4600 Hamilton Boulevard  •  Sioux City, Iowa 51104  •  (712) 239-3385
Straight to the Point
June 9, 2020
Reflection & Prayer for This Week

We are changed by relationships. Not by edicts or laws, not by yelling or threats. This is how Jesus and the early church changed the world. It’s the hard in-person work of relationship that changes us on a deep level – and that’s where systemic change begins: in our own hearts and lives. Elizabeth Bettenhausen once asked us to examine our relationships. She asked:

Who do you always eat with?
Who do you never eat with?
Wo do you eat with who is different from you?

As you pray this prayer from Martin Luther King, Jr. this week, consider:
·          Who of a different race/ethnicity, national origin, socio-economic class, ability/disability, age group, sexuality/transgender identification, or religious tradition have you spent time with (virtually or in a social-distanced manner) in June so far?
·          How are you, personally, now changed by these engagements this month?
·          How are you acting differently in your daily life because of these engagements?
·          If you have not had a significant engagement with someone different from yourself, who can you reach out to and connect with in your life?

Ever present God, you called us to be in relationship with one another
and promised to dwell wherever two or three are gathered.
In our community, we are many different people;
we come from many different places, have many different cultures.
Open our hearts that we may be bold
in finding the riches of inclusion
and the treasures of diversity among us.
We pray in faith.

                                                            - Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
Prayer Concerns
Marly Van Berkum's sister
Betty Schwerin
Leone Eidsmoe & Family
Katherine Trautman
Mike & Deb Timblin
Ginger France's Sister
Tia Iddings
Mark Schmedinghoff
Greg Johnson
Greg Gregerson's Father
Roberta Pendelton's Family
The Bilka Family
Anne Cleghorn
Prayer for Our Way Forward

The spiritual discipline for our Church Council for April to June is Discernment. Everyone can join the Council in prayer – here’s how:

The question to lay before God each day is: 
“Why did God call together — here and now, in 2020 — this group of elders who are engaged in the arts, the community, and personal and spiritual growth?”
Then become silent and listen for the still, small voice of God –
the voice that says “do not be afraid” to leave the known ways behind
and speaks of the new life and opportunity we are being led into.
For your daily prayer time (30-60 minutes), you may want to:
Sit – dropping down below your opinions and your known experience — and listen for the revelation that is coming to you
Walk – engaging your natural breath and rhythm – and observe the revelation that is coming to you
Attend to the invitation you are beginning to hear in the stillness.
It should be larger than anything you can control or direct.
You will not know the way . . .
What you bring to the next meeting will be something brand new.
It will not be something you have shared at Council before.
It will not be something you know how to do.
It will be something you are willing to give yourself to wholeheartedly –
and it will necessitate your personal and full participation.
As one colleague reminded me 9 years ago when I left California, after living there 31 years, to move to a new life in North, and then South, Dakota: 
“The proof of God’s leading is that we shall end up where we never intended to go.”
            -- Pastor Anne
FCUCC is Closed Until at Least September 1st
UCC Churches in IA, NE, SD to Stay Closed into the Fall

I know that the Council’s decision to have our building remain closed until at least September was difficult. I know a number of people were disappointed. However, it is very important to remain closed for the sake of the precious lives of everyone in our community. One more death is one more too many. We are nowhere near being "out of the woods” yet.
Be assured that the decision to open FCUCC’s church building will be made by the Church Council based on direction from our UCC Conference, following guidance from national, state, county and city health departments.
In the meantime, as our Unitarian sisters and brothers have noted: “Although our doors may be closed, our hearts are still open.”
Keep encouraging, caring, and praying for others. Stay home. In order to protect others, wear a mask if you need to go out.
-- Pastor Anne
Sanford Center Summer Program

Sanford Center has begun their summer programming on June 8.. 
As in past summers, FCUCC members are asked to provide cereal and individually wrapped snacks and juice boxes/water for these children. You may bring your items to church and place them in the shopping cart in the front narthex. The church office is open M-F 10-2. OR you may drop your purchases off at the Sanford Center at 1700 Geneva St. IF you would prefer to send a check to the Sanford Center for snack purchases, that would also be appreciated. Please make your check to the Sanford Center and write “FCUCC Summer Snacks” in the memo line. 
The mailing address is:

1700 Geneva St
Sioux City, IA 51103
THANK YOU for your support of this important ministry to some of our community's most impacted children.
Missions Committee
Checking in With Each Other

  Remember to “check in” with the person(s) before you and after you in the last church directory. We want to make sure everyone is connected. If you have not completed the Church Directory Update form for our new Directory, now is the time! Help us keep in touch with you during this time.
   The form for the directory is also attached to this week’s email and on the church website at www.1stcongregationalucc.org. Please fill out the form and email it to Tiffany, the church administrator, at office@firstcongregational.net . You may also print and mail it in, if necessary.
Friday Bible Study with Pastor Anne
We can’t meet at Pierce Street Coffee Works, but we can gather at our own tables and meet on Zoom. If you – and your friends – are interested in a Friday study, contact Tiffany in the church office. Let her know if Friday morning or afternoon is better for you.

Remember to Support FCUCC Financially During this Time!

During this COVID-19 event, having no in-person services has impacted our normal income. Thank you to those who have mailed in checks!

FCUCC Finances for May 2020

Giving in May amounted to $6,590, all from mail-in and online giving.

You can help us stay on track by mailing in your check or setting up an automatic payment from your bank. You can also contribute through a simple app called Tithe.ly.  
        Tithe.ly is our online, app and web-based giving system. Tithe.ly is convenient because it:
·          Accepts debit, credit or bank account info
·          Can be set up for a one-time payment, or automatic regular payments
·          Can be changed at any time (there are no contracts or commitments)
Go to  http://get.tithe.ly   to sign up online, or download the app on any iPhone/Apple or Android device.
Rummage Sale
For those of you doing your spring house cleaning during this time, there is plenty of room to store things you wish to get rid of. Just bring them to church when Tiffany is in the office (10 a.m. to 2 p.m.) and she will open the doors for you.

Sharing Our Community Memories and God Moments
In the spirit of Pastor Al Hohl's book on Prayer we've been talking about the importance of Remembering. To Pastor Hohl, forgetting is not the opposite of remembering. He says that DISmembering is actually the opposite of REmembering. He writes, "...to not remember is to tear apart. What we tear apart runs the risk of being scattered in our imaginations" (Hohl 2020, 172). I believe we would rather not run this risk. 

We are starting our own Story Corps Project. We would like your story about how this faith community has benefited your life in written, audio recorded, or video recorded format. Please send them to Todd at tsiefker@gmail.com or back to Tiffany at our church email at office@firstcongregational.net. In case you need some prompts from Pastor Anne to get started, here are a few that might help:

  • I came to FCUCC because . . .
  • The person or group here who has made the most difference in my life is ___________________because . . . 
  • I learned something new here that deepened my faith when . . .
  • I was able to make a difference in the community/wider world through FCUCC when . . .
  • A time I met God through FCUCC was . . .
  • A favorite memory I have of my time with FCUCC is . . .
Church Office Hours
Monday - Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Church Staff:
Rev. Dr. Anne Dilenschneider, Interim Pastor

Tiffany Watts, Church Administrator

Todd Siefker, Intergenerational Coordinator

Rick Darrow, Organist

Nate Hettinger, Choir Director
Church Contact Information
(712) 239-3385

(605) 906-5404 (Cell)