May 30, 1999

Table of Contents

#BASIC students confirm faith

#Margie Idzikowski leaves staff

#Pig/Chicken Roast

#All-Church vote

#VBS - God's Kingdom of Prayer

#Vicinage Council meets

#Church group sponsors Dr. Suess Day

#Summer music

#A word from Lonnie

#Thanks to Spring Workers

#WCA annual report

#In Brief


BASIC students confirm their faith

One of the recent changes made to the Covenant Class program (now BASIC) changed the grade level in which kids will be confirmed from 10th to 8th grade. The result this year is three classes completing the curriculum for membership simultaneously. Following are introductions students wrote about each other to to acquaint the membership with our future.

Matt Boettcher, is "a cool guy who golfs," said one friend. Matt, son of Sue and Mark, is in eighth grade at Longfellow and enjoys time with his family - including the dog. Open to new ideas, he is very understanding of others.

Mike Berte, a sophomore at Wauwatosa East, has good memories of the Christmas workshop, the Haunted House and Sunday School here at First Congregational Church. Outside of church, he enjoys gymnastics, rock climbing and mountain biking. He has taken great pride in placing first at gymnastics meets.

Meet Katherine Boettcher. She is the oldest child of Sue and Mark. She is a sophomore at Tosa East. Her after school activities include golf. She thanks the Lord for her writing and good listening skills. Her best memory thus far was at PF camp. She loves to hang out with friends and play sports.

Jeff Cottam is an 8th grader who attends Longfellow. A talented athlete, he enjoys football, baseball, basketball, track and golf. He also enjoys time with his friends.

Jennie Cottam was born 14 years ago to Tom & Chris. An 8th grader (twin to Jeff) at Longfellow, she "loves" jumping on the trampoline; playing basketball, baseball and swimming, and watching sports. With a talent for talking, Jennie is funny, nice, and all-around entertaining.

Tom Cottam enjoys athletics and school involvement. He most enjoys the leadership role as quarterback for the Wauwatosa West Junior Varsity football team. He likes to have his presence felt and his voice heard. He encourages others to do well and enjoys the company of a crowd of good people. He hopes to pursue a career in architecture.

John E Daigneau is a sophomore at University School. He is an active part of his community playing soccer and hockey, but also enjoys seeing movies. His spiritual gift as a shepherd* has been nurtured by his dad who has had the greatest influence in his Christian growth.

Laura Daigneau is a great person. Her brown hair and blue eyes come from her parents, Susie and Maurie. In 8th grade at Brookfield Academy, Laura plays soccer, basketball, field hockey, and sings. A favorite spiritual memory is sitting at the dining room table with her family, talking about God. She is very thankful for her family and friends.

Brianna Esser's parents, Brian and Lori, made a positive impact on Brianna's life by encouraging her attendance at church and her belief in God. Brianna goes to Rufus King, where she is a freshman. She is involved in soccer and Irish dancing. Her spiritual gift is being a leader while friends describe her as "nice all the time." She is also a choco-holic.

Amanda Gruebling, daughter of Lynn and Roger, is a talented and faithful Christian. She enjoys track, soccer and other sports. She would be very successful teaching soccer to others. Her Christianity has been influenced by Julie and Chris. She will graduate from Longfellow this year.

Leah Halvorson is in 8th grade at Longfellow. A talented singer, she also loves to play soccer and swim. She said that her parents, Alan and Julia , and Julie Anheuser have had the most impact on her life.

Owen Halvorson is very good at sports. He acknowledges that his parents, Joel and Lori, have had a very big impact on him, along with his BASIC leaders. Owen also enjoys flag football and Boy Scouts.

Mark Hamm, a freshman at Tosa West, is a talented swimmer and also plays on the soccer team. He enjoys worship with his parents, which has had a big impact on his spiritual growth.

Megan Hassett, an 8th grader at Longfellow, is the daughter of Lori and Mike Hassett. She enjoys many activities such as soccer, track, and cheerleading. She would be excellent at teaching others to play the violin. Julie Anheuser and Chris have both had a positive impact on her life.

Mike Hassett, a sophomore at Wauwatosa East has enjoyed many of the youth activities and Sunday School while growing up at First Congregational. Outside of church, he enjoys tennis, golf and skiing.

Tori Holtz, an 8th grader at Longfellow has the brightest smile in church. Her parents Pete and Barb gave her her silky brown hair and engaging eyes. Tori sings like Ariel and plays soccer like a madman. She also enjoys acting in plays and time with her friends and family.

Ryan Jacobi, son of Kathy and Roger, is a freshman at New Berlin West where he enjoys playing soccer. He said he has a great capacity for forgiveness. Remembering back, he enjoyed involvement in the church plays over the years.

Diana Kelling, daughter of Beth and Jeff, is currently a freshman at Tosa East. She enjoys running track and swimming for her school. She 'loves' clothes, shoes, and ice cream. A caring, compassionate person, Diana has fond memories of P.F.

Becky Kolaga's parents are Paul and Sue. She is a freshman at Divine Savior Holy Angels. She participates in Spirit Club, Art Club and Poetry Club. Becky recognizes the impact of her parents on her Christian growth as they strongly encouraged her to attend church when she was showing reluctance. Her favorite things are "plaid" and "sugar cubes."

Amy Kraus is an independent, entertaining 8th grade soccer player, who attends Whitnall Middle School. She was born to Mary and Edward. She is musically talented and likes working with kids. Julie Anheuser and Chris Rygh have been positive supporters of her Christian growth. She likes painting and her favorite color is blue.

Allison Kuhlmann is a freshman at Brookfield Central who participates in basketball, softball and Key Club. Her favorite color is orange and she classifies herself as a shepherd. Allison is the daughter of Carol and Randall.

Kaitlin Lemke is a Freshman at Tosa East. The daughter of Cheryl and Mark, Kaitlin runs track and swims. Recently she has shared a talent for teaching, helping with the 1st grade Sunday School class. She also traveled to Mexico as part of the Mission group last December.

Nick Lemke is the son of Cheryl Hokenson and Mark Lemke. Now an eighth grader at Longfellow, Nick remembers dressing up as a lion for one of the Children's Choir events. He enjoys hockey, biking and golf.

Paul Lewis is a freshman swimmer at Waukesha West. He enjoys eating fried shrimp with his parents Jean and Jim. Paul feels he is gifted at encouraging others.

Meghan Milne is a sophomore at Arrowhead in Hartland. Her hobbies include running cross country and track. She is the oldest daughter of Becky and Bruce. Meghan's spiritual gift is art, and she credits her positive Christian growth to experiences at PF camp. In her free-time, Meghan enjoys being with her friends.

Melissa Milne has blonde hair and green eyes. An 8th grader at Swallow, Melissa is interested in sports and enjoys her friends and parties. She is fun to be with and has a good sense of humor.

Caitlin O'Meara, a 9th grader at Tosa East, participates in swimming and track. Her parents are Denise and John, who have had the most impact on her Christian growth. She is a very compassionate person and enjoys the music of David Mathews.

Born to Denise and John, Eileen O'Meara, a sophomore at Tosa East, enjoys activities such as swimming and drawing. Eileen has been given the spiritual gift of being able to care for others. Her best memories of church include playing BINGO with Ddg during Sunday School and helping in the nursery during services. Eileen spends much of her time hanging out with friends and volunteering at the Humane Society.

Missy Owen is a freshman at Tosa East. Her parents are David and Joanne. Missy enjoys playing softball and the flute. While she is very caring to others, Missy also loves dolphins. The most influential person in her Christian growth is her Girl Scout leader who was very positive and encouraging.

Christine Pozayt, the daughter of Michael Pozayt and Dianne Brouwer, is a freshman at Wauwatosa East. She takes part in activities such as youth group, nursery and orchestra. She is a leader, shepherd, and mercy shower, who has been inspired by Chris Rygh to come to PF and keep coming. A list of her 'favorite anythings' includes: sweats, music, babies, and baseball.

Sarah Reuss, daughter of Robert and Jean, is in 8th grade at Kettle Moraine Middle School. She enjoys playing volleyball and swimming, but said her spiritual gift is playing violin. Sarah said her mom has the biggest impact on her spiritual life. Favorite saying: "spunky" or "sister.'

Lonnie Richardson II, son of Lonnie and Mercedes, is a unique young man. An 8th grader at Milwaukee Christian School, he has a very open mind and heart and is kind and caring. A talented musician, he also plays basketball and prefers his dog to any material items.

Nastassia Richardson is the daughter of Mercedes and Lonnie. She is a sophomore at Brookfield Academy. Her hobbies include: writing, swimming and music. A gifted teacher, her best church memory is teaching Sunday School. Her favorite singer is Sarah McLachlin.

Jeremy Schowalter is in 9th grade at Prairie High School. His parents are Dan and Diane. He likes to play baseball and tennis and also enjoys running and is a talented singer. His best Church memory is of camp.

Catherine Schultz is a freshman at Brookfield Academy, participating in softball and tennis. Her parents are Kevin and Joan. She has developed into a leader which she attributes to experiences at Vacation Bible School where she learned most about God.

Chris Sgarlata is an 8th grader at Pilgrim Park school. The son of John and Jan, Chris enjoys wrestling, football and golf. As a child, Chris remembers adding his hands to the "rainbow wall" outside Friendship Lounge.

Jonathon Sgarlatta, a sophomore at Brookfield East, enjoys rallies, as well as a variety of sports which include volleyball, archery, and basketball. His experience as a guidance counselor and his rally advisors helped him on his path in Christianity. He feels his leadership traits will only help him further down the road.

Kirsten Sorum is a loved daughter of Merrie and George Sorum. A freshman at Tosa East, she plays soccer and tennis.

Tom Udesky is in 9th grade at the Prairie School in Racine. He is the son of Rick and Kandi, and is involved in a lot of athletic activities. His favorite pastime is horseback riding. Tom keeps his horse stabled just outside Racine.

Melinda VerDuin, daughter of Jim and Rachel, is in grade eight at Longfellow. She enjoys soccer, swimming, and watching movies. She is independent, intelligent, nice, and very considerate. One thing that has had a positive impact on Melinda is going to BASIC with Julie Anheuser.

Mike Watson, son of Craig and Cindy, in in 8th grade at Pilgrim Park Mike enjoys golfing and is also talented in math. He appreciates the guidance he's received from Chris Rygh.

Melanie Wehr, daughter of Patti and Rich, is a freshman at Tosa West. She enjoys Art Club and painting in red, her favorite color. Melanie said she very much enjoyed last year's Sunday School class because she learned a lot while having fun.

*The BASIC group evaluated their spiritual gifts and categorized 9 major types. Shepherd refers to one who looks after the spiritual needs of others and Mercy Shower is one who understands and comforts others.

While great efforts were made to include all the students, inevitably some are missing.

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Margie Idzikowski leaves staff

For thirteen years, Margie Idzikowski staffed the church nursery and additionally joined the office staff in 1993. Loved by the children of the church who came to know her each Sunday, Margie has been equally appreciated in the office. "Completely dependable in both the nursery and office, her cheery disposition will be missed," said Rani Gusho. In addition to her regular office work, Margie's artistic talents were often very useful.

Recently, Margie accepted a full-time position with the Wisconsin Early Autistic project. Looking forward to the new challenge, she is also leaving a part-time position she has held for ten years at a printing business. However, this is not a farewell to Margie as she and Dennis, her husband of 20 years, will remain members here.

Margie left her office position earlier this month, and will spend her last day in the nursery on May 30. Her office position was filled by Betty Blank who had been volunteering and was already familiar with some of the work. Kari Leon, who has been Margie's assistant for the past four years, will take charge of the nursery for the summer months.

On June 20, at the 11:00 Coffee Hour, there will be an opportunity for us to thank Margie for her dedicated care in both the nursery and the office. Many of the children will miss her, but we wish her the best in this new endeavor. *

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Pig/Chicken Roast

On Wednesday, June 2, at 6:00, it's time once again for the annual Pig/Chicken Roast. Held on the back terrace, weather permitting, it's a deliciously fun way to welcome summer with your church family.

Wonderful music and food make the Pig Roast one of the most popular Church dinners. The cost is $8.00 for adults and $3.00 for children. Reservations needed by May 28, 258-7375.


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All-Church Vote

At the recent All-Church meeting, members overwhelmingly approved the rennovation of the lower level of the church.

Funding for the remodeling is being discussed at Church Council. Watch for further announcements as this project progresses.

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God's Kingdom of Prayer

Vacation Bible School is scheduled for June 2125, from 911:30 a.m. Students will study the practice of prayer by enjoying five different bible stories discovering how these characters communicated with God. Students will learn several different kinds of prayers, including the Lord's Prayer. Through "God's Wonderous Kingdom of Prayer," they will also enjoy singing, working on crafts, eating and playing.

Children ages 3 by Feb, 1999 through children entering 5th grade are invited to participate. Cost is $10 for the first child and $5 for each additional child. Call Carla Cummings, 774-4756 or Laura Taylor, 453-0182, with questions or if you can CONTRIBUTE YOUR TIME AND TALENTS.

Child's Name

Birthdate____________ 1998-99 Grade in school_______

Parents' Names


Home Phone_________ Work Phone_________________

Known allergies or other concerns____________________

Yes, I want to help on: Mon Tue Wed Thur Fri

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Understanding the purpose of the Vicinage Council

On Saturday, May 22nd, a Vicinage Council was convened at First Congregational Church to consider the upcoming ordination to the Christian Ministry of Christopher Rygh. In light of this event, the question arises, what is a Vicinage Council, and how does it function as part of the ordination process?

In most Protestant denominations, there is a lengthy procedure which must be followed in order to be ordained. Usually, the candidate for ordination establishes a relationship with an :"in-care," or ordination committee established by the synod, presbytery, conference, or whatever appropriate group. The candidate must meet regularly with this group starting very early in her or his preparation for ministry, and ultimately this committee or some other body must approve a candidate's credentials before an ordination can take place. This process is designed to ensure that all churches in the denomination are aware of a candidate's qualifications and can feel confident in calling that person to serve.

Within Congregational polity the individual congregation has the sole right and responsibility of ordaining a person whom the congregation deems qualified for ministry. There can be no sense in which the decision to ordain is dictated by any outside body. At the same time, however, there is great care taken to ensure that the candidate has received proper training for ministry, and to make other churches aware of the candidate's qualifications.

The provision for proper training within the National Association can be met through voluntary participation in the Congregational Foundation for Theological Studies program. This organization provides a wide range of support for Congregational seminary students, monitors their academic and spiritual progress, and provides important background in Congregational history and polity.

The need for public awareness and endorsement of the candidates qualifications can be met by the convening of a Vicinage Council, which is a meeting of representatives from churches in the vicinity who are invited to hear the candidate's statement of faith, to ask questions of the candidate, and to vote on whether or not they support the church's decision to ordain the candidate. Again, in the free-church tradition, such a vote cannot be binding on the church, which retains the sole right to ordain. This does not, however, prevent some spirited discussions from taking place as part of the meeting. Most importantly, the Vicinage Council is a wonderful opportunity to hear about the call to ministry which has led a candidate to this point of ordination, and to learn more about the beliefs and understandings which form the basis of her or his faith and vision of Christ's Church.

Chris Rygh recently spoke before a Vicinage Council and will be ordained at First Congregational Church on June 5, at 11:00. *

Dan Schowalter

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Church Group Sponsors Dr. Suess Day

The Thursday morning women's group recently sponsored a Dr. Suess Day for Mary Lou Schowalter's MPS class. Along with a large stack of thank you letters from the children, some of which had illustrations like the one on the left, was the following note from Mary Lou:

Dear Group,

How can I again thank you for such a fun day?! My kids were thrilled upon returning to school and showing their new books to others. They also kept talking about the Green Eggs and Ham they ate. (and ate, and ate!) One of them asked when we were going back to my church!

I so much appreciate all your hard work and positive energy. My most powerful moment of the day was walking through the sanctuary on the way out. I honestly got a bit emotional as I was reminded of my work and church
connection. It was a moment of

powerful renewal I really needed.

Thank you.

Take Care & God Bless!

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Summer Music

Following is the summer music lineup. Watch next issue for information on each of these musicians.

July 4 - Valerie Kraft, soprano

July 11 - Chantel Richardson, soprano

July 18 - Women's Quartet

Dulcy Miller

Diane Houriet

Nan Cleveland

Marj Fowler

July 25 - Women's Trio

Patricia Kostreva

Julie Jacobson

Julia Jacobi

Aug 1 - Peter Sovitzky, tenor

Aug 8 - Gary Back, baritone

Aug 15 - Kathleen Sonnentag, mezzo soprano

Aug 22 - Elly Quint, soprano

Aug 29 - Marj Fowler, soprano

Sep 5 - Sherman Leatherberry, baritone


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A word from Lonnie...

What Defines Your Values

For 20 years Dennis Prager has been asking high school seniors a fascinating question, "Would you save your dog or a stranger first if both were drowning?" Here is what he found: One-third always vote for the dog, one-third always vote for the stranger, and one-third always find the questions too difficult, But Prager's second question is even more interesting. Prager asks the students who voted to save the person, "Are those who voted to save the dog wrong?" Not one student, says Prager, has ever said that the others are wrong. Their argument is always the same: "Listen, I personally feel that I should save the person, but they feel they should save their dog." Prager contends, after much research, that the feeling of love has supplanted God or religious principle as the moral guide for young people. What is right has been redefined in terms of what an individual feels.

Those of us who are pet lovers might be sympathetic to these young people's ethical dilemma. The point that Prager is making, though, is that many people today have no fixed point of reference for their values except what they feel and feelings can be fickle and unreliable, even a feeling as noble as that of love.

Jesus taught that people will know we are Christian by our love. However, this love is rooted in more than subjective feelings it is referenced to the God who is. We struggle with the god we want and the God who is. Our job is not to change god but to allow God to change us. When we read the Bible for direction as well as comfort, values of faith shape God's future among us and we have something more reliable than how we feel from which to enter the future. It's not how we feel but where is God. *

Your pastor,



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Thanks to spring workers

Thank you so much to the "Terrific Twenty" who came to the spring cleaning day at God's House. From pre-teens to 92 years old, participants of all ages enjoyed fellowship with our Congregational family, a gourmet lunch, and completed some much needed work around the church.

Blessed with a beautiful day, the group accomplished a considerable amount of yard work. In addition, some roof repair was completed, toys were cleaned, and some other miscellaneous tasks accomplished.

Thanks again to all those who participated for part or all of the day. Not only is it fun, but it's a great form of Stewardship and we hope to see further participation this fall!

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Report from the annual meeting of the WCA


Attending the annual meeting of the Wisconsin Congregational Association (WCA) is like receiving a booster shot in faith. The meeting this year at Heritage Congregational Church in Madison, WI on April 23 24 was especially inspiring. At the request of Dr. Peay, an Ecclesiastical Council and the service of installation of Dr. Peay as minister of Heritage Church was included in the program. In addition to your delegate, eight other members of FCC were
present for Dr. Peay's installation.

A total of 13 of the 24 active member churches in the association were represented by delegates for the business session. Additional registrations received as the meeting progressed made a total attendance of 54 persons representing 16 churches. The nominating committee reported on the selection of association officers for the coming year(s). Mary York of FCC was nominated and elected to the office of Moderator-elect for the 1999-2001 term of office.

The theme for the meeting "Feeding the Soul, Growing the Spirit' was carried out in workshop sessions. Rev. Lonnie Richardson of FCC conducted a seminar on membership growth.He presented figures showing that most new members of a church resulted from special programs, contacts with friends or neighbors and visits from church members.

The Rev. Gary Pierce of Pilgrim Church, Green Bay presented a seminar on stewardship growth. He presented data showing where financial support for church activities came. He stressed that stewardship is not only financial but that it is also an opportunity to serve God in the way intended in the beginning. It is our relationship with Jesus Christ and our daily actions and life styles that provide stewardship opportunities.

The invitation to have the annual meeting in the year 2000 at the First Community Congregational Church in Roscoe, IL was accepted.

John Erdahl

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In brief/Our church family

10:00 a.m. Single Service Begins

Please note that on May 30, we switch to a single 10:00 Sunday worship service for the summer months.

Blood Pressure Clinic

has been held monthly at FCC according to standards set by the American Heart Association. If you are a health care professional and would like to volunteer your services taking blood pressures at various times during the year, I am teaching three one-hour sessions, June 8, 15 and 22, beginning at 1:00 p.m. Please call the church office by June 4 to register.

Past Benevolence Files Needed

Your Board of Benevolences asks any of its former members to return any old files on our beneficiary organizations to the Church office. The current Board is working on a major project that needs these outstanding files.

Think Summer!

Following are some summer dates you may want to set aside -

Vacation Bible School: June 2125

Jr./Sr. PF Camp: July 1824

Family Camp: August 1316


Nursery Help

is needed for the 10:00 service during the summer months. We need helpers for babies through 2 year olds. You can sign up for a single Sunday or several. It is a fun experience to get to know some of our newest children and allow the parents to attend church with confidence that their little ones are in safe hands. Contact Kari in the Nursery on Sunday or leave a message with the church office, 258-7375.

In the next issue...

Camp information

New member introductions

Requested reprint of poem read by Lonnie

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Congregational Columns

Editor, Beth Linscott

Communications Committee

Jennifer Wakefield - Chairperson,

Mary York, Bruce Smith, John O'Meara, Char Schweitzer


Rev. Lonnie Richardson, Senior Minister

Rev. Dr. Charles Goldsmith, Minister of Pastoral Care

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 5