February 18, 2016

News from First Congregational Church
an Open and Affirming Congregation of the United Church of Christ 


33 South High Street, Bridgton, Maine

Reading for the week: Luke 13:31-35
Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often have I desired to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!

A theme is emerging for Lent: fullness. Last week we set out into the emptiness of the desert to find the fullness that awaits. This week we will be looking at the all-encompassing love of God. The language of Lent is harsh, but the point of the admonitions is to clear out the clutter to make more room in our lives for God’s abiding love.

In the passage for this week, Jesus speaks a passionate lament. The metaphor he chooses to describe his love for Jerusalem – the hen with her brood – is unmistakably feminine. This Sunday, I will speak about our use of metaphors to piece together partial understandings of the ineffable love of God. This will set us up well for a visit next week by Elizabeth Preysner who will speak about Julian of Norwich’s use of feminine imagery to describe the love of God. As you read the passage for this week, these words from Julian may give you more to ponder:

“The kind, loving mother who knows and recognizes the need of her child, she watches over it most tenderly, as the nature and condition of motherhood demands…These actions, with all that is fair and good, our Lord performs them through those by whom they are done. Thus he is our natural mother…”

Away? Can’t make it to church?
Would you like to hear the choir?
Maybe even the sermon?

Audio of services is now available at:

Lenten Lunches started on Ash Wednesday and will continue on Wednesdays at noon at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church.

Feb 24: Bridgton Alliance Church
March 2: Bridgton United Methodist and United Parish Congregational of N. Bridgton and Harrison.
March 9: Lake Region Vineyard and South Bridgton Congregational
March 16: First Congregational Church, UCC

Spiritual Growth

The Tuesday afternoon
Study and Prayer Group
1:30 p.m.

Devotional or inspirational reading and prayer for our church family.

We are studying The Book of Awakening, Having the Life You Want by Being Present to the
Life You Have
 by Mark Nepo.

Thursdays 8:15-9:30
Bible Journeys
Lively, curious reading and conversation about what’s in the Bible, what’s not, and what it all means for the world today.

We have started reading Short Stories by Jesus: The Enigmatic Parables of a Controversial Rabbi by Amy Jill Levine. â€œThis is probably the best book on parables available today: brief, informative, witty, and very interesting.” says Mark Allan Powell, editor of the HarperCollins Bible Dictionary.

All Are Welcome!

We Hold One Another
in Love  and in Prayer

Prayers of Comfort for. . .
Price Hutchins and family who are grieving Ann’s death on February 6th…The family of Wes Cannell who died on January 10th.

Prayers of Healing and Support for…
Shirley Barnes who is living with cancer and recuperating from a surgery at CMMC…Deantha Warner who is home and traveling to Boston once a week for treatments following a bone marrow transplant…Sarah Nadeau who is being treated for bacterial meningitis and her parents Jeanine & Jason Nadeau… Ken Rollins…Donna Coombs…Judy Ottley’s daughter Sherry Saucerman…Marion Farabee…Dick and Barbara Mayo…Jo Faust…Jayne Hamaty’s sister-in-law, Becky Bean, who is claiming life after treatment for cancer.

Prayers of Courage and Support
for our friends on active duty in the Armed Forces, and their families…

Jordan Vigna…Russell Sanborn…Jimmy DeAngelo…Richard L. Gyure II…Steven Milton

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