From the Backcountry ...

North Greenwich Congregational Church

Weekly Pastor’s Update

December 7, 2017

 From the Backcountry ….

The core principle of Christianity is the Incarnation – the belief  that the Word is embodied in human flesh.   Curious, then, that so much of our religious upbringing tries to instill shame and embarrassment over things physical - as if to drive a wedge between the body and spirit. And yet, the Christmas story couldn’t be more coarse and earthy:  a newborn baby laid in a manger -  rude and bare.  No matter how many angels and halos we add to this image, the temple of the Holy Spirit remains the body and the visceral nature of  human experience.   Needless to say, our bodies teach us much about sin, doubt, longing and heartache, as well as joy, belonging, hope and redemption.  So as we make our way through this holy season, let all our senses soar.  Take it all in … knowing that spirituality is grounded in raw experience, rather than refined dogma.

Sunday,  December 10   Second Sunday of Advent 10:30

Lectionary Readings:  Isaiah 40: 1-11;  Mark 1: 1-8

Sermon:  “The One Who Comes After”   Rev. Dr. Michael Ciba

We welcome Senior Regional Minister, Rev. Dr. Michael Ciba to the pulpit this Sunday

Michael has served on the staff of the Connecticut Conference since 2005.  He is a graduate of St. John’s College in Maryland and United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities. He has served as pastor of two congregations, the most recent in Waterbury, Connecticut.

Annual Christmas Luncheon    Join us for a Turkey Fête after worship this Sunday.  Peter and Kerry Linderoth will be grilling the bird and we will provide all the trimmings.  Please bring one (or more) of the following to share :  Stuffing, Potatoes, Gravy, Cranberry creations, or Vegetables.  We will have a Bûche de Noël for dessert.  If someone wants to bring a Figgie Pudding, don’t be shy.  And how about some  Razzleberry Dressing, just for good measure?


 2017 Christmas Mission Offering

Neighbor to Neighbor Food Pantry

Hunger in suburban America has been rapidly growing.   Even though employment statistics have improved over the past decade, earning a “living wage” remains a challenge.  41.2 million Americans struggle with food insecurity.  This represents a 57% increase since the late ‘90s. 

Suburban hunger in  is often referred to as the “invisible epidemic.”  Without warning… job loss, divorce, medical injury, even death can rip middle class families apart.  Because of shame and a sense of powerlessness, many hide their hunger secret from family, friends and neighbors.  Pocketing food from work and skipping meals in order to stretch supplies are so common today that such practices barely register as a way of coping with hunger.

No one can function properly on a constant diet of microwavable macaroni and cheese mixes.  We need quality protein and fresh fruits and vegetables, especially children.  Resources are available for those who qualify: National School Meal Program, Summer Food Service Program and Food Stamps.  Tragically, government cutbacks in these programs are coming at a time when need is only expanding.  Local Food Pantries, like Neighbor-to-Neighbor, are now essential in responding to this epidemic.

Please give generously to our Christmas Offering.  Checks can be written to NGCC and we will make one donation together as a Church Family at the conclusion of our campaign.

 In Memory of all The Gallant -  Pearl Harbor,  December 7, 1941

In Memory of all The Gallant -  Pearl Harbor,  December 7, 1941

See You Sunday,


Road Rules:  We are on a soulful path that asks us to step into the greatest version of ourselves.  It is a sacred gift to shine our brightest light – not just in our moments of glory, but each and every step of our journey.”   Debbie Ford,  American Author