September at First

Please contact the church office for further information...

CENTERING STRINGS

The Centering Strings are getting together for rehearsals and will be participating in worship throughout the year. Guitar, harp, hammered dulcimer -- all string players are welcome! Please contact our director Diana.

 

MAKE A JOYFUL NOISE! 

All are welcome to join in our choir. Please see the schedule of rehearsals and worship participation on the kiosk in the narthex and talk with our director Angie.

 

YOUTH FAITH FORMATION


CONFIRMATION: 

Confirmation meets on two Wednesday evenings each month (usually the 2nd and the 4th). We’ll begin on Wednesday, September 13th. Our class will be made up of those who are in the 8th grade. This will actually be the second year of getting together regularly for a number of youth who participated last year in THE GATHERING (which served as a kind of ‘pre-confirmation’ group for 7th graders where studies and fellowship blended together).



Please note: This year, THE GATHERING will not be meeting. Instead, those who are new to our church in the 7th - 9th grade are welcome to join in Confirmation and we will learn together.

 

SYNERGY:

Synergy meets once a month (usually the 3rd Wednesday). We’ll begin on Wednesday, September 20th. Synergy is for younger youth, those in 4th-6th grade, and serves as an active faith learning community. Service in our neighborhood, experiences with inter-faith/inter-cultural communities, and a deepening understanding of our Christian teachings will be our focus.


 

YOUTH GROUP:

Youth Group will meet periodically as events evolve (Our first brainstorming gathering will be Wednesday, September 27th at 6:00pm). YOUTH GROUP is for those in 9th-12th grade and serves as a place for our young people to deepen their faith, grow in leadership skills, and make connections with our larger Body -- the MN Conference.

 

LOOKING FORWARD...

MN Conference middle school event: OCTOBER 6-8

The theme is: Harvest of Gratitude

 

MN Conference high school event: OCTOBER 20-22

The theme is: The Great Cloud of Witnesses

 

SUNDAY CHILDREN’S FAITH-LEARNING COMMUNITY

…a re-vision of Sunday School!

ALL CHILDREN AGE 3-6th GRADE ARE WELCOME! This year’s Sunday program for children will involve learning through children’s literature, bible stories, and thematic activities, and will focus on helping the older children develop leadership skills.

 

CALLING ALL BRIGHT LIGHTS!

Families are signing up as Acolytes and helping prepare the congregation for worship by lighting the candles. If you would like a turn to help, please sign up on the Acolyte list found on the kiosk or text/call Pat Thompson with a date that works for your family.

 

CHILDREN’S COMMUNION CLASS

Saturday October 14th at 4pm

A gathering for those in 3rd grade to learn about Communion: where it comes from, why we share in it, and how we do this in our church.  We’ll read stories in the bible and explore symbols and questions that emerge, and prepare the elements in our kitchen. Parents, please join us for the last 15 minutes as we will celebrate this holy meal together.  If you would like your child/children to join in, please contact Pastor Dana. 

 

BOOK STUDY

This fall we’ll gather to sift through “Living the Questions: The Wisdom of Progressive Christianity” by Felton and Proctor-Murphy. We’ll meet for the first time on Sunday September 10th at 4pm, and together set our Sunday meeting times going forward. As usual, we’ll be jumping around! We’ll be reading sections that are most pertinent to us and explore scripture that is related to our discussion.

 

INTERFAITH COLLABORATIVE: THE TUTORING PROGRAM at the Mankato Islamic Center is back on...

The “interfaith collaborative” is gearing up for this coming year’s activities, one of which is the after-school tutoring program at the Mankato Islamic Center downtown. If you are interested in joining as a volunteer tutor, to help the young people with their homework… wonderful! Please talk to Pastor Dana. 

 

PRIDE WEEK

 

Pre-Pridefest Film, Thursday, Sept. 7 at 7pm, in our Fellowship Hall. This evening is open to all in our local community. Bring a friend… there will be plenty of popcorn! Join in a viewing of the documentary “For the Bible Tells Me So” by Daniel Karslake, and the discussion following.

 

Pridefest! Saturday, September 9th

Once again, this year as an Open and Affirming church we’ll be there! We’ll walk together and celebrate the wide embrace of God’s love, and let it be known that indeed, as our banner says, Jesus didn’t reject anyone and neither do we. The parade: We’ll gather in the parking lot of the library on Riverfront Dr. at 11am, and walk at 11:30am the several blocks to Riverfront Park. We’ll have new banners and signs to walk with and new UCC tee shirts, and this year is particularly special as the WOW ZONE –our own Pam, Pat, and Allison, will lead us on our way as Grand Marshals. The gathering: From 12-5pm, our church will have a “booth” which is actually a table and a couple of chairs and a canopy, and we’ll have a chance to introduce people to who we are as a faith community and what we do. We’ll have written materials to share and of course candy, and this year we’ll be holding a raffle of tee shirts! This is truly a family day of celebration and resources!

 

FAMILIAS JUNTAS

On Sunday, September 17th, beginning at 11am, we’ll share time and a meal with members of FAMILIAS JUNTAS, a faith based organization in Worthington, MN that was born out of a dream -- a dream that came true for the first time in 2013 when they sponsored a trip in which 14 US citizen children, whose parents are undocumented, met their grandparents and relatives in Guatemala for the first time. Last spring, we held a showing of the documentary film that came out of this experience. But Familias Juntas has continued well beyond this. The organization is shaped around the understanding that, “service is always a response to the expressed need of those you serve, and the imperative of being in a relationship as equals”, and it works in conjunction with a number of other organizations in MN. Essentially, it’s all about, as they say, “walking with our immigrant brothers and sisters on their journey”. When they join us on September 17th, several of the young people involved in their Dream Catcher summer program will share their stories, and we’ll hear the story of one of the fathers who, after 24 years of checking in with immigration control was told recently there is nothing more that could be done -- he’s to be deported at the end of September. And we’ll celebrate together through music – some members of their band will join us.


For more information on the Dream Catchers and Familias Juntas, please see the kiosk in the narthex!

 

THE BIBLE AND THE OTHER.

On Sunday, September 24th, we’ll gather after worship in Fellowship Hall for Prof. Blake Couey will lead us in this study that looks at the biblical roots of our service as people of faith.

 

SAVE THE DATE! Sunday, October 1st, after worship, our earth-wise work group will lead us in a bike ride and pie fest! Details to follow...

 

THANK YOU!!! Thank-you for your gifts to Chicago, United and Eden Seminaries. These seminaries provide an important ministry in the  UCC churches by preparing leaders for ministry in congregations and community settings, locally and across the globe. 

 

NEIGHBORS IN NEED

The Neighbors in Need offering, which we will receive on October 1, is a special mission offering of the UCC that supports ministries of Justice and Compassion throughout the United States. One third of NIN funds support the Council for American Indian Ministry (CAIM). The remaining funds are used by UCC’s Justice and Witness Ministries (JWM). You will receive a letter in the mail explaining how your dollars are used in this important mission.

 

SALVATION ARMY NOON MEAL

Our next opportunity to serve our community by volunteering to make and serve food for the noon meal at the Salvation Army. Please sign-up for the October 29th event. Information and sign-up are on the kiosk in the church narthex. 

 

MEN’S GROUP

Saturday, September 9th, 8:00 am at the WOW! 

Zone. Just show up! All are Welcome!

 

WOMEN’S GROUP

Saturday, September 9th 9:00 am at the WOW!

Zone Just show up! All are welcome!

 

DINNER OUT

On September 16th at 5:30pm, Jill Branson and Margaret Naslund will be hosting the monthly Dinner Out, location TBA. There will be a sign up on the Deacon’s Board out in the Narthex. Also, if you are interested in hosting one of the monthly dinner out events this year see the Deacon’s Board out in the Narthex for more information. 

 

HEALTH MINISTRIES

Blood pressure check will be on Sunday, september 3rd. The Parish Nurse will be in the Church Library after worship.