America for Christ Offering

The theme for the America for Christ Offering 2019 is an appeal to “Healing Communities” based on Galatians 6:9-10.  This offering began on March 3 and will continue throughout the month of March.

Your gifts to the AFC Offering impact thousands through ministries with marginalized children, disaster response, prison re-entry and aftercare, immigration and refugee resettlement, public witness and advocacy, resources that equip Christian leaders, chaplains who bring comfort to those in hospitals and nursing homes, and so much more.

Offering envelopes were sent with the March Newsletter and are also available in the pew racks throughout the month of March.

Pretzel Sunday, March 10

We will be making Lenten Pretzels today in the Vestry after worship.  Pretzels have an important meaning during Lent.  Pretzels were made as far back as the 5th century as a Lenten food in Italy, Austria, Germany and Poland.  The Latin word (bracellus), meaning “little arms”, eventually became the word pretzel.  The dough was shaped to look like two arms crossed in prayer.  All are welcome to come down to the Vestry and try your hand at making these wonderful pretzels and even getting the chance to eat them.

Credo:  This I Believe Series, Sunday, March 10th

The series entitled “This I Believe” will resume at 7:00 pm this Sunday in the Parlor.  This will consist of listening and responding to two or three essays, which offer a lively discussion of interesting topics of all types.  Each “credo” is insightful and thought-provoking.  These spoken “credos” come from the archives of NPR over the past 60 years, involving the reflections of celebrities, notable leaders, and average people.  All are welcome to join us on the second Sunday evening of each month through May.

Tuesday Night Bible Study Beginning March 12 in the Chapel

The theme of the Tuesday Night Bible Study group will be “Entering the Passion of Jesus”.  With the insights of Dr. Amy-Jill Levine, Vanderbilt University Jewish New Testament scholar, Pastor Hayes will lead a discussion exploring the stories of the Passion from the vantage of Jewish teachings and tradition.  Each session will include a DVD introduction by Prof. Levine, followed by a guided discussion of each text.  We will meet for six weeks beginning Tuesday, March 12.  Come to a fascinating study of Christian Texts through Jewish eyes.

Books for purchase ($13) are available through Pastor Hayes.

Fusion Youth Ministry, March-April Events

March 17, 4-6 pm - High School Youth Meeting at Union Baptist Church

March 24, 12 pm to 3 pm – Mystic Irish Parade – Meet at UBC at 12 pm to carpool over to the Seaport parking lot.

March 31, 4-6 pm - Middle School Youth Meeting at UBC

April 5, 4-6 pm – SuperCharged Trampoline Park

Camp Wightman 2019

It seems a long time until summer, but this is the time to register for summer camp at Camp Wightman.  Noank Baptist Church supports Camp Wightman and can assist families to offset the price of the programs.  Program descriptions and registration forms can be found online at  If you have questions about Camp Wightman, need assistance with registration, or need more information about NBC camp scholarships, please call Sue Robinson at 860-536-7129 ext. 306.

Flowers During Lent

During Lent (beginning March 10) members of the Flower Committee will create a special arrangement for the season, so no extra flowers will be needed during this time.  Dates are available after Easter.

The Anglican Singers, Sunday, March 10

The Anglican Singers will perform Choral Evensong today at 5:00 pm at St. James Episcopal Church, 76 Federal Street, New London.  The choristers have a deep interest in music of the English choral tradition.  Much of the finest music of this tradition, spanning half a millennium, is found in the Anglican service of Choral Evensong.  Since 1996, the independently organized Anglican Singers have been artists-in-residence at St. James Episcopal church.

Musical Masterworks Concerts, March 30 & 31

Musical Masterworks will be sponsoring concerts at the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme, 2 Ferry Road, Old Lyme in March and May.  Our own Rick Wyman is the Administrative Director and Outreach Coordinator.  The concerts on March 30 and 31 will take place on Saturday, March 30 @ 5:00 pm and Sunday, March 31 @ 3 pm (with pre-concert talks 1 hour before the performances).  We will get to experience the beautiful sounds of the classical guitar in the marvelous acoustics of the First Congregational Church, as we celebrate the Musical Masterworks debut of guitarist Colin Davin, in collaboration with perennial Musical Masterworks favorite violinist, Tessa Lar.  Tickets are:  Adult - $40, Student - $5 and are available online or at the door.  (pre-concert talks are free for ticket buyers). 

For additional information go to Musical Masterworks’ website  Future concerts will be promoted in the May newsletter and also in future Guiding Lights.

2019 MAEC Choir Festival, April 7

This year’s Choir Festival will be held on Sunday, April 7 @ 4 pm at Union Baptist Church.  This year’s festival is the 51st festival and will include choirs of children, youth and adults.  We are thrilled to have composer, conductor and educator, Cristi Cary Miller of Oklahoma City, OK to lead our festival this year.  If you would like to be a donor to the festival, please take a donor sheet from the table in the Narthex, fill it out and send it to Robin Crandall at Union Baptist Church.

Meals for Cal Robertson

We are looking for volunteers to make a meal for about 8 people at St. Francis House.  We especially need volunteers for March 6 & 13.  If you are interested, please sign up on the sheet on the table in the Narthex.  If you have any questions, please contact Betsey Goetsch @ 860-235-2729.

Caring About Environmental Racial Justice

Mystic Area Ecumenical Council (MAEC) invites you to attend a presentation by Terri Eickel, Executive Director and Founder of Interreligious Eco-Justice Network (IREJN) on Sunday, February 24 from 3-4:30 pm @ Mystic Congregational Church.  IREJN’s mission is to inspire and empower religious communities in Connecticut to be faithful stewards of Earth.  All are welcome – light refreshments will be served.

Groton Community Meals – Groton Senior Center

Food and friendship is available on Mondays every month at the Groton Senior Center from 6-7 pm.  This program operates year-round, is free and welcome to everyone.  Transportation is available, by reservation only, for a fee of $2 by calling 860-441-6785.  If you have any questions about the meal program, call 860-444-6760.

Flowers During Lent

During Lent (beginning March 10) members of the Flower Committee will create a special arrangement for the season, so no extra flowers will be needed during this time.  Dates are available after Easter.

Service of Installation for The Rev. Christa D. Swenson

The New London Association of the United Church of Christ invites you to the service of installation for the Rev. Christa D. Swenson on Sunday, March 17 @ 3:00 pm at the Mystic Congregational Church, 43 East Main Street, Mystic.  A reception will follow in the Parish Hall.  All are welcome to attend.

175th Anniversary Archivists Find Old Films of NBC

Some old church videos have been unearthed and are being transferred to digital format.  We are hoping to have a Movie Night at some point in the future, so if you have any videos (weddings, baptisms, concerts, VBS) you would like to add, please contact Bonnie Banks as soon as possible.

175th Anniversary Directory and History Update

The final photos have been taken and the directory is in the process of layout and editing.  Thank you for participating in this project which will result in a useful resource for our church.  We hope to have the directories available by mid-February once all the final edits are completed.

   The 175th accounting of our church history is also nearing its completion with final writing and editing.  We hope to complete it soon after New Year’s and have it ready for printing, perhaps even later in the month of January.  Thanks to Bonnie Banks and Tim Bates for taking the lead on these projects.

Lay Readers

We are in need of lay readers from January 20 and through the spring and summer months.  Please sign up on the Lay Worship Leader Sign-Up Sheet located on the table in the Narthex.

Hats for Hope Project

This is our 9th year of the Hats for Hope Project and we are still in need of hats so we can distribute them to the Cancer Society, homeless shelters, W.A.R.M., community kitchens, children’s hospitals and various schools to be given to children who are in need of a warm hat.  We distribute between 300-400 hats each year.  We need your help again to replenish our stock.  The hats can be knotted or crocheted and can be made for both adults and children.  If you can help, please contact Sandy Mansfield at 860-445-6208.

Storm Closings

In the rare event of cancellation of Sunday services or a church-wide activity due to weather conditions, notice is included in the storm closing and broadcast on Channels 3, 8 and 30.  In any case of inclement weather, all are encouraged to use the own judgment.