Table for Five…Thousand! See the photos here

The congregation got to share in the distribution of loaves and “fishes” as an intergenerational cast presented our spring musical April 23. “Table for Five…Thousand!” was based on the story told in all four gospels about the miracle by which Jesus fed a huge crowd.

See the photo album

Open and Affirming celebration this weekend

On Saturday, April 29, 2017, the Minnesota Conference United Church of Christ will offer workshops and celebrate in worship with the Open and Affirming ministry settings from across Minnesota. The 2017 Minnesota Celebration, “Open and Affirming as Beloved Community,” will be held at Hazel Park Congregational UCC, 1831 Minnehaha Avenue East in Saint Paul. The day will include workshops at 11 a.m., a time of kinship over lunch, and worship at 1:30 p.m. Child care is provided.

New faith learning opportunities for adults

“The Divine Dance” —

Join with Pastor Anne and others in exploring ideas and spiritual practices that can help us experience God’s presence more fully. We’ll use the Rev. Richard Rohr’s new book, “The Divine Dance: The Trinity and Your Transformation” as our starting point. Four Thursday nights in May (4,11,18 and 25) from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in the Gathering Room. RSVP with Pastor Anne if you plan to attend, pastoranne@falconheightsucc.org.

Everything you’ve always wanted to ask Pastor Anne! —

The Adult Faith Formation Team has asked Pastor Anne to respond to your questions about the Bible, theology, spiritual practices, social justice perspectives or other queries regarding your life of faith. In our Sunday adult First Hour group at 9:30 a.m. May 7, 14 and 21, we will draw random topics you have suggested and invite her to reflect with us in an “everything you’ve always wanted to ask” format. Send your topics/questions to Rachelle Roeckeman at rachelle@roeckeman.com.

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.

Easter Week photos online

Photos taken by members of our congregation during Lent, Palm Sunday and Holy Week, and Easter are now online on our Flickr page.

While you’re on the site, check out our other albums to see what’s going on at Falcon Heights Church.

Spring musical this weekend: “Table for Five…THOUSAND!”

Bring family and friends to worship at 10:30 a.m. Sunday, April 23, as we present our intergenerational spring musical, “Table for Five…Thousand! The Miracle of the Loaves and Fishes,” by Tom S. Long and Allen Pote.

Margot Olsen directs the retelling of this miracle, the only one (apart from the Resurrection) that is reported in all four gospels.
Our version includes details from all four, but particularly the narrative as it appears in John. One young boy with five loaves and two fishes is the catalyst for everything that follows. We don’t really know anything about the boy, other than his apparent willingness to share, but we know the results! It was an event so startling that members of the crowd wanted to proclaim Jesus as king.

Later, the event leads to an even greater revelation as Jesus tells his disciples: “I am the Bread of Life. Those who come to me will never never go hungry.”

Come hear this wonderful story and learn more about how God is with us in everything we do. There will be songs, movement, lines for the entire cast, and of course bread and fish for everyone.

Help make 300 sandwiches for Simpson House April 20

This 6:30 p.m. outreach project on Thursday, April 20, is a great way to get your whole family involved. We don hairnets and plastic gloves (all provided) and assemble 300 sandwiches, along with a number of lunch bags. Outreach Ministry Team members drive these to the Simpson House shelter in Minneapolis later that evening. The next day, the sandwiches go into bag lunches for the residents. The residents vacate the Simpson House premises during the day for school, appointments, jobs and/or job hunting. They often do not have resources for lunch, and these sandwiches make all the difference.

This ongoing project is supported by your special offerings received on the First Sunday of each month, in the Communion offering taken at the rear of the sanctuary as worshipers depart. Sign up on the clipboard in the church lobby if you can help, or contact the church office.

Holy Week: a time to reflect, celebrate

Join us for Palm Sunday and Holy Week observances April 9-16 and share in the mystery and joy of Jesus’ death and Resurrection.

Palm Sunday, April 9 – Worship at 10:30 a.m. We join in a festive blessing of the palms at the beginning of our worship service, coming forward to receive fronds as we sing our opening hymn together.

Maundy Thursday Service of Shadows, April 13 – A moving and meditative Service of Tenebrae (Service of Shadows) at 7 p.m. commemorates the night of the Last Supper and Jesus’ arrest with scripture readings, beautiful anthems by our choir, Holy Communion and the slow extinguishing of candlelight.

Good Friday, April 14 – On this solemn day, we remember the crucifixion of Jesus. Our candle-lit sanctuary will be open from noon to 3:00 p.m. for private meditation and prayer. Come and go as you are able; all are welcome.

Easter Sunday and Breakfast, April 16 – Our Easter Breakfast, sponsored by the youth of the church, begins at 9:15 a.m. At 10:30 a.m., all ages join to celebrate the Resurrection with bells and brass. Our sanctuary will be filled with spring blossoms and the joyful music of a professional brass ensemble will accompany the choir. A designated Easter offering will go to support the home-building work of Habitat for Humanity. (No First Hour faith formation this day, but nursery care will begin at 9 a.m.)

Multiplying our gifts: How 250 pounds of food became half a ton

Our Falcon Heights Church congregation donated just over 250 pounds of food during our March food drive, including many protein items. The food was taken to the Department of Indian Work food shelf this past week — along with an additional 250 pounds from a generous giver who matched the donations pound for pound.

The folks at DIW were astonished to see 500 pounds of food arriving at their door. “Look at all this food! This is unbelievable!” said one person who came to help unload. “This is one of our biggest donations this month.”

But that’s not the end of the story. Minnesota FoodShare matched our 500-pound donation, resulting in 1,000 pounds of food — half a TON — for the food shelf. Our Outreach Ministry Team says “Miigwech,” the Ojibwe word for thank you!

Wednesday suppers extended through April 19

We have had an overwhelming response to our Wednesday night Lenten suppers and programs so far, and are extending the meals through April 19 (including during Holy Week). Kids and adults have packed the Gathering Room and the soups, salads, homemade breads and desserts have all been delicious. Contact Sue Gramith at suegramith@hotmail.com if you can bring a hot soup. You can also bring a salad, bread or dessert to share. Or, just let us cook for you that night! Spring musical rehearsal and adult program on the “From Jesus to Christ” DVD series follow supper, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.