Preaching Texts for Sundays in January 2017

January 1 – Isaiah 63:7-9, Hebrews 2:10-18 (The Rev. Arthur Shippee is preaching.)

January 8 – Epiphany celebrated – Isaiah 60:1-3, Psalm 72:1-4, Matthew 2:1-12

January 15 – 2nd Sunday after Epiphany – Isaiah 49:1-7, Psalm 40:1-11, I Corinthians 1:1-9

January 22 – 3rd Sunday after Epiphany – Isaiah 9:1-4, Psalm 27:1, 4-9, (preaching text), Matthew 4:12-22

January 29 – TBA (The Rev. Steve Crocco is preaching.)

Christmas Choral Music Coming on December 11th!!

Our annual Advent/Christmas musical service will take place, as always, on the Third Sunday of Advent, which this year is December 11. The music will be more spread out through the service than it has been in the past few years.

We will begin with Eugene Smith reading the creation story in the words of James Weldon Johnson’s God’s Trombones, followed by a haunting musical realization of the text “Spirit Moving Over Chaos.” The choral music will still center on the sermon time, though, in which we will alternate scriptural readings—readings that tell the Advent and Christmas story from Old Testament prophecy to the birth of Jesus–with musical commentary in choruses and carols.… Continue

Prison and Children

prisonandchildrenOne route to our house in France passes by the detention center for our region. John and I are always struck by the playground equipment and the picnic tables that sit outside the prison. Clearly, family visits to inmates are expected and even normal.

In Conneciticut, however, family visits to loved ones in prison are rare, in part because of lack of transport.

The not-for-profit agency Families in Crisis sponsors a van, recently the victim of state budget cuts, to take families for such visits, and the Mission Committee has gladly contributed to keeping this service alive.

2016 Advent Devotions: Not the Usual Shepherds and Magi

adventdevotionsThe Presbyterian Mission Agency is offering a booklet of Advent devotions, “Proclaiming the Good News of God’s Peace,” centered on the subjects of mass incarceration and immigrant detention. Both are currently hot political topics—and they are likely to be of concern for many years to come.

As a church and a nation we must work toward a course of action leading to equitable treatment for all, even in a world that seems Let us remember the injunction to do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with our God.

Copies of the Advent devotions will be available by November 27, Advent I.… Continue

Thanksgiving Special Offering

As in the past, our thanksgiving Special Offering will be shared with three local organizations. Christian Community Action, the Connecticut Food Bank and Downtown Evening Soup Kitchen each work to create a season of genuine thanksgiving for those who could not otherwise afford it. This is an opportunity to give thanks by contributing directly to the well being of our neighbors.

Christian Community Action’s thanksgiving basket program provides holiday abundance to over 2,000 families each year. Financial contributions support food purchases at wholesale costs. In kind donations are also needed. Suggested items: Cereal – hot or cold, Vegetables, Yams, Fruit or dessert, Starch – rice, mashed potato, Pasta & Sauce, Soup, Gravy, Juice, Cranberries, Stuffing, Protein – beans, tuna, peanuts, Jelly.… Continue