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

Third Sunday After Pentecost   
June 25 & July 2, 2017  

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


2017 Graduation
2017 Graduation
We honored our high school and graduate school grads this past week! Way to go!

NOTE: Nina our office manager will be out of the office the week of June 26th. Abbreviated office hours that week will be Monday-Thursday from 10-noon. (Thanks to Elizabeth Lanski, Judi Tyler and Kim Story for covering the office for Nina). The weekly Touchstone will resume the week of July 3rd. 
Reflections on Worship . . .
June 25

Our Bible

We will kick off our Summer preaching series using Marcus Borg's book The Heart of Christianity with chapter 3 which focuses on the Bible. As Borg states... "Christianity is centered in the Bible... yet the Bible has become a stumbling block for many... Contemporary biblical literalism - with its emphasis on biblical infallibility, historical factuality, and moral and doctrinal absolutes - is an obstacle for millions of people."  We will start our series by addressing our sacred text and how we might approach it as people of faith. Borg suggests that we use a paradigm that sees the Bible as: historical, metaphorical and sacramental. If you have purchased a copy of the book, please read the preface and chapter 3. Hope to see you Sunday in worship! - Rev. Marlene W. Pomeroy

Also on Sunday
Our special music this Sunday will be provided by Kim Mendez-McLeish on vocals. We will honor church member Ken Biery on the occasion of his 90th birthday!!! His daughter Carol will bring a cake for us to join in celebrating this momentous birthday. Ken has been a church member since his infancy and was actually one of the first babies to be baptized in our new sanctuary in 1927! Ken has served in many capacities over the decades in our church, including being a longtime choir member and a Moderator. He is currently a member of our Worship Ministry, oversees all our liturgists, and helps to coordinate the Annual Thanksgiving Feast. Congrats to Ken on his birthday and for being such a significant and long-term member of our church community.

Council Finances Meeting after coffee hour in the Co-Pastor's office.

July 2nd

Who Is Our God?
Psalm 13
This summer we are reading and sharing in worship and having two small groups after worship to share our responses to The Heart of Christianity by Marcus Borg. Our text on July 2nd is a simple Psalm that expresses both struggle and hope, pain and yearning. Do you remember the first time you heard about God - the first time you listened to a Scripture reading or saw a picture? What impressions did you have and what assumptions did you make about how God would act or feel toward you? In a reflection entitled "Who Is Our God" we will consider some images of God in Scripture that Borg references, and look at how/whether we have changed our own image of God since those impressions of our past. Come join us in the air-conditioned Chapel at 10AM for worship. The first of two discussion sessions on the book will take place after coffee hour.
Rev. John H. Pomeroy

Also on Sunday July 2nd

We will celebrate Communion during worship this week and special music will be provided by Randy VanDeventer on guitar and vocals.         
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. Marlene W. Pomeroy - June 25
Rev. John H.Pomeroy - July 2
Rev. Andy Schwiebert   
Ushers Team 4 - June 25 
Judi Tyler
Dana Pell
Mary Camacho 
Liturgist - June 25 
Cindy Speakman

Ushers Team 1 - July 2
 Aren Burd
Julie Burd
Jeff Levison
Jim Maddox

Liturgist - July 2 
Brian Brandenburg          
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 teacher for is Jake Pomeroy/Irene Keller for June 25 and Josh Ashenmiller/Lu Burd for July 2.)
Church Nursery (for infants - K) :
Jaquelyne Rodriguez  &  Serena Van - June 25
Becky Rinck  & Lachlan Ashenmiller - July 2    
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 
Habitat for Humanity Sign up
Friends in Deed Summer Backpacks Needed
Reserve you Hollywood Bowl Ticket Aug. 27th


Summer Happenings!

This Summer at FCC we will try and slow things down with a break from committee meetings for July and offer 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 basic 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. The first theme on June 25th is "the Bible" (chapter 3). 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 is "God" (chapter 4). 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 for humanity 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.

Every Other Wednesday Small Group starting July 26th 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 Martinin 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, 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 
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 10 spots are available, 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!