T O U C H S T O N E  -  A  M i d W e e k  B u l l e t i n

   Second Sunday of Lent     
March 17, 2019    
Now Meeting at 500 E. Colorado Blvd.
Sunday Worship Service: 11:30 am, Chapel

Our Core Values: 
Spiritual Growth. Welcome. Justice-seeking



A combined choir from area UCC Churches sang at the Ash Wednesday service this year.
Rev. Anne Cohen prepared a beautiful altar for our service that represented the many aspects of the Lenten Journey. Our six UCC churches raised $459 for the work of Friends in Deed with our worship offering. Many thanks for everyone's generosity.

Reflection for Worship. . .
Genesis 15:1-12, 17-18
This text "reminds us that it takes trust in a vision to overcome fear and to venture into a new way of living. This is precisely what Abram, Sarai, and their descendants are called to do. The land God offers Abram is less a place and more a space, which is found wherever and whenever people leave behind empire ideology and instead trust in justice creating, love enhancing, compassion nurturing relationships. They and we are called to trust in the One who has guided ancestors before and whose love embraces generations yet to come." From Seasons of the  Spirit curriculum
In this ancient narrative we hear about the courage that it took Abram and Sarai (who would become Abraham and Sarah) to journey to a new land; faith that they would become forebears of a great spiritual tradition when they are currently childless; trust that God would be present with them no matter what challenges or obstacles they would encounter.
And then God brought them outside and said, "Look toward heaven and count the stars, if you are able to count them." They were asked to imagine something happening that they could not yet see; to envision a future despite their current circumstances; these are all examples of great faith exhibited by Abram and Sarai. What are we being asked to envision? If God led us out into the night sky, what would God be asking us to trust in as we gazed at the stars? Sure, faith is more than just star-gazing; it is putting one foot in front of the other to make things happen. It is trusting in God to accompany us. It is also trusting that God gives us the tools to manage whatever is challenging us - even if it is just managing our nerves!! We have Sarai and Abram as our spiritual forebears for good reason - we come from strong spiritual stock! Let us remember them as we wrestle with our own faith questions and challenges. 
Let us also persist this 2nd Sunday of Lent in the spiritual practices that we have taken on during this season. Hope to see you in church on Sunday!!
-Rev. Marlene W. Pomeroy
Also this Weekend:
The Fund-raiser to benefit My Refuge House, featuring the Improvised Shakespeare Company
 www.improvisedshakespeare.com is taking place this Saturday March 16th . See article below for more info and dinner. Join us for some fun that supports a good cause!
Save the Dates:

Women's Scholarship applications due April 7th. See info below and urge women to apply!
March 30th and April 27th Friends in Deed Food Pantry stocking 9-11a.m.
March 30th Aid Africa Birthing Kit Assembly 9:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.
May 4th Central Association Spring Meeting featuring our church's history at the Altadena Community Church. More info to come.

May 9th Pasadena Mayor's Prayer Breakfast
May 11th Women's Scholarship Tea

Church School  
will be led by Jeff Tyler/Krysty Leckrone this Sunday in our main office space on the 3rd floor - room 302 at the top of the stairs. 

Worship Leaders 
Rev. Marlene W. Pomeroy 
Rev. John H. Pomeroy
Carolyn Olney
Sandy Biehler
Robert Rinck
Kevin Codova-Brookey

Pianist & Music Director 
Connie Washburn

Church School Teaachers
Combined class led by Jeff Tyler/Krysty Leckrone upstairs in Room 302. 
Church Nursery (for infants - K)
Kaye Jenkins & TBA 
This week everyone comes to the Chapel at 11:30 a.m. and stays through the Children's  Time and then heads to the nursery with caregivers and parents.   

Nina Kung   
Visit us at:  uccpasadena.org

Sermon Podcast
D id you miss a worship service and want to hear the sermon? Please visit uccpasadena.org and select 'podcasts' from the menu on top of the home page or click below

Office Hours
  Mon. - Thurs.
9 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
Lunch Hours
12:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.  
Office is closed on
Presidents' Day Feb. 18th and Feb. 19th 
Tel. # 626.795.0696
Fax. # 626.795.0698

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In this Edition . . .
-Women's Scholarship Application Package 2019
-My Refuge House Fund Raiser  
-Lenten Dates for your Calendar
-Aid Africa Birthing Kits   
-Altar Flowers 
-Lamplighters Art Night Pasadena, March 8th 
-2019 Women's Retreat Planned for April 26-28th  
-Central Association Spring Meeting
-Friends In Deed Interfaith Breakfast 
Women's Scholarship Application Package 2019
is ready for distribution!

First Congregational Church of Pasadena, UCC Pasadena Area Women's Scholarship is available annually in the amount of $2000 or more for persons who identify as female who are currently enrolled or planning to enroll by Fall, 2019 at a college or trade/technical school.                           Here is the link to the Scholarship Application Package 2019. Another link to the Reference Statement About the Applicant. Please urge area women of all ages to apply! Completed applications must be turned in by April 7th.
scholarship 2019
My Refuge House Fund-Raiser in South Pasadena  
Almost 20 people have purchased tickets to the fund-raiser. If you wish to purchase a ticket please go online to myrefugehouse.org/muchado to purchase a ticket. Also please let Pastor Marlene know if you do that, as each ticket will be supplemented by $20 from the Appley Fund. The date is March 16th at 7 p.m. and will be held at the Calvary Presbyterian Church in South Pasadena. Regina Meyers is organizing a dinner prior at 5:00 at Carrow's Restaurant in South Pasadena. Please let her know if you wish to join the group! 
Lenten Dates

Sun. April 14th
Palm Sunday Worship and then picnic/egg hunt in Grant Park.  
Thursday April 18th Maundy Thursday Supper and Worship Service 6:00 p.m. supper and 7:00 p.m. worship.  
Sun. April 21th - COMBINED FCC/FUMC EASTER SERVICE!! Yes, we were invited to plan a service together and our Worship Ministry and Council loved the idea. The service will be held at 10 a.m. and we will share music and be able to have organ music for Easter this year. FUMC offers a ham luncheon after the service for any interested folks for about $10 each. More info to come!

Aid Africa "One Kit Saves Two Lives," Saturday, March 30  

Altar Flowers - thank you for your orders! 24 Sundays available!!! 
flowers for Bea
There are 24 Sundays still available for altar flower donations for 2019. Sign up to remember/honor someone or event! The Flower Chart is located by the entrance in FUMC Chapel or you can contact Nina at the Church Office 626.795.0696 or email her at fccmonina@gmail.com

2019 Women's Retreat Planned For April 26-28th
Eleven women have signed up for the "Mostly-Annual" Women's Retreat, to be held in Joshua Tree this year. We have 2 beds left in our two houses that have been rented. Please speak with Pastor Marlene ASAP if you are interested in attending and having a place to sleep. The cost is @ $100-$115 this year depending on if you have a dorm style bed or a private room. Food will be separate and we will make most of our food together. Spring is a beautiful and popular time in the desert and accommodations are limited so please don't delay if you wish to join us!

Central Association Spring Meeting
FCC Pasadena to be Honored for our history
Roberta White is bringing some memorabilia and Elizabeth Lanski will make a short presentation of our history at the meeting.
Saturday, May 4, 2019
8:30am Registration
9:00am Program

Altadena Community Church UCC
co-hosted with
West Hollywood UCC Church, Los Angeles
943 E. Altadena Drive
Altadena, CA 91001

how are the children
Marcia Hoffman

Dear FID Community,
We had some positive moments this week, in a variety of ways:
  • Outreach workers Najwa and Scott are finalizing paperwork to move another client, an elderly man with several ailments, into the same place Ms. Synthia moved into last week.
  • We finally have secured our keynote speaker for the Mayor's Interfaith Prayer Breakfast! We are excited that Dr. Thomas Rosenbaum, President of Caltech, will be with us on May 9 speaking on the theme of "Faith and Science." Invitations will be arriving in the mail shortly.
  • The Women's Room Case Manager, Denisse, worked with the Street Outreach Team to place two of our TWR ladies, one of them a senior with significant disabilities, in a motel for the next few weeks - thanks to Measure H funding.
  • Staff and board are working hard on our 125th Anniversary Campaign, along with developing a solid strategic plan and fundraising plan to accompany it. Stay tuned for the big launch in May!
We also had some difficult, and not-so-positive, moments this week in a variety of ways:
  • Monica, our HPP Manager, is fielding an overwhelming number of calls from people facing eviction, desperate to not lose their home and become homeless. People are often crying and begging for help. Sometimes she can help them, but so many people don't meet the necessary requirements. She often spends a long time on the phone with people, particularly single moms, counseling and consoling, trying to offer hope, even if she can't offer help.
  • With the Bad Weather Shelter now closed for the season, seeing people on the streets in the rain and cold, including many of our clients and guests, is a painful and a challenging part of the work we do - and the volunteering you all do. We will continue to offer our love, support and assistance, even though we can't offer the emergency shelter any longer.
  • A few altercations between women in TWR have been upsetting for guests, volunteers and staff. To see women we know and love - often not taking their medications -- act in such violent and angry ways is really hard. Sometimes we are forced to take measures for safety, often needing to ask them to leave for the day or even needing to call 911 - and that hurts. Thanks for all the patience and compassion shown this week.
We are doing our best to care for the human beings - people with souls and lives and histories - that come to FID. Positive or negative, we are here. Your support, of time and treasure, make it all possible. Thank you!
Blessings and have a nice weekend,
Rabbi Joshua
PS. 125th Anniversary Fun Fact: on June 28, 1894, the US established the Labor Day holiday for federal employees! Another institution with which we celebrate 125 years of existence.  
As always, we can only operate with your help!