Greetings from the JPW Library!

This page is updated regularly, so please visit again. You can also follow us on Facebook, and we look forward to having you visit in person!

On the JPWL Calendar:

Visit the Crofut Café!

At the first First Sunday Breakfast in October, Pat Furnivall suggested we name our new breakfast program the Crofut Café – and we decided she had the right idea! We can think of no other name that is as welcoming (and alliterative) — while conveying the appreciation and fondness we hold for our benefactor, Florence Crofut. So come and visit the Crofut Café at the JPWL from 8:30 to 9:45 on the first Sundays of each month. Enjoy a light breakfast with other church friends, visitors, families, and choir members. October thru May.

A Conversation with Richard Fisher, LCSW: Understanding Anxiety, Depression, and Trauma
Thursday, January 16th, from 7 to 8:30 pm in the Auditorium
Have you wondered:
Why does my anxiety seem overwhelming?
How can I tell the difference between “the blues” and clinical depression?How can trauma lead to depression and anxiety?

Science tells us that some anxiety is normal, that depression is part of our humanity. When should we seek professional help for ourselves or loved ones? What does “help” look like? Join us as we explore these common mental health issues and discuss ways to identify and address them in our own lives. Richard Fisher is the Director of the Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services Office of Workforce Development. He has over 40 years of experience in the behavioral health field as a clinician, program director and administrator.

Lunch and Learn: True Roots
Sunday, February 3, 11:30 in the JPW Library
Journalist Ronnie Citron-Fink wondered if the unpronounceable chemical names on the box of her hair dye could be causing allergies and headaches. But she worried that going gray would adversely affect her job and social life. “Will I still feel like me when I have gray hair?” Along her journey to find answers, she discovered products that are safer for people – and the planet – and she learned to embrace her natural beauty. Citron-Fink shared her story in True Roots: What Quitting Hair Dye Taught Me About Health and Beauty, and will discuss it with us February 3 in the JPW Library. True Roots will be sold at this event; a light lunch begins at 11:30.

Jesus Christ Superstar
Sunday, March 1st, at 1 pm at the Bushnell
Jim & Jennifer have plenty of tickets left for the trip to see this iconic rock opera at the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts. With music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Tim Rice, it tells the story of Jesus’s last week from the perspective of Judas. We will share a light lunch at the church before carpooling to the Bushnell. Tickets: $50 per person. Reserve your tickets here.

Day of Tears
Sunday March 22nd, at 2 pm in the Meeting House
The largest auction of enslaved people in American history took place on March 2 and 3, 1859 in Savannah, Georgia. In an attempt to cover his gambling debts, one plantation owner sold off over 400 men, women, and children. The event came to be known as “the weeping time:” Rain began on the first day of the auction, and continued throughout, stopping only when the auction had ended. “Day of Tears” is based on the Julius Lester novel of the same name.

Join a talented cast of actors directed by Laurie Maria Cabral as they present this stage reading, here for one performance only. Presented in partnership with the Noah Webster House and West Hartford Witness Stones. Permission to present this reading has been granted by Julius Lester.

This is a free community event, open to all. Please be advised that strong language and allusions to violence are present in the performance and may not be suitable for certain audiences, including young children.

JPW Library Gallery
Our next exhibit will feature items created by First Church members and friends. So many of us dabble in arts and crafts – here is the place to share your creativity! Painted works, photography, fabric arts…how do you express yourself? Drop off your items at the JPW Library by January 26th. The exhibit will run through late March.

Book Discussions


The JPW Library hosts two book groups, one weekly and one monthly. 

Awakening the Spirit Book Discussion
Mondays from noon – 1:30 pm from September-May

We will discuss Jeffrey Munro’s Reading Buechner: Exploring the Work of a Master Memoirist, Novelist, Theologian, and Preacher, a collection of the true “essentials” from across Buechner’s diverse catalog, as well as an overview of Buechner’s life, and an exploration of his literary legacy. “Here is Buechner in all his complex glory, ready to delight and inspire again.”

Food for Thought Book Group
First Thursday of the month at 5:30 pm from September – May 

Thursday, January 2nd, at 5:30 pm in the JPW Library
We will discuss The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson. A “love letter to the first mobile library in Kentucky and the fierce, brave pack-horse librarians who wove their way from shack to shack dispensing literacy, hope, and – just as importantly – a compassionate human connection.” – Sara Gruen, author, Water for Elephants. Books are available at the JPW Library.  

Now available in the JPW Library: the First Church Senior Resource Manual for seniors and their families provides information on care options, legal matters, illness, spirituality, local transportation options, and more.