Straight to the Point
June 23, 2020
Reflection & Prayer for This Week

As we protect ourselves and others from COVID-19, there are still many ways to make a difference in the world. Consider these ways to address and change both ourselves and systemic racial inequalities:

Protest with your money  – Boycott companies and institutions that do not practice racial justice. Make purchases from companies that practice what they preach. Invest in causes that promote equality, especially those that are led by Persons of Color.

Protest with your vote  – Get engaged in the process. Help people register to vote. Make sure everyone has equal access to voting, whether they vote by mail (support the USPS) or at precinct polling places. Support candidates who reflect your values. Research your ballot thoroughly and thoughtfully in advance of elections so you know what each candidate stands for and what they support.

Protest with your voice  – Address stereotypes of any kind when you hear them, as soon as you hear them. Help others understand how hurtful their words are.

Protest with your handwriting  - Write letters. This is a simple, effective way to speak from your home. Receiving a hand-written letter makes a difference. Legislators who receive hand-written letters are more likely to vote in a way that will bring about change.

Protest with your creativity  – Express your hope for our future with your art, poetry, writing, music, face masks, clothing, signs on your car windows, social media, etc. Also support the creativity of others. Circulate creative messages you receive or find.

Protest with your care – Wear a mask whenever and wherever you are in public. This is the best way to protect others, especially those who are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19: our elders and persons of color.

Protest with your love  – Expand your circle of care to include more people. Reach out to others in the communities you are part of. Include people of different backgrounds and identities. The children lead us in this:
Prayer: Gracious God, you created each of us to be a uniquely different expression of your presence in the world. Help us recognize and welcome our shared destiny as members of one human race. Help our rivalry and competition for the earth's resources give way to sharing your abundance with all. Help us grow in love, empathy, solidarity and freedom. And give us the courage to boldly celebrate our unity with all our brothers and sisters. Amen.
Prayer for Our Way Forward

Our Church Council members have been in prayer for our church from April to June. 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.
 
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 must 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
Sanford Center Summer Program

Sanford Center began their summer programming.  They are running very low and will run out of snacks, cereal, and drinks by July 1st 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
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
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
9:30 am Sunday – The Admiration Series: Falling Upward by Richard Rohr
10:30 am Sunday – Worship, Sermon, & Prayer


ZOOM Meetings – Be Sure to Invite Others!
 
Invite your friends to attend the Wednesday night or Sunday morning sessions (and Fridays, once we get started). 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.
 
On Wednesday evenings, at 6:30 pm Todd Siefker will lead a reflection time.
 
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 are discussing Chapter 3 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 -- July 3rd at 1:00 pm
Although we're not meeting at Pierce Street Coffee Works right now, we can connect our tables together on Zoom.
Join Pastor Anne at 1:00 pm to reflect on the ways Scripture guides us in expanding God's Welcome Table in these challenging times.
FCUCC in the Media

Letter: It's time for reflection
Todd Siefker had a Letter to the Editor published in the  Sioux City Journal  on June 4 th . You can read it at:

MINI Letter: Keep wearing masks
Ruth Koster had a MINI Letter to the Editor published in the  Sioux City Journal  on June 12 th . You can read it at:
Marly Van Berkum’s sister
Marly Van Berkum’s brother-in-law
Leone Eidsmoe & family       
Katherine Trautman
Hazel Blaine
Mike and Deb Timblin
Ginger France’s sister
Tia Iddings
Mark Schmedinghoff
Greg Johnson
Greg Gregerson’s father
Roberta Pendleton’s family
The Bilka Family
Betty Schwerin
Ruth Holder’s granddaughter
Jay Rosenberg
Jay Rosenberg’s mother
Joan Lewis
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 during this time.
Moving-On Box Needs
Bath Towels/Hand Towels
Children’s plastic drinking glasses
Potholders
Toilet Bowl cleaner/brushes
Fry Pans/Saucepans
Silverware
The Soup Kitchen
The Soup Kitchen is running very low on food right now and have requested donations. Gift Cards from Faraway, Hyvee, Walmart, etc. would be greatly appreciated. They have served 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

If you would like to donate food or gift cards but do not wish to drop them off there, you can contact Tiffany in the office (during office hours) and she can facilitate getting the donations to The Soup Kitchen.

Click the below link to see their current needs list on their Facebook page:

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