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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)
July Worship Helpers
July Bell Ringers
July Sound Techs
7/7: John Severson
7/14: Christoph Hodel
7/21: Henry Beimers
7/28: William Beimers
July Counters
Leota Goodney
Ed Langerak  
July 11, 2013 

Worship Sunday  


This Sunday in worship we will say goodbye to Elijah and hello to Elisha.  We'll also see that Elisha and First UCC have something in common.  Here are some passages to read to make sure you are ready for all the action: 1 Kings 19: 19-21, 2 Kings 2: 1-14, and Acts 1:6-11


There's also a rumor that former First UCC pastor Rev. Gordon Forbes will be joining us for worship. Stop in to say hello.



Pastor Todd

Report from Yale 
Chris Brunelle, Bob Gregory-Bjorklund, and I are pleased to report that New Haven, CT is lovely this time of year. We had a truly energizing week at Yale discussing what "Arts-Infused Worship" could look like. First and foremost, it was a gift for the three of us to be able to be in the same place at the same time and to have an opportunityto discuss what could be life-giving for worship at First UCC. In addition, we were able to network with some very talented people. We discussed the intersection of theater and liturgy with the director of the Yale Chapel and a recent Yale graduate doing extensive work in theater arts and worship. We discussed visual art and movement with church leaders from a United Methodist Church in Edmonton, Alberta, known for integrating the arts into worship. We discussed innovative ways to encourage the participation of children in worship with Rev. Phil Blackwell, the Senior Minister at the First United Methodist Church at the Chicago Temple.   We sang through music with hymnwriter Thomas Troeger, hymnody expert Jimmie Abbington, former Nashville songwriter and current Lutheran campus minister John Tirro, and Yale Marquand Chapel Music Director Colin Britt. We also had many experiences of worship that stretched our perception of what is possible, encouraging our own creativity.


We are grateful to the Yale Institute of Sacred Music for the opportunity, and for the support of First UCC. We are excited to bring our experience at Yale to worship at First UCC this fall.


Pastor Todd

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


This is your last chance to register for this year's Pilgrim Point inter-generational retreat weekend!


From the Pilgrim Point Camp Facebook page... 

  Youth Mission Trip Pilgrim Point

The PPC farm is near completion thanks to the Northfield service crew. This year's farm features goats, sheep, chicken and SUPER CUTE BUNNIES! Make sure and come to camp this year as you get to hang with the animals and have one of the best weeks of your year. 


Not only will our 3rd annual retreat be 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 available by clicking here, and are also available in the church office and on the church's website (  You are encouraged to register for this retreat as soon as possible.
For more information on Pilgrim Point Camp click here, visit or contact Phil Kasten. 
Pastor Abby and Pastor Todd accepted to the UCC's Next Generation Leadership Initiative  

Pastor Abby and Todd are excited to report that they have both been accepted into the UCC's Next Generation Leadership Initiative. Pastor Todd will begin in January of 2014 and Pastor Abby will begin in January of 2015. Below are some highlights of the program.


The NGLI: Target 2030 program consists of:

An initial, four-year core educational program that engages participants in transformational leadership skill and gift development:


o Year One focus: Family Systems Theory, with an emphasis on how it applies to differentiated leadership within local church settings


o Year Two focus: Adaptive Leadership, with an emphasis on the changing context of pastoral leadership and its implication for the practice of the art of leadership


o Year Three focus: Personal Leadership Styles, Communication Systems, and Team Building, with an emphasis on invigorating the leader/group dynamic for congregational health


o Year Four focus: Natural Church Development, with an emphasis on applying transformational leadership qualities via the eight characteristics of a missional church


An additional six years of advanced continuing education:

o These years will begin with a time of intentional assessment and evaluation that will lead to the creation of learning goals and a plan of action that will further develop the participant's skills and gifts for transformational leadership.

Participation in two United Church of Christ General Synods, two concentrated learning visits in a congregational setting, occasional webinars, and tools to participate in an ongoing peer support network will also be a part of the NGLI program.

The Driftless Project
The Driftless Project - Teaser #1
What are we willing to sacrifice in order to maintain the status quo?
Our land?
Our water?
Our air?
Our health?
Our democracy?
Our future?

The Driftless Project is a short documentary film that explores this vital question from a youth perspective. Learn more about the contentious energy & climate issues facing our communities and take part in a discussion about the what the future will look like for a generation now coming to grips with the realities of a finite world. Featuring interviews with residents, academic experts and activists, as well as a soundtrack recorded by Northfield high school student Helen Forsythe.

The film will be shown at First United Church at 7:00pm on Monday, July 15,2012.  More information is available on their Facebook page.  Please contact Mary Jo Cristofaro at 651-208-8301 or if you have any questions. 


Northfield Noontime Organ Recitals


Northfield Noontime Organ Recitals enter their seventh season this summer beginning July 10 and concluding on August 14.  All recitals will be held on Wednesdays from 12:15 to 12:45 p. m. with the following schedule:


Wed. July 17: David Lim (student at Gustavus Adolphus College, St. Peter, MN), Music & Drama Center, Carleton College, 110 Winona St. N.


Wed. July 24: Stephen May (Organist & Choir Director, Episcopal Cathedral of Our Merciful Saviour, Faribault),

Skinner Chapel, Carleton College, 405 First St. E.


Wed. July 31: Rosalie Alcoser (Organist & Choir Director, St. Luke's Episcopal Church, Rochester, MN)   

First United Church of Christ, 300 Union St.


Wed. August 7: Bob Henstein (Organist at Northfield United Methodist Church), United Methodist Church, 1401 S. Maple St.


Wed. August 14: Katie Burk (Organ Performance & Music Education St. Olaf Graduate 2013), Boe Memorial Chapel, St. Olaf College


Some recitals will include a free-will offering to defray publicity expenses.  For more information, contact Richard Collman at 507-645-1357 or email him at
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.
Vintage Band Festival Logo
First UCC to host Vintage Band Festival Concerts

The Vintage Band Festival is an exciting 4-day international music event taking place August 1-4, 2013,  celebrating the music and the instruments of past eras. First UCC will be the venue for two concerts on Friday, August 2nd - the Dolce Wind Quintet at 1:00 pm, and Mark Ponzo and hte Cornet Family at 2:00 pm.  On Sunday, August 4th, the Copper Street Brass Quintet will perform during our normal worship service.  For a complete schedule or more information, visit the Vintage Band Festival website.


This Summer in Worship: 

Elijah and Elisha


A major highlight of this last year at First UCC was the Middle School Musical, Elijah.  Building on this energizing event, Pastor Abby and I will focus on the stories of the prophet Elijah and his prot�g�, Elisha during worship this summer.  We'll discuss the back story to the musical, all that happens afterwards, and we'll ask what this has to do with our lives in 2013.  You are invited to crack open your Bibles and read along each week. 


We started on June 23rd with 1 Kings 17: 1-24.  The schedule for the rest of the summer is below:


July 14: 2 Kings 4: 1-7, Elisha and the Widow's Oil

July 21: 2 Kings 4: 8-37, Elisha raises the

                                    Shunammite's Son

July 28: 2 Kings 4: 38-44, Visions of abundance

August 4: 2 Kings 5: 1-27, The Healing of Naaman


SSR News...

 Thank You...


... so much for your strong support going back to 1986 when AFARI was first formed.  Your prayers and financial support allow for ARI to carry out its mission of training rural leaders~ J.B. Hoover, Executive Director, American Friends of the Asian Rural Institute (AFARI) 
... On behalf of the more than 65,000 women, men and teens we serve each year, I want to extend my sincere gratitude for your gift.  Thanks to you, Planned Parenthood is the leading provider and champion of women's health care across our region.  Because of your generous spirit, together we can proudly say we Care. No matter what.  We stand together knowing we make a difference.  ~ Lara Coppock, Planned Parenthood Manager of Annual Funds
St. Olaf Friendship Family Program


Dear members of First United Church of Christ congregation,


I invite you and your family to be a part of the Friendship Family program at St. Olaf College.


This cross-cultural exchange program connects St. Olaf international students and families in the St. Olaf and Northfield communities to share friendship and culture. Being a friendship family for an international student can take many different forms, depending on the interests and availability of the student and family. Students and families generally get together several times during the year.


Here are some activities friendship families might do with their international student:

  • sharing a meal in your home and giving a student a glimpse of life outside of St. Olaf
  • accompanying a student to a sporting event, play or concert at St. Olaf or elsewhere in Northfield
  • taking a student to a coffee shop or Farmer's Market downtown
  • biking, hiking, skiing, sledding, fishing, camping, canoeing, or apple picking together
  • giving a student the opportunity to share his/her cooking with you
  • attending special, culturally significant, events like family gatherings, weddings, graduations, and holiday celebrations


You can find more information about the Friendship Family program here. Also check the "For Families" link in the gray bar on the left.


If you would like to become a friendship family, please complete the St. Olaf Friendship Family Information Form here, by July 31 if possible. This provides me with information about your family and your preferences in a student so I can make the best possible match.


We have 65 new international students starting in the fall, so we are actively looking for new families. Please contact me at if you have any questions.


Kind regards,
Lori Middeldorp

St. Olaf College Friendship Family Coordinator 

Contact Us
First UCC
300 Union Street
Northfield, MN  55057


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Northfield, MN 55057


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