Featured Content

The Spirit of "Thanks" and "Welcome"

This last Sunday was Pentecost. Pentecost is a Sunday when we celebrate the presence of the Holy Spirit in our life, our congregation, and the world. Yet, on Pentecost, as any other day, we both question the presence of the Holy Spirit, and hope the Holy Spirit will present itself to us in obvious ways. The Holy Spirit hovered on Sunday and presented itself in several obvious ways. The newly formed MAKO Drum Choir and the Chancel Choir led us in a call and response Call to Worship. Thanks to the young people who have given us new experiences in worship.

Posted on May 22, 2018 at 11:25 am in Featured Content.

Wearing RED is Not Just For Bucky!

This Sunday, May 20th, we will celebrate Pentecost. Pentecost is the church holiday fifty days after Easter, and celebrates the arrival of the Holy Spirit, which Jesus promised earlier in the Gospel of John. Pentecost also celebrates the birth of the church found in Acts. Because we celebrate the Holy Spirit's arrival by fire, and RED is our liturgical celebratory color, we encourage everyone to wear RED clothing to worship on Sunday. 

Posted on May 22, 2018 at 11:22 am in Featured Content.

A Chance to be Neighborly!

Sunday, June 3, First Congregational will host a Neighborhood Party. You have probably already seen the signs around the neighborhood. Several years ago we started this tradition to extend an extravagant welcome to our neighbors to come and meet us, and learn who we are and what we do in the city. The first year we focused on the Regent neighborhood, inviting our geographically close neighbors. Last year we expanded our invitation to the families and staff from the University Avenue Discovery Center. This year, I would like the congregation to take this Sunday as an opportunity to invite one or more of your neighbors or friends to worship with us, and stay for the lunch and activities.

Posted on May 8, 2018 at 12:21 pm in Featured Content.

Celebration Sunday

This last Sunday, we had the pleasure of celebrating!  First, worship was led by the children and youth of the church. They each took their part seriously and led us in a meaningful service. Thanks to the children and youth who participated, and the planning and rehearsal done by Jeff Rabe, Director of Christian Education for Children and Youth, and Don DeBruin, Director of Music Ministries. It was a service to celebrate!

Posted on May 1, 2018 at 11:14 am in Featured Content.

The Chameleon Chapel

Because of your generosity and the commitment to making our spaces as usable as possible, the renovated Chapel has become a chameleon. Over the last several months, the Chapel has been host to a variety of events and activities that would not have been possible prior to renovation.The events have included the Chapel Concert series, 55 Alive!, music practice for the Sunday School kids during worship, Spiritual Practice Academy, reception following a memorial service, meetings, labyrinth walking, an art exhibition, Vesper services in a more intimate arrangement, and early Easter service facing a new direction. The space has an openness that is more welcoming, brighter, and offers the chance to be creative in configuration. The tables and chairs are close at hand, yet hidden and kept tidy. One of the great gifts has been a wonderful sound system, and the t-coil hearing loop. And let's not forget the close proximity of a kitchen to serve and work as a staging room for the events!

Posted on April 24, 2018 at 10:48 am in Featured Content.

Ask the Earth and It Will Teach You

Rev. Robin Raudabough was the keynote speaker for the 2018 Annual Meeting of the SW Wisconsin Association of the United Church of Christ at Salem UCC in Verona this past Saturday. For those of you not familiar with our denominational structure, First Congregational is part of the SW Association, which is one of four Associations in the Wisconsin Conference. Beyond that, our Conference is part of General Synod - the national UCC body.
 

Posted on April 17, 2018 at 10:57 am in Featured Content.

Washing of Feet

Prior to attending seminary, I owned and operated a deli/bakery business. Needless to say, as in any restaurant, there were always dishes to be done. One of the ways we saved space and money was to function with a three-hole commercial sink instead of a commercial dishwasher. As an owner, one of the jobs I committed to doing, was washing dishes. Before I come off as a wonderful owner, you need to know that I do like to do dishes. I find it therapeutic. But, one of the main reasons I continually did dishes, was to be clear that it was an important task, and that no one was "above" doing dishes. It may have even been one of the most important jobs in the business.

Posted on March 27, 2018 at 11:33 am in Featured Content.

Holy Week Approaches

This Sunday, March 25th at 8:45am in the Chapel, we will take the opportunity to process what we have heard during our Lenten Listening opportunities.  The focus will be specifically related to our listening sessions with the Rev. Dr. Stephen Ray, Jr. and the Honorable Everett Mitchell.  But I also hope each of us might be paying attention to the voices relating to White Privilege we hear within our own community and beyond.

Posted on March 27, 2018 at 7:46 am in Featured Content.

LISTENING to the Honorable Everett Mitchell

Of all the experiences he's had as a lawyer, perhaps one of the most life-changing was that of working as a pro bono attorney. "Sometimes people need to be  iven hope, and that hope requires some of us to make the sacrifice to be present with them," Judge Mitchell said. "So I started this four-year pro bono journey,  epresenting families, children, fathers and mothers, grandmothers, activists, the incarcerated, homeless, the mentally ill," with the goal of ensuring that the  ommunity sees the justice system as just. "It was through these cases that I learned to witness and experience the system through the eyes of countless  oments of inequality, and too many moments of disrespect."
A quote from Inside Track, a publication of the State Bar of Wisconsin, April 2017

Posted on March 13, 2018 at 10:21 am in Featured Content.

An Evening with Rev. Dr. Stephen Ray, Jr

Thanks to a generous gift given for Adult Education in our church, we are pleased to host this evening of listening and learning. Dr. Ray, Jr. was one of the authors that helped guide our Sacred Conversation on Race last year while using the White Privilege: Let's Talk curriculum. He appeared in the webinars we watched in class. His knowledge of black history and theology helped guide our conversations and brought new understanding to us. When the curriculum was written, Dr. Ray, Jr. was a professor of systematic theology at Garrett- vangelical Seminary. In January 2018, he was appointed as the President of Chicago Theological Seminary. Whether or not you participated in the classes, please plan to join us for this great opportunity to LISTEN, and learn!

Posted on March 6, 2018 at 12:32 pm in Featured Content.

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