Tuesday, December 27, 2016

This Week December 27

Dear Folks,

I hope you all had a very lovely and love-filled Christmas!

This Sunday, worship will be at 11 A.M.  Please note the time change.  Following worship, we will be having brunch at no cost.  However, a free-will offering will be taken for Spooner House.  If you have not already signed up, please call the church office and leave a message: 203-929-1223.

Sunday's scripture lesson is Ecclesiastes 3:1-15.  The sermon is "...There Is A Season..."  Holy Communion will be celebrated.  Come, join the first feast of 2017!

Today I received this note from our friend Bryan from "Simply Smiles":

"Two days ago, we had a snow and ice storm that broke power lines across the Reservation leaving our friends in La Plant without electricity in freezing conditions. According to the utility company it will be days or weeks before electricity is restored. 

We need to purchase and distribute generators so that families can heat their homes and have the power they need to get through this storm - and future storms.

I don't have great photos of the weather conditions, just a few clips people have sent me from their cell phones. See attached.

I am heading out to South Dakota to personally purchase and install the generators. A kit containing a generator, propane tank and extension cords costs $1,500.

We are looking to purchase and install as many kits as we can - beginning with the 5 most needy families. Any amount you can contribute will be used in its entirety to purchase and install these generator kits. I'll keep you directly informed of the progress.

Link to the Simply Smiles donation page: www.SimplySmiles.org

With my sincerest thanks,

Bryan
Simply Smiles"

I hope you will find it in your heart to help out our friends on the Reservation.

In closing, I would like to share this poem by Howard Thurman:

When the song of the angels is stilled,
when the star in the sky is gone,
when the kings and princes are home,
when the shepherds are back with their flocks,
the work of Christmas begins:
to find the lost,
to heal the broken,
to feed the hungry,
to release the prisoner,
to rebuild the nations,
to bring peace among the people,
to make music in the heart.

May you all have a blessed New Year!

In Christ's love,
Rev. Lucille

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

This Week December 20

Dear Folks,

The four Advent candles have been lit.  Mary and Joseph were placed in the Nativity Scene.  The time is coming...

Our 2016 Longest Night Service will be on Wednesday, December 21st, at 7 p.m., the longest night of the year. For many people, dark is symbolic of the harsh things of life. And, those harsh things become more evident in the light of the "shoulds" of Christmas time: we should be happy, we should be glad, we should be joyful. Well, sometimes our life is not conducive to the shoulds: we have lost a loved one, or a relationship, or a job, or whatever. We don't feel happy and glad. The Longest Night Service is a time to realize that for some, all is not goodness and light. We can come, acknowledge the darkness, but also look to the Nativity for our hope and our Light.  All are welcome.

Christmas Eve Services will be held at 4 p.m. and 11 p.m.  The early service is geared more toward families.  The late service is traditional Lessons and Carols.  This year, both with have a time of candlelight.  Come, celebrate the season!

Christmas Day worship will be at the regular time,9:30 a.m.  Service will be informal, so come as you are to the Fellowship Hall for cookies, hot chocolate, coffee, tea, with Christmas carol and stories!!

For New Year's Day, worship will be at 11 a.m.  Please note the time change!  We will be starting off the year by celebrating Holy Communion.  Following worship will be a brunch.  A free-will offering will be taken for Spooner House. A sign-up sheet for brunch is in the Alcove or email me or Karen Boroski or call either of us.

Please have your 2016 pledge up-to-date by December 31, 2016. The church 2016 financial books for accepting pledge contributions will close on January 1, 2017; all checks must be dated December 31, 2016. Any contributions received after this date will be credited to the year 2017. PLEASE NOTE 2016 in the memo. Also, if you have not returned your 2017 Faith Promise/Pledge Card, please do so as soon as possible.  Your generosity is vital to our continued ministry here at HCCUCC.

The 2017 Offering Envelopes are available in the Alcove.

For Committee Chairs:  Annual Report are due on January 1, 2017.  Please make sure Karen, our Office Manager, has yours!

May you all have a very Merry Christmas!

Let us pray.  O Holy One of the Manger, may the hope, peace, joy, and love that you emanate fill us again so we may embody you.  Amen.

In Christ's love,
Rev. Lucille

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

This Week December 13

Dear Folks,

May this unsettled weather not dampen the feelings and actions of hope, peace, joy, and love during this Advent season!

A big thank you to everyone who participated in our Christmas Pageant this past Sunday, especially Kirsten Keith for her leadership, even without a voice!  What a trooper!  The Christmas "Wheel of Fortune" was so much fun!

This coming Sunday, December 18, is the Fourth Sunday of Advent.  We will be lighting the "Love" candle.  The scripture is Matthew 1:18-25.  The sermon is "What's in a Name?"  We will also have a children's Bag Message.

THE CHRISTMAS FUND for the Veterans of the Cross and Emergency Fund is the primary source of annual income used to support and honor those who have served and are serving the United Church of Christ. Your gift to the Christmas Fund helps provide a lifeline of hope to many lower-income active and retired clergy and lay employees of UCC. We will be taking your offering in this Sunday. Donation envelopes can be found in the pews. Please remember that your generous contribution can and will make a difference in the lives of many.

Our 2016 Longest Night Service will be on Wednesday, December 21st, at 7 p.m., the longest night of the year. For many people, dark is symbolic of the harsh things of life. And, those harsh things become more evident in the light of the "shoulds" of Christmas time: we should be happy, we should be glad, we should be joyful. Well, sometimes our life is not conducive to the shoulds: we have lost a loved one, or a relationship, or a job, or whatever. We don't feel happy and glad. The Longest Night Service is a time to realize that for some, all is not goodness and light. We can come, acknowledge the darkness, but also look to the Nativity for our hope and our Light.  All are welcome.

Christmas Eve Services will be held at 4 p.m. and 11 p.m.  Come, celebrate the season!

Christmas Day worship will be at the regular time,9:30 a.m.  Service will be informal, so come as you are to the Fellowship Hall for cookies, hot chocolate, coffee, tea, with Christmas carol and stories!!

For New Year's Day, worship will be at 11 a.m.  We will be starting off the year by celebrating Holy Communion.  Following worship will be a brunch.  A free-will offering will be taken for Spooner House. A sign-up sheet for brunch is in the Alcove.

Please have your 2016 pledge up-to-date by December 31, 2016. The church 2016 financial books for accepting pledge contributions will close on January 1, 2017 – all checks must be dated December 31, 2016. Any contributions received after this date will be credited to the year 2017. PLEASE NOTE 2016 in the memo. Also, if you have not returned your 2017 Faith Promise/Pledge Card, please do so as soon as possible.  Your generosity is vital to our continued ministry here at HCCUCC.

The 2017 Offering Envelopes are available in the Alcove.

For Committee Chairs:  Annual Report are due on January 1, 2017.  Please make sure Karen, our Office Manager, has yours!

Let pray.  As the old year winds down, O God, help us to look to 2017 as a year where our faith and our love shine brightly into the world.  In you is our hope and our peace.  Amen.

In Christ's love,
Rev. Lucille

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

This Week December 6

Dear Friends,

The skies are gray, but the love and grace of God still shine brightly!

Thursday is my prayer day, so if you have a joy or a concern you would like me to raise up, please let me know.  Be assured that I hold you all in my prayers!

This coming Saturday is our Habitat for Humanity work day from 9a.m. to 2:30p.m., or any amount of time you can give. The work is fun, rewarding, and does not require any experience. Please consider helping for all or some of these hours. Contact Bob Moseley with any questions.

This Sunday, December 11, is our Christmas Pageant!  There will be full congregational participation, so come and join in the fun!  Following the service, everyone is invited to Fellowship Hall for our Happy Birthday Jesus celebration.

THE CHRISTMAS FUND for the Veterans of the Cross and Emergency Fund is the primary source of annual income used to support and honor those who have served and are serving the United Church of Christ. Your gift to the Christmas Fund helps provide a lifeline of hope to many lower-income active and retired clergy and lay employees of UCC. We will be taking your offering in December. Donation envelopes can be found in the pews Sunday, December 11 & 18. Please remember that your generous contribution can and will make a difference in the lives of many.

Mark your calendars for this year's Longest Night Service, Wednesday, December 21 at 7 p.m.

Please have your 2016 pledge up-to-date by December 31, 2016. The church 2016 financial books for accepting pledge contributions will close on January 1, 2017 – all checks must be dated December 31, 2016, please note 2016 in the memo. Any contributions received after this date will be credited to the year 2017.  Please also have your 2017 pledge cards returned as soon as possible. Your thoughtfulness and generosity is so appreciated and necessary as we continue to serve God through HCCUCC.

Let us pray.  As we travel deeper into the Advent season, O God, help us to know you travel with us.  Through the brightest sunshine-filled day and the darkest moonless night, your presence is constant.  Thank be to you, O God.  Amen.

In Christ's love,
Rev. Lucille