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

Calling all singers for Dec. 4 Handel presentation

Sing along with the Chancel Choir and professional orchestra in a special presentation of great Handel choruses (Hallelujah and more) at the Dec. 4 Sunday morning worship service.

This experience will give you an opportunity to:

  • Sing master choral works by great composers
  • Perform with a professional orchestra
  • Improve your singing voice and reach new heights of excellence
  • Have a meaningful, spiritual, musical experience at church
  • Work side-by-side with a great group of people
  • Feel really good about what you have done

This is a short-term commitment open to anyone who wants to sing. You need not be an accomplished singer; we’ll pair you with someone who knows the ropes. There are seven short rehearsals beginning Oct. 12 at 7:30 p.m. The music will be rehearsed at the beginning of choir rehearsal to accommodate Handel-only singers. Rehearsals are:

  • Wednesdays (7:30 p.m.) Oct. 12 and 26 and Nov. 2, 9, 16
  • Sunday, Nov. 20, at 9:30 a.m.
  • Wednesday, Nov. 30, at 7:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, Dec. 3, at 3 p.m. (final rehearsal with orchestra)
  • Choral presentation in worship is Sunday, Dec. 4, at 10:30 a.m.

Those interested in participating should speak with any Chancel Choir member or contact Joel or Karen Johnson at 651-426-4505 or joeloj@msn.com.

Winter wear donations needed

Bring new or gently used winter coats, jackets and boots to church. We will take these to the Department of Indian Work clothing room at Interfaith Action to be distributed to people in need. Other gently used winter clothing can be donated as well. Place your donation in the shopping cart near the coat rack.

Resources for talking with kids about poverty, homelessness and more

During our 9:30 a.m. faith study hour Sunday, Oct. 2, adults will learn more about resources to help in talking with kids about poverty, race, homelessness and our faith. Parents and other adults are welcome to join us in this important conversation.

Church members to be surveyed for pastoral search

Your collaborative work with the Pastoral Search Committee this summer has yielded a lot of great information about who we are as a congregation and what traits in a pastor can best support our vision as “Seekers and servants, growing in God’s transforming love.” Thanks to everyone who contributed to this work!

Now we need church members’ help with another task of great importance to the pastoral search. The PSC has put together a survey that will add to the information needed for our church profile. Even though a church survey was taken just a few years ago and some of the information might be repeated in this new survey, its focus is different and many of the questions have a different theme.

Today the PSC is launching an online version of the survey at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/FHCUCCfamilysurvey. We estimate it should take about 30 minutes to complete. Each adult and youth in your household is requested to complete a separate survey. Surveys should be completed by the end of September.

Sunday, Sept. 25, has been designated as Survey Sunday. There will be computers and iPads in the Gathering Room available to use before and after worship if you haven’t yet completed your survey by then. We will also have paper copies available on the back table in the Gathering Room beginning this Sunday, if you prefer that format.

Our church profile is a major piece of the “road construction” in our pastoral search – sort of like the ongoing phases of the bridge construction work on Highway 36 at Lexington. The profile is THE document prospective candidates will receive as their introduction to Falcon Heights Church, and this survey will help us get it done so we can move ahead to the next phase of the search. Thank you for your help!

Carol Holm
Co-chair, Pastoral Search Committee

Panel discussion on community policing

Falcon Heights Church will be the venue for a public panel discussion Sept. 29 on Models for Community Policing. Sponsored by Falcon Heights We Can Do Better, the discussion will include racial equity, police training, policing models, and residents’ roles in improving policing. The conversation is intended to help inform the work of a proposed citizens work group on community policing models for Falcon Heights. The discussion begins at 7:30 p.m.

Event flyer: Models for Community Policing: A Panel Discussion

Breakfast cereal for hungry kids

We are providing cereal for 22 students at Falcon Heights Elementary School who receive a weekend food package through the Sheridan Project. Current priorities are individual oatmeal packets and granola bars. Please leave donations in or near the white bucket in the church lobby.

Talking with kids about social justice and race

Two sessions during our First Hour faith education hour this month will focus on helping parents and other adults talk with kids about issues of social justice and race.

  • On Sunday, Sept. 18, Kyle and Rachelle Roeckman will lead a discussion on “How to Talk with Kids about Social Justice.”
  • On Sunday, Sept. 25, we will discuss “How to Talk with Kids about Race.”

Join us at 9:30 a.m. for these important discussions about age-appropriate conversations.