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

Sixth Sunday After Pentecost   
July 16, 2017  

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


"Summer Happenings" See article below.

Reflections for Worship . . .

"Parable of the Sower"
Matthew 13:1-24
How To Increase Your Church Membership
Churches across the globe are suffering from a decline in membership.  Marcus J. Borg , author, The Heart Of Christianity, suggest the solution may be in rediscovering our faith. In a passage familiar to most church goers, The Parable Of The Sower (Matthew 13:1-23), Jesus offer an antidote to bear fruit 100, 60 and 30 folds.  In a coded message to the disciples, Jesus discloses key concepts in planting and calculating exact numbers for the harvest. Your input is requested as we revisit solutions to declining church attendance.  See you in worship

-Rev. Leo Lynch
Ways to Get Involved!

Join a Union Station meal team. Sign up for Summer Habitat build day. Bring non-perishable food for Friends in Deed. Buy and fill a Friends in Deed backpack. (see article below for details) Contact the church office or speak with a pastor for more info.

Worship Leaders 
Rev. Leo Lynch
Rev. Carolyn Olney 
Krysty Leckrone

Sandy Biehler
Robert Rinck
Kevin Cordova-Brookey   
Randy VanDeventer            
Pianist   &  Music Director 
Connie Washburn 
Church School Teachers
F or summer we have a single church school class for children and youth in the youth lounge - the teachers for this week are Josh Ashenmiller/Joey Bland.)
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 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


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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In this Edition...

Summer Happenings!!
Small Group on Spiritual Practices
Thank you note from Ron & Roberta White
SIGN UP now for Habitat for Humanity 7/29
Friends in Deed Summer Backpacks Needed
Reserve your Hollywood Bowl Ticket Aug. 27th

Summer Happenings!

This Summer at FCC we are slowing things down with a break from committee meetings for July and are offering some outings/activities/small groups that help us enjoy the pace of the Summer months. Join us for any or all of our planned activities:
Sundays June 25-Aug. 6th join your preachers in exploring core theological themes from a progressive Christian perspective. We will be using the book The Heart of Christianity by Marcus Borg and exploring a chapter each week both in our preaching and with the children/youth in our combined church school class. We have books for sale at $10 each or you may purchase your own and read along with us. We will let you know what chapters we will be using and when. July 2nd was "God" (chapter 4), and July 9th was "Jesus: The Heart of God", chapter 5. The intent is to increase our biblical and theological literacy with this overview of several topics and themes. Speak with Pastor Marlene if you wish to help staff our Summer Church School.
Saturday July 29th
Habitat Build 8-11:30 a.m. followed by a pool party and barbecue and Barb Bonzo's house starting at noon. Speak with John Gamber Thompson for Habitat details. Sign up for food for the barbecue after church with either Kim Story or Lu Burd in the next few weeks. See below to sign up-- only 5 spots left!

Every Other Wednesday Small Group on Mudhouse Sabbath (on Jewish Spiritual Practices) starting July 19th led by Pastor Andy. See article below for details 
Sunday Aug. 27th Hollywood Bowl Picnic and Concert. We have five extra tickets to see Pink Martini in concert. This eclectic musical group is fantastic. The concert starts at 7 p.m. and we will be picnicking ahead of time starting around 5 p.m. Come and join us and bring a friend! You must reserve your $25 seat by July 4th before all extras are released. Speak with Pastor Marlene to join the group. 
Check out their eclectic style in these two links. www.youtube.com/watch
Small Group on Spiritual Practices

Many of the topics of our recent small groups have been focused on social justice issues. We also recognize the need to ground ourselves in our daily and weekly spiritual practices to sustain us, whether in our work for social justice or in dealing with the daily challenges of life. 
You are invited to spend time with a small group as we work through a book on spiritual practices entitled,  Mudhouse Sabbath: an Invitation to a Life of Spiritual Discipline (study edition) by Lauren F. Winner. The author is a convert to Christianity and has
deep roots in Judaism, so the book is a reflection on the best of Jewish
spiritual practices that might also be life-giving for Christians.

We will try out these spiritual practices together over 4 sessions beginning
Wednesday July 19th, meeting every other Wednesday  
evening from 6:30-8. Please let Andy know if you are interested.

-Rev. Andy Schwiebert 
Ron White is home, next surgery Sept. 7
After six weeks of antibiotic treatment and physical therapy at a care/rehab facility, Ron White returned home on July 7th and was able to attend the worship service at FCC last Sunday.  He now has two months to continue getting stronger, have more medical tests & doctors appointments, before his next (and hopefully last) hip replacement surgery on September 7th.  He wants to extend his gratitude to so many of you that sent cards, called, visited and prayed for him during his illness and after his surgery.  He has not had any pain since his May 25th surgery and still has his positive attitude. Ron loves being at home and looks forward to resuming his full church and activity schedule, once he recovers from his final surgery. Roberta is glad to have him back home and to see him so much stronger.

Sign up for Habitat For Humanity build in Pasadena on 7/29 at 8-11:30AM

Discipleship is sponsoring a service day on  Saturday 7/29, helping to build a home in Pasadena. Volunteers need not have construction experience and must be 16 years or older (with 1:1 adult accompaniment or 1:5 adult accompaniment for 17 year olds). Can you help us build an affordable home for a low-income neighbor?
Only 5 spots are available (out of 10 total), so if you are interested, please sign up ASAP. Here's how: click on this link...

Then, click on "New Volunteer Registration", and follow the prompts to input your information. If you can manage to connect with our group while you register, great. The name of our group is, "First Congregational Church of Pasadena". If you cannot manage to find the group during your registration, don't worry, just complete it and you can find the service day after the fact. 
During your registration, you will be asked to walk through the orientation, which includes watching a couple of videos and reading some materials, and answering some quiz questions, which takes about 10 minutes. 
Then, you will need to navigate to the "Volunteer Opportunities Calendar" and look for the July 29date, and click to be added to the First Congregational Church of Pasadena date. 
If you have any questions, please contact Andy or John Gamber-Thompson.
2017 Back-to-School Backpack & School Supply Drive!    
Dear Friends,
Summer vacation is here for the young people in our community.  While they are enjoying some time away from the classroom, we are thinking about the upcoming school year.  Starting the first week of August, we will be holding our annual Back-To-School Backpack & School Supply Drive.  
This is one of our biggest and most important events of the year.  The start of the new school year can be exciting, intimidating, and scary.  It can be all of that, and more, for the students that may not have the much needed, and necessary, backpack and school supplies.  
Most of the families in the Friends In Deed community already deal with the issue of making ends meet every month. Add in the new school year, and the expenses that go along with it, like new clothes and shoes for their ever growing children, fees for school programs and projects and a backpack and the essential items to fill it, and a family's stress level and financial concerns increase. Kids always compare themselves to other kids, and our goal is for them to feel confident that they at least have the school supplies they need for a successful and enjoyable new school year.  We count it as a blessing to be able to help so many by providing backpacks, already filled with school supplies, to children in our Friends In Deed community.  
Of course, we aren't able to make this happen all by ourselves.  Every year, we come to you, our Friends In Deed supporters and family, to make the Back-to-School Backpack & School Supply Drive one of which we can all be proud.  Last year, we gave out almost 300 backpacks full of supplies to our Friends In Deed school-aged children.  This year we expect the number to be the same.  We hope that you will join us in this effort!
If you would like to contribute, here are some things to consider: 
  1. Backpacks should be sturdy enough to handle the rigors of a student's day and the crazy amount of books they heft around, especially for our high school students.  
  2. Please avoid all red and all blue backpacks
  3. The supplies needed are recommended by the Pasadena/Altadena area schools and the list is attached. 
Please deliver empty backpacks and any supplies to Friends In Deed, by Wednesday, July 26, 2017.  We will fill them and distribute them the following week on Tuesday, August 1, Wednesday, August 2, and Thursday, August 3.
If you have any questions, contact Tim at the Food Pantry:
pantry@friendsindeedpas.org or 626-797-6072.  
Thank you for helping us to make sure the students in our community have a great start to their school year!
In service and with gratitude,
Rabbi Joshua Levine Grater
Executive Director

Friends In Deed is a DBA of the Ecumenical Council of Pasadena Area Congregations,  a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.  Donations are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.   Tax ID: 95-1644608.  We respect your privacy. 
Back to School Supply List 2017-18
3 Ring Binders - 1"- 3" (Prefer with Clear View pocket on front)
Tab Dividers for Binders
College ruled notebook paper (this is used more commonly than the "Wide-ruled" paper)
Spiral notebooks
Copy paper (for printing on computer)
Composition Notebooks, hardcover
Pens; red, blue and black
Pencils, including #2 yellow 6-sided for younger grades; mechanical pencils Erasers
Pencil-top Erasers
Zipper pouch for pens and pencils (3 holed to go in binders)
Dry Erase Markers
Colored Markers (NO Sharpies or Permanent Markers)
Highlighters, all colors
Colored Pencils
Sharpener for colored pencils (must hold shavings)
24 Colors Crayons (prefer Crayola Brand)
2 Pocket Folders (prefer poly folders)
Student scissors (such as Fiskar)
Rulers (metric & customary)
3" x 5" index cards
Glue Sticks (many schools prefer the sticks to bottles of glue)
As you can see, school start-up is an expensive proposition for low income families. Thank you for easing that burden and assuring that all students get an equal start on their critical journey of education.
Summer Hollywood Bowl Outing - 5 tickets remaining!

Membership Ministry has selected the date of Sunday Aug. 27th for our Summer Outing to hear Pink Martini. They are an eclectic group of performers and musicians and are not to be missed! The concert begins at 7:00 p.m. and our discounted group tickets at $25 each. See Lu Burd or Pastor Marlene to sign up and pre-pay for your tickets. We have about five tickets left in section L-1 and will plan to picnic together before the event. You must include $25 with your reservations. Any unused tickets will be released July 10th so get your tickets soon!