Sunday, January 31, 2016

ONA

Dear Folks,

Today, the Congregation of Huntington Congregational Church, United Church of Christ, voted overwhelmingly to become an Open and Affirming (ONA) congregation.  There were 46 people in attendance at the Annual Meeting.  The vote was 43 yes, 2 no, and 1 abstain.

This is a step forward into our future as a church of and for all people.  We are "Everybody's Church", sharing the love of Christ with everyone.

Thank you for your faithfulness and your participation in the ONA process.  I would like to express my gratitude to our ONA Committee:  Sue Lindley, Ace Ricker, Gail Schoennagel, and Judy Tucker.  Also, many thanks to our Moderator, Soren Ibsen, for his inspirational leadership.

Below is our Open and Affirming Covenant.

Huntington Congregational Church
United Church of Christ
19 Church Street
Shelton, Connecticut

January 31, 2016

Open and Affirming Covenant

“No matter who you are or where you are on life’s journey,
you are welcome here.”

Huntington Congregational Church, United Church of Christ is called to spread the love and light of God like a beacon into the community and the world.  We seek to embody Jesus’ great commandment to love God, and our neighbors as ourselves (Luke 10:25-27).  In keeping with this calling, we, the members of Huntington Congregational Church, United Church of Christ, declare ourselves as "Everybody’s Church".  We welcome and affirm all persons of every race, age, gender, marital status, physical or mental ability, socio-economic status, nationality, life history, faith background, and sexual orientation or gender expression or identity into the full life and ministry of this community of faith, including membership and leadership. We welcome and embrace the God-given gifts that each person brings to the life of our congregation.
As an Open and Affirming church, we join our sisters and brothers in the United Church of Christ and all persons who are committed to the struggle for justice, peace, love, equality, and inclusivity, with the example and teachings of Jesus Christ as our guide.

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me or any member of the ONA Committee.  The ONA comment box will also be available for your questions or comments.

Peace,
Rev. Lucille

Be the Church

Friday, January 29, 2016

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

This Week January 26

Dear Folks,

Hope you are enjoying the little rise in temperature!  The snow is melting!

This week's scripture is Luke 4:21-30.  The sermon is "You Can't Go Home Again".

Following worship is our Annual Congregational Meeting (postponed from last Sunday).  We will be approving the slate of officers, the budget, and voting on becoming an Open and Affirming Congregation. 

Connie Glenn will be traveling to Guatemala on a medical mission trip in early February. The following are the products that are needed. If you are able to donate one or more, please leave them in the alcove for Connie to pick up before she leaves: Vapor rub (little bottles), Vagisil, children's cough and cold medicine, children's Benadryl liquid, adult and infant vitamins, Tylenol and infant Tylenol, Simethicone drops, and soap.  Monetary donations are also welcome.

The bin from My Sister’s Place is back in Fellowship Hall for you to make your tax deductible donations.  It will be there until the end of April. Please fill out a form, take your copy and attach or enclose their copy in with your items.

The sign up sheet for Quiet Hour is up in the alcove.  Quiet Hour will be held on Wednesdays in Lent, starting February 10 at 10 A.M. in the church library.  The book we will be studying is Barbara Brown Taylor's "Learning to Walk in the Dark". Join us, if you are able!

CPR AED training will be held after worship on February 21.  The cost is $10.  If you would like to attend, please sign up in the alcove.

O God, here we are at the end of another month.  Time moves forward, seemingly faster and faster.  Thank you that you are the eternal constant, the endless love, and the steadfast grace.  Amen.

In Christ's love,
Rev. Lucille

Sunday, January 24, 2016

January 24: A Snowy Day Devotion

Hi Folks,

Hope you are all getting dug out!

Since we missed worship today, here's a little devotional for you, if you would like to read it.

Luke 4:14-21

14Then Jesus, filled with the power of the Spirit, returned to Galilee, and a report about him spread through all the surrounding country. 15He began to teach in their synagogues and was praised by everyone. 16When he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, he went to the synagogue on the sabbath day, as was his custom. He stood up to read, 17and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written: 18“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, 19to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” 20And he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. The eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. 21Then he began to say to them, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”

In this passage, Jesus makes a bold claim.  The people in the synagogue are witnessing the fulfillment of Isaiah's prophesy in him. 

In Christ's life is the culmination of God's message to God's people, not to just the people of that time and place, but for people of all time.  Jesus came for all people, bringing Good News, life, freedom, healing, love, and forgiveness.  Jesus fulfilled God's mission to have God's know how much they are loved, how valuable they are, how gifted they are.  But, the message just doesn't end there.  The true fulfillment of Christ's message is for those of us who listen and believe to truly take up the tasks in our own lives.  Wow, I am loved...so know, go out and love.  Wow, I am forgiven...so go out and forgive.  Wow, I am gifted...so go out and give.

Jesus message doesn't stop with our hearing.  The true fulfillment is in the message's doing.  We are partners with Christ's fulfillment.

Let us pray.  Thank you, O God, that you have given us so much with which to serve you and your people.  Help us to truly embody your love in this world by sharing and caring.  Amen.

Have a great day, folks.  Blessings abound!

Peace,
Rev. Lucille

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Worship is canceled, January 24

Hi Folks,

For safety's sake, worship is canceled for tomorrow.

Please stay safe and warm!

Peace,
Rev. Lucille

HCCUCC's Annual Meeting Postponed, Sunday School canceled for January 24

Dear Folks,

Hope you are are weathering the snow storm!

Due to the snow, the Annual Meeting is postponed until next Sunday, January 31.  Please mark your calendars.

Also, Sunday School is canceled tomorrow

At this time, worship is still on, but, watch your e-mail and/or WTNH and/or WFSB for cancellation notice.

Stay safe!

Peace,
Rev. Lucille

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

This Week January 19

Dear Folks,

It's a cold one today!  Hope you are all keeping warm.

The scripture lesson for this Sunday, January 24, is Luke 4:145-21.  The sermon is "Fulfilled".  We will also be choosing a "Pay It Forward" recipient.

Following our worship is our Annual Congregational Meeting.  We will be approving the slate of officers, the budget, and voting on becoming an Open and Affirming Congregation.  The snow date is January 31.  With a possible snow storm in the forecast, please watch your e-mails for any postponements.

Connie Glenn will be traveling to Guatemala on a medical mission trip in early February. The following are the products that are needed. If you are able to donate one or more, please leave them in the alcove for Connie to pick up before she leaves: Vapor rub (little bottles), Vagisil, children's cough and cold medicine, children's Benadryl liquid, adult and infant vitamins, Tylenol and infant Tylenol, Simethicone drops, and soap.  Monetary donations are also welcome.

The bin from My Sister’s Place is back in Fellowship Hall for you to make your tax deductible donations.  It will be there until the end of April. Please fill out a form, take your copy and attach or enclose their copy in with your items.

The sign up sheet for Quiet Hour is up in the alcove.  Quiet Hour will be held on Wednesdays in Lent at 10 A.M. in the church library.  The book we will be studying is Barbara Brown Taylor's "Learning to Walk in the Dark". Join us, if you are able!

Let us pray.  O Holy One, may your ever present love be so evident in our lives that others see you in our lives.  Amen.

In Christ's love,
Rev. Lucille

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

This Week January 12

Dear Folks,

Looks like we are in for a little snow today.  Stay safe!

This coming Thursday, January 14, is my prayer day.  If you have any joys or concerns you would like me to raise up, please let me know.

This coming Saturday, January 16, is our Habitat for Humanity work day.  If you would like more information, contact Bob Moseley.

Also this Saturday is Ruth Derosier's funeral at the First Congregational Church of Stratford, UCC at 10:30 A.M.  Ruth was Gertrude Wilson's sister.  Please take a moment and drop Gertrude a card at:  c/o Lord Chamberlain, 7003 Main Street, Room 313, Straford, CT  06614.

This coming Sunday, January 17, the scripture is John 2:1-11.  The sermon is "Turning the Common Uncommon".

This Sunday, we will also be taking an offering for Unity Hill UCC's mission trip to Haiti. The participants will be assisting "Haitian Helping Hands", an organization focused on helping the people of Haiti through rebuilding a sponsored church, educating children through the Cornerstone School, and legally marrying couples who cannot afford a wedding. Please be generous!

Connie Glenn will be traveling to Guatemala on a medical mission trip in early February. The following are the products that are needed. If you are able to donate one or more, please leave them in the alcove for Connie to pick up before she leaves: Vapor rub (little bottles), Vagisil, children's cough and cold medicine, children's Benadryl liquid, adult and infant vitamins, Tylenol and infant Tylenol, Simethicone drops, and soap.  Monetary donations are also welcome.

The bin from My Sister’s Place is back in Fellowship Hall for you to make your tax deductible donations.  It will be there until the end of April. Please fill out a form, take your copy and attach or enclose their copy in with your items.

A reminder that our Annual Meeting will be held on Sunday, January 24 following the worship service.  This is a very important meeting.  Besides the usual business of voting on the Annual Report, Church Officers, and the Budget, we will also be voting on becoming an Open and Affirming Congregation.

Let us pray.  as we face the ever changing landscape of our lives, O God, keep us secure in the knowledge that your unconditional love never changes.  You are always present.  Amen.

In Christ's love,
Rev. Lucille

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

This Week January 6

Dear Folks,

Happy Epiphany!  May we be as wise and as generous as the Magi!

This coming Sunday's scripture is Luke 3:15-17, 21-22.  The sermon is "Something in the Water."

Our final Open and Affirming event will be after worship this Sunday.  This is will a summary of our process and the review of our ONA covenant, which I will be sending out later in the week.  Please be there.

Our next opportunity to work with Habitat for Humanity will be on Saturday, January 16.  Please sign up in the Alcove if you are interested.

On January 17, we will be taking an offering for Unity Hill United Church of Christ's mission trip to Haiti.  The participants will be assisting "Haitian Helping Hands", an organization focused on helping the people of Haiti through rebuilding a sponsored church, educating children through the Cornerstone School, and legally marrying couples who cannot afford a wedding. 

Let us pray.  O God of the morning sun and the evening star, we ask that you will guide use ever closer to Christ.  Amen.

In Christ's love,
Rev. Lucille

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Happy New Year!

Dear Folks,

I do hope you all had a very happy Christmas and New Year's Day!  2016 is here!

This Sunday, January 3, we will be celebrating the first Holy Communion of the year.  The scripture is Matthew 2:1-12.  The sermon is "Gifts".

Our final Open and Affirming event will be after worship on Sunday, January 10.  This is will a summary of our process and the review of our ONA statement, which I will be sending out next week.  Please be there.

On January 17, we will be taking an offering for Unity Hill United Church of Christ's mission trip to Haiti.  The participants will be assisting "Haitian Helping Hands", an organization focused on helping the people of Haiti through rebuilding a sponsored church, educating children through the Cornerstone School, and legally marrying couples who cannot afford a wedding. 

Let us pray.  O God of all beginnings, may this new year be contain more peace, more justice, more love, more compassion, and less violence, less prejudice, less greed, less fear.  Amen.

In Christ's love,
Rev. Lucille