Landmark - First Congregational Church

The February 2015
The First Congregational Church
United Church of Christ
Guilford, Connecticut
An Open and Affirming Congregation
Vol. 61, Number 2
What a great start to a New Year in the Children and Family Ministries here at First Church!
On January 4, our Church School kicked off the year with the first through eighth graders worshiping
together in the Chapel after their dismissal from the Sanctuary. Corporately, they enjoyed music,
prayer, offering, and Bible teaching before they reported to their classrooms for age appropriate
lessons. As this new Chapel worship time is added to our program, our first through sixth graders will
continue to experience Bible stories interactively through different rotations of art, games,
storytelling/video, and cooking/science, while the seventh and eighth graders meet with their leaders.
Upon the development and growth of our program, opportunities for our teens will be made available
to take on leadership roles in the Chapel time and classrooms while they discover their own gifts to
nurture their relationship with God and others. For the little ones, we offer our nursery program, as
well as our pre-K and Kindergarten classes, which continue to meet weekly on Sunday mornings and
introduce your kids to the love of God.
In addition to Church School, we have other activities here at First Church throughout the week for kids
of all ages. The kids’ choirs rehearse on Wednesdays, our ninth and tenth grade Confirmation students
gather monthly as they work out their faith while seeking to understand God and others, and our
Pilgrim Fellowship program for teens continues meeting on Sunday evenings with director Judi Wallace
and others, where they learn to serve those in our area and beyond.
There is much to be involved with at First Church…we would love to have you join us! Please send
along questions you may have about our great programs, and in the meantime, I look forward to serving
with you and your kids in the weeks and months to come!
In God’s love,
Becky Stambaugh
Director of Children and Family Ministries
203-453-3324 / [email protected]
Sunday, Feb 1: Communion, Sarah preaching
No 8:30am Worship
9:00am Choir Rehearsal – Choir Room
9:00am Bible Study – Moore Ed Bldg Room 9
10:00am Worship, Nursery care, Church School
11:00am Annual Meeting-Sanctuary
Followed by Luncheon-Fellowship Hall
2:00pm Prayer Shawl Knitting Group- Minear Library
No Pilgrim Fellowship tonight
Sunday, Feb. 8: Lynn preaching
8:30am Worship - Chapel
9:00am Choir Rehearsal – Choir Room
9:00am Bible Study – Moore Bldg Room 9
10:00am Worship, Nursery care, Church School
11:30am Adult Forum – Chapel
4:00pm Joyful Noise! Concert - Sanctuary
7:00pm Pilgrim Fellowship - FH
Wednesday, Feb.11:
7:00pm Evening Music & Meditation - Sanctuary
Sunday, Feb.15: Kevin Dean preaching
8:30am Worship – Chapel
9:00am Choir Rehearsal – Choir Room
9:00am Bible Study – Moore Bldg Room 9
10:00am Worship, Nursery care, Church School
11:30am Adult Forum – Chapel
11:30am Governance- ML
No Pilgrim Fellowship meeting
Sunday, Feb. 22: Sarah preaching
8:30am Worship – Chapel
9:00am Choir Rehearsal – Choir Room
9:00am Bible Study – Moore Bldg Room 9
10:00am Worship, Nursery care, Church School
11:30am Adult Forum – Chapel
7:00pm Pilgrim Fellowship – Fellowship Hall/Sanct.
"I was hungry and you gave me food." Matthew 25:35
Please remember to bring non-perishable food items to
worship on Sunday, February 1 and place them in front
of the Communion table before the service. The items
will be lifted in prayer, blessed, and then taken to the
Guilford Food Bank. Items needed are: Beef stew, sugar,
cereal, rice, cooking oil, canned fruit, children's healthy
snacks, coffee, hot chocolate, paper towels, kleenex,
laundry detergent (liquid), diapers, wipes, personal care
January 11, 2015
Nathan Douglas Gillette
son of Kristin and Cory Gillette
January 25, 2015
Kylie Paige Magee
daughter of Cheryl and Bryan Magee
Nancy Hares Manning
November 27, 1945 – December 29, 2014
Donald P. Butler
June 9, 1927 - December 31, 2014
Deaconess for February is Dianne Hughes (203-4534529.) Please notify her of births, adoptions, or anyone
who may need a note of sympathy or encouragement.
CDs of Sunday services are available to sign out in
Spencer House kitchen; sermon recordings are available
on the church website:
Deacon for February is Doris Fonicello (203-453-2180.)
If you have feedback or questions about church matters,
please speak with her. Home Communion is available
for those who desire it; please call Doris to schedule a
Home Communion visit during February.
The Book of Reports is available two ways: online and
hard copy. If you are able to read it online, this will help
us be better stewards of paper.
The link is:
There will be some hard copies available.
Tuesday, February 24th 7:00pm
In February the Alpha club will hold its Comfort Supper.
Soup, bread and dessert will be served. The speaker will
be announced. All are welcome!
As part of our ministry of mission through the Board of
Community & World Concerns, First Church volunteers
go to Columbus House in New Haven monthly on the first
Thursday to prepare and serve dinner to the clients
there. First Church will host will the dinner on
Thursday, February 5th. Volunteers are always needed:
participate as you are able, or every month. If you would
like to participate, please contact Miriam Olsen at 203457- 0058 or [email protected] .
The January 2015 Church Council meeting was open with
a prayer from Sarah Verasco. Covenant Time consisted
of identifying things that went well for the year at Council
Meetings and things that could be improved upon. A
review of the Church Council goals of Effective
Communication, Fiscal Responsibility, and Community
Outreached occurred.
The Board of Deacons presented By-Law updates that
will reflect the use of potential clergy configurations,
including co-pastorate. The Pastoral Search Team
represented by Stephen Dudley reported that the Church
Profile is completed.
Finance Board Chair Larry Backes reported on the update
of research done for varying bids to complete a
comprehensive church audit. Following discussion and
vote, the firm of Beres & Hammerman was selected with
a price of $6500 for the audit. The motion passed with a
unanimous vote of the Council.
Stewardship Co-Chair Anne Godsey reported that the
committee is reaching out to those who have pledged in
the past, but have yet to do so for the coming year. The
effort of the Stewardship Committee reduced the
proposed deficit in the 2015 budget to approximately
$9300. Stewardship will continue to reach out to
unpledged members and are hoping to reduce the deficit
even more.
The Nominating Committee proposed several positions
for filling of committees. All members proposed were
approved. Those names will be included in the Book of
Reports for the Church Annual Meeting.
A discussion on the proposed Minister Emeritus criteria
was discussed. The criteria was included in the
December Landmark. The Council agreed to accept the
criteria, then voted to propose that First Congregational
Church bestow Minster Emeritus on Rev. Kendrick
Norris. This will be presented at the Annual Meeting for
a vote of the congregation.
A discussion on passing policy occurred. The Church
Council will receive and review proposed policy and vote
on that policy in the following month. This will give
Council Members time to review and potentially discuss
with their respective boards and committees. The Board
of Trustees presented policy that will be voted on in
February 2015.
The 2014 Financial Reports were reviewed and accepted.
The Church budget for 2014 ended with a total surplus of
over $11,000, including erasing the deficit from the year
before. Larry Backes presented the proposed 2015
budget, which at this point includes a deficit of
approximately $9300. This budget will be presented to
the congregation at the Annual Meeting. It is hoped that
the continued hard work of the Stewardship Committee
will reduce that number by February 1, 2015.
The Call to Meeting for the Annual Meeting was
presented and approved. Monthly reports were also
received from the Ministers. Rev. Gordon Bates is
scheduled to preach on January 18, 2015. Sarah Verasco
and Lynn Carman Bodden noted the efforts of
Stewardship, acknowledged all who pledged, and
reviewed the Church Council goals. The Ramsey family
was acknowledged for hosting a new member dinner and
the Governance Group has reconvened. The annual
Lenten Series will include ecumenical opportunities for
the church. Open Forum noted that the Church Profile
will be available in the Church Office. The Wilcox
Lecturer for February 8, 2015 will be Sister Simone.
The Council Meeting was adjourned with the Unison
LENT 2015
Sacred Spaces around the Green:
A Lenten Pilgrimage to Three Church Sanctuaries
Wednesdays February 25, March 4, 11, 18 & 25
This year, the Lenten Series takes on an ecumenical
twist. Together with the members of Christ Episcopal
Church and St. George Catholic Church, we’ll explore
the impact of our various theologies on the spaces in
which we worship – and the way that space affects our
worship. On alternate Wednesdays, participants from
the three congregations will meet together. On the
“between weeks,” you are invited to explore sacred
space at First Church beyond the sanctuary.
Members of First Church are invited to meet for dinner
in Fellowship Hall at 6:00 - 6:45pm, before the discussions begin at 7pm. You are invited to come as you are
able for any combination of dinner and discussion.
Families are welcome, and a freewill offering will be
collected. Our final dinner on March 25 will be potluck,
and members of all three churches will be invited.
The schedule is:
February 25 – Christ Church Episcopal.
March 4 – First Church: Sacred Space in the Chapel
March 11 – St. George Church
March 18 – First Church: The Memorial Garden
March 25 – First Church: Sacred Space in the Sanctuary
Winston Churchill said “We shape our buildings;
thereafter they shape us.” Come to learn and pray
about how that works in the life of our churches.
Official Call to Annual Meeting 2015
Sunday, February 1, 2015
To the members of the First Congregational Church of
Guilford, Inc.:
The Annual Meeting of the First Congregational Church
of Guilford, Inc., will be held on Sunday morning,
February 1, 2015 at 11:00 AM in the Sanctuary, directly
following the 10:00 AM service to:
1. Receive and act upon the reports and
recommendations of the Ministers;
2. Receive and act upon the reports and
recommendations of the Boards, Committees and
Organizations of the Church;
3. Act upon the proposal of the Board of Deacons as to
criteria for Minister Emeritus status;
3a. Act upon the recommendation of the Board of
Deacons and Church Council to confer the
Minister Emeritus title to the Rev. Kendrick
4. Act upon the proposed 2015 Operating Budget, as
submitted by Church Council;
5. Act upon the proposed 2015 Community and World
Concerns budget, as submitted by the CWC Board;
6. Receive the report of the Nominating Committee and
act upon their recommendations for Officers and
Members of Boards and Committees of the Church;
7. Act upon proposed by-law changes to reflect clergy
configuration models.
Respectfully submitted,
Barbara Catlin, Clerk
Saturday, February 21
Join us in Fellowship Hall for soup and bread before the
presentation of Jeanne C. Finn's play, Forsaken. A
reading of Forsaken will be presented on Saturday,
February 21 at 7:00pm in the Chapel. Jeanne’s years of
mentoring female inmates at York Prison inspired this
drama of three struggling prisoners and the wellmeaning professor intent on improving their lives. The
readers are Paula Baraket, Carl Frano, Elizabeth
Halvorsen, Cyndie Hasty and Nancy Ruther. We are very
pleased that the playwright will be in attendance and
hope you will join us for this well-told cautionary tale.
Sunday, February 1,
Minear Library
Whether you're an old pro or a first-time knitter, stop by
to pick up new yarn, teach or learn a different pattern,
and be in fellowship with others knitting for our
wonderful Prayer Shawl Ministry! New hands are always
welcome to knit or crochet shawls; materials are
provided. Call coordinators Zanne Huhn (203-453-2872)
or Yvette Howard (203-453-9953) for more information.
If you know of someone who would welcome a Prayer
Shawl as a tangible sign of First Church’s love and prayers,
please call Zanne or Yvette.
Mark your calendars for Fiddler on the Roof.
Performances will be Friday, March 20 at 7:30pm
Saturday, March 21 at 2:00pm & 7:30pm, and
Sunday, March 22 at 2:00pm.
We have a great cast, but we still need YOU! There are
plenty of jobs that need to be filled for such a largescale theatre extravaganza: Backstage Crew, Props,
Costumes, Makeup, Set Design, Set Construction including painting, Tickets, Publicity, Lights and Sound.
Please contact Liza Catino at 203-453-0494 or
[email protected]
I want to draw your attention to a DVD called “Nothing
Is Permanent Except Change”. It appeared early in our
transition period and while it has excellence relevance
for us as a church, it goes even further. The subtitle
“Learning to Manage Transition in Your Life” says it all. It
takes a lecture format with beautiful photographs of
nature’s changing seasons.
The speakers have
comforting, reassuring voices. I recommend this 33
minute talk for your personal reflection. Please use a
card to sign it out and return it promptly for the next
viewer. You might find it more helpful to treat as a CD so
you hear the message without the visual stimulation.
Whichever approach you choose, I hope you find it
Marjorie Colton, Librarian
Heartfelt Thanks to Office Angels
Cindy Caligan, Liza Catino, Bob Howard, Dianne Hughes,
Beth Milliron, Suzanne Paulson, and Jane Rowen.
Sunday February 8 at 4:0pm
with Irwin Reese and Julia Bady
Reflect on our nation's heritage with tenor Irwin Reese
and pianist Julia Bady as they perform art songs and
spirituals by African-American composers and
poets. New Yorker Irwin Reese has had a diverse career
appearing in opera and on television, as a solo recitalist,
and as a commercial voice-over artist. A recently retired
member of the Met Opera Chorus, he performed at the
1988 Olympic Games with the Calgary Opera. Julia Bady,
pianist, performs solo and chamber music throughout
the New York/New England region, and recordings of her
performances have been featured on Massachusetts
radio stations WCRB in Boston and WFCR in Amherst.
"I am very excited to introduce Irwin to our
congregation," said Liza Catino. "I met Irwin our
freshman year in college and I know everyone will
thoroughly enjoy his wonderful voice and engaging
With close to 100 PF members interested in going on the
mission trip in April, the excitement is palpable! Our
meetings have been busy as we continue to learn about
each other and people outside of our community. We
live in a very diverse world and strive to be accepting and
inspired by those around us!
We continue to cook for local services like Meals on
Wheels, the Community Dining Room and Columbus
House at our Sunday night meetings as well. The kids
really enjoy this and many are learning a thing or two
about cooking!!
This month we will welcome Sister Simone to a meeting
to talk about and share an interactive way of looking at
economic injustice in our world. Adding to world and
national awareness; and a feeling compassion toward
others. Thank you to Shannon Clarkson and her
committee for arranging this speaker.
March begins our sponsorship drive for the mission trip,
so be looking for more information on that.
As always, thank you for all the ways you support and
pray for PF.
Blessings for a great 2015!
Judi Wallace
February 7-8
Sister Simone Campbell, who coordinated the “Nuns on
the Bus” tour around the country highlighting economic
justice issues, will be our speaker. She has served as
Executive Director of NETWORK since 2004. She is a
religious leader, attorney and poet with extensive
experience in public policy and advocacy for systemic
change. In Washington, she lobbies on issues of peacebuilding, immigration reform, healthcare and economic
justice. Around the country, she is a noted speaker and
educator on these public policy issues. She is a dynamic
speaker, whom several of us heard recently on NPR. You
won’t want to miss her presentations!
Saturday Feb 7 from 4:00-5:30pm she will speak in the
sanctuary on economic justice. She will also preach on
Sunday morning at both services. In the afternoon, St.
George will host her: her lecture will be on immigration
issues. At 7:00pm, Sister Simone will meet with our
Pilgrim Fellowship and discuss issues of economic justice.
Adult Forum Sunday, Feb 15th 11:30am in the Chapel
I am a mentor to a young man in the Manson Youth
Correctional Facility. In this forum, I will talk about
“mentoring” (I don’t particularly like that word and I’ll
explain why) with an individual who is in prison. I will
address two levels: first, the individual task of visiting
with a person who is in prison and some of its rewards
and challenges; second, the broader social conditions of
prison and poverty that the experience of visiting can
help to clarify. I’ll share from my experience with the
individual I spend time with at the prison, and from my
work in understanding and reflecting theologically and
socially on the prison system, reentry, and recidivism.
Our task together in this forum will be to demystify the
experience of visiting people in prison and to build
empathy with the experiences of people who do not
enter prison spaces by choice.
Kevin Dean
A Special Thank you…
to my Church family for your kindnesses during my 8
months of being confined at home, except for doctors
visits and appointments. The care I received from
Guilford VNA, Meals on Wheels, a complete Thanksgiving
meal by Chef Paula, home visits, cards, flowers, phone
calls. Sarah and Lynn – thank you. I was able to attend
the Harvest Fair lunch with my daughter, granddaughter
and 10th great-grandchild. Now I must start exercising
and getting the strength and stability after sitting all
these months!
Most sincerely, Charlotte Mousch
Nothing is as effective as water in reminding us of
our absolute dependence on our planet’s resources. In
Israel and Palestine, political deadlock and military
actions have also sharpened awareness of the
interdependence of Arab and Jew alike, as all must
share the limited supply of water in the region.
In Gaza, for example, the 1.7 million residents are in
dire straits. Israeli and Egyptian blockades have cut off
the fuel supply needed to run the power plants that
pump both water and sewage. Gaza’s water comes
primarily from a shallow aquifer that is being drawn
down 3 times faster than its natural recharge rate, and
suffers from increasing intrusion of sea water, and
pollution by fertilizers and sewage.
The collapse of the sewage system leaves residents
to cope with catastrophic conditions, including raw
sewage in the streets of Gaza City. In 2013, a UNICEF
survey found 20% of children in Gaza suffered from
water-borne diseases.
But consequences reach beyond Gaza. Every day,
as of December 2013, 3.5 million cubic feet of Gaza’s
sewage poured into the Mediterranean. Israel’s own
drinking water supply is increasingly dependent on
seawater desalinization. One of its largest facilities, in
Ashkelon, is just a few miles north along the coast from
Gaza. As New York Times columnist Tom Freeman
comments, “It is all one ecosystem. Everyone is
Solutions exist, but have long been stymied by
politics or financial obstacles. Gaza’s water could be
supplied by a major desalinization plant that has been
under discussion for 20 years, but funding remains
doubtful. Israel has been willing to sell electricity to the
Gazans to run such a plant. With current large-scale
reverse-osmosis technology, Israel now produces 1,000
liters of water for roughly 60 cents. Israel already trains
Palestinian technicians in water desalinization, and has
agreed to pipe Israeli water into the Gaza strip.
Poorly handled, water shortage can lead to civil
wars as in Syria, and can trigger mass migrations of
water refugees. The Pentagon now has to plan for such
eventualities. But where there is cooperation among
regional neighbors, peaceful, constructive outcomes are
still possible. Our prayers for the way of peace are
badly needed.
Environmental Ministry Team: Bob Leete & Ray Jones
Kahala Cannon, a member of the Mississippi Blvd
Christian Church of Memphis TN, is in his first term with
Global Ministries in India where he is a dentist at the
Christian Hospital Mungeli. The hospital has served this
community of 55,000 for over 116 years and offers
comprehensive care to a very impoverished populace.
Kahala sees up to 10 patients per day with the full
spectrum of dental problems. It is a busy walk in clinic
and the procedures performed vary from day to day.
Often the patients have come long distances and require
housing while they are being treated.
Kahala is hoping to complete his two year term at
Mungeli Hospital. The work has been so important, so
life-changing that he is considering continuing his
mission work with Global Ministries, possibly as a
teacher, in another country. Here is how he describes his
experiences and “transformation” during his first 8
months in Mungeli.
My greatest joy comes from experiencing God through
the ways in which I have grown spiritually and personally
during my missionary journey. I am shy and quiet by
nature. Yet, I also have a bold and adventurous side that
is open to explore and face the unknown. After going on
several short-term mission trips with my church, it was
that bold side which allowed me to answer, “Yes,” to my
calling, leave everything, and journey to another
country…. a land unknown on the other side of the world
for my long-term missionary assignment.
Although I am still “quiet,” I recognize that I have grown
into someone that is more outgoing and expressive. I am
amazed at the process in which God has taken me from
someone who has nothing to say and is molding me into
someone that is increasingly bold and communicative
each day by rendering the message during Sunday
evening chapel service, leading devotions and prayer,
speaking before congregations and groups, and singing
publically. Other times, I have held a patient’s hand,
comforted them, or touched and silently prayed for them
as they underwent a medical procedure. A few months
ago, I was astonished as I held a patient’s hand and
silently prayed as she passed away. I often find myself
saying, “Wow, Is this me Lord?” The Lord replies, “Yes,
that is you. Dentist, teacher, minister, friend, confidant,
encourager, and yes, even a hairstylist.”
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