CHURCH CALENDAR THIS WEEK

TUESDAY, February 24th
8:30 am  Coffee Bunch @ Travelers’
WEDNESDAY, February 25th
Newsletter goes in the mail
5:30 pm  Lenten meal & program
THURSDAY, February 26th
11:30 am  United Way Food Drop @ New Life
NEXT SUNDAY, March 1st
KXRA Radio Sunday
10:00 am  Worship
11:00 am  Fellowship
_______________________________________________
February has been designated as “Black History Month.”  Thanks to Diane Alveshere, Barb Grover and the worship team for their leadership in this project.  Throughout the entire month, different black leaders are being featured.  This Sunday, Ben Kakac will tell us more about the life and times of Jackie Robinson.  Feel free to take a  copy of Ben’s research which is available at the Ushers’ table.
________________________________________________
The Annual Men’s Dartball Tournament is this afternoon at 1:30 pm, at Zion.  Come and watch and cheer for our great guys who have been playing and practicing since October.  Please, come and watch and give your support!!!
________________________________________________
Our Lenten Series begins this Wednesday!  Everyone is invited to join us for a light meal at 5:30 pm which is hosted this week by Ann Branch, Merle & Barb Harth, and Joyce Hodge.  The program will follow from 6:00-7:00.  This week we will ponder questions around the thought “when I was a stranger, you took me in.”  The local Inclusion Network will provide leadership in this discussion as we explore how it feels to be “a stranger.”  Please invite your friends and neighbors to this week’s discussion and/or any of the remaining Wednesday evening events in our Lenten series!                  -The Board of Spiritual Life
________________________________________________
Reminder:  When making your grocery shopping list, please include a non-perishable food item for the Bountiful Basket.  During February and March we are collecting for the Douglas County Outreach Food Shelf serving more than 20 families a day and more than 4,880 families in 2014.  Thank you for caring.        –Missions Comm.
_______________________________________________
2015 Offering Envelopes:  New boxes of offering envelopes for 2015 are available at the back of the sanctuary.  Please sign your name on the line next to the number of the box that you take.  Thank you!
_______________________________________________
Our Angels responsible for visiting and delivering blankets to those hospitalized or grieving in February are JoAnne Norling (763-6703) and Helen Williams (762-0315).  Thank you, Angels.  If you know of someone in the congregation who could use a caring visit, please contact one of the Angels named above.
____________________________________________
Be a U-stream Sponsor!  As of February we have had 1,600 people view us on U-stream, our internet TV channel.  We also have 16 regular followers who watch us weekly—
snowbirds and home-bound members who can’t get to worship, but wish to stay connected to the Church they love?   The cost to us as a Church for this service is $99 monthly, roughly $25 per Sunday.  There is enough money left in the “Enhanced Worship Fund” to guarantee 11 more months of broad-casts.  Therefore, the Board of Administration is asking for your support.  If you would like to underwrite a weekly broadcast in honor or memory of a loved one at $25, or for a month or more of broadcasts at a higher level, please contact Barb in the Church office.  Thank you!                                              -Board of Administration
____________________________________________
Per Capita Dues are Requested of Our Church Members:  Packets that were not picked up on the past two Sundays have now been mailed to families.  We are requesting per capita dues of $25 for an individual Church membership and
$50 for a family membership.  Dues are re-quested to be paid by March 1st.  Thank you
for your support.
____________________________________________
Notice to all Committees:  Please begin preparing and submitting your annual reports for the upcoming Programmatic Meeting to be held in May.  Reports would be appreciated in the Church office by April 1st.  Thank you!
___________________________________________
Get One, Give One Away!  Our Membership Committee has provided us with bookmarks!  Please take two, one for yourself and one to give to a friend!  The book marks may be found on the Visitors’ table at the back of the sanctuary where the visitor coffee mugs are located.
___________________________________________
Watch Us on Charter Cable Channel 181!  Charter Cable TV has updated their public access channel listing for our weekly Church service rebroadcast.  We are now on Channel 181 at 9 amdaily.  Be sure to tune in to catch the service, and please do invite friends and family to watch.  The most recent service is aired on Wednesday through the following week.
Our service is also on the internet on U-stream any time.  Go to U-stream, and in the search window type in our Church channel name: firstcongochurch, or watch live on Sunday mornings!                                         –Tech Team
___________________________________________
A “Must Read” – Copies of our revised Safe Church Policy and Conditional Attendance Agreement are available at the back of the sanctuary or from the Church office. –Council
_____________________________________________
Lay Readers and Ushers needed yet for several Sundays in March!  There is a sign-up sheet at the back of the sanctuary for Ushers and Lay Readers for March 15, 22 & 29.  Please consider partici-pating in our worship services and sign-up for a Sunday that you could help.  Thank you!
-Worship Committee
________________________________________________
Flu Shots are still available in the Community.  Former Parish Nurse, Sandy Hill, urges everyone to get protected and at the same time help protect others around you.
_______________________________________________
Special Thanks is Due!  Ash Wednesday evening
I had the opportunity to sit in on the Tech Com-mittee meeting.  Thank you, Jay Clark, for the wonderful work you are doing for our Church in keeping up with the website and so much more!

-Thanks and more thanks!!!   -Julie Hjelm
_______________________________________________
Community News from Someplace Safe

United Communities Advocating Non-Violence (UCAN), along with Someplace Safe, are “kicking off” the White Ribbon Campaign in Alexandria and Douglas County.  It is an effort to get community members, especially men and boys, to take the following pledge:
“I pledge—never to commit, condone
or remain silent about violence against
women and children.”
UCAN is inviting you as a committed community member to the “kick-off event” at Alexandria City Hall (704 Broadway) at 12 noon on Friday, February 27th, 2015.  A light lunch will be served and a short presentation will be given.  UCAN is inviting people to wear the white ribbon during the month of March as a public statement of your support.  If you have questions or would like more information, please contact Susan Keehn at 320-762-1995 at Someplace Safe.
* * * * * * * * * *
Someplace Safe presents their 6th Annual Vintage Tea event on Saturday, February 28th, at 11:00 am at Living Waters Church in Alexandria.  Tickets are $20.  If you are interested in purchasing a ticket, please see Susan Keehn or call Someplace Safe at 320-762-1995.

CHURCH CALENDAR THIS WEEK

MONDAY, February 16th
Newsletter items due today
6:30 pm Darts practice (note time!)
TUESDAY, February 17th
8:30 am Coffee Bunch @ Travelers’
9:30 am Administrative Board meets
WEDNESDAY, February 18th
7:00 pm Ash Wednesday worship service
THURSDAY, February 19th
9:30 am Morning Circle @ Galaxy
1:00 pm Circle II meets
3:00-6:00 pm Local Harvest Market drop
6:30 pm Church Council meets
SATURDAY, February 21st
9:00-1:30 pm Confirmation Retreat
@ Church
NEXT SUNDAY, February 22nd
10:00 am Worship/Hymn-sing
11:00 am Fellowship
1:30 pm Dartball Tournament @ Zion
___________________________________________
February has been designated as “Black History Month.” Thanks to Diane Alveshere, Barb Grover and the worship team for their leadership in this project. Throughout the entire month, different black leaders are being featured. This Sunday, Jon Hall will tell us more about the life and times of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
____________________________________________
Our Traditional Ash Wednesday Worship Service is this Wednesday at 7:00 pm and will include communion. Then, each Wednesday evening thereafter throughout the Lenten season, we will begin with a light supper at 5:30 pm followed by a discussion series entitled, “Strangers No Longer.” Everyone is welcome to join us for any or all of the events!! -The Board of Spiritual Life
________________________________________________
2015 Offering Envelopes: New boxes of offering envelopes for 2015 are available at the back of the sanctuary. Please sign your name on the line next to the number of the box that you take. Thank you!
____________________________________________
Our Angels responsible for visiting and delivering blankets to those hospitalized or grieving in February are JoAnne Norling (763-6703) and Helen Williams (762-0315). Thank you, Angels. If you know of someone in the congregation who could use a caring visit, please contact one of the Angels named above.
____________________________________________
Mark February 27 & 28 on your calendar! Those are the days of the spring Herberger’s Community Days! To qualify to sell coupon books at the store those days, we must sell 75 books
beforehand and be signed up to work at the store by Feb. 19. It is difficult for people to understand what an easy and beneficial fundraiser this event is. The groups that are the most successful approach their members on the basis of asking them to look at it as a $5 donation to the Church. If each member makes a $5 donation, the qualifications and the profits are so simple. These funds help finance many of our mission projects. And they do it with so little effort.

Take a moment to give it some thought: You donate $5 to the Church by purchasing a book, and you receive a $10 coupon on items priced over $10, as well as more than $500 worth of coupons!! The books make great gifts and are
usable in any of the stores listed on the cover
nationwide on the days of the event.

Just a tip: Several members usually buy the books but say they will not be using them. In that case, I keep the books and then pay the minimal co-pay to purchase some crock pots, housewares, etc., and then donate them to our Silent Auction. These items sell well there and we get those profits also!

We are currently selling coupon books for $5. See Kathryn, Celesta or Carol Zavadil!!! -KL
____________________________________________
Be a U-stream Sponsor! As of January we have had 1,500 people view us on U-stream, our internet TV channel. Did you know we also have 16 regular followers who watch us weekly as well—snowbirds and homebound members who can’t get to worship, but wish to stay connected to the Church they love? The cost to us as a Church for this service is $99 monthly, roughly $25 per Sunday. There is enough money left in the “Enhanced Worship Fund” to guarantee 10 more months of broadcasts. Therefore, the Board of Administration is asking for your support. If you would like to underwrite a weekly broadcast in honor or memory of a loved one at $25, or for a month or more of broadcasts at a higher level, please contact Barb in the Church office. Thank you! -Board of Administration
____________________________________________
Per Capita Dues are Requested of Our Church Members: Packets that were not picked up on the past two Sundays have now been mailed to families. We are requesting per capita dues of $25 for an individual Church membership and
$50 for a family membership. Dues are re-quested to be paid by March 1st. Thank you for your support.
____________________________________________
Notice to all Committees: Please begin preparing and submitting your annual reports for the upcoming Programmatic Meeting to be held in May. Reports would be appreciated in the Church office by April 1st. Thank you!
___________________________________________
Get One, Give One Away! Our Membership Committee has provided us with bookmarks! Please take two, one for yourself and one to give to a friend! The book marks may be found on the Visitors’ table at the back of the sanctuary where the visitor coffee mugs are located.
___________________________________________
Our Missions Committee has designated our Bountiful Basket collection for the months of February and March to benefit our local Outreach Food Shelf. Donations of cash or non-perishable items will be greatly appreciated by many in our own community. Thank you for caring.
______________________________________________
Watch Us on Charter Cable Channel 181! Charter Cable TV has updated their public access channel listing for our weekly Church service rebroadcast. We are now on Channel 181 at 9 am daily. Be sure to tune in to catch the service, and please do invite friends and family to watch. The most recent service is aired on Wednesday through the following week.
Our service is also on the internet on U-stream any time. Go to U-stream, and in the search window type in our Church channel name: firstcongochurch, or watch live on Sunday mornings! –Tech Team
___________________________________________
A “Must Read” – Copies of our revised Safe Church Policy and Conditional Attendance Agreement are available at the back of the sanctuary or from the Church office. –Council
_____________________________________________
Lay Readers and Ushers needed for March! There is a sign-up sheet at the back of the sanctuary for Ushers and Lay Readers for the month of March. Please consider participating in our worship services and sign-up for a Sunday that you could help. Thank you! -Worship Committee
________________________________________________
Flu Shots are still available in the Community. Former Parish Nurse, Sandy Hill, urges everyone to get protected and at the same time help protect others around you.
________________________________________________
The Annual Men’s Dartball Tournament is NEXT Sunday, 1:30 pm, at Zion. Come and watch and cheer for our great guys who have been playing and practicing since October. Please, come and watch!!!
_______________________________________________
Someplace Safe presents their 6th Annual Vintage Tea event on Saturday, February 28th, at 11:00 am at Living Waters Church in Alexandria. Tickets are $20. If you are interested in hosting a table or purchasing a ticket, please see Susan Keehn or call Someplace Safe at 320-762-1995.

OUR CHURCH THIS WEEK

MONDAY, February 9th
Newsletter items due NEXT Mon, Feb. 16
7:00 pm Darts here
TUESDAY, February 10th
8:30 am Coffee Bunch @ Travelers’
9:00 am Friendly Service
WEDNESDAY, February 11th
6:00 pm M.I.S.S. meets
NEXT SUNDAY, February 15th
10:00 am Worship
11:00 am Fellowship
11:15-2:00 F.R.O.G. Club meets
___________________________________________
February has been designated as “Black History Month.” Thanks to Diane Alveshere, Barb Grover and the worship team for their leadership in this project. Throughout the entire month, different black leaders are being featured. This Sunday, Samantha Kakac has done some research about Rosa Parks and what role she played in the Civil Rights Movement. Her report follows:

Rosa was born shortly after the Civil War ended, on February 4, 1913, in Tuskegee, Alabama. Because Rosa was black she only went to school for 5 months out of the year, while whites went to school for 9 months out of the year. When Rosa was young she had tonsillitis, which means her tonsils got infected and she was often sick. Therefore, she often missed school. Rosa went to a middle school where both blacks and whites went to the same school. Rosa never finished 10th and 11th grade because her grand-mother was sick and she had to care for her. Rosa was not happy about it, but she said it needed to be done.

On December 1, 1955, Rosa boarded the bus to ride home from work. When too many white people got on the bus, the bus driver told Rosa to get off the bus and let the white people sit down. She said no. The bus driver told her he would call the police and she said you may do that. The bus driver called the police and they arrested her. A family member bailed her out of jail. She said that she didn’t get off the bus because she was tried from work, but because she was tired of being pushed around by the whites.

On December 5, 1955, Rosa and most of the blacks formed a boycott against riding the buses. They stayed off the buses for 381 days; and after that the company had to close because there were not enough people riding to keep them in business. The blacks had won the boycott! Martin Luther King was the leader of the group that formed the boycott.

In 1957 Rosa moved to Detroit, Michigan, to support the Civil Rights Act. As a result of her work to improve the lives of African Americans, Rosa has streets named after her, a bronze statue of her is at the Smithsonian, and a library and
museum in Montgomery, Alabama, was opened and dedicated to her. Rosa was also given the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1996 by President Clinton and the Congressional Medal of Freedom in 1999, which is the highest award Congress can give.

Rosa died on October 24, 2005, in Detroit, Michigan, at the age of 92.

(Note: A copy of Samantha’s internet resources is available in the Church office) ____________________________________________
2015 Offering Envelopes: New boxes of offering envelopes for 2015 are available at the back of the sanctuary. Please sign your name on the line next to the number of the box that you take. Thank you!
____________________________________________
Our Angels responsible for visiting and delivering blankets to those hospitalized or grieving in February are JoAnne Norling (763-6703) and Helen Williams (762-0315). Thank you, Angels. If you know of someone in the congregation who could use a caring visit, please contact one of the Angels named above.
____________________________________________
Mark February 27 & 28 on your calendar! Those are the days of the spring Herberger’s Community Days! To qualify to sell coupon books at the store those days, we must sell 75 books
beforehand and be signed up to work at the store by Feb. 19. It is difficult to help people understand what an easy and beneficial fundraiser this event is. The groups that are the most successful approach their members on the basis of asking them to look at it as a $5 donation to the Church. If each member makes a $5 donation, the qualifications and the profits are so simple. These funds help fund many of our
mission projects. And they do it with so little effort. To date we have sold 20 books and these sales involve the help/
support of 15 of our members!

Take a moment to give it some thought: You donate $5 to the Church by purchasing a book, and you receive a $10 coupon on items priced over $10, as well as more than $500 worth of coupons!! The books make great gifts and are usable in any of the stores listed on the cover nationwide on the days of the event.

Just a tip: Several members usually buy the books but say they will not be using them. In that case, I keep the books and then pay the minimal co-pay to purchase some crock pots, housewares, etc., and then donate them to our Silent Auction. These items sell well there and we get those profits also.

We are currently selling coupon books for $5. See Kathryn, Celesta or Carol Zavadil!!! -KL
____________________________________________
Lent is Fast Approaching! Ash Wednesday is on February 18th, and we will have our traditional Ash Wednesday worship service at 7:00 pm with communion. Then, each Wednesday evening thereafter throughout the Lenten season, we will begin with a light supper at 5:30 pm followed by a discussion series entitled, “Strangers No Longer.” Stay tuned and watch for more details in upcoming weeks!!!
-The Spiritual Life Committee
____________________________________________
Be a U-stream Sponsor! As of January we have had 1,500 people view us on U-stream, our internet TV channel. Did you know we also have 16 regular followers who watch us weekly as well—snowbirds and homebound members who can’t get to worship, but wish to stay connected to the Church they love? The cost to us as a Church for this service is $99 monthly, roughly $25 per Sunday. There is enough money left in the “Enhanced Worship Fund” to guarantee 10 more months of broadcasts. Therefore, the Board of Administration is asking for your support. If you would like to underwrite a weekly broadcast in honor or memory of a loved one at $25, or for a month or more of broadcasts at a higher level, please contact Barb in the Church office. Thank you! -Board of Administration
____________________________________________
Per Capita Dues are Requested of Our Church Members: On the Ushers’ table you will find an envelope with your family name on it requesting per capita dues of $25 for an individual Church membership and $50 for a family membership. Please pick up your envelope so we won’t have so many to mail out. Dues are requested to be paid by March 1st. Thank you for your support.
____________________________________________
Notice to all Committees: Please begin preparing and submitting your annual reports for the upcoming Programmatic Meeting to be held in May. Reports would be appreciated in the Church office by April 1st. Thank you!
-Barb, Church office
___________________________________________
Get One, Give One Away! Today is the day to pick up two of our new book marks! You may keep one for yourself and then give the other to a friend! The book marks may be found on the Visitors’ table at the back of the sanctuary where the visitor coffee mugs are located. These are the provided by our Membership Committee.

CHURCH CALENDAR THIS WEEK

MONDAY, January 26th
  7:00 pm  Darts here   
TUESDAY, January 27th 
  8:30 am  Coffee Bunch @ Travelers’
WEDNESDAY, January 28th  
12:00-1:00 pm  Choir practice
 Newsletter goes in the mail
THURSDAY, January 29th
 11:00 am  United Way Food Drop @ New Life
NEXT SUNDAY, February 1st
     KXRA Radio Sunday
 10:00 am  Worship
 11:00 am  Fellowship
 ___________________________________________
Seeking Lay Readers for February:
Betty Anderson
 has signed up for reading on Sunday,
February 8th, but the whole rest of the month is open and needing readers—including NEXT Sunday, February 1st.  Can you help??  Please sign up on the sheet at the back of the sanctuary.  It will save a LOT of telephone time.  Thank you!
____________________________________________
The new “Local Harvest Market” is using our Church as a drop site for food and produce.  Upcoming dates for pickup are scheduled for every other Thursday:  February 5th & 19th; and March 5th and 19th, from 3-6 pm.  Their website is available for on-line ordering.  Please see the East bulletin board for more information or if you have any questions, please see Ron Branch.
____________________________________________
It’s Flu Shot Time!!!  Former Parish Nurse, Sandy Hill, urges everyone to get a flu shot!  It will not only help protect you, but others around you as well.
____________________________________________
2015 Offering Envelopes:  New boxes of offering
envelopes for 2015 are available at the back of the
sanctuary.  Please sign your name on the line next to the number of the box that you take.  Thank you!
____________________________________________
Our Angels responsible for visiting and delivering blankets to those hospitalized or grieving in January are Joyce Hodge (852-7575) and Kathryn LeBrasseur (763-3394).  Thank you, Angels.  If anyone knows of someone in the congregation who could use a caring visit, please
contact one of the Angels named above.
____________________________________________
Mark February 27 & 28 on your calendar!  Those are the days of the spring Herberger’s Community Days!  We will be involved again!!!        -Kathryn LeBrasseur, Publicity
____________________________________________
Watch Us on Charter Cable Channel 181!  Charter Cable TV has updated their public access channel listing for our weekly Church service rebroadcast.  We are now on Channel 181 at 9 am daily.  Be sure to tune in to catch the service, and please do invite friends and family to watch.  The most recent service is aired on Wednesday through the following week.
     Our service is also on the internet on U-stream any time.  Go to U-stream, and in the search window type in our Church channel name: firstcongochurch, or watch live on Sunday mornings!                                                –Tech Team
___________________________________________

A “Must Read” – Copies of our revised Safe Church Policy and Conditional Attendance Agreement are available at the back of the sanctuary or from the Church office.                                     –Church Council
____________________________________________
Be Watching for some exciting news about our
Lenten plans!!!  Ash Wednesday is on February 18th,
and we will have our traditional Ash Wednesday worship service at 7:00 pm with communion.  Then each Wednesday evening thereafter throughout the Lenten season, we will begin with a light supper at 5:30 pm followed by a discussion series entitled, “Strangers No More.” Stay tuned and watch for more details in the upcoming February issue of the VISITOR!!!
___________________________________________
Also on the horizon of our Church schedule is the annual Dartball Tournament to be held on Sunday afternoon, February 22nd, at 1:30 pm, this year hosted by Zion Lutheran Church.  Our guys are still practicing and playing for the big event!  So mark your calendar and
plan to come cheer for them!!
____________________________________________ 

Might You be a U-stream Sponsor?

Exciting news!  As of the beginning of January we
have had 1,500 people view us on U-stream, our
internet TV channel.  Did you know we also have 16
regular followers who watch us weekly as well—folks
who can’t get to worship, but wish to stay connected
to the Church they love.   The cost to us as a Church for this service is $99 monthly, roughly $25 per Sunday. 
There is enough money left in the “Enhanced Worship Fund” to guarantee 10 more months of broadcasts. 
Therefore, the Board of Administration is asking for your support.  If you would like to underwrite a weekly broadcast in honor or memory of a loved one at $25, or for a month or more of broadcasts at a higher level, please contact Barb in the Church office.  This way we will continue our unique ministry and outreach, literally, to the world.  Thank you for considering your gift to support this ongoing outreach.
         -The Board of Administration

CHURCH CALENDAR THIS WEEK  

MONDAY, January 26th
  7:00 pm  Darts here   
TUESDAY, January 27th 
  8:30 am  Coffee Bunch @ Travelers’
WEDNESDAY, January 28th  
12:00-1:00 pm  Choir practice
 Newsletter goes in the mail
THURSDAY, January 29th
 11:00 am  United Way Food Drop @ New Life
NEXT SUNDAY, February 1st
     KXRA Radio Sunday
 10:00 am  Worship
 11:00 am  Fellowship

Seeking Lay Readers for February:
Betty Anderson has signed up for reading on Sunday, February 8th, but the whole rest of the month is open and needing readers including NEXT Sunday, February 1st.  Can you help?  Please sign up on the sheet at the back of the sanctuary.  It will save a LOT of telephone time.  Thank you

The new “Local Harvest Market” is using our Church as a drop site for food and produce.  Upcoming dates for pickup are scheduled for every other Thursday:  February 5th & 19th; and March 5th and 19th, from 3-6 pm.  Their website is available for on-line ordering.  Please see the East bulletin board for more information or if you have any questions, please see Ron Branch.

It’s Flu Shot Time!!!  Former Parish Nurse, Sandy Hill, urges everyone to get a flu shot. It will not only help protect you, but others around you as well.

2015 Offering Envelopes:  New boxes of offering envelopes for 2015 are available at the back of the sanctuary.  Please sign your name on the line next to the number of the box that you take.  Thank you

Our Angels responsible for visiting and delivering blankets to those hospitalized or grieving in January are Joyce Hodge (852-7575) and Kathryn LeBrasseur (763-3394).  Thank you, Angels.  If anyone knows of someone in the congregation who could use a caring visit, please contact one of the Angels named above.

Mark February 27 & 28 on your calendar!  Those are the days of the spring Herberger’s Community Days!  We will be involved again!!!        -Kathryn LeBrasseur, Publicity

A “Must Read” – Copies of our revised Safe Church Policy and Conditional Attendance Agreement are available at the back of the sanctuary or from the Church office.–Church Council

Be Watching for some exciting news about our Lenten plans!!!  Ash Wednesday is on February 18thand we will have our traditional Ash Wednesday worship service at 7:00 pm with communion.  Then each Wednesday evening thereafter throughout the Lenten season, we will begin with a light supper at 5:30 pm followed by a discussion series entitled, “Strangers No More.” Stay tuned and watch for more details in the upcoming February issue of the VISITOR!!!

Also on the horizon of our Church schedule is the annual Dartball Tournament to be held on Sunday afternoon, February 22nd, at 1:30 pm, this year hosted by Zion Lutheran Church.  Our guys are still practicing and playing for the big event!  So mark your calendar and plan to come cheer for them!!

Might You be a U-stream Sponsor?

Exciting news!  As of the beginning of January we have had 1,500 people view us on U-stream, our internet TV channel.  Did you know we also have 16
regular followers who watch us weekly as well—folks who can’t get to worship, but wish to stay connected to the Church they love.   The cost to us as a Church for this service is $99 monthly, roughly $25 per Sunday. There is enough money left in the “Enhanced Worship Fund” to guarantee 10 more months of broadcasts.  Therefore, the Board of Administration is asking for your support.  If you would like to underwrite a weekly broadcast in honor or memory of a loved one at $25, or for a month or more of broadcasts at a higher level, please contact Barb in the Church office.  This way we will continue our unique ministry and outreach, literally, to the world.  Thank you for considering your gift to support this ongoing outreach.
-The Board of Administration

OUR CHURCH THIS WEEK

MLKMONDAY, January 19th
Newsletter items due today
7:00 pm  Darts here

Martin Luther King, Jr Day 

TUESDAY, January 20th
8:30 am  Coffee Bunch @ Travelers’
9:30 am  Administrative Board meets

WEDNESDAY, January 21st  
12:00-1:00 pm  Choir practice

THURSDAY, January 22nd 
3-6 pm  Local Harvest Market drop

NEXT SUNDAY, January 25th
10:00 am  Worship/Hymn-sing
11:00 am  Fellowship

Screen Shot 2015-01-18 at 11.30.54 AMDid you know the UCC produces a full-length magazine, and you can read it online for free?

Check out the latest issue of StillSpeaking Magazine, which focuses on ways to be the church in the 21st century. From churches ministering online to witnessing to the homeless during worship in the park—you definitely don’t want to miss this issue.

Stillspeaking Magazine: http://bit.ly/1x76yuT

Important Notice:  Today, immediately following the worship service, is our Annual Financial Meeting of the Church.  Everyone is invited to attend.  The 2014 financial report of the Church will be reviewed, important business will be discussed, and a vote will be taken on the proposed Budget for 2015.  Please plan to attend this important meeting led by the Board of Administration and Council!  Thanks to “little elves” (JoAnne & Romayne) who assembled the booklets for this meeting.

The new “Local Harvest Market” is using our Church as a drop site for food and produce.  Upcoming dates for pickup are scheduled for every other Thursday:  January 22nd; February 5th & 19th; and March 5th and 19th, from 3-6 pm.  Their website is available for on-line ordering.  Please see the East bulletin board for more information or if you have any questions, please see Ron Branch.

It’s Flu Shot Time.  Former Parish Nurse, Sandy Hill, urges everyone to get a flu shot!  It will not only help protect you, but others around you as well.

2015 Offering Envelopes  New boxes of offering envelopes for 2015 are available at the back of the sanctuary.  Please sign your name on the line next to the number of the box that you take.  Thank you!

WANTED A person who would be willing to do some light research regarding African American history and write short articles regarding interesting facts about Black History Month, persons of prominent interest who made a different in their lives; and include whatever facts that the person writing the articles may deem fitting to the general population of the Church.

These articles would run each week during the month of February, 2015.  Questions?  Please contact Diane Alveshere (763-4517), as these articles will run in conjunction with the African American music being played and sung during the month of February,
2015, here in Church.  

Thank you for considering this interesting project!

Our Angels responsible for visiting and delivering blankets to those hospitalized or grieving in January are Joyce Hodge (852-7575) and Kathryn LeBrasseur (763-3394).  Thank you, Angels.  If anyone knows of someone in the congregation who could use a caring visit, please contact one of the Angels named above.

News about Dale Sheldon:  Dale has recently moved to Grand Arbor and his new address is:  4300 Pioneer Road, #136, Alexandria, MN, 56308.

Mark February 27 & 28 on your calendar!  Those are the days of the spring Herberger’s Community Days!  We will be involved again!!!       -Kathryn LeBrasseur, Publicity

“Thank you, to all of you who helped with the ‘Sunshine Basket.’  I really needed it today. They took the house off the market that I had made an offer on.  Back to the drawing board.  Still would like to build on my lot. Say your prayers.”-Linda Namur

A big thank you to all the folks who contributed to Linda Namur’s basket— it was beautiful.  Watch for a picture of it in the upcoming newsletter. –Jane Harstad, Moderator

Watch Us on Charter Cable Channel 181!  Charter Cable TV has updated their public access channel listing for our weekly Church service rebroadcast.  We are now on Channel 181 at 9 am daily.  Be sure to tune in to catch the service, and please do invite friends and family to watch.  The most recent service is aired on Wednesday through the following week.  

Our service is also on this web site under the Media tab.

A “Must Read” – Copies of our revised Safe Church Policy and Conditional Attendance Agreement are available at the back of the sanctuary or from the Church office. –Council

Be Watching for some exciting news about our Lenten plans!!!  Ash Wednesday is on February 18th, and we will have our traditional Ash Wednesday worship service at 7:00 pm.  Then each Wednesday evening thereafter throughout the Lenten season, we will begin with a light supper at 5:30 pm followed by some very interesting programs organized by our Board of Spiritual Life.  Stay tuned and watch for more details in the upcoming
February issue of the VISITOR.

Also on the horizon of our Church schedule is the annual Dartball Tournament to be held on Sunday afternoon, February 22nd, at 1:30 pm, this year hosted by Zion Lutheran Church.  Our guys are still practicing and playing for the big event!  So mark your calendar and plan to come cheer for them.

 CHURCH CALENDAR THIS WEEK 

MONDAY, January 12th
Newsletter items due next Monday, 1/19

7:00 pm  Darts BYE – practice here

TUESDAY, January 13th
8:30 am  Coffee Bunch @ Travelers’
9:00 am  Friendly Service meets
4:00 pm  Membership Committee meets

WEDNESDAY, January 14th
12:00-1:00 pm  Chimes practice
6:00 pm  M.I.S.S. meets

THURSDAY, January 15th
9:30 am  Morning Circle @ Kathryn’s
1:00 pm  Circle II meets
6:30 pm  Church Council meets

NEXT SUNDAY, January 18th
9:15 am  Chimes Rehearsal
10:00 am  Worship
11:00 am  Fellowship/Annual Financial Meeting
11:15 am  F.R.O.G. meets

Today right after the worship service, our Confirmation Class will be meeting for brunch and class session from 11:15 until 2:30 pm.

Our “Tree of Lights” this year was designated by our Missions Committee for the “Study Skills” program.  Funding for this program is through United Way and creates a safety net to encourage 9th grade students in District 206 to remain in school and graduate rather than dropping out due to poor grades or troubles at home.  We received a total of $930 in gifts for this cause.  Thank you for your generosity.

We received a total of $440 for the annual appeal for the Conference Christmas Fund for Clergy.  Many thanks for your generosity for this special giving.

The new “Local Harvest Market” is using our Church as a local drop site for food and produce.  Upcoming dates for pickup are scheduled for every other Thursday:  January 22nd; February 5th & 19th; and March 5th and 19th, from 3-6 pm.  Their website is available for on-line ordering.  Please see the East bulletin board for more information or if you have any questions, please see Ron Branch.

The Books are Now Closed on financial gifts to the Church for 2014.  If you would like a record of your giving, one can be prepared for you at any time.  Just contact the Church office.–Barb, Church office

Watch Us on Charter Cable Channel 181.  Charter Cable TV has updated their public access channel listing for our weekly Church service rebroadcast.  We are now on Channel 181 at 9 am daily.  Be sure to tune in to catch the service, and please do invite friends and family to watch.  The most recent service is aired on Wednesday through the following week.  Our service is also on the Internet on U-stream any time.  Watch live on Sunday mornings.–Tech Team

A “Must Read” – Copies of our revised Safe Church Policy and Conditional Attendance Agreement are available at the back of the sanctuary or from the Church office. –Council

It’s Flu Shot Time.  Former Parish Nurse, Sandy Hill, urges everyone to get a flu shot.  It will not only help protect you, but others around you as well.

2015 Offering Envelopes:  New boxes of offering envelopes for 2015 are available at the back of the sanctuary.  Please sign your name on the line next to the number of the box that you take.  Thank you.

WANTED:  A person who would be willing to do some light research regarding African American history and write short articles regarding interesting facts about Black History Month, persons of prominent interest who made a different in their lives; and include whatever facts that the person writing the articles may deem fitting to the general population of the Church.

These articles would run each week during the month of February, 2015.  Questions?  Please contact Diane Alveshere (763-4517), as these articles will run in conjunction with the African American music being played and sung during the month of February,
2015, here in Church.

Thank you for considering this interesting project.

Need Furniture?  Erin Weatherwax has some pieces of furniture she’d like to give away.  If interested, please call her at 763-3790.

Our Angels responsible for visiting and delivering blankets to those hospitalized or grieving in January are Joyce Hodge (852-7575) and Kathryn LeBrasseur (763-3394). Thank you, Angels. If anyone knows of someone in the congregation who could use a caring visit, please contact one of the Angels named above.

News about Sandy Hill: Sandy has recently moved to the Twin Cities to be near her daughter. Sandy would love to hear from you. Her new contact information is:
c/o Lori Alford
5441 Nokomis Avenue S.
Minneapolis, MN 55417

Special thanks to the clean-up crew who helped last Sunday and this past Wednesday to put away all the Christmas decorations.

Evelyn would love cards and brief visits, she has returned to Alexandria and her address is: Bethany Community
1020 Lark St. #2113
Alexandria, MN 56308

Mentoring Works. In as little as 18 hours a year, you can make a difference in the life of a District 206 child. Call 762-3310, ext. 4274

 

CHURCH CALENDAR THIS WEEK

MONDAY, January 5th
  7:00 pm  Darts @ Good Shepherd
TUESDAY, January 6th
  8:30 am  Coffee Bunch @ Travelers’
10:00 am  Worship Committee @ Kirk’s
WEDNESDAY, January 7th
10:00 am  Bible Study        
THURSDAY, January 8th 
  3:00-6:00 pm  Local Harvest Market drop
NEXT SUNDAY, January 11th
   9:15 am  Choir Rehearsal
 10:00 am  Worship/Communion
 11:00 am  Fellowship
 11:15 – 2:30 Confirmation Brunch

We extend a warm welcome and greeting to our KXRA listeners this morning.  Our service is broadcast each 1st Sunday of the month at 11:00 am.  Our broadcast this morning is sponsored by Shirley Whitten and family to honor the memory of husband and father, Bob.

Today we honor and remember our loved ones who passed away in 2014:  
Helen Blair, born March 18, 1917,
     passed away February 6, 2014
Gerald “Poik” Weatherwax,
     born March 22, 1924,
     passed away April 12, 2014
Harold Blakesley, born December 27, 1931,
     passed away April 29, 2014
Jim Boyd, born January 27, 1921,
     passed away May 5, 2014
Morris Haugee, born September 28, 1919,
     passed away September 13, 2014
Pat Bronson, born March 17, 1929,
     passed away September 29, 2014
Richard “Dick” Sammons,
     born February 1, 1929,
     passed away October 21, 2014
Tim Weatherwax,
     born November 15, 1949,
     passed away November 27, 2014
Evelyn Branch,
     born May 17, 1923,
     passed away December 27, 2014

We light these candles this morning in loving memory of all those we now prayerfully remember and name in our hearts.

Our “Tree of Lights” this year is designated by our Missions Committee for the “Study Skills” program.  Funding for this program is through United Way and creates a safety net to encourage 9th grade students in District 206 to remain in school and graduate rather than dropping out due to poor grades or troubles at home.  A gift of $25 buys a light on the tree, and donations are open through today.  To date, we have received $800.  Thank you for your generosity.
  

Christmas Dinner Report:  WOW, we served between 510-520 (in the dining area and in take-outs).  It was our biggest year EVER.  I don’t have the exact figure on takeouts, but it was about 80-90.  We went through 900 + cookies, too!  We had $1366.25 in good-will donations.  Many, many people helped out this year!  Quite a few people from other churches helped, too.  Many people com-mented on how wonderful it was.  Over and over, we heard that this was more than a free meal; it was a special day!  -Annie Clark

Local Harvest Market is using our Church as a local drop site for food and produce.  Dates for pickup are scheduled for every other Thursday:  January 8th & 22nd; February 5th& 19th; and March 5th and 19th, from 3-6 pm.  Their website is available for on-line ordering.  Please see the East bulletin board for more information or if you have any questions, please see Ron Branch.

Year-End Contributions are due by today in order to be credited for 2014.  Please note on your check whether it is for 2014 or 2015.  Thanks!

Need a Statement of your Giving to the Church in 2014?  One can be prepared for you at any time.  Just contact the Church office.                        –Barb, office

Watch Us on Charter Cable Channel 181!  Charter Cable TV has updated their public access channel listing for our weekly Church service rebroadcast.  We are now on Channel 181 at 9 am daily.  Be sure to tune in to catch the service, and please do invite friends and family to watch.  The most recent service is aired on Wednesday through the following week.  

Our service is also on the internet on U-stream any time. 

A “Must Read” –
 Copies of our revised Safe Church Policy and Conditional Attendance Agreement are available at the back of the sanctuary or from the Church office. –Council

It’s Flu Shot Time! Sandy Hill, urges everyone to get a flu shot!  It will not only help protect you, but others around you as well.

2015 Offering Envelopes:  New boxes of offering envelopes for 2015 are available at the back of the sanctuary.  Please sign your name on the line next to the number of the box that you take.  Thank you!

Ushers and Lay Readers are still needed for several Sundays in January.  There is a sign-up sheet at the back of the sanctuary for you to indicate which dates you would be available.  Thank you for serving in this way.–Worship Committee

WANTED:  
A person who would be willing to do some light research regarding African American history and write short articles regarding interesting facts about Black History Month, persons of prominent interest who made a different in their lives; and include whatever facts that the person writing the articles may deem fitting to the general population of the Church.

 

These articles would run each week during the month of February, 2015.  Questions?  Please contact Diane Alveshere (763-4517), as these articles will run in conjunction with the African American music being played and sung during the month of February,
2015, here in Church.

Thank you for considering this interesting project!

Need Furniture?  Erin Weatherwax has some pieces of furniture she’d like to give away.  If interested, please call her at 763-3790.

Our Church Week

MONDAY, December 29th
7:00 pm Darts @ Villard (carpool 6:00)
TUESDAY, December 30th
8:30 am Coffee Bunch @ Travelers’
WEDNESDAY, December 31st
Newsletter goes in the mail
THURSDAY, January 1st
New Year’s Day – office closed
SUNDAY, January 4th
KXRA/ Remembrance Service
10:00 am Worship
11:00 am Fellowship
___________________________________________
Our special thanks to Marc Blakesley for leading our worship service this morning.
____________________________________________
Our “Tree of Lights” this year is designated by our Missions Committee for the “Study Skills” program. Funding for this program is through United Way and creates a safety net to encourage 9th grade students in District 206 to remain in school and graduate rather
than dropping out due to poor grades or troubles at home. A gift of $25 buys a light on the tree, and donations are open until January 4th. To date, we have received $800. Thank you for your generosity.
____________________________________________
Our Annual Special Offering for the “Veterans of the Cross” was our traditional offering for Christmas Eve. There are still envelopes available at the Ushers’ table. Thank you for your support of this pension fund for pastors.
____________________________________________

The Local Harvest Market is using our Church as a local drop site for food and produce. Dates for pickup are scheduled for every other Thursday: January 8th & 22nd; February 5th & 19th; and March 5th and 19th, from 3-6 pm. Their website is available for on-line ordering. Please see the East bulletin board for more information or if you have any questions, please see Ron Branch.
____________________________________________
Our Angels responsible for visiting and delivering blankets to those hospitalized or grieving in December are Judy Kuhlmann (763-6033) and Kathy Midtvedt (762-2737). Thank you, Angels.
____________________________________________
Year-End Contributions are due by next Sunday (January 4th, 2015) in order to be credited for 2014. Please note on your check whether it is for 2014 or 2015. Thanks!
____________________________________________
Want to Know the Status of Your 2014 Giving to the Church or do you need a statement for tax purposes? Statements can be prepared for you at any time. Just contact the Church office. –Barb, office
____________________________________________
Watch Us on Charter Cable Channel 181! Charter Cable TV has updated their public access channel listing for our weekly Church service rebroadcast. We are now on Channel 181 at 9 am daily. Be sure to tune in to catch the service, and please do invite friends and family to watch. The most recent service is aired on Wednesday through the following week.
Our service is also on the internet on U-stream any time. Go to U-stream, and in the search window type in our Church channel name: firstcongochurch, or watch live on Sunday mornings! –Tech Team
___________________________________________
A “Must Read” – Copies of our revised Safe Church Policy and Conditional Attendance Agreement are available at the back of the sanctuary or from the Church office. –Council
____________________________________________
It’s Flu Shot Time!!! Former Parish Nurse, Sandy Hill, urges everyone to get a flu shot! It will not only help protect you, but others around you as well.
____________________________________________
2015 Offering Envelopes: New boxes of offering envelopes for 2015 are available at the back of the sanctuary. Please sign your name on the line next to the number of the box that you take. Thank you!
____________________________________________
Exercise Equipment—Give Away to Good Home! You may have noticed two nice pieces of exercise equipment in the Plymouth Room. They are from the recent Silent Auction. Rather than see the pieces
be dismantled and recycled, we are offering them to anyone who can use them. Please tell your friends as well! We need to have them moved by January 1st. Thanks!
____________________________________________
Remembrance Sunday: The first Sunday in January of each year has been traditionally a time when we remember those of our Church family who are no longer with us. Next Sunday, January 4th, during the regular worship service, we will be honoring the memory of 8 of our members and friends and we will show your loved one’s picture on the screen. A chime will sound and a votive candle will be lit.
We offer this special Remembrance Service as a ministry to the families, with a prayer that it will bring them a sense of peace and closure at a time of the year that can be difficult. –The Worship Committee
____________________________________________
Pastor Out of the Office: Pastor Scott will be out of the office until Sunday, January 4th. Pastor Steve Johnson is on call for pastoral emergencies and may be reached at 320-759-2199.
____________________________________________
Christmas Dinner preliminary report: We served about 500 people this year!! Special thanks to the Clark family and to all the volunteers from our Church and the community who helped make this happen so others would have a nice dinner instead of being alone at Christmas. What a beautiful gift you have given of yourselves!
_______________________________________________
Ushers and Lay Readers are needed for the month of January. Please see the sign-up sheets at the back of the sanctuary and choose a Sunday that will work for you. Thank you for your willingness to participate
in this way. –Worship Committee
____________________________________________

CHURCH CALENDAR THIS WEEK

MONDAY, December 22nd
Newsletter items due this morning
7:00 pm NO Darts
TUESDAY, December 23rd
8:30 am Coffee Bunch @ Travelers’
WEDNESDAY, December 24th
4:30 pm Christmas Eve Family
Worship Service
THURSDAY, December 25th
11:00 – 1:00 serving Christmas Day Dinner
to Community
NEXT SUNDAY, December 28th
Hymn-sing
10:00 am Worship/Marc Blakesley leading
11:00 am Fellowship
___________________________________________
Our special thanks to Diane Alveshere and Barb Grover for their leadership in bringing this Christmas Musical to you this morning. And very special thanks to all those who shared their unique musical talents.
____________________________________________
Our “Tree of Lights” this year is designated by our Missions Committee for the “Study Skills” program. Funding for this program is through United Way and creates a safety net to encourage 9th grade students in District 206 to remain in school and graduate rather than dropping out due to poor grades or troubles at home. A gift of $25 buys a light on the tree, and donations are open until January 4th. To date, we have received $525. Thank you for your generosity.
____________________________________________

Today following the special Musical Program, our CE Board invites everyone to join in a Christmas potluck downstairs in the fellowship hall on the lower level. After the meal, they will be visiting our shut-ins with Christmas caroling. Everyone is invited to join in singing and bringing some Christmas cheer.
____________________________________________

Newsletter items for the January, 2015, VISITOR are due in the Church office tomorrow morning, Monday, December 22nd. Thank you! -Barb, Church office
____________________________________________
A New Venture, “Local Harvest Market,” is using our Church as a local drop site for food and produce. Dates for pickup are scheduled for every other Thursday: January 8th & 22nd; February 5th & 19th; and March 5th and 19th, from 3-6 pm. Their website is available for on-line ordering. Please see the East bulletin board for more information or if you have any questions, please see Ron Branch.
____________________________________________
Our Angels responsible for visiting and delivering blankets to those hospitalized or grieving in December are Judy Kuhlmann (763-6033) and Kathy Midtvedt (762-2737). Thank you, Angels.
____________________________________________
We’re Serving Christmas Dinner again, thanks to the leadership of the Clark family! Are your plans finally definite? It’s not too late to look for where we need you, for this is the week we actually get down to business, making salads & desserts, and setting up the dining room. We can use you! It is our 22nd year of doing this! Someone can fill you in on the “how tos.” Serving is from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm on Christmas Day. You can even call Annie or Jay Clark at 491-9404, if you have questions or special needs. This is the most special birthday party of all! It is Christ’s birthday we will be celebrating and sharing with our community with love.
-Kathryn LeBrasseur, Publicity

____________________________________________
Year-End Contributions are due by the 1st Sunday in January (January 4th, 2015) in order to be credited for 2014. Please note on your check whether it is for 2014 or 2015. Thanks!
____________________________________________

Want to Know the Status of Your 2014 Giving to the Church? Statements can be prepared for you at any time. Just contact the Church office. –Barb, office
____________________________________________
Watch Us on Charter Cable Channel 181! Charter Cable TV has updated their public access channel listing for our weekly Church service rebroadcast. We are now on Channel 181 at 9 am daily. Be sure to tune in to catch the service, and please do invite friends and family to watch. The most recent service is aired on Wednesday through the following week.
Our service is also on the internet on U-stream any time. Go to U-stream, and in the search window type in our Church channel name: firstcongochurch, or watch live on Sunday mornings! –Tech Team
___________________________________________
A “Must Read” – Copies of our revised Safe Church Policy and Conditional Attendance Agreement are available at the back of the sanctuary or from the Church office. –Council
____________________________________________
It’s Flu Shot Time!!! Former Parish Nurse, Sandy Hill, urges everyone to get a flu shot! It will not only help protect you, but others around you as well.
____________________________________________
2015 Offering Envelopes: New boxes of offering envelopes for 2015 are available at the back of the sanctuary. Please sign your name on the line next to the number of the box that you take. Thank you!
____________________________________________
Exercise Equipment—Give Away to Good Home! You may have noticed two nice pieces of exercise equipment in the Plymouth Room. They are from the recent Silent Auction. Rather than see the pieces
be dismantled and recycled, we are offering them to anyone who can use them. Please tell your friends as well! We will need to have them moved by January 1st. Thanks!
____________________________________________
Remembrance Sunday: The first Sunday in January of each year has been traditionally a time when we remember those of our Church family who are no longer with us. On Sunday, January 4, during the regular worship service, we will be honoring the memory of 8 of those members and friends and we will show their picture on the screen. A chime will sound and a votive candle will be lit. We offer this special service as a ministry to the families, with a prayer that it will bring them a sense of peace and closure at a time of the year that can be difficult.