God does not call the equipped; God equips those who are called
On June 4, 2023, at our congregational meeting, we will elect Elders and Deacons. On July 16 we will ordain some of these fine folks and install all as well.
Just to be clear: There is one ordination whether it is as Deacon or Elder or Minister of the Word and Sacrament– there is one ordination. We symbolize this by laying on the hands of past Elders/Deacons/Ministers. The laying on of hands is a tradition that goes back to the time of the apostles. No one is better. Deacons are not training ground for Elders. Elders are not training ground for Ministers.
Deacons essentially are the folks who actively care for the members of the congregation as well as all others in need. They are the caring ones.
Elders are charged to make sure that the bills are paid, the lights are on, and the church is going in the right direction– is healthy, strong and focused. They are the responsible ones– looking past the present moment into the future. The buck stops with them.
The ones we will elect are stepping up into these leadership positions in a crucial time in this church’s life. So much could go wrong. So much is going right.
God does not call the equipped; God equips those who are called.
We are calling them to serve us and to serve the good of the church.
They are to listen to us, but they are not to do what we tell them to do. They are to listen to their own consciences and determine how God is leading them to act. This is how our system of church works. Representatives listening closely to what the church members are saying and what God is saying and then making the best decisions for the good of the church as they can.
And we? Well, we are human after all and are excluded from the room where the sausage is made (A “Hamilton” reference). We are to trust that the ones we nominated and elected will serve us with energy, intelligence, imagination, and love. We are to hold them to their promise to further the peace, unity, and purity of the church.
They are stepping up at this time. Don’t they inspire us?
My question today is “How might each of us step up at this time?”
“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 from the May 2023 Session meeting.
Report of the Clerk: Received thanks from WEB (Waunakee Ecumenical Board) for our $2000 donation.
Worship and Music: Erik brought the quote and proposal from Fearings on the sound system. Brian Gade attended to answer questions and provide detail.
· Video and sound system components need to be modernized.
· A phased approach could be taken to defer some expense.
· Approved spending up to $50,000 from the general fund to update the system. This could be reduced, dollar for dollar, from special funds and donations to the sound system fund.
· Erik Cushman and Alan Roberts will work to determine funding options.
Special Pastor Report topic, member roll update: Sue Gade brought a list of inactive members to review with the Session. The list had previously been reviewed by staff, to get their input and recommendations. For each inactive member, we decided whether to keep them on the membership rolls, remove, or do further follow-up. There are over 100 people noted as inactive members.
We acknowledge that it is difficult to see people leave the church, but cleaning up the rolls is a healthy and normal part of church life. People leave for any number of reasons: moved out of the area, found a new church, no longer attending church, etc. The Book of Order says that inactive members should be removed after 2 years. We had postponed a full clean-up of the member rolls during the pandemic, but now is a good time to see who has returned and who has moved on. Approved removal of inactive members and will finalize the list and ensure follow-ups are completed.
Report from the Deacons: All is going well. The deacons completed a late spring project review. Project Connect has been popular and successful. Planning deacon training after the June congregational meeting to elect new leaders.
· The MIF committee expects to have their first draft completed by June.
· The Presbytery has given FPC permission to form a PNC (Pastor Nominating Committee).
· Staff performance reviews have started.
· Will be interviewing a candidate for the choir/music director position on 5/18.
· A new feature, “Plan My Visit,” has been added to the FPC website. Chris Drake and Jamie Roberts put this together. It is an outreach tool to be used by people who are planning to visit FPC.
· Working on fall sermon themes and marriage retreat planning.
· Thanks, and acknowledgement of great work, to Liz Weller on her last week as choir director.
· Mark Weller has offered a free performance of the Big Band at FPC, as thanks to FPC for providing free rehearsal space.
· Pastor Glen talked about some highlights from his recent trip to South Africa, and reflections from his pilgrimage on the Camino de Santiago trail one year ago.
Consent Action Items: Approved moving the July Session meeting to July 24, and hosting the John Knox Presbytery meeting on August 19. Deacons have agreed to provide lunch for the meeting.
Finance Report: Alan reported strong giving through April, with giving vs. pledged for the month at 116% and year-to-date at 98%. Giving does tend to drop off through the summer. General fund income vs. expense is -$6,313.77.
From the previous discussion on the sound system, Alan noted that the endowment could contribute some funding.
Nominating Committee: Alan noted that 16 of 18 nominations are filled. The Personnel and Stewardship Elders are still open. Aiming to have all completed by the June 4 congregational meeting. Lolly volunteered to create a document describing the accountabilities and skills desired for each elder, for use by future nominating committees.
Children’s Ministry: Peter reported on recent activities and upcoming plans for the summer. VBS (June 25-27) is just around the corner and will require a lot of attention and preparation through June. Working on Kingdom Kids and Children’s Sermon sign-ups. Family hike planned for Indian Lake on June 23, Movie and Camping night planned for August 25. Teachers’ resource workday on August 6.
Building and Grounds: RJ reported that the insurance claim has been settled to repair the outdoor sidewalk and stair rail that was damaged this winter. Two air conditioning units are being replaced. Thanks to Scott Legwold, Wes Ray, and Christa Schmeelk for leading the spring clean-up day on May 6, filling in for RJ, who was called away on a family emergency. Thanks also to all the volunteers, the grounds look great!
Personnel: We have an applicant for the choir/music director job, who will be interviewed on Thursday.
Stewardship: Received no additional pledges for the parking lot
Student Ministry: Emily reported that 12 students and 4 adult leaders will be participating in the Guatemala youth mission trip. They learned more about the family they will be building a home for. SM is working on many summer fun events and service activities. The last Wednesday youth group meeting is May 24, with average attendance of about 16 students. Future planning is underway for the next confirmation journey, 2024 Milwaukee Mission with City on a Hill, and 2025 Presbyterian Youth Triennium.
Adult Nurture and Spiritual Growth: Scott reported 2023 continues to be positive. Future plans include talks by Pastor Glen after services, Centering Prayer training, book group (Sabbath as Resistance, Saying No to the Culture of Now), Marriage Retreat, and What’s Cooking at FPC (June 4). Also considering an additional Bible study and a Christian yoga-based movement group.
Approved the proposal to offer “Theology on Tap,” which is a popular format that allows for structured conversation about faith topics in a relaxed setting. This will be held at Octopi Brewing, once a month, and will be a casual gathering that is centered around food/drinks, connection, and conversation on deep faith topics that people are interested in understanding and discussing. Christa Schmeelk will oversee the program, Ezrah Schmeelk and David Good will help with topics, questions and discussion. Ground rules/boundaries will be set. Will not require preparation or homework by attendees.
Mission: Working on plans for mission activities and Minute for Mission. These will include Pres House, Beacon, Good News Kenya, Food for Kidz and Porchlight. 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.
Fellowship and New Member Outreach: No report
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; firstname.lastname@example.org
Memorial Day Service
At FPC’s annual Memorial Day wreath laying we were honored to have Veteran and FPC Church Member, Dale Mayer, lay the wreath and Randy Massey play “Amazing Grace” on the bagpipes.
VBS Registration and Volunteer Sign-up is now LIVE!
Registration is now live! If you hear space calling and want to explore, please register today!
Blast Off Location: FPC
Dates: 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 (email@example.com, 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.
Upcoming Music in Worship
June 4 – Brooksy Beilke, pianist & Katie Stoik, vocalist
June 11 – Joyful Ministry Singers and Betsy Flanagan
June 18 – Mary Kay Burton, organist; Brooksy Beilke, piano accompanist for Ethan Keenan vocalist
Coming Events | June 4 – 24, 2023
Sundays at 9 AM – Informal Adult Bible Study
Please join us Sunday mornings at 9am for our informal adult Bible study,
(while the children are in Sunday School). We are currently watching a David Jeremiah DVD series titled: “Christ Above All”.
The DVD is followed by a short discussion. Bring a cup of coffee or tea downstairs to the Sunday School room (next to the kitchen in Fellowship Hall).
We’d love to have you!
We will be taking a break from June 15 to mid-August.
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.
This Sunday, June 4 – All Church Congregational Meeting
This Sunday, June 4 – What’s Cookin’ at FPC?
Join us for a Nigerian feast in the Fellowship Hall right after the congregational meeting. Get to know the Abraham family, each other, and hear a description of the foods you can try from Nigeria!
Wednesday, June 7 from 11:30AM – 2PM – New Horizons Picnic in the Outdoor Shelter
New Horizons will host an outdoor picnic in the FPC Outdoor picnic shelter on June 7 from 11:30am – 2pm.
If the weather is questionable, then we will move this potluck indoors to the Fellowship Hall.
Thursdays – 7PM – Zoom Bible Study
Online Zoom Bible study every week on Thursday night at 7pm. Contact Carolyn Harris for info firstname.lastname@example.org
Sunday, June 11 at 4PM – Early Childhood Family Picnic Potluck
All families with a child birth through Kindergarten are invited to join Patricia and MOPS for an Early Childhood Family Picnic Potluck on June 11 @ 4pm. There will be a bounce house, games, and fun for the whole family! Contact Patricia Coley for info: email@example.com
Sunday, June 11 at 10AM – Joyful Ministry Singers
Come for Worship and Stay for the Concert!
You will have two opportunities to hear the Joyful Ministry Singers on Sunday, June 11th. This group of twenty-five singers, under the direction of Betsy Flanagan, will help us praise God through song during our morning service at 10:00AM. Immediately following our service, they will perform a 30-minute concert in our Sanctuary as they prepare for their trip to Prague, Vienna and Budapest. We are fortunate to have many familiar faces in this touring choir who will share their talents with our FPC family. Join us on June 11th!
Sunday, June 11 at 11AM – Family Photos for the FOOF Wall
Snap a Pic and Snag a Treat!
No doubt you have seen requests in the Connector for our church members to submit photos for the Faces of Our Family (FOOF) wall, which is in the education wing. Many, if not most, of the photos on that display are extremely outdated. We would like to correct this! Why is this important? The FOOF wall helps our members to recognize and get to know each other, AND it is a useful tool for our staff and church leaders.
On Sunday, June 11, following the service, we invite members to come to the Chapel and a FOOF wall helper will snap a quick photo on a smartphone. Easy peasy! Done! And you’ll walk away with a sweet treat!
OR – you can pick up a card with a QR code on it and send a photo directly from your smartphone to FPC. And STILL get a treat!
Some things to remember: the picture does NOT need to be professional! You don’t have to be dressed up in matching clothes and awkwardly posed. Any setting will do. We just want to see your beautiful faces. Also, the FOOF wall is NOT just for families! We have many individual members or empty nesters and we want to see all of you too!!
Stop by the Chapel on June 11 and get ready to say CHEESE!
Tuesday, June 13 from 6:30PM-7:30PM – Caregivers Group
Calling all Caregivers – New Group meeting at FPC
We are starting a new group for people who are the caregivers–caregivers for anyone, whether it be spouse, child, other family member, or a friend. The loved one doesn’t need to be cared for at home, they don’t need to be in a certain age group, as all caregivers are welcome in this group. The current “name” for this group is Caregivers Respite.
The purpose of the group is to meet in a safe place, where there is no judgment, to discuss and pray for you as a caregiver and for your loved ones. We won’t tell you what you need to do, but we will offer resources for you–and sometimes, just talking about your life as a caregiver, how it affects your outlook on life and your outlook on your faith.
If you would be interested in joining the group meetings, the proposal is to meet twice a month, one meeting for those who would feel better meeting in the evening, and another meeting for those who would feel better meeting on Saturday mornings. Loved ones are welcome to attend with you, we have activity books and colored pencils available to hopefully capture their interest.
We will be meeting in the Chapel. Coffee, tea and ice water will be provided.
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.
Saturday, June 17 at 8AM – FPC’s GROW Group
FPC’s GROW Group!
Join us Saturday, June 17th at 8am to help care for our grounds and connecting with each other!
Come for coffee & donuts, and bring your yard tools.
Contact Christa for more info: email@example.com
Wednesday, June 21 from 7-8PM – Student Ministry Fire Pit and Game Night
Incoming 7th-12th Grade students are invited to a Student Ministry Fire Pit and Game Night on Wednesday, June 21 from 7-8pm. Friends welcome!
Saturday, June 24 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.
June’s topic: Is Busyness Godliness?
Contact Christa or Ezrah for more info: firstname.lastname@example.org
Everyone 21 & older is welcome – including friends!
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.
Opportunities to Serve
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.
Incoming 7th-12th Grade students are invited to a Student Ministry Fire Pit and Game Night on Wednesday, June 21 from 7-8pm. Friends welcome!