Earth Day Celebration

Sunday, April 18
Join us on April 18 as we celebrate Earth Day! Our Climate Action Team will lead us in worship, sharing personal reflections and prayers. We’re also pleased to welcome Rev. Jim Antal, a retired UCC minister and author of Climate Church, Climate World, to lead a discussion about Creation Justice Churches at the forum at noon.

 

 

From Allies to Abolitionists

Sunday, April 11 at Noon – Zoom
A Brave Conversation About Equity
On April 11 at noon, we will welcome Jeff Campbell of Denver’s Emancipation Theater who will talk about the power of stories in the work of justice and what it takes to move from being an ally to being an abolitionist. In preparation for our time together, you’re invited to view their project film A Message to the Mayor.
Meeting on Zoom Meeting ID: 886 2010 8195 Passcode: JUSTICE

 

 

One Great Hour of Sharing

Sunday, March 21

One Great Hour of Sharing is a 75-year ecumenical effort to support relief efforts around the world. The 2021 United Church of Christ theme for OGHS is Let Love Flow. To see stories and photos about the impact of OGHS, click here. First Congregational will be collecting offerings this Sunday, March 21. Please give online (select “One Great Hour of Sharing” from Fund drop-down on Giving site); or mail a check with OGHS listed in the memo line.

 

 

The Butterfly Memorial Project

As we mourn the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Americans and the millions worldwide who have died or suffered illness in the pandemic, we invite you to participate in a collective expression of our grief and our healing. We are making thousands of origami butterflies, which the McMane Arts Ministry is stitching together, to lift and float from the rafters in our sanctuary in time for Easter. Bring your finished butterflies to the church during weekday office hours on or before Monday, March 29. Need a little help folding your origami butterflies for the Memorial Art Installation in the sanctuary? Watch the instructional video with Sue Allman here.

 

Mindfulness Meditation Class

Mondays, 2-3 pm, March 22 – April 26th – Zoom

Connecting with Each Other and Ourselves: Mindfulness and Self-Care

Dealing with emotions and anxiety is painful, especially when we’re separated from each other and life is no longer “normal” or familiar. Mindfulness is about being aware of what’s really going on in the present moment, on purpose, without judgment. Meditation eases stress and tension, and opens understanding and resilience. This 6-week class is about taking a pause and sharing time, while learning on our own individual path. Contact Judy Ludwig-Keller judykeller610@gmail.com

 

People of the Word

Sunday, March 21 at Noon – Zoom

Poetry for Personal Growth and Community

Join the First Cong Poetry Group in a forum on poetry appreciation and a mini-writing workshop on writing for personal and community growth.

Meeting on Zoom. Meeting ID: 870 9784 1568 Passcode: poetry

 

Women’s Spirituality Group

New Study Starting March 16, 2021

Women’s Spirituality Group (WSG) begins a 6-week study on 12 Tiny Things by Ellie Roscher & Heidi Barr. Journey with us through 12 areas of life:  work, spirituality, creativity & more. In each area we will take one tiny action sure to open up growth & renewal. WSG meets Tuesdays from 12:00-1:30p via Zoom.

For info contact: Linda Kowatch at lindakowatch@yahoo.com.

Lent Centering Prayer Group

Thursday evenings, 5:30-6:30 pm on Zoom
An online Centering Prayer small group will be offered during the season of Lent. Centering Prayer is a contemplative prayer of silence. We will meet on Thursday evenings, 5:30-6:30 p.m., beginning on February 18, and continuing until March 25, at which time we will decide how we might want to continue in the future. There will be time to learn about Centering Prayer, practice it for about 20 minutes of silence, and then reflect on our experiences. Beginners are welcome. For more information, contact Bob von Trebra trebra@comcast.net. You can also read more online here.

Global Day of Climate Action

March 11
Many free opportunities are available on this designated day where grassroot organizations of diverse religious and spiritual backgrounds are joining together to sound the climate alarm. Find out more here.

Down By the Riverside

March 14 at 12:15 – Zoom Meeting ID: 842 9935 4719 Passcode: RIVER
which exploring the 400 year-old story of the Black Church in America as “the site of African American survival and endurance, grace and resilience, thriving and testifying, freedom and independence, solidarity and speaking truth to power.” We encourage you to watch the four-hour series in advance on our local PBS network from February 17 March 16 and to join us for a panel conversation with Boulder Poet Norma Johnson, Second Baptist’s Music Director, Richard Glover and Pedro Silva.

March Food Drive

Donations Collected Week of March 1-5
Many of our neighbors need help with food and household items as they struggle with economic challenges and loss of income. You can help by donating to our monthly Food Drive to support Emergency Family Assistance Association’s food bank. To donate, contact your neighborhood coordinator: Bob Matthias, SE Boulder; Roy McCutchen, North Boulder; Bob Patoff, Lafayette/Louisville; Kristen Aldretti, Gunbarrel/Heatherwood; and Phil Braudaway-Bauman, Longmont/Niwot. Questions: Don Reed, Drive Leader.

2021 Annual Congregational Meeting

Sunday, February 28 on Zoom
Meeting ID:349 641 499 Passcode: MEETING
The Annual Congregational Meeting will be held on Sunday, February 28 immediately following worship. We’re skipping coffee hour this day to make it easier for everyone to attend. Agenda items include Remembering members who have died in the past year, the Annual Report, Election of officers and board members, approval of the 2021 Budget, and a report from the Senior Minister. Everyone is welcome. Members are heartily encouraged to attend.

2021 MacKenzie Weekend Recordings

If you missed Friday night’s lecture by Rev. Traci Blackmon or would like
to hear it again, you can watch the recording on our YouTube site here.
If you’d like to hear her sermon on Sunday morning, “Do You See What
I See?” you can watch it here.

Blue Christmas Prayer Service

Sunday, December 20, 5:00 p.m. on YouTube
On this evening just before the Winter Solstice, the Longest Night, we will pause to hold in prayer our losses and our grief – to remember the deaths of loved ones near and far, the millions sick and dying in the pandemic,
the looming sense of uncertainty, and the loss of familiar rhythms and rituals. We will a Litany of Losses, and light candles as prayers of
Longing for More Light.

Christmas Eve Lessons
and Carols Online

December 24 at 7:30 pm on YouTube
Find a candle to light and join us for worship as we tell again the story of our God who has come to be with us at Christmas, and enjoy the music of the season with choir, organ, and bells, and carol singing. The service culminates with the singing of Silent Night and lighting candles at home.

Christmas Eve Outdoor Candlelight
at the Church

December 24, 4 pm, 5 pm, and 6 pm
Come to the Pine Street side of the Church for a brief Outdoor Prayer Service to hear the Christmas story read from the Gospel of Luke, to Light Candles, and to softly sing or hum Silent Night from behind our masks. Bring a candle or lantern from home or pick up a candle or glowstick from the ushers when you arrive. There is no advance registration for these services. Wear your mask and please be mindful of maintaining physical distances from other folks as you wish them a Very Merry Christmas!

December Spiritual Support Groups

 

For Caregivers: 12/13, Noon to 1:30 pm
For Grief: 12/13, 2- 3:30 pm
Contact Bill Forbes.
For Mental Health: 12/14 and 28, 7-8:30 pm – Zoom
For those affected by mental health challenges, their family members
and friends. Contact Anne Weiher.

Advent Pilgrimage
at Only Sunshine Farm

December 6 to 24

Mowed through a field at the home of David and Laura Skaggs, this labyrinth is a little longer than a half mile walk to a manger shed. Visit prayer stations and reflect on your life in relation to Mary and Joseph’s journey. No signing up in advance. Come and go any time from morning light to evening dusk, any day of the week starting Sunday, December 6, through Christmas Eve. Wear your mask and sturdy shoes. 7428 N 73rd Street, Niwot, near the intersection of Niwot Road and Route 119.

Advent and Christmas Eve
Journey to Bethlehem

This holiday season will be different than any we have experienced before! First Congregational Church is here with you to celebrate in new ways outdoors and online with worship services and opportunities to connect with others in our community throughout the season of Advent and on Christmas Eve. Click here to find out more!

The Music of Our Lives

December 6, Noon to 1 pm
In this time when many of missing our singing together, we’ll be exploring why it matters. We’ll begin with some small group sharing: What’s your first memory of making or hearing music that mattered to you? What are your favorite Christmas Carols or Hymns and why? What’s the music that always makes you cry or feel a thrill or gives you courage? Is there a story that goes with that? We’ll gather in small groups on Zoom to share our responses to these questions and then come back together to consider why music speak to us like nothing else. Facilitated by Tom Riis and Chris Braudaway-Bauman.

Vocational Journey Interview: Harriet Simons

December 13, Noon to 1 pm
Join the second of an ongoing occasional series of Vocational Journey Interviews with FCC members to hear their stories and help us reflect on our life’s callings. We’re grateful to Harriet Simons for agreeing to be interviewed about her vocation in music, choral directing and teaching voice, including her years as Professor of Music at SUNY Buffalo and Oberlin College Conservatory. Harriet and her husband Parker Calkin were married at First Congregational Church in 1979 while on sabbatical and moved to Boulder twenty years later when they joined the church. Thank you to Tom Riis for hosting the interview.

A Cornucopia of Grace

In this season of gratitude, we find exponential joy in the generosity
of the community of First Congregational Church who contributed over 1,000 pounds of food to our local Emergency Family Assistance Association (EFAA) food bank. Contributions like these are critical for EFAA, who serves families vulnerable to housing and food insecurity
in our community. On behalf of the families they serve and their staff, they would like extend deep gratitude for the members and friends of First Congregational.

Climate Action Team Invites You To Celebrate Colorado Recycles Week

 

Governor Polis has designated this week Colorado Recycles Week. Recycling and compositing are important strategies for reducing carbon emissions. If Colorado recycled and composted just 10% more, we could cut down carbon emissions by 160,000 metric tons per year; the equivalent of taking 34,000 cars off the road. To learn more, watch this video from Governor Polis and First Gentleman Reis.

November 29: Noon to 12:45 pm on Zoom

Forum: Embracing Gratitude

Join Linda Kowatch, our seminary intern, and members of Women’s Spirituality Group for a conversation based on the book, Grateful: The Subversive Practice of Giving Thanks, by Diana Butler Bass. Together we will imagine what it would mean if we truly believed Emmanuel, God With Us. What would our lives and God’s world look like? Even in the midst of physically distancing from loved ones, can we be grateful?

Alternative Gift Market 2020

Our church has made the world brighter at Christmas through our Alternative Gift Market, raising over $200,000 for worthy causes around the world. In 2020, we will not be stopped by a pandemic! If you would like to honor your loved ones with a donation to one of 30 worthy causes, we invite you to request a catalog be mailed to you by calling 800-842-2243 or by shopping on-line at www.alternativegifts.org. It’s a life-enhancing “gift to the world” for so many who are less fortunate than us and you will be enriched by the giving. For more information, click here.

November 22 at Noon – Zoom

Processing Grief

Join Pedro Silva and Diana Shellenberger today on Zoom when we will read and listen to poetry that inspires us in these uncertain times. This week’s theme will be “Faith”. Feel free to bring or write a poem that you would like to share. Or you can just come in to listen and discuss. For more information visit the church’s Facebook page.

Sunday, November 22 at 5 pm 

Sawyer Organ Concert: David Cherwien
YouTube

In this time when we are missing our singing together, we are honored to welcome David Cherwien to lead us in an online hymn festival. The music director of the National Lutheran Choir, David Cherwien is a nationally known conductor, composer and organist, recognized for his contributions to the field of church music and liturgy.

November 16 – 20

Thanksgiving Food Drive

Participate in our monthly Food Drive to help your neighbors in need through the Emergency Family Assistance Association. EFAA’s current most wanted items are rice, spaghetti sauce, hearty canned stews, chili, pork and beans, eggs, paper towels, dish soap, toothpaste, deodorant and shampoo. Any donation of food, including perishables in good condition, and household items are appreciated. Contact your neighborhood leader to coordinate your donation: Bob Matthias, SE Boulder; Roy McCutchen, North Boulder; Bob Patoff, Lafayette/Louisville; Kristen Aldretti, Gunbarrel/Heatherwood; and Phil Braudaway-Bauman, Longmont/Niwot. Questions: Don Reed, Drive Coordinator.

planteB

Sunday, November 15

MacKenzie Lecture
Sunday Evening Panel Discussion
Larry Rasmussen, Ph.D.

Environmental Theologian Larry Rasmussen, Ph.D., will speak on Sunday evening, 5:00 to 6:30 p.m. He has written A Love Letter from One Geological Age to Another, to his grandson, Eduardo, that contrasts his lifetime (the late Holocene) with Eduardo’s (the early Anthropocene). Kirk Nordstrom, an internationally recognized geochemist at the USGS, will facilitate a panel discussion with Dr. Rasmussen, Marty Hoerling, a NOAA climate scientist specializing in connections between extreme weather events and climate change and Patty Limerick, Faculty Director and Chair of the Board of the Center of the American West at CU.

To Register. 

Sunday, November 15

Sunday Sermon
Larry Rasmussen, Ph.D.

Dr. Rasmussen’s sermon, In the Midst of New Dimensions, will focus on differing factors of climate change going forward. He is an environmental theologian and 2020 recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society of Christian Ethics.