First congregational church espire

Sunday March 17, 2019

Second Sunday in Lent

Worship 8:00 am in the Chapel

Worship 10:00 am in the Meetinghouse

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Life Among the Believers

Lenten Blessings to you, Beloved. Here in this second week of Lent, things have gotten pretty serious pretty quickly. Last week was serious enough with Satan’s temptations, and now, after a time of Jesus’s ministry - preaching primarily controversial, confrontational messages, performing controversial healings, including exorcising demons, as well as denouncing Pharisees and crooked lawyers, word came to Jesus that Herod wanted to kill him. Jesus was a far too dangerous leader, one who pointed out hypocrisy, deceit, and dishonesty. He was deemed a rabble rouser. That’s pointed out in the lyrics of Jesus Christ Superstar: Priest 1: That man is in town right now to whip up some support. Priest 2: A rabble rousing mission that I think we must abort. Together: He is dangerous. He is dangerous.

Jesus had come to save Jerusalem from itself, from all of its corruption. He had come as a Protector, to shield the people from harm. He had come to clean up the Temple and the city from its dishonest practices. For centuries prophets had come to Jerusalem to rid the Holy City of its fraud and neglect of God’s people, but, alas, they were all stoned to death. “Truth tellers get truth told to them, also”. (~ Harrison Scott Key)

The scripture lesson this Sunday is from The Gospel of Luke 13:31-35, the message entitled As a Hen Gathers Her Brood. We’ll sing Be Still, My Soul and I Need Thee Every Hour. The Sanctuary Choir will grace our worship with My Savior’s Love.
In lighter news, we’ll commission our nine Pastoral Search Committee members during the 10:00 am service! On Tuesday, March 19, our Regional Minister, The Rev. Mary Nelson, will meet with them and provide an orientation of the search process. Here we go! You’re one step closer to your Settled Solo Minister!

As Rev. Theresa Borchetta is leaving us April 7, I’d like to suggest that you spend some moments between now and then to speak some word of appreciation to her - have your time of closure with Rev. T. Jennifer McCaughtry is receiving items for the memory book which will be presented to T on April 7. You may write her at or call at ‭+1 (618) 954-8439‬ if you’d like to contribute a memory, gratitude, a picture, or a blessing. You may also contribute to a purse which we’ll also present to T on the 7th. Please make those donations through Pat Carroll in the church office. In addition, staff will be taking Theresa to lunch on April 2nd and presenting a gift to her.‬‬

A Lay Liturgist sign-up sheet will soon be posted in Pilgrim Hall. Members and Friends may sign up to help lead the 8:00 am or 10:00 am worship service. These are the responsibilities: Lead the Call to Celebration (printed in bulletin), Lead the Gathering Prayer (printed in bulletin), Ask for Joys & Concerns then offer a Prayer (you may compose one, or find one online or in our hymnal), Give the Invitation to the Offering (just a few words that invite people to give - I can help with this), Lead the Prayer of Dedication (printed in bulletin), Lead Commissioning (printed in bulletin). Might God be calling you in this direction? If you have any questions about leading worship, please ask me! I’ll help! We can even go into the Chapel or Meetinghouse to go over everything so that you can feel more comfortable. I’ll email the bulletin to you early in the week.

In the midst of transition, of T’s departure, the search committee process, and opening up worship to lay leadership, we acknowledge the sadness among us, while we also look to the hope that is stirring within us for a new day at FCCB. We’ll take extra comfort in those hymns this week, Be Still, My Soul, and I Need Thee Every Hour. Maybe most importantly, we’ll look to our opening hymn for direction, I Want to Walk as a Child of the Light.

The light of God surrounds you, the love of God enfolds you, the power of God protects you, the presence of God watches over you. Wherever you are, God Is, and all is well.

Light Shines!
Rev. Suz, Interim Senior Minister
(~happy to visit with you in your home, church office, cafe, a walk~)


Lenten Supper Series: Wilderness Wanderings - all ages welcome!

at 6 pm in Pilgrim Hall

followed by a 6:30 pm-7:30 pm program:

March 20, Wandering in the Wilderness of the Environment with Nature Jen from Killam’s Point

March 27, Wandering in the Wilderness of Joy with Comic Kristin Pippin (a little light in the darkness of Lent!)

Sign up to bring food here:
If you have issues with signing up, contact Jennifer McCaughtry at 618-954-8439

April 3: Seder at 6 pm in Pilgrim Hall

April 18: Maundy Thursday service at 7 pm in Pilgrim Hall

April 19: Good Friday Ecumenical service
beginning at Noon at St. Mary’s

April 21: Easter Sunday Sunrise Service at 6 am at Killam’s Point, Love’s Beach;
9 am and 11 am services in the Church Meetinghouse

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Disciple sayings:

Would you like to come to church with me this Sunday?

I’m so glad you’re here.

Let me introduce you and show you around.


Book Group - Important Updates!

The next book group meeting will be on a different day because of church Lenten programs. We will meet on Thursday, April 4 at 7:00 pm. The April Book is The Midwife’s Tale by Sam Thomas.

The May book is The Wife by Meg Wolitzer, May 1 at 7pm

The June book is Inheritance by Dani Shapiro, June 4 at 7pm

Everyone is welcome. We meet in the Russel Room.
Barbara Colley


New Member Orientation

We will meet on March 17th in the Russel Room, following worship. Please let Rev. Suz know if you are interested in attending. Attendance at this meeting doesn't require that you become a member. For those who choose membership, our Reception of New Members will be held on May 12th during our 10am service.


Report from the Committee on Church Governance

Did you know that our current bylaws list approximately 120 board and committee positions? And that only 50 positions are filled for 2019?

In June 2018, Church Council formed an ad hoc Committee on Church Governance to examine our church board, committee, and governance structure, and to propose a new structure. The committee submitted its report at the February Council meeting. The recommendations were approved by Council, and the report may be reviewed here.

After Easter, small group sessions will be held to familiarize the congregation with the report, and a Special Meeting of the Congregation will be held to approve it. Meeting dates are being finalized, and will be announced as soon as they have been determined.

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Branford Builds Update

Great news! The Mission Board has received several applications for assistance with home repairs. What an exciting opportunity for our church to show love and compassion for those in need! The work will be completed during the weekend of May 4th and 5th. Please save the dates! The opportunity to volunteer to be a member of this team will be announced soon, so watch for it! The needs will be plentiful and varied! In other words, we need you!

So, mark your calendar right now—May 4th and 5th. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to spread hope and show God’s grace to others!

Making Christ’s love known in word and action! Amen!


“Theocracy to Democracy” is now available online at On their site look for the latest videos. Also, don’t forget to send in your memories of our church to us. You can use this email: Ask your family and friends to send in theirs.

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A note from the Christmas Fair Group:
It’s spring cleaning time and we are starting to collect for two sections of the Christmas Fair. The first is Christmas Revisited. The second is the Jewelry Dept. We are collecting jewelry, jewelry boxes, belts, gloves, scarves, hats, pocketbooks, and tote bags. You may bring these items at any time to the Church Office and Carol Hoadley will store them.

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Can I Entice You? Food, alcohol, extramarital activities....Get Behind Me, Satan! Read Rev. Suz' sermon from March 10 at this link.


Starting at the beginning of March, Lotus Yoga will be offering Intermediate Level Stress Release Yoga classes for older adults in the All Purpose Room at FCCB! Classes will provide an emphasis on decreasing tension and increasing flexibility and will be taught by Gina Macdonald MA,LPC. a certified yoga instructor with 20 years of experience. Sessions are held on Wednesday evenings, 5:45-7:00 pm. Cost is $10.00 per session/$15.00 drop in. Contact Gina at 203-710-6665 for more info.

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What Shall We Bring?

From your Stewardship Board:

Thanks to those members and friends who have submitted their pledges for the Church in 2019. We have received $180,475 from 108 pledging units to date and appreciate your support.

If you have not yet pledged, please remember to do so either in church, online at the website, or by email to

We are well on the way to our goal of $200,000, yet need your support to make it happen. Please help us reach our goal.


Hospitality in March and April

Each month a group will be asked to donate a snack or treat one Sunday and when possible serve coffee. In March all those who whose last names begin with an R are asked to bring a snack or treat and serve one Sunday in March.

In April those members whose last names begin with an S or T are asked to bring a snack or treat one Sunday and serve coffee one Sunday during the month. That means you are asked to bring food and serve coffee once during the year!

John has the coffee ready for us each Sunday.

Each month supplies will be available in the kitchen: milk, half & half, sugar and juice for the children.

In March, if your last name begins with R, send me an email if you can serve one Sunday during the month.

If you have any other questions, email, text, or call me:, 203-483-8039
Deanna O’Connell


Confirmation Calendar

March 17 4:00-5:30 Social Justice
April 7 4:00-5:30 The Faith Journey Continues
April 28 4:00-5:30 Confirmation at 10:00 am Service


High School Youth Group Calendar

(All times will be 6:00-7:30 unless noted otherwise)

March 17th
April 7th & 28th
May 5th (5:30pm start) Youth Group Tool Time


New Email Address for Church Office

To contact the church, please email

Office Hours

Mondays: 3-6pm
Tuesdays: 5:30-7:30pm
Wednesdays: 5:30-7:30pm
Thursdays: 3-6pm


As we're now into the winter season, there may be an occasion in which we'll need to cancel church. Please look to Channel 3 news for announcements of church closings.


For Our Prayers This Week...

We give thanks for...
The first Lenten supper and program
The first day of Spring March 20th

We pray for...
A meaningful and thought-provoking experience with the Wednesday night Lenten programs
Those grieving at the loss of loved ones on Ethiopia Airlines Flight ET302,
which crashed March 10th killing 157 people
Honesty and Ethics in college admission practices

We grieve with…
Stephanie Monroe (Julia Novaco’s sister) and family, at the death of her father-in-law,
Jim Monroe on March 6th
The family of Anne Zukowski, in the loss of her husband, David, on February 25th

Ongoing prayers for…
Ira & Nancy Heller (friends of the Reifs), The Guay family (friends of Ray Luhn), Rick Buggee (Jeff Buggee’s brother), Nancy Dougherty, Joseph Arnson (Take-A-Vet Fishing Volunteer Care Member), Sean St. Pierre, Wayne Childs, Cyndie Neely, Nancy Johnson, Bob Zettergren & family, Jeff Buggee, Marge Nalewajek (Meghan St. Pierre's mother), Norm Roberts, Ella Furjes, and her mom, Gwen (Jennifer and Mareyna McCaughtry’s friends), Grace Chaplin (Paul’s mom), Judy Whittaker, Cory Martens (Kelly Marten’s brother), Rick Barker, Jim Bolan, 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), John D. Kelly (Mindy Yester’s brother), Ethel Marchesseault (Linda’s mother), The Family of Sharon Reynolds, Sylvia O’Brien, Debbie Pearl (friend of Lil Sakai), George Spear, and Lou Wells.


Life Among the Believers

Sunday, March 17
8:00 am Worship Service Walker Chapel
10:00 am Worship Service (Pastoral Search Committee Commissioning) Meetinghouse
11:00 am New Member Orientation Russel Room
4:00 pm Confirmation Class: Social Justice Pine Room
6:00 pm High School Youth Group Pilgrim Hall/Kitchen

Monday, March 18
9:00 am Public School Transition Program All Purpose Room

Tuesday, March 19
10:00 am Staff Meeting Russel Room
3:30 pm 375th Meeting Pilgrim Hall
7:00 pm Orientation to the Search Committee Russel Room
7:00 pm Bell Rehearsal Sanctuary

Wednesday, March 20
5:45 pm Lotus Yoga Class Pine Room
6:00 pm Lenten Supper Series: Wandering in the Wilderness of the Environment Pilgrim Hall
7:00 pm Church Council All Purpose Room

Thursday, March 21
10:30 am CDC: Happy Feet Pilgrim Hall
7:00 pm Choir Rehearsal Sanctuary

Friday, March 22
9:00 am Public School Transition Program All Purpose Room
9:00 am Committee of Church Governance Russel Room

Saturday, March 23

Sunday, March 24
8:00 am Worship Service Walker Chapel
10:00 am Worship Service Meetinghouse




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.

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Sanctuary Flowers

The 2019 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 will now only be sold after worship on Sundays.

 Big Y  Stop and Shop 

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