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Judea Weekly eNews - Are you coming to the Harvest Dinner?

Judea Weekly eNews - Are you coming to the Harvest Dinner?

Dear Friends,

     There is always plenty of good happening at First Church and indeed the holidays have already begun with an early Thanksgiving dinner this weekend.  Yes, I am talking about the 12th Annual Harvest Dinner!  (You can read about that  other news in the announcements on the right.)  If you have not made your reservation yet, reserve online, give us a call or send an email to reserve your seat(s) now!  The kitchen will be full of food preparers tomorrow night working on the turkeys and all the fixins.  And the pie bakers are in full swing - I'll be making 3 beautiful and delicious apple pies with Averill Farms apples.  There will be more of those, plus pumpkin and pecan by all the best cooks in town!  We sure hope you can join in the fun and give to a good cause at the same time.  And because we currently have a fair number of available seats, why don't you invite some friends and make your own dinner party?  Over the years, some in the church (Estelle Bronson is one) used to even make little name cards for those they invited and considered it their annual holiday party!

     On Sunday at 10 am in the Meeting House, we will again be celebrating JOY.  In the service, of course, Pastor Cheryl will be preaching on the topic.  The Sunday Schoolers will deliver more joy by making a presentation on what they have been doing in Sunday School around JOY these past several weeks.... Funny thought, actually, that kids be taught about the importance of joy...  But actually, it centers around what Jesus has taught about being in the world.  So come and learn about JOY from the masters!

Paloma and Raphael     Oh... and do you want to see what JOY looks like?  Meet Paloma and Raphael Melgoza-Gomes, born October 31 at 10:17 and 10:19 am and weighed in at 4.12 and 5.11 pounds, respectively.  As of Tuesday, they were still in NICU in Florida but they are hoping to be able to come home by the weekend.  The dads are so in love with this pair and they are hoping to bring the babies to church some time in December.

     I'm looking forward to a joy-filled weekend and hope to see you at the Harvest Dinner and/or church on Sunday!

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


12th Annual Harvest Dinner - Sat. Nov 11

Register online now!  Guarantee a seat!

Contact the Church office:  860-868-0569 or via email.   

Menu includes roast turkey, real mashed potatoes, veggies, homemade pies and beverages.  Some musical entertainment, a Salute to Veterans' Day and our annual, sure-to-entertain PIE AUCTION will fill out the evening.  Plan to join us for a delicious and lively evening, support others, and purchase a home-made pie for Thanksgiving!

As part of our Salute to Veterans' Day , all veterans and active service personnel who attend will enjoy a complimentary meal.

Doors open at 5:45 PM - Musical blessing and Grace at 6:30 -  
Dinner served at 6:40 PM  - Wine available by the glass

Seating and take-out meals will be by donation. 
Please give generously.
Proceeds will benefit local charities.


     Thanksgiving is a truly Interfaith holiday that gives people of all faith traditions an opportunity to express gratitude for the bounty on our tables.

     As we start thinking about gathering our family and friends to celebrate the bounty we can also think about how we preserve all the earth provides.  Interfaith Power & Light’s Cool Harvest program is giving away a Low Carbon Thanksgiving Guide to help you reduce your carbon foodprint. 

     As a national expression of gratitude for the food that’s on our table, Thanksgiving presents us with a wonderful opportunity to make a big difference by reducing our combined carbon foodprint.

     Modern food production favors toxic pesticides, petroleum-based fertilizers, genetically modified foods, long-distance farm-to-plate transportation, and the factory farming of animals – all of which exacts a heavy toll on the atmosphere. Estimates suggest nearly one-fifth of climate-change pollution comes from the food industry.

     As you plan your Thanksgiving meal I hope you keep the climate in mind. There are many things you can do every day to lower your carbon footprint.  This year host a climate friendly Thanksgiving and share with your friends and family ways you all can create a sustainable, resilient, and healthy world for our children and grandchildren to enjoy.

     Get your free Low Carbon Thanksgiving Guide today, courtesy of Interfaith Power and Light by going to:



Benefit Concert: From Opera to Broadway - Sat, Nov 18, 2 pm

Benefit Concert:  November 18 at 2:00 PM
               @ First Congregational Church

with David Behnke, Jenny Friedman and Griffin McMahon

Arias and duets by Mozart, Verdi, Donizetti
as well as Broadway favorites

A suggested donation of $15-20 will help benefit the
continuing work of our church in the community.

Loaves and Fishes Next Service Date - Thurs Nov 30

Our next service date for the Loaves and Fishes Hospitality Kitchen is Thursday, November 30. 

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) 868-056 or by email.

Help Support this Church by Sponsoring a Pew Memorial Plaque

Our pews are mostly the same pews that were installed when this church was rebuilt in 1801.  This past winter into spring, as part of the renovations we did to repair, replace elements and generally make more beautiful our sanctuary, the pews were all removed, repaired and painted.  Some were revised to allow space for better accessibility for wheelchairs, complementing our lift that helps make the church itself more accessible and welcoming. 

To help offset some of the cost of these renovations, we are offering an opportunity to memorialize the pews for members, friends and members of the community at large who appreciate this historic building and all that it offers to us and the community.

A permanent plaque will be mounted on a pew with your personalized dedication.

Complete and return this form to the church at PO Box 1285, Washington, CT  06793.

Coffee Hour Hosts Needed - in December

We are in need of hosts for Dec 10,17,24 and 31.

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.

Donations needed for Soldier Boxes 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 THURSDAY November 9, 2017

Marquise J. Leach
Attn: Any Soldier®
TF Provider
APO AE 09354

Soldier's Title: Soldier
Added here: 31 October 2017
Expected to leave Afghanistan: 15 Jul 2018
Contact for approx number of Males: 6, Females: 2
Unit is from: Georgia

31 Oct 2017:
Hello we are a medium sized squad and we really appreciate all of your guys support. The PX has limited supply quantities of items. We have a px, we do have access to a microwave and a fridge. We love skittles, popcorn, ramen noodled, slim jims, beef jerky and sun flower seeds. Would appreciate the basic personal hygiene items.


NOTE: We’ll be packing for holiday boxes on Thursday November 16 and Friday November 17 beginning at 4:30 pm.  Items can be dropped off the week of Monday November 13. 

The boxes we send at Christmas are small (9x12x4), so please, shop small, shop unbreakable and shop light.

Some ideas are:

FOOD - Hot cocoa mix (to be made with water), hot cider mix, Christmas cookies (not homemade) and candies (individually wrapped or in small containers), small candy canes, gold coins.

Small stocking stuffer type gifts - chap stick, gum, etc.

DECORATIONS - Wire garlands, children’s drawings, small scented candles, soft decorations, Christmas lights (small boxes) Christmas CDs & DVDs, blank Christmas cards to send home.

Anything (small) that makes a holiday in a box.

We use gallon zip-lock bags for packing items so those would be a good donation.


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

Provide a care package to a family in US Virgin Islands

Adopt A Family, USVI pairs supporters with families in the US Virgin Islands who are struggling due to impacts from Hurricane Irma and Maria. It is a wonderful way to come together and remember the true meaning of giving back. 

Families in the USVI are facing difficult living situations such as having no power, no hospital, no running water. Although it will be quite some time until the community is up and running, one thing we can provide now is, HOPE! Through Adopt A Family, USVI you will have the opportunity to provide a care package for a family in need that has either individually registered, or asked for assistance through the Family Resource Center (http://frcusvi.org/)  on St. Thomas. Your support and generosity in providing care packages speaks volumes and will touch the lives of both adults and children.

To find out how you can help, go to:

http://www.adoptafamilyusvi.com/about-us/           Webpage where you can adopt a family

https://www.facebook.com/AdoptAFamilyUSVI/ Facebook page

http://www.virginislandsdailynews.com/news/    For local news coverage of the recent hurricanes and their impact

Or you can contact Sue Elliott, who has kept up with the latest news of local impact from her daughter, who is living and working on the island of St. Thomas.

Adopt-a-Family USVI is a grassroots organization started to help garner support for the people in the US Virgin Islands who have been impacted.  It is not an established/rated charity but is working with the Family Resource Center on St. Thomas for distribution of supplies.   The Family Resource Center on St. Thomas is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization addressing domestic violence.

If you prefer to give to a long-established foundation, the Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands is another way to give.   And, of course, prayers are always welcome and much needed!

Group Meditations Fridays and Saturdays

Beginning Friday, September 8, join Pastor Cheryl for group meditation in the Parish House parlor.  Every week, you can come on Fridays at 5:00 pm and/or on Saturday mornings at 9:00 and will run until sometime in December.

***  No meditation on October 27 and 28 ***

She will be meditating and welcome anyone who would like to help deepen the experience.  Sitting with a group is easier and deeper than sitting alone.  We will check in about our practice and sit for 20-30 minutes each time.  If anyone new to meditation wants to join, she will teach. 

If you would like to be on an email list for either of those times so that you will be notified if the session is changed or cancelled, you can contact Pastor Cheryl by email.

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