“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
January 2024 Meeting Notes
(Thanks to Dianne Larson for her great work in providing minutes from the January meeting, covering for the clerk who was on vacation!)
Began the meeting with a discussion of the retirement party for Sue Gade and Alka Van Haren which will be Sunday, February 25. They requested a joint party.
Pastor Glen reviewed a list of FPC accomplishments staff listed at their staff meeting. He gave the list:
- Nursery is back
- Weekly Connector Articles
- Organ Recital in honor of Pat Ronspiez
- Sue and Alka choosing retirement dates
- Bringing together seasoned Personnel elders to help form what the future Church Office configuration might look like and write appropriate job descriptions
- New LED lights replacing old fluorescents
- Upgrading to NEST Thermostats
- Upgrading the Sound and Video Desk
- Upgrading the Youth Space
- Discovering Chris Drake’s many talents: backup to Sue for paying bills and Payroll and producing house videos
- Steady growth in Children’s Ministry after COVID
- Student Ministry Guatemala Mission Trip
- Marriage Retreat
- Finished MIF
- Elected and charged PNC
- Ezrah coming under the care of JKP
- Stewardship videos
- Waunakee Food Pantry video
- Summer “Little Talks”
- Several “What’s Cooking at FPC” Fellowship opportunities
- Staff integrated planning for the fall “Walking in the Light Together”
- Many voices in the Pulpit—Sue Melrose, Jeff Jappinga, Ezrah, Christa
- Children singing in worship throughout the year
- Three worship services led by Contemporary Worship Band
- Pastor Norm’s death and funeral
- 5/6 lighting the Communion Table candles
- GROW group begins
- Student Ministry winter retreat
- 2? Or 3? Family Movie nights
- All church family campout
- Care notes to congregation
- Kickoff picnic (pastors in the Bouncy House)
- Guest musicians (incl. Diane Robinson)
- Easter Trail success
- Student Ministry growth—new folds and consistent weekly attendance
- Two Introductions to Centering Prayer (25+ FPC folks)
- Small group leader training
- 3+ Healing Services
- Intruder Committee
- 4 new Stephen ministers trained
- Care Giver support group
- Going through membership rolls
- Good Friday service
- FUN Group formed to spark Fellowship opportunities
- Christa’s updated job description (approved in the January meeting)
Session then compared this list with their list last month and compared all the similarities. Pastor Glen suggested there should be more communication between session and staff and proposed a potential date of February 11 for a staff and session lunch.
Pastor’s Moment: Glen reported he participated in:
- Christmas Eve services
- First meeting regarding Christa Schmeelk’s job description
- Staff meeting
- Lent planning
- CPM meeting
- Baptism remembrance Sunday and Communion
- Epiphany Potluck
- Communion to shut-ins and visits with those with recent deaths of loved ones
- Lay Leader training
- Elder/Deacon training
- Wrote four Connector articles on Per Capita
Worship and Music:
Erik Cushman reported there will be two Easter services at 8:00 and 10:00
Peter Bergmann reported about fifty children participated in the Children’s Nativity Service, Network 56 sold ornaments raising money for Ukrainian refugees, and there were over 50 attendees at the Epiphany Event January 7 which included congregational members as well as children’s ministry families. They are currently working on Family Bingo Night January 31, February Kindness Month which will include a fundraiser for the food pantry and giving trees in the narthex, and Lenten Suppers every Wednesday in Lent with Children’s Ministry providing the meal for February 21. They are looking ahead to the Palm Sunday Easter Trail March 17 during Sunday School with same stations as last year, and VBS June 9-11. VBS preschool will be offered, we may partner with a smaller church, and VBS volunteer flyers will be handed out during the Family Bingo night.
Building and Grounds:
RJ Binau is beginning to review plans to implement portions of the intruder alert portion of the FPC emergency action plan.
Amy Nelsestuen reported Chris Drake has begun increasing his role and is taking on Sue’s administrator duties of payroll and bookkeeping while Sue focuses on budget and year end activities. Advertising for the Business Administrator job continued through early January, and we have received responses from several well-qualified candidates. Interviews are underway and the final salary budget for this position was approved in this meeting. The Director of Member Engagement job has been reviewed and finalized. The committee is looking ahead to develop a plan for Alka’s responsibilities once she retires. Also working with the team to plan for the retirement recognition and celebration for Sue and Alka.
Barb Cash reported they are continuing to receive pledges. The committee has decided to give the congregation a better idea of how far we can go with the pledges received so far, continuing with articles and informative reports, writing thank-you’s, and looking ahead to finalizing the budget and being open to any other tasks that would help increase pledging.
Alan Roberts reported we had $95,000 extra at the end of the year. Special funds were down a bit, but not too much. He mentioned the parking lot expenses and noted the fund balance is $35,321.60 and the loan balance is $188,331.43. Alan will mention the parking lot fund at the annual meeting and may do a financial push in the spring. The proposed 2024 church budget has 10% of giving going to mission 8% of this would be from pledges and 2% from special funds. The budget was approved, with an increase in the overall spending in the budget by $30,000 to the capital improvement fund. This will be divided into $2,500 each month for Building and Grounds.
Emily Bauer reported the committee reflected on fall Sunday School, Wednesday Youth Group, and their events throughout the semester. The holiday party Dec. 20 was a huge success and several students brought friends. They are working the Mission Trip Info Night Jan. 27 for the June mission trip to Milwaukee, have about 20 signed up for the winter retreat, and are beginning to work on programming for the summer.
Adult Nurture and Spiritual Growth:
Scott Legwold reported he is working on a Sunday Morning Breakfast with a speaker for April or May and is supporting the Lenten Bible Study and Fall retreat. He has booked the third weekend in October at the Green Lake Conference Center. Based on input and approved at the November Session meeting, this will be a ladies-only weekend. Christa will gather a committee of women who will organize the weekend. If anyone has speaker ideas, please talk to Christa.
Scott will continue to order the three-month version of Our Daily Bread and special devotionals in 2024 including the large print version. He is working with the church librarian on current and future orders for the library. Lenten Bible Study (Sunday School) will be a five-week study from February 18-March 17. Pastor Ben and Ezrah will lead it. They are using the term Sunday School to avoid confusion since it will be replacing normal student Sunday School and offering an opportunity for any interested adults to join.
Lolly Lawrence submitted an event notification for Heavenly Stretch which will begin Feb. 15 and continue for six weeks. It will be advertised in all our media except the road sign. The time will be 5:15-6:00 based on feedback that most people would rather come after work and activities and before dinner.
Brice Kettner reported the Giving Trees were a huge success. They are considering setting them up earlier next year because the organizers need the gifts in early December, although the dates are fluid each year. They are looking to reduce the number of trees so as not to interfere with the WEB tree and may ask for donations for the other organizations at other times during the year. October and November promotions of the Waunakee Food Pantry went well. FPC volunteers can now volunteer the last Wednesday of every month.
They reviewed the current missions supported by FPC with the staff to consider which to remove to focus more on missions which we are more connected with through our members. They removed seven and added two. The two new ones currently being worked on are Rev. Moses Odongo’s ministry near Kisumu, Kenya, and The Chosen Farm. They are looking ahead to continue the update of missions on the website and communications, getting FPC members involved, and bringing in missions to speak.
Krista Wallace reported Fellowship is working on support as needed for the Bingo night Jan 31, planning the retirement recognition for Sue and Alka Sunday Feb. 25 after service, and working on the Lenten dinners. There will be five dinners starting the week after Ash Wednesday. They will be simple suppers with the goal of bringing people together in community, fellowship, and prayer followed by a 30-minute devotional. The dinners will be from 6:00-7:00, with devotionals from 7-7:30. Christa will lead the younger kids in the Kingdom Kids Room, Patricia the elementary kids, teens will have a “normal” youth group, and Pastor Glen will lead the adults in Fellowship Hall.
They are looking ahead to Sunday, April 14 when Tryg Knutson will host a “What’s Cookin’ at FPC” Lefse class and a possible church wide party for confirmands on Sunday, April 28.
New Member Outreach:
Wes Ray reported they are working with several potential new members.
The meeting was closed with prayers for members of the congregation who recently received a care letter. A group of members is prayed for in the session meeting each month.
Pizza Bites and Bingo Delights!
Last Wednesday FPC hosted an unforgettable evening of bingo and Pizza. As slices disappeared and prizes were won, laughter filled Fellowship Hall as families and friends gathered to enjoy a night of friendly competition and delicious food!
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 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.
3-year-olds through Kindergarten will be dismissed after the Children’s message during Sunday service.
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!
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.
Graceland Student Ministry – Grades 7-12
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
February 11 – Ying Wang, pianist and Joyful Noise
February 14 6PM – Ash Wednesday – Jamison Wendlandt, vocalist; Ying Wang, pianist
February 18 – FPC Choir
February 25 – Sonia Driskill, Harpist – Preludes to being at 9:45AM
Coming Events | Feb. 11 – Mar. 2, 2024
Mondays thru Feb. 12 from 1PM-2:30PM – Light Team Meeting
We will start off the new year with “You Were Made For This Moment” by Max Lucado.
Light Team is open to all women on Mondays @ 1 pm. There will be time for lots of fellowship, treats, and no homework!
Starting February 19 we will be starting “Why Easter Matters” by Andy Stanley. Andy looks at the lives of several key people in the story of Jesus’ crucifixion.
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, February 12 at 6:30PM – FPC Care for the Caregivers Support Group
Sometimes we need someone to walk with us, someone who is experiencing the same path of caregiving. Someone to share ups and downs with, and possibly offer advice.
Are you or were you a caregiver? Let’s lean on each other and learn from each other as a group of Christians. Our FPC group is small but mighty, always welcoming any newcomers. The group is offered once a month. Stop in when you can, you choose to share or listen, it’s up to you. We meet in the Chapel, once on the second Monday of the month at 6:30pm, and once on the second Saturday of the month at 10:00am. The discussions held in the meetings are confidential, people can speak freely.
Attendee Lori Phelps has said, “This is my therapy and is so helpful for my mental health as I care for my parents! I walk away with a clearer mind and fresh ideas (an indoor garden kit for my dad! I didn’t know these existed! And a binder for my mom titled, When I start feeling bored, I can…). I’m so grateful for Marcia creating and conducting this group! She is a great listener, and she cares. She’s been through the same experiences so we can talk, laugh, or cry through the ups and downs. I feel like this group is so beneficial but seems to be the best kept secret. We should spread the word for others to benefit too!”
Caregivers (current or previous) – join us any month you can! 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.
Wednesday, February 14 at 7:30AM-8:30AM – Drive Through Ashes
Can’t make the Ash Wednesday service? Drive through ashes will be provided by Pastor Glen again this year! Simply pull up to the front of FPC between 7:30AM-8:30AM on Wednesday, February 14th and Pastor Glen will bless you with ashes.
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 Fellowship Hall in the lower level of FPC. Contact Beth Stellmacher for more info: email@example.com.
Wednesday, February 14 at 11:25AM – New Horizon’s Valentine’s Lunch at Imperial Gardens
We finally have a reservation at one of the area’s best Asian restaurants. And we can order off the menu (rather than only have a few items selected for us). I promise our weather will cooperate better than our attempted gathering in January.
Please arrive early (around 11:25 A.M.) so we can claim our tables and beat the Valentines Day crowd.
When: Wednesday, February 14, 2024 starts at 11:25 a.m.
Where: Imperial Gardens of Middleton
What: Lunch and Fellowship
If you need a ride, please call Steve and Vicki Doty at 608-849-4058.
Wednesday, February 14 at 6PM – Ash Wednesday Service
Join us on Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent, on Wednesday, February 14 at 6PM in the Sanctuary. Lent is the forty days (excluding Sundays) leading up to Easter. The number forty is significant as it refers to Jesus’ forty days in the desert prior to beginning his ministry of teaching.
Wednesdays at 7PM – Men’s Ministry
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 8:15PM 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.
Thursdays, starting February 15 at 5:15PM – Heavenly Stretch
Heavenly Stretch returns with a 6-week Lenten series of yoga classes for Christians. Classes will be held Thursday evenings from 5:15-6:00, starting on February 15 and ending on March 21.
If you have questions please text Lolly at 608-658-0895.
Sundays, starting February 18 to March 31 at 9AM – Adult and Student Lenten Sunday School!
All 7-12 graders and adults of all ages are invited to join Pastor Ben and Ezrah for a cross-generational Lenten Sunday School offering. We will be following the Lenten sermon series, “Walking Through the Dark Night into God’s Light.” This will take place in the Youth Space.
Sunday, February 18 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:
- March 17
- April 21
- May 19
Wednesday, Feb. 21-Mar. 20 at 6PM – Lenten Dinners
Bring friends, family, and neighbors! All are welcome to these Lenten Dinners. Dinner will be served from 6-7pm with a short Devotional from 7-7:30pm. Adults with Pastor Glen, Children with Patricia, little kids with Christa. Teens will go upstairs to youth group. Please sign up and let us know you are coming!
Saturday, February 24 at 4PM – 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: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sunday, February 25 at 11AM – Sue and Alka’s Retirement Celebration!
Save the Date | More Info to come
Monday, March 4 at 6:30PM – Centering Prayer
The Centering Prayer group will meet in the Chapel on the first Monday of each month at 6:30 PM for 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.
Friday, March 15 at 11AM – Red Cross Blood Drive
SAVE THE DATE: Sunday, June 9-Tuesday, June 11 – VBS 2024!
Get ready to dive in! More information about this Summer’s VBS adventure will surfacing soon!
Join our dive team! Join us on our underwater journey and help create an unforgettable experience!
Opportunities to Serve
Volunteers and Subs needed in the Nursery
Our Children’s Ministry needs more monthly volunteers and subs in the Nursery. We are still building our foundation in this Ministry and we need more folks- teens and adults. Please consider contacting Patricia Coley to help and please pray for this vital ministry to our littlest ones and their families. email@example.com or call the Church Office.
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. 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.
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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.