From the Backcountry ...

North Greenwich Congregational Church

Pastor’s Weekly Update

November 30, 2017

From the Backcountry …

For many, the world is moving too rapidly.  They can no longer recognize familiar ground rules.  In fact, it’s quite possible that a predator will soon be elected to the United States Senate simply because voters are terrified that his opponent doesn’t “reflect” their own cherished values.  To assuage their unease, a respected evangelical leader has said, “God may want us to vote for a bad man in order to achieve a good thing.”  Is this what we’re becoming?

We live in dangerously chaotic times.  Some cling desperately to simple answers for what are quickly becoming complex, often exhausting questions.  And yet, in an attempt to hold on to old assurances, they appear willing to make decisions that further unravel the fabric of things.

“O Come, O Come Emmanuel … and ransom captive Israel!”   May Advent set us free from destructive, over-simplistic and often escapist expressions of our faith tradition.  May it help us to re-envision a Gospel that can heal the rancor and disaffection of our day. 

Sunday, December 3   First Sunday of Advent   10:30 a.m.

Lectionary Readings:  Isaiah 64:1-9;  Mark 13:24-37

Text:  “When you see these things taking place, you know that he is near.”  Mark 13:29

Sermon:  “Just You Wait”

Tease:   Between the lines of our Gospel lesson this morning, lies the crucial question of the Advent season. Where do we find God’s presence in the midst of our everyday world?   Are we looking in the right places?  The people in Jesus’ day are expecting grand and miraculous events to take place.  Their eyes are canvassing the heavens for some kind of colossal intervention. In his parable of the fig tree, Jesus simply invites his followers to look around and focus on the quiet, unobtrusive ways God enters our lives in the here and now.

CHRISTMAS LUNCHEON - December 10    11:30 a.m.

Join us for our annual Christmas Fellowship event next Sunday – following our Service of Worship.  Kerry and Peter Linderoth are grilling a turkey for the event!! 

Everyone is asked to bring a favorite Holiday Side Dish to share.  We will have the oven fired up for the event – so don’t hold back - as we welcome our special guest and Regional Minister, Michael Ciba who will be joining us to celebrate the Second Sunday of Advent.




We are again designating our Christmas Offering for the outreach of Greenwich’s Neighbor-to Neighbor Food Pantry.  I recently came across the heart-wrenching account of an American family of four.  While they don’t live in our immediate area, their experience is sadly becoming all too common.  The father is unemployed because he suffers from Parkinson’s disease.  The mother works, but her salary doesn’t cover all their expenses.  They qualify for food stamps, but recent cuts in the SNAP program are taking a toll.  “We’re doing everything we can,” she says, “It just isn’t enough.”

When asked how it feels to be hungry, their daughter, Molly said, “It feels like I’m going to throw up all the time.”  Thankfully, the family receives food assistance and other essentials from their local food pantry.  “Sometimes people run out of money and can’t buy food,” the eight-year old adds. “If I had food …I would help anybody that doesn’t have food.”

It’s difficult for us to realize just how important a local Food Pantry is to those in need.  Please give generously to this year’s Christmas Mission Offering.  It’s the least we can do.

Happy St. Andrew’s Day!   (Get yer kilts oot!)


Road Rules:  “If you inherently long for something, become it first.  If you want gardens, become a gardener.  If you want love, embody love.  If you want mental stimulation, change the conversation.  If you want peace, exude calmness.  If you want to fill your world with artists, learn to paint.  If you want to be valued, respect your own time.  If you want to live ecstatically, find the ecstasy within yourself.  This is how you draw it in … day by day, inch by inch.”

Victoria Erickson