Tuesday, September 27, 2016

This Week September 27

Dear Folks,

Ah yes, feel that little chill in the air...Autumn is here!

What a wonderful Rally Sunday!  It was so good to see you all and have Sunday School up and running!

This Sunday, October 2, is World Wide Communion.  We gather as Christ's followers around the table all around the world to remember that we are part of something much larger than our local faith community. Come and join the feast!

The scripture for Sunday is II Timothy 1:1-14.  The Sermon is  "Not Ashamed".

This Sunday, we will be taking our monthly offering for the Emergency Assistance Fund.  This fund is for members of our church and our wider Shelton community who have fallen on sudden hard financial times. The recipients of the EAF are held in confidence.  For more information, contact me or a member of the Mission Committee.

Following the service, we will be hosting a booth at Shelton Day.  We will be across from the Webster Bank on Howe Avenue.  Drop by and say hi!

October 9 will be our Season of Generosity kick off Sunday, "Faith in the Future".

Also on October 9, we will be taking our annual offering for Neighbors in Need (NIN),  a special mission offering of the UCC that supports ministries of justice and compassion throughout the United States. One-third of NIN funds support the Council for American Indian Ministry (CAIM). Two-thirds of the offering is used by the UCC's Justice and Witness Ministries (JWM) to support a variety of justice initiatives, advocacy efforts, and direct service projects through grants.  Neighbors in Need grants are awarded to churches and organizations doing justice work in their communities. These grants fund projects whose work ranges from direct service to community organizing and advocacy to address systemic injustice.  

Following worship on October 9, the Mission Committee is sponsoring a Pancake Brunch to benefit our Emergency Assistance Fund and Neighbors in Need.  Ticket are $5 and can be purchased this Sunday.

Let us pray.  As the season changes from Summer to Autumn, help us all to rejoice in the variety of your creation and to embrace the diversity of life.  May you equip us with courage to face all the changes that we experience, trusting in your guiding presence.  Amen.

In Christ's love,
Rev. Lucille

Friday, September 23, 2016

Rally Sunday!

Hi Folks,

I just wanted to write a reminder that Sunday is Rally Sunday!  Everyone is welcome back from summertime slow down!  Sunday School begins, as well as the unofficial church year.

Our culture has certainly shifted from the days where, of course, no question, we went to church on a Sunday morning.  The church was the center of the community; people belonged because it was the thing to do.  Stores were closed.  School and sport events were never scheduled on a Sunday morning.   That is no longer true.  With school, sports, and other activities now taking over Sunday mornings, people are drawn away.  And, if we happen to have a free Sunday morning, we are too tired and want to rest from the busyness of our lives.  So, not going to church becomes a habit, just as going to church once was.

Church is no longer the center of our communities.  It is just another option of many we have in our lives.  And, more and more, people are opting out.  Attendance in worship and Sunday School has dropped across the board in churches.  Faith communities are faced with dwindling resources.  Churches are closing at an alarming rate. 

We here at our beloved HCCUCC are facing the same thing.  Our future is not clear,.

And yet, when I look at the state of our country and our world, it seems the church is the only place where we do hear the Good News.  We need the Gospel now more than ever.  We are bombarded with negative words and images in the media.  Our children face so many choices, many of which are not healthy.  People are torn down constantly from messages of "You are not good enough."

The church, our church offers a respite from this horrible hub bub.  The message of the Gospel is one of extravagant welcome, of extravagant acceptance, of extravagant love.  Where else do we hear this message?  This is a message worth hearing and sharing, a message that helps us to face the negativity swirling around us.

God is alive and active in our world.  Sitting in a pew, singing those hymns, praying those prayers, hearing those words of scripture remind us of that.  Children learning those ancient stories of a powerful, loving God remind us of that.  And, being in the presence of people, imperfect, but, eternally loved, we can be empowered and equipped to live our lives with faith and hope.

So, please, make the church not just another option, but a priority for yourself and your children.  It really is the only place where we can just be.

"No matter who you are, or where you are on life's journey, you are welcome here."

Hope to see you on Sunday!

In Christ's love,
Rev. Lucille

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

This Week September 20

Dear Folks,

What a great picnic we had on Sunday!  Thanks to everyone who braved the elements!

This Sunday, September 25, is Rally Sunday!  We welcome everyone back from the hot days of summer.  Sunday School begins, so pack up the kiddies and come! 

This Sunday's scripture is Luke 16:19-31.  The sermon is "Life Now".

Please note this important announcement:

There will be a meeting for all members of the
Huntington Congregational Church, UCC
following the worship service on
Sunday, September 25, 2016
for the purpose of:
Presenting the latest offer for the purchase of the
5+ acres of land referred to as "The Bishop Property".
We have another offer to purchase the Bishop Property that will be presented to the congregation for consideration and to vote on continuing negotiations.
Please make every effort to attend this important meeting in the life of HCCUCC.
October 2 is World Wide Communion Sunday.  Come and share the feast!

HCCUCC will be hosting a booth at Shelton Day on October 2.  If you would like to help out, contact me.  Or, just stop by and say hi!

October 9 is Generosity Season kick off. This year's theme is "Faith in the Future".

The Mission Committee is sponsoring a Pancake Brunch following worship on October 9.  Tickets are $5 and will be available the next two Sundays.

Let us pray.  Holy God of love and light, may you continue to fill us with both!  Amen.

In Christ's love,
Rev. Lucille

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

This Week September 14

Hi Folks,

Enjoy the last full week of summer!  The Fall Equinox will be Thursday, September 22.

Our annual Outdoor Worship and Picnic is this Sunday, September 18, 11 A.M., at Pemberley (the parsonage, 160 Huntington Street).  This is rain or shine!!!!  Please bring a chair or a blanket and a dish to pass. Please RSVP to the church office: 203-929-1223. The cost is $5 per person, $10 per family which covers hot dogs, hamburgers, and drinks.  This is always a great time, so come bring your family, your friends, your neighbors...

The scripture lesson for this Sunday is Amos 5:21-24.  The sermon title is "Yeah, That".

Rally Sunday will be on September 25!  Come on back to church and Sunday School!  The children will be in church through the "Bag Message" and then will head on out to Sunday School.  We are looking forward to another great year of learning about God and all God's goodness!

HCCUCC will have a booth at Shelton Day on October 2, 11 A.M. to 5 P.M.  We will be on Howe Avenue across from Webster Bank in front of Dee's Kitchen.  Stop by and say hi!  If you would like to help out for any amount of time, please contact me.  We would love to have you!

The Mission Committee is sponsoring a Pancake Brunch on Sunday, October 9 following worship.  Tickets are $5 and can be purchased on Sundays, September 25 and October 2.  Proceeds go to benefit our Emergency Assistance Fund and the UCC Neighbors in Need offering.

Let us pray.  Sometimes, O God, the problems in our lives and in our world see insurmountable.  May your loving, strengthening presence help us to cope.  May your powerful, enlivening Spirit help us to find joy.  Amen.

In Christ's love,
Rev. Lucille

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

This Week September 6

Dear Folks,

Well, Hermine isn't the threat that we thought it was going to be, good thing!  Still, stay dry and safe!

This Sunday's scripture is Luke 15:1-10.  The sermon is "Finding Ourselves".  We will also observe a moment of remembrance to commemorate 9/11.

Our All Church Outdoor Worship and Picnic will be on Sunday, September 18, 11 A.M. at Pemberley (the parsonage, 160 Huntington Street).  It's $5 per person, $10 per family which included burgers and all the fixings and drinks.  Please bring a dish to pass and a chair or blanket.  Contact the church office to RSVP and/or for more details.

Rally Sunday is on September 25, a big welcome back to everyone!

Let us pray.  O God, help us to trust in you when the storms swirl around us, when the world seems to be going mad, and when our hearts are cold and empty.  O God, help us to trust in you.  Amen.

In Christ's love,
Rev. Lucille