Featured Content

Pentecost? What's That?

This Sunday we will celebrate Pentecost in worship. It is appropriate to wear red, because it is a day of celebration. Matter of fact, I encourage you to wear red, to set the tone for the day. Below are excerpts from a blog written by Rev. Dr. Mark D. Roberts. I hope it answers some of the common questions about Pentecost, and provides an avenue of understanding the celebratory day in the church. Come Sunday to find out what the Holy Spirit might have in store for each of us!

                                                       ~ Eldonna Hazen


Posted on May 19, 2015 at 11:39 am in Featured Content.

Confirmation -- another opportunity!

This Sunday we will have two opportunities. The first opportunity is to be a part of the Confirmation of five of our First Congregational family. The second opportunity is to think back on our own Confirmation. As we think about our own Confirmation, we have the chance to evaluate what we learned, or what we didn’t learn. While evaluating, we can ask some questions of ourselves. How has our faith developed or changed? What has become clearer or more confusing in our own theology?


Posted on May 12, 2015 at 10:02 am in Featured Content.

Two Great Opportunities for our Community

We are excited to have a well-regarded, award winning musician come to First Congo to play for us! Bobby Jo Valentine performs his “hopeful folk/pop music” in an intimate, acoustic performance at 7:00pm on May 13.  Let’s give Bobby Jo a real First Congo welcome by setting aside this evening as an opportunity to be together in fellowship and enjoy some excellent songwriting and music that has received glowing reviews in the music industry.  


Posted on May 5, 2015 at 10:11 am in Featured Content.

From Madison to Kenya via Leigh Vierstra

This Sunday First Congregational will have a great opportunity to hear about PA-MOJA, a project that connects people and wildlife. More importantly, it is connecting students from East High School in Madison to Malek Secondary in Laikipia, Kenya. Leading the program for East High School is our very own Leigh Viersta.  Many of you remember Leigh as a child of First Cong, but she has also been supported by First Cong in her personal growth. In 2006 Leigh traveled to the Marshall Islands, as a teacher. You might remember Leigh brought back baskets as a gift to the church. We use these baskets to collect our offering the first Sunday of every month, which we will be using this Sunday. It is our honor to promote this adventure of learning for youth in the PA-MOJA Project.


Posted on April 28, 2015 at 10:32 am in Featured Content.

Love One Another

“Many of us follow the commandment 'Love One Another.' 
When it relates to caregiving, we must love one another with boundaries.
 We must acknowledge that we are included in the 'Love One Another.”
~ Peggi Speers, The Inspired Caregiver: Finding Joy While Caring for Those You Love

Posted on April 14, 2015 at 10:59 am in Featured Content.

Is Easter Over?

When we celebrate Christmas, we follow with the twelve days of Christmas. Even moving ahead to Epiphany, we talk about the magi experiencing the birth of Jesus. Then we move from the birth, a little bit of childhood, and forge into Jesus’ ministry. We can get a few days, or even a week out of Christmas. What about Easter? Is it a one and done Sunday? After Jesus has risen, what is there to talk about?


Posted on April 7, 2015 at 1:15 pm in Featured Content.

Holy Week 2015

We have celebrated Palm Sunday, hearing how the people ran to meet Jesus on his entry into Jerusalem. We are entering into a week that would seem very dark in how we have originally thought of darkness. But within this darkness we will learn new things about Jesus, his message, and how it will not only affect us, but the role we can play in carrying out this message. What if we entered this week searching for the ways we can find growth in our own understanding of what Easter morning will mean to us, rather than being mentally beaten down by the perceived darkness of Holy Week? Come and experience ALL of Holy Week.


Posted on March 31, 2015 at 9:23 am in Featured Content.

Reflections on in the midst of . . dark and light

During this Lenten series, in the midst of . . . dark and light, we have been examining the ways we experience dark and light.  Not only have we been using the sermons, but we have read books, sang hymns, and viewed dark/light through liturgy, art and poetry. Each of us sees the benefits and challenges of dark and light through different eyes. I have asked the other clergy and a few members to reflect on what this series has meant to them before we enter Palm Sunday and Holy Week.                      

 ~ Eldonna Hazen


Posted on March 24, 2015 at 11:17 am in Featured Content.

Processing Space Conversation

This last Sunday we offered a “Processing Space” after worship for youth and adults to have a safe space to share emotions following the shooting of Tony Robinson. We began and ended the time with prayer and Biblical text. The scripture used was Micah 6:6-8. 

With what shall I come before God, and bow myself before God on high?

Shall I come before God with burnt offerings, with calves a year old?

Will God be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousands of rivers of oil?

Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?

God has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does God require of you

but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

First Congregational is a justice-driven church, but the foundation of working for and toward justice are the two bottom pieces of the triangle: love kindness and walking humbly with God. 


Posted on March 17, 2015 at 10:05 am in Featured Content.

Pain Strikes Madison

This last Friday night Tony Robinson, a teenager, was killed in a confrontation with a police officer. There are many stories swirling about the incident and we will have to wait for an investigation to understand the circumstances of the death. In the meantime, our city has been turned upside down with fear, anger, and grief. There are many people who need to be held in our prayers: the family of Tony Robinson, the family of Matt Kenny, the Madison Police Department and their families, neighbors of the Robinsons and the community in general. I shared the following statement in worship on Sunday:


Posted on March 10, 2015 at 10:18 am in Featured Content.

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