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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!

Please keep the following members and friends of First UCC in your prayers:

Hrossowyc family
Annika Nguyen
Aria Een
Rev. Mark Follansbee
June 12, 2014 

This Sunday in Worship


This weekend, Todd, Abby, and several First UCC leaders will be at the annual meeting of the Minnesota Conference in St. Joseph, MN. Read about the meeting's theme and agenda here. Many thanks to Tracey Fossum, Scott Richardson, and Carol Rutz for ably leading worship in our absence. And don't forget that we've begun our summer worship schedule, with the service at 9:30 a.m.!

Where is Spirit moving in your life as it intersects with the life of our church community? Here's my story:


I'm studying a form of yoga called Somatics, which helps people learn simple movements and increase body awareness so they can groom their bodies on a daily basis and live with less pain. Somatics combines my work as a geriatric nurse practitioner with my interest in yoga and holistic healing. When I had lunch at church few Tuesdays ago, I talked with Christine Sartor, someone from our congregation who I hadn't had a chance to get to know previously. She was writing a grant so that Somatics classes, which Christine helped to organize at our church, could continue with outside financial support. She didn't know I was learning Somatics, or that I worked as a nurse practitioner for Allina Health, which is offering the grant money, and we discovered that listing me as an employee enhanced our chances of getting the grant. We won't hear about the grant until the end of this month, but regardless, I am surprised and inspired by what I see as the movement of Spirit connecting my passions with the life of our community. New endeavors, like Somatics classes, food trucks, and a Centering Prayer workshop are bubbling up organically from within our community, and having a ripple effect that opens our church to many people outside the confines of our congregation. Our restructuring of church governance is having the desired effect of encouraging creativity and allowing space for new initiatives.

                  On June 1 our church voted to hire the James Company to lead us in a feasibility study and capital campaign. Seven people from our congregation have agreed to serve on a committee which will partner with the James Company in this process:  Dan Sullivan, Matt Forster, Sarah Carlsen, Carol Rutz, Marty Pelikan, Phil Kasten and Scott Richardson, as well as Pastor Todd. Please contact anyone on the committee, Pastor Todd, or me if you have questions or concerns as we move into this process.

                  Lastly, once the Spirit starts bubbling, it wants to escape its banks and wash over us.  W. H. Auden says that the gift of Pentecost is more about the gift of listening than the gift of speaking. Where are you hearing the creative, healing, loving nudge of Spirit?


--Mary Carlson, Moderator

First UCC Work Day June 14!

Come one, come all to the First UCC work Day June 14 from 8:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.  This is our chance to spruce up the inside and outside of the building and to clear out some clutter.  There are rumors of coffee and treats, and a small dump truck!  You don't want to miss it.  The Facilities committee promises to be on their best behavior and they welcome your help!
The Nursery is Back Open for Business

The First UCC nursery is usable again after a long recovery from water damage. Thanks to everyone who worked to make this space safe for the youngest members of our community and the adults who care for them. 

The Photo Directory is Here!!!

We are pleased to announce that the 2014 church directory is published and available in the church office. Your patience has been appreciated! 

Strawberry Fest

You are warmly invited to the 14th Annual

Strawberry Fest

Friday, June 27, 2014

2:00 -3:30 p.m.

In the Assembly Room

First United Church of Christ

Honoring UCC's beloved elders and dear friends

Enjoy delicious strawberries

A gathering of UCC friends

Entertainment by delightful musicians

If you can attend, need a ride OR can volunteer to help, please sign up with Kristen Kasten Sunday after worship or call the church office by Tuesday, June 24th at 645-7532.

We hope to see you there!


Food Truck Tuesday continues to be a big hit!  Join us for lunch on the lawn each week from 11:00 - 1:00, and check out the youth garden for some yummy, free produce while you are here.
June 17 -  The Moral Omnivore and Natedogs 
June 24 - Maria's Taco Hut
Do you have suggestions for future food trucks?  Contact the church office with your ideas!

The Apostle's offense only used the first two innings to tally the twelve runs necessary to defeat Trondhjem 12-3 in Sunday's action at Babcock Park.  Scoring twice for the Apostles were Brad Hoff, Pastor Todd, Seth Huiras and Greg Muth.  Holding the hard-hitting Trondhjem club to only three runs was the event of the summer.  Quick hands, hard throws, nifty feet and quality teamwork all played roles in quenching any rallies that the feisty Norwegian Lutherans brought forth that day.  Always looking to improve, the players are studying the film this week to better understand how a run was scored when a Trondhjem player slipped through a home-to-third pickle and the Teal Tide was left eating dirt.  Join the undefeated Apostles this week as they take on Little Prairie at 7:10, Babcock Park.   

Get On The Bus!

Over 30 people are already signed up for the Binding the Covenant event.  This is fantastic!  AND, there's still room on the bus!
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.  There we will stand together to promote economic dignitypathways to opportunity and racial equity. 
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. You can sign up for the bus here and register on the Isaiah website here.

Below is Sarah Carlson's experience of an Isaiah MN gathering:

As part of the Core Organizing team for the church, I was invited to attend a day long clergy event hosted by Isaiah.  Let me say first that I've never been an activist.  By nature, I am a peacekeeper and facilitator - not an agitator.  I wasn't sure what I was getting into, but felt compelled to develop my own understanding of Isaiah.  As Pastor Todd, Pastor Abby, Carolyn Fure-Slocum and I arrived at the event, it felt familiar.  I even saw my former pastors from Minneapolis.  As the day unfolded, however, I was surprised by the diversity of the clergy in the room.  Isaiah is very intentionally trying to create a "big tent" for people of faith (currently only Christian) to be in action together in the world.  It is difficult work.  It is much easier to be in relationship with people who already believe what we believe.  It takes intention and commitment to find common ground in the midst of vast differences.  

One of the African American, Baptist ministers described his congregation's resistance to partnering with white, protestant, progressive churches, even around an issue that matters deeply to them.   His congregation didn't want to trust people who they saw as embodying the racial injustice they were trying to fight.  It is hard for all of us to trust the "other."   I was moved by his congregation's willingness to prayerfully step into relationship with the "other" through Isaiah, trusting that they could find alignment and strength, despite very strong differences.

Isaiah's Binding The Covenant event this June will be an opportunity to experience being in a "big tent" with people of faith.  Isaiah is taking a risk - trying to create a new conversation and new alliances among churches in service to changing deeply unjust systems.  For the activists among us, this may be an exciting opportunity.  For those of you like me, who may find this kind of event daunting, it may be an opportunity to experience a kind of passion and commitment that can inspire hope.  Please consider joining us on the bus!


First UCC will start including a "prayer list' in the bulletin and Chronicle. If you would like to request that the congregation keep an individual or family in prayer, click here or contact Todd or Abby. Names must be submitted by 8:00 am Wednesday morning to be included in that week's Thursday Chronicle and Sunday bulletin. Names will run for two weeks unless otherwise requested. If you are submitting the name of someone other than yourself, please request permission to do so. 
Have You Registered for the All-Church Retreat at Pilgrim Point Yet?
If not, why not?  
Register Today!

Click below for the 

Completed registration forms and fees can be turned in to the church office.
Hanna Somatic Education Classes

June 3 - August 26, Tuesdays 9:00-10:15AM 

Location: First UCC


Drop-in, free-will donation. Come when you can and give what you can. Please bring a mat or two for cushion and a blanket or large beach towel. If you want to purchase a nice mat for Somatics visit  Please note: the only props provided are chairs.  More information about Hanna Somatics Education is available here.   


Palestine Film Series

In June, Northfielders for Justice in Palestine/Israel will present their 2014 Palestine film series. The shows begin at 7 p.m. on three consecutive Tuesdays beginning June 10, at Bethel Lutheran Church, 1050 Cedar Avenue, Northfield, and are free and open to the public. Each evening will end with a brief question-and-answer period.


The films are as follows:


7 p.m., June 17:  "My Neighborhood"-When a Palestinian boy loses half of his home to Israeli settlers in East Jerusalem, he joins his community in a campaign of nonviolent protests.  Efforts to put a quick end to the demonstrations are foiled when scores of Israelis choose to stand by the residents' side.


7 p.m., June 24: "The Stones Cry Out"-Christianity was born in Palestine 2,000 years ago. For more than 60 years, the Palestinians-Christians and Muslims-have suffered displacement, expulsion, wars, occupation and oppression. The voices of Palestinian Christians have often been drowned out in the turmoil of events. This is their story, in their voices.


The Annual "Lighten Up!" Garage Sale is Coming!

Carleton's Center for Community and Civic Engagement (CCCE) will host its annual Lighten Up! Garage Sale on Friday, June 20 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday, June 21 from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. in theWest Gym on the Carleton campus, located off Highway 19. This popular annual sale converts the unwanted year-end possessions of Carleton students into bargains for local residents and cash for local charities. Shop early and often! Items on sale include clothing (including winter gear), books, sporting goods, household items, furniture, bedding, electronics and much more. 

Proceeds from the sale will be split between three Northfield nonprofits: Project Friendship, which teams up with Carleton and St. Olaf students to offer mentoring programs for local youth; The Key (Northfield Union of Youth), a nonprofit youth center run by young people; and the Northfield Area Special Olympics, which offers opportunities for disabled people to get involved in sports. Last year's Lighten Up! Garage Sale raised over $30,000 for the three nonprofits.
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First UCC
300 Union Street
Northfield, MN  55057


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...thank you for your donation of $350.50 to the United Church of Christ in response to our legal case which has been filed in the State of North Carolina.  Your gift will assist our effort to protect the rights of clergy and the principal of freedom of religion at a time when a bold voice is needed more than ever. ~ Cheryl Joseph Williams, Director, Office of Philanthropy and Stewardship, United Church of Christ
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300 Union Street
Northfield, MN 55057


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