Straight to the Point
August 18-24, 2020
Prayer for the Week
Creator God of the Universe,
Before all the push and scramble,
As this world seems to be coming apart
May we start from a place of grace,
Where our unearned value as humans
Is no more or less wonderful
Than an ant’s knee cap.
May we feel that we are creatures made in benevolence,
That we are already enough,
And so it is okay and even necessary
To get plenty of rest,
To take time to breath in
Appreciative calmness,
And to look around in marvel and wonder
Walking in a spirit and flow of gratitude.
 
At the same time we have not yet arrived,
At the full potential to which we’ve been called,
May we be whole-hearted tryers
Who are brave enough to show up
And risk being vulnerable,
Who are relentless activists of hope,
Who grind away with grit
And heroic imagination, not for the ego,
But because of grace and the good of others. Amen

Pulpit Fill for this week: Todd Siefker
Sermon Title: Lessons in Grace


The printed version of the sermon from last Sunday (August 16) by Pastor Al can be viewed by clicking HERE

Congregational Meeting Announcement

Congregation Members:

The upcoming Congregational Meeting that was to be held on August 23, 2020 following the church service has been postponed. Council has voted and approved that they will hold it on or before September 27th, 2020. The call for the meeting will be announced at a later date.
The FCUCC Building is Closed to the public Until at Least September 1st

However we will be opening for SUNDAY SERVICES ONLY as of September 6th, 2020 and health precautions will be observed. More information about re-opening will be sent out as it is available.

Keep the Connection -- Join us on “Zoom”
Todd Siefker will be sending out an invitation link right before each event.

6:30 pm Wednesday – Weekly Reflection Time
9:30 am Sunday – "Admiration Series" Study Session
10:30 am Sunday – Worship


ZOOM Meetings – Remember to Invite Others!
 
Invite your friends to attend the Wednesday night, Friday, or Sunday morning gatherings.
Each of us knows people who need connection during this time. You can send your friends the invitation link or send their emails to Todd so he can send them the invitation. This is a way to reach out and enlarge our caring community!
 
Before each Zoom session, you will receive an email invitation to the session. By clicking on the link included in the invitation, you can join the session.

You can join online with your computer OR by phone.
Follow the instructions that come in the email.
 
On Wednesday evenings, at 6:30 pm Todd Siefker will lead a reflection time.
 
Sunday mornings will be a 2-part session from 9:30 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. 
  • At 9:30 a.m. Todd Siefker will lead the Admiration Series. This Sunday we'll discuss Chapter 9 of Richard Rohr’s book, Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life.
  •  At 10:30 a.m. the Worship Service will begin. 

You can join in at any time during the morning by using the Zoom link.

Steps on how to work around a zoom meeting that has a password (passcode)
1.   Setup your own account with zoom
2.   Get link that is sent by the church in email
3.   Click on link it will open the zoon app once you log in to your account
4.   You will see "start new meeting" or "join meeting" click join
5.   This will bring a meeting ID screen - enter the meeting ID that is found in the email from the church
6.   Enter the meeting ID in the meeting ID feild - this will connect you to the meeting
7.   If the passcode is required enter the passcode that is found in the email from church
8.   Click "OK" after you enter the passcode
9.   You should now be in the meeting

Sunday Tech Buddies Needed

Our Council is attempting to include all members into our Sunday Zoom church services. To do this we have been brainstorming in several options. One of these is to set up Sunday Tech Buddies. To do this we need to:

  • Get a few Chrome Books (or the like) and set up to do Zooming. 
  • Find a few volunteers who have “hot spots” on their phones, and who are willing to be Sunday Tech Buddies.
  • Have the Sunday Tech Buddies bring a Chrome Book and their “hot spot” to those who do not have internet access. They would share the church service in a socially distanced way (masks, 6’ apart, using hand sanitizer before and after). 

If you have a “hot spot” on your phone and are willing to be a Sunday Tech Buddy to someone who cannot attend church right now, but would like to, give Tiffany Watts or Lois Darrow a call and we will begin working on this project. Call Tiffany at 712-239-3385 or Lois at 712-490-5969.  

Pastor Michael Castle
Earl Miller and Family
Sandy Gregory
Katherine Trautman
Sandy Sypersma's Family
Bud Ziebell
Gary Shaner
Madison Darrow
Beth Sakurai
The Van Berkum Family
The Bilka Family
Jay Rosenberg’s mother
Anne Cleghorn
Barb Joiner
Joan Lewis
Leo & Vonnie Leonard
Betty Schwerin
Cameron Mower & Family
The Willmott Family
John Dilenschneider
Lon Claeys' Family
All Teachers and Students

Take Some Time to Check in With Each Other

Remember to “check in” with the person(s) before you and after you in the current church directory. Let's make sure everyone is connected during this time!

Moving-On Box Needs

Toasters
Kitchen Garbage Bags
Pinking Shears
9 x 13 Cake Pans
Paring Knives
Food Storage Containers

Communication

We are finding that our newsletter is only being opened by about 48% of the people who receive it by email weekly. Make sure you share the news that we have updated it to this new platform and that is is also posted to our website weekly. This is an improvement from last week's so keep sharing!

The Soup Kitchen

Council has voted to halt our in-person services to assist at the Soup Kitchen due to the dangers of COVID-19 and will revisit the project at the beginning of the year. If congregants would like to volunteer on their own, please contact the Soup Kitchen directly at their office number: (712) 279-3199.

The Soup Kitchen has been hit hard with the expanded need of families and individuals needing food assistance during COVID-19. Because of this expanded need in our community, they are asking that we continue to contribute, but to do so with Gift Cards or monetary means so that they can appropriately purchase foods as needed. Gift Cards from Fareway, Hyvee, Walmart, etc. would be greatly appreciated. They have served well over 8000 meals since the beginning of the Pandemic and the need is growing.

Current Needs List:
To-Go Containers for Food
Men's and women's:
Jeans
Tennis shoes
Socks
Underwear
Tshirts
Toothpaste
Deodorant
Lotion
Tampons
Shaving cream
Travel size foot powder

You can drop donations and gift cards off at the Soup Kitchen or Mail them to:

717 W. 7th Street
Suoix City, Iowa 51103

They also have Venmo and Paypal for those who would like to donate through that method. Here is the info from them:

If you are wanting to make a donation please use the following:
Venmo : @siouxland-soupkitchen
PayPal : siouxlandsoupkitchen@gmail.com
All donations can be issued a receipt for tax purposes.


Remember to Support FCUCC Financially During this Time!

During this COVID-19 event, having no in-person services has impacted our normal income. Thank you to those who have mailed in checks!


FCUCC Finances for July 2020

Giving in July amounted to $8,987.00, all from mail-in and online giving.

You can help us stay on track by mailing in your check or setting up an automatic payment from your bank. You can also contribute through a simple app called Tithe.ly. 
        Tithe.ly is our online, app and web-based giving system. Tithe.ly is convenient because it:
·        Accepts debit, credit or bank account info
·        Can be set up for a one-time payment, or automatic regular payments
·        Can be changed at any time (there are no contracts or commitments)
Go to http://get.tithe.ly to sign up online, or download the app on any iPhone/Apple or Android device.


Rummage Sale
At this time we have postponed the Rummage Sale, however, those of you who are cleaning and de-cluttering your home during this time, there is plenty of room to store things you wish to get rid of. Just bring them to church when Tiffany is in the office and she will open the doors upstairs for you to bring your things in.

Sharing Our Community Memories and God Moments
 
In the spirit of Pastor Al Hohl's book on Prayer we've been talking about the importance of Remembering. To Pastor Hohl, forgetting is not the opposite of remembering. He says that DISmembering is actually the opposite of REmembering. He writes, "...to not remember is to tear apart. What we tear apart runs the risk of being scattered in our imaginations" (Hohl 2020, 172). I believe we would rather not run this risk. 

We are starting our own Story Corps Project. We would like your story about how this faith community has benefited your life in written, audio recorded, or video recorded format. Please send them to Todd at tsiefker@gmail.com or back to Tiffany at our church email at office@firstcongregational.net. In case you need some prompts from Pastor Anne to get started, here are a few that might help:

  • I came to FCUCC because . . .
  • The person or group here who has made the most difference in my life is _____ because . . . 
  • I learned something new here that deepened my faith when . . .
  • I was able to make a difference in the community/wider world through FCUCC when . . .
  • A time I met God through FCUCC was . . .
  • A favorite memory I have of my time with FCUCC is . . .
Office Hours:

Tiffany's Office Hours have changed. Her new hours will be M-F 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pastor Mike anticipates that he will set his office hours to match that on a M-Th basis, beginning September 1st. We will update as this time comes nearer.
Church Office Hours

Monday - Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.


Church Staff:

Tiffany Watts, Church Administrator

Todd Siefker, Intergenerational Coordinator

Rick Darrow, Organist

Nate Hettinger, Choir Director
Church Contact Information

(712) 239-3385
office@firstcongregational.net
www.1stcongregationalucc.org


office@firstcongregational.net

tsiefker@gmail.com

darrowpipe@aol.com

hettingern@morningside.edu
4600 Hamilton Boulevard
Sioux City, IA 51104
(712) 239-3385