From the Backcountry

North Greenwich Congregational Church

Pastor’s Weekly Update

August 9, 2018

From the Backcountry …

It’s Carnival!!  Time to throw caution to the wind and Samba!! Let the rhythms get you!!   If that makes you too self-conscious - throw on a mask, don a costume.  Just get up …and move your body!  Spring is in the air.  We’re celebrating the passage from darkness to light, winter to spring. The origin of the word “Carne-vale” is from the Latin, meaning “farewell to meat.”  Before settling into our Lenten fast, we need to empty the larders of rich foods and indulge. Local padres, like me, may cast aspersions on all your hoopla… but not to worry.  Ever since the middle ages, the church has learned to look the other way for the next few days - so long as this folderol ends promptly at midnight on Fat Tuesday.  That’s the deal.   Oh … and don’t forget that it is also customary during Carnival to mock the ruling class - using masks and disguises. Times being what they are, that shouldn’t be too difficult.  Have fun!!  Play safe.

 Sunday,  February 11   Morning Worship  10:30 a.m.

 Lectionary Readings:  Psalm 50;  Mark 9: 2-9

 Text:  “And his clothes became dazzling white, such as no one on earth could bleach them.”  Mark 9: 3

 Sermon:  “Get Your Sparkle On”

Tease:   It’s no mere coincidence that the story of Jesus’ Transfiguration comes to us in the midst of the raucous strains of Carnival!!  (see above.)  As we follow Jesus up a mountain and witness his face “shining like the sun and his garments become like white light,” we’re being reminded to get our own sparkle on … to let the shimmering light of God’s grace shine in our hearts and give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory - already shining in the face of Jesus of Nazareth.  “Samba No pé!!

Lenten Book Study:  “The Remarkable Ordinary”

Thursday evenings:  February 15. March 1, March 15 and March 29.

6:00 p.m.   Soup supper and Discussion.

Presbyterian pastor Fred Buechner’s “The Remarkable Ordinary” is a guidebook on how to transform an “ordinary” life into an “extraordinary” one - by simply changing our mindset.  He suggests that by training ourselves to slow down and pay attention to the details of everyday living, we discover fresh ways to find God’s fingerprints on even the most mundane circumstances …thus enabling our lives to become richer and more fulfilling.

Join us for this extraordinary journey into the ordinary!!   Books can be downloaded to Kindles and Nooks.  I will have a few copies this Sunday for purchase at $10.00 cash.

2018 Lenten Mission Offering - Greenwich World Hunger Association


Vamos Adelante (“Let’s Go Forward!”)


This year’s Lenten Mission Offering will focus on Greenwich World Hunger Association’s sponsorship of the Vamos Adelante Project, a NGO providing education, health and nutrition services for residents in the impoverished Esqunta region of Guatemala.  This remote area suffers the symptoms of chronic poverty - widespread illiteracy, malnourishment, parasite-related illnesses, and alcoholism.  Our offering will help Vamos Adelante staff various  health facilities and schools endeavoring  to improve education, hygiene, nutrition and overall physical, as well as emotional well-being. Throughout the Lenten season, we will focus on the projects currently underway.  So please give generously to this offering.  Checks can be made out to NGCC and we will send one donation at the completion of the campaign.

Samba No pé!


Road Rules:  “You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.”   John Bunyan