Welcome to the May Spire!

May 2017   | Volume 64, No. 5
News from First Congregational Church in Winchester, UCC
In This Issue

Upcoming Events

Ministry Updates

Small Group Opportunities

We Need You!
Practicing Resurrection
We are in the season of Eastertide--the fifty days between Easter Sunday and Pentecost. The unspeakable joy of Eastertide is meant to infuse our whole beings. But we may need time to catch our breath, to find our words, to discover our part, and to claim our courage as we dare to acknowledge that new life is showing itself to us in ways that we at times hardly recognize. Read more...
annualmtg177th Annual Meeting
Sunday May 7, 11:30 AM-1:30 PM

The Annual Meeting is for everyone! Please plan to attend our annual gathering of the entire congregation. Enjoy a light lunch and engage in meaningful conversations around a table with your fellow congregants in Chidley Hall immediately after worship. Read more...
cantataCantata Sunday: The Wound in the Water
May 21, 2017, 10:00 AM Worship

Please join us for a  very  special musical and spiritual offering: Kim AndrĂ© Arnesen's  The Wound in the Water.  This new cantata  develops the theme of Mammon, the traditional symbol of the love of greed and money.  We will   explore this complex theme by singing of our exile and the wounding of our world, of the beauty of the earth, and of the struggle of profoundly divided humanity towards a shared song. The choir is working tirelessly to bring this enduringly beautiful and prayerful piece to life. We will be joined by Jeffrey Mead at the piano and a nine-piece string orchestra of truly inspired and talented players.  Learn more about the music...
Upcoming Events
confirmationConfirmation Sunday
Sunday, May 14
Join our Senior High youth as they confirm their faith and join the church. Rev. Will, Rev. Judy and Ben have been walking the youth through a confirmation class over the last two months, and it will culminate with a ceremony during worship for those youth interested in joining.  We hope you will join us for this special worship service!
Tuesdays with Jesus
tuesdaysjesusTuesdays with Jesus
Jesus and Welcoming Refugees
Tuesday, May 16, 6:30-8 PM, Palmer and Tucker Rooms
Join us for the last Tuesdays with Jesus of the Lent/Easter season. We will begin with 20 minutes of Centering Prayer/Meditation and then have soup together while Deirdre Giblin presents on Jesus and Welcoming Refugees.
teaHealth Ministry Fellowship Tea 
An Afternoon of Fellowship, Music and Refreshment
Wednesday, May 31, 2 PM,  Palmer Room
The Health Ministry hosts the Fellowship Tea for our church seniors, their families, and friends. We will gather in the Palmer Room for tea and fellowship. If the weather cooperates, we plan to conclude with a visit to the Reno Garden.  RSVP to 781-729-9180 ext. 106.  Rides are available on request by Sunday, May 28.
salamScreening of Salam Neighbor
Wednesday, May 3, 7-9 PM 
Winchester High School
Salam Neighbor is an award-winning film and campaign to connect the world to refugees. The powerful documentary, produced in 2016, follows the plight of Syrian refugees in Jordan's Za'atari refugee camp through the journey of two filmmakers living inside the camp.
A post-screening dialogue will be led by our very own Deirdre Giblin, Asylum Lawyer with Community Legal Services and Counseling Center, along with Aba Taylor, Executive Director of the Winchester Multicultural Network and Dr. Omar Salem, Chairman of the Karam Foundation.   Read more about the film here.
calendarChurch Calendar

When was that meeting again? Want to know what's going on, on any given day at the church? Take a look at the online church calendar.
Ministries Updates
easterofferingEaster Offering Update

Thanks to your help, $4090 in Easter offerings will benefit this year's Easter Recipient, the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition (MIRA). MIRA supports refugees who have arrived in Massachusetts and are in the process of resettling by promoting legislation that protects and provides for refugees and immigrants. Their partner organizations assist new refugees with food, housing, language and jobs, as well as trauma and cultural assistance. Thank you for making a difference in our community!

buildingleadershipBuilding Up with the Leadership Team
We all have important roles to fulfill as we look to build up our church body and consider altering the physical walls of church. The Leadership Team supports the good work of the Ripley Chapel and Fisk Organ Working Group, as they prepare to share several different options to renew and rethink Ripley's place in our spiritual life. As our contribution, the Leadership Team has spent the past few months building a long-term financial model that will help us understand how various internal and external variables may affect our financial health for years to come. Read more...

missiontripMiddle School Mission Trip a Success!

Congratulations to the middle school youth, who participated in their first-ever mission trip! They traveled to Philadelphia to work with The Philadelphia Project. While there, they repaired housing for the elderly and helped out at an after-school program. Thank you to all who made it possible!
signsSigns of the Times!

Sometimes guests, visitors, and newcomers to our church have a hard time finding their way through our lovely but labyrinthine church building. So your commissioned Signage Team is working to make our building more accessible and understandable to our guests, "welcoming all with joy" and with directions! Read more...
Small Group Opportunities
mensgroupMen's Group 
Sunday May 7,  7:15-9 PM, Palmer Room

All men of the church and their guests are welcome. We discuss matters that are personal and spiritual. This month's theme is "How I try to be a Christian." Read how former President Jimmy Carter responded to this question.  Potluck beverages or snacks are welcome but not expected.  Questions? Contact Chris Noble
ruthRuth Group
Sunday, May 21, 7 PM

The May meeting of the Ruth Group will be held at the home of Joyce Mills, 5 Vine Brook Way, Woburn. We will be discussing Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates. All women of the church are welcome.  For more information or transportation please email Joyce Mills or call her at 617-835-4692 .

biblestudySecond Wednesday Bible Study
May 10, 7-8:30 PM, Health Ministry Office
We are reading through some of the letters of Paul. We started with Galatians and are now on Colossians, where the new church is trying to figure out what rituals are appropriate for worship--some were holdovers from their former Jewish lives and hard to let go of. This is new territory for most of us and at a level everyone would be able to participate in. Each month's gathering is self-contained so come when you can. Last month we had an interesting conversation about the role obedience plays in Christian Life. Come join us!
We Need You!
habitatHabitat For Humanity Work Day
Saturday, May 6

Please join us for a build day at our site in Lawrence. All adults and youth age 16 and up are welcome. Please contact  Doug Taylor  at 617-448-8327 (cell) or  Andrew Beltz  at 781-835-7403 for more info.
callingmusiciansCalling All Musicians!
July 2-September 3

Can you lend your talents to one of our summer services? Jane is currently seeking volunteers to contribute to our rich, unique services, which are led by our lay congregational community. Keyboards, guitars, vocalists, and any instruments will do! A sign-up sheet will be available outside the Music Room. Thank you in advance for your talents and look for more details in upcoming emails. Contact Jane for more info. 
WagonLittle Red Wagon
Please help fill up our Little Red Wagon. Nonperishable food can be left in the wagons in the church lobby or at the back of the sanctuary. Food is delivered to the Woburn Council of Social Concern. Items needed are: Baked Beans, Canned Fruit & Vegetables, Canned Lunch (Spaghettios, etc.), Canned Meat (stew, Spam, chili, etc.), Cereal (hot and cold), Condiments, Juice, Pasta Peanut Butter, Rice/Rice Mixes, Soup, Snacks (cookies, crackers, etc.), Spaghetti Sauce, Sugar-free, Low-sodium & Fat-free Foods, Tuna.
Something to share?

Congrats, you made it ALL the way to the end of the newsletter! Please send submissions to newsletter@fcc-winchester.org by the 20th of each month. For example, to include an article in the June issue, please submit by May 20. Please note that submissions may be gently edited for length and clarity, and will appear on our website. Bulletin and email blast requests should be sent to Sarah Marino, our Office Manager, at first.congregational@verizon.net by Thursday at 9:00 AM.

-Nancy Kneiss, Editor