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First Art Installation

We have all had the opportunity to see the newly renovated space. We all are living into the space - finding new ways to utilize the multi-purpose space of the Chapel, Student Lounge, and Kitchenette.  Until now, we have not been able to visualize the use of the Chapel space, which was fitted with proper display railings, as a space for art installations. Starting this Sunday, December 3, we will have our first exhibition hung in the Chapel.

Posted on November 28, 2017 at 11:37 am in Featured Content.

Thanksgiving

 In a time when we can easily become discouraged by the actions of people around us, the inequalities related to race, religion, disabilities, healthcare, and income, we should use Thanksgiving as an opportunity to look at our own lives, and give gratitude for the blessings we experience.Too often we lose track of the everyday needs we take for granted. Most of us have plenty of food in our cupboards, freezer, or easy access to groceries. We don't stress about where we will sleep at night. We can go to the doctor when needed, and purchase the medication prescribed. We have transportation at our fingertips. We have friends who are willing to provide meals when we are sick or are facing struggles. We have people who are willing to wrap their arms around us when we are overwhelmed. 

Posted on November 21, 2017 at 12:23 pm in Featured Content.

STEPPING UP and MOVING FORWARD Pledge Campaign Update

Thank you to everyone who...

Posted on November 14, 2017 at 12:02 pm in Featured Content.

"Fear Not"

          Sunday, December 3 is the beginning of Advent, a season of anticipation for the birth of Jesus, who is to save the world. Yes, it is a season of anticipation, but it is also a time of fear. The words "do not be afraid" are used by angels in multiple situations to remind people who are experiencing fear in their lives that God is with them and everything will be fine.  When the angels reveal the forthcoming birth of John the Baptist to Zechariah, they begin by saying, "do not be afraid." The angels reassure Joseph, saying, "do not be afraid," when they tell him Mary's child is from the Holy Spirit. The angels begin with "do not be afraid," when they announce Jesus' birth to the shepherds. There are also times in the Older Testament where we are reminded, "do not be afraid."  However as we live in the 21st century we are not immune to fear.

Posted on November 14, 2017 at 11:44 am in Featured Content.

Saving Lives

We know we can't stop every act of violence, every act of evil in the world. But maybe we could try to stop one act of evil, one act of violence.  Some of you may recall at the same time that Sandy Hook happened, a disturbed person in China took a knife and tried to kill a bunch of children in China, but most of them survived because he didn't have access to a powerful weapon.
Barack Obama

Posted on November 7, 2017 at 11:49 am in Featured Content.

Celebration and a "Jolt" of Reality!

On October 8th First Congregational celebrated the 25th anniversary of voting to be an Open and Affirming (ONA) congregation. Every year on the second Sunday of October, worship focuses on being an ONA church. In the recent past, I have had church members ask if we even needed to set a Sunday aside to celebrate the public stance taken so long ago. My answer continues to be that our voice of inclusivity is as important today as the day the vote was taken in the church. Sometimes when we ourselves are surrounded by a community of love and support, we can become complacent, as individuals and a congregation. Last week, the news in Madison gave us a "jolt" of reality. 

Posted on October 31, 2017 at 11:28 am in Featured Content.

What is the Congregational Library?

This Sunday, October 29, we will welcome Margaret Bendroth as our guest preacher. Margaret serves as the Executive Director of the Congregational Library in Boston. In last week's newsletter, through an historical document, I reminded us of the decision to become a Congregational church in 1841.  Although we still carry the Congregational title in our name, many Congregational churches linked arms with the Evangelical and Reformed churches in 1957 to become the United Church of Christ. Congregationalism has a rich history of helping to shape society. The Congregational Library defines itself best in these words taken from the website.
~ Eldonna Hazen

Posted on October 24, 2017 at 10:32 am in Featured Content.

Congregationalism Comes to Madison

Some members of the congregation are familiar with the history of First Congregational United Church of Christ, many are newer to the congregation and are not as aware of the rich and long history. As we look forward to having Margaret Bendroth, Executive Director of the Congregational Library in Boston with us in worship on October 29th, it seems appropriate to review the beginnings of First Congregational. The following words were taken from the 125 year book of celebration. First Cong has a fascinating beginning that holds an important place in history, both for the church and for Madison. If you are interested in reading more, please let me know, I have a few copies available to check out in my office.
~ Eldonna Hazen

Posted on October 17, 2017 at 11:08 am in Featured Content.

Behind the Plastic

For over four years we have had members of the congregation participating on a renovation committee. They have worked diligently to find the most efficient use of the space, weigh the needs with the budget, and make presentations/recommendations to the congregation. In May 2016, the congregation voted to move forward with those renovations.

Posted on October 10, 2017 at 10:56 am in Featured Content.

Celebrating 25 years of being Open and Affirming

In 1985, the General Synod of the United Church of Christ accepted a resolution that called on congregations to declare themselves open to and affirming of gay, lesbian and bisexual people in the full life and ministry of the church. In 1990, a committee was formed at First Congregational to study the possibility of becoming an Open and Affirming congregation.  After two years of study and writing a resolution, the church voted in May of 1992 to become an Open and Affirming congregation. The church was the 76th church of the United Church of Christ to declare their welcoming stance. Since the original vote, the church has intentionally added and welcomed individuals who identify as trans, or questioning. These actions and commitment need to be celebrated!

Posted on October 3, 2017 at 11:42 am in Featured Content.

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