Straight to the Point
September 1, 2020
Prayer for the Week

Mute. Unmute.

Unmute me, O God, and remind me to say what I think and feel.

Mute. Unmute.

Let me say what I need to say without anger or accusation or judgment.

Mute. Unmute.

Let me test and consider if being unmuted is helpful. Amen.

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.
It’s Back to Church Time!
“I rejoiced when they said to me, ‘Let us go to the house of the Lord.’” (Psalm 122:1)

On Sunday, September 6, we will be re-opening our building on a very limited basis. We will start for public worship @ 10:30 a.m. in the Sanctuary and Christian Education @ 9:30 a.m. in the Fellowship Hall. The rest of the building will remain closed to outside groups. FCUCC based committees and groups are welcome to use the building as long as they schedule their meeting through the church office and maintain established health precautions.

To Safely Open:
1.     We will be insisting on practicing established re-opening protocols for houses of worship. These health precautions are designed to keep everyone safe who enters to study and worship and will include:

-Temperatures will be taken at the door.
-Masks will be provided for those who do not have one of their own.
-Social distancing will be observed inside the building - ushers will help to seat individuals and family units at least 6 feet away from one another.
-Hand sanitizer and surface sanitizer will be provided at the door and various places throughout church.

Please be sure to thank to our Re-Open the Church Committee for all their efforts and energy to prepare a safe space for us all! (Jan Nowlen, Lois Darrow, Rick Darrow, Constance Popken, and Nan Cord)

2.     Worship will be a little different:

-We will share in communion but each person will receive the cup and bread in an individual, prewrapped container.

-There will be no nursery or childcare provided at this time but children are free to sit with their family

-There will be no congregational singing, but you can humm all you want behind that mask!

-There will be no “Passing of the Peace” but we will greet and welcome each other in Love!

-We will enter and exit a little more orderly than we are used to and we will be spread out across the sanctuary to maintain social distancing.

We will begin Live Streaming of our worship services. This is a great new resource we now have at our disposal. So if you can’t make it to worship in the building, then please join us on Sunday morning from home or wherever you are.

And a huge thanks are in order to the Tech Team who got this project done!

We will welcome Pastor Mike as he leads his first worship service with us.

Tiffany, our Office Administrator, will be joining Jan Nowlen at the door to greet everyone and screen temperatures.

We excitedly welcome you back in the doors, as we worship together as safely as possible.

Obituary & Memorial Service

Betty Lou Schwerin, 82, of Sioux City, passed away Wednesday, August 26, 2020 at a local hospital. A memorial service will be held Saturday, September 5 at 2:00 p.m. at Meyer Brothers Colonial Chapel. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service. Please keep the Schwerin family in your prayers.

Time to Save Receipts

Please save:
*HyVee grocery receipts (dated Aug 23 and after)
*Boxtops for Education
There’s a collection box wrapped in balloon paper in the narthex near the office.
Thank you~These will be donated to a local school and shared with Mayflower Congregational’s preschool.

Book Club

The book club will be resuming meetings, and the first will be on September 10th at 9:30 a.m. at the church. If you would like to participate but can not come in person please let Tiffany know and she will send you a link to the Zoom meeting.


A note from our friends at CROP Walk:
The Sioux City CROP Walk will look a little different in 2020, but our goal is still the same! To help fight hunger locally and around the world. The safety of our walkers is our number one priority, therefore this year the Sioux City CROP Walk will be virtual. 

Please visit their website for more information.

They are mostly asking for online donations but food donations are still accepted as well. Details abou how to donate online, and where to donate food items are all on the above website. If you would like to donate cash or checks, please send them to the church and make them payable to CROP Walk.

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
Sanford Center

A Big THANK YOU goes out to all who have donated to the Sanford Center over the Spring and Summer. We were able to help them to meet their goals in helping the community.

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.  

The Schwerin Family
Tyrell Tanner and Family
Dick Owens
Sandy Gregory
Katherine Trautman
Sandy Sypersma's Family
Bud Ziebell
Gary Shaner
Madison Darrow
Beth Sakurai
The Bilka Family
Jay Rosenberg’s mother
Anne Cleghorn
Barb Joiner
Leo & Vonnie Leonard
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

Dish Soap
Window Cleaner
Spray Bottles of Kitchen/BAthroom Clorox
Fry Pans
9x13 Cake Pans
Paring Knives


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:
Tennis shoes
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 :
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 August 2020

Giving in August amounted to $7210.00, 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 is our online, app and web-based giving system. 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 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, " 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 or back to Tiffany at our church email at 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 . . .
Church Office Hours

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

Church Staff:

Rev. Dr. Michael Castle

Tiffany Watts, Church Administrator

Todd Siefker, Intergenerational Coordinator

Rick Darrow, Organist

Nate Hettinger, Choir Director
Church Contact Information

(712) 239-3385
4600 Hamilton Boulevard
Sioux City, IA 51104
(712) 239-3385