Dear Church,

We are moving towards Palm Sunday, Holy Week, and Easter Sunday ... but we aren't there just yet!  To prepare us for our final journey through Lent, we will be nourished by the sacrament of communion and Thanks be to God for that! We have done some heavy work this past four weeks, repeatedly wading in the waters, perhaps up to our eyeballs!  This sunday, we will take a step back, and experience the grace of children leading in worship, of bread broken and shared, of good juice exciting our taste buds, and connecting through scripture and prayer with the hope and promises of God.  Then we'll surely be ready for the two weeks leading to Easter Sunday.

Do you love the classic Big Band sound of Duke Ellington -- if so, read below...
But First ...

This sunday, we will begin again with the "RISE AND SHINE BREAKFAST."  Our monthly family friendly event which is purposefully designed with you and your kids in mind, and is held right before church (9:25 am to 9:55 am) on Communion Sundays (the first Sunday of the month).  There will be a fun activity to keep the kids engaged, and a delicious breakfast for all.  Let us help you get out the door, to share in the joys and challenges of parenting.  RSVP to Siobhan  siobhanarts@gmail.com
The program for kids will continue in Clarke Hall during the sermon time, and then they all will return to share in Communion.

After worship this Sunday, we will have the return of "Big Brunch Sunday" in Clarke Hall when the Church Council will share with us all the news of the church and some of the plans, opportunities and challenges in our common life for the months ahead.  Do you have questions about our church life or organization or budget or ....? Bring them all!  Do you have news you would like to share with members of the community,  and invite them to participate in your ministry? Take the opportunity to take the microphone!  There will be food.  (and chocolate too, I hope....) 

Here are the important things happening in the weeks to come - leading to Easter and in the week or so following Easter Sunday:

Please save the date and times for Maundy Thursday (April 18) dinner for a delicious Mediterranean meal at 6 pm (Clarke Hall) and service at 7 pm.... and again for a very thoughtful, musical, and contemplative service on Good Friday 7 pm (April 19) with the Essex Piano Trio.  

There will be a 6am Sunrise Service on the front terrace on Easter morning, followed by a festival service at 10am.   After the early service, we will share some brunch in Clarke Hall with awesome eggs and carbs to fuel our Resurrection Morning! :-)  I invite you to share your family's favorite breakfast food with us that morning.

From April 22 to May 2nd, I will again travel to London and then to Ireland to be with my brother and family.  The customs and immigration people will be getting used to seeing me at this rate!   I expect to do the route a few more times this year.

There are two important events happening right here in Swampscott in my absence....  First, a number of the members of First Church are leaders in Swampscott Unites,  Respects and Embraces Diversity (SURE) , and SURE is partnering with ReachArts  to host the  Community Connections Festival:  Friday April 26 and  3 days of culture, cuisine, arts, music.   Kick things off on Friday with a very special fundraiser benefiting ReachArts and S.U.R.E. featuring a wine and cheese tasting, a comedy set, live music and raffle.   The rest of the weekend features FREE food, music and art events at ReachArts and the Swampscott Public Library. Join your neighbors, friends and local businesses to make some new connections in the community and enjoy a great weekend of fun!

And finally, there will be a Big Band concert in Clarke Hall on Saturday. April 27 - current time is 1:30pm. This is the first concert by  The Blue Big Band.  There is no charge for seniors, there may be a charge for others.   More info on this will be available shortly. But it's time to dust off those blue suede shoes or spats, tease up the bouffant, or slick back the hair with a little Brylcreem -- a little dab'll do ya ... 

Blessings to you all,
God help us all
Pastor Ian

Happy Birthday, Don!!

Donald Fullerton celebrates the BIG 9-0 on Wednesday, March 27th.  He is finishing up a southern tour with Priscilla, down in Anna Maria Island, FL.  Don and Priscilla will be heading north as of April 1, so you will be able to wish him Happy Birthday in person very soon.
40 Monument Avenue
Swampscott, MA 01907

Senior Pastor:  The Rev. Ian Holland
Community Minister:  The Rev. William Simpson
Ministerial Intern:  Amy Weston
Director of Music Ministries: Patricia Clarke

Church Council 2018-19

Karen Rose Brown, Elaine Clarke
Clerk:  Dale Orzalli
Treasurer:  David Silva
Members:  Bill Key, Dianne Pagnotti, Dan Ryan

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