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Judea Weekly eNews - Angels are among us! #MoreJoy

Judea Weekly eNews - Angels are among us! #MoreJoy

Friends,

    There are angels among us, you know.  I see them often - all year long.  And I would bet - at least occasionally - you are an angel, too!  But this season, you can pose for a photo so you can use that as your Angel ID.  Simply stand in front of one of the sets of wings on the front porch of the Meeting House (after this Friday) and ask someone to take your picture.  Do your best to really look the part and non-verbally communicate the angelic message of hope, peace, joy and love and capture it in a photo.  Then submit it to the church office and you may very well get chosen for the Christmas Eve bulletin cover!  Submissions to the Angelic Messenger contest must be made no later than noon on Tuesday, December 19 to qualify.

     Advent is upon us!  And Angels are Among Us!  #DoNotFear!  #MoreJoy.  Now as much as ever, there is need for and reason to cultivate JOY.  Come to church this Sunday at 10 am in the Meeting House and see what it's all about.  Come for upliftment, come for #morejoy.  A special quartet of Trish Grinnell, Wayne Hileman, John Lintner and Kate Vengrove will sing, and the angels in the Christmas story will continue to appear during our dramatic readings of the encounters.

     Have you been seeing angels lately?  They are all around and among us.  Pastor Cheryl challenged the congregation to see how many they could see - and share the sightings.  Post them to Facebook and/or send them to Pastor Cheryl and she will post them on our church Facebook page.  A special thank you goes out to angels, Conrad Weeks and Al Trowbridge for all their help with the wings and things! (Though I don't have a photo to share with you today!!!)

    The December Supplement to the Judea Journal is available, too.  Download it now.  In it, Pastor Cheryl talks about our new Advent theme, Angels Among Us.  And you will find information on a the new children/youth programs as well as the special services for Advent and Christmas that are listed in the announcements on the right. 

Blessings on your week ahead.  Looking forward to seeing you on Sunday!

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

Announcements

2018 Calendars! Fun, Functional and Charitable!

The Youth Group is selling 2018 Calendars! That's right: Enjoy a monthly photo of the youth group all year long!

Calendars are $20 each and all proceeds are going toward helping those affected by natural disasters. See any youth group member during coffee hour throughout the month of December to order yours! 

Or contact Emelie by email to place your order.

Advent Children’s Choir - Saturdays- 10-10:45 am

Saturday mornings 10 - 10:45 am in the church hall, December 2, 9, 16, and 23.  We welcome children ages 5 to 12.  The children will have lots of fun while learning songs of the season, including popular Christmas carols.  They will start with basic songs and then 3rd graders and up will learn some Advent rounds.  Members of the group will sing in at least one Sunday service but children are welcome to just come and enjoy the time singing together on Saturday mornings.

Pastor Cheryl will be leading the choir.  Please contact the church office (860) 868-0569, or Pastor Cheryl at Pastor.Cheryl@firstchurchwashingtonct.org, if you are interested.   If Saturday afternoon would be better, please let us know that, too.

Ornament Workshop - Sat Dec 16 - 10:30 - noon

We will be hosting an ornament making workshop on Saturday, December 16th from 10:30am -12 noon in the church hall. Come and create ornaments to decorate your tree or to give as gifts, make some new friends, and celebrate the season!  This workshop is open to all children  - we would love to see you there and bring your friends! 

Please contact Carrie Loyd at with any questions.

Advent in 2 Minutes

Not quite sure about the relationship between Advent and Christmas? Check out Busted Halo's two-minute video that describes why we celebrate Advent and wait to celebrate Christmas:  Advent in 2 minutes

If you like this, try more content from Busted Halo, an online magazine for spiritual seekers. 

A Travelers' Christmas - Sun, Dec 17 - 5:30 pm

If you travel at Christmas to be with family somewhere else, and never get to celebrate Christmas Eve here in our beautiful part of the world in a classic New England Meeting House; come to the First Congregational Church of Washington on Sunday, December 17th at 5:30 pm for our early Christmas Eve with Christmas readings and carols, the lighting of candles and the traditional gift of oranges for all the children. An hors d’oeuvres reception will follow in the Parish House.

Please join us to make merry a little early and add your voice to “Silent Night” and “Joy to the World!”

Comfort and Peace Christmas Service - Fri, Dec 22 - 7:30 pm

If the holidays are difficult for you this year, please join the First Congregational Church at 6 Kirby Road in Washington, CT for a very special “Service of Comfort and Peace.” This service is especially helpful for those who, for various reasons, are struggling to get into the expected festive spirit of joy this season. The service will be held Friday evening December 22, 2017 at 7:30 PM, followed by refreshments served in the Parish House. Please join us for this very special evening.

Christmas Pageant - Sign up now!

Annual Christmas Eve Pageant

If your family plans to be at our 5:30 pm Christmas Eve service on Dec 24 (OR our new "Travelers' Christmas" on Sunday, December 17 at 5:30 pm), your kids have an opportunity to participate in the annual pageant.  We would love to have all children and youth participating in the service in some way.  If your child/ren is/are interested and you plan to be at one of the two services mentioned above, kindly let Carrie Loyd, our Sunday School teacher, know as soon as possible so we can ready the costumes and get the different parts sorted out. 

You can tell her in person on this Sunday, but better yet send her an email before you forget!

Christmas Eve Services - Dec 24

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.

Call to Quarterly Congregational Meeting - Sunday, Jan 7

The meeting will be held in the church hall immediately following worship.  Please plan to attend!  A quorum of members will be required for voting.  Refreshments will be available.
Agenda:

  • Approval of minutes from the September 24th Quarterly Meeting
  • Committee Reports
  • Pastoral Search Committee

See you there!  
Trish Grinnell, Moderator

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!

New Years Day Concert - 4 pm - Jan 1, 2018

Click image for larger view.  Tickets and more information are available at:  http://washingtonct4music.blogspot.com/

 

     
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