The Princeton Spire, February 2020
from the pastor's desk

'Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil."

Gospel according to Luke

Welcome to February

The month of February heralds in the Lenten season, beginning with Ash Wednesday. These forty days before Easter are meant to be a very profound and meaningful time, for this season represents the forty days in which Jesus spent fasting, praying and resisting the wiles of the Tempter. The story of Jesus with Satan in the wilderness is a powerful story and speaks a powerful message of courage, determination and faith in God. That message is this: that even under the most difficult circumstances, even in the harshest climates, even when evil seems present and working its hardest, nothing is greater or more powerful than the presence of God.

The wilderness story is a message to all of us that a life in Christ is a wonderful and worthy life. It does not mean that it is an easy life or a life void of challenges and temptations, but a life lived fully with God is a rich life, steeped in the divine. It is a life which will ultimately prevail.

The author, Peter Gomes, wrote in his book, "The Good Book"....God has not sent you this temptation to taunt you but to strengthen you. Lay claim upon that promised strength . Practice the art of divine dependence while exercising all your graces and gifts. You will discover, as the ancients knew, that temptation is not simply the devil's recreation, it is also for the faithful a school for the soul'

As we enter this new month and embrace the Lenten season, let us remember that what we do in life's classroom prepares us for our future-----with Christ.

February Blessings

Rev Janet

ash wednesday
Please join us on February 26, 2020 at 7pm for our Ash Wednesday service.. This service begins the season of Lent and serves as a time of reflection and preparedness as we journey towards Easter. Come and join us. Come and be part of the Spirit!
Join Our Family of Faith
It is a wonderful thing to belong to a community of faith. It is even better belonging to this ONE. First Congregational Church welcomes you! If you are interested in learning more about our faith community or if you are interested in seeking membership, please contact either the church office at 978-464-2837 or Rev Janet Skagerlind at 978-350-3463. Come and be part of the Spirit!
meet and greet our new members

On Sunday January 26, eight people joined the Church:
Timothy R. Greene, Emily L. Doyon, George M. Jacobs, Ann M Bircsak, Erik A. Lee, Christina M. B. Lee, Wilberth U. Condega Ortiz, Robin C. Bachant, 

Look for them the next time you are in Church and introduce yourself.

new officers
At the Annual Meeting on Sunday, January 26, 2020, new officers were elected and many previous officers were reaffirmed. Following is a list of Officers and Committees.

Moderator - Harry Pape
Clerk - Wendy Pape
Treasurer - Vivian Bisbee
Assistant Treasurer - Vacant
Financial Secretary - Cindy O'Brien
Assistant Financial Secretary - Vacant
Church Council is comprised of Officers, Board Chairs and Members at Large. The Members at Large are:
Jennifer LaBaire, Eric Lachapelle, Marjorie Ollila, and Jeff Parker

Diaconate - Paul Skagerlind (Chair), Cindy O'Brien, Eleanor Toupin, Sue Coe Sigler, Rachael Kopec, Jeff Parker, and Emily Doyon

Board of Stewardship - Jay Howard and Charlie Steele

Board of Christian Education - Laura Condega (Chair) and Diane Parker

Board of World Missions - Karen Grzby (Chair) and Annette Markel

Board of Trustees -  Judy Breen (Chair), Jed Stolberg, Tim Greene, and Jeff Parker

Coffee Hour Committee - Jane Weisman, Deb Cox, Judy Breen, and Annette Markel

Flower Committee - Susan Hall

Pastor Parish Relations Committee - Vivian Bisbee, Wendy Pape, and Susan Stolberg

We thank all of these people who a volunteering their time and talent to keep this Church Functioning.
As you see, all the Boards and Committees could use more help. If your talent leans in any of these area, consider volunteering to help. If you are interested, please speak to Rev. Janet or a member of the Board.
Sunday School News
The First Congregational Church is committed to its Sunday School. Please tell your family, friends and neighbors about our Christian Ed. program and our upcoming events here at First Church, Princeton. Coming up we have Arts & Crafts, the Blessings of the Animals and a fun curriculum. Growing our Sunday School is a priority and we want you to be part of the Spirit. 

We have classes for children 3 - 12 years of age and a nursery for younger children. The classes are at the same time as worship.

For more information about our Sunday School, please call Rev. Janet at 978-350-3463
wednesday evening worship
food faith family fellowship

February 19, 2020, 5:30 - 7:00 pm
Getting to church on Sunday mornings can be difficult for some families. And for some people, having a mid-week time of worship and fellowship is just what is needed to uplift us as we travel life's road. We understand!  We will be offering a time to get together, share good food and enjoy a shortened worship service. We will gather in Fellowship Hall around 5:30 pm for a potluck dinner.  Following the meal we will gather in the Sanctuary for a 30 minute worship service.
We will be offering this time of worship and fellowship the 3rd Wednesday of every month. We hope to see you there. Come and be a part of the Spirit! 
Bible Study
Tuesdays, 4-5pm

Please join us every Tuesday afternoon at 4pm in the church parlor for Bible Study. During our time together we enjoy lively discussion and very interesting topics. Also, we strive to apply Scripture to the times we live in today. Everyone is welcome and afternoon tea is always served. Come and be part of the Spirit.

All are welcome! 
Questions? Contact Rev. Janet at 978-350-3463.

Scholarship $$ are available!!

Did you know that our church is deeply involved in awarding scholarship $$ for post-secondary school education?
After the “Killed in Action” death of Capt Christopher Sullivan in 2005, our church sponsored a memorial concert which raised funds for the new “Captain Christopher Sullivan Liberty Scholarship”.  A small committee including our pastor has been awarding an annual scholarship according to the following criteria:
Must have completed one academic year of post-secondary education with a minimum GPA of 2.5, and must be a resident of Princeton at time of application. Preference will be given to a student who intends to serve in the military and/or pursue a degree in engineering. Proof of registration for next academic year must be submitted with application.
This year, a bequest was received from the Jacobson family in memory of Burton and Sonja Jacobson.  You may recall that Burt owned The PhotoPanels company at the old Auto Museum (now Hunt & Gather) . . .   The family’s wish is to award a meaningful sum to a member of the church studying in a technical, engineering or medical field.  Awards are to be made annually for the next 25 years.
Now, here is where YOU come in: we will form a small committee to work with Bruce Jacobson and Elaine Kay (the family) to further develop criteria, publicize the scholarship, encourage applications, evaluate and make an award.  If you would like to serve in this way, please contact the Church Office.  We must get to work soon in order to make the first award this Spring!
Funds for both scholarships are safely in the stewardship of the Community Foundation of North Central Massachusetts; which also holds a portion of our church endowment funds.
sweets to go
Attention bakers!!  The church will be hosting a special Valentine's Day baking showcase event and we need lots of desserts to sell.  What is your specialty? Red velvet Cake?  Boston Cream Pie?  French silk pie?  Lemon meringue pie?  Chocolate layer cake?  Valentine cookies?  Candy? Think of what you could contribute to the "Sweets To Go" fundraiser.
Specific information will be coming, but please save the date of Wednesday, February 12 for our sale.  We will be open for sales from 3:00 - 6:30. 
Please Contact Wendy Pape or Jane Weisman with questions, or to share what you can prepare for us.
green congregation challenge
First Congregational Church is going GREEN. We are forming a Green Committee here at the church, which will focus on ways in which we can be more environmentally friendly. After all, God has called us to be good stewards of the beautiful world that he entrusted to our care. We may also work in cooperation with the environmental group which is active in the town of Princeton. We are looking to start on this new undertaking in the New Year. If you are interested in being a part of this group or if you want more information, please call Rev Janet @ 978-350-3463 Come and be part of this green Spirit!
New Orlean's Style Food
Please join us for the next Hospitality Dinner on Monday, February 24 at 6:00pm in Fellowship Hall.  We will celebrate Mardi Gras  with southern/New Orleans style cooking!  Everyone is welcome to partake and enjoy the last big blow-out before Lent!
Princeton Community Preschool
The Princeton Community Preschool was founded in 1990 and has operated continuously ever since. We are conveniently located in the center of town in the First Congregational Church. Because of the proximity to the town center, we are able to take walking field trips to the Princeton library, the Common, police station, and fire station.

Our preschool provides our children with a safe, nurturing and stimulating physical and personal environment that fosters individual development. We welcome all children and families, regardless of their race, religion, national origin, political beliefs, sex, cultural heritage, marital status, abilities or sexual orientation.

Co-Directors: ​Hilary Doyle and Kathy Johnson
14 Mountain Rd
Princeton, MA 01541
​Phone / Fax: (978) 464-5960
Email: pcpkids1 @
February 2  - Board of Christian Education 11:30 am
February  10 - Youth Choir 6:15 - 7:30 pm
February 4, 11, 18, 25  - Bible Study 4:00 pm
February 6, 13, 20, 27,  - Line Dancing 5:00 pm
February 9 - Diaconate 11:30 am
February 12 - Sweets to Go 3:00 - 6:00 pm
February 16 - Council Meeting 11:30 am
February 24 - Confirmation Class 5:15 pm
February 24- Hospitality Dinner New Orleans' Style Food
February 26 - Ash Wednesday Service 7:00 pm

For the most up-to-date church calendar go to
                                                                                                  October 2019 Calendar
February Birthdays
Mark Canfield - 1st
Diane Hobbs -     1st
Priscilla Genest - 11th
Janelle Utter -      14 th
Matt Lindberg -     18th

Susan Stolberg -     19th
Paul Skagerlind -     20th
Paige Hoague -       22nd
Dave Nichols -         25th
Christina Paradiso - 25th

February Anniversary
Jed and Susan Stolberg - 3rd
Do we have your birthday and anniversary information?
Let the office know of your special dates so that they will appear in the Spire!
The First Congregational Church of Princeton, United Church of Christ, is a Welcoming, Open and Affirming church. We believe that all people are precious children of God, equal and loved by God. Here you will find acceptance of all people of all races, ages, genders, gender identities, sexual orientations, previous religious affiliations, professions, nationalities, mental conditions and physical capabilities. You will be warmly welcomed and you will find the freedom to worship with caring people who take joy in both our shared commonalities and our differences.
a just world for all
The First Congregational Church of Princeton
United Church of Christ

Organized 1764, present building erected 1838
Reverend Janet Sandquist-Skagerlind
Music Director: Faith Pistrang
Office Administrator: John Mims

Office Hours: 9AM-1PM, Tuesday - Friday
Copyright © 2019 The First Congregational Church of Princeton. All rights reserved.
Our mailing address is:
14 Mountain Road, Princeton, MA 01541

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First Congregational Church of Princeton · 14 Mountain Road · Princeton, MA 01541 · USA

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