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Scenes of the Christmas Season: OUSE MONTHLY

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INSIDE THIS ISSUE Volume 15/Number 1/January 2014 Soup Kitchen/TY/Help Save a Tree..…… 8 The Rummage Room News……....……. 9 Church School………………….…....... 10 Meet Our Child Care Supervisors…… .. 11 First Church Preschool Summer Program12 Women’s Fellowship/Moms Group…….13 Photos from Christmas Eve……...….... 2 Speaking Pastorally/You Are Invited….. 3 Musical Notes………………………… 4 “Souper Bowl Sunday” Soup Sale…….. 5 From the Parish Nurse.………….…… 6 Book Corner/Bible Study/Hats Off....... 7 Music Notes (cont)/Jan Assignments 14 Stewardship……………………..… 15 Nicaragua 2014/Stewardship (cont).. 16 Jan B-Days/Life Events……………. 17 Q & A about FCCOG..…..….…….18 Expenses/Revenue for 2014 Budget...19 MEETINGHOUSE MONTHLY Scenes of the Christmas Season: See more pictures on the next page... The 343rd Annual Meeting of The First Congregational Church of Greenwich, Old Greenwich, CT, is hereby called for Sunday, January 26, 2014, immediately following the worship service. The meeting will be held in the Meetinghouse: To hear and act upon the annual reports of the pastors, officers and committees; To hear and act upon the report of the Nominating Committee and to elect officers for the coming year; To adopt the budget for 2014; To transact such other business as may properly come before the meeting. 343rd ANNUAL MEETING
Meetinghouse MonthlyThe Rummage Room News……....……. 9
Church School………………….…....... 10
First Church Preschool Summer Program12
Women’s Fellowship/Moms Group…….13
Photos from Christmas Eve……...….... 2
Speaking Pastorally/You Are Invited….. 3
Musical Notes………………………… 4
From the Parish Nurse.………….…… 6
Book Corner/Bible Study/Hats Off....... 7
Music Notes (cont)/Jan Assignments 14
Stewardship……………………..… 15
See more pictures on the next page...
The 343rd Annual Meeting of The First Congregational Church of Greenwich, Old Greenwich, CT, is hereby called for Sunday, January 26, 2014, immediately following the worship service. The meeting will be held in the Meetinghouse:
To hear and act upon the annual reports of the pastors, officers and committees;
To hear and act upon the report of the Nominating Committee and to elect officers for the coming year;
To adopt the budget for 2014;
To transact such other business as may properly come before the meeting.
Visit our Photo Gallery to view event photos: www.fccog.org/photo-gallery/
By: Rev. John Collins
Dear Friends, As we cross the threshold into the New Year, I’d like to share something that Henry David Thoreau wrote in his masterpiece, Walden:
The life in us is like the water in the river. It may rise this year higher than man has ever known it…even this may be the eventful year that will drown out all our muskrats.
I love this. When I was growing up, my family spent summers at a small lake in Pennsylvania. Muskrats were among the wonderful variety of wildlife found there and, periodically, they would dam up the lake outlet causing the water to become stagnant in dry seasons. The remedy for this would be a downpour of cleansing rain, raising the water level and clearing out the muskrat dams. After a storm like this the lake water would become clear and fresh again. So, I knew exactly what Thoreau meant when I read his reference to muskrats. Water is a powerful symbol of The Spirit of Life in all of us, and the idea of little dam building creatures that clog our souls made perfect sense to me. And, as I make the turn into 2014, it made me start to wonder what muskrats were at work in my spirit? What dams had I allowed to accumulate that blocked the flow of living water in me? So, I made a little list of my “spiritual muskrats.” Here it is: + Being too quick to judge the behavior and opinions of other people. + Being in too much of a hurry. + Letting whole days go by without noticing the natural beauty around me. + Not paying attention to the kindness and affection of people in my life. + Forgetting that every moment of life, this moment right now, is a precious gift. I could go on, of course, but you get the idea. All of us have spiritual muskrats that clog up our lives and cause us to miss the wonder and mystery of life. The trick is to know they are there and to let the powerful downpour of God’s unconditional love wash them away.
Speaking Pastorally
Would you like to attend a dinner party in someone’s home sometime during the month of January? These dinner parties have become a tradition at the Presbyterian Church of Greenwich with great success and are offered at least twice a year. The concept involves asking 8-10 hosts and/or hostesses to offer their homes on a date convenient to them. Their only obligation is to open their homes for our enjoyment. You are then asked to sign up on lists posted on the bulletin board outside the Auditorium for a date convenient for you. You and your host can decide what you will bring to the dinner. Options offered by our good friends at Trader Joe’s and Costco make this opportunity very easy. There is no agenda or other official purpose for these dinners - only enjoying each others’ company. You may walk in the door as partial strangers and out the door as new friends. If some of you would agree to serve as hosts and/or hostesses, please contact Prill Meyer at [email protected] or 203-637-4214 as soon as possible.
You Are Invited!
“Musical Notes”
First Music and Arts Season continues - Sunday Afternoons Live - 4:00 pm in the Auditorium
First Music and Arts presents another outstanding season in the intimate setting of our Auditorium, complete with coffee, tea, and light snacks. Tickets are $20 per person (available at the door), and all school-aged youth are free. Our season is gratefully underwritten by the late Stella Miazga, a non-church member who attended our concerts and generously bequeathed funds to support the series after her death.
Sunday, February 2: Chad Smith, saxophone
Sax-O-Philm is a unique theatrical concert experience which recreates the atmosphere of the 1920’s. It is a fully scripted and produced show, featuring the music of vaudeville saxophonist Rudy Wiedoeft, as per- formed by Broadway saxophonist Chad Smith, on both alto and c melody saxophones. Sax-O-Philm will transport audiences of all ages back to a time during which radio, ragtime, silent movies and flappers were all the rage. Projected silent films, photo montages, and interesting anecdotes of the period round out the show.
Piano and harp accompany Chad to capture the unforgettable sound of the Golden Age. The story- line embodies the character of Wiedoeft through his style, humor, charm and showmanship. Sax-O-Philm’s unique blend of live music, world-class talent and multimedia make this a concert event unlike any other. Please visit saxophilm.com for more information.
Chad Smith first developed his interest in 1920’s saxophone virtuoso Rudy Wiedoeft while studying with Ted Hegvik at West Chester University in 1992. Chad’s talent with multiple woodwind instruments has made him a sought after Broadway, film recording and concert performer. He has been a member of the Broadway orchestras of Wicked, Legally Blonde, Follies and A Christmas Story.
Sunday, February 9: Peter Griggs, guitar
The Guitar In America concentrates on the unique styles of American guitar music, including traditional finger-picking, ragtime, blues, jazz and popular song, and includes music by Robert Johnson, George Gershwin, Duke Ellington, Wes Montgomery and others.
Peter Griggs is a guitarist and composer from New York City. He has presented more than 450 solo guitar concerts in the USA and Europe – primarily in Germany and the United Kingdom, as well as in Scandinavia, the Baltic States, the Low Countries, France, Switzerland, Austria, the Czech Republic and Croatia – at art centers, museums, galleries, libraries, churches, festivals and jazz clubs. His repertoire includes classical music of all periods – from Renaissance to modern – as well as flamenco, jazz, Brazilian music and his own compositions.
Sunday, February 16: Lindsay Kesselman, soprano and Christopher James Lees, pianist
The Many Faces of Love presents a stirring assortment of pieces that bring light to various corners, many rarely heard, of this elusive emotion. Using contemporary American vocal music, sacred and romantic songs are intermixed with passionate, flights of fancy, darkly private and overwhelmingly exuberant expressions of affection. I guarantee you'll "love" it!
Lindsay Kesselman is an American soprano currently on tour with the Philip Glass Ensemble as a member of his groundbreaking opera, Einstein on the Beach. A specialist in contemporary vocal repertoire and chamber music, Ms. Kesselman actively commissions and records accessible, vibrant, and thought provoking music of our time.
Christopher James Lees is a prize-winning orchestral conductor, and has performed with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Detroit Symphony, and National Arts Centre Orchestra among many others. He is the Associate Director of Orchestras at the University of Michigan and moonlights as a collaborative pianist, primarily of contemporary vocal music. First Music and Arts Series Continues on Page 14 ...
5 The Meet inghouse Monthly
" S O U P E R B O W L S U N D AY ” S O U P S A L E ! F E B R U A R Y 2 , 1 1 : 0 0 A M T O 1 : 0 0 P M
S P O N S O R E D B Y W O M E N ’ S F E L L O W S H I P
Get your soup recipes (chili or stews too!) ready for the Fourth Annual Women’s Fellowship Soup Sale in the Auditorium on Sunday, February 2, 2014 from 11:00 am - 1:00 pm (or ‘til the soup runs out!). Soup donations are starting now.
Please sign up for soup donations in the Church Office … instructions will be available … or during Coffee Hour. Quarts of soup will be sold for $10 each and all proceeds will go to support Women’s Fellowship projects. (Note: cost of the ingredients is tax deductible.)
Questions? Please contact Sue McCalley at [email protected] or 203-273-6526.
Below is a soup recipe as an example of a soup that folks can make, but ANY soup or chili is fine as a donation, so start cooking!
(Yields at least 2 qts.)
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp tomato paste
4 cups water
1 lb stale country bread, crusts removed, cut into cubes (about 7 cups)
2-3 tbsp slivered fresh basil
1. Heat 2 tbsp of the oil in a large, heavy soup pot over medium-low heat.
2. Add the onion, and cook, stirring until tender (about 5 minutes).
3. Meanwhile, pulse the tomatoes in a food processor until coarsely blended.
4. Add garlic to the pot.
5. Cook, stirring, for about a minute until fragrant.
6. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, sugar, red chili flakes, salt and pepper.
7. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes have cooked down (about 10 minutes).
8. Stir bread cubes into the tomatoes.
9. Add water, half the basil and salt to taste.
10. Increase heat and simmer, stirring and mashing the bread, for about 10 minutes until the soup is thick.
11. Stir in the remaining basil, and taste and adjust seasonings.
12. Serve hot, warm or at room temperature with the remaining olive oil drizzled over each serving.
6 The Meet inghouse Monthly
From the Parish Nurse … Healthy New Year to You by Sue Asselin, RN
Happy New Year 2014! The members of the Wellness Committee wish you and your loved ones a wonder- ful year ahead, full of blessings and good health. We thank you for your support of the services and educa- tional programs planned and presented by our ministry.
I would like to acknowledge the members of the Wellness Committee and express my gratitude toward them for their assistance and support with programs that help us all live more healthy lives - physically, spiritually, emotionally, and in relationship with one another. The members are: Annette Bergh, Ginny Breismeister, Paul Kretschmann, Betsy Kreuter (Chair), Enid Norris, Ruth Reed, and Karen Young. The next time you talk with one of them, please join me in thanking them for their contributions to the congregation’s wellness.
Here are some of the programs the Wellness Committee has planned in the coming months:
Saturday, February 8, 8:00 am to 1:00 pm - Red Cross Blood Drive. Co- sponsored by Women’s Fellowship, this community event is made complete with devilled eggs and live piano music. To schedule an appointment to give blood call 800-Give-Life. Please contact your Parish Nurse if you’d like to volunteer to play piano for a one-hour shift or bring a refreshment.
Thursday, March 6 - Movie Afternoon. An afternoon viewing of the movie The Weight of the Nation, examining the obesity epidemic in the United States and offering solutions and hope for the future. The movie will be followed by a question and answer session with Erica Christ, RD, manager of Greenwich Hospital's Outpatient Nutrition Services. Healthy snacks will be provided.
Saturdays, March 15 & 22 - CPR Classes. CPR classes will be offered for first- timers and re-certifications. Please let me know of your interest in participating in this opportunity to help others. I can be reached at 203-637-1791, extension 21.
A Sunday in March or April - Wellness Second Hour. The focus of this Second Hour will be end-of-life planning, including advanced directives and care options, with Dr. Donna Colletti, Director of Palliative Care at Greenwich Hospital.
Ongoing Wellness programs include blood pressure screening, Medicare Part D counseling, a lending library of books and tapes, Parish Nurse home care eligibility assessment, and informative support for any positive lifestyle changes. If you would like your blood pressure taken, or you have any health-related concerns or questions, stop in to see me, your parish nurse, in Room 203. My hours are Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm and Sundays from 11:00 am to 12:00 pm.
If you are interested in joining the Wellness Committee and have some healthful ideas to share, please contact Sue Asselin, Parish Nurse, at extension 21. We especially need volunteer health professionals to take blood pressures on occasional Sundays when the nurse is unavailable. Wishing you wellness of mind, body, and spirit in the coming year!
7 The Meet inghouse Monthly
Avery’s Book Corner for January
Now it’s YOUR turn.
I have suggested many books over the past year or so … now I would like to ask you, our
readers, what books you feel are important. Please share these with me and I will try to share
with others. I would like to tap into the wisdom of our readers. If you have a book suggestion,
please email it to Barbara Wilkov at [email protected]g along with a description of the book
and why you find it meaningful. We will offer up these suggestions in a future issue of the
Meetinghouse Monthly. Keep reading!
Bible Study
Study Daniel with Daniel. The book of Daniel is important for all kinds of reasons, not the least of which is it was the source of Jesus' own self-chosen identity, though it is now often used by the "let's-go-to-the-mountain-because- Jesus-is-coming-Thursday" crowd to bolster their latest calculation. Its real setting is the persecution of Jews under Antiochus Epiphanes, which some of you learned about when studying I Maccabees (but if you didn't, come to Bible Study anyway). It has six stories and four visions that we will unravel beginning January 5. Join us and bring a friend. 11:20 am in the Lounge after the 10:00 am service. The Bible Study for Beginners that we started last fall will return, but we are tweaking the time so more can participate. Watch the bulletin for announcements.
Our Hats Off book study group will begin 2014 with My Beloved World by Sonia Sotomayor. Our justice of the Supreme Court "recounts her life from a Bronx housing project to the federal bench, a journey that offers an inspiring testament to her own extraordinary determination and the power of believing in oneself."
Please join us on Thursday, January 9 from 10:00 to 11:30 am. This new book will be available then. If you have any questions, please call Debbie Berner at 203-629-1110. We invite you to join us!
Soup Kitchen Volunteers – Making Food to Feed Our Neighbors and Friends
Thanks to Mark Montgomery and the Confirmation Class for their culinary skills cooking chili in December.
We also want to acknowledge Betsy and Peter Heberling for helping Mary-Ann and Gordon Assing make chili this past spring. We are grateful for their service.
Volunteer cook teams are needed for:
To utilize your cooking skills to make life better for members of our community, please contact Tom Mahoney at [email protected]
Thank You From Pilgrim Towers
To Church Members:
We cannot thank you enough for the joy your spiritual and Christmas gifts brought on Sunday (December 15) to our elderly residents - who have so little - you have given to them so much.
Thank you for your generosity and kindness.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. May the Lord bless your homes on Christmas Day.
Help Save a Tree! Go Green with the Meetinghouse Monthly!
Our Meetinghouse Monthly newsletter is available in hard copy format sent
through the postal mail service, as well as digitally on the church website. If you
are willing to forego the hard copy and, instead, read the newsletter online,
there are several perks:
You can view all photos in color
You can enlarge the font size and photos for easier viewing
You can save some trees and go green!
So, help save the environment by sending your email address to Barb Wilkov at [email protected]
to start receiving the Meetinghouse Monthly electronically. You’ll be glad you did.
Thank You! The Board of Trustees of First Church would like to express our sincere appreciation to
Ben Menegon
for his extraordinary contribution of time and talents to the renovation of 11 Forest Avenue..
9 The Meet inghouse Monthly
Happy New Year from The Rummage Room 191 Sound Beach Avenue, Old Greenwich
Thursday, January 2: The Rummage Room rings in the New Year with 75% off Christmas merchandise and a 50% off Winter Clearance Sale.
Monday, January 7: Ski clothing, ski poles, and ice skates will be available for your winter enjoyment. NOTE: Neither skis nor ski boots will be accepted..
Monday, January 20: The Rummage Room celebrates Martin Luther King Day with a 50% off everything sale.
Manager Maria's Wish List: Items for Valentine's Day, large shopping bags, hats, scarves, mittens, sleds and ski wear.
Hours of Operation: 10:00 am to 5:00 pm Monday through Friday, and on Saturday 10:00 am to 1:00 pm.
Hours for Donations: 9:30 to 4:30 Monday - Thursday, and on Friday and Saturday 9:30 am to 12:30 pm.
Congratulations to Maria Drieghe and Nancy Hamilton for continuing their winning ways by being presented 'The Best Original Storefront Holiday Window Decorating Award in Old Greenwich' from The Greenwich Chamber of Commerce; and 'The Best Village Scene Display Award in Old Greenwich' from The Garden Club of Old Greenwich.
The Rummage Room goal for 2014 is to raise money for The Allocations Committee in order to distribute the funds to the many Women's, Children's and Family Organizations locally, nationally and internationally that we help support. Millions of dollars have gone to help these organizations through the years ... all because of those who donate, shop and volunteer at The Rummage Room. Thank you for your past loyalty and please make it your New Year's resolution to help The Rummage Room continue to make a difference in our 50 year celebration in 2014!!!!
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (January 15, 1920 - April 4, 1968): Hatred paralyzes life; love releases it. Hatred confuses life; love harmonizes it. Hatred darkens life; love illuminates it.
10 The Meet inghouse Monthly
November 3: Regular Church School; Youth Choir Sings in Church
November 10: Veterans’ Day Weekend; Service Sunday focus on Inspirica
November 17: Regular Church School
November 24: Harvest Sunday; All Choirs Sing; Bring bag(s) of non-perishable groceries for Neighbor to Neighbor and H.O.M.E. Co-op in Orland, Maine Food Pantries
December 1: Thanksgiving Weekend; 1st Sunday of Advent; Service Sunday; Advent “Make Your Own” Craft Workshop 2:00 - 4:00 pm (see inside back cover for details).
Church School in January
January 19: Service Sunday - One Room
Schoolhouse Program in the
about Communion at FCCOG -
January 24: Family Fun Night! (NEW)
January 26: Regular Church School/2nd
Grade Special Lesson on
Hold these Dates:
2nd Grade Class participates in Worship and Communion on February 2, 10:00 am service
3rd Graders and Parents Bible Breakfast is March 2, 9:00 am.
Communion for 2ND Graders
and Their Parents
2nd graders and their parents begin their Communion exploration with a Parents Only Communion 101 class on Wednesday, January 22 with a pastor and Rose- mary Lamie. On the fol- lowing Sunday, January 26, during Church School, the children and their parents will continue to learn together and make family communion banners. At worship on February 2 the families will sit together in the Meetinghouse and participate in communion with the congregation. Any family whose children did not have this opportunity when their child(ren) were in 2nd grade and would like to participate now, should contact Rosemary (ext. 20) or [email protected] to explore this option further.
What is Family Fun Night???
On Friday, January 24 between 6:30 and 8:30 PM join us in the Daniels
Center for dinner and a time for games, music and fun like
you can only get at church!! This is a great opportunity to
invite grandparents, neighbors, children’s
friends’ families. Please sign up on the easel in
the Auditorium or in the Preschool entryway.
You are welcome to drop in any time if you can’t be here right
at 6:30 or cannot stay til 8:30. This can be a great way to stay connected to
First Church even when Sunday morning is not possible for you. Presented
by volunteers of the Church School Task Force, we hope to see you all!!
11 The Meet inghouse Monthly
Duly Chiappetta and Jeff Waggaman are highly skilled and experienced preschool teachers and child care professionals. We are so blessed to have them leading our team of Child Care providers every Sunday morning. Under the direction of Rosemary Lamie, the Church School Director, Duly and Jeff are “job sharing” the supervision of our Baby Nursery and Toddler Room programs.
Please be sure to introduce yourselves and your children to Duly and Jeff. And if ever you have the desire to spend some time with our babies or toddlers, just let Rosemary know so we can slot you in!
Meet Our Child Care Supervisors!
Duly Chiappetta
Duly has been the Baby Nursery/Toddler Room Supervisor here in our Church School for the past five years. She is currently in her 10th year as a teacher in the First Church Pre- school where she teaches the Pre-Kindergarten class in the Green Door.
Before coming to First Church Duly was a three and four year old teacher at the Preschool at St. Agnes for eight years. Duly lives in Trumbull, CT with her husband, Anthony, and her son Brayden (22), and her daughter Emma (20) both college students.
Jeff Waggaman
It is best to describe Jeff’s experience in his own words: “I have been in the teaching field for over 30 years. I started out in day care and now I am work- ing in an elementary school in Norwalk as a one-on- one. I have also worked in Special Ed, and babysat for many years. When my nephew was christened at First Church, I read that there was a need for church school teachers. I then asked Tom Stiers if it would be ok if I came every week. His response was ‘Wow, really?’ I then signed a 99 year contract, which I was bound to, even after Tom's retirement. No, seriously. I started with ba- bies, and progressed to toddlers, when the 2 groups were split. Suffice it to say I stayed for 29 years, and I saw the kids I took care of coming back to help as teenagers! Yikes! I took off a few years after the death of my parents. I will be returning on an every other week basis, and am sharing the duties with Duly. I look forward to meeting new faces and see- ing all I have met before. Thank you for the pleas- ure of taking care of your wonderful children!!”
Find us on Facebook and LIKE the page!
Follow us on Twitter @FCCOGCT
Check out our YouTube page.
The Summer Program at First Church Preschool 2014
The Summer Program at First Church Preschool is designed for children between the ages of 3 and 5 years (i.e. must be between turning 3 by 12/31/14 and entering kindergarten in September 2014). The program consists of three 2-week sessions:
Session 1: June 16 – June 27: Our World of Sports: Children participate in a variety of fun sports and physical activities that get their bodies moving and their game on!
Session 2: June 30 – July 11 (closed 7/4): The Arts Factory: Children imagine, design, and create within different media, including art, music, and dance.
Session 3: July 14 – July 25: Little Scientists: Exploration, experimentation, and discovery are encouraged through children’s interactions with their natural environment.
All sessions include arts & crafts, water play, playground time, and snacks.
New this summer!
You will be able to register for just one week of each session.
Seahorses: 3 year-olds only attend Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 9:00 am—12:00 pm. Children must be toilet trained.
*Cost per full 2-week sessions 1 & 3: $350; Cost per full 2-week session 2: $300.
*Cost per one-week only of sessions 1 &3: $200; Cost per one-week only of session 2: $150
4 & 5 Year-Olds: Attend Monday – Friday 9:00 am to 1:00 pm. These children bring a lunch from home.
*Cost per full 2-week sessions 1 & 3: $600; Cost per full 2-week session 2: $550.
*Cost per one-week only of sessions 1 &3: $325; Cost per one-week only of session 2: $275
Contact Information:
203-637-5430; E-Mail: [email protected]
Tai Chi Fitness with Luis Duarte
Improve your balance, health and well being. Come and experience the many wonderful benefits of Tai Chi and Qi Gong exercises. Classes are held on Wednesdays at 8:00 am and Thursdays at 9:00 am. Only $10 per class, $8 for seniors. Join
us! You’ll love it! All are welcome.
Women’s Fellowship
Nights Off Update:
Start off the New Year with Nights Off ! The next gathering of the Nights Off Women’s Group is Monday, January 20, 2014 at the home of Irene Savage. All are welcome.
We will meet at 6:00 pm and our activity for the evening will be making soup for the annual Women’s Fellowship “Souper Bowl” Soup Sale being held on February 2.
Lots of hands will make this a fast and fun project. We also have a lot of laughs and fun conversation so please join us and bring a friend!
Also, please bring an appetizer to share and what- ever you would like to drink.
If you have any questions or would like to be added to the email list, please contact Shirley Flierl at [email protected]
Kettle Quilters:
We hope that one of your New Year’s resolutions is to join the Kettle Quilters! We need your help to finish our Log Cabin quilt, which is going to be raffled off at the Annual Meeting of the Women’s Fellowship on May 14. Our deadline to finish the quilt is March 15. We are counting on all of you quilters and sewers to help us. So get on board! You will not regret it!
Mondays 9:00 am -12:00 pm Tuesdays 7:30 pm -9:00 pm
In Room 203 (next to the kitchen)!
Inge Thalheim 203-637-9614
Hilary Lawrence 203-637-1214
3:30 pm in the Auditorium
Come and enjoy an afternoon of fellowship and “tea.”
Learn about the history and value of tea from the Bigelow Tea folks.
Bigelow Tea and more will be served.
For Moms of Very Young Children — Join us in January
If you have a baby, toddler and/or 2 year old, join us for an opportunity to meet and relax with other moms and their young kids. The group meets the 2nd and 4th Friday of every
month (January 10 and 24 this month) from 9:30–10:30 am (note the new time) in Room104. For more information, contact Kristen Jacks at [email protected]
or call her at 203-344-1961.
First Music and Arts Sunday Afternoons Live continued from page 4...
Sunday, February 23 Masayuki Maki, harpsichord
Music of J. S. Bach and his contemporaries. This program will present harpsichord music composed by J. S. Bach, his teacher Georg Böhm, and his son C. P. E. Bach, and, at the same time, you will hear harpsichord music composed by our contemporaries, such as the Dutch composer Louis Andriessen and the Japanese composer Toru Takemitsu. Hearing the music from the old and new, the east and west, do you think the music is changed by time and space, or our perception of them is changed by music?
A multi-instrumentalist on various classical keyboard instruments, Masayuki Maki has extensive experience in lecturing and performing in America and Asia. He was formerly Associate Instructor of harpsichord performance and keyboard accompaniment at the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University and is now adjunct faculty at the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College of the City University of New York, teaching harpsichord, organ, fortepiano, and chamber music.
Maki often performs in prestigious concert venues such as Carnegie Hall, Forbidden City Concert Hall (China), and Suntory Hall (Japan). He regularly works at the Metropolitan Opera and New York City Opera as harpsichord technician, and is currently completing his doctorate in harpsichord at Stony Brook where he is also Assistant Director of the Stony Brook Opera.
JANUARY Responsibilities and Assignments
Apartment Needed
A member of our staff is looking for an apartment in Greenwich
or Stamford. If you have an apartment to rent or know of
one that is available, please call the Church Office or email
Barbara Wilkov at [email protected]
15 The Meet inghouse Monthly
Like, Connect, Celebrate As of December 24, we had received 270 pledge cards and a total of $836,334 of financial support for the programs and ministries of First Congregational Church in the coming year. We ask that those who have not yet made their intention known will return their pledge cards as soon as possible so our Budget Committee will have a strong foundation on which to build a plan for 2014. Meanwhile, the Board of Trustees gratefully acknowledges pledges from the following members and friends, as well as those who wish to remain anonymous.
Chuck & Maryan Ainsworth
Bob & Persis Alden
David & Colleen Alfano
Mary Ruth Allen
Enid Norris
Nicaragua 2014!
We have our group ready who will represent us in Nicaragua this coming February! We are excited about
the work before us, and we want to provide you updates along the way.
First, this year, we will be working out of Cuzmapa, Nicaragua as we paint, provide children’s programming, work on a coffee farm, and learn about some of the other cooperatives that are providing living wages, education and other life services to the people in the area.
We will be collecting school supplies to take with us, so during the month of January, please feel free to bring pencils, crayons, children’s scissors, notebooks and other supplies. Also, we would love to get lots and lots of stickers of any sort to take with us as well. So bring it on! One of our projects will be making Valentine cards, so heart stickers are great! You can bring your contributions on Sunday to the Auditorium during Coffee Hour following our 10:00 am service. Contributions made during the week can be dropped in the Reception area of the Main Office to Mark Montgomery’s attention.
Finally, if you’d like to help us financially, please visit our fundraising website: http://www.razoo.com/ team/Fabretto-Children-S-Organization-Nicaragua. There, you can learn even more about the trip and make a secure, online donation to help cover the cost of our trip. Our goal is lofty, but not as high as our hopes!
Dorothy Pidgursky
John & Nancy Ziac
Josh & Emily Ziac
17 The Meet inghouse Monthly
01/01 Kelly Loughman
01/01 Ginny Ridenour
01/01 Patricia McCarter
01/01 Catherine Goff
01/01 Shannon Boles
01/01 Shira Rieke
01/02 Robert Alden
01/02 Jan Meyer
01/02 Emily LaCivita
01/02 Ben Shaver
01/02 Holly Hanson
01/03 Barbara Martin
01/03 Tom Ragland
01/03 Christian Thalheim
01/03 Austin Cantwell
01/04 Mariann Ekernas
01/04 Susan Glendon
01/04 Arnie Arnold
01/04 Katie Weatherseed
01/05 Katie Carlson
01/06 Joseph McBride
01/06 Jennifer Lepoutre
01/06 Lindsey Kilmurray
01/06 Lindsey Trepanier
01/07 Linda Glover
01/07 April Gurciullo
01/07 Henry Shrier
01/08 Sarah Cleworth
01/08 Mary-Ann Assing
01/08 Christopher Ghaffari
01/08 Owen Tedford
01/09 Mary Leinbach
01/09 Dianne Culpen
01/09 Barbara Pizzimenti
01/09 William Phyfe
01/24 Jonny Rogers
01/24 Megan Mahoney
01/24 Blair Johnson
01/25 Allan Ferry
01/25 Tom Wilkinson
01/25 Chris Vandivort
01/25 Liza Johnson
01/26 Fred Christensen
01/27 Lindsay Stafford
01/27 John Enquist
01/27 Clement Lepoutre
01/27 Dawn Ginste
01/27 Heather Breismeister
01/27 Kristin Lovallo
01/28 Jane Jansen
01/28 Christopher Moore
01/28 Paul Kretschmann
01/28 Selene Dunn
01/28 Anneliese Mair
01/28 Lauren Mickley
01/29 Heather Schimenti
01/29 Will Trask
01/29 Ellen Pulitzer
01/29 Elizabeth Mohn
01/29 John Romano
01/30 Gerald Isaacson
01/31 Eric Andersen
01/31 Jake Stewart
Mark Your Calendars:
The Church Offices will be closed Tuesday, December 31 and Wednesday, January 1 for the New Year Holiday and Monday, January 20 for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.
L ife E vents: Deaths
Sylvia Roberts (mother of Jean Bradley)
Sally B. Mortimer
18 The Meet inghouse Monthly
Q & A about FCCOG with Senior Deacon Chris Cantwell and Trustees Chair Chris Hartwell
Q: Where does the Church get its revenue, and how is it spent? Where are there opportunities to increase revenue and reduce expenses?
A: The following page shows the revenues and expenses of the Church for 2014, projected as of early December 2013. The exact numbers in the final budget will vary, but these charts illustrate the type and magnitude of each item. The charts show net revenues of $1,323,017 and net expenses of $1,571,798 - a deficit of $248,781. On the revenue side, the most obvious fact is that the Church is dependent primarily on pledge income, which makes up 65% of revenues. Most of the remaining revenues come from withdrawals of income from the endowment (15%), and net income from the preschool and rental properties (14%). Therefore, relatively small percentage changes in pledge income very significantly affect Church finances. On the expense side, compensation of Church employees (excluding preschool teachers) accounts for 64% of the total, while other largely fixed expenses of administration, operations and maintenance account for 26%. The primary items in this second category are landscaping, utilities, insurance and building maintenance and repair. The Church endowment was established to provide income to cover property maintenance costs, but presently it is sufficient to cover only about half of those costs. Only about 10% of expenses consist of non-compensation “program” expenses. Therefore, there is very little room for making budget reductions without affecting Church employees.
Q: What have the Trustees and Church Committee been doing to try to balance the budget for 2014? What additional measures will be taken?
A: As we discussed in this column in October, the Budget Committee began work on the 2014 budget facing a potential deficit on the order of $375,000, assuming that pledge income (excluding Keep the Faith) remained flat from 2013 and all present Church programs were funded at the same level as in 2013. The Trustees and Church Committee have jointly considered the budget situation and have agreed in principle to eliminating over $100,000 in expenses, including all outreach contributions to the UCC and our own Christian Outreach Committee, all radio broadcast funding (which will be temporarily funded by a restricted memorial fund), all funding for linc in 2014, and certain pastor search expenses and rental property repairs. These reductions are already reflected in the pie charts on the next page. We are also prayerfully considering additional reductions of another $120,000 which would include the reduction of our staff to two full-time pastors, but we are diligently searching for a way to avoid that outcome. So far we have not reached a consensus on any alternative. As of mid- December, the stewardship response has been moderately positive, but has not approached the level needed to support our budget. As promised, we will not repeat last year’s special Keep the Faith appeal. The Board of Trustees believes that borrowing from the endowment to pay current operating expenses is not good policy and should be considered only as a last resort. We are praying for an extraordinary finish to the stewardship campaign, so that we may avoid having to choose between two “last resorts.”
Email your questions to [email protected] or [email protected]
Expenses (Projected 2014)
excludes Outreach expenses directly
*includes Church School Director, Financial Ad-
ministrator, Business Ad- ministrator, Communica- tions Director, Member-
ship Director, Administra- tive Assistant, Publishing
proceeds used directly
The First Congregational Church of Greenwich
Ministers: The Members of The First Congregational Church of Greenwich
Interim Senior Pastor: Rev. John W. Collins, [email protected]
Associate Pastor for Youth Ministry: Rev. Mark D. Montgomery, [email protected]
Associate Pastor for Communication and Adult Education: Rev. Daniel B. England, [email protected]
Associate Pastor for Pastoral Care: Rev. Avery C. Manchester, [email protected]
Director of Music: Dr. Craig Scott Symons, [email protected]
Director of Church School: Rosemary Lamie, rosem[email protected]
Director of Membership: Ginny Breismeister, [email protected]
Director of Communications: Barbara Wilkov, [email protected]
Parish Nurse: Susan Asselin, RN, [email protected]
Director of Preschool: Darla Kohler, [email protected]
Pastors Emeriti: Rev. Dr. Thomas L. Stiers and Rev. Sally Colegrove
Director of Music Emeritus: Dr. John Stansell
The First Congregational Church of Greenwich Nonprofit Organization
108 Sound Beach Avenue U.S. Postage PAID
Old Greenwich, CT 06870 Stamford, CT
Phone: 203-637-1791 Permit No. 7017
Fax:: 203-637-1540