The 4 Components of NVC
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  • Feelings
  • Needs
  • Requests

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Judea Journal - March 8 - Monthly edition now available!

Judea Journal - March 8 - Monthly edition now available!


    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!

    This Sunday continues our Lenten topic, Gifts of the Dark Wood with Pastor Cheryl back in the pulpit for a focus on the gifts that come with Being Lost.  The choir will sing during worship and the Confirmation Class and Teen Talk will meet afterward.  If you have not been to one of these special Lenten services - or if you've been to them all - come and worship and grow with us!

     I hope you will click through on the first announcement in the right column and be prepared to be inspired!  The announcement explains but you really need to watch the video!  There are also a few changes to the announcements further down the column that you may have seen before so please take a few moments to peruse.  Especially note the call for volunteers for the Loaves & Fishes Empty Bowl Supper on March 24.  If you can spare an hour, please pitch in for this very important cause!

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

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


A Plea for Action on Gun Violence in Schools

Katie Grinnell, one of the youth members of our congregation, is speaking out with her brother, Andrew, and friends from New Milford High School.  Katie and her friends are joining with students across the country asking for your help to create positive change.  They have produced a video that I want to share with you all. 


On March 14, they will be holding an official (and sanctioned by the school) event on the school field.  Because it is on school property and for security reasons, no one outside the school can attend - except the elected officials they have invited. 

They are doing what they can to promote and ecourage change.  Are you?  Are you participating in the democratic process (including voting) and have you expressed your opinion on the matter to your legislators by phone, letter, or email?   As Pastor Cheryl says, this is a serious issue of "Thou shall not kill."  By speaking out within our democratic system, you may not be doing ALL you can but it sure is a vital start. 

Compassionate Communication Practice Group - Rescheduled to March 8 @ 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, March 7 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.

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 Servicewoman for Friday March 9, 2017

Elizabeth Ferris
APO AE 09306

Liz/Elizabeth/Lizzie/Lyly is part of the coalition troops deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Alecia Evans mentioned her friend in the Sing Out! CT winter concert in December and we immediately sent out some boxes which Liz just loved.  She is still deployed and so we are sending boxes out this week.  Alecia said she loves chocolate, and needs sunscreen and lotion as she says the desert air is drying her skin out.  Funny post cards or pictures will be hung on her wall. I'm sure anything you send will be great.


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

March for our Lives, bus to Washington DC 3/24/18

The Western CT Citizens Action Group is sponsoring a bus from Danbury to Washington DC and is open to anyone wishing to attend the March for Our Lives, a youth project in response to yet one more mass school shooting in our nation.  Some members of our Youth Group are already planning to go.  If you are interested in hitching a ride on this bus, you need to sign up early.  Seats are available on a first come, first served basis. 

More information is available at http://bit.ly/2oDmni1 .

Time to recycle those plastic Easter eggs!

Our Christian Education Team is working on some awesome new features to our annual Easter Egg Hunt on Easter Sunday.  It promises to be fun, engaging, and interactive (in a low-tech kind of way).  We are in need of these plastic eggs.  (If your child was the finder of eggs last year and you took them home, please recycle the eggs!)  You can drop off any donations for this to the church office or bring to church BY Sunday, March 18 so we have them for stuffing in advance.

Healing Prayer/ Intention Group Meets on Wed, Mar 21

WHAT:  Practice Group based on the book:   “The Power of 8, Harnessing the Miraculous Energies of a Small Group to Heal Others, Your Life, and the World” by Lynne McTaggart, (author of “The Intention Experiment”)

WHEN:  3rd Wednesday of each month, beginning March 21 and through August 18

A new adult group is forming to help you improve and expand your prayer practice and join the power of your prayers with others for greater impact.

Discover how to tap into your extraordinary human capacity for connection and healing, using astonishing new findings about the miraculous power of group intention, or prayer, and its boomerang effect.   In The Power of Eight, Lynne reveals her remarkable findings from ten years of experimenting with small and large groups about how group intention/ prayer can heal our lives – and change the world for the better.

No prior experience is necessary!  Pastor Cheryl will teach the processes/ exercises that are described in the book.  However, participants might find it helpful to read the book as it will give you some background information on the practice and its effectiveness. 

Consider joining us to explore a way of making positive change.  Contact Pastor Cheryl to register your interest, letting us know what days and times are best for you.   868-0569, ext 11

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.

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

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.


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

See you there!  
Trish Grinnell, Moderator

Loaves and Fishes Next Service Date - Thurs March 29

Our next service date for the Loaves and Fishes Hospitality Kitchen is Thursday, March 29. 

We will need all of the usual food items plus volunteers to help setup/ serve/ cleanup.  Please click here to select your volunteer option and sign up. 

If you have any questions about it, please contact Dick Connor or the church office by phone at (860) 868-0569 or by email.

Daylight Savings Time Begins this Weekend!!!

Technically, we lose an hour at 2 am on Sunday, March 11.  So go to bed an hour earlier or wake up an hour earlier - your choice!  At any rate, please be sure turn your manual clocks forward before you go to bed on Saturday so you don't risk missing church on Sunday!  Happy Spring- almost!

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