There is an invitation waiting for you
Several years ago, Christine and I received shocking but not unexpected news that our good friend Greg, after a long bout with bile duct cancer, had suddenly died.
Greg was our daughter Molly’s godfather.
We first met him at Covenant House where he served in many capacities. He had been given a brilliant mind and a compassionate heart- a rare combination. Acerbic and astute, Greg always expected the worst to happen and when it did not, he would be the target of good-natured kidding. We busted his chops a lot. Don’t worry, he could hold his own and then some. Sometimes the repartee flew all night.
Greg and I did not begin as friends. He and I had more not in common than we had in common. We, at first, did not see eye to eye politically, religiously, or musically. Greg was a Republican, defended the Pope, and adored Fred Astaire and Ginger Rodgers.
Me? Not so much. He was a musical comedy man; I loved intense, meaningful plays.
Our differences ran deep.
What we did agree on was profound. We knew that, in the dailyness of life, we wanted to put our faith into practice. As we stayed in touch over the years, the labels that we so expertly exploited while jesting became meaningless. His diagnosis and subsequent fight with this rare cancer refined our feelings and thoughts. A deep respect grew between us.
In one of our last visits, a miracle of sorts happened- at least for me. As Greg, Christine and I lingered in our late-night conversation, I realized just exactly how much Greg and I had in common: passion for the many unwanted kids (the throw-aways) left behind by our society, a deep love for Jesus, empathy for our broken church, a keenness for our godchildren, and a gratitude for Christine, our families and friends. It was a conversation that allowed each of us to honestly affirm what was central to our lives and let go of the stuff that did not matter- old wounds, fears about the future, lost opportunities and labels. It was a holy moment with Greg- one that I will not forget.
This Lent provides each of us with an invitation to take stock, to focus on what is central to our lives, and to let go of the stuff that does not matter- old wounds, fears about the future, lost opportunities and labels. Focusing on Jesus is an opportunity for each of us to sift through our own lives and see with new eyes.
So come; there is an invitation waiting for you; take seriously the church’s call to come away this Lent and linger a while with Jesus. You will be glad that you did.
“Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.”
Video Devotional: The Other Side of the Wall
“The Other Side of the Wall” is the title of a book written by Palestinian Lutheran pastor and academic, Munther Isaac. In the book, Pastor Isaac lays out a rational, Biblical plan for peace between the State of Israel and Palestine. In this episode of “Scriptures for Life”, I talk about my experiences in the Holy Land and why I believe Pastor Isaac’s plan is the only possible solution to the “eye for an eye” violence that leads us, as Gandhi said, only to “. . . making the whole world blind.” Soli Deo Gloria!
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
Parking Lot Status Update
Brett Cable: Stewardship Elder
A few questions have come up before, during, and after the annual meeting about the status of the parking lot and its funding so I wanted to share an update with everyone. We took out a $300,000 loan to fund the parking lot at a 5.375% interest rate, and to date we have received $154,852 of pledges toward the parking lot. Because some of those pledged dollars have to go toward interest instead of the $300,000 principal balance, we expect that in summer 2025, once all of our current pledges have come in, we will be left with a balance of roughly $170,000 on our loan. When we near the end of our current campaign, if the loan has not been fully paid off, we will likely need an additional capital campaign or we will have to fund the loan payments out of the general fund. And of course having so much left to pay for the parts of the lot that we have already completed makes it difficult to commit to a timeline for paving the additional rows of parking spots along the south side of the property.
If you are still on the sidelines of our Paving Our Way campaign and would like to pledge to help fund the parking lot, please go to https://www.myfpc.org/donate and either make a pledge by clicking on the Paving Our Way logo, or give directly to the parking lot fund by clicking through to FPC’s Donation Page and entering a donation on the Parking Lot Fund line.
The Penny War results are in!
The Penny War raised a total of $406.06
This came in the form of $83 in currency and $323.06 in coins
- 4,521 pennies
- 607 nickels
- 1,025 dimes
- 556 quarters
- 2 fifty-cent pieces
- 5 one dollar coins
4K/Kindergarten – Peter
First/Second Grade – Isaac
Third/Fourth Grade – Brenna
Fifth/Sixth Grade – Carsten
Most Pennies – Russell
Thank you to everyone who participated!
This last Sunday a number of our little ones listened during the Children’s Moment with Ms. Debby.
SAVE THE DATE – 2023 VBS Announced:
June 25-27 from 5:30-7:30 PM – More info to come!
Nursery is open
Nursery will be available for children 0-2 years old during Waunakee’s Spring Break.
Nursery Age 2 and Under – Room 200
The Nursery is available on Sundays from 9:00 – 11:00 a.m. It is staffed by church volunteers who love children and want to share God’s love with them.
New 3-4-year-old Kingdom Kids Sunday School
There will be no Kingdom Kids on March 19 or 26 as volunteers take time with their families during Waunakee’s Spring Break.
3-4-year-old Kingdom Kids now have their own Sunday School class from 9-9:50 am on Sunday, in the Kingdom Kids room.
4k-Kindergarteners will still be upstairs.
Are you familiar with FPC’s FOOF wall?
Are you familiar with FPC’s FOOF wall? It’s not just a funny name! Take a walk down to the children’s education wing, and there you will see photos of many of our church members, staff and volunteers. This is our FOOF wall – the Faces Of Our Family.
The FOOF wall is more than just a collection of photos. It helps our members recognize and get to know each other. It’s a useful tool for church leaders and staff. It’s a great connection mechanism within our congregation. And we need your help to make our FOOF wall current again!
Many of the photos on the FOOF wall were taken years ago while putting together our church directory. Most of us look very different today! Some of us have gotten married or had babies over the past few years. Some of us may be new to the church, and did not have an opportunity to submit a picture for our wall. So we would appreciate your assistance as we update the “faces of our family.”
Do you have a family photo that you used for your Christmas card this year? Or perhaps a picture taken over the holidays? Please take a moment to send the picture to us by clicking the button below. Thank you!
Upcoming Music in Worship
March 12 – FPC Choir
March 19 – Joyful Noise Brass and Linda Krueger, guest organist
March 26 – FPC Choir
Coming Events | March 12 – April 1, 2023
THIS SUNDAY, March 12 – 4K/Kindergarten Bible Presentations
Our 4K/Kindergarten Bible Presentations will be on March 12. Contact Christa Schmeelk if your 4k/Kindergartner has yet to receive a Jesus Story Book Bible.
Sundays, Now-March 26 – 9-9:45 AM – Lenten Bible Study: Deep Dive into John 4: 1-26
Pastor Glen along with retired Pastor Susan, will be leading all who choose to take a deep dive into Jesus’ encounter with the Samaritan Woman at the Well. She does not hold back. And neither does He. Jesus forms a unique relationship with her. How might we deepen our own relationship with “the Mystery at the heart of our existence that we call God?”
We hope you’ll join us in the Chapel.
Each Sunday of Lent – 11 AM – Prayer Circle
After each Sunday morning worship service in Lent, the Deacons, Pastors Ben and Glen invite this body of Christ into the Chapel for a prayer circle. We will be praying for any individual needs that arise as well as for any joys and concerns within our church–specifically the Mission Study Process that FPC is going through. Please plan on attending one or more of these holy moments.
Sundays at 9 AM – Graceland Student Ministry
7th-12th Graders, join us each week for a time of connection, Bible discussion, and prayer.
There will be no Teen Sunday School on March 19 or 26 as volunteers take time with their families during Waunakee’s Spring Break.
Sundays at 9 AM – Sunday School for 4K-Adults
There will be no Children’s Sunday School on March 19 or 26 as volunteers take time with their families during Waunakee’s Spring Break.
Sundays – During Service – Kingdom Kids
There will be no Kingdom Kids on March 19 or 26 as volunteers take time with their families during Waunakee’s Spring Break.
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.
Mondays, Now-March 27 from 1-2:30 PM – The Light Team Meeting
The Light Team is comprised of women who want a chance to meet for fellowship and Bible study. We pray for each other and those in our church family and community. When possible, we extend ourselves in projects to help others. There is no homework and we include humor and laughter! We meet in the Gathering Place on Mondays at 1:00 – 2:30 PM. All are welcome to attend any or all of our sessions. Light Team’s current five week series for “The Longing in Me” by Sheila Walsh is running every Monday from now until March 27.
Wednesdays, Now – May 24 from 8:30-10:00 AM – Women’s Community Bible Study
The Wednesday Morning Women’s Bible Study Group is made up of women from the surrounding community at large. All are welcome. This season we are exploring “How Much More” by Lisa Harper. 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. We will be off Wednesdays, March 22.
Wednesdays from 7:00-8:15 PM – Graceland Student Ministry
7th-12th Graders, join the fun upstairs in the Youth Room for a time of connection, games, message, meaningful small group discussion with students your same grade, and prayer.
There will be no Youth Group on March 22 as volunteers take time with their families during Waunakee’s Spring Break.
Friday, March 17 – Noon-5PM – WEB Blood Drive
Click the banner below to sign-up!
Sunday, March 19 – 2 PM – Organ Recital
Please mark your calendars! FPC will host an organ recital on Sunday, March 19, 2023, at 2 PM featuring highly regarded organist Dr. Andrew Schaeffer, Director of Music at the Luther Memorial Church in Madison. The recital will be dedicated to the life and service of Pat Ronspiez. Pat served as our organist for 46 years. She also played piano and accordion.
Our church features an historic 1890 Schuelke organ built in Milwaukee and rebuilt by Wahl Organ Builders of Appleton in 1992. You can read about our historic organ here.
A Chicago native, Schaeffer holds degrees from St. Olaf College, Yale University and a doctoral degree from the University of Oklahoma. Andrew’s responsibilities include playing organ for Sunday services, directing the children, youth and adult choirs, various instrumental ensembles and overseeing the general music ministry of the congregation. He has been at Luther Memorial since 2018. Schaeffer is also editor-at-large of The Diapason, a nationally published organ and church music magazine.
A free will offering will be collected at the recital. FPC will donate 90% of the free will offerings to the Waunakee High School Music Department’s grand piano purchase. The remaining 10% will go towards our church missions.
Thursday, March 23 – Network 56 Pres House Service Project
Save the Date | More Info to come
Sunday, April 2 – 9AM-9:50AM – Easter Trail
Parents, mark your calendars for the Easter Trail! Bring your child to Sunday School on Palm Sunday, April 2nd from 9-9:50am so they can walk through the events of Holy week during Sunday School. There will be fun, snacks, and a goody bag to help them celebrate Holy Week!
Sunday, April 9 – 8 AM and 10 AM – Easter Worship Services
FPC will host two worship services on Sunday, April 9 for Easter, one at 8 am and another at 10 am. There will be no Children’s Sunday School, Graceland, or Kingdom Kids as volunteers will be spending Easter with their families.
Sunday, May 7 – 10 AM – FPC’s First Public Communion
Opportunities to Serve
Come Join FPC Choir for Easter!
Are you up for a different way to celebrate our risen Lord on Easter Sunday? Come join the FPC Choir! We have some festive music planned for the 10:00 AM service on April 9th. singing with a trumpet on one and a string quartet on the second. Rehearsals are Wednesday nights in the Sanctuary from 7:00PM-8:30PM. Not sure of which voice part works best for you? No worries, here to help. Contact Liz Weller, Choir Director firstname.lastname@example.org.
How can you get 100 smiles in 15 minutes?
By becoming a Volunteer Greeter!
We need your help welcoming people to our Sunday Services!
Check out other volunteer opportunities by clicking the button below.
Shelter From The Storm Ministries Needs Volunteers
Contact email@example.com for more information!
March is Red Cross Month
March is Red Cross Month and I thought it would be a great time to personally thank you for all you do for the Red Cross blood drives. Our mission wouldn’t be possible without community heroes like you.
Our work is powered by 90% volunteers, whose humanitarian spirit continues to advance the lifesaving legacy of our founder, Clara Barton. For more than 140 years since Clara started the American Red Cross, her vision to prevent and alleviate human suffering has never wavered. Generation after generation, people have come together to adapt this timeless mission for their communities’ most urgent needs. Encourage the people in your lives to turn their compassion into action this month!
The blood that has been collected through your drives has not only saved many, many lives, but also supports the other sectors of service provided by the American Red Cross like humanitarian aid, armed services support, safety and emergency training, and safety education.
Here’s a quick video highlighting how your generosity and partnership supported the American Red Cross.
Donor Recruitment Account Manager
Vocalists and Instrumentalists (Piano, too!)
We are looking for musicians for the summer services!! You are welcome to sing/play a special song or two, no matter what your skill level is. We have open dates throughout the summer and would like to fill those with students and adults from our congregation whenever possible. If you’d like to sing or play an instrument at a Sunday service, please contact Sam Robinson firstname.lastname@example.org 608-949-9450. “Make a Joyful Noise Unto the Lord!!”
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 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.