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

Fifth Sunday In Lent

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

                 April 2, 2017                     

Several FCC folks gathered for the rally to hear music and hear testimony before the Pasadena City Council considered policy regarding sanctuary for immigrants in Pasadena.

Reflections on Sunday Worship . . .   
John 11:17-44

Our text this week is the story of the raising of Lazarus. Jesus has been summoned to come and heal Lazarus who is the brother of his dear friends Martha and Mary. Jesus stays two days longer before going to their house and by this time Lazarus has died. By the time Jesus arrives Lazarus has been dead and in the tomb four days (the Jewish notion at the time was that it took three days for the soul to leave the body). The point for us as readers is to know that Lazarus is truly dead. And yet we hear Jesus summoning him back to life after being deeply moved by the grief of Mary and Martha. It's a fantastical story, meant to remind us that Jesus, empowered by God, brings life back into situations that are dead and broken and lost. We are urged to not give up when we see nothing but death and hopelessness and instead to turn to God with our requests and our wishes. As people of faith we are asked to believe that God continues to bring new life and hope into situations that feel far beyond our ability to repair. I will contrast this story with the story from the book Our God is Undocumented, of Amalia Molina in chapter 6 whose story is about struggle and pain and loss; yet throughout her struggles, her faith in God sustains her and propels her forward. She experiences renewal and rebirth along with her profound loss. I invited you to read the story of Lazarus in the 11th chapter of John's Gospel and reflect on times in your own lives when things feel hopeless. What drew you along? Who ministered to you during these dark times? Join us for worship in our chapel on Sunday as we explore these themes. We will hear beautiful music to accompany this story - "Pie Jesu" with Mattias Orr and Kim Mendez-McLeish singing, and a "Kyrie"with Kim and Elizabeth Lanski singing solos. See you Sunday!

- Rev. Marlene W. Pomeroy

Also This Sunday:

Our church school children are filling 10 Spring baskets to be delivered to Friends in Deed this week to be passed out to children. We invite everyone to bring items to go into the baskets: Target gift cards of $10 or $15, candy, small gifts for children aged 3-8), etc. You may also donate money and the teachers will purchase items for you. Thanks for helping us help others celebrate the wonders of spring and Easter. 
Ways to Get Involved!
  FCC Women's College Scholarship - see article below for details and send the application to eligible women in the Pasadena area who are attending a college or trade school! Deadline is April 15th. 

Join a Union Station meal team - article below.

Join our newly re-formed Bell Choir - article below.

We continue to accept cereal boxes and canned protein to be sent up to the Friends in Deed food pantry.

Worship Leaders  
Rev. Marlene W. Pomeroy
Rev. John H. Pomeroy 
Rev Andy Schwiebert 
Aren Burd
Julie Burd
Peter Kreller
Brian Brandenburg   
Carolyn Olney         
Pianist   &  Music Director 
Connie Washburn 
Church School Teachers
Elementary class with Krysty Leckrone/Roberta White in room 232. Youth class with Pastor Andy in youth room.   
Church Nursery (for infants - K) :
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

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...

Pasadena Area Women's Scholarship 
Lenten Small Group on Immigration
Palm Sunday Festival and Potluck Sunday April 9th
Maundy Thursday Potluck and Service
Easter Lilies & Tulips Request Form
Aid Africa Water Walk a Success! 
Union Station team needs a new member  
La Casa de Maria retreat details
Shower for Dana and Mary
Join the Bell Ringers
FCC Women's Scholarship Tea Info and date
Women's Legacy Correction 

  Pasadena Area Women's Scholarship

A Pasadena Area Women's Scholarship is available annually in $500 to $1000 increments for any female who is currently enrolled or planning to enroll by Fall, 2017 at a college or trade/technical school at any level. This scholarship is sponsored by FCC Pasadena as part of its community outreach program; however church  members are not eligible for selection.

Qualities to be considered by the Scholarship Committee are:  goals, grades, financial need, college and/or community service and proximity to achieving degree objectives.  Students are expected to enroll in at least nine (9) units per semester at the undergraduate level and at least six (6) units at the graduate or postgraduate level. Applicants must be current residents of the city of Pasadena or adjoining communities OR be enrolled by Fall of 2017 in a Pasadena college, university, technical or trade institution.
Blank printed applications are available in the FCC church office, 464 E. Walnut Street, Pasadena, CA 91101, on the church website: www.uccpasadena.org (click on the icon on the left column on the home page), via email:   fccmonina@gmail.com or click here.  In addition to the application, two references are required, as well as a typed 1-2 page autobiography.  If currently attending college or trade/technical school, applicants must submit a photocopy of their transcript.  The deadline for submitting applications is April 15, 2017. Scholarship awards will be announced on May 15th and presented on May 20th.

During Lent: a small group is reflecting on the immigrant experience...

We are reading 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.
Next Dates: Wednesdays April 5 & 12 at 7-8:30PM

Facilitator: Pastor Andy ( andrewschwiebert@gmail.com ) 

Palm Sunday Festival and Potluck Sunday April 9th

This year we are taking our annual Easter Egg hunt and luncheon off-site - to Grant Park (1200 Cordova St,). Our teachers have rented the Picnic Shelter area for us to have a potluck, games, egg hunt and general merriment! It's only 1.6 miles from church (go south on Lake and east on Cordova). Our Membership Committee will be sponsoring the Easter Egg Hunt so bring your baskets. We hope you will wear your church t-shirt if you have one. See Marlene if you want to buy a shirt for $11. Currently we have youth sizes small (4), medium (3) and large (2), and women's v-neck small (2), and extra large (1). Let's show our church pride by wearing our t-shirts in public!        

Maundy Thursday Service

cross2.jpg On Thursday April 13th we will have a Maundy Thursday service to honor and celebrate the last worship service and meal that Jesus celebrated with his followers. We will begin with a potluck soup meal in our parlors at 6 p.m. followed by worship in the chancel (up near the choir loft) of our sanctuary at 7 p.m. Our choir will be singing and we will observe the Last Supper together. Please let us know if you can bring a soup or some finger food for our supper together. We will have sign-ups after church on the next few Sundays.    


Aid Africa Water Walk a Success!

Forty persons gathering at Montrose Community Park on Saturday morning to support the work of Aid Africa in Northern Uganda.  We walked from the park to the local fire station, filled up five gallon water jugs as though we were villagers in Uganda, and walked backed to the park to raise money and awareness for the work of Aid Africa.  Fifteen persons from FCC participated and helped bring much needed donations to our Mission Partner that plants fruit trees, builds safe and effective stoves from clay bricks and takes villagers and refugees for simple medical treatment at hospitals in Kampala. After the walk, Membership Ministry provided a simple lunch and we spent time building our relationships with one another and getting to know a few newcomers.  Thanks to Peter, Irene, Elizabeth and the Membership crew - Tara, Kim, Marlene, Lu and Kamryn.

FCC Standing with Immigrants, Supporting Pasadena as Sanctuary City
This past Monday evening March 27th, 15 people from FCC attended a concert and rally outside All Saints Church in support of the Sanctuary City resolution that Pasadena City Council was considering, then attended the council meeting to advocate for its passage. With hundreds of people attending in support, the resolution passed.

FCC Youth: Sign Up for UCC Summer Camp

Any junior high (6th grade thru 8th) or senior high (9th thru graduating 12th) who are interested in more information about attending, please contact Andy Schwiebert. We are organizing a group to go, most likely the 2nd week of July (though the 1st week is also a possibility). See the brochure here.
2017 Palm Sunday Peace Parade on April 9th: Ending Homelessness and Ensuring Affordable Housing for All!

Since 2003, Pasadena area churches and community groups have marched on Palm Sunday for justice and peace. This family-friendly peace witness and public worship event begins with a short sending ceremony at Reformation Church and proceeds to the intersection of Garfield and Colorado for music and brief words of wisdom, inspiration, and call to action.

This march re-enacts the original Palm Sunday when Jesus and his movement culminated their journey from the margins of their society, the villages of Gallilee, to the center of their society, the capital city of Jerusalem. In the same way, we march from a historically marginalized neighborhood, Northwe st Pasadena, to an upscale mall that represents the economic center of the city. 

This march began as a proclamation of peace during a time of war. In the last few years, we have taken on other themes such as police shootings, gun violence, welcoming immigrants and refugees, the enviroment, and economic justice. This year's theme is housing and homelessness.

The Palm Sunday Peace Parade is sponsored by Orange Grove Friends Meeting, Pasadena Mennonite Church, Reformation Church Pasadena, First Congregational Church of Pasadena, Progressive Christians Uniting, Knox Presbyterian Church, Urban Village of Pasadena, Maryknoll Affiliates Los Angeles, Crescenta Valley Methodist Church, Montrose Peace Vigil, All Saints Church (Pasadena), Holliston Community Church, and Trinity Nazarene Church (Monterey Park).
Sanctuary Sabbath 4/30

FCC was invited by CLUE and other community organizations to take part in the upcoming Sanctuary Sabbath, a weekend to focus on how we might faithfully live out the biblical tradition of offering safety and protection to those facing persecution or being unjustly accused of a crime. We will host a guest speaker from the Pasadena Community Job Center who will share testimony about challenges facing immigrants. Between 7-12 congregations across Pasadena will take part. 

That Sunday 4/30, after worship we will also hear a presentation on Sanctuary by Rev. Andy Schwiebert and then have a conversation with one another about options for sanctuary and have dialogue with Rev. Ken Heintzelman at Shadow Rock UCC in Phoenix, Arizona online.
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. 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.
La Casa de Maria Women's Retreat is On!!

This is the final call to obtain your spot at the  beautiful La Casa de Maria retreat center May 5-7. We need to release our final rooms in the next few weeks. 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!  

Shower for Dana and Mary Coming Up!

Dana and Mary are in the process of adopting a child through LA County and we plan to celebrate them and "shower" them with wishes and gifts! They are still waiting to hear what lucky child will be placed in their home for them to love so we have two tentative dates for the Shower - May 28 and June 11. Save the dates and as soon as we know the arrival (and age and interests) of the child we will publicize the date for the celebration. In the meantime let's keep Mary and Dana in our prayers as they prepare to welcome new life into their hearts and home. 

Join the Bell Ringers 

Attention all folks who enjoy ringing bells!  If you are a novice, or a veteran, and wish to join the ringers, please let us know!   After the Easter season, our own choir member and director of the Burbank Community Band, Paulette Westphal, will be directing our bell choir in a 
Sunday of bells. Please contact Paulette or Connie if you are interested or have questions.          

FCC Women's Scholarship Tea

Save the date for 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. Through this scholarship we continue offering support to women pursuing higher education.    

Women's Legacy Group Correction 
Note: the Women's Legacy fund has @ $10,000 remaining in it. The amount was incorrect in last week's article.