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The Chronicle
A weekly e-newsletter of
First United Church of Christ, Northfield
An Open and Affirming, Just Peace Church
In This Issue... (Quick Links)
February 13, 2014 


This Sunday in Worship


Come to First UCC this Sunday to hear and contemplate Matthew 10:1-23, Jesus' commissioning of the Twelve Disciples.  He tells them to travel without money, perform healing miracles, and proclaim the good news that "the kingdom of heaven has come near."  What did this text mean to the early followers of Jesus  What does evangelism look like in a progressive church  In a pluralistic society  What is our role in the wider world?


We'll explore these questions and also share in music from our wonderful choir and musicians, singing, prayer, silence, and community together.  See you there!


~Pastor Abby



In worship, through Lent and Easter, we will be reading through the Gospel of Matthew.


The schedule for readings is below:

  • Feb. 16 - Matthew 10: 1-24 - Mission of the disciples
  • Feb 23 - Matthew 16: 13-28 - Peter's Declaration about Jesus
  • March 2 - Matthew 17: 1-13 - Transfiguration
  • March 9 - Matthew 18:1-14 - True Greatness
  • March 16 - Matthew 18: 15-22 - Forgiveness
  • March 23 - Matthew 19: 16-30 - Riches/first last, last first
  • March 30 - Matthew 20: 1-16 - Laborers in the Vineyard
  • April 6 - Matthew 20: 17-34 - Jesus foretells death and resurrection
  • April 13 - Matthew 21: 1-11, Matthew 26:14-27:66 - Palm Passion Sunday
  • April 20 - Matthew 28: 1-10- Easter
  • April 27 - Matthew 28: 11-20

In Faith and Service,

Pastor Todd and Pastor Abby 




A big thank you to everyone who worked hard to clean and organize the downstairs after the flood, including but not limited to Mark Fischer, Marty Pelikan and Tammy & Dick Rischmiller.  They're helping to keep the downstairs safe for First UCC kids.

Any Spare Microwaves Out There?
Bernice Schendal is home after a week at Abbott Northwestern Hospital.  She needs to do simple cooking an reheating, and a microwave would be helpful.  If you have an extra microwave you're not using, please contact Abby at or 651-955-8437.

Wednesday Supper Captains Needed During Lent!

On Wednesdays from March 5 through April 9, we are seeking volunteers to be "team captains" for a week, coordinating and providing the Lenten soup supper at 5:30 (WFFF goes on hiatus during Lent).   As captain, you recruit a few volunteers to help you provide/prepare food, serve and clean up your designated Wednesday. You'll get a guide for how much food is needed.  March 5 is already taken, but there are still many opportunities to help!  There is a sign-up sheet in the assembly room near the kitchen.  With questions or to sign up over email, please contact Abby at or 651-955-8437.  Thank you!

More of a Good Thing


We are excited to announce that the Chronicle will now be sent EVERY SINGLE WEEK!  That's right, your very own Chronicle delivered to your inbox 52 weeks at year at no additional charge!  How can we do this, you ask?  With God all things are possible.  If you have a church news item that you would like included in the weekly Chronicle, please email our Office Manager Jennifer Kluzak at by noon on Wednesday for inclusion on Thursday. 

  Opportunities to Discuss
 the Gospel of Matthew 

From now until the Sunday after Easter (end of April) we will be reading through the Gospel of Matthew.  You are invited to read along.  Starting Sunday Feb. 16 at 9:30 a.m. in the church Library, our own Dr. Bill Poehlmann will be leading a discussion on Matthew.


This is a great opportunity for everyone who wants to go deeper and also for everyone who wants a little help getting a handle on the Bible.  Dr. Poehlmann is a biblical scholar I deeply respect and he has taught Bible to oodles of Oles, in other words, Bible beginners.

Matthew discussions will be held every Sunday morning at 9:30 a.m. from Feb. 16 through April 13.  


  • February 16 - Getting started with discussion, questions and ideas.
  • February 23 - Matthew 1-4
  • March 2 - Matthew 5-8
  • March 9 - Matthew 9-12
  • March 16 - Matthew 13-17
  • March 23 - Matthew 18-22
  • March 30 - Matthew 23-25
  • April 6 - Matthew 26-28
  • April 13 - Concluding perspectives
Usher, Communion Server and Scripture Reader Training


The Worship Team will be hosting three training sessions for all who are interested in ushering, serving communion, and reading scripture.  There will be a training for ushers and communion servers immediately following worship on February 23 and on Wednesday February 26 at 6:15 p.m.  Choose the time that works best for you.  There will also be a training for scripture readers on Thursday Feb. 27th at 6:30. If you are interested in helping with worship in these ways, please attend the training!


Good Stewards

First UCC is joining Northfielders and people throughout the nation fighting devastating climate change we're bringing upon ourselves. After worship on Sunday join us as we join other faith communities in writing policy makers. Because we signed early to help, Interfaith Power & Light has made available to First UCC a copy of the video "Chasing Ice". It brilliantly records the frightening rate of ice melt in Iceland.  Information for accessing this video is available in the church bulletin.

  Core Organizing Team Begins Work

One of the questions that emerged from last spring's Mission 4/1 Earth project was, "How can First UCC better mobilize itself to have a positive impact in Northfield and beyond?"  In November, we welcomed Doran Schrantz and Paul Marincel from Isaiah Minnesota to First UCC to talk about the possibility of becoming connected to Isaiah.  Isaiah organizes churches  so that Realm of God values can have an impact in the political arena.  


One thing we heard in that conversation is that we need a better understanding of the passions, interests, and concerns of First UCC members and friends.  


A group we are calling the "Core Organizing Team" has been formed for this purpose.  The members of this team are David Beimers, Mitchell Campbell, Sarah Carlsen, Matthew Fitzgerald, Carolyn Fure-Slocum, Shannon Garlitz, Janet Mitchell, Janet Muth, and Matt Rohn.  Over the next two months, each member of the Core Organizing Team will be having eight one-on-one conversations with members and friends of First UCC. If you would like to have a conversation with one of the core organizing team members, please contact Pastor Todd. 


The purpose of these conversations will be to unearth passions, interests, and hopes, and to deepen relationships.  The hope is that by having conversations with this small sampling of our congregation, we will begin to see a clearer picture of who we are, what we care about, and what God is calling us to do in the world as a church.  We hope to involve the whole church in this work in some way in the future.


Thank you in advance for being willing to participate in these conversations, and thank you to the Core Organizing Team.  

  All Church Wellness Project 

As you may know, First UCC is beginning an all church service project creating Calmness Kits. They will be sold as a fundraiser for Rice County Mental Health Collective and will be given out to those in need of calmness as outreach. There are tasks for all ages from preschool on up.


How can you help?

  • What helps you to feel calm? Think about it. We will be asking.
  • Do you have extra, unneeded wood (for sand meditation box) or fabric (for cloth bags)?
  • Like woodworking? Sewing? We need box makers and people to sew bags. We have instructions.
  • Musical talent you are willing to share? A part of the kit will be a CD with music.
  • Is there a place, activity, or ritual that helps you feel calm? We would love to hear about it in the form of artwork, a photograph, a poem, or a short essay. These submissions will go into a book that will part of the kit.
  • Willing to help financially? Donations are welcome for materials, recording time, etc.


If you have questions or are willing to help in any way, you can contact Shannon Garlitz or Janet Muth, or email



February Adult Forums


Feb. 16 - "Creating Calm: The Calmness Kit Project"

Shannon Garlitz, Melissa Sharpe and Janet Lewis Muth will describe the Rice County Calmness Kit service project, host an interactive discussion about what helps people create calm, and end with time for meditation.


Feb. 23 - "Honoring Choices"

Abby Henderson and Mary Carlsen will help participants think about Advanced Care Planning .

Good Music for a Good Cause


Andrea Een and Theo Wee with guest Minnesota Orchestra violinist Taichi Chen once more do a benefit concert for the Friends of Way Park at 7:00 pm on Saturday,  March 8 at First UCC. Free deserts and a short jazz surprise after a concert of Mozart, Rebecca Clarke compositions and others. Suggested donation of $10 adults and $5 for youth 15 and under.

 2013 Giving Statements
Final 2013 Giving Statements have been mailed.  If you have not received yours, or have questions, please contact the church office at 645-7532.
Contact Us
First UCC
300 Union Street
Northfield, MN  55057


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300 Union Street
Northfield, MN 55057


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