First Congregational Church of East Bloomfield
Rich in heritage, bonded in love, growing in Christ.
March & April Specific Calendar Events:
* Thursday, May 4: National Day of prayer. People from different faiths are called to pray for the United States and its leaders.
* Sunday, May 7 (8:00 a.m.): Women’s breakfast at Brady J’s.
* Sunday, May 7: Church Council meets after the worship service.
* Sunday, May 14: Mother's Day.
* Thursday, May 18: Ascension Day.
* Thursday, May 18, (9:30 a.m.): The church book club meets in Pastor Sue’s office; they will discuss the novel The Children’s Blizzard by Melanie Benjamin.
The morning of January 12, 1888, was unusually mild, following a punishing cold spell. It was warm enough for the homesteaders of the Dakota Territory to venture out again, and for their children to return to school without their heavy coats—leaving them unprepared when disaster struck. At the hour when most prairie schools were letting out for the day, a terrifying, fast-moving blizzard blew in without warning. Schoolteachers as young as sixteen were suddenly faced with life and death decisions: Keep the children inside, to risk freezing to death when fuel ran out, or send them home, praying they wouldn’t get lost in the storm?
Based on actual oral histories of survivors, this gripping novel follows the stories of Raina and Gerda Olsen, two sisters, both schoolteachers—one becomes a hero of the storm and the other finds herself ostracized in the aftermath. It’s also the story of Anette Pedersen, a servant girl whose miraculous survival serves as a turning point in her life and touches the heart of Gavin Woodson, a newspaperman seeking redemption. It was Woodson and others like him who wrote the embellished news stories that lured northern European immigrants across the sea to settle a pitiless land. Boosters needed them to settle territories into states, and they didn’t care what lies they told these families to get them there—or whose land it originally was.
At its heart, this is a story of courage, of children forced to grow up too soon, tied to the land because of their parents’ choices. It is a story of love taking root in the hard prairie ground, and of families being torn asunder by a ferocious storm that is little remembered today—because so many of its victims were immigrants to this country.
* Saturday, May 20: Armed Forces Day.
* Sunday, May 21: Scripture pot luck lunch after the worship service.
* Sunday, May 28 (8:00 a.m.): Men’s breakfast at Brady J’s.
* Sunday, May 28: Pentecost.
* Monday, May 29: Memorial Day.
* Sunday, June 4: Women’s breakfast at Brady J’s.
* Sunday, June 4: Trinity Sunday.
* Sunday, June 4: Church Council meets after the worship service.
* Sunday, June 11: Recognition Sunday. Ceremony & picnic to follow worship.
* Wednesday, June 14: Flag Day.
* Thursday, June 15 (9:30 a.m.): The church book club meets in Pastor Sue’s office; they will discuss the book The Gilded Hour by Sara Donati.
The year is 1883, and in New York City, Anna Savard and her cousin Sophie—both graduates of the Woman’s Medical School—treat the city’s most vulnerable, even if doing so puts everything they’ve strived for in jeopardy...
Anna’s work has placed her in the path of four children who have lost everything, just as she herself once had. Faced with their helplessness, Anna must make an unexpected choice between holding on to the pain of her past and letting love into her life.
For Sophie, an obstetrician and the orphaned daughter of free people of color, helping a desperate young mother forces her to grapple with the oath she took as a doctor—and thrusts her and Anna into the orbit of anti-vice crusader Anthony Comstock, a dangerous man who considers himself the enemy of everything indecent and of anyone who dares to defy him.
With its vivid depictions of old New York and its enormously appealing characters, The Gilded Hour is a captivating novel by an author at the height of her powers.
* Sunday, June 18: Father's Day.
* Sunday, June 25 (8:00 a.m.): Men’s breakfast at Brady J’s.