No matter who you are or where you are on life's journey, you are welcome here!
This Sunday, August 22, 2021
Worship at 10:00 AM, In Person & Livestreamed

Led by Rev. Mia White, Emily Stokes,
Dr. Sarah Bereza, and Hannah Rice

Scripture - 1 Peter 4:10-11

Greeter: Bert Merrell
Liturgist: Jim Hartley
Soloist: Dan Brodsky, tenor

Sunday's worship service will be livestreamed from our sanctuary. You may attend with us in person or watch online. You will be able to view the service live on facebookYoutube, or on our website at 10:00 AM this Sunday. In order to use the chat features you will need to have an account with facebook or YouTube.

If you are joining worship online, we invite you to follow along with the worship bulletin, which you can find by clicking the links below. You can print it, or have it open on one device as you view worship from another.

Karen Olsen
Sarah Bereza is on vacation so our guest organist on Sunday will be Karen Olsen. Up until last Friday, Karen worked for Gaylord Music Library at Washington University. Starting September 1st, she will be Music & Fine Arts librarian at St. Olaf College in Minnesota. In the meantime, she is thrilled to have one last organ gig in St. Louis. She has a PhD in historical musicology; her research interests include 19th century American sheet music, ecomusicology, and the music of British composer Sir Peter Maxwell Davies. She also makes quilts and spoils her cat, Pentecost.
Congratulations to First Congregational member Jim Morice, who was given the honorary degree Doctor of Humane Letters by Eden Theological Seminary last Sunday. Because of the weekend's power outage, the ceremony took place at the home of Jim and Linda. This Sunday, August 22, we will celebrate together as a church community during worship with another ceremony of conferral. And as we had planned for last Sunday, we will also recognize the work all of our members are doing for our church and in the wider community. 
Cathy Daniels, better known as Mama Cat, is the founder of Potbangerz Feed the Body Mission. The Potbangerz have cooked in our church kitchen for several years, serving nourishing meals to the unhoused of St. Louis. Mama Cat will be moving to Florida to continue the work she is passionate about there. The Potbangerz will continue their work in St. Louis as well. This Sunday we will honor Mama Cat during our worship service.

Also, check out the interview Mama Cat did with St. Louis Public Radio recently! You can find it online HERE.
Sundays at 11:20 AM on Zoom
We're continuing our Virtual Coffee Hours every Sunday on Zoom! The gathering will begin at 11:20 AM. You can join by video on a computer, tablet, or smart phone, or just audio on any phone. To join, download Zoom and enter the meeting ID and password. You can also click the link below, or dial from your phone for audio only.

Join the Virtual Coffee Hour:

Meeting ID: 314 721 5060 (The church phone number)

Password: coffee
These announcements have been approved
by our Executive Committee.
Our Zoom Coffee Hour discussion this Sunday will focus on an article from Gallup: U.S. Church Membership Falls Below Majority for First Time by Jeffrey M. Jones. Drop into Zoom this Sunday at 11:20 to discuss this article and check in on one another!
Effective immediately and until further notice, all people age 5 and over will be required to wear masks while indoors at First Congregational Church, and strongly advised to do so when outdoors in group settings.
Neighbor 2 Neighbor is an exciting new Fellowship & Outreach program being brought to you by Membership & Fellowship as a program that Rev. Mia has used very successfully with past congregations. We’ve divided the church into 15 smaller geographic groupings of 4 - 6 households/families who can check in on each other, provide support & form a smaller more close-knit group within the larger congregation. It’s an opportunity to get to know those in the church close to you geographically - and to be a way to share resources when needed - from help during a power outage - to meals during an illness - to something as simple as a referral for a good dentist or handyman in your area. Eventually it can also be a way to reach out to other neighbors and friends who may be interested in a way to get to meet other folks at First Church. As it says in Mark “Love your Neighbor as Yourself” - and this is a wonderful way to share the love! Expect to hear from your Neighbor 2 Neighbor leader in the next few weeks - to give you an update on our plans for Kickoff Sunday on Aug. 29th! (Note to Leaders - our final orientation will be this Tuesday 7:00 pm by zoom - check your email or contact Carol Klein at for the link.)
Ann Kittlaus has stepped down as chair of the Worship and Education Committee. Val Jackson has been appointed as Ann’s successor by a unanimous vote of Council.
In stepping down, Ann writes: “The role of this committee evolves with each new pastor and the needs of the church. In terms of where we go next, I want to leave an opening for new partnerships, new leaders, and new ideas. Like so many in this “post”-Covid era, I’m burned out. What I really need right now is to sit in my pew, love my neighbors, and gain strength from Pastor Mia and the ministry team’s leadership. Besides providing arms & legs, my gifts are in program planning and I'll continue in that way as needed. And, I’ll continue to cheerlead - I’m really optimistic about our church and I love all of you.”

Under Ann’s leadership the last few years, the Worship and Education Committee set goals for Christian Ed, created new structures for Sunday school, integrated programming around ONA, helped develop online worship, and set up new structures for volunteer recruitment.
Thank you, Ann, for your loving, devoted leadership to the Worship and Education Committee and Council.

We welcome Valerie to her new leadership role at FCC. She has extensive and multi-faceted experiences in praise, worship and church education. As a youth leader in her church of origin, she helped design the annual youth service and taught Sunday school. As an adult, Valerie served as chair of the Holy Ground, a community interfaith service and worship co-op in the Central West End. There she helped design interfaith worship and community service for the group. At Metropolitan Community Church, Valerie served as the Worship Participants leader responsible for volunteer lay members serving in various roles in the worship service. She also facilitated the weekly discussion/educational group called Sunday Morning Conversations. Valerie’s theory of worship comes from Professor Christopher Grundy at Eden Theological Seminary. WORSHIP BELONGS TO THE PEOPLE. For class projects at Eden, Valerie designed worship services and education classes featuring various ethnicities, races, and denominations. Her hope for FCC is that we realize our goal in becoming a more racially and ethnically diverse community with exciting, excellent worship and educational experiences.
To take advantage of before-school sales, Isaiah 58 is asking FCC to contribute 500 boxes of 24-count crayons for next year's Back-to-School Fair. Target currently has a great sale going through September 11! Bring your donations to church by Sunday August 22 so they can be taken over to Isaiah 58 that week. Contact Jim Hartley (314-832-2723) if you have questions.

Update: We have now pushed past 300 boxes of crayons and we are on our way to our goal of 500. We have one Sunday left before we have to deliver what we have to Isaiah 58, so bring your donations this Sunday or you can drop them by the church office on Tuesday. The children & families are helping out with their own drive for contributions. Remember that Target still has their sale on Crayola brand crayons for 50 cents a box. They also have another brand for 25 cents a box of 24. The Mission and Outreach Committee give thanks to God and to all of you for your contributions to this worthy cause.
August 29
Join us for Kick Off Sunday on August 29! Worship will be uplifting, our choir is back, and children's Sunday school begins (outdoors - see Emily Stokes for more information.)

Our worship service will focus on heritage, so we invite you to wear something to worship that represents your heritage - so get creative! Can we make it around the world?

Worship will also begin with a parade, similar to our Pride Sunday parade. If you'd like to participate and parade into worship, meet at the parking lot door by 10:00.

As part of Kick off Sunday our kiddos will be starting a theme of compassion. On the 29th we will be learning about Abraham and Sarah welcoming guests and we would like to welcome you to come pick up a treat on the Garth after worship!
Out of an abundance of caution, we have decided to postpone Pastor Mia's installation service. The new installation date will be sometime in 2022.
Calling all 7th and 8th graders! Our confirmation program is beginning soon, which is an opportunity to explore your faith and become a full member of our congregation. If you'd like to learn more, contact Emily Stokes.
August 31, 5:30 PM
Join the Eden community in marking the beginning of the new academic year with Opening Convocation on August 31. Eden is overjoyed to welcome the Rev. Michelle Higgins as the preacher. Rev. Higgins is senior pastor of St. John's Church (The Beloved Community) UCC in St. Louis. You can join the service in person (with Covid protocols) or online. See more information HERE.
Applications due by September 1
In loving memory of their daughter Molly, Jane and Bill Beavers established The Molly Suzanne Beavers Memorial Scholarship Fund to help students pursue higher education. This fund helps college and graduate students who are members of FCC pay for books and other incidental expenses. Chrissy Paterson, sister to Molly and daughter of Jane and Bill, continues to oversee this scholarship fund. To apply for the 2021-2022 academic year (if you are a previous recipient, please re-apply), please send a letter to the church office and address it to the Molly Beavers Scholarship Committee by September 1. In your letter, please include: Where you will be attending school; What your major course of study will be (if known); A statement of need and how you plan to use any scholarship funds you may receive; A little information about yourself, your academic interests, and other personal interests.
Friday September 3, 6:45 PM
All FCC families are invited to a night at a Gateway Grizzlies game on September 3rd. Tickets are $11/person and will be purchased in advance. Please RSVP to Emily Stokes and turn in your payment to the church office by August 15th.
Sunday September 12, 4:00 pm
The 10th Anniversary Interfaith Concert sponsored by Arts & Faith St. Louis will feature soprano Christine Brewer and the Interfaith Youth Chorus, with performances by choirs and ensembles of many faiths on stage at the Sheldon Concert Hall. You can stream the concert live at and YouTube. Stay up to date on the concert and other Arts & Faith St. Louis news on Facebook (@artsfaithstlouis), Twitter (@ArtsFaithSTL), and Instagram (@artsfaithstlouis).
WHAT WE BELIEVE: A Free Virtual Course with Dr. David Oughton
September 22 - November 10, Wednesdays @ 7:00 PM
Join Interfaith Partnership for a free virtual course this fall. In "What We Believe," Dr. David Oughton, former IP Board President and retired professor of religion at Saint Louis University, will interview guests in each of the major non-Christian religions, including Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Judaism, Ethical Humanism, and the Baha'i Faith. The course is free and open to all. Learn more HERE.
October 2, 6:30 PM
Gateway Open and Affirming is hosting the second Drag Bingo event benefitting the United Church of Christ Open and Affirming Coalition. The event will be on Zoom beginning at 6:30 PM and ending at 9:00 PM. Registration information will be available soon!
Calling all tech-minded folks! Currently Hannah Rice is the only person trained to run our Sunday morning livestream. Since she will occasionally be on vacation or otherwise unavailable, it is necessary to train others to help with our online ministry. It is not hard to do, but does take someone a little tech-savvy, preferably with their own laptop or tablet they can bring. We're hoping to gather at least four volunteers. If you are interested, please contact Hannah.
Now that we are back to worshiping in person together, we are welcoming volunteers to help serve on Sunday mornings. We need greeters/ushers and liturgists. If you're interested in learning more, contact Hannah Rice, or sign up online HERE.
Tuesdays, 10:00 AM
Valerie Jackson leads the Sacred Studies and Fellowship group, which meets every Tuesday at 10:00 for study of the Bible and other texts, personal sharing, and lots of laughter. The group meets in the church Parlor. All are welcome to join!
Pastor Mia White: Mondays and Fridays
Emily Stokes: Mondays and Saturdays
Sarah Bereza: Mondays and Saturdays
Hannah Rice: Mondays and Saturdays

(The church office will be closed on Mondays)
Thank you to all of the medical professionals who continue to serve the public during these challenging times. We are thinking of you and praying for you. Please join in prayer for members of our community who work in the medical field. Are you a medical professional, or is there someone you care about who is? Let us know and we'll add to our list.
Dr. Mark Barlow
Dr. Ken Blumer
Dr. Mitch Botney
Dr. Melanie Bryan
Dr. Katherine Buchowski
Dr. Bill Chao
Dr. Kristy Holland
Dr. Bruce Jones
Dr. Cheryl Lynch-Lawler
Dr. Josh Madden
Dr. David Piston
Dr. Karen Smethers
Dr. Brandon Tan
If you would like to continue to give offerings to First Congregational Church, you may do so online HERE.

Alternatively, you may mail your offering to the church at 6501 Wydown Blvd. 63105.
FCC Church Office
Contact Us Via Email

Rev. Mia White: Senior Minister
Emily Stokes: Minister of Children & Families
Dr. Sarah Bereza: Minister of Music
Hannah Rice: Minister of Administration and Membership
Anne Chao: Preschool Director
Phone: 314.721.5060 Fax: 314.721.2716 Preschool: 314.721.7404