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Judea eNews for March 29

Dear Friends,

Today, we are wending our way through the dark wood with Maundy Thursday's reflection on the events of Holy Week through the eyes - and hearts - of some of the characters who were present to it all many years ago.  That is 7:30 pm tonight.  Come and reflect with us. 

Then the light will shine into the dark woods on Easter to lead us out into the Son.  When the children are dismissed during the service, they will go forth into the Parish House for their egg hunt and associated Sunday School activities with Carrie Loyd and some of members of our Youth Group to help.  And before everyone heads off to celebrate the day with their family and friends, we'll share some light refreshments.

Moving forward into the season of Easter, of spring, we have many events and activities to look forward to!  The month of April is a very busy one.  Since the Journal's April supplement is delayed to next week, we wanted to make sure you got all this great news now.  The documentary movie, "Bag It", will be shown in the Parish House on Friday, along with a pot luck supper.  Then Magic Sunday is back again because of all of the great feedback we got after last year's debut.  And then Chorus Angelicus presents Brahms in the Meeting House on the 14th and our 2nd Annual Trivia Night on the 21st.  Please check out the full details in the announcements on the right... and don't shy away from clicking on the video link for Magic with a Message!

We hope to see you this evening.  If not, then for sure on Easter at either the Sunrise service on New Preston Hill at 6:30 am or the 10 am worship service in the Meeting House.

Blessings on your week ahead!

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


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!
Soldier Boxes - Donations needed by THURSDAY

"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 THURSDAY March 29, 2018

Michelle L. Garlach
Attn: Any Soldier®
APO AE 09354

Soldier's Title: CBRN NCOIC
Added here: 29 December 2017
Expected to leave Afghanistan: 19 Aug 2018
Contact for approx number of Males: 32, Females: 3
Unit is from: Texas

29 Dec 2017:
We r a small unit. Very close. We laugh every day and make sure we are all in a good place. We are more than Soldiers placed together, this is our family.

We received this email from Michelle:

Good morning Ms. Denise and Washington, CT Town hall, I just wanted to write a quick note and say thank you soooo much for your care package and your letters.  I am from Kempner, TX and I have 2 homes on a 3.1 acre lot.  I live in one house and I moved my parents down here from Gettysburg, Pa to live with me so I could take care of them financially and emotionally.  They still are able to get around pretty well and are currently watching my 17 month old daughter named Alexis Josephine.  Josephine is after my mom.  Its her middle name as well.  Family is extremely important to me.  I included some pics of my pride and joy.  She is my world.  Again I really appreciate your words and prayers along with the care package you sent.  Have a great day and I hope to hear from you.


Michelle L. Garlach



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

Hopeful Magic - Sunday, April 8 at 10 am

Again this year, the Rev. David Reed-Brown and Pastor Cheryl will lead a service that is brimming with Meaningful Magic.  The families will remain together in this service that is geared toward people of all ages.  Pass the word, share the magic and joy and invite friends and family to join you on Sunday.  If you were not here for Magic Sunday last year and want to learn more about Rev. Reed-Brown's brand of magic and what you might expect, go to https://vimeo.com/72076391 for a short video. 

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)
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

Joyful Noise presents Brahms here on April 14

Click the image for more information or to purchase tickets.

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 5:45 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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