|A Liberal Church, Welcoming of All, Passionately Committed to Social Justice|
The Pilgrim - July 31, 2016
First Church at the UCC National Youth Event
Stewardship … in July?!
Have you ever heard a radio pledge drive? Sometimes the announcer says, “If we raise such-and-such dollars today, we can end the campaign and resume our usual programming!” I always like hearing that – and being reminded that the goal of fundraising is to get down to making good work happen.
Because we are focusing on a capital campaign for historic preservation this fall, the congregation’s leadership decided to forgo the usual pomp and circumstance of our pledge drive, and instead make a quiet request that you renew your pledge at this time. Then we can resume our “usual programming” and focus on the upcoming program year - including the first-ever preservation of our historic landmark rose windows.
By now, you have received a letter of invitation to make a pledge to our annual budget for 2017, including a pledge card to be returned to the office. If you have not received these, materials, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have never made an annual pledge to First Church, please do. We are a financially independent, non-profit organization that receives no government funding; the members of the church are the ones who make the life of the church happen, with their generosity and gifts of time, talents, and financial “treasure.” Mark and I are proud to be annual pledgers, and invite you to join us in supporting all the good work of First Church and our related ministries.
Thank you, dear Church, for your many forms of generosity!
Do you ever feel like a plastic bag, drifting through the wind, wanting to start again? Do you ever feel so paper thin, like a house of cards, one blow from caving in? Well, the Israelites during the time of the prophet Ezekiel did, although the writer of the book of Ezekiel described them as dry bones disconnected from each other. Katy Perry’s lyrics convey a similar sentiment. In her song Firework, she goes on to say “You’ve got to ignite the light.” In the Bible, Ezekiel ignites the light by commanding the bones to rise; he commands the winds to blow into them the breath of life, and the bones become flesh! This week’s anthem tells the story in a fun way with the song Dry Bones. The arrangement is similar to the version performed by the Delta Rhythm Boys back in the 50s.
If the song breathes a little life into you on Sunday, then the choir has done its job well! You won’t hear them again until September 11, except for them singing in the pews next to you during the month of August! So enjoy the anthem this Sunday – see you then!
Curtis Heard, Director of Music
Theme: Life Consists of ...
The Church Picnic is this Sunday after the service, at El Dorado Park West. 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. Tickets are $8 per person or $20 for a family. We look forward to seeing you. Here's a handy map:
Friends, we will be hanging the cranes in the Sanctuary this coming Saturday at 1 pm. Please come help with this final stage of our offering of peace and healing to ourselves, neighbors and the planet. Many hands make light work and it is a delight to rest quietly beneath them for the very first time.
The Cranes of August
Thursday, August 4, 7 pm
Join us beneath more than 1700 origami paper cranes, light candles in offering to peace and disarmament, listen to words from leaders of many faith traditions, and be in community with many who wish and pray for a world free of nuclear weapons and committed to peace.
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, and on Monday, August 1 we will release the rest of the event and reception tickets to the general public, so get yours today before they're gone!
The preservation project is excited to announce that work has started! As many of you may have noticed, there is scaffolding in the sanctuary, and some of the windows look a little plainer than they normally do. Don’t worry, they will be back again in about six months.
In addition to the rose window glass, the some of the skylights over the Koinonia Room are being taken out to address serious issues with the frames. While they are out we will be repainting the inside of the encasements to prevent rust. This should only take a few weeks. Thank you for your patience and please keep (kids) off of the scaffolding!
If you would like more information about the project and to see how things are going, please visit our blog at 3rdandcedar.wordpress.com.
"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
July 29 and August 5
Stay tuned for more information on other community events.
Southern California contingent at the UCC National Youth Event
Antioch University's Bridge Program provides university-level education for students who may not otherwise have access to higher education. Each week, Bridge students attend class to begin college, to earn up to 15 transferrable units of university credit, and to study philosophy, literature, art history, writing, and urban studies – all free of charge.
1. The 2016-2017 school year is the fourteenth year for the Bridge program in Southern California.
If you or anyone in your community would benefit from the Bridge education experience, call the Bridge office (310-578-1080 ext 300) for more information or go to the Antioch University website for an online application. You may also download a brochure (pdf).
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.
1 Lisa Bode Heard, Joshua Tann
5 Melanie and Luke Hiller, 10 years
Your thoughts and prayers are requested for Gary Shelton; Terry Sandoval (Greg Mausbach and Jason Hudson's friend); and Patrick Malone (Larelle Hendon's brother).
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.
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.
Congregational Church - 241 Cedar Avenue - Long Beach, California 90802