Welcome Back!

September 2017   | Volume 64, No. 8
News from First Congregational Church in Winchester, UCC
In This Issue

Ministries Updates

Small Group Opportunities

We Need You!
reformation500th Anniversary of the Reformation

Do you know why we only take communion once a month instead of weekly? Do you know why we have crosses in our churches and not crucifixes?  October 31  marks the 500 th  anniversary of when Martin Luther nailed his 95 thesis on the door of Castle Church and ignited the Protestant Reformation. So much of who we are as a church can be traced back to our Reformation roots. Read more on how we'll mark the occasion...
ripleyBringing The Contemplative Summer Season Indoors: The Ripley Chapel Renovation Has the Power To Do It!

As we move back into the Fall schedule, what would it be like to bring some of the summer qualities of contemplation and Spirit inside with us? Ripley Chapel will be transformed into a flexible, sacred space that can be used for both traditional worship and also innovative and creative experiences. We will invite the Summer energy we feel so strongly into our lives year round, as beauty that feeds the soul. Can you help? Read more on the plans for Ripley and our end of September fundraising date...
picnic blanket
picnicWelcoming Picnic
Sunday Sept. 10 11:30 AM

Join us as we celebrate the beginning of a new program year with a picnic after worship. Joan Theuer has graciously agreed to shepherd it, as she did in the Spring. But she cannot do it all. The help she needs includes:
  • cutting watermelons before picnic
  • homemade cupcakes and cookies (NUT FREE)
  • potato salad, macaroni salad, cole slaw
  • set up help before worship
  • Youth to help carry things out and then back in
  • Lemonade and/or some other beverages
If you can do one of these small tasks, please let Joan or Judy know. Your presence is the most important part - bring a blanket!
youthStepping Stones and Upcoming Youth Events
Sunday Classes Start September 10

Fall is here! You know what that means...the routine is back! Our youth program has a lot of new happenings this year, and we hope your family will connect to as many activities as it can. Our overarching theme for this year is "Listening to God's Call." Read more about fall classes and events...

A sampling of upcoming events includes:
  • Sunday classes for Pre-K through 12 starts Sept. 10
  • New! Children's Chapel Services: 1st Sunday of the month
  • Boda Borg: Sept 24
  • Horn Pond Sunrise Hike: Sept 30 and Oct 28
  • Forum Begins Oct 1
  • New! Middle School Youth Group afterschool gathering Wednesdays, 2:30-4 PM
Upcoming Events
moviesMovie on the Lawn: Trolls
Friday, September 8 at 7 PM

Join us with your family for popcorn and a movie on the lawn with our giant 12-foot screen as we watch Trolls. Bring lawn chairs and blankets, snacks, dinner, and friends!
hornpondreflectFellowship Tea: Reflections of Horn Pond
Sunday, October 29, 2 PM 

Join Health Ministry for our  Fall Fellowship Program and Reception. The Afternoon Program and Reception is open to the wider community.  Meet video producer Philip Valende, and experience a visual story of a small pond, its flora, wildlife and changing seasons.
CPRAmerican Red Cross Lay Responder Class
Adult/Child CPR, AED & First Aid Certification
Saturday, September 30th 3-7 PM,  Bike Room (Nursery)

Teen and adult participants are welcome both from our church and the wider community. The cost is $59/person. Wear comfortable clothing and bring a snack. Class participants will take part in a return demonstration, but no written test is required. The class will include demonstration of the EpiPen. Certification cards will be awarded to those who attend the entire class. Registration is required by 9/24 To register, email Kathleen Zagata or  Ben Pulaski The fee is waived for nursery, church school & youth teachers, staff and volunteers but you will still need to pre-register.
NAMINAMI Family to Family
August 30-November 15, 7-9:30 PM, Tucker Room

Health Ministry is hosting a National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI) Family to Family Education Program. This 12-week course for family and caregivers of individuals with mental illnesses is open to church members and the wider community. Read more...
progdinnerChurch Progressive Dinner
SAVE THE DATE: Saturday, November 4,  5-10PM

It's back! Fun, Festive, Fellowship...at the Church Progressive Dinner. More details to come!

calendarChurch Calendar

The Ministry Team has planned the coming year and filled up the Calendar with worship, fellowship, and meetings! We hope you check it out and let Sarah know if something is missing. It makes all of our ministries easier if rooms are booked and publicized in advance.   Take a look at the online church calendar.
For Your Contemplation
Our Spiritual Compass

We seem to be in a time when the moral compass of leadership in this country is at times spinning like a top. And yet Jesus gave us a compass in which God is our "true North." God gives us orienting points to guide us. Here are a few for us to remember...
renoWelcome Home!  

The Reno Garden invites you to check out our newly refreshed garden pathways and see what the summer rains have wrought. Never has the garden looked so lush! To honor a loved one, the Garden still has a Sweet Gum tree available for dedication. For information please contact the Reno Garden Committee or the church office.
Ministries Updates
RIMSupporting Asylum Seekers through RIM (Refugee Immigration Ministry)

Immigration has long been a central concern for Bruce and Linda Alexander. Linda worked as an ESOL teacher and Bruce joined her in the classroom to help students with computer skills. Now that they are both retired, they decided to search for a way to help our immigrant neighbors. Come learn about how we can help support refugees right here in our community...
treelightingWill there be a Tree Lighting Community Supper this year?

Last year there was no "Bean Supper" and some of us were not happy about that! Now is our chance to get the ball rolling to make it happen this year. What we need right now is some leadership. Could you either take on the role yourself, or to be part of a small group who will make it happen? This is a great opportunity to reach out and welcome our neighbors into the building, giving them a glimpse of our active, welcoming community. If you think you could help, please contact Penny Sparrow from the Leadership Team or Rev. Will. And thank you!
grantsOutreach Grants
Grant Proposal Deadline is October 1

One of the ways the Outreach and Mission Ministry serves the congregation is in supporting organizations that provide help and guidance for those who are struggling. The form of help ranges from the basic necessities of life --food and shelter and safety-- to aiding individuals taking their first steps into independence. Outreach uses a Grant Program to decide on organizations and the level of support. The Grant Request Form will be available on our web page (currently under construction - but please check back in early September).
Small Group Opportunities
mensgroupMen's Group 
Sunday, September 10, 7:15-9 PM, Palmer Room

Join us in the Palmer Room for conversation!
ruthRuth Group
September 17, 7:00 PM

The September meeting of the Ruth Group, a book group for women, will be held at the home of Sarah Gallop, 25 Grayson Road. We will discuss  The Muralist by B.A. Shapiro. New participants are always welcome! 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!
convoprojectThe Conversation Project
Sunday, September 24
The Adult Faith Exploration Ministry will conclude our series on talking about death this Fall with The Conversation Project. This series began in 2016 with a video and discussion about Atul Gawande's book, Being Mortal, which encouraged people to think about treatment and at what point it interferes with those things that give our lives meaning and joy. This past year we held  Death Over Dinner, which provided several ways of grappling with death - our own and that of our loved ones. The Conversation Project helps participants think about specifics regarding their own death. It gives participants language to convey these thoughts to their community, and provides links to documents that record our wishes for when decisions need to be made.  
wedbibleSecond Wednesday Bible Study
September 13, 7:00-8:30 PM, Health Ministry Office

Join us as we read, learn about and discuss scripture. There is a wide range of knowledge of the Bible in the room, but all of us are eager to know more and to find ways to relate these ancient texts to our lives. Lately, we have been taking a book or a theme in the Bible and carrying it over from month to month. We've been studying some of Paul's letters. This year we will be reading 1 Corinthians - and, in honor of the 500 year anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, looking for a connection between Paul's writing and the Reformation. Contact Rev. Judy with questions. 
We Need You!
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
A Summary of How You Can Help!
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 October issue, please submit by September 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