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

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 24, 2021
Twenty-second Sunday after Pentecost

Heather Dechent Preching
Reading: Exodus 1:8-16

Midweek Update: Homecoming

Dear friends in Christ,
I hope you’re all getting the chance to enjoy some of the beautiful weather we’ve been having. There are a number of things going on in the church to highlight:


Homecoming Sunday: 9/12

This Sunday, 9/12, we’ll celebrate Homecoming Sunday and also recognize the 225th anniversary of MCC! We’ll have music, face painting, corn chowder, lobster salad rolls, and plenty more. Bring a lawn chair or blanket. Sunday school also resumes on Homecoming.

Supplies for Refugees: Due Thursday 9/9

Members of our church have been in contact with some officers stationed abroad at a base currently housing Afghan refugees, and the base is poorly equipped for the needs of the women and children now there. The following supplies are needed:
-Feminine hygiene products
– Infant formula
-Baby food
-Diapers
-Coloring books
-Crayons
-Playdough
-Individually packages snacks (food that won’t melt)
-Flip flops in various sizes

All supplies dropped off by/on Thursday 9/9 will be packed up and shipped

Upcoming Memorial Services

9/18 @11am in the sanctuary: Skip Northrop
9/25@11am on the Green: Bill Crutcher

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.

20th Anniversary of 9/11

General Comments

Twenty years ago on September 11th, 2001, I was in elementary school. That morning, my mom picked me up from school early to go to the dentist, and in the car, the radio station was reporting on the events unfolding in NYC. One of the things I remember most clearly about that day is I learned new word. As, we were listening to the radio, it sounded to me like the reporters were saying “tourists” had crashed into the World Trade Center, so I asked my mom why people on vacation would do something like that. That’s when I learned the word “terrorist.”

Twenty years later, for over two thirds of my life, our nation has been fighting the War on Terror, and this year marks the end of the war in Afghanistan. Seeing how our withdrawal from Afghanistan went, I have struggled, like many, to understand what these past twenty years have meant or achieved. I think as a nation we’ll be reflecting on that for some time.
The awful events of 9/11 brought out the best and worst of our nation. Countless people came together to help one another, and many made the ultimate sacrifice in service of others. But, at the same time, our nation understandably was angry and wanted revenge; we went to war, and islamophobic hate crimes and murders rose in the U.S.

As we remember 9/11 this year, I pray that as a nation we can work to be our best more often and find in ourselves the will to help each other and the people whose countries, communities, and lives we’ve forever changed in the War on Terror. Looking to the future, this prayer from the Book of Common Prayer seems appropriate:

“ Almighty God, who hast given us this good land for our heritage: We humbly beseech thee that we may always prove ourselves a people mindful of thy favor and glad to do thy will. Bless our land with honorable industry, sound learning, and pure manners. Save us from violence, discord, and confusion; from pride and arrogance, and from every evil way. Defend our liberties, and fashion into one united people the multitudes brought hither out of many kindreds and tongues. Endue with the spirit of wisdom those to whom in thy Name we entrust the authority of government, that there may be justice and peace at home, and that, through obedience to thy law, we may show forth thy praise among the nations of the earth. In the time of prosperity, fill our hearts with thankfulness, and in the day of trouble, suffer not our trust in thee to fail; all which we ask through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. “
Peace,
Pastor Katrina

Midweek Update: 15th Sunday After Pentecost

Dear friends in Christ,

I hope you’re all staying dry this rainy day, and I hope these first couple days of the school year have gone well. There are a few things going on in the life of the church that I’d like to highlight:

Homecoming Sunday: 9/12

On September 12th, we’ll celebrate Homecoming Sunday and also recognize the 225th anniversary of MCC! We’ll have music, face painting, corn chowder, lobster salad rolls, and plenty more. Bring a lawn chair or blanket. Sunday school also resumes on Homecoming.

Mission Opportunities

Natural Disaster Relief: Many of you have likely seen the news regarding the severe damage done by Hurricane Ida in the South and also the devastating earthquake that struck Haiti. The United Church of Christ National Office has issued appeals asking for financial assistance to help with both of these disasters. Our church Mission Board has voted to make donations, but if you’d like to make a donation directly here is where you can.

Hurricane Ida: https://www.ucc.org/appeal-severe-storms-2021/

Haiti : https://www.ucc.org/ucc-haiti-appeal/

United Church of Christ Disaster Ministries focuses on mid to long term recovery, so that’s what donations to those two appeals will go towards.

Refugees: The U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan along with the Taliban takeover has precipitated refugees to arrive in the U.S. on an accelerated timetable. Those who are arriving now are people who have helped the U.S. There is an organization in New Haven, IRIS, that resettles refugees in our state. I know they’re looking for leads on housing for families as many people arrived with short notice. They also can always use funds. Our Mission Board has made a donation. Here is a link to IRIS’s website if you’d like to make a donation or get involved in the work they’re doing: https://irisct.org/

Also, thank you to everyone who donated backpacks and school supplies for Wellmore. I’ve attached a picture of everything before it was picked up last week.

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

On 10/16 we’re going to have a book and bake sale fundraiser. I’ve attached the lovely flyer made by Katie P. 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.

General Comments

As we begin a new church program year and a new school year, there’s still much more uncertainty than any of us would like about how things are going to go and what’s going to happen. This prayer from Illustrated Ministries captures some of the hope and uncertainty of this season of new beginnings:

“Loving God, Coat the year before us with miracles of your mercy and strength, and help us appreciate most of all the bedrock miracle of your presence with us in every single ordinary, sacred moment. May the changes in ourselves and our world through the pandemic bring layers of goodness we’d have never had otherwise. Lead us this school year into life-giving rhythms of grace and light, where our regular routines become the framework for worship and blessing. Amen.”

Peace,

Pastor Katrina