New nursery program for 2- and 3-year-olds

Thanks to the work of Children’s Ministry Team member Jill Dent, we are now experimenting with a new program in our church nursery. Building on the safe and caring environment provided by our nursery staff person, Sara Nedeau, and her volunteer helper, David Meeter-Biggs, we have added some educational (and fun!) activities into the children’s time. Our purpose is to nurture the faith formation of our 2- and 3-year-olds through personal relationships based in trust, and with a simple introduction to Christian faith and practice.

Using the “Wee Wonders” curriculum specifically designed for this age group, Sara is leading the group in simple songs, abbreviated Bible stories and responsive play activities. The stories and activities align with our church’s core values of community, spirituality, inclusivity and love, and serve as a soft introduction to the concepts of church and God.\

The first week was a rousing success. The children participated in the “We Go To Church” module. They sang a song welcoming each child individually by name, listened to the story, and then, through some silly movements, practiced different ways we could to go to church (walking, skipping, hopping, flying like an airplane). We then colored a picture of a family going to church and the children had the chance to use blocks to make a church or use diverse family figures to pretend a family was going to church the way it was modeled in the short story.

Contact Jill Dent at jmbdent@gmail.com for more information or if you would like to serve as an additional volunteer some Sunday.

Congregation approves expanded Open and Affirming statement

At a congregational meeting Sunday, March 19, members of Falcon Heights Church unanimously adopted a revised Open and Affirming (ONA) statement that not only recognizes and affirms people of any sexual orientation, but also those of any gender identification and gender expression, as “equal recipients of God’s love.”

The new statement was developed through a process that included several well-attended Sunday meetings where members of the congregation could learn about and discuss transgender and gender identity issues. The expanded statement commits our church to working to make justice and inclusivity a reality in the community as well as in the congregation.

Read the original and revised statements:

ONA statement

 

Faith formation for all ages

Margot and kids doing a music activity during First Hour.

Join us Sunday mornings for First Hour, starting at 9:30 a.m. with prayer and song in the Court area. We then break into groups that explore the Biblical stories in active ways.

  • Explorers Group – Kindergarten through 5th graders.
  • Seekers Group – 5th through 8th graders (5th graders’ choice!)
  • Adult Group – meets for Bible study, faith discussion, or discussion about mentoring children and youth (as parents and as members of the church). Read more

Following up on “Open and Affirming”

About 30 people stayed after church Aug. 7 to attend the first discussion of the Open and Affirming Working Group, “Starting the Conversation about LGBTQ with Family and Friends.” The purpose of the discussion was to gain a basic understanding of commonly referenced Biblical passages that people use to argue against the LGBTQ community. The Open and Affirming Working Group was encouraged by the discussions, questions, and feedback that the conversation brought.

Be on the lookout for handouts and other resources to continue the discussion and education process, as well as future Open and Affirming Working Group events. This group’s purpose is to revisit our Open and Affirming status to make an explicit welcome to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. Most ONA covenants also welcome other communities that historically have been excluded or marginalized by the church. We want to make that promise as a church. Additional resources can be found on the name-tag credenza in the church lobby.

Bible and LGBT talking points

Resources on Bible and LGBT

See videos of Service of Prayer & Lament on Facebook

Videos of the July 9, 2016, Service of Prayer and Lament for all those involved in or affected by recent shootings are now posted on the Falcon Heights Church Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/fhcucc/.

Photos of children’s pageant now online!

The children of Falcon Heights Church presented the musical “The Sailor’s Bible” in church May 8, retelling the stories of Noah and the Ark and Jonah and the Whale. Photos of this lively event are now posted on the church’s Flickr page.

Congregation approves 2016 leaders, budget, receives Annual Report

The congregation of Falcon Heights Church held its Annual Congregational Meeting Jan. 31, 2016. It approved the slate of lay leaders for 2016, including Lynne Bradbury as moderator and Peter Duddleston as moderator-elect. Also approved was the 2016 budget and a proposal to allow the Executive Board to proceed with the sale of two parcels of land from the church parking lot. Ministry team reports were included in the 2015 Annual Report.

Annual Meeting draft minutes

2015 Annual Report

New Vision Statement for our church

After a year of conversation and study, the congregation of Falcon Heights Church, United Church of Christ, has adopted a new vision statement:

“Seekers and servants, growing in God’s transforming love.”

The statement is a milestone in an ongoing process in which our congregation is seeking to discern what God wants us to be and do. Guided by a Discovery Team of lay members, we examined our past, our joys and disappointments, our hopes and dreams, exploring these themes in worship and writing down our thoughts for all to consider.

Rachel Flaherty has worked this statement into a stunning mural, using the colored sticky notes offered by members over the past year. The mural was displayed in the chancel during worship last Sunday and will be set up for viewing in various areas of the church.

Vision Statement mural

Our Executive Board now will develop a mission statement with specific goals to guide us in realizing our vision.

Visit our church photo galleries

Here’s a sample of the action at our 2015 Christmas pageant, “Hamil the Camel,” directed by Margot Olsen and accompanied by Patti Holmes. More photos of life at Falcon Heights Church, United Church of Christ, can be found on our Flickr page.