Everyone’s welcome at summer Wednesday food & fun nights

On Wednesday evenings, June 28, July 12, July 26 and Aug. 23, join us for a salad and sandwich supper at church and fun summer outdoor activities. There will be water fun, campfires, lawn games and arts and crafts for all ages–not just kids! Neighbors are also welcome to stop by, and we’ll have doggie treats for the dog walkers! We will close each week with a short, informal worship/song time.  Contact Rachelle Roeckeman (rachelle@roeckeman.com) or Sue Gramith (suegramith@hotmail.com) if you can help. Thanks to the Intergenerational/Adult Faith Formation Ministry Team for getting us rolling!

Reflections from July 8 Service of Prayer and Recommitment

Falcon Heights Church, United Church of Christ, held a Service of Prayer and Recommitment July 8, 2017, in commemoration of the death of Philando Castile in Falcon Heights a year ago. The service offered opportunities for reflection as individuals and as residents of the Falcon Heights area community.

The service was led by the Rev. Jacob Kanake, supply pastor, and Lynne Bradbury, moderator, of Falcon Heights Church. Also participating in the program were the Rev. Shari Prestemon, Conference Minister of the Minnesota Conference UCC; the Rev. Riz Prakasim, pastor of New Life Presbyterian Church in Roseville; and Falcon Heights Mayor Peter Lindstrom.

Read the program:

Service of Prayer and Recommitment

…and Rev. Kanake’s reflection and prayer for the Castile and Yanez families:

Reflection – Service of Prayer and Recommitment


Rev. Jacob Kanake to serve as supply pastor

By Lynne Bradbury, moderator

We have been traveling a three-month-long “road” in our search for a supply pastor to lead us in our ministry during the interim period between Pastor Anne’s retirement and the calling of a new pastor. The route has figuratively been one of twists and turns, road construction, looking out the window at scenic locales we want to visit, prayers behind the wheel and white-knuckle driving.

Over the past two weeks, the Spirit moved us toward a “green light” in our journey, for which we are grateful. The Supply Pastor Position Committee (Lynne Bradbury, Peter Duddleston, and Kyle Roeckeman) held interviews with two very strong supply pastor candidates last week. We were pleased to extend the offer to the Rev. Jacob Kanake and he has accepted the supply pastor position. Pastor Kanake’s clear understanding of the congregation’s work during this intentional interim period, coupled with his excitement for where we are headed, made him a unanimous choice. We are confident in his varied spiritual skills and gifts.

Pastor Kanake has already begun with preparations for worship this Sunday, July 2 (which will be led by Jacob’s spiritual mentor and professor, the Rev. Robert Albers), and for the July 8 Service of Prayer and Recommitment (see the article below).

We pray for Pastor Kanake as he attends the United Church of Christ General Synod as a clergy delegate on behalf of the Minnesota Conference from June 29 through July 3. Wednesday, July 5, will be Pastor Kanake’s first day in the office and in the role of supply pastor.

We acknowledge that this is a time of transition for each of us. And that likely there will be more twists and turns as well as pleasant scenic surprises along the way. Please pray for the congregation and for Pastor Kanake as we travel this section of road together as “seekers and servants growing in God’s transforming love.”

Service of Prayer and Recommitment July 8

Falcon Heights Church, United Church of Christ, will hold a Service of Prayer and Recommitment to mark the one-year anniversary of the police shooting of Philando Castile in Falcon Heights. Together as a faith community and the community of Falcon Heights, we will pray, acknowledge the divide and the work that has been done, and recommit ourselves to the work.

The service will be at 4 p.m. Saturday, July 8, at the church, 1795 Holton St. For more information, contact the church at 651-646-2681.

Summer Sunday kids program: Food & Faith

During the summer worship hour this summer, the Children’s Ministry Team will lead a nine-week program on “Food and Faith.” Kids will explore how food production and distribution connects with wider social justice issues for us as Christians.

They’ll learn about food growing and hunger realities here in Minnesota, as well as in five different regions around the world. Kids will join us in worship up through the children’s message, then gather for guided activities all about food through the rest of the worship service.

Showing our welcome with the Rainbow Comma

June is PRIDE month for the LGBTQ community, and our church has much to celebrate. We recently reaffirmed and expanded our Open and Affirming stance, and our Executive Board has included social justice and ministry with the LGBTQ community among its goals for the church this coming year.

The Outreach Ministry Team is introducing “Rainbow Comma” pins to help us extend this deeper welcome. The pins combine the familiar United Church of Christ comma shape (symbolizing God’s still-speaking presence) with the colors of the rainbow (a symbol for the LGBTQ community). We welcome a conversation with others when we wear them.

You’ll find the pins in the Gathering Room. We invite you to take one, wear it, and also take some cards to carry with you and share with others as a way to spread our ministry of love and acceptance for everyone in our church.

See photos of Pastor Anne’s last Sunday

The Rev. Anne Swallow Gillis ended her interim ministry with Falcon Heights Church June 11 and began her retirement from full-time ministry.  Our church celebrated her time with us with a special worship service and a barbecue luncheon.

See photos of this meaningful day in our Flickr.com album.

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.