ADVENT 2019 AT FIRST CHURCH
“Observing the Signs”
December 1: Prepare!
December 8: A Voice in the Wilderness
December 15: Mother Mary
December 22: Father Joseph
Weekly lighting of the Advent wreath, special music and a visual unfolding as we prepare for Christ’s birth. Please join us for all four weeks.
Advent Star Action Team
Each week we will layer in more Advent stars in the sanctuary "heavens." Come any or all weeks, as you are able!
Monday December 16, 9:30-11:00 AM,
Monday December 23, 9:30-11:00 AM
Festival of Carols: December 14
On Saturday, December 14, 2019, at 5:00 pm, members of the Chancel Choir of Cheshire’s First Congregational Church, will join the vibrant and singers from the GMChorale and Cheshire community, to welcome the holiday season with the 16th annual Festival of Carols, the much-loved presentation of seasonal readings and choral anthems. Don’t miss it!
Quiet Christmas Service: December 19, 7:30 PM
Christmas can be the most wonderful time of the year, but often not for those who are carrying a burden. How can the whole world seem so joyful when we are not? For those who find it difficult to attend other, more festive services, First Congregational Church of Cheshire offers a Quiet Christmas as an alternative way to welcome Christmas, with peace and hope rather than merrymaking. Led by the Rev. Alison McCaffrey and specially trained Stephen Ministers, this contemplative, welcoming service is open to all who are carrying any kind of a burden or loss at this season.
Christmas Eve Worship Schedule - All Are Welcome!
Family Service, 5 PM. Interactive, fun, and with children at its heart. Everyone will play a part in telling the Christmas story – no rehearsal necessary! Each family will receive a Christmas bell ornament to take home.
Holy Communion Service, 7:30 PM. The solemnity and joy of Christmas is celebrated with organ, brass and soloists. Hand-held candles for all, and the sacrament of Holy Communion offered to everyone who wishes to receive it – no exceptions.
Ringing in Christmas Morn, 11 PM. Organ, brass, and choir. Joy and celebration. At the stroke of midnight, 300 bells will start to ring. The church bell will start to peel. The organ will begin to thunder. And hundreds of voices will join in singing: “Joy to the World!”
A Festive Fellowship/Coffee Hour on December 22 will be hosted by us, the church congregation. Please feel free to share some of your favorite holiday treats but no worries if you can’t bring anything – there will be plenty! As always coffee and tea will be provided.
Community Meals are Coming!! Exciting Updates!!
After much discernment and conversation with our Cheshire's Social Services, the Executive Board has voted to draw our table hospitality circle wider. Beginning in either January or February, our congregation will offer a once a month evening meal open to anyone, free of charge. We invite our community to experience the joy we feel when we gather over a common meal: those who are physically hungry and those who hunger for social connection.
An Action Team is already at work figuring out the details and welcomes anyone who wishes to take part in the planning process. More Action Teams will be convened on a regular basis to make these dinners happen.
But first: a naming contest! By what name shall these dinners be known? The Dinner Bell? Grub on the Green? Stewpot Suppers? We are looking for a name that captures our invitation to all, something that will be easily recognized around town.
You'll find a box in the Parlor where you can submit your written suggestions. The winning submission will be announced in worship on January 12. Please see Pastor Alison with questions and offers of help.
Cheshire Food Pantry specific needs
The Cheshire Food Pantry is asking for donations of canned meats (stew, hash), body wash, tissues, paper towels.
Midnight Run: December 30
On Monday, December 30th, we will be delivering meals and men’s clothing to a men’s shelter in New Haven. If you would like to contribute food for the meals you can sign up in the connector (near the back entrance) or the parlor. Please drop off the food items by noon on Monday, December 30th in the kitchen and label everything “Midnight Run” and place perishable items in the fridge that is located near the back entrance. We also distribute men’s clothing, trial sized toiletries, gently used towels and new underwear and socks. Please leave these items in the white bins in the Parlor. Thank you. Kerrie Dunne is the contact person, number is 203-907-9899.
Fall Thursday Bible Study: Daytime and Evening Options
Please join our Bible Study on Thursdays, either at 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. in the Chapel. Please contact Marianne Eagleson (email@example.com; 203-271-2850) or Gary Rowe (Garysrowe240@gmail.com; 203-631-0064) with any questions. All are welcome.
Women’s Monthly Book Group
The group meets on the first Monday of the month, at various locations for book discussion. Books are usually picked at the beginning of the previous month and discussed the next month. If you are interested in joining or getting more information, please contact Leah Sanders.
Gift & Talent Forms
Some have expressed and interest in filling out a Gifts & Talents Form that was handed out to the congregation on November 10. Extra forms are available on the Crossroads Table (table near the back exit of church)
As a congregation, we joyfully consecrated the pledges received during the 2020 campaign on October 20. We left that service after an inspiring sermon from the Rev. Dr. James Campbell that helped put into perspective the “Risky Business” of being stewards of God’s money and putting our faith in our generosity. If you missed it, you can hear it on our new website. If you have not yet had an opportunity to pledge, there is still time.
As you consider your pledge, ask yourself, what's your reason to support First Church? many of our fellow parishioners have shared what's important to them that they want you to know. You can see what they said for yourself at www.FirstCheshire.org/why.