Thoughts from the organ bench: December 4, 2022 highlighted the 40th Northern County Chorale Christmas Concert.  What a beautiful event to hear and experience the true meaning of this Christmas Season.  An "amateur" group of people from North Berkshire County joined together to create a professional and glorious sound.  The title of the major work was "Night of the Father's Love."  This great night of God's love changed our world and lives forever as He entered among us.  One of the most beautiful hymns, in my opinion, of the Christmas Season is one that we don't hear a lot of.  In 1872 a beautiful poem under the title "A Christmas Carol" was published by English poet Christina Rossetti.  In 1906 Gustav Holst would set music to these beautiful words of Rossetti composing what we now know as "In the Bleak Midwinter."  God entered a bleak and suffering world in the most humble of ways.  Born in a bleak stable, God came to us to give light, joy, hope and peace.  In our seemingly bleak and cold world we are reminded that this Child, born to us, paves a way for a brighter and hopeful New Year.  I came across a beautiful poem that was set to music by Bob Chilcott known as the "Shepherd's Carol" written in 1945 by Clive Sansom that shares a similar sentiment as Rossetti.  In their seemingly bleak and mundane night the Shepherds were given a message of hope and wonder.  They rushed to the "Lady" (Mary) to express their joy to her.  May our lives this New Year be one of haste and offering to Christ. May this New Year bring about the beauty of that Night of the Father's Love. 
                                                                                                                    Happy 2023!



The Shepherd’s Carol        by    Clive Sansom

 1. We stood on the hills, Lady, Our day's work done, Watching the frosted meadows, That winter had won.       


2. The evening was calm, Lady, The air so still, Silence more lovely than music, Folded the hill.     


3. There was a star, Lady, Shone in the night, Larger than Venus it was,  and bright, so bright.


4. Oh, a voice from the sky, Lady,  It seemed to us then, Telling of God being born,  In the world of men.  


5. And so we have come, Lady, Our day's work done, Our love, our hopes ourselves, We give to your Son.

                                                                                              

                              

                                                                                        



                            

                               — Remember in Prayer —


A Prayer List is part of the weekly Bulletin. Please email the church (wmst2ndcongo@outlook.com) if you would like to make additions or subtractions to keep those on the list in prayer. . . It Works!​​

All of the First Responders  who put their lives in jeopardy to care for all of us. For those working in grocery stores, gas stations, hospitals, nursing homes, health care facilities, food banks… who are working in spite of the danger to themselves. Prayers for anyone who is overwhelmed by this pandemic. Prayers for those who are feeling isolated or afraid. Prayers that God give us the mindfulness to reach out by phone to those who we are not frequently in touch -those on the outer edges of our friendship and family. Prayers for all people as we look to “love our neighbor” as God has commanded.


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For those that were not able to be at the final service or need additional time to consider their 2023 Giving,

you may send in your gifts and pledges to:

Jean Richer 124 S. Hemlock Brook, Williamstown, MA 01267.


Offering Envelopes for the year 2023 are available at the rear of the church. Please pick yours up. If you do not find a box with your name on it, take one of the blank sets. Be sure to fill out the form enclosed so that Jean can get you quarterly tax forms. 


The Mission Committee would like to extend a huge thank you to everyone who makes this Christmas Mission special. If you are unable to deliver it, please put it in the wagon/basket at church.
All Mission Budgeted donations have been sent for this year.  We thank everyone for their support and help with our projects. Thank you letters from many are listed on the Fellowship Hall Bulletin Board.


Thank you so much to all who donated plants that decorated the church this holiday season and for the memorial wreaths on the front doors!


The Food Pantry. You may still donate to the Food Pantry whenever it is convenient to drop off non-perishable food items.
Thanks again for everyone’s support and donations as we continue to feed our neighbors and local families. 

                                                  




 
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come. The old has gone, the new is here!” All this is from God who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation.”    

2 Corinthians 5:17-18

Welcome to  

The Second Congregational Church

81 Hancock Road • Williamstown, MA 01267 • (413) 458-3467


January Calendar



Sunday January 1st                   New Year's Day
                                      In-House Morning Informal Worship 9am                                          
Please bring bells and a Reading to share

                                                  Coffee Hour following Worship

Sunday January 8th        In-House Morning Worship 9am
                                                                    Communion
                                                  Church Council following Worship
                                                        Coffee Hour following Meeting
Thursday January 12th        
Deacons Meeting 3:30pm
Sunday January15th       
In-House Morning Worship 9am                                                          Barry Grauman, Guest Speaker   
                                                    Coffee Hour following Worship
Thursday January 19th        
Trustees Meeting 4:15pm
Sunday January 22nd     
In-House Morning Worship 9am                                                           Barry Grauman, Guest Speaker    
                                                     Coffee Hour following Worship
   
Last day to submit your 2022 Annual Report for publication
Sunday January 29th  
In-House Morning Worship 9am                                                          Barry Grauman, Guest Speaker
                                                  Coffee Hour followingWorship

                                                                Take and Eat
                                                   

Upcoming    


The Trustees would like to THANK Missy and Jean for their time and expertise spent on collecting, counting, recording, allocating and paying the church's funds. They are very dedicated to their positions. Lastly THANK YOU to all of you who have supported the church so faithfully in 2022. Not only did you support the day-to-day activities, mission outreach and the special funding request to allow painting of the church. To date over $9500 was received for painting.


The Deacon’s will meet on January 12th at 3:30.  We will have Communion on January 8th.
Rev. Barry Grauman will preach for three weeks in January. The 15th, 22nd, and the 29th.
We had a beautiful Christmas Eve Service.  The Church was decorated With beautiful plants.. so festive.

From the Youth: Mother Theresa said, “The Lord likes small things best, especially those done with love.” That will be the youths’ motto for 2023 and it is how we are ending 2022. 

    It is with loving hearts and joyful voices that we went caroling Sunday, Dec. 11th. SCC youth were joined by a number of friends. We had the pleasure of singing for Janet Mayer, Don Quimby, Anne Tiffany, the Dodds, and Mary Kirby. 

    Janet joined in singing and we hope she sang all day long like she thought she would. We also sang Happy Birthday to Anne who celebrated the day prior! We love the way music connects us to something larger than ourselves and serves as a manifestation of our spirituality. 

    SCC youth look forward to ringing in the New Year with lots of meaningful activities in order to be agents of the Lord’s love and compassion. 


Holmgren's Mission Trip: January provides the opportunity to look back and to look forward.

     This past fall the Holmgren family was in Kenya serving at Tenwek, a missionary hospital, for the third time. We love Kenya and the Kenyan people and we find many useful ways to spend our time while Eric is performing surgery in the hospital. Our first visit to Tenwek was in 2018 and then again in 2021 and 2022. On each of these visits we have donated American wheelchairs with Solomon Ropp, a Kenyan physical therapist, to children with a myriad of physical needs ranging from spinal bifida to cerebral palsy and more. Beyond delivering wheelchairs, Sophia, Mia, and I support many other local projects such as Threads of Hope, The Store of Blessings, and Mustard Seed House (similar to a Ronald McDonald House). 

     This year on October 14th we met Solomon as planned at 9am and filled his car with donated wheelchairs. Our goal was to visit three villages. The day started off productive and sunny. We gave two children with spina bifida wheelchairs and Solomon determined that the third child would walk again. It was fabulous news. He invited the child to his clinic every week and said with some work the child would walk again within a year. At around 1:30pm we began the drive back to Tenwek with Solomon at the wheel. We were all happy with the good work accomplished. 

     We were almost back to Tenwek Hospital when it started to rain. Solomon accelerated to make it up the hill. When we reached the top there were numerous motorcycles on both sides of the road leaving very little space for Solomon’s car. Solomon tried to avoid the motorcycles, but his car spun out of control and flipped over.  

     Instead of serving at Tenwek, we became patients at Tenwek. We received top notch treatment by highly-trained US and Kenyan doctors. I broke seven ribs in multiple places as well as my collarbone and also punctured my lung. Sophia broke her wrist. Mia thankfully sustained no physical injuries. Personally, we experienced the faith, fellowship, and first-class treatment of an international mission hospital supported by Samaritan’s Purse and World Medical Mission. 

     It is now the end of December and our healing continues. Naturally our family is eager to put the accident behind us. Looking forward, we are all thankful we walked away that day. Things could have turned out much differently. 

     We are thankful we are alive and for the care we received. We are grateful we can move into 2023 with goals of future service work. In fact, it does my heart good to know that Mia and Sophia waited less than 48 hours to return to their projects in Kenya. 

     While in the ICU I was sent word from Omega, the house mother, at the Mustard Seed House that Mia and Sophia were there finishing the project we started prior to the accident on their own. 



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Happy New Year one and all,

Music Director /Organist

Matt Alcombright

Rev. David  Hurst


                                                                                                                                                                                 


On these beautiful, but cold winter days we celebrate the new year in the Spirit of our Lord coming to us in the form of a little child. This wonderful and marvelous creation is God’s gift to the world, so needed in this “modern” world. As we celebrate and look forward to new thoughts, new doings and a year of grace, let us pray for those in need. Let us pray for peace in the Ukraine and other parts of the world that seem to be so tense and unpredictable. Let us pray for all those around us in and outside of our church and community.
When we make resolutions let us realize that in Christ we are reconciled; meaning that the more we live in harmony with God; the more we live in harmony with others and even how we live within ourselves. We become Jesus’s disciples, making sure we ask for forgiveness, extend forgiveness in return and seek to live in harmony, in other words to be reconciled to each other.  
In the New Year let there be more effort to reconcile; to unite and find ways to serve the poor, the needy and those so need a bit of affirmation and care. Let there be Light! Let us serve God and as we do become part of God’s presence and be joyful as we live life to its fullest!  


Happy New Year and May God Bless,  


Pastor David











WilliNet Channel 1303 Sunday Worship 9am and 4pm. Rerun Wed at 10am and Friday at 7pm.
This week's Internet Link is: https://reflect-willinet.cablecast.tv/vod/9555-Second-Congregational-Church-Service-1-30-22-v1/vod.mp4    


This service is a repeat from a year ago as

Pastor David is on vacation.

Sunday, January 29
In-House Morning Worship 9:00 a.m.

​Barry Grauman, Guest Speaker  ​​
 Coffee Hour following Meeting