The Music of Advent
For me, the Advent Christmas season has always been filled with stirring music.
As an adult, I look forward to taking out and playing my beloved Christmas CDs.
I wait all year for that moment.
As a teenager, I sang a verse of “We, Three Kings of Orient Are” while marching down the long aisle in our annual Christmas pageant. I, then, placed my gift in front of the manager and found my place in the tableau. It was a thrilling opportunity for a young man with a wavery voice to be so regal and so foreign. That song still fills my ears. To think that those learned Magi, those outsiders, were warmly welcomed into the fellowship of those illiterate ones already adoring the Christ Child.
That the doors of that manger were flung wide to the newly arrived who had different clothes, customs, language and culture is a wonder to me. The center that held them enthralled was Jesus. Their outward distinctions just did not matter. “What Child is this?”
As the songs of the season make their way into our ears, they become more firmly rooted in our hearts and in our lives. They help us encounter the reality of the Christ Child again and again. This encounter with the living Christ changes us. It happens in our most unguarded moments- when all the tinsel, lights and ornaments are off our tree, when we do not have to pretend any longer. Those are precious liberating moments- moments that allow our yearning, our hearts and the music of this holy season to guide us.
I wonder what music will ignite each of our hearts?
Where will we find the transforming presence of the Christ Child this year?
I wonder who the outsiders will be that find their way to our door? May it be so. Let us make room in our lives and hearts for the unexpected blessings that come as we listen to the songs of the season.
May we be discovered by the Holy One in this season as we seek the presence of the Christ Child in our lives, in our church and in this violent world of ours.
Grace and peace on our journey together.
Office closed for Winter Break
The FPC office will be closed for winter break starting Thursday, December 21 until Tuesday, January 2. We hope you have a blessed Christmas Season and we will see you when we reopen on January 3!
Video Devotional: Using the Name of the Lord Fraudulently
The second of the Ten Commandments tells us not to use the Lord’s name in vain and, if we use the Lord’s name in vain, there will be no forgiveness. What is this about and why is there no mercy if we break this commandment? Find out in this episode of Scriptures for Life.
Soli Deo Gloria!
“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
I was never a cheerleader. In fact, I didn’t even know what a cheerleader was until I was past the age when I should have known. You see, I led a very sheltered life. So, now I find myself in the rôle of cheerleader to the congregation here at FPC.
However, my father did teach me the words to the Badgers’ fight song, “On Wisconsin.”
On Wisconsin, on Wisconsin, plunge right through that line! Run the ball clear down the field, boys, touchdown sure this time, On Wisconsin on Wisconsin, fight on for her fame—
Fight! fellows, fight! fight! fight! We’ll win this game!
So now, I will change the lyrics a little:
Congregation, congregation, here’s our bottom line!
Not the greatest, nor the latest, you’ve still got the time* Congregation, congregation fight on for this church— Pledge! people, pledge! pledge! pledge! Don’t leave it in the lurch!
Here is the bottom line as of December 12, 2023:
Stewardship update: As of today, we have 119 pledges for $474,366. At the same time last year, we had 123 pledges for $549,826. Our preliminary budget shows planned expenses for 2024 at $854,561, a .7% increase from 2023. We do plan for some unpledged giving, but nonetheless would like to see more pledges come in before final budget decisions are made in January.
* You do still have the time, but not much more—the Elders have sharpened their pencils!
Let’s get ‘er done!
Children’s Live Nativity
Last Sunday, December 17 the Children’s Ministry hosted their annual Children’s Live Nativity, “One Night in Bethlehem.”
Due to some technical difficulties the video of the service begins 7:10 seconds into the service recording above.
Ornament sale benefiting Ukrainian Refugees
Network 56 will be selling tree and angel ornaments to raise money for Ukrainian refugees before and after the 4pm Christmas Eve service. $5 each.
Thank you from SFTSM
Thank you to First Presbyterian Church in Waunakee. for organizing and running a gift drive for Shelter From The Storm Ministries this Christmas season. Household goods: paper products. cleansers. etc and Gift Cards are exactly what was needed!
Merry Christmas from the Light Team!
We are Hiring!
Our long-time Church Business Administrator, Sue Gade, is retiring early 2024. We are currently looking for talented, faithful candidates as we look to fill this position. If you know someone skilled in bookkeeping and accounting, please share the link to our Job Opportunities webpage on the church website.
For questions, please reach out to Amy Nelsestuen,
Personnel Elder, at 608-347-3786.
FPC’s Missions Team “Giving Trees” are back!
See the FPC’s Missions Team “Giving Trees” that will continue until the 25th! Look for the WEB: The monies the WEB receives this year will be used to buy gift cards for Waunakee area school children, the names of which have been provided by the school counselors. Also, check out the other remaining mission trees we are supporting, Porchlight Men’s Homeless Shelter and Support Our Troops (letters and cards to our service men/women overseas), whose gifts/donations will be collected until December 25th. Please contact Brice Kettner/Missions Elder with any questions: email@example.com or (608) 770-9877
Walking in limerick light
Per Capita’s a small check to write
But certainly helps in the fight
to support the very
Who aids our Walk in The Light.
And I’ll let you in on a little secret…the Per Capita amount for 2023 is $35.15 and for 2024 it is $36.30. What we do not do ourselves must still be done, and what we don’t send to Presbytery comes out of FPC’s budget, so…instant coffee, anyone?
FPC Nursery for Ages 2 and under
Nursery Age 2 and Under – Room 200
The Nursery is available on Sundays from 10:00 – 11:00 AM, is staffed by church volunteers who love children and want to share God’s love with them.
NURSERY WILL BE CLOSED CHRISTMAS EVE AND NEW YEAR’S EVE.
3-year-olds through Kindergarten will be dismissed after the Children’s message during Sunday service.
NO KINGDOM KIDS ON CHRISTMAS EVE AND NEW YEAR’S EVE.
Sunday School – Aged 3 to 6th grade – 9AM-9:50AM
Join us at FPC of Waunakee for an incredible Sunday School experience! Our vibrant program caters to children aged 3 to 6th grade, offering engaging lessons, interactive activities, and a nurturing environment where young faith can thrive. Every Sunday, we’re dedicated to fostering faith, friendship, and fun in a way that leaves a lasting impact on your child’s spiritual journey. Don’t miss out on this enriching opportunity!
NO SUNDAY SCHOOL ON CHRISTMAS EVE AND NEW YEAR’S EVE.
Network 56 – Grades 5-6
Network 56 is a group of 5th and 6th graders who hang out together to have fun, put faith to action by serving in the community, and grow healthy, encouraging friendships.
- All 5th and 6th grade students are welcome to attend Network 56 events at any time. Interested participants are notified in advance of each event.
- All events are chaperoned by parents. There is lots of fun and room for everyone to participate.
NO NETWORK 56 ON CHRISTMAS EVE AND NEW YEAR’S EVE.
Graceland Student Ministry – Grades 7-12
Student Ministry Winter Retreat: All 7th-12th Graders are invited to spend a weekend full of games, music, connection with each other and God! Friends are always welcome. $100 per student if you sign up by Dec. 31 ($125 after.) CLICK HERE for info and registration. Scholarships available – please contact Ezrah: firstname.lastname@example.org
NO GRACELAND STUDENT MINISTRY ON CHRISTMAS EVE AND NEW YEAR’S EVE.
FPC Student Ministry exists to help students KNOW God, GROW in relationship with Him and each other, and to GO serve others in Jesus’ name.
Students can expect a welcoming environment with caring adult leaders who are there to support and encourage them on their faith journey, regardless of if they are exploring their faith for the first time, a committed follower of Jesus, or anywhere between.
All students are welcome!
Sundays | 9:00–9:50am
In the upstairs youth room
7th-12th Graders, join us for a time of connection, Bible discussion, and prayer.
Wednesdays | 7:00-8:15pm
In the upstairs youth room
7th-12th Graders, join us for a time of connection, games, musical worship, meaningful messages and small group discussions, and prayer.
Music in Worship
December 24 10am– Ying Wang, pianist
December 24 4pm– Ying Wang, pianist
December 24 7pm– Choir, Joyful Noise and Ying Wang, pianist
December 31 – Ying Wang, pianist
January 7 – Ying Wang, pianist
Coming Events | Dec. 24, 2023 – Jan. 13, 2024
Sunday, December 24 – Christmas Eve Worship
FPC will host three worship services on Christmas Eve on Sunday, December 24.
10AM – Sunday Worship
4PM – Family Service
7PM – Candlelight Service
Wednesdays thru May 29 at 8:30AM – Women’s Bible Study
The Wednesday Morning Women’s Bible Study Group is made up of women from the surrounding community at large. All are welcome. 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 7PM – FPC Men’s Ministry
FPC Men’s Ministry is a multi-generational group of men committed to exploring matters of Faith, Purpose and Connection. The group meets year round on Wednesdays from 7PM to approximately 8:30PM at the church and also plans off-site opportunities for spiritual growth, fellowship and community service. All men are welcome.
Join our Men’s Group on Wednesday evenings from 7-8:30pm in the Gathering Area at FPC (by the fireplace.) We will be going through “Life Lessons from John” by Christian author Max Lucado. We are excited to foster meaningful connections and find some service projects to work on together.
Join our Men’s Group in attending the No Regrets Conference sponsored by Elmbrook Church in Brookfield on Saturday, February 3rd. For more information and to sign up: www.noregretsconference.org. We are planning to carpool from FPC the morning of the conference. Please contact Jim Fitzgerald at firstname.lastname@example.org or David Sliwicki at david.sliwicki@gmail for carpooling information and to find out more about FPCs Mens Group. All men are welcome to join us!
Sunday, January 7 at 11AM – Epiphany Brunch Potluck
Following worship on January 7, all are invited to join the 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 brunch potluck together with some Three Kings activities for kids and everyone can get a piece of the famous “Kings Cake” – if the baby Jesus is in your piece, you will get a prize! RSVP to let us know you are coming.
Mondays starting Jan. 8 from 1PM-2:30PM – Light Team Meeting
We will start off the new year with “You Were Made For This Moment” by Max Lucado. The five sessions will be:
Jan. 8, Jan. 22, Jan. 29, Feb. 5 and Feb. 12
Light Team is open to all women on Mondays @ 1 pm. There will be time for lots of fellowship, treats, and no homework!
Start the new year by shining your “light” with other Christian women.
Email Lynda if you’d like to join Light Team at email@example.com
Monday, January 8 at 6:30PM and Saturday, January 13 at 10AM – Care for the Caregivers
Caregiving is full of stories and life experiences. Sometimes we need somebody to walk with us, someone who is experiencing the same path of caregiving. Where can one find a Christian place to tell those stories and life experiences? The Care for the Caregiver group at FPC.
The Care for Caregivers group is a small group that meets twice a month; one attends as they have time, feels the need to share, or help others walking this path. We meet in the Chapel monthly, once on the second Monday of the month at 6:30pm and once on the second Saturday of the month at 10:00am. The group is faith based and includes those who are caring or have cared for another – in person or from afar. The group is for more than the FPC family, the meeting is open to community members that are caregivers. The discussions held in the meetings are confidential so that people are able to speak freely.
Henri Nouwen wrote, “To care is the most human of all gestures; caring expresses and expands our compassion. Care draws us into profound mutuality, both in shared vulnerability and shared gifts.”
If you have questions, or if these dates and times won’t work for you, please contact Marcia Chase, firstname.lastname@example.org or call 849-5683 and leave a message during work hours.
Monday, January 8 at 6:30PM – Centering Prayer
The Centering Prayer group usually meets in the Chapel on the first Monday of each month at 6:30 PM. But due to New Year’s Day, our January meeting will take place the following Monday, January 8. Each session consists of Two 20 minute “sits”. For those who want to “learn by doing,” please come at 6 PM to get oriented. For questions, please contact Pastor Glen.
Save the Date | More Info to come
Sunday, January 21 at 3pm – MOMCo
Attention all moms, no matter what season of life you are in, join our mom community for monthly gatherings as well as social events. Contact Patricia Coley for more information!
Future MOMCo Meeting Dates:
- February 18
- March 17
- April 21
- May 19
Wednesday, January 24 at 7PM – Summer Student Mission Trip Info Meeting
Any student currently in 8th-12th grade, along with their parent(s), are invited to learn about our mission trip to Milwaukee, June 18-24, 2024. Student registration will open immediately following the meeting. Contact Ezrah with questions.
Sunday, January 28 at 3PM – Theology on Tap at Octopi Brewing
Join us for a casual gathering that is centered around food/drinks, connection, and conversation on a deep faith topic. All Aged 21+ are welcome!
Contact Christa or Ezrah for more info: email@example.com
Opportunities to Serve
Last Wednesday of each month – 4-6pm – VOLUNTEERS NEEDED
Our FPC church has been given the opportunity to serve families at the Waunakee Food Pantry one time per month, starting in November. It will always be the last Wednesday of each month from 4-6:00pm. This is a great way to connect with fellow members, while serving families in the Waunakee area. If you are interested, please stop by the Mission table after church to learn more.
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!
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.