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The Chronicle
A semi-monthly e-newsletter of
First United Church of Christ, Northfield
An Open and Affirming, Just Peace Church
In This Issue... (Quick Links)
May Worship Helpers
May Bell Ringers
5/5: Chris O'Neill
5/12: Sarah Beimers
5/19: Bill Poehlmann
5/26: Frank Sheehy
May Sound Techs
5/5:  Christoph Hodel
5/12:  William Beimers
5/19:  Henry Beimers
5/26:  John Severson
May Counters
Leota Goodney
Marty Pelikan  
May 9, 2013 
Mission 4/1 Earth Tally 

Date: Saturday, May 11
Time: 10:00am - 3:00pm
Place: River Bend Nature Center
1000 Rustad Rd, Faribault, MN   
* If interested in carpooling, meet in church parking lot at 9:15am. 
(click here for directions)
* Bring your own food/water and wear appropriate clothing. 


Parent's Night Out!


Come support the youth who are joining the mission trip to South Dakota this summer!


UCC youth are planning a Pizza and Game night for children on Saturday May 11th from 5-8pm.


Drop your children at the church and enjoy the evening kid-free!


Children of all ages welcome, infants included. There will be adults present to help supervise the evening as well. There will be a sign up sheet on the bulletin board by the kitchen or rsvp to


Suggested donation: $25 per family. 

Confirmation Sunday, May 12  
Here's a quote I've been thinking about this week. It's from Martin Luther King's Sermon "The Drum Major Instinct." You can listen to it here: 
Martin Luther King Jr.,
King says that when Jesus was talking to the disciples about greatness, he said "Keep feeling the need for being first.  But I want you to be first in love.  I want you to be first in moral excellence.  I want you to be first in generosity."   I'll talk more about this on Sunday as we celebrate the confirmation and baptism of many of our youth.

Women's Clothing Swap
Looking to update your wardrobe for spring and summer?  Need to make space in your closet?  Want to be an environmentally responsible shopper?  Then take part in the first ever UCC Women's Clothing Swap on Friday, May 10 from 6-8pm (Northfield's Girl's Night Out!) and choose some items others have donated.  Give what you want, take what you need.  No cost to anyone.  Items left at the end will be donated.  Women's clothing only.
Minister's Musings

Please mark Sunday June 2nd on your calendars.  June 2 is Pastor Bob's last Sunday with us.  We will celebrate his ministry with us during worship, and with a reception following worship.  Pastor Bob's leadership has been critical for this congregation.  Bob and Cindy Mueller led this church through a very difficult time, and they showed that the two-minister model could work well for First UCC.  I can't imagine having a better colleague to work with as I've started my ministry at First UCC.  Bob has been supportive to me in every way imaginable.  And, because of Bob's gifts as a pastor, he has touched the lives of so many in this church in very profound ways. 


I hope you can be with us June 2nd to celebrate, and say goodbye.  If you aren't able to worship with us June 2nd, please take a moment to say thank you to Pastor Bob and to offer your blessings.   Our church's future is bright.   And we have benefited greatly from Bob's excellent work as an Interim Minister.



Pastor Todd


Pilgrim Point Camp
 Join us July 19-21, 2013
for the 3rd Annual First UCC
Pilgrim Point Camp
Retreat Weekend!

Not only is this a lot of fun with a great group of all ages from our congregation, but it is a sacred place to commune with God and nature, and you will emerge refreshed and renewed!


Pilgrim Point Camp is our Minnesota Conference UCC Church Camp on Lake Ida, near Alexandria, MN. The camp is on a prominent point extending from the east shore into the middle off the lake, with many waterfront activities (including lifeguards) and a large recreational area.


We will arrive for Friday dinner (either by coach bus or on your own) and stay through Sunday morning.  This is open to everyone of all ages and family types, and you may invite others from your community to join us. We welcome everyone to join for an intergenerational gathering in a beautiful and spiritual lakefront setting. This has helped build community among camp participants, and equipped us with tools to continue practicing our faith and recognize the interconnectedness between all and with nature.

Registration forms are availabe by clicking here, and are also available in the church office and on the church's website ( 
For more information on Pilgrim Point Camp click here, visit or contact Phil Kasten. 
 Mission 4/1 Earth   


The UCC's Mission 4/1/Earth has begun.  50 great days of greening up, powering down and shouting out for the environment.  UCC goals: 1 million Earth Care hours, 100,000 trees planted, and 100,000 letters of environmental advocacy. Record your earth care hours, trees planted, and letters written here.


First UCC Mission 4/1/Earth Activities:

  • Read Eaarth by Bill McKibben:  This is a serious book for serious times.  Climate activist McKibben (a Methodist Sunday School teacher on the side) states what is going on with climate on our changing planet, and gives us his recommendations for how to go forward.  
  • Earth Care Hours: Keep track of the hours you spend caring for the earth in May.  This is a great excuse to get outside and do some good work for creation.
  • Adult Forums:  The Adult Forum on May 19 will be focused on the issue of Climate Change and what we as a congregation are called to do in response.
  • Writing letters: We'll continue to have materials and templates available after worship service.  Write more during coffee hour or take materials home and write.  Report the number of letters done at home to Matt Rohn ( and he'll add them to the Mission 4/1 Earth count toward a national goal of 1,000 advocacy letters.
Adult Forum May 19 

After worship May 19, Pastor Todd will facilitate a discussion where we will ask, "How is God calling First UCC to care for creation?"  We've had many productive conversations during the Mission 4/1/Earth time.  Please join us and give your input as we determine how we continue in mission for the earth.


ADOPT-A-HIGHWAY Clean-up will be Sunday, May 19 at 2:00pm.  This is a great famiily event and you can count the couple of hours it takes as Earth Care Hours.

Spring Cleaning Fling


Traditional cleansers based on natural products often clean just as effectively as commercial concoctions that contain fast-acting chemicals. Consider the following recipes for low-polluting alternatives:

  • For counter tops, cupboards, and walls: dip a cloth in warm water, add a little dish soap and baking soda (the baking soda acts as a soft abrasive to remove tough spots and light scratches). 
  • Drain cleaners: Mix together 1 cup baking soda, 1 cup salt, and � cup cream of tartar. Pour � cup of this mixture into the drain, followed by a pot of boiling water. Reserve the rest of the mixture for future needs. 
  • Air fresheners: First, get rid of the source of bad odors. Check refrigerators and trash cans for rotting foods; look under and around furniture for any items your pets may have unexpectedly left behind. Clear out cooking smells using the stove exhaust fan, then open windows and let fresh air in. Simmer a small amount of cinnamon, orange peel, and cloves on the stove to give your home a pleasant fragrance. Freshly cut flowers can also make a room smell like spring.   
Grief is a Universal Experience

A 6-week grief support group will be offered for any adult grieving the loss of a loved one.  This group is for anyone, regardless of the nature of your loss (child, parent, sibling, spouse, life partner, friend) or how long ago your loss occurred.  The support group will meet from 6:30-8:00pm on Tuesday evenings from May 21-June 25th in the high school youth room (lower level).  The group is free and open to the public and church affiliation is NOT required.  Please spread the word to others in the community who you know are grieving.  The group will be co-facilitated by Amanda Pettis, MSW and Erin Barnett, LPC.  The group will use the book Understanding Your Grief by Alan Wofelt, along with time for group sharing and personal introspection to assist you in processing your unique loss.  Pre-registration is strongly encouraged.  Please call Amanda at 651-210-2290 to register.  Regardless of who  you are, or the nature of your loss, we hope to assist you on your own healing journey.  

First UCC Family & Friends Bowling


Join us on Saturday, May 18th, from 1:00 - 3:00 p.m. at Jesse James Lanes as we celebrate another great year of Faith Formation at First UCC!  The cost is only $10 per person for shoe rental and unlimited bowling.  The event is open to the congregation, and would be a perfect opportunity to invite a friend or two to experience some fun and fellowship.  To sign-up please contact Shari Sneary at 507-581-5339.  We hope to see you at the lanes!

Register Today for Vacation Bible School


First UCC is joining with Bethel, St. Peter's, Emmaus, Rejoice and St. John's, in welcoming back the Good Earth Village On the Road Vacation Bible School program to Northfield.  VBS will run August 4-8, and will be held at Bethel this year.  GEV On the Road is a 5 day program for children who have completed Kindergarten through 4th grade. It brings the fun of camp to the camper and provides a great, Christ-centered week filled with games, worship, crafts, Bible study and singing.  


The week begins on Sunday the 4th with a 1 1/2 - 2 hour welcome. This time will include worship led by the GEV staff, registration and games. Everyone - campers, parents, siblings, neighbors, grandparents - is invited to join as the week is kicked off.  Monday-Thursday the program runs from 8:00am to 5:00pm. Campers can be dropped off anytime between 8:00-9:00am and picked up between 4:00-5:00pm. The main programming for the day happens between 9:00 and 4:00. 


Registration for GEV On the Road is done through Good Earth Village . Campers can register by completing an online form or downloading and printing the form at Once on the main site, click on SUMMER CAMP, and then GEV ON THE ROAD, and scroll down until you find the link for the registration.  Questions? Contact Good Earth Village at or 507-346-2494. All Campers must pre-register and space is limited, so please be sure to register as early as possible to insure your spot!
A closing program, open to anyone, will take place beginning at 4:00 pm on Thursday. This is a chance for the campers to share what they did and learned during their time at GEV On the Road!  Cost for this program is $65 / camper.

Prayer Circle Ministry
 Our church has reestablished its prayer circle ministry.  If you would like to be prayed for or have a request for someone else, please contact Kathy Kasten, 507-332-0708 or, or speak to Pastor Bob.  If you would like for your request to be kept anonymous, we will honor this.  If you would like to be one of those who are part of the prayer circle ministry and to be one of those who holds others in prayer, please contact Kathy or Pastor Bob.

Coffee Hour Hosts are Needed!
We invite you to volunteer to serve at one of our upcoming after-worship coffee hours.  A Parish Life and Fellowship (PLF) Committee member will work with you to answer all your questions.  The church provides treats and juice to serve or you can bring your own as you wish, or both.  A clipboard with sign-up list is on the kitchen counter with dates for each month.  It can be enjoyable to do this together with a friend or family member(s).  Please help us to continue providing for our after-worship community gathering for coffee, treats and conversation throughout the year.

SSR News
 Thank you...
... for your faithfulness to the mission we hold in common.  We deeply appreciate your effort and dedication to the whole church with your $58,678.58 in 2012.  ~ OCWM Subcommittee, MN Conference UCC
...  for your gift of $150 to the What If? Foundation.  Because of your gift, 230 hot meals will be served.  Each meal makes such a difference to a hungry child; each educational opportunity offers them so much hope.  ~ Stasha Vlasuk, Communications & Donor Relations, What If? Foundation
...  for your generous donation of $350 to Protect Minnesota: Working to End Gun Violence.  Your contribution will be used for educational purposes.  All of us have the right to be safe in our communities, and that right can only be provided by prevention.  ~ Heather Martens, Executive Director, Protect Minnesota
...  for the contribution of $161.12 to the Community Action Center of Northfield for the purposes of food. Your gift strengthens our work in the community -- giving hope back to people in poverty and giving voice and action to neighbors like you who care about them.  It does wonders!  Thank you, children, for your special offering to CAC food programs!  ~ Jim Blaha, Executive Director, Northfield CAC
Contact Us
First UCC
300 Union Street
Northfield, MN  55057


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UCC Resources (National United Church of Christ website) (Minnesota Conference of the United Church of Christ website)
May Faith Forums
Sundays @ 11:45am
Rear of Sanctuary
5/5: Climate presentation
5/12: No Forum (Confirmation Sunday)
5/19: What is next for First UCC in response to climate and global warming issues?
5/26: No Forum (Memorial Day weekend)
First United Church of Christ | | |
300 Union Street
Northfield, MN 55057


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