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Recommended Devotion from Pastor Kirk
Greetings, friends! I wanted to share with you this devotion. We shared it as a team during our regular church staff meeting this past week. I think we all felt that it was written in a way that speaks to our times. May it speak to you as it spoke to those of us who are privileged to work for FPC. – Kirk
Is He Listening?
“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
Today’s Scripture & Insight: Matthew 26:39-42; 27:45-46
“Sometimes it feels as if God isn’t listening to me.” Those words, from a woman who tried to stay strong in her walk with God while coping with an alcoholic husband, echo the heart cry of many believers. For many years, she asked God to change her husband. Yet it never happened.
What are we to think when we repeatedly ask God for something good—something that could easily glorify Him—but the answer doesn’t come? Is He listening or not?
Let’s look at the life of the Savior. In the garden of Gethsemane, He agonized for hours in prayer, pouring out His heart and pleading, “Let this cup pass from Me” (Matt. 26:39 NKJV). But the Father’s answer was clearly “No.” To provide salvation, God had to send Jesus to die on the cross. Even though Jesus felt as if His Father had forsaken Him, He prayed intensely and passionately because He trusted that God was listening.
When we pray, we may not see how God is working or understand how He will bring good through it all. So we have to trust Him. We relinquish our rights and let God do what is best.
We must leave the unknowable to the all-knowing One. He is listening and working things out His way.
From the book: “Bless the Lord, O My Soul” 365 Devotions for Prayer & Worship from Our Daily Bread
Author: Dave Branon
Missed last week’s service? You can watch the recording here.
Making a Difference in Ukraine
Friends in Faith:
Several of you have expressed a desire to do what we can as FPC to work for peace and healing in Ukraine. Your Session also discussed the issue this week, and we’re pleased to report the following:
- Your Mission Team and FPC have sent $5,000 of Mission Funds to Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, which is already active in providing funds for food items, shelter, medicines, diapers and hygiene items in Ukraine and adjacent refugee communities. You can read more about their efforts at Presbyterian Disaster Assistance
- Session has also set up a special FPC fund for those wishing to contribute further to the humanitarian response. Donations should be marked for “Ukraine Relief Fund” and be dropped in the Sunday offering plates, or dropped off or mailed to the FPC office. In coming weeks this special giving opportunity will be highlighted on our church website, along with other new and special ways of giving to FPC and its mission to spread God’s word and love.
Lolly Lawrence – Clerk of Session
Alan Roberts – Finance Elder
Refurbishing Dolls for Migrant Children
Joyce Millett, who is involved with collecting dolls and refurbishing them for migrant children in New York, is putting a call out for dolls. This is the time of year she prepares donated dolls by scrubbing and shampooing the dolls and hanging them out to dry in the summer sun.
If you have any dolls that you would like to donate for this purpose, please drop them off at FPC in the doll collecting bin at the south education wing across from the Nursery. Thank you!
The transition process from Retiring Pastor to Interim Pastor
On January 30, 2022, Executive Presbyter Chaz Ruark held a meeting with FPC members to outline the plan for Pastor Kirk’s retirement. He explained the process and timeline for finding an interim pastor, as well as the process for finding a new pastor to succeed Kirk. Chaz answered questions and also talked about the Presbytery’s requirements for Kirk as he retires his position as Senior Pastor at FPC. Read the full meeting minutes here.
Did you know that after Pastor Kirk leaves First Presbyterian, he is required to not have any ministerial contact with his previous flock at First Presbyterian Church for a minimum of 2 years? This includes performing baptisms, weddings, funerals, etc., either at FPC or another location. This is done to respect the incoming pastor and allow that pastor to make solid connections with the members of FPC. See the link (link here) for more details. In the meantime, Kirk is still very active as your pastor and welcomes the opportunity to perform ministerial duties until he retires at the end of June!
Sunday, April 10 | Between Services
Session has called a Congregational Meeting for Sunday, April 10, 2022, for the purposes of approving a loan to cover the cost of repairing the parking lot.
At the March 2022 Session meeting, the Session of FPC Waunakee approved a motion to call a congregational meeting on April 10, 2022, between the services. The purpose of the meeting is to seek the congregation’s approval for the Session to obtain a loan to cover the cost of repairing the parking lot. The loan is necessary to cover the cost of the repair, which is scheduled for summer and early fall of 2022. A capital campaign will be initiated to raise funds to retire the loan.
Only the congregation can authorize the church to go into debt, which necessitates a congregational meeting. By getting authority now, the church will be able to sign a contract and get the project scheduled for this summer.
While costs are still volatile due to the current economic situation, estimates for the project are in the mid-$200,000 range, and we are unlikely to see a final cost of more than $300,000. The church previously established a special fund to cover the cost of the parking lot repair, but it doesn’t have a balance large enough to cover the total cost of the repair. We thank all those who have given to the fund in the past. Their contributions will provide a good seed for the upcoming parking lot capital campaign. More detail on the campaign will come forward in May.
As approved by Session, the terms of the loan would be as follows:
- Borrow at a rate not to exceed 6.4%.
- Primary initial use of funds will be the parking lot repaving and sealing.
- Once the parking lot initiative completes, retain the ability to use the loan for other building maintenance as approved by Session and in compliance with the loan terms.
- 5-year maximum term – if not fully repaid we vote and refinance in 2027.
- Encumber the property if necessary.
Finance Elder Alan Roberts will be unable to attend the meeting on April 10, 2022. Email any questions for him here.
Shepherding the Flock: March Session Report
Submitted by Lolly Lawrence, Clerk of Session
- Approved minutes from Executive Presbyter’s Chaz Ruark’s meeting with FPC regarding Pastor Kirk’s retirement and agreed to publish in the Connector (see separate article).
- Stewardship will be testing giving via text from April 1 through April 3. All funds received between April 1 and April 3 will be given to the Waunakee Food Pantry and will count toward mission giving. Brett Cable will be sharing more information via a video that will be included in the 4/1 Connector. He will also speak on this topic at church on 4/3.
- Building and Grounds received approval to hold a special congregational meeting on 4/10, between services, to allow for a vote of the congregation to authorize the church to obtain a loan for renovation of the church parking lot. (See separate Connector article on this topic.) A capital campaign will be initiated in May to raise funds to pay off the loan.
- Adult Nurture and Spiritual Growth is planning a breakfast between services on May 22. Mr. Jason Johns, former Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Attorney at Law, veteran, and Purple Heart recipient, will be the speaker.
- Fellowship is planning a breakfast between services for April 3 and tentatively planning a Mother’s Day pancake breakfast. Fellowship also received approval for an FPC Evening out at the Mallards for 6/17/22, with 6:30 game time.
- Personnel presented and gained approval for a Roadmap to the Pastor’s Retirement, which shows activities and action needed for the months and days leading up to Pastor Kirk’s retirement.
- Worship and Music presented a position description for a Worship/Music coordinator. Doug Brown, Erik Cushman and Sue Gade will continue work to craft job descriptions for staff positions that would support worship and music, with the hours and compensation to stay within the scope of the approved 2022 budget.
- Discussed providing a means for church members to donate to support the people of Ukraine. (See separate Connector article on this topic.) Also, reviewed a letter from a church member requesting that the Session spread the word about an item on the wish list to raise funds for a one-time bonus for staff. This will be highlighted on the church website, along with giving for Ukraine and other giving opportunities.
- Acknowledged transfer for Dave and Mary VandeVoort to a church in Rice Lake, WI.
- Approved the following members for the Interim Pastor Search Committee:
- Brice Wallace, Joel Lewis, Doug Brown, Christa Schmeelk and Lolly Lawrence.
- Discussed Elder and Deacon membership for the 2022 Nominating Committee.
- Deacon members are Eileen Mathwig and Maeline Schall. Thanks to them for being willing to serve.
- The Clerk of Session received approval to find two Elders to serve on the committee.
- Approved having the building locked when Alka Haren, the pastor’s assistant, is in the office. Exceptions were noted for The Light Team, Quilting Team, Kindermusik, Red Cross drives, and VBS. Will continue to have people ring to get into the building when the doors are locked.
Quilting Group: Organizing Fabric Storage
Last week FPC Quilting group worked long and hard to organize all the quilting fabric in storage. Thanks Ladies, for taking on this project.
Video Devotional: Using the Lord’s Name Fraudulently
Rev. Jeff Quinto, FPC member and Executive Director of The Bethel Series, shares a devotion about using God’s name in a worthless, false, or fraudulent way. Current events in Ukraine serve as an example of why the second commandment is important. Check out this video.
WEEKLY ANNOUNCEMENTS | March 27, 2022
FPC Needs for Families to Greet and Usher on Sundays!
This is a fun and easy way to serve and connect deeper with your church family. When you sign up, our Worship Elder, Erik Cushman, will contact you with directions and answer any questions you might have. Sign up for whatever Sunday fits in your schedule:
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. Thanks!
On March 20 & 27 our children’s ministry teachers and volunteers will enjoy time off to spend Sunday with their families. We’ll be back to our regular schedule on April 3.
Student Ministry summer Mission Trip to Milwaukee
Open to all current 8 graders through graduating 12-grade students. Contact Ezrah Schmeelk, Director of Student Ministry for more information and to see if there are still spots available.
Sunday, April 3 | Between services
Join us downstairs in Fellowship Hall in between services on Sunday, April 3 for parfaits, croissants, and fellowship! Interesting in helping out? Please sign up for a time slot in the link below.
Join the Choir
A member of the FPC family, Sam Shugar, has been kind enough to volunteer to direct the adult choir. If singing is your passion and good music your pleasure, reach out to Sam and let him know you are interested. Perfection is not required.
Collecting food and supply items for Waunakee Food Pantry
The Light Team requests your help to fill the grocery cart for the Waunakee Food Pantry. This Lenten mission will help those with urgent needs in our area. The updated most needed items are:
- Laundry detergent
- Vegetable oil
- Hair conditioner
- Body wash
- Mac & cheese
- Spaghetti sauce
- Bagged dry beans – red or black
- Oatmeal – quick or old fashion
- Canned peas
- Spray cleaners
FPC is looking for someone to help in the nursery. We have one person ready to help, but we need two people to run the nursery. If interested, please contact the church office.
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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