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Judea Weekly eNews - Homecoming and Mixing of the Waters this Sunday

Judea Weekly eNews - Homecoming and Mixing of the Waters this Sunday

Dear Friends,

     Oops!  There were a few errors in the calendar of the Sept-Oct Judea Journal.  Download revised copy here!

     And another important tidbit:  The Jesus Fatwah study sessions have both been postponed.  The Thursday group will begin NEXT Thursday, Sept 14 and the Wednesday group will begin on Sept 20.  I am hoping to join the Wednesday group.  Will you be attending?  If yes, let us know.

     Let's see now... I can't forget the water (small vial on kitchen counter)... and I have already picked out my outfit for Sunday - all yellow from head to shin...  and hmmmm.... what am I bringing for the Last Gasp Picnic pot luck table.... Ah yes!  A wonderful pad thai salad we discovered this summer!  So ---  what are YOU bringing with you this Sunday when you come to the annual Homecoming Service and Mixing of the Waters and all of the related celebrations???   If you did not catch the messages we have been pushing out to you the past month or so, you can read the announcements on the right for the details on all this so you don't miss a beat.

     Unless you shield yourself from every bit of news, you have heard a lot about the devastation in South Texas and Louisiana by Hurricane Harvey.  We are still collecting donations for disaster relief there. The first batch of donations already collected will be directed to Church World Services to go along with the 60 school kits we have already assembled for distribution to kids there who need them.  Henceforth, if there is enough interest and donations (at least $300), we can obtain a matching grant from the United Church of Christ for another $250.  If we can get 30 people to donate $10 each, we can do it!!  This will allow us to assemble 7 CWS cleaning buckets (valued at $75 each plus a handling donation) because their stock of these emergency buckets has gotten very low.   Donations are needed by September 14, though, because we need time to procure supplies, assemble and deliver them to Meriden before September 30 when the truck comes.  When sending in checks, please include "CWS" or "Disaster Aid" in the memo line.  Please donate whatever you can as soon as you can.  If we do not meet the $300 target (I know we can!), those donations will be directed to CWS to help them in their relief operations.

I hope to see you on Sunday!

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


NEW! 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.

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.

Remember the WATER! (Sunday, Sept 10)

Don't forget the water - image of dropletDon’t Forget the Water!

Over the summer, in whatever place you go to recharge (experience Sabbath), remember to save some water in a bottle.  From a lake, a stream, an ocean, or your kitchen tap!  Be sure to label it and save it in a safe spot to bring along on Recovenanting Sunday, September 10, for our annual “Mixing of the Waters” as we begin another year of exploring and celebrating Sabbath together.

Mark the date on your calendar so you don’t miss the service and also the annual “Last Gasp of Summer” picnic afterward.  ENJOY!

Last Gasp of Summer Picnic - Sunday, Sept 10

     You saved your water... or you didn't and you will be bringing tap water as a stand-in for your summer vacation location.  But have you thought about the picnic after our annual "Mixing of the Waters"? 

     Our deacons will be hosting this picnic and will have the grill fired up to cook an assortment of meat and veggie burgers and hotdogs for us.  But we all need to bring the sides, salads, snacks, and desserts for the buffet table.  So gear up for this fun event.  The Sunday Schoolers will be jumping on the water theme and breaking out the water balloons!  If you have a Sunday School-aged child you will want to make sure they dress in play clothes and bring a towel.  And you can dress in play clothes, too!  We are aiming to pull together some lawn games on the Green in addition to the time to eat and visit.

Celebrating in Living Color

In celebration of our status as an Open and Affirming church and also our love of the diversity of all people, like colors in a very big box of crayons, we plan to make a visual statement in the form of a rainbow portrait of everyone who attends church on Homecoming Sunday, September 10.

On that day, in addition to your sample of water from wherever you got your refreshment this summer, and your contribution to our picnic pot luck table: 

Please dress in the solid color of your choice from the rainbow.  You will appear in the photo wherever you are on the color spectrum.

We, the members of the First Congregational Church of Washington CT, believe that all people are vessels of God’s grace. We strive to be an inclusive Christian community of unconditional love and sanctuary that inspires all individuals regardless of ability, age, culture, ethnicity, gender identity or expression, race, sexual orientation, or social standing. Following Jesus’ commandment to love God and our neighbors as ourselves (Mark 12:28-34), we openly welcome and affirm all who wish to participate in the fellowship, leadership, and spiritual growth of our congregation and to join us as we explore the many ways that God is still speaking. No matter who you are or where you are on life’s journey, you are welcome here.

Adult Study-The Jesus Fatwah

     In September, we will be starting a 5-session DVD-based adult study of Islam.  Much of what passes as information about Islam is weed-like disinformation rooted in stereotype and watered by fear. In The Jesus Fatwah, Islamic and Christian scholars offer reliable information about what Muslims believe, how they live out their faith, and how we all can be about building relationships across the lines of faith.  The study features seventeen Islamic and Christian scholars, including:

  • Hans Küng (Islam: Past, Present and Future),
  • Brian McLaren (Why DidJesus, Moses, the Buddha, and Mohammed Cross the Road?),
  • Eboo Patel (Acts of Faith: The Story of an American Muslim),
  • Stephen Prothero (God is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions That Run the World--and Why Their Differences Matter), and
  • Feisal Abdul Rauf (What's Right with Islam Is What's Right with America).

View some excerpts from the program - click here!

We are offering two weekly sessions:

A Thursday evening group, for those who are unavailable during the day, will meet 7:00-8:30 pm, starting on Sept 14.  (Date postponed from Sept 7.)

If you prefer the day, there will be a morning group that will meet Wednesdays 10:30-12:00, starting on Sept 20 (postponed from Sept 13).

Retreat for Women at Silver Lake - Sept 29-30

Regaining our Centers, Listening for the Still Small Voice of Love.

Open to all women, the annual retreat sponsored by the CT Women of the UCC, will feature Rev. Lee Ireland and Rev. Cheryl Caronna as leaders.

Where:  Silver Lake Conference Center, Sharon, CT

When:  Sept 29-30, from 4 pm to 4 pm.

Cost:  $135 - includes 3 delicious meals, a bed for the night, and endless walks in the beauty of Silver Lake. 

Registration deadline:  Sept 20

For registration and additional info, click 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 Friday September 1, 2017

SGT Vera B. Guevara
Attn: Any Soldier®
APO AE 09316

Soldier's Title: Squadleader
Added here: 29 August 2017
Expected to leave Iraq: 01 May 2018
Contact for approx number of Males: 15, Females: 5
Unit is from: Kentucky

29 Aug 2017:
We live in buildings with several other armed services (30 personal per building) , 110 electricity,we would like food items however we can not cook no microwave no stove no fridge, We have laundry service,small PX in 12x12 container limited items available or non depending on shipment to remote location,
representing a squad detached from our main company in QWest


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

UCC Condemns Racist Violence

UCC Pastoral Letter condemns racist violence in Charlottesville and demands equality for all

As a response to the violent clashes between white supremacists and counter demonstrators in Charlottesville, Va., that left a woman dead and 19 injured, the national leadership of the United Church of Christ issued this Pastoral Letter.

Please click here to read about the church's position on this.


Volunteer Assistants Needed for Sunday School and Childcare

Would you be willing to assist in the Sunday nursery or Sunday school room a few times a year or every so often?
Please contact Carrie Loyd and let her know how you would like to help. 

For the safety, faith formation, and fun of our children, we need to have two responsible adults or an adult and a teen in each of the two rooms every Sunday.  We are looking for one “second” person for each week. 

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