Preparing to meet candidates

The Pastoral Search Committee continues to meet multiple times a month as we get ready for our June visit with a search candidate. This will be a full weekend of giving them a tour of the neighborhood and church, meeting their spouse and any family members, having a face-to-face interview, and observing them lead worship and preach in a neutral pulpit.

We continue to have a high level of confidentiality as this is one of two candidates we are looking at currently. The second candidate will have an identical visit in July. We hope to feel a strong call to either candidate after their visits. If that’s the case and we make our decision to extend a call to one of these candidates, we will coordinate with the chosen candidate to have a congregational call weekend sometime in August. During the call weekend, there will be an opportunity for the congregation to meet the pastor and his/her family, hear from the Pastoral Search Committee about the qualities we are drawn to in our choice, and also participate in a full worship service led by the candidate. The congregation will then decide together during a congregational meeting following that worship service if they will call the candidate we have brought before them to be our next partner in the future of Falcon Heights Church.

–Jenica Domanico and Carol Holm, Pastoral Search Committee co-chairs

Summer food shelf collection: Peanut butter needed

We’re collecting peanut butter in June and July for the Department of Indian Work food shelf. Place donations in the bucket in the lobby.

Pastoral search nears final phase

During worship on Sunday, May 21, co-chair Jenica Domanico announced that the Pastoral Search Committee is now down to two final candidates and is ready for in-person interviews in late June and early July.

These candidates will each visit our church (when none of the rest of us are around) for in-person interviews, meeting with church staff and preaching at a “neutral pulpit” (undesignated UCC church where our Pastoral Search Committee can hear the candidate preach and lead a service). The PSC will then choose one candidate and inform you about that person’s background and gifts for ministry.

The committee would then set a Call Sunday date when the candidate comes to our church to preach, lead worship, and greet you in various informal settings. Immediately following that Sunday service, members of the congregation would vote on the call of the new Lead Pastor.

Summer worship hours begin June 4

Sunday, June 4, we return to our summer worship hour of 9:30 a.m. Join us for a festive service of Pentecost, when we celebrate the outpouring of the Holy Spirit and the beginnings of the Christian church. A men’s chorus from our Chancel Choir will bring us a lively anthem. It’s a day to wear red, symbolic of the tongues of fire that appeared as the disciples preached the good news in many languages.

We will do a multi-language layered reading of the story from Acts 2:1-6, and are looking for anyone who can read a foreign language to join with us. It will be a true cacophony!

Farewell luncheon for Pastor Anne June 11

Falcon Heights Church will celebrate the Rev. Anne Swallow Gillis’ interim ministry among us, and her retirement from ministry, with a farewell luncheon Sunday, June 11, after worship.

If you have questions or would like to help, please contact Sue Nelson at or Cindy Duddleston at

Volunteers still needed for our Holy Hammers house build

Falcon Heights Church is part of Holy Hammers, a group 16 local churches that share in building a house each year through Habitat for Humanity for a family in need.

Holy Hammers is into its sixth week of building a new home for Ali and Masna and their family at 9396 121st Ave. NE in Blaine. We have had a great crew from Falcon Heights volunteering: Cindy, Kyle and Peter Duddleston; Andy Dent; Esther and Abe Holte; Sue and Chuck Gramith; Joe Vance; Mary Walser; our friend Nancy Johnson-Maloney; and me.

The house has been framed and sided, the roof is on, the exterior painted, soffits and trim done and much more. Last week the interior Sheetrock, drywall and gypsum board went up. Another Habitat house on the same block is in earlier stages of being built and we are also helping as needed.

Holy Hammers is still in need of volunteers! Women’s Build Week could use help on June 5 and 9. Mary and I are helping June 7. If you want to help on other days, we need people to fill in in case of a cancellation. Please text me at 612-701-8303 or email me at I will get you on the list.

Thanks for all of your support for the Holy Hammers Build!


Learn about immigrants and refugees in our community

Join us for a coffee hour forum after church next Sunday, June 4, on immigrants and refugees in our community.

Every other Wednesday, a group from our congregation goes to the Fairview Community Center to help adult English learners practice their English. Fifteen different members of the congregation have participated. Each time we converse with a group of two to four students about their families, customs, food, holidays of their home country, problems they face here, and their hopes and dreams for the future.

Next Sunday from 10:45 to 11:30 a.m. we will share some of our experiences in the Gathering Room. It will also be an opportunity for you to ask questions about these immigrants and their lives.

God’s presence in our pastoral search

By Jenica Domanico and Carol Holm, co-chairs, Pastoral Search Committee

As a mom of young children, faith comes into my life daily and until being part of the search committee I had not developed the confidence to recognize it. Being part of the Pastoral Search Committee has grounded me more in my true trust of God’s guidance in our daily lives. There has been so many times in this last year where I felt so overwhelmed about co-leading this group and what we had to do and all the steps that needed to get done, truly, it felt impossible. And yet everything always turned out.

Watching our committee form together with all our experience and wisdom has been like watching a creature being created. There is no sense of distrust or need to be right, but lots of questions and curiosity. If one member needs to be gone, he or she trusts the group to make good decisions. I have been amazed at the sense of trust we have built from the congregation and greatly enjoyed hearing God’s vision through our voices last summer.

We have enjoyed great conversations with all our phone interviews and have learned so much about the church and ideas for the future from these conversations. With those candidates we have to choose from I have no concern that any would make great leaders and caring pastors for our church. I have heard God speaking through the committee members when we have discussions on the strengths and concerns we have for these candidates and I believe we are hearing the best possible candidates for us, sent by God for our future. I am excited to find out our final decision and present that person to the congregation hopefully by the end of the summer.

Through this process, as well as my experience with my grandmother passing this last year, my faith has been stronger that it has since I was a teenager when I was very active in the UCC conference. I hope to continue this strong faith with a renewed commitment to this church and our new leader.

Jenica Domanico
Pastoral Search Committee


Being a member of the Pastoral Search Committee has given me a new perspective of my faith and its journey and of myself and my abilities, and a deeper and richer connection to the members of this church, particularly to the other members of the PSC committee. For many years I was a silent member of the church. I did not attend any congregational meetings and most other activities outside of choir. When the life of this church and its congregation was hurting the most, I realized my choices needed to change and I began paying attention and became more involved by becoming a member of the Discovery Team and then the PSC.

Many times along the way of this new involvement I’ve experienced the wonder of God in our midst as I’ve learned who you are individually and collectively as our congregation. My faith journey is continually supported by you and the work we’ve done together! I feel especially supported at every PSC meeting when we begin our time together by lighting a candle to illuminate the light of Christ in our midst, sharing joys & concerns, praying together, and reading the Vision Statement and Covenant. Then, before we begin the night’s “work”, the committee joins in reading a selected Bible passage and discussing its relevance to the work we’re doing.

Each of these actions underscores our work and its meaning, and once again my faith journey takes another step. I plan to keep walking this path! I believe the future of FHC is bright, energetic, and filled with promise for its “Seekers and Servants.”

Carol Holm
Pastoral Search Committee

Women’s Fellowship plant sale Saturday, May 13

Stock up on perennials for your garden at the annual plant sale sponsored by the Women’s Fellowship. The sale runs from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, May 13, with leftovers also for sale after worship on Sunday. Proceeds go to charities and church ministries. Plant donations are also welcome.

Breaking bread with our Muslim neighbors

The Outreach Ministry Team invites you to join them Tuesday, May 30, for a “breaking of the Ramadan fast” meal at the nearby mosque located next to the Fairgrounds, Masjid at-Taqwa. The mosque has invited the public to attend one of its “Iftar” meals that day at 8 p.m. There is no specific program or worship time, but simply an opportunity to eat and converse with our Muslim neighbors.

The month of Ramadan is a holy time for Muslims around the world, in which they celebrate the first revelation of their holy scriptures, the Quran, to Mohammed. It is a time of fasting during the daylight hours, introspection and prayer. Many mosques throughout the Twin Cities will be opening their Iftar meals to the public again this year during Ramadan (May 26-June 27).

RSVPs are needed for the May 30 meal. Go to the Minnesota Council of Churches website to register. Contact Pastor Anne if you have questions or need help registering.