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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 at 8:45 am on Sunday, and 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.




October 21, 2018

Twenty-ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time



Job 38:1-7, (34-41)
Psalm 104:1-9, 24, 35c
Hebrews 5:1-10
Mark 10:35-45

Reflection on Mark 10:35-45

We can only guess what's going on in the minds of the disciples as they walk the dusty roads with Jesus. For a while now, they haven't known (or remembered) that Jerusalem is their destination, and over the past three chapters, it seems that they haven't wanted to know why they're on this journey in the first place.

Three times now Jesus has told them, directly, what's going to happen, that he is going to die, and each time, they react badly, seeming to miss his point entirely. Back in chapter eight, Peter actually rebuked Jesus for talking about his rejection and suffering, and Jesus responded by calling him "Satan."

A time for private lessons

As they continued on their way and Jesus used the time for some in-depth, private lessons for his disciples, he once again spoke of his coming betrayal and death, and his rising again. (They had a particularly difficult time understanding that last part, as we might imagine.) The disciples' response was a lively argument, which didn't escape Jesus' notice, over who among them was "the greatest."

Now, in this tenth chapter, as Mark's long introduction to the passion narrative comes to an end, Jesus tells them one more time that he is going to Jerusalem to face his death (Douglas Hare, Mark, Westminster Bible Companion).

Why the disconnect?

The disconnect between Jesus' words and the next thing that happens is so dramatic that we're tempted to think that a verse of the text must have gotten lost. Could Jesus have been any clearer about what was about to happen?

We imagine the early Christian audience listening to the entire Gospel, and we assume that they must have heard the repetition three times of this terrible prediction. Where have the disciples been? How insensitive could they be?

Read the scriptures and this entire reflection here.