Weekly news & updates
April 21, 2022
Earth Day will be celebrated in Bethel this year. The date is: Saturday April 23 . There are two basic parts to the event:

Town Clean-up This will be similar to park and rec clean-ups in the past. Please sign-up with the Church Office. Workers will be assigned to an area, some supplies will be provided. Meet at the municipal center -- athis ctivity goes from 9:00 to 11:00 AM
Celebration and Thank You Party. That's right PARTEEEE! Come back to the municipal center for fun and fellowship with fellow earth day enthusiasts. This is envisioned to be a low-key time with some snacks and entertainment, Meet back at the municipal center for fun from 11:00 to 12:30. Clean up afterwards, done by 1:00 PM.

More information to follow; participants include Bethel Garden Club, New Pond Farm, Park and Rec Department, Bethel HeatSmart and First Congregational Church. Music will be provided by several local performers.  

Watch the BCED facebook page for more information:

Join us May 7 for the Bethel Pride Celebration. We will gather at 12:30 at the Bethel Train Station for the parade. 
We will also have a table at the Municipal Center.
Join us for the parade or stop by during the afternoon. 
We will be there from 12 to 5.
Special Request:
Does anyone in the congregation have nurse/assistant experience or know of someone that can help someone in need of assistance in their home while their significant other leaves on vacation? We are looking to help someone out our church family in the community. If so, please contact the church office at 203-743-1877 or email the church at secretary@firstchurchbethel.org


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April Parent Newsletter
Click on and read our Monthly Newsletter for our Congregation and their Families! Find fun and useful tips and more
Christian Outreach Ministries, Inc. is launching an exciting new opportunity for you to participate in that will bring our family in Christ and our community together for approximately 2.5 hours on Saturday April 30th from 10AM- 12:30PM walking from City Hall Danbury to Rogers Park. All participants should wear light blue T-shirts for the march.
The event is a march entitles, "Pick up your Cross and follow Jesus." The march will be the precursor to multiple ongoing outreach events, in which we can actively demonstrate Matthew 16:24-26. Missionary teams, families, outreach teams, youth groups, small groups, and Pastors can participate in ways that we can accomplish the great commission of going out into the highways and byways to reach souls for Christ.
For further information, please feel free to contact Rev. Wanda Payton or Diana Netto at 203-748-2266 or at info@ccominc.org.
Local Retreats, Summer Programs and Events:
Coalition 50th Anniversary National Gathering in August!
Dear Open and Affirming family!
Fifty years ago, in 1972, a courageous and visionary band of queer leaders in the United Church of their Christ (with their straight allies) founded the "UCC Gay Caucus," the forerunner of the Open and Affirming Coalition of the United Church of Christ.

Earlier that year, the Golden Gate Association in California ordained Bill Johnson—the first openly gay man to be authorized for ministry in an historic Protestant denomination. 
This year's National ONA Gathering will celebrate this milestone in our beloved church. We'll celebrate the past 50 years and the extraordinary growth in our movement from small beginnings, honor our elders, and learn from each other the ways our movement needs to expand its vision at the beginning of our second half-century. 
Join us on Zoom August 5, 6, 7 for this once-in-a-lifetime event. Events will be scheduled in the evenings, enabling Hawai'i and western time zones to participate. We'll announce registration in the spring, but in the meantime please mark these dates on your calendar!
As with National Gatherings in the past, there will be soul-expanding worship and mind-expanding keynotes. I'm looking forward to seeing each of you!
With every blessing,
Andy Lang
Executive Director
Open and Affirming Coalition
United Church of Christ
We're excited to see 2022 retreat offerings at Mercy by the Sea!

167 Neck Road
Madison, CT 06443-0191
Tel: (203) 245-0401
Fax: (203) 245-8718

A New Way to Register

This year, they are implementing a new online registration process. Here are some helpful hints so you know exactly what to expect and what you need on Thursday.

  • Registrations will open on Thursday, January 20 at 9 a.m.
  • Go to the retreats page on their website and choose your retreat date.
  • Click on the name of your requested retreat director. Each name is its own link and will take you to that director's specific page.
  • If the retreat director is full, a waitlist form will appear. Fill in your name and contact info to be added to the waitlist. If there are openings for the director, a "register" button will appear in the lower right corner. Click and follow the instructions.
  • Have your credit card available to process your $250.00 deposit or full payment.
  • Mercy For All funds provide financial assistance for those who cannot afford the full fee, thanks to contributions from generous donors and the Institute of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas. To inquire about assistance, we invite you to contact Sister Ann McGovern.
  • If you are unable to register online, please call (203) 245 0401 where staff will assist you. Or email Sister Ann McGovern. Note: these requests will be processed after all the online registrations are fully processed.

Upcoming Programs and Retreats
Easter Triduum Retreat at Mercy by the Sea
Holy Thursday, April 14 – Easter Sunday, April 17

Register now for this year’s Triduum with Father Ed Dempsey and Mercy by the Sea Staff. In times that often feel hopeless, it is our faith and the strength of community that enables us to hold the pandemic, the suffering, the violence, and the darkness of our world and which invites us to embrace a hope that arises in and amongst us. In these holiest of days, hearts are transformed and thawed and our hopelessness evolves into a knowing that our time is now to be the living presence of Christ in the world. View more details and register here

2022 Directed Retreats

Registration is ongoing for our 2022 silent, directed retreats. View all our offerings here and email Karen Rossignol to register. Thank you for entrusting us with your precious
retreat time!

Summer Sabbath
Each summer, Mercy offers two sabbath weeks for anyone who needs to renew their connection with life’s animating Spirit. Facilitated by seasoned retreat leaders, Andrea Minelli and Carol Villaggio, these times can be as unplanned as you like, although there will be opportunities to gather for reflection and prayer. Spiritual direction is also available by request. Join us from July 31-August 7 or August 7-12. To register, email Karen Rossignol.
Registration for Silver Lake summer camp is now open!

Learn more about summer camp at Silver Lake, view the 2022 summer brochure, and look through the upcoming sessions at https://www.silverlakect.org/summercamp

223 Low Road | Sharon, CT 06069 | 860.364.5526 | Fax: 860.364.1000