Sunday, November 4, 2018

Worship at 8:00am in the Chapel

Worship at 10:00am in the Meetinghouse

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Don't Forget To Set Your Clocks Back One Hour!

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Life Among the Believers

Hello, beloved believer.

There was a huge turnout at the Community Vigil that Temple Beth Tikvah in Madison held Tuesday night, and I was grateful that FCCB members came out for it. I heard from many of you who could not attend, but you were with us in spirit. As one member, recuperating from surgery shared, “I have so many Jewish friends who are hurting and remembering. So much greater outcry should be heard. I am with you in spirit.” Rabbi Stacy Offner said, “we join together in solidarity and protest, to celebrate our common values as Americans and to mourn our dead. We are one human community and we decry the hatred and violence that we see in our world. May God send peace to the mourners. May God cause peace to reign in our world.” Shalom, and Amen.

This Sunday, November 4, we’re remembering and mourning our dead who left us this past year, giving thanks for their life on earth. Their name will be spoken and a bell tolled with each name. We’ll sing “For All the Saints,” “In the Bulb There is a Flower,” and our Adult Bell Choir will ring “The Old Rugged Cross.” It’s a full Sunday because we’ll also have a stewardship message. (Commitment Sunday itself is November 11.) Then, blessed be, we’ll celebrate Holy Communion. The Rev. Susan Power Trucksess will preside at the table in this her last Communion at FCCB. I know that it will be a meaningful time for her, and for you, too, as our Sanctuary Choir sings, “Come to the Table.”

Don’t forget to turn your clock back Saturday night before you
go to bed, or we’ll see you an hour early in church!

Dear reader, it was shared several times that the “Hold on” sermon I preached at 8:00am last Sunday ought to be heard by the 10:00 crowd. While I won’t be preaching it again, I’d like to encourage you to click on the link in the Preach It! section below where you’ll find the sermon to read. May God add a blessing to your reading of it.

In closing, in honor of All Saints Day, and in honor of our Jewish sisters and brothers, I offer a prayer from the Reformed Jewish Prayerbook:
"In the rising of the sun and its going down… we remember them.
In the blowing of the wind and in the chill of winter… we remember them.
In the opening of buds and in the rebirth of spring… we remember them.
In the blueness of the sky and the warmth of summer… we remember them.
In the rustling of leaves and in the beauty of autumn… we remember them.
In the beginning of the year and when it ends… we remember them.
When we are weary and in need of strength… we remember them.
When we are lost and sick at heart… we remember them.
When we have joys we yearn to share… we remember them.
So long as we live, they too shall live.
For they are now a part of us, as… we remember them."

Making Christ’s Love Known in Word and Action,
Rev. Suz, Interim Senior Minister
Office Hours: T-Th 9am-3pm (or 1p-3p visits) if evening mtg., 3pm-9pm; church (203) 488-7201, ext. 107; cell (860) 304-1054

Rev. Susan Power Trucksess retires on November 18th, and we’ll have a retirement party for her after worship that day. If you would like to contribute to a cash purse in honor of Rev. Trucksess, she has named the organization she'd like to benefit from this gift. Women in Recovery Education (WIRE) is a not-for-profit organization in New Haven whose mission is to decrease delinquent behavior in women and girls who have been afflicted by a traumatic experience and the stigma that is associated with it. You may write a check made out to the church and in the memo line of the check place "retirement purse"; or you could mail it into the church, Attn. Bookkeeper (Pat Carroll), or you may place it in the collection plate. You may also contribute cash in an envelope which you've designated goes to the "retirement purse." Please turn in your donation by November 14, 2018. Thank you.

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What Shall We Bring?

Members and Friends of the First Congregational Church will soon receive information regarding Commitment Sunday on November 11, 2018, at which time we will receive our pledges for 2019. The information includes:

• a letter from the Stewardship Board,
• a step chart showing the levels of weekly giving for those who pledged for 2018,
• a pledge card for making your 2019 commitment, and
• a reminder of the Celebration Brunch taking place between services from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.

Every effort is being made to call and personally invite all church members to the brunch. If we miss you when we call and you would like to attend this fellowship meal, please email so we can ensure there is enough for all.

Please prayerfully consider what you shall bring as your pledge commitment for 2019. See you on the 11th!

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From the Board of Christian Education

The Sunday school has gotten off to a great start. We have Franklin Brown teaching the 1st-4th graders and Linda Mitchell teaching Pre-K and K. We need some substitutes, though! We have a curriculum that we follow so all the planning is done for you. If you are willing to be on our list, please put your name and number on the pew pads with the comment, Sunday School Sub. Thank you for supporting our children, and our church!

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Ways To Help At The Christmas Fair December 1

• Donate items to Golden Nuggets, Books/Music, Children’s Toys/Games, Jewelry, or Christmas Revisited, or Curiosity.

• Stage open for donations on 11/11/18. Please, no clothing, shoes or TVs.

Donate a bottle of wine for the Wine Pull.

• Make handcrafted items, baked goods and/or candy.

• Donate your time, vacation home, gift basket, service/talent or special dinner or dessert for the Silent Auction.

• Decorate wreaths and swags.

• Work in the kitchen – Gents only, please.

• Volunteer the day of the fair.

• Help with set-up before and clean-up after the fair.

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The Christmas Fair Cookie Walk is happening once again this year and we’re looking for folks, a/k/a Cookie Elves, who are willing to bake and donate two big batches (6-10 dozen) of Christmas cookies! The sign-up sheet is posted on the bulletin board in Pilgrim Hall along with an informational sheet for each elf. Contact Peggy Keck with any questions.

Also posted on the bulletin board in Pilgrim Hall is a wish list for the fair—items we are asking to be donated to help different areas of the fair. Check it out!

Please pick up a sign to place in your yard and/or a flyer to post where you work or play. These are located near the office reception area.

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Sisters in the Spirit

How wonderful our most recent Sisters Oct. 24th evening was! A delicious Southern themed dinner prepared mostly by Yankees – oven fried chicken, grits and greens, and pecan bars. And the most lively inspiring guest, Mahogany Thomas, who shared her journey of Baptist roots, Pentecostal worship, Yale Divinity School’s theology, and UCC leanings. Most of all she shared the Spirit’s working in her life and her calling and truly we saw that Sisters come in all sizes, shapes, colors. We felt fed in so many ways.
Praise the Lord!

Out of the contributions to the dinner we were able to forward an honorarium in Mahagony's honor to her Pentecostal church for the Children's and Youth program there - an important part of our program, sisters helping sisters and their families who are in need.

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Thanksgiving Basket Items For Food Pantry Event On November 13.

1 can gravy
2 cans vegetables
1 box stuffing
2 boxes instant pudding
1 can cranberry sauce
1 can frozen Juice
1 can pie filling
1 pie crust mix
1 can coffee
1 pound butter

And/or 10-12 pound turkey

Items due 5:00 pm November 13 to church kitchen

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Here's Rev. Suz' sermon "Hold On" from the 8 a.m. service on October 28th.
Read it here!

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This Little Light

Remember the words to that old hymn....This Little Light Of Mine I'm gonna let it shine? And the verse Out there in the dark I'm gonna let it shine?

With so much darkness in the world today, there is such a great need to let our lights a living church Making Christ's Love Known in Word and Action as well as individually. This new section of the eSpire will feature articles on Peace and Justice issues. Some will be calls to action, some will be thought-provoking, some will challenge you. With some you may disagree.
Betsy Hyde

Pastor John Pavlovitz wrote "In 1871, Unitarian minister Theodore Parker said, 'The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.' These have been words spoken as solace in times of adversity. They are words we say as declaration or as aspiration—and in days like today they can feel more like the latter. This week, these words desperately need to be repeated again, though not as solace for weary spectators—but as battle cry for warriors for goodness.

Friends, this means that we are the arc benders. We are not passive victims of the difficult times in which we live, we are powerful participants in them; mighty co-authors of the story we find ourselves in, and together we can twist the plot. We can write something redemptive to mark our time on the planet."

Message from IRIS to Refugee Co-sponsors

Dear IRIS Community Co-Sponsors:

We are reaching out to you in light of the tragedy in Pittsburgh. Our hearts go out to the Tree of Life Synagogue families who are mourning the loss of their loved ones. As many of your groups are either based within Jewish communities or have strong ties to Jewish communities in your towns, we want you to know that we will do anything we can to help you through this time. We hope you will reach out to us if there is any way we can assist you.

Our colleagues at HIAS (Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society), who were specifically referenced in this attack, represent the best of our field. They too believe in welcoming the stranger and they too are advocates of community-based refugee resettlement. They will not be deterred from helping refugees and neither will IRIS.

We will continue to be a vocal, positive catalyst throughout CT and beyond to promote community based co-sponsorship as a meaningful and successful approach to refugee resettlement. Our commitment to working alongside communities like yours to address the global refugee crisis endures.

We also wanted you to know what we are doing at our New Haven sites of operation given that the attack specifically involved the Jewish community's commitment to helping refugees. There will be additional security measures implemented at all of our physical locations to further safeguard our clients, volunteers, and staff. Additionally, we have reached out to HIAS and the Tree of Life Synagogue to show our support directly, as well as having made an initial statement in solidarity on Facebook. However, from this point forward we will not mention the attack on our website or in other communications in order to minimize any risks associated with attracting this type of attention to our programs.

We encourage you to reach out to us for guidance if you have questions about how to handle communications locally. We also ask that you report any incidents, no matter how minor, of hate speech or other actions taken against your refugee families or your groups, first to local law enforcement and then immediately afterward to IRIS. We ask that you contact Greg Marino, Ann O’Brien, and Chris George. Their email addresses are on this email.

Please call us with any questions regarding the above or any questions you may have in reference to the weekend’s heinous act.

We are honored to be doing this work with our clients, with you, and in partnership with so many Jewish communities across the state.

Let us all rededicate ourselves to welcoming more newcomers of all origins to honor the lives lost and to sympathize with the pain felt in Pittsburgh and across our nation.

The Staff of IRIS

Chris George
Executive Director
IRIS - Integrated Refugee & Immigrant Services
235 Nicoll St., New Haven, CT 06511

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Musical Art Society Scholarship Fundraiser with the Korey Brodsky Band
Sunday, November 4 at 3:00

This quartet of Berklee students will perform bluegrass, jazz and old-time music in Pilgrim Hall, to benefit a music scholarship for a Branford high school student. Tickets are $15 ($6 for students) available at the door.

Holiday Bazaar
Join us on November 17th at the North Guilford Congregational Church for our annual Holiday Bazaar. There will be handmade crafts, baked goods and gently used items for sale. Walk through our barn which is full of treasures. Stay for lunch which includes a variety of soups and grilled cheese sandwiches. Looking for a unique gift for teachers or a hostess gift, we have them. Come to NGCC on Saturday, November 17th from 9:00am – 3:00pm. We are located at 159 Ledge Hill Rd., Guilford, CT.

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From your Stewardship Committee

We’re almost three quarters into the year and we’ve almost received three quarters of your pledges. Keep your pledges coming in please.

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Carol's Corner

We were recently given a scrapbook with articles about The Congregational Players. They performed from 1936-1939. Plays included "Three Who Met at Banbury Cross" and "The Silent Shape." They were presented at the Community House which was on the corner of South Main and Montowese Streets. Admission was .35 and candy was sold during the 5-minute intermission. In April 1937 a play tournament was held with six groups performing over two nights. The Congregational Players came in third. Prizes were $5 first place, $3 second and $2 third.
Carol Hoadley - Church Historian

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New Email Address for Church Office

To contact the church, please email

Office Hours

Tuesday to Thursday: 9 am – 2 pm

Friday: 9 am – 12 pm

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Intergenerational Activities

Sunday, November 4
Ronald McDonald House beginning at 12pm
We will cook several meals for the families to store for the week as they go back and forth to the hospital. Check out the website for Ronald McDonald House New Haven -at the top is a short video describing their mission.

Tuesday, November 13
Thanksgiving Baskets For Food Pantry from 5-8pm
This is our 12th year making baskets! We will put together baskets and turkeys for home delivery by the Branford Food Pantry. Our goal is between 80-100 of each.

Tuesday, December 4
Painting Night from 5:30-8pm
The folks from Fired Up will come over and host a painting night. The painting will be pre-determined. They will supply all of the materials. There will be slight fee for this evening (TBA)

Tuesday, December 11
Gingerbread Making Night Extreme from 6-8pm
The folks from the Christmas fair will be helping our youth decorate gingerbread houses!!

Note: We are working with the folks from Sanctuary Kitchen to have an intergenerational cooking event in Pilgrim Hall. They will do a cooking demonstration by refugee Chefs and then we will eat together. (DATE TBA)

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A new approach for ALL to participate in the coffee hour after the 10:00 AM service when we greet each other, share a cup of coffee and meet new friends.

Each month a group will be asked to donate a snack or treat and when possible serve coffee.

In November those members whose last name begins with E, F, or G are asked to bring a snack or treat and serve coffee one Sunday during the month. That means you are asked to bring food and serve coffee only 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 November, if your last name begins with E, F, or G, send an email if you can serve one Sunday during the month. For this month report to Rowena Gatta at We’re counting on everyone to serve at least one coffee hour.

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

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Confirmation Mentors Are Needed
Would you like a chance to have an impact on a young person’s life? We are looking for adults to be disciples to our confirmation class. You would be paired up with a young person and meet four times between September and April. The meetings are structured and guided. It is so important that our young people have an opportunity to learn from and connect with adults from our congregation.

Here is a great chance to make a positive influence with a young person. Let me know as soon as possible if you would consider this opportunity. Rather than aiming to have one adult leader for every five students, it’s better to aim for connecting every teen with five adults who are willing to invest in the teen in some way, even if rather small. According to LifeWay Research, “teens who had five or more adults from the church invest in them during the ages of 15 to 18 were less likely to leave the church after high school.” Contact Theresa if you are interested

The Rev. Theresa Borchetta

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

October 21st & 28th
November 11th & 25th
December 2nd & 16th
January 6th & 13th
February 3rd & 24th
March 3rd & 17th
April 7th & 28th
May 5th (5:30pm start) Youth Group Tool Time

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Book Group

The Book group has decided that for the winter, until the time changes in the spring, we will continue to meet at 5:30 pm.

The meetings will be as follows:
November 7, 5:30-Ethan Frome by Elizabeth Wharton
December 5, 5:30-Pachinko by Min Jin Lee
January 8, 5:30-Biography or memoir of your choice
February 6. 5:30-Sourdough by Robin Sloan

Everyone is welcome. We meet in the Russel Room.

Barbara Colley

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For Our Prayers This Week

We give thanks for…
All the Saints known and loved by us, and those known and loved only by God
The things that lift our spirits like pumpkins, pie, and prayer
The efforts of the Stewardship Committee as they encourage us on “What Shall We Bring?”
The opportunity to vote in the upcoming elections

We pray for….
Our nation after it has been rocked by violence and hatred
The humane treatment of the thousands marching across Central America
Respect for the rights of the transgender community

We grieve with….
Those bearing the loss of life after an Indonesian passenger plane crashed at sea with 189 people on board

Ongoing prayers for…
Linda Mitchell, 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.

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Life Among the Believers

Sunday, November 4
8:00 am Worship Service Walker Chapel
10:00 am Worship Service Meetinghouse
11:15 am CE Board Meeting Russel Room
12:00 pm Intergenerational Event Ronald McDonald House, New Haven
3:00 pm Branford Musical Arts Society Scholarship Fundraiser Pilgrim Hall

Tuesday, November 6
10:00 am Staff Meeting Russel Room
7:00 pm Land and Building Meeting Room 25
7:00 pm Bell Rehearsal Sanctuary

Wednesday, November 7
5:30 pm Book Group Russel Room
5:30 pm Old Testament Study Group with Rev. Betsy Dorsi Pilgrim Hall

Thursday, November 8
10:00 am Knitting, Purling, Praying Russel Room
10:30 am CDC – Happy Feet Pilgrim Hall
7:00 pm Adult Choir Rehearsal Sanctuary

Saturday, November 10
10:00 am Celebration Brunch Preparation Pilgrim Hall and Kitchen
8:00 pm Branford Folk Music Society Concert Pilgrim Hall

Sunday, November 11- Commitment Sunday
8:00 am Worship Service Walker Chapel
9:00 am Celebration Brunch Pilgrim Hall
10:00 am Worship Service Meetinghouse
11:00 am Music Board Meeting Room 25
4:00 pm Confirmation Class Pine Room
6:00 pm High School Youth Group Pilgrim Hall and Kitchen

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Looking Ahead

November 13: Thanksgiving Baskets for Food Pantry, 5:00-8:00 pm, Pilgrim Hall and Kitchen
November 14: Old Testament Study Group with Rev. Betsy Dorsi, 5:30 pm, Pilgrim Hall
November 18: Thanksgiving Service with Rev. Susan Power Trucksess, and Retirement Party




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 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 will now only be sold after worship on Sundays.

 Big Y  Stop and Shop 

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