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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.

 

 

 

May 14, 2017

Fifth Sunday After Easter

 

 

Acts 7:55-60
Psalm 31:1-5,

15-16
1 Peter 2:2-10
John 14:1-14

 

On Acts 7:55-60

We all share the desire to find our way home, whether it's at the end of a long day or at the end of a long journey, a long time of wandering, of alienation, of homesickness and pain. That may be why so many people speak of finding a church "home" when they find a congregation that welcomes them and feels like a place in which they can grow their faith.

Of course, if a church only puts us at ease with our lives as they are, our presuppositions and our comforting compromises in faith, then perhaps we're speaking of accommodation rather than challenge and the spiritual growth it produces. Nevertheless, for many people, finding a church home means finding a safe haven, a refuge, a fortress, and a rock. The church may be the one place, the one way, in their life that they experience God's protective love in a hostile and dangerous world.

Spiritual milk to nourish faith

It's in that safe haven that we receive, like little babies, the spiritual milk that we need to grow our faith. We ourselves become part of the very "structure," the home, the spiritual house that First Peter speaks of. If we remember that his audience was a group of dispossessed people, people who had no unifying dignity and identity apart from being a church, the power of these words expands in our hearing. What a transformation, from "no people" to "God's people"!

Have you ever felt like a "nobody," and then a "somebody"? Have you ever felt outside and alone, and then part of something greater than yourself? We can perhaps imagine how it would have sounded to their ears, those dispossessed people, if they knew that they were "nobody" in the minds and eyes of the world, but then became part of a "chosen race" with words like "holy" and "royal" used to describe them. What would it feel like to come out of darkness into the "marvelous light" of God?


Read this entire reflection here.


To see a sermon, click here