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

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Christmas Eve Services "Hope is Born"

5pm Family Service of Story and Song; 10pm Candlelight Service with Holy Communion.

Christmas Eve Candlelight Service with Holy Communion

10pm Candlelight Service with Holy Communion.
When
Sat Dec 24 10pm – Sun Dec 25, 2011 12am Eastern Time
Where
First Congregational Church, Montclair, NJ

World AIDS Day Service

December 1, 7pm

at

Broadway House for Continuing Care

All members and friends of First Congregational Church are invited to attend an interfaith service to mark World AIDS day on Thursday, December 1 at 7pm at Broadway House for Continuing Care. Broadway House is NJ's largest HIV/AIDS nursing home and a mission partner of FCC's for the past several years. The service will feature the gospel choir of Liberation in Truth Unity Fellowship Church of Newark. All are welcome to attend.

Directions to Broadway House (298 Broadway, Newark, NJ) can be found on their website http://www.broadwayhouse.org/

Hope to see you there!


Rev. Ann Ralosky
Senior Minister
First Congregational Church, UCC
40 South Fullerton Ave
Montclair, NJ 07042

www.firstcongmontclair.org

Monday, November 28, 2011

"The Harvest/La Cosecha"

*Music by Thomas Wesley Stern before & after the film*

Friday, November 18 7:00pm
FCC (The Guild Room) 40 South Fullerton Ave.

The Harvest/La Cosecha tells the story of three of the more than 400,000 American children who work in the fields to pick the food we eat.
"An earnest documentary about child migrant farm workers in the United States, has a muckraking agenda but a melancholy soul." - NY Times

Eva Longoria, one of the Executive Producers, received the Special Achievement Award for The Harvest/La Cosecha from the National Center of La Raza.
This eye opening documentary was produced by Shine Global, a non-profit documentary organization focused on children's issues.
Two of the films' producers, Albie Hecht & Susan MacLaury founded Shine Global and live in Montclair.

The Harvest/La Cosecha: http://theharvestfilm.com Thomas Wesley Stern: http://soundcloud.com/thomaswesleystern

This Event is Free & All are Welcome

Turkey / Food Drive to benefit the Community Food Bank of NJ

Saturday November 19th, 9:00 a.m to 2:00 p.m.
First Congregational Church, 40 South FullertonMontclairNJ
FCC parking lot (access from Plymouth Street)

No need to get out of your car – just donate to one of the helpful volunteers. 

Frozen turkeys, non-perishable food and monetary donations will be accepted.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Artists needed!

Looking for a creative summer project? The First Congregational Church of Montclair would like to give you an opportunity! We are planning to paint murals on the wall of our church school classrooms and need someone to help us design and execute the project. Interested? Contact Mattie Johnson or Lynley Jones for more information. Contact email here.

Monday, July 18, 2011

August 13th Back to School Booth

Consider donating some time to this worthy endeavor. This is our fifth year hosting this booth that provides school supplies to needy children in our area. We encourage you to consider a cash donation or a time donation to help run the booth. The event will be held at the Seventh Day Adventist Church Health Fair in Glenfield Park, Montclair. You do not need to be a member of either church to participate.


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Mark your calendars!

August 7 worship will be at Union Congregational Church, 176 Cooper Ave., Montclair, NJ at 10:00 a.m. We will join our sister church for our summer tradition of sharing our services.


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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Bridges Outreach for the Homeless/Impressions

On Sunday, May 29th, a hot and humid day, as part of our "Jesus Has Left the Building" service project, several members of First Congregational Church made 300(!) sandwiches prior to traveling to the parking lot behind Pennsylvania Station in Newark, to hand them out. The line of homeless people, mostly men of color, some women, and even children(!) were already in a line, waiting! We handed out cups of soup and lemonade, two sandwiches, each, and clothing: it was a "shirt day", and everyone received a new shirt, (sizes were matched as best as possible), followed by a new pair of underwear and socks. Many were quite thankful for the little we had done.

It became apparent that we would run out of sandwiches before the line of homeless ended! We started to give out just ONE sandwich per person, to a chorus of disappointment. It was heartbreaking.

Several people hid their sandwiches and clothing, and tried to get into line, again. One man in line had no shoes! Although hard to estimate in the organized chaos, the turnout must have been over 200 people, more than expected!

Luckily, just as we were running out of all food and clothing, another church group arrived to hand out additional drinks and sandwiches. Another line quickly formed.

The number of homeless, and their condition, was shocking. We returned to Montclair, a mere 15 minutes away, in our air-conditioned cars, to our air-conditioned houses, - left running while we were gone for the DOGS' comfort, - brunched at the Blue Stone Cafe on Watchung Avenue, followed by the five dollar Sunday New York Times, (with advertisements for a $950.00 pair of shoes, a $125.00 pair of shorts, and a $3,215.00 watch), and a swim at a private club in town. The sadness and guilt were palpable.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

FCC Children's Education Program - June 26, 2011 follow-up

Dear FCC Parents,

I hope you all are doing well!  This Sunday in the FCC Children's Education Program, church camp began and it was a fun encounter with God!  Through a new worship dance, to creating their church camp team cheers, to the movement game "bigger/smaller" - the children jumped into knowing and hearing from God.  Amidst all of the fun, the focus was on declaring "here I am" to God.  The children learned how God is everywhere - in their hearts, minds, neighbors and anywhere else.  But the children also learned that it is important to proactively seek a relationship with God through declaring our presence and seeking to know God more.  Through strengthening their relationships with God, the children learned how to share that love with others.

Creating the Kid Zone!
Saturday July 2 - 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Sunday July 3 - After coffee hour to 5:00 p.m. 
Saturday July 9 - 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. 
Sunday July 10 - After coffee hour to 5:00 p.m. 
Saturday July 16 - if work still needed on the rooms - 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

As you know, we are moving forward with our plans to transform our current church school space into a fun and friendly "Kid Zone," with beautiful artistic elements, kid-sized furniture and rich, engaging age-appropriate features that help to make our church school a place children love to be in and look forward to returning to each week.

We are ready to kick off the painting phase of this project!  We will be painting the walls of each classroom (and in some cases, the ceiling!), starting next weekend, July 2.

We are looking for more volunteers to help with the painting.  No experience or artistic skill is necessary!  If you can hold a brush, this job is for you!

Thank you so much for your support of this important project! We understand how busy everyone is, and how precious weekend time is, and we are deeply grateful for any time that you can give to support this project.

As always, if you have any questions or thoughts, please feel free to contact me.  Take care and enjoy the week!

Mattie Johnson
Director of Christian Education
First Congregational Church of Montclair, NJ

Monday, June 27, 2011

FCC Children's Education Program - Church Camp - June 26, 2011

Dear FCC Parents,


I hope you all are doing well and enjoying the week!


The time for church camp has arrived!  The children will launch into church camp with this Sunday's theme of "Here I Am!"  Through an interactive worship dance to playing "Bigger/Smaller" a movement game that shows the excitement and joy we get when we invite God into our lives, hearts and actions to playing Red Light, Green Light, the children are going to jump into church camp and encounter a fun, engaging experience with God.  It is not to be missed!

This weekend I encourage you to talk with your child about what it means to declare, "Here I am, God!"  How do we declare our presence to God and what does that mean for our lives?  In many ways, declaring our presence to God is an invitation to God to be in our hearts, lives and actions.  It is through our daily lives where we pray, seek to love others and treat each other justly that we invite God and God's love into our lives, declare our presence to God and strengthen our relationships with God. 

I also wanted to let you know that in the spirit of summer camp, the children are going to be divided into two teams throughout church camp - Team Wind and Team Fire!  The teams will be divided up by age each Sunday and compete against themselves to achieve that week's team challenge.  The teams will not compete against each other, but each team will compete against itself to win a prize as a team at the end of the summer (don't worry, it is very likely that both teams will win!).  This week's challenge is to create a team cheer!


Below is more information about church camp.


FCC Church Camp 2011 is HERE!
June 26 – September 11 (12 weeks)
First Congregational Church
10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.



Summer 2011 marks the beginning of our new summer Church Camp, to be held during services every Sunday morning from June 26 – September 11.  From outdoor games to theater activities to large-scale art projects, the children are going to jump into fun that will fire their imaginations while engaging their faith.  Children should come to church wearing play clothes. If you have any questions, feel free to e-mail me for more information.


Creating the Kid Zone!
Saturday July 2 - 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Sunday July 3 - After coffee hour to 5:00 p.m.
Saturday July 9 - 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Sunday July 10 - After coffee hour to 5:00 p.m.
Saturday July 16 - if work still needed on the rooms - 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. 



As you know, we are moving forward with our plans to transform our current church school space into a fun and friendly "Kid Zone," with beautiful artistic elements, kid-sized furniture and rich, engaging age-appropriate features that help to make our church school a place children love to be in and look forward to returning to each week.


We are ready to kick off the painting phase of this project!  We will be painting the walls of each classroom (and in some cases, the ceiling!), starting next weekend, July 2.


We are looking for more volunteers to help with the painting.  No experience or artistic skill is necessary!  If you can hold a brush, this job is for you!


Thank you so much for your support of this important project! We understand how busy everyone is, and how precious weekend time is, and we are deeply grateful for any time that you can give to support this project.

As always, if you have any questions or thoughts, please feel free to contact me.  Take care and enjoy the weekend!

Mattie Johnson
Director of Christian Education
First Congregational Church of Montclair, NJ

Friday, May 27, 2011

FCC Children's Education Program - May 29, 2011

Dear FCC Parents,


I hope you all are doing well and looking forward to enjoying the holiday weekend with your families!

This week, Jesus reconfirms the relationship we have among himself, God, the Holy Spirit and us.  In John 14:15-21, Jesus assures us that we are not alone or abandoned in life, but that God is with us always and God even sent us a "helper" to keep us grounded in God.  Jesus' message is simple - we are all in this together, including himself and God.

For our daily lives, what does this unity mean or how does it change anything?  Jesus reminds us that at the heart of our connection to each other and to God is love - a love that spills out into our actions, words and relationships.

This weekend, I encourage you to talk with your child about what being in it with God means.    Remind your child that from the big moments in life down to the little ones, God is with us and we are given the opportunity to share God's love with others.


FCC Worship
Sunday May 27, 2011 - 11 AM - NOTE TIME CHANGE
First Montclair House
56 Walnut St.

As the church is closed due to construction, we will be holding our worship at First Montclair House, a senior citizen's residence in Montclair (just off Grove St., behind Grove Pharmacy).  There will be no formal church school this Sunday, but there will be a few ways for the children to engage in this worship service.  We will have a children's sermon and paper and crayons available for the children to draw pictures and cards for FMH residents.  I know a few children have done this previously and it was really special for FMH; they thanked the children immensely for their kindness and talked about hanging up the drawings on their refrigerator.  Children are also encouraged to participate in the ice cream social after worship, which will be delicious as long as a lot of fun!

As always, if you have any questions or thoughts, please let me know.  Take care and I hope to see you all on Sunday!

Mattie Johnson

Thursday, May 26, 2011

This Sunday at First Congregational Church! May 29, 2011 This is our "Jesus Has Left the Building...And We Followed!" service Sunday

Please note the following information:

Due to construction work going on in our building, the entire building will be closed Friday, May 27 through Monday May 30th. However, we will be "following Jesus" to various locations to serve our community.

On Sunday we will be gathering for worship at First Montclair House, a senior citizen's residence at 56 Walnut St. in Montclair (just off Grove St., behind Grove Pharmacy). Rev. Ann will be preaching on John's Gospel 14:15-21 -- in a sermon titled "What's Love Got to Do With It?"

Worship will begin at 11:00am.

While we will not have formal church school, children are welcome and will be making special pictures and cards for the residents during worship.

Immediately following worship we will have a coffee hour and ice-cream social with the residents.  All "savory" brunch -type contributions would be welcome!

cheese/crackers
fruit
bagels
quiche, etc.

If you would like to bring something, please contact Liz Donald at Liz77donald@gmail.com.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

FCC Children's Education Program - May 22, 2011 follow-up

Dear FCC Parents,


I hope you all enjoyed the weekend with your families!


This past Sunday, May 22, the children began one part of a two week lesson about fellowship. Using John 14:1-14 as our jumping off point, we explored what it means for Jesus to be "the way, and the truth, and the life."  Jesus lovingly invites us into his relationship with God.  As we get to experience God's love through Jesus, we are encouraged to share God's love with others in true fellowship.  The children explored the importance of fellowship through making a "path" of good deeds and becoming "team machines" that encourage working together and respecting each other.


This week, I encourage you to speak with your child about other opportunities s/he can take to love others.  Particularly this comingSunday, May 29, we are participating in Jesus Has Left The Building, a Sunday where our worship is expressed through helping others.  There are many ways to participate and you should refer to your bulletin for more information.  I encourage you this week to pick a venue and fellowship opportunity that appeals to your family and to talk more with your child about the value of helping out and continuing to love others through fellowship opportunities.

Jesus Has Left The Building
Sunday May 29 - 10:30am
First Montclair House - NOTE LOCATION CHANGE!
56 Walnut Street

One opportunity geared just for children is during the worship service on Sunday at First Montclair House the children will make a welcome banner for foster children arriving from Colombia for a summer in the US and learn about welcoming the "stranger" or anyone new to our communities.  Between the art project and spending time with friends at church, this Sunday will be a lot of fun!

As always, if you have any questions or thoughts, please feel free to contact me.


Take care and I hope you have a great week.  See you on Sunday,
Mattie Johnson

Monday, May 23, 2011

Share the Sermon May 29!

This Sunday we continue to explore the Gospel of John and particularly chapter 14:15-21 where Jesus shares his parting thoughts with his friends.  He focuses his message on how his friends are to continue his ministry without him and promises them that he will not truly leave him as his Spirit will be with them. As you read this passage, I invite your reflections on how the Spirit is present to you.   Does it challenge you?  Inspire you? Comfort you? I welcome your refelctions!

I am really looking foward to continuing this shared experience and thank all of you for the many ways you inspire my ministry!

peace,
Ann

Rev. Ann Ralosky
Senior Minister
First Congregational Church, UCC
40 South Fullerton Ave
Montclair, NJ  07042

www.firstcongmontclair.org

Friday, May 20, 2011

Reminder - Bridges brown bag lunches due Sunday!

This Sunday in the FCC Children's Education Program

This Sunday in the FCC Children's Education Program

Dear FCC Parents,

I hope you all are having a good week, despite all of this rain!

This Sunday in the FCC Children's Education Program, we continue our journey through the experiences of the early Christian church to learn more about the value of fellowship. What does fellowship mean? Why is it a valuable means of expressing our relationships to God? This week through the story of Stephen and the first Christian communities, we learn how important it is to take care of each other, to love each other and to work together. Through making a "stone" path of good deeds and becoming "team machines" to highlight the importance of working together, the children are going to jump into their journeys of faith.

Fellowship, or sharing God's love with others, is something some of the children have learned about in the past. Is there someone in your child's life that s/he could reach out to and share God's love with? Or is there a particular social justice issue, such as hunger, homelessness or relief aid that your child has expressed interest in helping out at before? This weekend, I encourage you to speak with your child about the opportunities in their own lives to love others.

As always, if you have any questions, thoughts, advice or concerns, please let me know.

Take care and I hope you enjoy the weekend,

Mattie Johnson

Friday, May 13, 2011

This Sunday at First Congregational Church! May 15, 2011, 10:30am

The season of Easter continues as we experience the risen Christ in different ways.  This Sunday we hear the story of the early Christian community -- that radical group who attempted to create a new way to live together.  Welcoming the stranger, sharing all they had with whoever had need, and turning no one away was what set them apart.  Centering all of this in the love of risen Christ is what brought them together.  We will hear about this remarkable community in a scripture reading from the Book of Acts (2:42-47).

While Rev. Ann is away on retreat this weekend, we are very blessed to have with us a special guest preacher, Rev. Sue Goodwin, Co-Pastor of Grace UCC in Flemington, NJ. She will explore this passage in a sermon called "Christian Community."  Please welcome her warmly into our community!

Lay Worship Leaders:

Liturgist:      Jocelyn Emerson
Ushers:         Del Pentecost, Willie Harris & Robert Kerr
Reader:        Barry Moore
Coffee hour: Clarissa Schoch

Announcements

New Member class continues this Sunday, May 15!  If you are interested in learning more about FCC, the United Church of Christ, and what it means to be a member of this congregation, please join us in the library immediately after worship.  This the third of three classes which run for one hour each.  Those wishing to join will be recieved into membership during worship on Sunday, May 22.  Child care is available during the classes.  Please see Rev. Ann for details.
    
Ministry of Children and Youth meeting immediately after worship.    Our church school is growing and we have many plans on how to help it thrive into the future.  All parents are invited to join Lynley Jones and Mattie Johnson in the church school classroom immediately after worship to learn more.  Child care will be provided.
    
Dinner and a Movie Sunday night at 5pm in the Guild Room.    Enjoy the critically-acclaimed family film "Up!" and share some fun with FCC Friends.  Bring a pot-luck dish to share, relax and watch the fillm -- a perfect Sunday evening!
    
Bible Study is held every Sunday at 9:30am in the library.  All are welcome to join a lively and thought-provoking discussion on the lectionary reading.
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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Upcoming Events in the FCC Children's Education Program - May 15, 2011

Dear FCC Parents,

I hope you all are doing well!  It was lovely to see so many of you and your children today.  I again wanted to congratulate all of the children who received their Bibles this morning.  It is one step of many on their journeys of faith and we hope their Bibles will be helpful to them.  If your child could not make it to the Bible workshop, we have extra handouts available in the church school room, feel free to pick them up next Sunday.

To recap what your children learned about in the Children's Education Program this morning - we read Luke 24:13-35 (the story of two disciples meeting Jesus on the road to Emmaus) to launch into a discussion about communion.  At the heart of our conversation was how communion not only speaks to our relationship with God, where we seek to be closer to God and we receive physical and spiritual nourishment from God, but also our relationships to each other, where we seek to care for each other and grow closer together.   

If you wanted to talk with your child more about what s/he learned about in church school today, you could ask your child - what opportunities do you have in you own life to care for others?  Are there people in your life that you could reach out to and share God's love with?  I hope that the seeds planted this morning through the Children's Education Program continue to grow throughout this coming week.

 Finally, below there is more information about an upcoming event at FCC - the first meeting of the Children and Youth Ministry!  As always, if you have any questions, feel free to be in contact with me.

Take care and I hope you all have a great week,
Mattie Johnson

Friday, May 6, 2011

Donations needed for Bridges brown bag lunches

This Sunday at First Congregational Church!

Sunday, May 8, 2011:

The season of Easter continues as we experience the risen Christ in different ways.  This Sunday we hear the story of the two travelers on the Emmaus Road who encounter Christ in the form of a stranger who "warms their hearts" and "opens their eyes."  After the horrors and heartache of Good Friday, they were not expecting this re-appearance of God's love in their midst.   How often are we taken by surprise by the same thing?

This Sunday we will also explore the events of this last week and wrestle with the implications for us as Americans and as followers of Jesus.  We will share a modern lesson from the Buddhist monk and peace activist, Thich Nhat Hanh, who challenges us to look deeply at how we respond to war and conflict.  As with any subject as complex as this, there are more questions than answers. Rev. Ann will address the many national responses to the killing of Osama bin Laden in a sermon entitled "How Do We Respond?"

Lay Worship Leaders:

Liturgist:      Jocelyn Emerson

Ushers:         Brendan Bevensee, Del Pentecost,  Willie Harris & Robert Kerr

Reader:        Deirdre Nance

Coffee hour:  Hospitality Ministry (Del Pentecost & Jeanne LoCicero

Special Announcements

    * New Member classes continue this Sunday, May 8!  If you are interested in learning more about FCC, the United Church of Christ, and what it means to be a member of this congregation, please join us in the library immediately after worship.  This the second of three classes which run for one hour each.  Even if you missed the first class, please feel free to attend.  Those wishing to join will be recieved into membership during worship on Sunday, May 22.  Child care is available during the classes.  Please see Rev. Ann for details.

    * Bible Study is held every Sunday at 9:30am in the library.  All are welcome to join a lively and thought-provoking discussion on the lectionary reading.
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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Ministry of Children Education & Youth

Friday, April 8, 2011

Special "Harry Potter Movie Night" Sunday April 10

For FCC kids at 5:30pm in the Guild Room! Come for a pizza dinner and a showing of "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone." Let Mattie know you're coming! madeline.m.johnson@gmail.com
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Friday, March 25, 2011

This Sunday at First Congregational Church!

Deep Thirst

For the next five weeks we will be travelling in our season of Lent, the challenging forty day journey that prepares us for the joy of Easter morning. Lent is a time of deep discovery -- a time of moving to a different spiritual rhythm in our lives. Each Sunday during worship we will explore a different aspect of our journeys of faith.

This Sunday we share two scripture readings that explore the power of water. In Exodus 17:1-7 we travel with Moses and the Israelites into the wilderness. Having been freed from the bondage in Egypt they now find themselves facing the challenge of freedom and risk dying of thirst. In John's gospel (John 4:5-14), Jesus enounters a Samaritan woman at the well who is suffering from a different kind of thirst. Water is essential for life. Physically, we cannot survive long without it, and spiritually the metaphor of water reminds us that our souls need quenching as well. Rev. Ann will preach a sermon entitled "Deep Thirst: Finding Water in the Desert."

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Take a deep spiritual breath this Lent!

Walk the Labyrinth each Wednesday through April 20 from 6pm-8pm in the Sanctuary of the First Congregational Church of Montclair.

What is a labyrinth?

All are welcome !

See the video below for more information on the labyrinth experience! The journey is waiting for you.

Friday, March 4, 2011

We Celebrate "Covenant Sunday!"

For the past five months we have been exploring five aspects of our spiritual lives: prayer, presence, generosity, service and growth. This Sunday we step into our future of faith as we promise to live into those practices day by day. As a renewing church, these promises are a sign of hope -- a sign of transformation. During this special worship service we celebrate that covenant by making a commitment to support this work of this church in our giving of time, talent and treasure as we make our pledges for 2011 with a very special offertory.

We will hear the story of Jesus' transfiguration from Matthew's gospel (17:1-9), where his friends received a glimpse of what true transformation looks like -- and were challenged to live new lives in response. In a sermon entitled "The Promise of Change" Rev. Ann will explore what it means for us to be transformed by God's presence as well as we step into our future of faith.

In addition to the wonderful music of the FCC choir, Children's choir and Bell choir, we will welcome special guest musicians and the talents of many of own members, including Heather Krauza, Lauren Marden, Dick Thomas and Scott Ziegler.

Immediately following worship we will celebrate our covenants with a special reception in the Guild Room. All are welcome to attend.

Friday, February 25, 2011

This Sunday at First Congregational Church! February is a month of Growth.

Sunday, February 27: As we enter the fifth month in our Season of Covenants we make a covenant of “growth.” Like the winter's ground that appears cold and bare, our spiritual lives can also feel lifeless. During this contemplative season we are invited to nurture the seeds of our spirit and cultivate a deeper relationship with God and one another through reflection, study, and worship.

This Sunday the "Sermon on the Mount" continues to challenge us as Jesus invites us to "stop worrying about tomorrow." Easier said than done, Jesus! In a world that seems awash in anxiety Jesus offers us a change in perspective, a new way of centering our lives in what really matters. Rev. Ann will explore Matthew's gospel (6:19-21, 24-34) in a sermon entitled "That All-Surrounding Grace."

In addition to the wonderful music of the FCC choir, we will welcome special guest musicians Catherine McGowan and Bernadette Malavarca (of local band "Bern and the Brights") to offer a special piece.

And finally, this is New Members Sunday! We will welcome Kate Chardavoyne & Jose Rivera, Matteo & Lisa Massiello, and Lara & Matt Sullivan and their families into our church family. Please join us for this special day!

Friday, February 11, 2011

A Salt and Light Log Share!

This morning I spent some time with a lovely elderly woman with no family.  She lives in a nursing home and has very few visitors. We talked about her memories of growing up in Montclair and especially her memories of FCC (which she used to sneak into with the pastor's daughter and smoke cigarettes!). Laughing with her blessed me as much as it blessed her!
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Bible Study!

Bible Study held every Sunday morning at 9:30 in the library. Join in a lively discussion of today's scripture passage.  All are welcome!

Interfaith Hospitality Network (IHN) needs volunteers for Feb 28!

Interfaith Hospitality Network (IHN) needs volunteers for Feb 28! We will provide comfort to temporarily homeless families by serving and sharing a meal, companionship, homework help and overnight supervision. Sign-up sheets are in the Guild Room or contact Brendan Bevensee at brendan_elwood@yahoo.com

Dinner and a Movie Sunday Night!

Dinner and a Movie Sunday Night! Beat the winter blues with an evening of "Chocolat" (the movie) and chocolate (the dessert). We'll gather in the Guild Room at 5pm to watch the film, engage in enlightening theological discussion, and enjoy a warm bowl of chili, salad, corn bread and dessert. Children will watch "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" in the library.

New Member Classes!

New Member Classes continue Sunday! Everyone interested in learning about membership at First Congregational church are invited to a series of three classes (Feb 6,13,20) held immediately following worship. Questions? Please contact Rev. Ann (revann@fccmtc.com)

Friday, February 4, 2011

This Sunday at First Congregational Church! February is a month of Growth.

This Sunday, February 6th! ALL are welcome to join us at 10:30 a.m. for our service.

As we enter the fifth month in our Season of Covenants we make a covenant of “growth.” Like the winter's ground that appears cold and bare, our spiritual lives can also feel lifeless. During this contemplative season we are invited to nurture the seeds of our spirit and cultivate a deeper relationship with God and one another through reflection, study, and worship.

This Sunday we hear again from Jesus' "Sermon on the Mount" in Matthew's gospel (5:13-27). Into a world that often feels dark and hopeless, Jesus tells us that we are the "salt of the earth and light of the world." Rev. Ann will explore the bold invitation of those words in a sermon entitled "Spice It Up, Let It Shine!" Our bell choir will accompany our choir for some particularly sparkling music!

This Sunday we will also begin our three-Sunday series of "Telling Our Stories." We will hear the personal journeys of three members of our church of how they experience God in their lives. This Sunday we are grateful to receive the story of Mark Graceffo.

We will experience the warmth and light of Christ's welcome as we celebrate the sacrament of Holy Communion. Our communion table is an open table -- all are welcome. No doubt is too strong, no faith is too weak to share in the abundant feast of God.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Church School "Meet & Greet"!

Church School "Meet & Greet" immediately after worship in the Sunday School Room! All parents are invited to meet Mattie Johnson, our new Christian Education Director, learn of her plans for the Spring, discuss ideas for our growing Church School and get to know the other families. Questions? Please contact Mattie Johnson madeline.m.johnson@gmail.com
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This Sunday at First Congregational Church!

As we enter the fourth month in our Season of Covenants we make a covenant of “service”. At the heart of the gospel, Jesus tells us that "what ever we do for the least among us, we do for him." In a season of welcoming, we search for Christ in our neighbor and welcome God's invitation to serve one another, sharing ourselves to magnify God's grace in the world.

This Sunday we explore one the most counter-cultural passages in all of the gospels: the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:1-23). Here we learn the paradigm shift of God which challenges our conventional wisdom and invites us to rethink who is "blessed" in our world. Our Modern Reading is taken from a contemporary litany of beatitudes found on the wall of Mother Teresa's orphanage in Calcutta.

As this the the fifth Sunday of the month, we have traditionally held our "Jesus Has Left the Building...And We Followed" service Sunday. However, this Sunday Jesus is staying in the building and we will focus part of our worship on the meaning of that ministry and how we can continue to place it at the center of our spiritual life at FCC.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

FCC Caregiving Concern


Broadway House for Continuing Care, 298 Broadway, Newark. New Jersey's largest HIV/AIDS nursing home. 973-268-9797.

FCC Homelessness Concern


Montclair Emergency Shelter for the Homeless MESH. Houses area homeless during the cold weather. Located at First Methodist Church, 33 N. Fullerton Ave., Montclair. For more information contact Fr. Wade Renn at 973-655-1052.

FCC Hunger Concern


Salvation Army Montclair, Trinity Place, Montclair. Serves lunch to the hungry at 12 Noon, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. 973-744-3312

Friday, January 21, 2011

This Sunday at First Congregational Church!

January 23, 2011, 10:30am

January is a month of Service!

As we continue the fourth month in our Season of Covenants we make a covenant of “service”. At the heart of the gospel, Jesus tells us that "what ever we do for the least among us, we do for him." In a season of welcoming, we search for Christ in our neighbor and welcome God's invitation to serve one another, sharing ourselves to magnify God's grace in the world.

This Sunday we consider the question of what it means to follow Jesus. We hear the story of Peter and Andrew (Matthew 4:12-23), two ordinary fisherman who's lives were forever changed by Jesus' invitation. How would we respond? Our Modern Reading is taken from the book Let Your Life Speak: Listening to the Voice of Vocation by Parker Palmer. It poses the question of what it means to follow a call. Rev. Ann Ralosky will explore this question in a sermon entitled "Lean Back."
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Thursday, January 20, 2011

Family Communion Workshop

Family Communion Workshop
Saturday, February 5 from 10am-12noon
 
Join us for a hands-on exploration of the sacrament of Communion geared for children.  We will learn the origins and meanings of this special ritual meal, tell stories, bake bread and share the sacrament together.  All families are welcome!
Please RSVP to Rev. Ann (revann@fccmtc.com ) or call the church 973-744-4856 by January 30.

Monday, January 10, 2011

MMO Registration now!

Registration for September 2011 School Year programs begins January 10th!
Ongoing registration for infant and toddler care.
Quality care for infants between six weeks and seventeen months of age. My Morning Out for eighteen months throuogh thirty months. Nursery years, Pre K, and Summer Programs for two through six years old.

Hours
7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, calendar available upon request.

Scheduling options are full and part time with part time/drop off available.

If you would like more information and/or a tour please call 973-744-6521 or email 
info@mmoprograms.org