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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.
We share our church home with Ivoryton Congregational Church. They worship Sundays at 8:45 am. We worship at 10:30 am.
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.
November 19, 2017
Thirty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time
Judges 4:1-7 Psalm 123
1 Thessalonians 5:1-11
On Matthew 25:14-30
How often we choose to bury our faith, our relationship with God, the gospel itself, or at least tuck it away in some hidden place, and just take it out on Sundays and emergency situations! How much better if our whole life were affected, changed, transformed by living out our baptism, by responding every day to the call of the Stillspeaking God.
A story always says this sort of thing better, and I remember reading the story long ago about one of the Desert Fathers from early, early Christianity, when people were driven by faith into the wilderness to live with very little material comfort but with tremendous spiritual riches. One day a young monk came to Abba Joseph and asked him what more he could do, since he was already doing some fasting, and some praying, and some work, mostly weaving baskets. The holy man responded, the story goes, by raising his hands, and fire shot out from his fingers as he responded to the young man with this great challenge: "Why not become totally fire?"
The story may stir our spirits, but how well does it describe the faith of our congregations and the whole church? Are we going along, doing some fasting and praying and basket-weaving, but not "becoming totally fire"? Is our faith life more about safety and reassurance and security, or is it about risk-taking and openness and courage, and the unimaginable abundance to which these virtues lead? Have we even thought of such things as virtues? Are we willing to let the gospel loose in the world? Are we willing to be a blessing to the world?
Read this entire reflection here.