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First Congregational

United Church of Christ

... exploring the frontiers of faith in Jesus

Lent

- What does it mean to follow Jesus? Does it cost anything? Does it ask anything? How can we do it by ourselves? Or as part of a faith community? What is this whole Christian thing about? You are invited to explore these questions (and more!) during our Lenten Bible Study. Led by Pastor Scott, this class will take a look at Discipleship and The Gospel of Matthew. We meet every Sunday at 9 or Wednesdays from 12-1 in the Chapel (bring your lunch).

We will look at the following topics:
Week of March 17th: No Class - Spring Break
Week of March 24th: Disciples in Crisis
Week of March 31st: Disciples in Mission
Week of April 7th: When the Going Gets Tough
Week of April 14th: Disciples in the Making

- Lent Midweek Servies will be held each Wednesday evening through April 17th beginning at 6:00 pm. All are welcome.

NAMI Basics

NAMIFamily Caregivers of Children and Adolescents with Mental Health Conditions:


* Understand the experience of youth living with mental illness
* Discover problem-solving skills and how to handle challenging behaviors
* Receive information on planning for crisis management and relapse and how to build a community of support.

** Deadline to register is Friday, March 29th. If you have questions or to register, please contact Leslie Cohn at NAMI Black Hawk County 319-235-5263 or namibh@qwestoffice.

Classes are held at:
First Congregational Church
Every Thursday from April 18th - May 23rd
6:00 - 8:30 pm

Women of Faith Supper

The next Women of Faith Supper will be held at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, March 26 at the Cedar Falls United Church of Christ, 9204 University Ave, Cedar Falls. That evening, the Rev. Janice Springer will talk to us about things we can do to promote interfaith and intercultural communication. She has conducted workshops on this topic and has written a book with the delightful title: I Know We're All Welcome at the Table, But Do I Have to Sit Next to You?. (Copies will be available for sale @ $15).

The supper will be a vegetarian potluck (cheese and eggs are OK; meat, seafood, gelatin products and alcohol are not). If you can, bring a dish to share. But, even if you aren't able to, please come; there's always plenty to share.

The tragic events of recent days remind us of the importance of interfaith communication, understanding, and friendship. Through our Suppers, we nurture those things in our community even while we have fun and eat well. I hope you will be able to join the Supper next week -- contact Evie Waack for more information or carpooling. (319) 230-7320 or evie.waack@gmail.com.

UCC

UCC Leaders: Mourning the massacre in New Zealand

There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear; for fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not reached perfection in love. - 1 John 4:18

This morning we awoke to the horrendous news of the mass shooting of Muslims at Friday prayers in two mosques in New Zealand. In the Masjid an-Nur mosque ("Mosque of Light"), Christchurch, and in the Linwood Mosque, 49 people were killed and more than 40 are injured. We hold the victims and their families in prayer. As a Christian community of faith, the United Church of Christ stands with the Muslim community of New Zealand, in the U.S., and around the world, particularly those living with the daily realities of racism, Islamophobia and anti-immigrant sentiment.

We condemn this atrocious act of hate and terror and pray for the safety in worship for all communities of faith, especially Muslims today, and that they are free to do so without fear.

We reject the ideology of white supremacy, and any Christian justification of it, that remains prevalent in our country and in other places, an attitude that was cited in the manifesto of the arrested suspected shooter.

We strive to demonstrate our understanding of God's love for all of God's children by actively engaging with interfaith partners, including U.S. Muslims and globally, to know each other and to seek God's justice based on shared principles of love of God and love of neighbor.

We offer our support for American Muslims and urge our members to find ways to express their solidarity with Muslim neighbors in their local communities across the country.

We strive to demonstrate a generous welcome to new immigrants, especially as they often experience rhetoric and acts of hate in many forms, unfortunately including fatal violence.

We commit to continue to work to overcome anti-Islamic sentiment through engagement and education in our churches. We remain vigilant in countering all forms of bigotry based on religion, race or any other category of identity, consistent with the statement of Dr. Mathews George Chunakara, the General Secretary of our partner, the Christian Council of Asia who said, "No matter what faith we adhere or ethnicity we belong to, everybody should be able to live in an atmosphere where peace and security is prevailed and sustained; any act of violence must be prevented with all possible efforts."

And as we mourn with the victims today, we offer this prayer of care and support:

Holy One, called by many names, our hearts are once again touched and broken by events in our communities. You created us from love and call us to love you and to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. Once again we find ourselves facing the reality that fear is among us instead of love.

We pray for the families and friends of those murdered and injured in Christchurch, New Zealand today. We pray for Muslim communities globally and extend love, peace and comfort in the midst of yet another tragic moment. We pray for healing for the injured and for lives that are torn apart today. We stand boldly as Christians believing that the love that comes from you is greater than the fear that destroys lives and communities. Amen.

UCCStaff

Pastor Scott's Community Office Hours
3:00-5:00 pm

3/27 - Cup of Joe
( Downtown CF )

Sunday School
March 24, 2019

Gathering (9:00 - 9:15 am)

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

Classes (9:15 - 10:15 am)

CHILDREN
Children from Pre-K up to 5th grade meet with Jayne Slaughter in the upstairs Sunday School Room.

YOUTH
Students 6th grade and up will gather upstairs with Evie Waack and Diana Paige in the Murphy Youth Room.

ADULT FORUM
Adults meet in the chapel, looking at Discipleship..

Women's Book Study meets in the Friendship Room looking at Nadia Bolz-Weber's Accidental Saints: Finding God in all the Wrong People.

Pastoral Care

One of the most important functions of ministry is providing care and support in times of need. Please contact the church office, Diaconate Chair or contact me directly (919) 265-8902 if you or someone you know is in need of pastoral care. Due to HIPAA regulations, churches are often not contacted when their members are in the hospital, so please let us know in case of emergency or need. Thank you.

~ Pastor Scott

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Pastor Scott will be out of town from March 16th through 22nd. Please contact the office if you need pastoral assistance during that time.

Spring Clothing Give-Away

April 6, 2019

clothesIt's time now to check your closets for items you'd like to donate! Bedding, towels and pillows are also always in need for new residents in our neighborhood. You may bring your items to the Crossroads anytime this month.

Prayer Chain...

pray Sara Bruce, daughter of Bob and Beth Hurley, had another surgery last week as the spinal fluid in her brain is not draining properly. Your continued prayers are appreciated.

The Deacons invite you to jump on the meal train for Sara Bruce and her family.
(https://www.mealtrain.com/trains/o3vl9n)

By going to the website above, you can sign up to bring/make a meal, make a donation or send a gift card. Not a cook?? Live far away?? Please think about a donation, a gift card, a gas card AND/or offering a few hours of respite. You may donate on the website, add to the offering plate on Sunday (marked for Sara Bruce/care of Bob or Beth Hurley), or mail to the church office, 608 W 4th St Waterloo. (again, marked clearly for Sara Bruce/care of Bob or Beth Hurley).

Thank you again for your prayers and support. If you have questions, please contact Gina Greene.

Youth

Thank you to everyone who agreed to be a Mentor for our Confirmation class this year! This important relationship is intended to help our Confirmands develop their faith and start to become a full member of First Congregational UCC. It is a important commitment and we are blessed to have such a great class of Mentors and Mentees. Here is our 2019 Class-be sure to greet them when you get a chance:

   Mentee              Mentor

Jack Conrad               Tim Ahrens
Jessica Conrad           Connie Jo Peirce
Kaden McConnell        Paul Greene
Kenny Steva               David Panicucci
Zack Steva                 Meach Meacham
Allison Kaliban            Lauren Reisinger
Lucy Prescott              Jayne Slaughter
Michael Dunn              Greg Holt

Tri-Conference Ministries

triconference

Join us for the first ever joint meetings of the Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota conferences of the United Church of Christ June 14-15-16, 2019 at the Tri-Faith Initiative in Omaha, Nebraska. The Tri-Faith Initiative is one in which three faith institutions - Temple Israel, Countryside Community Church UCC, and the American Muslim Institute - committed to build three houses of worship and a shared Tri-Faith Center together on one parcel of land. We are so grateful for their hospitality!

Please contact the Church Office if you are interested in being a delegate!

LifeLine

Do you have high cholesterol or high blood pressure? Have members of your family suffered from these ailments? Do you have a poor diet? If you answer yes to any of these questions, you may want to consider being screened through the services of Life Line Screening. Life Line Screening uses ultrasound technology to view the plaque build up in your carotid arteries, the main arteries that carry blood to the brain. Blockages in these arteries are a leading cause of stroke.

We hosted this Life Line Screening event in January 2017 and are pleased to host again on April 10th here at First Congregational Church. Register for a Wellness Package which includes 4 vascular tests and osteoporosis screening from $149 ($139 with our member discount). All five screenings take 60-90 minutes to complete.

For more information and to register for this event and receive a $10 discount off any package priced above $129, please call 1-888-653-6441 or visit www.lifelinescreening.com/communitycircle or text the word circle to 797979.