No matter who you are or where you are on life's journey, you are welcome here!
In this issue of the eBulletin:
ONA Reaffirmation Program * Stewardship Big Picture
St. Louis Association Fall Meeting * Church Cookbook
Annual Fundraiser * And much more!
This Sunday, September 16
Worship at 10:30 AM in the Sanctuary

Rev. Dr. Bill Smutz Preaching, "When You Wish Upon A Star"

Greeters: Gerry Frankenfeld, Susan Davis-McCarter
Ushers: Don Ronken, Gerry Frankenfeld, Chrissy Paterson, Rex Reed
Welcome & Announcements: Ward Klein
Infant-Preschool: Anne Chao
K-2nd Grade: Jon Tiede
3rd-5th Grade: Emily Stokes, Karen Smethers
Middle School: Ken Blumer, Bert Merrell
Counters: Gerry Frankenfeld, Bert Merrell
Coffee & Community: Sallie Bieber
Music Ministry Team: Jeral Becker, Carol Bell, Paul Brady,
Mary Brown, Adam Hunn, Alphie Kiu, Carol Klein, Bill Mellish,
Sheila Merrell, Leila Sadat, Carrie Sayers, Nathan Ruggles, and
Stephanie Ruggles
Sunday Sept. 16 after Worship
Our vice-moderator, Ward Klein, will lead us in a conversation about the search process for our senior minister and FCC’s mission, vision, and core values. Please join us for about half an hour after worship this Sunday!
Connor Filkins
Hello FCC family! My name is Connor and I am excited to join you all this year! I am in my final year at Eden Theological Seminary, seeking to become an ordained pastor in the United Church of Christ! I came to St. Louis in 2016 from my home town in Connecticut after graduating from Albertus Magnus College, where I played volleyball and earned a degree in Religion and Philosohpy! When I am not pouring over my seminary reading and writing papers, I enjoy playing and coaching baseball, as well as volleyball! I look forward to a fruitful and fun year and am grateful for being welcomed into your church family!
If you can't worship with us in person, you can join us virtually on our livestream! Each Sunday at 10:30 AM we broadcast our worship service live on Ustream, which you can access online  HERE . All of the worship services from the past month are saved on our Ustream page, so you can go back to view services you missed or would like to revisit.
"Liturgy" means "the work of the people," so we like to add voices to our worship services. Would you like to become a lay liturgist to help lead the worship liturgy on Sunday mornings? Let us know!
We gather after worship for a time of fellowship with coffee and treats. We provide the beverages, and coffee hour hosts bring sweet and savory goodies.
Thursdays Sept. 13-Nov. 15
We kicked off The Meeting Ground this past week! We hope you'll join us Thursdays this fall, through November 15. See the schedule below, and learn more HERE .

The meal for September 20 will be from Whole Foods: fried chicken, coleslaw, potato salad, mac & cheese, garlic rosemary potatoes, and roasted brussels sprouts.
Thursday Evening Schedule

4:30-5:30: Bell Choir Rehearsal & Out Before Dark Study

5:30-6:15: Communal Meal

6:30-7:30: God's Blue Earth Elementary Study & Multi-Generational
Back to the Text with Jonah

7:30-9:00: Chancel Choir Rehearsal
We have an urgent need for teachers for our K-2nd grade class!

If you are interested in helping our kids and youth on their faith journey we could use your help! We are in need of Sunday school teachers for the Kindergarten-Second Grade class this 2018-19 school year. We ask teachers to commit to teaching twice a month and teachers always teach in pairs. We could also use some more volunteers in our nursery. If you have any questions or would like to volunteer, please contact Emily Stokes
FCC is searching for a new part-time bookkeeper. If you know of anyone who might be interested, view a copy of the job description HERE.
Sunday Sept. 16, 5:30 PM
The theme of this year's free concert is "Great Music of Many Faiths," and it will take place at the Sheldon Concert Hall. The concert will feature both adult and young singers and musicians from faith communities across the metropolitan area who will share their most treasured music with us. For more information, visit or call 314-533-9900.
FCC is going through an exciting process of reaffirming our Open & Affirming covenant. There are a lot of opportunities to engage, so view the whole program HERE . The next event is on September 23 after worship. Join us for an exploration of Our ONA Story hosted by Valerie Jackson, Member in Discernment, with personal reflections by Sheila Merrell, Council Moderator 2004-2005. The session will include viewing of a short PBS video featuring three stories of ONA discernment by UCC churches. The afternoon will include a light lunch. Also coming up: During worship on September 30 Rev. Tyler Connoley will preach, and after worship the ONA team will present the results of our 4-Part Listening Process. And much more!
Saturday September 22, 8:00 AM
Come join our volunteer team (ages 16 and up) on our annual trip to assist Food Outreach with packaging and storing meals for people living with HIV/AIDS or cancer. We need at least 20-25 people. Food Outreach is located at 3117 Olive. If you wish to carpool, please meet at the church at 7:30am (and please note that when you sign up). We usually work until 11 am. 
We are very fortunate at FCC to experience God’s abundance in helping us all live God’s Love, do God’s Work and Learn God’s Word. Each week we are sharing with the congregation our financial position currently expanding into our Stewardship strategy for the ongoing support of our goals and to support the great work of FCC and its staff. Last week we shared our year to date giving versus our annual budget and highlighted that we need $109,820 in the last 4 months to achieve our income budget of $588,036, which includes the 4% draw of $180,000 from our endowment. Below is our monthly giving income:
In January we normally receive some full year annual giving which is donated at the end of the prior year for tax planning. Also stock gifts are recorded in the month they are received, which significantly inflates January’s income. As we move into a busy time in our church’s year leading up to our Christmas period, we encourage all of our members to review their annual giving compared to pledging as we prepare to finalize a budget for next year. Next week we will share where these funds are spent and the great work that is being done by FCC as we strive to live our mission and walk in Christ’s footprints to work towards our vision.
Saturday September 29, 8:00 AM-3:00 PM
The fall business meeting of the St. Louis Association of the United Church of Christ is Saturday September 29 at the Deaconess Center for Child Well-Being (1000 North Vandeventer Ave. St. Louis MO 63113). The day's agenda includes discussion and vote on the proposed 2019 Association Budget; the election of members to the Council and the Covenant Teams. We will also receive updates and reports from within the life of the Association, including the opportunity to be in conversation with representatives of the Association's mission partners. The keynote speaker/preacher is the Rev. Dr. Jane Fisler Hoffman, and educational workshops will be available in the morning. Read more information HERE . Our congregation is allowed to bring five delegates, plus two more young adult delegates (confirmed members under the age of 30). If you would like to represent our congregation, with the privilege of voice and vote at the meeting, contact Hannah Rice to register.
Wednesday October 3, 7:15 PM
The First Congregational Book Group is reading  Silence  by Shusaku Endo for the October 3rd gathering.  Silence is set in Japan circa 1630 and is the story of a Portuguese Jesuit missionary at that time, a time when Christianity had been outlawed and was being cruelly repressed. This book delves into difficult questions and the challenges of religious faith and what it means and looks like to be a Christian. There are sections of this book which may be difficult to read, skip over them and keep reading.  Silence  is elegantly written and compelling, a book definitely worth reading.

Please join the group when we meet on the 3rd at 7:15 in the church parlor. The discussion will be led by Janet Hoyne. The book can be found at the library or in bookstores.  
October 12, and November 2
We have two more outdoor family movie nights coming up this fall! We'll watch family-friendly movies on the garth on our blow-up screen. You bring a chair or blanket and your favorite movie snack, and we'll provide hot chocolate and popcorn.
Oct. 12 at 6:30 Sing * Nov. 2 at 6:00 Coco
Sunday September 23
Our last Staycation Bible School event is a trip to Powder Valley Nature Center on September 23 after worship. Bring a picnic to enjoy with the rest of the group, and then we will explore God's creation on hikes through Powder Valley.
Contact Emily Stokes to RSVP.
The FCC Cookbook is underway! We are still looking for recipes to help fill out our cookbook. Thank you to everyone who as already submitted. Proceeds from the cookbook will be shared between the church and preschool for general programming purposes. Deadline for recipes is September 30. Get the instructions for submitting a recipe HERE . If you need help, feel free to email Chelsea Safe. We will be selling the cookbook for $20/book.
Saturday October 20, 6:30 PM
Because last year was such a fun success, this year's fundraiser to support the ministries and mission of FCC will again be a Chef's Tasting Dinner, featuring delicious tasting portions from our very own FCC chefs. We'll also have silent and live auctions full of exciting offerings from our members, friends, and local organizations and businesses. If you have something to donate to our auction (like a gift basket, handmade item, party, vacation home, etc.), please contact Hannah Rice . If you would like to attend, sign up at the church office or online HERE . You can sign up to host a table of 10 ($500) or for individual seats ($50). If you'd like to help underwrite the cost of beverages, you can purchase a wine sponsor seat ($100).
November 2, 6:30 PM
Unleashing Potential (one of our mission partners) has its annual fundraiser at the Four Seasons Hotel on Nov. 2. UP has been working with low income St. Louis children since 1913 and now serves over 1700 kids.. Elisa Wang serves on their board and would love to get a couple of First Church tables at the celebration. If you’re interested, please talk with Elisa!
This Week at FCC
Sunday September 16
10:30 am Sunday Worship
11:30 am Coffee & Community
11:45 am Mission/Vision/Values Conversation

Monday September 17
6:30 pm Mission & Outreach Meeting

Tuesday September 18
10:00 am Sacred Studies & Fellowship

Wednesday September 19
7:00 am Wydown Men's Club
12:00 pm FCC Staff Team Meeting
3:00 pm Truancy Tutoring
7:00 pm Council Meeting

Thursday September 20
12:00 pm Mama Cat & the Potbangerz
The Meeting Ground:
4:30 pm Bell Choir Rehearsal
4:30 pm Out Before Dark Study
5:30 pm Communal Meal
6:30 pm Community Learning
7:30 pm Chancel Choir Rehearsal

Friday September 21
6:00 pm Friday Night Fun Fellowship (Formerly Tweens)

Saturday September 22
8:00 am Food Outreach Work Day

Sunday September 23
10:30 am Sunday Worship
11:30 am Coffee & Community
FCC Church Office
Contact Us Via Email

Rev. Dr. Bill Smutz: Interim Senior Minister
Emily Stokes: Minister of Children & Families
Dr. Sarah Bereza: Minister of Music
Hannah Rice: Minister of Administration and Membership
Connor Filkins: Student Pastor
Anne Chao: Preschool Director
Valerie Jackson: Member in Discernment

Phone: 314.721.5060 Fax: 314.721.2716 Preschool: 314.721.7404