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Welcome

 

Whoever you are,

wherever you are on life's journey, you are welcome here!

 

Business Office Hours

Tues. - Fri.: 9am - 2pm

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Our Mission

 

We strive to apply Jesus’ teaching by recognizing that every individual is a child of God and we welcome all to join us on our faith journey in providing guidance, love, and hope to our community and the world in the spirit of Jesus Christ.

Visit Us

 

 

993 Main Street, P.O. Box 165

 

South Windsor, CT 06074

(860) 528-7992

Worship: 10am on Sundays

firstchurchsw@gmail.com

Follow Us on Facebook at First Congregational Church of South Windsor

 

 

Business Office Hours -

Tues - Fri. 9am-2pm

Worship Services

Worship services are on Sundays at 10:00am in person and online.  If you are interested in joining us for online worship, please email the church office at firstchurchsw@gmail.com for the link.

The church office hours remain Tuesday - Friday 9am - 2pm.  Should any pastoral need arise, Rev. Nina Barlow Schmid is also available by phone or email.  Please call the church office at (860) 528-7992 and your call will be returned as soon as possible. Have a blessed day!

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SAVE THE DATE!!

Friday December 2, 2022

5pm-8pm free admission

&

Saturday December 3, 2022

9am-2pm free admission
 

First Congregational Church of South Windsor

United Church of Christ      Founded 1694

993 Main St., PO Box 165, South Windsor, CT 06074

860-528-7992~ firstchurchsw@gmail.com

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Starting With Scripture is a SNEUCC publication every Monday written for clergy by clergy on a rotating basis. Rev. Nina is honored to have been published several times on this site. 

STARTING WITH SCRIPTURE SUBMISSION

Due: September 7, 2022

Publication Date: October 3, 2022

Lectionary Selection: October 9, 2022 – Jeremiah 29:1; 4-7 NRSV

The Rev. Nina Barlow Schmid

First Congregational Church of South Windsor

 

Jer 1: These are the words of the letter that the prophet Jeremiah sent from Jerusalem to the remaining elders among the exiles, and to the priests, the prophets, and all the people, whom Nebuchadnezzar had taken into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon.

 

4-7: Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, to all the exiles whom I have sent into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: Build houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat what they produce. Take wives and have sons and daughters; take wives for your sons, and give your daughters in marriage, that they may bear sons and daughters; multiply there, and do not decrease. But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the LORD on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.

 

“Blooming Where We Are Planted”

 

    Once upon a time, I was a student at Eden Theological Seminary in St. Louis, MO. My third year, I was enthusiastically looking forward to returning to chaplaincy at the hospital where I spent my first year in that contextual education placement. Shortly before my return, the hospital eliminated the position, leaving me in contextual ed limbo! Drat!

 

I would be serving St. Peter’s Evangelical Reformed Church/UCC in Granite City, IL, across the mighty Mississippi. Huh? This wasn’t in the plan! Where was God sending me? How would I cope?

 

The first time I drove into Granite City, St. Peter’s loomed like a wounded watch-tower above the broken pavement and run-down, brick row houses in a cloud of billowing steel-mill smoke. I was downhearted, to put it mildly. Few trees, not much grass; where was the beauty of God’s Creation? I wish I could say my first thought had been, “What wonderful ministry can be done in this foreign land!” Rather, it was more like, “I don’t really want to be here!

 

Jeremiah, where were you when I needed you to proclaim to me God’s word of acceptance for that new place, just as you did to the exiled Israelites in Babylon, when they would rather rebel? I wanted to rebel, too! I had to learn to lean-in to that perceived wilderness, make it my home, planting gardens, reaping the fruits of understanding, patience, love, hope, loss and acceptance.

But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the LORD on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare. Acceptance – blooming where I was planted, a sentiment supposedly expressed by St. Francis de Sales. Perhaps he got the idea from Jeremiah?

 

I had patients, but not in hospital beds: St. Peter’s, and all who loved their church. I learned that my work was hospice care for a dying congregation of about twenty-five stalwart souls, once two hundred and fifty mainline Protestants, now full of days, numbering the hours, giving their all to prolong their church’s life as comfortably as possible, yet painfully, the inevitable end in sight.

 

Once-cheerful Sunday-school rooms, exactly as they had been in their hey-day, sat silently in a ghostly, museum-like array: nursery cribs with pastel quilts, little chairs tucked in, a “Jesus loves you” banner hanging wistfully, toys and stuffed animals waiting patiently for someone to play with them; dusty hymnals in mostly-empty pews, no Coffee Hours; all of it frozen in time; specters of the past.

 

What St. Peter’s also had in the midst of the death rattle were weekly Saturday breakfasts they sponsored with several local churches for 250 hungry souls; a ‘Wednesday Rocks’ after-school program for a gaggle of about twenty, mostly unchurched kids, couch-surfing teens and others, who swarmed in like bees to honey for sanctuary from difficult home situations, soaking up playtime, lessons, prayers, and meals made by the stalwarts, giving my superlative mentor and me a run for our money every single Wednesday.

 

Of course, God knew what God was doing with this smug, third-year seminary student, by turning my world upside down, offering me the gift of humility. These experiences changed me forever. Like the Israelites, I had to learn to become a ‘part of,’ to survive – to make the best of what first seemed like a very bad situation before I could even think of going home. Much faith, love and hope were begotten. St. Peter’s taught me to ‘bloom where I was planted.’ I am forever grateful. Thanks be to God!

 

Prayer:

O Lord of Wisdom and Surprise, allow us to cross-over our self-limiting boundaries, and see the opportunities you set before us. May we seek the welfare of the places you send us, and pray to You on their behalf, leaning-in to bloom where we are planted. Bless all the churches that have gone on before. Amen. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crop Walk for Hunger 2022!

There will be a Crop Walk to raise money to fight hunger again this year. This year’s date is Sunday October 16th. The walk will start at Wapping Church once again. You can sign up to walk or to sponsor online OR there will be paper copies in the lower hall. Please consider donating to this worthy cause. We crushed our $700 goal last year by raising $980!!!  What can we do this year??

Rev. Nina or Vicky can answer any questions you might have.

https://events.crophungerwalk.org/2022/event/manchesterct

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During these uncertain times, we reflect upon the many ways in which God can be found in our world around us. 
















 
 
 
                      
 
                                                               


 
                    

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Prayer Place by Adrienne A.

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Near the River by Lilly M.

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Sunset on Christmas 2020 by VIcky M.

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Peace by the Pond at the Park by Lee and Rachel A.

OUR HISTORIC CHURCH SEEKS INCLUSIVENESS AND VOTES TO WELCOME ALL!

First Congregational Church of South Windsor wants the world to know that we have begun a new journey! First Congregational Church of South Windsor is now an Open and Affirming church community! On January 26, 2020, the historic congregation committed to what is surely one of the most important decisions made in our storied, 325+ year history. What exactly does this mean? This means that:

We seek to widen our expression of God’s Love by becoming a place of inclusiveness, diversity, and unconditional love that inspires all individuals in our community regardless of race, culture, age, ability, socio-economic status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.


We strive to apply Jesus’ teaching by recognizing that every individual is a child of God and we welcome all to join us on our faith journey in providing guidance, love, and hope to our community and the world in the spirit of Jesus Christ.


Come, join us! “No matter who you are or where you are on life’s journey, you are welcome here!” Worship Services on Sunday mornings at 10:00 am.