Month: October 2018

Today is Reformation Sunday. It’s a weird little holiday in Protestant churches. There are no greeting cards or mattress sales or big family dinners. But some Lutherans make a big deal out of it. And some Reformed churches make a big deal out of it. And some Anglicans make a big deal out of it. And some congregations of the United Church of Christ—being, as we are, heirs to many of the traditions that came out of the Reformation—dress the altar in red and take a Sunday to acknowledge that five-hundred-and-one years ago, on October 31st, a thirty-odd-year-old monk…
This year’s children’s Christmas Program will be held during worship on Sunday, December 16th. And rehearsals start soon! There are different options for participating for different age groups: Children 4 years old through 6th grade can participate in the program. Rehearsals for that group begin on Sunday, November 11th, and will be held on Sundays before worship, at 8:30am. Youth from 7th grade through 12th grade can offer a talent to the program. They can play an instrument, sing a song, or offer another talent; and they can do that solo, as a duet, or in a group. Interested youth can…
It is election season. I know this because I haven’t seen a commercial for a product in weeks. Instead, I’ve seen commercials for people: Fred Hubbell and Kim Reynolds and Dave Loebsack. And, because I live on the Iowa-Illinois border, J.B. Pritzker and Bruce Rauner. And I’m ready for it to be over. I never thought I’d say this, but I miss the used car dealers. Now, we are a church and I am your pastor. So let me assure you that I’m not about to get partisan. I’m not about to tell you who I support or who…
As you may know, First Congregational United Church of Christ is in the midst of a visioning process. For the last couple of months, members of the Church Council have been interviewing members of the church asking a handful of questions: Tell a story about a time in the life of the church that was a high point for you. What was the situation? Who was involved? What happened? What was the experience like for you? How did you feel? Without being humble, what do you value most about yourself? As a person? As a member of this church?…
Help the DeWitt Referral Center this Halloween! Seventh through twelfth graders are invited to join us to trick-or-treat for food and paper items on Saturday, October 27th, from 5:30pm to 6:30pm. After trick-or-treating, we’ll enjoy pizza. Then, we’ll head to Stanwood for Terror in the Timber! We’ll wrap up around 9pm. Contact Shannon Edwards or Kari Bossom if you’re planning to attend. And contact Shannon Edwards if you’d like the youth to stop by your house for trick-or-treating. Facebook Twitter Buffer…
This Sunday, my wife Mariah and I had a pulpit exchange. That means that I preached at her church (Church of Peace United Church of Christ in Rock Island, Illinois) and she preached here. Her sermon in below. Also she uses a poem in the sermon. Due to copyright, we can’t reprint that here, but there’s a link where you can read the poem. —Pastor Chris I love the poetry of Naomi Shihab Nye. Recently, I heard an interview in which she described something dreadful that happened on her honeymoon. She and her husband got married in Texas, and they…
First Congregational United Church of Christ does a great job of supporting our local Referral Center. Four months a year, we collect goods for their food pantry; and I know that many of you give food and money at other times of the year. The Referral Center is a community effort, and my sincere thanks go out to everyone who supports it. But we also know that the Center faces high demand. This was shown to us recently when the Center had to put out a call to fill its empty shelves. While the community responded to that call,…
A while ago, I heard a song by Death Cab for Cutie on the radio. If you’re wondering about the name of the band, it’s from the song “Death Cab for Cutie” by the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band (don’t ask). The song is called “Gold Rush,” and it’s about a man watching his neighborhood change and thinking about losing all of the places that he and his former lover used to go. But it has this line that’s resonating with me as we move into fall: It seems I never stopped losing you. Just before my first Sunday…
I listen to a lot of podcasts and a lot of NPR. They’re nice things to have on when I’m driving, or in the background when I’m writing, or to pay attention to when I’m doing yard work. And I listen to the news sometimes. Other times, it’s stuff that’s funny and relaxing: Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me or Ask Me Another or The History of Fun. But, the last couple of weeks, everything has been less funny and less relaxing. The podcasts and NPR, the evening news, the conversations, the social media feeds… everything has been about a…

Pin It on Pinterest

Subscribe

Ash Wednesday (February 26)

Ashes to Go

Can't make it to worship? Join Pastor Chris in the church parking lot for ashes to go on Wednesday from noon to 1pm (weather permitting).

Dinner and Worship

Join us at DeWitt's United Methodist Church for a light dinner at 6pm and worship at 7pm.