Happy New Year!
Ministry Headlines

First Congregational Church in Winchester, UCC
Winter 2019 Vol. 66, No. 1
In This Issue
Spiritual Reflections
A Child, Nurtured By Men
Seasons of the Spirit: Identity-An Epiphany Exploration

Ministry Updates
Ripley Chapel Working Group
Leadership Team
Health Ministry
Adult Faith Exploration
Ruth Group
Men's Group

Opportunities to Serve

Winter Events at a Glance
Spiritual Reflections
A Child, Nurtured by Men
At Christmas, we sing many hymns that lift up Mary and her faithful obedience to God’s instructions. Joseph is rarely mentioned. Yet in our Christmas Eve pageant this year, Joseph stood out. Read more...
Identity: An Epiphany Exploration
What was your last epiphany? Was it energizing and exciting? Or was it challenging and disconcerting? The word “epiphany” means “manifestation, realization, or disclosure” revealing the essential nature of something that was previously hidden or unexplored by us. Read more...
Ministry Updates
Epiphany Celebration
January 6, 5:00 PM
Most people know that the Wise Men brought gifts to the Christ Child. What you may not know is that those gifts were given not on Christmas Day, but on Epiphany. We celebrate Epiphany with a potluck dinner, a special dessert, and a flashlight procession through a darkened church in search of the the baby Jesus. Read more about this fun and family-friendly event...
Renovation Q&A and Approval
January 6 & 13
As the new year begins we will be moving quickly towards beginning the renovations of Ripley Chapel! There will be an opportunity to gather after worship on January 6 for a question and answer session about the process. On January 13 the Ripley Chapel Working Group will request formal approval from the congregation to proceed with the chosen General Contractor. Please join us with any questions or concerns you may have. Read more...
Budget Hearing and Congregational Vote
February 3 & 10, after Worship
The congregation is invited to a budget hearing on February 3, following the worship service, to be followed, a week later, on Sunday February 10, by a congregational meeting to vote for the 2019 budget. We hope you will be able to be there. Read more on the budget process this year...
Set Your Intent for a Contemplative New Year
Come and find the quiet center
in the crowded life we lead,
find the room for hope to enter,
find the frame where we are freed:
clear the chaos and the clutter,
clear our eyes, that we can see
all the things that really matter, 
be at peace, and simply be.
—From the hymn Come and Find The Quiet Center

Centering Prayer 
Jan 27, Feb 24, Mar 24, 9:15 AM, Palmer Room

A guided centering prayer session will be offered before worship on the fourth Sunday of the month. This guided session is open to those new and experienced in Centering Prayer. Childcare is available.  

Save the Date
May 16 eve & May 17

Contemplative Retreat in Nature lead by Mark Kutolowski
Saturday Program held at the Church of the Woods, Canterbury, NH
Financial Peace University
Beginning January 16, 7-8:30 PM
FCC is hosting Financial Peace University (FPU) for church members and the broader community. FPU is a 9-week personal finance class that shows you how to take control of your money, get out of debt, and create a wealth-building plan for your future. Read more...
“Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” Screening
February 10, 4–6 PM
Come join us over popcorn on a wintry Sunday afternoon to watch this recent and very poignant, 94-minute documentary about Fred Rogers and his long-running show, Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood.  Read more...
Islam: The First Steps
March 3, 11:30 AM (after Worship)
The Adult Faith Exploration Ministry will begin a series about the three religions that share Abraham as an ancestor—Christianity, Judaism and Islam. We begin with an introduction to Islam through video addressing history, beliefs and practices. Read more...
January & February Book Selections
Jan 13 and Feb 24, 3-5 PM
Susan Sawyer will host us in January when we will discuss When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times   by Pema Chödrön. In February we will discuss The History of Love by Nicole Kraus, with Carole Cooke as our host. All women are invited to attend. If in need of a ride, please contact Maryann McCall-Taylor or Kaye Nash. Learn more about Ruth Group...
Men's Group
January 13, 7-9 PM, 4 Heritage Drive, Woburn
All FCC men and their guests are welcome to join us at the Rahmeier home. We discuss matters that are personal and spiritual. Pot-luck beverages or snacks are welcome but not expected. Questions to chris.noble@yahoo.com .
Opportunities to Serve
Winter Events at a Glance

Jan 6

Jan 9
Bible Study

Jan 13
Men's Group
Interfaith Youth Experience at Islamic Center of Boston

Jan 16

Jan 19

Jan 23

Jan 25-27
Youth Ski Weekend

Jan 27
Centering Prayer

Jan 30
Men's Coffee

Feb 2

Feb 3

Feb 6

Feb 10

Feb 13

Feb 16

Feb 20

Feb 24
Centering Prayer

Feb 27


Mar 1
Talent Show!

Mar 3

Mar 6
Ashes & Grounds at the MBTA Station
Ash Wednesday Service

Mar 16

Mar 24
Centering Prayer
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).  Due dates for submissions can be found here.

The Spire features ministries updates and seasonal spiritual content. Please send your team updates to  Nancy Kneiss . 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