Dear Friends,

In a few weeks we will see another transition in our church's office, as Melissa Adam will be leaving us to take a "dream job" at Twin Lakes Farm. I was heartily sorry to get this news - and am sure that all who have had the pleasure of interacting with Melissa will be sorry, as well. She has served our church with grace and professionalism for eight years. Her wide-ranging skills and her caring presence have made her an invaluable colleague.

We've had a full share of changes lately (and my own position as Designated-term Pastor is transitional, as well). In my experience of church life, we tend to value tradition and look at change as, at best, an occasionally necessary nuisance. So this week, after my first reaction of sorrow, I am choosing to think with appreciation about the splendid opportunity that Melissa is heading towards. I'm thinking about her professional life growing in new ways, and am happy for her. I'm thinking about the opportunities that will open for us, as we search for office staff and ultimately form a relationship with a new colleague. Most of all, I'm thinking about gospel passages that we've read recently when Jesus called people to follow him - and they embraced extraordinary changes in order to become the people God made them to be.

In the coming days I will consult with the church officers and Board of Trustees, and post job descriptions in local newspapers and online sites. If you are aware of someone who would like to bring their administrative skills or their bookkeeping skills to the church, please let me know.

Melissa wrote a message to all of us (see below). Please join me in wishing her a good transition and new, wonderful experiences in her new job.

Pastor John

Dear beloved members and friends of the congregation,

It is indeed bittersweet to let you know I have been presented with, and accepted, a new professional opportunity and will be leaving my post at Salisbury UCC. I have had eight wonderful years here, have learned much, grown in my own faith, and am thankful to have had the opportunity to get to know so many of you. It has been a privilege and an honor to serve you and be a part of your lives. I understand the timing of such news may be difficult for some, as SCC has undergone much change in the last months, but I also know this to be a devoted, resilient and steadfast congregation, which will ride the winds of change with grace as God reveals a new path. Blessings on your all.

With peace and gratitude,
Worship Notes

This Sixth Sunday after Epiphany, February 12, Pastor John's sermon is titled "Holy Options ." Readings: Matthew 5:21-30, 37; Deuteronomy 30:15-20

As February is Black History Month, we are including spirituals from the African-American church tradition in our services - one small way to remember the insight and power of our neighbors' language of faith. This Sunday we'll sing Doris Akers' "Lead Me, Guide Me" as a prayer response and " Just a Closer Walk with Thee" as the middle hymn.

In coming weeks we will draw on a fine collection of resources for the month assembled by the UCC, which you can view by clicking here.
From Barbara Collins,
Director of Religious Education
Family faith talk opportunity:
Name a place where you feel close to God.
Scripture tells us that God is with us always whether it be in the quiet stillness of the night or in the middle of a boisterous family celebration, in a Beethoven symphony or in a rip-roaring thunderstorm, in Sunday worship or in a contentious meeting, stuck in gridlock traffic or holding a sleeping child. I have a particular favorite God spot on Salmon Kill Road, one that I pass several times a week. Whatever the weather, whatever the season, whatever my mood, whether I’m alone or with someone else, I almost always say or think, “Beautiful! Well done, God. There is no doubt that you are great. Thanks! You just made my day.” That place is holy ground for me. It helps center me and it reminds me to draw near to God. 
You Are Invited
The Deacons' Lenten Dinners are a gift for all--a gift of a meal prepared with love; a gift of coming together to talk, share, and laugh; a gift of time out of our everyday routines so we can reflect on all that we have in common.

Please come! Take a break! Enjoy Community!

All are welcome--congregation members, their families and friends. We will be serving a simple meal of hearty soup, salad, bread, and dessert made and served by the Deacons and other volunteers. All you need to do is show up with your appetite.

Please indicate the names of all attendees, any dietary restrictions and ages of children you are bringing. Dinners will be limited to 21 attendees per week.

Do You Have a Copy?
In an ongoing effort to organize records in the church office, it has been discovered that we do not have copies of some Annual Reports from years past. We're asking anyone who has a hard copy or electronic copy of old annual reports (2014 and older) to please get in touch with Melissa in the church office so she can scan and/or save a copy for our records.
Deacon's Message for February ~ submitted by Cynthia LaPier

February is Black History Month. It is a time when we seek to celebrate the central role of Black Americans in US history, and to acknowledge a powerful history of overcoming suffering and injustice.
Registration for Silver Lake Summer Camp is Open
If you plan to attend Silver Lake Summer Camp and would like a campership, please let us know before registering so we can make the financial arrangements! Contact Melissa Adam in the church office ( melissa@salisburyucc.org; 860-435-2442). Questions? please contact Pastor John ( jnelson@salisburyucc.org; 860-435-2442).
Women's Bible Study meets on Thursdays at 3:30pm in the Parish Hall Library.

Men's Bible Study meets on Fridays at 7:45am in the Parish Hall.

All are welcome! If you are interested in participating in either Bible Study, please contact Pastor John.
Coffee Hour Sign Up

If you'd like to help with coffee hour, please contact Cynthia Lapier, cynthia.lapier@gmail.com.

Click above to access our secure site
From Center Congregational Church, Torrington
From Women's Support Sevices
From Friends in Service to Humanity of NW CT
From NOURish Bridgeport
For Pastoral Emergencies
For pastoral emergencies, Pastor John can be reached in the church office (860-435-2442, ext. 101), on his mobile (508-479-0724), or by email ( jnelson@salisburyucc.org).
Church Office Hours
Pastor John Nelson keeps office hours on Tuesday - Friday. He can be reached at (860) 435-2442 ext. 101, by email ( jnelson@salisburyucc.org), or by mobile phone (508-479-0724).

Melissa Adam, Office Administrator, is in the office Monday-Friday from 9:00-4:00. Her email is: melissa@salisburyucc.org.
The Congregational Church of Salisbury, United Church of Christ
125 Main Street, PO Box 392, Salisbury, CT 06068
 Phone (860) 435-2442 
 email: salisburyucc@gmail.com