The Congregational  Church of Union

Gathered in 1738 



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  This Weeks Happenings for May 10, 2021

Good Evening Congregational Church of Union, UCC,

"Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around."  -Leo Buscaglia

Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there, either by blood or by choice.  Whether our moms are here or gone, we take this day to remember a mother's love, and the sacrifices moms make to bring happiness to their families.  May God bless all mothers out there!

The state of Connecticut has given the go ahead for churches to reopen 100%.  The deacons have been in discussion with just how we will reopen.  To that end, we will begin church services on May 23rd, which is Pentecost Sunday.  We will have a sign in sheet...just in case someone should have COVID, we can call everyone and let them know.  We will have alcohol sanitizer for our hands, and a digital thermometer to take everyone's temperature.
We will all wear masks, and keep social distancing in place.  Rev. Tim will remove his mask when at the pulpit.  Hymn singing will be on hold for inside services.  Rev. Tim will make an announcement during the service about the collection, and leave the collection plate in the back of the sanctuary.   We will begin services at 9:45AM, as we would only have services at the usual 10:45AM time for two weeks before switching to an hour earlier.  When the service is over, we will each clean the area we sat in, sanitizing them with wipes, which will be provided.  We may change things as time progresses, or until we receive word to go "maskless", or stop social distancing.

I wanted to let you know that the deacons have discussed the Holly Fair, and have decided that the fair will be canceled for this year.  By next year, we think things will be back to "normal" next year.

.The scripture for this past Sunday, May 9th, is from the gospel of John 15:9-17.  The scripture is about the two greatest commandments, which I wrote about last week...sorry for the mix up.  The scripture from last week is from the gospel of John 15:1-8.  It was the scripture about Jesus being the vine, and we are the branches.  When we spread the good news like the disciples did, then we bear fruit, like fruit on the vine.  The branches that do not produce fruit are cut off and thrown into the fire.  This scripture should bring us comfort, knowing how close we are to Christ, and from Christ comes new life, resurrection, forgiveness, grace, and many other wonderful gifts.  Being part of the vine shows us the power of one single vine's ability to send shoots out from the vine in order to grow and grow fruit.  I planted 24 zinnia plants one year.  From the 24 plants came hundreds of flowers during the growing season, and I cut all the flowers, opened them up, and dried thousands of seeds.  The following year, I had hundreds of zinnia plants.  Flowers of every color, size, and shape.  Hundreds of plants from the original 24 plants.  It's the same as the vine and branches.  Think of the disciples as 12 branches off the the vine.  Those 12 disciples ended up bringing thousands upon thousands of people to Christ...more vines, more branches, and more fruit, until the millions today who believe in Christ.  All from 12 shoots.  We come from such a strong legacy.  May we continue bearing the fruit we were meant to.  Amen.

In the future, I will be including the  that accompany the service.  The songs for the week of May 9th, Mothers Day, is #304B, Lift High the Cross, and #296B, We've A Story to Tell to the Nations.

Prayer of Dispensation

My Jesus, I believe that you are truly present in the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar.  I love you above all things, and long for you in my soul.  Since I cannot now receive you sacramentally, come at least spiritually in our heart.  As though you have already come, I embrace you and unite myself entirely to you Jesus, never permit me to be separated from you.  Amen.  (St. Alphonse de Ligouri, 1696-1787)

Ellen Sedlak will be going to the bank to deposit church checks every third week of the month.  If your have a church offering that you wish to have Ellen deposit, you can send them to Ellen's address, which is 43D East Main Street, Stafford Springs, CT, 06076.  Thank You.

God's Blessings on You All,

Rev. Tim