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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 

Registration materials for the All-Church Retreat at Pilgrim Point are here!

May 22, 2014 

This Sunday in Worship



This Sunday worship begins at 10:30 a.m.  We will focus on Romans chapter 5: 1-11.  The Apostle Paul says that we have peace and reconciliation in God through Jesus Christ.  How do we find that peace?  How do we feel this reconciliation?  Paul invites to step into a new way of seeing the world.


We will also celebrate the baptism of Monet Eloise Shriver and give our blessing to Take Maki-Waller as she graduates from High School.  See you Sunday!


Summer Time Change Begins June 1


It's official.  Summer at First UCC starts on June 1. On June 1 worship will begin at 9:30 a.m.  Set your clocks, tell your phone to wiggle, do what you need to do to remember.  We will return to the fall schedule after Labor Day.


Fighting Apostles


In Sunday's match against the Rejoice Disciples the Fightin' Apostles offense was much like a tulip bulb lying patiently in the earth waiting for the spring sun to gently wake it from its winter slumber.  In the bottom of the fourth inning, trailing 3-2, the bats finally blossomed as nine runs crossed the plate before Rejoice could card an out.  With the fat lady warming in the choir loft the Apostle defense revealed a chink in the armor allowing six to score in the top of the seventh before the final out was earned.  While 14-9 is not quite a nail biter, it gives them something to think about in their week off.  Plan ahead there are five Sunday's in June in which you can catch all the action.  See you at the park.

Click here for the complete game schedule.


Food Truck Tuesday!


Food Truck Volunteer Help Needed!

Food Truck Tuesday is all the rage.  There's buzz.  We want to keep the party going, and we need a little help. We're look for two people who plan to come to lunch anyway to arrive at 10:30 a.m.  to set up tables, chairs, and wastebaskets on the front lawn.  We need two more people to help from 1:00 - 1:30 p.m.  to move the tables, chairs, and wastebaskets back inside.  If you can help, sign up here.  THANK YOU!!
Tuesday May 27th
Keep an eye out for our June schedule, coming soon!

Last Chance for a Building Tour!


There will be one more opportunity for a building tour after worship on Sunday.  We will depart from the Assembly room and discuss the capital campaign proposal as we point out some of the needs of our building.  This conversation will help prepare us for the CONGREGATIONAL MEETING AFTER WORSHIP ON JUNE 1 when we will vote on hiring the James Company to conduct a feasibility study that would lead to a Capital Campaign in 2015. 


The cost of the feasibility study will be $9000.  The cost of hiring the James Company for three years for capital campaign and annual stewardship assistance is 10% of our annual pledges and offerings, or $33,235.  In conversations with pastors who have worked with the James Company, we've been assured that their services are worth every penny, and then some.  

Capital Campaign


2015 Capital Campaign  -  Proposed Goal 

= $1,054,000


First UCC has a unique Christian voice to share.  We worship a God that invites our whole being, head and heart, into the life-giving path of Christian discipleship.  We are called to provide an extravagant welcome to all, to care for creation, and to work for justice and peace. Worship is our central spiritual practice.  In worship we draw close to God, and we are sent by the Spirit to serve in the world.  Our church is so much more than a building, and yet our building houses our central ministries and facilitates our ministry in the world.


For the whole ministry of First UCC to thrive, we need a worship space that is safe, well-maintained, inviting and facilitating of our mission and programs 12 months of the year.  We also need equipment that allows the good news to heard, and even seen, as we move into an increasingly visual age.


In the fall of 2010, the Council commissioned the SMSQ architectural firm to conduct a comprehensive building assessment.  First UCC leadership received the recommendations of the assessment in the summer of 2012.  In the winter of 2013, the Council commissioned the Audio Visual Task Force to propose recommendations for audio and visual upgrades to our worship space.  That proposal was received in the Fall of 2013.  The fund raising priorities and costs outlined below are from these two reports.


Improvements to Enhance the Worship 

Experience for All:


1. Audio Upgrade to the sanctuary - $38,000

Improved audio will allow the hearing impaired among us to hear everything that is said during worship.


2. Visual Upgrade to the sanctuary - $19,000

Appropriate projection equipment will provide the flexibility to integrate visuals and visual art into worship and other presentations in the worship space.


3. Assembly Room Acoustical Enhancements - $12,000

These simple enhancements will dull the roar so we can hear one another as we break bread together.


4. Air Conditioning (for Assembly Room and Sanctuary) - $190,000

Air Conditioning will allow First UCC to be a safe and inviting space for worship, weddings, and funerals 12 months of the year.


5. Boiler replacement - $280,000

Our boiler is old, increasingly unreliable, at risk of failure, and extremely inefficient.  Replacement will reduce energy costs and shrink our carbon footprint.


Building Needs for Accessibility, Safety, and the Long-Term Health of the Structure:


1. Exterior Masonry Restoration - $270,000

The exterior brick of the church is deteriorating and needs to be restored.


2. Accessibility updates for the Daycare Entry and Bathroom: $45,000

The Daycare needs accessibility updates, and the entry floods frequently due to poor design.


3. Building Reserve Fund for Future Needs:$200,000

A Building Reserve Fund will allow us to address future building needs before they become expensive emergencies that draw funds from essential ministries of the church.


Community Seed Money Fund: 5% of all 

funds raised


A portion of past First UCC capital campaigns has served the community.  For example,

seed money and vision from First UCC led to Northfield's Community Action Center.  We believe this campaign should honor that tradition and God's call to serve the world.  The Spirit only knows what we are being called to help start now.


What Happens Next?


The congregation will be asked on June 1 to approve a feasibility study to be conducted by The James Company, a well-known Christian fundraising organization, which we have vetted thoroughly.  Based on the findings, the Council and Trustees will design a campaign tailored to our fundraising capacity.


Visitation Team Meeting


It was wonderful to see such a great turnout a few weeks ago for our visitation ministry training with Gloria Swanson. A follow-up meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, June 4, at 7:00pm


We will discuss:

- our church's visitation needs 

- visitation logistics (frequency, structure)

- extent of team members' commitment 

- ongoing support/training needs for team

Whether you were able to attend the training or not, all are welcome. Please let Abby know you'll be there. 

Fill the Bus for the Binding the Covenant Event on June 28!

Isaiah MN is a faith-based community organization that seeks to be "a vehicle for congregations, clergy, and people of faith to act collectively and powerfully towards racial and economic equity in the state of Minnesota."   Isaiah is holding a "Binding the Covenant" gathering on Saturday, June 28th, at which they plan to gather with 1,500 people of faith from Minnesota and the gubernatorial candidates at the Minneapolis Convention Center.  


The Core Organizing Team and the Service and Social Responsibility Team are inviting you to attend this Binding the Covenant Event.  We think this event is so important that we're providing a charter bus for transportation.  The bus will leave First UCC at 11:45 a.m. for the Minneapolis Convention Center.  The event lasts from 1:00 - 4:30 p.m. 


Here's what Isaiah MN is saying about this event:

We have invited Minnesota's gubernatorial candidates and other top elected legislative leaders from both parties to join us, and join with us, as we tell and celebrate our compelling story of power and race. We will join in a sacred covenant, pledging to stand with each other and for our shared values of economic dignity, pathways to opportunity and racial equity.

We will proclaim our new vision of a path from our own times of systemic oppression and inequity to God's Commonwealth. This prophetic path shows how we will transform the structures of power to be just, sustainable and to serve God's vision for our lives in community with one another.

Please contact Pastor Todd or Carolyn Fure-Slocum if you would like to attend.  Feel free to register by clicking here. 
Interested in Using the Church Building for Your Group?


Part of our outreach to the community is making our facilities available to non-profit organizations in Northfield.  Dozens of groups use our Assembly Room, classrooms, kitchen and sanctuary for meetings and gatherings of all kind.


Our Office Manager, Jennifer Kluzak, handles reservations for building use.  Since many groups count on using this space, it is wise to make arrangements as far in advance as possible.


A Building Use Request form, available on our website, is required to be completed and submitted with proper payment (if applicable) to the church office before permission for building use is granted. 

Annual Meeting of the Minnesota Conference  
of the UCC

Registration for the Annual Meeting is open.  Please let Pastor Todd know if you would like to attend.  You can find out more here.

Food Shelf Volunteers Needed!

June is Food Shelf month for First UCC.  Details to be available very soon!  Opportunities to sign up are coming your way.  We need to fill several shifts each day.  Liz Hankins ( or Garda Kahn will be recruiting on Sunday mornings.  Weekly and one-time volunteers are needed.
Pilgrim Point High School Youth 
Service Trip - Registration 


Seeking high school youth and adults to join in a service trip to help open Pilgrim Point and do a Habitat for Humanity project in Alexandria, MN, on July 8-11, 2014. Cost is $125/person. 


Get more information and register your high school student here!


ADULTS: If you are interested in being a FAP ("Friendly Adult Presence") on this trip, please email Abby or call 651-955-8437


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. 

Hanna Somatic Education Classes

Hanna Somatic Education is an effective form of movement reeducation that goes directly to the root cause of most chronic muscular tension. Emphasis is placed on retraining the connection between the central nervous system and muscles to bring about long-lasting results. 
Somatics classes uses slow, mindful movements and breath work to release chronic tension and balance your body. With repetition, these movements return the muscles to their full functionality, making them stronger and more flexible. You will be asked to stay within your pain-free range of motion at all times.
Classes will be offered at First UCC on Tuesday mornings beginning June 3 throughout the summer from 9:00 - 10:15.  While there is no fee, a free will donation is suggested.  All are welcome.
Grief Support Group


A 6 week support group for adults grieving the death of a loved one will be offered at First UCC on Tuesdays, from 6:30-8:00 pm beginning May 27- July 1.  The support group is free and open to the public, and church affiliation is NOT required, so please spread the word to others in the community who may benefit. The group will be facilitated by Amanda Eastvold, MSW. 


Pre-registration is strongly encouraged.  Please contact Amanda at: (651) 210-2290 with questions or to register for the group. 

Introduction to Centering Prayer Training on June 7

Centering Prayer is a form of silent meditation rooted in the Christian tradition. First UCC is sponsoring a four hour workshop introducing the method for this meditation. It will be held in the church library on Saturday, June 7, from 8:30 am - 12:30 pm. All are welcome to attend. There is no cost, but donations will be accepted. This training will be led by facilitators from Minnesota Contemplative Outreach and their website offers more information about Centering Prayer.  If you plan to come, please email Erin Barnett so we know how many people to expect. 

Those who would like to practice Centering Prayer or another form of silent meditation are welcome to join the meditation group which meets at the back of the sanctuary at 6:15 on Wednesday evenings for 20 minutes of group meditation.

Would you like to participate in a group discussion of John Barbour's new novel Renunciation?


There will be an Adult Education session on Sunday, September 21, at which the author will read selections and to which people will be invited who have not read the book.  The previous Sunday evening, September 14, 7pm, there will be a discussion of the book with people who have read it.  If you would like to attend this meeting, please contact Ed Langerak via email or 645-8321.  Copies of John's book are available at the Monkey See, Monkey Read bookstore on Division Street.

Contact Us
First UCC
300 Union Street
Northfield, MN  55057


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300 Union Street
Northfield, MN 55057


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