Straight to the Point
July 7, 2020
Reflection & Prayer for This Week

    If you cannot include and integrate the common-sense lessons of the first half of life, I doubt if you have moved to the second. . . . People who know how to creatively break the rules also know why the rules are there in the first place. Jesus doesn’t throw out the law. He just goes further with it. . . .

    We must love and use the law not for its own sake, but for the sake of getting us started on the journey. What is the law’s goal? What is it leading us toward? . . . We must learn the first half of life’s lessons and internalize them before moving on to the second half of life.

    The point is not to get rid of the law, nor is it to glibly obey the law. The purpose of the law is to make us struggle with it long enough so that we can find its real purpose: love.

     It’s in the struggle that we learn. Ask yourself, “What is the message in this for me? Why do I continually have difficulty following this law? Where is this desire or addiction coming from? What is it telling me about the nature of my soul?” The point is to bring awareness to the struggle, to let it teach you, and to let it lead you to a new place of deeper and more expansive love. 
-- Essential Teachings on Love by Richard Rohr, p.70

So we begin with Jesus' summary of the "law" --
his invitation into the struggle that will deepen our faith:

"Love your neighbor AS yourself" . . .

Our Black neighbor
Our Latinx neighbor
Our Asian neighbor
Our Indigenous neighbor
Our immigrant neighbor
Our Jewish neighbor
Our Muslin neighbor
Our atheist neighbor
Our conservative neighbor
Our progressive neighbor
Our LGBTQ+ neighbor
Our Millennial neighbor
Our Boomer neighbor
Our incarcerated neighbor
Our disabled neighbor
Our LGBTQ+ neighbor
Our homeless neighbor
Our ____________ neighbor


Gracious God, love us into change.
Love us, so we can learn to love ourselves.
Help us love ourselves, so we can learn to love others.
Help us love others, so we can learn to love You.
Gracious God, love us into change
so we may be like You.
Amen.

While Portland State University graduate Madisen Hallberg was singing the national anthem for PSU’s virtual commencement ceremonies in downtown Portland, a stranger started singing along with her. Madisen was quite surprised. Then she saw that the “stranger” was Emmanuel Henreid, a classically trained singer, dancer, actor and pianist who sings with the Portland Opera and teaches students across the world. Enjoy this moment of collaboration!
Prayer for Our Way Forward

Our Church Council members have been in prayer for our church from April to August. 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 . . .
 
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 must be something you are willing to give yourself to wholeheartedly –
and it will necessitate your personal and full participation.

            -- Pastor Anne

Site Visit - Search Committee Update

The Search Committee continues with the process of identifying a candidate for the position of Pastor at FCUCC. An individual who is in the interview process has requested an opportunity to visit the community as part of their deliberation and consideration. We have invited this individual and will be hosting the visit over this next weekend (July 11 & 12).
Jim France - Search Committee

Sanford Center Summer Program

Sanford Center began their summer programming.  They are running very low and will run out of snacks, cereal, and drinks if we do not help them with donations. We as a community need to step up and meet our committment to provide them with these items. If you can donate anything please do so.

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:

SANFORD CENTER
1700 Geneva St
Sioux City, IA 51103

A Note from Dick Owens:

The Missions Committee has provided information about how we can continue to support the Sanford's Center Summer Program. Here is some additional information to consider. 

A main need for the Sanford Center providing the Summer Program is money. Due to the pandemic, we were not able to hold our spring fund raiser at the Orpheum. That money was what we have used in the past to fund some of the programming costs. Knowing we would be facing a deficit, the Center has been able to get meals provided through a free food program in cooperation with the Stella Sanford Center. That is working well. But the lack of the fund raising dollars, the Center is hard pressed to cover all of the salaries and other programming cost. Because of this need, I am suggesting that we consider making financial donations to the Center to assist them. Please give this some serious thought and let's see what we can manage. I know Verlee and I will be doing this sometime this week. Any amount will be appreciated.

Thanks. Dick Owens 

THANK YOU for your support of this important ministry to some of our community's most impacted children.
Missions Committee
Chuck Johnson - 90th Birthday!

Chuck Johnson will be 90 years old on July 13th and because we cannot have a party and/or cake after church, I am sure he would enjoy birthday cards from his church family! If you would like to send one to him, his address is:

Chuck Johnson
630 Surrey Lane
Sioux City, IA 51106.

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 virus.

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 . . .

  • 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 – The Admiration Series: Falling Upward by Richard Rohr
10:30 am Sunday – Worship, Sermon, & Prayer


ZOOM Meetings – Remember to Invite Others!
 
Invite your friends to attend the Wednesday night, Friday, or Sunday morning sessions.
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 5 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 10 Free to Live (Galatians 1:1-11)
July 17 Free to Change (Galatians 2:15-21)
July 24 Free to Receive (Galatians 3:28-4:11)
July 30 No session
August 7 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.  

Leone Eidsmoe & family
Katherine Trautman
Hazel Blaine
Mike and Deb Timblin
Ginger France’s sister
Madison Darrow
Tia Iddings
Greg Gregerson
Greg Gregerson’s father
The Bilka Family
Betty Schwerin
Ruth Holder’s granddaughter
Jay Rosenberg’s mother
Anne Cleghorn
Bud Ziebell
Ty Ridgway
Joan Lewis
Leo Leonard
John Dilenschneider
Lon Claeys' Family
Luan McQuown & All Teachers


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: D'Leon's Taco Rico

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 D'Leon's Taco Rico, 4301 Gordon Drive. It is just east of the Casey’s on the corner of Gordon Drive and Stone Ave. Good food, reasonable prices. If you plan to order from a restaurant this week, order from D'Leon's. We'll let them know the members of FCUCC are praying for them.

Zesto's Furniture Giveaway hosted by Mayflower Church

Zestos will be giving an assortment of furniture away for free
at the Mayflower Church lawn on July 11 from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m.
They will be requiring people to observe health precautions --
wearing a mask,
entering only at designated areas (follow the posted signs)
and social distancing.

Delivery is NOT available.

Moving-On Box Needs

Bath Towels/Hand Towels
Washcloths
Toasters
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. They have recently reached out and have received a wonderful amount of food - so much so that their shelves and freezers are well stocked with fresh produce and canned goods. 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 Faraway, 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 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
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