Ministry Headlines 
First Congregational Church in Winchester, UCC  |   Winter 2018
In This Issue

Spiritual Reflections
Instruction for Hope in Troubled Times
I was drawn to Haskins' poem, God Knows, because like Psalm 46 it speaks of stilling the heart, accepting our veiled human vision and resting in God's comprehension. Like the Psalm, the instructions are based on unshakable truths and practice. Read more...
The Light of Epiphany

January 6 marks the beginning of our church season of Epiphany. "Epiphany" means "manifestation, disclosure, revelation." Spiritually, this season invites us to let go of some of our old ways of being and allow "new light" to enter our lives.  Read more...
Join the Wise Men in Searching for the Baby Jesus

Most people know that the Wise Men brought to the Christ Child. What you might not know is that those gifts were given, not on Christmas Day, but on Epiphany. Join us for a potluck meal as we search for the Baby Jesus in our church. Read more...
Ministries Updates
Metta Partners in Myanmar Update

This year, instead of traveling to Myanmar, as I (Jane) have for the last five years, I have the privilege of seeing you at church and in worship. After much deliberation and for personal reasons, I decided to forgo my annual mission trip, and it has been a very good decision.  Read more...
Preparing for Lent

"Be Still, and know that I am God" from Psalm 46 has captured the imaginations and hearts of Health Ministry members.   The psalm has been selected as our Biblical touchstone for the Lenten retreat, Health Ministry Sunday service and visitation.   Read more...
Bylaws Update

In 2015, the Church voted to update its governance structure in support of our purpose. Since then many of the elements of this new plan have taken shape. One of the remaining tasks is for us to recognize these changes formally by updating our bylaws.   Read more...
Wrapping Up the Year

In our December Leadership Team meeting, we received an update from  Treasurer Bruce Lauterwasser, heard from from Bruce Alexander on behalf of the Ripley Chapel Working Group, and discussed term limits on leadership positions. Read more...

Super Saturday Learnings

The Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island Conference of the UCC (called MACUCC) holds a Super Saturday event each fall and spring - a full-day of skill building, networking and discussing best practices on a variety of topics. Sarah Gallop, Laurie Roby, and Anne Hoenicke were fortunate enough to attend!  Find out what they learned...
Conscience and Credit Cards, Rockstars and Revolution: A Talk by Dr. Mary Luti

On November 18, a chilly Saturday morning, eight of us carpooled up to the First Congregational Church in Lynnfield, MA, to hear Dr. Mary Luti's fascinating and dynamic talk on "Conscience and Credit Cards, Rockstars and Revolution: Living with the Reformation Today."  Read more...
FCCW Hosts Regional Together, As One Discussion
January 23, 2018, 10:00 - 11:30 AM

Last June, delegates from the Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island conferences voted to move ahead toward forming a new, joint Conference. As we continue to explore the new Together, As One Conference, we invite you to share your voice to help us envision how together, we are called to live the love and justice of Jesus. Our church will host a regional discussion and we hope that you will attend. Read more...

Adult Faith: Bible 101
Mondays, Jan 22- Feb 26, 2018 7-8:30 PM

Are you hard pressed to name more than one or two Biblical stories or people? Have you been attending church but never really spent much time with the Bible, other than hearing it read at weekly worship? Are you intimidated by the Bible, or unsure of where to start or how to tackle it? If you answered yes to any of the above questions, then this small group study series is just right for you. Read more... You can also click here if you're ready to sign up.
January and February Books

It's a New Year and it's time to get yourself a copy of the January and February books so that you have plenty of time to read them.
January 21:  Read either:  Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance OR Strangers in Their Own Land  by Arlie Russell Hochschild. We'll discuss both. Plus you can choose to read an optional Harvard Business Review article: "What So Many People Don't Get About the Working Class" by Joan C. Williams.
February 25: We'll read  Going Clear  by Lawrence Wright
January 15, 3:30-5 PM 
Winchester Unitarian Church, 478 Main Street

Award-winning storyteller, Valerie Tutson, is the performer for Winchester Multicultural Network's  2018 Martin Luther King, Jr's Birthday celebration.  Valerie will introduce heroes from her "The Right to Liberty" program to her young audience with the gripping stories of three courageous enslaved and free African Americans during the colonial period that shaped the history of our growing country.  Read more...
Opportunities to Serve
How Can You Help?
EventsatGlanceWinter Events at a Glance

Epiphany Celebration & Dinner Jan 6, 5:30 PM
Men's Group Jan 7, 7:15 PM
WMCN: Martin Luther King Celebration Jan 15, 3:30 PM
Habitat for Humanity Work Day Jan 20
Youth Ski Weekend Jan 19-21
Ruth Group Jan 21
Adult Faith: Bible 101 Jan 22 and 29, 7 PM
Budget Q&A Jan 28
Together, As One Regional Discussion Jan 23, 10:00 AM

Men's Group Feb 4, 7:15 PM
Budget Vote Feb 4, 11:30 AM
Adult Faith: Bible 101 Feb 5, 12, 19, and 26, 7 PM
Jazz Worship Service Feb 11, 10 AM
Ashes & Grounds at MBTA Train Station Feb 14, 5:45 AM
Ash Wednesday Service Feb 14, 6:30 PM
Dwelling Place Serving Opportunity Feb. 17
Middle School Mission Trip Feb. 18-23
Tuesdays with Jesus Feb. 20 and 27, 6:30 PM
Ruth Group Feb 25

Times and dates are subject to change. For a complete listing of upcoming events, check out the Church Calendar.
What's Your Team Up To?

New!  The Spire will now be 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). Content for the next issue is due Feb 5.

The Spire recently changed to focus primarily on  ministries updates and seasonal spiritual content . Please send your articles to  Nancy Kneiss . The due dates for submissions can be found here . 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