May 10: 7pm Russel;

May 17: 10:00am, Russel

May 20: 11:30 am, Russel

~ Youth Welcome ~

Two congregational gatherings to share the results from the small groups:
June 3: 11:30am, Pilgrim; June 10: 11:30am, Pilgrim
Please try to commit to attend on June 3 and June 10!
(Childcare will be available May 20, June 3, June 10.)

Random helpful tip: If you have to make a decision, and you’re not clear about it, ask God that if you’re supposed to do this particular thing/to go this particular way, to increase your desire for it, and that if it’s not the way to go, to decrease your desire for it. It works!

See you believers at 8a and 10a this Sunday!

The only measure of your words and your deeds
Will be the love you leave behind when you're gone.

~ Fred Small, Everything Possible

Rev. Suz, Interim Senior Minister
Office Hours: T-Th 9am-3pm (or 1p-3p visits) if evening mtg., 3pm-9pm
revsuz@hotmail.com; church (203) 488-7201, ext. 107; cell (860) 304-1054

Mother’s Day

This is for mothers who have sat in rocking chairs for hours on end soothing crying babies who can’t be comforted. This is for all the mothers who show up at work with spit-up in their hair and milk stains on their blouses and diapers in their purse. For all the mothers who run carpools and make cookies and sew Halloween costumes. And all the mothers who DON’T. This is for the mothers who gave birth to babies they’ll never see. And the mothers who took those babies and gave them homes. This is for all those women who still long to be mothers. This is for all the mothers who yell at their kids in the grocery store and swat them in despair when they stomp their feet and scream for ice cream before dinner. And for all the mothers who count to ten instead, but realize how child abuse happens. This is for all the mothers who taught their children to tie their shoelaces before they started school. And for all the mothers who opted for Velcro instead. This is for all the mothers who teach their sons to cook and their daughters to sink a jump shot. This is for mothers whose children have gone astray, who can’t find the words to reach them. For all the mothers of the victims of school shootings, and the mothers of those who do the shooting. For the mothers of the survivors, and the mothers who sit in front of their TVs in horror, hugging their child who comes home from school, safely. This is for all the mothers who taught their children to be peaceful, and now pray they come home safely from a war. The emotions are universal and so our thoughts are for young mothers stumbling through diaper changes and sleep deprivation…. and mature mothers learning to let go. For working mothers and stay-at-home mothers. Single mothers and married mothers. Mothers with money, mothers without. [For, women who mother through a variety of ways, and for fathers who mother, too.] This is for you all. For all of us. Hang in there. In the end we can only do the best we can. And pray. ~ Author Unknown

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Celebrate Mother’s Day at FCC Branford with a gift for The Branford Diaper Bank.

The Branford Diaper Bank provides diapers once a month to Branford residents. It is a collaboration between the Community Dining Room, Branford Early Learning Center, and Branford Counseling Center.
The goal of The Diaper Bank is to “ensure that all children in Branford have an adequate supply of diapers and raise community awareness around diapers being a basic necessity that is not available for all children.”

Diapers (especially sizes 4, 5 or 6), wipes, grocery cards, or monetary donations are all welcome.

Donations may be brought to the church office during the week of May 6th, mailed in, or brought to our Mother’s Day collections after both services on May 13th. Checks should be made to FCC Branford with Diaper Bank in the memo line.

Thank You From the Mission Board


Killam's Point News

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Open House at Killam's Point

Curious about renting Killam's Point for a staff conference, quiet retreat or special event? Please join us from 12 - 3 on Sunday afternoon, May 20th, to visit Killam's Point Conference Center, located at 131 Killam's Point Road, Branford, CT. The Point House will be open and our deck chairs are ready for the season! Our team will be available to answer your questions about renting our facility.

2018 Nature Programs on Killam's Point

In cooperation with the Branford Land Trust, our church will host four events open to the public giving all who attend the opportunity to enjoy the Point and to learn about how we interact with nature. Space is limited so to register for attendance, please call 203 747- 4184.

May 19, 1:00 pm. Spring on the Pointl
Join environmental advocates from the Land Trust for a walk on the Point's trails. Observe and identify the trees, flowers and creatures native to one of the shoreline's most beautiful preserves.

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Children's Sunday

“Walk around outside with a child and you will find out how beautiful God’s creations really are.”

Children are so important for our growth as adults. They teach us to love. To be patient. To show empathy and kindness towards one another. They show us that making friends is as easy as just asking if the other wants to play. But the most important thing they teach us is how to view God’s creations all around us. Their view of the world, of all living creatures, of fellow humans is simple. Everything and everyone is beautiful. All created from God.

Children teach us to stop and smell the flowers. Lay in the grass and find the shapes in the clouds. Save the worm from the road and put him back in the grass. Give the dog another treat just because she’s cute. Eat dinner outside on the steps because it’s so nice outside and you just don’t want to stop playing. Cuddle with me every morning because that’s the perfect way to start a day…with love and affection.

Please join us on Sunday, June 3rd at 10am for the Children’s Sunday service.

Let’s take a moment in time to stop and admire them for their simple outlook on life and what their message on June 3rd might bring to our lives.

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Does anyone have a working electric typewriter they would be willing to donate to the church receptionists?

Please call the church office if you have one.


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.


For Our Prayers This Week

We give thanks for......
Those that have mothered us
The evening gatherings that draw us together

We pray for.....
Those facing medical procedures, particularly Rick Barker and Jeff Buggee
Those affected by the volcano and earthquakes in Hawaii
Victims of sex trafficking

We grieve with…..
The family of Bob Criscuolo who died on April 20th
The family of Barbara Mehring who died on April 18th
Those suffering continuous terrorist attacks in Afghanistan and around the world

Ongoing prayers for…
Jim Bolan, Betsy & Peter Boynton, Rick Buggee, Daria Carlson, Edward DeFrancesco, John Paul Dineen, Dormer Family, Eleanor Eadie (Emily Fielding’s sister), Robert & Margaret Gehm (parents of Nancy Gehm), Mary Gundersen (Lynda Barker’s mother), Martha Hickman (Lil Sakai’s mom), Alison Hobbie (Betsy Gay’s daughter), John D. Kelly (Mindy Yester’s brother), Frank Malinconico, Ethel Marchesseault (Linda’s mother), Joe Mele (Jen McCaughtry’s uncle), Maria & Adam Melillo, Mary, Kirsten & Rosabelle (Sharon Reynolds’ niece and family), Rose & Tom Moore (mother & brother of Sharon Reynolds), Sylvia O’Brien, Debbie Pearl (friend of Lil Sakai), Lincoln Shaw (Frank Shaw’s brother), George Spear, Lou Wells, Walter Woods (John’s brother), and Janet Young.


Church Calendar

Sunday, May 13 – Mother’s Day
8:00 am Worship Service Walker Chapel
10:00 am Worship Service Meetinghouse
6:00 pm High School Youth Group Starbucks

Monday, May 14
10:00 am Branford Transition Program All Purpose Room
7:00 pm Stewardship Board Meeting Room 25

Tuesday, May 15
10:00 am Staff Meeting Russel Room
4:30 pm Youth Bell Rehearsal Sanctuary
5:30 pm Family Group Night Killam’s Point
7:00 pm Adult Bell Rehearsal Sanctuary

Wednesday, May 16
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, May 17
10:00 am Life Among the Believers Russel Room
10:30 am CDC – Happy Feet Pilgrim Hall
7:00 pm Bridge Club Pilgrim Hall
7:00 pm Adult Choir Rehearsal Sanctuary

Friday, May 18
10:00 am Branford Transition Program All Purpose Room

Saturday, May 19
9:00 am Branford Garden Club Plant Sale Town Green

Sunday, May 20 – Pentecost/Music Sunday
8:00 am Worship Service Walker Chapel
10:00 am Worship Service Meetinghouse
11:30 am Life Among the Believers Russel Room

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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 smile.amazon.com, and First Congregational Church can receive donations from AmazonSmile.

StartWithaSmile at smile.amazon.com/ch/06-6042800 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 www.firstcongregationalbranford.org and there is a sign-up form. Don’t miss another issue!

The eSpire is now available on our website at http://www.firstcongregationalbranford.org/newsletters.html

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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