May 2005

First in faith, freedom, fellowship, and Wauwatosa



Table of Contents

Welcome These New Members

Parker Hoerz Earns Service-Based Burke Scholarship

Minister's Musings...Are We Serious?

PF Place

New Bible Class Offered

Church Children Keeping Active

Which Bible is Best?

The Church Goes Digital!

Election Meeting Notice - Accepted Nominations 2005

Covenant Class Parents' Informational Meeting

Church Secretary in Place

Sunday Symposium

Lectionary Readings

In Brief

Welcome These New Members

Steven Kellogg
Steven is a resident of Pewaukee and is engaged to Arlette Lindbergh. He is an Environmental Chemist/Technical Manager with an engineering consulting firm in Kenosha. Steven’s interests include the arts, music, poetry, skiing (both alpine and cross country) and windsurfing. He has two adult sons. The younger one, Jean Paul, is currently stationed in Iraq, and the older one, Spencer, resides with his wife in Iron Ridge, Michigan.

Steve and Kathy Baptie

The parents of three daughters, MacKenzie, Meg and Charlotte, Steve and Kathy reside in Elm Grove. Steve is the owner of Midwest Resources, Inc., a gas and oil investment firm. Kathy is a homemaker and keeps busy with many volunteer opportunities. They previously belonged to Brookfield Congregational Church and were introduced to First Church through their daughter Meg who was a member of the 2004 Covenant Class.

Pam Benson and John Hennes
Pam and John are residents of Wauwatosa. They plan to be married here at First Church in May. John is a General Manager with HCI in Wausau. Pam is an Interior Designer and has one son, Andrew. Pam is interested in getting involved in the stewardship and endowment areas.

Emilia and Colin Hackney
Emilia and Colin were married at First Church in 2004. They have a young son Will who will be baptized here in May. Colin is employed at Praxair and is in the National Guard. Emilia also works outside the home and has been playing piano since age five.

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Parker Hoerz Earns Service-Based Burke Scholarship

Parker Hoerz, a First Congregational member and Wauwatosa East senior, was recently selected as a 2005 recipient of the Burke Scholarship from Marquette University. Richard A. Burke is president of Trek Bicycle Corp and a 1956 graduate of Marquette’s College of Business Administration. The Burke Scholarship is a four-year, full-tuition scholarship to Marquette University. “When I first found out I had earned the scholarship I was at a loss for words,” said Parker. “Never in my college application process had I imagined that I would receive a scholarship of this magnitude.”

The Burke Scholarship Program recognizes, honors and encourages lifetime development of a humanitarian ethic manifested in a commitment to serve others. It is awarded annually to up to 10 academically talented Wisconsin high school seniors who exhibit leadership in a manner that reflects exceptional commitment to community. Candidates must rank in the upper 10% of their class, have an ACT score of 28 or greater or an SAT score of 1200 or greater. They must have demonstrated substantial commitment to service and leadership.

Parker’s commitment to service began here at FCC with his confirmation. An anonymous donor challenged each of the confirmands with a $100 dollar bill and instructions to be creative, make it grow and serve God. Parker invested his $100 in candy making supplies and created boxes of “Parker’s Barkin’ Turtles.” His $100 grew to $1000 in sales. He donated the proceeds to the Children of Afghanistan Fund.

FCC has not only provided many of Parker’s service opportunities, but helped develop the values which foster his attitude. “Sunday morning meetings of Breakfast Club with Paul Stein have provided me with the discussion opportunities that have encouraged the development of the values and morals that drive my service.”

Parker’s service work has included four mission trips; one to Honduras, two to Mexico and one to Alaska, all through church. He’s read to children at the Joy House, visited seniors at the Congregational Home and been involved in the Nehemiah Project. Parker has also been involved with a variety of school organizations and teams in addition to working part-time.

While Parker has his college plans in place, his service commitment will continue. Members of the Burke Scholar Program, are required to fulfill 450 hours of community service every year (this number is adjusted during freshman year in order to allow acclimation in the university setting). “There are some service programs sponsored by Marquette and the Burke program,” said Parker. “Of these opportunities, I am most intrigued by Habitat for Humanity or Big Brothers/Big Sisters. I hope to [also] participate in the NACCC sponsored mission trip to Mexico this upcoming winter.”

Parker was selected as 1 of 25 semi-finalists for the Burke Program and was interviewed as part of the final selection process by Richard Burke and the scholarship committee. Parker plans on entering the College of Engineering, and is leaning toward Mechanical Engineering. “One of the reasons I was drawn toward Marquette was the opportunity it provided for Co-op and internship experience. Through these experiences I hope to develop a better sense of what particular engineering field I plan on pursuing.”

“ As I move away from my house, my high school and First Congregational Church, I am moving away from the organizations and support that have guided me through the service I have done,” said Parker. “I am glad to have the Burke Scholar Program to foster my desire to serve and continuously provide service opportunities.”

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Minister’s Musings... Are We Serious?

That was the question used to open the first session of a meeting for ministers of larger churches in the NACCC and UCC: Are we serious? The presenter, the Rev. Anthony Robinson who is a minister, author, teacher and church consultant, recalled the research of Roger Finke and Rodney Starke (The Churching of America 1776-1990: Winners and Losers in our Religious Economy) that showed the decline in the mainline churches can be traced to the lack of challenge to engage people at the basic levels of their faith. Tony’s presentation served as a wake-up call for me. I thought of “life at First” and asked myself, “Are we serious?”

Rev. Robinson raised eight areas for consideration. First, he noted that we need to name and define the situation of our churches accurately. Often we treat church problems as technical problems (which can be fixed by an “expert” or a technique) when they are actually adaptive challenges (which are dealt with through change of attitude or situation). The problems churches like ours face come more as a result of needing to recognize and adapt to changes in the society, climate, and culture around them than “glitches.”

Second, are we serious about leadership? One of the largest problems faced by churches across the board is the lack of competent leadership. It’s been a number of years since we’ve produced a minister from the ranks here at FCC, though we are trying to help prepare people through our CFTS scholarship and support of internship programs.

The third point he raised is not one that modern Americans, and especially Congregationalists, like to talk about: are we serious about authority? Try though we might, we can’t get away from the fact that every organization, every human grouping, needs some exercise of authority to function appropriately. The “who says so?” attitude can be crippling to the development of spiritual life. I have in my notes, “every dream we have of creating community in the absence of authority is ultimately a pipe dream.” The important thing is to be intentional and loving in how we both develop and exercise authority in search of the common good.

Fourth, are we serious about theology? Over the years many of the mainline churches moved away from being conscious of the importance of theology in the life of the believer. Theology is not just an academic discipline. Everyone who thinks and then talks about who God in his/her life is doing theology. All of us, whether clergy or lay, need to be deeply in touch with the core of what we believe and able to articulate what it means for the way we live. Robinson quoted the theologian Edward Farley who said, “Theology is wisdom proper to the life of the believer.” Something else Farley said applies, “ living out of the inherited symbols and narratives of one's faith, one isn't just applying dead truths to a living situation. Instead, one is embodying or incorporating oneself into a living tradition. That's a creative act and an interpretive act, an act of theological understanding.” We’re part of a living tradition – that’s something to be serious about.

The fifth point grows out of the fourth: are we serious about adult Christian formation? Our life together as Christians involves us growing together. We never stop learning, do we? Should we ever stop learning about our faith? Yet, there are many folks who limit their formation, their growth in the faith. Christianity is more than simply moralism, or “growing up Christian,” the early Church understood it as the overcoming of ignorance; that’s a serious and intentional task.

Sixth, are we serious about money? While people are giving more, there are fewer givers. While we’re doing very well financially here at First Church we do need to think about our future. It’s clear that we do need to be serious about planned giving and the need to build our endowment so that the work we do here can continue into the future. I hope that many people will consider including First Church in their estate planning and perhaps even consider endowing their pledges.

Seventh, are we serious about setting a proactive agenda? Often we’re better at reaction than pro-action. There is a reason that the Bible tells us that we should “read the signs of the times” because we should be doing things positively and constructively, rather than simply reacting or defending ourselves. I so agreed with Tony’s point that our responses to the challenges of modern American society must be positive. We must be clear on who we are, what we’re for, and the message we have.

Finally, are we serious about death and resurrection? If we believe in the resurrection then maybe old ways, even cherished ways, may have to die so that they can be raised anew? Ultimately, if we believe that the great Giver is our God, than why should we be so focused on the gift? Perhaps what is most important is that we understand that God is God and God is good and that’s what matters?

You can tell that Tony Robinson has provoked me – you will be hearing more as the year unfolds. I think we’re serious here at First Church, but we have room to grow. We’re blessed with an aid to keep us on-track in our life together, the covenant. Read those simple fifty-plus words and ask yourself, “Am I serious?”

Yours in the Lord’s service,
Rev. Steven A. Peay, Ph.D., Senior Minister

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PF Place

WCA Senior PF Rally

The Spring Wisconsin State Pilgrim Fellowship Rally, held at First Congregational Church of Wauwatosa this year, proved to be quite enlightening for those youth who participated. With the theme of ‘Service,’ the format for the two-day rally included a service related program, devotions, and a service project at the Nehemiah House – a group home for teenage youth in Milwaukee.

For the high school students involved, this rally seemed to have a particularly enlightening effect. The program incorporated Christian beliefs regarding service and related discussion to the Bible, as well as allowed participants to assess their own values and beliefs pertaining to service. Furthermore, students were encouraged to develop a deeper understanding of how service fits into their own lives.

But the event that left the greatest impact on the rally-goers was the opportunity to put their new understanding of service into action through work at the Nehemiah House, where the group participated in various tasks such as painting, yard clean up, and dry-walling. This combination of a Christian-based formal program and hands-on service work resulted in an amazing learning experience – this rally has truly left a positive impression on all involved.
– Parker Hoerz

All Church Dinner
Who likes to cook? Come share your skills (or learn a few new ones) as we prepare the All-Church Dinner on May 4th. We will be preparing pasta, two different sauces, bread, salad, and a dessert. Come right after school so the dinner can be served at 6 p.m. Can’t make it before the dinner? Come, eat and help clean up. Adults are welcome to help.

Nehemiah Progress!
Thank you for buying a square! The basement of the Nehemiah House is open for business thanks to your support. Since September the youth have put in over 30 hours, $4000, countless cans of paint and endured various muscle aches to complete this project. Want to see what it looks like? We are going one more time – May 21. Come get your hands dirty (we will be doing yard work – including gardening) and see what you have helped make possible.

PF Trivia
The first person to email or call Carrie with the correct answer wins a $10 gift card to Noodles and Company!
Q - Who was born on May 31, 1819?
Hint: This person wrote, “Love the earth and sun and animals, Despise riches, give alms to everyone that asks, Stand up for the stupid and crazy, Devote your income and labor to others ... And your very flesh shall be a great poem.”


Youth Calendar

Regular PF Meetings

1 Registration Deadline for NAPF (Senior PF)
4 PF sponsored All-Church Dinner (arrive at 4 p.m. to set up and cook)
8 No Meeting! Spend time with Mom.
14 Second Saturday (if nice, outdoor games)
15 Regular Jr. and Sr. PF meetings
21 Nehemiah House Service Project (10 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.)
22 Regular Jr. and Sr. PF meetings
29 No Meeting!
Happy Memorial Day!

Looking Ahead

4 Last meeting of the school year
12 High School Seniors and Families’ Breakfast (8 a.m.)
12 High School Seniors plan worship with Sr. PF
17-18 Senior PF Overnight @ Tosa
26-30 NAPF Kansas City (Registration Deadline May 1st!) (Senior PF)

10-16 WCA Camp at Mt. Morris

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New Bible Classes Offered

Two new weekly Bible classes are beginning in May. Tuesday Morning Bible Study begins May 10, 9:00 – 10:30 a.m. in the Parlor. We are trying to find a child caregiver for this time and so far haven’t been successful. It is hoped that the new group will be willing to share childcare responsibilities (meaning that one person would tend to kids in the nursery each week) until someone is found. A new weekly Women’s Bible Study will begin on Wednesday, May 11, at 6:30 – 8 a.m. in the Parlor as a complement to our longstanding men’s study at the same time. (Childcare is not available at this hour.)

Both groups will begin with a study of the Gospel of Mark, thought by scholars to be the oldest of the gospels, and so a good place to start. As a basic text we’ll use the Basic Bible Commentary: Mark by Walter Weaver (Abingdon Press). The book provides an easy-to-use verse-by-verse commentary for background, as well as maps and charts, to help the Biblical text come alive. Copies are available for purchase in the office for $5. There are two copies in the church library (one in reference and one in circulating). Rev. Samuel Schaal facilitates these groups. Your pre-registration in the office helps us plan.

Of course, our Wednesday evening Lectionary Bible Study continues with a potluck supper at 6 p.m. followed by Bible study from 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. This class engages the texts of that week’s lectionary which are used in worship the following Sunday.
The Men’s Study continues on Wednesdays at 6:30 a.m. with Bible study every other week facilitated by Maurie Daigneau and theology discussions on the other weeks facilitated by Rev. Steven Peay, Ph.D.

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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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Which Bible is Best?

It is worth remembering that when you read an English Bible, you are reading a translation, not the original language. So while translators broadly agree, each will have their own important nuances in understanding the meaning of a Hebrew (Old Testament) or Greek (New Testament) word.

If you walk into a bookstore, you will find a numbing variety of Bibles. Which Bible translation is best? Here are the most highly recommended scholarly translations:

In our pews you’ll find the Revised Standard Version. Completed in 1952, this was a rigorous translation by major scholars of that era and it quickly became the standard in Protestant worship. The New Revised Standard Version (1990) updates the RSV, reflecting advances in the discovery and interpretation of documents (notably the Dead Sea Scrolls). The NRSV is the leading translation used among the Protestant mainline churches and is highly recommended.

The most popular American translation is the New International Version (1978). It was first conceived in the 1950s as a more conservative counterpart to the RSV. NIV scholars were not as broadly chosen as with the RSV/ NRSV, as all the scholars identified as theological conservatives/evangelicals.

Other translations worth pursuing, all of which you’ll find in the reference section of our library:
• New American Bible (1970), a Roman Catholic translation
• New Jerusalem Bible (1985)
• Revised English Bible (1989), the British standard, especially among Anglicans
• Tanakh (1981), the Jewish scriptures—our Old Testament—translated by Jewish scholars.

Of course, King James still holds court among the other translations with its elegant and classic words. But Biblical scholarship has vastly improved since 1611, so I recommend a more updated translation to sit beside the good King James Version.

Certain more contemporary versions are often not translations from original languages, but paraphrases. Such examples are the Living Bible and more recently The Message by Eugene Peterson. These are handy in finding your place in the story (and do a good job of making the ancient word more contemporary), but you should also consult a scholarly translation.
— Samuel Schaal

My First Choice
If I were to recommend the one Bible that I think is best for the general student, that would be:
The New Oxford Annotated Bible New Revised Standard Version(Oxford University Press)

The third edition is the latest. “Annotated” means it has notes, important for you to find your place in the story and to explain difficult words or concepts. (This is important whichever translation you pick.) The NRSV version is recommended, and the Oxford has excellent introductory essays to each book which provide a good basic education about the Bible. It’s a bit pricey (about $35 plus, depending on binding), but worth the investment. You’ll find it at Barnes & Noble and other leading booksellers. Later in the summer we hope to have them for sale at church.

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The Church Goes Digital!

In late April 2005, the Church sound system is being converted to the 21st century. Through a benevolent contribution in memory of Mark David Hedrick, the sound system in the Nave will be equipped to record and present concert and Sunday services in digital format.

The old recording equipment that did prepare audio cassette and VHS video tape recording is being removed and new Audio CD-R and video DVD-R recording equipment is being installed. This will greatly improve the recording quality of our Church service and concert recordings and guarantee the quality of the media duplications.

Two microphones being installed just to the west of the western chandeliers are specifically added to pick up music presentations performed out on the front riser area in front of the lectern and pulpit. Microphones above the choir will be reoriented and raised to better record the full ensemble.

In the Lower Level area used to duplicate the media from the services, new digital equipment is being added to the existing analog equipment. The goal is to produce DVD and CD recordings for distribution to the Congregational Home and possibly other organizations. The ability to produce audio cassette and VHS tape will be retained.

As a part of the overall contract with MetroSound, the sound system will be fully reviewed and documented with regard to the internal wiring and amplifiers to provide better operating understanding and training opportunities.

Opportunities exist for adults and youth to support our recording ministry. The quality of our worship and outreach is directly improved by members who get involved, support and run the equipment provided to capture the teachings and message. Can you help? Contact the church office, 258-7375 and volunteer to join the Tech Task Force.

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Election Meeting Notice – Accepted Nominations for 2005

On Sunday, May 15 at 10 a.m. in the Social Hall, the annual Election Meeting will take place. The Nominating Committee will present the slate of candidates. Children will have Children’s Sunday practice in the Nave.

Harry Holz

Vice Moderator
Butch Boyd

Past Moderator
Bill Edens

Michael Simmons

Assistant Treasurer
Jim Walsh

Church Clerk
Sharon Cook-Bahr

Jane Boyd
Jane Jacobson
Lisa Mauer
Sharon Petrie (2-year term)

Dick Berger
Lyle Dobberke

Care Board
Amy Hawthorne
Jane Kolberg
Lucy Miyazaki
Don Hensch (1-year term)

Christian Education
Laura Petrie Anderson
Val Blazich
Julianna Hayes

Nominating Committee
Julie Anheuser
Paul Schulze
Jennifer Wareham

Personnel Committee
Mark Boettcher
Stew Davis
Jim Santelle

Marilyn Auer
John O’Meara
Sharon Raymond
Merrick Wells
Carol Wittig
Mary Eggert (2-year term)

Lissa Edens
Sarah Hoffmann
Susan Sappington (1-year term)

Pam Benson
Nancy Stevens
Scott Hoerig
Laura Kletti
John Sgarlata
Traci Elliott (1-year term)
Charlie Wakefield (1-year term)

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As parents of an eighth grader
you are invited to the…
Covenant Class Parents’
Information Meeting

To be held in the Chapel on
Sunday, May 1, 2005
10 a.m.

We will be discussing the Board of Christian Education approved Covenant Class curriculum for ninth and tenth graders, the schedule for next year, expectations for youth and their families, requirements, as well as addressing questions and comments.

Please join us as we share the details of this exciting new program.

Please note your attendance with the church office prior to Thursday, April 28th (414-258-7375).

The content focus of this meeting will be especially for parents. Eighth graders are welcome to join us and/or there will an information session especially for them this summer.

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Church Secretary in Place

Sharon Cook-Bahr recently joined the staff at First Congregational Church, filling the position of Secretary and Church Clerk.

Sharon and husband Brian have been members since 2002. The mother of Danielle, 10 and Nathan, 5, Sharon has been involved as a Pioneer Club teacher and helped with music for the K4-5 program.

Prior to this, Sharon worked as a Special Education Aide in the Tosa School system.

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Sunday Symposium

10 a.m. Sundays in the Friendship Lounge
May 1
“ Mystic of the Month”
Rev. Steven Peay, Ph.D.

May 8
“ Everything You Wanted to Know About the Bible But Were Afraid to Ask”

May 15
No Symposium - Annual Meeting

May 22
Youth Panel Discussion

May 29
No Symposium
One service through summer

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Lectionary Readings

May 1 Sixth Sunday of Easter
First Lesson Acts 17:22-31
Psalmody Psalm 66:8-20
New Testament 1 Peter 3:13-22
Gospel John 14:15-21

May 8 Ascension Sunday/Mother’s Day
First Lesson Acts 1:1-11
Psalmody Psalm 47
New Testament Ephesians 1:15-23
Gospel Luke 24:44-53

May 15 Pentecost Sunday
First Lesson Acts 2:1-21
Psalmody Psalm 104:24-34; 35b
New Testament 1 Corinthians 12:3b-13
Gospel John 7:37-39

May 22 Trinity Sunday
Old Testament Genesis 1:1-2:4a
Psalmody Psalm 8
New Testament 2 Corinthians 13:11-13
Gospel Matthew 28:16-20

May 29 Second Sunday after Pentecost
Old Testament Genesis 6:11-22; 7:24; 8:14-19
Psalmody Psalm 46
New Testament Rom 1:16-17; 3:22b-28 (29-31)
Gospel Matthew 7: 21-29

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In Brief

Actors & Actresses needed for the Vacation Bible School Players

You must be in 6th grade or older and
available mornings August 1st through the 5th. For more information contact Carla Cummings at 258-7375.

Holy Land Adventure Bible School
will take place August 1–5
Please set aside the dates. More information will follow in the next issue of the Columns. Volunteers of all ages are needed and encouraged to contact Carla at 258-7375.

All-Church Dinner
May 4, 2005, 6 p.m.

Pasta Dinner– Featuring John Sgarlata’s Bolognese Sauce. A vegetarian option also available $5 Adults, $3 Children (under 12)
Please sign up in the church office by Sunday, May 1st.
Sponsored by Pilgrim Fellowship


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

Monday, May 16, noon.
Please email to Beth Linscott at or Sam Schaal at
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

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 4