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
Co-chair
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
Co-chair
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.

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.

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.)