Invitation to Worship!
Take it from Faith Morledge, Pastor Kirk’s wife, you need to check out indoor worship. Like Matthew 18:20 reads, “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them” Faith can attest to the fact that she could sense the Holy Spirit in the sanctuary on February 14! Worshippers were Covid conscious and extremely thankful to be together again.
Updates on Indoor Worship
A “LOVE” note of Thanks…
Thanks to our FPC family who braved the cold temps on Valentine’s Day to join us for our In-Person service on February 14th. We had 33 mask-wearing, social-distancing worshippers who felt blessed to praise a gracious and loving God together. With slightly warmer temps on Ash Wednesday, 27 friends gathered for a beautiful, reflective service welcoming the start of our Lenten season. Extended gratitude to our wonderful staff, ushers and greeters for helping us to worship safely during these challenging times.
With blessings and thanks, Liz Weller, Worship & Music Elder
Let’s continue the love on February 21!
It worked so well on Valentine’s Day that we continue to ask that all attendees SAY YES TO…
- Signing up in advance to attend worship
- Wearing a face mask as you enter and throughout your time at FPC (If you have a medical condition that prevents you from wearing a mask, we invite you to enjoy our online service from home.)
- Picking up your name tag at the check-in table in the narthex
- Worshipping together in our Sanctuary
- Choosing your own “Place in the Pews” while maintaining a minimum of 6 ft social distancing from people outside of your household. Pews will be marked off to guide you.
- Using hand sanitizer in the pews
- Refraining from singing
- Following an usher to exit worship as we empty the sanctuary from the back to the front
- Chatting with fellow worshippers outside before and after the service
Attendance is limited to 50 people, plus staff for worship and you can “show us some love” by using the electronic sign-up. If you do not have access to a computer, please call the Church Office at (608) 949-9445 during regular business hours.
New for this week… We’re Extending the Ministry to the Parking Lot!
Our wonderful tech guy, Bram Groeneveld, has successfully problem-solved our FM Transmitter issues, so starting this Sunday you will be able to sit in your warm car, tune your car radio to 93.5FM and enjoy the audio version of the service beginning at 10:00AM. This is a great opportunity for “FPCers” who may not feel comfortable worshipping inside the Sanctuary but would like to “attend” on Sunday morning. Feel free to drive up to the portico entrance, ask a greeter for a bulletin, find a parking spot, and listen to the service.
And not to worry, our meaningful and joyous virtual service continues as you may watch from the comfort of your own home anytime on Sunday. So, three options for worship this Sunday…hmm, isn’t three a significant number in our church history? Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost! Amen.
2021 Mission Budget
For many years, FPC has had a practice of tithing 10% of our regular General Fund Income to Mission – specifically mission activities and organization outside of FPC. The 2021 Budget Year is very challenging, owing to reduced pledges. For 2021, Session made the difficult but unanimous decision to reduce FPC’s mission giving to 5% of our regular General Fund Income. We very much want this to be a temporary, one-year change, and it does not represent a change in our Session’s giving philosophy or commitment to Mission.
Specifically, Mission has the following monies available to them for their work in 2021:
|General Fund Budget for Mission Committee’s Use:||$38,925.00|
|General Fund Budget for Student Mission Use:||$4,325.00|
|Mission Special Fund|
(Funds Designated for Mission by the donors)
|Total Mission Funds Available in 2021:||$70,564.60|
|Our Mission Team will put these funds to good use to help those in need in our community, country, and beyond.|
Shepherding the Flock
February Session Meeting Summary
Submitted by Dianne Larson, Clerk of Session
Your FPC Staff, Deacons, and Elders are working hard. Here are some updates from the February Session meeting:
- Clerk read a thank you note from Chaz Ruark, head of our Presbytery, thanking us for our financial contributions during this pandemic time. The full note is printed in the Connector.
- Session discussed and voted to implement proposed improvements to the annual FPC calendar. The change will have Elder positions begin at the July Session meeting. The reason for the changes is to improve the November through January months. A virtual Special Congregational Meeting is being called for Sunday, March 7, at 11:30 am for permission to change the calendar references in the FPC Bylaws.
- Session has decided to list staff in the Annual Report designating full and part time. Most of the staff is part time.
- In 2017 a decision was made to not publish staff salaries. A motion was passed that all current ruling Elders should have access to the full details of the FPC staffing budget and employee reviews. If a congregant wishes to know salary information, they may call Alan Roberts, Finance Elder, or Sue Gade, Church Business Administrator.
- Session unanimously passed a motion to have group size occupancy for indoor meetings to be consistent with the current Dane County ordinance. The current number is 50 in the building. This is for meeting use, not religious worship, which has no number limit as long as proper distancing is followed. Any building needs should be scheduled with Donna Kopan so Building and Grounds knows which areas need to be cleaned.
Memory Verse Challenge–Prizes!
Children’s Ministry sent a postcard to all children at FPC encouraging them to memorize a verse, come to church on February 14th to recite the verse and get a Valentine’s gift and prize! We had a total of 11 kids come! Don’t worry, if you missed on Valentine’s, find Patricia on February 21 at our snowman building contest to share your love verse and pick up your prize.
A Worship-Watching Pup
Indeed, what the world needs now is love, sweet love… We are sending all our FPC folks our love and appreciation for the inspirations, encouragements, enlightenments…all done genuinely in the name of Jesus!
We want you to know that it is most evident that Jesus indwells your hearts and lives! We thank you, miss you, and pray for you! Keep up the
goodGOD WORK (and good work too!)
We all know that phrase – “The family that prays together, stays together!” So true, so true!! May God continue to “surprise” you all in His wondrous ways!
With LOTS of love,
The Robinson Family: Sam, Diane and Precious
(Have you ever considered adding a “Bark Room”/”Purrr Room” for restless furry, four-legged church “members” in attendance?!)
More upcoming events:
FPC’s Amazing Race Game Night–At Home Edition!
Join us on Friday, February 26 from 6:30-7:30pm on Zoom for an all ages Virtual Game Night based on the Amazing Race which will include at home scavenger hunts, some trivia, and some surprises!
Join The Amazing Race on Zoom
Meeting ID: 876 1109 4730
Hey FPC Family, are you looking for in-person opportunities?
Would you be interested in an in-person art night or craft-ernoon? What about an in-person small group Bible Study? Or maybe meeting up for fun outdoor activities?
Next Blood Drive
Friday, March 19 | 12-5pm
We are hosting the WEB Community Blood Drive in Fellowship Hall.
Snowman Building Competition
Sunday, February 21| 1-2pm
Get your snow on Sunday, February 28 from 1-2pm and show us your best snow sculpture. Of course there will be awards given and your creativity will be honored – animals, structures, sky is the limit! All ages are welcome.
Deacons Listening Session
February 28 |4:00-5:00pm
The Deacons invite you to a ZOOM listening session. We’re all living with different levels of isolation these days and the deacons and Pastor Ben would like to share your company for an hour and hear how you are doing. All ages are welcome. Whether you’re feeling disconnected, or just enjoy fellowship with your church family, this informal hour is for you. We’ll guide a conversation, connect, and bring our happies and heavies to the Lord in prayer. We hope you will join us.
Sunday, February 28 | 4-5pm
Meeting ID: 881 8358 0949
Craft-ernoon and Games with Children’s Ministry
March 14 | 1-1:45pm
Children between 4k and 6th grade are invited to join us for some in-person fun! Drop-off and pick-up will be in the back parking lot circle by the education doors. Masks and social distancing will be in effect so please come in a mask.
Email Patricia to sign up!
Thank You Note from Chaz
The Session received this thank you note for FPC’s donation to the Presbytery. Chaz Ruark is the head of our John Knox Presbytery, which covers covers parts of three states and is made up of 65 Presbyterian churches in parts of Minnesota, Wisconisin, and Iowa.
Dear Session and Members of First PC,
I am writing on behalf of the John Knox Presbytery Council to acknowledge your generous support through your Per Capita and Mission giving in 2020. Thank you very much for your gifts to JKP, Synod, and General Assembly. 2020 was a challenging year for us all and we understand that not everyone was able to fully meet the Per Capita Assessment and/or Mission Pledge. But your giving did enable the ministry of JKP, grants for college ministries, and foreign missionaries. Thank you for being a blessing to the church and the world. May 2021 be a better year for us all!
In Christ’s service,
Our Daily Bread is Available
The new issues of Our Daily Bread have been delivered. They are in a plastic tote at the front of the church under the portico on the right side as you face the church. The large print version will be arriving soon. Stop to pick up one for your house anytime!
Graceland Student Newsletter
Catch up on all the student ministries offerings in the now-weekly Graceland newsletter. In this week’s newsletter:
- Sign up for in-person High School and Middle School youth group
- Looking for Some Good News?
- How ’bout that spoken word?
- Meme of the week!
- Set up a visit with Ezrah.
We know the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted everyone—raising the level of fear, stress, and anxiety for people all over the world and underscoring the importance of caring ministry. As a Stephen Ministry congregation, we equip and empower lay caregivers to provide high-quality, confidential, Christ-centered care. Our commitment to this ministry is extremely important during these uncertain times.
If you, or someone you know, could benefit from this ministry, contact the church office.
Want to receive an email notification when the weekly Connector is updated? Sign up here!