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A monthly publication of the Somers Congregational Church, UCC Gathered in Somers, Connecticut, March 15, AD 1727

Volume 286 Number 7

The Reverend Dr. Barry Cass, Pastor

No matter who you are or where you are on life's journey, you are welcome here.


Please join us and Welcome The Rev. Joseph Bradley as he will be leading Worship Services on June 30th and July 7th.

God promised Abram, “I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you . . . so that you will be a blessing” (Genesis 12:2, NRSV). Especially on the Fourth of July, we in the United States remember that God has blessed us as a nation, too. That isn’t to say everyone here has an equal share of resources. Our government isn’t perfect, and our land isn’t necessarily more beautiful than any other place on earth. It doesn’t mean we alone model “liberty and justice for all” – or that we do so flawlessly. Rather, God’s promise to Abram and us means we aren’t to hoard our blessings. We are to share our wealth generously, cultivate liberty and justice, and pass on to the world the gifts we enjoy in this land.


Church Email Addresses: Barry Cass

Janet Bergeron Jacqueline Nappi Liz Scanlon

each month

The First Sunday of

is Name Badge

Barbara Anderson

Sunday, Website:

Be known & Wear

your Name Badge! The Building Committee donned hard hats and toured the new Meeting House the other day. We walked all the way up to the third floor, looked around and then went back down to the second floor and visited the first floor last. The interior mostly steel framing, cement decks and aluminum duct work - - but it is impressive. As we went through the whole building it was interesting to compare my responses to those of other committee members. There were some spaces – closets, rooms – that seemed bigger than we thought they would be and there were others that seemed smaller. Looking up at the framing it was a challenge to imagine exactly how high the finished ceilings would be. There is something, however, about the space that is already awe-inspiring. One of the thoughts I have been having lately is about important events and memories. When the Meeting House burned, though the church is really the people and would go on, the place that had been the focus of so many of our memories, was gone. There was a real sense of loss and memories seem dislocated. We still hold on to the memories, but the place they were made and easily recalled was gone. Now, with the completion of the Meeting House in sight, we are already making plans for events that will take place. We are talking about scheduling baptisms and wedding, some of our annual events are being put on the calendar and we are looking forward to things being in our “home” space once again. What that means is that from the first time we all start moving into the new Meeting House, when we get the hymnals and Bibles in place, when we see and feel how the sanctuary looks in the morning and in the afternoon sun, we will be crating memories. We will be stamping the fourth Meeting House of the Somers Congregational Church with our memories, and the new space will be imprinting on our minds as our church home. In a very short time there will be lots of people who will have memories tied to our new space – and that space will no longer be a building project it will become our church. There will be couples married here for whom the space will always hold importance. There will be parents who bring babies and children to be baptized and other families who gather here to say their final good-byes to loved ones. Some kids will remember how they came down front got their Bibles in third grade and others will remember the mixture of nerves and joy as they led the worship service on Confirmation Sunday. We are not simply putting up a building, not even simply building a Meeting House. We are creating sacred space. It will be a space where we and many, many others will feel God’s presence. It will be a space that will

figure in the memories and the ongoing lives of a lot of people in a very short time. We are blessed to be the generation that has been given the chance to take what was destroyed by tragedy and turn it into sacred space. Building a home for God is no small task. I am glad to be able to share this blessing.

Peace – Barry

Weekly Scripture Readings for July 2013 July 7 Seventh Sunday after Pentecost (Communion Sunday) 2 Kings 5:1-14 Psalm 30 Galatians 6:1-16 July 14 Eighth Sunday after Pentecost (Children’s Day) Amos 7:1-17 Psalm 82 Colossians 1:1-14 July 21 Ninth Sunday after Pentecost - Celebration Sunday Amos 8:1-12 Psalm 52 Colossians 1:15-28 July 28 Tenth Sunday after Pentecost Hosea 1:2-10 Psalm 85 Colossians 2:6-19

Luke 10:1-11, 16-20 Luke 10:25-37 Luke 10:36-42 Luke 11:1-13

The Book Group - Tuesday July 9 - 7 P.M. July’s book is Bunker Hill: A City, a Siege, a Revolution by Nathaniel Philbrick Nathaniel Philbrick, the bestselling author of In the Heart of the Sea and Mayflower, brings his prodigious talents to the story of the Boston battle that ignited the American Revolution. Boston in 1775 is an island city occupied by British troops after a series of incendiary incidents by patriots who range from sober citizens to thuggish vigilantes. After the Boston Tea Party, British and American soldiers and Massachusetts residents have warily maneuvered around each other until April 19, when violence finally erupts at Lexington and Concord. In June, however, with the city cut off from supplies by a British blockade and Patriot militia poised in siege, skirmishes give way to outright war in the Battle of Bunker Hill. It would be the bloodiest battle of the Revolution to come, and the point of no return for the rebellious colonists. Philbrick brings a fresh perspective to every aspect of the story. He finds new characters, and new facets to familiar ones. The real work of choreographing rebellion falls to a thirty-three year old physician named Joseph Warren who emerges as the on-the-ground leader of the Patriot cause and is fated to die at Bunker Hill. Others in the cast include Paul Revere, Warren’s fiancé the poet Mercy Scollay, a newly recruited George Washington, the reluctant British combatant General Thomas Gage and his more bellicose successor William Howe, who leads the three charges at Bunker Hill and presides over the claustrophobic cauldron of a city under siege as both sides play a nervy game of brinkmanship for control. With passion and insight, Philbrick reconstructs the revolutionary landscape—geographic and ideological—in a mesmerizing narrative of the robust, messy, blisteringly real origins of America.

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, July 9 at 10:30 A.M.

Somers Congregational United Church of Christ 860.763.4021

FREE Community Supper 5:00 to 6:30 P.M. Monday, July 15th BUGBEE CENTER at the Church EVERYONE – children! Youth! - Adults! - are invited to share this free Supper and to enjoy the fellowship and a good time. Bring your family and friends. Let us know you are coming by signing up at church, or calling or e-mailing the church office. This month the Board of House and Grounds is preparing a Cook-Out for us! There is no fee for the meal, but a donation basket is available. All money collected is used to keep the Community Suppers going.

When your ducks aren’t in a row . . .

On the surface, people, like ducks, can seem to glide effortlessly through life. We’re often the picture of calm, in perfect control. But underneath, we may be paddling like mad to keep up a façade – or just to keep up. Although we like to look and feel as if we have it all together, the truth is we often don’t. Think how much better we’d feel if we could just admit our weaknesses and doubts. Think how much more genuine our churches would be if we didn’t have to pretend we’re okay when we’re actually struggling. Surely, God wants the pretense to stop. Set an example for friends and fellow worshipers by ending the mad paddling, embracing honesty and helping one another.

From the Church Historian . . . . Rev. Allison Ray Heaps

Our Pastor from 1943 to 1954

Most of this information is taken from a eulogy given by Rev. John Knight at Mr. Heaps’ memorial service. Mr. Heaps became our pastor in 1943 at age 63, an age when many people are thinking of retiring. When he left our church he was named our pastor and teacher emeritus because of his creative, dedicated ministry, the only pastor so honored. He was born in Kiwanee, Illinois, graduated from Yale and was ordained in 1908. When he came to Somers after serving in several other churches in Ann Arbor MI and Springfield MA, our church was at a low point. Attendance was so poor that a meeting was held to decide whether to close the church during the winter months and meet in the little chapel (Pilgrim Hall) across the street. After Mr. Heaps was here for about a year, attendance and interest began to change. In the next five years there was a major renovation of the meeting house inside and out, Pilgrim hall was moved across the street to the west side of the church to enlarge the church and church school facilities. Exterior work included repairs to the bell tower, roof, columns and portico, installation of new windows in the foundation room (then the Town Hall), masonry repairs and two coats of paint. There was a complete renovation of the sanctuary, changing from side aisles to a center aisle, a change to include the arched chancel, painting, new light fixtures and moving the organ console to the front of the church. The foundation room was reconstructed to add a modern kitchen, bathroom and floor. In fact, the floor was renovated to provide a well-drained concrete floor to replace a poorly drained, rotted wooden floor. “This obvious improvement of the church facility was only an outward and visible sign of something deeper that was going on within the fellowship itself. It was reflecting new creative growth and conviction and feeling that issued out of a solid, honest ministry. The church has remembered Mr. Heaps primarily for his down to earth, well illustrated, homey sermons, and, perhaps equally, for the strength of his pastoral counseling. He was not a man to achieve a satisfactory result and coast on his laurels. While here in Somers, and remember, he came at age 63, he earned a doctor of divinity degree and studied pastoral counseling in Boston and in the pastors’ school at Laforet, CO.” After leaving Somers at age 74 he still was not ready to completely retire and became an interim pastor at several churches in Tolland County. He also travelled to Europe, Alaska, Japan and other countries and became a fine photographer. On his 88th birthday he vowed “to stay alive as long as I live.” He died Feb. 15, 1968 Mr. Knight ended his eulogy by saying “He would be the first to say he found his joy in the Lord of life, Jesus Christ. We respond in respect for a life that was indeed one of the good soils where the seeds of God’s truth and love found the conditions for growth and full harvest.” Ailene Henry Church Historian

July 7 Altar Flowers this morning are given George and Shirley Warner in honor of those who have served and are serving our country. July 14


July 21 Altar Flowers this morning are given by Dick and Anne Larson in loving memory of their parents July 28


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 July, please call Barbara Anderson (860-749-2973)


THE CHURCH OFFICE WILL BE CLOSED IN OBSERVANCE OF INDEPENDENCE DAY Office Hours change for the months of July & August Monday through Friday 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon

THANK YOU VERY MUCH TO EVERYONE ………. who helped with Children’s Day and the Picnic! It was a wonderful day! Thank you to all who helped move, set up and take down tables and chairs. Special Thank You to Barry for letting us use his backyard for worship and fellowship and for all his help. Thanks to Tammy and Barry for organizing “The Ultimate Game.” It was a lot of fun! Thank you to my CE board . . . Sharon, Karen, Andrea, Nicole & Tammy. Your help and support is greatly appreciated. Also, Thank you to Tyler Cass, Scot Wojcik and Mike Campion for manning the grill. The children did a fabulous job performing The Story of Moses and the Ten Commandments. Another Special Thanks to all the Sunday School Teachers and Substitutes who dedicated their time to teach each week . . . Heather & Randy Loupe, Amanda Marschall, Alisa Wood, Bonnie Christian, Donna Milliken, Andrea Reid, Nicole Caron, Rich Mazur, Lois Lindell, David Scanlon, John Panto, Jill Conley, Carissa Holes, Sharon Renzoni, Barbara Anderson, Hannah Christian and Zach Bley. All of your support was invaluable in making this event a success! Liz Scanlon, Christian Education Director


Summer Sunday School


Summer Sunday School


Summer Sunday School

Summer Sunday School JULY 28TH Summer Sunday School will be focusing on different Parable Stories each Sunday.

Please call the Church Office if you need a Registration Form or contact Liz Scanlon directly

Register Now, Space Limited We are still in need of a couple items for Vacation Bible School, King’s Kitchen Snacks. Please let me know if you are able to donate any of the following items: 4 of the Canned Hams; 10 Quarts of Raspberries; 10 Quarts of Blueberries

AMAZING, AMAZING . . . . . We did it again!

With the help of many, many people the annual Strawberry Lunch produced 1,000 shortcakes and over 800 sandwiches without a commercial kitchen and everything was delivered on time! The

“strawberry team” has many members who work behind the scenes to get things ready for the three days of the final preparation that included hullers, slicers, packers and assembly lines people making sandwiches and shortcakes. We have an AMAZING Church Family who continue to “step up”, improvise and modify to get things done.

Council Corner June 18, 2013 Stewardship Moment. Bob Mihanki of the Stewardship Committee came and shared some thoughts with the council. Stewardship has two parts: 1. Pledging: Would like to see people pledge as much or more than last year. 2. Caring: We are the 7th generation of church members, where do we want our church to go? Our “new� church building naturally presents many opportunities for growth. Need to make visitors and prospective members feel welcome at the dedication ceremony and continuing on in every service, event, and program. Goal: ALL people, members and visitors, to feel cared for by our church community. Committees were asked to discuss short and long term goals and to bring their ideas to share with council. How can we interest people in our church? Air conditioning update. The air conditioning system for the church office building is now functioning on the first floor. The second floor uses a second compressor, which is in the works for getting it connected before Vacation Bible School which starts on July 8th. Building Committee. There has been some delay with the rain, but contractors were working inside the new Meeting House during the bad weather. (See article by Mark Marshall). Community Supper. July will be hosted by the House and Grounds Board (cookout); August will be hosted by the Nominating Committee and September will be the Mission Board. Appointments. The Church Council appointed David Morton to the Stewardship Committee. Building Fund. No additional funds were requested. Vacation Bible School. There are now 87 children signed up for VBS. The maximum number that can sign up is 100. Dates are July 8-12. Register at church or in the church office. Online donations. Donations to the Building Fund can be made online through the church website by credit card, debit card or direct withdrawal of funds from your bank account. Capital Campaign. Commitment Sunday was June 2nd. Commitment cards can still be mailed, dropped off at the church office or brought to church. Once the insurance is settled and we have firm figures of what is still needed, church members will be asked to contact family and friends to help support the capital campaign. Information will be sent electronically so it can be shared easily. Financial Support. As the progress of the building continues, we are still looking at ways of financing the project. If anyone is able to loan the church $50,000 or more, please contact Anne Kirkpatrick. We have one family who signed a contract this week to loan the church $100,000 for two years at no interest. Can you help? Contents Inventory. The complete inventory list has more than 1,400 items. Committees have received their list so they can make decisions about what needs to be purchased and what items do not need to be replaced. Insurance Update. We received a check from Utica for the contents settlement for $253,947.69. We have spent $72,971.40 for contents prior to receiving the check, so that amount of money will be returned to the insurance account to help pay for the new construction. We also received a check from Utica for $413,168.00 towards our expenses for code update. Originally we had thought this check might not come until late fall, so this will help our bank balance for our monthly payments to pay Petra. Questions or Comments about the new church? If you have any questions or comments about the new building, the Building Committee still wants to hear from you (sanctuary, chancel, narthex, Pilgrim Hall, church kitchen). Please send comments to:

Anne Kirkpatrick (

Somers Congregational Church Building Committee – July 2013 Highlights Building Committee Members: Jim Jewell, Pat Jones, John Jones, Diane Joseph (secretary), Tom Mehl, Sara Mulvihill, Mark Marschall (Chair), Barry Cass ex-officio, Anne Kirkpatrick ex-officio. Donna Hanks is working with us as Treasurer. The Building Committee continues to work with our architects, Clohessy Harris & Kaiser, LLC ( and our construction manager, Petra Construction ( as we move along to fully enclose the building from the elements. Unfortunately, the severe rain storms in June have delayed this work and our overall project schedule about a week. The window and Tyvek installations are 85% complete and interior framing is near 75% complete. We are working with Kingsland Company to expedite the custom wood windows which will house the stained glass window inserts being made by Stained Glass Resources. The first stained glass panel has been made and was inspected in late June. The structural steel is essentially complete with all the staircases having been installed by the end of June. The roof work will be complete by the time you read this and all the stone veneer work is complete with the exception of the limestone. The salvaged granite from the old Meeting House is being cut and placed as caps for the Foundation Room window wells. Two granite cornerstones will be engraved; one with 1727 when the church was founded in Somers and one with 2013 when this 4th meeting house of the church will be complete. A mock-up sample of the specified siding, Hardi Plank in arctic white, will be installed for approval by CHK Architects and the Building Committee by the end of June. Rough mechanical, electrical, and plumbing work is ongoing inside the building. The focus of the project right now is shifting towards obtaining permanent power from the street and getting the air handlers running so a conditioned space can be achieved for finishes. It is Petra Construction’s intent to deliver finish lumber and materials to the site and let them set in the conditioned space for a while to prevent shrinkage when the millwork is installed. The pews and Chancel furniture will be made by Lloyd’s Woodworking and the pews are critical because they must be installed before the organ can be delivered and installed. We need a dust-free environment to install the organ. The pews will take three months to fabricate and Petra Construction is working with Lloyd’s to ensure they make the October 8th installation date. The details for the front door of the Meeting House and the new entrance way to the Church Offices were finalized this month. We are still finalizing some of the key electrical components because some of our previous selections have been discontinued. CHK Architect’s electrical engineering consultant reviewed all the final electrical switching details with the Building Committee and Dan Clayton Associates has submitted final drawings for the tele-data, sound, and audio visual packages. It’s getting close to “hanging sheetrock time” so these details have been reviewed and are ready to be given to contractors to install. We still have a few bid packages remaining to be awarded to subcontractors. No awards were made this past month. Two contractors have submitted their bids for the security and fire protection work which are being reviewed by Petra Construction and the Building Committee. There are several components to the security and fire alarm packages and comparing both bid proposals has taken some time to make sure they are apples-toapples comparisons. This award was delayed from mid-June to the end of the month. Richards Fowkes & Co., our organ builder, has offered this report in mid-June along with the following quote, “I'm not sure if all of our organ builder lexicon makes complete sense to you and your committee.” That’s why I’m sharing the report as is so I won’t be blamed for not sharing all the important details. Here goes:

Progress has been very good on your instrument over the last month. Items completed or in progress are: • All of the wind chests are complete • The final stops of pipe work will be completed this week - The Mixture (Manual I) and the remaining metal resonators for the 8'Trumpet (Manual I) and upper pipes of the 16' Posaune in the Pedal division. The large wooden resonators for the 16' Posaune are complete along with the 16" Subbass in the Pedal division. • The pre-voicing of the pipework was begun last week by Bruce Fowkes. This step gets the pipes speaking in similar tone, volume and speech. The final voicing is completed on site. • The Roller Boards are fabricated and the metal is cut to length. The welding to attach arms to the roller is underway and will be completed this week. There is approximately two more weeks of work on the Roller Boards to install the bearings and attach the rollers to the studs and painting. • All of the reed shallots have been made - final fitting to the block and making all of the reed tongues left to complete • The bellows were started today • The blower will arrive from the manufacturer in Germany this week • The internal components for the console are all manufactured. The internal assembly is nearly ready to be mounted into the yet to be finished exterior console. The final assembly and the construction of the exterior cabinetry for the console will be completed in the next month. • This means that the majority of the components for the organ are nearly complete. Once the casework is completed we will assemble the entire instrument in the shop. I expect the casework to take about 8-10 weeks. The in shop assembly will include a mock-up of the channel/trough between the console and the organ case. We will build a temporary platform to replicate the installation conditions at your site. It will require approximately 10 weeks to complete the key, pedal and stop action, connecting the wind system, wallboards, etc., after all the components are installed in the case. • Items to complete are the case, carvings tremulant, pipe racking mill trackers, complete pre-voicing, and connecting all action after the case is erected – key, pedal, and stop action. • The pictures that came with the report are of the Pedal 16' Subbass, reed shallots in progress (now complete), metal for the Trumpet resonators ready to hammer and plane, all the pieces of the pipework for the Mixture ready for final assembly and solder, two roller board photos (one with arms already attached and one without, resonators for the bottom 14 pipes of the 16' Posaune. Communications continue with Utica National Insurance as we get closer to a settlement. Arrangements have been made to make payments early for certain components of the settlement while other details continue to be discussed. Several meetings were held this month between the Insurance Committee and the Building Committee to review all the documentation to ensure we have covered everything and to prepare data for final review by the insurance company. We believe there is further compensation due to the church and the Insurance Committee continues to present our case to Utica National Insurance. Finally, the Building Committee toured the interior of the Meeting House on June 18th for the first time. Needless to say, it was an interesting moment to see months and months of planning on paper become three dimensional in front of our eyes. We have made special arrangements to allow Joe Driscoll to take interior photographs to share with the congregation as well as to capture important construction digital images so we have a record of key elements of the project. Please continue to visit the church’s web site to see several of these pictures which will be posted several times during the upcoming months. As always, the Building Committee welcomes any questions or information you wish to share as well as any pictures you have of our new construction. Please send them to: Respectfully submitted, Mark Marschall

The Music and Arts Committee would like to thank all the individuals that participated in the Photograph Show in May. It certainly was wonderful to see all the beautiful natural surroundings of Somers captured and displayed as still pictures. The beauty of the competition was fierce as there were many photos to select from. Numerous people stopped by and placed their personal votes for their favorite and the outcome was as follows: FIRST PLACE – (#33) Great Blue Heron Somersville Dam” by Paul McKiernan SECOND PLACE – (#10) “Asian Lily” by Claire Taylor THIRD PLACE – (#16) “Happy Feet” by Rebecca Talamini

With our 116 clients and 35 children, some of our supplies are running rather low. Even though School is out for the Summer months, we continue to give the Children their daily snack-packs and we are in need of Juice Boxes. Many Thnx! We gratefully accept monetary donations as they go a long way at Foodshare.


We are continuing with our 3rd annual “Proud to be an American Collection” and will be extending the deadline through July 28th! Our contact person this year is Lance Corporal Joseph Lipton. Joe is a Marine serving on the USS KEARSARGE stationed in the Mediterranean Sea. We will be mailing the care packages to Joe so he can disperse the items to his shipmates. Please place your donations in the containers located in the “Church Office” and/or in the lobby at JMH. Donation of Items for our Troops – Baby/Foot Powder, Chap Stick, Deodorant, Gillette Fusion Disposable Razors, Shaving Cream, Sunscreen, Icy Hot Patches, Toothbrushes/paste, Body Wash, Hand Lotion/Sanitizers, Shampoo, Snack Crackers, Pudding & Jell-O Cups, Gum, Protein Bars, Nuts, Smart Food Popcorn, Peanut Butter, Lifesavers & Cards/Letters with encouraging words of support. Please join MISSIONS in our outreach to the young men and women putting their lives on the line for us every day. The bins are filling up, but we still need more for our Soldiers!

Sue Zdebski, our church liaison to the Covenant to Care Adopt a Social Worker Program, has put together a list of items needed by children for the next school year. During this time of year, there is a particular need for back to school items. Through this very active program, these children in need are able to begin school with the proper school supplies. Thanking you in advance for your support. And because of your generosity, we care able to lessen some of the stress on many families and help them to heal and make their families stronger.


AND ANYTHING ELSE YOU CAN THINK OF . . . . * FOR SOMERS KIDS IN NEED AND COVENANT TO CARE KIDS * Please drop the supplies in the bin labeled “Back Packs” at: JMH Educational Center or at the Church Office by August 11th



Generations of Caring Capital


Update As of June 25th we have received 98 commitments for a total of $272,451 and we have received 71 donations for a total of $15,178. We have also received $72,971 additional money in the Building Fund, so the amount of money that we have towards our goal is $360,600. We still need to raise $389,400 to meet our goal of $750,000. Commitment cards are available in the church office, the lobby of the church office building and the lobby at our place of worship at the hospital on Sunday mornings.

(Purposely left blank – shrunk calendar and placed here)

The church website will have weekly updates on the progress of the Meeting House. They can be viewed by going to: You can also like us on Facebook to be notified when the updates are posted.

Deadline for the Next Highlights is AUGUST 21, 2013

SCC Highlights - July 2013  

SCC Highlights - July 2013