Featured Content

Open and Affirming Sunday: Let's Celebrate!

The saying "timing is everything" is certainly true for First Congregational this Sunday. The second Day in October is the Sunday we celebrate being an Open and Affirming (ONA) congregation. This year we celebrate 22 years of being ONA. The decision twenty-two years ago was not done in haste, but following 3-4 years of study and education.

Posted on October 7, 2014 at 9:58 am in Featured Content.

World Communion Sunday

World Communion Sunday is a celebration observed by several Christian denominations, taking place on the first Sunday of every October, that promotes Christian unity and ecumenical cooperation. The tradition originated in the Shadyside Presbyterian Church, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in 1933, and was adopted throughout the US Presbyterian Church in 1936, and subsequently spread to other denominations. In 1940, the Federal Council of Churches (now the National Council of Churches), led by Jesse Moren Bader, endorsed World Communion Sunday and began to promote it to Christian churches worldwide.

Posted on September 30, 2014 at 10:32 am in Featured Content.

The Prison Ministry Project and Solitary Confinement

At noon on October 1 at the State Street entrance to the Capitol, the Prison Ministry Project will help lead a rally to reduce the abuses of solitary confinement in Wisconsin prisons.

This not a theoretical or public policy issue, as our colleague Kate Edwards points out,

for some inmates it is a matter of life and death. I hope you can join us at the Capitol.

~ Jerry Hancock

 

Posted on September 23, 2014 at 9:23 am in Featured Content.

Embracing Spiritual Awakening: Diana Butler Bass on the Dynamic of Experiential Faith

The Adult Education committee will be offering a five-session series this fall titled "Embracing Spiritual Awakening." The class will begin promptly at 8:45am and end by 9:45am. Best-selling author, speaker, scholar, and "cultural observer" Diana Butler Bass explores what Christianity may look like "beyond religion and beyond the church". 

Posted on September 9, 2014 at 9:53 am in Featured Content.

Around the Table

I grew up in a church tradition that taught that there are two official sacraments in the church: Baptism and Holy Communion. I will always remember the phrase from my confirmation class:  “Sacraments are outward and visible signs of an inward and spiritual grace.”

 

Posted on August 26, 2014 at 10:29 am in Featured Content.

Where do we go NOW?

These are exciting times for First Congregational. We are now half-way through our Reach and Renew Campaign. We have already been able to accomplish many projects/programs that would not have been possible without the R&R Campaign. We have a new heating system throughout the building. We have air conditioning in the Sanctuary. We have started painting the exterior of the building. The Youth Room has been given a face-lift, and Membership Renewal has been working hard to keep people engaged in the life of the church.

 

Posted on August 12, 2014 at 10:10 am in Featured Content.

An Open Letter on Child Refugees

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

The Council of Conference Ministers of the United Church of Christ and the Collegium of Officers offer this open letter to the church in response to the flood of child refugees coming to the United States from Central America. We write it in solidarity with our sister churches in the Southern California/Nevada Conference, the Southwest Conference, and the South Central Conference whose boundaries are coterminous with our neighbors to the South.

Posted on July 29, 2014 at 9:34 am in Featured Content.

Why do we pass the offering plate?

We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give. ~ Winston Churchill

 

Sunday after Sunday, I sit in the front and watch the offering plates passed back and forth across the aisles. People accept the plate if they have something to put in or if someone else in the row has something to give. Many of us today do not bring regular Sunday offerings. We give by checks mailed periodically, we tive by a regular debit to our account, or we give by transfer of stock We give our offerings in a very different way today than we did a couple of years ago when I was a child. So, why do we pass the offering plate?

Posted on July 16, 2014 at 10:16 am in Featured Content.

Soft on Crime?

The following was an opinon-editorial piece submitted to the Wisconsin State Journal.

Posted on July 1, 2014 at 10:16 am in Featured Content.

The Missions of 303 Lathrop

One of the many wonderful pieces of the history of First Congregational United Church of Christ, is to understand the importance and the dedication of its members to mission. Although in recent times we have considered the property at 303 Lathrop to be a source of income, the historical use of the house has been mission based. It’s not to say that the leases didn’t produce some source of income, but it is clear from all of the records I read, the rent was always reduced to the lowest possible amount to make the organization as successful as possible. Most of the time it is also clear that the members of the congregation were actively involved in the mission of the organization itself. The following is a summary of the use of 303 Lathrop, with additional information explaining the mission of the program.

 

Posted on June 17, 2014 at 11:47 am in Featured Content.

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