This Week at MCC

Sunday, January 29nd, 2023
Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany
Scripture: Micah 6;1-8, Matthew 5: 1-12
Sermon: What Does the Lord Require?

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Midweek Update: 4th Sunday after the Epiphany

Dear friends in Christ,

I hope everyone is staying warm today. We have a number of things coming up as we head towards February:

Annual Meeting 1/29

The annual meeting of the Middlebury Congregational Church to receive reports, approve the budget, and elect officers and board members will take place this Sunday on January 29th after worship. A Zoom link to join the meeting online will be sent out on Saturday.

Scout Sunday 2/5

On 2/5 we’ll celebrate our (BSA) Scouts! Our church is the charter organization for Troops 5 and 6. We’ll be joined by scouts from our troops and other local troops, and we’ll hear some about the scouting program.

Open & Affirming Winter Book Discussion

As part of our Open and Affirming process, we’re reading : Unclobber: Rethinking Our Misuse of the Bible on Homosexuality by Colby Martin. Martin is a straight, evangelical pastor who changed his mind about LGBTQ people and the church. The book is part memoir of his journey of changing his mind and the impacts it had on his career and family, and the other part of the book is breaking down the common scripture passages people use to claim homosexuality is a sin or to exclude LGBTQ people from the church.

Dates for discussion are scheduled in the conference room for:

Wednesday, 2/1/23 @7pm: Chapters 7-8

Wednesday, 2/15/23@7pm: Chapters 9-10

Church Planning Breakfast: 2/11@8:30am

On Saturday, 2/11, we will be having a breakfast to plan for the coming year and talk about what our priorities are as a church. People from all aspects of the church are welcome to come; this is for anyone in the church who wants to be involved!

Souper Bowl Sunday: 2/12

Mark your calendars! The Mission Board is again going to sell soups for Souper Bowl Sunday on February 12th. We will have a variety of soups to sell for $6.00 a pint.  If anyone wants to make their specialty to contribute to our fundraiser it would be greatly appreciated and  you can get the pint containers in the kitchen.  We are expecting a coconut curry lentil, best tomato soup ever, Lasagna soup, chicken soup and others.  Last year we had a sell out so we are hoping for the same this year!

Ash Wednesday Service: 2/22@7pm

Last year, the First Congregational Church of Watertown invited us to join them for their Ash Wednesday service, and I was the guest preacher. This year we’re going to try it again, but instead, we will have an Ash Wednesday service at 7pm on 2/22 at MCC, and Watertown’s pastor, the Rev. Dr. Cindy Carr, will be preaching.

Mission Projects

Sock-it-to-Homelessness: We are collecting new and gently used socks, including mismatched socks, for Greater Waterbury Interfaith Ministries. Socks are the most needed item of clothing for people experiencing homelessness. Donations can be left in the white bin near the Multiplication Table at the front of the sanctuary.

Mitten Line: We are collecting new and gently used hats, gloves, and scarves for GWIM. Donations can be left on the clothesline in the Social Hall.

Thank You!

Thank you to Ellen A. and Donna O for leading our Soup and Snowflakes event last night! Ellen taught us about making soup, and Donna taught us how to make snowflakes! Thank you also to Janine SW for the idea to have the event! Thank you also to the volunteers who helped with dinner and dessert! There are a few pictures from the night attached.

General Comments

In preparation for Annual Meeting on Sunday, I went back through the past year and made a video of pictures of life here at MCC in 2022: https://youtu.be/La3378Oxz9s

It’s good to remember all the things we were able to do this year, and I want to thank all of you for all that you’ve contributed to life here at MCC in 2022. And thank you in advance to all those who have agreed to serve in positions of leadership this coming year!

Peace,

Pastor Katrina

Midweek Update: 3rd Sunday after the Epiphany

Dear friends in Christ,

I hope you’re all doing well this week. Thank you to everyone who attended the budget info meeting this past Sunday. It’s very helpful for our church leadership to have your participation and engagement as we plan for the coming year.

Snowflakes and Soup: 1/24

Time: 5:30- 8 PM

Thanks to the talents of Donna Obarowski and Ellen Aronheim, we will be having a Snowflakes and Soup demo and dinner on Tuesday, January 24th.

Starting at 5:30, Ellen will lead a cooking demonstration, with participants learning how to make a big pot of chicken soup.

At 6:00, we will begin making beautiful craft snowflakes, using the paper rolls, paint and glitter.

6:30 we will break for dinner (soup and bread).

7:00- 8:00 we complete our snowflakes and enjoy fellowship.

What to bring: Ellen is providing the ingredients for the soup. For the snowflake craft, bring the  paper rolls from toilet paper, paper towels, or saran wrap. If you have them, bring scissors, glue gun and low temperature glue sticks, white glue, ruler, thin nylon string or fishing line. If you don’t have some of these, don’t worry – we will have the other necessary materials such as spray paint and glitter and extras of the above.

A picture of some of the snowflakes that Donna has make is attached.

Annual Meeting 1/29

The annual meeting of the Middlebury Congregational Church to receive reports, approve the budget, and elect officers and board members will take place on January 29th after worship.

Tonight: Open & Affirming Winter Book Discussion

As part of our Open and Affirming process, we’re reading : Unclobber: Rethinking Our Misuse of the Bible on Homosexuality by Colby Martin. Martin is a straight, evangelical pastor who changed his mind about LGBTQ people and the church. The book is part memoir of his journey of changing his mind and the impacts it had on his career and family, and the other part of the book is breaking down the common scripture passages people use to claim homosexuality is a sin or to exclude LGBTQ people from the church.

Dates for discussion are scheduled in the conference room for:

Wednesday, 1/18/23 @7pm: Chapters 5-6

Wednesday, 2/1/23 @7pm: Chapters 7-8

Wednesday, 2/15/23@7pm: Chapters 9-10

Church Planning Breakfast: 2/11@8:30am

On Saturday, 2/11, we will be having a breakfast to plan for the coming year and talk about what our priorities are as a church. People from all aspects of the church are welcome to come; this is for anyone in the church who wants to be involved!

Souper Bowl Sunday: 2/12

Mark your calendars! The Mission Board is again going to sell soups for Souper Bowl Sunday on February 12th. We will have a variety of soups to sell for $6.00 a pint.  If anyone wants to make their specialty to contribute to our fundraiser it would be greatly appreciated and  you can get the pint containers in the kitchen.  We are expecting a coconut curry lentil, best tomato soup ever, Lasagna soup, chicken soup and others.  Last year we had a sell out so we are hoping for the same this year!

Mission Projects

Sock-it-to-Homelessness: We are collecting new and gently used socks, including mismatched socks, for Greater Waterbury Interfaith Ministries. Socks are the most needed item of clothing for people experiencing homelessness. Donations can be left in the white bin near the Multiplication Table at the front of the sanctuary.

Mitten Line: We are collecting new and gently used hats, gloves, and scarves for GWIM. Donations can be left on the clothesline in the Social Hall.

General Comments

This past Sunday evening, there was a lovely sunset. I’ve attached picture of the church from that night.

This Sunday we’ll be looking at part of the apostle Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, and this is one of Paul’s letters that was written because there was fighting going on in the church. In the 2 millennia since Paul wrote this letter, people still have some trouble getting along. So, because we’re going to talk some about conflict on Sunday, I asked a random sample of colleagues for their best church fight stories. Some of them are rather humorous, and I’m saving some of the best ones for the sermon, but here is a sampling of things that have caused our siblings in Christ to erupt into chaos: which way to slice pickles at funeral receptions, a cuckoo clock, which brand of hot dogs to use for a fundraiser, which material table clothes could be made of, what color choir robes should be, the color of the Sunday school rooms,  mayonnaise brands, removing pews, changing paint from beige to gray, what to do with a hideous gift from a beloved member, and what brand of coffee to be served during coffee hour.

So, we’ll look at how we’re to be in community with people who value and think differently from us, and how we’re supposed to, as Paul says: “all of you be in agreement and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same purpose.”

Peace,

Pastor Katrina