The 4 Components of NVC
  • Observations
  • Feelings
  • Needs
  • Requests

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Judea Weekly eNews for Sept 28

Judea Weekly eNews for Sept 28


ONA Rainbow fish     Recently, we have gotten Open and Affirming status from the United Church of Christ thanks to the work of our Deacons and bringing that subject forward in our church.  Mark your calendars because on Sunday, November 5, we will celebrate this when our local UCC Conference Minister, Rev. Michael Ciba, presents us with an official certificate.  Nice. 

     Now, it is upon us to bring that message of inclusion and welcoming of all not only to those who visit or join with us in this church, but to carry that message out in the world with each of us.  That may take the form of marching with other community members this Sunday in New Milford to declare and support Equal Justice.  Be a part of creating a world, community without racism, sexism, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia and Gender Bias.  Or attending the Spirit One conference in Farmington on October 27 and 28 (read more in the announcement on the right).  Or advocate for justice through the UCC Justice and Witness ministries.  And mostly to be aware of injustices that you witness and then stand up for equality and justice in the world you inhabit.

     Our Sunday worship service this week will center on the theme of Stewardship of Talents.  Talents, you say?  I have no talents.  Ah well…  you might be motivated to look a little closer if you join us at 10 am on Sunday in the Meeting House.   Pastor Cheryl will be talking about the importance of exercising those talents.   And I so love the unison prayer in the bulletin that supports that theme that I want to share it with you.

God of light and love, help us to walk in your light and live in your love.  Open our eyes, to see your face in everyone we meet.  Open our ears, to hear your call to use our gifts in your service.  We often complain about the talents we don’t have, instead of using the talents we do have.  Release us from the voices that counsel us that we don’t have enough; not enough time, not enough money, not enough talents, not enough friends, not enough self-confidence.  Forgive us when we undervalue the gifts we have been given, and guide us to use them as children of light, and as servants of loveAmen.

     Thank you to all who participated in the “Bucket Brigade”, supplying materials through contributions, assembling them, or delivering to the collection depot.   It was a fun and rewarding experience doing this all together! 

     Friday is the last day to complete the online survey with your opinions about the environment and how we as a church/ denomination do or do not get involved.  If you are concerned about the environment and wishing more can be done, here is your opportunity to voice your opinion.  The United Church of Christ in conjunction with an organization called Blessed Tomorrow are gathering feedback from UCC members that will likely help to determine how our denomination proceeds with involvement in the effort.  To read the message from the UCC Minister for Environmental Justice, check out the announcements on the right (or home page).  To jump in right away to take the reasonably short survey, click here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/DMLBX3S.

     There are a few other new announcements showing up in the sidebar, including more ways you can help those affected by the devastating hurricanes so definitely read on through. 

I hope to see you at church this Sunday!

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


Creation Care: A story of three great loves

Creation Care: A Story of Three Great Loves from ecoAmerica on Vimeo.

What motivates us as Christians to create a better world.  Click through the link above to watch the video created by the United Church of Christ to talk about the three great loves that motivate.

Your feedback needed! Survey expires Sept 29

Dear UCCers,

To address the increasing intensity and frequency of climate impacts, the UCC has teamed up with Blessed Tomorrow for a survey that will help shape next steps for our denomination. We would greatly appreciate your taking 15 minutes to complete it. Below you will find a link to the survey, which has to be done in one sitting, as you are unable to save and go back. Your individual answers are confidential and will be aggregated for analysis by ecoAmerica which is the parent organization of Blessed Tomorrow.

Please click here to complete the survey.

If the link above does not work, please paste the following address into your browser:

Should you encounter any problems or questions while taking the survey, please contact Paige Fery, the administer of the survey, at paige@ecoAmerica.org

Finally, please share this survey via email and social media with others in the UCC. We want to reach as many people as possible!

Thank you for your participation!

Rev. Brooks Berndt
Minister for Environmental Justice
Sign Up for The Pollinator: The UCC Environmental Justice Newsletter

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!

Pastor Cheryl's Retirement

It was announced in worship on Sunday, September 17 that Pastor Cheryl and the Church Council have set March 1, 2019 as the retirement date for Cheryl.  Mike Ciba, our regional minister, will attend this month’s Council meeting to discuss different approaches to clergy transition and give us some idea of the work we can do to get ready before Cheryl retires.  The Council will have “next steps” to share at the quarterly congregational meeting on Sunday.  Cheryl and Scott are planning to relocate to Portland, Maine, once she retires.

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 29, 2017

Sfc Cody D. Tarr
Attn: Any Soldier®
770th EN CO/458th EN BN
APO AE 09316

Added here: 21 September 2017
Expected to leave Iraq: 01 May 2018
Contact for approx number of Males: 22, Females: 2
Unit is from: New York

21 Sep 2017:
We live in tents. We do not use laundry services, we have trailers with laundry machines. We have power, 110 and 220. We have a refrigerator, and coffee pots. We don't cook food here. I'm representing my platoon. The unit we replaced left a ton of oral hygiene items they received, as well as hand sanitizer, so those could be saved and sent to other troops. Snack items are always welcomed. Items like baby wipes and soaps are great too. We display any cards and letters sent as well, as a morale booster.  Thank you so much for what you do!


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

Spirit 1: Christians and Muslims Coming Together As One

Spirit 1 Coming together as One First Church has partnered with the Farmington Valley American Muslim Center on a new Farmington Valley Interfaith Initiative which we hope will include individuals and houses of worship from a range of faith traditions. We are hosting Spirit One: How Christians and Muslims Flourish Together in These Times,  to be held:

Friday evening, Oct. 27, at the Muslim Center and Saturday, Oct. 28, at First Church Farmington

Internationally known speakers from both faiths will key-note the gathering, with workshops on specific topics providing opportunity for conversation and learning among Christians and Muslims.  Invitations have gone out to Christian and Muslim communities in the greater Hartford area and beyond. See conference brochure for registration information.

Discussion Topics

  • Building Relationships in Your Community
  • Refugee Resettlement Today
  • Civil Rights Education
  • Women in Religious Leadership
  • Keeping Youth Involved

For full conference details and information on how to register, CLICK HERE.

Volunteer Assistants Needed for Sunday School and Nursery

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.

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.

Joyful Birth - Natural Birthing Class at Valley Spirit

Even if you are not pregant or considering it, you may know someone who is.  This natural birthing class is taught by Donna Cassidy, MDiv, RN. 

She covers natural birth, breathing techniques, nutrition and exercise, health of mother and baby, and bonding with the baby. 

WHEN:  Saturday, Oct 14 and Sunday, Oct 15, 1:30 - 4:30 PM
WHERE:  Valley Spirit Wellness Center

Download flyer.  Or call 860-619-2788 for more information.

Updated Annual Reports Available

2016-17 Annual reports, updated with the final report on financial data from the Treasurer is now available.  Print copies are on the back table in the Meeting House and digital copy can be obtained by emailing the church office.

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