February 25, 2024



Prayers of Intercession

(new names added will be in red)

To view the live-streamed 10 AM service, please use one of the links below.

Youtube Link

Facebook Link

The Children's Faith Formation News and Information is updated weekly!

Our new Lenten banner graces the front of the church!

"Lent is like a selfie...without any filters."

As we observe the hours and actions of Maundy Thursday into Good Friday, we invite you to take part in the Silent Vigil, a time of keeping watch with Jesus through the night, one hour at a time. Participants sign up for an hour of time spanning from the end of the Maundy Thursday service and continuing into the early morning of Good Friday in the Sanctuary with resources and activity stations available for contemplation.

Detailed instructions will be given to each participant for arrival and departure protocols. 

To sign up, please email Pastor Alison or at the Welcome Desk. 

Blessing Bags – A church-wide Lenten outreach initiative!

We are called to follow Jesus' example in caring for each other and our community. During the Sundays in Lent, we will be asking church members and visitors to donate various individual size (travel size) items. Each Sunday will be a different item so please look at the bulletin or e-blast to find out what item we are collecting each week. Some items may include deodorant, socks, oral care supplies, etc.

All are invited on March 17th at 5 p.m. to attend a night where we share a meal together and assemble the bags. The bags will be blessed during worship on Palm Sunday and you are encouraged to take one on that Sunday to leave in your car to give to someone you encounter that would benefit from it. We have a goal of assembling at least 100 bags to distribute!

Collection for February 25: Toothbrushes (individually packaged, not in packs) and Toothpaste

In 42 Weeks ….The 300th is Coming!

Our greatest current need is publicizing the great line-up of events we have planned.

  • Please let us know you can help by signing up at the Welcome Desk, or on our website  

Our sincere thanks to Susan Bishop and Susan Kellogg for crafting these beautiful new Lenten banners. They were also responsible for the new Christmas banners that adorned the sanctuary this past year. Additionally, they are in the process of repairing some of our older banners.

And thank you to Kevin Ross for retrofitting an underused closet to store all of our banners and paraments. If you're curious, you will find this new Worship Supplies closet just outside the sanctuary in the hallway between the former library and the ramp.

Sunday Volunteer Opportunities

Every Sunday there is a need for Greeters, Worship Assistants/Lay Leaders and Ushers.

If you can help with greeting and/or assisting at worship, please use the buttons below to sign up.

If you can assist with Ushering, please contact Nancy Stover (email link on tab below) for more information.

Worship Assistant

Church Directory

We will be reissuing a new directory in March. If you would like to update your directory picture or send us a new one, please email christineb@firstcheshire.org.  If you have any questions, please Sara Buell chelsaje@cox.net.

Flowers for Sanctuary on Sundays

Sign up for weekly flower dedication is located on the bulletin board in the parlor. This is a wonderful way to remember someone special, honor birthdays, anniversaries or any other special events.  Please contact Jane Brown if you have any questions or would like to sign up.

As a follow up from the recent 2nd hour presentation by Dave DeFeo, a few of us gathered at the Cheshire Community Food Pantry on Wednesday for a tour and discussion about how we at First Church can help. 

Sponsoring a shelf at the pantry seems like a good first step. Stay tuned for more details. 

From L-R: Jack Sellati, Sara Buell, Jan Garthwait, Dave DeFeo (Food Pantry Executive Director), Joey Ekberg, Jim Redeker, John Fitzmauarice, Debbie Wylie

Six little kittens came for a blessing on Thursday. Three days old, and four ounces each, they have a lot of growing to do before they can be adopted. We ask God's blessings on them and their foster families; thank you Joellyn for sharing them with us!

More Kitten Pictures

Come one, Come all! – First Church and the Outreach Ministry Group is again supporting the American Red Cross with a blood drive in our Parish Hall on Friday, March 22 from 1-6 pm. Signup link to our drive. Let’s get it done!

We currently have 26 out of 62 spots filled!


We are excited again to help raise awareness of the great need for blood donations and offer our support to the Red Cross for its work in our community, state, nation, and world. 


  • Every 2 seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood and or platelets.
  • Approximately 29,000 units of red blood cells are needed every day in the U. S.
  • Nearly 5,000 units of platelets and 6.500 units of plasma are needed daily in the U.S.
  • Sickle cell disease affects 90,000 to 100,000 people in the U.S. About 1,000 babies are born with the disease each year. Sickle cell patients can require blood transfusions throughout their lives.
  • A single car accident victim can require as many as 100 units of blood.
  • Blood and platelets cannot be manufactured; they can only come from volunteer donors.
  • The blood type most often requested by hospitals is type O.
  • One donation can help save more than one life.


Please make an appointment and donate on Friday, March 22, if you can. Click this link to find out more about giving blood. https://www.redcrossblood.org/faq.html



ION Bank Community Awards Program

The Strawberry festival is once again listed as a non-profit in the Ion Bank Community Awards Program. Every individual who has an Ion Bank account is eligible to vote for their favorite non-profit. Ion Bank awards $25 to each non-profit for every vote. Voting takes place Feb 1 through Feb 29. The Strawberry Festival is located under the “Religion” tab. Use this address https://cap.ionbank.com or google “Ion Bank CAP”.

Church Directory Updates

We really would like to see everyone’s photo included in our March edition of the church directory. If you haven’t already done so, please send in a family photo to Christine Blois or to Sara Buell. Now is also the time to make any other changes such as email addresses, home/cell numbers and street addresses. Thank you!

One Great Hour of Sharing

One Great Hour of Sharing is one of four special mission offerings of the United Church of Christ. This Lenten Offering supports the disaster, refugee, and development ministries of the United Church of Christ within Wider Church Ministries. Scan the QR Code to donate or go to our firstcheshire.org

The Benefits of Snow:  For those of us with driveways and sidewalks, snow may be seen as mostly a pain in the neck – or in the back, after shoveling.  But snow is “The Poor Person’s Fertilizer,” say gardeners and farmers. It’s a source of trace elements and, more important, of plant-available forms of nitrogen, a nutrient often in short supply, notes certified arborist Paul Hetzler. “Snow-based nitrogen can be a significant boon to ecosystems on marginal soils,” he writes. In a year with abundant snowfall, sugarbushes, timberlands and pastures undoubtedly benefit. Also, snow provides much-needed moisture in the early spring. Because it melts slowly, a larger percentage of it seeps into the ground than rain does, which tends to run off and not benefit the soil. Lent, a time for spiritual reflection, proves a good opportunity to ponder the way God designed the seasons to benefit all life and to give thanks for snow, which not only beautifies our surroundings but helps sustain them.  For more information about the church's Eco Action Team, email Anne McNulty or Karen Schnitzer.

February 25 - March 3 Calendar

Sunday, February 25

10:00 am  Worship & Church School

11:00 am  Fellowship hosted by Finance Ministry, Parish Hall

Tuesday, February 27

2:00 pm    Parish Care, Library

7:00 pm    Outreach Ministry, Chapel

7:00 pm    Facilities Ministry, Parish Hall

Wednesday, February 28

12:45 pm  Caring Crafts, Parlor

3:30 pm    Staff Meeting, Library

7:00 pm    Chancel Choir

Thursday, February 29

7:00 pm    Is Retirement Good for You? Presentation, Parish Hall

Sunday, March 3

10:00 am  Worship & Church School

11:00 am  Fellowship hosted by Outreach Ministry, Parish Hall

11:15 am  300th Anniversary Committee, Chapel

5:00 pm    CAFÉ Conversations Bible Study, Chapel

5:00 pm    Youth Group Top Chef, Parish Hall

5:00 pm    Stepping Stones, Whiting House

Other Important Information

A reminder that the Prayer Net Prayer Ministry Team stands ready to pray for any requests. Simply email prayernet@firstcheshire.org the prayer request and it will be sent on to our prayers in complete confidence unless otherwise noted. Let us support one another with the power of prayer.

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