Open and Affirming!

Open and Affirming!

All are welcome!

First Congregational Church, United Church of Christ
40 South Fullerton Avenue
Montclair, New Jersey 07042
Phone: 973-744-4856
email: admin@fccmtc.com

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Stations of the Cross labyrinth walk

Wednesday, March 31

6pm – 8:30pm at First Congregational Church

As we continue into our Holy Week Journey, we will share a special experience of solidarity with Jesus and all who suffer.

The Sanctuary will be open from 6pm—8:30pm for a labyrinth walk and unstructured time of prayer and contemplation featuring fourteen Stations of the Cross witnessing to Jesus’ last hours through contemporary global images.

These photographs are part of a series created by the Maryknoll Catholic order, whose work focuses on the poor from around the world.

You may choose to walk the stations along with a labyrinth experience, or experience the labyrinth on its own.

Come, let us begin our journey together

Run to Win

Run to Win

Excerpt from Hebrews 12:1-3

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us."

Reflection by Ron Buford

Having grown up in the city, the thrill of driving across the country at my own pace was a blast! Crossing Desert Mountains at night, I looked up through my car's moon roof at what at first appeared to be a strange cloud cover. Opening the roof, I gasped and immediately wept, "Oh my God, that's no cloud cover. It's the Milky Way!"

Having only seen the Milky Way in books, I stopped almost every mile to get out in the freezing night to store up another look. And I thought of this text, imagining each star as a saint gone before us, looking down from the heavens as if above the ancient coliseum of our life's race . . . cheering us on.

So stop managing decline in your life, love, family, business, or organization. It is not God's will for you. It is not the high purpose for which you were born. Decide today to fix your eyes on the prize, the dream you share with God, and win today. Forget the past. Saints gone before us also endured great struggle without giving in to decline and mediocrity. Any idiot can manage decline. Life's great races run through momentary failure to success. Keep going.

Look to Jesus, the greatest runner of all time, "who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame" . . . to win . . . for us all.

Prayer
Gracious God, grant me the wisdom, insight, strength, endurance and comrades to win the gold for my life, family, church, and the world, giving greater glory to you, running hard and smart to bring healing, nourishment, caring, and progress to humanity, the environment, and the spiritual life. Amen.

null About the Author
Ron Buford is Director of Development for the Northern California Nevada Conference of the United Church of Christ.

Monday, March 29, 2010

To Save or to Savor?

To Save or to Savor?

Excerpt from John 12:1-11

"Mary took a pound of costly perfume made of pure nard, anointed Jesus' feet, and wiped them with her hair."

Reflection by Martin B. Copenhaver
E. B. White once observed, "If the world were merely seductive, that would be easy. If it were merely challenging, that would be no problem. But I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world, and a desire to enjoy the world. That makes it hard to plan the day."

In planning our days, confused as we are about how to spend them, we may wonder if the answer is found in moderation. But Jesus refused to criticize the woman who anointed him with lavish amounts of costly perfume. It seems that Jesus thinks we are meant to get carried away.

The Christian life is not so much about moderation. Instead, it is about rhythm. There is, indeed, a time to serve the world and a time to savor the world. To be sure, one can get stuck on one side of this dynamic rhythm, which can be about as dangerous as only inhaling or only exhaling. The dangers of only savoring the world are clear, leading to a life of self-indulgence. But just as certainly there are dangers in only serving the world. To only serve and never to savor the world is to be only the giver or gifts and never the receiver. It means that we never have to admit our need or to say thank-you.

So we are called to do both -- to serve and to savor -- not at the same time, perhaps, because that may not be possible, but each in turn at the appropriate time. Which is another way of saying that one's life depends on being inconsistent in the way all who both breath in and breath out are inconsistent.

Prayer
O God, help me both to serve and to savor -- and to know which I am called to do at this time. Amen.
null About the Author
Martin B. Copenhaver is Senior Pastor, Wellesley Congregational Church, United Church of Christ, Wellesley, Massachusetts. His new book, This Odd and Wondrous Calling: the Public and Private Lives of Two Ministers, co-authored with Lillian Daniel, has just been published.

Friday, March 26, 2010

From My Study Window

“In Between Time”

As I write this, we are preparing for the most significant week in the church year, the time known as “Holy Week” – the journey that takes us from Palm Sunday up to the brink of Easter Sunday. This has always been one of my most favorite times as a Christian, even as it is one of the most spiritually challenging. I think it’s because I identify so much with the “split-personality” aspect of the experience. It begins with shouting and celebration and the joyful hope that our salvation just might be here. And it ends with and abandoned cross and a world gone dark. I suppose it means something to me because I see myself reflected in the voices of the crowd. It is so easy to get caught up in the exuberance of a parade, so easy to have faith when the crowd is with you. Where I struggle is when my faith might cost me something – where standing by Jesus’ message of radical hospitality and compassion might mean I risk rejection, too. It is in those moments, when the cheering crowd becomes the angry mob, that my faith is most important. And so, like all of you, I live in the “in between time” in my faith – knowing what’s right, but struggling to see it through.

What also makes this journey so meaningful for me is that it seems to transcend the specific events of a spring week 2000 years ago, and be lived out again and again in our society and our lives. For those of you who are following recent events, you are aware that our country is in the midst of an “in between time,” where there seems to be a shift happening in the way we order our society. I promise not to get political here (although I believe that religion and politics must be on speaking terms with each other!), but I am disturbed by the violent reaction of some of our citizens to the prospect that we might be asked to make some sacrifices and to shift our priorities to widen the safety net for our neighbors. Political commentator Glenn Beck deems the new health care legislation “socialism” and warns that any church that preaches “social justice” is advocating the “totalitarian take over of our country” and the “death of freedom” and Christians should walk out of their sanctuaries. Not only is that language distorting and irresponsible, I have to wonder what bible Glenn Beck is reading. For there can be nothing more bedrock to our Christian faith than the care of “the least of these.” When asked how to truly follow him, Jesus replies “feed the poor, visit the prisoner, care for the sick.” “Truly I tell you, just as you cared for the least of my brothers and sisters, you care for me” (Matthew 25: 40).

The blueprint for being a Christian doesn’t get any clearer than that.

And yet, faced with the roar of an angry crowd, we can be swayed, we can lose our convictions, we can let our fear get the best of us. So as we journey together during this “in between time” from Palm Sunday to Good Friday, let’s remember that it is always hard to be a Christian; our faith will always require that we take risks in the name of love. But let us also find hope in the promises that in God’s kin-dom, where everyone is loved, fed, and cared for, fear never has the last word.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Excitement at Being Alive in the Late Afternoon

Excitement at Being Alive in the Late Afternoon

Excerpt from Psalm 31:9-16

"For my life is spent with sorrow, and my years with sighing; my strength fails because of my misery, and my bones waste away."

Reflection by Donna Schaper
When I got to the nursing home, my 85-year-old friend was playing chess with another patient. They were both so excited that I had come that they invited me down to the new café in the facility for a vodka and tonic. It had just opened. While we were there enjoying our drinks, a very senior osteoporotic mother sat with a very junior well-dressed daughter, sighing. The mother wanted to order pancakes but the waitress said they didn't serve pancakes after 4 p.m. The daughter could not persuade the mother about the pancakes so some mutual eye-rolling and misery ensued. That's when my friend, the elder of my two dates, went over and whispered in her ear. "Have a vodka and tonic." She did. And she also required the waitress to bring syrup with it.

Old age is not for sissies. It's not that good for caretakers either. Our strength does fail. Our bones do waste away. What besides chess and vodka and humor can sustain us? I think the psalms can -- by saying what is true, by letting us prepare for the time when strength will fail. That way we don't have to put all our trust in it. Even more, God is our strength, a very present help in time of trouble, a kind of syrup that sweetens the bitterness that does sometimes fall even between mother and daughter.

I often memorize psalms, all the verses, for the time that may come when I will want something that is no longer available at the hour at which I want it.

Prayer
O God, before we lift our eyes for the last time, give us some joy, the kind that does not come by demand nor by strength but instead comes from an excitement at being alive in the late afternoon. Amen.

null About the Author
Donna Schaper is Senior Minister of Judson Memorial Church, New York, New York

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Lenten Labyrinth Walk

Lenten Labyrinth Walk
Wednesday, March 24, 6pm – 8:30
Take a deep spiritual breath and share in the labyrinth walk.
A labyrinth is an ancient prayer tool which opens us up more deeply to the heart of God.
The walk is unstructured, come anytime, stay a long as you like.
Rev. Ann Ralosky will be available for spiritual guidance or conversation.
Enter through the Sanctuary doors.
“You show me the path of life.
In your presence there is fullness of joy”
Psalm 16:11

Expectations

Expectations

Excerpt from Luke 18: 31- 34

"But they understood nothing about all these things; in fact, what he said was hidden from them, and they did not grasp what he said."

Reflection by Anthony B. Robinson
With Holy Week coming soon, it's pretty easy to listen in on this kind of story, where Jesus tells the disciples that soon he will be betrayed and suffer, be nailed to a cross and die, and after three days rise again, and think, "Dumb disciples, why don't they ever get it? Why couldn't they hear what he told them so plainly and not once but three times?"

I'm not sure the disciples were dumb, or at least that I am any smarter than they were. There are lots of times when I've heard only what I wanted to hear, not what was being said. And there have also been quite a number of times that I've been working with congregations, especially ones where people are angry and frightened, and I've noticed that our capacity for hearing what's being said or seeing what's going on can be just about nil. Truth can be spoken over and over and we just don't seem to hear it. Strange.

So why did Jesus bother? Why did he tell them what was about to go down? My hunch is that somehow, later, they would recall his words. They would say, "Remember? Oh, now I get it." And what exactly would they get? That when our plans and predictions go bust and our expectations aren't fulfilled, God is still God. God is still working and is able to bring about God's purposes in spite of, sometimes through, our sin. Just because what we thought would happen or should happen doesn't, it doesn't mean the whole story is over. The story is God's story, bigger than we can grasp, better than we can imagine.

Prayer

Forgive us, Lord, for the times our hearts go hard, the eyes of our hearts are closed and the ears of our hearts are stopped. Keep working with us, leading us on, healing our hearts and opening our eyes and ears to your grace. Amen.
null About the Author
About the Author Tony Robinson, a United Church of Christ minister, is a speaker, teacher and writer. His most recent book is Changing the Conversation: A Third Way for Congregations. Read his weekly reflections on the current lectionary texts at www.anthonybrobinson.com by clicking on Weekly Reading.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Whose Name?

Whose Name?

Excerpt from Psalm 20

"Some take pride in chariots, and some in horses, but our pride is in the name of the Lord our God."

Reflection by Quinn G. Caldwell
Psalm 20 is a prayer for victory over one's enemies in war. I understand that on the surface, that may not seem to have much import for your daily life. At least, I hope it doesn't; if you have enough enemies that you need to pray this prayer, I feel bad for you.

But, even if you're not leading an army into battle today, there's a question from this Psalm worth asking: do you take pride in God's name?

At our baptism, we are formally adopted into the family of Jesus Christ, and we take on his name. Like one half of a couple taking the other half's name when they get married, like a new baby taking on her parents' name, at baptism, you take on the name of God, which for us is "Christ" But how many people who know you would, if asked to name you, describe you with that name as readily as your first and last names? If the answer is "Not many," then may I suggest it may be because you don't introduce yourself that way as often as you might?

Now look, I don't go around to cocktail parties shaking hands and saying, "Hi! I'm Quinn Caldwell, Christian," and I don't think you should, either. I'm just asking how many people know whose name you bear besides your own.

Prayer
God, save me from being one of those annoying people who refer to themselves as "Christian" every third word. But grant that I might find ways to introduce myself using your name just a little more often. Amen.
null About the Author
Quinn G. Caldwell is Associate Minister of Old South Church in Boston, Massachusetts.

Monday, March 22, 2010

We love our organ! Oh, what a beautiful sound!

At least it was beautiful. Unfortunately, time has taken it's toll. The First Congrational Church's organ is in despearte need of repair.

On Sunday, May 16th at 3pm there will be a fund raising event to benefit the organ repairs. The event which will be held at the beautiful Van Vleck House and Gardens in Montclair will include an afternoon of strawberries, dessert and wine along with wonderful music ranging from jazz to classical provided by various artists -- including the FCC choir.

Our goal is to have 200 people in attendance and raise a minimum of $15,000 for the repair.  Suggested donations begin at $50 per person.  For more information, please contact First Congregational Church at 973-744-4856 or admin@fccmtc.com.

First Montclair House Karaoke night!

Join us on Saturday April 10 at  5 pm for a fun evening of food and song with the senior residents of First Montclair House!  Grab the mic and belt out your favorite tune from yesteryear or today!  Dinner is potluck, so bring a dish to share.  All are welcome to join in the fun!  First Montclair House is located at 56 Walnut Street in Montclair (behind Grove Pharmacy). Google Map

[Image: traciwilson.wordpress.com]

Good Friday fellowship dinner needs volunteers!

On Friday, 2 April, we will be experiencing our Journey to the Cross which incorporates a modified Seder meal, Last Supper ritual and Good Friday tenebrae service. A special fellowship meal will be held during the evening and volunteers are needed to make it happen. Please contact the church for details or to volunteer your services.

Sacred Space Meditation

Sacred Space Meditation, Monday 22 March to 12 April. Mindfulness meditation teacher, Kerry Rasp, will lead totally silent sits in the FCC Sanctuary for one hour beginning at 6:30 p.m. Beginners welcome. Bring cushions or mats if you have them.

[Image: evolutionvt.com]

Bible Study!

Bible Study, March 21 to April 10, Mary Magdalene Understood. Join the books discussion group as they explore the reality behind the fascinating character of Mary Magdalene. Seminarian Sarah Pomerantz will lead the conversation based on the book by Jane Schaeberg. Class begins at 9:30 in the library, child care is provided.

Judgment



Excerpt from Hebrews 10:19-25

"Consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds . . . encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching."

Reflection by William C. Green
A rabbi told me that God's judgment is love. The more I thought about it, the more sense he made. I thought of times when, down on myself, I'd assumed the worst about somebody's criticism, or about the outcome of hard times.I expected the judgment I deserved.

But once in a while this routine gets interrupted. Noting my glum demeanor, seeing me wallow in some bad circumstance, my son cracks a joke and I can't stop laughing. Or, amid what can sometimes seem like the self-assured complacence of people at church, someone lets loose with a moment of sharing that shows a depth of understanding I hadn't caught before.

This can make me wonder, "Why have I behaved as I have?" What is the point of staying miserable, or acting miserably, if the truth is that there's an underlying love for each of us -- me, too -- more significant than any of that? I wonder what my life might have been like had I realized more of this sooner? Judged by love, we are often found wanting.

I still have a chance. You do, too. The Day is coming when the game's up, life's over, and we will have missed what it's all about. God's love, often expressed through people and circumstances that can seem adverse, awaits our recognition. This is a kind of love that provokes a response in kind -- sometimes laughter at ourselves, often "good deeds" otherwise left undone.

Prayer
O God, may we love as we have been loved, before it's too late. Amen.
null About the Author
William C. Green, a United Church of Christ minister, is the Director of Long Looking, a consultancy service specializing in fundraising and education for congregations. His new book, 52 Ways to Ignite Your Congregation: Generous Giving, has just been published.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Keep On . . . Keepin' On

Keep On . . . Keepin' On

Excerpt from Psalm 126

"Those who go out weeping, bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy, carrying their sheaves."

Reflection by Ron Buford

Life sometimes knocks us down. It happens to everyone. The key is to get back up and keep moving. The psalmist offers a simple formula for getting through tough times:

First, remember ways God has brought you through past tough times;

Second, ask God to do it again, and;

Third, show that you believe by moving forward before there is tangible or visible reason to do so -- even while weeping, sow seeds for the future you envision, though the path may be uncertain and you may just not feel like it . . . yet.

You may be worried about a job, finances, a relationship, illness, fears about aging, trouble with kids, aging parents, an old hurt, or just "the blues." Whatever it is, God specializes in restoring life's greatest fortunes -- love, joy, peace, and more -- even before we feel it or see it coming. Leave the "how" to God as you focus on your hope. There will be a harvest. Go out, look for it. But it may come in a surprising new way or from surprising places. Be open. Don't miss it. Weep freely, but always with nagging unrelenting hope in God.

Prayer

Gracious God, I need your help right now. Please restore my life to better times. Forgive me for the way I tend to forget the ways you have been with me in the past. For the faith I lack as I say these words, please help my unbelief and send your Holy Spirit to pray for me when I doubt and forget. Guide me. Teach me. I'm getting up and out . . . today, thanking and praising you now. Amen.



About the Author
Ron Buford is Director of Development for the Northern California Nevada Conference of the United Church of Christ.

Friday, March 19, 2010

The 46th Annual Meeting of the Central Atlantic Conference is on its way!!

The 46th Annual Meeting of the Conference is on its way!!.  Our theme this year is “Who Are You Christians, Anyway?  Seeking Our Way Together in the Central Atlantic Conference”

Join us June 11-13, 2010 at the University of Delaware as we welcome Diana Butler Bass, author of Christianity for the Rest of Us and A People’s History of Christianity: the Other Side of the Story, as our keynote speaker.  The Annual Meeting Planning Committee is planning workshops around the themes of Hospitality, Discernment, Contemplation/Reflection, Testimony, Diversity, Justice/Healing, Worship and  Beauty.  Members of the Potomac Association are hard at work preparing exciting worship experiences around our theme- and answering the question – Who Are you Christians, Anyway? 


Currently we only have registration by snail mail.  Our online registration won’t be available for about 2 weeks, so if you want your preference of hotels or housing you need to get your registration in the “old fashioned way” The deadline to avoid a late fee is May 1.  After that date there is a $50 late fee.

This Sunday at First Congregational Church! March 21, 2010

This Sunday we near the end of our Lenten journey from womb to wilderness to wonder, with an experience of the holy in our midst. We hear the story of Mary of Bethany, whose awareness of the presence of God in Jesus inspires her go beyond the boundaries of acceptable behavior -- inciting conflict in the ranks of the disciples. Rev. Ann Ralosky will preach on John 12:1-8 in a sermon entitled "Challenging Scent."

We will also continue our "Lenten Poetry Series" with a reading of Robinson Jeffers' "The Treasure", read by Kevin Baum and Jim Vardakis.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Precious



Excerpt from Isaiah 43: 1 - 7

"But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you . . . "

Reflection by Anthony B. Robinson
I was deep in a hard time. Sad and angry, overwhelmed and feeling sorry for myself. I could see no way out or even forward. I felt like a Halloween pumpkin on Election Day; excitement all over, just empty inside.

By some odd grace I found my way to a place called "The Spiritual Life Center" run by an older Maryknoll nun. Sister Katherine explained the drill. My job was to pray the Scriptures. She would give me two a day, one in the morning, one in the afternoon, vitamins for my soul. "And," she said, with a gentle smile, "If you fall asleep, it's okay; you're probably exhausted."

My Scriptural vitamin for that first morning was this very passage, Isaiah 43: 1 - 7. As I headed off, Sr. Katherine called, "Oh, and you might try putting your name in where it says 'Jacob' and 'Israel.'" I did that. I did it once, then again, three times and more, praying the words over and over. As I did, voices of accusation and anger gave way to a balm in Gilead. Love was poured out upon me like precious oil. "When you pass through the waters, I will be with you . . . When you walk through fire you shall not be burned . . . For I am the Lord your God . . . You are precious in my sight."

For the first time in a long time, I felt as if I could breathe again. No clear way forward had been revealed, no ready answer had been given, none but this: "You are precious in my sight, honored, and I love you," and that was enough. Enough to open the road out of exile toward home.

Prayer
Sometimes, Lord, we can get so busy trying to do for others that we forget to let you do for us or be God for us. We forget that we too are precious. Tell us again. Remind us. And then grant us grace to live as people precious in your sight. Amen

null About the Author
About the Author Tony Robinson, a United Church of Christ minister, is a speaker, teacher and writer. His most recent book is Changing the Conversation: A Third Way for Congregations. Read his weekly reflections on the current lectionary texts at www.anthonybrobinson.com by clicking on Weekly Reading.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

But is it True?

But is it True?

Excerpt from Luke 9:10-17

“They said, ‘We have no more than five loaves and two fish—unless we are to go and buy food for all these people.’ For there were about five thousand… And taking the five loaves and the two fish, Jesus looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke them, and gave them to the disciples to set before the crowd. And all ate and were filled.”

Reflection by Lillian Daniel 
Saint Patrick was captured from his home in Britain as a teenager, and taken to Ireland where he worked the fields in slavery for six long years. During his captivity, he grew close to God and heard a mysterious voice telling him that a ship had come to take him home. He escaped to a port 200 miles away, where a ship did indeed return him to his family.
Back at home, in a vision, he heard another voice call him, “We appeal to you, holy servant boy, to come and walk among us.” After that he returned to Ireland, the place of his captivity, as a Christian missionary. He built the church in that beautiful land and the rest is history.
It’s an amazing story, but is it true?
In today’s reading, five thousand people wanted to eat, but they only had a few loaves and fishes among them. By the time Jesus had them share, every body ate their fill.
It’s an amazing story, but is it true?
One theory about St. Patrick claims that the lives of two men were melded to form the legend of the one. One theory explains that the miracle of the loaves and the fishes is a result of the unexpected generosity of a crowd of people who had extra food in their pockets.
In a culture that tediously hunts for proof, I seek for mystery and beauty, where a chunk of land in the sea can become instead an emerald isle.
Prayer
May the peace of Christ, which passes all human understanding, fill me with a holy imagination.  Amen.
null
About the Author
Lillian Daniel is the senior minister of the First Congregational Church, UCC, Glen Ellyn, Illinois. Her new book, This Odd and Wondrous Calling: the Public and Private Lives of Two Ministers, co-authored with Martin B. Copenhaver, has just been published.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Stillspeaking Daily Devotional: Christianity Made Easy

Christianity Made Easy

Excerpt from 2 Corinthians 5:16-21

"All this is from God, who reconciled us to Godself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to Godself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting the message of reconciliation to us."

Reflection by Quinn G. Caldwell
You know what would make Christianity a lot easier? If we could just do away with this whole "forgiveness" thing.

I mean, none of the other religions requires it.

Also, it's inefficient. Achieving it can take a lifetime.

Also, it's not as fun as holding a grudge, or as just smacking the person who wronged you.

Also, that person totally doesn't deserve forgiveness. They deserve an eye for an eye! They deserve quid pro quo! They deserve to feel bad forever!

Also, it's hard.

On the other hand, doing away with the whole forgiveness requirement would make Christianity a whole lot less, well, Christian.

See, here's the thing: You think forgiving your ex is hard? Try being a deity, getting a body and entering history to try to bring your creations back to you because you love them so much, and then getting killed by them. Now, that's hard to forgive.

But somehow, God did. Right? Isn't that why we're here? Isn't that what your church is built on, what inspired the music your choir sings, what made them write the Bible you read, what saved the world you live in?

You know what would make Christianity a lot easier? Doing away with the whole forgiveness thing.

But then, what would be the point?

Prayer
God, I know you wouldn't ask this of me if you didn't have a plan for helping me do it. So, thanks for any help you can send my way. Amen.
null About the Author
Quinn G. Caldwell is Associate Minister of Old South Church in Boston, Massachusetts.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Bouncer at FCC? Never!

Bouncer? Not at United Church of Christ, First Congregational Church!

Easter Flowers

This Easter the Sanctuary of First Congregational Church will once again be adorned with Lilies and Daffodils given by members and friends of the congregation.

Anyone who wishes to donate flowers in memory or in honor of a friend or family member can call the church office (973-744-4856) to make arrangements. The requested donation is $11.00 per Daffodil plant and $20.00 for a Lily Plant.

Joseph and His Brothers: A Music Drama

Friday March 19, 8 p.m., a presentation of Georg Friederich Handel's Joseph and His Brothers: A Music Drama arranged and performed by Andre Taylor accompanied by Stephen Wu, piano. Length is 90 minutes and admission is FREE. This event is being held at First Congregational Church, 40 S Fullerton, Montclair NJ.

Friday, March 5, 2010

This Sunday at First Congregational Church! March 7, 2010

This Sunday,  as we continue our Lenten journey, we discover that God not only challenges us, God feeds us as well.  While we encounter the detours and stresses of our journey from womb to wilderness to wonder, we are also offered an invitation to an extravagant feast, we are given bread for the journey.  Rev. Ann Ralosky will explore this reading from Isaiah (55:1-9) in a sermon entitled "Home for Dinner."  

We will continue with our Lenten Poetry Series and hear the poem "Are You Looking for Me" by Kabir, read by John Ralosky. And as a community, we will get a taste of that marvelous feast of God as we celebrate together the sacrament of Communion.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

March 21 FCC Online

Special coffee hour presentation about First Congregational Church's web resources, including website, blog, social networking. In the Guild Room after Sunday service.

March 20 Joy Revisited

Women of Union Gathering, "Joy Revisited" 8:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.

March 20 Bible Study: Mary Magdalene

Bible Study: Mary Magdalene 9:30 a.m. to 10:20 a.m.

March 20 Coming Out Christian

"Coming Out Christian" LGBT social, 4:00 p.m. to about 5:30 p.m.

March 15 Interfaith Hospitality Network

Interfaith Hospitality Network Volunteer Monday, check website for details.

March 4 LGBT Meeting

Meeting in the Guild Room, FCC Montclair from 7 to 9 pm.