It is November, the cusp of the busiest time of our Christian calendar, so familiar to us as “the Holiday Season.” Specific to our faith, it is a time of Thanksgiving to God for keeping us alive another year…a time of Advent, or waiting, for the birth of baby Jesus, our Messiah and Savior…a time of preparation for the New Year, of entering a new year of life and revived hope for a good and better life. Even as we enter the season of Winter (in the Northern hemisphere, at least), let us be reminded by that there is a time everything, as Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 reminds the people of God:
There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace….
As Christians, we acknowledge, accept and look to Jesus Christ as the head of the church and the church, local and universal, is the body of Christ. Each church and each of us are members of the Body of Christ, his hands and feet in this world. Like any body, the church must be cared for by its members – its hands and feet – and the church in turn, must care for each of its members. The body gathers for worship but functions in the world as an institution – pooling resources, sharing costs of maintaining a meeting place, worship leaders, and, most importantly, continuing Jesus’ ministry to the world. Our spiritual life-blood is Christ. And, just as our human bodies tire, eventually to wither and die, so, too, do those institutions that are formed to serve as our churches. We must remember that it is not the building that serves as the Body of Christ, but God’s people, people of the resurrection, who form Christ’s Body.
What we are going through now is not a failing, but a time of transformation into new life. Christ tells us that the Spirit will stir us. It is up to us to immerse ourselves in the inner journey to discover what the Spirit is stirring us – the faith community that is the Body of Christ – to do. May we all pray to discover what God is calling us to do, what this faith community’s special purpose is, so that together we may walk with Christ into our future.
Peace & Blessings,
PEACE & JUSTICE MINISTRY: RAISING OUR VOICES AGAINST NEEDLESS GUN VIOLENCE.
On Monday, October 31 several NCC members stamped, sealed and mailed 175 letters to CT voters as part of the CT Against Gun Violence “Pen Power Project”. In the letters we wrote our thoughts on the importance of voting to elect candidates who will support common-sense legislation and other measures to reduce gun violence. This small act – combined with many others – can help to save lives. So, thank you to all who participated!
NCC’s Worship Sojourn to Winchester Center Congregational Church UCC and “Doing Sunday” Project was a great success!
On October 30th, nine members of NCC and several folks from United Congregational Church of Torrington UCC travelled to Winchester Center Congregational Church UCC to share our love of worship and give a helping hand in assembling soup packages for our local food banks. The goal was to prepare 150 packages of dried soups, each to feed a family of 4 to 6 that would be distributed between four food banks. Rev. Jackie sent this lovely note with the final tally! In God’s economy, isn’t it amazing how we are given just what we need to succeed?! Just below is a note from Rev. Jackie that I want to share with you. It was a blessing to share our love and feel the Holy Spirit moving among our three congregations! Blessings, Pastor KristieDear Pastor Kristie,We really enjoyed having North Congregational Church with us. Thank you for coming! We made 151 bags of soup and divided them between Friendly Hands and FISH in Torrington and Open Door Soup Kitchen and the Salvation Army food pantry in Winsted. The supplies cost $346 and we received $210 in the donation jar which almost exactly 2/3 of the cost. I am always amazed how things like this always work out. And thanks again for sharing in this event with us.
Blessings on all you do and love,
Winchester Center Congregational Church
Our Third Sacred Conversation (“SC”) will take place on November 6 from 11:30 – 12:30 after Worship. We will share a light lunch and continue our “inner journey” to discover God’s dream for this faith community. In our first SC, we began to explore three key questions, (1) who we are, (2) who is in need, and (3) what is God calling us to do. We will in Day 3 focus on two questions: “Why does our church exist?” and “What are our values?” In our quest, we will note how the Holy Spirit is stirring our hearts, giving us new insights into our life as a faithful people, and leading us to the new life that God has waiting for us. This is no mere exercise of check-boxes, but a deep reflection into our hearts, minds, and souls that will help us re-envision our future.
Please plan to attend: Our Sacred Conversations will take place on the second and fourth Sundays after worship. SEE OUR CALENDAR BELOW.
If you have questions about our Sacred Conversations, please don’t hesitate to ask me email@example.com.
The Annual Meeting of North Congregational Church will be held on Sunday, November 13th following the worship service. The purpose of the meeting is to vote on the budget for 2023, the slate of officers and committee members for 2023, and the annual report, copies of which will be available prior to the meeting.
The Deacon of the Month for November is Cele.
NCC Supports the Open Door Food Bank in Winsted
The Bible teaches us, “For the poor will never cease to be in the land; therefore, I command you, saying, ‘You shall freely open your hand to your brother, to your needy and poor in your land.’” — Deuteronomy 15:11
Thank you to all who have upped your donations over the past weeks! Let’s make October our biggest month yet! We are told that the following items are still needed. So, please contribute as you are able. Bags with lists are available in the Narthax and near the stairs to the Fellowship Hall. Please also reach out to Cele who coordinates the delivery to Open Door if you would like to make a donation during times the church and office are closed.
Pancake Mix Juices Crackers Syrup Canned Soups Saltines Honey Canned Veggies Vegetable Oil English Muffins Canned Fruit Cooking Spray Corm Muffin Mix Apple Sauce Olive Oil Cereal Chicken Broth Ketchup Oatmeal Black Olives Mayo Coffee Diced Tomatoes Salad Dressing Tea Black Beans Sugar Sloppy Joe Chili Mix Flour Pasta Taco Seasoning Garlic Powder Pasta Sauce Rice Onion Powder Grated Cheese Tuna Fish Salt Egg Noodles Bread Crumbs Pepper Dinty Moore Stew Gravy- Pork, Turkey, Chicken, Beef
Additional support items such as bathroom tissue, kitchen and household cleaning products, and laundry detergent are also welcome.
All events are subject to our need to postpone/cancel due to inclement weather or covid conditions.
November 6 –
10:00 AM – Worship – Communion Sunday & Blessing of Veterans
11:00 AM – Fellowship
11:30 AM – Sacred Conversation – Day 3 – ‘Why does our church exist?’ and ‘What are our values?’
November 13 –
10:00 AM – Worship
11:00 AM – Annual Meeting
November 20 –
Autumn Worship Sojourn – TBA
November 27 –
10:00 AM – Worship – A Day of Thanksgiving & Celebrating the First Day of Advent
11:00 AM – Fellowship – Light Lunch
11:30 AM – Third Sacred Conversation
Due to the outbreak of covid amongst our congregation in September and October, we are asking everyone to mask up while in worship or in the building for errands or meetings. With the cold and flu season upon us, we advise everyone to be vigilant, by masking, keeping safe distances, practicing hand washing, and using hand sanitizers, and when appropriate, testing. If you have had “direct contact” or you or your family is feeling under the weather, we ask that you remain home pursuant to recommended guidelines.
While we hope we don’t have to suspend worship or any of our events, leadership is keeping a close eye on covid rates in New Hartford and the surrounding area. Currently the risk rate is “medium.”
If you have any questions about protocols, or have had direct contact, or are not feeling well, please let Sue, Fran or Pastor Kristie know as soon as possible, so appropriate adjustments can be made for the protection of the congregation.
We pray, with God’s help everyone may take care,
Please note: The office hours at North Congregational Church are every Thursday 12:00 – 4:00 PM.