This Sunday, August 11th
10:00 a.m.
Worship led by Mike Bass

 "Connected Creation: 
an Eco-theological Psalmist"
Refreshments: Chris Meadows

August Trustee: Jim Keller
From Mike Bass
What comes to mind when you look at this image? Nature? Ansel Adams? Yosemite? The frontier? Do you see power at work?
Human beings occupy a prominent place in Scripture, yet our very existence is inextricably tied to the environment and its inhabitants. Our habitats provide the water we drink, and the food we eat, and the land we dwell on. Human intervention in the quality of water, the habitat of birds and animals, and the landscape of the earth has breached an intricate relationship among living beings that function in interrelated, dynamic systems. Eco-theology pushes back against this underlying logic of domination that justifies the exploitation of people and the planet. Ecological well-being becomes a foundation for social well-being.
There are many starting points to eco-theology. We could look at both creation accounts in Genesis 1 and 2. Romans 8:19-23 and Colossians 1:15-20 have frequently been highlighted in eco-theological discussions. But there is one text that often gets overlooked. When we look at Psalm 104, we find God revealing God’s self in human and non-human life, a perspective that values all of creation in its diversity.

I hope you will journey with me as we explore nature, being, and justice through the lens of deep ecology.
THIS SATURDAY!
RiseForRefuge!
FROM REFUGEE COUNCIL USA: In the past three weeks, the current administration’s policies have dramatically attacked migrants with the "Third-Country Asylum Eligibility Rule"--a proposal of zero refugees to be resettled in 2020--and the introduction of Lindsey Graham’s "Secure and Protect Act of 2019."

Cities across the nation are holding events to #RiseForRefuge, and Fort Worth will be showing its support by hosting a Migrant Testimony and Panel Discussion this Saturday, August 10th, at 7:00 p.m. Participants will hear the testimonies of refugees, asylees, faith leaders, and experts in the field.

THIS TUESDAY!
Justice for Trans Kids Fundraiser
and Go Fund Me Campaign
FUNDRAISER FOR ONE OF OUR KIDS!

FCCers are heading to TNT Tacos and Tequila in Dallas THIS Tuesday, August 13th , at 7:00 p.m., for a night of TACOS & DRAG--a family friendly event to raise money for the legal fund of one of our own!

There will be special performances by Angela K Alexander, Chunky Brewster, and Patti Le Plae Safe, as well as auction items, such as Dallas Cowboys tickets, Texas Rangers tickets, and concert tickets.

IF YOU CAN'T MAKE THE EVENT , you can still donate to the cause. You can write a check to the church and put "Lucas" in the memo line, or donate cash by writing "Lucas" on the outside of the envelope.

 TNT Tacos and Tequila is located at 2800 Routh Street #155. NOTE: If you would like more information on this case, please contact the office .

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GO FUND ME PAGE--JUSTICE FOR LUCAS

A Go Fund Me page has been set up for legal expenses for Lucas's case. ( 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. ( You can donate through FCC...just write "Lucas" in the memo line of a check, or on the outside of an envelope.)
Nursery Volunteers Needed
THIS SUNDAY
We are needing a Nursery volunteer this Sunday, August 11th. If you have a background check and want to spend time with some adorable littles, contact Shelby Shafer at shelby.shafer@fortworthucc.org .
Ken and Dee's 50th Anniversary Celebration!
You are invited to help Dee and Ken Penrod celebrate a special milestone in their lives--50 years of marriage!

Sunday, August 25th
1:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m.
FCC Social Hall

Cake, sangria, drinks, and light food will be served. Dress is casual and, please, no gifts . (Contact Veronica at  Veronicapenrod@gmail.com if you have any questions.)
Join Ben's Babes for NAMIWalks 2019
Join co-captains Lisa November and Ingrid Keller for NAMIWalks 2019 on Saturday, October 5th.

Each year, the FCC team walks in memory of Benjamin November and others who have struggled with mental illness--to raise awareness and to raise funds for the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). NAMI is a grassroots organization that provides services to individuals and families and--most importantly--lets everyone know that they are not alone.

Click here to j oin Ben's Babes or make a donation to our team. All funds raised directly support NAMI's mission to provide support, education, and advocacy to individuals and families locally. If you have any questions, please contact Lisa November or Ingrid Keller .
Donations to the Welman Project
If you have donations that you think might be useful to the Wellies (who use the building on the backside of our parking lot), please contact them first at 817-809-6389 or info@thewelmanproject.org . You can click here to get an idea of what they can and cannot use. Please do not drop items off outside the building when they are not open. (They recently had used mattresses dropped off that they cannot use, and that they must then dispose of at the dump--a two-hour job for them.)
Looking for a Simple Way
to Make a BIG Difference?
"Denton teen in foster care 'inundated in a beautiful way' by 71 birthday cards from strangers" Did you see this story on Channel 8?   

The birthdays of children in foster care often go unnoticed. If you would like to send a birthday card to a foster child at Cumberland Presbyterian Children’s Home, the next birthday is:

  • August 18th: A little boy turns 4 years old. He likes superheroes and dark blue and teal.

Cards can be sent to: Pastor Katie, c/o Birthday Boy or Birthday Girl (DOB), 909 Greenlee Street, Denton, TX, 76201

NOTE: For privacy reasons, no names are listed. Envelopes should not include anything other than a store-bought or hand-drawn birthday card with a kind message and signature. (Please no cash or checks. Donations can be made at  cpch.org .)

"Like" the Cumberland Presbyterian Children's Home on Facebook to keep up with upcoming birthdays.
First Congo Book Club...
It's time to start reading, ya'll!
 NOTE: SEE THE CORRECT BOOK INFO! Summer break is almost over, and it's time to start reading! September's selection is Defectors  by Joseph Kanon. T his story takes place in Russia during the Cold War. It's the story of two brothers from a prominent Boston family who choose different paths: One at a young age goes to fight in the Spanish Civil War and ends up with the CIA before defecting to Russia. The other is a prominent publisher who isn't entirely trustful of his brother when he offers the prospects of a new book about his life.  The group will meet at the home of Marla Boswell on Thursday, September 26th, at 7:00 p.m. Contact Marla for directions (817-277-7155) or call Peter Nichols (484-432-4548) for more information.
Look What's Coming...
Fall is on its way--ready or not--so be sure to mark your calendar for the following events:

  • Sunday, August 18th--Blessing of the Backpacks
  • Wednesday, August 28th--Hand Bell Choir meeting with the new director, and FCC Singers (formerly known as the Chancel Choir) rehearsal resumes
  • Sunday, September 1st--Blessing of the Beasts animal worship service
  • Sunday, September 8th--Fall Kickoff Sunday
  • Sunday, September 15th--Education Hour resumes
  • Saturday, October 5th--NAMIWalks 2019 and Tarrant County Pride Parade
  • Sunday, October 20th--Season of Giving Celebration Sunday
  • Sunday, December 8th--FCC Annual Meeting
  • Saturday, December 14th--A Winter's Eve concert with Peter Mayer and Elizabeth Wills
Silent Death Penalty Vigils Resume
“The problems that have plagued the death penalty at the state level — the risk of executing the innocent, arbitrariness and bias, high costs, a lack of deterrence and the failure to deliver ‘closure’ to victims’ families — exist at the federal level too.” -- Wyoming State Representative Jared Olsen,  “I’m a Republican and I Oppose Restarting Federal Executions,”   New York Times , July 29, 2019

The State of Texas is scheduled to put 11 people to death before the end of the year. On execution days, we gather at 5:30 p.m.--30 minutes before the execution--for a silent vigil remembering the victims and their families, the man being executed and his family, and those whose jobs require them to end a life. Below are the upcoming dates. (Please check here on the day or on our Facebook page in case there has been a stay of execution.)

  • August 15th--Dexter Johnson
  • August 21st--Larry Swearingen
  • September 4th--Billy Crustinger
  • September 10th--Mark Soliz
  • September 25th--Robert Sparks
  • October 2nd--Stephen Barbee
  • October 10th--Randy Halprin
  • October 16th--Randall Mays
  • October 30th--Ruben Gutierrez
  • November 6th--Justen Hall
  • November 20th--Rodney Reed
Final Youth Summer Events!
Summer is going by fast, but there is still summertime fun on our youth schedule!            
Back to School Swim
Saturday, August 24th, 5:00 p.m-7:30 p.m.
The Ridglea Pool Association
6700 Calmont Avenue 

It's time to get together and catch up on everyone's journey back to school! Bring your swimsuit, towel, and an edible to share for snack dinner.
**This event requires an RSVP to Heather Goolsby by August 19th**

Youth Funday Sunday!
Sunday, September 1st, 11:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m.
Free Play Arcade
400 East South Street, Arlington

Come join the group for lunch and then an afternoon of arcade and pinball fun!
* *This event requires an RSVP to Heather by August 25th.**
All costs are covered for this outing.

Any questions? Contact our youth director, Heather .
August/September Small Groups
FIRST CONGO BOOK CLUB, Thursday, September 26th, 7:00 p.m., home of Marla Boswell (See above article.)

CULTIVATING MINDFULNESS, NOTE: There will be no Wednesday gatherings until August 14th. Wednesdays, Chapel, 8:30 a.m.; Saturdays, 10:00 a.m., Parlor Please join us for walking, sitting, and guided meditation in the tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh. This week, sangha brother and sister, John and Toni, will facilitate meditation time followed by discussion with tea and cookies. (Contact:   Lisa November ; Facebook page:   FoWoMindful )

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

THE FINAL GUY TIME, Saturday, August 17th, 9:00 a.m., Ol' South Pancake House (University Drive) Unless someone steps up, this will be the last gathering of Guy Time. Meet up at Ol' South for breakfast with a great group of guys--one last time! (Contact:   Eric Dobson )

HEART-2-HEART WOMEN'S GROUP, Wednesday, August 14th, 10:00 a.m., Chapel It will be something fun! (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

NOTE THE CHANGE TO THE GROUP. .. RECOVERY DHARMA FORT WORTH, Tuesday, 7:00 p.m., Wednesday, 7:00 p.m. (women only), Thursdays, 7:00 p.m., and Sundays, 4:30 p.m., Parlor   From their leader, Kevin: In the Buddhist tradition, "Dharma" means "truth," or "the way things are." This group (Sangha) practices ways to free ourselves from the suffering of addiction using Buddhist practices and principles. Our program is based on the idea that every one of us is our own guide in recovery from addiction, with the help and understanding of Sangha. The Buddha understood the obsessive nature of the human mind, our attachment to pleasure and aversion to pain, and the extreme lengths we can go to, chasing what we want to feel and running away from the feelings we fear. This program leads to recovery from addiction of all kinds, like alcohol, drugs, and/or process addictions. This is a path to freedom from any repetitive and habitual behavior that causes suffering.  Recovery Dharma Fort Worth  is a welcoming peer-led movement and community that is unified by the potential in each of us to recover and find freedom from the suffering of addiction. We approach recovery from a place of individual and collective empowerment, and we support each other as we walk this path of recovery together. (Contact:   Kevin Woodson )

ROOM IN THE INN, Wednesdays-Thursdays until the end of August RITI is a ministry of love and compassion and we need your help. Please consider one of these positions: inn set-up, pick-up driver, dinner provider, greeter, innkeeper, breakfast provider, return driver, and laundry. If you are interested in joining this ministry, go to Room in the Inn Volunteers to choose a date and job. Please contact Ann Cartwright for all the details.

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:  Audrey Meza )

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, September 28th, 2:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m., home of Claire Graham 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
Landon (Jerri Cunningham's cousin)
Beck Trammell
Lisa Schaub's family
Martha Salvato
This week's Room in the Inn guests
Pat Boyd's son, Lee
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
Rev. Kathy Bowser , Pastoral Care Assistant
Laurie Dobson , Office Manager and Director of Communications
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.