First Congregational Church - Weekly Newsletter
Dear Friends,

When this pandemic is over, I think we will say with Charles Dickens, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times… it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.” 

It has been all those things—darkness, despair, the worst of times. But there has been some hope and some light as well. Certainly, as a church, I think we will look back and realize how much it changed us for the better. We have put our worship service, our Bible studies, our pastoral care, the life of our congregation, online. This new online presence means that we have opened our church doors in a way that we have never been able to before. We have explored new paths of community outreach, and we have looked at our world with a fresh sense of appreciation and love. We have turned to God and to each other as we have struggled to survive both emotionally and physically.

The best of times, the worst of times. Darkness and light, hope and despair. This pandemic will end, and when it does, we will be stronger and more faithful than ever.

“Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God goes with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

Stay safe and stay well,
Reverend Jane
Reverend Jane is always available for pastoral care, prayer or just to talk.
Call, text or email... she would love to hear from you! 508-581-0786
Online Bible Studies
Now offered two days!!
Join Reverend Jane on Tuesdays and Thursdays
Online Bible Studies

Tuesday, May 12th
12:00

Thursday, May 14th
6:00 pm

Live group discussion on Zoom. Watch your email next week!
Online Book Group
Join Rev. Jane Thursday evenings beginning May 14th for the first of three book
 discussions live on Zoom ! Watch your email for the invitation to join!
May 14th - 6:00 pm
“Haven Kimmel's straight-shooting portrait of her childhood gives us a heroine who is wonderfully sweet and shy as she navigates the quirky adult world that surrounds Zippy.” Well-written and a delight to read.
May 21st - 6:00 pm
“In this captivating double life, Adam Gopnik searches for the men behind the icons of emancipation and evolution. Born by cosmic coincidence on the same day in 1809 and separated by an ocean, Lincoln and Darwin coauthored our sense of history and our understanding of man's place in the world.” For those who love both nonfiction and history.
May 28th - 6:00 pm
Gilead by Marilynne Robinson. A brilliant story that interweaves three generations from the Civil War to the twentieth century. “Marilynne Robinson's beautiful, spare, and spiritual prose allows even the faithless reader to feel the possibility of transcendent order.” Gilead won the Pulitzer Prize.
Wednesday's with Rev Jane
Every Wednesday at 3:00 join Reverend Jane for her fireside chat and words to help get through the week. Watch for it in your email!
Face Masks Available
We have masks available to anyone in need!
They are washable and do not have any elastic
Please email Rev Jane to arrange a pick up time to safely come to the church. If pick up is not an option, Sara Studley has volunteered to deliver to your home.

Beginning Wednesday, May 6th it is a state mandate in MA that everyone wear a mask. 
FCCP Food Pantry
Hello Members and Friends of FCCP,

I am writing to you today on behalf of the Diaconate, to thank you for all your generous donations to our food pantry.

Most of you may not know that Darlene Walsh at 10 West Market has joined in with us to provide frozen meats and prepared dishes. There is a freezer as soon as you walk in the door to the market on your right. It is marked as food pantry freezer. She is supplying and maintaining this important part of the pantry to help our community with things which we cannot supply at the pantry. She expressed her desire to give back to the community. Thank you, Darlene.

We have also made a partnership with the senior center in town to share what we have with them for distribution starting this week. They are open to all and not just seniors. We are also in the process of making a partnership with Friendly House in Worcester to help out needy families and the homeless population.

The pantry at our building that was started due to the pandemic may not be necessary in the future. The food collection however will be. Hunger isn’t leaving anytime soon.

Going forward we think that this is a very important ministry and we hope to become more of a collection site. We are also looking at the possibility of helping those who serve meals to the less fortunate which means that we may also request donations of bulk items as well.

Please share the pantry information with social media and your network of friends. We can increase donations and provide for more of those in need. You never know who maybe greatly affected by this shutdown and is struggling. They could be across the street or next door.

Remember, we are “in this together” but some are in it much deeper than we are.

Together in Christ,

Bear Mellor
Chair of Deaconate
First Congregational Church
"Outside" Food Pantry is Open!
Located at the church doors (Richards Ave side)
Available 24/7 - Honor System
Many Items Available!
Take what you need - Leave what you can - Above all be blessed!
Footprints: The Path of Your Life
A Documentary Film - Review by Kendra Sheldon
When I look for a movie to watch and review, I usually try and find something that has been in the theatres to help us look forward to a day when we can go to the movie theatres once again. However, I never thought of reviewing a documentary. I have a plan for every week...one week a family film, one week a religious film, one week a film for an audience that is for teens to adults. This week was the turn for the religious film. As I searched, nothing was “touching my heart”. Then a word came to me…”Footprints”. I thought I’d be looking for something based on the famous poem about Jesus carrying you. Instead, God led me to this documentary. As soon as I started watching it, I was moved. This documentary leads a person to reflect on the journey with Christ...who you are, the challenges you have faced, and who you will become as your journey continues. This documentary has a deeper message that the audience can use as a “God support” for the current time and throughout life. I look forward to hearing how this story of 10 men and a priest on a journey to a sacred destination through Spain has touched your lives as it has touched mine. 
Yard Sale Coming!
New Fall Date - Saturday, September 26th
We are a church that embraces change. The last few months have proven how adaptable we can be. We had planned to work with the Paxton Lion's Club again this year by participating in the town wide yard sale in May. The tentative new date will be Saturday September 26th.

As you stay at home, you may be cleaning closets, attics, basements and garages. Set aside your yard sale treasures to donate. We will have a plan in place once the summer rolls around. We are all looking forward to sorting, pricing, selling and baking together!
Laugh with Larry
Look who has their own page on the Assumption Facebook!!

Check out the funny (& punny) jokes from our own Larry the Librarian below!
Pushpay Giving Options
Pushpay is a way to continue to support the church when we can't be together.
Text Paxtonucc app (leave the space) to 77977
Click link in text

Or download the Pushpay app in the Google or Apple store
First Congregational Church
1 Church Street, Paxton, MA 01612
508-756-2818