No matter who you are or where you are on life's journey, you are welcome here.
A monthly publication of the Somers Congregational Church, UCC Gathered in Somers, Connecticut, March 15, AD 1727 The Reverend Dr. Barry Cass, Pastor
Church Email Addresses: Barry Cass -
January, 2012 Volume 285 Number 1
Annual Meeting, Lunch & Organizational Meeting: Sunday, January 22, 2012 - 11:15 A.M.
Carly Sanborn -
Jacqueline Nappi -
Liz Scanlon -
Barbara Anderson -
The First Sunday of each month is Name Badge Sunday! Be known! Wear your Name Badge.
A reminder that your committee year-end reports are due into the church office by Tuesday, January 3rd WOMEN’S FELLOWSHIP CORNER, located in the Foundation Room will be open on the second and fourth Sunday’s of the month. If you are interested in buying one of the items, please contact Barbara Anderson
BROWN BAG SUNDAY IS JANUARY 15 PLEASE BRING A GROCERY BAG DONATION OF NONPERISABLE FOOD FOR THE FOOD PANTRY!
Plans are well underway for the 285th Annual Meeting of the church on January 22. The Confirmation Class will be in charge of the child care activities, lunch will be provided for everyone -and no more worrying about bringing your pot luck selection or your own place setting -- all that will be provided. The Call to the Meeting is elsewhere in this issue of Highlights so everyone will know what decisions we will be asked to make when we gather together. The Annual Meeting is one of the most important traditions in our church. It comes from the belief that makes us congregational: God's Spirit is present and at work when we gather together as community for worship and for decision making. In the days before our country was founded, when the colonials were creating a new society on this continent, members of the church met to set policy and to make decision about their common life. They believed they were guided by God's Spirit. In a year when most of the decisions to be made at the meeting may seem routine it is tempting to think it will not be important to be present. However, there are some decisions that seem simple and routine which really have far-reaching consequences. Every Board and Committee submits a report for the Annual Meeting. These reports reflect hours of dedicated service contributed by members and friends of the church. They represent the response we have made to God's call as a community and reflect our understanding of God's will and offer a picture of how we intend to continue to respond to God's will in the future. The budget presented at the Annual Meeting is also an indication of how we will respond to God's will. Boards and Committees have considered what they need to do to help the members and friends of the church be faithful, to engage in ministry and mission as God would have us do, and now ask the members of the church to affirm their vision of ministry and mission, and to support it. We have made pledges as a first step in our response, and how we affirm through our action at the Annual Meeting that we hope to accomplish what the Officers, Boards and Committees have envisioned. As something that has happened once a year for 284 years the Annual Meeting may seem quaint, and we may wonder about its effectiveness in the twenty-first century. I truly believe the UCC slogan from years past - God is still speaking! One of the places God speaks is in the midst of the community when we gather. God is speaking in the give and take of members of the church thinking together about our ministry and mission and the faithfulness of our response to God. Sharing together reminds us of our congregational roots and of the continued presence of God in our community. Each year at the Annual Meeting we elect officers and board and committee members based on the recommendations of the Nominating Committee. Each year members of that committee talk to many members and friends of the church about being involved in the life of the church through boards and committees.
Another important belief of our congregationalism is that God's work the work of the church, is carried on most effectively by the members. We count on ourselves to help one another with the work we choose to do for God. No one has the time, energy or expertise to take care of all the work of the church. No one is expected to take on more than they are able - - but everyone is expected to take on what they are able. God's Spirit works through each of us in order to accomplish God's will in this place. As everyone responds to God's call and does what she or he is able, we all benefit and the benefit is not least for those who volunteer. We may wonder at God's choice to achieve God's goals only through people. But when it works well, when everyone takes part and does a part, then we experience some of the joy of God's Realm! I hope I will see you at the Annual Meeting and that your 2012 is off to a wonderful beginning! Peace - - - - Barry
Second Tuesday Book Club The Book Group Tuesday, January 10â€“ 7 P.M. -- Open to EVERYONE! January's book is The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein If you've ever wondered what your dog is thinking, Garth Stein's third novel offers an answer. Enzo is a lab terrier mix plucked from a farm outside Seattle to ride shotgun with race car driver Denny Swift as he pursues success on the track and off. Denny meets and marries Eve, has a daughter, ZoĂŤ, and risks his savings and his life to make it on the professional racing circuit. Enzo, frustrated by his inability to speak and his lack of opposable thumbs, watches Denny's old racing videos, coins koan like aphorisms that apply to both driving and life, and hopes for the day when his life as a dog will be over and he can be reborn a man. When Denny hits an extended rough patch, Enzo remains his most steadfast if silent supporter. Enzo is a reliable companion and a likable enough narrator, though the string of Denny's bad luck stories strains believability. Much like Denny, however, Stein is able to salvage some dignity from the over-the-top drama.
Worship at Blair Manor On the Second Tuesday of each month our church is responsible for a worship service at Blair Manor. Led by our pastor, worship begins at 10:30 A.M. and lasts about a half hour. We are fortunate that Anne Larson accompanies the group in singing two hymns most months. Other members and friends of the church are more than welcome to join us, to be a part of the service and to add voices to the singing. If you have any questions, talk to Barry. The next Blair Manor worship service will be Tuesday, January 10 at 10:30 A.M.
Altar Flowers for the Month of January January 1 Altar Flowers this morning are given by Grace Horka and family in loving memory of Joseph Horka, Rachel C. Quill, and loved ones January 8 Altar Flowers this morning are given by Dick and Lois Lindell in memory of their parents, Walter and Elsa Lindell and F.W. and Marjorie Anderson January 15 Altar Flowers this morning are given by Nickey McCullough and family in memory of her husband, Dick McCullough, and her mother and father, Maria and Kostas Kanauka January 22
January 29 Altar Flowers this morning are given by Carol Kennett and Robert & Joanna Wheeler in memory of Don Kennett It is our custom that altar flowers are donated in memory of or in honor of loved ones. Arrangements can be bought or hand-done. An individual or a group of individuals can donate them. There can be more than one bouquet on any given Sunday. If you would like to give flowers for the altar in January, please call Claudette Colby (860-749-3570)
Needed items: Jelly or Jam, Pasta (not spaghetti), Hamburger Helper, 1 Skillet Packaged Meals, Ramen Noodles, Soup, Cereal, Coffee, Macaroni & Cheese, Mayonnaise, Snacks for Children, Sugar/Salt FREE foods, Crackers, Shampoo, Dish Liquid, Juice - 32 oz (apple or cranberry) We gratefully accept monetary donations as they go a long way at Foodshare.
From the Church Historian . . . . Ailene Henry Somers Meals on Wheels Somers Meals on Wheels is in need of volunteer drivers to deliver meals to homebound residents. You would receive training and would deliver meals to 4 or 5 people two or three times each month. It takes about one hour to pick up the meals at the Plaza Restaurant, deliver the meals and return the insulated meal container to the Plaza. It’s a rewarding experience since you are not only delivering needed meals but also you are doing a little well‐being check for folks who may not see anyone else all day. If you are interested, please call Linda Coleman, MOW coordinator, at 860 763 4379. email@example.com
Call to the 285th Annual Meeting Somers Congregational United Church of Christ
The members of the Somers Congregational United Church of Christ are hereby notified of the 284th Meeting of the church to be held on Sunday, January 22, 2012, at 11:15 A.M. in the Foundation Room (rm. 100) of the church to act upon the following items: 1. To receive and act upon the Annual Reports for the year 2011 of the church Officers and the standing Boards and Committees, ad hoc committees and organizations, with the exception of those to be acted upon in Items 2, 3, 4 and 5 below; 2. To receive the report of the Nominating Committee and to elect church Officers, and Board and Committee members; 3. To receive and act upon the report of the Ad Hoc Nominating Committee; 4. To receive and act upon the annual report of the Mission Board, and to approve the 2012 Mission Budget of the church; 5. To receive and act upon the annual reports of the church Treasurer, Collector, Investment and Trust Committee, Stewardship Committee and Finance Board and to approve the 2012 Church Budget 6. To transact any other business which may legally come before this meeting. Signed Valerie Bedard, Clerk
285th Annual Meeting - Some Changes The 285th Annual Meeting, on January 22, will offer a few changes. The meeting will begin at 11:15 in the Foundation Room and, rather than having a pot luck luncheon before the meeting, we will enjoy a simple meal provided by the church following the meeting. If the meeting seems to be running too long, we will take a break and share lunch during the meeting.
CHILD CARE WILL BE PROVIDED in the Care Room and Room 206 for all children, under the supervision of the members of the Confirmation Class. In addition to providing lunch for the kids, there will be safe, fun activities provided to keep them busy so parents can feel free to attend the Annual Meeting and enjoy lunch. Following the Annual Meeting and lunch we will hold the annual Organizational Meetings, allowing a brief time for Boards and Committees to choose their officers and meeting times. No other business will be carried on at the Organizational meetings this year. We hope these changes will mean more people will stay for the Annual Meeting. They will also allow us to get meeting times and officers set before the deadline of the February issue of Highlights so everyone will be better informed. Boards and Committees will hold regular monthly meetings in February.
Annual Meeting Child Care The 9 members of the Confirmation Class will be taking care of Child Care during the 285th Annual Meeting on January 22. There will be activities and entertainment for all the kids in room 206 and the Care Room during the meeting. Please sign-up to let them know who will be there!
Somers Congregational United Church of Christ 599 Main Street Somers, Connecticut 860 763 4021
Free Community Supper Sunday, January 15
5 to 6:30 P.M.
EVERYONE is invited to share this free Community Supper and to enjoy the fellowship and good time. Bring your family and friends. The Board of Music and Arts will be our hosts! Let us know you are coming by signing up at church, or calling or e-mailing the church office. WOMEN’S FELLOWSHIP - Tuesday, January 3, 2012 The members of Women’s Fellowship are invited to a Holiday Tea – 1:00 p.m. at Kathy’s house (507 Main Street).
Our regular workdays will begin on January 10, at the Church at 9:30 a.m.
Weekly Scripture Readings for January 2012 * passage that will be Church School's prime focus for the week **passage that will be Church School's secondary focus for the week January 1 (Communion Sunday) First Sunday after Christmas Isaiah 61:10-62:3 Psalm 148 Galatians 4:4-7
Friday, January 6 - Epiphany Isaiah 60:1-6
Psalm 72:1-7, 10-14 Ephesians 3:1-12
January 8 First Sunday after Epiphany Genesis 1:1-5* Psalm 29**
January 15 Second Sunday after Epiphany 1 Samuel 3:1-20* Psalm 139:1-6, 13-18
1 Corinthians 6:12-20
January 22 - Third Sunday after Epiphany Jonah 3:1-5, 10* Psalm 62:5-12
1 Corinthians 7:29-31
January 29 - Fourth Sunday after Epiphany Deuteronomy 18:15-20 Psalm 111
1 Corinthians 8:1-13**
A Thankful “Reason For The Season” This year’s Christmas Bazaar was a huge success for our Church community. Thank you to all of the approximately 75 people who participated in one-way or another. Under the umbrella of the Christmas bazaar, there are five separate fundraisers- a luncheon, a bake sale, crafters, the “silent” auction and Women’s Fellowship. The efforts of all resulted in an approximate total of the following: The luncheon dished out $550, the bake sale sold $600 of goodies, spaces for the crafters $1,000, when the gavel came down the Silent Auction sold $2,100 of items and the Women’s Fellowship collected $3,000. We can all thank God for our success. We, as a church community, have focused on what truly makes this a joyous season and that is the birth of Jesus-the “Reason For The Season.” I am thankful for all the gifts of time and talent that you donated to the Church for this year’s bazaar and hope that you all have a happy, healthy and blessed New Year. Thank you, Rich Mazur Mary Payne Shannon died on Thursday, November 24, 2011. A Memorial Service was held at the Somers Congregational Church on Thursday, December 1 and the Rev. Barry Cass officiated.
George Spencer Jr. died on Friday, December 16, 2011. A Memorial Service was held at the Somers Funeral Home on Thursday, December 22. Rev. Barry Cass officiated.
Snow Shovelers Needed! We are still looking for volunteers to shovel. You may sign up for one day, several days, the same day each week or even a week at a time! You can sign up with a neighbor, a friend or your whole family. We have plenty of snow shovels and a snow thrower to assist you! Please sign up on the big calendar in the main lobby during the week or at coffee hour on Sundays, or contact the House and Grounds Committee firstname.lastname@example.org
Help is needed for the 19th Annual Anything Chocolate Baked & Home Made Goodies Sale Saturday, February 11th 9 A.M. â€“ 1 P.M. This sale offers your choice of bars, breads, cakes, candy, cookies or pies made with white, milk or dark chocolate. We need volunteers to help on the Anything Chocolate Sale Committee to help sort/wrap food on the 10th OR help at the sale on the 11th. Contact Kathy Fuller 7498506 if you can help. Signups will be available at coffee hour in January and at the annual meeting on January 22nd for those who would like to bake.
AMERICAN RED CROSS BLOOD DRIVE MONDAY, JANUARY 23, 2012 1:30 P.M. in the FOUNDATION ROOM (****Snacks Needed, but not volunteers****) FOR AN APPOINTMENT: CALL 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) OR ONLINE AT WWW.REDCROSSBLOOD.ORG It's Not Too Late! There is still time to make a pledge for 2012. The Church Council will be voting on the 2012 budget at their next meeting on Tuesday, January 10. Pledges can be made any time during the year, but it is most helpful for our annual planning if we know the income for the year before the budget meeting in January. Every pledge helps, whether large or small. Need a pledge card? Pledge cards are available in the church pews, the church office and the main lobby.
Membership Board Welcomes New Members On Sunday Nov. 20 the Membership Board was happy to welcome Rachel and Paul Medrek of Somers and Jamie Dickman of Enfield as new members of our church. The Medreks and their two sons Ben and Jack have been attending the 10:00 church service with the boys participating in Church School. Jamie is a member of the Church Finance Board and attends the 8:15 service. Their photos have been added to the Membership Bulletin Board near the Foundation Room.
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Do you way too much Christmas stuff? Did you leave some of it in boxes this year? Have your promised to leave some of it in boxes next year? Are you feeling like you just can’t throw Christmas stuff away? We might be able to help. If you have boxes, bags, or containers of Christmas - - nativity, ornaments, bells, decorations, figures, cards, books - - and do not want to just throw them out, bring them to the church. You can drop them by any time the office is open. We will sort them out and make minor repairs, for the Women’s Fellowship “Vintage Christmas” sale at the bazaar again next year. Thanks for thinking of us. Upcoming Sunday School calendar for January January 1 No Sunday School or Group Activity, No Care Room January 8 Sunday School January 15 Group Activity January 22 Sunday School January 29 Sunday School The next Sunday School teacher’s meeting will be on Sunday, January 29, 2012 at 9:15 am in room 206. A Big Thank You to everyone who helped with the pageant this year! From actors to costume coordinators to cookie makers to picture takers to activities helpers to cleaner uppers, Thank You! We had over 35 children participate in the pageant and many who stayed to make graham cracker mangers and snowflake ornaments. It was a great day for the children.
Council Corner December 20, 2011 Annual Meeting/Organizational Meeting New Format. The annual meeting of the church will be at 11:15 am on Sunday January 22, 2012. The annual meeting will be followed by a light lunch (3 kinds of soup and rolls) and then a brief organizational meeting of each board/committee to select a meeting time/day and choose officers. Keys will be exchanged and everyone will be asked to fill out or update our yellow “participant forms” so the church office can have accurate information for phone, address and e-mail. Everyone is invited to attend both meetings. You have to be a church member to vote on any motions during the annual meeting. There will be a planned program for children in room 206. Parents will be asked to sign up their children ahead of time. Children can eat lunch with their parents or parents can bring a bag lunch for their child. We hope the new format will increase attendance at the annual meeting and it will mean one less night out for the usual organizational meeting. This will also allow boards/committees to “start up” sooner and have the new leadership directory in the February 1st Highlights. Emergency Preparedness. The council appointed Ailene Henry, Laura McKiernan, Lisa Gay, Pat Jones and Rich Mazur to the ad hoc Emergency preparedness Committee. The charge of the committee is to “Develop a plan for how members can be cared for in an emergency (how to identify those who might be in need); how members can help others in an emergency and how the church facilities might be helpful in an emergency” and give a report to the Church Council. Target date for completion is the April Church Council meeting. Community Suppers. The Church Council sponsored the community supper in December. January 15th will be the Music & Arts Board and Barry will host February. Council completed a “Find It” list for the church kitchen/pantry to help people doing the community suppers and new directions have been written for the dishwasher. Finance Board. Rick Skodinski presented the proposed budget for 2012. The Finance Board will finalize it in January for the council to review it on January 10th. At this point it shows a possible budget deficit for 2012 of over $7,000. so some budget cuts may have to be made, depending on the year-end report on income, expenses and pledges for 2012. The 2011 budget still shows a proposed deficit of $4,200. Ad hoc Nominating Committee. Kathy Fuller and Dee Moak will be going on the Nominating Committee. Ad hoc Committee is looking for one more person to fill the last vacancy on the nominating committee. If interested, contact Jo-Ann Hornyak. Safe Church Booklet. Further review is being done on the booklet and it will be discussed at the January council meeting. Sabbatical. The Church Council approved a sabbatical leave for Rev. Barry Cass beginning May 1, 2012 and ending July 31, 2012. The Board of Deacons will take care of hiring a pastor to cover for the three months. Anne Kirkpatrick (email@example.com)
American Veterans ~ Men and Women ~ Our Neighbors They Fought For Our Freedoms ~ They Need Our Help
A New Year's Mission Support “Soldier On” January 1st
SOCK IT TO 'EM Sunday Missions will be collecting gently used and new adult socks.
UNDIES SUNDAY Missions will be collecting men & women's undies and tees
FLIP FLOP Sunday Gently used & new adult flip flops and shower shoes needed.
TOWELS & TOILETRIES Sunday Gently used towels, washcloths, & new personal hygiene items.
LAST MINUTE Sunday It's not too late...Missions will accept any items you can donate.
LOVE OUR SOLDIERS Weekend Missions will deliver items to the VA home in Leeds, MA
The Fight Doesn't End When They Get Home .
Contact Kim Kelley @ 860-265-2098 with comments or questions. www.wesoldieron.org
VA Homeless Shelter Leeds, Massachusetts
2011 Nativity Display Many, many, many thanks to everyone who pitched in to get the 2011 Nativity Display set up in record time. Since December 11 many visitors have shared the wonder and joy of the hundreds of nativities throughout the church. The display will remain up until January 6, 2012. If you have not taken the time look around you can still do it. After January 6, beginning at 9 A.M. on January 7, we will be working to dismantle and store away the nativities until next December 2, when they will be brought out again. Many hands are needed again with the take down, so if you are available any time on January 7, please stop by and we will put you to work. We will also be working on January 8 beginning at 9 A.M. and after that at various times. Check with Barry about times after January 8. The 2011 Nativity Display has certainly been a blessing to those who have had the chance to work on it and to view it. Thanks for everyone who has made it possible.
Deadline for Next Highlights is January 18, 2012. Somers Congregational Church 599 Main Street, PO Box 295 Somers, CT 06071 To Be Removed From Mailing List Check Here
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Address Service Requested Sunday Worship: Office Hours (M-Th.): Telephone: Fax:
8:15 a.m. & 10:00 a.m. 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. (860) 763-4021 (860) 763-5146
E-mail: Web site:
Senior Pastor: Administrative Secretary: Organist/Music Director: CE Director: Care Room:
The Rev. Dr. Barry Cass Carly Sanborn Jacqueline Nappi Liz Scanlon Barbara Anderson
U.S. Postage Paid Non-Profit Org. Permit Number 3 Somers, CT 06071