God wants a chance to change us
The phrase “frozen chosen” comes from the fact that we Presbyterians know how to do stuff, how to organize and follow a process, but we generally do not take, make, or spend the time opening our hearts, our deeper selves to the wonder of the biblical story. The words in the Bible are not just words that someone wrote down after the printing press was invented. They are not some novel– although they are novel.
We Presbyterians believe that these words are holy– God breathed. Inspired.
They have been preserved over the millennia because they guided those who have gone before us to find the Living God in their lives, in their midst. They help us too. These words, these God-breathed words, open our eyes, open our lives for us to connect with the Living God, the God who shows us the way and gives us life.
Because we are and have always been a church of seminary-trained clergy, we generally approach scripture with our heads– what does the passage say?
What does the passage mean? Understanding the cultural/historical context is a good first step in allowing these holy words to penetrate our lives.
However, understanding with our heads is only the first step. If we stop there, we will never allow the living water of God to penetrate the hardened soils of our lives– the hardpack. It takes a gentle rain to penetrate the hardpack and soften it up so that it can be turned to receive the seeds planted in it.
Our calling is to go deeper– past appearances and disagreements– allowing the Living Word to penetrate the vast reaches of our hearts and begin to direct our lives. For this to happen, we need to approach scripture through different ways– ways that allow our hearts to come into play.
That is why St Benedict suggested that we read a scripture passage at least three times so that it has a chance to find a deeper purchase in our lives. When words are read more often and more slowly, they worm their way into our lives and hearts.
That is why St Ignatius of Loyola advocates the use of imagination to read scripture and then asks us to place ourselves within the story.
That is why the practitioners of Centering Prayer sit in silence.
Like words printed on a page, we discover that the margins and spaces are as important as the black squiggles themselves.
We are called to find ways to allow scripture to read us as we read scripture. Scripture is the LIVING Word of God. Because God and God’s word are alive, God wants a chance to change us into the humans that God made us to be.
If we think that folks will come to our church because it is so beautiful or because it has such a rich history, or because we have such a good preacher, we are mistaken. People will continue to come through our doors because we have been changed by the message of the Gospel. They will come because we are honest in the fact that we don’t have all the answers. They will come because they have heard that we want to explore, grow and have others– friends not yet here– join us.
“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
Have you ever served our country in uniform?
Each year on the Sunday before Memorial Day we recognize members of our church family who have served in the past, whether discharged or retired, as well as those who are currently serving our country in uniform. This year it will be on May 28.
If you were included in our previous listing, you will automatically be included again this year. If you would like to be included in this listing and haven’t been in the past, please contact Sue Gade in the church office at 949-9445 or email@example.com by Monday, May 22. Also, if you are currently serving, please contact Sue to make sure your listing is up to date.
Thank you for the sacrifices you have made and continue to make to protect our citizens and our nation. This is a powerful, annual opportunity at FPC to thank and honor the men and women who offer themselves – in life and in death – for the good of their country.
Pastoral Search Update
In baseball terms, the MIF team is entering the bottom of the 7th inning. We took some time to sift through the data from the survey, gave one last chance for people to share their thoughts and feelings, and took some time to pray and stretch our minds to see what the GEMS meetings, survey results, and last thoughts were telling us. On Wednesday evening we met and are beginning to write the rough draft for the MIF Report that will after many reviews, and revisions become the job posting for our new pastor.
What’s next for you? Expect to see the results from the survey before the end of May. It will be available in print, it will be emailed, and it will be in the Connector. We’ve received many questions regarding the results, and we haven’t shared much information while we were condensing the mountains of data into an easy-to-read format. But, we think the wait is worthwhile and we are excited to share what we learned.
Thanks to all who have engaged and became a part of the MIF process!
Moving forward together,
The MIF Team
Thank you Spring Cleanup volunteers
Thank you to all of our AMAZING volunteers at the Spring Clean up! What a difference!
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)
Stellar VBS to volunteers, come in volunteers… over.
3-2-1… SPACE VBS countdown to launch has begun! Blast off is June 25-27 at FPC.
Your VBS decorating team is on a mission: To make an OUT OF THIS WORLD experience! Can you help us create the most cosmic galaxy ever? Imagine church filled with planets, stars, moon rovers, astronauts, space shuttles, mission control boards, and comets-oh my! Equipped to shine Jesus’ bright light! Whether you can build rockets, cut out stars, help with set up, or have leftover space party decorations at home you’d like to give us, we’ll take anything and everything. We have plenty of SPACE for you on our decorating crew. If you can help, contact Lori Phelps (firstname.lastname@example.org, 608-235-7899), Sheryll Gehrmann or Cheri Brisky to be a shining star!
Guatemala Student Ministry Mission Team Hits the nail on the head
The student ministry mission team practiced their hammering skills during their meeting this month as they prepare to build a home in Guatemala next month.
Nursery is open
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
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
May 14 – Diane Robinson
May 21 – FPC Choir
May 28 – Joyful Noise; Mary Kay Burton-guest organist, Randy Massey-Bagpiper
Coming Events | May 14 – June 3, 2023
This Sunday, May 14 from 9AM-10AM – Mother’s Day Pancake Breakfast
FPC loves to celebrate all the moms in our lives, and we do it with pancakes! FPC has a free annual pancake breakfast every Mother’s Day. Moms and families are all invited to partake in the ‘cakes.
This Sunday, May 14 – Bible Bucks Auction
During Sunday school on May 14th will be the last Network 56 Bible bucks auction! Loads of fun and treats.
Sundays at 9 AM – Graceland Student Ministry
Last day of youth Sunday school is May 21.
7th-12th Graders, join us each week for a time of connection, Bible discussion, and prayer.
Sundays at 9 AM – Sunday School
Last day of children’s Sunday school is May 21.
Sundays at 9 AM – Informal Adult Bible Study
Please join us Sunday mornings at 9am for our informal adult Bible study,
(while the children are in Sunday School). We are currently watching a David Jeremiah DVD series titled: “Christ Above All”.
The DVD is followed by a short discussion. Bring a cup of coffee or tea downstairs to the Sunday School room (next to the kitchen in Fellowship Hall).
We’d love to have you!
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.
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.
Saturday, May 20 from Noon-2PM – Network 56 Closeout with Bowling and Pizza
Come celebrate the end of the school year with us! Saturday, May 20 from Noon-2pm at WaunaBowl. BRING A FRIEND!
Saturday, May 20 from 10AM-Noon – Waunakee Food Pantry Open House
The Waunakee Food Pantry would like to invite the community at large for a drop-in open house to see their new location. It will be on Saturday, May 20th from 10:00am to 12:00pm. At 12:00pm there will be a ribbon cutting ceremony to end the event. The new address is 710 South Street Suite A or the lower level of the building. For any questions email firstname.lastname@example.org
Sunday, May 21 at 10AM – Thank you Children’s Ministry Volunteers
Thank you to all of our children’s ministry volunteers! We will be celebrating our volunteers on May 21st during the service.
Wednesday, May 31 from 11AM – 2PM – New Horizons Picnic in the Outdoor Shelter
New Horizons will host an outdoor picnic in the FPC Outdoor picnic shelter on May 31 from 11am – 2pm.
If May 31 looks like bad weather, we will move it to Wednesday, June 7th.
Save the Date | More Info to come
Sunday, June 4 – All Church Congregational Meeting
Immediately following worship on Sunday, June 4th FPC will host an all Church Congregational Meeting.
Sunday, June 4 – What’s Cookin’ at FPC?
Join us for a Nigerian feast in the Fellowship Hall right after the Congregational meeting. Get to know the Abraham family, each other, and hear a description of the foods you can try from Nigeria!
Tuesday, June 13 from 6:30PM-7:30PM – Caregivers Group
Calling all Caregivers – New Group meeting at FPC
We are starting a new group for people who are the caregivers–caregivers for anyone, whether it be spouse, child, other family member, or a friend. The loved one doesn’t need to be cared for at home, they don’t need to be in a certain age group, as all caregivers are welcome in this group. The current “name” for this group is Caregivers Respite.
The purpose of the group is to meet in a safe place, where there is no judgment, to discuss and pray for you as a caregiver and for your loved ones. We won’t tell you what you need to do, but we will offer resources for you–and sometimes, just talking about your life as a caregiver, how it affects your outlook on life and your outlook on your faith.
If you would be interested in joining the group meetings, the proposal is to meet twice a month, one meeting for those who would feel better meeting in the evening, and another meeting for those who would feel better meeting on Saturday mornings. Loved ones are welcome to attend with you, we have activity books and colored pencils available to hopefully capture their interest.
We will be meeting in the Chapel. Coffee, tea and ice water will be provided.
If you have questions, or if these dates and times won’t work for you, please contact Marcia Chase, email@example.com or call 849-5683 and leave a message during work hours. If you can’t make it on on Tuesday please feel free
Sunday, June 25 to Tuesday, June 27 from 5:30PM-7:30PM – VBS Stellar
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.
Opportunities to Serve
Agrace Seeks Volunteers in Dane County
Volunteers are needed to assist customers, operate the cash register and sort donations at the Agrace Thrift Stores in Madison, pack donated merchandise in donors’ homes, or make companionship visits to local Agrace hospice patients in patients’ homes, nursing homes or assisted living centers.
Agrace will host volunteer orientation Thursday, May 18, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. at its Madison campus. Pre-registration is required. Call (608) 327-7163 or visit agrace.org/volunteer to fill out an application.
Agrace is seeking volunteers across Dane County to visit with hospice patients or support its Madison area thrift stores. Volunteer orientation will take place at Agrace’s Madison campus May 18, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Pre-registration is required. Call (608) 327-7163 or visit agrace.org/volunteer to fill out an application.
Agrace Offers Grief Support Group Options in May
In May, Agrace is offering professionally led, in-person and virtual (accessible with a tablet, computer or smartphone) grief support options.
- Bridges is for adults grieving the death of any loved one. Meetings are held every other Wednesday at the Agrace Grief Support Center. In May, meeting is May 17, from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.
- Bridges (virtual) is for adults grieving the death of any loved one. Meetings are held every other Wednesday. In May, meeting is May 24, from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m., via Zoom.
There is no fee for these programs if a participant’s family member was in hospice care in the past 12 months; fees for others can be lowered or waived, if needed. Pre-registration is required for all groups. For details, fees or to register, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (608) 327-7110.
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 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.