Sunday, April 20 Fifth Sunday of Easter. Sunday, April 27 Sixth Sunday of Easter

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April 2008

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Sunday, April 20

congregation on Sunday, April 13, during worship.

9:50-11:15 a.m. Childcare for infants through age 2 10:00 a.m. Worship, Communion, OGHS, Youth Bells, Angel & Rainbow choirs Rev. John Severson, Preaching and Presiding Sermon: Lazarus Come Out 10:15 a.m. First Sunday of the Month activities 11:00 a.m. Coffee Hour 11:15 a.m. Junior Bell Choir 11:15 a.m. Adult Education: Ministerial Evaluation Survey Follow-up 4:00-6:00 p.m. Confirmation: Expressing our Faith, Sharing favorite music 5:00 p.m. Senior High Youth

9:50-11:15 a.m. Childcare for infants through age 2 10:00 a.m. Worship Damen Heitmann, Preaching and Leading Worship 10:15 a.m. Sunday School 11:00 a.m. Coffee Hour 1l:15 a.m. Junior High Youth 11:15 a.m. Adult Education: Kathy Doty will read from and discuss her book Becoming the Mother of Me. 5:30 p.m. Senior High Youth

Along with special music from our own Spirit Voices, the CY’s (Confirmation Youth) will be doing some African drumming to accompany our singing.

Third Sunday of Easter

Sunday, April 13

Fourth Sunday of Easter Confirmation Sunday 9:50-11:15 a.m. Childcare for infants through age 2 10:00 a.m. Worship, Confirmation, Spirit Voices Readings: Psalm 23; Acts 2:42-47 Sermon “Awesome” 10:15 a.m. Sunday School 11:00 a.m. Coffee Hour 11:15 a.m. Junior High Youth 11:15 a.m. Adult Education: Members of the church’s Green Group will lead a discussion on what we have done as a congregation and as individuals during the past year.

Fifth Sunday of Easter

Sunday, April 27

Sixth Sunday of Easter 9:50-11:15 a.m. Childcare for infants through age 2 10:00 a.m. Worship Readings: Psalm 66:8-20; Acts 17:22-31 Sermon “Where God Lives” 10:15 a.m. Sunday School 11:00 a.m. Fighting Apostles French Toast Breakfast 11:15 a.m. Junior High Youth No Adult Education 11:30 a.m. Parent’s Gathering 6:00 p.m. Youth Mission Trip Meeting

Confirmation Service Our Confirmation Service is earlier than usual this year – we will be welcoming young people into our Page 1

This is an important milestone in the lives of our youth and their families, and we hope you will make a special point to be in worship that day.

Seminary Intern to lead Service Our Seminary intern, Damen Heitmann, will be preaching and leading our worship service on April 20. As you know, Damen has been developing his skills during his time with us. This is his opportunity to “put it all together” on a Sunday morning.

French Toast Breakfast The Fighting Apostles, the First UCC softball team, will be cooking their way into shape with a French Toast breakfast Sunday, April 27, following church. Everyone is invited. There will be French toast, sausage links, coffee and juice. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for children. Families of any size can eat for $12. This is the team' s annual fundraiser. Proceeds go toward its entry fee in the Northfield Church Softball League.

Dear Members and Friend, In our Prayers ƒ Paula Lawrence, recovering from eye surgery ƒ Marty Pelikan, recovering from heart surgery ƒ Cissy Shannon, facing additional foot surgery ƒ Pat Lampe, concerned about her husband Bob’s recent stroke ƒ Mark Fischer, who recently had cataract surgery ƒ Elaine Malecha (our church office manager), grieving the death of her father, Art Frandrup ƒ Pat Tate, having a problem with her vocal chords ƒ Mavis Larkin, experiencing vision problems ƒ Judith Youngman (Minnesota Conference UCC staff) recently hospitalized with Influenza ƒ Charles Messner, recently hospitalized with Influenza ƒ Our members who are in Nicaragua on a medical mission: Mary, Gary, Sarah, and Claire Carlson, and Anne Meyer-Ruppel ƒ All those whose lives have been touched by the 5 years of war in Iraq

Check out the Website Take a moment to check out our congregation’s website at We had some bad luck with it in March, but we are in the process of rebuilding it. The new look has lots more features every week – including several “ musings” by Pastor Sandy. We hope to post many more photos and more information about the many activities that go on in our church. If you have a yen to help make this work, please contact Pastor Sandy or Vice-Moderator Ed Lufkin.

At the present time our church parking lot has two handicapped parking spaces--one obviously marked and the other tucked up against the very western edge of the lot and marked only with printed marking on the asphalt surface. Also, there is space for a third vehicle to park near the rear entrance without obstructing the entrance. The trustees will be exploring the possibility of designating additional handicapped spaces. In the meantime, I ask you to consider parking on the street on Sunday morning if you don' t have materials to unload and if walking that distance is not a hardship for you. (We do appreciate those of you who can and do walk or bike to our services.) Wouldn' t it be an extravagant welcome if even folks with young children or others who arrive with only a few minutes to spare would find a parking space in the lot awaiting them! Kathy Kasten, Moderator

Thanks for the Great Musical We want to offer our thanks to all the children and adults who gave us such a wonderful gift on Palm Sunday – the presentation of “ It’s Cool in the Furnace.” Special kudos to Janet Lewis Muth, our Director of Children’s Music, who undertook all of the extra work needed to bring the production together. We really appreciate her leadership, and the ways she helps the children to bring their talents and energy appropriately into our worship. “ It’s Cool in the Furnace” photos . . . http:/ / severson1# 100196&bgcolor=black&view=grid Page 2

Church Office Hours June through August Monday through Thursday 7:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon September through May Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.


(507) 645-7532, 645-4694

Fax (507) 645-0930 Websites


Minister: Rev. Sandra Johnson [email protected] Seminary Intern: Damen Heitmann [email protected] Coordinator of Pastoral Care: Cathy Cammack [email protected] Director of Educational and Youth Ministries: Cher Duys [email protected] Director of Music: Chris Brunelle [email protected] Director of Children’s Music: Janet Lewis Muth, [email protected] Director of Spirit Voices: Bob Gregory-Bjorklund [email protected] Organist: Theo Wee [email protected] Office Manager: Elaine Malecha [email protected] Bookkeeper: Andrea Pegram [email protected] Custodian: Ron Olson Childcare Coordinator: Tracy O’Neill Night Security: Mark Fischer Officer Moderator: Kathy Kasten

Dear Friends, One of the laments I hear from our lay leaders and staff members is that it is very difficult to come to church on Sunday mornings. They find themselves bombarded with questions and concerns when what they really want to do (like everyone else) is to worship and visit with other folks. I know how tempting it is to take care of “ church business” on Sunday morning. The very people that you need to talk to are right there, and your question/ concern/ request will only take a minute, right? Well, maybe. Lots of questions, concerns, and requests take a lot longer than a minute. More importantly, a whole series of one minute conversations can take up a lot of time, and steal important worship and fellowship time from our leaders and staff members. Let me make one important exception: when someone makes an announcement during the Work of the People and invites you to talk with them, sign up for something, or give an opinion – then, certainly, feel free to do so.

emails, and have meetings. Let’s use our precious Sunday morning time for the special joys of worship and fellowship – and make it easier for our leaders and staff to enjoy them with us. Grace and peace, Sandy

(“ Scrip” ) for local and national retailers through the church at face value, and the church (who purchases the cards at a discount) keeps the difference - up to 15% of the card’s face value!. You receive full value of the gift card, the church does the work and makes the profit.

Sandy’s Schedule

How much have we made so far? In our first three months with only a few families participating we generated over $500 in profits. We would love to have 100 families participating regularly in the program after the first year, with the potential to raise thousands of dollars!

Pastor Sandy will be on vacation April 5-9. The Rev. John Severson will preach and lead worship on Sunday, April 6.

Women’s Spirituality Group The Women’s Spirituality group will meet on Saturday morning, April 5, at 9:30. We will discuss the book, Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. Because of the low turnout for the March group, we decided to discuss the book in April. As always, please bring your ideas. It will be helpful if you can let Cathy know if you plan to attend. This group is open to all women of First UCC and their friends.

But the rest of the time, I want to encourage you to let Sunday at church be a genuine experience of Sabbath. Put aside the work you do for the church – no matter how important or timely it may be – and be with God and with the people in your faith community.

After a brief hiatus while we finetuned our procedures, we are thrilled to report that UCC will resume selling scrip again in April!

There are lots of other things you could talk about during coffee hour. You could critique the sermon (or ask me a question about it); you could compliment the musicians, readers, and others who make our services so special; you could reach out to really get to know someone you have not yet met (maybe one of our children or youth).

With Scrip you can… …donate 2-15% of many of your everyday purchases to First UCC…without spending a dime? …donate 8-15% of your restaurant bill to First UCC…without spending a dime? …donate $1.50 to First UCC each time you fill your gas tank…without spending a dime?

There is plenty of time the rest of the week to make phone calls, write

How does it work? It’s a simple process: you purchase gift cards

SCRIP is back!

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How do I buy Scrip? You submit your order to the coordinator on the website, print the order confirmation and submit it with your check to First UCC. Or you can fill out an order form and pay by check to First UCC. The coordinator can submit the order online for you. Orders submitted with payment by 2:00 p.m. Sunday can be picked up the following Sunday after worship. A complete list of participating retailers can be found at Simply click on “ retailers” . What’s the catch? Well, we haven’t found one! This program will make it possible for First UCC to bring in thousands of dollars per year – at virtually no cost. The more we participate, the more we earn for our church How Can I find out more? Come see us after worship in the assembly room. We’ll see you there! Are there other ways I can help? You can help as a coordinator - talk to Sue or Mary. Coordinators take turns, and when you’re “ on duty” it requires only 1-2 hours per week of your time. Scrip Coordinators Sue Mieska and Mary Hakes

Pastoral Ponderings In case you haven’t guessed it, pastoral care is a subject dear to my heart. Now that the Lenten season is behind us, I thought this would be a good time to review some topics related to this important ministry. On Saturday, March 15, a group of pastoral volunteers gathered for a potluck luncheon here at church. This gathering resulted in some important idea sharing, which wasn’t limited to the food.( which, by the way, was wonderful !) We plan to meet quarterly to support and encourage all those who are or wish to be involved in pastoral volunteering. If this is an interest for you, please watch for the announcements of upcoming get togethers. A vital piece of the pastoral care of this congregation is communication. Without timely communication, Rev. Sandy and I cannot do our work. If we aren’t aware of needs, it is impossible for us to reach out to our members who may be experiencing a difficult time. Strict rules governing confidentiality prevent hospitals and care centers from contacting the patient’s church unless the patient has specified for that to happen. How can you help? If you or a loved one is hospitalized, please let the church office know. If you know of someone who is going through a difficult time, and that they may be in need of pastoral care, please ask if it is all right to contact us. We are blessed with a strong group of pastoral volunteers. These volunteers provide meals, rides, visits, etc., for individuals and families experiencing a difficult time. We cannot utilize this group of helpers if we aren’t aware of the need. There is now a space on the bulletin board near the parking lot entry for announcements related to pastoral

care. Please check this out when you come to the church. Rev. Sandy and I can both be contacted by phone or email. In addition, the Congregational Care Council members’ email addresses and phone numbers are on the bulletin board. Please help us take care of one another. We are all in this ministry together. Peace always, Cathy

Church office to be closed The church offices will be closed on April 4 for moving of offices. Although the office will be closed you will be able to leave either phone messages (645-7532) or emails ([email protected]). Thursday, April 3: Church offices closed to allow for moving computers, furniture, and other office items. Volunteers needed at 9:00 a.m. Friday, April 4: Church offices closed to allow for unpacking of office items.

February Concert The Manna Task Force is pleased to report that the concert “ First UCC Presents” was a success. Despite a bitterly cold evening, 250 people attended. A majority in the audience were from outside of our congregation, we were pleased they were able to see and enjoy our refurbished sanctuary. The concert was also profitable. After all expenses were paid, we netted $671.45. We turned the money over to the Board of Trustees and to be used at its discretion. We want to thank everyone who contributed to the concert' s success Page 4

and supported this idea. We had fun and will try it again next year. The Manna Task Force Concert Committee: Sue Mieska, Mary Hakes, Bob Gregory-Bjorklund and Scott Richardson

"Survey Follow-Up" Last September you were asked to fill out a questionnaire about Sandy Johnson' s ministry. The results have been tabulated (and reported on the website and in the Annual Report in January) and since Sandy' s return from sabbatical in February, MCRC (Minister Congregation Relations Committee) has met with Sandy to discuss the results and to develop her draft goals for 2008. The committee also reported to the Council on March 5th and will hold a "Survey Follow-up" meeting during the adult education time period on Sunday, April 6th. Anyone interested in discussing the role of the minister in our congregation, the survey results, and the draft goals for 2008 is invited to attend. We welcome your response.

WOW’s (Wise Older Women)

All are welcome to gather for coffee and conversation with our neighbors at the Northfield Retirement Community on Wednesday, April 16. We meet in the Manor Dining Room at 9:30 a.m. Questions? Call Jane McWilliams, 645-8423.

Prayer Chain Call Cathy at church if you have a prayer need for the prayer chain or if you want to join the prayer chain. This requires no meetings, no contributions---just your agreement to hold the needs of others in your personal prayer intentions.

Kathy Doty to read Kathy to read from her book, Becoming the Mother of Me: A Memoire, during Adult Education on Sunday, April 13. Kathy will also read from her book, and answer questions about her life at 10:30 a.m. Monday, April 14th at Village on the Cannon, apartment 1205 (The Barbours’) Kathryn Adams and Fred Doty are members of our church who have been living in Mankato near their daughter for several years. She has had a most interesting life. As a student at Hamline, she won a popular radio talent contest and headed to Hollywood. Kathy left a film acting career to marry Hugh Beaumont of Leave It to Beaver fame, (with whom she had 3 children), taught school, became a licensed psychologist--and after retirement she and Fred, (who is also writing his memoir as a minister) moved back to Minnesota and began a writing career. She has published two young adult novels and won the Midwest book award.

Dear friends, We are humbled by the support for our work in Nicaragua through ISLA. First, in January, one announcement requesting used back packs brought so many that some have been saved for use next year. During the January trip scholarships were awarded to high-achieving students who could not attend secondary school without ISLA’s support. Part of the fun of that day is watching the students and their families select a backpack from those that have been donated. (Thanks to all in this congregation who have “ adopted” a student.) Again in March, one announcement brought in more than 350 toothbrushes! The high school students created a dental education

workshop that they will bring to elementary classrooms, where most students have never seen a dentist, and they will be able to give each child a toothbrush. Adults and college students on the team will work with local community members to finish work on a school, while health care professionals work with a women’s group to offer education on women’s health issues and continue our cervical cancer screening program. Lastly, two psychiatrists will provide care to people who survived the Contra war, but have no access to mental health services. We appreciate all the support you have given us over the years. Check out the ISLA web site at, and consider coming next year! Mary, Gary, Sarah, and Claire Carlson and A nne Meyer Ruppel

Childcare needed One adult and one youth volunteer are needed for each Sunday. If you are interested please sign up on the calendars in the nursery, or contact Tammy at 507-332-0382 or [email protected] Thank you. Thank you too, to those who answered our requests for toys for the nursery. The Duplo table and Duplos, and the numerous fruit and kitchen items are all appreciated. Tammy Rischmiller

HOPE Center Celebration On May 22, there will be a Luminary Celebration on Bridge Square, celebrating the contributions made to the HOPE Center’s annual appeal. One luminary will be lit for each donor who has given $25.00. The SS&R Committee has designated April 20 as Luminary Celebration Day in our congregation. Located in Faribault, the HOPE Center (Healing, Outreach, Prevention and Education) offers

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direct support to victims of violence in Rice County.

Thank you, ƒ A huge “ Thank you” to all for the prayer shawl, flowers, cards and emails, as well as, prayers and thoughts which were sent our way. Thank you also, to those who attended my father’s wake and funeral, your presence was much appreciated. Elaine Malecha and family of A rt Frandrup


Thank you for the wonderful Ester lilies and Easter Service! We love having fresh flowers around, it’s so cheerful. We appreciate your thoughtfulness. Laura Baker School

ƒ Thank you too, to our anonymous donor who covered the expenses (earlier this month) of a staff lunch out at the St. Olaf Kings room. from the Staff of First UCC ƒ Thank you so much for opening your church building for O.W.L. training. As a member of the class, I truly appreciated your hospitality! ƒ We thank you for your financial support and for becoming a member organization of Faith Family Fairness Alliance. Your contribution will help us to continue supporting equality for all GLBT persons in Minnesota. Faith Family Fairness A lliance ƒ Your generous gift will help us invest in creating opportunities for children, adults and families to achieve their greatest potential. Catholic Charities ƒ From those who have received the generous and thoughtful gifts given to patients of the St. Peter Regional Treatment Center. Please accept our utmost appreciation. Saint Peter Regional Treatment Center

Christian Education Children

10:15 a.m. Sundays on Sunday School level. April 27: Parents Gathering, during worship (after children’s time) ƒ Summer and Fall Sunday school curriculum information ƒ Pilgrim Point Camp information ƒ Hopes and Dreams for your child’s faith formation at First UCC N ursery available for infants–two years of age.

Pockets magazines and board books in name tag kiosk. First Sundays: Grades 4-6 participate in worship; preschoolgrade 3 multi-age class. April 6: Godly Play Story with Shana. The children’s worship bags are now hanging up outside the southeast Sanctuary door. The children’s books are now in the children’s library on the Sunday School level along with videos, cd’s and more. Angel Choir (for ages 4 through Kindergarten) rehearse at 3:30 p.m. on most Wednesdays. Janet Muth, director Rainbow Choir (for grade 2 through 5) rehearse at 4:15 p.m. on most Wednesdays. Janet Muth, director

Junior High Youth

Grades 7 & 8 11:15 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Sundays Please check your emails for more information.

April 6: Hogan Brothers with Teresa Morris and Kathy Clark April 13: Bible Trivia extravaganza with Damen Heitmann April 20: Earth Day activities April 27: Vertical Endeavours (6th graders welcome too!)

Senior High Youth Confirmation Youth (CY) 4:00-6:00 p.m. Sundays (including supper) Post Confirmation Youth (PCY) Grades 10-12. Please check your emails for more information. April 18/ 19: N ight on the Streets – fundraiser/ sleep-out to raise awareness of homelessness with Cher and Angie Kruse. Mission Trip Meetings (14 youth going to serve with Habitat for Humanity and LaPuente Home in Alamosa, Colorado!) April 27: 11:30-12:00 noon Parents Meeting (Senior High Lounge) April 27: 6:00-7:30 p.m. Youth Meeting Please continue supporting the Senior High service project by dropping off diapers for the food shelf.

For more information check out

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Adults/ Intergenerational Mark your Calendars May 4 through 11: Hanging baskets ready for pick-up. Those left after May 11 will be resold or donated. Thanks to all who supported the mission trip! May 18: Chili dinner fundraiser to support the mission trip! Thickets available beginning May 4. Senior Choir rehearses on Wednesdays at 7:00 p.m. and on Sundays at 9:00 a.m. Chris Brunelle, director Spirit Voices Bob Gregory-Bjorklund, director Adult Education April 6: MCRC discussion of the congregation’s evaluation last fall of our minister and of her goals for the coming year. April 13: Our Green Discipleship. Members of the church’s Green Group lead a discussion about what we have done as a congregation and as individuals since Earth Sunday 2007 and what we can do in the year ahead to orient ourselves and our children to be sound stewards of God’s creation. April 20: Kathy Doty will read from and discuss her new book, Becoming the Mother of Me. April 27: Fighting Apostles Brunch. No Adult Ed. May 4: First UCC Earth Sunday Fair, free trees, composting, rain barrels, locally grown food, Minnesota Energy Challenge, home energy audits, landscaping for birds and chemicals, make your own green cleaning products, etc.

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First United Church of Christ 300 Union Street Northfield MN 55057

Non-Profit Organization U. S. Postage PAID Permit No. 119

Change Service Requested

OGHS Special Offering, Sunday, April 6, 2008 - One Great Hour of Sharing, as part of Our Church’s Wider Mission, is the special mission offering of the United Church of Christ that carries God' s message of love and hope to people in more than eighty countries. The UCC works with international partners to provide sources of clean water and food, education and health care, small business micro-credit, emergency relief, and advocacy and resettlement for refugees and displaced persons. OGHS also supports domestic and international ministries for disaster preparedness. For example, people living in camps in Darfur depend on humanitarian aid agencies for all their basic needs: food, water, shelter and essential household items. But with community centers in eleven camps, ACT-Caritas is providing something more: These centers help people overcome trauma. Funds from the One Great Hour of Sharing offering and designated gifts are supporting this important ministry. Our gifts are needed now for this and other ministries, at home and abroad. During the coming weeks, the Service and Social Responsibility Committee will illustrate these ministries as we prepare locally to help the national United Church of Christ meet the goal of $100,000 in support.

Art Show: Jesus Through the Ages. To inaugurate the soon-to-be-refurbished Assembly Room, the Arts Committee will host an art show devoted to the many ways that Jesus has been depicted through the centuries. The show will be on display in the Assembly Room from early May through early June. If you own a suitable work of art, either contemporary or historical, that you would like to be considered for inclusion in the exhibit, please get in touch soon with a member of the Arts Committee (Gary Kasten, Jan Stevens, Jane McDonnell, Karen Achberger, Chris Brunelle). Page 8