CONGREGATIONAL COLUMNS

Vol. 6, Issue 8
August 31, 1997


In this month's issue:

Adult Ed - "College of Spiritual Knowledge"
A Word From Lonnie...From Observer to Participant
Carla Cummings Helping to Lead Our Children
Director of Student Ministries Position Expands
Eight FCC Families Enjoy Camp
In Brief: Our Church Family
Kelly Bartley Joins First Congregational Staff
Nominations Committee Now Accepting Names
Parish Nursing...Our Past and Upcoming Months
Rally Sunday is September 7, 1997
Sunday School
Vacation Bible School Provides Fun Learning
Youth Camp

 


Rally Sunday is September 7, 1997

While we had a very busy summer, it's time to kick into high gear as we're "Back to School" with Rally Sunday! This, of course, means that we'll be back to two services at 9:00 and 11:00 and all the kids are back to Sunday School.

 


Sunday School

Sunday School, this year, will feature a new curriculum. While last year's coursework was effective, many of the teachers found it difficult to teach. The new programs are much more teacher-friendly. The three- to five-year-olds will follow a curriculum from Group Publishing. It uses "Big Books," five-senses learning, and lots of age-appropriate activities. The Mustard Seed Program for K­grade 5 has books with tear-outs, while the Jr. High students will be completing their book throughout the year, then taking them home. This enables the students to "take some of the class home." Mustard Seed also incorporates other literature such as The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, The Selfish Giant, and A Christmas Carol.

 


Adult Ed -
"College of Spiritual Knowledge"

As so much is already planned for the year in the area of Adult Education, at this time we'll just provide a list with topics and dates. As some of the presentations draw near, look for more information in the Columns, Congregationalist, and in the church office.

FALL TERM 1997

Courses

* Old Testament Overview - Sundays, September 7, 21, October 12, 19 in the Memorial Chapel at 10:00 a.m.

* Congregationalism: An Introduction to a Faith and People - Sundays, September 21, 28, October 5, 12 in the Parlor at 10:00 a.m. led by Rev. Lonnie Richardson and Rev. Dr. Steven Peay

* "Scrooby, Leyden, Plymouth...Oak Creek? The Congregational Heritage" - Sundays, November 9, 16, 23 in the Memorial Chapel at 10:00 a.m.

* "O Come Let Us Adore Him!: A Study of Christian Worship" - Sundays December 7, 14, 21 in the Memorial Chapel at 10:00 a.m.

Retreat Opportunities

"Simple Gifts" a 'day of reflection' led by Rev. Steven Peay at First Congregational Church from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., November 8. This program is sponsored by the Wisconsin Congregational Association.

Small Group Opportunities

* Introduction to Christianity - Wednesdays September 17, October 15, 29, November 19, December 17 at 7:00 p.m. in the Resource Center. This seminar is based around Alister McGrath's An Introduction to Christianity.

* Brown Bag Spirituality Group - Thursdays, September 11, 25, October 9, 23, November 13, December 4, 18 at 12 noon in the Resource Center. This seminar begins using Richard Foster's Spiritual Disciplines and then continues as the group desires.

* Spiritual Classics - Thursdays, September 11, 25, October 9, 23, November 13, December 4, 18 at 2:00 p.m. in the Resource Center. Beginning with Thomas Kempis' Imitation of Christ, as a point of discussion and study, the group then continues as desired.

Youth and Children's Ministries

The youth ministries programs will be starting shortly with mailings sent to the homes of those involved. As featured in the May issue of the Columns, the youth group plans to continue in the direction of small groups for the Junior and Senior High programs.

As the year progresses, Chris would also like to have a regular afterschool program for the upper elementary students and a program to support parents of very young children.

The year is starting with a bang and plenty of programs are already scheduled for 1998. So join in the educational, spiritual and fellowship opportunities. This is just the beginning of much that is to come for all ages in 1997­1998! *

 


Vacation Bible School Provides Fun Learning

FCC just completed a very successful Vacation Bible Adventure. This year's theme was "Madam Q and the Case of Joseph the Dream Master". Approximately fifty children spent the week 'traveling' to ancient Israel and Egypt learning the Old Testament story of Joseph.

Madam Q, a detective in the Sherlock Holmes tradition, along with her loyal assistant Lady O, Joseph, and his sister Dinah, presented a play each day that helped unravel Joseph's life story. Each morning, the children took on the role of gum shoe detectives and searched for clues about Joseph that were hidden in envelopes, baskets, and other items in the dream tunnel (the church hallway). The children gave the clues to Madam Q during each daily play and helped her solve the mystery of Joseph.

By the end of the week, the children had learned about Joseph, the problems of sibling rivalry, peer pressure and the power of God through prayer, forgiveness, and patience.

The children built pyramids on the last day of the week with food items donated by the children, their families, and the congregation. The children split into five different teams and competed in the Great Pyramid Building Contest. All of the pyramids were dismantled after the congregation had a chance to enjoy them. All of the food will be donated to the Wauwatosa Food Pantry.

The children also learned about the story of Joseph through various arts and crafts projects, games, and music. The children made spray paint t-shirts (Joseph's coat of many colors), mummy masks, painted plaques of Bible verses they learned, and even beanie babies. They learned about God's love through a special music program and participated in a variety of fun and educational games.

We thank all the children who attended and all of the volunteers who donated their time and energy. Everyone had a very enjoyable and educational week. *

by Carla Cummings

A special thanks to all from co-chairmen Cathy Kebbekus and Carla Cummings...Julie Anheuser, Ardith Moore, Tom Rondeau, Katie Holtz, Lynn Gruebling, Nastassia Richardson, Leah Sawnor, Carolyn Simpson, Joan Schultz, Margaret Brown, Patty Hartwig, Nancy Vander Velde, Maggie Peed, Connie Haas, Margaret Hetzel, Robin Peterson, Barb Holtz, Melanie Wehr, Megan Hassett, Amanda Gruebling, Amy Kraus, Beth Kebbekus, Melinda Verduin, Tori Holtz, Betsy Holtz, Kaitlin Lemke, Tam Reddie, Robina Reddie, Lonnie Richardson, Jr., Nick Lemke, Jonathan Sgarlata, Michael Watson, Wednesday Morning Moms' Group, Ddg Wakefield, Around the Globe Travel, Roy Brouwer, Kelly Bartley, Rachael VerDuin

 


Director of Student Ministries Position Expands

At its August 26th meeting, the Personnel Committee asked the Church Council to approve a change in Chris Rygh's position as Director of Student Ministries, from part-time to a full-time position. The desciption of the revised position expands the responsibilities to supervise and direct the Sunday School program, Vacation Bible School, and work with the Teaching Minister (Steve Peay) in developing teacher training activities, as well as the previously defined work with the Junior and Senior High School Ministries.

Referring to the expanded position, Chris stated, "It's a big job, and we'll need a lot of people working together to get it done. It won't happened over night."

When Chris began his internship at First Congregational Church, he said he brought to the church, " a genuine love for the gospel, a strong belief in the Congregational heritage and tradition, and an excitement about ministering to kids." At midsummer, Chris was asked if he would be willing to consider a full-time position - no small decision for him while he is still pursuing his Masters of Divinity degree.

A major enhancement that helps make this possible is that Carla Cummings, Chairperson of the Board of Christian Education, has offered considerable talents and energy to the church as a Christian education leader.

During his ten months here as an intern, Chris says his relationship to First Congregational Church and its members became much closer than that implied by an "internship." He is happy to look forward to a number of years as our Director of Student Ministries.

Chris was born and raised in Burlington, Iowa, and was active in both his church's and the national Pilgrim Fellowship. He graduated from the University of Northern Iowa, taught sixth grade in Rochester MN, and received his MS in Education at Winona State University.

After a year as a Legislative Research Assistant in the Minnesota legislature, Chris enrolled in law school at Drake University. While there, he was contacted by NACCC and decided to leave law school to become the NA's interim Youth Director. Since then, he started on his Masters of Divinity Program at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Ill., and has been selected as a Fellow by the CFTS (Congregational Foundation for Theological Studies).

In August of 1996 Chris started his internship with us, and in June of this year he accepted the part-time Director of Student Ministries position. Asked what he would add to his original commitments of a year ago, Chris says, "I want to see the church, both building and people, as warm and welcoming to our youth as it is to adults." *

by Karl Stieghorst

 


Nominations Committee Now Accepting Names

The key to our Congregational Church and its governance is you! Experience one facet of Congregationalism by serving on one of the Boards listed below. There will be a sign-up table in the hallway for your convenience before and after the September 7 service.

Board of Trustees: 3 openings Board of Congregational Care: 4 openings Board of Christian Ed: 4 openings

Board of Deacons: 6 openings Board of Christian Stewardship: 3 openings Board of Fellowship: 4 openings

Board of Benevolences and Church Relations: 3 openings Church Council Members-at-Large: 4 openings

 


Carla Cummings,
Helping to Lead Our Children

First Congregational Church of Wauwatosa is providing a leadership role to the State Association. A remarkable demonstration of this is seen in the attendance at Youth Camp this summer.

Of 82 total students who attended the camp, 21 students hailed from our church. With Rick Stieghorst as co-director of the Sr. High camp, and Chris Rygh as co-director of Jr. High, we were also well-represented in the area of leadership.

The Junior High camp expected to see approximately 35 students (last year's attendance) and ended up with a total of 60 coming from Minnesota, Iowa, and Illinois as well as Wisconsin. This exciting desire for Jr. High programming with kids coming from out of state to our camp was very encouraging to first-time attendee, as well as director, Chris Rygh.

Overall, the kids had a terrific time forming new relationships and reviving old ones. They also became much more "in-touch" with their spirituality...a wonderful thing to be able to report. *

"Wherever there's a need, that's the call from God," Carla Cummings said she recently discovered. And First Congregational Church is fortunate to be the beneficiary of her beliefs.

Carla Cummings was the recent co-chair of Vacation Bible School, is current chair of the Board of Christian Ed, serves as a representative to Church Council, chaired last year's Christmas Workshop (and will again chair this year which she already has planned), and is a member of the Wednesday morning Moms' Group. She is certainly no stranger to devoting her time and energy to this church. When she sees a need, rather than talk about it, she jumps into action.

Recognizing another need, Carla has once again stepped in. She is dedicating a substantial amount of time to assisting the Children's Ministry Director. And while she has made it very clear that time with her family will always come first as it always has, she would like to do what she can to aid in the development of the Children's/Youth programming.

Carla and husband Bill have two daughters, Amanda - 4, and Madeline - 1. Carla said that as a parent, she loves this church and has always tried to teach her children that God is the most important part of their lives. That's a message she wants to help spread to all children. Carla finds working with children very rewarding because of their excitement and enthusiasm and says that she has always gotten more out of her experiences here than what she puts in... even when it's a great deal of work! She says that the key to volunteering (even though she's not particularly fond of that term) is doing what you like. She believes you have to keep trying until you find something that you enjoy and that's how you give.

Carla plans to help with the Sunday School program in addition to some other possibilities. Chris Rygh, Director of Student Ministries, has a number of ideas for Fall including possibilities of a Parents' Workshop, a Children's Resource Center, and a "Cradle-Roll" program which would assist new parents who are returning to church (an idea from Michelle Jackson). While none of these programs are in place, they are areas which interest Carla and in which she would like to help as time permits.

"If I can't always give the amount of money I would like, I believe it is just as valuable to 'tithe' your time...and usually much more difficult," said Carla.

 


Youth Camp

First Congregational Church of Wauwatosa is providing a leadership role to the State Association. A remarkable demonstration of this is seen in the attendance at Youth Camp this summer.

Of 82 total students who attended the camp, 21 students hailed from our church. With Rick Stieghorst as co-director of the Sr. High camp, and Chris Rygh as co-director of Jr. High, we were also well-represented in the area of leadership.

The Junior High camp expected to see spproximately 35 students (last year's attendance) and ended up with a total of 60 coming from Minnesota, Iowa, and Illinois as well as Wisconsin. This exciting desire for Jr. High programming with kids coming from out of state to our camp was very encouraging to first-time attendee, as well as director, Chris Rygh.

Over all, the kids had a terrific time forming new relationships and reviving old one. They also became much more "in-touch" with their spirituality...a wonderful thing to be able to report.

 


Eight FCC Families Enjoy Camp

Eight families including the Richardsons and Kathy Kern participated in a very successful family camp from Friday evening, August 15 through Monday, August 18.

The Lake Lucerne Camp and Retreat Center, located near Neshkoro, Wisconsin, has been the site of the First Congregational Family Camp experience. Each of our cabins, which were shared by several families, had a living room with fireplace, six private bedrooms, bathroom facilities and a kitchenette complete with refrigerator and microwave. Nearly all the comforts of home! Camp staff provided our meals in the Ridgewood Center which was adjacent to our cabins and overlooked the lake.

In addition to adult social time and kids activities, the weekend agenda included plenty of time for swimming and boating. Not to be deterred by the weather, a hardy group of swimmers trekked to the beach in the rain on Saturday morning. After all, getting wet was the whole point! They swam and played until called out by lifeguard Angela when thunder and lightning began. The weather cleared Saturday afternoon for more swimming, canoeing, and paddle boating, and the traditional corn roast and campfire sing-a-long. Gary Kebbekus and Kevin Schultz proved to be experts at campfire cooking. Kathy Kern played guitar and led the singing with more guitar backup from Lonnie Richardson and Ted Klumb.

On Sunday morning, Kathy provided some indoor sunshine with more music for our worship service. Later, we were treated to a musical production staged by a youth choir group who happened to be at the camp. Although there was no threat of sunburn for the remainder of the weekend, there were still opportunities for hiking and boating as well as indoor games, finger knitting, and some wild games of spoons. This is a fellowship experience that many families return to year after year. It was easy to see why! *

by René Klumb


Kelly Bartley Joins First Congregational Staff

Kelly Bartley recently joined the church staff as the Second Shift Custodian. A warm, friendly personality along with an experienced background made him a perfect fit for the position.

Prior to coming to First Congregational Church, Kelly worked as Head Custodian and Maintenance Engineer for Pilgrim Evangelical Lutheran Church and School where he was able to make many money-saving improvements to the buildings. Prior to that he worked restoring classic cars, a hobby he still enjoys along with motorcycling. Other interests include skiing, tennis, baseball, attending concerts and movies.

Kelly said he is impressed with the work Roy has accomplished since he began here as Building Superintendent. The church staff has been equally impressed to find someone to replace Hans so well suited to the position and already making a contribution to the church facility.

 


Parish Nursing...
Our Past and Upcoming Months

My internship as Parish Nurse beginning August 5 of last year came to an end May 7. Thanks to your openness and willingness, I served you in the roles of health educator, health counselor and advocate, liaison to community resources and trainer of volunteers; roles in which Parish Nurses often find themselves.

Four times I served as health educator. During Lent, I presented two programs; "Christ: Our Model for Self Care and Caring for Others," and "An Approach to Parenting in the '90's" - a video presentation by the Cline-Fay Institute.

I presented other programs. With the Young Moms group, per their request, I repeated "Christ: Our Model..." and with the advent of summer and increased activity "Common Sense First Aid Methods."

I solicited your participation. I asked for your response in an all church health interest survey. Topically, these were your first concerns and a program addressing these interests will be presented this Fall:

Lifestyle- stress, lacking exercise, weight and eating
Mental and emotional- finances, retirement, estate planning, and depression
Social and relational- aging parents, changing roles in family and relationship, and adolescent conflicts
Physical Health Issues- arthritis, aging process, living will and heart disease, strokes, diabetes and cancer.
Spiritual Health- question of faith

I also functioned as health advocate. Health counseling occurred at the blood pressure clinics held in March and April. Approximately sixty attended. Individuals had their blood pressure taken and had the opportunity to speak of health concerns. At other times, when people had questions, they called me at church and at home. A church volunteer Mobile Meals driver had concerns regarding health changes of a meal recipient. Through a series of calls to the recipient, the Meals coordinator, friends and family, some positive interventions were made. Others of you called regarding Home Health Service- how to access the system and assure good service.

I also met some of you along with Chris Rygh. Chris and I visited at various nursing homes and hospitals. Via the phone I spoke with some of you about your recuperation and coordinated meals with Care Board's Pat Schwai.

I was also a link to community resources. I contacted the Milwaukee Department on Aging to obtain lawn cutting and snow shoveling services.

Through invitation, I spoke with Circles 1 and 12 about the Parish Nurse Ministry. Not only did I receive invitations, I also received requests to use your talents as you came forward.

I became a trainer of volunteers. I had coordinated and taught the American Red Cross blood pressure clinic methods to nurses who served you. It meant a lot to me to have so many of you health care professionals offer your services (2 Corinthians 9:12-13).

I was informed that the Parish Nursing for 1997-1998 will be provided by the Congregational Home to First Church to serve as a pastoral liaison between the two. I was asked to serve you and accepted the offer. I am available at the church Tuesdays from 8:00 to 4:30 awaiting your calls and visits. You will see me and my family every other Sunday at church beginning August 16th. I will continue to work every other week at the Congregational Home in the Health Care Center. I am excited to serve in this ministry at First Church for you in the cause of Christ. *

by Michelle Jackson

 


A Word From Lonnie...
From Observer to Participant

The French composer Honegger said, "I believe that in a few years from now, music, as we know it, will have ceased to exist. Fewer people are learning to play instruments; all they want to do now is listen."

His observation reflects some who believe we are becoming a nonparticipating society. We do not initiate action, we watch it. We report the news instead of making it. We would rather be a thermometer to reflect the changes than a thermostat which causes change. Is it any wonder some believe life is dull and their lives are of no consequence?

The Christian faith is a missionary faith which reaches out to all, everywhere, in the name of Christ with the message that they matter. We are called to be more than members but to be difference makers.

Find the instrument of Christian service that interests you. Learn to play that instrument and join the orchestration of the family of faith. Our churches will cease to be what they are today unless more people are willing to take a service role. Don't just listen, get involved. *

Your pastor,

Lonnie


In Brief: Our Church Family

Senior Women

will meet Monday, September 8th at 10:00 a.m. in the Lounge. The program will feature a representative from the Forest Home Cemetery who will show slides of the history of Milwaukee. All are welcome to come.

Circle Meetings:

Circle 7 - Tuesday, September 9, 12:00

Luncheon meeting at the home of Joan Halvorson. We'll be visiting with Mercedes Richardson.

Circle 8 - Tuesday, September 9, 11:30

Meet at Congregational Home to have lunch with Health Care Center residents. NOTE DATE!

Circle 12 - Wednesday, September 8, 10:00

Helen Melius will present "Unusual Glass." Bring old yellow and green glass. Call Janice Wittig for reservations, 258-6264.

Weighty Matters

All those interested in forming a weekly daytime weight support group beginning in late September, please identify yourselves! Michelle Jackson will facilitate. Call the office and leave your name and phone number. Michelle will return your call with further information.

September will be "Name Tag" Month

Beginning with Rally Sunday, September 7, all members are asked to wear name tags during the month of September. This helps to become "reacquainted" with other members. It's easy to remember faces, but sometimes not so easy remembering names.

The Editor Thanks:

Carla Cummings, Karl Stieghorst, and René Klumb for articles; and the office staff for their assistance.

 


Congregational Columns

www.FirstChurchTosa.org

Editor, Beth Linscott

Communications Committee

Karl Stieghorst - Chairperson,
René Klumb,
Joyce Orr,
Jeannie Sherman,
Win Williams

Rev. Lonnie Richardson, Senior Minister

Rev. Dr. Steven A. Peay, Associate Minister/Teacher

Chris Rygh, Director of Student Ministries

Rani Gusho, Financial Administrator

Roy Brouwer, Building Superintendent

Lee Jacobi, Director of Music

Betty Dethmers, Organist

Betsy Isenberg, Secretary

Nancy Gross, Secretary

Rev. Norman S. Ream, Minister Emeritus

The First Congregational Church of Wauwatosa
1511 Church Street
Wauwatosa, WI 53213-2593