This Week at MCC

Sunday, February 5, 2023
Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany
Communion Sunday
Scout Sunday
Scripture: Isaiah 58:1-12, Matthew 5:13-20
Sermon: Salt and Light

Click “continue reading” for this week’s worship bulletin.

Continue reading “”

Midweek Update: 6th Sunday after the Epiphany

Dear friends in Christ,

I hope you’re all doing well this week. Thank you to all our Scouts for joining us this past Sunday. I’ve attached a picture of the scouts from troops 5 and 6 (thank you for the picture!) Also thank you to everyone who helped make Valentines! We were able to give 45 Valentines to the seniors at the Watermark in Southbury. We have a number of things going on in the church this week:

Turkey/Syria Earthquake Relief Aid

The United Church of Christ has issued an appeal asking for funds to support recovery and relief efforts for the people in Turkey and Syria devastated by the recent earthquakes. The UCC and its predecessor organizations and partners have a long history in the area. The link to the appeal and to donate is here:
https://support.ucc.org/global-h-o-p-e/turkey-syria-emergency-appeal/donate?inf_contact_key=064aac67cdf34cce9cc4814ee1167c45842e902fbefb79ab9abae13bfcb46658&fbclid=IwAR2MshkZhuBRt65R2cJHnOIbyRd-PA1Zl6Mgx7mUI60R-GYM3tvYgNq6Er4#

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

On Saturday, 2/11, we are 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!

Lenten Devotional Calendar

Our Faith Formation team has put together a devotional calendar for Lent with service, donation, and devotion options to help us observe Lent. The calendar is attached, and we will have copies available on Sunday.

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

Jumpin’ Jambalaya:  2/21 

Come on by to get your locally famous spicy bowl of goodness.

When: Fat Tuesday February 21, 2023 5:00-6:30

Where: MCC Social Hall (Pick up orders in kitchen)

Tickets: $8.00 per order

Our menu is straight from Bourbon Street: a steaming bowl of jambalaya, a side of rice, zydeco music and that feel good feeling of eating New Orleans food!

Advance orders are recommended.

We will prepare a few extras but don’t get left out in the cold! Please call the church office to leave a message with your pre-orders at 203-758-2671, or email Ellen at spirit2000@aol.com.

You can also order and pay by credit card here (small additional processing fee applied for credit card orders) https://middleburycc.breezechms.com/form/2bbdc2

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.

Vote for MCC: Ion Bank Foundation Community Awards

For those with ION Bank accounts, you can vote for MCC to receive money! Keep in mind that for joint bank accounts each person on the account may vote. We’re listed in the Religion category. The link to vote is here: https://cap.ionbank.com/CAP/CAP.aspx

Tell your friends, too!

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 

Before the pandemic, I had a very consistent daily devotion reading time. Once the pandemic started, it threw off all my routines, and even now with things more “normal” than ever, my devotional reading has stayed stuck in inconsistency. I’ll read a whole book one day and then nothing for another stretch of days. One of the things I’m looking forward to with Lent is an opportunity to work on restarting a more balanced devotional reading routine. 

One of the devotional books in my inconsistent reading rotation has daily readings from one of my favorite theologians, Karl Barth. This was the section I read today: “This much is certain, that we have no theological right to set any sort of limit to the loving-kindness of God which has appeared in Jesus Christ. Our theological duty is to see and understand it as being still greater than we had seen before.”

One of the things I appreciate about Barth is his emphasis on God’s power and freedom. Often we human being like things to fit into neat categories, of good and bad, in and out. We often to try fit God and God’s actions into those same sorts of categories. That quote by Barth is all about how God’s capacity for love far exceeds anything we’re capable of imagining. If we as human beings say this or that group of people cannot be saved, we have imposed our own limits on God, who is not bound by our understanding. 

Essentially, the quote is an invitation to imagine what’s possible with God. And, as we look towards our planning breakfast this Saturday morning, imagining what’s possible with God seems like the perfect sort of mindset for the week.

Peace,

Pastor Katrina

Midweek Update: Scout Sunday

Dear friends in Christ,

I hope all of you are doing well and are ready for the cold weather coming this weekend. We have a lot going on as we head closer to Lent:

Scout Sunday 2/5

This Sunday 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.

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

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

Vote for MCC: Ion Bank Foundation Community Awards

For those with ION Bank accounts, you can vote for MCC to receive money! Keep in mind that for joint bank accounts each person on the account may vote. We’re listed in the Religion category. The link to vote is here: https://cap.ionbank.com/CAP/CAP.aspx

Tell your friends, too!

Valentines for Seniors: 2/5

The Watermark at East Hill in Southbury is looking for help spreading some love and joy this Valentine’s Day, so we will be making valentines for their residents in rehab, assisted living, and independent living after worship on Sunday 2/5. All ages welcome to participate! We will have supplies available in the Social Hall, and you’re also welcome to make a valentine or two for someone special to you!

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!

Jumpin’ Jambalaya:  2/21
Come on by to get your locally famous spicy bowl of goodness.
When: Fat Tuesday February 21, 2023 5:00-6:30
Where: MCC Social Hall (Pick up orders in kitchen)
Tickets: $8.00 per order
Our menu is straight from Bourbon Street: a steaming bowl of jambalaya, a side of rice, zydeco music and that feel good feeling of eating New Orleans food!
Advance orders are recommended.
We will prepare a few extras but don’t get left out in the cold! Please call the church office to leave a message with your pre-orders at 203-758-2671,
You can also order and pay by credit card here (small additional processing fee applied for credit card orders) https://middleburycc.breezechms.com/form/2bbdc2

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.

Annual Reports

If you’d like a copy of the 2022 Annual Report, there are hard copies in the church office that will also be available on Sundays. Or, you can email me, and I can send you an electronic copy.

General Comments

The Cherub Choir did a wonderful job singing this Sunday, and I’ve attached a picture Valerie took of them singing “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands.”

In terms of the email that went out yesterday about the check theft MCC was affected by, so far we have not found any additional checks that were stolen. It is important that those of you who donate via check in the mail go through your records to make sure we’ve received all that you intended to donate. The checks the thieves stole and deposited in their own accounts are not endorsed/signed on the back. So, if your bank statements show pictures of the checks, that would be an easy way to check. We are working on getting a locking mailbox to help prevent this issue in the future.

Tomorrow is February 2nd, the feast of the Presentation of the Lord, which is when Jesus is presented in the Temple. This feast is also known as Candlemas because there are traditions where candles are blessed for the year that Sunday as symbols of Christ being the light of the world. Candlemas is the last official day of Christmas, so if you’re worried you haven’t gotten your decorations down, then you’ve got one more day before it’s not Christmas anymore!

I’ll see you on Sunday.

Peace,

Pastor Katrina