The Pilgrim - February 5, 2017
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The Pilgrim - February 5, 2017


Sunday Celebration Notes

Lifting Up God's Love Every Sunday at 10 am

Dear Church,
This Sunday will be the first Sunday in our four-week education and sermon series “Finding God in Pop Culture.” Each Sunday, there will be an adult education class led by Rev. Larssen in Booth Chapel at 8:30 am each week. The discussion will focus on one of the films that is currently playing in theaters. Each week’s sermon will focus on that film as well.
This week’s sermon will draw on the new Disney animated film, Moana. If you’d like to go see the film before Sunday, great (I think it’s very good!). If you don’t have a chance to go to the movies this week, don’t worry; you’ll still be able to participate in the adult education class and understand the sermon without having seen the movie. We will even work hard to avoid giving spoilers!
Here are the films for upcoming Sundays:

February 12 – La La Land
February 19 – Fences
February 26 – Hidden Figures
See you Sunday!

John Forrest

Small Group Fellowship Opportunities Coming!

More info below

In This Issue

"Finding God in Pop Culture"
Christian Education
First Church Café
Small Group Opportunities
Church Council Retreat
Annual Meeting
Global Missions Church
Piano Recital/Lecture
Drop-In Center News
Birthdays & Anniversaries
Parish Concerns
Deadline: Tuesday at 1 pm

In Sunday School

Theme: Letting the Light Through
Scripture: Matthew 5:13-20

Adult Education

  • Ongoing class - Sundays at 8:30 am in the Klar Rooms, upstairs in Pilgrim Hall
  • "Finding God in Pop Culture" - Sundays in February at 8:30 am in Booth Chapel, adjacent to the Sanctuary

First Church Café This Sunday

It's the first Sunday of the month - time again for First Church Café, catered this month by La Traviata. The cost for lunch is $9 for adults and $4 for children 10 and under.

All are welcome. If you or your family need financial assistance to be able to enjoy lunch, vouchers are available. A number of our boards will meet after lunch, but lunch is not just for board members.

Small Group Fellowship Opportunities to Be Announced at First Church Café This Sunday!

By Kirsten Pickus, Moderator
We all know that First Church Café provides a great time for us to socialize with one another and get to know new people, but this Sunday’s Café will offer something special that you don’t want to miss! You may recall hearing us talk about creating fun opportunities to get to know each other better and deepen our connections. You may have even suggested an idea or two for a small group theme or activity. Well, the wait is over!!!
This Sunday, we’ll be announcing the menu of small group fellowship opportunities that we have planned for 2017. We have some great programs in store, and at this Sunday’s Café, you’ll have the opportunity to hear about all of them. Leaders will talk about their groups, and you’ll be able to sign up for the ones that interest you. Please come; I hope you’ll be delighted with the variety of programs and the awesome leaders who have stepped up to organize great events and nurture our community.

Church Council Retreat This Saturday

The Church Council Retreat will be this Saturday, February 4, from 9 to 11:30 am in the Koinonia Room. The keynote speaker will be the Rev. Libby Tigner, Associate Conference Minister. A continental breakfast will be served.

Annual Congregational Meeting - February 12

The Annual Congregational Meeting will be on Sunday, February 12, after the service.

Future of Our Global Missions Ministry Team

By Bob Kalayjian, Board of Social Justice and Outreach
Our church was designated a Global Mission Church by the UCC (see some years back because the Global Missions Ministry Team worked to develop support for missions work in Africa. The ministry team was led by the Rev. Bob Stiles and a number of folks in our congregation. Many of us learned about mission work in schools in Africa and we supported a student for some years. Many of us got involved in making microloans through the KIVA organization (our KIVA team at First Church has made 240 loans totaling $6450). Unfortunately, Bob Stiles passed away and the ministry team has faded in its activity from a lack of support.
If there is anyone interested in joining/leading/organizing the ministry team, please contact me and the Board of SJO will help in any way we can. This is a very worthwhile effort totally consistent with our purpose as a church grounded in social justice, compassionate for all.

Drop-In Center News

By Arlene Mercer, Executive Director

Sunday, January 29, was a fifth Sunday and we had a lot of guests. We didn’t have enough chairs and had to ask folks who had eaten to give up their seats so others could sit down and eat.

Chef Melody has her first grandchild. A baby girl was born to her daughter Ashley.

One of our homeless men finished his 48 hours of community service at UCO to work off a small infraction. He was happy to get that taken care of. We are working with him and his girlfriend and provided them with a list of open apartments they could check into.

We became aware of a veteran man seeming to be in need of our new SAMHSA ENRICH program. We had some figuring out to do. How we could keep him close to us and ready to move forward till he could be assessed at 8 am on Monday? He was in a wheelchair and couldn’t stay at a motel alone. Finally we found a very nice young man willing to take him to the motel, stay with him, and get him to Safe Refuge in the morning. He has diabetes too and is not taking care of himself. His legs had sores on them. If we don’t get him stabilized he’ll lose those legs.

Carlos Deborja brought people from Insurance Brokers International to get people signed up for insurance. We also had free new phones available. I posted information about a Long Beach Career Fair on Tuesday, February 28 from 11 am to 2 pm at the Renaissance Long Beach. There will also be a Girls and Woman Technology Conference on Friday, March 10, at Compton El Camino College, an opportunity to learn about careers with high wages, great benefits, and job security. You probably can Google them online if interested or I can give you contact information.

The Long Beach Homeless Count went very well on Thursday! We talked with a lot of people. The new figures on how many are homeless at this point in time will be available in April.

Justin Rudd’s Compassion Homeless Conference was very successful with over 600 people attending! People brought new socks, clothing, and blankets which were donated to the agencies who had speakers help with the conference. As a result my car is full and we will have a healthy “free store” next Sunday!

February Birthdays

1 Madeline Sharpe, Miguel Criado
2 Evan Nutt, Katie Mendez, Mario Coello
3 David Sroka, Douglas Schading
4 Ray Ramos, Bill Cooley
5 Laverne Joseph
6 Margaret Jones, Matthew Hartert-Force
7 Jim “Woody” Woods
8 Barbara de Jong, Ed Allen, Cathleen Flynn, Vicki Doolittle, Jeremy Morales, Diana Perry
9 Aaron Palmer, Patrick Wells
10 John Callahan
11 John Forrest Douglas
12 Christopher O'Keefe, Marc Van Enk
14 Kelsey Scott
15 Bret Witter, Vincent Malatesta, Norman Paredes-Tryan
18 Marjorie McMillin, Nancy Conley
20 Stephanie Fisher
21 Steve Schatz
23 Jerry Wulk, Katrina Kershaw, Mary Ann Johnson
24 Bruce Russell, Claire de Jong
25 Clarence Dendy
27 Linda Silas, Lily Penner, Barbara Kingsley
28 Raj Advani
29 Lisa Orr

February Anniversaries

Glenn Agoncillo and Mike Andrzejewski, 2/4/2001
Jerald Stinson and Kay Gault, 2/13/1987
Bob Phibbs and Bill Pratt, 2/14/1988
Timothy and Juan Anderson, 2/21/1999
Randall Goddard and Scott Juhl, 2/21/1992

Parish Concerns

Your thoughts and prayers are requested for Ariela Lawee (Eillen Badilla's friend); the family and friends of Jerry Blum (Georgette de Bruyn's friend's husband); and Manuel Arruda (father of Douglas Schading's friend Nolan Arruda).

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.

Pilgrim and Bulletin Deadline

The deadline for submitting items for inclusion in the Sunday service bulletin and for the newsletter is Tuesday at 1 p.m. The Pilgrim is emailed every Wednesday.

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.

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