Dear friends in Christ,
I hope you’re all doing well. We’ve got a lot of things going on here at MCC as we approach Thanksgiving and Advent:
November Mission Projects
- Sandwiches for Veterans’ Day
- Thank you to everyone who has made donations for us to make sandwiches/bagged lunches! If you would like to help assemble the lunches, please be at the church at 5pm on Thursday 11/10. If you would like to help deliver the lunches to Greater Waterbury interfaith Ministries (GWIM), be at the church 10am, Friday, November 11th . These lunches help ensure people receive a meal, even when the kitchen at GWIM is closed for the holiday.
- Thanksgiving Baskets
- Sign up sheets for donations for Thanksgiving dinner baskets for three Middlebury families are up on the bulletin board outside the kitchen near the Social Hall. Those items will be due in the office by November 21.
Advent Workshop: 11/13
This Sunday, we will host an Advent craft for all ages! After church, we will be making advent wreaths. Everyone is invited to join! Some of our older Sunday School children and youth will be leading this craft. We have plenty of supplies, and our Church School students have been hard at work getting everything ready. I’ve attached a photo of everyone hard at work this past Sunday. Thank you to all those who donated materials for the workshop!
11/13 Pulpit Exchange: First Congregational Church of Washington
As part of our Open and Affirming process, we’re doing a pulpit exchange with the First Congregational Church of Washington, one of our sister churches in the Litchfield South Association that has been Open and Affirming since November 2017. This Sunday, Washington’s pastor, the Rev. Dr. Robyn Gray, will be joining us here at MCC, and I will be at the Washington church. Some of you may have met Pastor Robyn this summer when she provided pastoral coverage when I was on vacation. Also this Sunday, our Cherub Choir will be singing!
11/20: Fruit and Vegetable Donations for Middlebury Food Bank
Thanks and giving for the holiday: During our regular pre-Thanksgiving Service on Sunday, November 20th, we will be inviting everyone to come forward (or place there before the service) gifts of fresh fruits and vegetables that will be shared with the Food Bank to go to those in need. Suggestions are apples, potatoes (sweet and regular), turnips, carrots, onions and celery. Please be as generous as you can in sharing such precious fresh food with those who may typically only get canned.
Thanksgiving & Consecration Sunday: 11/20
Next Sunday 11/20, we’ll be having a special service of Thanksgiving and dedicate our pledges for 2023. If you need the Stewardship materials for this year, there are extra copies in the Narthex (entrance area) in the back of the sanctuary. Every pledge, no matter the amount, enables us to carry out our mission here in Middlebury.
Middlebury Community Thanksgiving Service: Tuesday 11/22 @7pm
In the spirit of the ecumenical Thanksgiving services of years past, this year we are hosting a Community Thanksgiving Service on Tuesday 11/22 at 7pm here at MCC with St. George’s Episcopal Church. The offering will go to support the Middlebury Food and Fuel Banks and nonperishable food items brought for the service will be donated to GWIM.
Here’s a link to the Facebook event to help get the word out: https://fb.me/e/2M5MkxcLs
Reverse Advent Calendars
Use the Advent seasons as a time to give back! Advent calendars with daily asks to support the work of GWIM will be available starting this Sunday at the Advent Workshop.
There’s anonymous quote I see each fall going around social media that says “The trees are about to show up how lovely it is to let dead things go.” At this point in the fall, nearly all the trees have let their leaves go. I’ve attached a couple pictures from last week right before the tree in my front yard let all its leaves go. Advent and Lent are both traditional seasons in the church for being intentional about our spiritual lives. One of my favorite prayers for Lent has a line asking God for discernment about what we must take up and what we must lay down. As we approach Thanksgiving and the often added stresses of the holiday season on top of whatever stress we’re already feeling about the nation and life in general, that quote about fall is a good reminder that sometimes there is holiness in letting things go that we don’t need to hold on to. It’s the same message as the beginning of the Serenity Prayer:
“God, grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change,
the courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference.”
While I won’t be at MCC for worship this Sunday, I hope to see many of you later on at the Advent Workshop.