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.

Autumn Wednesdays at Falcon Heights Church

Join us Wednesday evenings Oct. 26 through Dec. 7 for “Autumn Wednesdays at Falcon Heights Church.”

  • 6 p.m. – Hot supper for all, with main dish provided by the Intergenerational/Adult Ministry Team. Bring salad or dessert to share if you want, or just come and eat.
  • 6:30-7:20 p.m. – “Conversations on Race with Gary Kwong,” starting Oct. 26 and running for four weeks. First session: Where did the concept of “race” come from? 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.
  • 6:30-7:20 p.m. – Christmas pageant rehearsals for children and adults.
  • 7:30 p.m. – Choir rehearsal in the sanctuary. We start by rehearsing Handel choruses for presentation Dec. 4.

October discussions on Islam

In response to a number of requests from our congregation to learn more about Islamic beliefs and practices, we are starting a five-part series during First Hour, led by Conee Biggs, called “The Jesus Fatwa.” How might we move beyond stereotypes and fear when it comes to our Muslim neighbors here in the Twin Cities and around the world?

In Islam, a “fatwa” is a ruling on a point of Islamic law given by a recognized authority. In a DVD recording called “The Jesus Fatwa,” seventeen Islamic and Christian scholars offer reliable information about what Muslims believe, how they live out their faith, and how we all can be about building relationships across the lines of faith. Come and join us at 9:30 a.m. Sunday mornings.

Speakers on Block Nurse program Oct. 7

The Women’s Fellowship of Falcon Heights Church invites all to come hear guest speakers Jody and Leann from the Como Park/Falcon Heights Living-at-Home Block Nurse Program. The mission of this program is to organize community volunteers, professionals and family members to provide care for their neighborhood seniors in ways that support choice, dignity, and independence. Join us Friday, Oct. 7, at 10 a.m. for this informative program.

Celebrate Joel & Karen Johnson’s 50 years as music staff

Falcon Heights Church, United Church of Christ, will recognize Music Director Joel Johnson and Organist Karen Johnson Oct. 16 for 50 years of service as the church’s music staff. A luncheon will follow a 10:30 a.m. worship service highlighting the importance of music in the life of the congregation. Former choir members and current and former colleagues are invited to RSVP to Sue Nelson, 651-645-8200, for the luncheon.

The married couple started work at Falcon Heights Church in 1966 and have maintained a strong and vibrant choral program over the years, encompassing both traditional and contemporary worship music. Each December, they present a musical offering featuring a major classical work performed by the choir and a professional orchestra. About 275 people attend each year, and choir members build skills that benefit the congregation all year, Joel says.

The Johnsons are retired public school music educators who taught for 30 years in the Roseville Schools, Karen as an elementary music teacher and accompanist for high school musicians, and Joel as high school choir director. He was named the Minnesota state high school choir director of the year in 1993.

Both were part of the New Hampshire Music Festival for 50 years, Joel as conductor of its 120-voice Symphonic Chorus and Karen as librarian, pianist, organist and harpsichordist. For the past 18 years, Joel has conducted and Karen has accompanied the Roseville String Ensemble’s annual Community Carol Sing-along, which attracts about 400 people each year.

Read more of Joel’s thoughts on this landmark year: 50 Years of Great Music