First

August 26, 2001

 


Table of Contents

Rally Day Improvements Benefit Families

DLLines

Bill Edens - Web Master

VeggieTown VBS Followup

Covenant Class Begins Reports on Mission Efforts

New Adult Bible Study Beginning

Breakfast with the Girls

Search Update

2001 Committee Members

In Brief/ Our Church Family

 


Rally Day Improvements To Benefit Parents & Students

Each year First Congregational Church tries to make a few changes to either make its programs more effective or more accessible. This year it will make at least three small improvements to benefit families.

"First," said Associate Minister Chris Rygh, "we will be reintroducing a regular adult volunteer into the two-year room." Sarah DeYoung, who until this Spring was a master teacher at UWM coordinating their 4, 5 & 6 year-old programs and supervising student teachers, will be teaching the toddlers. "Besides providing a safe and engaging environment," said Sarah, "I really hope to reintroduce some structured learning activities. Children this age can pick up more than we usually think they can, and I look forward to sharing some fun lessons." In her efforts to focus on spiritual development, Sarah plans to incorporate things such as music, reading and even some art activities.

"Second," said Chris, "we are working very hard at improving our lines of communication. I hope that the program calendar will help explain the Sunday morning schedule week by week. Last year we produced a program calendar, (and will again,) but it failed to include all the special events, rehearsals and special Sundays. This year we'll send home a calendar sheet that lists it all. Another item we're trying to improve is signage. First-time visitors are often confused by our layout. So we're going to try very hard to provide adequate and attractive directions in the hallways."

Lastly, the 8:45 Sunday School will offer grade-specific classes this year. "We've doubled up some grades the past few years in order to create more balanced class sizes," said Rygh, "but it has really caused more confusion and frustration than it was worth. So we will return to having ten separate classes at 8:45. In most cases, the teacher to student ratio will be smaller and ultimately, the kids will benefit."

Watch for Program Calendars

In just a few weeks, all members can look forward to receiving program calendars outlining adult and student offerings for the 2001/2002 program year. A schedule of adult programs, as well as a calendar of children and youth events, will arrive in the same envelope. Don't be surprised. This is intentional. "We obviously realize that many of our adults--especially those with grown children-- have no need for a PF calendar or a listing of Covenant Class field trips," said Associate Minister Chris Rygh. "However, our staff feels strongly that we do better when we're all informed...when we're all working from the same page. Besides," he adds, "if everyone receives a copy of the youth schedule, we might just pick up some extra chaperones!" *

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DLLines -

"It's Resolution Time"

Forget about all those New Year's resolutions. As far as First Congregational Church is concerned, now is the time for resolutions to be made.

The children are heading back to school. The more relaxed pace of summer will give way to the regular routine of the remainder of the year. Now is the time to make a new year's, Church Year that is, resolution to be a regular worshipping and participating person in the life of the Church.

Resolutions such as this are important. Each of us is aware that, when all is said and done, regular attendance is really a matter of habit. Some get into the habit of doing a host of things on Sunday mornings and find that ritual is hard to break. Others decide that attendance in a church where worship and learning is emphasized is a priority worth making in this rapidly changing world.

No longer are the values of our faith a regular part of society. No longer do the organizations within society reflect the values being taught at the Church. In fact, it is now quite socially acceptable NOT to be part of a worshipping community.

For people of faith, this means that the family and the Church become all the more important if our Christian faith and the principles for living well are to be continued. It is in the worshipping, sharing, praying, "fellowshipping" and questioning that our faith grows and life's priorities are made.

When you rise on a Sunday morning to attend Church and Sunday school, you are making a conscious decision that the things of God and Jesus are important in your life. Your participation is a statement that does not go unnoticed to yourself, your fellow worshippers or the people in the community who know you.

Now is the time to make your statement. Resolve that this year you will be a regular worshipper at this Church. If you have children, you will be revealing to them the importance of a Christian emphasis in their living. You will be a great help to others in worship, who will be encouraged by your presence. And most important of all, you will be a person whose faith will be challenged and encouraged, enabling you to grow in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and your fellow humans.

How about September 10 for YOUR resolution to start? See you in Church! *

Rev. Dr. Doug Lobb

 

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Bill Edens ­ Web Master

For nearly 50 years, First Congregational Church has been fortunate enough to count Bill Edens among its members. After growing up in the church, he and Lissa were married here by Rev. Norm Ream in 1967. Their children Matthew and Sarah were also baptized and raised here. Sarah is recently married and finishing her clinical series to work as a physical therapist and Matthew is a web
producer for Nortel Networks in San Jose, CA.

Now retired from his position as a senior engineer with GE Medical Systems (working with software) we're fortunate enough to have Bill's expertise working for us on our web site. Work which he considers a "nice past time" provides a huge, money-saving service to the church.

Bill sees the web as an information resource which will continue to grow in popularity in the future and a great outreach/public relations source which this church has to offer.

If you've never been to FCC's website, it offers a wealth of information under the headings of "Beliefs, Worship, News, Ministries, Education, Fellowship, Outreach and Leadership," as well as offering links to related sites. Most recently Bill has added the church's manuals from 1912 and 1924 under the "Beliefs" header and the membership list back to 1903. These new areas are easily accessible from the home page in the upper right corner under "Updates." He also regularly adds the ministers' sermons and checks to be sure there are no problems with the newest issues of the Congregationalist and the Columns. Jim LaBelle, who has worked extensively with the site, continues to help with additions in the Music area.

While currently working out some of the logistics of the site, Bill would like the site to become more progressive with a greater focus on some of the Church's news.

Check out the site. It's a great resource for new and long-time members alike. We're very blessed that Bill Edens enjoys more than reading and golf! *

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VeggieTown Vacation Bible School Provides Plenty of Smiles Along with Lessons

During the first week of August, First Congregational Church once again became the home of VeggieTown Vacation Bible School; a curriculum based on the wonderfully popular animated characters in VeggieTales videotapes for children. The lessons on "building citizens who do God's work" were received with enthusiasm by more than 90 students who visited a variety of VeggieTown locations throughout the church. It was terrific to see the number of new faces participating in Bible School, both volunteers and students! Additional highlights of VeggieTown this year were classroom visits by Bob the Tomato, Larry the Cucumber and Madame Blueberry. The youngest of the VeggieTowners were also able to plant a daylily garden.

This year our VeggieTown students donated hundreds of school supplies to Tosa for Kids, an organization formed by the Wauwatosa Police Department to help underprivileged children in our community. Detective Judy Yauck came on the last day of Bible School to thank our students for their much needed contributions.

We'd like to acknowledge the work of the staff who helped organize VBS this year: Kari Leon, Claudia Scholl, Carrie Sgarlata, Julie Smith and Laura Taylor; and the very creative Veggietown teachers: Margaret Brown, Michelle Russ, Laura Taylor, Ardith Moore, Claudia Scholl, Jennifer Snell, Karen Schmidt, Julie Smith, Mary Beth Rygh, Patty Kostreva, Sue Rowbottom and Nancy Restyanszki. Special thanks to the VeggieTown Transit Co. workers and all the volunteers in the Nursery, Café and Recreation Center. VBS was a great success. We are very blessed to have such a high-energy group of dedicated volunteers. *

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Covenant Class Reports on Mission Efforts

Members of the 2001 Covenant Class were given an extra surprise on June 3rd. Thanks to an anonymous donation, immediately following their confirmation, Associate Minister Chris Rygh presented each student with a crisp $100 bill. His instructions were simple: "You are now a missionary of First Congregational Church. Over the summer you are to creatively spend this money in a way that will honor God and help others. You are not to spend this money on yourself. Be creative. And if you can, find a way to use this as seed money. In other words, multiply it before you gift it!" After instructing the students, Chris told them that they would be asked to account for their $100 at the end of the summer. What follows are stories of three students. More stories will follow in future issues of the Columns.

Kira-Lynn Reeves

Kira is using her $100 to help a nonprofit organization called Locks of Love. "It's an organization that makes hair pieces for children with long-term illnesses that cause hair loss," explained Kira. Each hairpiece costs between $2000-$5000 and it takes 10 to 20 10-inch hair donations to make one hairpiece! So a lot of time and hard work go into every one of the hairpieces they make. Over the summer, Kira and her mother visited 8 local hair salons to meet with the owners and discuss this project. "In my letter, I asked them to mention my project to their customers, ones who are having their long hair cut off. And, I'm thrilled. Everyone with whom I've met has been very supportive."

When a customer agrees to make this donation, Kira gets a call from the hair salon. "I was kind of nervous wondering whether anyone would go for this," Kira said with raised eyebrows, "but then I got my first call. It is nice to know that others out there share my passion for this. Now we're rolling." The $100.00 Kira received on June 3 will be used to pay for postage, packaging and thank you notes.

Kramer Kelling

Kramer Kelling is turning into a rummage sale junkie! As his response to the $100 challenge, Kramer is collecting and delivering children's clothing to our mission in Honduras. "Last spring my sister, Diana, visited Honduras with the team from our church. I was really surprised by some of the stories she told me. For example, she told how the team members left extra clothes at the mission. The very next day my sister saw children wearing the clothes she'd just donated!"

So inspired, Kramer decided that he would spend the summer visiting neighborhood garage sales in order to acquire as many pieces of clothing as he could. "I've learned several lessons," said Kramer with his characteristic broad smile. "The first thing is that $10 can buy a lot of used clothes. The second thing is that a regular-sized box can hold a lot of kid s' stuff, especially when we're talking about shorts and t-shirts and baby outfits."

Kramer is discovering that sometimes resources can be stretched. "I thought I'd have this wrapped up in an afternoon! I don't mean to sound ungrateful, but it is taking me a long time to get rid of all the money! And to make matters worse," he added with a grin, "people in my family keep adding to the money I'm trying to spend. This could drag on for months!"

Alex Regner

Alex Regner chose to apply his money to the Sojourner Truth House, a non-profit organization that helps abused women. "I'd heard about the Sojourner Truth House at school and so I did a little research to find out more about this place and what they do."

What Alex discovered impressed him. "I think Jesus would be proud of what this organization stands for. They really help people who need help. Jesus said we should do extra for people who need homes and clothes and food. Well, the Sojourner Truth House provides all of that."

Not only did Alex donate his $100 to assist the home in its outreach efforts, he also created posters and flyers and sought to multiply his seed money by soliciting other donations. "I guess you could call me an ambassador. I'm asking lots of people to help me support the Sojourner Truth House. So far I've only had several other donations" said Alex, "but that doesn't bother me. I think I'll stick with this project for awhile."

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New Adult Bible Study

The Board of Christian Education is pleased to announce that this fall, Maurie Daigneau will be expanding his Bible Study ministry to include all interested adults. Beginning on Sunday, September 9th, a new adult study will be offered from 3:30­5:00 p.m. in the Fellowship Lounge. The study will be called "A Journey in Faith Development" and will be held on the second and fourth Sundays of each ensuing month. This opportunity comes in response to a request from those in the Wednesday group wishing to include their wives in a study opportunity.

John R. W. Stott, known worldwide as a preacher, evangelist, and communicator of Scripture, has called the book of Romans, "the fullest and most coherent manifesto of the Christian Gospel in the New Testament." Our study will first set the stage with a brief look at the book of Job and then journey into and through Paul's writings to the Romans, attempting to discover exactly what it is that has made this book so significant throughout the history of the church. Along the way, we will pose and attempt to answer some of life's toughest questions. For example:

What is faith?

What is the purpose of life?

What is it that Christ really
did for us?

How, in light of what He
accomplished, are we then to live?

Each session we will look at key thoughts from the designated Scriptures, endeavoring to learn from the messages and teachings therein. Each session a "key thoughts" question sheet will be presented and reviewed. Then the Scripture to be reviewed for the next session will be identified. An initial sign-up in the church office is requested; but, the study will always be open to any and all interested parties. *

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Breakfast with the Girls

Just a reminder ­ on September 8th, at 9:00 a.m., we're kicking off the new season in style with the return of Molly O'Connell. For those of you who heard her the last time, this is great news (bring friends)! It will be a different program than last year, but you can expect the same combination of humor and wisdom. This year's program is entitled "What You Are Is Where You've Been."

Also, please remember that we will be asking $5.00 per Saturday this year, but we are also going to offer an advance "Breakfast With the Girls" ticket package of 8 tickets for $35.00. The tickets will be transferable (use one for yourself-one for a guest etc.) at your discretion. You could even make a pack of tickets a gift idea!! The ticket packages are available for purchase at the church office. *

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Senior Minister Search Process Enters "Phase II"

The search has now entered its "Phase II" stage, which includes the following parts: (1) the training of all Search Committee members regarding the search process, using external and internal resources, to insure that "all members of the committee are 'on the same page;'" (2) invitations to selected and/or recommended potential candidates to submit documents and resumés showing their experience, background, education and theological beliefs; (3) the collection of recommendations from members of First Congregational Church and from other friends of our church who are familiar with our church, its needs, and with qualifications we require; (4) the processing of applications received from candidates who apply "without recommendations," but who express an interest in our position; (5) the writing of letters and the making of phone calls to candidates and potential candidates regarding our position, providing information about our church as well as the results of our Focus Group Survey and (6) the continuation of all the above until a suitable number of acceptable and possibly "FINAL" candidates is attained.

With regard to (4) above, several applications have been received
and the candidates informed,
most kindly, of their non-
candidacy status.

The search process is an ongoing one until all the above have been satisfactorily accomplished, at which time "Phase III' of the search process can begin. Phase II is expected to continue at least through the remainder of 2001 and perhaps into 2002.

"How long will it take?" is a question often asked of Search Committee members, second only to "Are you finding any good candidates?" The search process can take one year or more. The committee is using advanced search methods to insure that the desired results are achieved in "the shortest possible time." Members of the committee have unanimously expressed, at several regular meetings, that "the quality of our final candidates is far more important to us than 'getting someone on board quickly,' to fill our pulpit."

Members of the Search Committee are: Julie Anheuser, Mark Boettcher, Doug Jacobson, Gary Kebbekus, Phil Landis, Barb Lindl, Steve Russ, Diane Schowalter, Jeff Snell, Nancy Stevens and David Swanson(chairperson). *

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Standing Committees of the Church Council 2001

EXECUTIVE

Dick Koch
Cindy Payette
Steve Hayes
Rich Raymond
Susie Daigneau

BUDGET AND FINANCE

Cindy Payette(Ch)
Diane Houriet
Steve Russ
John O'Meara
Doug Jacobson
Bill Rose
Rich Raymond
Stew Davis
Rani Gusho, Ex-Off.

PERSONNEL

Stew Davis (Ch)
Cindy Payette
Laura Anderson
Dick Koch
Gordon Perry
Paul Schulze
Mark Boettcher

MUSIC

Carrie Sgarlata
Don Miesbauer
De McDermott
Doris Nolinske (Ch)
Joan Halvorson
Lee Jacobi, Ex-Off.
Doug Lobb, Ex-Off.

HERITAGE ENDOWMENT

Dick Koch (Ch)
Diane Houriet
Cindy Payette
Rod Schmidt
Doug Lobb, Ex-Off.

COMMUNICATIONS

Nancy Fisher
De McDermott
Joan Halvorson
Mary York (Ch)
Bill Edens
Beth Linscott, Ex-Off.
Kathy Rust, Ex-Off.

NOMINATING

John O'Meara
Joan Halvorson
Alida Smith
Carol Wittig
Tom Godfrey
Rani Gusho, Ex-Off.

LONG RANGE PLANNING

Tom Gold
Cindy Payette (Ch)
Hugh Hudson
Marty Vander Velde
Mary York
Doug Lobb, Ex-Off.

MEMBERSHIP

Susie Daigneau
Beth Kelling
Mary Berger
Barb Dunham
Lucy Miyazaki
Doug Lobb, Ex-Off.

MEMORIALS &
SPECIAL GIFTS

Charlie Wakefield
Chris Mason
David Moore
Steve Russ (Ch)
Mark Lemke
Butch Boyd

CONGREGATIONAL AID

Dick Koch
Steve Russ (Ch)
Susie Daigneau
Cathy Schmidt
Kathy Rust, Ex-Off.

SCHOLARSHIP

Dick Koch
Bill Rose
Doug Lobb, Ex-Off.

PROGRAM
DEVELOPMENT
& SPECIAL EVENTS

Dick Koch (Ch)
Tom Gold
Carrie Sgarlata
Rod Schmidt
Doug Lobb, Ex-Off.

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In Brief

Senior Women

will meet on September 10, at 10 a.m. Tom Rondeau will be joining the group for the program, reading pet stories. Need a ride? Call Holly Krull at 262-560-0292 or Kris Schulze at 262-695-1059. Bring a friend...all are welcome.

Circle 12

will meet in the church lounge at 11:00 a.m., on September 26. Chris Lobb will present a program on quilts. Please call Martha Haagensen at 256-6905 for reservations.

Fish Boil

The September All-Church dinner is the very popular fish boil. Scheduled for September 12, 6:00 p.m., the night promises wonderful entertainment in addition to the mouth-watering meal. Church member Steve Russ' quartet "Praise=3-D Fourmation" will be performing. Each family is asked to bring a loaf of your favorite pre-sliced bread. The cost is $7.00/adult and $2.00/child. While reservations may be accepted until September 9, save your spot early as only the first 150 pre-paid reservations can be allowed ­ this one fills up quickly!

Blank note cards with a sketch of the front of the church, featuring the steeple, are again on sale in the church office. The cards are being sold in packages of 10 for $8.00 or 2 packs for $15.

 

The deadline for submitting articles for the next issue of the Columns is

Sunday, September 16

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Congregational Columns

www.FirstChurchTosa.org

Editor, Beth Linscott

Communications Committee

Mary York - Chairperson,
Nancy Fisher, Joan Halvorson,
De McDermott, Bill Edens

*

Rev. Dr. Douglas Lobb, Interim Minister

Rev. Kathryn Rust, Associate Minister

Rev. Chris Rygh, Associate Minister

Rev. Dr. Charles Goldsmith,
Congregational Home Chaplain

Rani Gusho, Administrator

Lee Jacobi, Director of Music

Betty Dethmers, Organist

Michelle Jackson, Parish Nurse

Sally Boyle, Secretary

Nancy Grundle, Secretary

Anne Callen, Secretary

Charles Nelson, Administrator, Congregational Home, Inc.

Rev. Dr. Norman S. Ream, Minister Emeritus

*

Congregational Columns (USPS 010-493) is published monthly by The First Congregational Church of Wauwatosa, 1511 Church St., Wauwatosa, WI 53213-2593, 414/258-7375. Periodical Postage Paid at Milwaukee, WI 53203-9998. Postmaster: Send address changes to Congregational Columns, 1511 Church St., Wauwatosa, WI 53213-2593.

Vol. 10, Issue 8