Cloud of Witnesses
During this season after All Saint’s Day and before Thanksgiving, I begin to remember the many people who helped my faith grow over the years. Who has been part of the great “Cloud of Witnesses” in your life? Please take time to write down the names and experiences with which you have been blessed. Take a moment or two to speak those names out loud.
Perhaps it was a grandparent or an aunt, a family friend or one of your parents. Perhaps it was a Sunday school teacher or even a tele-evangelist. Perhaps it was a retreat leader or an inspirational speaker. A poet, a writer, a singer, or a composer.
The people I choose today to name in the cloud of witnesses that surround me:
- Charley Hinman, my fifth grade Sunday School teacher, who challenged us to memorize specific passages of the bible. To this day, I remember those passages and during times of distress, they bring me great comfort. “God so loved the world that God gave God’s only begotten Son that whosoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life….”
- My wife, who continues to challenge me to face my faults and grow deeper in my faith through prayer, confession and forgiveness.
- The men at Port Saint Vincent, who liberated me from needless guilt and showed me how what happens to them matters to me and what happens to me matters to them.
- Brother and Sister Marion, who showed me the power of good process and small groups.
- Finally, Brother Roger of Taizé, who singularly and concretely lived out the simple value of reconciliation.
Over the years, I have been coddled, challenged, and healed in so many ways. I have spent deliberate time in prayer and reflection which has allowed my faith to deepen and widen. I have lived out my faith as best as I can yet still know that more is ahead, that further deepening into the great mystery of God is still to come.
Those are the folks that have helped me in the past. As you look at the names you have written down, these are the folks that have helped you. They have witnessed to us how God is at work. They have shown us how to be grateful for all that God has done and is doing in our lives and in our world. They have lived lives filled with adoration and joy, a life of freedom and duty, a life that finds in God’s work, goodness and mercy. These folks who we name today were leaning forward in hope, searching for something better, something more satisfying. All those who we name needed Jesus. They longed for Jesus. They desired to be attached to Jesus. Nurtured. Fed by. Allowed to be in the presence of Jesus. Just like us. Just like us.
And then the question comes….
“Who would name you as part of their “Cloud of Witnesses?”
“Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.”
Video Devotional: A Season of Opportunity
In this episode of “Scriptures for Life,” Pastor Jeff talks about the Parable of the Talents from Matthew 25 and how this has become a Season of Opportunity at Bethel Lutheran Church in Madison, WI.
Soli Deo Gloria!
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
Spicy Sunday: FPC’s Chili and Cornbread Cook-off
At FPC, we turned the heat up last Sunday with a chili and cornbread showdown! Krista Wallace rocked the kitchen, earning the 2023 Golden Spoon Award for her soul-stirring chili, while Chuck Rehm spiced things up and secured the 2023 Silver Spoon. Rafe Schmeelk whisked away the competition with his cornbread masterpiece, clinching the 2023 Golden Whisk Award.
Hello, FPC members!
We’re having lovely fall weather as I write this, and we have had a good response to our Stewardship Campaign, which culminated on October 29 this year. I want to personally thank those of you who have submitted your pledges! And then, there are others of you…who have not yet gotten around to sending in your pledge card. I know you intend to, and I know some of you probably have your card sitting on the kitchen counter…and you see it every day. But, there are leaves to rake, supper to get on the table, and a meeting to attend, and as you dash out the door, you promise yourself you’ll take care of that pledge…first thing tomorrow. Once again, you feel guilty, but I’m here to help you!
I, Barb Cash the Stewardship Elder, promise you that the good feeling you will have after a task has been completed far outweighs the guilty feelings you have, right now. It’s a well-known fact. Just do it—you know you want to!
And while you’re at it, why not really amp up the good feelings by including a check for 35.15 for this year’s Per Capita Apportionment, and 36.30 for 2024?
You’ll thank me for such sound advice!
One Night in Bethlehem: Children’s Nativity Service
It’s that time of year to start thinking about the Children’s Nativity Service! There will be opportunities to dress up in costume, parts to sing, and kids can have a speaking part if they choose! We will have rehearsals during Sunday School:
9-9:50am on December 3, 10, 17
(It’s okay if they don’t make them all.)
Performance/Service is December 17
at 4:00 p.m.
We are Hiring!
Our long-time Church Business Administrator, Sue Gade, is retiring early 2024. We are currently looking for talented, faithful candidates as we look to fill this position. If you know someone skilled in bookkeeping and accounting, please share the link to our Job Opportunities webpage on the church website.
For questions, please reach out to Amy Nelsestuen,
Personnel Elder, at 608-347-3786.
Join the Chorus: Become Part of the FPC Choir!
The FPC Choir will soon start rehearsing for Advent and Christmas Eve! Anyone interested in joining us is more than welcome, and no experience is required, just a heart for singing! Contact Jamison at email@example.com for more information. We look forward to having you!
FPC’s Missions Team “Giving Trees” are back!
“Giving Trees” are back!: WEB, Waunakee Neighborhood Connection, Porchlight, Shelter From The Storm, Patriot Riders and Support Our Troops. The monies the WEB receives this year will be used to buy gift cards for Waunakee area school children, the names of which have been provided by the school counselors. Missions will also accept gifts, monetary donations, or store gift cards for their trees which can be mailed or dropped off at the church by Monday, December 18th. All donations should be marked Attention Missions Team. Thank you in advance!
Our Live Nativity Signup is now Open
Be a part of the wonder of the season at the FPC of Waunakee’s Live Nativity on December 16th! We’re looking for enthusiastic volunteers to join our team. This beloved community event relies on the support of dedicated individuals like you. Whether you’re interested in donning a costume, helping with setup/takedown, or preparing or serving food to our hungry volunteers, your involvement will help make this year’s Live Nativity a truly special experience. Sign up now to be a part of this meaningful tradition and share the joy of the season with all of Waunakee. Let’s create cherished memories together!
Nursery will be closed on November 26
The Nursery will be closed on November 26 so volunteers may be with their families for the Thanksgiving Holiday.
Nursery Age 2 and Under – Room 200
The Nursery is available on Sundays from 10:00 – 11:00 AM, is staffed by church volunteers who love children and want to share God’s love with them.
No Kingdom Kids on November 26
There will be no Kingdom Kids program on November 26 so volunteers may be with their families for the Thanksgiving Holiday.
3-year-olds through Kindergarten will be dismissed after the Children’s message during Sunday service.
No Sunday School on November 26
Sunday School – Aged 3 to 6th grade – 9AM-9:50AM
There will be no Sunday School program on November 26 so volunteers may be with their families for the Thanksgiving Holiday.
Join us at FPC of Waunakee for an incredible Sunday School experience! Our vibrant program caters to children aged 3 to 6th grade, offering engaging lessons, interactive activities, and a nurturing environment where young faith can thrive. Every Sunday, we’re dedicated to fostering faith, friendship, and fun in a way that leaves a lasting impact on your child’s spiritual journey. Don’t miss out on this enriching opportunity!
Network 56 – Grades 5-6
Network 56 is a group of 5th and 6th graders who hang out together to have fun, put faith to action by serving in the community, and grow healthy, encouraging friendships.
- All 5th and 6th grade students are welcome to attend Network 56 events at any time. Interested participants are notified in advance of each event.
- All events are chaperoned by parents. There is lots of fun and room for everyone to participate.
No Graceland Student Ministry on November 26
Graceland Student Ministry – Grades 7-12
There will be no Graceland Student Ministry on November 26 so volunteers may be with their families for the Thanksgiving Holiday.
FPC Student Ministry exists to help students KNOW God, GROW in relationship with Him and each other, and to GO serve others in Jesus’ name.
Students can expect a welcoming environment with caring adult leaders who are there to support and encourage them on their faith journey, regardless of if they are exploring their faith for the first time, a committed follower of Jesus, or anywhere between.
All students are welcome!
Sundays | 9:00–9:50am
In the upstairs youth room
7th-12th Graders, join us for a time of connection, Bible discussion, and prayer.
Wednesdays | 7:00-8:15pm
In the upstairs youth room
7th-12th Graders, join us for a time of connection, games, musical worship, meaningful messages and small group discussions, and prayer.
Music in Worship
November 19 – FPC Choir
November 26 – Ying Wang and Mary Kay Burton
December 3 – FPC Choir
Coming Events | Nov. 19 – Dec. 9, 2023
Sunday, November 19 from 3PM-5PM – The MOMCo Monthly Gathering
Attention all Moms!
No matter what season of life you are in, join our mom community for monthly gatherings in Fellowship Hall.
For more information contact Patricia Coley.
Sunday, November 19 at 6PM – Waunakee Community All Faith Thanksgiving Service
You are invited to join your friends and neighbors to participate in an All Faith Thanksgiving Service for God’s many blessings, sponsored by the Waunakee Ecumenical Board, on the Sunday before Thanksgiving.
Enjoy the music of our community church choirs as they sing together at the service. The service will be on Sunday, November 19, held at 6:00pm at FPC. After the service will be a time of fellowship with pie and coffee in the lower level. Worshippers are asked to bring an uncut pie to be served after the service.
Join us for a time of worship, thanksgiving and fellowship! This year’s service is hosted by Christian Life Assembly of God Church at FPC of Waunakee. Please note that the All Faith Thanksgiving Service is on the Sunday evening before Thanksgiving to accommodate busy holiday schedules and still allow our community to come together in Thanksgiving and recognize our Blessings. All are Welcome! Worshippers are invited to bring non-perishable food items to the service for the Waunakee Food Pantry.
Mondays thru Dec. 18 from 1PM-2:30PM – Light Team Meeting
Women of the Bible began on November 13.
No meetings for our fall break on November 20 and 27.
This group welcomes all ladies wishing to engage in fellowship and Christian study – with no homework!
Light Team will begin meeting at 1PM in the Gathering Place.
Email Lynda if you’d like to join Light Team at firstname.lastname@example.org
Wednesdays thru May 29 at 8:30AM – Women’s Bible Study
The Wednesday Morning Women’s Bible Study Group is made up of women from the surrounding community at large. All are welcome. 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 7PM – Men’s Group
Join our Men’s Group on Wednesday evenings from 7-8pm in the Gathering Area at FPC (by the fire place.) We will be going through “Life Lessons from John” by Christian author Max Lucado. We are excited to foster meaningful connections and find some service projects to work on together.
November 27-30 from 9:30AM-4PM – Fabric Sewing and Cutting Days
Bring your sewing machine and other supplies and work on Prayer Quilts for the church, other items to be donated (cat beds, baby quilts, place mats, tote bags), or your own project. OR, leave your machine at home and come to help cut fabric into rectangles that will be used as a children’s activity on the January 2024 Mission Trip to Guatemala.
Questions? Email Anne Frihart at firstname.lastname@example.org
Sundays, December 3-17 at 9am – Adult Sunday School
For the first three weeks of Advent Pastor Glen will host an Adult Sunday School before Worship at 9am in Fellowship Hall.
Sunday, December 3 at 11am – Carols, cookies, & Coffee Tasting
During our normal coffee hour after service in the Lobby and Gathering Space, we will be sharing Christmas cookies, listening to some of our choir members sing carols, and for those who like coffee- please help us decide which coffee to purchase in the future (we will have a number to sample.) No need to RSVP to attend, but if you know you would like to bring cookies, please let us know:
Sunday, December 3 at 3pm – Theology on Tap at Octopi Brewing
Join us for a casual gathering that is centered around food/drinks, connection, and conversation on a deep faith topic. This month’s topic: “What drives us to say yes or no?” All Aged 21+ are welcome!
Contact Christa or Ezrah for more info: email@example.com
Monday, December 4 at 7PM – Centering Prayer
The Centering Prayer group will meet in the Chapel on the first Monday of each month at 7pm for two 20 minute “sits”. For those who want to “learn by doing,” please come at 6:30 to get oriented. For questions, please contact Pastor Glen.
Wednesday, December 6 at 11:30AM – New Horizons Christmas Carols & Potluck Lunch
New Horizons will be hosting Carols in the Chapel followed by a Potluck lunch in Fellowship Hall at 11:30AM on Wednesday, December 6th.
We hope to see everyone for the fun festivities!
Friday, December 8 at 6pm – Christmas Movie Night, Pizza, and Popcorn!
Families! You are invited to watch “The Star” Christmas movie with us in the Youth Room on December 8! Pizza starts at 6pm, the movie will start around 6:15pm. Come when you can! Friends are welcome, just add them to your rsvp number so we order enough pizza! PJ’s, blankets, and stuffed animals are welcome!
Friday, December 8 at 6pm – Caroling and Cocoa
Kindermusik will be hosting Christmas Caroling and Cocoa on Friday, December 8 at 6pm in Fellowship Hall.
Come one come all, to the “Decked Fellowship Hall!”
A surefire way to experience the true meaning of Christmas! Family and Friends remembering and celebrating Christ’s birth in song with cup of cocoa!
Saturday, December 9 at 10AM and Monday, December 11 at 6:30PM – Care for the Caregivers
Caregiving is full of stories and life experiences. Sometimes we need somebody to walk with us, someone who is experiencing the same path of caregiving. Where can one find a Christian place to tell those stories and life experiences? The Care for the Caregiver group at FPC.
The Care for Caregivers group is a small group that meets twice a month; one attends as they have time, feels the need to share, or help others walking this path. We meet in the Chapel monthly, once on the second Monday of the month at 6:30pm and once on the second Saturday of the month at 10:00am. The group is faith based and includes those who are caring or have cared for another – in person or from afar. The group is for more than the FPC family, the meeting is open to community members that are caregivers. The discussions held in the meetings are confidential so that people are able to speak freely.
Henri Nouwen wrote, “To care is the most human of all gestures; caring expresses and expands our compassion. Care draws us into profound mutuality, both in shared vulnerability and shared gifts.”
If you have questions, or if these dates and times won’t work for you, please contact Marcia Chase, firstname.lastname@example.org or call 849-5683 and leave a message during work hours.
Save the Date | More Info to come
Saturday, December 16 from 5pm-8pm – FPC Live Nativity
Join us for a heartwarming and enchanting experience as FPC of Waunakee presents its annual Live Nativity on December 16th from 5:00 to 8:00 PM. Immerse yourself in the spirit of the season as our dedicated cast members bring the story of the Nativity to life, complete with live animals and festive carolers. This beloved community tradition promises an evening of wonder and joy, perfect for families, friends, and neighbors alike. Come together with us to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas. We can’t wait to share this wondrous evening with you at our Live Nativity!
Sunday, December 17 at 4PM – One Night in Bethlehem Children’s Nativity Service
Sunday, December 24 – Christmas Eve Worship
FPC will host three worship services on Christmas Eve on Sunday, December 24.
10AM – Sunday Worship
4PM – Family Service
7PM – Candlelight Service
Sunday, January 7 at 11AM – Epiphany Brunch Potluck
Following worship on January 7, all are invited to join the Epiphany Celebration which occurs after the 12 days of Christmas. This Three Kings Day celebrates the “Wisemen” part of the Christmas story. We will have a brunch potluck together with some Three Kings activities for kids and everyone can get a piece of the famous “Kings Cake” – if the baby Jesus is in your piece, you will get a prize! RSVP to let us know you are coming.
Opportunities to Serve
Last Wednesday of each month – 4-6pm – VOLUNTEERS NEEDED
Our FPC church has been given the opportunity to serve families at the Waunakee Food Pantry one time per month, starting in November. It will always be the last Wednesday of each month from 4-6:00pm. This is a great way to connect with fellow members, while serving families in the Waunakee area. If you are interested, please stop by the Mission table after church to learn more.
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.