|Thursday, May 28, 5 pm via Facebook LiveJoin the Minnesota Conference of the United Church of Christ, the Muslim-American Society of Minnesota, and other interfaith representatives from the Twin Cities, Minnesota and beyond for a vigil in response to the police slaying on Monday night of George Floyd in Minneapolis. We will lament the death of another unarmed black man, confront the idolatry of white supremacy that underlies it, offer responses from our faith, and commit to ongoing action for safe, multiracial public life in Minnesota. Join the event on Facebook via this link.|
Greetings on this beautiful morning! I trust that this email finds you well. I pray for you regularly and certainly miss seeing you!
Here is some good news! We have an opportunity to see one another (even if it is through glass!) This Sunday, we are planning a PARADE! In order to celebrate David Fleming’s graduation from Alexandria Area High School, we want to do a DRIVE-BY CELEBRATION. As you know, the Class of 2020 has experienced many disappointments this spring, When COVID-19 forced teaching and learning to move online, it meant that many events including concerts, prom and graduation ceremonies were not able to be held. However, that doesn’t make David’s accomplishment any less significant. As a church family, we want to “show up” for David.
If you would like to participate in this celebration, please meet in the church parking lot at 2 pm this Sunday, May 31, 2020. If you would like, make signs or decorate your car with streamers to make it look festive. (Decorations not required). Bring a card for David, and be prepared to flash your headlights, honk your horn, and wave and give the “thumbs up” sign. We want David to know that his church family loves him, celebrates his achievements, and wishes him well as he takes the next step toward his future.
Remember–this pastor has never led a parade before. So–I will be in my Blue-Green Toyota Corolla parked by the west entrance of the church parking lot facing Calvary Lutheran Church (which probably means I will be headed the wrong way on a one way street?) Line up behind me when you arrive if you are able to join the parade. (I will probably be walking around the parking lot with my mask on so that I can see you all and wave!) If you have a card for David and would prefer not to roll your window down to hand it to him, you can give it to me at this time. Once we have passed by David’s house, the parade will be officially over, and you are free to go on your way.
I think this will be fun! I hope you can join in! Who doesn’t love a parade?
Are you, or do you have, a graduate in the family? Pastor Jill is planning a special Graduate Recognition during an upcoming online worship service (likely May 31 or June 7) and she’d like names, baby & current pictures for comparisons (!), a biography, etc., as soon as possible so we can celebrate with you. Please call the Church office 763-3341 if you have any questions or email what you have to firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to hearing from you! Thanks and congratulations! -Barb, Church offfice
– Where God is all-loving and inclusive
– Where the Church of Jesus Christ welcomes and accepts everyone as they are
– Where your mind is nourished as much as your soul
– Where Jesus the healer meets Jesus the revolutionary
– Where together we grow a just and peaceful world
March 14, 2020
Dear Siblings in Christ:
Grace and peace to you! As you are certainly aware, the COVID-19 virus is wreaking havoc on many lives these days. For the past several days, your church leadership has been wrestling with the decision about whether to hold or cancel church activities during this time. Like Jacob who wrestled with the angel in Genesis (32:22-32), we know that we may walk away from this situation with a limp. The major concern at this point is to “flatten the curve” by social distancing so that our hospitals and health care facilities do not become overwhelmed with people and to protect those most vulnerable to contracting COVID-19 due to age or compromised immune systems. A recent communication from the Minnesota Conference UCC has encouraged us to cancel in-person gatherings.
We have decided to cancel worship for tomorrow, March 15, as well as our Lenten evening gathering on Wednesday. You will be able to find Pastor Jill on the livestream (use the link at www.firstcongregationaluccalex.com) at 10 am tomorrow, and the recording will be placed on our church website and facebook page for those with access. (Access our YouTube channel through the church website.)
The Church Council will meet on Tuesday evening to make decisions about scheduled gatherings for the remainder of this month. We will also explore ways to be in ministry with our congregation and community during this time.
As a church called to love, we will continue to take measures to care for persons who are vulnerable.
-if you do not feel well, please contact your health care provider, especially if you are in the at-risk category.
-if you are isolated, for any reason, and need assistance with getting food or personal items, please contact Pastor Jill at email@example.com or contact the church office.
-If you are low-risk and not one of those especially susceptible to this virus and would be willing to volunteer to assist those in need, please let us know as well.
-Some of our members do not have internet access. If you would be willing to be a phone contact for one or more of these households to convey information and offer support, please contact us.
-Your pastor and other caregivers will not visit if they are sick or have been exposed to the virus. They will diligently wash their hands before and after every visit and will temporarily refrain from touching and holding hands. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you need conversation or care.
-Please remember that our congregation has financial obligations to meet even when we do not gather. Your continued generosity makes ministry possible at First Congregational UCC, and our ministry is needed now more than ever.
In Romans 8, the apostle Paul tells us that nothing can separate us from the love of God. Not famine nor nakedness no peril nor sword—and certainly not COVID-19. God is with us individually and as a faith community, and we will get through this time together by embodying God’s love for one another.
If you have questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact Pastor Jill (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Moderator, Ann Branch. (email@example.com or (320) 460-0316.
Pastor Jill Sanders