Sunday January 28, 2018

Fourth Sunday after Epiphany

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

Worship Service 10:00 a.m., Meetinghouse

The Rev. Theresa Borchetta preaching
Reading: Matthew 25:31-46


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 Fund 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

Annual Report and Proposed Budget On Line

The Annual Report, Year End Financial Statement and Proposed 2018 are available on line.

Click here for 2017 Annual Report.

Click here for 2017 Year End Financial Statement and 2018 Proposed Budget.

Copies are also available in the office. We hope everyone will review these important documents prior to the 374th Annual Meeting on January 28th.


Reminder this week is the collection of salad items for the Community Dining Room

Reminder that there is no coffee hour this Sunday after the 10am service due to the annual meeting.

Someone left their garage door opener last Sunday. It is in the church office.


For those of you who heard me speak at church my first Sunday back you already know how grateful I am to be back in our church. It felt strange, maybe even a little uncomfortable to be on the receiving end of prayers for healing and support. Every few days I would receive a stack of cards in an envelope that I would go through. My nurses were amazed with the outpouring. I was overwhelmed and so thankful. I am convinced those prayers and that love lead to me making a much quicker than expected recovery.

Life can throw us curve balls like when one minute we are thinking about our sermon for the upcoming week and another minute we are in the hospital.

I am so grateful for the love and support that came from all those sending well wishes. Then came the prayer shawl delivered by Susan Trucksess while I was in ICU. I have delivered numerous prayer shawls over the years, but to be honest I never realized how powerful they are to receive. I wanted it with me all the time. I received countless compliments and I proudly told folks where and who it was from.

I said my first Sunday back that I believe at times we take things in our lives for granted until they are taken away. I realized how much I miss our church, the people and even the comfort of being in this building. I cannot thank everyone enough especially our church leaders. I thank you from the bottom of my heart First Congregational Church of Branford. I thank you for the prayers, the plants, the messages, the cards, the love and the support. This is a loving and compassionate church and I am proud to call it home

Love and Peace,



"Without belaboring the fact, the world in front of us is nothing like the world behind us. Sad as it sounds, and as mightily s some might wish to deny it, we are now living in what has been called a “post-Christian” world – meaning that the 1700 year long era with Christianity at the center of Western cultural life is over. You know what I am talking about – the reports and statistics show that churches are dying, or in steady decline; spirituality is popular but it is very individualistic; “none” (spelled n-o-n-e) is the fastest growing religious affiliation declared by people being interviewed; and church is but one option for a “salad bar” mentality when people chooses what to do with their time and commitment and money" ---->>> to read more of SPT's sermon from January 21.


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


Interim Minister Search Committee Update

Since the beginning of the year, the Search Committee has received new candidate profiles to consider for the position of FCCB Intentional Interim Minister. We are currently conducting interviews and hope to be able to make a recommendation to Church Council soon. Thanks for your good thoughts and prayers throughout this process.


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......
All those who’ve served their terms on committees and boards over these past years
Those who are accepting nominations to serve the church in time ahead
Glimpses of the sunlight in the bleak mid winter

We pray for.....
Thoughtful and prayerful deliberations at the annual meeting
The ongoing efforts of the Interim Search Committee
Productive resolutions to the serious issues facing our government
Kathy Castellon’s recovery from surgery this past Thursday
Victims of yet another school shooting and other random acts of violence

We grieve with…..
The family of Roberta Bishop who died on the 13th

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 28 – Salad Collection
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
11:00 am 374th Annual Meeting Meetinghouse
6:00 pm High School Youth Group Meetinghouse

Monday, January 29

Tuesday, January 30
10:00 am Staff Meeting Russel Room
4:30 pm Youth Bells Meetinghouse
5:15 pm Family Group Night Pilgrim Hall
7:00 pm Adult Bell Choir Rehearsal Sanctuary

Wednesday, January 31
10:30 am CDC – CrossFit Pilgrim Hall
11:00 am Evergreen Woods Bible Study Evergreen Woods

Thursday, February 1
10:30 am CDC - Happy Feet Pilgrim Hall
7:00 pm Choir Rehearsal Sanctuary

Friday, February 2

Saturday, February 3

Sunday, February 4 - Communion
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 CE Board Meeting Russel Room


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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