January 31, 1999
Table of Contents
Annual meeting report
1999 Lenten programming
Peay reflects on departure
Scheduling photo sessions for directory
A word from Lonnie
Join the Binky Patrol
Blood Drive Feb. 8
A Fine Young Man reviewed
The 156th Annual Meeting of First Congregational Church was called to order by 1998 moderator Karl Stieghorst at 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, January 20, 1999.
The minister's report, delivered by Rev. Lonnie Richardson, set the theme for the evening. Presentations throughout the evening discussed various means of future growth.
Lonnie began by reporting some impressive statistics from the past year. A recent study indicated that in one summer month, an average of 90 people/day visited our web site. Chris Rygh launched the BASIC program this year which has encouraged aggressive growth in our student ministries youth participation is up 200% (80-100 students attend every Sunday night). Lonnie also reminded the group of the historic "Past with a Future" symposium coordinated by Rev. Steven Peay and Fred Rennebohm. Yet, Lonnie warned, "Do not confuse activity with accomplishment."
Lonnie went on to question what we want to accomplish in the next five years, and challenged us to take the necessary steps to grow. He has defined some specific goals, developed around what he believes are the core values of this church more specifically, the following, "values of doing":
* God is honored through worship and service.
* Faith develops through prayer, studying the scriptures and celebrating the sacraments.
* Fellowship binds the church together.
Lonnie's goals are as follows:
1) Increase average worship attendance by approximately 60% to
be 600 persons/week by the year 2002.
(Lonnie sees this as the most challenging goal and suggests that we need to address the issue of inadequate parking to accomplish this.)
2) Increase participation in ongoing projects to the poor to 300 persons by the year 2002.
3) Increase small group participation to 300 persons by the year 2002.
4) Increase participation in monthly fellowship activities to 300 persons by the year 2002. (We currently have approximately 100-125 at regular gatherings and 200 at special events.)
Through this presentation, we were also informed that we welcomed more new members in 1998 than in the last six years and 1999 is expected to significantly exceed 1998 in this area. 48 Covenant Class students are expected to join the church in 1999, alone an important indicator of our future strength.
A video of news clips about the Honduran mission was also presented, illustrating the importance of our leadership role in benevolent projects throughout the community.
In closing, Lonnie suggested that accomplishing these goals over the next few years is merely a stepping stone to our future growth and challenged us to keep a clear vision of the future and embrace our potential as it relates to our mission as a church. He also recognized the tremendous commitment of the staff as a whole to serving the church faithfully.
Treasurer & Stewardship Reports/ Proposed 1999 budget
Closing his final year as church treasurer, Butch Boyd reported on the financial position of the church. While expenses last year slightly exceeded budget, so did the income. In short, (and the presentation was quick), we came out just under budget for 1998. With a brief Stewardship report delivered by Merrill York, he went right into the proposed budget for 1999. Generally, with slight increases across the board, a balanced budget was presented which was passed without comment.
In the course of the evening, a few resolutions were passed. As chairman of the Board of Deacons, Jim Santelle motioned for the church to license Chris Rygh for the period of one year. While Chris will be ordained this summer, it will allow him to perform all the services of the church including providing the sacraments now. The pragmatic aspect of this act is for Chris to be able to work in full ministerial capacity as we will be losing our associate minister, Steve Peay, shortly. All responsibility in the interim will not need to be given to Lonnie.
Additionally, a new position was created which will further connect First Congregational Church to Congregational Home. On staff at the church, Rev. Charlie Goldsmith, PhD, will be minister of pastoral care to Congregational Home and provide all the chaplaincy service there and assist with pastoral care at the church.
Congregational Home Update
Dale Engstrom, chairman of the board of directors for Congregational Home and Charles Nelson, the Home's administrator, delivered a joint presentation regarding the Home. Dale began by informing the group that all 26 new assisted living units, which opened early in 1998, were filled within 5 months. He also spoke of some of the benchmark activities of the year. Closing with some impressive statistics, he noted that the turnover rate of the nursing staff was 0% in 1998, compared to a state-wide average of 40%. The nursing assistant turnover rate was only 10% as compared to 50% across the state, proving that the Home is not only a top-notch facility for residents, but staff as well, therefore providing a unique continuity of care.
Charlie Nelson spoke about the importance of the connection between the Church and Home, strengthened by Rev. Charlie Goldsmith; Michelle Jackson, parish nurse; and the donations of resources and time from church members.
Karl Stieghorst made a few brief comments about the present and future state of our Church, then thanked us for his opportunity to serve in this capacity. After all retiring and incoming officers were recognized, 1999 moderator Merrill York shared his ideas as incoming moderator. Quoting Robert Schuller, "There is no success without service, and service means involvement in someone else's wants needs, hurts, and desires."
Merrill thanked the church for his opportunity to serve as moderator. He, like Lonnie, has a number of goals for 1999:
1) Building Renovation Committee complete the study of our physical plant, followed by a presentation to, and vote by the congregation.
2) Each Board formulate a list of 3-year objectives in their respective areas of duty.
3) Long-Range Planning Committee assess the number of members needed on each board and committee to accomplish their mission.
4) Evaluate the church calendar to determine if church calendar, church year, and Annual meeting should coincide.
5) Assess and alleviate the parking problem.
6) Increase stewardship within the church.
Finally, Doug Jacobson and Tom Stacey , on behalf of the Building Renovation Committee, discussed their main objectives and reviewed some floor plans which include possible renovations to meet the objectives. They asked, at this point, for feedback from the congregation and noted that the floor plans will be available for study outside the church office along with a suggestion box.
With song and prayer, the meeting was then called to a close. *
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Mark your calendars Lent is just around the corner. Ash Wednesday is February 17th and marks the beginning of the annual Lenten observance at First Church. The Ash Wednesday service with Holy Communion will be led by the Rev. Lonnie Richardson, senior minister. In the weeks to follow there will be fellowship dinners in the Social Hall at 6:00 p.m., Wednesdays, followed by special classes to be taught by Rev. Dr. Dan Schowalter: "Paul and His Communities: Dispute and Dialogue," at 7:00 p.m.
Schowalter, who grew up, was ordained, and is now a member at First Congregational Church, is associate professor of religion at Carthage College, Kenosha. He did his graduate work at Harvard University Divinity School and has published widely, including articles in the Oxford Companion to the Bible. His class will be an examination of the dynamic relationships revealed in the letters of Paul. Special emphasis will be on Paul's efforts to resolve conflicts and encourage positive growth within the churches. It will meet on February 24, and on March 3, 10, 17, and 24.
"First Congregational Church has a tradition of excellence in Lenten programming, which is amply demonstrated by the presence of someone of Dan Schowalter's expertise. I don't think this educational tradition and commitment will change," said Rev. Dr. Steven Peay, teaching minister.
A special program will be offered on March 10 entitled, "'Til help arrives: How to recognize an emergency and what to do until professional help arrives." The class which is offered from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m., is taught by a Red Cross instructor. The cost for the evening will be $12.00 and includes the price of materials. There will also be a story hour for children on this evening. For additional information, please contact Carla Cummings (774-4756) or Michelle Jackson (258-7375), parish nurse.
Please watch for details in the coming issues of The Congregationalist. *
1999 LENTEN SCHEDULE
Feb. 17 Ash Wednesday Service 7:00
Feb. 24 Lenten Supper 6:00
Lenten Class 7:00
Mar. 3 Lenten Supper 6:00
Lenten Class 7:00
Mar. 10 Lenten Supper 6:00
Lenten Classes 7:00
Mar. 17 Lenten Supper 6:00
Lenten Class 7:00
Mar. 24 Lenten Supper 6:00
Lenten Class 7:00
Apr. 1 Maundy Thursday
Apr. 2 Good Friday
"Office of Tenebrae" Service 7:00
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I've been trying to think of something clever to say to begin my "farewell" remarks to a very special group of people at a place which will hold a special place in my heart forever and I can't. Bard's words, "Parting is such sweet sorrow," come to mind, but aren't adequate. All I can say is "Thank You."
Thank you for receiving me among you three and a half years ago with open arms and open hearts.
Thank you for allowing me to work among you as a teacher, as a minister, and for becoming friends and family to me.
Thank you for anchoring me in my "new" world and new ecclesial fellowship where I have experienced more real joy and blessing than I've ever known.
Thank you for being a community of faith which struggles with important questions, ideas, and concepts in a manner which deepens and promotes growth.
Thank you, so much, for being the place where I found and married my Julie...because of her you will never be far from my heart!!!
Thank you for wonderful memories and experiences...for just being who you are. You have been a blessing to me, and I will miss you and serving our Lord with you, very much.
Let us pray for each other without ceasing! As ever, Yours in the Lord's service,
Rev. Steven Peay, PhD
Associate Minister/Teacher *
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Reservations for photo appointments are now being taken in preparation for our new Church Directory. Look for the appointment sheets outside the Church office between services. Members have the opportunity to select a time on March 1March 6, and March 9March 13. These dates include Saturdays, with day and evening times available.
The directory is a valuable resource in getting to know the names and faces of fellow members and includes a roster of addresses and telephone numbers. Maximum participation is our goal, and it brings with it a number of benefits. First, this is the "family album" of our church family, and we would like it to include as many as possible. Second, it is a great way to receive, at no cost or obligation, an 8 x 10 professional portrait of your family and a copy of the finished directory. Additional pictures are available for purchase at the time of the portrait sitting. Finally, the directory company offers incentives based on the number of member families who participate. United Church Directory offers additional "activity" pages at the front of the directory for each 35 families photographed, as well as upgrades in the cover or binding. We are hoping to earn enough points for the ring binder which would make it easier to update the book with new members.
The directory is published at no cost to the church. The publisher covers their costs and profit through the sale of additional pictures.
We are looking for a number of volunteers who will serve as hosts/hostesses on the photo dates. This is a sit-down job that assists the photographers in checking people in as they arrive for their appointments. We are also looking for volunteers to assist in telephone follow-up. If you are able to help, please contact the church office. *
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About 350 years ago a shipload of travelers landed on the northeast coast of America. The first year they established a town site. The next year they elected a town government. The third year the town government planned to build a road five miles westward into the wilderness. In the fourth year the people tried to impeach their town government because they thought it was a waste of public funds to build a road five miles westward into a wilderness. Who needed to go there anyway?
Here were people who had the vision to see three thousand miles across an ocean and overcome great hardships to get there. But in just a few years they were not able to see even five miles out of town. They had lost their pioneering vision.
This is a critical year for building roads to sites unseen at First Congregational Church. What we will look like in 2005 will be determined by our vision and decisions today. With a clear vision of what we can become in Christ, no ocean or difficulty is too great. Without it, we rarely move beyond our current boundaries. May we never lose our pioneering vision!
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The Wednesday morning Mom's Group is starting a benevolence project, which is part of a nationwide non-profit organization called "Binky Patrol." This organization was started by a mom who wanted to help children in shelters, hospitals, foster babies and those suffering from AIDS. Giving a child his/her own new, clean and snuggly blanket is a gift that will warm not only the child's body, but also his/her heart letting the child know he/she is loved and not alone.
We would like to involve our whole congregation in this project. We need fabric scraps, thread, yarn and batting donations. The fabric needs to be washable, cotton, cotton blends, flannel, and suitable for children from babies to teenagers. We also need volunteers to cut, pin, sew, tie and deliver the blankets to children at Joy House, Children's Hospital, and Milwaukee County Social Services Foster Babies. If you have left-over fabric taking up space in your attic or basement, we can put it to very good use!!
Volunteers can work at home, or join us on one Wednesday morning a month. Any assistance will be greatly appreciated. If you can knit and/or crochet, those blankets would be gladly accepted, too. We are planning to devote one meeting a month to this project to start, and then we'd like to have a huge "sew-a-thon" at church, where people can bring their sewing machines and we can produce a lot of patchwork blankets in one day. If you can help in any way, please contact Margaret Hetzel at 771-3895. We will have donation boxes by the C.E. office. *
Anthony and Connie Balcom, along with 2-year-old son Patrick Carlos, lead off the new members of our church family. Anthony is a pediatric urologist working out of Children's Hospital. Connie is an Executive Assistant of Pets Helping People - the auxiliary is at Congregational Home where they also provide pet therapy. Before beginning a family, Connie also ran a stained glass business and now enjoys that work as a hobby. To be sure there is never a dull moment, Connie also runs a Guatemalan Adoptee Play Group.
Anthony is planning a medical mission to Honduras in March, postponed from November due to Hurricane Mitch.
Leslie Bodkin came as an associate member, as she is currently a member of a sister church in East Freetown, MA. She was completing a 3-month internship in occupational therapy at St. Luke's Medical Center. While here, Leslie was involved in the choir, Wednesday evening book group, and the BASIC band. While Leslie is finishing her training in Massachusetts, she may return to Milwaukee, in which case we could welcome her on a long-term basis.
Cathryn and Steven Denny are also increasing our baby count by 2 with their 6-month-old twins, Brian and Sean. Steven is the executive vice president of Shoreland, Inc., a medical publishing company. He has spent a lot of time supporting and popularizing the practice of preparing travelers to retain their health as they travel abroad and said he has learned more than he ever wanted to know about tropical maladies during this process. While Cathryn stays busy caring for their twins, she enjoys art, cooking and playing the flute. Cathryn and Steven learned about FCC through Matt and Donna Johnson, friends who are members here.
Hans Hamm grew up here at FCC and now he and wife Linnae, along with their 8-month-old daughter Whitney, have become members. Hans is a sales representative for Lakeland Supply and Linnae is a stay-at-home mom along with working part-time as a graphic designer. In addition, Linnae enjoys sewing, crafts, camping, boating and skiing.
Edith Hoefer, now retired and a widow, has three grown children. A long-time Brookfield resident, Edith became connected with FCC through Bill and Nancy Siefert. A member of Photo Pictorialists of Milwaukee, Edith enjoys photography, hiking, and travel. In addition, she also works two days a week for Habitat for Humanity.
Nancy and Harry Holz are long-time Elm Grove residents who come to us from St. Matthew's, a couple of blocks away. They have three grown children, Pamela, Brad and Erika. Nancy is a housewife and volunteers time as a tutor for Laubuch Literacy Services. She is also involved in the Elm Grove Women's Club College Endowment.
Harry, an attorney, is a partner at Quarles and Brady. He is involved in a number of legal professional groups.
Paul Dalley and Sally Kline became interested in the church after Sally drove past one day. Paul is a chemist and technical manager in research and development, "I make glue," he stated simply. Sally is a leader for Weight Watchers. While busy raising their 11/2-year-old son David, Paul enjoys cycling, skiing, reading, cooking and home brewing. Sally's interests are cycling and gardening. This family is interested in becoming more involved in the church as they learn about the various opportunities.
Tim and Melody Narr, originally introduced to FCC through Jim and Charmaine LaBelle, were married in the Chapel here in March 1998. Tim and Melody each brought two children to their new family: Jack and Joe Pendegrast, 91/2 and 61/2, respectively and Amy and Tyler Narr, 10 and 8.
Tim and Melody started a landscape maintenance company, Landworks, Inc., one year ago. Members of the Wisconsin Landscape Federation, they also enjoy music, football, golf and photography. Tim, an accomplished musician has been playing the violin since age 4.
John Porter grew up with this church and now joined with wife Debbie Porter and their new son, Jacob Winfield - 2 months. John works in advertising and public relations while Debbie is a full-time mother. As time permits, they enjoy golf, cooking and sports.
Henry Fink and Susan Santelle learned of FCC through Susan's brother, Jim Santelle. Henry is a home parent to their two children, Christopher and Caroline, 7 and 21/2. Susan is a physician. While Henry enjoys golf and running, Susan likes biking and travel. Susan said she is interested in volunteering to help with toddler care during the service while Henry is interested in ushering.
Rebecca Shobe is a senior medical student at the Medical College of Wisconsin. Coming from a Congregational background, she sought a Congregational church in the area.
While in college, Rebecca spent a semester in Toledo, Spain on an off-campus study program. She was also a fastpitch softball pitcher for the Carleton College Women's softball team.
Nancy Harris, a member of 52 years at Grand Avenue Congregational Church, is one of five new members who joins us after the recent closing of that church. Nancy said she likes the ministers, quality sermons and music offered here. With other friends who are members of the church, Nancy has already joined Circle 12. She is also a fan of the symphony concerts and plays.
Ginny McClellan, also from Grand Avenue Congregational Church, became familiar with FCC through friends who are members here and weddings and funerals she has attended. A retired office manager, Ginny is a widow with four children (David, Diane, Douglas and Dean)and four grandchildren. Ginny's interests include knitting, walking, concerts, theatre, bowling, classical music, and spending time with friends and family.
Margaret Berg is another of the five new members who joins us from Grand Avenue Church. She has enjoyed taking part in the adult education classes offered here.
Letitia and William Read were originally introduced to FCC through one of Letitia's colleagues. Their son, Jonathan William, now age 9, was baptized here in 1989. William is a regional manager for Bradley Real Estate. Letitia, currently a homemaker, has an interesting professional background including work as an RN research coordinator, certified parish nurse, and a volunteer chaplain at Columbia Hospital.
Their interests lie in the Honduran clinic, children, pets and Taekwondo.
Jennifer Runyan works in customer service for PrimeCare Health Plan and Timothy Runyan performs auto body repair work at Hall Chevrolet. They have two children, Taylor Eryn, 4 years, and Ekaterina Layne, 2 months.
Jennifer returns to FCC after being raised in this church. She likes spending time with her family, skating, swimming and traveling. Timothy's passion is BMX racing.
After noticing the steeple, Cindi Smith drove by and decided to give FCC a try. A Wauwatosa resident for approximately 11/2 years, Cindy said they have moved approximately every two years as her husband is on active duty in the Navy. She is looking forward to "staying put" when he retires next September.
Cindy is a registered nurse at Children's Hospital and has two daughters, Katie, 7 and Madison, 16 months. Cindy enjoys jogging, snow skiing and family outings.
Involved in the Professional Women's Group, Adult Education, and Mobile Meals, Peg Tierney is already an active member. She is a school counselor and has two children and two grandchildren. A member of some educational associations and of Interfaith, she also enjoys outdoor activities (camping, hiking, biking) and the theatre/arts.
Interestingly, Peg has visited San Pedro Sula, Honduras as her mother is a missionary there with the Baptist Mid-Missions.
Kandice Udesky comes to us all the way from Racine after being introduced to the church through the Schowalters. She is a stay-at-home mother after working as a CPA for 13 years. She is married and has two sons, David, 11 and Thomas 14. Volunteering her time to Big Sisters of Racine and the Racine County Medical Auxiliary, she also likes tennis, fitness, jogging, cooking and reading.
Margaret and James Ward are the final two members coming from Grand Avenue Congregational Church. Margaret is a homemaker, and retired after singing in the Milwaukee Symphony Chorus for 18 years. We are now lucky to have both Margaret and James in our Chancel Choir.
James is also retired and enjoys music, woodworking, gardening, pipe organs and home remodeling. They have four grown children.
Philip York, a resident of Thiensville, found FCC through a friend. He is a marketing consultant with interests in film making, writing and theatre. Philip has enjoyed the opportunity to travel extensively, including several trips to Russia. *
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On Monday, February 8, from 3:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. First Congregational Church will be sponsoring a blood drive.
The Blood Center of Southeastern Wisconsin provides all the blood and blood components for patients in 32 area hospitals. That means more than 125,000 pints of blood are needed each year. Thirty percent of that total comes directly from mobile drives such as this.
Please remember that donors are required to present some form of identification at the blood drive. Please call Lynn Kuss, 453-7458 to schedule a time. We're hoping for a large turnout! *
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Video Volunteers Needed
An important part of the worship experience and outreach at First Church is videotaping our Sunday morning services for later use at the Congregational Home and for others unable to attend. The Church is providing an opportunity for you to serve your fellow members by monitoring the taping of the service. No experience is needed, all the equipment will be set up and ready to go. Your efforts will be appreciated by many! For more information, please contact Roy in the Church office or call him at 258-7375.
The editor thanks:
René Klumb, Diane Schowalter, and Margaret Hetzel for articles, Bill Edens for photos, Jim Santelle for assistance, and the office staff.
Monica Meyer Feb. 1 age 1
Alexandra Wong Feb. 5 age 8
Thomas Schalmo Feb. 9 age 12
Sophia Poulos Feb. 9 age 5
Sylvia Allison Feb. 10 age 1
Charles Smith Feb. 12 age 7
Rachel Halvorson Feb. 14 age 12
Nicholas Hetzel Feb. 15 age 9
Madeline Wagner Feb. 15 age 3
Leah Kappelman Feb. 17 age 18
Nicholas Olson Feb. 17 age 5
Stuart Wong Feb. 19 age 5
Caroline Caponi Feb. 19 age 1
Jamie Flatley Feb. 20 age 18
Heather Lange Feb. 21 age 3
Bryan Santandrea Feb. 22 age 18
Stacy Reddy Feb. 25 age 13
Ben Brouwer Feb. 25 age 17
Brianna DeBoer Feb. 26 age 5
Benjamin Madeska Feb. 27 age 18
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A Fine Young Man
Michael Gurian, in his recent book entitled A Fine Young Man, provides a wealth of provocative and well reasoned information about what adolescent boys need to navigate these challenging years and enter manhood on solid footing. Taking off from his previous book, The Wonder of Boys dealing with issues such as nature vs. nurture and the ways in which boys differ from girls developmentally and psychologically, he asserts that we need to focus our attention on young men because they are particularly vulnerable during the teen years. Gurian maintains that as parents our role is to support our young man's search for a spiritual, emotional, and moral center. Adolescent boys develop a strong sense of themselves by being well taken care of by key persons in their lives, including parents, and extended family, mentors (coaches, ministers, and family friends,) educators and peers.
As parents we play a critical role in the healthy development of our adolescent sons. We can introduce our sons to "visionary" ways to expand their sense of themselves in the universe by talking with them about God, science, hidden worlds, the outdoors, and myths. We can give them a deep sense of their ancestral roots with many stories to nurture their need to fill gaps about themselves and their families. We can give them more responsibility in our homes and communities and encourage them to take on caregiving roles. We can let them know we want to talk with them about anything, including their deepest fears, and reassure them by sharing our own stories of adolescence. We can make sure they have a profound sense of spiritual connection to help them deal with the tremendous insecurity they may feel as their growing minds become more abstract. We can nurture compassion and empathy gently, understanding the egocentrism of teens. We can accept much of their varied moods and ideas with humor and serenity and take very little of it personally, understanding that they are going through an amazing and turbulent period in their lives. We can provide them with strong mentors to help guide them toward manhood. We can provide lots of opportunities for physical exercise and healthy competition to help offset the psychological and physiological stressors of adolescence. Finally we can support psychological integrity by recognizing that our sons need us both to let go and to continue to maintain a strong family focus on things that are essential for development, including: family rituals, family holidays, contact with elders, family responsibilities, respect for parents, and motivation to do well in school
Both of Gurian's books on boys are available for check out in our Children's Library.*
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. . . on teaching prayer
Consider teaching children to pray with a pattern. One FCC mom says she teaches her three year old to pray JOY prayers. J stands for Jesus. O stands for others. Y stands for you. First they thank Jesus for good things or blessings. Next they pray for certain needs in the lives of family members and friends. Finally they pray for personal requests. Other families have adopted the PRAY outline: Praise, Repent, Appreciation, Yearnings. Still others use an ACTS guide: Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving and Supplication. Praying a pattern helps ensure that prayers are balanced and directed to God.
. . . on teaching scripture
Reading the Bible as a family is a powerful learning experience. One of our families has a wonderful devotional time each night before bed. One child reads the Bible verse while another reads from a daily devotion book. Someone else in the family either reads a prayer or prays spontaneously.
. . . on teaching about spiritual gifts
Help your child learn to discern his or her gifts at an early age. Some children demonstrate even the gift of leadership. Encourage them to use it wisely and provide opportunities for them to practice leading. Others are tremendously sensitive. Affirm those who have the gift of compassion. Work with your children to figure out what unique gift package God gave to them.
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Editor, Beth Linscott
René Klumb - Chairperson,
Julie Peay, Bruce Smith, Dave Swanson, Jennifer Wakefield,
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
Michelle Jackson, Parish Nurse
Betsy Isenberg, Secretary
Nancy Gross, Secretary
Charles Nelson, Administrator, Congregational Home, Inc.
Rev. Norman S. Ream, Minister Emeritus
Vol. 8, Issue 1