Fire in the Kitchen Concert – February 15, 7:00 p.m. – Youth in a Roman Field:  I’m going to lead with this statement: Claire has the sweetest voice that’s ever been here since Aoife O’Donovan. There. Now the rest: Youth in A Roman Field is a most interesting collaborative fronted by singer-songwriter-violinist Claire Wellin. The band can shrink to one, or expand to something like 30 when they feel like orchestrating something in an Icelandic volcano. (It’s true).  Most often, though, it’s 4 or 5 musicians who are all extremely accomplished. All that’s insignificant, as what Youth really is an attitude and an experience. Sure, Claire’s voice is simply remarkable, and the songs are equally superb, but it’s how the tunes are arranged, the super-relaxed and laid-back manner in which they’re performed. The band is clearly having fun playing, and it shows. They don’t worry about perfection, they just feel the music so profoundly. This will be a great Brooklyn-based contrast with Sam Reider the month before in January. With Sam you’re swept away by the sheer technical skills, with Youth, you’re sucked in by the sheer intricacy of the subtle rhythms and magical voices. Really cool stuff. Adults $25, kids $5.  Email Charlie Shafer at for tickets.

Grocery Cards:  Please support our church by purchasing Grocery Cards on Sundays after worship in Fellowship Hall.  There’s no extra cost to you, but the church receives a percentage of the sales.  Team members on duty for the remainder of January are:

February 16 – Nannette Paul & Mike Efenecy    February 23 – Karen Miller

Please see Calvin Price with any questions about the program.

OWL Classes:  The OWL grades 7-9 class will meet at 12:30 p.m. on February 16 and 23.  All meetings will be held at First Congregational Church in Madison.  Parents of enrolled children will be notified of any changes to the schedule.

Yoga:  Come join us and combat those post-holiday blues by doing something positive for your body and spirit.  Our current yoga sessions began the week of January 6.   Monday’s 6:30-7:30 p.m. session runs through 2/24 with no class on 2/17 (President’s Day weekend).  Thursday’s 6:15-7:15 p.m. session runs through 2/27.   Drop ins are welcome at $10.00.   Questions? Contact Karen Chapman at or via text at (203) 314-9299.

Breakfast at Columbus House:  Upcoming dates are February 22 (led by Susan Christiano), March 14 (led by Peter Meier) and March 28 (led by Roberta Hanlon).  Meet at Columbus House at 6:30 a.m. (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 be reimbursed.

Kindling Spirit Winter Discussions:  The Congregational Life Ministry Team and the Pastoral Relations Committee wintertime pot lucks have begun an we’ve been sharing our spiritual journeys.  While this is an opportunity to meet our settled pastor in a more intimate setting, it’s also an opportunity for our congregation to get to know one another through sharing of thoughts and ideas.

If you have not yet signed up to attend, you may now go online and register for one of the wintertime pot luck gatherings.  Sign up on-line at signup genius   The remaining dates scheduled as of now are:

Dinner (6:00 – 8:00 p.m.) – February 19, and 23.

For those of you who have signed up in Fellowship Hall to participate in one of the pot-luck gatherings, thank you!  In consolidating the events, we have already added you to the online signup based on one of the choices you indicated.  If that date no longer works, you should be able to delete your name and sign up for another date as long as you’re at a computer associated with the email address provided in the church directory.  If there are any problems with registering, please email Jim or Christine Farrales at and either of them can edit the information.

LAST CALL!  NYC Trip:  We have 3 spots left in our Good Friday overnight NYC trip on April 10-11.  Please let Sue Timony-Hall know that you/your 7th-12th grader is a definite by Saturday, Feb. 15th. You may give me her the $50 deposit when convenient.   She will be giving the open spots back to St. Andrew’s on Sunday because they have additional interest.

It’s Summer Youth Mission Trip Time!  Please Attend! Informational Meeting, Sunday Feb. 23rd, 5:30-6:00 before youth group – HOME Mission Experience in Maine this summer for rising 10th graders-rising college freshmen. Interested teens and their parents are encouraged to attend.

General Details: July 5th – 11th – H.O.M.E. mission trip to Orland, Maine to repair homes for the rural poor. $450 per participant. Speak with Sue confidentially if this is cost prohibitive for your family. $150 non-refundable deposit due by March 1st latest. Thank you to St. Andrew’s for inviting us to join them, and thank you to Jen Davies and Ryan Murphy for leading this experience.

JYG and SYG:  Please note that there is no JYG on Friday, Feb. 21 as originally noted in the calendar that went out in September. Thank you!

Sunday, Feb. 23, 6:00-8:00, Fellowship Hall, join Sue and special guest, Kathy Westgard, for pizza, fellowship and a program on team work, communication and community building. St. Andrew’s youth groups will be joining us as well. Please RSVP to Sue by email,  or texting 203.843.6206.

NMCC and Raise the Roof need site workers on February 29th and March 21st at the Button St., New Haven site.  All skill levels welcome as well as those 16 and over. Register at the Raise the Roof website for either or both dates.  For more info contact Calvin Price or Frank Walsh

Book Discussion Group: Our next meeting will be on Tuesday evening, March 24th, at 7 P.M. in (Fellowship or Library – you pick for us, please).  The book is “Between the World and Me” by Ta-Nehisi Coates, who won a National Book Award for this non-fiction masterpiece. It is a profound work that pivots from the biggest questions about American history and ideals to the most intimate concerns of a father for his son.  Contact Peter Meier if you have any questions,, 203-421-8377.

A New Way to Support Columbus House:  Orange Congregational Church has invited us to support their week hosting Columbus House’s Abraham’s Tent ministry, in which unhoused men sleep for a week in a local church. OCC has invited NMCC to host supper for the sojourners one night during their stay at OCC, and to join in the celebration feast on Sunday night at the week’s end (3/29). Our night to prepare and host supper at OCC will be Tuesday, March 24. Please speak to Pastor Heather to help cook, host, or stay overnight with the men at OCC that night (two adults, including at least one male, are needed for the sleep-over night).

Another Way You Can Serve NMCC – TreasurerAre you looking for a new way to serve NMCC?  Has God gifted you in the area of finance or accounting?  NMCC is looking for a new Treasurer.  As an officer of the church, the Treasurer must be a member in good standing and have a general understanding of generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP).

Your time and talents will be needed at least 2 hours per week to review timesheets, sign paychecks and checks, review A/R for coding and proper documentation, and read and address the Treasurer’s email.  An additional 2-4 hours per month would be invested in reviewing bank reconciliation reports and the general ledger (including income and expenses) and preparing monthly reports and meetings with the Board of Finance and the Executive Committee.  At year end, the Treasurer prepares annual financial reports and works with the Board of Finance in developing annual budgets with each of the Teams/Committees and Boards, and with the Audit Committee in carrying out an annual audit.  If you are interested or would like to learn more please contact John Gallops, Chair of the Board of finance,

Planned Giving:  We are blessed at North Madison Congregational Church to be a church with a long and storied history. For more than 250 years our church has been a beacon of Christian light to the town of Madison. Planned giving is a way that each of us can make a final tithe, a return to God of some portion of all that God has given to us. We understand that “to whom much is given much is required,” so we not only look back and thank God for our past, but we want to make sure that our Church and ministry will be financially secure for generations to come. This is why we have established The North Madison Congregational Planned Giving Program.  More information about this program is available from the Church Office.

Loaves & Fishes Ministry:  This quarter (January – March of 2020) our food collection & monetary donations will provide food support in Clinton.  As the Madison Food Pantry’s official “Tuna Church” we will also continue to collect canned tuna.   To serve this ministry, please leave your canned tuna donation in the food pantry basket at the back of the sanctuary for pick up.  Questions? Contact John Gallops, Loaves & Fishes Ministry Champion, or 860-460-8573.

Email Scam:  There is an email scam affecting churches in Connecticut and Massachusetts. People are receiving emails “from their pastors” or “church members” requesting they purchase gift cards.  Several members have received these texts and emails from Heather and one another. Just to be clear, we are NOT asking you to do so. Please disregard these emails.

Main Sanctuary Doors:  Please note, as we do each year, in order to keep the church clean and warm, we will be keeping the sanctuary doors locked during the cold winter months.  Please use the Fellowship Hall or Narthex entrances.  Thanks!

– This Month In Worship!

February is Black History Month, the third anniversary of our Open and Affirming designation, and the historic installation of our first openly gay female senior minister!  Join us in celebrating all that God is doing in our midst and in learning more about the existence and heritage of privilege, oppression, slavery, and tenacious hope and human triumph not only in New England but right here in Madison and Guilford.  Mark your calendars!

On February 2 during worship we celebrate our ONA covenant, install our Deacons and Jr. Deacons, and inaugurate our Black History Month reflections. At 2:00, we receive guests from the wider church and community and covenant together with our new settled pastor in a service of wonderful music and prayer. (In between, there will be pizza and a fun trivia game—stay and make a day of it!)

On February 9 we will reflect on love, legacy, and legacy giving with valentine chocolate and beautiful choral music that reflects the above and honors beloved members, Marilyn and Bob Linn.

On February 16 Elizabeth Normen, publisher of Connecticut Explored magazine, will speak to us during the sermon time about her newest book and accompanying 5-8th-grade curriculum about Venture Smith.  Venture Smith was an enslaved person brought to Connecticut in 1737. He purchased his freedom, became a successful entrepreneur, and purchased his wife and children’s freedom. He narrated his story to the editor of the New London Bee, who published it 1798. Elizabeth has made Venture’s story accessible to students, and placed it in its historical context. She writes in the introduction to Venture Smith’s Colonial Connecticut: “It introduces students to issues of race and racism in the founding of the United States … to the fact that slavery did not just happen in the South, and that New England, too, was founded on this cruel institution.” Elizabeth will speak to us about why it is so important for students, and all of us, to develop this understanding.

On February 23 during worship we will further our study with Dennis Culliton, the co-founder of the Witness Stones Project ( Dennis will speak to us about his work to honor enslaved residents of Guilford by placing stone memorials on the properties where they lived.  A retired Adams Middle School teacher, he has done extensive research into our local history and placed at least 18 stones in locations in Guilford, Madison and West Hartford thus far.   The Witness Stones Project is “an attempt to come to terms with Connecticut’s past in regards to slavery, a history that is often glossed over, if not outright forgotten.”  Dennis will speak to us about why truth and reconciliation in regard to slavery are essential in moving toward racial justice in America, and about how we can get involved.

February 26 is Ash Wednesday. Please mark the date and join us in the sanctuary at 7pm for ashes and meditations to welcome the Lenten Journey. Our worship theme for Lent is Creation Care, honoring Jesus’ journey into the wilderness and God’s call to humanity to be stewards of Creation.

In the Community

 Scranton Library Programs (more information on the bulletin board):

  • “The Village”:  A Documentary Screening & Discussion – Sunday, February 23, 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. at First Congregational Church, Madison
  • Senior Tech Support Monday, February 24, 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. at Madison Town Senior Center
  • The Ballot or the bullet:  A History of Black Sufferage – Tuesday, February 25, 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. at North Madison Congregational Church