First of all, I am so grateful for Carolyn Harris who leads? facilitates? two sections of Bible Studies in this church of ours. Both occur during the school year (September- May). The “in-person” one happens at 9am on Sunday Mornings. The other occurs by Zoom during the week. Please keep those offerings on your radar when they reoccur after Labor Day.
That “in-person” Adult Sunday morning class takes a break during the liturgical seasons of Lent and Advent because (former) Pastor Susan and I take over and offer a “focused-on-the-season” Bible Study.
And now for something completely different…..
Brand new for this summer only, right after worship, I am offering 8 Little Talks. It is meant to be a time when you will be able to “go get your coffee” and then come back into the sanctuary. I won’t take up more than 10 minutes of your time. This is an easy way of doing some adult education (progeny are welcomed as well).
The topics will be
• July 9 – The Great Arc of the Bible (Part 1)
• July 16 – The Great Arc of the Bible (Part 2)
• July 23 – What is a good place to begin to read the Bible?
• July 30 – The “Lectionary” and the “Liturgical Year”?
• August 13 – Ordination in a PCUSA church
• August 20 – Church Culture
• August 27 – Inspiration to Reality
• September 3 – How is the PCUSA different from other denominations?
For those of you who will be away from our church this summer, these Little Talks will appear on our website for your personal perusal whenever you might make time to view them. This is a way for all of us to keep growing in our faith.
Grace and Peace,
Marriage Retreat Announcement
After dinner on Friday October 20- before lunch on Sunday October 22. Beautiful Green Lake Wisconsin. 2 nights, 4 meals, and a deliberate time to reflect on your marriage. $199.00/ couple. (Scholarships are available.) Currently, there is room for 9 more couples. We can accommodate more folks if we know in advance.
My wife, Christine, and I have led three weekend Marriage Retreats. We are not experts and have been enriched by all three. We all know that a wedding is just a day, but marriage is an ever-changing process that requires intention and attention. So come away and nurture the relationship you began on your wedding day.
Here are two quotes to think on:
“A strong marriage requires two people who choose to love each other even on those days when they struggle to like each other.” – Dave Willis
“Love doesn’t just sit there, like a stone, it has to be made, like bread; remade all the time, made new.”- Ursula K. Le Guin
“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
Shepherding the Flock – June 2023
Welcome the newly elected Elders and Celebrate Departing Elders: Outgoing Elders Doug Brown, Brett Cable and Lynda Ferris-Olson were recognized for their contributions. Each outgoing Elder was asked what they learned during their term, and the other Session members were asked to comment to recognize the work of the outgoing Elders.
Report from Sam Robinson regarding security protocol at FPC: Sam Robinson distributed a packet of information containing the current Emergency Action Plan for FPC, dated May 1, 2019. The packet also contained a guide from FEMA titled Guide for Developing High-Quality Emergency Operations Plans for Houses of Worship and information from the Waunakee Police Department. Having been in an educational setting, and experiencing some threats to safety firsthand in that setting, Sam has a particular interest in this topic and urged Session to update our current policies, for the safety of our congregation and staff.
Report from the MIF Committee: Julie Cable, Joan Cable and Angela Himegarner presented findings from the all-church survey conducted by the MIF. Their presentation for the meeting focused on some things that stood out to the committee, as they reviewed results. Some items discussed included communication (how best to communicate so all members feel informed), continuing interest in a Contemporary service, volunteerism (how to get member informed of opportunities and involved), and interest in more adult education. Positive findings included satisfaction with worship service and how the service/sermons/pastors promote spiritual growth. Also positive, was how members feel cared for and supported by the church. Elders will be getting all the findings in a separate document/email. The committee recognized Chris Drake, who was a huge help to them in filtering and slicing data as they requested.
Next steps are to turn findings over to the PNC, who will turn the MIF results into a Ministry Discernment Profile, which will be a foundation for the pastor search. Angela Himegarner will serve as the PNC chair. The PNC anticipates providing frequent (possibly weekly) updates to the congregation. With some recent technology updates from the Presbytery, we may not be able to get all the needed data in the system until August, to be ready for the discussion at the September Presbytery meeting. Session approved the indicative compensation package for the new senior pastor. The PNC will need this to populate the portal for the pastor search. If we cover moving expenses, we may authorize a special stewardship campaign to raise money for this.
The PNC anticipates getting job postings out in the October-November timeframe. Applicants will be reviewed in rounds. Pastor Glen reminded us that his term is up in March 2024, with the option for monthly renewal. It was noted that FPC has a vibrant and active ministry and has a lot to offer to a potential pastor.
Equal Employment Opportunity statement: Pastor Glen brought this statement, supplied by PCUSA. The Session needs to approve this statement to be used by the PNC. After Session approval, it must be approved by the congregation in a special meeting. Session approved the EEO statement from PCUSA and will hold a special congregational meeting in July to get congregational approval.
Session approved the following motion: The Lord’s Supper will be celebrated at FPC Waunakee on each first Sunday of the every month until Jesus returns. In addition, the Lord’s Supper may be celebrated by any ordained minister (Teaching Elder) called to serve FPC Waunakee when they visit any FPC member until Jesus returns. Finally, the Lord’s Supper may be celebrated on special occasions whenever the Elder for Worship and an FPC minister authorize its inclusion in a worship service (e.g., Weddings, Lent, Christmas, etc.) Note: This item was brought forward to provide blanket Session approval to celebrate the Lord’s Supper. The reason for this is to avoid requiring the Session to approve each individual celebration of the Lord’s Supper.
Finance Report: Alan Roberts reported that the Endowment Fund trustees agreed to contribute 20% of the balance to the sanctuary upgrade. He also reported that a new trustee representing the congregation at large will be needed, since Krista Wallace has now become an Elder. (Trustees include the Finance Elder, Stewardship Elder, and 2 members of the congregation.) TonyTomaselli and Alan will continue as trustees, and the name of a successor for Krista will be brought to the next Session meeting for approval.
Alan noted that a small amount ($2,000) has been budgeted to support the PNC process and pastor search. This could be spent quickly if we are asking candidates to travel for interviews. Alan was looking for a sense of the Session on the right amount to budget for this, in 2024. Expecting that we could spend $10-$15,000 on this.
Giving vs. pledged for the month of May is at 135% and year-to-date at 105%. General fund income vs. expense is -$1,524.57.
Children’s Ministry: Vacation Bible school starts next week. VBS decorations look fabulous. Movie and Camping night planned for August 25. The 2023-2024 schedule was approved.
Building and Grounds: Working on repair for outdoor steps and on unfinished parts of the parking lot. Working with the Grow Group on weed barriers. General Building Use Policies document is finished and will be reviewed in the July Session meeting. Thanks to Sue Gade for her work on this.
Personnel: Session approved hire of Jamison Wendlandt for choir director. James has been a music educator and is currently a sanctuary choir director for St. Phillips Lutheran Church in Fridley, Minnesota. He completed his Bachelor in Music Education at UW Eau Claire. He’ll be moving to Madison, where he’ll continue his job with the UW and will also work on his master’s degree. James was interviewed by a group of FPC folks that have been involved in music at the church, who recommended that we hire him. Note: Sam Robinson will continue in his role as music coordinator for now.
Student Ministry: Emily reported that the Guatemala mission trip was an amazing experience for the students and adult leaders. Several who attended the trip recounted their experiences during the worship service on June 18. Now that everyone is home, planning a fire pit night for students on Wednesday.
Adult Nurture and Spiritual Growth: Scott reported the Adult Education continues to offer many opportunities. He would like to see greater participation from the congregation. Hoping for a good turnout for Theology on Tap. Also considering a more academic Bible study and a Christian yoga-based movement group, which would be led by Lolly Lawrence.
Mission: Always looking for ways to communicate mission opportunities to the congregation, including website updates, and will continue to look for ways to get FPC members to be more involved in missions. Planning to produce videos to raise awareness of how some of our members are already involved in mission activities. May choose to focus on one mission for a several month duration, so the congregation can focus their activities. It has been helpful to put some information in the bulletin, and then have one of the pastors highlight this in their announcements.
Ben mentioned that he is always willing to provide emphasis for a couple of bulletin items. We do want to avoid having the pastors essentially read the whole bulletin insert to the congregation in the announcements.
Fellowship and New Member Outreach: Transitioning Krista Wallace into the Elder role. Lynda mentioned that she purchased 2 large clear drink containers and said that anyone is welcome to use these for activities at church.
GROW Group met last week
Last week the GROW Group met for the first time to refresh the FPC Grounds. They did a wonderful job, thank you for your talents! If you would be interested in joining the GROW Group, please reach out to Christa Schmeelk.
Our FPC Library is a treasure
Many fine books—both fiction and nonfiction—have been collected over the years and are available for you to check out. Click here for a list of some newer books that our library needs, readings that will merit your time and attention. We plan to add to the collection each year. Please consider buying one these titles. Order one if you can, read or peruse it, even write a review to promote it! Do let one of our librarians know if you choose to purchase one of these titles so that we don’t overlap efforts. Audiobooks are great, and e-books are attractive, but paper books can be shared most easily, so we hope to add these important titles to the FPC library for everyone’s benefit. Other donations of Christian books—fiction or nonfiction—are also welcome. Just leave them in the library area with a note that says “Book Donation.” Thank you!
Questions? Call or email Alice Honeywell — 608-692-5496; email@example.com
VBS Registration and Volunteer Sign-up is still open!
Registration is still open! If you hear space calling and want to explore, please register today!
Blast Off Location: FPC
Dates: THIS WEEK, June 25-27
Cost: $30 for the first passenger and $20 for each sibling (includes a space shirt this year)
Stellar VBS to volunteers, come in volunteers… over.
3-2-1… SPACE VBS countdown to launch has begun! Blast off is June 25-27 at FPC.
Your VBS decorating team is on a mission: To make an OUT OF THIS WORLD experience! Can you help us create the most cosmic galaxy ever? Imagine church filled with planets, stars, moon rovers, astronauts, space shuttles, mission control boards, and comets-oh my! Equipped to shine Jesus’ bright light! Whether you can build rockets, cut out stars, help with set up, or have leftover space party decorations at home you’d like to give us, we’ll take anything and everything. We have plenty of SPACE for you on our decorating crew. If you can help, contact Lori Phelps (firstname.lastname@example.org, 608-235-7899), Sheryll Gehrmann or Cheri Brisky to be a shining star!
Nursery is open all summer
Nursery Age 2 and Under – Room 200
The Nursery is available on Sundays from 9:00 – 11:00 AM, is staffed by church volunteers who love children and want to share God’s love with them.
Kingdom Kids this summer
3-year-olds through Kindergarten will be dismissed after the Children’s message during Sunday service throughout the Summer.
Guest Musicians: Ruth and Paul Heinecke
This Sunday, June 25, Ruth and Paul Neinecke will be our guest musicians, you won’t want to miss it!
Paul (trumpet) and Ruth (piano) Heinecke have been playing sacred and secular music together for close to 50 years. They’ve been musically active in their home churches all of their married life. Living in Mount Horeb, Ruth is a retired piano teacher, accompanist and judge, and Paul is semi-retired from school sales and jazz band directing, but they both still greatly enjoy sharing their music with others. Paul is also the director of the Madison area “All That Jazz” big band.
Summer Music in Worship
June 25 – Ruth and Paul Heinecke, piano/vocals and trumpet/flugelhorn
July 2 – Second Century Brass Quintet
July 9 – Blue Skies Saxophone Ensemble
July 16 – Roxanne & Alan Fauque, piano/vocal and Saxophones
July 23 – First Pres. Praise Band
July 30 – Mary Kay Burton, organ/piano and Diane Robinson, vocalist
August 6 – Mitch Richards, organist
August 13 – Sydney Ray, vocalist; Ying Wang, accompanist
August 20 – Ying Wang, piano
August 27 – Natalie and Derek Handley, vocals/guitar/cello
Coming Events | June 25 – July 15, 2023
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.
Monday, July 3 at 7pm – Centering Prayer Group
The Centering Prayer group will meet in the Chapel on the first Monday of each month at 7pm for two 20 minute “sits”. For those who want to “learn by doing”, please come at 6:30 to get oriented. For questions, please contact Pastor Glen.
Save the Date | More Info to come
Sunday, July 23 at 1PM – Children’s Ministry Hike at Indian Lake
Meet in the main Indian Lake parking lot. Text Christa if you have a question on weather or can’t find it on the day of: 608-208-3265
Friday, August 25 at 6PM – Children’s Ministry Summer Fun Night!
Summer Family Fire Pit, Outdoor Movie and for those who desire – a Campout at FPC! Bring your own dinner to cook over the fire at 6pm (like hotdogs!) and we’ll provide the s’mores. The movie will start at 7pm, and for those who would like to camp, please RSVP to Christa: email@example.com– and she’ll get you the details.
Friday, October 20 – Sunday, October 22 – FPC Marriage Retreat
Pastor Glen and his wife, Christine, will lead this event at the Green Lake Retreat Center. Cost is $199 per couple for 4 meals and 2 nights’ lodging. Contact Pastor Glen or Christa Schmeelk for more information.
Saturday, October 28 – 8:30AM-12:30PM – Introduction to Centering Prayer
The next offering by Contemplative Outreach of Madison’s Introduction to Centering Prayer. This will be the last offering while Pastor Glen is at FPC Waunakee. Those who are new to this practice are welcome as well as those who want to deepen their practice.
Opportunities to Serve
Agrace: Hospice Volunteers Needed in Dane County:
Volunteers are needed to assist customers, operate the cash register and sort donations at the Agrace Thrift Stores in Madison, pack donated merchandise in donors’ homes, or make companionship visits to local Agrace hospice patients in patients’ homes, nursing homes or assisted living centers.
Agrace will host volunteer orientation Tuesday, July 18, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at its Madison campus. Pre-registration is required. Call (608) 327-7163 or visit agrace.org/volunteer to fill out an application.
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.