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First Congregational

United Church of Christ

... exploring the frontiers of faith in Jesus

West Virginia Mission Trip

Here are a few pictures of our confirmation class, their peer mentors Lauren and Katherine, and their leaders, Tim and Kathleen, on their July 2016 mission trip to West Virginia.

Click any of the pictures to open the whole album!

Mission Group

West Virginia building

cooking

YOUth

YOUth are not just the future of our church.
YOUth are the church!
And so are YOU!

Connections
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When I gathered at Pilgrim Heights Camp & Retreat Center this August with 30 some Iowa teenagers from various UCC churches, one of the first things our confirmation retreat facilitators shared was this: "We need to support our youth, yes, because they are the future. But what about now? The youth are with us now! And what do they have to offer right now?"

YOUth, you are energetic. Bring that energy with you to church on Sundays! Come and run to the altar and wonder at the mystery of the breaking of the bread and the sharing of the communion cup. Raise your voices in song with us, and teach us new songs to sing! For as Jesus said, "Let the children come to me, and do not stop them, because the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these." (Mark 10:14)

YOUth, you are creative! Share your creativity with us. Teach us how to be more creative. When we ask you a question during the children's lesson, don't be afraid to share your thoughts. Your answer might just be something that we adults may have once known but have forgotten along the way.

YOUth, you are compassionate. Teach us how to be more caring! Show us how to be welcoming of new friends. Teach us how to be neighbors to our neighbors.

YOUth, you are funny. Show us how to laugh with God and with one another. Teach us to appreciate the smallest joys in life. Remind us of the gift of laughter and friendship.

YOUth, you are inquisitive. That means that you ask a lot of questions, which is good! Please remind us that we should do the same. Did you know that a poet once said, "Sometimes questions are more important than answers?"
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YOU all are energetic; YOU all are creative; YOU all are compassionate; YOU all are funny; and, YOU all are inquisitive. Together, you and I are the church!

-Kathleen Marsh, Director of Youth Ministries

Youth Ski Trip - 2016

Ski Trip

Youth members enjoyed a weekend of adventure, community, and growth together. We were thankful for sunny weather and enjoyed the slushy slopes in Galena, Illinois, with a beautiful view of the Mississippi River below the ski hills. We also reflected together on ways in which God has carried us and our spiritual ancestors through "mountaintop" experiences in our lives. Click the image for a larger view.

How can we be God's presence in the world?

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Environment

Forgive

Care for Poor

Reject racism

Confirmation 2016!

UCC Youth Confirmation Retreat at Pilgrim Heights Camp & Retreat Center on August 28-29, 2015.

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FCC Group

Activities

Activities

Activities

Whole Group