Remembering September 11 – 20th Anniversary
Gracious God, as our nation marks 20 years since the attacks of September 11, 2001, we pray for a collective moment of pause. Help us stop what we are doing, Holy God. Help us set aside our current stresses and strains to honor…
- the lives lost, the injuries suffered, the families devastated
- the first responders who ran toward danger to help and save;
- the civilians who turned from self-preservation to help others in need or who stormed a cockpit
- the cost to those who responded to a day of crisis with years of service and sacrifice at home or abroad
May the memory of this terrible day make us defy terrorist intentions by working for peace across our world. Help us to build cultural, global, and interfaith bridges of mutual care and understanding.
Help us continue this day to fight the temptations to harden our hearts, and instead follow your example and teachings to open them. We remember and still experience spiritual aches and pains, fear and sadness connected to that day, but ask you to pour over it your resurrection power and your peace that passes all understanding. In the name of Him who raises us from the ashes, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Kicking off a new church year! What will we see?
A message from Pastor Kirk
We’re kicking off a new church year! We’re coming back. Back to church at 8:45 and 10:45. Back to two services in the sanctuary! Back to Sunday school, back to adult classes! Back to fellowship events! Back to seeing each other again.
I hope YOU will be back to join us! Why? To hear the gospel proclaimed. To hear the Good News of Jesus Christ and be reminded of His life-changing invitation. To say YES to the call of the 100th Psalm which summons us all to “enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and come into His courts with praise!” To share in the warmth of fellowship, to rekindle the flame of faith, and to bear witness to the world as we gather that we are God’s faithful people!
A pastor friend of mine recently shared an article with me, entitled, “Millions Skipped Church During the Pandemic. Will They Come Back?” He mentioned that attendance at the Presbyterian church he serves is down by 60% since the onset of the pandemic.
The article, written by David Sharp, says, “As the pandemic recedes in the United States and in-person services resume, worries of a deepening slide in attendance are universal. A lot of momentum has been lost and a lot of people have stepped out of the ‘habit’ of weekly worship.”
“‘There will be no returning to ‘normal’ after the pandemic,’ says Rabbi Dusty Klass. ‘There are people who went home and may never come back to the sanctuary.'”
Hmmm. Why won’t they come back? Those who study church trends point to 4 reasons:
1. Many have discovered the convenience of online “worship-at-home.” They prefer its ease, its comfort, its safety. They don’t have to “get up, get dressed, get the kids ready, get out of the house, get into the car, get to the church, get inside, get everyone situated.” They are now contented members of the “virtual church” and do not intend to come back to the sanctuary.
To these I would say, “Come back in person! Your presence is a ministry and an encouragement to others!”
2. Some have gotten out of the “habit” of in-person worship. Just like exercise, worship is a habit, a spiritual habit developed over time. And just like exercise, the habit of regular worship can be, and, for many, has been, lost.
To these I would say, “Rediscover the habit! It’s good for your soul, it’s a witness to others, and the kindness you offer to someone sitting near you in church may help that person face another day.”
3. Some continue to feel “unsafe” about indoor gatherings, especially where singing may be going on and/or people are either unmasked, potentially unvaccinated, or not socially distanced.
To these I would say, “FPC is following all the safety protocols recommended by the health authorities.”
4. And some have left their churches because they were unhappy with the ways their churches responded to COVID. They have left feeling their churches were either too lax or too strict when it came to precautions.
To these I would say, “COVID has been tough not just on churches but on our society. On the American public writ large. It has been controversial, politically charged, divisive. Every church, synagogue, mosque, and temple has had to navigate uncharted seas. None of them has made a single COVID decision that has made everyone happy. Don’t forsake the church God has called you to because it has disappointed you or done something with which you disagree. If we all operated that way every marriage and friendship would fail.“
What will we see at FPC as we roll into a new Fall? No one knows for sure. Those who claim to know don’t. No one has ever visited fall 2021. This fall will be an experiment for FPC as it will be for most all congregations. The fellow church members you have elected to Session to serve as Elders at FPC have voted to provide the same Sunday choices you had before the pandemic: a traditional service at 8:45, followed by a contemporary service at 10:45. They have voted to continue the online “virtual” service which we tape on Wednesdays to put online on Sundays.
I know one thing for sure: the Elders will be prayerfully monitoring to see how things go as we roll into the fall. And as your Pastor, I want to invite you to come back to church and join us for in-person worship. Why? Because the Bible says:
See you in Church!
What will FPC fall indoor worship be like?
A note from Pastor Ben
September 12 will be the first Sunday of our fall schedule. Our online services will continue to be available in the months ahead, but here are some things to know about in-person Sunday worship.
Times: We return to our pre-pandemic schedule of two worship services, 8:45 and 10:45, sandwiching a Christian Education hour from 9:45 to 10:40. (Please check other announcements for details on Sunday School plans for children and adults of all ages!)
Worship Styles: 8:45 TRADITIONAL and 10:45 CONTEMPORARY. Yes, “traditional”. For decades, “blended” was a word used to describe the worship style of FPC, and our minds jumped back to that term in our recent advertising of the 8:45 service. “Blended” meant “mostly traditional”, but, because in 2021 we have a contemporary service in place, we have remembered it is clearer to use the term “traditional”.
Defining “traditional” is a larger conversation. Suffice here to say, if you attended our 8:45 service prior to March 2020, you have a pretty good idea what to expect in the Sundays ahead.
Unfortunately, due to her current health challenges, our beloved Pat Ronspiez has informed us she is, at this time, unable to play the organ. Please keep Pat in your prayers.
Pandemic Influence: Masks on. Making our building safer for our children and protecting others is the most important reason for following the mask mandate, but doing so also frees us to more safely do things like sing, pray together in unison, and choose where you would like to sit. There will be no roped-off pews.
Some differences remain. We will not be passing the peace or the offering plates, Holy Communion will be shared with the individual cups and wafers, and fellowship time is on pause.
The session, your pastors, staff, and other church leaders are doing our faithful, ardent, imperfect best to serve Jesus and you with what can be controlled amid much that cannot. Your prayers of support are valuable beyond measure.
Please join us in worship and connection in whatever ways you are able during these challenging times, knowing that you are a treasured part of the Lord’s greater whole.
In conjunction with Team Rubicon, FPC is participating in a September donation drive to benefit Afghan refugees. Nearly all Afghan families are arriving with only the clothes on their backs, so needs are immense. Drop off your new or gently used donations in Fellowship Hall during church office hours: Monday through Thursday, 10 am-4 pm
Nursery Coordinator and Assistant Needed
First Presbyterian Church of Waunakee is seeking a part-time (12-20 hours/month) Nursery Coordinator to provide quality childcare for the children of the congregation during authorized church services and functions. Pay rate of $15/hour.
We are also seeking a part-time (10-20 hours/month) Nursery Assistant to work with the Nursery Coordinator in providing quality childcare for the children of the congregation during authorized church services and functions. Pay rate of $10-$12/hour, based on experience.
Please submit an application (or resume) to Patricia Coley, Director of Children’s Ministry, at email@example.com, as soon as possible for best consideration.
Student Ministry Newsletter
It’s the beginning of a new year and Ezrah wants you to know that he is available and would love to connect with you! Contact him to can set up a time to meet in person, virtually, or even on the phone.
This Sunday, September 12 is our first Sunday morning together at 9:45! Join us in the youth room for connection with others, watching funny videos, and having meaningful discussions about the relevance of God in our lives. Plus, meet up with us on Wednesday night when Youth Group kicks off on September 15 at 7 pm.
WEEKLY ANNOUNCEMENTS | September 12, 2021
Children should go directly to Kingdom Kids before the services begin. There will be no dismissal during the service.
Sunday, September 12 | 9:45 am
FPC Conference Room
Please join us for an Adult Sunday Morning Connection Group! We will meet in the Conference Room between services. All adults are welcome–topics will vary based on the interest and concerns of those involved, but we will start off on September 12th with “Creating a Culture of Belonging in our Homes.” Contact Christa Schmeelk with any questions: firstname.lastname@example.org
More Baby Congratulations!
Adam & Lindsay Schall are happy to announce the birth of their daughter, Harper Rose, who was born on August 21 weighing in at 8 pounds, 3 ounces, 21.5 inches long. Maeline Schall is the proud grandma. Congratulations to this precious family.
Congratulations to Garrett and Caitlin Ramquist on the birth of their daughter, Sutton. She was born on August 27 weighing in at 7 pounds, 4 ounces, 20 inches long. Theresa Meitner, Garrett’s mother is the proud grandma.
Happy Retirement, Tryg!
Congratulations to Tryg Knutson, who retired after working for 34 years at the State Capitol for Senator Jon Erpenbach.
Tuesday, September 14 | 6:45pm
FPC Outdoor Family Space
M.O.P.S. is beginning again! If you are an early childhood mom (newborn- Kindergarten), please join us in a time of fun, connection, and support – on Tuesday, September 14 at 6:45pm in the FPC Outdoor Family Space! Contact Patricia Coley with any questions: email@example.com
All About FPC
Sunday, September 19 | 11 am
FPC’s New Member Outreach team has scheduled the next All About FPC class for those interested in learning more about our church and considering FPC membership. Be sure to share this class invitation with anyone who may want to attend!
We will meet at 11:00 am on September 19 in the conference room in the education wing. We will learn more about our church, great things about being an FPC member, then enjoy lunch together before wrapping things up by 2:00 pm.
Questions? Contact New Member Outreach Elder, Wes Ray, at 608-712-8078.
Back to Church Family Fire Pit
Friday, September 24 | 6:30-7:30pm
Bring your own chair and meet out back for some fun and connection with other FPC Families. Contact Christa Schmeelk with any questions: firstname.lastname@example.org
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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