The First Congregational Church of Darien

United Church of Christ

A community of faith since 1737


…just showing up. I’m not sure who said it, but it’s a rule of thumb that is worth remembering.

Last Sunday was a high for First Congregational.  When did you last see that many children in church? When did you hear Katherine Hedlund ever sing like that on a Jazz Sunday? When did we last welcome a baker’s dozen of new members? When did you dream we could then feature such a picnic with so many happy faces, with so much great food, with another energetic band?

But in my sermon I talked about transformation as the church’s purpose: becoming the people God means for us to be. Then I said transformation is less about mountaintop peak experiences and more about practicing and repeating simple things till good practices deeply alter our lives.

Remember? Lofty highs fade and then we need ways to be equipped for a workaday world. Acts 2.42 tells of the church after lofty highs, how they became devoted to teaching and preaching, shared meals, fellowship, and prayer.  The church translated short-term delight into long-term commitment. And they became formidable, carrying the gospel unto the very ends of the earth.

Every week will not feature the highs we had last Sunday.  We translate short-term excitement into long-term commitment by becoming regular in our habits.  And worship is where all of that begins. This Sunday at 10 am we celebrate Victoria Alexandra Dunn’s baptism, a new member family. This Sunday evening at 5 pm our Interim Youth Minister Gary Morello will lead the Come As You Are Service.  If you’ve been eager to meet and know Gary, this is a great chance for you.

Among his many splendid gifts, Gary played college football at RPI, a defensive back, I believe. Imagine if Gary, or the many football fans getting excited this time of year, offered excuses like these for begging off.  They’d get laughed out of town.  The excuses are equally lame at church.

  1. The coach never came to visit me.
  2. Every time I went they asked for money.
  3. The seats were very hard and my knees hurt.
  4. The people sitting in my row weren’t very friendly.
  5. The referees made decisions that I didn’t agree with.
  6. Hypocrites were everywhere, only there to see what others were wearing.
  7. Some games went into overtime and I never like getting home late.
  8. The band played some school songs that I had never heard before.
  9. Games are scheduled only on my day to sleep in and run errands.
  10. My parents took me to too many games when I was growing up.
  11. Ever since I read a book on football, I know more than the coaches.
  12. Too many politics happening at the sidelines, and that bothers me.
  13. I won’t take my children, I want them to choose for themselves the sport they like best.


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