Bulletin 26-November-2017

Sunday, November 26, 2017 – Saturday, December 2, 2017
Reign of Christ
8:30: Worship
10:00: Worship, Sunday School & Childcare
Ezekiel 34:11-16, 20-24
Matthew 25:31-46
Rev. Ken McGarry
Music: Janice Edwards, mezzo soprano



Today in the Sunday School     November 26, 2017

Today is the Reign of Christ and the liturgical color is green.

Nursery Care – The church nursery opens at 9:45 AM to care for children under the age of 3 during the 10:00 service.  Nursery coordinators are on hand to greet parents and explain the procedure for checking in and picking up your child.

Sunday School

All classes will go directly to Shaw Chapel following the Children’s Message to sing with Mr. Steve and then return to their classrooms. MAD will REMAIN IN THE SANCTUARY FOR THE MORNING WORSHIP. 

  • Pre-school classes-2nd grade will learn about Advent.
  • Third-Fifth graders will continue their unit on Advent with the Inn Keepers Story. Luke 2:1-7
  • 6th grade will learn about Advent and start rehearsing for the Christmas Pageant.
  • MAD will remain in the sanctuary for the worship service.


The Christmas Pageant will be held during the 11:00 AM worship service on December 17.  All children should be in their classrooms by 10:45 at the latest.  Please see the December schedule below.

December 3
9:00am:        Worship
11:00am:      Worship, Sunday School & nursery care

December 10
9:00am:        Worship Christmas at First (nursery care)
11:00am:      Worship Christmas at First, Sunday School & nursery care

December 17
9:00am:        Worship
11:00am:      Worship & Christmas Pageant during worship &
nursery care
                     (Students need to be in classrooms by 10:45) 

The complete December schedule be found at the end of the bulletin announcements. 

Candle Lighters – Do you have a student in grades 3-8 that would like to be a candle lighter?  They will be trained with an usher to light the candles at the beginning of the 10:00 service each Sunday.  We will have a schedule, and you can sign up for as few or as many Sundays as you like.  For more information, please contact Diane Matthes at [email protected] or call the office at 882-4861.  Brochures and sign-up are available at the CE Corner in Fellowship Hall.

 New Fall Activities for Jr. High School Students

  • Skate & Tag – Roller skating and laser tag at Roller Kingdom in Tyngsboro, Massachusetts – Saturday, December 2, 6:00 – 10:00 PM

New Fall Activities for Sr. High School Students

  • Operation Elf – Right after the 11 AM worship service on Sunday, December 10, join us for lunch in the dining room followed by shopping for children’s gifts and a scavenger hunt at Pheasant Lane Mall.  We’ll return to the dining room to wrap presents and enjoy ice cream sundaes!  The event will conclude at 5 PM.  In addition to having a great time with your friends, you’ll be helping needy children – and performing hours of community service — as the wrapped gifts will go to families served by the Nashua Soup Kitchen.  Sign up by contacting Rev. Ken or visiting the CE Corner in Fellowship Hall.

More information is available at the Christian Education Corner.

Basketball Season is back!  Spencer Rancourt will again be the head coach of the First Church Basketball Team, assisted by Shannon Martin and Dominic Lebel (all former First Church players) All boys and girls in 7th grade and 13 years of age through Seniors up to age 18 are eligible to play. If you are interested, please contact Spencer at [email protected] ASAP. Games start in several weeks.


Church Happenings and Outreach – New/Current

 White Dove/Silver Dove Program – The sign-up for the annual White Dove/Silver Dove Program continues today and next Sunday, December 3.  You may adopt a family or senior citizen on your own or join with another First Church individual or family to help make Christmas a little brighter for those in our community who might otherwise be alone and forgotten on this holiday.  If you are not able to participate in the general program, donations of food are greatly appreciated.

Also, help is needed to load cars and deliver the gifts to the families on Sunday, December 17, after the 11 AM service.

If you have any questions about the program, please call Carol Butler, 889-6420.


Screenagers: Growing up in the Digital AgeAll parents of youth are invited to join us in the dining room on Friday, December 1, 7:00-9:00 PM, for a screening of this recently-released documentary. The film explores the impact of screen technology on children and youth and offer parents proven solution to effectively address the issue with the families. Following the film, Sue Haas, formerly a middle school counselor, will facilitate a brief discussion.

A pasta dinner will be provided. Sign up by Wednesday, November 29 at the CE Corner or by contacting Rev. Ken at [email protected]


Thank you to my First Church Family for providing Thanksgiving Baskets to Moms with children in the ALC childcare facility. Thanks to your kindness and generosity, 12 single, low-income Moms were able to provide a wonderful Thanksgiving meal to their children. These are hardworking Moms who struggle to make ends meet so providing a special holiday meal for their children is very meaningful and they are so appreciative. Thank you also to Carol Butler for pulling it all together with a lot of grace, energy, and good humor! Carol Baldwin


Christmas Forum: Mary for Protestants – Our Protestant heritage does not hold Mary in the same regard as our Catholic and Orthodox friends.  Nevertheless, we can learn so much from her.  You are invited to join Rev. Andy who will show how Mary, mother of Jesus, as a model for faithful living today.  The angel Gabriel invited Mary to receive the gift of a child.  In this forum we’ll follow pivot points in Mary’s Journey and see how her example can deepen our own faith in her son, Emmanuel—who is God with us.  You’ll leave with a new appreciation for Mary and practical resources to help you keep Christ in Christmas.  We’ll gather in Fellowship Hall at 7:30 PM on December 14th.  Did I say there will be cookies?


Rx Relax Seated Yoga classes – The second 4-week session will be held November 27- December 18 at 2:00 PM.  Certified yoga instructor, Dr. Heather Tallman Ruhm is the leader. You don’t need a yoga mat.  Just wear comfortable clothing.  Chairs will be used (wheelchair accessible). Rx Relax is for all body types!

Sign up at Sign-up Central at the In-Reach table.  Come to one or all of the sessions.  Contact the church office for more information.


Annual Holiday Cookie Sale with a Twist! – Coming Sunday, December 3rd: the annual holiday cookie sale to benefit the Mission Trip Fund. Put on your apron and baking caps and enter your favorite cookies. This year there will be prizes for the most creative, tastiest and prettiest cookies. They will be judged prior to the morning sales by a team of secret judges. There is a signup sheet for cookies at the CE Corner.

Please bring your cookies to the parlor before the 9:00 AM service on December 3. Cookies will be judged and will be on sale after the 9:00 and 11:00 AM services.  As always, your plate of cookie selections will be wrapped and tied with a bow.


The Women’s Association’s Christmas pot luck supper and Yankee swap will be held on Monday, December 11, at 6 PM.  This will be an evening of fellowship, fun and food.

Sign up at the Sign-up Central board near the In-Reach table.  Participants are asked to bring a main dish, side dish, or dessert to share.  Please bring a gift valued at $10 or under for the fun Yankee swap.  Call Bea Dillaby 888-2766, or Brooks Thompson, 886-1476 for more information.


Anne-Marie House – First Church’s volunteer week at Anne-Marie House is the week of Sunday, December 24 – Saturday, December 30.  Contact Beth Raymond, 595-0053 or [email protected], for more information or to volunteer.


Tune in to Rev. Andy – Rev. Andy to be featured guest on The United Way Community Connections Show, hosted by Mike Apfelberg. The show airs on December 11th at 9 AM on radio AM1590, WSMN.  Andy will have a platform to discuss the ministries and missions that we bring to greater Nashua which fits nicely into the purpose of the show: exposing the listeners to Nashua’s network of non-profits, they will learn about the services available, opportunities to volunteer, and ways to get involved.


Outreach Focus for November
The Front Door Agency

The Front Door Agency is celebrating its 30th anniversary in offering support and providing services to assist families in transition from crisis to self-sufficiency.  The Transitional Housing Program at the Front Door Agency positively impacts homeless single mothers, who are at twice the federal poverty level, and their children.  Through a “hand up” approach, they provide each client with affordable housing, extensive case management, educational opportunities, life-skills training, and critical supportive services; all the tools to achieve self-sufficiency. The program works with them in providing the tools, direction and supports necessary to conquer obstacles in order to move forward.

First Church has been a long-time supporter of The Front Door Agency. Currently, there are two opportunities to assist the agency.  The first is to donate items needed: AA & AAA Batteries, flashlights with batteries, twin size sheet sets, and comforters (women’s bedding and kids bedding themes are appreciated), twin size mattress pads/covers, Laundry baskets & Laundry detergent, shower caddies, cleaning supplies (disinfectant wipes; Fantastic; etc.), tissues & toilet paper, children’s cold medicine, adult cold medicine.  These items may be left in the containers at the Outreach Booth in Fellowship Hall.

The second opportunity is to share our time during The Front Door Agency’s upcoming Holiday Program.  Volunteers are needed to accept holiday gifts for families at the Nashua Marriott on the following days and times:

Wednesday, December 13: 9-12 & 2-4; Thursday, December 14: 9-12 & 2-4;

Friday, December 15: 9-12 & 2-4; Monday, December 18: 9-12 & 2-4

Volunteers must be able to lift up to 25 lbs. If interested in volunteering, email Nancy at [email protected] or call at 816-0322.

If you have any questions about this Outreach mission, please see Grace Lambert or Monica Gallant.

Join the folks at The Front Door Agency for an open house on Sunday, December 17 from 11:15 AM -12:30 PM at their Norwell Transitional Housing site, 12 Concord St.  Come see first-hand how our church outreach support impacts families.  Hot cocoa, coffee and holiday cookies will be served. RSVP to Kara at [email protected]


Just a few spots left for The Annual Winter Retreat!  Deposits are due!  Rev. Andy and Rev. Ken will lead this year’s winter retreat on the theme of “Renewing Your Soul with Sabbath.”  It will be held the weekend of January 26-28, 2018 at the Marie Joseph Spiritual Center in Biddeford Pool, Maine.  This retreat is the perfect time for reflection, relaxation, prayer, worship, and fellowship.  The cost for the weekend is $235.00 per person.  This includes lodging for 2 nights and 5 meals. To register, contact Sue Englander, 882-4861 or [email protected], or stop by the church office.


Bereavement Calendar – The church office has created a new bereavement calendar to help us better remember and celebrate the lives of church members, friends, and loved ones who have recently passed away.  If your family experiences a loss, please contact the church office so that we can be sure to include you in our prayers and our records.


The Christmas Fund for the Veterans of the Cross and Emergency Fund is a Special Mission Offering of the United Church of Christ that grants us an opportunity to recognize and honor those who have served and continue to serve in lay and authorized ministries of the UCC.  This offering will be received on Sunday, December 17.  Offering envelopes will be provided in the December Messenger and in the pew racks on December 17.


Music in Worship Next Week
Sunday, December 3
First Sunday in Advent
9:00    Decibells & First Folk
11:00  First Folk, Decibells & Chapel Chimers


Church Happenings and Outreach – Ongoing

 Pulpit Flowers – If you would like to provide flowers for the pulpit, please sign up on the chart in Fellowship Hall.  Flower arrangements can be purchased from your favorite florist or can be created from flowers you’ve purchased or grown.  Register on the sign-up sheet in Fellowship Hall or call the church office.


The Bible, Friends, and Coffee Bible Study meets on Mondays 9:30-11:00 AM in room 15, in the Walker Building.  The discussion group is facilitated by Rev. Andy Armstrong.  No sign-up is required.  If you have a Bible, bring it; if not, one will be supplied for you. 


The Caregiver’s Support Group meets on the second Thursday of the month at 2:00 PM.  Please contact Rev. Jami for more information.


Drop-In Hours – Join Rev. Ken at the Riverwalk Café (35 Railroad Square) on Wednesdays from 1:30 to 3:30 PM for a cup of coffee and some casual conversation.


End 68 Hours of Hunger provides bags of food weekly to local elementary school children who would otherwise not have food over the weekend.  The following items are needed: nutritional cereal, canned soup/pasta, 18oz. plastic peanut butter, 20 oz. plastic jelly, canned tuna/chicken, small cans of fruit, boxes of macaroni and cheese, ramen noodles (no cups), nutrition bars.  Collection boxes are set up in Fellowship Hall.


The Giving Card offers an option for those folks who give electronically or monthly to symbolically participate in the offering.  Cards can be found in the basket at the back of the sanctuary.  Simply place it in the offering plate.


First Church serves dinner at the Nashua Soup Kitchen on the third Tuesday and fourth Friday of the month from 4:00-6:00 PM.  New volunteers are always welcome to participate in this simple, but important outreach ministry.  To serve on a Tuesday please contact Patricia Cooper, [email protected] or 566-1826.  If you are interested in helping on a Friday, please call Cindy Staradub, 888-9561.


The Ladies Lunch Bunch meets on the second Wednesday of the month at 12:30 PM.  The group will dine at Common Man, 304 D.W Hwy, Merrimack on December 13. Contact Arlene Richmond, [email protected] or 943-7970, for more information. All women of the church- members and friends- are welcome.


The Men’s Breakfast Group meets every Thursday morning at 7:30 AM at the Pine Street Eatery, 136 Pine St., Nashua. For more information, contact Dick Zoerb, 886-8665.


The Men’s Munchers meet on the first Tuesday of the month at noon for lunch and fellowship.  The group will dine at the Crowne Plaza, 2 Somerset Pkwy., Nashua, on December 5. This will include a Yankee swap. Bring a wrapped gift (valued at $10-$15) if you wish to participate. All men of the church and their guests are welcome.  Contact Dick Zoerb, 886-8665, or [email protected], for more information.


Team Works Study Group with Rev. Andy is on break and will resume in the spring.


The Prayer Shawl Ministry – Knitters and crocheters are invited to work on prayer shawls at home.  Contact Karen Bianchi, 603-897-0788 or Laurel Lang 603-465-3372 to see how you can be involved in this simple, but meaningful ministry.


The Thrift Shop is open on Thursdays, 10:00 AM-2:00 PM and the first Saturday of the month, 9:00 AM-Noon.  Fall and winter clothing for women and children, clean and in good repair, may be left in the marked bin in the lobby at the courtyard entrance.  Children’s clothing up to size 14, women’s pocketbooks, jewelry, and small knickknacks are especially needed.


The Visitation Ministry meets on the second Tuesday of the month at 2:00 PM. Please contact Rev. Jami for more information.


December Worship Schedule

 Note the change in worship times

First Sunday of Advent
December 3, 2017
9:00am:  Worship
11:00am:  Worship, Sunday School & nursery care


Second Sunday of Advent
December 10, 2017
Christmas at First – Antonio Vivaldi – Gloria
9:00am:  Worship & nursery care
11:00am:  Worship Christmas at First, Sunday School & nursery care

Third Sunday of Advent
December 17, 2017
9:00am:  Worship
11:00am:  Worship & Christmas Pageant during worship & nursery care
(Students need to be in classrooms by 10:30)

 Christmas Sunday
December 24, 2017
9:00am:  Worship (no Sunday School or nursery care)
5:00pm:  Family Service
7:00pm:  Candlelight Service of Lessons & Carols
11:00pm:  Candlelight Service of Lessons & Carols

December 31, 2017
8:30am:  Worship
10:00am:  Worship (no Sunday School or nursery care)



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