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From Many Paths, Embracing our Differences, Finding Our Story Together

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"After Sunday worship I feel refreshed and ready to start a new week. Worship calms me and makes me want toW be a more giving and forgiving person."

 

 "I am here to share my soul, body, and mind with our bigger family who shares our worship to God and the entire universe.  This is my worship experience at church."

 

Worship at FCC Essex follows a traditional liturgy, but God still speaks to the world today from these ancient words and rituals as if they were new.  Music and spirit and art and words and silence center us and inform us.  Our style of worship brings comfort, soothes the spirit, challenges the mind, strengthens our love of each other, and empowers us for doing good in the world.

 

At The First Congregational Church in Essex, we offer a diverse schedule of worship opportunities on Sunday and at other times in the week.  Check the calendar for all we have to offer.

 

9:55 am Sunday:  Our tower bell rings inviting all to join us in fellowship and our common bond in the Spirit.

 

10:00 am Sunday: Our Joyous Service of the Word with music, choir, children's time, and Sunday School. Join us for Joy us worship and wonderful fellowship. Refreshments follow every service in the Fellowship Hall.

 

Family Worship Sunday:  Children remain with the family on the first Sunday of the month and participate in the full liturgy, which includes Holy Communion.   No Sunday School.  We collect food items for the Connecticut Food Bank Backpack Program on this Sunday.

 

Other special services of worship are celebrated throughout the year during Advent (Christmas) and Lent, as well as ecumenical events with other churches in Essex and within the UCC.

 

 

 

April 30, 2017

Third Sunday After Easter

 

 

Acts 2:14a, 36-41
Psalm 116:1-4,

12-19
1 Peter 1:17-23
Luke 24:13-35

 

On Luke 24:13-25

If the world of the disciples had been turned upside down by the life and teachings of this person Jesus, think of how that same world had been "rocked" by his death. Even so, they haven't had time to absorb that calamity when new stories have sprung up. Think of times when the news, or your own life, unfolded in ways that shook the foundations of what you believed in, perhaps too fast for you to process and integrate into your understanding. What did you do to find peace and balance, and to build new foundations?

And if the Bible is about hospitality, hospitality, hospitality, we might hear and tell this story then as one of hospitality and its deeper meanings. Hospitality isn't a condescending or begrudging, dutiful sharing (preferably from our excess, not our substance--that way, we won't feel it so much): it's an openness to change and a welcoming of the new learning change brings (however uncomfortable and perhaps even painful that change may be).

Hospitality and openness make transformation possible, especially when brought to us from the most unexpected places by the most unlikely people, particularly by "strangers," especially those considered "other." If we know that we must see Jesus "in the least of these," we have a clear mandate from him to share our table and its abundance with all who are hungry, physically and/or spiritually.


Read this entire reflection here.


To see a sermon, click here