Sing a new song to the Lord!

Date Posted: April 6th, 2014 — 4:14pm

We are purchasing the new Presbyterian Hymnal, Glory to God. Might you consider contributing a hymnal in honor, thanksgiving, or memory of someone? See the display tables in the Copeland Room and the Miller Gathering Hall. For more information, see Bruce Peabody.

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Sanctuary Task Force Conversation

Date Posted: April 6th, 2014 — 2:10pm

The Sanctuary Task Force invites your reflections on the movement of the pulpit to the center of the sanctuary. The Task Force is considering how best to make use of the space in which we worship; this change reflects our Reformed tradition’s focus on the centrality of the Word, read and proclaimed.

It also allows room for the choir to gather at the piano for the anthem. Another Sanctuary Task Force innovation is the elevation of several pews by several inches, for seating comfort. Please try out those pews, which are at the rear of the sanctuary and labeled “Test Pew.”

Any comments on these changes may be put into the Sanctuary Task Force comments box, in the Copeland Room. Tim McCloskey is the Chair of the Task Force.

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Holy Week and Easter Services

Date Posted: April 6th, 2014 — 1:16pm

Finally, spring is in the air. The buds on the trees are making their way out after a too long and too cold winter.  We can begin to see tulips and daffodils emerging from the earth. Warmer temperatures find us shedding layers of clothing.  Yes, after weeks of waiting, the signs of hope and new life astonish us at every turn.

The month of April opens as we draw near to the end of our Lenten journey. We’ve journeyed with Jesus and his friends from the valley near the Galilee to the hilltops outside Jerusalem. As Holy Week begins we enter the gates of the Holy City and prepare our hearts and minds to hear again the Passion of Jesus Christ, Savior of the World.

Holy Week begins on Palm Sunday, April 13th. Join friends at 9:30 a.m. for a morning of activities. Breakfast treats will be provided and you are invited to experience the story of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem and his week of trial in tangible ways. Turn palms into crosses. Create bags for the treats to be found during the Easter Egg Hunt on Easter Sunday. Read and discuss the Palm Sunday Lenten Devotional reflections prepared by church members. At 10:30 a.m. we invite you to gather in the Miller Hall ready to see the story of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem come to life. And then all together, we will process across the walkway into the sanctuary, waving our palm branches high. As we enter the sanctuary, we will join our voices in song, singing All Glory Laud and Honor until all are seated and we call one another to worship.

Mission Co-Workers Nancy and Shelvis Smith-Mather will be our guest preachers on Palm Sunday morning. Nancy and Shelvis serve the Presbyterian Church in South Sudan. They direct the RECONCILE program working with divided communities to restore peace in that war torn and troubled country and they will offer both a sobering word and a word of hope. During worship The One Great Hour of Sharing Special Offering will be received. We will sing songs, lift prayers, witness a baptism and the joining of new members to the church community, and prepare ourselves to journey with Jesus to the cross.

Easter Sunday Sunrise Worship will be offered at 6:30 a.m. at the Summit of East Rock Park, and again at 10:45 a.m. in the First Presbyterian Church sanctuary. Join us for the sunrise service, standing in the cool of the morning, as we hear the good news of Jesus’ resurrection proclaimed from the mountaintop! This is a shared service with the congregations of Hamden Plain UMC, and First and Summerfield UMC in New Haven. The Rev. Soon Ahn from the Hamden Plains United Methodist Church will offer the sermon this year.

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People Along the Way: Journeying with Jesus Through Lent

Date Posted: March 4th, 2014 — 9:10pm

A Lenten Devotional Booklet will be available this year as a guide and reflection piece for our Lenten journey.

Written by members and friends of the congregation, it will include the Gospel lesson for each Sunday of Lent, a brief reflection, and a prayer.

Each week, the common lectionary tells the story of very real people, encountering Jesus, and walking with him, just as we do.

The reflections will explore the ways the story relates to our lives, what in it might cause trouble, challenge, or affirmation.  Does the story cause you to tremble? Feel awe? Where do we see God at work?

We hope that this Lenten project will be a source of strength to you, as together we consider the ways God’s people journey with Jesus from the wilderness to the cross.

The booklet will be available beginning on Ash Wednesday, March 5th in both an online format as well as a printed booklet.

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Margaret Fox to preach on Sunday, March 30th

Date Posted: March 4th, 2014 — 8:38pm

Margaret Fox, a candidate for ministry in the PCUSA, and a student at both Yale Divinity School and Yale Law School, will be our guest preacher on Sunday, March 30th. Margaret will preach on the story of the blind man found in John’s gospel, Chapter 9 verses 1-41.

Margaret preached last summer during the series, The Bible from Genesis to Revelation.

Plan to attend Sunday morning’s worship service to hear Margaret proclaim good news.

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