No matter who you are or where you are on life's journey, you are welcome here!
Please note:
The church office will be closed Friday September 3
and Monday September 6 for the Memorial Day holiday.
This Sunday, September 5, 2021
Communion
Worship at 10:00 AM, In Person

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

Scripture - 1 Corinthians 14:26

Face mask wearing remains mandatory for all in-person worshippers over the age of five.

This worship service includes Communion. All are invited to participate. For everyone's health and safety, you will receive a small bag with a piece of bread and an individual cup of juice.
NO LIVESTREAM THIS SUNDAY
Unfortunately there will be no livestream this Sunday. We are having plaster repaired in the sanctuary and scaffolding has been installed, which taking up a large amount of space on the pulpit side. It obstructs the camera's view so we will not be able to livestream this Sunday. Instead we will post a previously recorded service from another Sunday, which you can watch on facebook or YouTube at 10:00 AM. We apologize for this change and next Sunday we should be back to livestreaming.

We are also aware of sound challenges and instabilities with the livestream video, so we are investigating those with our tech company as well.
LEARN A NEW SONG WITH SARAH BEREZA
We’re learning a new hymn to support this year’s theme of Radical Inclusion - Our Minister of Music, Sarah Bereza, shared a video to help us learn the chorus so we’re ready to sing on Sunday! Check out the video HERE.
COMPOSER SPOTLIGHT: Flor Peeters
This Sunday’s postlude was composed by the Belgian organist, teacher, and composer Flor Peeters (1903-1986). He was a noted recitalist and among his students were a number of American organists. In 1923 he became the organ professor at the Lemmens Institute and also the organist of St. Rumbold’s Cathedral in Mechelen, both of which positions he held for the rest of his life. His many compositions are primarily for organ or choir. 
VIRTUAL COFFEE HOUR
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.
ARTICLE FOR COFFEE HOUR
Our Zoom Coffee Hour discussion this Sunday will focus on an article from The Christian Century: This Seattle church's stained-glass Jesus was far too White by Sam Luikens. Drop into Zoom this Sunday at 11:20 to discuss this article and check in on one another!
WELCOME DARREN TUCKER
New Staff Tenor
Darren Tucker is excited to be joining the church in worship as a staff tenor! He is a St. Louis U High graduate and is in his senior year at Webster University studying music. He has had appearances locally at The MUNY, Powell Hall, Sheldon Concert Hall and Opera Theatre of St. Louis. Instagram @darrenmtucker 

As an African American, we are delighted Darren brings more diversity to our Chancel Choir!
EMILY'S CORNER
Welcome to Emily’s Corner! Each week I will highlight an event that is coming up, give you insight into our Sunday school program, or just pass on some interesting information. I hope you check it out each week!

I am so excited about our upcoming fall and I hope you are too! I have created a fall program that is entirely outdoors so that we can help protect our children who are unvaccinated. Here are some of our upcoming events you will want to put on your calendar:

September 10 - Family Movie Night - Moana, 7:30 on the Garth
September 19 - Faith in an Anxious World first session (high school)
October 1 - Family Movie Night - Trolls World Tour, 7:00 on the Garth
October 24th - Pumpkin Carving/Painting, following worship
November 5 - Family Movie Night - Wonder, 6:30 on the Garth
November 28 - Advent Fest, following worship
December 4 - Pageant Rehearsal, 10:00 - 11:30
December 5 - Intergenerational Christmas Pageant
December 19 - Family Night at the Ice Rink, TBD
UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST APPEAL: SEVERE STORMS 2021
The UCC has launched a ‘Severe Storms 2021’ appeal to take donations for Hurricane Ida relief. Gifts can be made online using this page at the UCC website.

“As damage reports and assessments continue to come in, may we pause to hold the people affected by Hurricane Ida in our prayers for their safety, health, and comfort,” said Josh Baird, Global H.O.P.E. team leader. “While the urge on our part to rush to offer help is normal given the destruction we are witnessing, unsolicited aid at this time often increases the burden on impacted communities. Material goods should only be sent when specifically requested by an organization and volunteers should never self-deploy.”
SHARE YOUR HERITAGE
On kick-off Sunday we were able to hear from several people about their heritage. Everyone has an interesting story to tell! If you'd like to share your heritage with the congregation, please send a short story to Hannah (hrice@firstcongregational.org). We will share one story each month here in the eBulletin.
THANK YOU FROM OUR MISSION PARTNERS
Twice a year our Mission and Outreach Ministry team sends monetary donations from our congregation to the agencies we are in relationship with. You can read some of the letters we have received back HERE. Thank you for your generosity to our church, which then allows us to extend the generosity into our community.
UPDATE CONTACT INFORMATION
Hannah is updating our records for our church member directory. If any of your contact information has changed since January 2021, please contact Hannah (hrice@firstcongregational.org). Thank you!
ANNOUNCING NEIGHBOR 2 NEIGHBOR!
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 carolsklein@me.com for the link.)
POSTPONED: PASTOR MIA'S INSTALLATION SERVICE
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.
FCC CONFIRMATION CLASS
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.
AMY CAMIE IN THE LADUE NEWS
Amy Camie, who has often played harp in FCC's worship services, was recently featured in the Ladue News. Check out the article HERE.
BEREAVEMENT NOTICE: AUDREY NOURSE
Rev. Audrey Nourse, 83, died on August 19, 2021 in St. Louis. She was a UCC pastor and also the spouse of a former FCC interim pastor, Rev. John Nourse. You can read Audrey's obituary, view the arrangements, and leave a tribute online HERE.
INTERFAITH CONCERT
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 www.hecmedia.org 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.
SAVE THE DATE: GATEWAY ONA DRAG BINGO FUNDRAISER
October 2, 6:30 PM
Registration is open!

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. A free will offering will be taken for the Open & Affirming Coalition of the UCC and the AllianceQ of the Christian Church Disciples of Christ. Registration is $25 and includes 5 bingo cards via email. Register by September 28 at www.gatewayona.com/bingo-fundraiser-2021.html. For additional information, contact Melissa at mhattman@att.net or call 314-443-4277.
TECH VOLUNTEERS
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.
SERVE ON SUNDAY MORNINGS
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.
SACRED STUDIES AND FELLOWSHIP
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!
STAFF TEAM WEEKLY DAYS OFF
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
ONLINE GIVING
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