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


17th & 18th Sundays After Pentecost   
October 1 & 8, 2017  

Our Core Values: 
Spiritual Growth. Welcome. Justice-seeking
                      


                                     
                       

  
Ten FCC folks attended the Annual Jazz on the Green Fund Raiser for Friends in Deed. It was a lovely event that raised funds for the services provided by FID: The Women's Room, their Food Pantry, the Bad Weather Shelter, and other services that serve the homeless and low income folks. 

See more pics below!


Reflections for Worship ...

Sunday 10/1: "Who gave YOU this authority?!?!" Matthew 21: 23-32

How do we know what we know? How are we so sure of our own values, and our faith? "Who gave YOU this authority?!?" is the sermon title and it comes from the words of the Temple Authorities who are challenging Jesus for his teachings at the Temple in Jerusalem in our text from Matthew 21. And in typical Jesus-fashion, rather than respond to their question with an answer, he responds with another question, about what they all believe about the authority of John the Baptist. They refuse to answer, and so he stumps them with another lesson about sinners-turned-saved. The conversation between Jesus and the Temple leaders is instructional for us today, as we seek to make sense of a confusing time in our nation's deep political and theological differences.

Please join us in worship on Sunday as we explore the question of how we define truth and identify God's authority on earth. Also, sadly (at least for me!) this will be my last sermon at FCC, as I am moving on. My final Sunday will be next Sunday October 8th. See the article below for more info.

- Rev. Andy Schwiebert

Sunday 10/8 
"The Meaning of Church"
Matthew 21:33-46
 
On October 8th our text in worship is a parable about "wicked" tenants who betray their landlord's trust by trying to keep the land and its produce for themselves instead of returning the correct portion to the landowner.  In a sermon entitled "The Meaning of Church" we will consider how much of church life and ministry is for us - and how much is the purpose for our gathering to care for those outside the church?  We all come to worship and meetings with needs and concerns - and we all have benefitted from the care and compassion we find at church.  Thank God for listening ears, caring hearts, and others of faith who are willing to share of their time and resources!  Yet it seems at every turn in Scripture there is a story about sharing and serving - offering our "harvest" to those in need and using our own time and money to provide something that another person in our family or community may desperately need.  Come and join us as we work out the "math" of what it means to be a person of faith with a God who treasures compassion!
 
-Rev. John H Pomeroy

Also this Sunday (and next!)

In this Sunday's service on 10/1 we will hear James Chavers' vocals, accompanied on the piano by his friend, Justin Mathews.  Justin also offers his Bach, Chopin, and Gershwin pieces.  Hope you'll join Connie, James, and Justin for some special music  this Sunday  at  10 am !

Church School: Neva and Grace will be leading our elementary/middle school class. If we have 2-3 youth Jake will lead a sermon talk-back session after the sermon in the youth lounge. Next week (10/8) Jeff and Grace will be teaching church school.
 
Neighbors in Need Special Offering will be collected 10/1. See article below. Also, every first Sunday we collect the Good Samaritan offering and people can bring canned food or cereal, which is taken up to Friends in Deed food pantry to be given to hungry neighbors.

Several Ways to Get More Involved In Your Faith Community:

Join our Church Choir or Bell Choir this Fall! See Connie Washburn for more info.
 
Join a Union Station meal team - 2-3 folks are needed - see article below
 
Bring food to church for Friends in Deed food pantry
Join the next Habitat Build.
Learn about becoming more welcoming to immigrants. 
Visit folks who are housebound or recovering.   
 
Contact any of our pastors for more information on how to get involved in any of these!  The more we give... the more we receive! 

 


Worship Leaders   
Rev. Marlene W. Pomeroy  
Rev. John Pomeroy  
Rev. Andy Schwiebert   

Ushers
(10/1)
Aren & Julie Burd
Peter Keller & Brian Brandenburg
(10/8)
Kathie Arscott, Jeff Levison, James Maddox

Liturgist  
10/1 Meagan VanDeventer
10/8
 
Pianist & Music Coordinator   
Connie Washburn   
 
Church School Teachers
Combined church school class for children and youth in the youth room - the teachers for 10/1 are Neva Orr/Grace Rinck and on 10/8 are Jeff Tyler/Grace Rinck.
 
(If we have enough youth, we will have a sermon talk-back time in the youth room after the sermon with one of the pastors.) 
.
 
Church Nursery (for infants - K) :
Jaquelyne Rodriguez/Serena Van.

Nursery opens at 9 :15 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

  
D id you miss a worship service and want to hear the sermon? Please visit uccpasadena.org and select 'podcasts' from the menu on top of the home page or click below
 

 http://uccpasadena.podomatic.com/ 



Our office manager Nina will be away on vacation for two weeks. Here are the remaining abbreviated hours that church folks are subbing in her absence. Many thanks for those who have agreed to sub!

Abbreviated Office Hours 
  Sept. 28   10am-12pm
 
Oct. 2   10am-12pm
 Oct. 3   10 am-12pm
  Oct. 4   10am - 12pm
Oct. 5   10am-12pm
  
Tel. # 626.795.0696
Fax # 626.795.0698

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In this Edition...

Rev. Andy Schwiebert is leaving FCC
Fundraising for My Refuge House 9/30
Flower Chart Sign Up
Union Station Teams have Openings 
Friends In Deed 'Jazz on the Green'  
Interfaith & Community Training 9/29  
Central Association Fall Meeting 10/28  

Rev. Andy Schwiebert is Leaving FCC  
After serving FCC for over 8 years, Rev. Andy Schwiebert is leaving to serve as Interim Co-Pastor at a different church in Los Angeles (to be announced here soon, after their membership is notified!) beginning Sunday 10/15. Sunday 10/8 will be his last Sunday with us at FCC. See the attached letter, which also went out by mail on Wednesday. There will be a celebration of our joint ministry with Andy after worship on 10/8. See below.
bio pic
Sunday October 8th Pancake Breakfast and Sendoff for Andy Schwiebert
Join us after worship for breakfast! Thanks to all who have signed up to bring food and cook. We will be sending off the Rev. Andy Schwiebert Sunday 10/8 with our love and good wishes. Please join us for worship and for Pancake brunch (and other goodies to eat) after worship in the East Parlor. Sign up on Sunday to help cook or bring food for the brunch and speak with Pastor Marlene or Grace Rinck for details regarding the celebration.
Fundraising Outing on Saturday Sept. 30th
Enjoy an evening of Shakespeare and improv that entertains AND supports the work of My Refuge House (CEO is Heather Bland). The reviews for this troupe are amazing - and member Joey Bland is one of the members!   
If you signed up for a ticket, please be in touch with Pastor Marlene about how to access it. NOTE: there are no more  FCC tickets, but you are welcome to order your own and join us at the event! 
  

Neighbors In Need Special Offering Collected This Sunday 10/1!

We should all take pride in our church's participation in the five UCC offerings each year - we are a Five For Five congregation - showing our commitment to our denomination, our sister churches and the needs that our world presents to us!  This Sunday we will receive the Neighbors In Need offering and we ask that you give as you are able.  Who is our neighbor?  As a person of faith, our neighbor is anyone whom God places in front of us - in the newspaper, at work, in our day to day lives, a stranger we meet at church or at Starbucks. We are all related as children of God.  Why do we give?  We give because God has been generous to us, we give because we all have gifts and resources we can share if we choose to - we give because by sharing we are made more human, more whole ourselves.  Where does our money go?  Our gifts through the UCC are shared in the form of grants to both direct service organizations and groups fighting for systemic change in our culture...our gifts support the creation of new justice-themed curriculum for both young persons and adults to be used in churches and community settings...and our gifts support Conference and Association staffing so that workshops, visits, education events and trainings can equip church and community members to offer their own gifts in support of community needs.

Also in October:

Usher Thank You Lunch and Meeting Sunday October 15th - to be held in the church parlors after worship.

Annual Halloween Festival and luncheon on Sunday October 22nd - costume contest, spooky crafts and more!
 
Picnic in the Park on Sunday Oct. 29th  - directly after worship at Farnsworth Park (not too far from the CROP Walk starting point for those walking). Sponsored by Membership Ministry
   
Flower Chart
 
 
We have the following openings to bring flower or "flour" for Sunday worship
(Dates that are open: 10/22, 11/26, 12/3, 12/10,12/24, 12/31). If you sign up and give Nina $40 a beautiful live bouquet will be ordered for you. Or you may opt for the "flour" option which means that your $40 donation will be sent to a local hunger organization (LA Regional Food Bank) in your name and our wheat display will be on the altar. Please let Nina know when you sign up which option you would like.

Union Station Team Needs Members (three folks needed)

union station logo One of our primary ongoing outreach activities here at FCC is cooking and serving a monthly Union Station meal; folks at Union Station are participating in a program that helps support them moving from a life off the streets. We have been participating in this effort for several decades now. We thank all of you who have served on a team or have subbed!!  
 
Please contact a pastor if you wish to join a team.
 
Many thanks to the 16 folks currently serving on a team:
Barbara Klein/Regina Meyers - Alpha Team (TWO people needed) 
Kim Story/Cindy Speakman/Krysty Leckrone/Neva Orr - Bravo Team
Irene Keller/Lu Burd/Brian Brandenburg - Charlie Team (ONE person needed) 
Peter Keller/one Rinck/Elizabeth Lanski/Josh Ashenmiller/Jordan Pederson - Delta Team
 
Many thanks to Regina Myers and FCC Discipleship Ministry for coordinating this activity.  


September 27, 2017

This past week several FCC members and Rev. Marlene Pomeroy attended the Jazz on the Green event, to raise funds for the homeless services organization Friends in Deed.  See photos below of the event. 
   

 
 
An Interfaith and Community Training with CLUE & CIVIC to Visit People

held in Immigration Detention

Join us September 29th for a training with CIVIC in LA to learn how you can visit and support people held in immigration detention!

Immigrants and refugees are suffering in detention centers across Southern California in deplorable and immoral conditions. Each year, there are approximately 400,000 people being held in jails and private prisons; many parents are unjustly separated from their children and some suffer in solitary confinement. This is a moral crisis and there is an urgent need to visit and offer care to people in detention centers who are being denied basic human rights. Community Initiatives for Visiting Immigrants in Confinement (CIVIC) is committed to ending US immigration detention "by monitoring human rights abuses, elevating stories, building community based alternatives to detention and advocating for system change" ( endisolation.org).

We have scheduled dates and times for LA County (09/29), Orange County (11/4) and San Bernardino/Ontario(12/1). The first training is scheduled in Los Angeles; please see info below:

WHEN:   Friday, September 29th, 2017
TIME:   10:00am - 12:00pm
WHERE:  Centenary United Methodist Church (Little Tokyo)
ADDRESS:   300 S. Central Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90013 
CONTACT Info:  Guillermo Torres  323-228-2753  and Rev. Andy Schwiebert  1-510-684-1163 ( RSVP by   sending an email here.)

Come learn about conditions within the detention centers across Southern California and to receive detailed training tools for visiting detained persons. This will be an important time for people of faith and conscience to develop a deeper understanding about the crisis facing many in our communities and to put this understanding into action.  After the training, our hope is that faith and community members across Southern California will continue the struggle for justice for our immigrant brother and sisters by:
  • Educating their communities on the suffering of immigrants at local detention centers
  • Coordinating visits to detention centers with members of their communities
  • Advocating for systemic change
  • Joining in support of CIVIC programs
We are also excited that Sister Greta Ronningen, Prior of Community of Divine Love Monastery, will be joining us to introduce us to some basics of  CHAPLAINCY. Sr. Greta currently leads a prison chaplaincy program.

ENDORSERS: Presbytery of the Pacific (PCUSA), Bend the Arc, Task Force on Sanctuary for the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles, Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles, Matthew25th/Mateo 25, COPALA (Coalition of Latino Pastors), California Pacific Conference of the United Methodist Church, Jesus4Revolutionaries, USWW-SEIU UNITED SERVICE WORKERS WEST.
Guillermo Torres & Rev. Andy Schwiebert
http://www.cluejustice.org/

United Church of Christ

Central Association
Southern California Nevada Conference

FALL MEETING
Saturday, October 28, 2017
at
Immanuel Latino Ministries, 1785 East 85th Street
Los Angeles, CA 90001
Rev. Haller Terrones, 626-329-7600

Registration begins at 8:30 a.m.
$5 per person plus $5 per person for lunch
Meeting begins at 9 a.m. followed by lunch at noon

Important highlights of our time together include:
1. Ecclesiastical Council to Welcome and Celebrate First Congregational Church of Los Angeles as a member church of the United Church of Christ

2. Voting on Association Bylaw updates, copies to be sent out SOON.

3. "Stop Separating Immigrant Families: Some actions we may take" will be our program, which is a follow-up to our spring meeting program, with Rev. Andrew Schwiebert again guiding us.

Please plan to carpool since parking will be limited

Please RSVP by October 21, 2017
Rev. Marcia Hoffman, Vice Moderator
Call or Text: 626.940.7497
Email: marciahoffman5@icloud.com