Ministry Headlines 
First Congregational Church in Winchester, UCC  |   Lent & Easter 2018
In This Issue

Spiritual Reflections

Last weekend, after our baby shower, my wife Kerri and I went back to our house with both of our moms to unwrap the generous presents that many of you gifted us. As we unwrapped each one, our moms shared a common thought with us: We didn't have that for you when you were babies, and you turned out OK! You just need to be able to feed the baby, let the baby sleep, and change diapers."  Read more...
Behold, I Tell You a Mystery!
Reflections on Lent, Holy Week, and Easter

On Ash Wednesday we enter the six weeks of Lent, leading us to Holy Week and its attendant journey through Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and Easter Sunday. In our country and culture we find ourselves in a time of great division, competing values, and strident, argumentative discourse. In the face of all of this, I have felt called to use the prayer: "Holy One, give me the strength, courage, and wisdom not to add to the polarization before me and within me." Read more..

Tuesdays With Jesus

Back by popular demand, we will be holding "Tuesdays with Jesus" again this Lent in the Palmer and Tucker Rooms. We have a wonderful new slate of church members preparing to share how their faith intersects with their work. We'll begin with about 20 minutes of silent meditation/centering prayer from 6:30-7 in the Palmer Room and then move into the Tucker Room where we'll have a simple soup and bread supper while we listen to one of our 6 presenters. We hope you'll join us! Read more...
Ministries Updates
flowersEaster Flowers

You are invited to donate a chancel Easter plant as a memorial or as a gift. Plants will be distributed to our shut-ins following the worship service on Easter Sunday, April 1.  The cost of plants is $20.00 each. All orders are due by Palm Sunday, March 25. Please fill out this form to order.
Refugee Immigration Ministry Update
Two Clients Move to Independence and the Cluster Plans for New Clients

Our church continues to participate in the Metro North Cluster of RIM, which currently has two clients. The client from Honduras has moved to full financial independence; however, the cluster will continue to provide community support for her as needed. The client from Egypt (and his family) will move to financial independence by the end of April. Read more...
Mission Trip to Puerto Rico 
August 4-10, Deadline to sign up is March 1


Our church community is planning a mission trip to Puerto Rico this summer to help in the rebuilding effort. We've had a great response already and we welcome you to join us. Read more...

2018 Budget Passed
The Leadership Team would like to thank the congregation for passing the 2018 budget on Sunday, and for bringing such insightful questions to the Budget Q&A the previous week. The budget process was a thoughtful, thorough one that involved the efforts of many people.  Read more...
Can You Serve on the Leadership Team or as Assistant Moderator?
We are looking for two new people to serve on the Leadership Team of our church. We need some creative and committed folks to help us think strategically about our church, its direction, and how we can be ever more faithful in our spiritual growth, care for one another, and service to the world.

We are also looking to find an Assistant Moderator. This is a new position that involves working with our current Moderator, Penny Sparrow, for a year to take on the Church Moderator role after Penny's term ends. Please give some thought and prayer to whether God might be calling you to deeper involvement in either of these ways. Reach out to Rev. Judy Arnold, Christine Tresselt, and Peter Woolford for more information. We will gratefully receive any and all volunteers and then based upon the make-up of the Leadership Team we will discern who would best compliment the current configuration of members.
Going Clear:  Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief 
February 25, 7-9 PM

Enjoy decaf tea, coffee, dessert and the company of women as this month we discuss   Going Clear  by Lawrence Wright.  Brilliantly researched, compellingly written,  Going Clear  pulls back the curtain on one of the most secretive organizations at work today, the Church of Scientology. All women of the church are welcome, whether or not you have read the book! Read more...
letstalkaboutitHEALTH MINISTRY
Let's Talk About It: A Conversation About Mental Health
March 22, 2018, 6 PM

Join State Representative Michael Day and Dr. Kenneth Mitchell of the Department of Mental Health, for agency presentations on children and family services, substance use and addiction, and accessing emergency services. Read more...
Civility Workshop
April 28, 2018 8:30 AM - Noon, Tucker & Palmer Rooms 

Save the Date! Join us for a spirited discussion and workshop around civility. Using conversational techniques such as the "Reverse Debate Club" and material from a "Can We Talk?" curriculum, we will explore interactive methods to carry out and model civil discourse in today's society. Breakfast will be provided. 
In Memoriam

David Mortensen died on December 4, 2017
Emilija Richardson died on January 11, 2018
Opportunities to Serve
How Can You Help?
EventsatGlanceLent & Easter Events at a Glance

Ashes & Grounds at MBTA Train Station Feb 14, 6:30 AM
Ash Wednesday Service Feb 14, 7:00 PM
Dwelling Place Serving Opportunity Feb. 17, 5 PM
Middle School Mission Trip Feb. 18-23
Tuesdays with Jesus Feb. 20 and 27, 6:30 PM
Ruth Group Feb 25, 7 PM

Men's Group Mar 4, 7:15 PM
Habitat Work Day Mar 10, 7:45 AM
Talent Show Mar 16, 6-8:30 PM
Dwelling Place Serving Opportunity
Mar 17, 5 PM
Health Ministry Sunday & Visitation Mar 18, 10 AM
Ruth Group Mar 18, 7 PM
Let's Talk About It Mental Health Conversation Mar 22, 6 PM
Blessing of the Palms on the Common Mar 25, 9:30 AM
Palm Sunday Worship Mar 25, 10 AM
Maundy Thursday Service  Mar 29, 7:30 PM
Maundy Thursday Overnight Vigil Mar 29, 9 PM
Bagels & Bunnies Egg Hunt Mar 31, 9:30 AM

Sunrise Yoga in the Barn at Wright-Locke Farm
Apr 1, 5:30 AM
Easter Sunrise Service at Wright-Locke Farm Apr 1, 6:15 AM
Easter Worship Apr 1, 9 & 11 AM

Times and dates are subject to change. For a complete listing of upcoming events, check out the Church Calendar.

Please email the office or call if something needs to be added to the calendar, or if you need the password to view private events on the online calendar.
What's Your Team Up To?

The Spire is published seasonally, six times per year: Fall (Sept-Nov), Advent/Christmas (Dec), Winter (Jan-Feb), Lent/Easter (Mar-Apr), Spring (May-June) and Summer (July-Aug). Content for the next issue is due April 5.

The Spire recently changed to focus primarily on  ministries updates and seasonal spiritual content . Please send your team updates to  Nancy Kneiss . The due dates for submissions can be found here . Please note that content may be gently edited for length and clarity, and will appear on our website.  Upcoming events and weekly email blast requests should be sent to Sarah Marino , our Office Manager, at by Thursday at 9:00 AM. Thank you!

-Nancy Kneiss, Editor