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More Than Death

Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live.

Norman Cousins

Last Saturday the nation received the news that Senator John McCain had lost his life a year after he had been diagnosed with brain cancer. He has rarely been seen in the last year as he went through treatment, but he stayed as engaged as possible with his work in the Senate. Since his death he has been hailed as a maverick and hero. He was a man known to embody the words character, integrity, courage, and honesty. Whether you agreed with him politically or not, he was a man that spoke truth, was invested in the good of all people, and wasn't afraid to say he had made a mistake if proven wrong. Senator McCain's death is a loss to his family and friends, because they loved and cherished him. But because he was a man of principle, his voice and challenges will be missed on the wider stage.

Posted on August 28, 2018 at 11:40 am in Featured Content.

Sunday School Kicks Off September 9!

Many thanks go out to the adults who gave of their time and talents to make the Summer Sunday School program a success! The Summer Theme of WAYZ 2 PRAYZ took the children on several different paths to explore ways people pray to, and praise God. Praying and Praising through service, students made cards for residents of an area nursing home and baked cookies for those in our community who are homeless. Children learned about pilgrimages and journeys to find God by walking the Labyrinth. Using drums, students experienced 'making a joyful noise' as part of an ensemble or community. Offering praise was also shared through movement and dance. The Summer program wrapped up with the children experiencing the mysteries of the call of God, through an art project that took an unexpected turn.

Posted on August 21, 2018 at 10:54 am in Featured Content.

Prison Ministry Restorative Justice Program

Fifteen years ago I was in prison. I had been invited to go inside the hundred year old walls of the prison in Green Bay to be part of something called Restorative Justice. That was all I knew. I stayed for three days, and those three days changed my life. I sat in a circle with thirty inmates, twenty volunteers and three survivors of violent crime.

Posted on August 14, 2018 at 10:34 am in Featured Content.

Team Comma Rides Again!

Last weekend Team Comma was on the road again, raising funds for AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin (ARCW). This year Team Comma consisted of Sue Jones, Kristin Kanitz, Paul Karch, and Jeanne Marshall. The ride kicked off on Friday morning and returned at the end of three days and 250 miles for a celebration at the closing ceremonies sunday afternoon. The ride is critical in raising funds to support people living with and affected by HIV/AIDS.

Posted on July 31, 2018 at 10:51 am in Featured Content.

Versatility of the Renovated Chapel

If there is anyone who is still wondering if the church made the right decision about renovating the Chapel space, let me review what has happened in the space over the last month.

Posted on July 24, 2018 at 10:51 am in Featured Content.

TRUTH

On Saturday, June 30th, I spoke at a Press Conference focused on the topic of families being separated at the border. Below is the text of my remarks. Today it would be possible for me to add to the lists of 'truths' I listed. But I know that everyone who reads this article will have the ability to add to the lists of truths, and could also start a list of 'untruths.' Our commitment as Christians is to speak the truth, and to call out the untruths. Today, I pray that we will all be able to find the strength to speak truth and call out the untruths.

Posted on July 17, 2018 at 12:01 pm in Featured Content.

Rainbow People Picnic

We are so fortunate to belong to a church that has embraced being "Open and Affirming" for 26 years! "Open and Affirming" (ONA) is the official status in the United Church of Christ for congregations declaring themselves welcoming of LGBTQ+ persons. For those of us at First Cong, we can't imagine how a church could exclude or judge beloved children of God based on sexual orientation or gender expression. As individuals and a congregation, it is easy to take this welcome for granted. However, there are people coming to our church regularly who are newly coming out to themselves, family, and the world. There are people coming to our church who are struggling with discrimination and hatred. There are people coming to our church who are afraid to be their full and whole selves at work or in other public places. And, there are even MORE people NOT YET coming to our church who need our extravagant welcome!

Posted on July 10, 2018 at 10:07 am in Featured Content.

Job: A Summer Series

Why Job? Job's story is the timeless story of what it's like to be human. Job can guide us as we seek to discern how to live in the world. Like Job, we live with blessing and curse, innocence and guilt, suffering and joy; appreciation for the gift of life and despair in the face of its ultimate inscrutability. As we navigate this life and our faith, we can use all the good guides we can find. Job shows us how to live with steadfast integrity and faithfulness even amid life's tumult and confusion. Why Job? Because the story of Job is a thrilling, challenging, and compelling account of the spiritual transformation that's possible as we find ourselves in-between the falling apart of the old world and the building up of the new. 

Posted on July 3, 2018 at 10:38 am in Featured Content.

UCCMA Board visits Madison!

Last Tuesday and Wednesday (June 19-20) First Congregational hosted the National Board of the United Church of Christ Musicians Association (UCCMA). They had their own business to discuss, but much of the time was spent talking about UCCMA'S 2019 Conference, which will be held here in Madison at First Cong! Don DeBruin serves on the National Board and was instrumental in securing the conference for First Cong. The two days were spent touring housing facilities, a concert venue, and learning more about how we can provide the best possible conference.

Posted on June 26, 2018 at 11:09 am in Featured Content.

Our Children!

The future which we hold in trust for our own children will be shaped by our fairness to other people's children. ~ Marian Wright Edelman

Posted on June 19, 2018 at 10:47 am in Featured Content.

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