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"So then, putting away falsehood, let all of us speak the truth to our neighbors, for we are members of one another." –Ephesians 4:25
Message from Pastor Nancy
 
I grieve with you the events of Wednesday January 6. Many of you have told me how saddened and heartsick you are. Some have asked me for spiritual guidance and a pathway out of the discomfort they are feeling. I have found a well-written article with which I am in complete agreement, and I encourage you to read "3 Ways the Church Can Respond to the Capitol Building Riot."  Pastor Fuerst begins his article with the words of the widely renowned theologian Walter Brueggemann:  “The prophetic tasks of the church are to tell the truth in a society that lives in illusion, grieve in a society that practices denial, and express hope in a society that lives in despair.” 

I’ve already written to you about the importance of the truth. If you wish for some biblical guidance, please read Ephesians 4: 11-16. Some of you have asked for guidance on dealing with your grief and despair. In dealing with grief, we have to allow ourselves to experience our feelings, especially those of sadness in the face of loss. We should not feel that we have a right to be shielded from sadness, when there is real loss to be grieved. I heard someone say “Every day I am not grieving I am taking revenge.” If you can, allow time for your tears, and honor them as the expression of your profound feeling and your deep caring. Jesus weeps at the death of his friend, Lazarus. He is greatly disturbed in spirit and deeply moved, because he loved Lazarus. (Read John 11: 28-37)
In the Gospel According to John, Jesus also speaks about sorrow turning to joy (John 16: 20-22). If you wish to read words of hope, I recommend Romans 8: 18-25.

Let’s be patient with one another as we travel through this difficult time together. Our relationship to the church is similar to the other relationships of our lives. If we want the joy, we need to accept the sorrow. If we want the good times, we need to take the bad times. We cannot grow in relationship to one another as the church and build each other up, if we do not show up for one another when it’s difficult. I hope to see and hear many of you on Zoom tonight. The invitation was sent out separately via email this morning. May God bless you and keep you. May God make his face to shine upon you and be gracious onto you. May God lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace. Amen.

Weekly Offering Envelopes
*Last Call for Pledge Cards*
For those who have returned their pledge cards, weekly offering envelopes will be available from the church office beginning Tuesday.  The office is staffed on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10AM - 3PM.  Please feel free to stop by anytime during these hours.

If you haven't returned your pledge card, please return it ASAP to Sharon Maloney.  You can also email your pledge information to Sharon.

 
Last Call for Poinsettias
We still have seven unclaimed plants in the Sanctuary.  If you would like one (or more), even if you didn't purchase any, please let Chris Foley know by next Tuesday.  Unfortunately, we will have to throw away any plants remaining after that date.
 
Fellowship Time on Zoom -- Sunday, 1/17
Due to an 11:30AM Deacons Meeting this Sunday, we'll have an abbreviated Zoom Fellowship Time from 11 - 11:20 AM.   The email containing login information will go out on Saturday morning at 10 am.  This week, let's plan to share funny family stories.

A small and friendly group is gathering each week. Please consider joining us. We'd love to see your face and hear your voice. 
 
Bible Study on January 20th
The topic for this week's study will be Wrestling God, from the Bible Project.  If you plan to participate next Wednesday, please visit this link prior to the meeting.  A reminder email, including Zoom login information, will be sent to all regular participants next Tuesday.  If you would like to join Bible Study, please contact Pastor Nancy.
 
Annual Meeting, February 7th via Zoom
Annual Report Draft, January 28th
According to our bylaws, our Annual Meeting is held the first Sunday in February each year.  This year, that date is February 7th and it is highly likely our meeting will be held via Zoom.  A draft copy of the Annual Report will be emailed to all members on 1/28, allowing time for input before the final report is emailed on 2/4. 
 
 New Here???
The New Here page on our new website is designed to give new and prospective members a taste of what it's like to be a member of Third Church.  In addition to answers to Frequently Asked Questions, short videos of current members are offered in the "Our Members Speak" section.  This page also provides new and  prospective members with an easy way to subscribe to our site.  If you haven't yet visited, check it out soon!
 
REMINDERS!
 
Clothing Donation Shed Now Open
The clothing donation shed in the church parking lot, which was temporarily closed due to the pandemic, has now been reopened.   Accepted items: clothing, shoes, belts, purses, blankets, sheets, curtains, pillowcases, and stuffed animals.
 
Support Our Church through Amazon Smile
If you purchase items through Amazon.com, please consider making Third Church the charity of your choice. If you do, Amazon will donate 0.5% of your purchase price to Third Church, whenever you order through smile.amazon.com. To choose us:

1.    Visit smile.amazon.com.
2.    Sign in with your Amazon.com credentials.
3.    Search for "Third Congregational Church." 
4.    Select the one in Middletown, CT as the charity of your choice.
Current Office Hours
Rev. Nancy Lois, and our administrative assistant, Chris Foley, have office hours on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10am-3PM. Our pastor is available to meet with you or visit you at your convenience at other times during the week. She also checks church voicemail and email daily Tuesday through Sunday. Monday is her day off.
Upcoming Events

                                 
                               
                             Fellowship Time                 1/17    11:00 -  11:45 AM  
                             Deacons Meeting               1/17    11:30 -  12:30 PM  
                             MM&C Meeting                   1/19      7:00 -    8:00 PM        
                             Bible Study                        1/20    10:00 -  11:00 AM
                             Confirmation Class            1/20      3:30 -   4:15 PM
       
Prayer Requests
*Dennis Richardson asks that we pray for his stepfather, Sam, recently diagnosed with COVID, and his mother, Rita, who is caring for Sam.  Also pray for a friend of his who is struggling with throat cancer, and Dennis's wife Lisa who is providing care.  Finally, please pray for resolution of other health issues in the Richardson family.
*Please pray for the family & friends of Ann Tuthill (friend of PJ's) who passed away on New Year's Eve (1/7)
*Please pray for Joy Cummings who recently learned she has a fractured spine (12/31)
*Please pray for the families of those who have been lost to COVID-19 (12/17)
*Please pray for all healthcare workers (12/17)

Prayer requests are listed for 4 weeks. Please let Chris Foley know if you would like to keep your request on longer.  Our practice is to list the name of the prayer requestor unless anonymity is specified. 

Pray for Our Shut Ins
Betty Behn, Sally Parker, Bettye Nosenzo and Evelyn Macensky, Karen Keathley


Our mailing address is:
94 Miner Street, Middletown, CT  (860)632-0733
thirdchurchmiddletown.org- website
thirdchurch94@gmail.com
YouTube Channel
Rev. Nancy Lois, Pastor (413) 250-9895
Chris Foley, Administrative Assistant (860) 632-0733


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Third Congregational Church · 94 Miner St · Middletown, CT 06457-1747 · USA

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