North Canaan Congregational THE SPIRE Church, UCC (860) 824-7232 Fax: (860) 824-5660 Office Location: 30 Granite Ave., North Canaan Church Location: The North Canaan Congregational Church December 2008 172 Lower Rd., East Canaan Email: email@example.com Website: On Sunday, November 16, JoEllen Niedeck and Michele northcanaancongregationalchurch.org Bosworth gave the following speech during worship, on behalf Worship: 10:15 AM of the Christian Education Committee and Sunday school of our church: Minister: (860) 824-1555 (P House office) We felt the need to enlighten the congregation to the state of Email: Secretary: our Children's ministry. In the past month, we have lost three Michele Bosworth members of the CE Committee and one Sunday school teacher, Mon., Tues., Thurs: 9:30-2:30 for personal reasons. This has left our committee with only two Sunday School Coordinator: voting members and our Sunday school has had to combine Michele Bosworth classes so that grades 1-6 are taught together. Youth for Christ Coordinator: Christina Rogers Organists/Choir Directors: We need new CE members and teachers. You do not need to Beth Bartholomew have young children to join the committee, just a desire to help Marilyn Mullins our children learn to live in God's way. CE meets once a Sexton: month. You may be asked to volunteer at one or two events Sally Pollard per year. It is a small commitment with a large reward. Boards and Committees: Moderator – Donna Aakjar Being a Sunday school teacher doesn't mean you need to have Vice-Moderator - Ralph Stanton Clerk - Karen Bartomioli a teaching degree. You may be asked to teach every other Treasurer - Wendy Kennedy week, every third week or maybe even once a month. (We Asst. Treasurer – Sally Pollard also need substitutes). It is approximately 45-minutes of following curriculum and a craft. If you recall Rev. Epperson’s Deacons: sermon, "Got Oil?” she spoke of ways one can be a steward. Chair: Sally Greco This is another way to be a good steward of our church; giving Gert Anderson True Anderson of your time and talents. Ceil June What do you, the members and friends of this church, see as Tammy MacDonald valuable in our church? If our goal is only to worship and Sharon Milukas support one another through fellowship, than we may choose to Leslie O’Connor Sally Pollard discontinue the Sunday school program altogether. However, if Mabel Walker we see the youth as our future and their education in christian values as an important mission of our church, then please step Trustees: up and support us in some way. If we hope to attract and keep Chair: Glenn Rogers young families with children (involved in our church)- CE is key. Nancy Brenner Karen Bartomioli Please prayerfully consider joining our Christian Education Frank Ghi Committee or sign up to help teach Sunday school, so that we David Godwin can continue to provide guidance and encouragement on the spiritual journey of our children. Please remember...the Christian Education: Chair: JoEllen Niedeck children are the future of this church. Barbara Ghi Proverbs 22:6 - Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it. Thank you & God Bless! The Spire 2 DECEMBER 2008 CALENDAR Fishes & Loaves Food Pantry is open every Wednesday of the month 9:00am - 11:00am AND 4:00pm - 5:00pm at PH. The Children's Clothing Exchange is open every Wednesday of the month 9am - 11:30am at PH. First Sunday of Advent: Sunday, November 30th. Deacons Meeting: Monday, December 1st, 7pm at PH. All Church Caroling at Geer: Sunday, December 7th, 1:00pm Special Ecumenical Prayer Service: Monday, December 8th, 5:30pm at the “Doughboy” in Canaan. Trustees Meeting: Monday, December 8th, 7pm at PH. Prayer Shawl Gathering: The Prayer Shawl Ministry will meet on the second Sunday of each month following worship. Children's Christmas Pageant: Sunday, December 14th during worship. Blue Christmas Worship Service: Sunday, December 14th, 4pm at PH. Deadline for Spire articles: Monday, December 15th. Christian Ed. Meeting: CE will not meet during the month of December. Christmas Eve Worship Services: Wednesday, December 24th, 7pm and 11pm at church. DECEMBER BIRTHDAYS 4 Julie Strattman 18 Dan MacDonald 5 Garrett Rogers 19 Robin Beaujon 7 Zachary Godwin 21 Ryan Bosworth 8 Aleta Begley Steven Bosworth 9 Michael Lannen 28 Daniel VanDeusen 10 Edwin Emmons 14 Donna Aakjar 15 Wyatt Stanton Thomas Stanton Sally Pollard Cynthia Adams John Cecchinato The Spire 3 OUR CHURCH WEBSITE Please visit our church website at www.northcanaancongregationalchurch.org and sign the guestbook. You may sign up for The Spire, check the monthly calendar or view pictures of church events. The website is updated regularly and your input is greatly appreciated. PILGRIM HOUSE USAGE FOR DECEMBER Every Monday 7pm-8pm; Friday, December 5th & 19th, Yo-Kids Dances; Wednesday, December 10th, 5:30pm; Sunday, December 14th, Blue Christmas Worship Service, 4pm. STEEPLE LIGHTING The Steeple Lighting for the month of December was given by Jane Place Prokop in loving memory of her parents, James & Florence Place. SUNDAY SCHOOL The Sunday school classes are working on the Children’s Christmas Pageant. During this time, classes are being combined. After the pageant the two Sunday school classes (K-3 and 4-6 grades) will continue to learn together. Teachers for this session of Sunday school will be Melissa Adam, Michele Bosworth and JoEllen Niedeck. If you are interested in teaching during the next session, February – May, please let me know! JUNIOR YOUTH GROUP On November 2nd the Junior Youth Group visited the Ellsworth Farm Corn Maze in Sharon, CT. It was a beautiful afternoon! Many thanks to Nancy Brenner for driving and helping with this event. We broke into two groups and after the maze we had a picnic style snack of apple cider donuts, apple cider and apples. It was a lovely day of fellowship, teamwork and experiencing the beauty of God’s earth. Our November event was to bake cookies for the Fishes and Loaves Food Pantry. We met at the Pilgrim House on November 23 with the Youth for Christ group. Five children and youth from each group attended. We baked a total of 244 cookies! After clean up the Youth for Christ group treated us all to a “Make your own” sundae bar. Thank you to Tammy MacDonald, Christina Rogers and Linda Snyder for helping at this event. Our December event will be to go caroling at Geer Nursing and Rehabilitation Center on December 7th. Again, please bring a lunch. We will have lunch at church and arrive at Geer at 1pm. We will meet back at Pilgrim House for parents to pick up their children at 2pm. Michele Bosworth, Sunday School Coordinator The Spire 4 JUNIOR CHOIR The Junior Choir will begin rehearsing for their Christmas performance on Sunday, November 30th following worship. Sharon Milukas will be helping Beth teach the Jr. Choir a new song, which they will sing on Sunday, December 21st. Jr. Choir will meet each Sunday during coffee hour to practice. CHRISTMAS PAGEANT NEWS Our Pageant is scheduled for Sunday December 14th. I would like all of our Sunday school and Youth for Christ members to be at church on December 14th no later than 9:15 am, so we can do a quick practice in the sanctuary. Thank you to all of the adults who helped make our pageant practices such a success. Please keep practicing your parts. It would be lovely if you could memorize them. Thank you all for doing such a great job. You have worked really hard and I am very proud of you. It is going to be a great Pageant! Christina YOUTH FOR CHRIST Our Youth for Christ events for December have not been scheduled yet, as we have been busy practicing for our Christmas pageant and we have not had regular classes to discuss what we'd like to do. We will probably schedule something for after the pageant. The pageant will be on Sunday December 14th. Please arrive by 9:15am so we can have a practice in the sanctuary. YFC enjoyed the corn maze at Ellsworth Farms and assisting the Junior Youth in making cookies for Fishes and Loaves as our November events. Thank you Melissa Gandolfo for your help with the corn maze event. Thank you to the YFC members who helped with the Calico Fair as well. I am very proud of each of you for your participation in Youth for Christ. Christina YFC Substitute Teacher Wanted I am looking for someone to teach YFC one Sunday a month if possible. The other classes have 2 teachers to share the work load. If anyone is interested in teaching the Older Youth Sunday school class, please contact Christina @824-8107 or Michele at the Church office @ 824-7232. I would just like to be able to sit in service once and awhile. Thank you, Christina The Spire 5 BOARD OF TRUSTEES REPORT The trustees met on Monday, November 10th (the Marine Corps birthday) at the Pilgrim House. The agenda was abbreviated as we wanted to concentrate on budget work. We did however cover several items that needed our attention this month. We opened the meeting with a word of prayer and a review of the minutes from last month. After accepting the minutes we were given the treasurers report by our assistant treasurer Sally Pollard. Our church is truly blessed to have Sally who was willing to step in and cover for Wendy, who was away on business. It was noted on the report that our investments, as was expected, are continuing their downward trend. As mentioned last month, our trust fund has been affected by the downturn in the market; however we are doing better than most. We accepted the treasurer’s report and moved on to other business. We have received two estimates for the church roof which is in need of repair. We had a few follow up questions that needed to be answered before we decide on one. Once answered, we will come to the church with a request for funds for the project. Both of the local contractors that we got estimates from will be able to do the work in approximately two days as long as the weather is good. We also worked on several requests from Church Council. It was decided that the trustees would work on putting a small write up in Spire every month which would briefly describe our expenses for the month in simple terms so that the congregation could get a good feel for where our money is going. As the trustees review the treasurer’s report every month, we are constantly aware of the fact that we are in a deficit spending situation. The Church Council felt that the congregation ought to see this on a regular basis as well to allow them to better understand our financial condition. We will also put an abbreviated version of this in the bulletin once a month. We will strive to start this beginning in January. A few of the other items that Church Council had asked us to work on were addressed as well such as the Yo-Kids program and Fishes and Loaves. We will continue to look into these items at our next meeting. We then worked on the budget and will be putting the final touches on it at our December meeting. We finished up the meeting with a review of the Annual Manual. I would like to finish up by saying that as the end of the year approaches the nominating committee will be looking for a “few good folks” to step up and fill the vacancies that we are going to be experiencing on the board of trustees. This next year is going to be a challenging one for the church. I encourage you to consider serving on the board of trustees. It is a great way to be involved. Respectfully submitted, Glenn Rogers, chair The Spire 6 BOARD OF DEACONS REPORT The Board of Deacons gathered at Pilgrim House for its Nov. 3rd meeting. Prayer concerns and joys were offered up and a GREAT joy was to have Ceil June back who has been recuperating from shoulder surgery. Feedback was heard from our congregation regarding fundraising during church/coffee hour. The feedback was quite evenly matched between those of the opinion “Go for it” and those who expressed they could do without it. At this time, the deacons have decided to continue any church affiliated fundraisers such as the Crop Walk. Additionally, other fundraisers will be allowed to be announced during church time. However, those selling will have a space set up in the coffee hour room. Anyone interested in supporting the fundraiser may go to the person(s) selling. This will hopefully cut out having people approached by multiple “sellers” yet it will continue to give our youth an opportunity to fundraise in a safe environment. We do hope the handling of this matter in this way provides respect for all individuals involved. The Advent devotions have arrived, so come the Advent season (Nov 30) please be sure to pick one up in the church. Since the Trustees Annual Manual has been such a hit, the deacons have decided to follow suit and do one also. (Imitation is the best form of flattery.) Each month the deacons will focus on that current month and events that one would need to prepare for, during it. Hopefully in a year, the Manual will be complete. It is almost time to decorate the church for the holiday season. If you are able to help on November 29th at 2p.m., please let a deacon know. Tammy MacDonald will be seeking families to take part in our annual lighting of the Advent candles. This will require families for the four Sundays plus the Christmas Eve service. At this time the pulpit supply ministers are as follows: Nov. 16 - Rev. Cyril Wismar Nov. 23 - Rev. Kate Bartos Nov. 30 - Bishop Cyril Wismar Dec. 7 - Rev. Eileen Epperson Dec. 21 and 28 - Rev. Carl Franson The deacons agreed that it would be a good idea to include another phone number to the Pilgrim House answering machine message, in the event someone calls on a day when there are no office hours. A deacon can now be reached. The next scheduled meeting is for December 1, 2008 at Pilgrim House. Respectfully submitted, Sally Greco, chairperson The Spire 7 INTERIM MINISTER SEARCH COMMITTEE REPORT The interim minister search committee has met numerous times over the last month. We had been busy setting up interviews and reviewing profiles in earlier months but over this last month we have primarily been conducting interviews and meeting to discuss the candidates. To date we have conducted three interviews and are scheduling a fourth. As these are the only profiles that we have received from our conference we may soon be making a decision on which of these four best fits the needs of our church. Of course we will continue to be on the lookout for more profiles. Please pray for our committee during this decision process. We want to be able to recommend the best candidate for our church to the Church Council. I would like to thank the members of this committee, Sally Greco, Ruthie Adotte, Donna Aakjar, and JoEllen Niedeck, for their dedication. As we all have other obligations, both inside the church and out, it has sometimes been a challenge to schedule meetings and interviews. These committee members have been willing to give something that most of us don’t have much of…time. I appreciate their willingness to meet at odd hours and at a moments notice to make this process work. Our church is blessed. Respectfully submitted, Glenn Rogers CHILDREN'S CLOTHING EXCHANGE The Children's Clothing Exchange is holding its annual Coat Drive! Donations of women's and children's winter items will be accepted, including winter coats, boots, snow-pants, hats, gloves/mittens and scarves. Items must be CLEAN and in good condition. Donations of other fall/winter items will also be gratefully accepted! Donations may be dropped off at the Pilgrim House, 30 Granite Avenue, Canaan, CT. Drop off times: M, T, TH 9:30-2:30 and W 9:00-12:00. For more info please call (860) 824-7232. The Spire 8 WEDNESDAY BIBLE STUDY Bible Study is still being held on Wednesdays at Geer Village! Everyone is welcome to attend on Wednesday afternoons from 3-4 PM. No bible expertise required! FISHES AND LOAVES FOOD PANTRY Donations We will collect donations for Fishes and Loaves Food Pantry on Sunday, December 7. Foods especially needed by the Pantry include canned fruit and cereal. Note: On February 1, we'll be collecting soup on "Souper Bowl" Sunday. All donations of non-perishable food are appreciated. Holiday Schedule The Fishes & Loaves Food Pantry will be distributing turkeys and Christmas food items on TUESDAY, DECEMBER 23rd, from 9am – 11am and from 4pm – 5pm. The food pantry will be CLOSED on Wednesday, December 24th and Wednesday, December 31st and will re-open on Wednesday, January 7th. Merry Christmas to all! The Spire 9 BLUE CHRISTMAS Sunday, December 14 4:00 PM Pilgrim House 30 Granite Ave., Canaan This year, Rev. Rosalie Richards from Christ Episcopal Church in Canaan will lead worship for this special worship service. Blue Christmas has a unique purpose, to acknowledge and support people in our midst and all around the world who are having a tough time in the Advent/Christmas Season. The reasons for this are many, including separation from loved ones, loss of a job, temptations around substance abuse, natural disaster, war and loneliness. This service is designed to provide support as well as to be uplifting. There is no monetary offering during the service. Instead, we write down prayer concerns and put them in the offering plate. At the end of the service, we each take someone else's prayer concern home and hold that concern in our hearts. CHRISTMAS FLOWERS November 30 through December Each year in December, we ask for donations of flowers to adorn our sanctuary during the Advent/Christmas weeks. If you would like to bring your own flower/plant to church, please put your name on it and plan to take it home on December 28th after worship. If you would like for your flower/plant to be donated to someone, please let Cay Giulian know. Please call Cay if you would prefer to have the church order flowers/plants for you; she can be reached at (860) 824-7192. LOOKING AHEAD: CHURCH COUNCIL MEETING Church council will meet on Monday, January 19th, 7pm at Pilgrim House. OUR CHURCH’S ANNUAL MEETING Our Annual Meeting will be held on Sunday, January 25th at the church. A light lunch will be provided and the meeting will follow. Child care will be provided. Please save the date! All written Annual Reports should be submitted to the church office by Monday, January 5th. The Spire 10 OPPORTUNITIES FOR GIVING DURING DECEMBER Mitten/Warming Tree Donations: This tree is set up in the Social Room at church. It is for the donation of new hats, mittens, gloves, scarves and boots, which are distributed to children and youth through our Children's Clothing Exchange. Giving Tree: This little tree is located in the entry to the sanctuary. It is for monetary donations to our Children's Clothing Exchange and/or to the Fishes & Loaves Food Pantry. The way it works is that people write their names on a blank ornament and put it on the tree. Donations of cash or checks can be left in the envelope in the basket under the tree. All donations to the Giving Tree will be listed in January's Spire. Traditionally, our church family has thought of this as a way to give to others instead of exchanging Christmas cards with one another. Christmas Gifts for a Special Family: This is a special project for Covenant to Care for the Children. Please see separate article for more information. SPECIAL PRAYER SERVICE There will be a Special Prayer Service on Monday, December 8th, 5:30pm at the “Doughboy” in Canaan. This service is for prayers for the people in the military. The service will be followed by hot chocolate and songs at the Christ Church Parish Hall (upstairs). The Spire 11 COVENANT TO CARE FOR CHILDREN CHRISTMAS WISHES Our church’s “adopted” social worker, John Kuzmech, from the Department of Children and Families has presented two families in need that our church would like to sponsor this Christmas. The first family is a two-parent family with five children. Both parents work full time; however, they work at low paying jobs and are struggling financially. The family does not have any money left over for extras. Dad takes the children fishing and they love it; they go fishing because it doesn't cost anything. Mom & Dad have engaged in counseling and parenting services to learn how to handle their large family and the cultural difference they are experiencing since moving to Torrington from New York. Both adults had tough childhoods but they are hands-on parents, splitting the care taking responsibilities. The parents are committed to their children and their marriage, but they have been under a lot of stress. Mother's brother recently passed away and all of their savings went to his funeral expenses. Their children are Ashley, 11, Destiny, 9, Dariannallys, 7, Daniel, 4 and Achilles, 2. John reports the children are very polite and well behaved. John will get back to us with the children’s sizes and wants/needs. The second family is a single father and his son Logan who is 13. They live in a rural part of Thomaston in a very run down house, and the boy has old and ragged clothing. The Dad is very financially strapped. The boy wears size 14-16 boys’ pants and boy’s extra-large or adult-medium shirts. He loves cargo pants and fatigues and camouflage pants. Also, for this family, if anyone has these items; the family could use a “gently used” chair and couch from somebody in the congregation. DCF has a truck and can pick up any large items. The family could also use a set of twin sheets. Any food would be welcome—they love ramen noodles and pasta, chicken and beef, cereals. Wal-mart gift certificates are also great. Anything at all we can do as a church will be much appreciated by these two families, and will certainly make their holiday season brighter! Our hope is that members of the congregation would like to choose and purchase one item for either family, and that together we can make a difference! Any questions, please call Melissa Adam, our liaison for Covenant to Care, at 824-0712. Respectfully submitted, Melissa Adam The Spire 12 AN IMPROMPTU MEETING OF CHURCH FRIENDS - - - Sunday, November 2nd found nine faithful church goers - - - gathered around a table exchanging ideas as to how to proceed with meetings on a regular basis after coffee hour to discuss like interests regarding our church and faith. To begin with, at this possibly historical first meeting it was decided the meetings would be held starting in January on the second and third Sundays of each month after coffee hour so everyone has a chance to visit and enjoy a cup of coffee. The reason the third and fourth Sunday of each month was chosen was so those that work every other weekend may be able to attend at least one of the two Sunday meetings. With housekeeping type decisions finished each one present shared their thoughts as to why they attend church. A heart warming conversation opened up and it soon became evident that we had much to talk about regarding our church and faith. Listed here are just some of the thoughts the group shared with each other. 1. Church is important to me because it is a time of renewal, worship, praise and connecting with others. The church needs to be supported so it will remain open and available to people. 2. I attend church because I need to share my search for faith with others. I need the church to help me in raising my children in the word of God. I find great joy in singing the hymns. I always want to learn more about God’s word and how to live my life. I love to share the time of prayer with my friends. 3. Church is important to me because I like to worship through the great music of the church. I believe in God and find it satisfying to worship with others who believe in God. I was brought up in a Christian family who sacrificed often to attend to religious ideas. I feel strongly about participating on the giving of talent and money where it matters. 4. I go to church because I love being in a worship space-anywhere. Church is important to me because I like to pray silently with other people praying silently. I feel focused in God especially during worship. I love the idea of church as school – I came to learn and to hear great music. 5. I go to church to recharge my batteries for the coming week and I love the music. 6. I go to church to renew myself for the coming week and to be reminded of what Jesus has taught us. Church is a perfect setting to stop and be quiet and to pray for those who are hurting and distressed. A bonus of attending church is that church gives us a second family to enjoy. 7. I go to church because I believe in God and I can make new friends. 8. Church is a time of fellowship, a sense of belonging to a group with similar spiritual goals. 9. I go to church to learn of Gods works and goodness. I go to church to be refreshed. I feel God deserves some of my time because he gives me so much. 10. This space is for you to stop and pause and reflect on why you attend church. All are welcome to join in the conversation following coffee hour on Sunday, January 14 and 21, 2009. Bring your ideas and questions as to what you would like the group to address. We think you may be pleasantly surprised how enlightening it is to share with others, and who knows we just may learn something. The Spire 13 SPECIAL WORSHIP SERVICES AND EVENTS FOR DECEMBER All Church Caroling Led by our Junior Youth Group Sunday, December 7TH 1:00 PM Geer Nursing and Rehabilitation Special Prayer Service Monday, December 8th 5:30pm At the “Doughboy” in Canaan Sunday School Pageant Sunday, December 14th during our worship service Blue Christmas Worship Service Sunday, December 14TH 4:00 PM at Pilgrim House Christmas Eve Services Wednesday, December 24 7:00 PM: Family carol/candlelight service 11:00 PM: Quiet candlelight service At our church North Canaan Congregational Church, United Church of Christ U.S. Postage Paid P.O. Box 306 Permit No. 8 Canaan, CT 06018 Canaan, CT 06018 Deadline for the next edition of THE SPIRE The Spire is Monday, December 15th.
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