Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Onsite Worship and Activities Suspended

Dear Folks,
The Huntington Congregational Church United Church of Christ’s Council met last night.  All agreed to suspend all on-site worship and activities at the church building until further notice.
I hope and pray that it will be together in our sanctuary sooner rather than later.
I hope and pray that our staying home and social distancing will “flatten the curve” and alleviate the spread of the Covid-19 virus.
I hope that this time will not be one of isolation but one of self-reflection, self-discovery, and some just plain rest.
I hope that families (by blood and in faith) will grow closer together, even if they are miles apart.
I hope that people will really realize what is truly needed in our lives.
I hope that we will grow stronger in our faith and trust in God.
I hope what our prayers would be more frequent and heart-felt.
I hope and pray that those who are infected would fine healing and those who lose loved ones will find comfort.
I hope that we will come out on the other side of this pandemic as a kinder, gentler, more tolerant, more patient, and more loving nation and world.
May it be so.
We will continue to have an on-line service each Sunday and on Holy Week.  Zoom meeting will be held to tend to church business.
We will be calling our folks who do not have internet or emails to just to check in.
As always, I will be praying for you all and all the world.  I am a phone call, a text, or an email away.
May God continue to fill you with God’s presence of strength and peace.
In Christ’s love,
Rev. Lucille

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

This Week March 24, 2020

Dear Folks,
May you be comfortable and safe this day!  Enjoy the sunshine, stay at home, and wash your hands!
The HCCUCC Council will be meeting via ZOOM this evening.  More information will be forthcoming concerning our way forward during this unprecedented time.
Lenten Devotionals will be held tomorrow night, Wednesday, March 25 at 7 P.M.  I will send a reminder with the ZOOM link tomorrow so you can have it handy.
This Sunday, March 29, is the Fifth Sunday in Lent.  Live stream worship on Facebook is at 9:30 A.M. and can be viewed anytime afterward:  The scripture is Ezekiel 37:1-14.  The sermon is "Dry Bones".  I will send out a reminder and a bulletin later in the week. 
Holding you in my heart and prayers.  In a time like this, be assured that we are together in spirit, even if not in body.  God holds us all in the palm of God's hand.
In Christ's love,
Rev. Lucille

Friday, March 20, 2020

On Site Worship Canceled for March 22 & 29

Dear Folks,
Sending you my prayers and my love.
Already, we have canceled on-site worship for March 22.  Now, this will also include March 29.  We will continue to offer on-line worship as long as needed.
Live stream worship at 9:30 A.M. Sunday mornings will be on Facebook.  Our page is the church's full name.  The video will be saved and can be later accessed on Facebook and YouTube.  The YouTube video will be on my channel, Lucille L. Fritz.
I will also send out a summary of the services and links later on Sunday.
I am trying a new set up this week, so I hope the service will be more engaging. But, please be patient with me.  I'm learning!!!
The HCCUCC Council will be meeting via Zoom on Tuesday night.  We will be evaluating the situation and planning a path forward.  Details will be sent out to all our members.
So, my friends, even though we are physically apart, we are bond together by the love of God.  Take care, keep taking those deep breaths.  We will get through this.
Rev. Lucille

Monday, March 16, 2020

Lenten Devotional March 18

Dear Folks,

Availing ourselves of the wonderful technology out there, our Wednesday evenings during Lent will go ZOOM, that is the ZOOM meeting on-line platform.

You can either log in with the website via computer, or call in on your phone.  The website and the number to call are found in the invitation below.

This format may be new to some, so please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.

I will be putting out my week. "This Week" tomorrow, so please look for that.

As always, you are in my prayers and in my heart.  May we feel the upholding presence of God during this difficult time.

Rev. Lucille

+++++ Huntington Congregational is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
Topic: Lenten Devotional March 18
Time: Mar 18, 2020 07:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 558 157 399
Password: 434426
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Sunday, March 15, 2020

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Dear Folks,
It's strange having an empty church on Sunday morning.
I completed the Facebook Live stream a but ago, so if you drop in there, it's on our Facebook page.  Text me if you want a link.  I couldn't get it to copy onto this email.
Remember, I am just a phone call, email, or text away.  203-232-7973.
For those of you who cannot access it, or would rather just read a summary, here it is:
Psalm 46
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change, though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea;
though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble with its tumult. Selah
There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy habitation of the Most High.
God is in the midst of the city; it shall not be moved; God will help it when the morning dawns.
The nations are in an uproar, the kingdoms totter; he utters his voice, the earth melts.
The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah
Come, behold the works of the Lord; see what desolations he has brought on the earth.
He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; he breaks the bow, and shatters the spear; he burns the shields with fire.
“Be still, and know that I am God! I am exalted among the nations, I am exalted in the earth.”
The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. 
John 4:5-30:
So [Jesus] came to a Samaritan city called Sychar, near the plot of ground that Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired out by his journey, was sitting by the well. It was about noon. A Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” (His disciples had gone to the city to buy food.) The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask a drink of me, a woman of Samaria?” (Jews do not share things in common with Samaritans.) Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.” The woman said to him, “Sir, you have no bucket, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? Are you greater than our ancestor Jacob, who gave us the well, and with his sons and his flocks drank from it?” Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but those who drink of the water that I will give them will never be thirsty. The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life.” The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I may never be thirsty or have to keep coming here to draw water.” Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come back.” The woman answered him, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You are right in saying, ‘I have no husband’; for you have had five husbands, and the one you have now is not your husband. What you have said is true!” The woman said to him, “Sir, I see that you are a prophet. Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you say that the place where people must worship is in Jerusalem.” Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such as these to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” The woman said to him, “I know that Messiah is coming” (who is called Christ). “When he comes, he will proclaim all things to us.” Jesus said to her, “I am he, the one who is speaking to you.”
Just then his disciples came. They were astonished that he was speaking with a woman, but no one said, “What do you want?” or, “Why are you speaking with her?” Then the woman left her water jar and went back to the city. She said to the people, “Come and see a man who told me everything I have ever done! He cannot be the Messiah, can he?” They left the city and were on their way to him.   (End of passage)
Since I do not write out my sermons, this is a rough summary:
In the Gospel lesson, Jesus is passing through Samaria and stopped at a well to rest.  He encountered a Samaritan women there and asked her for a drink. Now, the Jews and the Samarians were not friendly; there was a lot of animosity between them.  And, in that culture at that time, men were not to talk with any women who were not relatives, especially not enemies.
Yet, Jesus not only talked to her, he asked her for a favor, please give me a drink.  This was his way of engaging her in conversation.  
The time was noon, way passed the time when most women would come to the well.  This particular woman, evidenced by the fact she was there at this time, shows she had something to hide; she was an outcast.  Jesus probed for that by his request for her to go and get her husband.  She did not have one, but had five, and the man she was with now was not her husband.  Ah, that's why she was at the well at such an odd time!  Jesus knew this.  He knew she was a Samaritan women of dubious reputation, yet he still talked to her.  He still treated her as worthy of attention.  He treated her as a deserving human being with no judgment or reproach.
The woman, so surprised by Jesus, went back to her community and proclaimed "He knew me", in so many words.  She dared to speak her truth, when her reputation otherwise would have kept her silent.
Jesus knew her; Jesus knows us; God knows us.  God knows our goodness and our badness, our light and our dark.  God knows the evil thoughts that we keep silent.  And, God love us anyway, unconditionally, eternally.
And, with that knowing, God holds us tightly in that love.  Especially now, in this time or uncertainty and fear, we have a God who never leaves us.  Of course, we have no guarantees that we won't suffer, but, we have a companion in that suffering.  God never leaves us, offering us strength, peace, and hope.  And, we in turn can share that with others.
So, even though we are social distancing, that doesn't mean we cannot stay caring and connected.  Reach out to your friends and family.  Connect with your neighbors.  Check in on the elderly with a phone call or a wave at their door. Show Christ to others, even if it's from a distance.
May we, even in this time, be that beacon of love and light on the Huntington Green and into our community.  Thanks be to God.  Amen.
This email is already long, so I will end it here.  I will be in touch with other information in the coming days.
Please stay in touch.  You are in my prayers and in my heart.
In Christ's love,
Rev. Lucille

Friday, March 13, 2020

HCCUCC On-Site Worship and Activites Canceled

Dear Folks,
As a community of faith, Huntington Congregational Church United Church of Christ, enjoys its time together in worship, in work, in play, and in prayer.  But safety and health are paramount.  So, it is with a heavy but hopeful heart that I inform you that all public gatherings and activities, including on-site worship on March 15 and 22 are canceled immediately.  If circumstances allow, we will resume on-site worship and activities on March 29.
This decision is in keeping with the recommendation of the Southern New England Conference of the United Church of Christ as well as in conjunction with the Shelton Clergy Association.
In lieu of on-site worship, I will plan to stream live worship on Facebook, Sunday mornings at 9:30 A.M., our usual service time.  It will be a simple service of scripture, reflection, prayer, and meditation.  The Facebook page is Huntington Congregational Church United Church of Christ, easy to remember!
I will also offer periodic ZOOM meetings for us to interact and check in on each other or to conduct needed business.  I will send out more information on those as they come about.
As always, I am available by phone/text: 203-232-7973, email: or, Facebook Messenger: Lucille L. Fritz, and Twitter: Lucillelf.
On a very practical note, I would ask that you please keep up your offerings to the church during this time.  Even when we are not physically together, we still have bills to pay and commitments to keep.  You may send in your offering by mail or visit our website:  and make an on-line donation.  You can also download the giving app: GIVEPLUS Mobile. Your generosity is greatly appreciated.
In this uncertain and frightening time, it is imperative that we keep in contact with each other, with family, with friends, and with neighbors.  If you need any assistance, please contact me and I will try to help as much as I can.  If you are willing to be an on-call help, please let me know as well.
We are a people of faith and a people of hope.  Keep patience, kindness, understanding, and love first in our hearts. Hold each other in prayer.  We know that we are not alone but are held by God who loves us more than we can ever imagine.
As always, you are in my prayers and in my heart.
In Christ’s love,
Rev. Lucille

Thursday, March 12, 2020

The March 15 Corned Beef and Cabbage Dinner Canceled

Dear Folks,

Due the health risk that is facing us, the Corned Beef and Cabbage Dinner at HCCUCC scheduled for Sunday, March 15 is canceled.

So far, we are still having worship on Sunday.  This may change. I will keep you informed.

Prayers rising for all of us, especially our at risk community of elderly, health compromised, first responders, and health care givers.  This is a very stressful time.  Please be kind to yourself, your family, and everyone with which you are in contact.  Please keep in contact with friends, family, and neighbors. We are in this together.

Close your eyes and take a deep breath.  God's presence is always with us.

Rev. Lucille

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

This Week March 10, 2020

Dear Folks,
I hope you're enjoying the warmer weather!
Quiet Hour continues on Wednesdays at 10 a.m. during Lent.
The Shelton Ecumenical Lenten Service this Wednesday will be held here, March 11.  Dinner will be at 6 p.m., the service at 7 p.m.  The Rev. Joe Ekeberg from Trinity Lutheran will be preaching.
My prayer day is this Thursday, March 12.  If you have any joys or concerns for me to raise up, please let me know.
During this time of increased cases of Coronavirus, please keep in mind these tips:
• Stay home if you are feeling sick.
• Do not travel while sick.
• Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve when coughing or sneezing.
• Clean your hands often by washing them with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
• Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands.
• Disinfect surfaces used regularly.
• Avoid close contact with someone who is sick.
• Practice these precautionary measures at home and pass this information along to family and friends.
We have already suspended the Passing of the Peace because of the flu and cold season.  We will also not shake hands or share hugs on Sunday mornings.  I favor the Vulcan "Live Long and Prosper" hand signal, but, you can flash a peace sign, bump elbows, bow, or whatever you want to greet your church friends, as long as we don't touch. The Council, Deacons, and myself will be looking at our other practices, such as Communion to see how we may make them safer.
If you do become ill, please notify me or another church member.  If you need and help, we will do what we can to aid.
This Sunday, March 15, is the Third Sunday in Lent.  The scripture is John 4:5-30.  The sermon is "He Knows".  Six new members will be received:  Kathie DeBaise, Donna Martin, Alicia & Timothy Sotolongo, and Linda & Dennis Tidrick.  We welcome them into our church community!
There is still time to get your ticket for this Sunday's Corned Beef & Cabbage dinner. Please do so ASAP.  You can call the church office and leave a message.  Tickets are $13 for adults and $8 for children 10 and under. Hot dog dinners: 2 hotdogs w/vegetables-$8.00; 1 hot dog w/chips-$4.00. Proceeds will benefit the church’s Operating Budget.
The Huntington Center Nursery School will be holding its annual Butter Braid fundraiser in March. Items will be Braided Pastry & Joyful Traditions Cake Rolls. Order forms will be available after Sunday worship. Order returns by March 15th, pickup date is April 2nd or after worship on April 5th.
Also, there are openings in The Huntington Center Nursery School for our 2020/2021 school year for 3 & 4 yr. olds. If you are or know of someone who is interested in this wonderful program, please contact our Director Linda Rizzitelli at 203-929-7197 for more information. H.C.N.S. is open to the public.
Women’s Fellowship will prepare & sell Manhattan and New England Clam Chowder and a variety of homemade breads. To place your order, see the sign up on the sheet in the alcove or call the church office (203 929-1223). Pick-up will be on Sunday, March 29th. Chowder is $10 per quart. The prices on the homemade breads vary.
Let us pray.  O Holy God, during this time of anxiety, fear, and trepidation, please help us to seek our solace in you. Help us to not turn our anxiety into panic, our fear into hate, and our trepidation into hostility.  May you keep us sensible, reasonable, and compassionate.  Amen.
In Christ's love,
Rev. Lucille