We are the Church of Christ Congregational in Goshen Connecticut and this is our website! We invite all people from all walks of life to join us in our faith journey together. For more information, check out our "About Us" Page.
Due to snowy weather, we have cancelled the Advent Labyrinth Walk scheduled for December 17. Watch for a labyrinth walk in the coming months to be announced.
Christmas can be a painful time for some. It may be the first Christmas without a loved family member who has recently died; it may be a time that has always been difficult. The anguish of broken relationships, the insecurity of unemployment, the weariness of ill health, the pain of isolation–all these can make people feel very alone in the midst of the celebrating and spending. The constant refrain on radio and television, in shopping malls and churches, about the happiness of the season, about getting together with family and friends, reminds many people of what they have lost or have never had.
For these reasons, we will offer a special “Longest Night” service on Friday, December 21 at 7:00 pm. The candle light service will focus on prayers, scripture, and music that acknowledge that God’s presence is for those who mourn, for those who struggle–and that God’s Word comes to shine light into our darkness. Everyone, regardless of church background (or lack of it) is welcome. The service will be followed by a brief time for light refreshments and fellowship.
Flyers and invitations are available in the back of the sanctuary if you know someone who might be interested in this service.
Angel Tree cards will be available at worship on December 1 for those who would like to help people in need during the Christmas season. This year, there will be 3 types of cards:
-There will be cards for local families who need help with Christmas gifts.
- There will be gifts for the Friendly Hands Food Bank Christmas program – 40 kids and adults
- New this year, there will be “Angel Fund” cards. This is a newly established church fund to help people in the church who would like to participate in church activities like Mission Trips, family Retreat, youth retreats or activities, or summer camp at Silver Lake, but find the cost to be a hardship. Our policy has been “no one gets left behind because of money”, but we need help to make that happen! The Angel fund will be overseen by the CE Director and Pastor with reports to the Christian Education and Mission Committee and in the Annual Report. All requests and recipients will be confidential, however.
On July 19-26, 2013 a group from our church will travel to South Dakota to volunteer at the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Reservation with Simply Smiles. The Simply Smiles program is working on the reservation to provide quality shelter for families struggling with poverty and to provide summer camp for reservation kids. You can learn more about the work Simply Smiles is doing here: www.simplysmiles.org and watch a video of work volunteers group did this past summer.
Details about the trip can be downloaded here:
This trip will be open to anyone over 15 on July 19, 2013 – youth, college students, and adults. Information about the trip including costs, fundraising, and more, is available from Pastor Paige. Registration is now open for those active in the life of the church. On Jan 1, 2014, the trip will be opened to those in the community and neighboring churches who are interested. Registration information for the trip is available by clicking this link: 20131113122341,
October 5 – Volunteers go to Torrington Soup Kitchen
October 6 – 2 pm – Generosity project for the Little Guild of St Francis
October 27 at 4 pm – Pumpkin Carving Workshop – BYOP (bring your own pumpkin!)
November 17 at 5 pm – Game Night & Living Gift Market Prep
November 22 & 23 – Apple Pie Sale
December 1 – Living Gift Market
December 6 & 7 – Christmas Feast & Song – youth help serve!
December 7 – Volunteers go to the Torrington Soup Kitchen
December 8 – Christmas Caroling Party
Youth Christmas Party – Dec 15 or 22 – we need your input to decide!
Many of you will say that I am strange because I really enjoy stewardship and the season of Generosity! Most people think that what stewardship is about is getting people to give money to the church – and that is a small part of it. We will again, in October, ask for pledge cards as that helps us with our budget process so we can make good decisions for the coming year. And, of course, that is all about money, which is a complicated issue for many of us! It is complicated even without the faith dimension. Maybe that is why Jesus talked so much about it.
Stewardship is about money, but it is about more: it is about the decisions about how we use our time, our talents, our very selves. For many of us who feel stretched so very thin, this is a critical issue day by day, so to reflect together on the wisdom of the scriptures is very relevant to our lives. So perhaps I enjoy stewardship because it feels so very close to home – at the intersection of our faith and our lives. Believe it or not, pastors like to be relevant and meaningful!
But I think the reason I like the Season of Generosity the most is that it turns into a celebration of who we are together and what God does with us and through us! This time every year, we pause and think about what the church means to us and where we would be without it. We celebrate the things we have done together and our hopes and visions for the future. We reconnect with our mission as God’s people – to live our faith and love our community! I think about people asked to give “stewardship moments” in worship each years and find I remember so very many of them who touched me deeply as they spoke in some small way about what the church means to them and why they support it. The Spirit turned lose in our midst as we bear witness to these things is very powerful! When we try to name and claim the ways that our lives and our community are better because of the way Christ has drawn us together in this time and place, we find celebration!
So I hope you will look at the materials coming your way in the month – including a very special invitation card! I hope you will come to worship on Oct 20 and join us for Consecration Sunday and brunch – which is really a fancy way of saying: Come to the Party! And celebrate what we are doing together with God!
After summer vacation, Adult Bible Study is back on Thursdays from 7-8:30 pm in the Fellowship room! Although we do work in short units, each lesson stands alone and all are welcome to join us – whether they can come every week or only occasionally! No former Bible Study experience required! Come with your questions and your doubts! Bible Study resumes Thursday, September 12!
Skeptics Club is back on the First Tuesday of each month from 7-8:30 pm in the Fellowship Room.
Having questions and doubts doesn’t make you a bad Christian! Bring your questions and join us for conversation and refreshment each month. We will be using a program called “Living the Questions” to start our discussions and to explore the range of Christian perspectives on important issues of faith. Our topic for September is “Lives of Jesus” and explores the different visions of Christ we have in Scripture and beyond. Come join us as we discuss the big picture issues of our faith!
What is it that holds a church together? Although there are probably many good answers to this question, at the heart of our Congregational tradition is that what holds a congregation together are promises that we make before God and one another.
Through the scriptures, we have examples of “covenants” – agreements among people or between God and people. A covenant is different from a contract because it invites God to be witness and partner to bless the promises. The most common covenants we make are wedding vows, but there are also covenant promises in baptisms, confirmations, church membership, ordinations, and more.
In our church tradition, though, covenant promises are also at the heart of church membership. Very simply, we promise to walk together in the ways of Jesus Christ – made known or to be made known to us. Our church covenant is in the front cover of our hymnal and we are going to begin reading it in worship more often.
Just as married couples find it meaningful from time to time to renew their wedding vows, the Deacons have decided it would be good for us to renew our church covenant with one another – to remind ourselves of our hope and commitment to walk together in joys and struggles as we seek to live in God’s ways. For that reason, we have decided to hold a Covenant Renewal celebration on Sunday, October 6 – along with World Communion Sunday. We will be printing up our Covenant and asking our members to sign it together as part of that celebration.
We will also be receiving new members on that Sunday as part of our celebration, so if you haven’t joined the church, but would like to learn more about what it means, please speak to Pastor Paige.
This renewal of our church covenant is an invitation to consider what it means to be part of the church – participating in its life, being part of its supportive network, being challenged and nurtured in faith. Our prayer is that this will strengthen our church and our relationships with one another.
We hope you will join the celebration!