“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
Report of the Clerk:
RJ Binau and Scott Legwold will be the Session representatives on the 2024 nominating committee. Positions to fill in 2024:
Session Elders (5)
Children’s Ministry (Currently Peter Bergmann, completing first term)
Clerk of Session (Currently Lolly Lawrence, completing first term)
Mission (Currently Brice Kettner, completing first term)
Worship & Music (Currently Erik Cushman completing first term)
Adult Nurture (Currently Scott Legwold, completing second partial term)
Replacements for Kristy Drewry, Eileen Mathwig, Cindy May, Beth Mueller and Maeline Schall
Next Year’s Nominating Committee Members
4 from the Congregation, 2 Elders and 2 Deacons
Pastor’s Moment and Report (Pastor Glen):
- Completed new job description for Christa Schmeelk’s role
- Visited several members who have serious health issues: Kevin Olson, Kate Vanderbloemen, Stan Vinge, among others.
- Led Centering Prayer
- Wrote weekly Connector articles.
- Held a debrief of the Thanksgiving Ecumenical Service
- Working with JKP Committee on Preparation for Ministry. Briefly covered role of Commissioned ruling elders – these are lay leaders, allowed to lead worship, preach and administer sacraments.
- Led adult Advent study with Christa Schmeelk
- Attended New Horizon carol sing
- Planned Christmas worship services
- Scheduled new elder/deacon/lay leader training
- Met with new member and reinstated members
- Met with others interested in membership, but who are holding off until we have a new pastor
- Reminder to save the date, 2/25, for Sue Gade’s and Alka Van Haren’s retirement celebration
- Distributed December Care notes for Elder signature. Offered prayer for recipients of November Care Notes.
- Led a brainstorming session with staff on 2023 FPC accomplishments.
- Led a brainstorming session with elders in this meeting, on 2023 FPC accomplishments. This is not an all-inclusive list:
- Chili cookoff, “What’s Cooking”New choir director and choir membersMarriage retreatUpdated sound system and videoSuccessful GROW team, spring and fall cleanupTheology on TapCentering PrayerLive Nativity with return of serving dinnerThree movie nightsHeavenly Stretch40 kids participated in Children’s Nativity service50% increase in attendance over 2022 for VBSHeld second church breakfast with guest speakerFPC students served dinners at Pres HouseHeld three “All About FPC” meetingsCompleted lighting improvements and thermostat updatesRemodeled youth spaceDeep-cleaned kitchensGreat fall kick-off, with Rally SundayCoffee and carolsReorganized teacher’s resource roomReorganized libraries, consolidated to one floor, sorted materials to keep most beneficial and recentCleaned up and reorganized downstairs storage and bride’s roomFood for Kidz participationOrgan recital and many performing musical guestsInitiated monthly food pantry volunteer groupHeld three contemporary servicesDeveloped building use guidelinesMissions sent donations for disaster reliefHired James Ketchum to work on cleaning and repair tasks not covered by weekly cleanersHosted many funerals, including those for Pastor Norm, Pat Ronspiez and Penny HolumIntruder committee recommendationHosted WEB and Ecumenical Thanksgiving service
- Completed ministry information form and selected the PNC (Pastor Nominating Committee), started taking applications for senior pastor candidates
Report from the Deacons:
- Distributed two quilts to members facing difficult medical decisions
- Organized a thank you meal for the PNC
- Helped out some members with Christmas decorations and a couple with their move to a new home
- Working on Project Connect and a program to touch base with older members and shut-ins
Worship and Music:
Nothing significant to report this month, aside from Christmas worship preparation
Had 50 attendees at movie night on 11/8. Great Children’s Nativity service on 11/17. Sold ornaments and buttons with proceeds going to Ukrainian refugees. Working on the upcoming Epiphany Potluck on 1/8 and Bingo night on 1/31
Building and Grounds Special Topic, Intruder Committee:
The Intruder Committee attended to present their findings and recommendation. The recommendation was distributed to elders by RJ prior to the meeting. The committee members in attendance were Steve Alexander, Sam Robinson, Liz Weller, Pam Knutson, Rick Mueller, and Clare Zaiman-Keen.
The committee took the Emergency Plan that had been written by Sheldon Schall in 2019 and modernized the intruder section, with guidance from local law enforcement. They request the implementation of the recommendations, applying urgency in the areas that are low-cost/no-cost, could be done with volunteers, or could be obtained with grant money.
Other sections of the emergency plan have not yet been updated and will be addressed separately. RJ will keep on his radar.
The Session approved the revised intruder section as an amendment to the standing FPC emergency plan. The committee, or a subset thereof, will return to a future Session meeting with a plan for implementation of the intruder section.
Will aim towards a spring training session with Dane Country law enforcement reps, which will be publicized in the Connector or other communication. There will be an opportunity for the whole congregation to be trained. Staff will be given first priority for training.
The Session expressed their gratitude for the excellent and important work done by the committee.
Continuing to place articles in the Connector for this fall’s “Walking in the Light” stewardship campaign. As of this date, we have 119 pledges. 65 are same as last year, 24 are higher, 15 are lower, with $474,366 pledged. Received pledges from 15 people who hadn’t pledged previously. A pledge update, including comparisons to standings at this time last year, will be included in upcoming Sunday bulletins and in Connector articles.
Getting word out on the church business administrator role. Started advertising in the Waunakee Tribune, The Shopper and Craigslist. Have had a small number on inquiries and one or two qualified applicants. Beginning to plan administrative coverage for when Alka retires. Working with the Fellowship committee to plan a celebration to honor Sue Gade and Alka Van Haren for their accomplishments and upcoming retirements.
Averaging 25 students a night for Wednesday gatherings,with new attendees each week. On Sunday mornings, have around 6 attendees, with rich discussions of the Old Testament and life through our time using materials from The Bible Project. With these two weekly meetings, we’re averaging around 31 attendees a week, which is well over the 10% of the worshipping congregation that churches tend to see. (We are closer to 18%.)
Confirmation will start at the end of January, with 5 students signed up. Registration for the winter retreat is open with a good group of mentors committed. The Pres House dinner on 12/10 went well, serving soup and chili to around 35 attendees. 5 students helped to prepare and host the meal.
Adult Nurture and Spiritual Growth:
Reserved Green Lake Conference Center for a women’s retreat, the third weekend of October, 2024. Currently holding space for 34 attendees, can revise the count up to 60 days ahead of the event.Will start planning for teachers and/or speakers.
Continuing and upcoming offerings: Centering Prayer, Theology on Tap (next planned for 1/28 at 3 pm), Our Daily Bread devotionals, Advent Bible study, Light Team, Women’s Bible study, Men’s group.
Coffee tasting and caroling on December 3 was a very positive event, will consider doing this annually. Still deciding on which coffee brand to select. Working with other ministry areas on Epiphany potluck on planned for January 7 and bingo night on January 31. Lenten soup suppers are scheduled for February 14, 21, 28 and March 6, 13 and 20. Events are also being planned for April, May and June. Committee will meet again in January to plan for Lent. Bringing new members on to the committee.
Finance Report: Giving vs. pledged for the month of November is at 170% and year-to-date is at 104%. General fund income vs. expense is -$29,874.42.
New Member Outreach:
By rough count, about 90 people drove through the Live Nativity. The event ran for 3 hours this year, one night only. Went back to serving dinner this year for the volunteers. Next year, will plan for two nights and will coordinate dates with Children’s Ministry to avoid conflicting dates between Live Nativity and Children’s Nativity Service.
No report this month
Applied monies from Special Funds (about 25% of the total funds amount) to designated ministry areas, and removed budgeted expenses that are being covered by special funds, to tighten the gap between planned expenses and planned giving. While this resolves some issues for this year, it does draw down our total reserves.
A small amount is being planned for per capita giving to the John Knox presbytery. Historically, FPC has not given the amount requested by the presbytery, and has instead given presbytery only what is given by members and designated for per capita. We have also given some amount from the Mission ministry area. Presbytery requests a per capita of around $38 per member.
Our budget is about 85% personnel-related. It is typical, for a service industry budget, to see about 70-80% of overall budget applied to personnel. The budget currently contains the new senior pastor’s salary around the top of the expected range.
The budget we are going in 2024 with is bare bones, there isn’t much remaining that could be cut. Session is aware that there will be needed building improvements in the future – e.g., new roof, replacement for HVAC. Capital improvements were removed from the budget for 2024.
Session will vote on budget in the January meeting. By then, we will have actuals for year-end giving. The budget will be presented to the congregation at the January 28 congregational meeting.
We will aim at better communication of budget and pledging in the Connector and bulletin.
Free Puzzles donated by the Light Team
Did you know that jigsaw puzzles may improve memory skills, hand-eye coordination, problem solving, concentration, and also reduce stress? You have a chance to pick up a free puzzle in the Narthex this Sunday. Most of these have been donated by the Light Team and stored in the downstairs library. It’s now time to share these with our church family. Take one for your family and enjoy during the slow months of winter. Please do not return puzzles to the church. We will be happy to start a new puzzle library in the next few months of 2024.
Bethel Bible Series Online Class
The 2024 Bethel Bible Series Online class on Zoom began at 8:30AM on January 6, 2024. The class will cover all 40 Bethel Bible Series lessons (20 OT and 20 NT) and complete this journey through the Bible in December 2024.
Completing the Bethel Bible Series in 2024 would be a wonderful New Year’s resolution that has the potential of changing your life. Everyone from FPC is invited to be part of the class. The cost for each testament is $125 if you choose the printed books or $75 if you choose digital lessons,
You can find out more by clicking here.
Pastor Jeff Quinto
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
Student Ministry Winter Retreat
Friday, January 19 – Sunday, January 21:
All 7th-12th Graders are invited to spend a weekend full of games, music, connection with each other and God! Friends are always welcome. $125 per student. CLICK HERE for info and registration. Scholarships available – please contact Ezrah: firstname.lastname@example.org
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
January 14 – Mary Kay Burton, guest organist
January 21 – FPC Choir
January 28 – Student Ministry Band
Coming Events | Jan. 14-Feb. 3, 2024
Saturday, January 13 at 10AM – 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, email@example.com or call 849-5683 and leave a message during work hours.
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. The five sessions will be:
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
Wednesday, January 17 at 7PM – Network 56 invited to Graceland Youth Group
All 5th and 6th graders are welcome to join in on the fun at Graceland Youth Group. Meet us in the Youth Space from 7PM-8:15PM. Bring a friend!
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 8:30PM 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 21 at 9AM – Snack and Auction Day!
All 5th and 6th graders are welcome to join us at Snack and Auction Day during Sunday Sunday School from 9-9:50AM.
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.
Wednesday, January 24 at 11:30AM – New Horizons Presentation by Todd Schmidt
Todd Schmidt, Waunakee Village Administrator, will discuss the development plans for Waunakee. Potluck will follow in Fellowship Hall.
If you’d like more information please call Steve Doty at 608-849-4058.
Save the Date | More Info to come
Sunday, January 28 at 11AM – Annual Congregational Meeting
Immediately following worship on Sunday, January 28. Please join us for the Annual Congregational Meeting in the Sanctuary.
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!
This month’s topic will be: Questions to ask for a more Christ-centered 2024.
Contact Christa or Ezrah for more info: email@example.com
Wednesday, January 31 at 6PM – BINGO Night!
FPC BINGO Night! Free Pizza! Free Prizes!
All ages, ALL ARE WELCOME!
Downstairs in Fellowship Hall
Friday, February 2 at 12:30PM – Red Cross Blood Drive
The Red Cross reports that they are in emergency need for blood, they are seeing the lowest turnout in donors in 20 years. Please click the graphic below to sign-up. Thank you!
Wednesday, February 14 at 5PM – Lenten Dinner
Each Wednesday of Lent beginning February 14 with the final Lenten Dinner on March 20.
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.
Opportunities to Serve
Volunteers Needed for Lenten Communion
We are hoping to host Communion every Sunday of Lent.
February 18 to March 17.
We will need volunteers to prep the communion, setup/clean-up communion and to Distribute the Elements (Past/Present Elders only).
If you would be interested in helping us out, please click below to sign-up.
Thank you in advance!
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. firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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 email@example.com.
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.