Why do we practice Lent?
I have been thinking about Lent and why this important season is in the life of the church.
Why do we keep Lent? Practice Lent? What is it good for? The following is a summary of a article by Tish Warren. I hope it helps us all grow by grace as we practice this season of Lent.
What don’t we do when we keep Lent:
- We don’t give up things because we think they are bad or immoral i.e. Facebook, chocolate, meat, coffee or anger.
- We don’t practice Lent to earn anything from God.
- We don’t practice Lent out of obligation or duty.
Why do we practice Lent?
- We practice Lent because it reveals our idolatry and helps us repent.
- We practice Lent in order to rid ourselves of distractions and focus on the Real.
- We practice Lent to enter into the sufferings of Christ
- We practice Lent to prepare for Easter.
For me, these words by Father Thomas McKenzie summarize best the invitation to keep Lent.
“Please remember that keeping Lent is designed to make more room for the Holy Spirit in your life. Keeping Lent may or may not lead to feelings of joy, sorrow, happiness, or anger. You may or may not alienate a friend, have a spiritual experience, lose weight or feel grouchy at work. Keeping Lent will not make you more holy, or beloved in the eyes of God. Keeping Lent will not save you. Keep Lent anyway.”
I would add… During this season, keep your eyes, ears and hearts open.
“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
We each have a voice, MIF wants to hear each voice!
The MIF team (Ministry Information Form) team began its work in January. Behind the scenes the team has planned the recently completed History of FPC listening sessions, written a comprehensive survey, and are planning focus group meetings for later in the spring.
There was lots of great dialog at the History meetings, and lots of ideas for the future shared. We are currently compiling those thoughts and will share them in a concise format in the near future.
While we weren’t blown away by the number of participants at the History of FPC listening sessions, there are still two very important ways you can participate in the MIF process in the coming weeks.
On March 12th a comprehensive survey became available for each member and attender to complete. This is open to everyone who wants to complete it!
Can kids and teens complete it?—YES! The survey is open to everyone 12 years of age and over.
Can seniors complete it?—YES!
Can non-members who are regular attenders complete it?—YES!
I don’t have a computer, can I complete it?—YES! The survey works on a smart phone and we will also have limited paper copies available for those who choose to fill it out on paper.
My spouse completed the survey, should I complete it? YES! EACH voice is encouraged!
The survey is anonymous. We are looking for your honest thoughts about FPC and what you want the focus for OUR future to be.
We can’t read your mind, but we can analyze your data if you complete the survey.
P.S.—to all those who have already completed the survey—THANK YOU!!! We have already received 64 competed surveys! Don’t wait, let your voice for the future of FPC be heard!
PASTORAL SEARCH: Congregational Survey Open until April 13th
MIF Committee Member Julie Cable presented the congregation with the opportunity to have their voice’s heard while we are in the early stages of looking for a new Pastor.
The Congregation was asked to fill out THIS SURVEY before April 13th.
Last Sunday Jesus story book Bibles were presented.
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.
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)
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 19 – Joyful Noise Brass and Linda Krueger, guest organist
March 26 – FPC Choir
April 2 – Joshua Hayes and Brooksey Beilke-Skoug
Coming Events | March 19 – April 8, 2023
THIS 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.
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.
Sunday, March 26 – 3:30PM – Network 56 Pres House Service Project
5th/6th graders! Please join us to serve dinner to the staff and students of Pres House (a spiritual home at the heart of UW campus in Madison.) We will meet at FPC to caravan down to State Street. Contact Christa for more information: firstname.lastname@example.org
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!
Save the Date | More Info to come
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, April 30 – 11 AM – First Communion Parent and Child Meeting
Following the worship service we will meet in the conference room.
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 email@example.com.
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.
Agrace Seeks Local Volunteers; Offers Grief Support Options and Daytime Care for Older Adults:
Agrace Adult Day Center Offers Daytime Care –
Do you care for or know an older adult who cannot—or chooses not to—stay alone all day? The Agrace Adult Day Center in Madison gives seniors the reassurance and comfort of having others with them throughout the day. It’s especially helpful for people who have dementia or trouble with their memory, and can be a welcome break for family caregivers, too. Learn more at (608) 327-7303 or Agrace.org/AdultDayCenter.
Volunteers Needed in Dane County –
Volunteers are needed to assist customers, operate the cash register and sort donations at the Agrace Thrift Store; pack donated items in donors’ homes for the thrift stores’ Donation Transportation Service; or provide companionship to clients at the Agrace Adult Day Center.
Agrace will host orientation for new volunteers Tuesday, March 28, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at its Madison campus. Pre-registration is required. To register, call (608) 327-7163 or visit Agrace.org/Volunteer and fill out an application.
Shelter From The Storm Ministries Needs Volunteers
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com 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 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.