Dear friends in Christ,
I hope you’re all doing well this week. Church School resumes this Sunday. We have a few things going on as we enter 2023:
Annual Meeting 1/29
The annual meeting of the Middlebury Congregational Church to receive reports, approve the budget, and elect officers and board members will take place on January 29th after worship.
Budget Info Meeting: 1/15
An informational meeting about the 2023 budget will take place after worship in the sanctuary on January 15th. This is an opportunity to see and learn about the draft 2023 budget ahead of Annual Meeting and to ask questions.
Open & Affirming Winter Book Discussion
As part of our Open and Affirming process, we’re going to be 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, 1/11/23 @7pm: Chapters 1-4
Wednesday, 1/18/23 @7pm: Chapters 5-6
Wednesday, 2/1/23 @7pm: Chapters 7-8
Wednesday, 2/15/23@7pm: Chapters 9-10
If anyone is interested in joining via Zoom, please let me know, and I’ll set that up!
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.
Troop 5 & 6 Can and Bottle Drive: 1/7
Our scout troops are having a can and bottle drive on Saturday 1/7 from 9am-1pm. The flyer is attached.
This week during worship we’ll be celebrating Epiphany, which marks the arrival of the magi to the nativity. On a broader level, the feast celebrates people coming to recognize Jesus as the Son of God. Epiphany is officially on January 6th, but we’re transferring observing it to the nearest Sunday. Epiphany is the end of the traditional Christmas season, so no need to get your Christmas decorations down until after Epiphany. Your other option for a decorations coming down deadline is Candlemas (the Feast of the Presentation) on February 2nd, which is 40 days after Christmas and marks the end of the Christmas season in some Church calendars.
If you’re looking for an Epiphany song we don’t sing in church, James Taylor actually has an Epiphany song “Home by Another Way” that talks about the magi deciding to return home by another way in order to avoid murderous King Herod: https://youtu.be/nX6aPdx9btY