First

September 30, 2001

 


Table of Contents

October is Stewardship Month

Trustees Address Entrance

Help Needed for November Workday

Q & A About the Search Process

Covenant Class Reports on Mission Efforts

2001 Teaching Staff

Breakfast with the Girls

News Briefs

All-Church Meeting Passed Budget

Church Governance Survey

In Brief/ Our Church Family

 


October is Stewardship Month at
First Congregational Church

Finally, we have adopted an amended budget for the 2001 year. The action taken closes out a troubling and disruptive year in the life of our Church. Despite the issues, First Church is alive and doing very well, thanks to the dedicated leadership and the response of you, the members.

Now, it is time to look ahead, and that means we must begin thinking about our commitment to God for the year 2002. Under the leadership of the Stewardship Committee, a progressive and aggressive program has been developed. The entire month of October will be devoted to an emphasis on Stewardship as our enthusiastic response to a gracious God.

Please note the following schedule of
stewardship events.

October 3. All-Church dinner followed by a stewardship learning workshop led by Rev. Bob Carlson of Bangor, Maine. Please make every effort to participate in this learning experience.

October 7- "Introduction Sunday"

Sermon- "It's Not About Receiving"

Mark 19 :16-30

October 14- "World Wide Communion Sunday and Our Stewardship Kickoff"

Sermon- "Soup for Breakfast"

Matthew 19:16-30

October 21 "Consecration Sunday"

Sermon: "Making Sure the Kiss Still Works"

1 Corinthians 12:27- 13:3

October 28 "Gratitude Sunday" "Reception of Members"

Sermon: "The Kingdom is Here"

Luke 17:11-19

October is the time for every member of this Church to become acquainted with just what Christian stewardship is and become familiar with the needs of this congregation and the Church building.

Here is an opportunity to put into practice your stewardship of attendance. Plan NOW to be present at all of the events of the month so that we can be an informed and responsive people. *

Rev. Dr. Douglas Lobb

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Trustees Address Entrance

The Trustees are replacing the 1919 upper steps, porch slab and the column bases at the front of the church. The freezing and thawing of the past winters have taken a toll on the concrete steps and the column bases. They started to crumble. After years of patching, previous repair work was popping out and patching was no longer an option.

Replacement of the front steps was not in the budget, but the Board of Trustees had to do something to prevent an accident and to restore the front of the church. Through a generous bequest by the Heth family, the funds for this project became available this year.

Support of the portico and especially the columns became the controlling factor. There was no clear documentation of how they were attached to the upper structure. A structural engineer was hired. Steel columns to support the portico and a beam to hold the columns from the bottom were designed.

The supports were installed on Aug. 30 and 31. The column bases were removed and replaced by Sept 7. As of the writing of this article, the steps and upper porch are gone. Forms are in place for the new steps. The project is scheduled for completion by October 1, 2001. *

Richard Raymond

 

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Your Help is Needed at
November Workday

Our All-Church Workday will take place on Saturday, November 10, 2001, from 9:00 a.m. ­ 3:00 p.m. Child care will be provided. Our Fall workday is later in the season than previous years due to other program activities taking place on Saturdays at the church. Because it is later, outside clean-up will be done if weather permits. Listed below are some of the areas where help is needed:

Outside activities:

Trim shrubs

Weed flower beds

Trim trees

Rake leaves

Edge and trim lawn

Inside projects:

Clean the Nave chandeliers, pews and choir loft

Clean woodwork, doors and windows throughout the church

Clean/repair classroom equipment

Deep clean kitchen

Paint - various areas

Polish furniture in the lounge, parlor and resource center

Special skills:

Electrical circuit tracing and identification

West porch column base replacement

Furniture repair

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Questions and Answers about the
Search Process

"Will the congregation have a chance to vote, to choose from several final candidates, for our Senior Minister position? I'd like to have a personal vote in this selection."

No; we will not have an all-church meeting in which a "vote for one of several candidates" will be conducted. Ours is a situation similar to one where employees of any organization, even in a situation where the employees own the company, do not choose the executives of the organization; these responsibilities are delegated to specialists, or in the case of churches, to boards and committees. Usually, as in our case, a special "search committee" is formed by churches seeking a new minister. Because the time required for this task is extensive, (existing) committees would be unable to add these highly time-consuming responsibilities to their existing duties.

Under our democratic Congregational process, the Search Committee has embarked on a process of professional training for itself and is utilizing professional, executive-level search methods to attract, and then to select, the best-qualified candidates, in accordance with the traditions of our church and the Focus Group Survey results. As Dr. Douglas Lobb, former Executive Secretary of the National Association of Congregational Christian Churches, said in his sermon to us on August 26, 2001:

"The congregation elects people to serve on boards and committees. In a Congregational Church, we believe that, 'where two or three are gathered together, in the name of Christ, Christ is there in their midst.' That is a Church, and the Church is real.

"Now comes the hard part. . . part of discipleship is that we trust the leadership of the people we have elected; because, just as the boards and committees have their roles defined, so does the Congregation. It is not the prerogative of the body to second-guess the work of the committees, unless those committees are overstepping the duties prescribed to them."

"How long will Dr. Lobb stay with us as our Senior Interim Minister? Would he consider staying on being our Senior Minister?"

Doug and Chris Lobb have been kind enough to agree to stay with us "for about one calendar year." Because Dr. Lobb began his interim ministry with us on June 1, 2001, their plans are to resume their move into retirement, and to relocate to their native British Columbia, Canada. This will happen whenever a candidate is selected, or relatively soon after May 31, 2002.

"What will happen if we don't reach our timetable-goal to have a Senior Minister selected, voted on and approved by the congregation, and ready to assume our pulpit by the time Dr. Lobb leaves?"

The Search Committee is making every effort to insure that our candidate is selected in time to arrive here prior to Dr. Lobb's departure; arrangements are proceeding in ways which should allow that candidate to join us "earlier, rather than later." However, potential factors such as a minister's family's aging parents; their children being enrolled in school; and their need to give-notice to their current congregation may all have an adverse and delaying effect on our timetable.

If Dr. and Mrs. Lobb, for whatever reason, must leave before our selected candidate arrives, then our options may include:

A) the other ministers on our staff will fill-in until a new Senior Minister arrives at FCC; and/or

B) appropriate ministers, such as Rev. Richard Buchman, Dr. Charles Goldsmith, Rev. Phil Jackson, Rev. Robert Wilch, and others, may be invited to preach in our pulpit, to work with Kathy Rust and Chris Rygh, and to perform weddings, memorial services, et al; and/or

C) another (subsequent) interim minister might be asked to act as our Interim Senior Minister, following Dr. Lobb's departure, until "Final Recommended Candidate" has been approved, called, accepts, and arrives at FCC.

Our objective is to locate and to call the very best person to lead our church; the timeframe, while important, is secondary to our attaining that primary objective. *

Dave Swanson

Search Committee Chairperson

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Covenant Class Reports on Mission Efforts

In last month's Columns, we began to share with you reports from the 2001 Covenant Class. At their confirmation on June 3rd, the class was surprised by an anonymous donation of $100 for each student. The confirmands were asked to be missionaries for First Church and to find ways to "creatively spend this money in a way that will honor God and help others." We continue with reports about the activities of three other class members this month.

Rachel Halvorson

After doing some brainstorming and researching for project ideas, Rachel learned of a program offered at Children's Hospital called School Connections. School Connections provides school supplies for under privileged students preparing to go back to school. Children's Hospital is just one of the sponsors that helps to collect and distribute the supplies to needy families. "I was glad my Mom found a flyer at work about this program at Children's Hospital. It felt really good to buy the supplies and deliver them, and to know that some children in Milwaukee would be able to use them," Rachel said.

Nathan Eggert

This summer, Nathan decided to use his money to donate to the Sharon Swatek Fund. Sharon Swatek's husband is a Wauwatosa firefighter. She was attacked by a form of strep this summer that nearly killed her and has left her with her arms and parts of her legs amputated. Medical bills are staggering.

But Nathan did much more than simply donating his gift. With true missionary spirit, Nathan recruited others to join him in this effort. "I wrote to twenty-five area businesses and asked them to match my donation," Nathan explained. Two of those businesses, so far, have matched Nathan's donation. He quickly added that many other businesses let him know that they had already made donations to the fund. "It felt really good to get those responses, even if they didn't match my donation, but it was especially exciting to get the checks for the matching donations from Ann's Pizza and New Market." Thanks to Nathan's efforts, his donation of $100, has, to date, resulted in $300 donated to the Sharon Swatek Fund.

Lindsay Wittig

"At first I was really surprised by the donation, and a little nervous too. I just wasn't sure what I would do," Lindsay said as she talked about her use of the gift. After some time looking for the right project, Lindsay learned of a need at the Child Crisis Center in Milwaukee. The Center provides shelter to children in crisis and when the children leave the center, they are given a variety of things to take with them, including a book. Lindsay liked the idea of placing a book in a child's hands and was inspired to use her money toward that effort.

With a discount from Barnes and Noble Bookstore at Mayfair, Lindsay was able to make a sizable contribution of books to the Child Crisis Center. "It felt really good because I've never done anything like that before. As an ongoing responsibility, I will be donating a portion of my babysitting money and my parents will match my donation so I can continue to give back to the community." *

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2001 Teaching Staff

9:00

Nursery Kari Leon

2-yr-olds Sarah DeYoung/
Leslie O'Meara

3-yr-olds Missy Owen/Mark Hamm

4K Kaitlin O'Meara/
Kirsten Sorum

5K Carla Cummings/
Erin Callen/Stacy Reddy

1st grade Margaret Brown/
Karen D'Ambrisi/
Peggy Carollo/Lydia Prindl

2nd grade Robin & Tony Peterson
Tom & Paige Galfano

3rd grade Mary Eggert

4th grade Roger Gruebling

5th grade Jane & Butch Boyd

6th grade Laura Taylor

7th grade Carolyn Simpson/Amy Kraus

9­12 grades Paul Stein

11:00

Nursery­2-yr Sarah Reuss/Christy Pozayt

3 yr­5K Chris Mason & staff

grades 1­3 Karen Schmidt & staff

grades 4­6 Katherine Hudson & staff

7th grade Nancy Quinn

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Breakfast with the Girls

Saturday, September 8th, marked the first Breakfast With the Girls of our 2001-02 season. A wonderful crowd of about 60 of us gathered 'round the coffee pot to enjoy Molly O'Connell. She was her usual warm, sharing and witty self and had us all laughing as we looked at ourselves through her understanding eyes. Thanks to all who baked and helped and encouraged us!

An exciting change has taken place in our October 6th programming-too late for Ann who had already done the Congregationalist. We are so pleased to have the timely opportunity to hear from Gale Tanger. Aside from being a member of First Church, Gale is the Olympic Board Representative for US Figure Skating, the Assistant Chef de Mission­2002 Salt Lake City Winter Games, a World and Olympic Judge and International Referee. She also has time to be married and mother 2 sons -- WOW.

The ripple effect of the tragedy of September 11 will reach into so many areas of our national life, and security concerns at the Olympics will certainly be among them, so Gale's insider views should be of tremendous interest. We look forward to seeing all of you then. Bring a friend and let us know if you're coming! The coffee will be on by 9:00. You won't want to miss this one! *

Char Schweitzer

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News Briefs

New Member Classes

The Board of Deacons is pleased to announce that a series of New Member Classes is scheduled for October. The topics are as follows:

Sunday, October 7:
Christianity ­ Why Bother?

Sunday October 14: Congregationalism ­ United We Stagger

Sunday October 21:
First Congregational Church ­
Hatching, Matching, Dispatching: What's My Responsibility?

Sunday November 4:
Welcoming Visit at
Congregational Home

All classes will be held in the parlor at 10:00. They will be followed by Reception Sunday on October 28, when those who have completed the series will be welcomed into membership. Although designed especially for those interested in joining our Church, the classes are open to all members and anyone interested is cordially invited to attend. The series is a stimulating and inspirational way for all of us to refresh our knowledge of our Church and to renew our commitment to our faith.

Fall Family Festival November 3

On Saturday, November 3, First Church will host a Fall Festival for families. Though most of the activities will appeal more to preschool and elementary age children, there will be something at the event for all ages. "Again this year," said Chris Rygh, associate minister, "we will offer lots of carnival games and a cake walk. We will also offer a place where both parents and their children can decorate cookies." Besides various games, the festival will offer a harvest supper with kid-friendly foods. Tickets may be purchased at the door. Festival hours will be 5:30 to 7:30 on Saturday, November 3. *

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All-Church Meeting Passed Budget

On Sunday, September 16, 2001, members gathered for a special all-member meeting to review and vote on a revised 2001 budget. Moderator Dick Koch called the meeting to order and asked Rev. Rust to give the invocation followed by the reading of the covenant. The Moderator then read the call for the special meeting.

Vice Moderator and Chairperson of the Budget and Finance Committee, Cindy Payette, reviewed the events of the past year which lead to this meeting. In January 2001, and again in May, the membership voted in favor of a budget with a deficit of approximately $162,000. During that period, the Stewardship Committee, headed by Maurie Daigneau, worked very hard to raise additional pledge money and succeeded in attaining $625,000 in pledges for 2001. Cindy Payette spoke for the Council and all members in thanking the Stewardship Committee for their tireless work in a difficult year. In addition to raising more money, all boards kept spending to a minimum.

By June, pledges were still short of the goal, so the Council put in place a plan for borrowing money in case there was a shortfall over the summer. Our members came through with sufficient giving to avoid borrowing.

At the August and September Church Council meetings, the Budget and Finance Committee presented a variety of options to balance the 2001 budget. The Council decided not to cut programs, personnel or hours the church was open which would have been very drastic measures. Instead, they voted to revise the budget with cuts to Trustees, Christian Education and Benevolences. The Council stated that it was very important that the 2002 budget include a deferred maintenance budget line. It was noted that we have more than $20,000 in additional benevolence giving when special offerings, aid money and building use are included.

Following Cindy's presentation and subsequent questions, the revised, balanced budget was passed unanimously at the all-member meeting on September 16, 2001. *

Nancy Fisher

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Church Governance Survey

We invite your responses to the following topics. You may respond by returning this sheet to the church office with written answers or attend one of our Focus Group sessions, September 30 or October 7 at 10:00 in the Chapel.

Our church constitution provides for governance on a republican basis, whereby we as members elect representatives to vote and make decisions on our behalf in accordance with our By-Laws. This contrasts with a democratic system where every member would be responsible to vote on most issues.

  1. What is your response to our present governance framework?

Our Personnel Committee has the responsibility to advise the Council on all matters pertaining to personnel.

  1. How and by whom do you believe the performance of the Senior Minister should be evaluated?

The congregation elects all officers, board members and members of the Nominating Committee. The elected representatives appoint members of other committees.

  1. Should there be any change to this method?

In our By-Laws, an Active Member is defined as one who has been approved by the Board of Deacons based upon affirmation of the Purpose and ownership of the Covenant, participates in the services of worship or the organized work of the Church, and contributes to its support or otherwise shows an interest in the Church.

  1. Do you agree or disagree with this definition?

 

  1. Would you be more likely to attend a Membership Meeting if it were held on a weekday evening or a Sunday afternoon?

A quorum is the number of members of a body required to be present to transact business, in our case at a Membership Meeting. The present quorum requirement per our By-Laws is 5% of Active Members.

  1. Do you feel this is reasonable?

 

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In Brief/Our Church Family

October All-Church Dinner

features "Flavors of the Southwest." Join us on October 3, at 6:00 p.m. for a delicious dinner prepared by John Sgarlata. Following dinner, Rev. Robert Carlson will lead a workshop on the meaning of stewardship. The cost for dinner is $5/adults, $2/children under 12. The nursery will be open during the meeting.

11:00 Sunday School Returns

The 11:00 Sunday School started with much enthusiasm. Karen Schmidt & MaryLou Schowalter were in high gear leading the Sunday School team. We are excited to accommodate all ages of children and plan to have chapel services as part of our program.

Bridge Marathon

We're starting in October and would love to have you join us. We play in homes once a month. It's a great way to get acquainted. Call Joan Halvorson at 476-1963.

Marriage

Amanda Michelle Clark and William Frederick Krause III were married September 15, 2001.

One Great Hour of Sharing has been initiated. For all those who would like to make a special benevolence offering to help victims of the New York/Washington D.C./ Pittsburgh tragedy, you can make checks payable to First Congregational Church with "9/11 Fund" in the bottom corner. We will credit your statement under "Special Gifts" and pledge to distribute the funds through NA Churches in the three affected areas, or through agencies we are confident will get direct aid to survivors and the victims' families.

 

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

Sunday, October 14

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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 9