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"After Sunday worship I feel refreshed and ready to start a new week. Worship calms me and makes me want to 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.




March 18, 2018

Fifth Sunday in Lent

10:30 am



Jeremiah 31:31-34
Psalm 119:9-16
Hebrews 5:5-10
John 12:20-33

On Jeremiah 31:31-34

There is good news to be preached this day (like every day!): a new covenant, assurance of pardon, transformation of our lives and our life together, a future filled with hope. All of this because God is at work as God always has been, in the midst of the people.

There are many stories in the Old Testament about covenant, from Noah and the rainbow through Abraham and Sarah and their many descendants (including us) to Moses and the people at the foot of Mt. Sinai. In this week's beautiful reading from Jeremiah, the prophet speaks of a covenant not of stone, not external, but written deep inside, on the very hearts of the people.

Rescue and release...restoration and return...Jeremiah speaks of God's promises to the people of Israel while they are still in captivity, still in exile, steeped in loss and grief that have broken their hearts and their spirits, too. Their city has been destroyed and their conqueror Babylon has carried away their leaders to the far-off capital of its powerful empire.

A time for hope

By this 31st chapter, Jeremiah is no longer scolding the people for their sin and their lack of faithfulness to God. Instead, Jeremiah brings the people a new message from God. God is trying to tell them something, Jeremiah says, and it's good news, a word of comfort and hope. God has had compassion on the people; God's heart has been touched by their suffering, and God forgives them.

In this time of exile God makes sweeping promises to the people of Israel, promises of restoration, of return, and, most importantly, of relationship, too. Once again, as in so many covenant stories before this one, God promises to be in relationship with the people--like God's promises to Noah, to Abraham and Sarah, and to Moses and the people at Sinai--God promises to be a presence with the people, abiding with them, and promises that they will even belong to each other: God says, I will be your God, and you…you will be my people.


Read this entire reflection here.

To see a sermon, click here