Midweek Update: 2nd Sunday after Pentecost

Dear friends in Christ,

I hope everyone is staying safe with the smoky air. Strawberry Festival prep is underway all this week. Last night our Mission Board put everything together for the raffle baskets, and things are looking good for Strawberry Festival this weekend. We have a number of things going on here at MCC:

VBS Decorating: Friday 6/9 @ 5:30pm

This Friday we will be decorating for VBS, and anyone is welcome to come and help!

Strawberry Festival: June 11th 3-7pm

Strawberry Festival is scheduled for this Sunday, June 11th from 3-7pm. We’ll have strawberry shortcake. food, games, raffle baskets, and a book sale!

More Strawberry Festival Volunteers Still Needed for Sunday

Positions that will need some extra help: setup, cleanup, grill, kitchen, and serving. Show up on Sunday, and we’ll put you to work! Volunteers of all ages welcome. It’s a good way to get community service hours in as well!

Volunteer Needed: Social Media Management

I’m looking for someone to periodically update our church Facebook, Instagram, and Youtube accounts while I’m on sabbatical (6/26-9/25). Youth volunteers also welcome. I’m happy to teach anyone who is interested! Email me (kmanzi@middleburyucc.org) or talk to me if you’re interested in taking this on! Time commitment is between 15 minutes to an hour a week. I’ll be posting what I’m up to, but we need someone to post what’s happening here at MCC!

VBS Donations

Our Vacation Bible School program is quickly approaching! We would appreciate the following donations. Please let Valerie Beard (vbeard@middleburyucc.org) know if you will be contributing something so we can check it off the list, and please drop off by June 17th. Thank you!

1. Cardboard

a. Appreciate large cardboard boxes as well as pre-cut into:

  • 8×10” rectangles – 30
  • Shield shapes – variety of sizes – 30

2. Sturdy paper plates

3. Sharpie markers – 2 big packs (or equivalent), variety of colors.

4. Water bottles – mini/8oz size

5. Authentic tooling foil

6. Air dry clay

Vacation Bible School Registration is Live!

Vacation Bible School is back this summer at MCC, and registration is now open!  Join us for “Hero Hotline”, June 19-23rd.  To register a child (K-6th), go to: https://middleburycc.breezechms.com/form/VBS2023.

To register a counselor (7th-college), please go to: https://middleburycc.breezechms.com/form/VBSCounselor2023.

If you have any questions or are interested in volunteering, please contact Valerie at vbeard@middleburyucc.org

Confirmation Class 2023-2024

This coming program year, we will have a confirmation class for 8th graders and up. We’ll start up in October when I return from sabbatical, and we’re looking to have confirmation on Celebration Sunday in 2024, which should be June 16th, 2024.

Celebration Sunday: June 18th

Celebration Sunday this year is June 18th. We’ll have a special worship service celebrating this past program year, we’ll give thanks for our Faith Formation Coordinator, Valerie Beard, and her years of service as she finishes out her time on staff, and we’ll have a picnic together after worship.

Pride Events by UCC Churches in our Conference

The Southern New England Conference has compiled a list of a number of events for Pride that have area UCC churches participating or sponsoring. Some of our neighboring Open and Affirming  CT churches, Washington, Southington, Middletown, Enfield and more, all have events listed.

The full schedule can be found here: https://www.sneucc.org/newsdetail/2023-pride-guide-17411877

Our Open and Affirming Committee is meeting ahead of my sabbatical to make plans for programming for the upcoming fall and program year.

Interim Faith Formation Coordinator Position Posted

As many of you are aware, Valerie Beard, our Faith Formation Coordinator, is stepping down at the end of this school year. Church leadership has decided to search for an Interim Faith Formation Coordinator for the 2023-2024 program year, and there is possibility that person may be eligible for the permanent position. We’re beginning a search for that position which is open to people outside of MCC and people affiliated with MCC. The job posting is available here: https://www.middleburyucc.org/job-openings-at-middlebury-congregational-church/

General Comments

This past Sunday we welcomed Chris Cole who will be serving as our sabbatical pastor for 9 of the weeks of my sabbatical. A couple pictures are attached. Chris’s first Sunday is July 9th. For the four Sundays Chris is away, we’ll be joined by the Rev. Shannan Hudgins. Her first Sunday with us is July 2nd, and then she’ll be here the last two weeks of August and the first week of September.

Coming off the team effort of the play in May and heading towards Strawberry Festival this weekend, I’m appreciating the joy of being able to have events like this again with the pandemic behind us.  These sorts of events always remind me of where the apostle Paul talks about the church as a body made up of many members that all do different things. As we prepare to set things up, grill, hull, bake, play music, play games, cook, and everything else, this part of from Romans, Romans 12: 4-13 comes to mind:

“For as in one body we have many members, and not all the members have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually we are members one of another. We have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us: prophecy, in proportion to faith; ministry, in ministering; the teacher, in teaching; the exhorter, in exhortation; the giver, in generosity; the leader, in diligence; the compassionate, in cheerfulness.

Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor. Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers.”


Pastor Katrina

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