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First Congregational

United Church of Christ

... exploring the frontiers of faith in Jesus

Neighbors in Need


Neighbors in Need (NIN) is a special mission offering of the United Church of Christ that supports ministries of justice and compassion throughout the United States. The offering this year will be held on Sunday, October 6th as part of our World Communion Sunday.

Neighbors in Need grants are awarded to UCC churches and organizations doing justice work in their communities. These grants fund projects whose work ranges from direct service to community organizing and advocacy to address systemic injustice. This year, special consideration will be given to projects focusing on serving our immigrant neighbors and communities.

7 Signs Series Update

Pastor Scott Spence

I hope this note finds you well. Our new Church Year means two things: the return of the Choir and Christian Education classes and changes to our Sunday worship. As for the former, I am very happy to have the Choir back with us in worship and I hope you are taking the chance to attend our exciting Sunday and Wednesday community offerings. Our church life is enriched when we are together sharing fellowship and learning from one another.

As for Sunday worship, you may have noticed some of the new things we have added: the Passing of the Peace, signing the attendance pew pads, and using the Sanctuary Screen. I encourage you to contact the Church Office with any constructive feedback you might have-we are always seeking to be a more inclusive worship community. Thank you!

The other major worship event has been the start of our 7 Signs of a Vital Congregation Sermon Series. We have already completed the first two (Lifelong Discipleship Formation and Authentic Evangelism) and I wanted to share a preview of the next several weeks:
9/22: Empowering Servant Leaders
9/29: Guest Preacher Associate Conference Minister Ellis Arnold
10/6: Holy Spirit Inspired Worship w/West High School Jazz Group

At the conclusion of each sermon I ask several questions for the congregation to discern and pray over during the week. You are invited to let me know where the Spirit leads you via email, phone call, or by coming to my Community Office Hours each Wednesday.

In case you missed them, I wanted to share the questions from our first two Sundays. As always my door is open if you would like to chat. God bless.

Discipleship Formation
* Does discipleship formation in our church lead people to change the way they live?
* Are people of all ages being challenged in assumptions, growing in understanding, and learning the language of faith?
* Are faithful habits being translated to daily living?
* Do all people feel welcome to share their voice, opinion, story without judgement or fear?
* What difficult conversations of faith and culture does our congregation need to have together? Whose voices are missing from the conversation to take place?
* How can faithful discipleship become our daily identity instead of just religious piety? How do others know we are disciples of Jesus Christ?

Authentic Evangelism
* When did the news of Christ become Good News in your life?
* Does our church authentically allow individuals to come as they are, with their particular stories, and hear the Good News? Why or why not?
* In our church, how do people share their stories and connect it to the story of God's redeeming love?
* How is our congregation equipped, empowered, and encouraged to intentionally share the Good News in daily life?
* What keeps us from sharing the Good News in our daily relationships?
* Can we call it "good news" if we do not share it in our authentic relationships?
* Can you name a time when sharing the Good News was good for someone who needed to hear it?

Bell Choir!

bells Bell Choir rehearsal night has changed to *Thursday.* Rehearsals will now be Thursdays 5:30-7:00 pm and the first Sunday performance will be September 29. The choir is also in need of one or two more ringers. If this sounds like something you'd like to try, please contact Luke!


Saturday November 23

It's time to start prepping for our Annual Christmas Bazaar! There are many ways you can help:
bazaar~ Bring your gently used items to be sold in our Bottom Drawer, Grandpa's Shed and/or Accessories areas.
~ Bake bread, cookies, pies for our Baked Goods area.
~ Make Candy for the Candy Corner.
~ Make crafts for the Handmade Goods area.
~ Create a Silent Auction item.
~ Donate books for the Book Nook.
~ Decorate a Christmas tree for the Festival of Trees raffle.
~ Sign up to help work the day of the Bazaar (it is fun and rewarding).

If you haven't experienced this amazing event and are interested in participating, please contact anyone on the Bazaar Committee. Thanks for everyone's help. It wouldn't be the success it is, if it weren't for our awesome congregation coming together for this event.

Connie Jo Peirce, Jayne Slaughter and Jill Jensen

I Know We're All Welcome At The Table But Do I Have To Sit Next To You?

Workshop September 28
9 am - 3 pm

We are invited to participate in this workshop at the Cedar Falls UCC, led by Rev. Janice Jean Springer. Lunch will be provided. Early registration cost is $25, after September 15, cost is $35 (some financial aid may be available).

Explore topics like how to embrace a relative who is against everything we are for; how to stay in community with a church member who stands on the opposite side of vital issues.

Click the image below for more information about the workshop, the leader, and how to register!



Make a difference by donating to an upcoming garage sale benefiting Love INC! If you have items you would like to donate bring them to 4516 Quesada Court, Cedar Falls anytime between Sept 22-25.

Some of the items donated will go directly to our neighbors in need in the community through appointments with Love INC. The other items will be sold and 100% of the proceeds will benefit Love INC.

The sale will happen from Thursday, Sept 26 through Saturday, Sept 28.

Pastor's Public Office Hours

Wednesday, September 18, Pastor Scott will hold open Community Office Hours at the Fat Cup (37 Fletcher Ave; Waterloo) from 3-5 pm. Stop by to chat!

Sunday School
September 22, 2019

Gathering (9:00 - 9:15 am)

Youth and adults meet for singing, praying and mission news.

Classes (9:15 - 10:15 am)

Children from Pre-K up to 2nd grade meet in the Sunday School Room.
Children from 3rd up to 5th grade meet in the chapel.

Students 6th grade and up will gather upstairs in the Murphy Youth Room.

Adults meet in the lounge with Pastor Scott for a discussion of the sermon topic.
Women's Book Study Group meets in the Friendship Room.

Welcome (again) Katie!

We have already welcomed Katie Thomas as our new Youth Director, but now she has chosen to become a full member of our congregation as well! We are delighted that she has taken that next step and want to welcome her - again! The picture is from Katie's membership reception on Sunday Sept 15.


Supportive Care Team: Deaconate

Would you like the opportunity to be a part of a supportive Care Team? The Deacons partner and care for members of our church family and community. We also provide Sunday morning and special church holiday support by finding greeters and doing general church preparation, such as unlocking and locking church doors, placing flowers, turning on lights, etc. We also arrange fellowship opportunities after church services (cookies, snacks, coffee, lemonade, etc). Please consider joining a great team by sharing your gifts with your church family. Please contact the church office if interested.

Fall Sermon Series

7 Signs of a Vital Congregation

September 8: Discipleship Formation
     Philippians 3:4-14
September 15: Authentic Evangelism
     2 Corinthians 4:5-12
September 22: Empowering Servant Leaders
     Matthew 9:35-38

September 29: Being a Welcoming Church
     Guest Preacher: Rev. Ellis Arnold
October 6: Spirit-Filled Worship
     Isaiah 29:13-16
October 13: Caring Relationships
     John 13:35
October 20: Why Church? Why Here?
     1 Corinthians 12:13-31

PS. The Pastor's Sunday School Class will be looking at that day's sermon topic in depth. Great opportunity for a head start!


Crop WalkThis year's walk will begin at 2:00 pm on September 29th starting at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Cedar Falls. Talk to Tara Spence for more information.

Fall Clothing Give-Away

clothesTime to clean out those closets! Our annual Historic Church Row Fall Clothing Giveaway is approaching - October 19! As always, bedding and kids' things will go first. Please bring items you'd like donate to the church crossroads until October 17. If you would be able to help arrange items for a hour or two Friday, October 18 from 9 to 5 or to distribute them on Saturday, October 19 from 9 to 10:30, please call/text 504-3212.

Wednesday Activity Nights!

On Wednesday evenings, our church is bustling with activities. Child Care is Provided! Join us for the following:

Community Potluck: 6:00pm
Bible Study with Pastor Scott 7:00 pm (Krazy Kinfolk: Exploring Dysfunctional Families of the Bible)
[Note: you do not have to buy the book, or to read a particular assignment to participate! All are welcome!]
Youth Group: 7:00 - 8:00pm (Middle and Senior High)
Chancel Choir Practice: 7:00 - 8:30pm

Special Events Coming Up!

E.Arnold Sunday, September 29, we will host Rev. Ellis Arnold as a Guest Preacher. Rev. Arnold spoke at Pastor Scott's installation last year and is now an Associate Conference Minister with UCC Tri-Conference Ministries (Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota).

Sunday October 6, a Jazz Group from West High School will join us as Guest Worship Musicians. This promises to be a special treat!

Sunday October 13, we are delighted to host a Hip Hop Literacy group for a special performance at 6:30 pm.

Save the dates and watch for more information to come.

Veteran's Home Project

Church Row

Nearing completion:1417 West 4th St, Waterloo; a renovated 3 bedroom home with 1 1/2 baths, central air, sun room, dining room, large patio, fenced back yard, and 2- car garage. Close to schools.

When completed this affordable home will be sold to a military veteran family. To learn more call Yolando at 319-291-2512, or email

Showings are being scheduled for this home. If you know a veteran family looking for a newly renovated affordable home, please have them call Ed at 319-231-6572 for information about down payment assistance, zero closing costs, and work credit allowances.