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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...
All-Church Retreat 
Playing together
Playing together
One of the best things about Pilgrim Point is the chance to just hang out as a community. Check out our latest video: Playing Together! We hope you'll include our all-church retreat on July 18-20 in your summer plans! Stay tuned for more details and registration info soon. 

April 10, 2014 


Holy Week



April 13th, Palm Passion Sunday - Worship at 10:30 a.m


This Sunday in Worship we will celebrate Palm/Passion

Sunday.  The service will begin with Jesus' triumphal

entry into Jerusalem (Matthew 21:1-11) and it will end with tradition of the reading of the Passion Narrative (Matthew 26: 20 - 27: 66).  This service will be a moving beginning to our observance of Holy Week.


April 17th, Maundy Thursday - Worship at 7:00p.m.  


Maundy is the English form of the Latin word meaning commandment.  

Jesus' new commandment that the disciples "love one another as I have loved you," and the events of Jesus' last supper, arrest, and betrayal are the focus of this service.  To demonstrate the new commandment, Jesus washes the disciples feet, then he shares the last supper with them, and then he is arrested and betrayed.  Our service will include a simple foot washing, and communion.  The foot washing is optional, of course.  If you choose to participate in this meaningful ritual, you may wish to wear footwear that is easy to remove. 


April 18th, Good Friday - Worship at Noon   


A simple, contemplative service of music and silence will observe the death of Jesus on the cross.  








April 20th, Easter - Worship at 8:30 and 10:30 am


We will celebrate resurrection with two worship services, one at 8:30 and one at 10:30 a.m.  The services will be identical.  Please attend the service that is the best fit for you.








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


The schedule for readings is below:

  • 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 


Solar Update
As we move towards a solar installation, bids for replacing the shingles over the office wing of the church were higher than anticipated.  At the March 16th Congregational Meeting, leadership shared in good faith that the expected cost for roofing would be around $9000.  After the bidding process was completed, the bids all came in around $19,000.  The good news is that this is still well under the $29,000 insurance award the church received because of the roof damage caused by the hailstorm of 2006.  First UCC has yet to spend those funds.  The Facilities and Trustees committees have approved using funds from the insurance award of 2006 to cover the roofing costs.  A roofing contractor has been selected and will soon select a date for the project.  We expect the solar installation to be completed sometime in June or July!

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!

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

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.
Centering Prayer Group

If you have found yourself enjoying the meditation service during Lent and would like to continue the practice of meditation or centered prayer, we are looking to form a meditation group.  Please click on this link to sign up if you are interested.  We will be contacting everyone in a few weeks to determine dates and time.

Adult Forum April 13
April is poetry month!  Please bring a poem, a psalm, or words from a hymn (not necessary to sing them) to Adult forum on Sunday April 13th.  For me, and for others, when tragedy takes over, and you really want to give up, friends often come around and that helps a lot.  What else can happen is that images and words begin to rise from deep inside, and sing themselves through hours -- 
On Sunday, those of you who are able to share some of these words that have bridged you from tragedy along the road back to that new life -- please bring them to share with us.  Maybe they are words you have written.  Maybe not.  Bring words that have been, and are, part of your journey over deep and troubled waters. - Marie Gery

All Church Wellness Project Update


  • Interested in submitting a poem, photo, artwork, or essay to the Calmness Kit book about what makes you feel calm?  Please submit it by April 25th to so that we can start to compile the content of the book.
  • We are looking for more people to make wood boxes.  If you are interested in helping with this part of the project, please contact Michael Garlitz at for more information.
  • Middle school youth will be hosting a bake sale and coffee hour on Sunday April 13th.  They'll be raising funds for materials to make candles for the Calmness Kits.
  • Starting Sunday April 13th, there will be a large chalkboard in the assembly room. You'll have a chance to share "What Helps You Feel Calm?". Images from the chalkboard will be incorporated in the Calmness Kit book.
All Things Pilgrim Point!


In addition to our all-church retreat on July 18-20, there are many opportunities for youth and adult volunteers to enjoy Pilgrim Point starting in May. If you are interested in attending any of these events as youth OR adult leader, please email Abby


1. Spring Middle School Event: Faith in Action, May 9-11, 2014. For grades 5-8. An exploration of the "doing," "thinking," and "dreaming" of faith. 


2. High School youth service project July 8-11. We'll do service work at the camp and a building project in the town of Alexandria. 


3. Youth camp (middle and high schoolers), July 20-25th, 2014. Attend camp  for an unforgettable ministry and life-changing week! You won't want to miss out on the adventure course, the Lake Ida water slide, (NEW) day of mission experiences, vespers and excellent food. Read more about Pilgrim Point's new youth camp model here.

Visitation Ministry Training on May 10

Do you feel called to connect with elders in our community who are homebound, mobility-challenged, and/or managing illness? Then this training is for you! We are inviting Gloria Swanson, a geriatric pastoral care specialist, to lead a visitation ministry workshop on Saturday, May 10, 9 a.m.-12 p.m. 


Topics covered will include: aging, religion, and spirituality; tips for visiting at home, hospital, or hospice; and boundaries and self-care. Refreshments will be provided. 


A gifted teacher and speaker, Gloria presents seminars to a wide variety of audiences on issues of aging, the implications of Baby Boomers on congregations, senior ministries in the local church, developing lay ministries, and on death and dying. She is an Associate in Ministry with the ELCA and completed her graduate studies in aging and death education at the University of Minnesota. She is also a graduate of the Center for Aging, Religion and Spirituality at Luther Seminary in St. Paul and the Fairview Clinical Pastoral Education Center in Minneapolis.


Questions/RSVP to Abby
Craft Sale to Benefit Heifer International


On May 4, there will be a special sale of crafts made by our F.A.S.T. Families to benefit Heifer! You can see everyone crafting here

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. 





Join Free Workshops and Activities on Sat. April 26th

Make goat cheese and goat soap, sew snack bags, attend a solar tour, make a felted wool project Plant seedlings in the Arb and more!


At 5pm on Sat. 4-26 join us for entertainment & a free soup supper - community potluck at the Weitz Center. After supper visit local sustainability stations. Bring your instruments and voice - we will end the day with a community jam session.


Registration required: starts 3-24 for 4-26 activities/soup:


"Community Solar 101" Friday April 25th 

Free presentation & evening coffee

6:30p-8pm - First UCC- 300 Union St

Registration for Fri 4.25 begins now                              at

All Are Welcome-Hope to See You There!




Sponsored by:


*Transition Northfield * First UCC * The Center for Community and Civic Engagement- Carleton * CRWP

*Just Food Coop * All Energy Solar * Northfield Rotary Club * Organic Farming Works * Life Skills Education * Eco Gardens * Thousand Hills * Montessori Children's House * Sustane Natural Fertilizer


Contact Us
First UCC
300 Union Street
Northfield, MN  55057


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On behalf of the MN Conference and all the good things that happen through your financial support, thank you for your gift to OCWM and for being a 5 for 5 Congregation. ~
The Rev. Don Portwood, on behalf of the OCWM committee

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


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