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This Week at Church

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April 5, 2020


April 2, 2020     
A Message from Ute
Dear members and friends of our beloved church and of this fragile world!
There is no doubt that the pandemic is intensifying around the globe and also ever closer to home. It is painful to see the numbers of new infections and deaths rise steadily. We are also viscerally aware of stores closing for a time and many for good. Most of us probably either know someone whose livelihood is severely threatened or are ourselves worried about how to pay the rent. We also worry for loved one’s health, especially those serving on the front lines whether in hospitals and the many essential services still operating. These are indeed sorely trying times. 
We are also of essential service to each other! Thank you all for your loving outreach to each other.  Let us also keep in mind that the Shields Project Fund is in full operation. Our professional staff, Jeanne Denny ( or, also has the know-how to help connect you with other agencies and funding sources. The Shields Fund can assist with paying specific bills that are coming due. The cabinet has authorized additional money for the minister’s discretionary fund as well. I am also available for pastoral care. Please always feel free to call me at 230-9068. Your sharing will be approached with utmost care and confidentiality.  This is the time to ask for help if you need it. There is no shame in that!!! 
As we prepare for Palm Sunday and Holy Week, I pray that we all find solace that we worship a God who is not afraid to ride right into danger with us. In Christ, God was willing to go the seemingly most God-forsaken places to show us that, even there, God is present. And while God may not protect us from all harm, God will sustain us in all things. May these times enable us to rediscover and hold fast to that which is noble, beautiful and good not only now but in what is yet to come. We shall yet rise to renewed life. Thanks be to God! 
With great hope,
In tomorrow's email you'll receive a Zoom invitation# to join our Palm Sunday worship service, along with downloads of the Sunday bulletin and instructions to get Zoom onto your device(s) before Sunday, if you have not already done so.
NEWS FROM SUNDAY SCHOOL (online with Elizabeth)
Last week we talked about Jesus the healer and Jesus the parable teller.
 Our Weekly Meditation Services are on Zoom
If you are not already receiving Zoom invitations to these meditation services,
please contact to have your name & email added.
Lectio Divina   Tuesdays at 1:30 pm
Loving Kindness   Fridays at 3:00 pm note new day & time
Spiritual & Other Practices  We are developing a Wednesday evening Vespers service option, with additional time to share how people are doing.  Please stay tuned. 
Sunday Book Reading, Chapter 2
Here’s Chapter 2! "In Which Father’s Grocery Store Suffers a Catastrophe” … I tripped myself up a few times, but hopefully it won't disrupt the flow for you! 
Tidbit: I like to use family names and tidbits when writing my books. In the end, the stories and characters are almost entirely fictional, but I enjoy letting family history serve as my inspiration. My great-grandmother on my mother’s side, whom I was very close to growing up, was a "Swope” by birth, and she lived with her family in the town of Coopstown, Maryland, as do the children in this book (* my great-grandmother makes a few appearances as "baby Isabelle” throughout the story). While the events of Chapter 2 are mostly fiction, they are based upon the fact that my own great-great grandfather’s real-life grocery store had the same thing done to it in the 1920s, and by the same nasty group of people. But you'll have to listen to find out just what that thing was …
Listen links: copy and paste into your browser.
Part 1
Part 2 
Matt's Hump-Day Ditty
This week's recording on our Facebook site (First Congregational Church):
Franz Liszt's Variations on "Weinen Klagen Sorgen Zagen
*Recorded on the great Woolsey Hall organ at Yale University 
The chorale "Weinen Klagen Sorgen Zagen”, made famous by the Bach cantata of the same name, translates to mean "weeping, lamenting, worrying, fearing” which I think much of the world can relate to right now. It also reflected much of what was going on in Liszt’s life in 1862 when he wrote his set of variations on this tune, first for solo piano, and then later for organ. Two of Liszt's three children had died within three years of each other; he had resigned his position of Kapellmeister to the court of Weimar due to continued opposition to his music, and finally his long sought marriage to Princess Caroline Wittgenstein had been thwarted by political intrigue. The radically chromatic harmonies throughout his variations suggest the anguish and despair of the cantata’s original text, which depicts the affliction Christians will come to pass, and culminates in the theme "Your sorrow shall be turned into joy” from the Gospel of John. Bach’s cantata is often featured during Palm Sunday worship services, so I hope the message behind both the cantata and Liszt’s musical interpretation of it will resonate with you during these trying times. 

Listen links: copy and paste into your browser.
Part 1:
Part 2:

NATHAN (Matt’s husband, culinary instructor at EMCC)
 Nathan's Friday Fixings ~ Shrimp Bisque
"If you’ve looked at the recipe below, you’ve probably noticed that the instructions tell you to cook both the shrimp and the shrimp shells. Well … Before you conclude that all those shrimp shells make this soup fit for only sea otters, allow me to say––the shells are only there to enhance the flavor of the soup, and they will all be strained out in the end!”
Though it might seem odd, puréeing the shrimp shells right into the soup imparts a rich seafood flavor.
Serves 4
4 ounces pancetta, cut into ¼-inch cubes
1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined, shells reserved
1 large yellow onion, peeled and chopped
4 ribs celery, chopped
8 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
2 bay leaves
1 sprig fresh tarragon, plus more for garnish
¼ teaspoon paprika
pinch Cayenne pepper
½ cup Arborio rice
¼ cup dry white wine
1½ quarts homemade chicken stock, or low-sodium canned chicken broth
1 12-ounce can evaporated milk
4 medium red-skinned potatoes, cut into ½-inch chunks and boiled until tender
Kosher salt and freshly ground white pepper
1. In a stockpot set over medium heat, cook the pancetta, stirring occasionally, until crispy. Add in the shrimp and cook another 2 to 3 minutes, or until the shrimp are pink and just cooked through. Using a slotted spoon, remove the shrimp and pancetta from the pot and set aside.
2. Add the onion and celery to the stockpot. Cook in the pancetta drippings, until the onions are translucent, 4 to 6 minutes. Stir in the garlic, bay, tarragon, paprika, Cayenne, rice, and reserved shrimp shells. Cook, stirring often, until the shells are pink, 1 to 2 minutes. Pour in the wine and continue to cook until most of the wine has evaporated. Then, pour in the stock. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the rice is very tender, about 30 minutes.
3. Remove the bay from the soup and discard. Add the evaporated milk, and purée the soup in a blender. Pass through a fine mesh sieve and discard any remaining solids, before pouring the soup back into the stockpot and returning it to the heat. Add the potatoes,shrimp, and pancetta. Season to taste with salt and white pepper, and garnish with chopped tarragon.
Copyright © 2011 by Nathan Scott. All rights reserved.

A Message from Trustees
Please send your regular pledges and contributions by mail to 55 Elm St., Camden, ME 04843; online donations will soon be available on our website.
You may be interested in reading an article from PenBay Pilot, "Mark Fourre: Pen Bay Medical Center, Waldo County General Hospital ‘prepared to meet this challenge’. Copy and paste this link:
News From our national UCC office: Justice Events
Join the Webinar: A Faith Response to COVID-19 on April 7
Join for the interfaith webinar, A Faith Response to COVID-19 on April 7 from 4 PM to 5 PM. The webinar will explain important details of the recently passed C.A.R.E.S. Act, the positive provisions, and the key priorities that were left out. We will look at implications of COVID-19 and the recent legislation on a variety of issues and populations, including: incarcerated individuals, immigrants, low-income communities, Native Americans, our health care system, and elections. Congress is already starting negotiations on a fourth COVID-19 package. The second half of this webinar will be an advocacy training about how to set up and conduct virtual meetings with congressional offices. The faith voice is incredibly important in this moment. We hope you will join and spread the word. 
To access the webinar please go to this UCC website:
Sending all good wishes from your church office for
continued Stay-At-Home health,


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