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First Congregational

United Church of Christ

... exploring the frontiers of faith in Jesus

This page is current as of May 1 but will not be updated for a few weeks due to a vacation. To get current information about our church and activities, please refer to your Tidings newsletter, the Sunday bulletins, our Facebook page, or call the church office! This site should be regularly updated again starting May 22.

Chamber Music Concert
May 5; 7 pm

LYRA

From Russia With Love ~~~ Don't miss this opportunity to hear authentic Russian orthodox chant and folk songs from the Russian countryside live at First Congregational Church in Waterloo. Here is what a recent article by the Washington Post had to say about the ensemble: "Lyra produced a pure a cappella sound that could both fill the intimate space and drop to an edge-of- your-seat whisper, and the ensemble coordination remained impeccable through even the most complex polyphony. The group's clear harmonies gave a sense of how the unique flavor of Orthodox music persists in both the clean, bright music of 17th-century Dmitri Bortniansky and the aching chromatics of turn-of-the-last-century Pavel Tchesnokov. Dobri Khristov's "Praise the name of the Lord" made the greatest impression of all, though, because it featured a solo by Vladimir Feliauer, one of those force-of-nature Russian basses, whose tone was rock-solid and velvet-smooth no matter how low he went."

This special concert is brought to us by Cedar Valley Chamber Music and performed in our FCUCC Sanctuary. Tickets are available at the door: $15 for adults, Free admission for students. Click the poster above to enlarge.

PPC

God has told you, O mortal, what is good;
and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God?

Micah 6:8

Last Saturday I had the honor of hearing the life story and testimony of a Waterloo hero. Jubilee United Methodist Church was hosting a meeting of the Iowa Poor People's Campaign (more on that later) in which an award was given to Anna Mae Weems. Ms. Weems is 93 years young and has been fighting for civil rights and social justice in our community for many decades.

She brought the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to speak here in 1959. She pushed for integration in hiring and the local school systems. One of the speakers described her as someone who "has given power to the powerless, a voice to those who thought they had no voice. She taught us to speak up."

And what gave Ms. Weems the power to speak up and to speak truth to power? Her Christian faith-a faith that taught her to love her neighbor and to work for a better world for all God's children. And it is a faith that keeps her going strong to this day.

After receiving the award and telling us some of her remarkable life story, Ms. Weems also encouraged those in attendance to continue working for justice in our own communities. We can both celebrate the heroes of the Civil Rights Movement and realize that we have yet to finish its goals. One need to only read the newspaper or watch the news to realize that while much has been gained, much also needs to be done.

So where does this leave people of faith today? And what is this new Poor People's Campaign all about? The new PPC is led by two ministers (Rev. Dr. William Barber III and Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis) but is open to all faith traditions or people of no declared faith tradition. It seeks to build on the work of the first PPC in 1968 while adapting to new issues and problems.

At its core the PPC focuses not on partisan left wing or right wing issues but moral issues: that in the richest country in the history of the world it is sinful to have citizens who cannot afford food, shelter, or adequate health care. It reminds us that poverty is widespread across our nation and that our faiths call for us to care for the least and the lost among us.

These are issues that affect us in concrete ways in our community. One need only to read recent articles in WallStreet 24/7, The Huffington Post, or the Steele Report to learn that Waterloo suffers from serious levels of segregation and economic stratification. Our choice as a relatively privileged faith community is whether to engage these issues or hope that they somehow solve themselves.

The PCC is at its heart non-partisan. It seeks to place the voices of those most affected at the center of our national debates-not the politicans or the talking heads but the people. In Waterloo this occurred by listening to folks talk about their obstacles and seeking to find ways to help them. The next step will be gathering these stories together, determining the major issues facing our community, and creating coalitions across racial and class lines to push for solutions. As Ms. Weems reminds us it's going to take a lot of work.

If you are interested in learning more about the PPC I would encourage you to check out their website at www.poorpeoplescampaign.org/ . In the spirit of full disclosure I do plan on being actively involved in their efforts-it is something that my sense of faith compels me to do. I would also love to chat with you over a cup of coffee if you have questions or feedback.

God bless.

Pastor Scott

Women's Breakfast

ladies Due to the road construction on University Ave, the Women's Breakfast will be held at the Perkins on San Marnan Ave for a few months. On Saturday May 11 and Saturday June 8, we will have the separate party room reserved at 9:00 am. After June's breakfast, we will reassess if we want to continue at that location or change it. If you haven't been to a previous women's breakfast, now is a great time to join us!! New location; new faces are always welcome!! Great food and great fellowship!! Call Michelle in the office, if you are able to join us!!

Grin and Grow

Grin and Grow Grin and Grow Child Care (G&G) has enjoyed the hospitality and kindness of our UCC hosts at 608 West 4th for many years. We are posting in Tidings and the Bulletin this week to inform you that unfortunately we are experiencing particularly severe financial stress at present. We know that First Church understands the important role G&G plays in meeting child care needs for working class parents in the neighborhood we share. This notice is to ask church members to consider making individual donations. G&G is a 501c3 organization. Arrangements have been made for the church office to collect your donations. Please help us to continue our important work in this financially troubled time.

Cliff Highnam is on the G&G Board of Directors and is the FCUCC liaison. You can contact him with any questions!

Music Sunday

MiahMay 12th is Music Sunday. Join us for this special service to thank all of our church musicians, and plan to stay after worship for a farewell reception honoring Miah Han for her nine years of service to First Congregational UCC.

Vacation Bible School

VBS

Coming June 16-20!
Where: Zion Lutheran Church (810 Kimball, Waterloo)
Times: 5:00 - 7:30 pm
Who: 3 years old through Grade 5

We are partnering again with several other churches for VBS this summer. The theme this year is To Mars and Beyond! We are in need of volunteers to help so if you are able to teach, help with FCUCC's sponsored meal on Wednesday or assist with registration or as guides, please let Michelle (in the church office) know!

You can download the registration form here or pick them up in the church library. Return your completed form(s) to the church office!

Sunday School
May 5, 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.

Women's Book Study meets in the Friendship Room looking at Nadia Bolz-Weber's Accidental Saints: Finding God in all the Wrong People. We would love to have more ladies join us!

Youth

May 5 is Youth Sunday! Come support our youth on Confirmation Day! Join us for this special youth-led service.

Baptisms!

Last Sunday we celebrated FIVE Baptisms! A big congratulations to Erin Sires, Sophia Sires, Eva Sapp, Demi Daniels and Ila Daniels.

baptisms

Thursday Evening Book Study

No Class on May 2.

churchbookA book study with potluck happens Thursday evenings in the chapel. Potluck supper begins at 6:00 pm with discussion beginning about 6:30 pm. The book is titled Real Good Church by Rev. Molly Phinney Baskette. Rev. Baskette is a UCC pastor who writes openly and honestly about the experience of church renewal and gives practical steps for any congregation. This book is very relevant to some of our needs! (You can purchase the Kindle Version on Amazon for $10 or the hard copy book from any book retailer.)

All are welcome to join us!

Church Picnic - June 2!

picnicMark your calendars now - there will be no worship at FCUCC on Sunday June 2. But come on out to our annual church picnic! We will have an outdoor worship that morning followed by a picnic - great fun, great food, great fellowship. Watch for details coming soon.

Congratulations!

rings

Church member Emily Stevenson, daughter of Jim and Nancy Stevenson, was married to David Still on March 23rd! The wedding occurred on the private ocean beach of the Hutchinson Island Marriott Beach Resort in Stuart, FL! Emily and Dave live in Parker, CO.

Support our Church Famly AND Our Local Theater

Junie B Jones

We are excited to announce that Natalie Lindaman, starring as Junie B. Jones, Kari Lindaman and Emily Lindaman will be performing in the last two shows of Junie B. Jones is NOT a Crook, produced by Black Hawk Children's Theater at the Waterloo Center for the Arts. (225 Commercial St. Waterloo)

You still have two chances to see Junie B. on MAY 3 at 7 pm and May 4 at 2 pm. You can purchase your tickets online at www.wcpbhct.org or by calling the Box Office at 319-291-4494.

What a horrible day for Junie B.! She is sure that someone stole her brand new mittens - whoever took her mittens needs to return them immediately. This hilarious and heartfelt story is based on the shenanigans of the incomparable Junie B. Jones created by Barbara Park.

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

Grief and Solidarity

synagogue

A message from the UCC Associate General Minister of Justice and Local Church Ministries Traci Blackmon:

On the last day of Passover (Pesach), we once again are reminded of the virulent effect of hatred unleashed. We are reminded that words are not inanimate. We are reminded that words have power and hateful words are can fuel deadly actions. On this day that should be a day of holy celebration for our Jewish kindred, once again, we issue words that are too many, and yet not enough to shield our kindred from hatred made lethal upon gathered communities of faith.

This time we offer these words of grief and solidarity to Congregation Chabad in the aftermath of today's deadly and harmful attack, and we mourn the brokenness of those so distanced from love that they carry out such acts with increasing frequency.

As we continue to mourn the bombings in Sri Lanka, the massacre at the Christchurch mosque in New Zealand, and the burning of black churches in Louisiana, and the murders at Tree of Life Synagogue just six months ago, we grieve anew today. We grieve with the families and community of those who are dead and those who are wounded, both physically and emotionally today. We grieve the violation of another sacred space of worship. We decry the targeting of the Jewish community with hateful, cowardly & murderous acts.

We offer not only our prayers, but our presence in the continuing fight against anti-semitism in all of its forms. We commit to deep listening to our Jewish siblings to hear what you need to reclaim your God - given right to live, worship, work, and play free from harm. And we will continuing striving for a Just world for all, in praxis and in prayer until the liberation of Passover dwells among us all.

Hate will not win.

Love will always be Greater.