November 28, 2021
10 AM in Sanctuary
*masks are required inside the building

(names in red are new additions)
To view the live-streamed 10 AM service, please use one of the links below.
The office closes at Noon today
and will be closed on November 24 & Friday, November 26.
The Children's Faith Formation News and Information
is updated on a weekly basis
We Welcome Our Newest Members!
Lauren and Michael Cieslewski became introduced to our church community on Welcome Sunday. Lauren is a Physical Therapist. Michael is a Technical Director.
Vlad Santiago and family moved into Cheshire in 2019 and was introduced to our church just weeks before the Pandemic shut down. Vlad is a Mental Health Counselor.
Paul and Mary Strauss and family have been worshipping with us for five years. Mary is employed as a Clinical Social Worker. Paul is a retired Programmer.
2021 ADVENT and CHRISTMAS
AT FIRST CHURCH
UCC Christmas Fund Donations

The Christmas Fund has been caring for active and retired clergy and lay employees of the United Church of Christ for over 100 years, providing emergency grants, supplementation of small annuities and health premiums, and Christmas “Thank You” gift checks each December to our lower-income retirees.

Over the past 18 months, the emergency financial needs of many who serve the church increased dramatically. Many of our clergy continue to bear the consequences of lost or decreased income. These difficult times make the need for the Christmas Fund more urgent than ever.

Donations can be sent to our church office or made directly online to the UCC. Thank you for your continued support!
Advent Vesper Service - HOPE
Sunday, November 28 at 4:30 PM
Please join us outside on the Church Green for an Advent Wreath Lighting, with a short liturgy. It's a way for us to prepare for the Birth of Jesus, to get the Gospel message outside the walls of the church, and to let our light shine in Cheshire. 
Tuesday, December 21 at 7 PM
For those who grieve for many kinds of losses, the Christmas season can feel lonely and the journey of grief even more painful when it seems that the rest of the world is celebrating. This is a quiet worship service of prayer, Scripture, and music that lifts up God's presence in these lonely times and God's Word that comes to shine light into the darkest places of life. All are welcome, including the wider Cheshire community, family, and friends.
Christmas Eve Services
Our three Christmas Eve services ring out the good news of Christ’s birth. 
·        The 5 PM service is planned with young families in mind, and features our commemorative bells for the children. 
·        The 10 PM service. shines with the singing of the Chancel Choir, hand held candles and the Sacrament of Communion. 
·        At 11:45 PM, we will gather on the Green for a brief liturgy. We will hear the Christmas story, pray, and sing “Silent Night” with our candles raised against the night sky. At the stroke of midnight, the church bell will ring in Christmas Morn, as we sing “Joy to the World” while ringing our bells! 
CCA has provided us with a list of 10 families with 23 children and adults in need of a gift to warm their holiday.

 “Adopt a Family” gift tags will be posted on the Parlor bulletin board this Sunday listing opportunities to give toy or clothing items.

Members are asked to purchase and wrap their gifts, attach the tag, and deliver to the Parlor by December. 12. 

If you are not attending in-church services, you may call and request a tag.
Light Up the Season: 
Candle Scavenger Hunt
Join First Congregational Church and the community of Cheshire as we celebrate the Magic of the Season. Each Sunday of Advent, six special Christmas candles will be placed at different locations throughout Cheshire.
·        Each candle will have a “Word of the Season” visible on it. 
·        Note each word on your answer sheet and submit no later than Noon on December 24th to be eligible for prizes. 
·        Clues will be available each Sunday to help find the candles. 
·        Links to Rules/Instructions, Answer Sheets and Weekly Clues will be available in the weekly E-blast, our website and on Facebook.
·        Paper copies will also be available in a small decorated box at the front of the church beginning November 28th. 
·        Prizes will include gift cards to Cheshire restaurants and stores.
In addition, four winners will be able to choose from one of four selected charities. The Outreach Ministry Group will donate $250 to each selected charity in the name of each winner. Questions? Email Candles@firstcheshire.org
Lights of Hope
Thank you so much for all of your hard work on Saturday to light up the First Congregational Church! We had an amazing turnout of volunteers and I appreciate each of you for making this event such a huge success! 
 With gratitude, Beth Barnes
Thank you for Thanksgiving Turkey Donations!
132 turkeys were donated for CCA in New Haven this past Sunday! Thanks to those who donated and volunteered to bring turkeys to New Haven. A job well done! - Outreach Ministry
Drop-in Bible Study with Pastor James Next Online Meeting: December 1
Join us on the first three Wednesdays of every month, from 12-1 PM. No prep, no weekly commitment, no pressure - just an enlightening conversation about a biblical passage among friends.  
Bible Passage: Luke 3:1-6
Zoom Link for Meeting
Christmas Fair Needs

  • Folks who are willing to take one of our "Xmas Fair Saturday" roadside signs today and put it in a place where it will be seen for the week (can be their front lawn) and then return it to church on Dec. 5.

  • a couple people who would be willing to pick up poinsettias at Kurtz Farms on Friday morning and bring them to the parish hall.

  • a few people who would be willing to work the Fair on Dec. 4

You can email Martha Lape or see her at church on Sunday!
Christmas Fair (modified format)
on Saturday, December 4 at 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Gift Basket Raffle, Handcrafted items, Cookie Walk, Poinsettias, $1 jar for kids and our signature corn chowder (for take out only)
How you can help?
o  Bake Cookies for the cookie walk
o  Fill a jar with a toy, candy, etc. for the kids
o  Donate all those handmade items you have been making throughout the pandemic!
o  Tell your friends we are having a Fair
o  Due to the church’s Covid restrictions, we will not be having the usual areas downstairs (Granny’s Attic, Treasure Room, and Jewelry), nor a full lunch menu. 
Everyone must wear a mask and maintain social distancing.
We hope to spread our usual hospitality and Christmas joy to the community!

Please bring all donated items to Parish Hall on Friday, December 3 to Parish Hall by 2 PM
ONLINE SALES - Christmas Fair Basket Raffle
Are you unable to attend the Christmas Fair? Do you still want to purchase a chance to win one of the beautiful baskets donated by church members and ministry groups? New this year, tickets for select baskets in the Christmas Fair Basket Raffle will be available for online sale from Thursday, December 2until 2pm on Saturday December 4. Watch for a separate email on Thursday, December 2 with the link to participate in the Christmas Fair Basket Raffle.

While online sales end at 2pm on Saturday, the LIVE Christmas Fair Basket Raffle will officially close at noon on Sunday, December 5. Tickets will be available for sale both BEFORE and AFTER the 10am service December 5.
Calling all bakers! The Cookie Walk will be happening at the Christmas Fair December 4! 
We need your Christmas cookies to keep this part of the fair a success! We are a congregation that is blessed with many talented bakers. Please put your talents to work and bring your cookies to the church on Friday, December 3rd or before 9AM on the day of the fair. They can be left on the tables in the chapel. Thank you! If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Regan Huntley (203) 745-7057. 
Not all glass recycling is the same:  It is the law in Connecticut that glass, along with paper goods and metal cans, must be recycled.  But according to the Connecticut Recycling Council, some people don’t understand that for recycling it must be the right type of glass. Liquor bottles, wine bottles, beer bottles, glass soda bottles, pasta jars, jam containers, glass mayonnaise jars and pickle or olive jars may go in the recycling bin.  But don’t try to recycle mirror glass, window panes, light bulbs, auto glass, Pyrex or other tempered glass, or ceramic coffee mugs.  Non-containers are treated with chemicals to make them more durable, but these types of glass will contaminate things like cardboard and paper that otherwise have recoverable value.  The Housatonic Resources Recovery Authority, which serves Danbury and 13 other towns, is urging residents increase the efficiency of recycling by separating “food grade” glass containers and bringing them to local drop-off centers.  Such a system is not yet available in the Cheshire area, but people in our area can help by making sure only the proper type of glass goes in the recycle bin. To learn more about our church’s Environmental Justice Team, email Anne McNulty or Karen Schnitzer
Sunday, November 28
10:00 a.m. Sunday Worship, Sanctuary
3:30 p.m. Advent Wreath Making, Church Green
4:30 p.m. Advent Vesper Service, Church Green

Tuesday, November 30
1:30 p.m. Staff meeting, Chapel

Wednesday, December 1
12:00 p.m. Online Bible Study with Pastor James
12:45 p.m. Caring Crafts, Parlor
6:30 p.m. Taize Contemplative Worship, Chapel
7:00 p.m. Chancel Choir practice, Parish Hall

Saturday, December 4
10:00 a.m. Christmas Fair
 
Sunday, December 5
10:00 a.m. Sunday Worship, Sanctuary
11:30 a.m. Confirmation class, Parish Hall
4:30 p.m. Advent Vesper Service, Church Green
6:00 p.m. High School Youth Group, Parish Hall
Other Important Information

A reminder that the Prayer Net Prayer Ministry Team stands ready to pray for any requests. Simply email Alison the prayer request and she will send it on to our prayers in complete confidence unless otherwise noted. Let us support one another with the power of prayer.