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«ach Events • • • A “God Is Still Speaking” Congregation North Congregational Church Woodbury, Connecticut JULY/AUGUST 2015 No matter who ...»

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News Fellowship Outreach Events

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“God Is Still Speaking”


North Congregational Church

Woodbury, Connecticut


No matter who you are,

or where you are on life’s journey,

you are welcome here!

Those Lazy, Hazy, CRAZY days of


summer, when nothing happens at

O church, are here! Well now, that’s just


N Yes, the summer has a different E feel, a different pace, and unique opporR tunities for special activities. And your church community should be a part of your plans!

We are worshiping jointly with our friends from First Congregational. In the context of our conversations about the future of Congregationalism in Woodbury, meeting one another regularly in worship is essential.

So, don’t be a stranger in worship! Will you plan to be present?!?

I am excited about two special worship and fellowship events, the SUMMER SUNDAYS at SUNSET, planned for July 12 and August 16, at 7:00 p.m. Relaxed atmosphere, craft tables for children, special musiccentered worship, and light food fare will provide an opportunity for us to open our doors to the wider Woodbury community in welcome. Will you plan to be present?

The Exploratory Committee with First Church is planning a series of home gatherings called “Envision the Future: Discussions on Church Union.” We will be inviting discussion and input regarding what a single, united, congregational church might look like, and whether or not it makes sense for all of us. Is God at work in this process?

Information about these gatherings will be shared at Sunday Worship, and sign-up sheets will be out as well.

Will you plan to be present?

Our Summer preaching schedule will include Rev. Des Desmond, Rev. Linda Fernandes-Bailey, our own Dr. Vin de Luise, and, oh yes, yours truly! In addition, we are planning a church ROAD TRIP to the Heifer Project Farm in Rutland, MA. All are invited to join our Church School families on Saturday, August 29. More information about this trip will be available at church.

Will you plan to be present?!? Let’s keep connected this summer.

Blessings, Pastor Koenig Moderator’s Message by Dave Sonnemann The end of our church year has arrived and summer “relaxation” may have set in. But that does not mean we can rest, for doing Christ’s work is an ongoing task. The

New Testament reminds us to:

“Wake up, and strengthen the things that remain, which were about to die; for I have not found your deeds completed in the sight of My God.” Revelations 3:2.

Programs, issues, and outreach at North Church are independent of our personal activity level and require attention whether we are at a beach, in the mountains, or relaxing at home. Less hectic activity levels previously experienced during holidays, in the evenings, and on weekends have been replaced by frenetic activity enabled by continuous connectivity through the use of smart phones and tablet computers. So what will be hectic about this summer for North Church?

Summer activity brings discussions about unified ministry, Summer Sunday Sunsets, “Tea & Talk” meetings, unified worship services during July and August, and planning for programs when our church year begins in September. Responses to questions and comments raised in the Pulse of the Congregation survey will be communicated. Rev. Sandy will be providing pastoral support to First Church as in the past, but for two months instead of one, as Rev. Barrett has retired from First Church. The Exploratory Committee will continue its work to develop a proposal that may lead two congregations to unify ministry in Woodbury. Finally, beginning in September, Rev. Sandy will likely be asked to support a temporary minister at First Church while unification of ministry in Woodbury is being contemplated.

As you can see, there is a lot going on and your continuing support is needed as we expand our influence to do God’s work in Woodbury. May you all enjoy the warmth and relaxation that summertime brings. Blessings and Peace.

Board of Trustees Wayne Anderson & Pete D’Amato (Co-chairs)

Dear Members and Friends of North Church:

North Church needs your help this summer.

Whether you have pre-paid your pledge, met or possibly even exceeded your pledge amount to date, or need to “catch up” on your pledge, North Church still needs you.

The ministry of North Church provides services and programs for all 12 months of the year. Therefore, payroll must be met and bills paid continuously all year through.

Unfortunately, cash flow in our church is perennially low over the summer months. It is important to the life of our church that this shortfall be minimized as no organization can operate effectively with a continual cash flow deficit.

For all those who have so generously donated to North Church please know that your gifts are appreciated.

If it is at all possible to contribute more, it will be warmly received. All contributions, large or small, are welcome!

Now is the time for the good people of North Church to come forward with their support for the summer months of the 2015 church year. Thank you.

“Plant a Row” for the Woodbury Food Bank Many of us have our gardens planted and are looking forward to homegrown vegetables throughout the summer. Please consider donating your extra vegetables, fruits and herbs to the Woodbury Food Bank.

The food bank will receive fresh produce donations on Thursday and Friday mornings from 9 to 10:30 a.m.

They are located at the rear of La Bonne’s shopping plaza, lower level of the part of the building that houses the Newtown Savings Bank.

We invite you to share in the bounty of your gardens with local families who are facing economic hardship. All donations are greatly appreciated.

The Diaconate By Pat Gage & Bob Travers Summer is here with all of its beauty and warmth. It was ushered in with our fantastic “Summer Sunday Kickoff”.

Thank you to all who made that such a memorable event.

As you remember, in July and August we do a pulpit sharing with First Church. In July we will be worshiping at North Church, sharing deacon responsibilities with First Church. During August we will be worshiping at First Church, doing the same. Don’t be shy, we are counting on seeing your faces at both churches, all summer long!

Remember July: North Church, August; First Church.

We’re trying something new this summer. On July 12, we are sharing in the first of a series of two “Summer Sundays at Sunset.” (The second service is on August 16.) Each service will be a relaxed and informal evening service, held outside. Each will be music centered with elements of worship blended together. This is a fine opportunity for those who enjoyed our “Hymn Sings” to continue doing the same, outside! These services are in addition to our joint Sunday morning services.

September will be here in a blink of an eye or so it will seem. We hope you have a safe, restful and joyful summer. Enjoy each day and its blessings.

Music Notes By John Wick, Chair

Summer brings a break in the normal music pattern at North Church as the choirs take a leave of absence. But there will be music! Some familiar performers and some unexpected will be in worship for the end of June and the month of July, as we have combined services with First Church in our sanctuary.

We also expect to see/hear new microphones in the sanctuary this summer, which should enhance the music as well as the spoken word for the congregation.

The Music Committee is working on plans for the next year. If you have any requests or ideas, please contact me at (203) 263-2629.

North Church



–  –  –

Just a reminder…the monthly Connections Newsletter can be found on our website along with current events, news, press releases and photos, the monthly calendar and more!

Check it out at www.northchurchwoodbury.org.

–  –  –

Summer Sunday at Sunset will be held on August 16 at 7:00 p.m. This service will be outside, informal, relaxed, a bit devotional worship combined, along with special music. We hope you’ll be able to join us on these special evenings.

–  –  –

Please join us on Saturday, August 29, for a field trip to Heifer Farms in Massachusetts. This is a very special Sunday School initiative for all youth and those who are young at heart!

We’ll be carpooling from the church parking lot at 8:00 a.m. and arrive at Heifer Farms around 10:00 a.m.

There will be a special workshop presentation, followed by a picnic lunch. We should be back by 3:30 p.m.

Please contact the church office if you are interested in attending.

Outreach Committee by Cathy McMullin

Summer Outreach Reminders Our "Back to School" supplies drive will be taking place throughout the month of July here at North Church.

A large box for your donations is located by the Outreach Wall. The last day to accept donations will be August 2.

Bob Taylor from the CSCW in Woodbury will distribute the supplies to the children of Woodbury who are in need of our help with their lengthy list of school supplies when they return to school in September. The children and their families will be invited to North Church Fellowship Hall in mid August and Bob will make sure they are well taken care of. Thank you for your generous support of our area's children in need!

As your gardens start to produce their bounty please consider donating those healthy veggies and fruits to the Woodbury Food Bank. What a special seasonal treat for our neighbors.

The summertime meal we served at Loaves and Fishes (June 30) was a hit as usual with our friends and clients. They love it when they see it is we who are serving. Our little group expands to double in size and is always enthusiastic about planning and serving the best meal possible. A German style meal of grilled brats, sauerkraut and potato salad along with homemade chocolate cake was on the menu. Along with veggies, chips and onion dip and lemonade, this was a true summer time picnic. Won't you please consider helping to feed the hungry - you'll be happy you did. A sign up sheet will be posted for SEPTEMBER 29!!

We have been honored with several speakers in church in recent months. The most recent was Kathleen Reilly's sister, Margitta Savo, who spoke about Blanket Sunday and gave an accounting of her personal story as a child immigrant to this country in the 1950's. The comfort and security of a blanket handed to her made her transition in the first weeks much easier. On June 7, we welcomed Virginia Garms of First Church to speak about the Red Barn ministry and the many ways it has touched our community. It is their hope that this ministry will continue well into the future, as it provides home furnishings, clothing and necessities to local families who otherwise would go without. We also welcomed Bob Taylor of the CSCW and Woodbury Food Bank on June 21 to speak about the local needs of over 100 families at our doorstep. Bob is a familiar face in town and his well-spoken, gentle demeanor is comforting to those he reaches out to. On September 27, we will welcome Lisa Martin from Loaves and Fishes Soup Kitchen in New Milford to speak about their ministry in Southern Litchfield County. We'll view a 5 minute power point presentation and hear her interesting story of the beginnings of Loaves 30 years ago and what the future may hold. Please join us.

Our last Sunday food collections will continue to take place each month along with any LaBonnes' grocery receipts you may have. As always our hands are at work and our hearts to God!

Property Update By George Kleros

The Saturday work crew was reactivated in June to address many of the projects on the church exterior and grounds. Some of the projects include painting sections of the church, replacing wood, clearing out old plantings and reseeding the grass around the parsonage. There has been a great turn out each Saturday. A special thanks to all the volunteers that participate. We need more volunteers! The Saturday summer work crew is a great fellowship opportunity. Just show up on Saturday morning at the church, breakfast will be provided. We work from 8 to 12.

Please let me know if you want to participate in any of the work events and I will include you in the weekly email listing the projects scheduled for that week.

Women’s Fellowship By Cathy Monckton



The Women’s Fellowship will again be accepting applications for our scholarship assistance program. Those eligible include North Church college students and newly graduated high school students. Upper-class students may apply with each ensuing year and will be considered along with new applicants.

We have budgeted $1,000 for this endeavor. It may be distributed in total to one individual or shared among several. The applications are located in the Scholarship Mail Slot across from the church office. The deadline for submission is July 31, 2015 to North Congregational Church, attention: Women’s Fellowship.

The recipient(s) will be selected at the September Women’s Fellowship board meeting. Members and friends of North Church are welcomed to add to this amount - a very worthy cause when higher education costs are soaring.

CT Women of the UCC Fall Retreat

“God is in the Muck” is the theme of the CT Women of the UCC Fall Retreat. The Reverend Lee Ireland will be the leader.

The retreat will be held on September 18, 2015 at 4:00 p.m. through September 19, 2015 at 4:00 p.m. at the Silver Lake Conference Center in Sharon, CT.

The cost is $135 per person and includes overnight lodging, walks by the lake and 3 delicious meals. For more information, please contact swaldron01@snet.net.

Congratulations, Carolyn!

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