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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 27, 2014 


This Sunday in Worship


Transfiguration!  Peter, James and John will go up a mountain and say "Whoa! More's going on than we thought."  We'll go with them and look for God too.


Faith Formation on Sunday 


F.A.S.T. Families will gather in the Assembly Room at 9:15 on Sunday morning.  Parents are encouraged to attend with children through grade 5.  It's fun.  You get to meet other parents.  AND, your children see you participating in a faith forming activity.  That's how faith sticks.


Adult Forum


Sunday after worship Regi Haslett-Marroquin from the Main Street Project will be presenting at the Adult Form. Regi has a new model for a CSA that is an effort to improve food access and food security.  He'll explain the model and share how the church can help.



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


The schedule for readings is below:

  • 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 Message From Pastor Abby  
After twelve weeks of recovery from her broken ankle, Abby's doctor declared her ready to drive again! This momentous occasion was captured on film.

Congregational Meeting March 16th to Approve Purchase of a Solar Array

The Council has called a special Congregational Meeting March 16th immediately following worship.  At that meeting the Congregation will vote on whether to purchase a solar array for the office wing of the church on the condition that we receive state incentives.  First UCC has entered a state lottery for incentives along with other organizations wanting to install solar. Here is a proposal from AllEnergy Solar and Ten K, a company out of Bloomington.  

The solar group felt this was the best proposal we'd seen.  Our initial cost will be $58,363, but through state incentives we will receive payments over the course of ten years that will reduce our cost to $24,255.73.  This is $7,000 less than other proposals.  AllEnergy Solar has been using the Ten K panel for three years and is confident that it is a high quality and durable panel.


We will need to replace the shingles on the office wing before the solar array is installed, and we expect that cost to be close to $5000.  We are exploring the change in our insurance, but we don't expect it to be substantial.  


If we do not receive funds through the lottery the deal is off, and we are free to apply for another incentive program in April or May.  Other incentives will not be as generous.


The church has funds to pay the initial cost.  Leadership is exploring selling and reinvesting our Excel Energy stock to cover half of the cost of the array.  Various options for covering the rest of the cost of the array are being considered.


The Solar Group is excited to be at this place in the process.  Please plan to attend the Congregational Meeting on March 16th.

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!

Calling all First UCC Parents!

The annual Parent Potluck will be held on Saturday, March 15th from 6:00 - 8:00 PM at the home of Regi and Amy Haslett-Marroquin (4597 315th St. West). This is an adults-only event where parents have an opportunity to socialize with one another in a fun and informal setting. This is always a great time, and we'd love to have you join us! Please bring your own beverage and a dish to pass: 
  • A - J = Side dish (veggies, bread, fruit, salad)
  • K - Q = Main Dish
  • R - Z = Dessert

Please RSVP by March 12th to Carrie Menk.


Childcare - First UCC youth will provide childcare at the church for a donation toward youth programs.  A meal will also be provided.  Drop off your kids at 5:30 and pick them up no later than 8:30.  Stay tuned for more details and registration information.  Questions?  Email Shana Hodel.  


This is always a fun and enjoyable evening! We hope to see you there!  


-Sponsored by the Children's Faith Formation Committee

 Ash Wednesday Supper and Worship


Ash Wednesday is March 5. Join us for a soup supper at 5:30p.m. and for worship that begins the season of Lent at 6:30p.m.


 Free Meditation Classes During Lent

Lent Meditation @ First UCC 

Check out this video about our Lenten program this year. Hope to see you there starting Wednesday, March 12!  

Mindfulness Class at Northfield Buddhist Center


If our Lenten meditation program whets your appetite for mindfulness practices, there will be a Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction opportunity offered at the Northfield Buddhist Center. The program, which costs $335 and meets on Tuesdays from 3/25 through 5/13, enables participants to develop their own base in mindfulness practice integrated into everyday life. The course includes eight weekly classes, an individual interview with the instructor, a Saturday retreat, the book Full Catastrophe Living by Jon Kabat-Zinn, four CDs, and handouts. To sign up go to: click the "Registration" button, and enter 2997 in search bar.  



Exploring Membership sessions for those interested in joining First UCC as members will be held immediately following worship on Sundays, March 30  and April 6 in the church parlor. Child care will be provided.  If you are interested in finding out more about First UCC or are wishing to join, please plan to attend one of these times. New Member Sunday will be on April 27, 2014 during Worship followed by a reception in the Assembly Room.  If you have any questions, please contact Pastor Todd, 507-645-7532 or Jean Haslett, 507-




Thanks to everyone who participated in the adult education forum on advanced care planning last Sunday. If you wanted to be there but couldn't, we still have packets of resources from the session. Please don't hesitate to speak with Pastor Abby or Mary Carlson if you have questions or concerns about this issue. We hope to offer more sessions in the future. 



To Bob, Chris, Shana, Theo, and all the musicians:


Wow.  What a night of beautiful, special music.  I'm so grateful for all you did to make last night possible.  I can't wait for people to hear what was recorded for the CD in the Calmness Kit.   Many people will experience calmness because of the time and talent you shared.  I have to say though, one of the highlights was the yoga poses done between recordings by the children's choir, including the "dead bug". 


--Shannon Garlitz





  All Church Wellness Project Update


We have moved out of the planning phase and into implementation.


Preschool through 3rd grades have been busy making Examen bracelets.


4th/5th grades are putting the finishing touches on sand meditation boxes.


Middle school youth group will be starting work on making candles.


High school youth group will be building boxes, sewing fabric bags, and painting plywood for a project you will hear more about soon.


Adult choir, Spirit Voices, and the Children's choir will be recording pieces on February 26th for our first phase of recording.


Volunteers in the congregation are busy building boxes, sewing fabric bags, and making rakes for the sand meditation box.


Current needs:


We are still collecting fabric and wood if you have them to donate. 


We are looking for artwork, photography, a poem, or an essay for the book about "What helps you feel calm?"


We are seeking financial donations to start the second phase of recording. This will be for pieces on the CD to be recorded in the studio with Craig Wasner.


If you are interested in making a donation or contributing, email or contact Shannon Garlitz or Janet Lewis Muth.  Checks can be made out to First UCC with "Calmness Kits" in the memo line.


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.

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First UCC
300 Union Street
Northfield, MN  55057


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300 Union Street
Northfield, MN 55057


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