Liturgical Banner Exhibit

First Church will celebrate the fabric artwork of one of our members, Deb Anderson, with an exhibit of her work from October 2 – November 20, 2022. The exhibit will be on display in the Chapel. We hope you will visit this exhibit during the month of October and learn more about this artist and her special contribution to our church through the legacy of her banners.

The banners are on display every Sunday following the 11:00 a.m. service. Please check the church calendar for special exhibit openings.

Rev. Joanna Samuelson Has Accepted Our Invitation

Rev. Joanna Samuelson has accepted our invitation to become our Interim Associate Minister, beginning September 25 and continuing on through September 24, 2023. The Interim position is established in such a way that should we have a full-time Associate Minister join the staff before that date, Joanna would assist in the transition and move to a new calling. She also may choose to be a candidate for the position, should she so desire. 
Rev. Samuelson brings special gifts to us as a trained interim minister in the UCC, a grief counselor, and a studied expert in transitions crisis management in church settings. God is blessing us with her continued presence on our staff, and the staff are excited by the gifts for ministry that she brings to us. 

Following worship on Sunday, September 11, and having completed her time as Interim for Faith Formation (serving while Mark Williams was on sabbatical), Rev. Samuelson will take vacation. We look forward to her return. Thanks be to God for Joanna’s stepping in and supporting First Church at this time!

We Pray for Ukraine

Ukraine has been attacked in an unprovoked assault on the sovereignty of a Democratic and free nation by a Tyrant named Putin and the forces of the Russian military. Overnight, they launched this all-out assault in no less than 12 different places from the Southern, Eastern and Northen borders of Ukraine. We pray for the Ukrainian people and call on President Biden, the United Nations, and the forces of NATO to stand up for the nation of Ukraine.
We offer this prayer for the people of Ukraine:
God of peace, we call upon you to be the presence of peace in this vile act and this violent assault on a people who seek peace and freedom. Surround them with your love. Protect the children, the innocent, the civilians, and the soldiers who defend their families, their homes, and their homeland in Ukraine this day and in the days to come. May we find ways to support them through prayer and protective presence during this all-out assault on sanity, sovereignty, and freedom. Be their shield and guide. Be their center in this divide. We pray this in the name of Christ our Lord, Amen.
Please read this quote from Timothy Snyder from his book On Tyranny: 21 Lessons from the 20th Century
“The president is a nationalist, which is not at all the same thing as a patriot. A nationalist encourages us to be our worst, and then tells us that we are the best. A nationalist, ‘although endlessly brooding on power, victory, defeat, revenge,’ wrote Orwell, tends to be ‘uninterested in what happens in the real world.’ Nationalism is relativist, since the only truth is the resentment we feel when we contemplate others. As the novelist Danilo Kiš put it, nationalism ‘has no universal values, aesthetic or ethical.’ A patriot, by contrast, wants the nation to live up to its ideals, which means asking us to be our best selves. A patriot must be concerned with the real world, which is the only place where his country can be loved and sustained. A patriot has universal values, standards by which he judges his nation, always wishing it well—and wishing that it would do better.”
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