T O U C H S T O N E  -  A  M i d W e e k  B u l l e t i n

First Sunday In Lent
Our Core Values: 
Spiritual Growth. Welcome. Justice-seeking

                  March 5, 2017                      


Much fun was had at our Shrove Sunday event! Congrats
to Dana who won the king cake! Shrove pancake eating and
festivities mark the  days just before Lent begins on
March 1st this year for 40 days. 

Reflections on Sunday Worship . . . 
Who Draws The Lines?
Matthew 4:1-11
The First Sunday in Lent our text is the temptation of Jesus in the wilderness - an opportunity for the Gospel writers to show that Jesus is defined and driven by God's purpose and God's Will! Each of us have been formed by different forces - our family of origin, our life experiences, our hardships and our friends - and perhaps by our faith. In a reflection entitled "Who Draws The Lines?" we will consider who gives us our marching orders in life - how we are shaped by our work, our associations, and our choices - and how the season of Lent and our study book for the season Our God Is Undocumented provide opportunities for us to find how God's purpose may be woven into our own lives! Come join us for worship in the Chapel at 10AM and music from our children and Connie Washburn!
                                                                                                Rev. John H. Pomeroy

Also this Sunday:

Our church school children will be introducing Lent for us this Sunday through word and song. Carol Lisek will be joining them on drum and Music Director Connie Washburn on piano. Children are asked to come early at 9:15 to practice their parts. Connie and our choir will be leading us in some beautiful chants during the prayer time throughout Lent. These chants are written from the perspective of Celtic Christianity which lifts up images of God as the light within us and with a strong reverence for the earth.

The Women's Scholarship Committee will have a brief meeting after coffee hour to plan for this year's women's scholarship.  See article below and save the date of May 20th for our 2nd Annual Scholarship Tea where our scholarships will be awarded.

Ideas for Lent 
Some of you have wondered what you might do for the 40 days of Lent. There are many choices, but the real question is, what would make you feel closest to God and would help cultivate your love of another during the next 40 days? Our spiritual practices are meant to do both of those things. So as you decide what to "give up" or fast from, ask yourself how that fasting will result in your spiritual growth or generosity toward others. Fasting, prayer and almsgiving (caring for the poor) are the traditional categories of Lent. We invite you to select something to practice, write it down and post it where you can see it daily, and walk your Lenten path with great intention this year.

Here are some ideas that might inspire you:
Fasting - give up negative talk, give up an unhealthy food or activity, refrain from shopping or eating out, turn off your technology for a block of time each day or night and enjoy the company of others. etc. Don't feel denial but rather revel in the enjoyment of doing something differently.

Prayer - commit to 5 minutes of daily meditation or prayer. Make a list of people you intend to pray for throughout Lent. Find a book of prayers and read one intentionally each day. Write down 3 things you are grateful for each day and give thanks to God for those things. Pick a psalm or two and recite it daily till you memorize it.

Almsgiving - bring cereal boxes and canned protein to church for Friends in Deed food pantry. Clean out your closet and bring used men's clothes to the office to be given to homeless men being released from County Hospital.  Come with us on the Water Walk on March 25th and be intentional about your water use.  Reach out to someone who is in need and offer your time to them once a week.  Volunteer to serve a meal for Union Station on Monday March 6th, or Monday April 3rd and join a permanent team.  

We are gathering boxes of cereal all Spring for Friends in Deed food pantry. Please bring in boxes to worship each week.


Worship Leaders
Rev. John H. Pomeroy
Rev. Marlene W. Pomeroy 
Aren Burd
Julie Burd
Peter Keller
Brian Brandenburg

Pianist & Music Director  
Connie Washburn
Church School Teachers
Elementary class with Grace Rinck/Neva Orr/Roberta White in room 232. Youth will remain in worship.   
Church Nursery (for infants - K) :
Mrs. Phillips, Jaquelyne Rodriguez  & Serena Van. 
Nursery opens at 9 a.m. for early birds and then everyone comes to worship at 10:00 and stays through the Children's  Time and then heads to the nursery with caregivers and parents.  

Nina Kung   
Visit us at:  uccpasadena.org

Sermon Podcast

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Office Hours

Mon. - Thurs.

9:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.

Lunch hours:

12:00 p.m. -1:30 p.m. 
Tel. # 626.795.0696
Fax # 626.795.0698

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Calendar Wizard

In this Edition...

Ideas for Lent
Winter Business Meeting
Ash Wednesday Service, March 1st   
Lenten Small Group on Immigration
Union Station team needs a new member
Walk for Water, Mar. 25th
La Casa de Maria retreat details
Membership Ministry Dates
FCC Women's Scholarship Tea Info

Winter Business Meeting
Our Winter Business Meeting was a celebration of our collective ministry in several ways this year! We ended 2016 with a very slight surplus in our finances and were able to address a deficit carried over from 2015. In addition, we passed a balanced budget for 2017 that improved salaries for a number of our staff, kept ministry programs intact and included loan repayments that will allow us to make important repairs to the building this year. The church concluded a visioning process that has left us with statements and values that allow us to measure the effectiveness of our programs; the church also has demonstrated the ability to live within its means. Reports celebrated the pastoral care offered to several of our members, the success of our worship and programs, and the devotion and hard work of our Moderator, Church Council and staff. Pastoral staff shared that this spring will be a time of important discussion about the needs of our congregation and the disposition of our building.

Ash Wednesday and Lent

We will be having our Area UCC Ash Wednesday Potluck and Worship o n Wed. March 1st at the LA Filipino UCC Church in Eagle Rock. Please arrive at 6:00 with food to share. The worship service starts at 7:00 p.m. If you wish to join the choir, contact Marlene or Connie so we can forward the music to you. The rehearsal will be at 6:30 p.m. Area UCC pastors will be leading the service and the new pastor of the La Canada Congregational Church  Kyle Sears will be our preacher. We will be anointing and the imposition of ashes as well in the service.   

For Lent we will be having a small group -

Immigrants and refugees have been the focus of much of our recent national political debates, policy proposals and executive orders. Our faith is an important resource in the debate about immigration practices and policy. Biblical tradition and Christian history are rich with discussion and clear mandates concerning strangers, aliens and migrant people. To help us explore this topic and grow in our commitment to our faith and justice, we will spend time with a book entitled Our God is Undocumented: Biblical Faith & Immigrant Justice by Matthew Colwell and Ched Myers. Matthew is pastor at Knox Presbyterian Church in Pasadena, and Ched is an author, biblical scholar and activist in Ventura County. This book is a mixture of Biblical reflections on questions concerning immigrants and case studies of local Christian practitioners working for immigrant rights.
Dates: Wednesdays March 8 & 22 and April 5 & 19 at 7-8:30PM

We plan to visit 2-3 local organizations serving immigrant communities, tentatively on Saturday 3/18, 4/1 or 4/15. Visits could include the Pasadena Job Center (run by National Day Laborers Organizing Network), the Filipino Worker Center or the downtown detention facility for immigrants
Co-facilitators: Pastor Andy ( andrewschwiebert@gmail.com ) and TBA

We will also be sending ideas next week about how you might observe the season which begins March 1st and concludes with Easter on APRIL 16th. The traditional practices of prayer, fasting and almsgiving can be interpreted in many ways. We will send specific ideas next week. It always makes Easter more special when we have been intentional about Lent.

Union Station Volunteer Needed
Cooking and serving a hot meal to persons in need is an important part of the ministry of our church! The Alpha Team needs a new volunteer to cook and clean at Union Station (412 South Raymond) three times a year - present members of the team include Jeff Tyler and Regina Meyers, with Barbara Klein and Jim Maddox helping regularly. We serve the first Monday of the month in January, May and September each year - we begin at 6PM and are usually done by 9PM. If you would like to help us, or know someone who could support this team, please call Nina in the church office at (626) 795-0696.

   Walk for Water

Our mission partner Aid Africa is holding their spring fundraiser to educate friends and supporters about those who have to walk miles for their water - and the need for us to offer our support to our brothers and sisters in Northern Uganda as they rebuild their economy and their lives after years of guerilla warfare in their land. You may walk or sponsor a walker - please see the flyer that is attached to the link below for more information!
       A Clean Water Fundraiser 
to benefit the Water Projects of Aid Africa        
at 9am on Saturday, March 25, 2017
in Montrose, CA
Click here for flyer 

La Casa de Maria Women's Retreat is On!!

A group of FCC women will be headed up to the beautiful La Casa de Maria retreat center the first weekend in May. We have up to 5 additional spots for the retreat. Please let us know if you wish to join a group of us. The retreat is a wonderful way to unwind together, reconnect with new and established friends, do some art, have some conversation, do some yoga, walk, listen, pray, take a nap, etc. We have two housing options - a dorm style room with 5 meals for $190 each (one bed left) and a private double room with 5 meals for $265 each.  So, if you are interested, please let Marlene know ASAP and give her your $100 non-refundable deposit ASAP! Please give Marlene your deposit in the next few weeks. Note: breastfeeding babies are welcome according to La Casa policy. Join us for a wonderful time away in a life-giving setting. - Marlene

Membership Ministry

(Tara, Kim, Lu and Marlene) have identified several events to host for the next few months. Here are the dates - details to come!
Saturday March 25- we plan to support the Aid Africa Water Walk and host a picnic in Montrose Park after the walk. You may walk or just join us for the picnic. 
Sunday April 9th - For Palm Sunday this year we will be taking our lunch and egg hunt to a local park after worship! Details will be unfolding but we will eat and play and dye eggs out on the sunshine this year.
Saturday May 13th - a mom's day out morning from 9-noon for mothers of older elementary children and youth. You may drop off your children at church and we will put together some mom's baskets, deliver them, have some lunch together and meet you back here at noon! Sign ups will be happening later on.

hollywood bowl Finally, we are looking at several dates and ideas for our annual Hollywood Bowl outing this summer. If you have a preference, please email or tell Lu or Marlene in the next few weeks. Your choices are narrowed to a couple of family friendly movies and one more adult targeted concert: Raiders of the Lost Ark movie on Sat. Aug. 5th; Harry Potter movie Sat. July 8th; or an adult evening of Pink Martini on Sun. July 27th. Let us know! We will reserve a block of tickets in the next few months.

FCC Women's Scholarship Tea

You are all invited to attend our 2nd annual Women's Scholarship Tea on Saturday May 20th in the afternoon in our parlors. We will be awarding a scholarship to a local woman (or women) . If you would like to make a donation to this important scholarship fund, please speak to Chairperson Grace Rinck. We awarded three gifts last year to three remarkable women and hope to continue offering support to women pursuing higher education. More details and the application deadline will be publicized in the next few weeks in case you know of any women who night be eligible. Mark your calendars now and save the date!!