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Some Thoughts from Pastor Alana....

posted Aug 25, 2016, 10:48 AM by First Congregational Church United Church of Christ   [ updated Oct 27, 2017, 10:04 AM ]

Happy November,

            Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

           Have you ever thought about how much goes on at this church? As we finish out the month of October and head into November, toward Thanksgiving and Stewardship Sunday, considering the ongoing care of all God has entrusted us with, I can’t help but contemplate all that I am feeling thankful for.

           We’ve been busy and when I say “we” I do mean we. So many seem to be involved in large or small ways in creating the Reign of Christ right here in this church and in Saint Clair.

           Our Missions Team does so much that we might be unaware of~ organizing the many ways we share~ at KIDS and Harbor Impact; restocking our Adams Street Little Food Pantry; staffing or purchasing food for the Ecumenical Food Pantry throughout September, maintaining contact with our two adopted children, preparing for Thanksgiving baskets and Christmas gifts and baskets; beginning to plan travel to Biloxi, Mississippi at the end of October 2018; planning an Everyone’s Birthday Brunch for January where we’ll put together ‘Birthday Boxes’ for foster families and for Harbor Impact; and there’s so much more.

           Trustees, the keeper of the assets of the church, are enjoying the functionality and beauty of the newly done handicapped accessible family restroom after planning, getting quotes, saying yes to and supervising the project. The restroom is gorgeous and we all benefit from it as it points to our desire to be as inclusive as we can be. And now Trustees will turn their attention to the downstairs Women’s Room to freshen it up. This is only a portion of all this committee does. This time of year, a sub team is planning Stewardship messages and a stewardship pot luck as well.

           Christian Education Team kicked off the Church School year and the children are being introduced to a brand-new UCC curriculum that is keyed to the readings being done each week in the worship service. The teachers are all very devoted to teaching the young Christians and are very pleased with the multi-age one room arrangement. Children love the worship portion of Church School, and the excellent and relevant crafts. And the CE team has just brought a Nursery Room Assistance onboard for Robin Gilbert who will soon take a leave to deliver twins.  Also, in the new year the CE Team is planning to hire a Christian Education Director for 8 hours per week. This person will be a CE Student at a college, or a person with Church School and UCC knowledge and experience, who will coordinate all things related to Children’s Ministries with the help of the CE Team members.

           The Worship Team meets monthly to plan all the details of worship from candle oil filling to flower donations to music, to special Christmas Worship services and ecumenical services (The next one is the Weds before Thanksgiving at 7 p.m.).  For the Worship Team, the next Christian season is always just around the corner and they are always ready.

           And let’s not forget choir! Those volunteering to sing during worship provide an enormous gift to us all. Anna provides gifted direction and Denise accompanies the choir with such skill.

           Worship at Mallard’s Landing continues on Third Thursdays at 9:15 a.m. Marge Guinther provides music. This is a blessed ministry that a number of compassionate church members help to provide.

           The Care Team consists of a number of church members who see to checking in on homebound members and friends, sending cards, providing meals and praying for church members. This compassionate group of people that Karen Galvin organizes provides a sacred ministry for the church.

           And Council, of course, pulls all this activity together as Committee Chairs attend Council to share what’s happening in their committees. Council oversees the ministries, vision and staff of the church. Our monthly meetings are fun, interesting and important.

           The Ad hoc Volunteer/ Event Team meets quarterly to talk about events that might be coming up in the next quarter, and considers new ways to involve more people in the ministries of the church.

            Is your head spinning at all that we’re doing? There is so much more going on all the time~  like hosting after church coffee hours, ushering, serving communion,  greeting, and reading during worship as well as helping Julie in the office with technology, Newsletters and bulletin folding.

           Where do you feel most called to share your time and talents?

           As we prepare for Pilgrim Sunday and Stewardship Sunday, both on November 19th, we will enjoy a meal together after worship that Sunday to celebrate our many gifts and one Spirit. Trustees will host this meal and we hope you will be able to attend! You may bring a dish to share, if you’d like to. More information is in this newsletter.

           There is a LOT that goes on behind the scenes at this church. YOU are the ministers here and without your energy and devotion little to nothing would happen. If you have not been involved, but would like to be; if you have taken a breather but are ready to dive in again, please do talk with Bob Rood, the Church Vice Moderator or Deuane Martin, Chair of Trustees or me.  YOU are God’s gift to the church. There is a place for you and there is always something to do, either short term or long term. When you bring YOUR particular gifts, there is that much more that we can offer as we come together to be the Body of Christ in this church, this community and in the world.

Praise God from whom All Blessings Flow!

Pastor Alana