Church Logo

The Chronicle
A weekly e-newsletter of
First United Church of Christ, Northfield
An Open and Affirming, Just Peace Church
In This Issue...

Lent Meditation @ First UCC
Lent Meditation @ First UCC

Pilgrim Point 2013: Food!
Pilgrim Point 2013: Food!
Here's this week's taste of Pilgrim Point to get you excited for our all-church retreat on July 18-20, 2014. We hope you'll include this special weekend in your summer plans! 

March 27, 2014 


This Week in Worship


Our passage for Sunday is the parable of the Laborers in the Vineyard, Matthew 20: 1-16.  This parable is about God's radical grace, and it's a response to resentment and jealously that's bubbling within Matthew's church.  I know we are remarkable human beings that have evolved past feeling such things, but since it is Lent, I thought we would at least talk about resentment and jealousy and consider how trusting God's grace might help us.  Also, if you have been on the fence about whether to read through the Gospel of Matthew from beginning to end, or you started and stalled out somewhere in the middle, take heart!  There's still time!  We'll be reading from the Gospel of Matthew until the last Sunday in April.  Let's read! 



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


The schedule for readings is below:

  • 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 


Pastor Abby is H
eading to Taiz�!


From Pastor Abby: "As many of you know, I have been invited by the Minnesota UCC Conference to be a mentor on a pilgrimage for young people to the Taiz� Community in France! I'll see you in worship this Sunday, and then I'll be out of the office starting April 2 for two weeks. I plan to be back at work on April 15 (just in time for Holy Week!). I am so grateful for this opportunity. Thank you for your support and prayers!" 

Photo Directory Coming Soon!


Our 2014 photo directory will be going to print soon. To tide you over until it arrives, here are some "outtakes" from Todd and Abby's staff portrait sessions. 


See more at our Facebook page here.



We are recruiting volunteers for the following:


The Congregational Care Team needs volunteers to help provide meals and rides.


The worship team is looking for people who are willing to be ushers, communion servers, and for children who are willing to be acolytes.


We are also looking for artists who would be willing to create pieces or share pieces for our bulletin covers.


The Hospitality team is looking for volunteers willing to help with coffee hour.


To help in any of these areas, click on this link and check any or many that you would like to help with!

A wonderful part of our life together is fellowship, including coffee hour after worship. The Hospitality Committee has made it EASY to sign up as coffee hour host online! Check out this link , which includes directions, and add your name to the calendar! Thank you! Any questions, contact James Demas.

Help Needed on April 9!
Beth Kallestad, our intrepid soup supper captain on April 9, is looking or some support. Due to a glitch, the form last week did not collect volunteer's email addresses. If you filled it out last week, please do so again so Beth knows who you are! Thank you!  Click this link to see how you can help out!  

Scrip Coordinator


Since 2007 Mary Hakes has been diligently coordinating the Scrip program for First UCC.  She has decided it is time to hand over the reins to someone else.  We are deeply grateful for Mary's faithful leadership of this program.  Read the following from Mary if you are interested in coordinating Script for First UCC.


"It's not a huge time commitment, about 60-90 minutes on Sundays after worship, and about 30 minutes during the week to pick up Co-op cards and fill the orders. The most important thing is that there's always someone there to take orders on Sunday, and submit the online order within a day or two.  The person who takes this on should have good math skills (understand debits & credits, balancing funds that come in and out of the account), good computer skills to manage the online ordering, and be a meticulous record-keeper.  (I worked at Chicago Title for years as a mortgage closer - those skills have served me well as head Scripper!)"


See Mary Hakes at the Scrip table after worship if you have interest in coordinating Scrip.


Wedding Coordinator

First UCC is looking for a wedding coordinator.  This person works with couples before and on the day of their ceremony at First UCC, helping them coordinate wedding details.  The wedding coordinator is a great help to couples and to officiants.  An honorarium is provided per event.  Please contact the church office if you are interested.
College Student Ministry

Cookies needed - Both Carleton and St. Olaf students will be back on campus on March 31.  Let's welcome them with a small bag of cookies.  If you could contribute a dozen cookies, please contact Jan Mitchell by March 28.  She will bag and deliver them.

Easter Dinner Carls will probably be on campus, and might welcome an opportunity to have Easter dinner with a family from the church.  If you have an extra place or two at your table, please contact Jan Mitchell and she will try to provide a match.
Spring Break Faith Formation


We have some special opportunities for this Sunday... 


FAST Kids will gather at the usual 9:15 music time. But instead of going down to classrooms, we will share in a multi-age activity in the assembly hall: making crafts to fundraise for Heifer International! Parents are invited to join in the fun. Middle and High School youth are welcome, too! (Middle schoolers will not have their usual Sunday morning meeting.)




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, 507-650-0753.  


Rev. Dr. Robert Griggs' Book Published


A Pelican of the Wilderness: Depression, Psalms, M inistry, and Movies by the Rev. Dr. Robert Griggs' has been published and is for sale at, Barnes and Noble, and other book vendors.  While Pastor Bob was with us, he was not only keeping a new Senior Minister in line.  In his spare time he was also working on telling his story so that it might be helpful for others wrestling with depression.  Congratulations Pastor Bob!         

High School Service Trip 7/8/14-7/11/14


Pilgrim Point wants us back to help ready the camp for the summer season, and to do a building project in the town of Alexandria. This year, we'll also join forces with youth from St. Anthony UCC in St. Paul!


Here's the tentative schedule.... 

Tuesday: Arrive in p.m. 

Wednesday: Habitat project in Alexandria 

Thursday: Service work @ Pilgrim Point

Friday: Service work in a.m. then depart


If you are an interested high school student OR adult, please contact Abby

Youth Camp at Pilgrim Point
Several of you have been asking about camp this summer. Pilgrim Point is using a new camp model this year. Rather than doing separate middle and high school weeks, they will offer two similar youth camp week experiences where congregations attend with leaders and their young people. Read about it here.  First UCC has selected the first week, July 20th-25th, i.e. the week following our church retreat. We are hoping to invite a representative from Pilgrim Point to visit First UCC to talk more about the new model with families. In the meantime, if you are interested in registering your child, or have questions or concerns, please speak with Abby! Thanks. 

Preach-In Climate Recap


...Thank you for participating in 2014 National Preach-In on Climate Change! I want to provide you with a quick recap of the exciting things that we accomplished together.


We jointly collected and then sent more than 50,000 Love Creation postcards to senators, urging them to support toughening the EPA standards for power plants - some of the biggest contributors to pollution and the climate problem.


We gave more than 1,000 climate and Earth stewardship sermons and talks, heard by tens of thousands of people in 48 states. Hundreds of congregations screened Chasing Ice, which gave us an extraordinary and undeniable visual of glaciers melting.

Thank you for all that you do to protect Creation.



The Rev. Canon Sally G. Bingham

President, Interfaith Power & Light

The Shari Prestemon Social Justice Internship


Back Bay Mission is pleased to announce that applications are available for the 2014 Shari Prestemon Social Justice Internship!


The Shari Prestemon Social Justice Internship provides a member of the United Church of Christ between the ages of 19 and 35 with a unique opportunity to participate in a 10-week summer program tailored to their interests. Drawing on the Mission's long experience in community engagement and advocacy for justice, the internship will nurture participants' passion for social justice and develop their appreciation for the church's role in seeking social justice.


In order to attract the highest quality candidates, interns are generously provided for while at the Mission. Interns have the cost of their travel to and from Biloxi covered by Back Bay Mission, stay in Mission housing while in Biloxi and receive a stipend of $250 per week. During their time at the Mission, interns will work in each program and engage in reflection with Mission staff.


Applications are available on the Back Bay Mission website.   Completed applications should be sent to:


Kenney Washington, Director of Client Services 

Back Bay Mission 

1012 Division Street, Biloxi, MS 39530


Or emailed to Kenney Washington, Director of Client Services at with the subject line 'Shari Prestemon Internship' no later than April 30, 2014.

The search for Jesus in the Middle East:

A Palestinian Christian pastor explores the Bible


In his latest book, Faith in the Face of Empire Mitri Raheb, Senior Pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Christmas Church in Bethlehem, presents a new reading of the Bible from the perspective of the "people of Palestine." Raheb will speak at 7 p.m., March 30, 2014, at St. Olaf College, Northfield, in the Boe Chapel.


In light of the current geo-political turmoil, after the hopes of the the Arab Spring, and in the face of the the latest round of US shuttle diplomacy, Dr. Raheb asks, "Can we imagine another Middle East? Can there be a different future?"


Dr. Mitri Raheb is the President of Dar al-Kalima University College in Bethlehem, as well as the president of the Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land. He is also the Senior Pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Christmas Church in Bethlehem, Palestine. He is the author of several books including I Am a Palestinian Christian and Bethlehem Besieged.

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.  


The Northfield Senior Center is offering a special series on local sustainability. Please click here for more information.  



During the month of March, our congregation is joining people of good will from across the state to help alleviate hunger. Minnesota FoodShare's March Campaign is the largest food drive in the state, and congregations like ours are the heart of the campaign.


March FoodShare Drive FAQ's


Why March?


CAC works in partnership with Minnesota FoodShare, a separate statewide organization whose sole focus is to raise funds and food donations of pledges for food shelves statewide. March is a month important to the food industry when food support allocations are being projected.


Will the money we raise stay in Northfield?


Yes, all food and monetary donations stay with CAC to be dispersed into our food programs such as Food Shelf, NAPS/MAC, Thursday's Table, Backpack Weekend Food, Summer Lunch Programs, Grocery Vouchers, and others!


Who do I make the check out to?


If writing a check to make a monetary donation please write it to First UCC, indicating in the memo line any that it is for the FoodShare.  One check will be presented to the CAC.  Checks can be placed in the offering baskets on Sundays in March or dropped off at the office.


Why do we have to report to Minnesota FoodShare?


The level of awareness and publicity that Minnesota FoodShare can produce is mutually beneficial for CAC. While we are fundraising simultaneously, Minnesota FoodShare generates and leverages its commitments from the larger food industry and CAC turns to our neighbors within the community. Minnesota FoodShare is NOT a match-grant, however food shelves are rewarded percentages of the statewide allocation. The level of percentage depends on how much we fundraise locally. 

Contact Us
First UCC
300 Union Street
Northfield, MN  55057


Visit our website: 


Church Calendar 



Like us on Facebook     Follow us on Twitter
UCC Resources (National United Church of Christ website) (Minnesota Conference of the United Church of Christ website)
SSR News

...Your gift to Project Friendship is an important investment in the youth of our community, creating the opportunity for them to connect with positive role models in meaningful ways. ~
Linda, Project Friendship

...As you know, we are a part of the City of Northfield, but not funded by the city.  Without contributions from businesses and organizations, we would be unable to offer outreach into the community.  We greatly appreciate your making these efforts possible. ~ Corinne Smith, Chairperson, Northfield Human Rights Commission

...Thank you all for the love, energy and contributions you've given to SHIFT.  You are a blessing to this conference and we will continue to pay forward the kindness and generosity you've shown this community. ~ Rev. Lawrence T. Richardson, Pastor, Shift United Church of Christ

First United Church of Christ | | |
300 Union Street
Northfield, MN 55057


BUY SCRIPUse your purchasing power to support our ministry.
  Find Us after worship in the Assembly Room at the SCRIP table for more information.

Copyright � 2013. All Rights Reserved.