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Straight to the Point: Feb 3, 2017

  • The MOB ministry would like to thank those who have recently contributed dollars and other donations, but there is still a need for more help. Some of the items needed are:
    • Toasters
    • Towels/Washcloths
    • Can openers
    • Clean, sturdy boxes
  • The Missions Committee is sponsoring Souper Bowl Sunday on February 5th to collect funds to support the Siouxland Food Bank.  We all know the needs of our community regarding ample food each day and this is a way we can help!  There will be Missions Committee people collecting money Sunday morning, on February 5th,  before the big Super Bowl game.  Please come prepared to help.

Who do you want to win the Super Bowl, the Patriots or the Falcons?  This Sunday, you can choose with your dollars when the Missions Committee collects Souper Bowl funds to be sent to the Siouxland Food Bank.  Please plan to support this project on Sunday morning.

  • Roberta Pendleton, one of our long time church members, is celebrating her 99th birthday.  The Missions Committee is promoting a birthday card shower for her.  If you would like to send her a birthday card, her address is 2525 Nebraska  St.  Apt. 204, Sioux City, Iowa. 51104.  There will also be a birthday card from the church that you can sign on Sunday.  It will be on the table as you enter church.
  • Registration for Children’s Closet has begun. If you’re interested or if you know someone who might be interested in becoming a seller, please call the office or visit the church website for more information. Please visit this link for more information.
  • Congregation Beth Shalom will be having their Food Bank Back Pack Project in the upcoming months and they’re in need of some volunteers. The volunteers will meet on Wednesday, February 8th at 10:00 am and are usually done around noon, depending on the number of volunteers. If you are interested, please email or call the office.

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Straight to the Point: Jan 28, 2017

  • It’s expensive to train ordained clergy. Sadly, as time has gone on, the burden of paying for clergy education has shifted from the denomination to the student, leaving many members in discernment and pastors deeply in debt. This isn’t a sustainable trend that will lead to a healthy future for the United Church of Christ.

To help address this issue, the Iowa Conference has created an Iowa-wide special offering. This offering is called Funding Future Leadership: Scholarships for Ministry Preparation, and it will be taken this Sunday, January 29, 2017.

If you are interested in contributing to this important special offering, there will be envelopes for that purpose in your bulletin this Sunday.
Thanks in advance for your generous support of future leaders in the United Church of Christ!
  • The Missions Committee is sponsoring a non-perishable food drive for the food pantry at the Gospel Mission during the month of January.  The need continues after the holidays, too, and sometimes the giving slows down.  Please bring your donations this month to help those less fortunate than us.  Containers will be in the Narthex starting January 1.
  • The Missions Committee is sponsoring Souper Bowl Sunday on February 5th to collect funds to support the Siouxland Food Bank.  We all know the needs of our community regarding ample food each day and this is a way we can help!  There will be Missions Committee people collecting money Sunday morning, on February 5th,  before the big Super Bowl game.  Please come prepared to help.
  • Soup Kitchen: Monday, January 30th. We still need several volunteers for the serving and cleanup shift (5-7 pm). Please email office@firstcongregational.net or call 712-239-3385 to sign up. There is also a signup sheet on the Parlor door if you want to sign up this Sunday.

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Straight to the Point: Jan 19, 2017

  • The Missions Committee is sponsoring a non-perishable food drive for the food pantry at the Gospel Mission during the month of January.  The need continues after the holidays, too, and sometimes the giving slows down.  Please bring your donations this month to help those less fortunate than us.  Containers will be in the Narthex starting January 1.
  • Just a reminder that we will be having our Annual Congregational Meeting at 11:45 a.m. on Sunday, January 22nd, following our worship service. Several copies of the meeting packet are available in the Narthex.
  • Soup Kitchen: Monday, January 30th. We need just a few volunteers for the prep shift (2-4 pm) and several volunteers for the serving and cleanup shift (5-7 pm). Please email office@firstcongregational.net or call 712-239-3385 to sign up. There is also a signup sheet on the Parlor door if you want to sign up this Sunday.
  • The Missions Committee has placed a blue box in the parlor for  Hy-Vee Receipts and Box-Tops for Education.  We all seem to collect these items and probably discard them, let’s gather them and give them to a school to get some extra cash for things they don’t have funds for.  Just save your Hy-Vee Receipts and the Box-Tops for Education and put them in the box.  Heidi Vondrak will take them to her school to be combined with others collected there.  This sounds really simple, and it is.  Each of us can do some and together we can do lots.
  •  Items Needed for Children’s & Youth Ministries:  Thank you to those who have brought items! We could still use a large electric water kettle, if you have one you don’t need anymore.
  •  As future voting members, Confirmands will be attending the Annual Meeting after worship this Sunday, Jan 22. We’re asking them to sit with their mentors.
  •  Parents, please take a minute to talk to your son(s) or daughter(s) about what the Annual meeting is all about, and the role of money and giving plays in your own life of faith. You might like to share with them what your family’s practice for tithing/giving is and how you make those decisions.

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Straight to the Point: Jan 5, 2017

  • Refreshments: We still have openings for all of January and February for anyone who would like to volunteer to provide refreshments after our worship services.
  • Pastoral Relations Committee meets on Thursday, January 12 at 7:00.
  • Financial Peace University will begin on Tuesday, January 10th. This is a 9-week course every Tuesday night at 7 pm. The cost for the material is $90. For more information or to enroll, please call 712-239-3385 or email office@firstcongregational.net.
  • Congregation Beth Shalom will be having their Food Bank Back Pack Project in the upcoming months and they’re in need of some volunteers. The volunteers will meet on Wednesday, January 11th at 10:00 am and are usually done around noon, depending on the number of volunteers. If you are interested, please email office@firstcongregational.net.
  • The Missions Committee is sponsoring a non-perishable food drive for the food pantry at the Gospel Mission during the month of January.  The need continues after the holidays, too, and sometimes the giving slows down.  Please bring your donations this month to help those less fortunate than us.  Containers will be in the Narthex starting January 1.
  • Confirmation Website! uccyouthgroup.weebly.com Youth confirmands, parents and mentors, this is for you! This will have all the information you need. There’s info for Mentors, Calendar, Contact info for all the leaders, as well as files such as the lunch calendar and the Confirmation Overview. Please save the link and check back often!
  • Items Needed for Children’s & Youth Ministries:  Electric pencil sharpener, large electric water kettle. If you have any of these that you don’t use anymore, please let Molly know and bring to church. We thought we’d ask before we buy them, in order to stretch our budgets.  Thank you!

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Straight to the Point: Dec 30, 2016

Financial Peace University will begin on Tuesday, January 10th. This is a 9-week course every Tuesday night at 7 pm. The cost for the material is $90. For more information or to enroll, please call 712-239-3385 or email office@firstcongregational.net.

Congregation Beth Shalom will be having their Food Bank Back Pack Project in the upcoming months and they’re in need of some volunteers. The volunteers will meet on Wednesday, January 11th at 10:00 am and are usually done around noon, depending on the number of volunteers. If you are interested, please email office@firstcongregational.net.

The Missions Committee is sponsoring a non-perishable food drive for the food pantry at the Gospel Mission during the month of January. The need continues after the holidays, too, and sometimes the giving slows down. Please bring your donations this month to help those less fortunate than us. Containers will be in the Narthex starting January 1.

Upcoming Important Dates @ FCUCC

Sunday, 1/08        10:30 am – Epiphany Pageant

11: 45 am – Congregational Forum: Budget

Sunday, 1/22        11:45 am – Annual Congregational Meeting

Saturday, 1/28      Center for Progressive Renewal visiting

Sunday, 1/29        Center for Progressive Renewal observing

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Straight to the Point Dec 15, 2016

  • Thank you for everyone who participated in the confirmation blessing this Sunday! Please keep the confirmands in your prayers: Austin Johnson & his mentor John Kiernan; Caleb Miller & his mentor Ryan Vondrak; Eli Miller & his mentor Darrin Johnson; Phoebe Schwerin & her mentor, Carol Wassmuth; as well as the youth leaders: Molly Dowell Baum, Bill & Selena Meacham, and Chad & Laura Stevenson.
  • Confirmation Website! weebly.com Youth confirmands, parents and mentors, this is for you! This will have all the information you need. There’s info for Mentors, Calendar, Contact info for all the leaders, as well as files such as the lunch calendar and the Confirmation Overview. Please save the link and check back often!
  • Confirmation Mentors Confirmands need to have theirMentors review, sign, and return the Confirmation Overview to the church office. Youth & their mentors should meet at least once a month. The conversation starters will be posted on the website on the mentor tab (http://uccyouthgroup.weebly.com/mentors.html).
  • Items Needed for Children’s & Youth Ministries: Electric pencil sharpener, large electric water kettle, colored pencils, small candle snuffer. If you have any of these that you don’t use anymore, please let Molly know and bring to church. We thought we’d ask before we buy them, in order to stretch our budgets.  Thank you.
  • The pastor’s family is all on a gluten-free diet now. This includes any product made with wheat or flour, and many products and recipes have it that you may not suspect. So please support their family in not offering the kids an item unless it is definitely gluten-free. Thank you so much for your understanding and support.
  • Do you have a few hours available twice a month on Tuesdays? MOPS (Mothers of Pre-Schoolers) is a local organization that helps “better moms make a better world.” The MOPS group at St. James is in need of volunteer sitters every other Tuesdayfrom 830-1130am. We especially need help Jan 3, as some schools aren’t started yet. If you can help out one time, or more than once, it would be a blessing to many local moms and kids! contact Molly (712-577-8774 dowell.baum@gmail.com)
  • Just another reminder that we will be having our Christmas Eve worship service on Saturday, December 24th at 5:00 pm. We will also have our regular Sunday worship service the following day, which falls on Christmas Day. If you have Facebook, please click on this link and share our Christmas Eve event with your family and friends.
  • Staff Appreciation: During this Advent season, Church Council will recognize the staff at First Congregational for their outstanding work in 2016. Should members of the community of faith wish to participate in this recognition, envelopes will be available on Sunday, December 18, for you to place your contribution. Then leave it in the collection tray or at the office, please. We all should take this opportunity to personally thank the staff for their contributions to the welcoming environment we enjoy.
  • Christmas Fund: Within the bulletins this Sunday, December 18, you will find an envelope for your donation for the Veterans of the Cross and the Emergency Fund. You can leave it in the collection tray or at the office.
  • Pastor Ryan will be bringing communion to home-bound people in the upcoming weeks. If you know someone who would want this service, please email Ryan at pastor@firstcongregational.net.
  • Financial Peace University will begin on Tuesday, January 10th. This is a 9-week course every Tuesday night at 7 pm. The cost for the material is $90. For more information or to enroll, please call 712-239-3385or email office@firstcongregational.net. You can also visit their website for a detailed description by clicking on this link.
  • Breaking Bread: Join us for warm food, good conversation, and Holy Communion. Come to experience an hour or two of peaceful and friendly company. Breaking Bread will be held at Jackson Street Brewing, located at 607 5th St, on December 11th and 18th at 6:30 pm.

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Straight to the Point Dec 8, 2016

  • The Sanford Community Center is hosting a TexMex Taco Feed & Silent Auction on Saturday, December 10th from 5 pm to 8 pm at 1700 Geneva Street. The food will be provided by Rudy Navarrete’s Mexican Food and tickets are $10 each. For more information, please call 252-0581.
  • The Missions Committee is grateful for your participation in The Giving Tree project to benefit clients of Siouxland Mental Health. Please return your wrapped presents by Sunday, December 18. Also, there are still a few clients who don’t have gifts. Please consider giving to this wonderful project. Many thanks!
  • If anyone has a good TV that they want to get rid of, we will take them. Welcome Home can use them with their clients. John Kiernan will even come and pick them up if need be.
  • We will be having our Christmas Eve worship service on Saturday, December 24th at 5:00 pm. We will also have our regular Sunday worship service the following day, which falls on Christmas Day. If you have Facebook, please click on this link and share our Christmas Eve event with your family and friends. 
  • Financial Peace University will begin on Tuesday, January 10th. This is a 9-week course every Tuesday night at 7 pm. The cost for the material is $90. For more information or to enroll, please call 712-239-3385 or email office@firstcongregational.net. You can also visit their website for a detailed description by clicking on this link
  • Breaking Bread: Join us for warm food, good conversation, and Holy Communion. Come to experience an hour or two of peaceful and friendly company. Breaking Bread will be held at Jackson Street Brewing, located at 607 5th St, on December 11th and 18th at 6:30 pm. 

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Straight to the Point Dec 1, 2016

Confirmation 2016-17
Youth have already been meeting weekly Sundays from Noon-2pm. More confirmation-specific activities are forthcoming, including an overnight retreat Dec 9-10, a dedication in worship Dec 11, and then eventually the Rite of Confirmation in late April.  Any youth (8th-12th grades) who are interested in confirmation but have not yet joined us, please let us know asap! Contact the church office, or Molly at molly.dowell.baum@gmail.com or 712-577-8774.
 
Confirmation Mentors needed!
Get ready…Youth Confirmands will be selecting their own mentors to journey with them for the next several months toward the Rite of Confirmation in late April. Please prayerfully consider this opportunity. We’ll have a special Dedication during worship Sunday Dec 11 at which we hope all mentors and confirmands will be present. If you have questions or want to volunteer as a mentor, contact Molly at molly.dowell.baum@gmail.com or 712-577-8774Don’t be surprised if a youth asks you…
 

Women of First Congregational UCC are invited to a morning Christmas brunch at the home of Wendy Lego. The date is Thursday, December 8th at 9:30 a.m. Hosted by the book club, we invite you to bring your appetites as well! For more information, please contact the office at office@firstcongregational.net or call 712-239-3385.

The Sanford Community Center is hosting a TexMex Taco Feed & Silent Auction on Saturday, December 10th from 5 pm to 8 pm at 1700 Geneva Street. The food will be provided by Rudy Navarrete’s Mexican Food and tickets are $10 each. For more information, please call 252-0581.

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Straight to the Point Nov 17, 2016

On Sunday, 11/20, we will be celebrating Stewardship Sunday.  During the service, we will be provided the opportunity to turn in our pledge cards for the coming year.  As you prepare for this decision, I ask you to consider the following information:
    2017 plans include:
  • Expanded Christian Education program (including Confirmation, Youth Group trip and expanded Godly Play)
  • Dedicated staff to continue to support the programs and ministries of our church
  • Completion of Phase I of our remodeling efforts
  • Furthering our mission work in the church and our community
  • Providing an all-inclusive worship experience

If we all increase our commitment financially to the Church in 2017, we will incorporate all the above in our budget and plan.  Without your participation, something will have to be eliminated.  Help us NOT have to make that decision.

Thank you for your prayerful consideration.
Barb Knepper & the Church Council
Please consider supporting the Johnson family as they seek to adopt their great niece, Pia, who they’ve been raising since birth. Pia is 18 months and you may have seen her toddling around our building. This is the family of Payton & Deanna, the young women who serve our church family as nursery assistants. They need to raise $600 in legal fees by Nov 30. Check out their story and donate online at: http://www.gofundme.com/adoption-fees-for-pia
Or make checks out to Jessica Johnson & leave in the office. Thanks for considering helping this family that is always helping others!

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Straight to the Point Nov 9, 2016

  • The Moving-On-Box Ministry Team (MOB) would like to thank our FCUCC congregation for your generous response to the ‘Treat-for-Treats’ Coffee Fellowship we hosted last Sunday. The shelves in the MOB room upstairs are much better stocked for future needs. Your continued support is more appreciated than we can adequately communicate. Some members were asking if monetary donations are acceptable. The answer is ‘YES’~just make a notation that you want your cash or check to go to the MOB budget. We will occasionally post MOB needs in the Straight-to-the-Point communication also.
    Thank you,
    the MOB Team

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Straight to the Point Nov 1, 2016

  • Our traditional annual Thanksgiving feast will be after worship on Sunday, November 20.  Everyone is welcome, but reservations are a must in order to plan for seating and quantities of food.  Please make your reservations no later than Thursday, November 17.
    The following items will be furnished:  turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, gravy, rolls and butter, water, coffee
    Beginning Sunday, October 30, there will be sign-up sheets in the narthex for the following items:
        1.  Reservations
        2.  Side dishes, salads, desserts, milk
        3.  Clean-up
  • WE DID IT!!  Thanks to all of our members and friends for your pledges which met our financial goal of $40,000 for Phase 1 of the Remodeling Project!
    In fact we exceeded the goal and raised $43,000!!!!  Many thanks to everyone for helping make these improvements possible.  Construction continues and we are all anxious to see its completion. 
  • Rich Pleva will be joining us at First Congregational on Sunday, November 6. He’ll be preaching during worship (something he’s been planning on doing anyway as a thank you for our being one of the Conference’s top OCWM givers) and after worship will facilitate a follow-up conversation to the September 25th Congregational Forum.
  • There is still an opening for a volunteer or volunteers to provide refreshments for this Sunday, November 6th. If you’re interested, you can email office@firstcongregational.net or call 712-239-3385 to let us know.

 

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Striaght to the Point Oct 27, 2016

  • Just another reminder that the Moving-on-Box Ministry Team is hosting Coffee Fellowship on Sunday, October 30. No tricks involved, but we are asking our church members to ‘treat’ our ministry by bringing an item or two to help restock the shelves in the MOB room upstairs. Big or small, all donations are appreciated. Some suggested items include:
    •  Bath towels/wash cloths
    • Bar soap
    • Kleenex/Toilet paper/Paper towels
    • Dish soap/cleaning supplies
    • 2- and 3- quart saucepans
    • Fry pans
    • Toasters
    • Dishes
    • Crock pots
    • Mixing bowls
    • Cookie sheets/Cake pans
  • Rich Pleva will be joining us at First Congregational on Sunday, November 6. He’ll be preaching during worship (something he’s been planning on doing anyway as a thank you for our being one of the Conference’s top OCWM givers) and after worship will facilitate a follow-up conversation to the September 25th Congregational Forum.

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Straight to the Point Oct 19, 2016

  • We definitely need volunteers for the Soup Kitchen on Monday, October 24th. We need just a few volunteers for the prep shift (2-4 pm) and several volunteers for the serving and cleanup shift (5-7 pm). This is for a very good cause for only a few hours of your time and it was very inspiring to see all of the great volunteers the last time at the Soup Kitchen. Please email office@firstcongregational.net or call 712-239-3385 to sign up. There is also a signup sheet on the Parlor door if you want to sign up this Sunday.
  • The Moving-on-Box Ministry Team is hosting Coffee Fellowship on Sunday, October 30. No tricks involved, but we are asking our church members to ‘treat’ our ministry by bringing an item or two to help restock the shelves in the MOB room upstairs. Big or small, all donations are appreciated. Some suggested items include:
    •  Bath towels/wash cloths
    • Bar soap
    • Kleenex/Toilet paper/Paper towels
    • Dish soap/cleaning supplies
    • 2- and 3- quart saucepans
    • Fry pans
    • Toasters
    • Dishes
    • Crock pots
    • Mixing bowls
    • Cookie sheets/Cake pans

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Straight to the Point Sep 29, 2016

  • Construction is well on its way in the Atrium, stairway and first floor restroom areas.  We are excited to announce that we are almost to the $40,000 goal through the pledges of many of our members and friends.  PLEASE help us with the rest—- we would appreciate your commitment by Oct 2nd! THANK YOU TO ALL!
  • The amount donated by our church to the Sanford Center’s Board Room Project was $1,225. Thanks to everyone who donated.
    • Dick Owens
  • We still need volunteers for both the Rummage Sale and Children’s Closet.  There will be sign-up sheets in the church for worker shifts that still need to be filled. You can also call Jan Nowlen at 490-5328 to volunteer at the Rummage Sale or Shane at 239-3385 to volunteer at Children’s Closet.
  • We will not be having post-worship refreshments this Sunday (Oct 2nd) because Children’s Closet is being set up in the Fellowship Hall and Parlor.

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Straight to the Point Sep 16, 2016

  • Sunday School and Construction: Construction has begun and we’re all very excited about it, but that means that our staircase is gone, for the time being. That also means that anyone taking their children to Sunday School will have to go to the upper level parking lot to drop them off and pick them up.
  • A note from Barb Knepper: The remodeling project (updating the first floor bathrooms and redoing the atrium and stairway) is underway!  We have also begun the campaign to solicit financial support from the congregation and we look forward to YOUR pledge towards this project.  Please prayerfully consider your support of this effort and turn in your pledge card to the church office BY SEPTEMBER 18.  Thank you!
  • Children’s Closet and the Rummage Sale are FAST approaching. We would love to have as many volunteers as possible. Every Wednesday evening (6:30 pm-8:00 pm) is a Rummage Sale work night to help organize all of the rummage items. As for the week that Children’s Closet is held, there will be a signup sheet in the church this Sunday (or you can also email  your availability to office@firstcongregational.net).
  • The Church Revitalization Forum has been moved from this upcoming Sunday, to next Sunday, Sept 25th. The forum will begin immediately following worship service (worship 10:30 am, forum 11:45 am). Pastor Ryan will email a memo further describing the church revitalization plans early next week.

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Straight to the Point Sep 6, 2016

  • Just another reminder that every Wednesday evening, 6:30 to 8:00, in the month of September will be a rummage sale work night.
  • There is still time to register as a seller for Children’s Closet this year. Registration has been extended to Sept 16th and I strongly encourage you to tell anyone who might want to become a seller about it. Not only can a seller make a lot of money, they’re also helping families in need get affordable clothing for their children and helping the community by the donations that the church gives to local organizations.
  • The remodeling project (updating the first floor bathrooms and redoing the atrium and stairway) is underway! We have also begun the campaign to solicit financial support from the congregation and we look forward to YOUR pledge towards this project. Please prayerfully consider your support of this effort and turn in your pledge card to the church office BY SEPTEMBER 15. Thank you!
  • You are invited to attend “Listening for Grace,” at Moc-Floyd Valley High School in Orange City from 7 pm to 10pm, on Wednesday, Sept 14th. Please click in this link for more information.

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Straight to the Point Aug 30, 2016

  • Rummage sale work nights will be each Wednesday night from 6:30 to 8:00.  We can use lots of help and know that we will see many of you there.  As a reminder to those who are making donations, please remember things need to be clean.  We also are not able to take clothes and this year we can’t take TV sets either.
    Duane Hoffmeyer has offered to pick up larger items that you may have so please contact direct to get those items to church.
    Thanks to everyone for helping to make this another successful rummage.
  • The office will be closed for the next two days because Shane will be out of town.

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Straight to the Point Aug 24, 2016

  • The first Rummage work night will be Wednesday, August 24 at 6:30. We will be setting up tables and moving things from the rummage storage room after the tables are up. If you have any questions, please contact Jan Nowlen or Pam Ridgway.
  • The MOB group would like to share some thoughts:
    • Thank you for continued support of our church’s Moving-On Box ministry, particularly paper products brought in recently.
    • That 18 boxes have been distributed to our partner agencies in June/July/August
    • Immediate needs include sets of towels, can openers, and boxes of tissues
  • This is a reminder that you are encouraged to donate to the Sanford Center’s remodeling of the Sanford Center’s library. It will be used in part for meetings and will be named the George Boykin’s Meeting Room. I am hoping we can raise about what we normally did for the car wash which normally was $1000-$1200 after expenses. I will not be at the Opportunity Table this coming Sunday but this will be controlled by Jerrod Kiernan.  Please make your checks out to the Sanford Center.  If you are not coming to church, please send or drop off your donations at the church.  I appreciate very much your support of the Sanford Center. Thanks. Dick Owens.
  • Aug 28th, 7 pm: Yoga in the Park for CSADV, hosted by Evolve at the Anderson Dance Pavilion. Our ministries help CSADV by donating our time, items and money to create Moving On Boxes for the survivors of assault and violence. Going to Yoga in the Park is another way to contribute and get the added health benefit of yoga. It’s a free will donation and all proceeds will be forwarded to CSADV. For more information, please click on the link.

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Straight to the Point Aug 11, 2016

  • Please Join us! Friday, Aug 26
    Special Godly Play Event.
    5:30pm Dinner. 6pm Presentation with Q&A.
    RSVP to the office by Tuesday Aug 22.
    Godly Play training for teachers will commence the following day, Sat Aug 27, 8:30am-3pm
  • This Sunday, we have an opening for anyone who would like to provide refreshments after worship. If you’re interested, please email office@firstcongregational.net as soon as possible.
  • Just a quick reminder that our new committees are still in need of members. This week, the Worship Committee is being featured. Again, we ask that you consider how you may be able to contribute to a committee and help strengthen our church and community.

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Straight to the Point August 4, 2016

  • Moving On Boxes: We could really use your help with MOB supplies. Our volunteers are running low on paper towels, toilet paper and Kleenex. Feel free to drop off any supplies next to the MOB display by the atrium or at the office. This is a wonderful program that helps many women and children who are starting over.
  • Children’s Closet is just around the corner. Registration is now open and I strongly encourage you to tell anyone who might want to become a seller about it. Not only can a seller make a lot of money, they’re also helping families in need get affordable clothing for their children and helping the community by the donations the church gives to local organizations.
  • Office Closed: The office will be closed Monday and Tuesday, Aug 8th and 9th, because the Administrator will be out of town. Shane will still be checking his work email daily, so feel free to communicate as usual.
  • Our church library has quite the selection. Our librarian, Wendy Lego, has been kind enough to provide mini book descriptions for some of the new books our library has to offer. An email has been sent out to our congregation with the book descriptions. If you have any questions, feel free to email office@firstcongregational.net.

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Godly Play Teachers Needed

We still need two or three people to join our teaching team for the children’s Godly Play class Sunday mornings. The commitment is 1-3 weeks/month and scheduling is flexible and based on the teacher’s needs. Please prayerfully consider whether this ministry might be for you or someone you know.

Godly Play Fellowship Event

Mark your calendars and plan to attend on Friday, Aug 26th at 5:30 p.m. for a special Godly Play fellowship event! Dinner at 5:30 followed by a program at 6:00 p.m. The regional Godly Play trainer, Susan Mallison, from St. Paul, will be leading it. She will present one of the sacred stories, then share more about Godly Play and answer questions. All ages are encouraged to attend. The following day, Saturday, Aug 27th, the Godly Play team will spend the day with Susan for additional training.

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Straight to the Points July 18, 2016

  • Thank you to those who have signed up for the Soup Kitchen, so far. We still have a need for volunteers for the 5 to 7 pm shift on Monday, July 25th. This is considered the serving and cleaning shift, so we need the most volunteers for it. Any help is greatly appreciated.
  • Another thank you to the members who have stepped up to serve refreshments after worship, especially when it’s last minute. We still have several openings for volunteers though. We have next Sunday open, in particular, and several Sunday’s in August and September as well.
  • A message from Molly Dowell Baum:
    • Influencing the Mission and Vision of the UCC National Setting: General Minister and President of the UCC, John Dorhauer, is working very intently on sharpening the focus and function of the national setting of our denomination. He is seeking wide input into this process. To that end, your input as leader in one of the conferences is eagerly sought. When you complete the survey, you find introductory language and links to study materials for the survey. Molly Dowell Baum is on the Board of our Conference– the Iowa Conference of the UCC– and she is willing to gather a group to study these questions and then offer input. Please email Molly.Dowell.Baum@gmail.com if you’re interested in this. Or follow the link and take the survey yourself! Here’s the link: https://www.research.net/r/UCCPurposeMission

Straight to the Points July 11, 2016

  • We need volunteers for the Siouxland Soup Kitchen. There are two shifts (2 to 4 and 5 to 7) and it takes place July 25th. Fill free to email office@firstcongregational.net, or sign your name on the volunteer sheet located in the Parlor.
  • Speaking of volunteering, there are several Sundays available for those who would like to provide refreshments for our congregation. Currently, we don’t have anyone for this upcoming Sunday, July 17th. Any help is truly appreciated. Please email the office if you can provide refreshments this Sunday.
  • Last Sunday, the church held a Special Congregational Meeting. The congregation voted unanimously to approve both the proposal to extend the bylaw suspension as well as the funding for the stairwell and restroom renovations.

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Below are three links to show the renovation project for the main floor restrooms and staircase of the church. In the first link (Demo), the dotted lines indicate the removal of fixtures and walls as well as the staircase and the surrounding planted section. The blueprints in the second link (Renovation), show the new design. Both restrooms are ADA compliant and the stairwell will have a much safer staircase and a lift that will have the capacity to carry two people. In the final link (Material Options), the pictures simply show  the different materials that can be used. All materials are durable and considered earth tone colors, which tend to be more neutral.

The estimate provided by Fischer Construction for material and labor is $125,000 for both the stairwell and restroom renovation. The church council recommends funding this project by using $100,000 from the church endowment and raising the remaining $25,000 through donations.

Demo

Renovation

Material Options

Straight to the Point(s) July 6, 2016

  • We will be volunteering at the Siouxland Soup Kitchen on July 25th. We have positions open for prep shifts 2-4 pm and serving/clean-up shifts 5-7 pm. The sign up sheet is on the door in the parlor or you can email the office to fill in your name.
  • The Sanford Center is finishing up their summer school program the end of next week. The donations of snacks and juice have been wonderful. We are asking for any final donations of food so the kids can finish summer school in a great way. Just drop off any donations at the church and we’ll take them there. Again, thank you so much for your help.

 

Straight to the Point(s) June 28, 2016

  • The Sanford Center’s summer school program could still use some more snacks and juice. We’ve helped tremendously over the past couple weeks, but they still have a little over two weeks left. Let’s give these kids enough food to have a great finish to their summer school.
  • Communion will not be this Sunday, on July 3rd, as it usually is on the first Sunday of every month. Instead, communion will take place on July 10th, after Pastor Ryan comes back.
  • Just another reminder that there will be a Special Congregational Meeting on July 10th, 2016. The meeting will begin immediately following worship service. We will be discussing building renovations as well as matters of suspending, revising and updating church bylaws.
  • One more reminder is that we still need volunteers to provide refreshments after worship. Currently, we don’t have anybody for this Sunday, July 3rd. Please email or call the office if you can help and I fully encourage our parishioners to look at the signup sheets in the parlor and volunteer for an open Sunday. Everyone is very appreciative for those who help. Thank you, in advance.

Straight to the Point(s) June 20, 2016

  • The Sanford Center could still really use our help with their summer school program by sending them more snacks and juice for their youth. Dick Owens mentioned in church a need for juice, in particular. It goes pretty fast, especially when you take into consideration that it’s for 30 kids. You can drop off your donation of snacks and juice at our church between 9:00 am and 4:00 pm, this Monday through Thursday, or at the Sanford Center.
  • Another quick reminder about post-worship refreshments. We still have most of July and August open for anyone who would like to provide our Sunday refreshments. Please feel free to call or email the church office so your name can be filled in.
  • There will be a Special Congregational Meeting on July 10th, 2016. The meeting will begin immediately following worship service. We will be discussing building renovations as well as matters of suspending, revising and updating church bylaws.
  • My prayer for Orlando is – action for peace, problem solving and hope. –forgiveness and healing for family and friends of the victims. – healing and that Congress could agree upon and pass some meaningful gun control legislation, especially pertaining to assault weapons. –that all assault rifles will be made into scrap metal. –for those who are hurting and wondering and for the family of the shooter. –that love will win! –that the city will feel peace in their hearts but I also pray that some justice will occur in the form of gun control in our country. –for an end to hate. –that America learns from this and God keeps something like it from happening again. –that love will prevail among the sadness and feelings of loss. –healing and peace. –that they are our brothers and sister and that they are loved. –hope, love, peace. –that families heal. –to know that we as Christians will love all and will comfort the bereaved in Orlando, elsewhere and in our community. –for the Lord to bless and comfort those hurting. –for our Heavenly Father to open the eyes and hearts of those who think you want them to hate their brothers and sisters. –for them to know that we are sending our support and love to you. –to know that God will take the terrible, awfulness of this massacre with its hate, death and tragedy and transform it into a witness for love, mercy and care that is your way.

Straight to the Point(s) June 6, 2016

  • Just a friendly reminder to our congregation; we still have June 26th open for anyone who would like to provide refreshments after Sunday worship. Also, all Sundays in July and August are still open as well.
  • Wednesday, June 8th- 10:00 a.m. Prayer & Reflection Group meeting
  • Sunday, June 12th- Benefit for Tim Vondrak- A free will pancake & sausage breakfast and silent & dessert auction on June 12th from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Kissinger Community Center in Merrill, IA. An account has been setup in Tim’s name at Iowa Prairie Bank- Merrill, IA. 712-938-2556

Straight to the Points(s) May 31, 2016

  • On behalf of our congregation, I would like to thank Rev. Lucinda Douglas for her sermon last Sunday while Pastor Ryan was on vacation. It was a lovely service and we’re glad that she could fill in. Also, we’re very thankful to have Karin Bjorge Swanson and Trina Swanson to play the Oboes and Trina to play the violin as well.
  • For those interested who enjoyed the music last Sunday, Trina Swanson will be performing her Senior Recital on Saturday, June 4th from 2-3 p.m. at Central Baptist Church. All are welcome!
  • It’s time to think about bringing all of the goodies for the Sanford Center’s summer school program. Like we have done previously, the need is for juice, cereal, chips, cookies and snacks of all kinds. Please bring the goodies to the church or drop off at the Center. Dick Owens will pick up the items brought to the church this coming Tuesday or Wednesday. Thank you.

Straight to the Point(s) May 23, 2016

  • Thursday, May 26th- The City of Sioux City will be having a meeting at First Congregational from 5:00 to 6:00 p.m. The purpose of this meeting is to provide information about the 46th St. reconstruction project that will begin later this year.
  • Saturday, May 28th- The Mayflower United Church of Christ has announced that they will be having a Free Community Breakfast Event on Saturday, May 28th, 2016. All are welcome!

Straight to the Point(s) May 16, 2016

  • Monday, May 16- You are all invited to celebrate and to be thankful and to prayer.  The congregation of the Nixa (MO) Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) has called Colin Douglas to be the pastor, and Colin has accepted the call.  Colin’s tenure has no end date and begins on July 5, 2016   Please keep Colin, his spouse April Horinek Douglas, and their son Roland in your prayers, and likewise their congregations in Othello, WA, as they say goodbye and in Nixa as they say hello..  The move will happen in June.
  • Wednesday, May 18- For Pentecost, Pastor Ryan had us write down our gift of the Spirit. I suggest reading through and seeing some of the wonderful attributes many members of our congregation possess.
    • My gift of the Spirit is– love and kindness to others. -helping my fellow man. -creativity and artistry. -leadership. -to serve the Lord. -acceptance. -teaching. -creative ideas for worship and church meetings. -music and volunteering. -thirst for God. -my friendship. -community service. -openness to others. -kindness. -yoga. -caring. -love for others. -advocacy. -empathy for those around me. -music. -pastoral care. -speaking truth. -sharing nature. -singing glory to God. -helping. -noticing details. -my faith and love. -compassion. -justice.

Ø  May 15 – Wear red this coming Sunday for Pentecost. Thanks.  Lois Darrow

Straight to the Point(s) May 9, 2016

Ø  Monday, May 9 – Karolyn leaving at 11:30a

Ø  Tuesday, May 10 – 7:00 pm – Pastoral Relations Team Meeting

Ø  Thursday, May 12 – 9:30 am – Book Club

Ø  Sunday, May 15 Farewell Reception for Karolyn

May 10 – Cool Beans this Thurs, 1:30 @ Pierce St. Coffeeworks

Straight to the Point(s) May 3, 2016

Ø  As many of you know, our church administrator position is being expanded to 30 hours/week, requiring us to say farewell to Karolyn Plunkett, who has served us diligently and faithfully for almost four years. Karolyn’s last day in the FCUCC office will be Thursday, May 12, and we will be recognizing and celebrating her time with us in worship on Sunday, May 15, followed by a Farewell Reception in the Fellowship Hall.  Please join us on the 15th to say farewell to Karolyn and to celebrate the blessing she has been to our faith community.

Ø  Correction for Pastoral Relations Team Meeting. It will be held the second Tuesday of the month. Next meeting will be on Tuesday, May 10 at 7:00 pm

May 5 – Cool Beans this Thurs, 1:30 @ Pierce St. Coffeeworks

2016 Proposed Budget and Proposed Mayflower

2016 Budget Worksheet

January 31 – Annual Meeting after worship

The 2016 Proposed Budget and Proposed Mayflower will be in another packet available later this week.

2015 Annual Meeting Reports First Congregational United Church of Christ dec2015endowment dec2015memgifts