November 28, 1999

Table of Contents

LRPC Recommends By-law Changes

Students Making a Difference

FCC Hosts Rally

Christmas Offering

Stewardship Report

Christmas Workshop - Fun for All Ages

Welcome Our New Members

Choir Performs Additional Concert

A Word from Lonnie

Council Reviews Renovation

In Brief

LRPC Recommends By-law Changes

The Long Range Planning Committee (LRPC) was asked by the Moderator to look at church governance issues and report back to the Church Council with its recommendations. It met every other week for 4 months and heard from staff and several board and committee chairs on the subjects ranging from the nominating process to the efficiency and attendance of boards and committees.

A sampling of conclusions is as follows:

* Certain boards and committees have difficulty retaining members and getting adequate attendance to conduct meaningful activities.

* Board chairs are reluctant to replace those who do not attend.

* Nominating committee has some difficulty filling positions due to the sheer number of appointments needed. Several of those asked decline due to the length of commitment (3 years), but express willingness to undertake shorter term projects.

* Chairs are asked to recreate the wheel each year so there is a need for operating manuals for boards, committees and moderator.

* Establish specialty volunteer corps to handle single function and ease workload on certain boards and committees. More single task help is needed.

* Program and governing years should be coordinated.

* Vacancies need to be filled more promptly and efficiently.

* Council is larger than it needs to be.

* Need continuity of attendees on
Church Council.

From these conclusions, the LRPC presented some recommendations to the Church Council at the October 26, 1999 meeting. These six recommendations for by-law changes were approved for consideration at the Annual Meeting of the church on January 19, 2000.

The recommendations were the result of several months of the LRPC meetings with staff, board and committee chairs. The proposals are intended to reflect changes in the roles of volunteers in our church. Specifically, the changes will reduce longer term service requirements in favor of single task volunteer opportunities. LRPC believes this may result in better use of the time and talent of our members. Continuity and efficiency of board and committee functioning is targeted for improvement with proposed changes in terms, term limits, and removal policies.

1. Create an "election" meeting in May with office to be taken in June. Annual meeting remains unchanged except elections to be moved to May. Both meetings to be held on Sundays. This combines program and governance years.

2. Boards are accountable for the conduct and completion of all specifically assigned responsibilities. However, all functions and tasks are not required to be performed exclusively by current Board members. In fact, Boards are encouraged to enlist the support of volunteers for specific projects and events on an as-needed basis. Consequently reduce each board except Trustees by 3 members, Council by 3 at-large members, to be done gradually over three years.

3. Voting members of Council are clarified to read: Chair or Vice Chair from board to attend and vote at Council meetings. Any other designee from a board would not have a vote.

4. Change term limit from one to two for board members, six year limit for committee members.

5. Boards may recommend to the Council removal of any member who consistently fails to meet the responsibilities of commitment to duties, attendance at meetings, or participation in activities. Upon approval of removal by the Council, the vacancy created shall be filled by the Nominating Committee.

6. Assorted technical changes and directional footnote.

These proposed by-laws changes will be presented and voted upon at the Annual Meeting. Copies of the constitution with the proposed changes inserted are available in the office.

Thanks to the Long Range Planning Committee, Steve Hayes, chrm., Jim Walsh, Stewart Davis, Susan Godfrey, Mark Lemke, and Lonnie Richardson. They will be available between services in January to answer questions. *


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Students Making a Difference

In all kind of quiet ways, students are making a difference in the life of our church. Our junior and senior high students (and even a few of our elementary students) are making sizable contributions to the church through service.

"I'm probably the only one who knows just how much assistance we're getting right now because we have students working on so many different fronts," said Chris Rygh, associate minister. "This is a different strategy, and so far the results are very encouraging. Youth culture is different now," said Rygh, "Instead of the large service projects we used to schedule, we now try to provide many small serving opportunities that can be worked into any student's schedule. We are also trying to match an individual's gifts and interests with specific serving situations. When students feel like they are contributing their talent, (not just their time,) they tend to get more excited about their giving. This is really just a matter of good stewardship."

Wills Quinn, who is a tenacious organizer, recently completed five hours of service during which he assisted in the office, helped with mailings and worked on cleaning up the third floor storage areas. Four senior high students, including Mike Berte each donated fifteen hours of service during the month of October. They moved furniture in Sunday school rooms, sorted supplies and assisted with some filing. Max Regner and his mother, Tammy, contributed four hours each to tidy our costume room, mend nativity costumes and organize seasonal decorations.

While most of our student servants are working on short-term projects, some others are involved in ongoing key positions. Nastassia Richardson, in addition to writing regularly for various church publications, has been faithfully teaching Sunday School for the past three years. Nine other senior high students are working up to two hours a week as teaching assistants in our Sunday School ministry. Another five regularly care for infants in our nursery. "This is a way that I can help and give back," said Christine Pozayt who regularly works a three-hour shift.

Still others are using FCC as a training ground for future endeavors. For example, as the result her choir experience, senior Julie Jacobson will be majoring in music next fall at Carroll College. "Lee has been such an incredible teacher and model," she said. "Some day I can picture myself doing this kind of work professionally. I'm so thrilled that I've had a place to grow and learn , but also to share and give back." Steve Jackson, who will begin an apprenticeship at a Maine boat building school next fall, is sharing his carpentry talents with the church by building ping pong tables and repairing some of the furniture in our classrooms.

FCC students have contributed over 300 service hours to our ministries since Rally Day 1999. *

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FCC Hosts Rally

Nearly forty junior high students from various Wisconsin churches took part in a two day youth rally here on November 12 and 13. Students explored what it means to live out Jesus' instructions to be "the light of the world."

During the rally, teams canvassed Wauwatosa photographing light fixtures as a means of underscoring the program theme. The group also received a rousing pep talk by program organizer Rick Stieghorst. College students Jamie Schulz, Jessica Merritt, Sarah Edens, Sharon Reddin, and John Ptacin all returned from UW Madison to help host the event.


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Christmas Offering

This year's Christmas special offering will benefit a local cause: Hope House. Hope House was established in 1987 by five local churches to provide safe,

temporary shelter for the homeless. It was originally housed in the basement of one of the churches, but by 1990 had outgrown this facility and moved to a permanent location on the corner of Second Street and Orchard.

In 1996, the homeless shelter was converted to a transitional settlement house for men, women and children which not only provides temporary housing 24 hours/day, 365 days/year, but also provides supportive services such as a family literacy center, a job placement program, a primary health care clinic, a food pantry, a child care center and intensive case management. Through these programs, residents and clients have access to a continuum of care which allows them to achieve and maintain self-sufficiency and family unity. The annual support needed over and above other funding for each of the seven family shelter rooms is $1,770.00 per year. This includes all basic costs to house the families but does not include the supportive services.

In 1998, in fulfillment of their mission to participate in building a community that houses and values all of its people, Hope House provided by

means of staff and volunteers:

* Shelter for 1,010 adults and 399 children

* Child Care for 190 households

* Youth Education Classes for 343 children

* Adult Education Classes for 502 adults

* Food Services for 4,034 households

* Case Management for 1,100 households

* Primary Health Care for 1,118 men, women and children *



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Steward Report

Value 2000 Pledges to Date: $423,433

Cards Returned: 311

Your Stewardship Board would like to thank those of you who returned your pledge cards on or around Commitment Sunday. We are grateful for your prayerful commitment to our church's future. We hope those who joined together in celebrating the end of a successful pledge drive with our traditional pancake brunch enjoyed that fellowship. Those members who have not made a commitment decision and returned your card will be contacted by phone as it is necessary that we have the most complete information possible for year 2000 budgeting. Returning your pledge cards now will make that task a lighter one. Please do your part in making the coming year a strong and healthy one for First Congregational Church. It is an outward sign of our inward commitment to the Congregational Way.

Char Schweitzer, chairman

Board of Christian Stewardship

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Workshop is Fun for All

For children of all ages, the Christmas Workshop is scheduled for Sunday, December 5 from 3:30 to 5:30. In addition to 16 available crafts, we will offer the ever-popular "decorate your own gingerbread man." Crafts range in price from 25 to $1.00 and include the glass globe ornament, snowman lapel pin, and Christmas tree refrigerator magnet. Additionally, there will be a preschool-friendly room.

A pizza dinner, complete with music will follow at 5:30. Then enjoy Christmas caroling and tree trimming. The cost of supper is $3.00 for adults and $1.50 per child. For questions or to volunteer your help, call Carla at 774-4756. *

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Welcome Our New Members

Todd and Jill Akins are interested in a very active membership here at FCC, including working with youth activities, Habitat for Humanity and welcoming new members. Todd is a sales representative for 3M and Jill works in training and development at Kohl's Department Stores. Introduced to FCC by Donna and Matt Johnson, Todd and Jill liked the abundance of active members and activities here as well as the general beliefs. They enjoy outdoor activities, travel and home improvement.

Debra Williams is a radiologic technologist and learned of FCC from a friend at work. New to Congregationalism, she is interested in the history associated with this church. In her spare time, Debra simply enjoys reading and relaxing.

Mary Miller was married here in 1991 to husband William. She has attended for a while and decided to become a member, noting that she likes the sermons and the children's educational programming. The Millers have two children, Andrea(3) and Samuel (1-1/2). Mary is an educator and enjoys reading, watching movies, listening to music and gardening.

Rob and Traci Elliott are new to Wauwatosa and hoping to meet other couples from the community. Rob is an account representative and Traci is an architect. They are expecting their first child shortly. They found FCC to be a comfortable environment and thought the message was very universal. Rob and Traci enjoy outdoor exercise, home improvement and home based dinner parties.

Lisa Fochs and Kevin Sweeny are engaged to be married. Kevin attended a Congregational Church in Mukwonago and wanted to find a church closer to his new home. Both found FCC to be very community and family oriented. Kevin is a mechanical engineer and Lisa is an accountant. Both currently travel a lot with work, but look forward to getting more involved in the church as their schedules permit.

Miguel Rivera and Rachel Shriner are another engaged couple. Rachel is an office manager and Miguel is a switch technician. With different religious backgrounds, they found FCC on the internet. After attending, they liked the emphasis on children and community as well as the open attitude toward Christianity and faith. Rachel and Miguel both enjoy volleyball, biking, and movies.

Judi and Roy Pieper and their children Lydia (11) and Reva (9) are new to Wauwatosa. Judi and Roy are owners of CR Enterprises, a company which works as an internet liaison between corporations and consumers. Both Judi and Roy are involved in Bible Study groups and like the sense of belonging as well as feeling a connection to God here at FCC. They enjoy travel and walking and look forward to getting to know the people here.

Chris and Holly Quinlan have a 14 month old son, Nicholas. They said they felt very welcomed at FCC and like the services a lot. Chris is a police officer and Holly has an album business (creating albums for weddings and babies.) They are looking forward to membership here.

Kathy and Larry Rust just officially became members. Kathy is an associate minister here and Larry is a salesman for a Waukesha company.

Jeff and Mollie Preston were married here this past summer. Jeff is a mechanical engineer at Ladish in Cudahy and Mollie is a keyboard publication editor at Hal Leonard Corp. They originally found FCC in the phone book when looking for a church in which to get married. After attending once, they knew this is where they wanted to make their home. Outdoor enthusiasts, Jeff and Mollie enjoy vacations at U.S. and Canadian National Parks as well as a variety of outdoor activities.

Bleau Schneider and Sarah Evancheck are another engaged couple new to FCC. Bleau is a senior network engineer with Time Warner Telecom. Sarah is a full-time mom to their daughter Hannah and also works as a beauty consultant with Mary Kay Cosmetics. They both enjoy watching movies and listening to music. Sarah also enjoys various forms of exercise while Bleau appreciates time with their family.

Michael Robertson and Emily Robertson, PhD became acquainted with FCC through Mike's work with the NACCC. Mike is the executive director of Community Village, Ltd. and Emmy is a textile artist. They have six adult children. They said the pastors, members and location of FCC were all factors in their decision to join. Emmy reads widely, gardens and remodels houses. Mike enjoys sailing and tennis when he has the time and opportunity. *


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Choir Performs at Basilica
Christmas Concert

The First Congregational Church Choir will take part in a special performance on Saturday, December 11, 1999. Our choir will join the choir of St. Matthews Lutheran Church of Wauwatosa in a Christmas performance with the Concord Chamber Orchestra. Janet Millard, conductor of the Concord Chamber Orchestra will lead the players and singers.

The concert will take place on Saturday, December 11, 1999 at 8:00 p.m. in St. Josephat's Basilica, 2333 South 6th Street in Milwaukee.

The choirs and orchestra will perform Gustav Holst's "Christmas Day"; four carols arranged by Mack Wilbert which include, "O Green and Shimmering Tree," "Fum, Fum, Fum!" "Away in a Manger," and "I Saw Three Ships"; three carols of John Rutter, "Nativity Carol," Angel's Carol," and "Star Carol"; and a selection based on "Silent Night," entitled "Night of Silence."

In addition, selections of the season will be presented by the orchestra. Solosits will include Marj Fowler, soprano; Sue Erickson, mezzo-soprano; Dean Fowler, tenor; and David Mohr, bass.

All are encouraged to attend this performance. Tickets are available in the church office at a cost of $8 for adults and $6 for students. This concert does not replace the annual choir concert held here at FCC. Our concert will be the following day at 4:00. *


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A Word from Lonnie...

Learn from the Magi

I read an article in which the authors discuss the difference between the shepherds and the Magi in our Christmas narratives. Luke tells us that the shepherds were told all of the information that they would need to find the Child by the angels: where to go, who would be there, and even what the baby would be wearing. Besides that, they were just around the corner and over the hill from him. What could have been easier? They didn't have to seek information; it was handed to them on a silver platter. They had it made.

The Wise Men, on the other hand, had to undertake that long journey through hot days and cold nights. They were on a quest to find the savior, guided only by the light of the star. We, too, are on such a journey: we constantly search for the truth about life, for the meaning of life, for "what's it all about." Unlike the shepherds, things are not clearly explained by angels appearing in the night. We have to search and journey through life like the Magi did. We have to overcome the obstacles which life presents to us: ill health, problems with our children, the deaths of our family members. And still we have to have that vision, the light that shines upon us. But it doesn't shine on us from a star in the east; it shines on us from the Cross. For it is only in the light of the Cross that all of our crosses have meaning and purpose. Otherwise, we would despair and lose our hope.

So the Magi can teach us perseverance in the face of adversity. But they have something else that they can teach us, namely the value of community. They did not undertake their journey alone; they undertook it together. They supported on another and provided strength to one another in times of despair. This is how it should be for us too.

Your pastor,




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Council Reviews Renovation

At its last meeting, the Church Council was presented with three options for the renovation of the lower level of our church building. The options were provided by the Facilities Renewal Committee in order to determine how to best proceed with the available funds. The just completed fund drive resulted in pledges of $165,000, which was about one half of the amount required to complete the entire project. The three options presented to the council were as follows:

1. Complete renovation of the music practice areas as originally proposed,

2. Complete renovation of the classrooms and activity rooms as
originally proposed,

3. Partial renovation of the entire lower level probably limited to new flooring, ceilings and lighting.

The Council decided to consider these three options and make a decision about how to proceed at its next meeting. *


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In Brief/Our Church Family

Women's Meetings

Circle 8: meets Wednesday, Dec. 1 at 10:00 at the Congregational Home to trim the Christmas trees. Bring a sandwich. Please note special day and time.

Circle 7: hosts the Christmas Tea at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 12 preceding the Choir Christmas Concert.

Senior Women will meet on Monday, Dec. 13 at 11:00. (Note change of time.) Rev. Thomas Hinz, the singing minister will give a Christmas concert followed by a Christmas lunch. The cost of the luncheon is $7.00. For reservations, please call Ruth Karl, 462-6407.

Friendly Beast Breakfast

Saturday Dec. 4 at 9 am, children and whomever they wish to bring are invited. The children wear pajamas and bring their favorite stuffed animal to put in the "stable" with Baby Jesus while they have breakfast and listen to the story of the first Christmas. Cost of the breakfast is $3.00 for adults and $1.50 for children.

Christmas Events

Dec. 1
All-Church Dinner/Program 6:00

Dec. 4
Friendly Beast Breakfast 9:00

Dec. 5 - 2nd Sunday in Advent
Worship 8:45 & 11:00

Christmas Workshop 3:00
Supper 5:00

Dec. 12 - 3rd Sunday in Advent
Worship 8:45 & 11:00

Christmas Tea 3:00
Christmas Choir Concert 4:00

Dec. 19 - 4th Sunday in Advent
Worship w/ Pageant 8:45 & 11:00

"Christmas Carol" at Pabst 2:00

Dec. 24 Christmas Eve Services
Family Service 4:00
Worship Service 7:00

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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

Kathryn Rust, Associate Minister

Rev. Chris Rygh, Associate Minister

Rani Gusho, Administrator

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 11