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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...

Lent Meditation @ First UCC
Lent Meditation @ First UCC

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 3, 2014 


This Week in Worship


This Sunday our focus passage will be the Great Commandment of Jesus, Matthew 22: 34-40.  The parable of the "least of these" (Matthew 25: 31-45) will be echoing in the background as well.  In so many ways, these passages serve as our ultimate guides.  We use the Great Commandment to judge the rest of scripture, and the parable of the least of these challenges us to extend our concept of the neighbor.  We'll talk more about this on Sunday. 



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


The schedule for readings is below:

  • April 6 - Matthew 22: 24-40 - Great Commandment
  • 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 


  • Palm/Passion Sunday - 10:30 am
  • Maundy Thursday - 7:00 pm
  • Good Friday - 12:00 pm
  • Easter Sunday - 8:30 am, 10:30 am

Good Friday Service


Before the joy of Easter, we are called to lament the tragedy of the Cross. All are welcome on April 18 at 12 p.m. for a half-hour, contemplative service with scripture, prayer, music, and silence.

Pastor Abby is Heading 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!" 

First UCC Wins the Lottery!
In March, at a special congregational meeting, First UCC voted unanimously to apply for state funds for solar through the Made in Minnesota solar incentive program.  The incentive program was described as a "lottery."  If there were more applicants than funds available, not all projects would be funded.  This week First UCC learned that we won the lottery.  This means that First UCC will be moving forward with a solar array on the office wing!  Next steps will include a structural analysis and replacing the shingles on the office wing.  Bethel Lutheran Church of Northfield also received funds through the Made in Minnesota program.  Two Northfield churches will be making a public statement about the importance of caring for God's creation, encouraging everyone who sees the solar installations to think differently about how they consume energy and where their energy comes from.


A special thank you to the Barbour family for a gift that is making this installation possible.  


Congratulations First UCC!


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

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.
Scrip Update
Our scrip provider will be closed for their spring break from April 7-11, so no orders will be submitted on April 6.  However, the UCC scrip coordinators WILL be in their usual spot on Sunday, April 6 after worship, and will have a limited supply of Cub Foods, Kwik Trip and Just Food cards on hand for purchase.


We'll go back to ordering as usual on April 13, and those orders will be delivered April 20.


Thanks for supporting UCC through your scrip purchases!

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.

Meals on Wheels


Many thanks to all of the people who delivered Meals on Wheels the week of January 26th-February 1st and recently during the weeks of March 16th-29th. You would be surprised how many of these people take multiple routes! Please thing about joining them next year!!
Adult Forum April 13
We all have those terrible, bad, rotten, no-good days when we turn somewhere for strength and a new vision.  On April 13, please bring with you a poem to share.  It could be a psalm you carry in your heart, poem by e. e. cummings, the words to a hymn that sings you through the day.  April is Poetry Month.  Poetry, in all of its designs, sings the world awake. 

FAST Families April 6: Visit the Classroom!



April FAST Families will be a little different this month. On April 6, instead of a multi-age gathering, parents are invited to join their children in the classrooms to see what happens in FAST Kids! After music time at 9:15, proceed downstairs. 


Exploring Membership sessions for those interested in joining First UCC as members will be held immediately following worship on 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.  


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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SSR News

...It is because of your kindness and the kindness of many others in our community that we have been able to provide safe shelter, food, and support for homeless women and children. ~
Ruth Hickey, Executive Director, Ruth's House

...Thank you for your donation in honor of Mary Ellen Ross.  Each day we strive to honor those who have built the advocacy legacy that we stand on.  We know that we are here because of so many others before us that strove for a more just world, where victims can find healing, where offenders are held accountable and where the community that surrounds them provides help and healing. ~ Erica Staab, Executive Director, HOPE Center

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


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