December 2019 Announcements

 Congregational Meeting:  There will be a meeting for Members of North Madison Congregational Church on Sunday, December 8 following coffee hour.  The purpose of the meeting is to approve the church’s 2020 budget and conduct any other business that comes before the group.

Welcome to Advent:  In these hopeful, expectant weeks of waiting in darkness to rekindle the lights of hope, how wonderful a gift to gather together and watch to see what paths God’s light will illuminate for our journey together.   Advent begins on December 1 with the lighting of the first Advent candle.  In addition to Sunday worship, we invite you to join us for any of these special services during the Advent season:

Children’s Christmas Pageant – December 15 at 10:00 am:  The Children’s Christmas Pageant is incorporated into the Sunday morning service, re-enacting the story of Jesus’ birth.

Longest Night Service – December 21 at 5:00 pm:  The Longest Night Service is held at the time of the Winter Solstice and recognizes that, in what is generally considered a joyous time of the year, many people experience sadness, melancholy and depression.  It may be due to the cold and loneliness of winter, the memories of a lost loved one, the reflection on life’s challenges or the concern over a friend or family member.  This service provides a safe place to express and attend to that sadness through meditation, readings, music in a quiet candle-lit atmosphere at the front of the sanctuary.  The service ends with the offering for anyone to come to light a candle and express out loud or in silence the dedication.

Family Christmas Service – December 24 at 4:00pm:  This family-friendly service has a focus on Gospel readings about Jesus’ birth, and many traditional Christmas carols.

Candlelight Service – December 24 at 10:00 pm:  This evening service includes readings, Christmas hymns, a sermon message, and concludes with the lighting of candles.

Yoga:  Join us at yoga!  All levels are welcome and drop ins are only $10.00.  Monday nights continue at 6:30 (doors open at 6:15) from 11/4 through 12/16 (no yoga on 12/23 or 12/30).  Thursday night’s class meets at 6:15 (doors open at 6:00) and the session runs from 11/7 – 1/2/2020.  Any questions, contact Karen Chapman–text only please, (203) 314-9299 or  Namaste!

Christmas Caroling:  There will be a Family Fellowship Christmas Caroling evening on Friday, December 13!  The Clemmons will host this gathering at Roberta Hanlon’s house.  Families will meet at 19 Twilight Drive at 5:00.   We’ll meet for hot soup and snacks until 6:15 pm when we will carpool to members and friends of our church who are not able to get out much during the holidays, and we will sing carols for them.  After the caroling is finished, we will return to Roberta’s for dessert and hot drinks; new this year: the JYG and SYG Yankee swap gift exchanges will take place.

Please join us for this fun and festive evening!  There is a signup sheet in Fellowship Hall.   Please see Ann or Bill Clemmons if you have any questions about this event –, 203-421-3484 or cell 203-214-6437.

Pancake Breakfast with SantaAnnual Pancake Breakfast with Santa sponsored by Circle Nursery School will take place on Saturday, December 14th, from 8–11:00am at the North Madison Congregational Church.  We will be serving a family breakfast of pancakes, sausages, orange juice and coffee.  Tickets will be sold at the door:  $8 adults, $5 children.  Children will have an opportunity to talk to Santa, so bring your cameras! This fun event is open to the entire community. Email for more information.

 Breakfast at Columbus House:  Upcoming date is December 14 (led by Peter Meier).  Meet at Columbus House at 6:30 am (or join a carpool).  Sign up (back hall) to purchase and prepare eggs, toast, juice, potatoes or sausages.  If you would like to serve breakfast, but find the cost of purchasing difficult, please contact Roberta Hanlon, Peter Meier to get reimbursed.

Christmas Eve Morning at Columbus House:  A favorite NMCC tradition each year is to bring Christmas cheer to residents of the Columbus House in New Haven. We serve an expanded breakfast, the choir and other NMCC singers join in Christmas hymns, carols and a special choir anthem or two and we distribute presents purchased and wrapped by NMCC families. We’ll have the gift boxes ready on December 8 in Fellowship Hall.  There are many ways to serve this ministry:

  • Wrapped hats, gloves/mittens, scarves and socks, noting on the package whether they are for men, women or children and the size.  Drop them off in one of the 3 bins in Fellowship Hall.  Not only do the recipients welcome the warm clothing for themselves, but also are able to give extras as gifts to family members.
  • Sign up to be an elf to distribute the gifts on Christmas Eve morning
  • Gift cards in $10 denominations from Subway, Dunkin Donuts or McDonalds for a cold winter’s day warm up.  Drop them off in the gift card box near the gift boxes, give them to Scott Conover or leave them in the office.
  • Singers!  Sign up and carpool.
  • Food:  there are several opportunities, all of which are on the sign-up sheet in Fellowship Hall, with limited spaces for each:
    • Bring food to cook at Columbus House
    • Bring extra food items such as fruit or muffins.
    • Plate the food in the kitchen
    • Serve the food in the dining room

If you have any questions, contact Scott Conover at, Roberta Hanlon at, or Peter Meier at

Reverse Advent Calendar:  Christmas is coming!  As we tick off each day on our advent calendars, we are too often consumed by all the “stuff” we think we need to do to prepare… but Advent is traditionally the time to prepare our hearts and minds for the re-birth of Love into our world.   Enter a new idea…

On each day of Christmastide place an item of food into a large bag which will become your “Santa bag” (or bags!) of blessings for someone less fortunate.  A sample list is on the website or copies can be found in Fellowship Hall or by contacting the Office.  Feel free to adapt or add foods which are special to your family!

We will have a huge in-gathering of food on Sunday, January 12 (Epiphany celebration), bringing God’s love into the world in a wonderful way!!  Our teens will then bring our bounty to the Madison Food Pantry to stock the shelves in January.

Loaves & Fishes Ministry:  The Madison Food Pantry will benefit from the four following activities in December:  in addition to the “Change for Food collection on December 1, as their official “Tuna Church” we are collecting canned tuna year-round.   Please leave your canned tuna donation in the food pantry basket at the back of the sanctuary.  Linda Juliani introduced the Advent Calendar with a list of items families can collect during December for delivery to the pantry in January.  Finally, we will donate all proceeds from the JYG raffle at the Holiday Craft Fair.  Questions? Contact John Gallops, Loaves & Fishes Ministry Champion, or 860-460-8573.

Pastoral Relations: The Executive Committee, in keeping with recent custom, has invited the Pastoral Search Committee to populate a Transitional Pastoral Relations Committee. Julie Abbott, Robin Chasse, Carol Luckenbach, and Janice Wolf have agreed to serve. According to NMCC’s bylaws, “the [Pastoral Relations] Committee shall have two primary purposes (i) to serve as an advisory group to the Pastor and as support for the Pastor’s leadership and (ii) to share ideas, dreams, hopes, expectations, and concerns of the congregation with the Pastor. As support for the Pastor, the Committee interprets roles, functions, and needs of the Pastor to the congregation.” So, if you have “ideas, hopes, expectations, and/or concerns” to share, Heather and the members of the PRC would love to hear from you! We will meet regularly between now and May as Heather continues to build relationships within the congregation and community. At the May annual meeting, a permanent Pastoral Relations Committee will be named consisting of two members selected by Pastor Heather and two members elected by the congregation (as stipulated in the bylaws). Please know feedback and ideas shared with us will be conveyed sensitively but never anonymously, in keeping with best practices. Heather’s door is also open and she is enjoying meeting and getting to know NMCC members and friends–make an appointment, stop by to introduce yourself, or invite her for tea or lunch at your favorite spot around town. Stay tuned for more upcoming events that PRC and the Congregational Life team are putting together for relationship building in the months ahead.