This page is updated every Wednesday for the upcoming week. If you’re here on Monday or Tuesday and it seems “outdated”, we invite you to check back in at that time.
Note there is only one page admin at this time and occasional weeks this page will go without updating. Please contact the church office if you have any questions about what’s coming up if you don’t see it listed here.
Worship with Us
Sunday, February 10, 2019
Fifth Sunday after Epiphany
Faith & Science Sunday
A Message From Our Pastor
In the United Church of Christ, we value intellectual curiosity. Scientific discoveries reveal new realities and we welcome the opportunity to gain new insights and engage new questions that arise. As people of faith, we “trust in a loving Creator who is personal and relational, who seeks our companionship, who comes as Christ incarnate in the thick of things, and whose life-giving power permeates the whole cosmos as the creative Spirit, calling us to lives of gratitude in communities of justice.”
While we don’t regard science and faith as mutually exclusive, we do want them to be engaged in conversation. For we believe God is still speaking, and we listen for God’s voice not just in places of quiet contemplation or majestic beauty, but also in labs and lecture halls, through the lenses of microscopes and telescopes.
So it is not surprising that since 2008, our congregation has chosen to recognize in worship the mutually valuable insights that can be gained when science and faith are in open and honest dialogue with one another. Indeed we desire a faith that is “scientifically sophisticated, technologically advanced, morally just, ecologically sustainable, and spiritually alive.”
This year on Evolution/Faith & Science Sunday, we’ll look at Jesus’ first sermon in the fourth chapter of the Gospel of Luke. In the synagogue of his hometown of Nazareth, Jesus boldly claims the prophet Isaiah’s call to “bring good news to the poor…and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, [and] to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor” as his own. Jesus’ life and ministry embodied and fulfilled this message. So it makes sense that as his followers today, we would want to explore the ways that faith and science can work together to pursue these same goals.
How might science contribute new discoveries and approaches to addressing the systemic injustices our faith calls us to overcome? Where are the blind spots in science and faith and how might each way of looking at the world help the other to see more clearly? What moral questions arise when scientific evidence of harm is ignored or when scientific advances benefit some at the cost of others? How can science and faith support and sustain abundant life for all, especially the most vulnerable and neglected?
Join us as we consider these questions and discover what new word the living God might be speaking to us today through the witness of scripture and the contributions of scientific inquiry. We’ll also gather round Christ’s table to receive the gift of his presence in the broken bread and the out-poured cup.
We can’t wait to see you there!
*both quotations taken from the UCC Pastoral Letter on Faith Engaging Science and Technology.
[This section updates weekly on Thursday.]
Congregational Discussion– You’re Invited!
The Ministry Support Committee is proposing that we adopt a Congregational Relational Covenant and would like to begin discussions on the proposed Covenant.
We are inviting the congregation to meet, discuss, and ask questions about the proposed covenant after worship THIS Sunday, February 10th in Margaret Chapel. A copy of the Covenant as well as the specific Biblical references we relied upon are available at the church in advance of the meeting. We will also have additional copies available at church. Please bring any questions or thoughts that you have about the Relational Covenant, and we will bring the snacks.
This will be a fun, engaging activity that will include a humorous skit.
We hope you can join us!
What’s Happening in Sunday School
Last Sunday we continued our study about the journey of the Magi to find the baby Jesus. We acted out the story together and after sharing a special star snack we crafted stars.
This Sunday we will begin to talk about a new story. Still focusing on Jesus’ miraculous healing we will be talking about when Jesus healed Simon’s mother-in-law. We will be making an art project using first-aid items and then we’ll be making a special snack.
We hope you plan to join us!
See you Sunday!
[This section updates weekly on Thursday.]
Blessing Our Neighbors!
Sunday, March 3rd
Our next Sharing Sunday will be on Sunday, March 3, 2019 from 1:00-3:00 pm. This ministry currently only happens on the first Sunday of the month.
- Personal care items
We have an ongoing collection for these and other items and services. If you’d like to be a part of this wonderful endeavor, please talk to Mona Tobey, Jean Craven, Jean Hessler or Denise Callaghan. More hands are always welcome. We can’t make this possible without you!
This ministry is under the direction of the Board of Deacons and has the blessing of the Church Council.
Sing With Us
We are singing now through June! Please see our tentative rehearsal schedule below:
- February 10, 2019 – rehearse
- February 17, 2019 – rehearse & sing
- February 24, 2019 – off
- March 3, 2019 – rehearse & sing
- March 10, 2019 – rehearse
- March 17, 2019 – rehearse & sing
- March 24, 2019 – off
- March 31, 2019 – rehearse
- April 7, 2019 – rehearse
- April 14, 2019 (Palm Sunday) – rehearse & sing
- April 18, 2019 (Maundy Thursday- evening service) – rehearse & sing
- April 21, 2019 (Easter) – rehearse & sing
- April 28, 2019 – TBD
- May 5, 2019 – rehearse & sing
- May 12, 2019 – rehearse
- May 19, 2019 – rehearse & sing
- May 26, 2019 – off
- June 2, 2019 (Pride Sunday) – TBD
- June 9, 2019 (Pentecost) – rehearse & sing
- June 16, 2019 – rehearse & sing
- June 23, 2019 – rehearse & sing
If you would like to be a part of our music ministry, please contact the church office and we’ll put you in contact with our music director.
Snow/Ice Policy on Sunday Mornings
Snowy weather is inevitable. With so many of you being new to our congregation we thought it important that we remind you of our snow/ice policy for Sunday Morning Worship.
If Reverend Heather is in town and can get to church, and there is no “State of Emergency” which would prohibit normal travel on our roadways, worship will NOT be cancelled because of snow. It is assumed that the adults of this congregation can decide for themselves if it is appropriate to drive to church.
In the event that a “State of Emergency” is declared for Poughkeepsie, worship is cancelled. Listen to local radio stations for State of Emergency declarations. You can also check the Dutchess County website (www.co.dutchess.ny.us)
Since Tracy crosses the Mid-Hudson bridge on Sundays, Sunday School will be cancelled if there is a state of emergency in Ulster even if there isn’t one in Dutchess or in the event that the weather prevents her from travelling from Highland.
Mission Statement Adopted (October 2017)
The mission of First Congregational United Church of Christ is to build inclusive community, nurture disciples of Jesus, and be a blessing to our neighbors.
or as Rev. Heather invites us each Sunday to declare:
We are creators of inclusive community.
We are disciples of Jesus.
We are a blessing to our neighbors.
Vision Statement Adopted (June 2018)
United in Christ’s love, a just world for all.
Updated Congregational Photo (November 2017)!
Updated Church Photo Directory (June 2017)!
An updated church directory is available! Please contact Tracy in the church office if you need one. If you weren’t caught by Eli or Dotty this summer in order to update your contact information or photo, please feel free to reach out to either of them at any time! We are delighted to have so many fabulous new people worshiping with us and want to make sure none of our wonderful people are missing from its pages.
Coffee Hour or Fellowship Hour immediately follows most of our worship services. It provides a setting for our current members and friends to catch up with one another and it offers an opportunity for visitors to engage in conversation and see what kind of community we really are. But it’s also an expression of our commitment to the Christian practice of hospitality – of welcoming people to the table where all can find refreshment and nourishment not just of food and drink but of connection and care.
Coffee Hour can’t take place without coffee hour hosts. Hosts set up the coffee pots during worship and get the yummy stuff brewing! Then they set out the cookies or cakes or treats that will be consumed while we greet and visit with each other. Hosts are an important part of the success of this ministry!
Could you be the one to provide nourishment for body and soul that day? Food can be provided so all you’ll need to do is to physically set everything up. Please use the sign-up sheets in Margaret Chapel to sign up.
Our fellowship hour coordinators will ensure that we have sufficient supplies of coffee and paper products on hand every week. They are also looking for contributions of freezable or non-perishable food items that could be available for anyone who would like to host fellowship hour but may not have the means to shop for it. Could you be the one to provide nourishment for body and soul that day?