A Liberal Church, Welcoming of All, Passionately Committed to Social Justice

The Pilgrim - July 17, 2016

Greetings from Pilgrim Pines Camp!

Ministers at Pilgrim PInes

Above: The Rev. John Forrest Douglas, the Rev. Mark Pettis (Manhattan Beach UCC), and the Rev. Elena Larssen are the pastors at Pilgrim Pines Camp this week, with many campers and volunteers from FCCLB.

If you have immediate concerns, Josh Morris is available for pastoral care this week; please contact the church office for his contact information.


In Sunday School

Theme: Listening, Learning and Living
Scripture: Luke 10:38-42

Adult Education
Sundays at 8:30 am in the Klar Rooms, upstairs in Pilgrim Hall




In this issue

Christian Education

Poet's Notes

Early Pilgrim Deadline

Help Hang the Cranes

Walk with First Church

Municipal Band Concerts

Church Picnic


Moderator's Moment

A Passing

Faith & Works Conference in Irvine

Drop-In Center News

Parish Concerns

For more information

The Pilgrim - current and past editions of the newsletter


First Church website

Contact us

Poet's Notes
By Tina Datsko de Sánchez

After the multiple tragedies of last week, many of us may be experiencing grief and shock. One of the ways I seek the comfort of God’s presence is a contemplative practice of journaling and writing poetry. I’m sharing this poem with our First Church family in case it may be of comfort.


God grieves with us our every loss—
the murder of a dear friend,
the death of a beloved parent,
a blossoming young life cut short.

God grieves with us our every loss—
for every killing is senseless,
whether the hand that held the gun
wore a uniform, ideology, or rage.

God grieves with us our every loss—
lives snuffed out on a dance floor,
lives taken at a peaceful protest,
lives of some committed to serving.

God grieves with us and holds us
as we hold each other, for we are all
God’s children, and the killing of any one
kills a part of each of us, and a part of God.

God grieves with us and rocks us gently,
so gently we will surely wake up.


Pilgrim Deadline for Next Week Is This Friday

Ruth Warkentin, the office manager, will be out of the office next week, so the deadline for submitting items for the next issue of The Pilgrim is this Friday, July 15, at 10 am.


Help Hang the Cranes of August on July 30
By Bob Kalayjian

Due to the Church Picnic on Sunday, July 31, we will be hanging the cranes in the sanctuary on Saturday, July 30 at 1 pm.  If you would like to be part of this final phase of our Cranes of August, save the date and come to church for an hour or so – July 30, 1 pm.


City and Shoreline Walk
By Eillen Badilla

FCCLB Walking for Health presents City and Shoreline Walk. Join us for a four-mile walk starting at Harvey Milk Park (Third and Promenade) on Friday, July 29 at 8:30 am. Pets are welcome. More information at https://www.facebook.com/events/271698336526065/.

sneakers image


First Church Goes to the Municipal Band Concerts
By Sue Johnson

"Fellowshipping" for a church family is very important, and what a great way to socialize at a free community event. This event is fun for all ages! Come and join your First Church family at the Summer Long Beach Municipal Band Concerts in the park. Bring a picnic, blankets, beach chairs and friends.

El Dorado West - Studebaker and Willow
6:30 pm - come early to get good parking

July 15, 22, 29, and August 5

Stay tuned for more information on other community events.


picnic imageEnjoy the All Church Family Picnic
By JoAnne Jennings

It’s coming soon! There will be burgers (veggie ones too) and hotdogs with fellowship and fun. When you pack your dessert or salad, remember to pack reusable plates, utensils, and cups or glasses to help the environment.

Sign-ups continue in the Kilsby Courtyard or Koinonia Room after church. It’s $8 per person or $20 for a family. We look forward to seeing you.



Thank you so much for the beautiful flowers and recognition during this last Sunday’s service. It was very meaningful to me and I was sincerely touched by your thoughtfulness.

Janet Harrington


Moderator's Moment
By Tim Mountain

I hope you are enjoying the many fun activities that occur in the summer, concerts in the park, vacations, backyard grilling. Since most of the First Church boards are on hiatus during July, the Church Council has decided to take a break too. There will be no scheduled Church Council meeting in July. The next Church Council meeting will be Tuesday, August 23. I do hope to see you all at the church picnic on Sunday, July 31. 


A Passing

We mourn the loss of church member Tim Bolton this week. While Tim was primarily at home, he may remained deeply involved in the life of the church and was known as a warm and generous friend to many of our causes. Information about services is forthcoming from the family.


Faith & Works Conference at Irvine UCC

Please save the date of September 23 & 24 for Irvine UCC’s second annual Faith & Works Conference, featuring Justin Lee, founder and director of the Gay Christian Network (www.gaychristian.net) and author of Torn: Rescuing the Gospel from the Gays-vs.-Christians Debate.


Drop-In Center News
By Arlene Mercer, Executive Director

Just thought I’d say hello and let you know Urban Community Outreach is active and well.

We have several “ladies in waiting,” you might say - waiting for affordable apartments, job offers, and paperwork completed. One of our women has given me a very beautiful solar angel nightlight to remind me that she feels I am her “angel.” I don’t know where she got it, but it certainly gives me joy to look at it and remember her and know she is an angel herself. She has done nothing wrong. She is so grateful for some help with rent and food till the job comes through. She has had two very promising interviews for jobs that will make so much more money for her than the job she has now! She has passed blood tests, and background checks should be back soon. She was been called to go in again Tuesday for the supervisor position. I think they are going to make her an offer. Yeah!

We have found an apartment for another woman with three children and have sent in her credit check paperwork and fee. I’m praying this works and she gets the apartment. Our new big storage unit at Nova Storage is all cleaned and organized and waiting to supply some new household items and gently used furniture to her.

The deep cleaning is coming along. We want the kitchen, walk-in refrigerator, and walk-in freezer to sparkle! We interviewed a promising candidate for our new Operations Director position. She will also be interviewed by the board Monday night. We have hired a part-time outreach worker who will begin in August.

I so wanted you to know that we are busily working on our July tasks, and with the Lord’s help we are making fine progress. As Emily Dickinson said, ”Dwell in possibility.” The best is yet to come! Have a great July full of good possibilities!




Parish Concerns

Your thoughts and prayers are requested for the family and friends of Kenneth Verhaegen, Georgette de Bruyn's cousin, who recently died.

Names on the Parish Concerns lists appear in two consecutive editions of the newsletter. To share a Parish Concern or a Parish Joy, put a note on the board on the Third Street landing or contact Ruth Warkentin in the church office.

Online Calendar

Don't miss out! Check the online church calendar for details about all church events. You can use the online calendar to email invitations to friends to church events and to set up emailed reminders to yourself. Just click on any event to see more information.




To place an ad in this newsletter, please contact Ruth Warkentin in the church office.



First Congregational Church - 241 Cedar Avenue - Long Beach, California 90802
562-436-2256 - Fax: 562-436-3018 - E-mail: office@firstchurchlb.org