North Canaan Congregational
Fax: (860) 824-5660
30 Granite Ave., North Canaan
Church Location: The North Canaan Congregational Church December 2008
172 Lower Rd., East Canaan
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
(860) 824-1555 (P House office)
We felt the need to enlighten the congregation to the state of
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:
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
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
support one another through fellowship, than we may choose to
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.
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
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
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
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.
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
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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
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.
The Steeple Lighting for the month of December was given by Jane Place Prokop in
loving memory of her parents, James & Florence Place.
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
Michele Bosworth, Sunday School Coordinator
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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
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.
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
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.
Glenn Rogers, chair
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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
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
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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.
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)
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
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.
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
Sunday, December 14
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.
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.
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
All written Annual Reports should be submitted to the church office by Monday, January
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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.
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
The Spire 11
COVENANT TO CARE FOR CHILDREN
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
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.
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
Geer Nursing and Rehabilitation
Special Prayer Service
Monday, December 8th
At the “Doughboy” in Canaan
Sunday School Pageant
Sunday, December 14th
during our worship service
Blue Christmas Worship Service
Sunday, December 14TH
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
P.O. Box 306
Permit No. 8
Canaan, CT 06018 Canaan, CT
Deadline for the next edition of
THE SPIRE The Spire is Monday, December 15th.