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Judea eNews for March 22 - Holy Week begins on Palm Sunday

Judea eNews for March 22 - Holy Week begins on Palm Sunday

Dear Friends,

    Join us as the journey through the Dark Wood takes us into Palm Sunday and Holy Week.  Worship with us as we discover more gifts on our inward travels.  The week will continue with Maundy Thursday.  This very special contemplative evening service includes dramatic readings in which we meet different characters in the story of the last supper.  Through these readings, they share their personal experience and feelings during the real life drama of Holy Week as it unfolds.  These six people who had front row seats to the events of Holy Week are: Mary, a friend of Jesus, Simon Peter, Judas, a Roman soldier, Mary, the mother of Jesus, and Salome.  On this part of the journey, we experience the “shadows” of tenebrae and the "maundy", or the new commandments of Jesus to his disciples at the last supper: to love one another, and to remember him by sharing the bread and cup of communion.  The sanctuary is progressively darkened as the candles are extinguished.  Afterward, we leave the sanctuary in silence.

   The week concludes with our Easter celebrations.  Pastor Cheryl will lead her last Sunrise Easter Service on New Preston Hill at (you guessed it!) sunrise.  Try that for a change, or join us at the traditional service at 10 am in the Meeting House.  The children will have their Easter egg hunt in a new way this year - during the service - where Youth Group members will help with the various activities to make this a richer experience for everyone involved.

Holy Week

    The full March-April issue of the Judea Journal is ready for you with news of upcoming events and important scheduling information plus the always popular monthly letter from Pastor Cheryl.  Click here to download your copy!    

Blessings on your holy week ahead and hope to see you on Sunday!

Karen Esslinger
First Congregational Church | admin@firstchurchwashingtonct.org | www.FirstChurchWashingtonCT.org | Calendar


Coffee Hour Host still Needed - on March 25

We are in need of a host or co-hosts for March 25.

Please sign up on the list in the church hall on the bulletin board, or by emailing the church office.  If you’ve never done it, but want to, ask a Deacon of the Month for some help or consult our guidelines document, available by clicking here.

Loaves and Fishes Next Service Date - Thurs March 29

Thank you to all those who have offered food or help serving on March 29.  If you missed the opportunity to pitch in, you can sign up in advance for the next service date on May 31.

If you have any questions or wish to get on the list for next time, please contact Dick Connor or the church office by phone at (860) 868-0569 or by email.

Soldier Boxes - Donations needed by FRIDAY

"The Town Hall Gang" sends two boxes to military personnel stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan every week.  One box is for personal care items and the other is for food items.  They send to a variety of troops - some with connection to people in Washington and others are total strangers.

Note: Remember that we cannot send aerosol cans so shaving cream must be in tubes.

Our Soldier for Friday March 23, 2018

1LT Kim Justin
Attn: Any Soldier®
A/2-44 ADA
APO AE 09354


Soldier's Title: Battle Captain
Added here: 15 March 2018
Expected to leave Afghanistan: 30 Nov 2018
Contact for approx number of Males: 44, Females: 6
Unit is from: Kentucky

15 Mar 2018:
We live in buildings.
We have electricity, 110.
We have laundry service.
We do not have any cooking abilities.
We have only a microwave.
I am representing our company.

My name is Justin Kim and I am from New Jersey. My unit is from Fort Campbell, KY. We are Alpha Battery, 2-44 ADA. Our main job is to shoot down rockets and mortars that are fired onto the base we are deployed to and to protect all deployed Soldiers' lives. We have half of our Battery here and the other half is deployed to another location in Afghanistan.


The team normally packs for shipment on Friday evenings upstairs in Town Hall. 

Items can be dropped off weekdays at the Town Hall in Bryant Plaza. Please place items in the upstairs room next to kitchen. 

Click here for lists of items:   General items collected every week - On-going

Contact Denise Arturi if you have any questions about the program or items in

found on a weblist of troops requesting supplies. Also, for shipping purposes, any canned food should be small.

For more information, contact Denise Arturi:  860-868-2880

Holy Week Services - Days and Times

Palm Sunday - March 25  at 10:00 am

Maundy Thursday - March 29 at 7:30 pm

Our Maundy Thursday worship begins at 7:30pm, and is a service of communion and tennebrae which includes readings and the progressive darkening of the sanctuary.  Many members find this the most moving worship of the church calendar.

Easter Sunday - April 1

  • 6:30 am Sunrise Service on New Preston Hill and
  • 10:00 am Traditional Easter Celebration and Easter Egg Hunt for the kids!
Volunteer Opportunity at theEmpty Bowl Benefit Dinner - Sat, March 24

Volunteers needed for the following tasks during the event:



Other help at tables

Setup/ Cleanup help


WHEN:  Saturday, March 24 from 4:30 – 7:30 PM

WHERE:  St. John’s Church in New Milford


Have fun while contributing to this vital fundraiser to help them reach their new building goal.  If you can help out, please contact them at loavesfishes@charter.net

Or by calling (860) 350-6612 or (203) 417-1333.

Food Bank - Please Contribute this Week

Eating does not have a season. Won’t you please pick up a few extra items for the cart so that those who need it can have some nutritious food or personal care items they might not be able to buy this month.  Remember, the money starts running thin towards the end of the month – before it finally runs out in that last week, or before.  Donations are especially needed NOW.  A list of items is available in the cart or online.

Our donations are currently being directed to the New Milford Food Bank.
Jean's most recent check-in with the Food Bank director indicates that CANNED SOUPS
are currently the item in need.

Bring your donations to church on Sunday or they may be placed in the Parish House shopping cart any time the building is open (Monday through Friday, 9-5 pm, and Sunday mornings)
Call to Quarterly Congregational Meeting - Sunday, March 25

The meeting will be held Refreshments will be available.

  • Approval of minutes from the January 7th Quarterly Meeting
  • Committee Reports
  • Discussion and approval of Bookkeeper position
  • Discuss Treasurer position and potential chnge of role descrip in By-Laws.  (No vote @ this mtg.)
  • Green Fair

See you there!  
Trish Grinnell, Moderator

Compassionate Communication Practice Group - April 4 @ 6:30 pm

Are you interested in becoming a more compassionate person?
Improving your relationships with self and others?

Join our Compassionate Communication practice group, based on the work of Marshall Rosenberg, who initially shared it as “Non-Violent Communication”.  The group meets once a month and members of the group are encouraged to practice in between.  Our next gathering is on Wednesday, April 4 at 6:30 pm.   Optional pot luck supper at 5:30 pm.  Check in with us if you are interested in attending.

Click here for more information and downloadable resources, reference information and videos.

Bag It! Pot Luck and a Movie - Fri,April 6

A few of us who are very concerned about the need for more action on caring for our Earth are forming a Green Team here at the church.  People of all ages* are welcome to join us in the effort.  All you need is a willingness to make changes and make an impact. 

We are planning a gathering to kick off our new Green Team.

WHEN:  Friday, April 6, 6-9 PM  (Movie starts at 7 pm)
WHERE:  First Congregational Church Parish House
                 6 Kirby Road, Washington, CT

WHAT:  Pot Luck Supper and Movie Screening
REGISTER:  Click here for an online form  or contact Terri or Karen.  We need to know: how many people will be coming?  Will you be there for dinner or just the movie?  If so, what will you bring?

"Bag It!  Is your life too plastic?" 

(Note that movie is 1.5 hours and so may be a bit tedious for children under 10 unless they are pretty mature.   There is no "bad" language, though.)

Even if you are just curious about the issue, you are welcome to join us.  We have some activities in mind for implementing here at church, in our homes and in our communities.  But we are open to all ideas and plan to make this a permanent part of our church's life.  If you are interested in coming to the pot luck movie screening and/ or want to get involved in other activities, please send an email to Terri Tibbatts or the church office

Trivia Night... Saturday, April 21

Individuals and couples are invited to play with us on
Saturday, April 21

Book your table now!!  We are almost at capacity!

The First Congregational Church of Washington, in conjunction with the Litchfield South Association of the CT Conference of the UCC,
is holding a TRIVIA NIGHT to benefit
the Loaves and Fishes Hospitality House in New Milford.

Loaves and Fishes is one of our regular missions and is near and dear to us so we would like to join in.  AND… it promises to be great fun!

The game will consist of TEN TEAMS of 5-6 people.  Each team will contribute $100 to play.  That amounts to $20 or less per person for a night of fun and challenge.  There will be other opportunities to contribute, too, with a 50/50 raffle.

Teams will bring refreshments and arrive between 6 and 6:15 for check-in and getting everyone seated.  The game will begin at 6:30 pm.

We are currently accepting registrations for teams.  If you want to play but don’t have a team, contact us and we can hook you up with a team.

Please contact Karen by email or phone 860-868-0569 as soon as possible if you are interested in participating as a contestant or if you wish to help out as volunteer. 

Silver Lake Registration Time is Here Again!

Conference registration is open and brochures with all camp conferences listed are on the literature table in the Meeting House!  Those who have attended in the past have probably received their brochures already.  If you are new to Silver Lake and will be going into 4th and up, you are elible to attend. 

Conferences include:

  • Circle of Friends (Pastor Cheryl and Cara Michalski, leaders)
  • Bon Voyage and Happy Trails  (Karen & Scott Brady, leaders)
  • Family Camp
  • Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get
  • My Loved One and Me
  • Silver Lake Sings
  • Branching Out
  • With Great Power
  • Around the World
  • Leave No Trace
  • Connect 24
  • God Song
  • My So-Called Life
  • Fun in the Sun
  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
  • Silver Lake's Funniest Videos

Silver Lake Conference Center, 223 Low Rd., Sharon

Registration: http://www.silverlakect.org/register

Learn more about Silver Lake’s tiered pricing in this video: Juggling... The New Silver Lake Cost Options


Give to the Jack Jewett Fund for Silver Lake Scholarships

Silver Lake Registration Time is Here Again!  Please help our kids who cannot afford to grow at camp for a week this summer by contributing to our Jack Jewett Fund.  Each year, this fund helps to offset some of the cost for our kids to continue to experience God in our world through lively and engaging programs, amazing social opportunities as well as spiritual growth.

To hear more about it, visit the Silver Lake website for information and an overview video on the home page. 

A Prayer for the Pastoral Search Committee

Committee Members:  Scott Brady, Emelie Burl, Judie Gorra, John Lintner, Cara Michalski, John Turner, Dave Werkhoven, Dimitri Willert.

     As our newly elected Search Committee prepares to lead us through the work of a pastoral search, please hold them all in prayer.

     Recognizing God’s calling; this congregation has places our trust in the wisdom and dedication of this group of people.  We commission them to work on our behalf to find the next pastor and teacher to minister with and among us.  With gratitude for their willingness to undertake this important work; we promise our cooperation and our prayers.

    May God strengthen your friendship and deepen your faith.  May God give light for your path and fill you with understanding and wisdom to discern the spirit and needs of the congregation.  God grant you eyes of the heart to recognize the spiritual gifts of the one God is sending.  May God give you patience and perseverance.  May God keep you and your families safe and well. 

     And in the coming months, if you don’t know any of them, introduce yourself.  Get to know those fellow members who are doing this important work for our congregation.


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