October 2005

First in faith, freedom, fellowship, and Wauwatosa

 


 

Table of Contents

Hurricane Katrina Relief Opportunities Reviewed

Jim Walsh Honored for NACCC Service

Pioneer Club Camps Out/Kicks Off

Minister's Musings

PF Place


Breakfast with the Girls

Give Your Musical Gifts (Back) to God

Welcome Miinisterial Intern R. Duane Coates

CFTS Scholarship Recipient Visists First Church

Fall Work Day Scheduled for October 29th

Lectionary Readings

In Brief



Hurricane Katrina Relief Opportunities Continue To Be Reviewed

As the disaster unfolds along the Gulf coast and the various government agencies begin coordinating the task of rescuing the survivors, it has become apparent that additional funds aren’t needed in the short term. In addition we are aware of no Congregational churches that need our immediate assistance.

As the FCC Board of Benevolences reviews the options available for the congregation to help with the relief effort, three requirements are at the forefront of our discussions:
1) Is the project Christ centered?
2) Is there an opportunity that allows members of our congregation to get personally involved and will result in a measurable and direct impact on the relief effort?
3) Is there accountability in how our funds are administered and spent?
Please be assured that the Board of Benevolences will soon find a group or organization that will need our assistance and fulfill the requirements above.

For those in our congregation who are moved to get involved immediately with the relief effort, there are a number of organizations like the Red Cross and Salvation Army that are accepting donations.

For those who would like to make donations to a Congregational organization, the NACCC Missionary Society is accepting One Great Hour of Sharing Funds for the victims of Hurricane Katrina. Relief funds will be distributed through any affected churches, mission projects, and the Salvation Army.

In the meantime, please keep the victims in your prayers and stay tuned for upcoming announcements as Hurricane Katrina relief efforts continue to develop.


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Jim Walsh Honored for NACCC Service

On September 18th Dr. Steven Peay presented Jim Walsh with the “Spirit of Christian Life Award” from the National Association of Congregational Christian Churches. Jim recently stepped down after having served as the NACCC’s treasurer for ten years. He was recognized at the NA’s Annual Meeting in June, but NA Executive Secretary Rev. Dr. Thomas Richard asked his home church to give him the certificate. Jim has served First Church in many ways and continues to do so as assistant treasurer. He and his wife Gloria make their home in Elm Grove.


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Pioneer Club Camps Out/Kicks Off

Pioneer Club Camp Out
On Monday, August 28th, 32 Pioneers and 7 adults left the church parking lot for their second annual overnight campout. The campout was held at Camp Whitcomb-Mason located in Hartland. During their stay the children enjoyed the usual camp activities such as swimming, singing by the campfire, eating s’mores and creating crafts from nature. The Rev. Carrie Kreps-Wegenast played some get acquainted games and led devotions. The biggest surprise during the camp-out was that camp food (at least at Camp Whitcomb- Mason) is actually very good. Everyone returned with great memories, stronger friendships and a deeper faith. The only complaint from the campers was that the camping trip was too short. Special thanks to all the volunteers who made this special event possible.

Pioneer Club Kick Off
The Pioneer Club will host their annual kick off party on Monday September 26th at 5:30 pm. The celebration will start out with a build-your-own taco bar and conclude with a build-your-own sundae bar. The evening will include faith building games, discussions, crafts and music.
Children 1st through 6th grade are welcome to attend and to bring their friends. There is no fee for this special event, but the Pioneers will be accepting donations of canned pre-mixed formula, diapers and baby wipes to aid the families displaced by hurricane Katrina residing at State Fair Park. If you have any questions or would like to enroll please fill out the form below and return to the church office or contact Carla Cummings at 414-258-7375.

Pioneer Club Enrollment
Student Name _________________________
Grade Level______________ School ____________________
Parent/Guardian Name(s) _________________________
Address ____________________________
__________________________________
Telephone ______________________________
E-mail ________________________
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Minister’s Musings
A Vision for Our Church

As I write this, Rally Sunday is a delightful memory. The meeting house was packed with children and adults ready to begin the new church program year. We met our intern Duane Coates from Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary and Seth Jones, the co-recipient of our annual scholarship for the Congrega-tional Foundation for Theological Studies. It was a great day and a good beginning to our commitment to “Rekindle the Gift” that we have and are as the First Congregational Church of Wauwatosa.
I shared my vision for FCC during the sermon and I’d like to put those points in here, so that those who were not able to be with us on September 11 can see them as well.

• First, I see our church as a welcoming, safe, and loving place. This is a community where people seeking refuge, healing, companionship and growth in the spiritual life can come knowing that they will be accepted and welcomed. I hope that we become a place where people know that their opinions will be respected and points of view cherished. It doesn’t mean that we won’t disagree, but it means that we will seek to grow together in a positive, loving and Christ-like manner.

• Second, I see First Congregational Church as a place where we practice a “generous orthodoxy.” This concept, from Brian McLaren’s book of the same name, is derived from the thought of theologians Hans Frei and Stanley Grenz. It holds to a base of classical Christian thought and is yet open to dialogue and exploration. McLaren talks about it as consistent with a practice of humility, charity, courage and diligence. As he writes, “…humility that allows us to admit that our past and current formulations may have been limited or distorted. Charity toward those of other traditions who may understand some things better than our group… Courage to be faithful to the true path of our faith as we understand it even when it is unpopular, dangerous and difficult to do so. Diligence to seek again and again the true path of our faith whenever we feel we have lost our way, which seems to be pretty often.” [A Generous Orthodoxy, p. 30] In other words, we stand in the ancient tradition of Congregation-alism, committed to a passionate, reasoned and authentic faith where heads are welcomed along with hearts to our meeting house.

• Third, I see our church as a place where we take our gifts (and here I would include our time, our talent and our treasure) and use them appropriately to the glory of God and the common good. It’s time for us to break out of the so-called “80/20 Rule” that plagues organizations like ours – where 20 percent of the people do 80 percent of the work. That is not how a Congre-gational Church is supposed to work. We intentionally enter into covenant relationship and then live that out in mutual concern and responsibility. It is time for us to take our covenant responsibility seriously – we have made this covenant with God and with one another, which means that there is accountability involved here.

Further, I believe that we are already on our way to becoming a “practicing congregation.” The staff is reading Diana Butler Bass’ wonderful book The Practicing Congregation: Imaging a New Old Church. Bass talks about how mainline churches like ours have actually been changing over the years in order to respond to a changing society. She describes practicing congregations as those which “weave together Christian practices – activities drawn from the long Christian tradition – into a pattern of being church that forms an intentional way of life in the community.” [p.3] She also notes that the May 2004 newsletter Religion Watch “notes a decline of interest among younger Americans for ‘baby boomer-led megachurches and their programmed, entertainment-based approach’ in favor of small to medium-sized congregations with more liturgical forms of worship.” [p.13] As I read Bass’ book, I see First Congregational Church and I think that we need to become more of what we are, rather than trying to change to become something that we’re not. Thus, our covenant renewal process to “rekindle the gift of God” that is within us as the Lord’s free and gathered people here on Church Street.
Finally, I want to thank the Board of Stewardship, the Church Council, my colleagues on the staff, and all of you who have stepped-up to support the effort to “rekindle the gift.” This idea really started with one of our lay-leaders, Doug Jacobson, and I look forward to more and more folks making the same kind of suggestions, “dreaming dreams and seeing visions” that will enable First Congregational Church to be vital, caring, welcoming, healing place that God wants us to be. Let me also voice my thanks for all the prayers, good wishes, and remembrances that came during my recent surgery and recovery. It’s good to be back at it and it’s a good and holy and delightful thing to be your minister! God bless you all!

Yours in “Rekindling the Gift,”
Rev. Steven A. Peay, Ph.D.
Senior Minister

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PF Place

Let’s get together! Any youth from grades six through twelve is invited to be a part of Pilgrim Fellowship. Join us for Sunday night meetings, Second Saturdays, a Rally or overnight. This fall the Junior PF will be learning to play the bells for worship on November 13 and the Senior PF will be exploring ways to serve the community. Bring a friend to share in the fun and fellowship!

Bend It Like Beckham (PG-13) – See this wonderful and fun soccer movie at October’s Second Saturday. This story is about a teenage girl in England who wants nothing more than to play soccer like her idol David Beckham. She is invited to join an all girls’ team but her India immigrant parents do not think a young lady should play sports. Instead, Jesminder “Jess” Bhamra must learn how to cook traditional Indian foods and help her sister plan a wedding. Come see what happens when Jess joins the team and become a soccer star!

Worship God in your everyday lives! WCA Junior PF Rally on October 21-22, 2005! Join youth from all over the state to find out how it is possible to worship God while singing, praying, playing games, eating pizza, watching movies, having fun, and doing mission work. The overnight is at First Congregational Church of Beloit. See CKW for consent forms and more info. Forms and money due October 9th!

PF Trivia– Pick one of October’s holidays (Rosh Hashanah, Ramadan, Yom Kippur, or Halloween) and write CKW an email with Who, When, Why, How, Where, and What. The first person to respond will receive a $10 gift card to Noodles and Company!

 

Youth Calendar
October
2 Junior PF – 4:30-6 p.m., Senior PF – 6:30-8 p.m.
5 Mexican Fiesta All Church Dinner, Mazahua Fundraiser – 6 p.m.
8 Second Saturday presents Bend It , Like Beckham – 6-9 pm.
9 Junior PF – 4:30-6 p.m., Senior PF – 6:30-8 p.m.
16 Junior PF – 4:30-6 p.m., Senior PF – 6:30-8 p.m.
21-22 Junior PF Rally @ Beloit, WI Fri., 5 p.m. – Sat., 3:30 p.m.
23 Junior PF – 4:30-6 p.m., Senior PF – 6:30-8 p.m.

Looking Ahead… November
4-5 Junior PF Overnight @ FCC Service and Worship – 4:30 p.m. – 9:30 a.m.
11-12 Senior PF WCA Rally
13 Junior PF Worship and Bell Choir – 8:45 & 11 a.m.

How to reach Carrie Kreps Wegenast
Phones: Church – (414) 258-7375
Cell – (414) 467-3874
Home – (414) 476-8213
Email: KrepsWegenastC@firstchurchtosa.org
AIM: revkw1511
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Breakfast with the Girls
Fall/Winter Decorating
Next on the Schedule

Breakfast with the Girls got off to a wonderful start in September with Barbara Brown Lee of the Milwaukee Art Museum. As always, she was both entertaining and educational as she brought to life the art and culture of our country’s early years through homes, furnishings and decorative pieces.

She tells us that she will have a “Part Two” for us, so we know she will be back.
On October 8, Melody Narr of Landworks will be our guest and we are excited about her program, “Super awesome and easy decorating and entertaining ideas for Fall and Winter.” The program will include new indoor and outdoor lighting ideas. We know you won’t want to miss this fun morning.

Sign up if you can. Goodies are always welcome and we’ll see you then!
— Char Schweitzer
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Give Your Musical Gifts (Back) to God

Our congregation is embarking upon deepening our personal understanding of what covenant means and how it impacts upon what we do and how we live. This six-week project has the potential to be a life-changing event for each of us. The opportunity for us to critically examine how our faith impacts our living holds the promise of excitement and change.

The fall season of 2005 provides for many of you a chance to serve God and your church by becoming a part of the musical family of our community. Dr. Peay recently reminded us from the pulpit that in our worship lives, "we are the players and God is the audience."
I invite you to commit to joining the music ministry of our fellowship.

We welcome new participants to the music program. This fall, I ask you to consider that you live your faith through music at First Church. Our covenant asks each of us to "grow in the knowledge and expression of our faith" and "to return to God a portion of God’s gifts."
Our time and talent, precious gifts given to us by our beloved God, are valuable things to ask for. But I would be bold to ask each of you to consider how you can, by your participation, contribute your God-given gifts to aid the faith life of our congregation. I know there are many of you in the congregation who have musical training. I know many of you are music lovers and music makers. I know how this congregation values music and worship. Our music program’s needs and wants your help. Our Handbell Choir needs additional ringers to help sustain its program. Our Jr. and Cherub Choirs are always looking for more children to join them. We rehearse on Sunday mornings to help make participation in rehearsals convenient for moms and dads. And the Pilgrim and Chancel Choirs welcome you to join us.

We are fortunate to have a vibrant music program to enhance our congregation’s worship life. Please consider joining us. It is very easy: simply let us know by contacting either the church office, or speak with any of the directors. Re-Kindle the Gift! Give your best, your time and your talent to our gracious and generous God and to your congregation.
— Lee Jacobi
Director of Music


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Welcome Ministerial Intern R. Duane Coates

Over the past few weeks, many of you have had the opportunity to meet Duane Coates, the ministerial intern with us during his third year at Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary. For the next (academic) year, Duane will spend his weekends (Saturday mornings through Monday afternoons) here. He looks forward to aiding the ministers and learning from each of them, as well as you, how to “better pastor.”

Duane was born and raised in South Dakota. His father is a recently retired United Methodist minister. With siblings in Iowa and South Dakota, he hopes to return to the Dakotas when he completes his Master of Divinity degree in May.

Prior to his call to ministry, Duane earned his bachelor degree in Journalism and Political Science and worked in print journalism. Starting out with Dickinson Press in North Dakota, he worked as a public affairs reporter/ copy editor/ photographer. From that position, he moved on to a managing editor position for a small paper also in North Dakota and then became a copy editor in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Gifted with journalistic talents, Duane considers it his first ministry but felt it wasn’t a perfect match for him. As he became more involved with his church, he gave up his journalism career in 2003 to pursue full-time ministry with the church.

While he thinks he may return to the United Methodist Church, this field setting may help him discern if Congregational ministry might be his path. “I know I want to be walking with people, helping them to lead more faithful lives,” said Duane.

His last field setting was a long-term care facility and Duane looks forward to the longer-term relationships possible in a church setting.
While Duane really enjoys the academic work which consumes much of his time, he also enjoys music, games and puzzles. Welcome Duane!
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CFTS Scholarship Recipient Visits
First Church on Rally Sunday

On Rally Sunday, First Congregational Church was fortunate to meet the very scholar for whom we were raising money on Rally Sunday special offering. Seth Jones of Edina, MN was able to express his thanks in person from the pulpit of our church at both the 8:45 and 11:00 services.

CFTS (Congregational Foundation for Theological Studies) offers a unique "pathway to service." This pathway leads from a local church through a seminary, special seminars on Congregational history and polity, a supervised ministerial internship, clinical pastoral education, ministry workshops, then to graduation and ordination and finally back to service in the local church.

The Congregational Foundation for Theological Studies is the only program in existence today whose sole purpose is preparing men and women for ministry to churches committed to the Congregational Way. As our National Association grows, the need for Congregationally-trained ministers grows as well.

In addition to speaking from the pulpit Seth had the opportunity to meet the congregation during the coffee hour in between services. He was also escorted by Rev. Kreps-Wegenast to many of the Sunday School classrooms where he had an opportunity to explain to the students what it was like to study for the ministry. Questions included:“What does it mean to be “called” to the ministry?”
And “How long does it take to learn to be a minister?

We wish Seth all the best in his pursuit of his calling.
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Fall Work Day Scheduled for October 29th

The annual fall clean up day has been scheduled and is coming up fast! It’s that time of the year when the Board of Trustees looks for volunteers of all ages to spend all or part of the day sprucing up our church inside and preparing the outside for winter.
There are activities for any and all skill levels. There’s plenty of cleaning to be done on the inside of the building. For example, Sunday school room furniture and toys in the nursery need scrubbing. All of the woodwork in the Nave needs a good cleaning and windows need washing. Furniture in the Parlor, Resource Center and Friendship Lounge needs cleaning and polishing. The kitchen also needs to have cupboards and appliances cleaned.

Outdoor activities include lawn and garden work. Bring along your lawn and garden tools, carts, and ladders. We want to remove the annuals from the flowerbeds and trim and shape the perennials, shrubs and trees. First floor windows on the outside also need to be washed. Some painting and caulking also needs to be done.

Children are welcome. It is a wonderful way for them to use their energy and give something back to the church. They can work with their parents, other adults, or youth depending on their level of independence.

The schedule is:
Donuts and coffee at 8:00 a.m.
Work starts anytime after that.
Lunch served around Noon.
The day finishes around 3:00 p.m.

We always need help in the afternoon to get things put away so the church is ready for worship on Sunday morning. Please come for just a few hours if your schedule permits.

Childcare will be made available if we know IN ADVANCE that there is a need for it. Please register for the workday event with the number of children requiring child care. We need to know how many childcare providers are needed and be able to give them proper notice. Please register by email or by signing up in the church office.

Mark the date and join us for this day of fellowship and fun. Sign up at tables in the Atrium in October or at the church office so we can plan for meal quantities. See you on the 29th!
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Lectionary Readings


October 2 20th Sunday after Pentecost
Old Testament Exodus 20:1–4, 7-9, 12–20
Psalmody Psalm 19
New Testament Philippians 3:4b–14
Gospel Matthew 21:33–46

October 9 21st Sunday after Pentecost
Old Testament Exodus 32:1–14
Psalmody Psalm 106:1–6, 19–23
New Testament Philippians 4:1–9
Gospel Matthew 22:1–14

October 16 22nd Sunday after Pentecost
Old Testament Exodus 33:12–23
Psalmody Psalm 99
New Testament 1 Thessalonians 1:1–10
Gospel Matthew 22:15–22

October 23 23rd Sunday after Pentecost
Old Testament Deuteronomy 34:1–12
Psalmody Psalm 90:1–6, 13–17
New Testament 1 Thessalonians 2:1–8
Gospel Matthew 22:34–46

October 30 24th Sunday after Pentecost,
Reformation Sunday
Old Testament Joshua 3:7–17
Psalmody Psalm 107:1-7, 33–37
New Testament 1 Thessalonians 2:9–13
Gospel Matthew 23:1–12
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In Brief


Join us for a Mexican Fiesta and Mission Trip Fundraiser!
The Mazahua Mexico Mission Team is bringing South of the Border foods to Church Street for October’s All Church Dinner
October 5, 2005, at 6 p.m. The cost is $5/adult, $3/child and a free will offering to send 15 of our senior high youth, college students, and adults to Mission Mazahua December 26, 2005–January 2, 2006. Please sign up in the church office by October 2.

 

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

Monday, October 17, noon.
Please email to Beth Linscott at ddinc@wi.rr.com or Sam Schaal at schaals@firstchurchtosa.org.
Hard copy may be brought to the church office and left in the Columns mailbox.

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Congregational Columns

www.FirstChurchTosa.org
Editor, Beth Linscott
Communications Committee
Tammy Bokern-chairperson, Arlette Lindbergh, Marilyn Auer,
Sally Wells, Lisa Mauer
*

Rev. Steven Peay, Ph.D., Minister

Rev. Samuel Schaal, Associate Minister

Rev. Carrie Kreps Wegenast, Associate Minister

Rev. Charles Goldsmith, Ph.D., Congregational Home Chaplain

Cindy Payette, Administrator

Lee Jacobi, Director of Music

Betty Dethmers, Organist

Anne Callen, Office Manager

Sharon Cook-Bahr, Secretary

Charles Nelson, Pres./CEO, Congregational Home, Inc.
*
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. 20, Issue 9