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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
June 4, 2014 

This Sunday in Worship


This Sunday we will be celebrating Pentecost at our special summer worship time of 9:30 a.m.  On Pentecost we celebrate the arrival of the Holy Spirit into the life of the disciples, and we look back to this experience as the birth of the church.  Pentecost is a good time for us to listen for the Holy Spirit in the present and consider what the Spirit has been up to in our midst.  I think the Spirit has been somewhat busy, and we'll have a chance to give thanks on Sunday.
First UCC Votes to Launch Feasibility Study and Capital Campaign

At the Congregational Meeting after worship on June 1, First UCC voted to hire the James Company to conduct a feasibility study that will lead to a capital campaign in 2015.  The feasibility study will give us a clearer picture of our capacity to raise funds for the identified building needs.  It will also tell us if the congregation is motivated to give to the items listed in the current proposal.  After the feasibility study, the proposal for the capital campaign will be adjusted based on the information we've received, the revised capital campaign proposal will be clearly communicated, and a capital campaign will be launched in 2015.  

The Feasibility Study Leadership Team has been formed and consists of Sarah Carlsen, Matt Forster, Phil Kasten, Marty Pelikan, Scott Richardson, Carol Rutz, Dan Sullivan, and Pastor Todd.  This group will work with Kurt Nordby from the James Company to ensure a successful and informative feasibility study.
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!
Food Truck Tuesday!


THANK YOU for helping to support Food Truck Tuesday.  Our first month has been an amazing success, and we are looking forward to seeing what the rest of the summer brings.
June 10 -  Potters Pasties
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!!
Coffee Hour Hosts are Needed!  
We invite you to volunteer to serve at one of our after-church coffee hours in June and throughout summer.  A Hospitality team member will work with you to answer all your questions. The church provides treats and juice to serve or you can bring your own as you wish, or both.  A clip-board with sign-up list is on the kitchen counter with dates for each month or you can sign up online here.  It can be enjoyable to do this together with a friend or family member. Please help us to continue providing for our after-church community gathering for coffee, treats and conversation throughout the year.
About the Trees...

You may have noticed that many of the trees that lined the parking lot have been removed.  The facilities committee decided to remove these fast growing trees for two main reasons.  First, they created a safety hazard in the winter.  Once our parking lot was covered with snow it was extremely difficult to remove the ice due to the shading of those trees. Second, as the trees grew they would shade more of the building, and our solar panels would become less effective.  Smaller shrubs will planted later in the summer. 
Get On The Bus!

21 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. 
Electronics Recycling

Bring your unwanted electronics and appliances THIS COMING Saturday, June 7, from 10 A.M. until noon, to the First United Church of Christ, 300 Union St.
The following items will be accepted at no charge:
-- Computers (desktops, towers, laptops)
-- Small printers
-- Network equipment (modems, routers) 
-- Stereos
-- Radios
-- Phones
-- Cables
-- Other electronics
-- Dehumidifiers 
-- Microwave ovens
-- Small air conditioners
-- Toasters
-- Very small refigerators
-- Other small appliances if they are largely metal
Modern "thin" monitors or TVs are free, but old-fashioned CRT-based monitors or TVs are $5 each.  Extra-large televisions -- requiring two people to carry -- will NOT be accepted.
If weather is terrible, the event will be cancelled.  Notice will be sent by e-mail to this list.
If you have a large amount of equipment (more than a carload), make a separate appointment with the recycler, Mr. Jim Caswell, for on-site pickup.  His phone number is 651-214-3857.
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.
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

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


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 brain and muscles to bring about long-lasting results. A Somatics class at One Spirit 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.

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.

Community Action Center Needs

Camping Gear Donations

This summer we expect to send 25 children to camp. If you would like to donate new or gently-used camp supplies, please bring them to our office and help a child experience the great outdoors! Campers are in need of the following supplies:

-       Sleeping bags

-       Flashlights

-       Beach towels

-       Insect repellent

-       Lotion

-       Sunscreen

-       Water bottles


Northfield Works - Members Seeking Mentors

Let your valuable experience help another rebuild his or her life.  The CAC is seeking volunteer mentors who can:

-       Commit to at least one year of service, sharing one hour per week

-       Encourage, guide & support mentee toward employment retention and advancement

-       Participate in volunteer enrichment events

For more information call 507-664-3550 or



Launching of Northfield Works

Dave Phillips, co-founder of the Cincinnati Works program, visited to help the Community Action Center inaugurate our new employment program, Northfield Works. In researching employment models, Cincinnati Works stood out because the program is more than job training and placement.  The program offers ongoing support to lift members from poverty to self-sufficiency.  If you are interested in donating please contact us by phone (507-664-3550) or check our website:


VISTA Intern needed for Northfield Works

We are currently seeking a VISTA Intern to commit a year of service to the CAC.  In this position you will gain skills in community organizing, event coordination, and community poverty education.  Contact the CAC at 507-664-3550 for more information.


CAAR - Cars for a Cause

We are currently seeking road-worthy vehicles to be donated to our Community Action Auto Recycling (CAAR) Program.  Your donation would be to the CAC will entitle you to a tax deduction.  In turn, the CAC reviews our client's eligibility requirements to obtain a free vehicle.  Contact the CAC at 507-664-3550 for any questions.

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 10: "Voices Across the Divide" is a powerful documentary and oral history project by Alice Rothchild and Sharon Mullally exploring the Israeli/Palestinian conflict through rarely heard personal stories.


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.

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First UCC
300 Union Street
Northfield, MN  55057


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300 Union Street
Northfield, MN 55057


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