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
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
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
343rd ANNUAL MEETING
Visit our Photo Gallery to view event photos:
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
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.
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
or 203-637-4214 as soon as possible.
You Are Invited!
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
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
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
Questions? Please contact Sue McCalley at [email protected]
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
TUSCAN BREAD AND TOMATO SOUP
(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
2-3 tbsp slivered fresh basil
1. Heat 2 tbsp of the oil in a large, heavy soup pot over
2. Add the onion, and cook, stirring until tender (about 5
3. Meanwhile, pulse the tomatoes in a food processor until coarsely
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
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
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,
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
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!
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Thursday, January 2: The Rummage Room rings in the New Year with
75% off Christmas merchandise and a 50% off Winter Clearance
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
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.
MARIA AND NANCY'S AWARD WINNING WINDOWS
10 The Meet inghouse Monthly
November 3: Regular Church School; Youth Choir Sings in
November 10: Veterans’ Day Weekend; Service Sunday focus on
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]
this option further.
What is Family Fun Night???
On Friday, January 24 between 6:30 and 8:30 PM join us in the
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
at 6:30 or cannot stay til 8:30. This can be a great way to stay
First Church even when Sunday morning is not possible for you.
by volunteers of the Church School Task Force, we hope to see you
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
Meet Our Child Care Supervisors!
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.
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
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
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
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.
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
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]
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
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
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
A member of our staff is looking for an apartment in
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
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
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
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
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!
John & Nancy Ziac
Josh & Emily Ziac
17 The Meet inghouse Monthly
JA N U A R YB I R T H D AY S
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
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
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]
Expenses (Projected 2014)
excludes Outreach expenses directly
*includes Church School Director, Financial Ad-
ministrator, Business Ad- ministrator, Communica- tions Director,
ship Director, Administra- tive Assistant, Publishing
proceeds used directly
The First Congregational Church of Greenwich
Ministers: The Members of The First Congregational Church of
Interim Senior Pastor: Rev. John W. Collins,
Associate Pastor for Youth Ministry: Rev. Mark D. Montgomery,
Associate Pastor for Communication and Adult Education: Rev. Daniel
B. England, [email protected]
Associate Pastor for Pastoral Care: Rev. Avery C. Manchester,
Director of Music: Dr. Craig Scott Symons, [email protected]
Director of Church School: Rosemary Lamie,
Director of Membership: Ginny Breismeister, [email protected]
Director of Communications: Barbara Wilkov,
Parish Nurse: Susan Asselin, RN, [email protected]
Director of Preschool: Darla Kohler, [email protected]
Pastors Emeriti: Rev. Dr. Thomas L. Stiers and Rev. Sally
Director of Music Emeritus: Dr. John Stansell
The First Congregational Church of Greenwich Nonprofit
108 Sound Beach Avenue U.S. Postage PAID
Old Greenwich, CT 06870 Stamford, CT
Phone: 203-637-1791 Permit No. 7017