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First Congregational

United Church of Christ

... exploring the frontiers of faith in Jesus

Fall Festival

Sunday, October 21 at 3 pm

Outdoor Activities

hayrideHay rides
Apple Bobbing
Gourd Games
Pumpkin seed spitting

Indoor Activities

instruments Gourd and Pumpkin Decorating
Face Painting
Fall Photo Booth
Instrument Petting Zoo!

5:30 pm Chili Cookoff!

chili(Please bring your chili by 5:15 pm; eating and judging begins at 5:30).

Pastor's Corner:
Rev. Scott Spence

You Are Beloved!

Saturday I had the honor of attending the Iowa Conference Annual Meeting in West Des Moines. Annual Meeting is an opportunity for UCC clergy and church members from all across the Hawkeye State to come together and conduct business, worship, have fellowship, and just "be church" for a day. Our Conference, much like our state, is quite diverse. In attendance were believers from congregations rural and urban, large and small, historic and new, and Congregationalist and Evangelical & Reformed. It's quite the event.

installationThe central event of Annual Meeting was the Installation of the Rev. Brigit Stevens as our Conference Minister [photo of installation at left]. Installation is an opportunity for a church and a new pastor to formally make commitments to one another and to God that they will support and be accountable for the course of their time together. Think of it like a wedding but with different vows and everyone being in the party. This Installation was especially important because of recent changes within the UCC. The next several years will see the creation of something called the Tri-Conference. In plain speak this means that the Iowa, Nebraska, and South Dakota Conferences will be combining ministries and functions together in order to fit the needs of today's UCC. This does not mean that the Iowa Conference will cease to function or that First Congregational is now on its own in the wilderness. It does mean that we are being asked to be more creative and open to the Holy Spirit's calling on the direction of our denomination. Institutions need to change and adapt to be better at their calling-and that includes the local and national church.

I realize that change can be scary. I confess that I don't know how exactly the Tri-Conference idea will shake out. I don't know what form First Congregational will take in 2019, 2025, or beyond. We will succeed at some things, fail at others and stop "doing it the way we've always done it"-but we will still be the Body of Christ no matter what.

Rev. Stevens I'd like to share some advice that Rev. Stevens [pictured at the right] gave during worship. She was preaching on John 17:21 and Jesus' prayer that "they may all be one." That phrase is a big deal in the UCC. This desire for community and love was one of the reasons for our founding in 1957. It's even in our logo! Rev. Stevens reminded us that the verse is in a larger passage about God's love for each and every one of us no matter who we are. She asked us that in times of stress and change, or even as a daily spiritual practice, to take time and look in the mirror and remind yourself "You are beloved! You are beloved!"

Here's my challenge for you: don't just end it there. Extend that to our church and our community, especially when you are frustrated with either one. "First Congregational UCC-You Are Beloved! Waterloo, Iowa-You Are Beloved!" Say it. Believe it. Be it.

God bless.

Gardening at Irving

gardenOnce again, the Church Row Neighborhood is working on beautifying our area! Fall gardening starts at Irving School on Thursday October 18 from 4-6 PM. Help is always appreciated!

How Can I Help at the Bazaar?

Let Us Count the Ways!


1. Come to the Bazaar and bring friends.
2. Buy luncheon tickets.
3. Donate money to defray the luncheon food costs.
4. Bake! Bake! Bake!
5. Make Candy.
6. Come and Buy a Quilt.
7. Bring in homemade/grown jams, pickles, squash, plants, herbs.
8. Return jelly, canning jars.
9. Donate wire hangers and wired ribbon for wreaths.
10. Bring in new or barely used items for the "Bottom Drawer."
11. Donate tools, sporting goods, fishing gear for "Grandpa's shed."
12. Knit, crochet, sew items for Handmade table.
13. Volunteer to serve at the luncheon.
14. Volunteer to set up/take down tables
15. Take and post flyers.
16. Donate an item for the Silent Auction **
17. Donate jewelry.
18. Donate books.
19. Volunteer to help with one of the tables to give others a break.
20. Think of new ideas for next year!!!

** Ideas for the Silent Auction are endless: A themed basket, a dinner event, yard work or snow shoveling, a special piece of art or photography- as you come up with ideas- please contact Gina Greene. Thanks in advance!

** Luncheon Desserts Also Needed...

pieAgain, we are asking for amazing desserts for the bazaar lunch. Just like last year, we want the people to be awed by the food and desserts! So, we would like pies, layer cakes or cheese cakes from scratch to be made by those who like to bake. Please let Nancy Mahood know and she will add you to her list. A great big THANK YOU in advance!


cookiesEach year our baked goods tables have been quite a hit! This year we are offering a "Healthy Alternatives" section for those who are looking for healthier ingredients or who have special dietary needs! So we need bakers who would like to contribute to this table. These could be any baked goods that would be:
• Gluten-free
• Refined white sugar-free
• Organic or vegan
• Whole wheat
• Contain especially healthy ingredients such as yogurt, honey, etc.

Be sure to label your items and list any special ingredients that make it a 'healthy alternative' as well as any that might contain an allergen such as nuts. If you have any questions, contact Beth Hurley.

Chamber Music Concert

A chamber music concert at First Congregational United Church of Christ in Waterloo will be on Sunday, October 28, at 3:00 p.m. This concert is sponsored by First Congregational Church and the American Guild of Organists Cedar Valley Chapter and features members Miah Han and Anne Hoekstra on the organ! Please see the poster below (click to enlarge) for more information.

It's free and open to the public so pelase come and bring your friends!


Sunday School
October 21, 2018

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 5th grade meet with Jayne Slaughter in the upstairs Sunday School Room. The children will learn to tie scriptural truth into their own lives.

Students 6th grade and up will gather upstairs in the Murphy Youth Room with Hannah and Paul Prescott. The youth will learn how being "Plugged In" to God can make their lives even better!

Adults meet in the chapel. Join us this morning to learn more about our Mission for this year - the Cedar Valley Hospitality House - from our guest Joni Hansen.

Sunday School

**Our Sunday School Mission this year is Cedar Valley Hospitality House. Join us for Sunday School on Sunday, October 21st to hear Joni Hansen speak about all they provide for the Cedar Valley.

Joni will also be available after worship in the library to continue the conversation and answer questions!

**We are in need of one more Sunday School teacher! If you or you and another person would like to share this opportunity to teach our children, please contact Hannah.

Potlucks with the Pastor!

pot luck Don't forget about the "get to know the Pastor" Potlucks scheduled for the coming month from 6 PM to about 7:30 PM (child care is provided.) Here is the initial schedule:

*Thurs, Oct 18th: Last names starting with A-F
*Thurs, Oct 25th: Last names starting with G-L
*Thurs, Nov 1st: Last names starting with M-R
*Thurs, Nov 8th: Last names starting with S-Z

But we understand that you all lead very busy lives so if you cannot make it to your designated time please come on another Thursday. Please RSVP with Michelle (319-234-8927 or in the Church Office or sign up in the library with your name, date, and what you are bringing so that we have an idea of what to expect. Pastor Scott is looking forward to some fine Iowa cuisine and even better conversation!

Fall Clothing Drive

ClothingThe Church Row will be holding our annual fall clothing giveaway again on Saturday, October 27th from 9am to 10:30am at Sacred Heart Church. Please collect your extra clothes, bedding, and towels and drop them off in the Crossroads at church when you come on Sunday.

Attention Church Youth!

bells If you are interested in playing the bells, practice will begin on Sunday, October 28th after the church service in the choir room. We will continue to meet each Sunday through November 18th with our debut at our worship service on November 25th.

Bunger Journals

journal We are excited to announce that there are 41 students at our Partner-in-Education, Bunger Middle School, who are interested in having a journal buddy from our congregation this school year!

Please contact: Hannah or Michelle to get signed up with your new pen pal.

Thank you in advance!

Church Row Neighborhood Project

Our Historic Church Row Neighborhood is working with Veteran Affairs to completely remodel a home at 1417 West 4th St. and make it available to a deserving, caring, veteran familly at an affordable price. We need your support. Please volunteer to help in any way that you can or give a donation. For more information about how we can help, see the poster below or contact Ed Dams at

Click to enlarge the poster!
Home Start

Invitation from Celeste Bembry...

Celeste Dear Church Family,

Kenya Mission Trip 2018 - God's amazing gift to Celeste Bembry Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

You, First Congregational Church family all are a huge Iowa blessing to me and so many others. Thank you Jesus!!

You are cordially invited to the Kenya Mission Trip presentation this Saturday, October 20th. We are excited to share our experiences and present pictures of the beautiful children, the Masai and Kukuyu people, their culture, country and wildlife. Absolutely stunning!

Thank you for your prayers and financial support to fund my opportunity to join the Antioch Baptist Church mission team to serve nearly 80 motherless and fatherless Kenyan children this past August. The experience was lifechanging.

Event: Kenyan Mission Trip Presentation

Date: Saturday, October 20th

Time: 1:00pm to 2:30pm

Location: Antioch Baptist Church

Address: 426 Sumner Street, W'loo

Directions: drive north on 4th Street to Sumner Street make right turn. (Sumner is just past the railroad tracks)

See you there!!!

Woman's Book Study

Inspired When: 9-10 am on Sundays starting October 28th

Where: Friendship Room

We will be reading the latest book from Rachel Held Evans called Inspired: Slaying Giants, Walking on Water, and Loving the Bible Again. It is available at Amazon starting at $9.99 depending on the version you buy. Come ready to talk about the first chapter. Bring a friend and I'll bring snacks!

~ Tara Spence

Women of Faith Supper

* Each month Women of the Muslim, Jewish and Christian Faiths from the Cedar Valley gather on a Tuesday evening for a meal and then have an educational sharing.

* The next Women of Faith supper will be held on Tuesday, October 23 at 6 p.m. at St. Luke's Episcopal Church, 2410 Melrose Drive, Cedar Falls. That evening, we will learn how The World's Window helps women around the world. The World's Window is a nonprofit gift shop which sells unique certified Fair Trade products to the Cedar Valley. Items from the shop will be displayed and available for purchase.

* Check out "Women of Faith Potluck Dinners" on Facebook for more information.

* Contact Evie Waack at or Audrey Adams-Sorge at (319) 236-1817 if you are interested or have questions.