April 2005

First in faith, freedom, fellowship, and Wauwatosa



Table of Contents

Tsunami Relief Update

Minister's Musings

Spruce Up Our Church at Work Day on April 23

Covenant Class Takes Shape

PF Place

Breakfast with the Girls

Church Children Keeping Active

FCC Hosts Stem Cell Ethics Meeting

Sunday Symposium

Popular Vocalist Added to 4 O'clock Venue

WCA Meeting Eyes Ministry

Photographers Wanted

Strawberry Luncheon

Lectionary Readings

In Brief

Tsunami Relief Update

The final results are in and our congregation raised more than $16,000 for Tsunami Relief. The Board of Benevolences would like to thank each member of the congregation for their prayers and their contributions. A check was forwarded to the NACCC and was specifically directed to be spent for relief at the Travencore Council of Churches (TCC) in India and any remaining funds to be given to Church World Service for Tsunami Relief at other locations. In a recent e-mail the Rev. Kenaz Solomon said, “I am beyond words to thank the churches and individuals for the overwhelming support for Tsunami Relief. We thank the lord for these people who came to our rescue at a time of grave crisis like this….”

The Rev. Kenaz Solomon has outlined the following plan to provide relief to some of the 37 families who lost everything in the area at the southern tip of India the TCC serves: “What we have in mind is to buy two acres of land 500 meters away from the ocean and distribute it to those who completely lost their houses. We talked about this to some of the villagers including the village head man and they are very much excited about this plan. This way, we also feel your contributions are well spent. It is a long term solution.” In addition to the TCC plan another international organization is willing to build houses for them.

“ We are forming an association with all affected and are coordinating efforts for rehabilitation. We plan to start work on our church also (a Travencore beach damaged in the Tsunami). The fishing village to our west (Manakudy) is still worse. Hundreds lost their lives and houses, boats, and fishing nets were washed away. We want to help the villages as much as possible. We are maintaining a separate account for relief.”

In the coming months the Board of Benevolences will forward additional information on Tsunami Relief development as it becomes available.
— Ed Probst for the Board of Benevolences

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Minister’s Musings
Resurrection Touches Us Here

“Christ is Risen!”
“He is Risen, Indeed!”

By the time you read this Easter greeting and its response you will have heard it and said it multiple times! This is a joyous time of year. A time of year that reminds us of the hope and the life that is deep within each one of us and in the world around us.
I read something from Alexander Carmichael that I hope will inspire you as much as it did me.

The people say that the sun dances on this day in joy for a risen Saviour. Old Barbara Macphie at Dreimsdale saw this once, but only once, during her long life. And the good woman, of high natural intelligence, described in poetic language and with religious fervor what she saw or believed she saw from the summit of Benmore:

“ The glorious gold-bright sun was after rising on the crests of the great hills, and it was changing colour – green, purple, red, blood-red, white, intense-white, and gold-white, like the glory of the God of the elements to the children of men. It was dancing up and down in exultation at the joyous resurrection of the beloved Saviour of victory. To be thus privileged, a person must ascend to the top of the highest hill before sunrise, and believe that the God who makes the small blade of grass to grow is the same God who makes the large, massive sun to move.”

I hope and pray that you saw the sun dance for joy at Easter. Even more, I hope that you will look around you and see the world around you in a new way. Resurrection isn’t just something for the end of life. Rather, it touches us in our here and now and calls us to appreciate what God has made – including ourselves and those around us. Easter calls us to see the holy in the most ordinary things. Every blade of grass, every flower, every hard-boiled egg, “peep,” and chocolate bunny all remind us that life is shot-through, charged, with God’s presence and God’s glory.

Now, having set the stage, I want us to give some serious thought to how we plan ministry here at First Congregational Church. We have done our visioning, made our plan, and are already at work to make our vision real. However, we still need to give consideration to whether or not we fall into the pattern of always doing what we have done just because we’ve done it. Over the years we’ve put together some very good programs, but they languish because times have changed and interests have shifted. Perhaps it is time for us to look at our various programs and activities and decide whether we want to continue to do them?

To that end, I’d like to suggest that we think about doing “zero-based programming.” This has been done by several of our sister churches with great success. It assumes that we are only going to do what we as church members agree to support. If the essence of our Congregational Way involves being intentional, then this could be an appropriate course of action for us. Watch for more information that will be coming to you through our multiple and various means of communication in the weeks ahead. And, give thought to the things that we do at First Church that matter to you and that you think matter to our community. We can only do what we do and become what we are to become as God’s people if all of us – ALL OF US – are involved. God works through us and God’s presence is revealed in each of us as surely as it is revealed in the dancing sun.

Enjoy the wonder of the Easter Season and may the blessing and the presence of the Risen One be real to you! As ever,
Yours in the Lord’s service,
Rev. Steven A. Peay, Ph.D.

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Spruce Up Our Church at Work Day on April 23

The annual spring clean-up day is coming up fast – on Saturday, April 23. 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 out.

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.
Enjoy outdoor lawn and garden work? Bring along your lawn and garden tools, carts, and ladders. We want to rake the debris from the flowerbeds and prepare them for the perennials to come up, as well as for spring planting. First floor windows on the outside also need to be washed.

Children are welcome. It’s 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 a.m.
Work starts anytime after that.
Lunch served around noon.
The day is finished around 3 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 consider participating 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. Please register by email or by signing up in the church office.Put the date on your calendar and join us for this day of fellowship and fun. Sign up at tables in the Atrium in April or at the church office so we can plan for meal quantities. See you on the 23rd!

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PF Place

30 Hour Famine

Five of our youth recently participated in the “30 Hour Famine,” sponsored by World Vision. For 30 hours the young ladies gave up food in order to raise money for the 29,000 children around the world who die of starvation each day. While fasting, they got together for Bible study, individual reflection, prayer, an overnight, games, a service project at the Nehemiah House, and movies. A feast of bread and soup was shared, amidst much laughter, at the close of the fast. Here are some of the girls’ reflections:

“ For me, the highlight was playing Sock Wars on Friday Night. I also realized the dark and light places in the world and that everyone has some dark place!” – Bryn Callen

“ I think it was a really fun thing to do with other people, but if I had to do it by myself I could not have done it. We had fun playing games like sock war and Bible study which kept our minds off of food. At our service project we went to the Nehemiah House where I scraped paint off windows and washed them. The last hour of the fast was really hard but we made it though. I felt good that we got donations to help people who don't normally get to eat just because I did the 30 hour fast.” – Lindsay Wittig

“ The hunger aspect of the 30 hours wasn't a big problem until about 4 p.m. on Saturday, but I think that being with the other girls made it a lot easier. We realized how often things are taken for granted, and I think we also made some good friendships. The meal at the end of the fast was definitely the best bread and soup I've ever eaten, whether it was the taste or just the gratefulness that my stomach had finally stopped growling.” – Makenzie Blazich

“ When I first decided to do the 30 Hour Famine retreat, I admit I was doing it because I thought it would be cool to say, ‘yeah I didn’t eat for 30 hours,’ but once I got there it became so much more. Although there were many times that I felt if I didn’t eat I would strangle someone, I was also becoming more aware at how blessed I am to not only have food but everything else God gave to me. This retreat really made me want to reach out to others or go on a mission trip for a month and help people less fortunate than I.” – Kelly Levenhagen


Youth Calendar

Junior PF
April 3 – No Meeting. Welcome Home from Spring Break!
April 9 – Second Saturday! Games and More Games! (7–10 p.m.)
April 10 – Regular Meeting. Bring your favorite song to share!
April 15-16 – Overnight @ FCC Tosa (7 p.m.–9 a.m.)
April 17 – Regular Meeting. Worship Service Preparations
April 24 – Jr. PF Worship Service (8:45 & 11 a.m.)
April 24 – Regular Meeting. How was it? Debriefing the service.
Senior PF
April 3 - No Meeting. Welcome Home from Spring Break!
April 8-9 – WCA Senior PF Spring Rally @ FCC Tosa!!!
April 9 – Second Saturday! Games and More Games! (7–10 p.m.)
April 10 – No meeting. Get some sleep or do some homework!
April 17 – Regular Meeting.
Bring your favorite song to share!
April 24 – Regular Meeting

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Breakfast with the Girls
Gardening in Containers

Breakfast with the Girls spent our March meeting learning so much (more than I ever thought was there) about plants and flowers mentioned in the Bible. Norine Terwyn from the Friends of Boerner was our guide and brought slides of things grown in our own garden at Whitnall Park. I'm sure we will all remember her guided tour through the herb garden there when next we pay them a visit!

April 2 will be our last get together for the year, and we are really looking forward to it. Nancy Ziarek, a landscape architect from Leeds Nursery, will bring us a program on Gardening in Containers and Pots. So, whether you garden in a yard, on a porch or patio, this will have something for you! We will all be desperate for spring (well, I know I will), so come out and join us. Sign up at the church office and let us know if you can help with the baking. We'll see you on April 2, at 9 a.m.
— Char Schweitzer

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Church Children Keeping Active

As you may have noticed, the children of FCC have kept busy with a variety of activities over the last several months. First, they met for a special Children’s Chapel and collected over $169.00 for the tsunami relief fund. Secondly, members of the Pioneer Club sold cookies and raised over $250.00 for children who need new shoes in Africa.

Another important event included many students in 4th–6th grades who participated in the worthwhile life education program that took place in mid-March. Parents and children were able to open the lines of communication and talk about the important aspects of growing up.

Finally, we were fortunate to have the Children’s Christian Theatre present the play, Jailhouse Rock on March 13th in the Social Hall. The Children’s Christian Theatre is for children in 3rd–8th grades. It is an ecumenical outreach ministry of Faith Community Congregational Church in Franklin. Elizabeth Brown who is a fourth grader in our church, participated in this performance. She did a fantastic job! Drinks and refreshments were served by members of the Pioneer Club and adult volunteers from our church. A great time was had by all!

In addition to all these exciting events, we are already beginning to plan for Vacation Bible School. Mark your calendars for the week of August 1st–5th. If you are interested in helping, please see Carla or Carrie.


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Stem Cell Ethics Meeting

On Wednesday, April 13, our church will host one session of the bioethics conference “Stem Cell Research: Wrestling with the Future” sponsored by the Colloquium for Science and Religion at Carthage, of which the church is a member. At 4 p.m. on April 13, we will host a panel discussion on “Religious and Professional Perspectives on Cloning for Biomedical Research.” At 7:30 p.m. the conference concludes with a lecture at the Alumni Center of the Medical College of Wisconsin by Professor Brent Waters of Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary on “Persons, Neighbors and Embryos: Some Ethical Reflections on Human Cloning and Stem Cell Research.”

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Please Support Lenten Offering

This Lenten season the Board of Benevolences is asking for your support of two worthy benevolences for the Easter special offering during Lent. Both these groups work hard to help the less fortunate and it’s our hope that you will give generously so we can meet our goal
of $12,000.

Tosa Community Food Pantry has been a favorite of our congregation and we have a long history of supporting their work. Seventy-five percent of our special offering collection will go to the food pantry. Eighteen Wauwatosa churches sponsor the pantry with contributions of food, money, and volunteer help. The pantry gives food to approximately 70–80 families each month.

The Hosea Fund supports a neighborhood outreach program run by Pilgrim Congregational Church at 51st St. and North Avenue in Milwaukee. Staff and members of the congregation go door to door in their neighborhood to invite people to bring their families to church. In some instances, the children are fed a meal during the church service. The congregation then works to help address the spiritual and material needs of some of these families in an attempt to bring them some stability. This type of urban outreach is some of the most difficult mission work there is.

Our special offerings this year make up 52 percent of the Board of Benevo-lences budget. We are off to a wonderful start for 2005 with your heartwarming response to the Tsunami Relief appeal. We would ask that you prayerfully consider continuing this spirit of giving for the Easter offering. God bless you!

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Sunday Symposium

10 a.m. Sundays in the Friendship Lounge

April 3
“On the Road to Actium: Part II”
A completion of the travelogue started in February
Dr. Dan Schowalter

April 10
“Stem Cell Research:
Wrestling with the Future”
Dr. Dan Schowalter

April 17
“Issues in Living and Dying”
Rev. Dudley Riggle

April 24
“The Importance of Seminary Education”
Rev. Wes Falk and Dr. David Heetland,
Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary

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Popular Vocalist Added to 4 O’clock Venue

Laura Snyder was added to the list of 4 O’clock concert artists. She will perform Sunday, April 3, in the Friendship Lounge (at 4 p.m., of course). Ms. Snyder is a double bassist with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, and she also has a remarkable voice that has gained critical acclaim. She will present a vocal program of spirituals, hymns and gospel music.

In a review of a past performance, the late James Auer, beloved member of our church and art critic of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, commented, “It was Laura Snyder, the orchestra’s double bassist since 1970, who brought down the house—not as an instrumentalist but as a singer. Her sonorous, majestic contralto voice brought fire and moral magnificence to two traditional spirituals… For a moment the Marcus Center was the Lincoln Memorial and she was Marian Anderson.”

On the very next Sunday, April 10, Above the Town will be featured at the 4 O’clocks. Above the Town, a contemporary bluegrass ensemble, blends a mixture of traditional bluegrass sounds with Celtic influences, jazz, and swing.

The 4O’clocks are back after a hiatus of several years. This Sunday afternoon concert series in the First Church Friendship Lounge showcases a variety of performers in an informal setting. Each of the performances is about 45 minutes in length. There is no charge, though we invite your freewill offerings at the event. Music Director Lee Jacobi is the host, assisted by the Music Committee.

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WCA Meeting Eyes Ministry

What is a Congregational church? In part, it’s a church that is in relationship with other Congregational churches. Too often we elevate autonomy over our relationship with the wider fellowship.

If you would like a taste of our wider fellowship, you are encouraged to attend the annual meeting of the Wisconsin Congregational Association on April 30 at Arena Congregational Church, 383 Oak St., in Arena, WI. (Arena is about two hours west of Milwaukee.)

This year’s theme is “All God’s People – Ministry at Every Age.” This one-day Saturday meeting begins at 8:30 a.m. and the day proceeds with worship, forums and small groups to discuss ministry in our churches. The meeting will conclude in the mid-afternoon. More information is in the latest issue of the Wisconsin Congregationalist (edited by our own Janie Jacobson) which is in our literature racks, or call the church office at 414-258-7375.

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Photographers Wanted

The Communications Committee is looking for people who enjoy taking pictures of people experiencing the fellowship of our church. A wide range of activities takes place at First Congregational Church, and we all enjoy seeing these events documented in photos. We display pictures on our bulletin boards and use them in the Columns each month.

Ideally, we will have a team of photographers who could take turns capturing the highlights of some of the major events that take place each month at the church.

You don’t need to be a professional, but experience with using a digital camera is preferred. The camera is kept in the office and can be checked out for use at specific events. Training is also available for those who are eager to learn something new. This is an equal opportunity position and youth volunteers are welcome! If interested, contact Cindy Payette in the church office.

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Strawberry Luncheon

The Friends of Congregational Home cordially invite the
Women of the Church to our annual
Spring Strawberry Luncheon

Wednesday, May 11, 2005
Noon Reception, Twelve-thirty Luncheon

The luncheon is followed by “Weddings of Yesterday”
A Goodwill Vintage fashion show featuring exquisite bridal wear through the decades.
Reservations accepted starting April 11th • Seventeen Dollars
For further information, please call (262)-781-0550

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Lectionary Readings

April 3 Second Sunday of Easter
Old Testament Acts 2:14a, 22–32
Psalmody Psalm 16
New Testament 1 Peter 1:3–9
Gospel John 20:19–31

April 10 Third Sunday of Easter

Old Testament Acts 2:14a, 36–41
Psalmody Psalm 116:1–4, 12–19
New Testament 1 Peter 1:17–23
Gospel Luke 24:13–35

April 17 Fourth Sunday of Easter

Old Testament Acts 2:42–47
Psalmody Psalm 23
New Testament 1 Peter 2:19–25
Gospel John 10:1–10

April 24 Fifth Sunday of Easter

Old Testament Acts 7:55–60
Psalmody Psalm 31:1–5, 15–16
New Testament 1 Peter 2:2–10
Gospel John 14:1–14

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In Brief

Get ready to ride!
The Captain's Crew is looking for a few hardy souls to ride the MS 150 with us this August. Ride with us or support us in this bicycle ride to defeat Multiple Sclerosis. Call Hank Collis or Scott Wittig to sign up.

The Board of Fellowship is looking for volunteers to help roast the pig at the All-Church Dinner on June 1. It is an all-day commitment (starting at 9 a.m.) unless we have several volunteers who are willing to work in shifts over the roaster. Please contact Kate Welch at
414-475-5586 if you’re interested.

Easter Sunday, March 27, there will be Sunday School for 2nd grade and below at 8:45 a.m. and nursery only at 11:00 a.m.


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

Monday, April 11, 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

Editor, Beth Linscott
Communications Committee
Mary York - Chairperson, Barb Dunham, Arlette Lindbergh,
Marilyn Auer, Tammy Bokern

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

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 3