FoodShare drive exceeds goals

Church donors’ generosity during our Minnesota FoodShare drive will feed hungry people with more than a ton and a half of food and $840 in cash, thanks to multiple matches.

Falcon Heights Church contributed nearly 750 pounds of food for the Department of Indian Work food shelf at Interfaith Action in St. Paul.

That was matched by an anonymous donor at FHC, who got so excited about our congregation’s efforts that they increased their match to 1,000 pounds.

The FoodShare organization is matching the donations again, for a grand total of 3,500 pounds of food–roughly the weight of a compact SUV.

Thanks to all who made this a successful campaign!

Food donations

Holy Week events

Join us for these Holy Week events:

  • Maundy Thursday Service of Tenebrae, 7 p.m. Thursday, April 18 — A deeply moving service of readings, reflection, choral music and candlelight.
  • Easter Sunday, 10:30 a.m. April 21 — We celebrate the Resurrection with triumphal music from our choir and a professional brass ensemble.
  • We’re serving a delicious Easter breakfast of baked French toast, ham, fruit, coffee and juice before the service, starting at 9:15 a.m. A goodwill offering will benefit church programming.

Share an Iftar meal

Ramadan is a holy month of the Islamic lunar calendar (May 5-June 4 this year) during which Muslims abstain from food and drink from sunrise to sunset. A meal called an Iftar breaks the fast each day. Next month, members of our congregation are invited to attend a traditional Iftar through Taking Heart, a long-running program coordinated by the Minnesota Council of Churches and the Muslim American Society of Minnesota.

Taking Heart aims to bring Christians and members of other faith communities together with Muslims for wonderful food and conversation during Ramadan. FHC members have participated in the past. There are two nearby open houses in May:

  • May 13 at 7 p.m. at Masjid Alhuda–ICCC in Northeast Minneapolis.
  • May 21 at 8 p.m. at Masjid At-taqwa, just outside the State Fairgrounds in St. Paul.

The open houses are free and open to the public, but you need to register online.

More information on Taking Heart

Special service May 5

Our worship service May 5 will have a communion theme and will end 15 minutes early, so we can move to the Gathering Room for a Crossroads Team-led “working” portion. We will close by noon with a hymn and a prayer.

The worship service will be a specially designed, narrated experience for all ages to more deeply enter into the meaning of communion.

As for the Crossroads gathering, here’s an update from our Crossroads Team:

“A small but plucky team of FHC members began a year-long journey this winter to understand where we as a congregation might be going and how to prepare for our future. The Crossroads Team, led by Cor Wilson and including the Rev. Rick King, Margee Fabyanske, Conee Biggs, Larry Schumacher, Brian Knapp, Mary Gaasch and Carol Holm, is working this spring on understanding the demographic trends affecting our community and revisiting our congregational road map from the pastoral search process.

“We plan to bring the findings of our initial steps to the congregation and begin gathering input from members about their hopes for the future of Falcon Heights Church, UCC, and its relationship to the community at a presentation and discussion on May 5.”

New group aims to support immigrants

Want to help your immigrant neighbors? Want to find out how to increase our church members’ involvement in helping immigrant neighbors?

From 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 3, Falcon Heights Church is hosting the inaugural meeting of CAN, the Coalition to Accompany (Immigrant) Neighbors. We will be activating a group of concerned neighbors to provide support to immigrant families in our community facing issues today. Come and find out what it’s all about and how you can get involved!

Meeting agenda:

6:00 — Welcome and introduction to CAN

6:10 — Individual introductions: Name, where you live, what community of faith you are connected to

6:25  — CAN: immediate needs vs long-term goals

  • Immediate needs: equip a small group of people to provide support to immigrant neighbors as an extension of Ana’s ministry
  • Long-term goals: engage congregations in the IDI (Intercultural Development Inventory), have quarterly meetings for CAN group to gain support, insight, education, expand partnership by building relationships with other nonprofits, advocacy groups, and community organizations.
  • Tonight we are focusing on the immediate need of activating a group of concerned neighbors to provide support to immigrant families in our community facing issues today.

6:45 — Current situation and urgent needs: Describing the current situation and needs, explaining desired form of communication between her, families, and CAN members, ways that CAN members can accompany families.

7:20 — Accompaniment vs. “saving”

7:35 — Note on confidentiality and privacy

7:45 — Group inventory – interests, availability

8:00 — Closing prayer

What is God calling us to do now?

What is God calling us to do and be. . . TODAY?

Did you read the recent Star Tribune series of articles on organized religion? We watch and hear of declining attendance, financial struggles, and closing churches. And we know that profound societal shifts are demanding that churches change in response to them, or die. As a matter of faithfulness to God, we all must ask what God is calling us to do and be…TODAY.

To help us find our calling, the Minnesota Conference UCC has invited our congregation to be part of a new program called Crossroads. This program builds on the work of our Discovery Team and pastoral search process. As part of a consortium of other UCC Minnesota churches, Crossroads will help help us answer this vital question.

We will work with Vibrant Faith, a Christian research-based organization that provides training and coaching. Eight members of Falcon Heights Church have volunteered to undertake this exciting one-year journey.  We will be “looking inward” at who we are and also at how we can “turn outward.” We will consider what dreams we have for the future, and where we go from here.

Vibrant Faith will prepare participants in the Crossroads program to develop new forms of ministry and leadership. We need to respond to the changing ways people approach faith and religion in our society. We can expect coaching on ministry models, leadership skills and supportive learning communities.

Feeding our neighbors

This month we reach out to our community by feeding our neighbors and sharing warm seasonal clothing.

  • Help restock the food shelf at the Department of Indian Work at Interfaith Action in St. Paul. Our focus for October is fruit and vegetables. DIW has an increasing need for food. They stock their shelves at the beginning of the week and by Thursday, they are running really low. Please leave your donations in the buckets in the church lobby.
  • Clothing donations: As you take out your winter clothing, are there lightly used items that don’t fit or you no longer wear? Bring them to church in bags and place them in or near the grocery cart by the coat rack. They will be taken to DIW for their clothing closet. If you are sharing outerwear, coats, sweaters or hats that are for smaller people, put them in a separate bag and label SMALL. Nancy Duffrin will take them to the Fairview Community Center for immigrants in the Adult Learning Programs. Most come from countries with very hot weather.  Minnesota winters are very challenging for them.
  • We’re again collecting breakfast items for children in need at Falcon Heights Elementary School. The program has begun and we can use cold cereal (low sugar content), oatmeal packets and granola bars or little packs of nuts or dried fruit. The food is sent home with children as part of their weekend food packs. Please leave your donations in the church lobby.

Deliver Meals on Wheels

We need more drivers to deliver Meals on Wheels to seniors in our area. By volunteering, you can help seniors stay healthy and live independently at home. All it takes is one morning every three weeks.

Falcon Heights Church provides drivers every third Monday morning for Roseville Area Meals on Wheels. We pick up the meals at the Fairview Community Center at 10:45 a.m. Delivery time usually runs about an hour.

The delivery routes cover Falcon Heights and Roseville. We need drivers either to take on a regular route or to be on call as a substitute.

Typically, each route includes six to 10 meals.  Our drivers use their own cars and work individually or as two-person teams.

If you are interested, please talk with Carolyn Hill at 651-646-6656 or by email: davidcarolynhill@msn.com.

Congregation elects 2018 leaders

The congregation of Falcon Heights Church elected its lay leaders for 2018 at its annual meeting Jan. 28. They are:

Officers

Moderator: Pat Bohman
Moderator-elect: Carol Holm
Financial Secretary: Lee Barry
Clerk: Bryan Seyfarth
Treasurer: Dave Hill
Assistant Treasurer: Sue Lillehei
Historian: Kyle Roeckeman

Executive Board

Jeanie Morrison
Jacob Kanake
John Reitan
Kyle Roeckeman
Conee Biggs
Peter Duddleston
Marv Fabyanske
Bob Olsen
Noah Keitel

The congregation also approved the 2018 budget and nominations to ministry teams.

Conversation with immigrants

Join other  volunteers from Falcon Heights Church who are helping adult English language learners at Fairview Community Center to practice their conversation skills. We meet every other Wednesday from 10:30 to 11:40 a.m. when the public schools are in session. Many immigrants and refugees are taking daily classes in English, but it is tremendously helpful for them to have a chance to talk with native English speakers in more informal conversational settings. We talk about everything from families to food to life in people’s native couintries and in America. The volunteers learn at least as much as our conversation partners!

Contact Nancy Duffrin at nduffrin@gmail.com or 651-348-7880 to learn more.