Weekly Update, January 30, 2018

Because of unsettled weather reports and possible freezing temperatures, Choir rehearsal for tonight has been cancelled.  

Pastor's Message
     On Sunday mornings our scripture readings during worship services are not randomly selected. Like many other churches we abide by a three-year cycle of readings known as a lectionary. Lectionaries have existed almost as long as scripture has been around to help people navigate through a complex Bible in a cohesive format. Here at First Congregational Church we use the "Revised Common Lectionary," the one most encountered in Protestant churches throughout this country.

      Back in Advent, at the start of our new liturgical year, we began reading the third year (Year C) of this lectionary. Therefore, the majority of our gospel readings during 2019 will come from Luke's Gospel. Tradition says that this gospel, the longest in our New Testament, was written by a physician named Luke, sometime around the year 85. Regardless of who and when this work was written, this gospel is filled with vivid accounts of Jesus' life and ministry and provides wonderful theological insights into the early church. And, this gospel continues to be an inspiration for Christians living today.

       For three Thursdays, beginning on February 7, I will be leading a class and discussion on Luke's Gospel in the parlor from 9:30 am - 10:30am. During these moments we will take a look at the history and theology of this gospel and how it differs from its counterparts in Mark, Matthew, and John. I hope that you will be able to find time to attend one, two, or even all three of these opportunities to deepen your understanding of this writing.

This Sunday...
It's Communion Sunday

Meeting for 10th grade Confirmands and their parents at 10 am 
in the church parlor.

Church School begins at 10 am for all ages in the Parable Playhouse.

J2a students & Confirmands meet in the kitchen at 10:30 for 
Pancake Breakfast prep.

Save these important dates:
March 8th and 9th - Confirmation & Maple Sugaring Retreat at Ironwoods Retreat Center in Rhode Island - 9th and 10th graders
March 15th - All church talent show
March 24th - Fellowship brunch following worship
May 17th/18th - J2A trip to St. John's the Divine in NYC

to read a draft copy of the Annual Meeting Minutes

This Sunday after church

                  and Fundraiser

Sunday, February 3rd, following worship, Superbowl Pancake Breakfast and Fundraiser for the Youth Nightwatch trip to St. John's in NYC in May. Free-will offering

Please join us for a fun breakfast following church!  We'll be serving pancakes, melon, ham, juice and coffee. We'll also be offering raffle baskets. This has become an annual tradition and is a wonderful way for us to enjoy fellowship with one another while supporting our teens! J2A youth are expected to help cook, serve and clean - parent help appreciated. Many thanks!


THANK YOU to everyone who donated to the Harwich Family Pantry's program to support furloughed federal workers.. Together, we collected $983. To be honest, we spent a lot of time collecting and the check went to them just as the shutdown was called off. HOWEVER, the Pantry is depleted right at the time of year when it is needed most by local people. And, of course, those federal paychecks haven't been cut yet. Our gift was generous and it was not too late.
This church has a good track record of supporting our communities when we're needed. Last summer, we were able to donate money to feed the children at Monomoy Children's Services summer program, when funding for their Friday lunches were unexpectedly cut off. We organized a truckload of cleaning supplies and water for Houston when that community was still reeling from the damage from Hurricane Harvey. 

We've helped members of our congregation through rough spots... This time, it was our Coast Guard and other Federal employees who faced hunger and cold. Forgive me if this is hubris, but I believe this is work that Jesus wants us to be doing. The Food Pantry and your Missions Team are very grateful for your generosity. Thank you, and let's all say a little prayer that the emergencies are over for a while.

Alison Kaar
 Missions Ministry Chair

Prayer List 

Addison Pratt
Barbara Howard
Ben Nickerson
Betty Blair
Betty Barber Rorabaugh
Bill Benoit
Bill Schwalm
Beth Eldredge
Bob Harned
Bud Heidebur
Emily Garfunkel
Emily King
Eunice Geist
Harriet Larsen

Hugh Jones
JoAnn Mets
John Emison
Laurie Hill
Martha Anne King
Matthew Hamilton
Michelle Crean
Michael LaCava
Michael Wheeler
Mun Long
Nicholas Tucker
Richard Howard
Robin Wilkins
Rosemary Giasullo
Stuart Patterson
Ted & Mary Ann Fritsch