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

The Pilgrim - July 3, 2016

Sunday Celebration Notes
Lifting Up God's Love Every Sunday at 10 am

Dear Church,

I’m so pleased that John Forrest Douglas will lead service this Sunday with Harold Sutherland as our preacher. You may know Harold as a former Moderator and member of the Church Council, or the designer of our beautiful sanctuary appointments as a key leader with the Worship and Arts team. Or you may know him for singing in the choir or his devotion to justice. What you may not know is that Harold life’s work, both as an ordained American Baptist minister and in the secular world, has been about working with refugees, asylum seekers and immigrants. He is currently a training officer and works to train asylum officers in the LA Asylum office and nationally, shaping how people in those crucial settings interact with people coming to the USA for asylum. Please turn out to support Harold and spend time hearing a powerful story that has not been shared in our pulpit before.

It satisfies a part of my soul that we would hear from one of our members about this work on the weekend of Independence Day. Patriotism is a worthy quality, made all the more rich when we remember the myriad of ways in which our sense of belonging as Americans can be expressed: singing patriotic songs or protest music, serving or conscientiously objecting, waving the flag or interpreting the Stars and Stripes in art so that we remember what happens under that banner. I hope that your Fourth of July is many things, not the least a fun time with friends or family.

On a personal note, thank you all for the many cards, posts, and words of support to me and my whole family as we prepare for my father’s memorial this weekend. It means so much to us all, and makes each day easier.

Elena Larssen


Sunday School Helpers NeededSunday School Volunteers Needed!
By John Forrest Douglas

Please help! We are in urgent need of volunteers to lead Sunday School in the coming weeks. We need both lead teachers and assistant teachers. Curriculum will be provided for you. Please click here to sign up.

This list below shows what type of volunteers we need each week. Those in bold have no volunteers signed up.

July 3: Lead and Assistant Teachers needed
July 10: Lead and Assistant Teachers needed
July 17: Lead and Assistant Teachers needed
July 24: Lead and Assistant Teachers needed

July 31: 3 Assistant Teachers needed
August 7: Lead and Assistant Teachers needed
August 21: Lead and Assistant Teachers needed
August 28: Lead and Assistant Teachers needed
September 4: Lead and Assistant Teachers needed
September 11: Lead and Assistant Teachers needed


In This Issue

Christian Education

Capital Campaign Q&A Forum

First Church Folks Going to Band Concerts

Sanctuary Flowers

Poet's Notes

Help Fold Cranes

Church Picnic

Momastery Live!

The Birds

Drop-In Center News

Long Beach City Alert Registration


July Birthdays and Anniversaries

Parish Concerns

For More Information

The Pilgrim - current and past editions of the newsletter


First Church website

Contact us

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




Capital Campaign Question & Answer Forum
Next Sunday, July 10, after the service, in the Pownall Room
With Priscilla Bizer, our Capital Campaign consultant from the UCC


Join First Church Friends at 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
6:30pm - come early to get good parking

July 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, and August 5

Stay tuned for more information on other community events.


Sanctuary Flowers
By Pam Chapin

There are two openings for July 24 and 31 for flowers. If you are interested, please see Pam Chapin after the service on Sunday or email her at pjchapin@gmail.com. The cost is $100 and the flowers are yours to take after the service.


Poet's Notes
By Tina Datsko de Sánchez

After a week of emotional processing, I sat with my muse last Monday to see if it had something to say in response to the Orlando shootings. What came out is a poem imagining what Harvey Milk might say. This poem is dedicated to all whose lives were taken by gun violence and to their loved ones.


A gun took me from you,
but not only a gun.
Behind the gun burned hatred born of fear.
Bullets took them from us,
but not only bullets.
Behind the bullets the smallness
of fear-hate aspired to grandiosity.

Remember, it is still the us’es of this world—
gay and straight, every ethnicity, age or ability—
who’ve got to keep hope alive.
We’ve got to vigil together, then march together.
We’ve got to be relentless in our love,
love of neighbor, stranger, even enemy.

We’ve got to unite in a river of love
pouring from Orlando,
Newtown, San Bernardino, Aurora
to Washington, D.C.
until assault rifles are beaten into ploughshares
of opportunity for all the us’es,
until an ocean of us’es
standing shoulder to shoulder
shows that hatred cannot stand
and that fear must surely
surrender to love.


The Cranes of August Are Coming!
By Bob Kalayjian and Steve Schatz

We will continue to fold cranes this Sunday. We have over 1700 to fold and need help. This year the cranes will commemorate both the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki as well as the remembrance of 9/11 on Sunday the 11th of September.

Another aspect of the cranes that will be a little different is their disposition after they come down. Traditionally they have gone to the Children’s Memorial at Hiroshima as an offering to peace and nuclear disarmament. This year our cranes will go the Todd Cancer Institute Pavilion at Memorial Medical Center to be a part of their installation of 10,000 cranes in the lobby. We are asking everyone who folds a crane to write a few words of healing for family and friends on the paper before folding.

Join us this coming Sunday during the coffee hour and fold at least one or as many as you can. Packets of paper to take home will be available as well.



picnic imageJoin the Fun at the Church Picnic!
By Jo Anne Jennings

Sign-ups for the Church Family Picnic take place on Sunday, and you don’t want to miss the fun and friendship. It’s $8 a person or $20 for a family, along with a donation of a salad or dessert. We’ll meet at El Dorado Park after church on July 31. There’ll be great burgers (including veggie burgers) and hot dogs. We’ll make giant bubbles and play games. What could be better than a Sunday in the park with friends!?


Momastery Live!
By Katy Hyman

On Thursday, October 13, join us for an evening with Glennon Doyle Melton, founder of the online community at Momastery.com and author of the New York Times Bestseller Carry On, Warrior and the upcoming memoir, Love Warrior.

Admission for the event is $40 and includes a hardcover edition of Love Warrior. Doors will open at 6:15 for the 7 pm event. Additional tickets are available for $23 for an early reception with Glennon, which will begin at 5:30 pm. Tickets to this reception can be purchased on the registration page as you purchase tickets for the event.

The Board of Cultural Arts is co-sponsoring this event with Manhattan Beach Community Church and Bayshore Community Congregational Church. We have reserved 200 event tickets and 100 reception tickets for our members, and you can access the private sale here: http://conta.cc/1th3lNU.

We do expect this event to sell out, so buy your tickets now!


pigeons atop the churchSometimes Life Is for the Birds
By Yvonne Samarion, Maintenance Coordinator

Each morning, I arrive to church with the feeling that I am walking onto the set of Sir Alfred Hitchcock’s film The Birds. Due to the destruction of several tall buildings in our downtown area, the birds have flocked to us for sanctuary. I’d estimate that we currently have about 30-40 pigeons here each morning. I don’t believe anyone ever informed them that it was traditional for churches to offer sanctuary primarily to humans not pigeons. We are trying to find ways to humanely get rid of the little pests. In the meantime, your custodial staff appreciates your patience and understanding as we try to keep up with what the birds leave behind on a nightly/daily basis.



See Racing Extinction at the Unitarian Church This Friday
From the Environmental Justice Committee of the Board of Social Justice and Outreach

Racing Extinction


Drop-In Center News
By Arlene Mercer, Executive Director

Sunday, June 26, was the last Sunday of the month and also the last Sunday Drop-In-Center to be held until the beginning of August, when DAYS Summer Day Camp is over.

We had 300 people who came for help that day. Vedanta made the delicious chicken, lentil soup and salads, and the donated desserts were plentiful. We had 57 volunteers. Dr. Sophia and the HOPE students also came and provided medical services. We gave out breakfast bars.

It was a full, but good day! We bade farewell to Program Manager/Chef Roberta Enriquez with gifts and cards. She promises to come back and volunteer as time allows. I’m still interviewing people for this meaningful 20-hour-a-week position.

DIC clientsOne of the young mothers we housed came with her six-year-old and attended church and then visited us after the service. They look so good! We helped with updating her resume and she had an interview for a better position Tuesday. It went well. I hope she gets it!

We helped another family with a few nights at a motel till they can get SDI for the man, who was recently injured. The woman has a good job now and we are working on child care for them too so their five-year-old can learn and get ready for kindergarten in the fall.

Another single mom should hear soon if she gets the job at a new restaurant and bar about to open.

We gave a grandmother with two grandchildren some motel vouchers till they can get stabilized. Her daughter got caught with drugs and is in jail. She is hoping for the daughter to get put into a program where she can revitalize and take care of the kids in that program too.

One mentally disabled young guy wanted to visit his friend, and we gave him a day bus pass so he could do that and enjoy the friendship.

I gave another gentleman the phone numbers and addresses for the Long Beach SROs. He is hoping to get indoors and this is all he can afford. He doesn’t care if the bathroom is down the hall. I sent another guy to sign up at the library for Section 8.

I’m working to get all the necessary attachments of proof of identity and income, etc. so a woman with a two-month old baby can get into the First Five program and get an apartment.

As you can see it was a very busy Sunday for me. I’ll be so glad when we get our part-time outreach worker/case manager on board and working with me in starting in August!

I’ll continue to case manage the clients we already have files for during July, and we’ll do some spring cleaning of the kitchen and walk in freezer. July will pass quickly! Be well and have fun till I talk with you again!

DIC volunteers and Roberta

Volunteers with Roberta Enriquez, on the right


Long Beach Alert RegistrationCity of Long Beach Alert Registration
By Clarence Dendy

The City of Long Beach has an emergency alert website for notification of emergencies (like last summer’s power failures, etc.) to all residents, businesses and churches of Long Beach. But you need to be registered with the city in order to receive these alerts. So visit www.longbeach.gov to register, with all instructions on how to register within the site.


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.



July Birthdays

1 Kay Gault, Audrey Rose Hanna, Laurel Malatesta, Isaac Morris, Casey Scott
2 Terry O'Neill, Aiden Silva
4 Lauren Chambers
6 Clayton Heard, Jennifer Penner
7 William J. Severino, Kirsten Vangsness
8 Joanne Halley, Gary Shelton
9 Robert Cannon, Amy Peer, Anne Simoneau
10 Timothy Anderson, Perry Ellwood, Katie Handen Llopis, Kathryn Stevens
11 Carolyn Booth, Dave McMillin, John Osteen, Marty Silva
12 Brad Shore
13 Heather Chambers, Cynthia Holt
14 Ruth Ann Borrero, Dorothy King
15 Robert Kalayjian, Annamarie Macias
16 Glenn Agoncillo
18 Eleanore Choate
19 Mary Durham
20 Eusebio Chilintan
21 Clifton Stewart
22 Julie Ford
23 Brad Stevens
24 Joel Kemper, Mia McKiernan, Thomas Pettis Larssen
25 Helene Kennann
27 Matt Balin, Curt Barnett, Paul Bogdan
28 John Kness
29 Paul DuNard
30 Gayle Connell, Eve Handen, Dean Solem-Kuehl, Peter J. Wright
31 Katy Hyman


July Anniversaries

2 Harold and Ellen Kameya, 50 years
4 Debbie Byrne and Rita Edwards, 23 years
11 Karen and David Santa Cruz, 46 years
12 Claudia and Robert Orpin, 47 years
13 Gladi Adams and Ella Matthes, 15 years
20 Lisa Orr and Michael Gardner, 14 years
21 Anna and Eric Brackett, 15 years
21 Marty and Monica Silva, 15 years
26 Michael Powers and James Woodruff, 8 years
28 Gil Griego and Chan Brainard, 43 years
31 Barbara Smith and Janet Waggoner, 49 years

Parish Concerns

Your thoughts and prayers are requested for the campers, volunteers and staff at Pilgrim Pines.

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