News in the Pews Weekly Bulletin

January 17, 2021

CELEBRATING OUR LIFE TOGETHER: Six hearty souls un-decorated the sanctuary on Saturday. Despite our small team, the job only took us about an hour. It is always fun to work together!

EPISTLE DEADLINE:  The deadline for the next Epistle newsletter is Thursday, January 21st.

HAT & GLOVE DRIVE:  During the month of January, we will be accepting donations of New hats, scarves, and gloves for Saint’s Place. Saint’s Place operates the largest clothing closet in Rochester and is located in Pittsford. Saint’s Place’s mission is to “Welcome the Stranger” and provides clothing, furnishings, school supplies and much more to incoming and existing refugees. Look for the donation basket in the Fellowship Hall. Thank you!

CHILDREN AND TEENS ARE INVITED!  January 24th at 9:30 (during Sunday School) in the Snow Room we will be making no-sew fleece scarves to be donated to Saint's Place. During this event we will be socially distant. Please remember to wear a mask. Contact Christina Hartpence with any questions. Hope to see you there!

2021 FLOWER SIGN-UP:  Several dates are still available this winter and spring. Available dates are 1/24, 1/31, 2/21*, 2/28*, 3/7*, 3/14*, and 3/28*). If you would like to sign up for a Sunday flower donation in 2021, please email Vicki Sherry at with your preferred date, your name as you would like it to appear, your dedication, and whether you would like to take the flowers home with you or donate them (*Note: you may not take home the flowers during Lent). The flower donation fee for 2021 is $40.

BOOK CLUB:  Out of an abundance of caution First Church Book Club will be switching to a zoom meeting  January 25th at 1:00 pm. We will be discussing the book The Fever Tree, by Jennifer McVeigh. Nan Notar is our discussion leader. We will be sending out an email to all book club participants with a link to the meeting. If you are interested and not on the list please contact Irene Utter 425 7408 or by email at

ZOOM BIBLE STUDY & PRAYER GROUP:  This Wednesday, January 20, the 11:00 A.M. Zoom Bible Study & Prayer Group will be discussing 1 Corinthians 7:29-31. The link to join the Bible Study each Wednesday is; Meeting ID: 833 4712 4887; Passcode: Bible

THE NEXT CONFIRMATION SESSION will be next Sunday, January 24th, from 1:00-2:30 P.M. in Upper Fellowship Hall. Pastor Greg Rupright, the Rev. Valerie Austin, Crista Deniz, and Christina Hartpence will be the co-facilitators of the Confirmation Sessions.

THIRD SUNDAY/SECOND MILE OFFERING: Today is the 3rd Sunday of the month. The “Third Sunday – Second Mile Offering” supports the work of the Board of Missions and Outreach. Anyone wishing to contribute to this special offering may write a check payable to First Congregational UCC and write “Second Mile Offering” in the memo portion of your check. 

GROCERY SHOPPER:  Brian O'Connor will be home from college for an extended winter break, now until early Feb., due to COVID.  He has generously offered to do grocery shopping for church members who may not feel comfortable going out during this time. If you are interested in this service please contact Brian at

WEEKLY WORSHIP SERVICE: Although we have resumed live, in-person Worship Services, we will continue to provide a 9:30 am live-streamed Worship Service on our Facebook page. The link is: (you do not need to join Facebook to view the service). If you are having difficulty watching the Sunday service on Facebook, please let Jim Franzen know what type of problem you are experiencing. He can be contacted at or 223-8074. Also, an audio Worship Service will be recorded and downloaded to our church’s website ( each Sunday by 11:15 A.M. The increasing trend in COVID-19 infections has caused most of Monroe County to be designated as a "Yellow Zone", which brings new restrictions for all organizations. So far the plans put in place by our Reopening Committee remain compliant with the new requirements, so there is no immediate need to modify our option for in-person worship. Nevertheless, our highest priority is the health and safety of our members and visitors, and with this in mind Church Council recommends that anyone in a higher risk age or health group consider worshiping virtually through our Facebook Live stream until there is an observable improvement in the infection rate. As always, Church Council and the Reopening Committee will monitor developments and adjust our plans to remain in compliance with the changing NYS, Monroe County and UCC guidelines and regulations. In the event Monroe County becomes an "Orange Zone" for COVID infections we will immediately suspend our in-person worship service. We will continue to offer an opportunity for virtual worship through our Facebook Live stream, but will not return to in-person services until infection rates return to a safe level for our congregation and visitors. If any member of your household tests positive for COVID-19, less than 14 days from their last time in the church, it is imperative that you contact Pastor Greg ( and our Moderator, Doug Strong ( right away. The church accepted the obligation to complete contact tracing for all positive cases and we cannot do that without your help. Thank you.

PRAYER REQUESTS: There will not be any prayer request cards in the pews. Please email your prayer requests and joys to Pastor Greg ( by 8:00 on Sunday morning.

CHECK OUT PASTOR'S BLOG: Pastor Greg is doing a weekly Pastor's Blog Bible Study & Reflections on our church's website during this time of social distancing. The Pastor's Blog will be posted each Thursday. Check out and click on Pastor's Blog.

CONTACT US: If you need to contact Pastor Greg he can be reached by email at or by phone at (585) 966-9416. Sue is still working from home. If anyone needs to reach her please email her at Vicki will be working from home as much as possible. The best way to reach her is by email at She will be checking the voicemail at the church so, if you call, please leave a message and someone will get back to you. If you have a pastoral emergency call Pastor Greg directly at his phone number above.

2021 FUNDRAISING TRIP: Feeling like you need a vacation? JJoin Diana & Steve for a River Cruise in October 2021 from Nuremberg, Germany to Luxembourg. Cruise Oct. 4 -11 with optional pre-cruise stay Oct. 1 - 4 in Munich (celebrate Octoberfest + sightseeing). Have peace of mind knowing your cruise deposit can be moved to any other sailing or date in 2021 or 2022 if moved by July 5, 2021. This trip is open to our church members, family & friends. Come enjoy a great time of fellowship. For more information contact Steve Smith 585-425-3569.

LIGHT THE NIGHT:  Thank you to the Reynolds Family for keeping the steeple lights burning bright throughout the month of January. May God’s glory and grace shine for people everywhere.

PERINTON FOOD SHELF:  Most needed items include regular tea, canned soup or stew (not tomato or chicken noodle); canned tomatoes, tomato paste, and tomato sauce; stove top stuffing; gravy; jelly; pancake syrup; oatmeal; salad dressing; ketchup; mayonnaise; cooking oil; canned peas, carrots, and mixed vegetables; canned peaches, pears, or fruit cocktail; boxed mashed potatoes or potato mixes like scalloped or au gratin; macaroni products (Knorr, Suddenly Salad, Hamburger/Tuna Helper. Not macaroni & cheese); canned chili or hash; red kidney beans, cake mixes; brownie mixes; muffin mixes; cookie mixes; frosting; granola bars; bags of chips/pretzels; Jello mix; pop tarts; paper towel and tissues; shampoo; and deodorant.


6:30 PM Boy Scout Troop 207 (UFH)
11:00 AM Zoom Bible Study & Prayer Group
7:00 PM Boy Scouts
Epistle Deadline
2:00 PM Church Council Zoom Meeting
7:00 PM New Life AA
6:30 PM Girl Scouts

Rev. Gregory J. Rupright, Pastor
Rev. Dr. John N. Cedarleaf, Pastor Emeritus
Beatrice Benedict, Organist
Heather Watras, Director of Music Ministries
Susan Brooks, Business Administrator
Vicki Sherry, Administrative Assistant
Christina Hartpence, Director of Christian Education and Family Ministries
Christian Copyright Licensing International #2320160
Phone:  585-223-0224; Website:
Office email:


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