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. While OGHS offerings are usually made before Easter, gifts designated toward OGHS ministries that help heal the world can be made at any time. We urge you to consider making an offering to address these global needs by going HERE.

December 18, 2020

The Spiritual Opportunity of Zoom Worship

I wanted to take a few moments to explain the change from live streaming to zoom during Sunday morning worship throughout December. Live streaming offers the opportunity to see worship leaders in our beautifully decorated sanctuary. The beauty of the season shines brightly. However, the COVID-19 surge continues to rise daily to a dangerous point. Safety has to be the most important aspect of corporate worship as we continue in these difficult pandemic days. It is safer for us to all be using zoom so that we can be secure in our homes and not have any of our staff or deacons at risk during our weekly worship. However, the more important element for me, is that when we are on Zoom we are all together in the present moment. The Holy Spirit is also present with us as we actively engage in worship.

I am concerned that with the rising Covid numbers we may very well be shut down by December 24th. That being said, I believe that it is imperative for us to be able to share in a traditional Christmas Eve worship on December 24th at 6:00 p.m. Utilizing Zoom worship in early December allows us to become more familiar and successful with this venue. Being spiritually centered as a united faith community, will allow us to receive the gift of The Christ Child through the “Lessons and Carols and Candles.” I pray it will be a holy moment for all. I appreciate your patience and understanding as we continue our Advent journey.

In faith and with appreciation,
Rev. Deborah Breault

December 11, 2020

Dear Church family,
It is wonderful to be here at First Congregational Church of Bristol beginning our journey of faith and mutual ministry. Having begun my duties on November 2, 2020 I am feeling welcomed and deeply blessed to serve God in this place. These first six weeks have provided a bit of time for me to become acquainted with many of you in worship, board meetings, and zoom gatherings. Learning about how FCC functions, connecting with members and friends and learning names are a priority for these early months.
I have been impressed with the core leadership teams and numerous ministries. I am also grateful to hear that you are embracing the healing journey as an important next chapter in the life of this church. You have a talented and dedicated staff and leadership team who are a source of wisdom and blessing to this community.

The work of a designated term ministry is a rich and unique opportunity for growth in a church. In addition to the traditional tasks of leadership in worship, presiding at the sacramental life, and supporting the programmatic and education work and overseeing administrative aspects of church there are three developmental tasks that will focus the work unfolding in our midst.

  • Coming to Terms with History, which includes healing and wholeness of the congregation.
  • Supporting Leadership and its development.
  • Discerning God’s purpose for the congregation.

Each successive task builds on the work of the previous and can provide a clear sense of God’s call for partnership as we move into the future. Opening to the work of Holy Spirit is indeed a journey that blends many elements: intentional work and consensus building, spiritual growth, discerning a common path while celebrating the gifts of this beautifully diverse family of faith. The process of seeing where you have been, where you are now, and where you sense God calling you into the future is essential and sacred work. But we do not walk alone. We are emboldened by the assurance of faith that the Apostle Paul offers in Philippians 4:13 “We can do all things in Christ who strengths us” (adapted.) I am excited and grateful for this opportunity to travel this journey with you.

Rev. Deborah

November 6, 2020 Thank You

Dear Church Family,
Thank you all for the warm welcome you have extended to me during my first week in Bristol.  From the gorgeous bouquet of flowers and welcome note that greeted me upon my arrival, to the assistance and support from those who have helped me get “settled” into the Guiteras House apartment, thank you.  I am feeling very blessed.  I am beginning to meet folks and learn names and I hope you will all bear with me as I endeavor to learn a bit about each of you and this wonderful historic church.  I feel God’s presence in this place.  I trust that through a dependence upon prayer and an openness to the Spirit’s leading we will begin to form the bonds of fellowship and faith that is God’s church in this place. Please feel free to reach out for ways I can provide the pastoral care and love of Christ as we all grow in faith.
With blessings and in faith,
Rev. Deborah Breault