Eyes to See
Our Lenten Sermon series this year has been around the theme: Eyes to See. The last Sermon was on Mark 8: 22-26 – the double healing of the Blind Man. Partly, what I said in the sermon was
Sometimes, in hinge moments in our own life and in a church’s life, we are led forward by others who see more clearly than we do. That’s why we Presbyterians believe in committees. By ourselves, we know that we don’t always see so clearly. When we listen to each other, we begin to see issues from different perspectives. Our own blind spots do not skew the trajectory in which we are going. Even then, knowing we might be wrong, we make our best decision. Then we rely on God who redeems our humanness and show us more clearly the way. After all, we see in “a glass darkly/mirror dimly”. As we dwell in the “hinge” space, questions arise.
- Where are our blind spots?
- Who surrounds us and is willing to bring us to Jesus in our need?
- Who are we carrying to Jesus for healing> Barb Bakke and family? Kevin Olson? The family of Breanna Taylor? The migrants in California who have been flooded out of work? The folks in Palestine, Ohio recovering from the lethal chemical spill and the Palestinians living near Hebron in the Holy Land who are about to lose their family homes and ancestral lands? Who are we carrying to Jesus for healing?
The Bible is not just full of nice stories that happened way back then. The word of God is alive. The Spirit of God is even now on the move. The Bible challenges us, shapes our lives, opens our eyes and shows us how we are to live- fully live today.
The encounter between Jesus and the blind man echoes through our memory. It resonates. It reverberates with significance. Hope awakens.
Who is this Jesus? That is one good question.
It is what this journey of Lent is all about.
Each Lent we walk more deeply into discovering who this Jesus of Nazareth (who we name “the Christ”) is to us individually and to our church. Come and see.
PS. Save the Date for the 6pm Holy Thursday April 6th Worship Service in the Chapel. Our Good Friday “Journey to the Cross” individually led devotion will be held in our sanctuary – come anytime between 12noon and 3pm that day.
“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.
Video Devotional: Seeing Eden in a Different Way
In this episode of Scriptures for Life, we talk about how the original hearers of the story of Adam and Eve would have understood the story and how we, today, can learn from this ancient story that applies to us today just as it did to the first hearers. Soli Deo Gloria!
News and Announcements
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 AM, 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 9:00 – 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 26 – FPC Choir
April 2 – Joshua Hayes and Brooksey Beilke-Skoug
April 9 – Easter Sunday 8 AM – Ying Wang, pianist, and Diane Robinson, soloist
April 9 – Easter Sunday 10 AM – Choir, Joyful Noise, and Yahara String Quartet
April 16 – Audrey Manning, Cherith Brown, Brett Cable, and Jason Cable
New Pastor Search – MIF Survey Update
Thanks to each of you who have completed the survey! Currently we have received 89 surveys.
This survey provides the bulk of information that the MIF team will use to write the Ministry Information Form that our future pastor will view as an introduction to FPC. Your responses will guide the future of FPC.
If you haven’t completed one yet, grab your favorite beverage and CLICK HERE for Congregational Survey. It will take 20-30 minutes to complete. Everyone 12 years and above can complete a survey. The survey will be open until April 13th.
Each person’s survey responses are important! Thanks to all who have completed the survey, and thanks in advance to everyone who will complete it!
Questions—please contact Joan Cable at email@example.com
After you complete your survey, please share the COMMUNITY SURVEY with a friend or neighbor! (The Community Survey takes about 5-10 minutes to complete.)
Moving forward together,
The MIF Team
Coming Events | March 26 – April 15, 2023
THIS Sunday, March 26 at 3:30 PM – 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). Let’s meet at FPC to caravan down to State Street. Contact Christa Schmeelk for more information: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sunday, March 26 at 9:00 – 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 at 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 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 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 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.
Monday, March 27 at 1:00 – 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 thru May 24 at 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.
Wednesdays at 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.
Sunday, April 2 at 9:00 – 9:50 AM – Easter Trail
Parents, mark your calendars for the Easter Trail! Bring your child to Sunday School on Palm Sunday, April 2nd from 9:00 – 9:50 AM 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 at 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.
Save the Date | More Info to come
Sunday, April 30 at 11 AM – First Communion Parent and Child Meeting
Following the worship service we will meet in the conference room.
Sunday, May 7 at 10 AM – FPC’s First Public Communion
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.
Happy Happenings at FPC
Last week, FPC celebrated the life and gifts of beloved organist Pat Ronspiez with a well attended Organ Concert.
The Light Team women and Pastor Glen prayed over this Prayer Quilt made by Sharon Mikkelson (photo below) on Monday. Kay Anderson will deliver it to Kate, who has been on our prayer list and was in the room across the hall from Kevin Olson at the UW Hospital.
Last Sunday, FPC welcomed a beautiful new life into our family of faith through Baptism.
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 9: singing with a trumpet on one and a string quartet on the second. Rehearsals are Wednesday nights in the Sanctuary from 7:00 – 8:30 PM. Not sure of which voice part works best for you? No worries, here to help. Contact Liz Weller, Choir Director firstname.lastname@example.org.
What does Communion bread taste like?
Is it sweet or savior-y? Solve the riddle by joining our Communion service volunteers! If you are able, FPC needs help preparing for April 2nd Communion. Sign up at https://tinyurl.com/yr8wb6ah or emailing 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, especially on Easter Sunday. Share the Joy of the Lord’s Resurrection with a smile and a wave to those who walks through FPC’s doors on April 9. Check out these and 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
I wanted to thank you for hosting the blood drive [last] Friday. It was great visiting and catching up with you. We collected 62 units on a goal of 60, and your drive helped save up to 186 lives! Thank you. Here are your upcoming drives:
- Friday, August 18
- Friday, October 20
Thank you very much for hosting and helping to save lives.
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.
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.