News & Events

Open book with pages coming off like birds in flight
Lenten Offerings

We are highlighting a story Jesus told, or a story told about Jesus’ ministry, focusing on a word or feeling we believe is one way to understand the story. Jesus is a storyteller in the Gospels. Donald Davis, an American storyteller and author, once said, “Storytelling is not what I do for a living – it is how I do all that I do while I am living.” This is true of Jesus as well. In his living and his healing, he used stories to help his followers imagine themselves in them. Imagine how these stories might take flight in our lives. Enter each story through a character or an emotion to better understand how Jesus is speaking to us today.

Tom Heberlein Celebration of Life

Saturday, February 17 | 2:00 p.m. | Sanctuary

A celebration of life for Tom, a scholar, outdoorsman, and champion of rural life, will be held on Saturday, February 17, at 2:00 p.m. in the Sanctuary. The service will be livestreamed. 

Service Livestream

View bulletin

Linda H. Newman Celebration of Life

Sunday, February 18 | 2:30 p.m. | Sanctuary

Linda’s singular, shining life will be celebrated at a memorial service on Sunday, February 18, at 2:30 p.m. in the Sanctuary with a reception to follow. The service will be livestreamed. The link will be available here Sunday afternoon.

Service Livestream

View bulletin

front of First Congregational United Church of Christ
New Member Information Session!

Sunday, February 25 | 11:00 a.m. | Chapel

Are you ready to explore the common life of our congregation and learn more about membership? We invite you to attend a New Member Information Session in the Chapel following Worship on Sunday, February 25. Lunch is provided, and children are welcome.

Together, we will learn about the United Church of Christ and our local congregation, as well as meet others involved in the church. Jeff Rabe, Director of Children and Youth Ministries, will be on hand with activities for the children.

RSVP by Thursday, February 23, so we can plan for lunch and childcare. Email Associate Minister Ann Beaty with questions and to register. 

55 Alive! First Cong Drumming

Wednesday, March 6 | 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. | Chapel

Hear the story of First Cong’s drumming program. The overview includes the impetus of its origins, the mysterious story of securing the drums, and the revelation of how the drumming program enhances the children and youth ministries by teaching community, respect, responsibility, and representation. The program will also explore the history of West African drumming and its transition to the new world. All participants can join in on the music-making!

Register online. RSVP required by Monday, March 4. Boxed lunches are available for $10.00 each. Please Indicate any food restrictions when registering. Email Associate Minister Ann Beaty with any questions.

COVID-iversary: From Closing to Community

Friday, March 15 | 6:00 p.m. | Dining Room

On Friday, March 15, it will be four years since we closed in-person Worship and activities at FCUCC due to the COVID pandemic. We invite you to join us Friday, March 15, at 6:00 p.m. for Covid-iversary: From Closing to Community. Our time together will start with a potluck meal. Do you remember how to do a potluck? Please bring a dish that was popular with you during COVID and include a note about how it helped you survive. Sign up to bring a dish.

A few people share stories about special times during the pandemic. There will be games to play and puzzles to assemble.  Your are encouraged to bring an item that has a special memory from COVID times.

Judith Heumann's book, Being Heumann
Women's Winter Book Study

Saturday: February 10 and 24; March 9 and 23 | 8:30 a.m. | Zoom
First and last sessions will be hybrid, weather permitting

Being Heumann, by Judith Heumann, is a story of fighting to belong in a world not built for everyone and of one woman’s activism to change it. Paralyzed from polio at eighteen months, Judy’s struggle for equality began early in life.  Working with a community of over 150 disabled activists and allies, Judy successfully pressured the Carter administration to implement protections for disabled peoples’ rights, sparking a national movement that led to the creation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. 

Email Associate Minister Ann Beaty if you are interested in joining the group.

Picture of the book, fro-Christian Convention as the fifth founding stream of the United Church of Christ
Afro-Christian Convention as the Fifth Founding Stream of the UCC

Sunday: January 28, February 11 & 25 | 8:30 a.m. ‒ 9:30 a.m. | Chapel 

We are offering a short course on the “Afro-Christian Convention as the fifth founding stream of the UCC” to learn how it widens and deepens our commitment and vision as a denomination and church.

Each session is built on reading material from the book “Afro-Christian Convention: The Fifth Stream of the United Church of Christ,” edited by Yvonne V. Delk. Several copies of the book are available for loan through the church office, or can be purchase through Pilgrim Press. For more information or to reserve a book, please email Associate Minister Ann Beaty.

Typewriter with the typed words "One justice for all."
Seeds of Hope Community Grants

Application deadline: March 1, 2024

Seeds of Hope Social Justice Grants, administered by First Congregational Church of Madison Foundation, are available to community-based organizations, neighborhood groups, cooperatives, non-profits, and faith groups in Dane County working to implement and support innovative programs and initiatives that advance social justice in ways consistent with the United Church of Christ’s missions.

CONNECTIONS

The circles, designed by members, were cut up and connected with other circles to create a piece titled CONNECTIONS. One artist, Nadine Walsten, who used quilted fabric to design her circle, shared “The colors of the fabric represent what First Congo is to me. There’s yellow for the sun and green for our environmental work. The different colors represent the different people of the congregation and the efforts they are working on for justice.” Be sure to check out what other artists used to design their circle. CONNECTIONS can be found in the Garden Entrance Gallery.

Chapel Gallery: WHAT SHOULD I BRING?

Rather than showy performance, or easy purchase, what does God require of those who would follow Jesus? To directly participate in restorative justice; to love and extend God’s mercy and grace; and to “walk with God” in a posture of humility, learning, and servanthood. What is it we bring as an offering of genuine faith?

This fall, Madison artists have responded to this question with artwork at Christ Presbyterian Church, and they have been gracious in agreeing to extend the exhibition to our Chapel Gallery through February. Please take time to witness these answers in visual form and fill your Advent season—and beyond—with thoughtful reflection.

Prayer labyrinth with candle in the middle
Walk the Chapel Prayer Labyrinth

First Sunday of each month | 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. | Chapel

The prayer labyrinth is an archetypal pattern, a “divine imprint,” found in religious traditions in various forms around the world. In recent years, walking a prayer labyrinth has been rediscovered as a meditative way of praying. Unlike a maze, a labyrinth has only one path. It is designed to quiet the mind and lead the walker by a winding route to the center, and then, by the same route, to return to the exit.

The labyrinth is free and open to the public.

pan of cinnamon buns
Just Bakery

Following Worship you can purchase bread and other baked goods from Just Bakery at the back of the Sanctuary! Just Bakery is a 12 week educational and vocational training program. The program works with individuals who are experiencing significant barriers to employment (homelessness, justice involved, lack of education, and/or a lack of work history or skill).

Just Bakery will be with us after Worship on January 28, March 24, May 26, July 28, and September 22.

people enjoying refreshments after worship
After-Worship Refreshment!

Weekly on Sunday (except first Sunday of the month) | 11:00 a.m. | Narthex

Come for Worship, stay for fellowship! Enjoy refreshments after Worship in the Narthex on Sundays with the exception of the first Sunday of the month. It is a great opportunity to connect with church members and friends.

Bible Conversations

Weekly on Tuesday | Noon | Zoom

A weekly discussion group and conversation around Sunday’s scripture reading. The group is currently meeting via Zoom. Drop-in anytime!

If you are interested in attending, please contact Associate Minister Ann Beaty.

A collection of different colored balls of yarn.
Fiber Arts Group

Weekly on Wednesdays | 12:00 p.m. | Hearth Room

Gather with other fiber artists and crafters in the Hearth Room. Bring your knitting, crochet, sewing, or other handmade works-in-process to work on while socializing. Light refreshments will be available, but you are welcome to bring your own lunch or snack.

New to fiber arts? No problem! Contact Melissa Baumann or Jessica Taft to ensure someone is available to teach or guide you.

Environmental Justice Group

2nd Sunday of the month | 12:15 p.m. | Hearth Room and Zoom

Are you interested in knowing more about creation care and advocacy opportunities related to the environment? First Cong’s Environmental Justice group is for you! 

Join the join in making a healthier, brighter, tomorrow!

If interested, contact Associate Minister Ann Beaty.

Men's Fellowship

2nd and 4th Sunday of the month | 8:45 a.m. | Hearth Room and Zoom

If you are interested in small group discussion, this group is for you! A group of men gather monthly to share coffee and fellowship. Typically the discussion is formed around an article on recent event that was distributed in advance. It’s a great forum to get to know one other and engage in contemporary topics from a Christian perspective. 

If you are interested in attending, please contact Associate Minister Ann Beaty.

Caregiver Support Group

Last Sunday of each month | 12:15 p.m. | Zoom

Are you caring for a friend or loved one? Do you anticipate assisting someone in the future with decisions about care? This group offers supportive conversation and opportunities to learn from one another. It is also a great way to get connected to resources available to help.

If you are interested in attending, please contact Associate Minister Ann Beaty.

First Cong History 1990-2022

What do you remember our Church during the years 1990 to 2022? What was important to you during these years? Janet Pugh, Faye Whitaker, and Sue Jones compiled “Snapshot Reflections on the Years From 1990 to 2022.”

Binders of the featured slides from the presentation are available in the office for checkout.

Solar Panel Dedication

On Sunday, February 20, First Cong dedicated the solar panel installation during worship. The project grew from environmental justice discussions. The 61 kW solar array provides about 65% of the church’s electricity – significantly reducing our carbon footprint. The energy savings from switching to solar will go toward local social justice initiatives.