Ever walked a labyrinth? We’ve got one — a cloth labyrinth that just fits in our lower level. We’ll unfold it and invite the community to come walk the labyrinth on Wednesdays during Lent . Check out the calendar on this page for the schedule. Be prepared to take your shoes off and spend about 30 minutes. Lent is a great time of the church year for some contemplative work, and cold winter weather seems to set the stage. You are invited.
This Sunday we will conduct a twice-yearly congregational meeting in a worshipful way during the regular morning service. Doing it this way reminds us both that our church work — on a daily basis even! — is an act of connecting to and worshiping God, AND that our weekly worship is a labor of love for our God.
In her pastor’s report to the congregation, using the analogy of the church as an orchestra, Pastor EvaLyn writes,
During this season of the interim and in the months ahead, we will be orchestrating all of the elements of the church to be ready to play an original composition “A Song of New Beginnings.” Right now we are in the cacophony of sounds like the orchestra warming up. …
I challenge you to look at yourself this year….prayerfully discern how your gifts, how your unique instruments (gifts and graces)…can make this “First Congregational UCC Symphony Orchestra of Faith” bring the music of love and healing to our world.
After the worship-meeting, please join us for our annual chili contest. There are some great recipes and creative cooks out there waiting to show their stuff!
“Every day is a new beginning. Treat it that way. Stay away from what might have been, and look at what can be.” ~ Marsha Petrie
We will offer a Wednesday noon Lenten spiritual growth group using the Joyce Rupp book, “The Cup of Our Life: A Guide for Spiritual Growth.” Starting Ash Wednesday (February 9th) and continuing for five additional Wednesday noons, we will explore how the metaphor of a cup is “a rich symbol of life with its emptiness and fullness, its brokenness and flaws, and all its blessings.” Choose a cup at home to bring to each session, and call the church office by January 30th to participate in a group book order: 387-2113.
Epiphany, the celebration of the visitation of the Magi to the holy family, recognizing Jesus as the son of God, is Sunday, January 6th. Come find out what they were searching for. This is a communion Sunday, and we will have a service at the Care Center at 12:30 p.m.
Rolling Jubilee, a new economic justice project, asserts that
- 77.5% of American households are in debt
- 62% of all bankruptcies are caused by a medical illness
- Student loan debt has exploded
- Tuition debt is over $1,000,000,000,000
- 1 in every 7 Americans is being pursued by a debt collector
- The ratio of household debt to income is 154%
- 40% of indebted households used credit cards to pay for basic living expenses
“Rolling Jubilee is a Strike Debt* project that buys debt for pennies on the dollar, but instead of collecting it, abolishes it. Together we can liberate debtors at random through a campaign of mutual support, good will, and collective refusal. Debt resistance is just the beginning. Join us as we imagine and create a new world based on the common good, not Wall Street profits.”
* Strike Debt came from a coalition of Occupy groups looking to build popular resistance to all forms of debt imposed on us by the banks. “Debt keeps us isolated, ashamed, and afraid. We are building a movement to challenge this system while creating alternatives and supporting each other.”
Ed. Note: The Old Testament concept of Jubilee where those in debt were given a fresh start is alive again in a modern social movement. See “rollingjubilee.org” and “strikedebt.org” for the whole picture.
So — we’ll talk about Jubilee, including this modern manifestation of it, on Sunday, December 30th at 10:30. Join us!
Here‘s a link to some pictures from our Christmas 2012 service. Enjoy!
All are invited to the — no, wait! saying it that way makes it sound like all are not usually invited. And that wouldn’t at all fit with our motto, “No matter who you are, or where you are on life’s journey, you’re welcome here.” So instead, it’s better to say please come! Our Sunday School classes are preparing a fun Charlotte’s Web Christmas pageant this coming Sunday, December 16th at 10:30 a.m.
If you didn’t know, Charlotte is a wise spider who helps Wilbur the pig get a “new lease on life” so to speak. Fern is the farm girl who first chooses to hand-raise Wilbur (a runt). In this short play Charlotte and Fern help Wilbur understand the Christmas story.
Our Christmas Eve service (Monday, Dec. 24) is preceded by cider and cookies, and starts at 5:30. Please join us!
Pastor EvaLyn writes: The first Sunday of Advent marks the beginning of the church year… “the old is passed away and behold all things become new.” So here at First Congregational Church we will be celebrating this season as a time of joy and happiness as we await the arrival of Jesus the Prince of Peace. We hope you will find some activities in which you would like to participate.
Sunday Dec. 2, 10:30 a.m.: First Sunday of Advent–We will make sense of endings and look with hope to new beginnings. We light the first candle of our advent wreath. The first week of December we will be decorating the church.
Thursday Dec. 6, 7:00 p.m.: Blue Christmas Service. You are invited to join others in a quiet time of prayers, scripture and music including a time of remembrance and candle-lighting. See fuller description below.
We invite you to click on other events on the calendar to see what’s coming. More posts to come!
This time has been called the “long dark night of the soul” and “the winter of our discontent” in which memories of past experiences and the pain of present experiences can become overwhelming. For some, Christmas Day is the most difficult. For others, Christmas Eve, or New Years Eve, or the beginning of another lonely New Year. In this “Blue Christmas service” we’ll have some singing appropriate to the Christmas Season, recognizing that this is not a season of joy for everyone. We will invite you to reflect on the pain, the loneliness, and the sadness you may feel and offer it to God for healing and transformation and we pray that you will find hope and comfort in knowing that you are not alone. Thursday, Dec. 6th at 7:00.