A full cup cannot be filled
Lent frequently begins with these words: “Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness.” Light cannot enter a closed room. A cup that is already full cannot be filled. A lute that is not hollow cannot resound with music. The gift that Lent provides is a place where we can let go, be ourselves and be honest; where we can discover an empty space where new life, new purpose and new wonder can grow.
In order to discover this empty space, we are invited to let go of the burden of failure and wrong-doing, to let go of our brokenness, to let go of our triumphs, our achievements, our power, our control, our desire for approval and affection, our need for security. Lent is a time where we enter the wilderness. The wilderness is a place where we can see clearly because there is little to distract us.
It does not take much to get us into the wilderness, does it?
An unexpected health crisis. A flat tire late at night. A job loss. A breakup. Bad grades. Unfaithful friends. Unpleasant relations between countries. Natural disasters.
• When any of us have a heart that expects the worst, even slightly bad news can put us into a tailspin.
• When we have a heart that has been broken open in compassion, others’ suffering causes us to suffer too.
However we discover and feel the pain of the world, whenever we enter the wilderness, the temptation is to feel separated, like we are the odd one out, alienated from one another, alone.
But no matter what we think or experience, we are not alone. Jesus wasn’t when he was led into the wilderness. He was not alone. First, He had just come from his baptism and was “full of the Holy Spirit” when he embarks on this 40-day outing. Then Scripture makes it even clearer, the Holy Spirit leads him into the wilderness; Scripture does not say that the Holy Spirit left Jesus there like a parent leaves their child at nursery school. The implication is that Holy Spirit is with him the entire time. Jesus is not abandoned.
Neither are we, even when we are certain that we are alone, even when we are full of bitterness toward ourselves and others. Even when we are full of shame, guilt, humiliation and regret. When we enter the wilderness, it is a wilderness that is rife with God’s promise, “I am will never leave you or forsake you”.
Yes, it is a hard time in our life; no, it is not easy. But because we are not alone, we can turn to God and empty ourselves of all that hinders us and get rid of the burdens that we carry so unnecessarily; we can turn and walk toward newness with new eyes and new hope.
God is not done with us yet.
“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
Guatemala Thank You!
Our students were feeling the love as so many people from the congregation and community rallied together to help make it possible to provide a family in Guatemala with a new home and a new hope during our upcoming trip that takes place June 11-17. Approximately 150 people came throughout the evening to enjoy delicious food, fun activities, and meaningful connections. In all, approximately $4,650 was raised – which will go directly toward the $11,000 cost of the home that our team will build for the family as a gift.
On behalf of our mission team, thank you for your prayers, encouragement, financial support, the delicious treats that were donated, and all the ways you continue to support young people at FPC. You are helping to change lives forever!
Living Faith Together,
SAVE THE DATE – 2023 VBS Announced:
June 25-27 from 5:30-7:30 PM – More info to come!
Nursery is open
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
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 5 – Ying Wang, pianist, and Audrey Manning, vocals
March 12 – FPC Choir
March 19 – Joyful Noise Brass and Linda Krueger, guest organist
Coming Events | Mar. 5 – Mar. 25, 2023
This Sunday – 8:40 AM-10 AM – Pastoral Search Listening Session
Wondering how you can be part of the Pastoral Search? Read on…
The second All-Church GEMS Meeting begins at 8:40am this coming Sunday down in Fellowship Hall (Donuts and coffee will be served.) Patricia and Christa will welcome all Sunday School-aged children beginning at 8:40. Drop your kiddos off in the usual place.
This All-Church meeting is the first leg in our pastoral search process. We can only meet needs and dreams that we know about so that is why each member’s presence will be a present to this process.
ON BREAK MARCH 5 – Sundays, March 12-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.
Sundays at 9 AM – Sunday School for 4K-Adults
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.
ON BREAK MARCH 6 – Mondays, March 13-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, with the exception of March 6, there is a break on that Monday.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org. We will be off Wednesdays, March 22.
Wednesday, March 8 – 11:30 AM – New Horizons Potluck and Speaker
Todd Schmidt, Waunakee Village President, will discuss Waunakee’s development plans at 11:30 a.m. in FPC Fellowship Hall and we will have a potluck afterward.
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.
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.
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.
Save the Date | More Info to come
Thursday, March 23 – Network 56 Pres House Service Project
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.
Opportunities to Serve
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!
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.