Friends, brothers and sisters:
At First Congregational, folks don’t sit around. The work of this summer has been three-fold: building the Commons and acquiring two ministers.
2018 will be remembered as the summer of the labyrinth. Those who’ve put sweat, money and brains into the project know it took a year to get here. To the community, we produced a miracle. Let us not lose sight that envisioning a labyrinth, stage and park out of cracked asphalt and abandoned bank rot has already produced positive change.
We lead the community and UCC denomination with our outward compassion and creativity, our civic dedication and impulse to inclusively feed mind, body and spirit, including teenagers. In the midst of all that, we have been looking for a new pastor — so far, so good.
After a couple love-drenched discussions, Dawn Christenson has agreed to serve as our Bridge Minister — a paid position — until Curtis DeMars-Johnson takes his place as Interim Minister in September. Rev. Christenson is there to cover pastoral needs, conversations and spiritual emergencies, as well as ongoing, one on one ministry formerly done by Phil Hobson.
The nature of hiring an Interim Minister and getting them fully transferred to our facility means that Pastor Dawn’s services may be needed after Rev. Johnson gives his first sermon. Which brings me to the third announcement.
The Interim Minister committee has spent their summer studying and interviewing candidates. With financial guidance from Trustees, they hired one. I know very little about Curtis DeMars-Johnson, beyond hearing that he also goes by Curt. I recall from conversation with our UCC administrative advisor, Rev. Campbell Lovett, that Johnson had the broadest experience.
I expressed to Rev. Lovett that, for us, from Dawn to Curt to whoever our Settled Pastor will be, this time, this moment is about maintaining our momentum, inside and outside the building.
This is our time and we are doing wondrous things with it. Thank you one and all for your energy, capital, dedication and service; in other words, faith.
Thursday, August 9–Concert on the Square
This will be our sponsored concert along with Peace Lutheran and the Courthouse Square. Ice cream sandwiches will be provided.
Saturday, August 11-Labyrinth prep work begins. The site will be prepared for the installation of the bonded rubber mulch. There will be digging, grading, draining, etc. Wheelbarrows, shovels, rakes, and operators are appreciated. Work will begin at 8 a.m. Donuts and lunch will be provided. If you would like to help please let Matt Slot know: 517-667-6243 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The final Bylaws QandA will be this Sunday after church. Terry Davis and Amy Frost will be available to answer your questions.
NOTE-The Advisory meeting will be on WEDNESDAY, August 15 at 6:30. This is a one time only change from Thursdays.
Wednesday, August 15-Community Dinner
Volunteers and brownies are still needed. See Mary Normand.
Contact information for Dawn while she is serving as our Bridge Pastor.
517-680-1466 (home) best number for evening and overnight
Dawn will be out of town through Friday, Aug. 10. She may be reached by cell during that time. If a physical pastoral presence is needed during that time please contact Rev. David Keller of Peace Lutheran at 2331-510-2377.
This week’s THANK YOU goes to Mary Normand and Chris Reist for spearheading the community dinners and to all the folks who help to serve and/or cook. This is another wonderful example of our church feeding bodies and spirits.
See you Sunday (or Thursday, or Saturday),