March 2005

First in faith, freedom, fellowship, and Wauwatosa

 


 

Table of Contents

Four O'clock Concerts

Minister's Musings

Sally Boyle Retires

Children's Christian Theatre Show

Nominating Needs You

PF Place

Breakfast with the Girls

Support the Lenten Offering

Pioneer Club

Sunday Symposim

Dr. Wootton Woos Wauwatosa

Lectionary Readings

In Brief



Four O’clock Concerts Present
Jazz, Bluegrass

The “Four O’clocks” are back after a hiatus of several years. This Sunday afternoon concert series (at 4 p.m., of course) in the First Church Friendship Lounge is designed to showcase a variety of performers in an intimate, informal setting. The Four O’clock Concerts were a response to the generous gift of a Steinway baby grand piano by Richard and Rita Wareham a few years ago. The piano is in the Friendship Lounge.
The concerts are reborn this year through the generous gift of an anonymous donor. The concerts are a gift and not funded through the church budget. Over the years individuals have come forward to support the concert program. Any gift to keep the concert series active will be appreciated.
On March 6, enjoy the Kevin Kostick Trio perform jazz standards. Kevin is a pianist, active in local music circles for the past 15 years, and delights in the unpredictable jazz environment, where the spirit of the moment might direct the advance of the music. Tom McGirr plays bass and also brings his unique voice to this musical setting. Ben Hans, on drums, assimilates several different drumming styles combined together creatively.
On April 10, Above the Town bluegrass band comes to First Church. Above the Town is Milwaukee’s newest contemporary bluegrass ensemble, blending a mixture of traditional bluegrass sounds with Celtic influences, jazz, and swing. This provides a mix of the old with the new, as well as some original music. The band features Jerry Loughney on fiddle, Bill Brenckle on guitar, Jon Peik on banjo and Brian Baker on bass.
Each of the performances will be about 45 minutes in length and will be followed by a reception and the opportunity to meet the performers. There is no charge for these performances, though we invite your freewill offerings at the event. Music Director Lee Jacobi is the host for this delightful afternoon and he is assisted by the Music Committee.


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Minister’s Musings
Journey with Jesus to the Great Feast

Our journey with Jesus approaches its great destination point: the Paschal Feast of Easter. On Palm/Passion Sunday we will go with Jesus on his last journey up to Jerusalem and enter with him to “Hosannas” that will quickly become the cry, “crucify him.”

We will gather to share at the table of remembrance on Maundy Thursday. Gathered around the table we will hear the Lord’s new “maund” (commandment) “to love one another as I have loved you” and to take bread and cup “in remembrance of me.”

On God’s Friday (which over the years has become Good Friday) we will “behold the wood of the cross on which hung the Savior of the world” and pause in silence, sorrow, and wonder at the price Love paid for our salvation identifying with us even to death itself.

As the Lord rested in the tomb, so shall we take our rest on Holy Saturday to prepare ourselves for the great feast. On Easter Sunday our hearts will be thrilled to hear the announcement: “Christ is Risen!” And we will open our hearts and minds to the joyful truth as we respond: “He is risen, indeed! Alleluia!”

Like ancient Israel we will know the “Passover of the Lord” (which is where “pasch” or “paschal” comes from). For us it is the new Passover from death to life, from fear to freedom, from alienation to intimacy. The journey of Lent, then, leads us to an important point, one that should be entered into and savored. It’s very difficult to understand Easter unless you have walked the “lonesome valley” with the Lord and experienced the events of that long-ago week which continue to affect us to this day.

I pray that the Lenten Spring continues to bring the flower of the Spirit to bloom within each of you. Look to the bud ready to blossom forth and rejoice in God’s presence. Please try to come to as many of the services of the Triduum (three days) as you possibly can. Allow the wonder and message of the Resurrection to come to full flower in your life each day.

Meditate on these wise words of the fifth century pastor of Constantinople, John Chrysostom:
O death, where is your sting?

O Hades, where is your victory? Christ is risen and you are abolished, Christ is risen and the demons are cast down, Christ is risen and the angels rejoice, Christ is risen and life is freed, Christ is risen and the tomb is emptied of the dead: for Christ, being risen from the dead, has become the Leader and Reviver of those who had fallen asleep. To him be glory and power for ever and ever.

Christ is risen from the dead,
trampling down death by death
and upon those in the tombs
bestowing life!

Yours in the promise of Easter,
Rev. Steven A. Peay, Ph.D.
Minister

 

Holy Week at First Church

Passion/Palm Sunday March 20
Worship 8:45 & 11 a.m.
Gather for the Service of the Palms in the Atrium, then process into worship

Maundy Thursday March 24
Lord’s Supper Service 10 a.m. (Chapel)
7 p.m. (Nave)

Good Friday March 25
Service of Tenebrae 7 p.m.
Readings and musical responses to aid our meditations on the cross

Easter Sunday March 27
Festive Easter Worship 8:45 &11 a.m.
Easter Fellowship 10 a.m.
Sweet treats and celebration, hosted by Pilgrim Fellowship youth

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Sally Boyle Retires as Secretary

Approximately four years ago, Sally Boyle began working in the office. However, as a lifelong member, she was certainly not new to First Church. Now, Sally will be retiring from her position as secretary/ church clerk in March, but no need to say good-bye. We will still enjoy her participation as a member here.

Throughout the years, Sally has served on the Boards of Stewardship, Christian Education, and Deacons and continues participation in the Thursday morning women’s group.

“ I have really enjoyed my time working here and it is hard to leave,” said Sally. “I will really miss the people.” And she will be equally missed. Sally’s husband, Jim, retired as a hospital administrator a couple of years back and they would now like more flexibility in their schedule. With no specific plans for her extra hours, Sally said she has plenty to do around the house for now. She and Jim also like to spend time away at their home in the Eagle River area. At some point, perhaps, she will find some volunteer opportunities which interest her.

So many people have been touched by Sally’s quiet, gentle kindness and helpfulness. We wish her well as she begins this new endeavor.

 

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Children’s Christian Theatre
presents Jailhouse Rock

Sunday, March 13, 2005
3:00 p.m.
in the Social Hall
(free will offering)


Jailhouse Rock is an upbeat musical teaching children about our freedom in Christ as believers. The musical begins as the children are off for a fun week of hiking and swimming at Camp Koinonia. But as they arrive, the skies open up with a torrential downpour and they become “stranded” in the Mess Hall...much to their disappointment.

As the children feel “locked up” inside, the camp directors and the junior counselors teach them about Paul, Silas and Peter’s experiences of being “locked up” and how prayer and praise makes a difference. Also, with a surprise visit, Joni Eareackson Tada shares her testimony and teaches the children that God has a sovereign plan for each of us.

Even though sometimes we may be confined, we are always free in our hearts. Through these events they learn that true freedom comes from being reborn in Christ.

Church member Elizabeth Brown will be performing with the group. Also, free popcorn and soft drinks will be served. Everyone is welcome. Bring a friend!


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Nominating Needs You!

The Nominating Committee is beginning the process of filling open positions on the boards and the Church Council for the Election Meeting to be held on Sunday, May 15th.

If you are interested in serving on one of the boards, the council or one of the committees, please sign up in early March at the tables in the church atrium. Or you may call the church office 414-258-7375 and ask to have your name given to the Nominating Committee.

The board members are elected at the Election Meeting and members of the committees are appointed by the new Moderator after that person has been elected at the May 15th meeting. The office will see that the new Moderator receives the name of anyone who volunteers for committees. Most board terms are for three years and committee appointments are for one year with the possibility of extension up to six years.

You may indicate the board or committee in which you are particularly interested, but we cannot guarantee that you will be assigned to that one. It depends how many names we receive and how many people want the same position.

This is your opportunity to let us know how you want to be involved at First Congregational Church. We look forward to your letting us know your interests and your willingness to serve.
— Cindy Payette

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PF Place

 
Looking for FUN? Join us for Suggest-a-Movie Second Saturday. Contact Carrie with your vote!

Looking for SERVICE? We have three service projects planned for March. We are organizing the coffee hour on Easter morning. Lots of hands are needed to make coffee cakes on Saturday and then serve our cakes and juice on Sunday morning for everyone to enjoy. Not going away for spring break? Join us at the Nehemiah House. We are almost finished with the basement. Come see how great it looks and be a part of the team.

Looking for GREAT DISCUSSIONS? Every week Junior PF meets on Sundays from 4:30–6 p.m. Senior PF gathers at 6:30-8 p.m. on Sundays. Have something you want to talk about? Contact Carrie.
See you then.

 

Interview of the Month
Makenzie Blazich, freshman at Tosa West

Interviewed by Die Kleine Kirchen-Maus (The Little Church Mouse)

Die Maus – Yum, Makenzie, these Applebee’s appetizers are great! Thanks for bringing me here. I don’t get out of the church very often.
Makenzie – I’m glad you like your spinach dip. These hot wings are also good.
Die Maus – Speaking of good things, what is your favorite type of weather?
Makenzie – Florida weather: thunder storms and sunny summer days. And, with all the snow, I’ve enjoyed finding a friend to go play in the snow or just reading while the snow falls outside.
Die Maus – Are you in the middle of a book right now?
Makenzie – Yeah, a couple. I like to read the book before I watch the movie so I’m reading The Notebook and Cold Mountain.
Die Maus – Both good films. What about music that makes you smile?
Makenzie – I’m really into the song “Over the Hills and Far Away” right now. It is a pick-me-up song or a good mood song. I listen to all sorts of stuff but I would say I’m more into oldie stuff right now.
Die Maus – And, finally, why do you come to PF?
Makenzie – At first it was because my parents made me. Now I really enjoy the discussions. One week we talked about censored T-shirts in high schools and that was really interesting. I like talking about current events and faith.
Die Maus – Thanks Makenzie. I’ll see you at PF!

 

Youth Calendar
Junior and Senior PF

March 6 Regular meeting (Jr. 4:30-6 p.m., Sr. 6:30-8 p.m.)
March 12 Second Saturday (Movie!)
March 13 Regular meeting (Jr. and Sr.)
March 20 Regular meeting (Jr. and Sr.)
March 26 Easter Fellowship prep (10 a.m.-noon)
March 27 Easter Fellowship
March 27 No meeting—Happy Easter!
March 29 Nehemiah House service project

Looking Ahead
April 3 No meeting
April 8-9 WCA Sr. PF rally @ Tosa!
April 15-16 Jr. PF overnight @ Tosa
April 24 Junior PF leads Sunday morning worship
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Breakfast with the Girls
See Flowers of the Bible


On February 5th, the new year started off with a bang, not a whimper, for Breakfast with the Girls. Barb Friedman, president of “Organize IT,” did her best, which was very good indeed, to get us all thinking organized, or at the very least, spring clean! Best of all, there were a lot of us there – and as we all know, misery loves company! I just know we're all going to be better for having shared that morning together. In March we have another great opportunity together.

On March 5th, at 9 a.m., Noreen Terwyn of Friends of Boerner Botanical Garden will be with us. She will be speaking on, “Flowers of the Bible” using slides of flowers and herbs from Boerner. What a wonderful almost-spring thing! Remember to sign up by calling the church office at 414-258-7375, and let us know if you can help with the baking. See you on the 5th.
— Char Schweitzer


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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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Pioneer Club

On Sunday, February 6th, the Pioneer Club celebrated National Pioneer Club Sunday. This year's theme for Pioneer Clubs across the nation is “Servant of All.” First Congregational’s Pioneer Club decided to take the theme a step further by adding “Following in Jesus’ Footsteps.” One of the ways the club is putting the theme into action is by raising money for their Pen Pals in Benin, Africa. The Pioneer Club sang during the 8:45 and 11 services. Between services they sold chocolate covered pretzels and cookies decorated like sandals. All the items were homemade by the Pioneer Club the previous Thursday. The sale raised $276 which will be used to purchase 150 pairs of sandals and also some school supplies for the children of Benin.


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Sunday Symposium

10 a.m. Sundays in the Friendship Lounge

March 6
“ Mystic of the Month”
Rev. Steven Peay, Ph.D.

March 13
“ Against All Odds: the Growth of Christianity in the Roman Empire”
Dr. Dan Scholwalter

March 20
“ The Significance of Holy Week”
Revs. Steve Peay, Ph.D. and Samuel Schaal

Easter Sunday March 27
No Sunday Symposium. Join us at the Easter Fellowship at 10 a.m. in the Social Hall presented by the Pilgrim Fellowship youth.


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Dr. Wootton Woos Wauwatosa

Dr. Janet Wootton, an international Congregational theologian, scholar, author, editor, hymn writer, organizational leader and parish minister, arrived with gusto in Wauwatosa in late January to offer her views of a more inclusive faith that values the gifts of women as well as men. She gave lectures (each one of them different!) to the Wauwatosa Ministers Association and at the Congregational churches in Hartland, Madison, Beloit, Fox Point, as well as a Saturday morning lecture at First Church followed by preaching at Sunday worship and addressing our Pilgrim Fellowship youth.
Whew! A busy and delightful week with a busy and delightful torchbearer of the Congregational Way.

Here are some personal reflections of her visit.

On the Road with Jesus
What a pleasure it was to have the opportunity to listen to, sit with and ask questions of such a vibrantly intellectual woman of God. Dr. Janet Wootton recently toured southeast Wisconsin, through the snow and cold at the behest of Dr. Peay, to deliver a number of lectures all revolving around the roles of women in Christianity. She pointed out a lot of the original meanings, genders and intentions of words that have been translated away from the original authors’ writings. These losses in translation between languages often edited out the feminine sides of the divine.

She also brought me a new admiration for Jesus as a real man and inspired new awe in me for the divine in Him as well. She confirmed that Jesus took counsel from and valued the opinions of the women in a society that clearly did not. She certainly raised enough questions to keep me busy for quite a while.

Dr. Wootton’s energy was amazing. She definitely got the blood flowing by leading us in some of her favorite as well as some of her own hymns – hymns with dance moves, no less. She is someone I could see in sandals walking along the roads with Jesus for miles, never noticing the heat, hunger or thirst because she’d be so caught up in conversation and joyful debate. She makes you want to join the crowd on that dirt road. I truly hope she graces us with another visit in the future. Thank you, Dr. Wootton, for sharing your truly invigorating voice with us all the way over here in Wauwatosa.
— Jennifer Wareham

A Feminist Insistent on the Glory of God
Did you know that some of Jesus’ best friends were women? So said Dr. Janet Wootton, a distinguished Congregational theologian in a series of lectures on feminist perspectives in theology. She told of Old Testament women who didn’t make the “A” list, but then, as now, kept the tents neat and the tribes on task. We sang a few of the hymns that she wrote in celebration of these women.

The stories she told of Jesus’ interaction with women are more familiar. We might see these actions as signs of a benevolent loving Father. Dr. Wootton suggests that they are also instances of a political recognition by Jesus in an age when women were considered secondary to men and sinful women were stoned.

I attended Dr. Wootton’s lectures at North Shore Congregational Church and First Church. Janet, as she asked to be called, is a delightful, cheerful feminist and she proves that feminism is not a bad thing.

Not yet a teenager, she felt called to be a minister. It was the age of June Cleaver, when pearls and high heels were considered to be the working uniform for stay-at-home moms. Janet was not encouraged to answer her call. Because she did, and she admits it was not easy, we who heard her know that “feminist” does not mean strident, in-your-face, take-it-or-leave-it verbiage. Her brand of feminism is kind, gentle, reasoned, and insistent that Jesus intended men and women to use their skills and talents to the glory of God, who has given us all that we are and all that we have.
— Betty Blank


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Lectionary Readings


March 6 Fourth Sunday in Lent
Old Testament 1 Samuel 16:1–13
Psalmody Psalm 23
New Testament Ephesians 5:8–14
Gospel John 9:1–41

March 13 Fifth Sunday in Lent
Old Testament Ezekiel 37:1–14
Psalmody Psalm 130
New Testament Romans 8:6–11
Gospel John 11:1–45

March 20 Palm Sunday
Processional Gospel Matthew 21:1–11
First Lesson Isaiah 50:4–9a
Psalms Psalm 118:1–2, 19–29, 31:9–16
Second Lesson Philippians 2:5–11
Gospel Matthew 26:14–27:66

March 24 Maundy Thursday
Old Testament Exodus 12:1–4 (5–10), 11–14
Psalmody Psalm 116:1–4, 12–19
New Testament 1 Corinthians 11:23–26
Gospel John 13:1–17, 31b–35

March 27 Easter Sunday

First Lesson Acts 10:34–43
Psalmody Psalm 118:1–2, 14–24
New Testament Colossians 3:1–4
Gospel John 20:1–18

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In Brief


Save the date.
On October 1, First Church will participate in the Wauwatosa Historical Society tour of Historic Homes. Details to follow.

Schowalter Leads Archeological Tour
Dan Schowalter will be leading a Biblical Archaeological Society tour in Greece, Turkey, and the Aegean Islands, July 12–25, 2005. The trip includes a seven-day cruise, and visits to Athens, Corinth, Istanbul, Ephesos, Patmos, Rhodes, Crete, Santorini, and Delphi, among other sites of interest.

Detailed information is available online at www.bib-arch.org/bswbTRaegean.html. Brochures are also available at church. For more information, call Dan at 262-639-8293.

 

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

Monday, March 14, 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
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

Sally Boyle, Secretary

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 2