Happy 10th Work Anniversary, Ezrah!
August 1st marked 10 years at FPC for Ezrah Schmeelk, FPC’s Director
of Student Ministries!
Under Ezrah’s tenure, Student Ministries has involved hundreds of
middle schoolers and high schoolers in the church, through youth
group, service projects, mission trips, and numerous other activities.
Next week, he will lead his fifth domestic FPC mission trip, when he
and a group of students travel to Milwaukee. Ezrah also has led three
mission trips to Guatemala.
It was his own high school mission trip to build homes in Mexico that
prompted Ezrah to consider youth ministry as a career. After interning
with a large church in Seattle, he earned his bachelor’s degree in
youth ministry from Northwest University in Washington State. Ezrah
and his wife, Christa, and their two young sons moved to Waunakee in
2012 from Missoula, Montana, where Ezrah served as a youth director
for six years.
Emily Bauer, FPC’s Elder for Student Ministries said, “Ezrah is a true
advocate for his students and supports them in any way he can. Seeing
the way they interact with him, not only at church but also out in the
community, it is evident the level of connection he’s able to
establish with them.”
Emily also noted, “We’re really excited about the new curriculum Ezrah
has pulled together for the fall. Watch for more information on our
Sunday and Wednesday plans!”
Congratulations, Ezrah, on this milestone anniversary, and thank you
for sharing your gifts and talents with us!
Interim Pastor Update
To our FPC family –
We are thrilled to update you on FPC’s Interim Pastor Search Committee!
After interviewing our finalists, listening to multiple sermons online, many prayers, and thoughtful discussion, our committee made a recommendation to Session that we hire Rev. Glen Reichelderfer as our new Interim Pastor! After additional discussion, and a time to answer some great questions from Session, our Elders decided unanimously to offer the position to Pastor Glen. We can’t be more excited! Pastor Glen has an incredibly deep faith along with being a great listener and strong preacher. He has 20 years of experience as a pastor and has previously held 3 other Interim Pastor positions.
Pastor Glen will begin at FPC on September 1, 2022 and will lead us through a process that Interim Pastors are trained for — taking our church through a visioning process that will guide us in our search for our Called and Installed Senior Pastor. Overall, this process is estimated to take 18 months, and we are blessed to have Pastor Glen to help guide and support us in this journey.
Thank you for praying for us and for FPC’s upcoming transition. Please know that you can reach out to any of us with questions.
**God, we ask that you guide FPC as we transition into a new phase of church life. Many changes are ahead, and we pray that we receive your new shepherd humbly and with love and support. Prepare Pastor Glen and prepare us as we move into a season of reflection and transformation, in Jesus’ mighty Name, Amen!**
Celebrating Pat Ronspiez
The staff celebrated Pat Ronspiez’s retirement this week by meeting for lunch at Rex’s Innkeeper.
We learned how Pat and Jerry met and heard some interesting stories about “old Waunakee” from years gone by.
A good (but bittersweet) time was had by all. We will all miss seeing Pat in the office as well as at the organ!
The photo collage below is from Pat’s coffee hour after the Sunday, July 31st, service.
Gloria Grys moved to Madison from Shawano in 2018 with her husband, Ed, and they joined FPC shortly after.
They were previously active members of Presbyterian churches in VA, MI and in Shawano for 30 years.
Gloria has a degree in music education, was a piano teacher for over 40 years, and served as a church musician at several churches.
Currently, she plays piano for some worship services at Oakwood Village Prairie Ridge (East) where they now live in an Independent Living apartment.
Gloria and Ed have two sons (one in Madison, one in Scottsdale, AZ) and four grandchildren.
Jessica Spicer, along with her husband, Peter, and two sons, have been attending FPC for about 5 years. She has several degrees in music including in flute performance and music education. She currently teaches music at Waunakee Community Middle School and offers private lessons through Musical Pathways.
- The single Sunday service will continue through Labor Day of 2023. The Sunday service will start at 10:00 am, Sunday School will start at 9 am. Christmas and Easter will still have multiple services. This Sunday School timing allows teachers time to prep and set up before Sunday School and still attend Sunday service. Having everyone in one service will also help the congregation feel more connected with each other, especially with church attendance numbers being down since Covid. We can change this in the future if we see attendance numbers increase significantly and we start to feel crowded with one service.
- The interim pastor search committee presented their recommendation. The committee is chaired by Brice Wallace. Doug Brown, Joel Lewis, Christa Schmeelk and Lolly Lawrence are team members. The committee reviewed their process and information that influenced their decision. Two candidates were recommended by the Presbytery and were interviewed on July 3. Both candidates were well-suited for the position. The final decision is pending approval by the Presbytery on August 4. If all goes well with the Presbytery, communication of the decision will be sent soon after the Presbytery meeting.
- Reverend Jeff Fox-Kline moderated the July meeting. He is an interim moderator and will be leading Session meetings until an interim pastor is hired.
- The parking lot will be repaved the first two weeks in August. The week of August 1-5 the lower parking lot and education wing parking lot will be repaved. The week of August 8-12, the upper parking lot and employee parking lot will be repaved. Sunday service access will not be impacted and alternate employee parking will be provided during the work week.
- Pat Ronspiez will be retiring in July. Session will provide a monetary retirement gift, in addition to the love offering. We will not be hiring an “official” organist to replace Pat. Worship and Music will need to determine if there is a continuing role for an organist. In the meantime, FPC may continue to invite guest organists, with the awareness that there are not many organists available.
- Patricia Coley, director of Children’s Ministry, will be leaving soon for maternity leave. Christa Schmeelk will cover Patricia’s duties until Patricia returns.
- We acknowledged the success of Pastor Kirk’s retirement celebration. It was a beautiful day, with an excellent turn-out and plenty of food and fellowship. During the event, Pastor Kirk expressed lots of gratitude for everyone’s attendance and contributions, and the committees’ work in planning and preparation. Kudos to the Fellowship Committee, led by Lynda Ferris-Olson, and the New Member Outreach Committee, led by Wes Ray, for their outstanding work on this celebration.
- We are still considering an October getaway at Green Lake Conference Center. Adult Nurture and Spiritual Growth will gauge interest from the congregation, in August.
- The “Cry Room” will be renamed to the “Wiggle Room.” The furniture in the room will be rearranged make the space more inviting and comfortable for parents and their children.
- Finance Report:
- General Fund YTD: Income $403,410.16, Expenses $452,317.01. Actual income vs. Expense -$48,906.85. Budgeted Income vs. Expense -$155,377.00.
- % given vs. pledged YTD is 100.78%, dipped about 5% from June
- Raised $135k so far for the parking lot reconstruction, which includes the $50k match. If there is cash on hand from campaign contributions that exceeds the amount needed for loan interest payments, it will be used to pay down principal on the loan. Expecting to pay the loan down once per quarter.
- We will be using the IRS standard rate for mileage reimbursement.
Love offerings for Pat!
After 37 years of faithful service to God as FPC of Waunakee’s Church Organist, the time has come for Pat Ronspiez to take her final bow. Pat has been a true Godsend for FPC, and her time with us goes all the way back to the little church on Fish Street.
During her tenure, Pat has not only provided our congregation with beautiful music during our normal Sunday worship services but has also been there for numerous weddings, funerals, and other special events. Pat and her musical talents have been a true blessing and cause for giving thanks.
Please join us in thanking Pat for sharing her musical talents with us for so many years and for being such an integral part of our music and worship team. We will publicly show our appreciation to Pat on July 31, 2022, with a special coffee hour with cake to follow the service.
Love offerings for Pat will be collected July 19 – August 18. You can donate to Pat’s love offering via check (noting “Pat” in the memo line) or online by clicking here and indicate that it is for Pat.
Possible Weekend Retreat/Bible Study
Dear Members of First Presbyterian Church,
We are considering the possibility of having a weekend retreat/Bible Study type conference experience once again at the Green Lake Conference Center this fall.
We are considering the third weekend in October. If you have an interest in attending such a retreat, please email Adult Nurture and Spiritual Growth Elder Scott Legwold at: firstname.lastname@example.org
The website for the conference location is www.glcc.org
Parking Lot Construction: Phase 1 construction time extended.
I am sorry to report that the underlying soils of the education wing and portions of the lower lot need to be further investigated before attempting to pave the area.
Phase one will not be completed before the Sunday, August 7th service. Parking on the lower lot, which is currently gravel, is possible. But parking near the education wing should be avoided at this time.
More to come.
RJ Binau, Buildings and Grounds Elder.
Upcoming Special Music in Worship
- August 7 – Gloria Grys, piano, Jessica Spicer, flute
- August 14 – Roxanne & Alan Fauque, piano/vocals and saxophones
- August 21 – Ellen Kennedy Traeger, Guest Pianist & Vocalist
WEEKLY ANNOUNCEMENTS | August 7, 2022
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 email@example.com. Thanks!
Fall Worship Schedule
Our fall schedule begins on Sunday, September 11th
- Sunday School will be from 9:00am until 9:50am.
- We will continue to have one worship service, which will be starting at 10:00am.
Update Contact Info
We would like to update our church database with your new contact info, for example, mailing address, cell phone number, email address, etc. Please let Alka at the church office know by calling her or sending her an email with this information. Thank you.
Hand out bulletins on Sunday morning
If you or your family would like to hand out bulletins before the start of our summer worship services, please use the link below to sign up.
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.
Want to receive an email notification when the weekly Connector is updated? Sign up here!