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Archive for 2017 December

Monthly Archive for: ‘December, 2017’




After such a good time doing an “improv” Christmas pageant the past two years, we held our third annual impromptu pageant on Sunday December 17, with no rehearsals and no assigned parts. Rev. Mary Lee-Clark read the story of the first Christmas in verse. As she mentioned a character, folks in the congregation who wanted to portray that character would go to the table of simple costumes, put one on and come up front while the rest of the congregation sang a few verses of a carol. Roles were not gender or age specific so people could play whoever they wanted; we had two Josephs, numerous shepherds and heavenly personages including a dancing 4-year-old angel, two kings and a knight (these three wise personages all were aged seven and younger). Immediately after the pageant, our new co-pastor Mark Blank, who has had a career in musical and improvisational theater, told the participants and the rest of the congregation how much he enjoyed the pageant, saying that improv theater is a spiritual endeavor in that participants open themselves to the vulnerability of the unexpected.

Carol Singing 2017


A group singing carols has visited homebound church members in their homes and at the Center for Living and Rehabilitation for many past Christmases, but it would have taken a much larger batch of “figgy pudding” to serve the  increased number of singers who carpooled December 17 to visit church members whom we don’t often see at church.  At their homes, at CLR, and at the Veterans’ Home, we sang, taking requests from the folks we’d come to sing for, many of whom sang along, as well as from the singers. Besides re-connecting with friends who cannot make it to church, some of us had the opportunity to introduce ourselves to residents at CLR and the Vets Home, including expressing our thanks for his service to a double-amputee, two-tour veteran of the Vietnam War who told one of us that he had commanded a platoon, caring for his men’s psychological welfare as well as their involvement in conflict.

Second Congo’s next Pastor is someone whose Heart matches our Church’s Heart

http://bennscc.org/2cc/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/marksermon01.mp4 Second Congo’s next Pastor is someone whose Heart matches our Church’s Heart A meeting of the congregation took place within the worship service of Sunday December 17, following a powerful sermon “Is Advent Political” by Mark Blank. The congregation voted unanimously to accept the recommendation of the Pastoral Search Committee to issue a formal call to Dennis Mark Blank …

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“Good News! Peace” –Isaiah 40:1-11, Mark 1:1-8– Dec. 10, 2017

A case could be made that we are incredibly naive to be lighting the Candle of Peace today and, even more, declaring that Peace is on the way. Long-range ballistic missiles have flown over Hiroshima from North Korea in recent days, and I can only imagine what the residents of Hiroshima and Nagasaki must feel, especially those who remember those …


Snowball Bazaar 2017

Second Congregational Church was a “hopping place” Friday December 1 and 2 with the 69th annual Snowball Bazaar! Community folks crowded the Serendipity rooms seeking bargains and Silent Auction searching out treasures. Handmade treats for cats, dogs and wild birds drew animal lovers to Pet Pourri. Beautiful wreaths were made by congregation members. And delicious soups, chili, sandwiches, salads, and …

“The Color Purple”– Isaiah 64:1-9, Mark 13:24-37– Dec. 3, 2017

Joanna Macy and Chris Johnstone have held workshops around the world to engage people in conversation and discernment about the current state of our world. They usually open the workshop by asking folks to complete the sentence, “When I consider the condition of our world, I think things are getting….” Over the past several decades, tens of thousands of people …

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