Straight to the Point
July 21, 2020
Prayer for This Week

Closing Prayer at the National Prayer Breakfast
Rep. John Lewis
February 6, 2020

Brothers and sisters,

We come to the National Prayer Breakfast in peace 
because peace is what we desperately need,
now more than ever before.
As a people of faith, as a people of hope,
we need the blessing of God Almighty.

It does not matter where you live
or how much money you have in your bank account.
It does not matter what language you speak, 
or the color of your skin.
It does not matter whether you worship one God.
many Gods or no God.
We are one people, one family — 
call it the American family; call it the world family.

We are brothers and sisters.
We live in a blessed land.
We have been blessed by God Almighty.
And we have a mission and a mandate
to be a blessing to our fellow human beings.

As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said on one occasion:
“I have decided to stick with love, for hate is too heavy a burden to bear.”
Many years ago, I thought I saw death as a young person 
at a march across a bridge in Selma, Alabama
where I was beaten, and left bloody and unconscious.
I thought I was going to die, but I never hated the people that beat me,
because I chose the way of peace,
the way of love, and the way of non-violence.
For the God Almighty helped me and he is keeping us all here.

So we must become truly one family and hold on to each other.
We must believe in one another.
We must never give up on our fellow human beings.
Today, now, we go in peace, we go in love
and recommit to treating each other
as we would treat ourselves. Amen.

Prayer for Our Way Forward

Our Church Council members have been in prayer for our church since April. Everyone can join the Council in prayer – here’s how:

The question to lay before God each day is: 

“Why did You 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.
 
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 . . . it may seem confusing.
 
What you bring to FCUCC's discernment 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 must be something you are willing to give yourself to wholeheartedly –
and it will necessitate your personal and full participation.

            -- Pastor Anne
Congregation Ratifies the Hiring of New Pastor
 
Tonight, July 21 st , Dr. Rev. Michael D. Castle was offered the position of Pastor at FCUCC. The congregation completed balloting on a motion to approve the hiring as of 6:00 p.m. this evening. The Search Committee collected the ballots and finished counting in time for the Congregational Meeting by ZOOM at 7:00 p.m. The meeting reconvened from Monday, and the results of the balloting were announced.

The Search Committee and Church Council look forward to working with Pastor Mike and anticipate that he will get relocated to Sioux City in August and plan to begin on September 1, 2020. The level of participation by the congregation in a ZOOM Meet and Greet, and the ZOOM Congregational Meeting are positive indications of our anxiousness to begin in partnership with Pastor Mike.

Together we will collaborate on expanding our faith journeys and identifying how we make a difference in God’s world.

Church Council Meeting - June 26th

There will be a council meeting following the church Service on Sunday, July 26. All church members are invited to attend. If anyone has anything to add to the agenda, please contact Lois Darrow by Friday morning, July 24th. There will be time at the beginning of the council meeting for anyone who has concerns they would like to bring to council.  
Lois Darrow, Moderator
Sanford Center Summer Program

Sanford Center began their summer programming in June. When they opened, they were running very low on snacks for their participants and were at risk of completely running out. Thanks to the generous community we play a part in, they now have an abundance of snacks, and may even be able to provide snack bags for children to take home. This mission project has been a great success!

THANK YOU for your support of this important ministry to some of our community's most impacted children.
Missions Committee


The FCUCC Building is Closed Until at Least September 1st
Our Hearts and Hands are Wide Open!

Due to the Public Health Emergency,
UCC Church Buildings in IA, NE, SD are Closed into the Fall

Siouxland District Health is working with the Iowa Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to minimize the impacts of COVID-19 in our community. Social distancing and frequent hand washing is encouraged to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

According to Siouxland Health, it’s important to:
  1. Avoid crowds where there are more than 10 people and practice good hygiene by washing your hands frequently
  2. Support your local businesses
  3. Wear a mask when social distancing is a challenge . . .

SIOUXLAND HEALTH'S BEST PRACTICES 
  • Don’t congregate in large groups at the mall or in parks. Keep it to less than 10 people. Maintain a social distance of six feet.
  • Wear a cloth face covering. The CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission. Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2 or others unable to remove the mask without assistance.
Keep the Connection -- Join us on “Zoom”
Todd Siefker will be sending out an invitation link right before each event.

6:30 pm Wednesday – Weekly Reflection Time
1:00 pm Friday -- Friday Bible Study on Galatians with Pastor Anne
9:30 am Sunday – "Admiration Series" Study Session
10:30 am Sunday – Worship


ZOOM Meetings – Remember to Invite Others!
 
Invite your friends to attend the Wednesday night, Friday, or Sunday morning gatherings.
Each of us knows people who need connection during this time. You can send your friends the invitation link or send their emails to Todd so he can send them the invitation. This is a way to reach out and enlarge our caring community!
 
Before each Zoom session, you will receive an email invitation to the session. By clicking on the link included in the invitation, you can join the session.

You can join online with your computer OR by phone.
Follow the instructions that come in the email.
 
On Wednesday evenings, at 6:30 pm Todd Siefker will lead a reflection time.

On Fridays at 1:00 pm Pastor Anne is leading a series on Galatians.
 
Sunday mornings will be a 2-part session from 9:30 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. 
  • At 9:30 a.m. Todd Siefker will lead the Admiration Series. This Sunday we'll discuss Chapter 6 of Richard Rohr’s book, Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life.
  •  At 10:30 a.m. Pastor Anne will lead a Worship Service. 

You can join in at any time during the morning by using the Zoom link.

Friday Bible Study with Pastor Anne -- 1:00 pm on Zoom
(online or by phone)
Although we're not meeting at Pierce Street Coffee Works right now, we can connect our tables together by meeting on Zoom. You're invited to join Pastor Anne for a series on Paul's letter to the Galatians.

July 24 Free to Change (Galatians 2:15-21)
July 30 No session
August 7 Free to Receive (Galatians 3:28-4:11)
August 14 Free to Create (Galatians 5:22-6:5)


Sunday Tech Buddies Needed

Our Council is attempting to include all members into our Sunday Zoom church services. To do this we have been brainstorming in several options. One of these is to set up Sunday Tech Buddies. To do this we need to:

  • Get a few Chrome Books (or the like) and set up to do Zooming. 
  • Find a few volunteers who have “hot spots” on their phones, and who are willing to be Sunday Tech Buddies.
  • Have the Sunday Tech Buddies bring a Chrome Book and their “hot spot” to those who do not have internet access. They would share the church service in a socially distanced way (masks, 6’ apart, using hand sanitizer before and after). 

If you have a “hot spot” on your phone and are willing to be a Sunday Tech Buddy to someone who cannot attend church right now, but would like to, give Tiffany Watts or Lois Darrow a call and we will begin working on this project. Call Tiffany at 712-239-3385 or Lois at 712-490-5969.  


Pastor Michael Castle
Kenny Miller
Sandy Gregory
Katherine Trautman
The Beier-Parker Family
The Bilka Family
Jay Rosenberg’s mother
Anne Cleghorn
Joan Lewis
Leo Leonard
Betty Schwerin
Cameron Mower & Family
The Willmott Family
John Dilenschneider
Lon Claeys' Family


Take Some Time to Check in With Each Other

Remember to “check in” with the person(s) before you and after you in the current church directory. Let's make sure everyone is connected during this time!


Prayer & Support For Our Local Restaurants
This week: Pierce Street Coffee Works

Although the "Foodies" may not be able to meet in person, we can still pray!

This week, we're praying for, and supporting, the owners and the staff at Pierce Street Coffee Works at 1920 Pierce St. Established in 1994, Pierce Street Coffee Works is the oldest coffee shop in Sioux City. It claims to have the best sandwich in town, The Nutty Bird! If you plan to order from a restaurant this week, order from Pierce Street. We'll let them know the members of FCUCC are praying for them.

Moving-On Box Needs

Toasters - these are especially needed right now
Bath Towels/Hand Towels
Washcloths
Cake Pans
Silverware


 The Soup Kitchen

The Soup Kitchen has been hit hard with the expanded need of families and individuals needing food assistance during COVID-19. Because of this expanded need in our community, they are asking that we continue to contribute, but to do so with Gift Cards or monetary means so that they can appropriately purchase foods as needed. Gift Cards from Fareway, Hyvee, Walmart, etc. would be greatly appreciated. They have served well over 8000 meals since the beginning of the Pandemic and the need is growing. You can drop the cards off at the Soup Kitchen or Mail them to:

717 W. 7th Street
Suoix City, Iowa 51103

They also have Venmo and Paypal for those who would like to donate through that method. Here is the info from them:

If you are wanting to make a donation please use the following:
Venmo : @siouxland-soupkitchen
PayPal : siouxlandsoupkitchen@gmail.com
All donations can be issued a receipt for tax purposes.


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 June 2020

Giving in June amounted to $6,611.00 , 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
office@firstcongregational.net
www.1stcongregationalucc.org

(605) 906-5404 (Cell)
leadwithsoul@mac.com

office@firstcongregational.net

tsiefker@gmail.com

darrowpipe@aol.com

hettingern@morningside.edu
4600 Hamilton Boulevard
Sioux City, IA 51104
(712) 239-3385