The Light of the World
Something sparked in me last week. Does that ever happen to you? A flash of perception? An “Ah-ha” moment when our world widens and we see with a new perspective, with new “in-sight”? Perhaps it is a time when our eyes are lifted up and we become aware of the beauty that was right there all along. Whenever that happens, it is a moment to be savored.
It seems that in Wales, there is a particular point that juts out into the ocean. It is where the locals (and some tourists in the know) go to watch the sunset. It is high on a cliff above the rolling, sometimes uproarious, waves.
Well, hearing about this, my friend and his young family drove out to this lonely, wild place near dusk only to find many people gathered there. It was in the fall, and there was a stiff wind. People were bundled up. At first, the spectacle was the roar, boom and splay of the waves. “Oohs” and “aahs” peppered the air. It was awesome and austere.
Soon people began to talk. The usual get-to-know-you questions- “Where are you from? How long will you be in the area? What’s it like where you live?”- were gently asked by the curious and friendly. There was an ephemeral warmth of togetherness. People drew physically closer together.
It was at that moment that the sun began to set and the crescendo of delight quickened.
Suddenly, my friend noticed, tucked off by themselves, a family surrounding a child who was slumped in a wheelchair. My friend had not seen them arrive; the family had done their best not to be noticed. My friend kept his eyes on the glorious sunset but also watched out of the corner of his eye, this self-effacing family. As the sun set and the colors, like a slowly moving kaleidoscope, danced and deepened, the father bent down, put his hand under the child’s chin, and tenderly lifted his son’s head up so that they both could delight in the living wonder of our world.
Isn’t that what happens to us each Advent and Christmas? As we enter into the scriptures and songs of the season, God takes a hand, puts it under our chin and lifts our heads to show us what it is like when the Light of the World, the light of peace and justice, like a slowly moving kaleidoscope, dances all around. And we, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, get to see what God sees. We get to savor and allow the Light to dwell more fully in our lives, in our communities, in our world.
Allow yourself during this Advent season the privilege of having God raise your eyes so that we may savor together the living wonder of the Light of the World breaking into our world.
Save the Date! ChristCare Small Group Leadership Training
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
Thank you volunteers!
Saturday was sunny but cold! Many volunteers came out to construct the manger for FPC’s upcoming Live Nativity. Come see the Live Nativity on Saturday, December 17 from 5-8 PM.
Christmas Books Now Available from the FPC Library
Come check out a book for the season. You’ll find the Christmas collection on a table in the Lobby. The rest of the FPC Library is also now available for your use. Enjoy browsing, check out a book, and/or write a review if you would like to promote a favorite book to others. Send queries or reviews to Alice Honeywell, email@example.com, or call her at 608-692-5496.
A paper catalog of our books is also available on the bookcase in the Gathering Place.
There are also some children’s and young adult books in the Gathering Place. Most children’s books are upstairs near the children’s classrooms. Check them out!
Once again we were able to send more than 50 dolls to the children of migrant workers, who are cared for by Sister Jean at the House on the Hill daycare / Head Start program in Goshen, NY. In order to continue this mission we need more dolls that we can clean and dress in new clothes for next year. Please place any unwanted or outgrown dolls that would be appropriate for young children in the bins in the Education Wing of the church. (No Barbies please!) Thank you so much!
Advent Bible Study
It is easy to get caught up in the glitz and frenzy in the run-up to Christmas. FPC is offering you an opportunity to “come away” for an hour to ponder and savor the ever-present presence and wonder of our God. What is the meaning of this Advent for you, for me, for our church?
(Honorably Retired) Pastor Susan and I will be co-leading an Adult Bible Study during the Season of Advent; Sundays at 9am downstairs in FPC’s Fellowship Hall on Nov. 27, Dec. 4, Dec. 11 and 18. Coffee and treats provided. All are welcome.
We will be using as our base the Daily Advent Devotional Book called The Promised One. Copies will be available. Yes, there will be coffee and treats as well.
More importantly, this will be a time to holistically grow our faith – enriching both our minds and our hearts.
We will listen to the promises of God, ponder what it means to follow the Prince of Peace, discover the Light in the midst of our darkening world and celebrate the One who comes.
As Jesus says, “Come and see.” Come as often as you are able. Looking forward to seeing you there.
Children’s Nativity Service
We invite you to attend, and children to participate, in a meaningful and fun re-creation of the Christmas story 4-5pm on Sunday, December 18. There are opportunities for kids to dress up in costume, sing, or have a speaking part as they choose! Treats afterward. Rehearsals are Sundays, December 11, 18, from 9:00 – 9:50 AM upstairs (it’s okay if kids can’t make them all). If kids are interested in participating, email firstname.lastname@example.org or click the button below.
Also, at the Children’s Nativity Service, Network 56 will be selling a craft to raise money for their chosen charity: The Humane Society. Please bring your monetary donations for purchasing the craft along with new or gently used pet items to donate.
Upcoming Music in Worship
December 11 – Joyful Noise Brass
December 18 – FPC Choir
December 25 – Ying Wang
Coming Events | Dec. 11 – Dec. 31, 2022
All About FPC | New Members Class this Sunday
After the service this Sunday, December 11, at 11 AM – 3 PM, there will be an “All About FPC” New Members Class held in the Conference Room. A Jimmy John’s lunch will be served.
Mondays, December 12 & 19 – The Light Team Meeting
The Light Team is comprised of women who want a chance to meet for fellowship and Bible study. We pray for each other and those in our church family and community. When possible, we extend ourselves in projects to help others. There is no homework and we include humor and laughter! We meet in the Gathering Place on Mondays at 1:00 – 2:30 PM. All are welcome to attend any or all of our sessions. From November 14 to December 12, the Light Team will view the video of “Christmas” by Ann Voskamp.
We will wrap up the year with Christmas celebration and fellowship on Monday, December 19.
Tuesday, December 13 at 6:45 – 8:45 PM – MOPS
MOPS continues to meet at FPC on the first Tuesday each month in Fellowship Hall (enter on south side lower level). Light refreshments and a warm welcome provided. All moms with children aged birth through Kindergarten are invited. Mark your calendar for January 10, MOPS first meeting in the new year.
Wednesday, December 14 at 11:30 – 1:30 PM – New Horizons Christmas Sing Along and Potluck
New Horizons annual Christmas Sing-Along is on Wednesday, December 14 at 11:30 AM in the FPC Chapel. A Potluck will follow in the Fellowship Hall around 12:30 PM.
Wednesday, December 14 at 7:00-8:15 PM – Youth Group Christmas Party
All middle and high school students are invited to join us in the FPC Youth Space for an evening of fun, food, and friends. Feel free to dress festively!
Saturday, December 17 at 5–8 PM – FPC’s Live Nativity
Volunteers are needed to help us bring to life the majestic scene of Christ’s birth in this beloved FPC tradition!
Sunday, December 18 at 4-5 PM – Children’s Nativity Service
All are welcome to attend and join us for treats afterwards!
Sunday, December 18 at 2:30 PM – Ying Wang’s Doctoral Piano Recital
Our gifted pianist, Ying Wang, will be giving his doctoral piano recital on Sunday, December 18 at 2:30 PM in the Collins Recital Hall at the Hamel Music Center on the UW-Madison campus at 740 University Avenue. We hope that some from FPC can support Ying on his special day and help show sincere appreciation for bringing his amazing gifts to our family of faith!
Now until Monday, December 19 – Christmas Giving Tree
FPC’s Missions Team has raised several “Giving Trees” in the lobby this year in support of the following organizations: WEB (Waunakee Ecumenical Board), WNC (Waunakee Neighborhood Connection), Porchlight, SFTS, Patriot Riders, and Support Our Troops. Please check these trees for ways you can help brighten Christmas for these worthy groups and the people they serve. Please mark what your gift is for and send or bring checks, cash, gift cards, or gifts to the church (see individual trees for their preferred type of gifts) by Monday, December 19. Thank you in advance!
Sundays, December 11 & 18 at 9:00-9:50 AM – Adult Sunday School
Each Sunday of Advent in Fellowship Hall, Pastor Glen and Pastor Susan will lead an Adult Advent Study called “The Promised One.”
Wednesdays, December 14 & 21 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 fall we are exploring “12 Women of the Bible.” 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.
Saturday, December 24 at 4 PM – Family Christmas Eve Service
Saturday, December 24 at 7 PM – Candlelight Christmas Eve Service
Featuring the FPC Choir and Joyful Noise. Communion will be available in the Chapel after the service.
Sunday, December 25 at 10 AM – Christmas Morning Service
Please join us for a Christmas Morning service. Feel free to come in your pajamas and enjoy a chocolate bar treat while we celebrate Christ’s birth together!
December 26 – January 2 – FPC Office will be closed
Sundays at 9 AM – 4K thru 6th grade Sunday School
December 4, 11, and 18, we will be learning about the Christmas Story and practicing for the Children’s Nativity Service. All are welcome, even those not participating in the Nativity Service!
Come join us to learn more and have some fun together!
PLEASE NOTE: There will be no Sunday School on Sundays, December 25 or January 1, as our volunteers take some time to be with their families.
Sundays at 9 AM – Graceland Student Ministry
7th-12th Graders, join us each week for a time of connection, Bible discussion, and prayer.
PLEASE NOTE: There will be no Youth Sunday School on Sunday, December 25 or January 1.
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.
PLEASE NOTE: There will be no Kingdom Kids on Sunday, December 25 or January 1 as our volunteers take some time to be with their families. There will still be a Children’s message during those services.
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.
PLEASE NOTE: There will be no Youth Group on Wednesdays, December 21 or 28.
Save the Date | More Info to come
Sunday, January 8 – Bethel Bible Series Bible Study
Two new opportunities are coming for Bethel Bible Series Bible Study at FPC: in-person starting on Sunday January 8th at 9 AM and online starting on Saturday, January 7. Please email Adult Nurture and Spiritual Growth Elder Scott Legwold at firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know if you would like to participate in either Bible Study. We are prepared to conduct the in person Bethel Bible Series Bible Study starting on January 8th at 9am in our classrooms at FPC. Thank you.
Sunday, January 8 at 11:30 AM-1:00 PM – Epiphany Potluck and Fun
FPC Children’s Ministry and MOPs are partnering to host an Epiphany Celebration – which occurs after the 12 days of Christmas. This “Three Kings Day” celebrates the “Wisemen” part of the Christmas story. We will have a potluck with Three Kings activities and the famous “Kings Cake.” If the miniature baby Jesus is in your piece, you win a prize! Join together for Food and Fun!
Wednesdays, January 25 – March 1 at 6:30-8:30 PM – ChristCare Small Group Leadership Training
FPC Waunakee is a congregation that reaches in and reaches out. We care for one another, help one another grow in faith, and equip one another for meaningful ministry. Then we carry the love we have received out into our world to bring Jesus’ care to people who are lonely and searching. We are Living Faith Together!
Healthy small groups are an excellent tool for those tasks. On January 25, our church will begin a six-week training for small group leaders. To sign up for this wonderful and enriching experience use the link below or contact Pastor Glen (email@example.com). We want to support and nurture healthy small groups here at FPC.
Saturday, January 28 at 8:30 AM–12:30 PM – Intro to Centering Prayer
Pastor Glen will host “Intro to Centering Prayer” in the Gathering Place. Follow-up meetings will be held from 6:30-8:00 PM on January 30, February 6, February 13 and February 21.
Sunday, March 19, 2023 at 2 PM – Organ Recital
Please mark your calendars! FPC will host an organ recital on Sunday, March 19, 2023, at 2 PM featuring highly regarded organist Dr. Andrew Schaeffer, Director of Music at the Luther Memorial Church in Madison. The recital will be dedicated to the life and service of Pat Ronspiez. Pat served as our organist for 46 years. She also played piano and accordion.
Our church features an historic 1890 Schuelke organ built in Milwaukee and rebuilt by Wahl Organ Builders of Appleton in 1992.
A Chicago native, Schaeffer holds degrees from St. Olaf College, Yale University and a doctoral degree from the University of Oklahoma. Andrew’s responsibilities include playing organ for Sunday services, directing the children, youth and adult choirs, various instrumental ensembles and overseeing the general music ministry of the congregation. He has been at Luther Memorial since 2018. Schaeffer is also editor-at-large of The Diapason, a nationally published organ and church music magazine.
Opportunities to Serve
Help with the FPC Coffee Hour
Every Sunday after service FPC hosts a coffee hour for socializing and fellowship. Please consider volunteering for a shift or two, to help setup and/or take down the coffee supplies. Thank you!
Shelter From The Storm Ministries Needs Volunteers
Shelter From The Storm Ministries (SFTSM), located in Sun Prairie, is currently in need of crews that can clean rooms and prepare them for their next residents. Shelter from the Storm Ministries currently has three rooms vacant and is in the process of interviewing new families to move in and welcome. A crew of four (4) people volunteering to clean one room usually takes 2-4 hours. SFTSM is extremely flexible on dates/times. For any questions or to sign up, please contact Pastor Kent Van Horn from Shelter From The Storm Ministries at firstname.lastname@example.org or call him at (608) 535-0067.
Thank you! Your FPC Mission Team
FPC Choir – I’m Gonna Sing When the Spirit Says Sing!
You’re invited to sing with the Choir for the 7 PM Christmas Eve service! We rehearse every Wednesday night from 7:00 PM-8:30 PM in the Sanctuary. Upcoming rehearsals are Wednesdays, December 14 and 21. In addition to Christmas Eve, the Choir will also sing on Sunday, December 18. Unsure if you are a Soprano, Alto, Tenor or Bass? No worries, we can help and welcome all ability levels including middle and high school students!! Come enjoy a great fellowship of singers! Please contact Choir Director Liz Weller with any questions: email@example.com
Joyful Noise – “Make A Joyful Noise Unto The Lord!”
The Joyful Noise is our instrumental ensemble and is preparing for the Christmas Eve service at 7 PM. If you play a wind, percussion or string instrument, no matter what age or skill level, please consider playing with us! We rehearse every other Thursday from 7-8/8:30 in the Music Room on Thursdays, December 8 & 22. The FPC Brass Ensemble will play on Sunday, December 11. Middle and high school students are eager and welcome to play with us!! Contact Sam Robinson at church via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Calling Vocalists and Instrumentalists (Piano, too!)
If you’d like to sing or play an instrument at a Sunday service, please contact Sam Robinson at email@example.com or call 608-949-9450. We have open dates on our music calendar for January through May. You are welcome to sing/play a special song or two, no matter what your skill level is. We have open dates when the Choir and Joyful Noise are not playing and would like to fill those with students and adults from our congregation whenever possible.
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 comes out at 4 PM every Friday. The deadline for submissions is noon, the Wednesday prior.