Rally Day Brings the Focus Back on Children’s Growth

With the return of families from summer vacations, the return of the choir to our worship, the decoration of the sanctuary with bundles of bright balloons and a special intergenerational service led by the Rev. Jack Jones, this past Sunday — Rally Day — brought a feeling of renewed purpose and strengthened ties to the congregation. Worship was dedicated to the Commissioning of our Church School, bringing the children and youth, their parents, their teachers and the entire congregation together in a covenant of gratitude and commitment to provide loving direction and educational opportunities to all who come to participate in our efforts to grow in our understanding of Christ’s Way, to bring about God’s Kingdom on earth. Through a special Litany of Prayers, the congregation prayed for all learners and leaders as they prepare to start a new year of growing in God’s grace together.

Following worship, everyone gathered in the DeWolf Room for a Rally Day luncheon of hamburgers, hot dogs, salads and ICE CREAM SUNDAES! Lots of chatter, catching up with old friends and making some new ones, making some plans, looking forward.

Farewell Sunday for Rev. Deborah

August 27, 2023 marked another day of transition in the 343 years of FCC Bristol’s history. Due to Rev. Deborah Tate Breault’s decision to retire, our congregation is saying Good Bye to our pastor. On this, her last Sunday preaching in Bristol, she and the congregation together spoke a Liturgy for Ending an Authorized Ministry.

On November 1, 2020, this church called Rev. Deborah Tate Breault to serve as Transitional Minister. As part of the Liturgy, words of gratitude, forgiveness and acceptance were spoken by both the minister and the members of the congregation. Through vows of Release by both parties, the congregation confirmed their focus on continuing the ministry of the church, looking forward to the congregation’s relationship with the new minister who will come to serve FCC Bristol.

Barbara Watts, who has faithfully served the church as Executive Assistant for the past 16 years, was called to the chancel during the morning’s service to recognize her contribution to the well-being and ministry of the church.

Following morning worship, the congregation joined Pastor Deborah in the Dewolf Fellowship Hall for a celebratory luncheon. Happily, many members attended in person who on other Sundays join us via LiveStream. We are thankful for the ministry of Pastor Deborah at FCC Bristol and wish her every good and joyful experience as she leaves our church.

The Search is On… 

At a joint FCC Church Council and Deacon’s meeting on Wednesday, June 22, 2023 Paul Temple (Chair), Jennifer Johnson, Ruth Fisher, Caroline Jacobus, and Ed Wiacek were appointed to a fast-track Interim Minister search team. The team met on Thursday, July 6 to begin the search process. Reverend Patty Kogut, our UCC Area Conference Minister, attended the meeting virtually and offered advice to make our search journey successful and rewarding.

The team has completed and submitted our Local Church Profile and the Interim Pastor job position has been posted nationally. We have received several qualified applicant profiles and we are pursuing the process of interviewing them. If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to reach out to any members of the search team.

Coffee House Wins “Best of Rhode Island” for 6th Time!

On Thursday July 20, Roger & Donna Dubord attended the 30th annual Rhode Island Monthly Magazine Best of Rhode Island party at the Providence Performing Arts Center. A large crowd of 1200 people were in attendance. There were 417 Best of RI winners throughout the state in various categories and the Stone Church Coffeehouse

was one of them. The Coffeehouse won for Best Music Venue – East Bay. This was the 6th time the Coffeehouse has won in this category. Each win is special because the votes come from friends and guests who attend the shows.

We wish to extend a heartfelt “Thank You” to each and every person who voted for the Stone Church Coffeehouse in the Rhode Island Monthly Magazine’s Best of RI Readers Poll.

Come Sing in the Choir!

We are delighted to extend a heartfelt invitation to each one of you to join our Church Choir. We believe that music has the power to uplift spirits, inspire worship, and bring our community closer together. We welcome individuals of all ages, backgrounds, and singing abilities to join us in this joyous endeavor.
Whether you have a trained voice or simply a passion for singing, we invite you to come and lend your unique voice to our choir. No matter where you are in your musical journey, we promise a nurturing and supportive environment where you can grow and develop your talents.

Rehearsals for the Church Choir take place every Wednesday at 7:00 pm in the Dimon Room and Sunday mornings at 9:15 am in our church sanctuary. These sessions provide dedicated time for us to come together, learn new songs, and practice as a unified choir. We understand that everyone has different commitments, so we encourage you to attend the rehearsals that best fit your schedule.
By joining the Church Choir, you will not only have the opportunity to deepen your connection to our church community but also form lasting friendships with fellow choir members.
If you have any questions or would like more information about joining the Church Choir, please feel free to contact me at nzabinski@gmail.com.

Look at the “Before” and “After” of our Sanctuary Window Repairs

Much progress is being made this week with the Window Preservation Project. On the left, below, is a sash that was removed on July 31, 2023. You can see the deplorable condition of the sash. When the sash is removed in this shape it is very wobbly and unstable. The glass and the glazing is what give the sash stability and rigidity.  It appears that many years ago, during the replacement of some of the glass panes, the fancy decorative wooden moldings were cut out and replaced with solid wood.

The photo on the right shows one of our fully restored windows demonstrating how New Outlook Historic Preservation, the Swansea firm that is preserving our sanctuary windows, has fully repaired the decorative moldings of our original windows. This skillful improvement, along with the beads and jambs, makes for a stunning window.

Can you help us complete the windows project?

Many people have generously donated toward the preservation of the sanctuary windows. But we are still in need of some funding to complete all of the windows on the North and West facades of the sanctuary. A donation in any amount will be gratefully received. Some have chosen to fund the restoration of a sash through the donation of $7,500 toward a Named Memorial Window. Perhaps you and some others would like to consider jointly funding one of the remaining windows. If you have any questions, feel free to contact Caroline Jacobus or Sally Evans.

Dear friend, Pat Pires, celebrates 100th birthday

Long-time member of First Congregational Church in Bristol, Pat Pires, celebrated a century of birthdays on July 31, 2023 at Silver Creek Manor Rehab and Healthcare Center in Bristol. Beverly Larson, Sue Moreira, Sally Evans and Sandy Patterson attended the celebration and brought Pat the congregation’s wishes for health and happiness.

Everyone had fun at the Craft Fair

This year’s FCC Annual Craft Fair was a lot of fun and a huge success! The weather was absolutely the best that could be. Balloons and buntings were waving in the breeze. Every inch of space on the church lawns was filled with crafters and vendors who brought beautiful — and delicious — items for sale. This one-day only event — on Saturday, July 1 from 10am to 3pm — attracted a large turnout from both the wider community and the congregation. Those who were not working at the church’s plant, baking, and craft booths, or at the lunch-time grill, were coming in to have a look-see and buy. New friends and repeat customers stopped by for a chat and a lunch-time snack. Many, many thanks to all the hard-working volunteers who donated their time, their baked goods and craft items, their set-up and take-down efforts, their cooking skills, and their hours manning the booths. See you next year!

Happy Birthday, Marina!

Birthdays are such happy occasions. When someone is so loved by the whole congregation, it is a joyous occasion. This past Sunday, July 2, 2023, was Marina’s birthday and everyone gathered in the DeWolf Chapel after morning worship to let her know how much we love her and appreciate her never-failing embrace of everyone she meets, whether she is serving the church or serving the wider community during the week at her job with a local nonprofit that cares for vulnerable populations. We hope you have a wonderful celebration and a year ahead full of adventure, curiosity, and loving relationships.