Church Breakfast with Special Guest
NEXT Sunday, May 22 | Between Services
At the upcoming Church Breakfast, It is the privilege of the Adult Education and Spiritual growth team to welcome guest speaker, Mr. Jason Johns. Mr. Johns is a US Military Veteran, Purple Heart recipient, former Deputy Secretary for the Wisconsin Department of Veteran Affairs, former commander of the Wisconsin VFW, and is an attorney at law. He will be sharing his testimony and message on coming to faith.
He is a veteran advocate with over 15 years of experience in the veteran service organization and veteran nonprofit community. As a practicing attorney, he has represented veterans in front of the Veterans Administration and U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims.
From the Culture
Is Politics Hindering the Gospel?
The article below is an excerpt of a post originally written by The Daily Citizen
Certainly, the effectual spread of the Gospel is of paramount importance to all Christians. But to read numerous articles in elite publications today, one would think the precious Gospel of Jesus Christ is being dangerously crippled by the nastiness of current partisan politics. Just this week, The New York Times warned in a lengthy article “a ‘Seismic Shift’ Fractures Evangelicals” because of politics and The Atlantic, which seems to run such doomsaying articles about every 6 months, explains “How Politics Poisoned the Evangelical Church.”
If these folks are to be believed, Christians involved in politics is the Gospel’s greatest hindrance today. But what these journalists fail to understand is their neighborly “the sky is falling” warning to faithful Christians is nothing new at all. Nor is it helpful or particularly insightful. Discerning readers know this to be true. The reasons are many.
All Christians are citizens of the nation in which they were born or legally reside. Being proud of the nation God has placed one in and getting involved in the politics of that nation is not so-called “Christian nationalism.” It is called vibrant citizenship and democracy. Nations are stronger when everyone gets involved and brings their full conviction and participation to the public square. Even religious conviction. This is not the death of democracy, but the exact opposite.
“The Gospel is a lion, a mighty wind, a supernatural,
unstoppable force. It is not an old lady needing help
to cross the street. The holiness of God is never at odds
with the grace of God. Those who believe it is
do not understand either.”
To think Christians have no business getting deep into the politics of their respective nations fails to understand basic Christian history. Let’s start with Christianity’s first evangelist: John the Baptist. He way mixed politics and Gospel ministry. He did so to the point of death.
Of course, John was the fore-runner of Jesus, the Word made flesh. Jesus said there was no one born of woman greater than John the Baptist. His example is certainly worth following. John was imprisoned and lost his head, literally, because he spoke truth directly to political power on the nature of marriage and sexual integrity, telling Herod Antipas his marriage was unlawful. His outspokenness cost him his vital ministry and his life.
Clearly Jesus’ forerunner did not see voicing Christian conviction on family matters directly to the highest political leaders as a challenge to or distraction from his mission, even though it ended up costing him his very life. Neither should we.
Throughout the history of the Church, Christians have unapologetically engaged politics at great cost to themselves, their ministries and reputations. They did so to defend God’s definition of marriage and family, to protect children, to battle slavery, to elevate women, to protect the vulnerable and secure justice for those with different skin colors. This is all a profound part of the history of Christianity.
Christians must remember this: The Gospel is a lion, a mighty wind, a supernatural, unstoppable force. It is not an old lady needing help to cross the street. The holiness of God is never at odds with the grace of God. Those who believe it is do not understand either. People turned away from Jesus regularly and he let them do so. Others were drawn by his love and boldness
If Jesus is truly Lord, Christians are citizens who are called to engage all aspects of civic life. Costly and divisive engagement in politics has always been a part of our story. It is certainly not a threat, but a demonstration of Christianity’s vibrancy and power.
Missed last Sunday’s service? You can watch the recording here.
Time For Prayer
Tuesdays at 4:30 pm | Gathering Space
Do you believe in the power of prayer? Join us at Time for Prayer on Tuesdays at 4:30 pm in the Gathering Space at church. We gather to lift up concerns for this world, our country, our church and our own personal requests. All pray-ers welcome! When we don’t feel like praying out loud, we say “praying silently.”
For the past 18 years, Time for Prayer has lifted up thousands upon thousands of prayers. With Jesus in our midst, we lift up what is on our hearts, and know that our prayers are heard and will be answered. Come join us, and be blessed.
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 29.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org by Monday, May 23. 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.
Summer Worship Update
From Worship and Music Elder Erik Cushman
While many of us thought we would never escape the cold clutches of winter, a few days in the 80s remind us that summer is quite possibly here to stay… Thank God!
At our April meeting, Session discussed and approved how we shall operate for the “Summer” of 2022. Many of these changes were the result of recognizing FPC will be celebrating the retirement of Pastor Kirk in June; adjusting to a reduced staff after our wonderful pastor retires; and that an FPC search committee is actively working on securing an interim pastor to guide us in the months ahead.
What was proposed and approved is as follows:
- Summer Worship Schedule begins on May 29 (Memorial Day Weekend) and ends on September 4 (Labor Day Weekend)
- There will be ONE Sunday Service that begins at 9:30 am. (In case you were wondering, in the past 10 years, FPC has twice offered one service per Sunday during the summer months.)
- Weather permitting, on the third Sunday of each month, FPC will offer outdoor worship. The Worship and Music Elder shall determine the Thursday before if the weather is conducive to worshipping outside. An announcement will be made online if the outdoor service isn’t feasible.
- Communion will continue to take place on the first Sunday of each month. We won’t be passing offering plates during the Summer Worship Schedule. Instead, we will use online giving and the offering “drop box” in the Narthex or outside during outdoor services. This decision reflects the fact that more and more people are giving online and there generally are fewer volunteers during the summer months to assist with the offering.
We look forward to worshiping together this summer!
Save the Date!
Celebrating Donna Kopan
Sunday, May 22 | 1-4pm in Fellowship Hall
In Fellowship Hall on Sunday, May 22, we will be saying goodbye to our wonderful receptionist of 16 years, Donna Kopan. Please join us anytime between 1-4 pm for a sweet treat to celebrate our sweet Donna!
WEEKLY ANNOUNCEMENTS | May 15, 2022
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. Thanks!
Work the donation table at Piggly Wiggly
Saturday, May 21 | 10 am – 2 pm
FPC families, you are invited to volunteer for a one hour slot at an FPC Table outside the Piggly Wiggly to collect donations on Saturday, May 21 between 10 am and 2 pm. Christa Schmeelk will be there with the table and flyers to hand out so the shoppers know what the food pantry needs. They will drop off their donated items with you and at 2 pm, the Schmeelk’s will drive everything over to the Food Pantry. We hope you join us!
If you are not able to volunteer, you can still drop off your donation of toilet paper, deodorant, and cereal at the church.
Don’t miss FPC’s Night out at the Duck Pond Friday, June 17, organized by the Fellowship Committee! Claim your free game ticket and hat by clicking here or on the image above. Gates open at 5:35 pm and the first pitch is at 6:35 pm. It will be a great way to celebrate Father’s day weekend. Be sure to claim your free ticket by the deadline of Tuesday, May 17th! Questions? Please reach out to Fellowship Elder Lynda Ferris-Olson. Hope to see you there!
VBS Needs YOU!
June 12-14 | 5:30-7:30pm
Join the VBS Monumental Volunteer team! We need the help of the entire congregation! Adult volunteers, click on the link below to sign up for everything from hall monitors to playing games with kids, to buying glue sticks and helping set up. Also, we need Crew leaders this year! If you are in grades 5-12, you can help guide the children around to their stations. Use the links below to sign up, or find the volunteer table in the lobby this weekend!
Save the Date! Retirement BBQ and Potluck
Sunday, June 26 | 12:00-3:00 pm
Food will be served from Noon – 2 pm
Celebrate Pastor Kirk’s career and time as FPC’s pastor!
Members and friends of FPC, you–and your appetite–are invited to a BBQ and potluck celebration of Pastor Kirk! Come join the festivities, enjoy good company, and help us eat an abundance of smoked BBQ and a variety of salads, side dishes, and desserts. RSVP to let us know you’re coming and how many people will come with you. Your RSVP helps plan the right amount of food! Look for another invitation early this May for a chance to sign up to bring food and/or donate to help cover the cost of the meat we will BBQ.
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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