November already?

November 2017   | Volume 64, No. 10
News from First Congregational Church in Winchester, UCC
In This Issue

Ministries Updates

For Your Contemplation

Small Group Opportunities

We Need You!
Gratitude for Reformers in our Midst

There are always people who come before us who forge a path which shapes, reforms, our world. And while for us Protestants, these Reformation figures are key, I find my gratitude centering more on the fact of them than on the content. Read more about reformers among us...
Bean Soup Community Supper
Thursday, November 30, 5:00-7:00

It's the new and improved Bean Supper, now called the Bean SOUP Supper! It's healthy and simple and a completely free gift from us to the wider community. We'll welcome folks into Chidley Hall on the town Tree Lighting Night and offer three delicious soups (meat, vegan, gluten-free), bread, cider and cookies. We hope you will bring your families and tell your friends that "soups on!" at First Congregational on November 30. We have an energetic organizing crew and soon to come (of course) will be sign-up opportunities for those of you who are able and available to help. Join us!
ripleyWith Gratitude: Ripley Chapel Update

We move into something new and we become new. Over the last year our congregation has joined in the vision of Rev. Jena Roy and engaged in the renovation and rejuvenation of The Ripley Chapel and the sanctuary's Fisk Organ. Whether you prayed about it, questioned it, went to a meeting to hear about it, worked on the committee, donated generously or have paused in wonder to consider its potential, you have contributed, and we are grateful. Discover how much we raised together and our shared plan to move forward...
Upcoming Events
Finding your Way This Advent Season
Monday, December 4, 7:00 PM

Mary, Joseph, shepherds, and the Wise Women traveled far and wide to receive the blessing and to bring the news to the world! Travel around the church building with us as we find our way into Advent together. All women of the Church are invited to an evening of centering, prayer and fellowship.
Save the Date: Introduction to the Bible
Monday Evenings, January 8 - February 12

The Bible. Just hearing the word makes some people sing and other people cringe. Perhaps you feel you don't know enough about the Bible to attend a Bible study. Well, this Introduction to the Bible series is made exactly for you. This small group study series will help you explore some of the best-known Bible passages, discover some of the many ways that they can be interpreted, and learn your way around the wonderful, baffling, beautiful, unsettling book called the Bible.

· Session 1: Orientation to the Bible
· Session 2: Choosing a Bible
· Session 3: Overview of the Old testament
· Session 4: Overview of the New Testament
· Session 5: The Bible and It's Authority
· Session 6: Archaeology and the Bible

There are many places to start a faith journey - an introduction to the Bible, in community with other curious novices, can be one of them. Save the dates!
retreatLenten Weekend Retreat
March 9, 10, 11, 2018

Experience the healing power of centering prayer, silence and time away from our busy routines. Mark Kutolowski will lead us in centering prayer at an oceanfront retreat center in Biddeford, Maine. Registration is due by December 1. Cost is $225 per person. Scholarships available. Sponsored by Health Ministry.  Additional information and registration forms will be available at the November Coffee Hours and by emailing Kathleen
calendarChurch Calendar

Our Church Calendar is filling up quickly-- A wedding and a graduation party are already booked for June 2018! With the installation of our new security and alarm systems, its very important that our staff knows what events are happening inside our church. We hope you check it out and let Sarah know if something is missing.
Ministries Updates
youthStepping Stones and Upcoming Youth Events

Save the Dates:
11/4-5/17  High School Overnight
1/19/18 - 1/21/18  Youth Ski Trip (6th-12th)
2/17/18 - 2/24/18  High School Mission Trip to Philadelphia
4/14/18 - 4/20/18  Middle School Mission Trip to Philadelphia.
5/19/18 - 5/20/18  Youth Overnight
6/25/18 - 6/30/18  Youth Week at Ghost Ranch in New Mexico

Frozen Turkeys Needed by November 19
Once again we are collecting frozen turkeys to bring to the Pilgrim Church shelter in Dorchester. If you can help, please bring in a frozen turkey and leave it in the Chidley Hall kitchen freezer by November 19. Thank you! Read more...
Planning for the End of the Organizational Transition

We continue to move forward living into the final stages of the transition period of the new church structure approved by the congregation in 2015. Learn more about how the new structure is working...

LTUpdate2Leadership Team October Update

The Leadership Team opened our latest meeting by practicing some techniques for reading and interpreting Bible verses as prescribed by Martin Luther. It was an excellent way to both reflect on our study of the Reformation, and prepare for discernment around happenings in our church.  Learn more about the fall pledge campaign, budgeting, event leadership, and more...
minroster2017-18 Ministries Roster

Who's on what ministry? Who do I contact with question about (fill in the blank)? Find out who's serving where at our updated Ministries Roster for the coming church year.
For Your Contemplation
Pondering Thanksgiving: Gratitude As A Spiritual Practice

November ushers us into the season of Thanksgiving. Our Puritan forbearers established here in New England the ritual of giving thanks in recognition that all things come from our Creator. A humble act of thankful prayer was foundational in their life together as they faced the extreme difficulties of their daily endeavors. Gratitude is a choice. Read more...
Deep Roots, New Branches
We hope you received the Stewardship booklet in the mail for our 2018 pledge drive. Please consider what you can pledge to give in the coming year to sustain and grow our ministries as a church. During the Sundays of the drive we are hearing from people of the church who make giving a priority--and it's inspiring to hear why they do! Read how money is just paper and faith in Aaron Kneiss' stewardship moment from our October 29 service.
Fall in the Reno Garden

We've been buttoning up the Garden for another season including planting for next spring and beyond. Twelve flats of pachysandra have been planted on the uphill bank and at least a 100 bulbs of white narcissus and daffodils have found homes here and there. 

This is also a good time of year to give thanks for our lovely garden and all who watch over and care for it. We are thankful for the trees and shrubs, for the benches for sitting and being still, for the fountain and garden pathways, and for a place of respite and final resting. We give thanks for the crew that plants and tidies the Garden and especially for our sexton, Tyler who always lends a helping hand; and we are thankful for all our guardian angels who have contributed with donations and labors of love.
Small Group Opportunities
mensgroupMen's Group 
Sunday, November 5, 7-9 PM,
The Rahmeier's House, 4 Heritage Drive, Woburn

All FCC men and their guests are welcome. We discuss matters that are personal and spiritual. Our theme this month is "Do we know what we want?" Pot-luck beverages or snacks are welcome but not expected.  Questions? Contact Chris Noble
ruthRuth Group
November 19, 2017 7-9 PM
Home of Kaye Nash, 10 Graystone Circle, Winchester

Join us for our November meeting! We will be reading and discussing The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead. Parking is tight near Kaye's house so please try to car pool. You are welcome whether or not you have read the book and new participants are always welcome. Decaf coffee & tea and simple desserts are offered by the host. We plan to read these books in the upcoming year . For further information or transportation contact  Kaye Nash  or  Anne Hoenicke.   Curious about Ruth Group? Read on!
Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? and Other Conversations About Race
Sunday, November 5, 4:00-5:30 PM
Winchester Unitarian Church, 478 Main Street

The Racial Justice Team at the Winchester Unitarian Church will host a community discussion of Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together In The Cafeteria? First published in 1997, the book changed the conversation about race and racism in our country. Now, 20 years later, an updated version is a "must read." Refreshments are available at 3:30 and all are welcome. Co-sponsored by the Winchester Multicultural Network. Contact Sandy Thompson for more info.
We Need You!
habitatHabitat for Humanity Work Day
Saturday, November 18, Lawrence

Interested adults and youth 16 and up please contact Andrew Beltz or Doug Taylor at 781-729-6258.
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
How Can You Help?
Something to share?

Congrats, you made it ALL the way to the end of the newsletter! Please send submissions to by the 20th of each month. For example, to include an article in the December issue, please submit by November 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 by Thursday at 9:00 AM.

-Nancy Kneiss, Editor