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Youth Mission Trip Report

A group of First Cong High School Youth, accompanied by Ann Beaty and Jeff Rabe, spent a week in St. Louis, MO for their Summer Mission Trip. These annual trips give youth a chance to do service work, explore a new environment, and build community within the group. Eden Seminary was home base for the trip.

Posted on July 26, 2016 at 9:58 am in Featured Content.

What was caught on that Fishin' Trip?

What was caught on that Fishin' Trip?
Fishing is much more than fish. It is the great occasion when we may 
return to the fine simplicity of our forefathers.
Herbert Hoover

Posted on July 19, 2016 at 9:12 am in Featured Content.

Jazz Worship Returns

Last summer we experimented with a Jazz Worship service. By popular demand, Jazz Worship is returning THIS summer! The worship is an informal service lasting about 30-40 minutes. (Even the ministers don't dress up!) The focus of worship is to experience the Holy through a different style of music and liturgy. There are a few familiar parts of liturgy, but there are some additions too. Each week, a member of the church will share a 5 Minute Faith Journey. Last year these proved to be a highlight. The people who shared last year found it fascinating to put their journey into words, and those of us at the service learned new insights into people we thought we knew so well. Communion will be offered each time we worship.

Posted on July 12, 2016 at 9:26 am in Featured Content.

White Priviledge: Let's Talk

In issues of anti-racism, it's important for white folk to do their own work. 
Understand your own spiritual autobiography of racism.  
Understand the cost of privilege. 
Ally-ship doesn't mean you are doing it for their sake. 
You do it for all of us - none of us are free until all of us are free.
Traci Blackmon; Acting Executive Minister of the UCC's 
Justice and Witness Ministries

Posted on July 6, 2016 at 10:58 am in Featured Content.

A Church of "Firsts"

The United Church of Christ is a church of "firsts" 
and I wonder what our next "first" will be?
Cameron Trimble; CEO Center for Progressive Renewal

Posted on June 28, 2016 at 9:09 am in Featured Content.

Go Go Jonah!

A cast of children from First Congregational Church and Madison Christian Community will be presenting the musical GO GO JONAH! in worship this Sunday. The musical shares the story of Jonah's reluctance to follow God's summons to go to Nineveh. Knowing that he would probably not be greeted by the people of Nineveh with welcome arms, Jonah decides to head to the coastal town of Joppa to board a ship headed for Tarshish, which is about as far away from Nineveh as one could get in those days. Jonah soon learns that there is no where you can go that God isn't, a valuable lesson that is still very relevant today.

Posted on June 21, 2016 at 8:44 am in Featured Content.

Gone Fishin'

In order to support our pastoral staff in their ability to provide effective leadership, FCUCC includes a provision for regular sabbaticals (three months of sabbatical for every five years of full-time service). The Executive Council was pleased to approve Eldonna's request for a month of sabbatical this summer, from June 20 to July 17, 2016. Though she had already earned three months of sabbatical by the time she was called as Senior Minister back in 2013, she had postponed using her accumulated leave until the church had a permanent Associate Pastor.

Posted on June 14, 2016 at 9:09 am in Featured Content.

Play is a sign of God's nearness, a mark of fulfilled time.

It's hard for me to believe that summer is right around the corner. But, the calendar will soon turn over to June and the kids will be out of school. Let's play! One source defines play as: "Engaging in activity for enjoyment and recreation, rather than a serious or practical purpose." Play, in the context of the above definition, can be anything that gives us relief from the everyday habits that we get caught up in. This is not to diminish in any way that there are serious issues in our lives and in our world. But, play is a gift from God and one that we sometimes forget as adults. A little "play" can energize us to do the serious work we need to do. At one of the prayer practice check-in sessions, a comment was made that sometimes maybe God is calling us to "lighten it up" a little bit. I translate this to mean these possibilities: Change the pace. Do something for enjoyment. Be spontaneous. Step out of the regular routine. Go outside and breathe in the fresh air. Engage in an activity that feels freeing. 

Posted on May 24, 2016 at 9:15 am in Featured Content.

Four to be Confirmed Sunday

Sunday, May 22nd we will celebrate the rite of Confirmation for four youth at First Congregational. These four students have explored the Bible with Director of Children and Youth, Jeff Rabe. They have experienced exile, parables, studied the Trinity, and the variety of ways we minister in the world today. After their studies, students make a choice to be confirmed into full membership of the church. In addition to their weekly homework, the students write a statement of faith and adorn a stole using symbols of the church. 

Posted on May 17, 2016 at 9:19 am in Featured Content.

Vision & New Members

Vision is the art of seeing the invisible.

Jonathan Swift

We are between two exciting Sundays in the life of the church. This last Sunday we celebrated ten people joining the church. The new members felt First Cong was a "good fit" for them in their spiritual journey and their desire to be part of a community that "walked their talk" concerning issues of social justice. We welcome Emily & Roger Brooks, Kristopher Breister, Cindy Graham, Cassandra Kight, Lawren & Jeremy Lange (Christopher & Lily), Diane Paoni, Stephanie Turner, and Marcia Wirt into membership at First Cong. 

Posted on May 10, 2016 at 9:48 am in Featured Content.

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