First ChurchNEWS
November Worship & Monthly Calendar
December Dates
Thanks for Giving Dinner - RSVP!
FCCR Learning Program for Children & Families
New Members to Join
Cookies and Cocoa Needs You
CWF News & College Care Packages
Reading POWR
Mission Collection for Common Art
FCCR Mission Updates
Pastor's Ponderings
Your Relief Monies at Work
In Our Prayers
Altar Flowers
November Worship Schedule
November 5  – Sunday Worship with Communion
(A Screen-free Worship Service)
Preacher: Rev Lisa   Music: Chancel Choir & Jill
Nursery Care
Learning Program for Children (Begin in Class in Room 13)
Coffee & Fellowship in the Chapel

November 12  – Sunday Worship with Special Preacher: Rev Chad W. Kidd   Music: Chancel Choir & Jill
Children’s Message: tbd
Nursery Care & Learning Program for Children (Room 13)
Coffee & Fellowship in the Chapel
November 19  – Thanksgiving Sunday Worship
Preacher: Seminarian Renee Manning
Music: Handbell Enemble & Jill
Nursery Care
Learning Program for Children (Activities in Worship)
Coffee & Fellowship in the Chapel

November 26  – Worship on the Sunday after Thanksgiving
(A Screen-free Worship Service)
Preacher: Rev. Lisa   Music: Chancel Choir & Jill
Nursery Care & NO Learning Program for Children
Coffee & Fellowship in the Chapel
November  Calendar (click on the image to view)
Coming in Worship in December - Please note these Dates!
Sundays, Dec. 3, 10 & 17: Celebrating the Season of Advent
Sunday, Dec. 17 at 2pm: A Special Service for All who are Grieving, Struggling or Less than Joyful -
Sunday, Dec. 24th: Christmas Eve
10am Christmas Eve Family Service with options for active participation!
10pm Traditional Christmas Eve Service with Readings, Carols
and Candlelight (Please note: There will be no 5pm service this year.)
Only a few days left to RSVP: Sharing Our Thanks By Giving, Saturday November 4th at 6pm
We’re looking forward to a great evening of food, friendship, and community. You get a delicious meal surrounded by friends and fellow citizens, and those most in need get help, and know that they are not forgotten.
The dinner will include all of your traditional favorites. In exchange, you will be invited to make a free will offering. All proceeds from the evening will go to Habitat for Humanity to assist rebuilding for those impacted by hurricanes. We are inviting everyone: you, your family, your friends and neighbors – the community. Please help spread the word. For planning purposes, reservations are required. You may sign up by using this link: 
FCCR Learning Program for Children and Families

Our newly designed program for children is being well received by children and their parents. In November, we will continue to explore the idea that Jesus was a teacher and that his lessons apply to us today, with “Jesus teaches us to give and share thanks!”

Sunday, November 5th, the children will begin in the classroom, exploring the theme and learning about the accompanying Bible story (Luke 17:11-19). Later in the hour, those in 3rd grade or older will join the congregation in worship for communion.

Sunday, Nov. 12th, the children begin in worship, remaining for their special message and then moving to the ‘sharing thanks’ service project. A guest co-teacher will join the group as the children prepare to serve coffee hour to all following worship.

Sunday, Nov. 19th, the program will begin and remain in the sanctuary, as children join in the worship service to collect the food offering of the congregation for local food pantries. There will also be a set of activities for the children and the side table, along with plenty of help and supervision.

There will be no program on the Sunday of the Holiday weekend. (Nov. 26th.)
New Members to Join FCCR
We have several folks who attended the recent informational session on church membership and are planning to join the church in December. If you are also interested in membership at FCCR, but were unable to attend the info session, please let us know!! Speak to or email any Deacon or Rev. Lisa at
Can YOU Help make Cocoa and Cookies Happen??
FCCR is well-known for this annual event after the Christmas tree lighting on Reading Common. People from all over town come to enjoy a time of community spirit as we serve up cocoa and cookies. This year we are thankful to Bev Erickson who has stepped up to be the lead player for the event. But…she needs your help! The event takes place following the tree lighting on the Common on Sunday afternoon, Nov. 26 th at about 4 or 4:30. We will need folks to share flyers about our warm and tasty welcome with folks on the Common, greeters at the church, servers, decorators, and of course, cookie makers! Please contact Bev to let her know how you will help, either at church or via email at
CWF News: Sock and Mitten Tree
Everyone looks forward to decorating the Sock and Mitten Tree at Christmas time with winter hats, socks, mittens, scarves and gloves for distribution by the City Mission Society. The tree will go up on Thanksgiving weekend in the Atrium and items will be brought to the City Mission on December . Since the time to decorate is short, be sure to do so early and often!

The CWF Board will meet next week to plan the year. Watch the ENews for the date of our Annual Meeting in November. The Dec. Newsletter will contain other info.
It’s College Care Package Time!
And we have a lot of students out there in the world this year – somewhere in the neighborhood of two dozen! Carol Johnson will once more assemble our packages, with fun items and snacks, including the ever popular homemade cookie. She is looking for cookie donors. The packages will be put together over Thanksgiving weekend so you can contact her regarding delivery time and place. Contact her at or at 781.944.1347. If you cannot offer cookies but would still like to help, she would be glad to receive your monetary donation to help defray costs. Thanks so much for helping out!
Dear Reading POWR members,
The SignUp Genius for collecting items to help set up our refugee family's apartment is ready to go. Please share the link within your own social media circles and with your church community.

As we discussed at the meeting this week, the Pre-Arrival team could use help with gathering the donated items and moving them into storage. If you are able to help on any of the pick up days --especially the Saturdays at Old South - please let Hilary, Anne or Linda know. We are also looking for folks who have larger vehicles and could help move and transport furniture such as bureaus and living room chairs. You can email Hilary at . Thanks in advance for your help.
Mission Collection for Common Art, Boston
This month we will be collecting art supplies for Common Art, one of a number of programs offered by Ecclesia Ministries/Common Cathedral. Many of you are familiar with our travels into Boston in the summer to provide lunch following worship on the Common.
Common Art provides space, materials and support staff to assist unhoused and low income individuals as they develop their artistic abilities. People who live in shelters, rooming houses, on unclaimed couches and benches, and on Boston's streets, gather every Wednesday at Emmanuel Church on Newbury Street to draw, paint, sculpt, make crafts, and to share with other artists in like circumstances. For most members, Common Art is a singular chance to express their artistic gifts. For all, it is a simple and welcome relief from daily difficulty. One artist said this about the experience: “I came for the art….and I stayed for the love.”
Please consider donating any of the following items: sketching pads, blank canvases, colored pencils or markers, pencils for sketching, charcoal, pastels, water color paper, jewelry supplies or jewelry no longer needed that could be taken apart, acrylic paints. Items may be deposited in the container outside of the music room. 
WORKING WITH COMMUNITY ORGANIZATIONS. We were able to further our mission of working with community organizations by teaming up with RCASA at the Old Reading Faire , September 23rd and 24th. 
Erica McNamara , Director of Reading Coalition Against Substance Abuse (RCASA), with RCASA volunteers , First Congregational Church members and Faire attendees created 15 fleece blankets that will be given to children in our community who have suffered the impact of a family member opioid or substance abuse. Erica on behalf of RCASA presented these 15 blankets plus 40 additional knitted and crocheted blankets provided by Old South Church at the September 28th RCASA presentation given by Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan and Dr. Ruth Potee. We would like to thank Erica and RCASA for the wonderful opportunity to assist with a project that will directly benefit the children and young adults in our community.
The Mission Ministry and the Learning Ministry are sponsoring a special collection of food in church on Sunday, Nov. 19, in celebration of the Thanksgiving holiday. Items collected will be divided between the Reading Food Pantry and Neighbors in Need, a food pantry in Lawrence. Needed items include juice, juice boxes, hot chocolate, coffee, tea, herbal tea, canned meat and fish (not tuna), stew and chili, canned fruit, mayonnaise, catsup, relish, salad dressing, granola bars, crackers, cookies, popcorn, raisins, boxed potatoes, brown and white rice, cereal (hot and cold), canned pastas, shampoo, toothpaste, toilet paper, facial tissue, dish and laundry detergent, bar soap, sugar, brownie and cake mix, and anything made by Goya. Watch for additional details in the E-News and Sunday bulletin. Thank you for your support!
Pastor's Ponderings
As we enter the season of community sharing and giving thanks, I invite you to join me in exploring our beliefs about gratitude in many different ways.
When Giving Is All We Have By Alberto Ríos , 1952
             One river gives
             Its journey to the next.
We give because someone gave to us.
We give because nobody gave to us.
We give because giving has changed us.
We give because giving could have changed us.
We have been better for it,
We have been wounded by it—
Giving has many faces: It is loud and quiet,
Big, though small, diamond in wood-nails.
Its story is old, the plot worn and the pages too,
But we read this book, anyway, over and again:
Giving is, first and every time, hand to hand,
Mine to yours, yours to mine.
You gave me blue and I gave you yellow.
Together we are simple green. You gave me
What you did not have, and I gave you
What I had to give—together, we made
Something greater from the difference.

Copyright © 2014 by Alberto Ríos. Used with permission of the author.
May you and yours, and all the world enjoy a blessed and joyful Thanksgiving!!

Rev. Lisa
Your Disaster Relief Monies at Work
Over the past few months, we have had several collections for hurricanes, flooding and other disasters that have happened here in the United States. We are once again asking for your continued help in donating money for disaster relief . Envelopes will be in the pews on Sunday morning or you can send your donation directly to the church and include donation relief on the memo line of your check.  The following is quoted from the MACUCC website:
"Where Faith Meets Works" UCC Disaster Ministries is a nationally recognized ministry that engages volunteers, congregations, UCC Conferences and partners to serve the unique needs of disaster survivors. Every year hundreds of disasters in the United States leave impacted families in need of spiritual, physical, financial and psychological support. UCC Disaster Ministries provides assistance with acute and long-term disaster effects which can last years following an event. With a special focus on serving in communities where long-term needs persist, UCC Disaster Ministries volunteers’ work and support extend beyond that of many disaster response organizations. Through our network of Conference Disaster Coordinators and local congregational connections, volunteers are organized for early clean-up work and long-term rebuilding efforts. UCC Disaster Ministries also provides resources and support for preparedness and technology-caused disasters. 100% of the money donated is used to help with these disasters. It is also used to help with international disasters as well.