Join us for worship this Sunday!

Join us in person or online every week at 10 a.m. Services are in our sanctuary at 1242 Whittemore Road, Middlebury, CT; please use the main entrances on the street side.

We serve Communion on the first Sunday of each month.

Online worship is presented live on our YouTube channel, where you can also see an archive of previous services, sermons, and musical highlights.

Sunday, October 17, 2021
Twenty-first Sunday after Pentecost

Sermon: Status Inversion
Readings: Isaiah 61:1-4, Mark 10:32-45

Midweek Update: Book and Bake Sale

Dear friends in Christ,

I hope you’re all doing well this week. We have a busy weekend at the church coming up:

Book and Bake Sale 10/16 from 10-2

  • This Saturday, 10/16, we’re having book and bake sale fundraiser. You can sign up to volunteer or bake here: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/60B0548A4A82DABF58-book
  • The link to the Facebook event is here: https://fb.me/e/WkKPuJYH Sharing the Facebook event helps let people know to come and buy our baked goods and books!
  • If you have some time on Saturday, stop by to buy baked goods, books, or volunteer to help out!
  • Thanks to Donna H. and some other volunteers earlier on this week, the books are nearly all set up in the Social Hall. (I’ve attached a picture.)

Memorial Service for Lori Giannini: 10/17@2pm Bakers Needed!

  • The memorial service for Lori will be this Sunday, 10/17 at 2pm. There will be nursery care available, and we will livestream the service.
  • Following the service, the church is hosting a reception in the Social Hall, and we need some help with baked goods for the reception. Anything that doesn’t require a fork to eat is great (e.g. cookies, brownies, etc.) We’ll also use any extra baked goods from the bake sale at the reception.
  • Baked goods can be dropped off in the kitchen anytime prior to the reception, but please be sure to label if what you’re bringing is for the reception or bake sale.

Videos of 10/10 Worship

It turns out the issues we’ve been having with our livestream were due to a faulty modem from our internet service provider. We got it replaced this past Sunday, so things should work properly going forward. We were able to record worship on Sunday, so in case you weren’t able to join us in person, here are the videos from Sunday:

Full Service: https://youtu.be/RFd-WGTIje8

Sermon: https://youtu.be/AmVKFMbYFqM

Stewardship Moment: https://youtu.be/8MDJMcKQnNM

Preschool on the Green Pie Fundraiser

Don’t forget to order your pies from the Preschool Fundraiser.  The last day is October 15th.  Here is the link:

https://my.mcmfundraising.com/2021-fall-preschool-on-the-green/jeanine-bonaventure/

If you have any questions, call the church office 203-758-2671.

Update: Donations for Afghan Refugees

Last month we had a collection of needed supplies for Afghan refugees being housed oversees at a U.S. military base that was poorly equipped to house so many women and children. All the donations we received have been mailed out. Thanks to the area Girls Scouts and all of you, we were able to send over 300lbs. of diapers, baby food, flip-flops and other essentials for women and children at the base. We’re holding off on further collections until we hear more news, but thank you to everyone who donated; and thank you to Barbara and Howard for taking the lead on that project.

Preschool on the Green Pie Fundraiser

Don’t forget to order your pies from the Preschool Fundraiser.  The last day is October 15th.  Here is the link:

https://my.mcmfundraising.com/2021-fall-preschool-on-the-green/jeanine-bonaventure/

If you have any questions, call the church office 203-758-2671.

General Comments

One of the things I enjoy about church is watching people come together to do all sorts of things from putting on events to comforting one another in difficult times. While our life at church (and regular life) isn’t quite back to the way it was before the pandemic, this summer and fall we’ve finally been able to gather together and say goodbye to members of our church who died in 2020 and 2021, and we’re finally able to have a regular church fundraiser again. We’ve still got further to go before the pandemic is in the rearview mirror, but I’m feeling grateful this week for all of these opportunities to be together and work together.

Peace,

Pastor Katrina

Videos of Worship 10/10

Turns out the problems we’ve been having with livestreaming were due to the modem from our internet service provider being faulty. It’s been replaced, and we should be all set going forward. If you weren’t able to join us for worship in person on Sunday, here are videos of the full service, sermon, and stewardship moment:
Full service: https://youtu.be/RFd-WGTIje8


Sermon: https://youtu.be/AmVKFMbYFqM


Stewardship Moment: https://youtu.be/8MDJMcKQnNM

Midweek Update: 20th Sunday After Pentecost

Dear friends in Christ,

I hope all of you are doing well this week. We have a few things to highlight for this week:

Book and Bake Sale 10/16 from 10-2

  • On 10/16 we’re going to have a book and bake sale fundraiser. We’re going to need baked goods and volunteers to help make everything a success. You can sign up to volunteer or bake here: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/60B0548A4A82DABF58-book
  • Right now we need bakers, cashiers, people to help with customer assistance, and volunteers to help with clean up. We have a reception in the Social Hall on Sunday 10/17, so we need to clean up everything on Saturday. We will particularly need some volunteers with a good sized  truck/SUV/van who would be willing to help transport any leftover books away. (We have a location to bring them.)
  • The link to the Facebook event is here: https://fb.me/e/WkKPuJYH Sharing the Facebook event helps let people know to come and buy our baked goods and books!
  • Also, we need books to sell! We’re accepting donations of books (no encyclopedias), puzzles, CDs, and DVDs. You can bring things to the church when the church office is open M-F 9am-3pm.  If the church office is closed, you can leave books in the bin at the office door. We’re accepting donations through 10/10, so this is the last week to donate books!

Memorial Service for Lori Giannini: 10/17@2pm Bakers Needed!

  • The memorial service for Lori will be Sunday, 10/17 at 2pm. There will be nursery care available.
  • Following the service, the church is hosting a reception in the Social Hall, and we need some help with baked goods for the reception. Anything that doesn’t require a fork to eat is great (e.g. cookies, brownies, etc.) We’ll also use any extra baked goods from the bake sale at the reception.

Videos of Worship 10/3

We’re still having issues with our live-stream, but we were able to record worship on Sunday. Here are the links to those videos if you weren’t able to join us in person:

I’ve also attached a photo of some of our World Communion Sunday decorations.

Share the Care Ministry

Our deacons coordinate a ministry at our church called Share the Care, where we provide support in the form of meals and baked goods to people in our church community who have experienced a loss, illness, or simply a big life event (e.g. new baby, etc.) We’re always looking for people who would be willing to be on our list to help cook or bake when needs arise. If you’re interested, contact me, and we’ll get you on the list or answer any questions you might have.

Preschool on the Green Pie Fundraiser

Don’t forget to order your pies from the Preschool Fundraiser.  The last day is October 15th.  Here is the link:

https://my.mcmfundraising.com/2021-fall-preschool-on-the-green/jeanine-bonaventure/

If you have any questions, call the church office 203-758-2671.

Homecoming/225th Anniversary  Article in the Republican-American

Thanks to help from Howard F. we’ve got a write up in the Republican-American community news. You can see it here: https://community.rep-am.com/2021/10/06/middlebury-church-celebrates-225-years/?fbclid=IwAR0uDwQuWBJ2A1G7lzb-ti7k2oa18c1R38PR9cXtGAc8092HjEaNJ0hw-Bs

General Comments

We’re entering the season where we start budgeting and preparing for the next calendar year at church, and it’s also the time where we start looking for volunteers to serve in various leadership positions in our church. In the coming weeks, a mailing will be going out from the Board of Stewardship about making a financial contribution to the church for the coming year. Another way we steward our community is through how we we use our time and skills, so if you have a passion or skill for something that you want to share, let us know! Some of the places we always need help are cooking/baking, finance/business, teaching/working with kids, art, home repair/facilities maintenance, gardening/yard work, event planning, mission activities, ushering services, and serving communion/assisting with worship services. If you’re interested in doing any of those things or even something not mentioned there, let me know so we can connect you with the right group at the church.

Peace,

Pastor Katrina

Midweek Update: World Communion Sunday

Dear friends in Christ,

I hope you’re all doing well. I’m appreciating the turn to slightly cooler weather this week as we get further into fall. I have a few things to highlight at the church:

Upcoming Memorial Services

-10/2 @12pm in the sanctuary: Annamae Hardwick

-10/17@2pm in the sanctuary: Lori Giannini

Past Worship Services

For those of you who were unable to attend the memorial service for Bill Crutcher this past Saturday, there’s now a video of the service here: https://youtu.be/6lqwEITvtgc

We had some issues with our internet service this past Sunday, so worship didn’t stream out properly. If you’d like to listen to the sermon, you can listen here: https://youtu.be/apDVJJSXCq0

COVID Church Updates

Coffee Hour: As long as the weather remains nice, we’ll continue to have coffee hour outdoors on Sundays. Once things get cooler, Council has approved moving coffee hour indoors. As coffee hour involves eating and drinking, masking indoors during coffee hour will be spotty. We encourage you to make the best choices for your health and comfort level. Masks will continue to be required for worship.

Book Sale 10/16 from 10am-2pm

On 10/16 we’re going to have a book and bake sale fundraiser. We’re going to need baked goods and volunteers to help make everything a success. You can sign up to volunteer or bake here: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/60B0548A4A82DABF58-book

The link to the Facebook event is here: https://fb.me/e/WkKPuJYH

Also, we need books to sell! We’re accepting donations of books (no encyclopedias), puzzles, CDs, and DVDs. You can bring things to the church when the church office is open M-F 9am-3pm.  If the church office is closed, you can leave books in the bin at the office door, and I’ll make sure they’re brought in. We’re already getting a good number of donations!

Church Office Closed: 9/30-10/4

Jeanine is out of the office the end of this week and the beginning of next week. I will still be in and out of the office, but more in the afternoon than the morning.

General Comments

One of the small things I appreciate about fall is the angle the sunlight comes at changes, and I really love the way the light hits the front of the meetinghouse in the morning and the way the light comes through the windows in the late afternoon. I’ve attached pictures of both those scenes. Watching the sun this time of year makes me think of this part of Psalm 19:

“The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. 
Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. 
There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard. 
Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun, 
Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race. 
His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it: and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof.”

I’ve lately been listening to this sung rendition of part of that psalm: https://youtu.be/7Hvf7Xry-5k

I think it captures something about the hope and beauty yet also melancholy of fall, where things look so beautiful before going to sleep or dying for the winter.

Peace,

Pastor Katrina

Midweek Update: 18th Sunday after Pentecost

Dear friends in Christ,

I hope you’re all doing alright so far this week. I have some upcoming things to highlight:

Upcoming Memorial Services/Calling Hours

Saturday 9/25 @11am on the Green: Memorial Service for Bill Crutcher. Please bring a chair. Reception to follow in the church Social Hall

Sunday 9/26 from 2-4: Calling hours for Lori Giannini at Munson-Lovetere Funeral Home in Southbury. Obituary is here: https://www.munsonloveterefuneralhome.com/obituary/Lori-Giannini

Saturday 10/2 @ 12pm in the Sanctuary: Memorial Service for Annamae Hardwick

Sunday 10/17 @2pm in the Sanctuary: Memorial Service for Lori Giannini

For those who weren’t able to attend the service for Skip Northrop this past Saturday, the service can be viewed here: https://youtu.be/UPEA8gRizM4

Services in the Sanctuary will be live-streamed. Service on the Green will be recorded and posted later.

Book and Bake Sale 10/16

On 10/16 we’re going to have a book and bake sale fundraiser. We’re going to need baked goods and volunteers to help make everything a success. You can sign up to volunteer or bake here: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/60B0548A4A82DABF58-book

The link to the Facebook event is here: https://fb.me/e/WkKPuJYH

Also, we need books to sell! We’re accepting donations of books (no encyclopedias), puzzles, CDs, and DVDs. You can bring things to the church when the church office is open M-F 9am-3pm. We’re already getting a good number of donations!

General Comments

This week, as we come to grips with the unexpected death of Lori in the middle of a season where we’re finally able to gather together to have services for our members who died at the height of the pandemic, I’ve been thinking a lot about one of my favorite funeral prayers:

“O lord, support us all the day long, until the shadows lengthen and the evening comes, and the busy world is hushed and the fever of life is over, and our work is done. Then in your mercy grant us a safe lodging, and a holy rest, and a peace at the last. Amen.”

I say the prayer at the graveside, which is where the United Church of Christ Book of Worship puts it, but some denominations, like the Church of England, have it as one of the last prayers said in the church before heading to the cemetery. I find it really beautiful and appreciate the images of safe lodging and peace.

I was doing some research, and I found out the prayer is a relatively recent addition to English speaking worship. It’s actually the prayer from the end of a sermon by John Henry Newman, who led a 19th century movement in the Church of England called the Oxford Movement that broadly tried to make the Church of England more resemble the Roman Catholic Church. Eventually, he converted to Catholicism and was made a cardinal. His writings both when he was Anglican and when he was Catholic were very influential, and  the prayer by Newman was put in the 1928 edition of the Book of Common Prayer for the Episcopal Church.

Interestingly, the prayer was placed in  family prayers section of the prayer book, and it was originally used as a nighttime/before bed prayer. I find it rather touching that a prayer families would say together before bed now serves as the prayer we use when we gather at someone’s final resting place; as the family of God, we gather together at the grave and say one last good night.

Peace,

Pastor Katrina

Midweek Update: 17th Sunday after Pentecost

Dear friends in Christ,

I hope everyone is doing well this week! There are a few things going on to highlight:

Upcoming Memorial Services

Saturday 9/18 @11am in the sanctuary: Skip Northrop

Saturday 9/25 @ 11am on the Green (rain location in the sanctuary): Bill Crutcher

Saturday 10/2 @12pm in the sanctuary: Annamae Hardwick

Book and Bake Sale: 10/16 10am-2pm

On 10/16 we’re going to have a book and bake sale fundraiser. We’re going to need baked goods and volunteers to help make everything a success. You can sign up to volunteer or bake here: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/60B0548A4A82DABF58-book

The link to the Facebook event is here: https://fb.me/e/WkKPuJYH

Also, we need books to sell! We’re accepting donations of  books (no encyclopedias), puzzles, CDs, and DVDs. You can bring things to the church when the church office is open M-F 9am-3pm.

Church Renovation Update

If you’ve driven by the church this week, you’ll see that the lift we’ve rented to continue work on restoring the front of the church has arrived (see picture.) I’m looking forward to seeing the progress in the coming weeks now that Bob W and Bill M can more easily access all parts of the front of the meetinghouse.

General Comments

I was wonderful to be able to see many of you this past Homecoming Sunday! We had beautiful weather for a picnic. I’ve attached a couple pictures from the day. I want to thank Ellen A. for coordinating our kitchen volunteers so we could have a wonderful meal. Thank you to the Zolds for letting us borrow their tent for some much needed shade. And thank you to our face painters and all our other volunteers who helped make sure we were fed, entertained, and started out this fall on the right foot. Sunday was also a good way to acknowledge our 225th anniversary after our 224th year as a church turned out to be a much harder time than any of us had expected. On Homecoming, one of the prayers I used was this one, which is a slightly modified version of a prayer in the Book of Common Worship, and it seems fitting for the rest of this week as we look ahead to what comes next this year:

“As we begin a new program year together, receive our gratitude, Holy God, for the 225 years through which you have led us here, and open us to the future you promise. In the years that lie ahead, grant us your encouragement in the work of ministry, your consolation in our defeats, and your challenge to our complacency. Give us such trust in your abiding Holy Spirit, that we may find joy and peace in our common life, strength and courage to live in the world for your reign, and hope in the gospel of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”

Peace,

Pastor Katrina