October Monthly Pulse Newsletter
A Note from Pastor Coqui

Dear Church,

A personal note first. If you didn’t hear, I have a new granddaughter who lives in Hopkins. Her name is Della Louise. She has three older sisters who are delighted she is with them. Della was born on the last day of summer and on International Peace Day, September 21. I pray great and good things for her!

I hope you, like me, have begun to imagine what church looks like this fall and into the season of Advent and Christmas. What are the opportunities we have to do things in new and different and exciting ways? What opportunities are there for us to do something entirely new? How do we stay connected with each other and with the community? I have lots of questions like that. 

A year and half ago a group talked through the idea that, like Lewis and Clark, we had reached a mountaintop carrying canoes only to discover that there was no water. The resources that had sustained us to that point were not going to sustain us into the future. (Canoeing the Mountains by Tod Bolsinger) Little did we know that the mountaintop preceded a deep valley called COVID-19. Retooling has been our challenge for six months. The resources at our hands are not necessarily the ones we expected to use. Instead, we’ve upped our game in virtual communication and web presence. We continue to grow in this area. 

I grieve the opportunity to plan a community Thanksgiving Service for this year. And, I celebrate the broad opportunity to created a service that can premier for our broader community – maybe even the world. Trust me. I’d rather sit down with you and eat pie.

I grieve that it is likely we will not worship together in the sanctuary during Advent. Even if we did we would miss the great musical Sundays that have become our tradition. I am ready, though, to join the flowing creative energy for some great virtual worship. I am looking forward to the possibility of December activities outside.

I grieve the absence of Wednesday night dinners and Youth Group. At the same time, I see Wednesdays as an opportunity to try new things like the Fire Pit Vesper Service.

Grief and hope are interwoven. Each of us is at our own place in this journey of change. I love to hear the ideas you have. Please email, call or text! Together we continue to serve Christ in our community. 

Blessings,
Pastor Coqui
507-413-7313
In our prayers:

  • Emily O’Malley-Laursen – for healing and strength
  • Joanne Hollinger and Mae Blood following the death of their spouses
  • Della Louis and her parents Jennifer and Nick, celebrating new life
  • All those who struggle with mental health concerns and chronic health conditions
  • Those deeply affected by wild fires, hurricanes, and tornadoes and by drought or flooding
  • For those who struggle financially especially in the face of Covid-19
  • For a nation strained by racial tensions and election politics
  • For our congregation
These Days Daily Devotional
The current edition of These Days quarterly devotional books has arrived. You can call or text Pastor Coqui (518-596-9990) to have one delivered. You can call the church office (507-451-1546) Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday between 10 and 2 to arrange a time to pick one up. You can stop by the church building and pick one up out of the box outside the east doors. 
Physically Distanced Pumpkin Carving - Friday, October 23
Everyone is invited to Associated Church for our Annual Pumpkin Carving on Friday, October 23 from 5:00 - 8:00pm. We will observe the following guidelines.

  1. Masks are required during the entire event. Maybe you could decorate a mask for Halloween and wear it that night!
  2. We will work in family groups and will be physically distancing while in the Fellowship Hall.  
  3. Everyone will enter and leave from the North West door.  
  4. Bring your own pumpkin and carving tools.
  5. If you would like to use the fire pit for roasting hot dogs, or marshmallows we will have the fire going!! Due to Covid-19 guidelines, you will have to bring everything you need to roast over the fire including the food and sticks. 
  6. Bring a chair so you can sit around the fire for a bit.
  7. We will provide the candles for the pumpkins so we can hopefully light them all up when all the carving is done.
Youth at the Fire - Friday, October 9
Youth in middle and senior high are invited to gather at the firepit on Friday, October 9 at 7:00 PM. Wear a mask (of course). Join Leslea Partridge, Sharon Partridge, and Bev Cashman for conversation, games, and story-telling. Who knows a good ghost story? You can invite a friend but we must limit our total number of people to 25. Registration is required.
Welcoming Work Group October Event
October 27: First Person Stories
The Associated Church Welcoming Work Group (WWG) invites you to a virtual panel discussion of first-person stories from members of the LGBTQ community in the comfort of your home. This event will take place October 27 at 6:30 P.M. We are very pleased to announce that Kimi Floyd Reisch, Program Minister of the Open and Affirming Coalition, will moderate the event in which three guests will share their personal stories, including their experience with church.

You can access this event by going to the following Zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/4551928290?pwd=Z1BGUjBDK1k1M1lRMUtJd3BJc3dZdz09 (Meeting ID: 455 192 8290, Passcode: Covenant)

During a time of bewildering global challenges and perplexity over personal safety, this discussion is one opportunity to focus on our church, and to share our faith journey by hearing real life accounts and stories of personal challenges. How do each of us seek the dignity of all people? The WWG is our church’s resource group. Their charge is to bring awareness of and to open our hearts to specific ways our church can make a difference in the lives of others.

The confusing Covid crisis has not allowed our congregation to meet as we normally do- thus creating a challenge for the WWG to communicate to you. We hope that you take advantage of participating in this event. Due to Covid, timeline notices may be shorter than the group would prefer, so please stay tuned for future announcements.  

In 2021, our hope is to have the congregation decide if Associated Church shall become an Open and Affirming / More Light church that openly welcomes LGBTQ people. (Open and Affirming is the UCC denomination’s designation for churches in support of the LGBTQ community; More Light is the Presbyterian designation.)

If you would like more information on the WWG's past work, please visit our website: www.associatedchurch.org/welcoming. We look forward to meeting with you October 27!
Small Gifts. Big Impact.
Give someone some eggs, or a forest, or a deep rock well, or a cow and double the pleasure. There is always a reason to give gifts. Birthdays, anniversaries, friendship, births, holidays all offer a reason to give a gift. Have you ever checked out the Presbyterian Giving Catalog? Giving through Presbyterian Gifts helps the world as well as honoring your friend or loved one. Check out the ideas here.
Contemplative Gatherings

The Minnesota Conference Outdoor Ministry invites you to participate in a three-part Online Contemplative Gathering with three talented singer-songwriters – open to all ages, congregations, and leaders.

The dates are October 17, 10:00 am-noon, November 14, 10:00 a.m.-noon, and December 13, 6:30-8:30 pm. Find out the details and register here.
Start your day with morning prayer

At 8 AM CDT, Monday thru Friday, center your mind and heart for the day with a simple experience of psalms, scripture, prayer, silence and Taize music. (The worship is offered again at 11 AM CDT.) The service is led by Andy Lang, Executive Director of the UCC Open & Affirming Coalition. Each service lasts about 20 minutes. Join it on Zoom at: zoom.us/j/5556624822.

A personal note: I have taken part in this and am surprised how uplifting it is. It grounds me very personally in an awareness of God and God’s hope.  - Pat Postlewaite
Join Us for Worship
Sundays at 9AM streaming on our website or on our Facebook page.
Wednesdays at the firepit at 7:00 PM
21-Day Racial Equity Habit Building Challenge
Sometimes it is for effective to covenant with a group for accountability for some work. Growing in our practices of racial equity and anti-racisms is ongoing work. Are you ready to make a covenant with others to stick to a plan you devise to build new habits?

This is a four-session opportunity with Pastor Coqui and Sue Bowcock to dig deeper into your practices of anti-racism and into your assumptions. The first session will be on October 11 at 4:00. We will meet remotely via Zoom. At the first session we will explain how we found this Habit Building Challenge to be useful. We will look at expectations for the 21-days. We will meet on October 18, 25, and November 1 to check in with each other. This is the accountability part. A minimum of four people needs to register and a maximum of twelve. Here is more about the 21-day Racial Equity Challenge.
Winter Coat Drive: Spread the Warmth!
From October 1 - 31, Community Pathways is asking for donations of new or gently used coats, snow pants, hats, scarves, gloves, and snow boots. Donations should be brought to Community Pathways (155 Oakdale St, Owatonna, MN 55060).
A Note From Members
This note was received at the church office:

Brothers and sisters:

Blessing for everyone and take care. Many stone in the way but we know in the hands we are. No matter what happens, The Lord is with us. Octavia is better but we don’t go outside. My son and Lorna get everything we need.

We pray for everyone. We watch TV and read and music all time. I hope soon as possible we can go to church.

Remember the ONE and ONLY is with us. He take care of us.
Bendicionés a todo y cuidenson.

With love,
Pedro and Octavia (Hernandez)
NOTICE: Annual Meeting Ballots
In order to make it possible to include all members in the Annual Administrative Meeting, Council has decided to conduct the business of this meeting via paper ballot. A ballot a with postage-paid return envelope will be sent to each member in mid-November. Please watch your mail.