This Sunday, December 1st
First Sunday of Advent
10:00 a.m.
Worship led by Rev. Lee Ann Bryce

"Being Hope"
Refreshments: Sall-Ann Sauer
December Trustees: Erin and Chris Menking
From Rev. Lee Ann
This Advent season, we are going to learn a word; a concept that is new, at least to most of us. 

hyg·ge
/ˈh(y)o͞oɡə,ˈho͝oɡə/
noun
1.     a quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being (regarded as a defining characteristic of Danish culture).
 
The term comes to us from Denmark, the long-held “happiest country in the world.” Turns out certain aspects of Danish life that help bring about this happiness may be summed up in hygge (pronounced hoo-ga), sometimes translated as “the art of coziness.” 
Hygge will serve as a unifying image for worship and life over the next four Sundays, as well as Christmas Eve. The hygge approach to life is an antidote to pervasive consumerism that often marks this sacred season. When you think hygge , think cozy: lighting candles, sharing quiet moments with people you love, appreciating the gifts of what the Danes call “the duvet of darkness.”
In addition to beautiful themed artwork that will adorn the Sanctuary and bulletin covers throughout Advent, we’ll have a set of hygge table tents (one per family) to serve as a devotional resource on the themes of Advent: hope, peace, joy, and love. Each week, you’re invited to engage in your home with a brief weekly reading, prayer, reflection question, and action. It’s a wonderful opportunity for all of us to walk the Advent path together.

Wellness, contentment, coziness, community. Welcome Advent!

Warmly,
Rev. Lee Ann
Call for FCC Annual Meeting
First Congregational Church will hold its 2019 Annual Meeting on Sunday, December 8th , following worship. A PDF of the annual report will be emailed by December 1st and hard copies will be available on demand. (Please let the office know if you need a printed copy.)

Just an FYI for parents: Youth and AdVillians who are participating in the Advent play will meet for rehearsal during the meeting. The nursery will also be available.
A Successful Campaign!
FROM TRACY HANNA, MODERATOR-ELECT AND CHAIR OF OUR "SEASON OF GRATITUDE" CAMPAIGN
 
Our “season of gratitude” is wrapping up in time for the holidays, and I am awed by our church’s continuing generosity. A heartfelt thank you to all who submitted pledge cards, and to all who participated in our season of gratitude with events, eloquent announcements, outreach activities, blood donations, and many other ways. The numbers below show that our campaign was very successful this year! Our committees are working hard on setting up a budget proposal for this coming year, and it will be presented at the annual meeting on Dec. 8, 2019, right after church. Be there or be square! 

  • 81 pledge cards returned
  • 59.1% returned
  • 74 pledges (64 in 2019)
  • $196,110 total pledge dollars ($190,639 in 2019)
Please let us know...
FCC's pastoral caregivers want to support you in times of need.

If you are ill, having surgery, or needing meals during recovery, please let the church office know. Rev. Kathy, Rev. Lee Ann, and our pastoral caregivers will support you with prayer, visits, or practical assistance as best we can. Social media is unreliable in communicating need.

Please let us know so that you may receive the support the church wants to provide.
Jewelry Sale Fundraiser
This Sunday, December 1st




As a way to help offset our budget deficit, there will be a jewelry sale at FCC, this Sunday, December 1st, after worship--just in time for holiday shopping! The sale will include some beautiful jewelry that Melissa Gibbons purchased from a website that was selling everything at a 70% discount.

Looking for a break after Thanksgiving?
Leave the stress of the Thanksgiving holiday behind and come to FCC for Shinrin-yoku .

Our Cultivating Mindfulness Sangha is hosting a special event this Saturday, November 30th , at 10:00 a.m.

Kelly Moyle, who is in the process of getting her Forest Bathing Certification, will lead us on a walk through the live oaks.

Shinrin-yoku is a term that means "taking in the forest atmosphere" or "forest bathing." It has become a cornerstone of preventive health care and healing in Japanese medicine. The idea is simple: If a person simply visits a natural area and walks in a relaxed way, there are calming, rejuvenating, and restorative benefits to be achieved.   Here is a video to give you some additional information.
Holiday Schedule

  • Saturday, December 14th--A Winter's Eve Concert (see article below)
  • Sunday, December 15th--Youth and Adventure Village Advent play, following worship
  • Friday, December 20th--Christmas Caroling, 6:00 p.m. (Meet at FCC)
  • Tuesday, December 24th--Christmas Eve Worship, 5:00 p.m.
Don't Forget AmazonSmile!
As you begin your holiday shopping, don't forget we are a charity on Amazon. Scroll down to learn how your Amazon purchases can benefit FCC.
Third Annual Winter's Eve Concert
with Peter Mayer and Elizabeth Wills
First Congregational Church is always so proud and excited to welcome back renowned and award-winning singer/songwriters Peter Mayer and Elizabeth Wills for a special evening of music and friendship on Saturday, December 14th at 8:00 p.m.

These two dear friends will bring their songs, their voices, and their hearts to share with us. It is an evening that will stay with you throughout the season.

Tickets are $25 and can be purchased on Eventbrite or at the door. (Doors open at 7:00 p.m.)
Room in the Inn Begins Next Week
Room in the Inn will open again next Wednesday, December 4th. It will soon be time to begin offering the warmth of table fellowship and comfy beds on cold nights to our neighbors without a home.

Positions for the upcoming 13 weeks are now open. ( Click here .) I f you’d like to stay updated on how to help what to donate ,  and  when you are needed, contact Trisha Stanfill to be added to the RITI mailing list.
Go Fund Me for Lucas
A Go Fund Me page has been set up for the legal expenses of Lucas. ( Click here for the link. ) Can you please help spread the word by sharing the page? (Just click "Share" under the "Donate Now" button.) Donations are, of course, also appreciated. ( If you don't want to use GM, you can donate through FCC...just write "Lucas" in the memo line of a check, or on the outside of an envelope.)
The Education Hour
NURSERY (infants-4 years old; next to Rev. Lee Ann's office)  The Nursery is available during the Education Hour for our littles ones. (It is also available beginning at 9:45 a.m. for those wishing to drop off their littles before worship.)

ADVENTURE VILLAGE (Kindergarten-5th grade; second floor, Room 207)  AdVillians will be practicing for the Advent play.

YOUTH (6th-12th grade; second floor, Room 203)   This week, the youth will talk about Advent and hygge.

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United Church of Christ's National Youth Event

NYE 2020 will be July 22nd-25th at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, for youth and young adults ages 12-22. This four-day event is celebrated as the largest denominational gathering. Often bringing in 4,000 participants, this time together is centered on faith, leadership, service, and social justice to empower our youth and young adults. The cost is $375. Talk to Heather if you have a youth who might be interested!

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ADULT EDUCATION   (Sanctuary)  Adult Ed will hear from two groups of FCCers who visited the border as part of the Courts & Ports program hosted by Texas Impact. They will hold a round table discussion on the subject of immigration, share stories and reflections from their trips, and provide space for discussion on policy and how FCC can participate in relief and advocacy work.
December Small Groups
FIRST CONGO BOOK CLUB, Thursday, December 5th, 7:00 p.m., at the home of Han and John Will [NOTE the date change because of Thanksgiving. The 2020 gatherings will begin on January 23rd.] This month's book club selection is Britt-Marie was Here by Frederik Backman--a poignant, funny, and somewhat sad story. What does a newly divorced, 63-year-old woman decide to do after living a sheltered life? She goes to a small town to run a recreation center and to coach children's soccer--about which she knows nothing! (Contact: Call Peter Nichols at 484-432-4548.)

MEDITATION ON THE GO, Wednesdays, Chapel, 8:30 a.m. We alternate meditation activities every 10 minutes until 9:30 a.m., so feel free to come and go when the bell sounds. (And don't forget to ring the door bell if you arrive after 8:30 a.m.) (Contact:   Lisa November ; Facebook page:   FoWoMindful )

SATURDAY CULTIVATING MINDFULNESS, Saturdays, 10:00 a.m., Parlor See above article on forest bathing.   (Contact:   Lisa November ; Facebook page:   FoWoMindful )

FIRST SUNDAY LUNCH BUNCH, this Sunday, December 1st, following worship, Genghis Grill (on Bryant Irvin) On the first Sunday of the month, a group of FCCers heads to a local restaurant to eat and socialize. This is a great way to connect with a great group of folks! Let Faye Swindle or Sall-Ann know if you're going so they will save you a place at the table. (Contact:  Sall-Ann Sauer )

HEART-2-HEART WOMEN'S GROUP, Wednesday, December 4th, 10:00 a.m. Join H2H for a presentation on Egypt by Fluffy Jones (who recently visited there). (Contact: Rhonda Grundy  or join their Facebook page: Heart2Heart)

PRAYER PARTNERS, via email    One of the most valuable gifts we can offer one another and our world is prayer. Prayer requests are shared via email, so this is a good way to connect if you are unable to attend scheduled events. (Contact: Church Office )

LOIS HUNDLEY PRAYER SHAWL MINISTRY, First and Third Thursdays, 1:00 p.m., Family Room   If you knit or crochet, you can use your talents to make prayer shawls. These "chicks with sticks" offer handmade gifts to those who need encouragement during difficult times. (Contact:  Linda Bavousett

RECOVERY DHARMA FORT WORTH, Tuesday, 7:00 p.m., Thursdays, 7:00 p.m., and Sundays, 4:30 p.m., Parlor   Recovery Dharma FW practices ways to free themselves from the suffering of addiction of any kind using Buddhist practices and principles. This is a welcoming peer-led movement and community that approaches recovery from a place of individual and collective empowerment as participants walk the path of recovery together. (Contact: Kevin Woodson )

SOUL SISTERS    Soul Sisters get together every other week and share a meal, do activities, and just enjoy being together. The best way to stay up to date is to check out their Facebook page: Soul Sisters FCC. (Contact:  Kim Haymon )

T'AI CHI, Thursdays, 1:30 p.m., Chapel    T'ai Chi--a type of stylized meditative exercise focusing on stretching and balance--is available to adults and youth. A $30 per month fee is required. Details are available through the instructor. (Contact:  Steve Blostein )

TRANS TARRANT, First Thursday of the month, 7:00 p.m.-8:30 p.m. Trans Tarrant provides support and resources to transgender and gender-variant individuals and their families in Tarrant County. They meet at FCC for a potluck dinner. For more info, email TransTarrant@gmail.com or visit their Facebook page: TransTarrant

FIRST CONGO UKERS, Saturday, December 7th, 5:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m., at the home of Laurie Simmons Ukers meet monthly at a different location to sing and play and socialize. To stay up with the gatherings, be sure to get on their email list. Everyone is welcome from "I've-never-held-a-uke-before" to "I'm-ready-to-go-on-tour!" (Contact:  Laurie Dobson  or join their Facebook page: First Congo Ukers)

SATURDAY YOGA, Saturdays, 1:00 p.m., Parlor There may not be an instructor, but there are DVDs, so come join the group. Everyone is welcome--no matter your yoga experience. (Contact: Sall-Ann Sauer )
Please Keep in Your Prayers
Maria Linares and Dana Small and family
The Nichols' son-in-law, Mike
The Ferguson's son, Matt
Guenevere and kids
Baby Finn and his family
Landon (Jerri Cunningham's cousin), and Landon's family
Janna Brown and Pat Parker
Melissa Gibbons
FCC on AmazonSmile!
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SPREAD THE WORD! Share this information with your family and friends who might want to help support our church!
All about FCC
What We Believe
In May 2008, we declared: We, the congregation of First Congregational United Church of Christ, Fort Worth, declare ourselves to be Open and Affirming. We strive to be a congregation that includes all persons, embracing differences of sexual orientation, gender and its expression, marital status, age, mental and physical health and ability, racial and cultural identity or background, and educational or socioeconomic status. We welcome all to share in the life, leadership, ministry, fellowship, worship, sacraments, responsibilities, blessings, and joys of our congregation's life in Christ.
Contact Us
Address: 4201 Trail Lake Drive, Fort Worth, Texas 76109
Phone: 817-923-2990
Email: Church Office
Who's Who at FCC
Rev. Lee Ann Bryce , Senior Pastor, Director of FCC Singers
Rev. Kathy Bowser , Pastoral Care Assistant
Laurie Dobson , Office Manager and Director of Communications
Zane Freemyer, Hand Bell Choir Director
Heather Goolsby , Youth Director
Analiese Hill , Children's Director
Joel Penrod , Worship and Arts Planner
Laurie Simmons , Accompanist

FCC on Social Media
Website: fortworthucc.org
Instagram: FirstCongregationalFortWorth
Audio of Rev. Lee Ann's Sermons: Click here.
Sunday's Online Bulletins: bulletin.fortworthucc.org
2019 Committee Chairs

Shelby Shafer , Cabinet Moderator
Tracy Hanna , Cabinet Moderator-Elect
Ingrid Keller , Christian Education
Ann Cartwright , Christian Service
Mike Nichols , Deacons
Suzanne Velte , The Fellowship
Carol Burnett , Trustees
Article/Announcement Submissions
Articles for The Comma and announcements for the bulletin must be in to the office via email no later than Wednesday mornings. For events to be published on our Facebook page, please email the office with the details. PLEASE NOTE: Articles and announcements may be edited for length, grammar, etc.
Privacy Policy
We frequently take photos or videos of all the wonderful events happening in our church. If you prefer we do not include photos of you or your family in our bulletin or on social media, please let the church office know. We will be happy to honor your request.
Online Giving
You can make a donation to FCC via Vanco--a UCC online giving website. Here's what to do:
1) Go to our web page fortworthucc.org click on "Giving" menu, then click on the "Give Now" button.
2) Once on the Vanco website, set up an account, and decide where you want your donations to go, how often, and from what account. 

PLEASE NOTE:  Credit/debit transactions incur fees payable to the credit card company. FCC will record the amount less the fees for IRS purposes.