“Counting on Christmas” pageant Dec. 11

We’re counting down the days to this year’s intergenerational Christmas pageant, “-1-C-2-O-3-U-4-N-5-T-6-I-7-N-8-G-9- ON CHRISTMAS,” which will be presented during worship at 10:30 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 11. The show is written by Margot Olsen, with inspiration from “The Lion Storyteller Christmas Book” by Bob Hartman and Krisztina Kallai Nagy. For more information, contact the church at 651-646-2681.

 

Church profile nearing completion

The following update was shared at the Congregational Meeting on Nov. 20, 2016.

The Pastoral Search Committee has been diligently working on the written profile that will provide the potential candidates a summary of who we are as a community and a church. In partnership with the congregation through the guided conversations this summer, and the all-church survey, members of the committee have taken the answers from 37 questions (with many of the questions having 4-5 sub-questions) and created the first draft of an organized narrative with pictures highlighting our life together as a church. When reviewing this draft, the group marveled in the details that spoke to the mission-mindedness of our congregation and how our building is used in so many ways for both our activities and to support our partners in the community.

The Pastoral Search Committee has two meetings scheduled in early December and our goal is to finish our work on the church profile document so it can then be submitted to our UCC Associate Conference Minister, the Rev. Rick Wagner. With the busy Christmas and New Years holiday schedule now here, we don’t expect feedback from Rick until sometime in January. Based on his help and feedback, there could be additional work necessary before the profile document will be ready for congregational review. However, the PSC is hopeful we can have a final profile ready by mid-January for our members to review and give their feedback to the search committee about the profile.

If there are no major changes necessary and we are able to stay on this anticipated timeline, it’s expected we can formally post the position for our new pastor online with the United Church of Christ Employment Opportunities site at the end of January or first part of February. This will be a momentous step in our journey! The search committee is as anxious and excited as everyone else, but we’ve been strongly advised not to hurry at the expense of not finding the right person. As we continue to move forward, we ask for your prayers not only for our work still ahead but also for potential candidates, as they have some major decisions to make in the next few months about career, family, moving, and their own journey.

Carol Holm and Kari Willey (for the Pastoral Search Committee, including Jenica Domanico, Joe Vance, Pat Bohman, Mike Bradbury, Margot Olsen)

Joint Thanksgiving service Nov. 22

Falcon Heights Church will be the venue for a three-church celebration of Thanksgiving at 7:30 p.m. with New Life Presbyterian Church in Roseville and Como Park Lutheran Church in St. Paul. We’ll have music and readings from a variety of traditions. A combined choir will rehearse at 6:30 p.m. with Joel Johnson. After the service, a pie social!

(Contact Peter Duddleston at pwduddleston@msn.com if you can help with greeting, ushering or hospitality or bring a pie.)

Choir to present music of G.F. Handel Dec. 4

The Chancel Choir of Falcon Heights Church and a professional orchestra will present some of George Frideric Handel’s greatest choruses during worship at 10:30 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 4. Music director Joel Johnson conducts this popular annual event. For more information, contact the church at 651-646-2681.

Community panel on implicit bias and social justice

Community group Falcon Heights We Can Do Better will present a panel discussion at Falcon Heights Church at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 17, on implicit bias and social justice as related to our criminal justice system. Speakers include:

  • Dr. Nancy A. Heitzeg, professor of sociology and co-director of the Critical Studies of Race/Ethnicity Program at St. Catherine University
  • Dr. Daniel Williams, assistant professor in the Department of Sociology and co-coordinator of the Critical Studies of Race/Ethnicity at St. Catherine University
  • Dr. Ryan Jerome LeCount, assistant professor of sociology at Hamline University
  • Discussion facilitator Dr. Nadarajan (Raj) Sethuraju, assistant professor in the School of Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice at Metropolitan State University.

Event flyer for Nov. 17

Food shelf collections: canned soups, stews

This winter, we are collecting canned stews, soups and other cold weather entrees for the food shelf at the Department of Indian Work at Interfaith Action in St. Paul. Please leave your donations in the containers in the church lobby.

Wednesday evening discussions on race

Join us for a series of Wednesday evening conversations on race through Nov. 16, led by Gary Kwong and Pastor Anne Swallow Gillis. We meet from 6:30 to 7:20 p.m.

Gary is part of our Minnesota Conference Anti-Racism Team. He is a former 3M chemist who does extensive community organizing work in local Hmong, Somali and African American communities. He is a member of New Brighton United Church of Christ.

Who are we? Survey reveals FHC demographics

The Pastoral Search Committee has compiled some interesting demographic data about our congregation in addition to the opinions gathered in the Family Survey. This information will be included in our church profile. Here are some of the findings:

  • Our ages are fairly evenly distributed among the age groups
  • Almost 70 percent of respondents are part of a couple
  • More than 1/3 have children at home
  • 55 percent of our congregation has attended Falcon Heights Church for more than 20 years
  • More than 70 percent of adults have a college degree or graduate school
  • 57 percent are employed and 38 percent are retired
  • Our congregation is 99 percent white

Read more about the demographics of our congregation.

There is still work to do in a few areas of the profile, but the vast majority is complete. The PSC hopes to have a complete first draft ready for review by our UCC Conference representative by the end of October.

Committee lists qualities sought in a new pastor

As the Pastoral Search Committee continues work on our church profile, its members have listed 10 qualities we will be looking for in a new pastor. This list will be included in our church profile. Read more about how the committee came up with qualities we seek in a pastor.

Our church is looking for someone who…

  • Is expressive of own faith
  • Is mature and emotionally secure
  • Is compassionate and caring
  • Is effective in connecting with all generations/attendees
  • Is effective preacher/speaker
  • Helps people develop their spiritual life
  • Encourages people to relate their faith to daily life
  • Encourages others to assume and carry out leadership
  • Helps people work together in solving problems and dealing with conflict
  • Helps people understand and act upon issues of social justice

Church survey is complete

The Pastoral Search Committee has finished work on the Family Survey that was conducted to gather information for our church profile. We received surveys from 67 people. Thank you to everyone who took the time to respond!

Your answers to the survey’s opinion questions highlight your awareness of changing demographics and challenges in our community, including financial and racial disparities and the opportunity for our church to help bring healing in areas such as police-community relations.

Church survey results summary

There is still work to do in a few areas of the profile, but the vast majority is complete. The PSC hopes to have a complete first draft ready for review by our UCC Conference representative by the end of October.