The story of “Mike”
I sometimes reminisce about my time at Port Saint Vincent de Paul.
When I do, the story of “Mike” bubbles up.
Mike was not the usual homeless individual. Mike came to the Port due to a combination of his own obstinacy and the intentional neglect of others. A farmer well past his hay-baling years, Mike had foolishly taken in boarders who had taken advantage of him. Desperately wanting to stay on his farm, Mike had trusted himself to untrustworthy people. Dane County officials brought him to live at the Port and charged his “caretakers” with elder abuse.
I will never forget Mike’s first day. Cheerful, disheveled, smelly, weak, yet shuffling with the aid of a walker, Mike headed first into the shower. Luckily the Port had a shower chair, toiletries, and a change of clean clothes. Mike’s shower lasted well over 30 minutes. When he came out, he was a changed man– almost newly born. A shock of combed white hair, a shaved face, and a huge smile on his face; the only things missing were his socks and shoes.
From across the room, with firmness and warmth co-mingled in my voice, I told Mike that he couldn’t eat until his feet were shod.
He motioned for me to come over. Now Mike was a talker, so I reluctantly obliged. He whispered his request– such was his burning need. “Would you wash my feet?” If you had seen the look in his eyes, you wouldn’t have hesitated one bit. I know I didn’t. I instantly realized that he couldn’t bend down that far any longer.
So I got out a basin, filled it with warm water, found a clean towel and knelt down. I thought of Jesus on that last night with his disciples. I washed Mike’s feet with much tenderness and care. It was a holy moment; many layers of dead skin came off. His relief was palpable. Tears came to his eyes.
For many years, Mike had cared for his disabled daughter and recently deceased wife. But now? Now the tables were turned. Fiercely independent Mike had to rely on others to tend to his basic needs. That too reminded me of Jesus of the cross. You remember. Jesus went from the one who said, “Come to me all you who thirst” to the one on the cross who said, “I thirst.” Mike, like Jesus, knew what it meant to be humbled. And I? I got a taste of humbleness myself. For as I washed Mike’s feet, I felt love grow in me. Not a disdainful love that comes from condescension, but a freeing, welcoming love that comes from acknowledging one another as kin. This love was a gift to me; it was like the power of Jesus’ resurrection hovered all around us. It still does even after all these years.
May these 50 great days of Easter bring you a sense of the humble and real power of Jesus’ resurrection.
Peace be with you all. I am glad to minister with and among you. Pastor Glen
“Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.”
We exist as a congregation to know Jesus Christ and to make Him known:
- To proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ so all may come to know and love Him;
- To nurture His people in joyful faith, fellowship, and commitment; and
- To demonstrate His way of love in service to the world.
We use the Connector to share news of the coming week and beyond, the activities that involve a wide range of ages and interests at FPC.
News and Announcements
Pastoral Search Update
Thanks to all 200 of you who completed the survey! The MIF team is currently carefully reviewing all the data we received.
MIF team members will be available to chat for anything we may have missed in the survey process for the next 2 Sundays after church in the gathering space. Someone from the MIF team will also be attending the Light Team meeting on 5/1 and New Horizons on 5/10 if there is anything more you would like to share.
Again, thanks for the great participation in the survey process!
VBS Registration and Volunteer Sign-up is now LIVE!
Registration is now live! If you hear space calling and want to explore, please register today!
Blast Off Location: FPC
Dates: June 25-27
Cost: $30 for the first passenger and $20 for each sibling (includes a space shirt this year)
Stellar VBS to volunteers, come in volunteers… over.
3-2-1… SPACE VBS countdown to launch has begun! Blast off is June 25-27 at FPC.
Your VBS decorating team is on a mission: To make an OUT OF THIS WORLD experience! Can you help us create the most cosmic galaxy ever? Imagine church filled with planets, stars, moon rovers, astronauts, space shuttles, mission control boards, and comets-oh my! Equipped to shine Jesus’ bright light! Whether you can build rockets, cut out stars, help with set up, or have leftover space party decorations at home you’d like to give us, we’ll take anything and everything. We have plenty of SPACE for you on our decorating crew. If you can help, contact Lori Phelps (firstname.lastname@example.org, 608-235-7899), Sheryll Gehrmann or Cheri Brisky to be a shining star!
Nursery is open
Nursery Age 2 and Under – Room 200
The Nursery is available on Sundays from 9:00 – 11:00 AM, is staffed by church volunteers who love children and want to share God’s love with them.
New 3-4-year-old Kingdom Kids Sunday School
3-4-year-old Kingdom Kids now have their own Sunday School class from 9:00 – 9:50 AM on Sunday, in the Kingdom Kids room.
4k-Kindergarteners will still be upstairs.
Are you familiar with FPC’s FOOF wall?
Are you familiar with FPC’s FOOF wall? It’s not just a funny name! Take a walk down to the children’s education wing, and there you will see photos of many of our church members, staff and volunteers. This is our FOOF wall – the Faces Of Our Family.
The FOOF wall is more than just a collection of photos. It helps our members recognize and get to know each other. It’s a useful tool for church leaders and staff. It’s a great connection mechanism within our congregation. And we need your help to make our FOOF wall current again!
Many of the photos on the FOOF wall were taken years ago while putting together our church directory. Most of us look very different today! Some of us have gotten married or had babies over the past few years. Some of us may be new to the church, and did not have an opportunity to submit a picture for our wall. So we would appreciate your assistance as we update the “faces of our family.”
Do you have a family photo that you used for your Christmas card this year? Or perhaps a picture taken over the holidays? Please take a moment to send the picture to us by clicking the button below. Thank you!
Upcoming Music in Worship
April 30 – Yahara String Quartet
May 7 – FPC Choir
May 14 – Sonia Driskill, Harpist
Guest Musicians: Yahara String Quartet
The Yahara String Quartet has been performing in the Madison area for several decades and can often be seen performing at weddings, parties, fundraisers, church services and other special events. Their repertoire includes a wide range of classical and contemporary pieces, carefully selected to suit the occasion and audience. In addition to performing as a quartet, members of the ensemble are active music teachers and performers in the community.
Coming Events | April 30 – May 20, 2023
Sundays at 9 AM – Graceland Student Ministry
7th-12th Graders, join us each week for a time of connection, Bible discussion, and prayer.
Sundays at 9 AM – Sunday School for 4K-Adults
Sundays – During Service – Kingdom Kids
During the worship service kids can leave the worship service after the Children’s Moment and need to be picked up in room 202 after the service is over.
We offer Kingdom Kids for 3-year olds – kindergarten. Kingdom Kids offers a fun, unique time for children to explore their faith and form positive relationships with peers.
This Sunday, April 30 at 11 AM – First Communion Parent and Child Meeting
For those interested, we will have a First Communion Parent and Child Meeting following the worship service on Sunday, April 30 at 11am in the Chapel. FPC’s annual First Public Communion will be on Sunday, May 7 during the 10am service.
Wednesdays thru May 24 at 8:30 – 10:00 AM – Women’s Community Bible Study
The Wednesday Morning Women’s Bible Study Group is made up of women from the surrounding community at large. All are welcome. This season we are exploring “How Much More” by Lisa Harper. Meet us on Wednesdays 8:30 – 10:00 AM in the Conference Room, entering through the west side Education Wing doors. Contact Beth Stellmacher for more info: email@example.com.
Wednesdays at 7:00 – 8:15 PM – Graceland Student Ministry
7th-12th Graders, join the fun upstairs in the Youth Room for a time of connection, games, message, meaningful small group discussion with students your same grade, and prayer.
Thursday, May 4 at 4:30PM to 6:30PM – Girls Night Out with the Light Team and other FPC Friends
Tanner’s Bar and Grill, 2259 Deming Way, Middleton. Thursday, May 4 at 4:30pm. Please RSVP to Alka at firstname.lastname@example.org by April 30th.
Saturday, May 6 at 10AM – New Caregivers Respite Group
Calling all Caregivers – New Group meeting at FPC
We are starting a new group for people who are the caregivers–caregivers for anyone, whether it be spouse, child, other family member, or a friend. The loved one doesn’t need to be cared for at home, they don’t need to be in a certain age group, as all caregivers are welcome in this group. The current “name” for this group is Caregivers Respite.
The purpose of the group is to meet in a safe place, where there is no judgment, to discuss and pray for you as a caregiver and for your loved ones. We won’t tell you what you need to do, but we will offer resources for you–and sometimes, just talking about your life as a caregiver, how it affects your outlook on life and your outlook on your faith.
If you would be interested in joining the group meetings, the proposal is to meet twice a month, one meeting for those who would feel better meeting in the evening, and another meeting for those who would feel better meeting on Saturday mornings. Loved ones are welcome to attend with you, we have activity books and colored pencils available to hopefully capture their interest.
We will be meeting downstairs in the Fellowship Hall. Coffee, tea and ice water will be provided.
If you have questions, or if these dates and times won’t work for you, please contact Marcia Chase, email@example.com or call 849-5683 and leave a message during work hours.
Sunday, May 7 at 10 AM – FPC’s First Public Communion
Anyone who desires a closer relationship with Jesus can take communion any time at FPC, including children. Some families desire to publicly recognize this important moment in their child’s faith journey. We are inviting those families to come forward to receive communion together with their child during our worship services on May 7. This is open to any children who wish to learn more about communion and be recognized, whether they have taken communion before or it is their first time. If you and your child plan to participate in this special day, please plan to attend a short learning session and run-through on Sunday April 30 after service at 11am in the chapel (or make another time for you and your child to meet with Christa.)
Wednesday, May 10 from 11:30AM-1PM – New Horizons Potluck with Joan Cable and Pastor Glen
Joan Cable and Pastor Glen will discuss the Focus Questions in the final phase of the MIF process at 11:30 a.m. in FPC Fellowship Hall. We will have a Potluck afterwards.
Any questions? Please call Anne Frihart at 608-644-9294.
Sunday, May 14 from 9AM-10AM – Mother’s Day Pancake Breakfast
FPC loves to celebrate all the moms in our lives, and we do it with pancakes! FPC has a free annual pancake breakfast every Mother’s Day. Moms and families are all invited to partake in the ‘cakes.
Tuesday, May 16 at 6:45PM – MOPS and MOMSnext
WE GO TOGETHER! We are a tribe of moms desiring to become the women God has designed us to be. We meet every 2nd Tuesday of the month at 6:45-9 PM. Moms of kids 0-5 are welcome for MOPS or school-age kids for MOMSnext.
Saturday, May 20 from Noon-2PM – Network 56 Closeout with Bowling and Pizza
Saturday, May 20 from 10AM-Noon – Waunakee Food Pantry Open House
The Waunakee Food Pantry would like to invite the community at large for a drop in open house to see their new location. It will be on Saturday, May 20th from 10:00am to 12:00pm. At 12:00pm there will be a ribbon cutting ceremony to end the event. The new address is 710 South Street Suite A or the lower level of the building. For any questions email firstname.lastname@example.org
Save the Date | More Info to come
Wednesday, May 31 from 11AM – 2PM – New Horizons Picnic in the Outdoor Shelter
New Horizons will host an outdoor picnic in the FPC Outdoor picnic shelter on May 31 from 11am – 2pm.
If May 31 looks like bad weather, we will move it to Wednesday, June 7th.
Sunday, June 25 to Wednesday June 27 from 5:30PM-7:30PM – VBS Stellar
Friday, October 20 – Sunday, October 22 – FPC Marriage Retreat
Pastor Glen and his wife, Christine, will lead this event at the Green Lake Retreat Center. Cost is $199 per couple for 4 meals and 2 nights’ lodging. Contact Pastor Glen or Christa Schmeelk for more information.
Opportunities to Serve
Spring Clean-up: May 6 at 9am-Noon
Looking for volunteers willing to pitch in and help with landscaping the outside of the church, such as trim/remove trees, spread mulch, clean-up garden areas, clean-up outdoor family space, etc. If you have any questions, please call RJ Binau, Building and Grounds Elder, at 608-334-8032.
Agrace Seeks Volunteers in Dane County
Volunteers are needed to assist customers, operate the cash register and sort donations at the Agrace Thrift Stores in Madison, pack donated merchandise in donors’ homes, or make companionship visits to local Agrace hospice patients in patients’ homes, nursing homes or assisted living centers.
Agrace will host volunteer orientation Thursday, May 18, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. at its Madison campus. Pre-registration is required. Call (608) 327-7163 or visit agrace.org/volunteer to fill out an application.
Agrace is seeking volunteers across Dane County to visit with hospice patients or support its Madison area thrift stores. Volunteer orientation will take place at Agrace’s Madison campus May 18, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Pre-registration is required. Call (608) 327-7163 or visit agrace.org/volunteer to fill out an application.
Agrace Offers Grief Support Group Options in May
In May, Agrace is offering professionally led, in-person and virtual (accessible with a tablet, computer or smartphone) grief support options.
- Bridges is for adults grieving the death of any loved one. Meetings are held every other Wednesday at the Agrace Grief Support Center. In May, meetings are May 3 and 17, from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.
- Bridges (virtual) is for adults grieving the death of any loved one. Meetings are held every other Wednesday. In May, meetings are May 10 and 24, from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m., via Zoom.
- Young Adult is for anyone aged 18 to 30+ years who is grieving the death of a loved one, parent, child, spouse, sibling or friend. The group will meet May 11, from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., at the Agrace Grief Support Center.
There is no fee for these programs if a participant’s family member was in hospice care in the past 12 months; fees for others can be lowered or waived, if needed. Pre-registration is required for all groups. For details, fees or to register, email email@example.com or call (608) 327-7110.
Stephen Ministry at FPC: Providing God’s Care to Hurting People
What is this ministry about?
Extensively trained and supervised Stephen Minister Caregivers provide high-quality, one-on-one confidential Christian care to anyone in need. They provide weekly visits and ongoing support as long as the care receiver needs. Should the care receiver have needs that are beyond the scope of a Stephen Minister Caregiver, they are referred to professional caregivers.
What kind of care is offered from a Stephen Minister?
- CRISIS CARE – For people experiencing change(s) that significantly challenge their ability to cope.
- FOLLOW-UP CARE – After the crisis event.
- CHRONIC CARE – For a person whose situation is unlikely to change.
- PREVENTIVE CARE – Providing care before a crisis occurs.
- SUPPORTIVE CARE – Care for the caregiver.
How can I find out more about this ministry?
Call the church office at 608-949-9445, or reach out to a pastor or deacon. Stephen Minister Caregivers don’t replace the care of pastors and deacons. They carry it a step further.
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Connect with the Connector!
In an effort to streamline the process for submitting requests for event announcements in the Connector or spoken during the worship service, Communications has developed this easy-to-use online form to share all of your important information.
Click the link below to check out the form and if you have any feedback or questions, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Connector is available in print at the Connection Corner in the Lobby for those who would like a printed copy.
The Connector comes out at 4 PM every Friday. The deadline for submissions is noon, the Wednesday prior.