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.

CHURCH CALENDAR THIS WEEK

MONDAY, December 15th
Newsletter items will be due
NEXT Monday, December 22
7:00  pm  Men’s Dart Ball here
TUESDAY, December 16th
  8:30 am  Coffee Bunch @ Travelers’
9:30 am  Administrative Board meets
11:00 am  Weatherwax memorial service
WEDNESDAY, December 17th
10:00 am  Bible Study
THURSDAY, December 18th 
9:30 am  Morning Circle @ Judy K.’s
1:00 pm  Circle II meets
2:00-7:00 pm  Local Harvest Market here
6:00 pm  Council & Staff @ Keehn’s
FRIDAY, December 19th
United Way Food Drop @ New Life 
NEXT SUNDAY, December 21st      

10:00 am  Worship/Pastor Scott back
Musical Christmas Program
11:00 am  Fellowship/Potluck meal
12:15 pm  Meet in parking lot to go caroling
____________________________________________
Our special thanks 
to Pastor Steve Johnson for leading our worship this morning while Pastor Scott is away, and to Romayne & Olivia Strand for lighting our Advent candles.
____________________________________________
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 $275.  Thank you for your generosity.
____________________________________________

A Service of Ordination for Pastor Charles
will take place this afternoon at 4:00 pm at Union Congregational UCC in St. Louis Park.  A reception will follow that service.  If you would be interested in carpooling to the Cities for this very special event, please call or see Kirk Anderson at 763-3662.
____________________________________________
Tonight at 6:00 pm we will host the Worldwide Children’s Candlelight Memorial Service.  
The second Sunday of every December has been set aside for this event to honor all  children who have died at any age, from any cause.  Candles are lit around the world in remembrance and love.
____________________________________________
A New Venture
, “Local Harvest Market,” is using our Church as a local drop site for food and produce.  Scheduled drop dates at our Church are on the following Thursdays from 2:00-7:00 pm:  December 18th, and January 15th.  Their website should be available for on-line ordering.  Any questions?  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.
____________________________________________
Pastor Out of the Office:  Pastor Scott will be out of the office on medical leave until mid-December.  We have been so blessed to have such wonderful leadership covering the various pastoral duties while Pastor Scott has been recovering.
Pastor Steve Johnson is on call for pastoral emergencies and he may be reached at 320-759-2199.
____________________________________________
A Special Musical Program is planned for our worship service next Sunday, December 21st, and will feature our UCC youth, our choir, and other talented folks.  Thanks to Diane Alveshere and Barb Grover for their time and talents in bringing this performance to you.
____________________________________________

We’re Serving Christmas Dinner again, thanks to the Clark family for chairing!
  Getting to be time to think about yourself and our Church family in regard to Christmas Day, as well as the community.  Are your plans for the Day finalized?  Being alone doesn’t mean your family doesn’t love you.  It simply means that schedules and “sharing family” sometimes create this situation.  Are you a close friend of another member of our Church family who has problems that keep them homebound?  Maybe you could take a dinner out for them and deliver it with love.  We don’t have the manpower to do home delivered meals to everyone, but we surely will see that members of our Church in need of this special service will receive them.  Need a ride or need a special time for eating?  Call Barb Gralow in the office at 763-3341 and make whatever reservations are necessary. 
____________________________________________
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

____________________________________________
Next Sunday 
following the special Musical
Program, our CE Board invites everyone to join in
a Christmas potluck 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.
____________________________________________
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.

CHURCH CALENDAR THIS WEEK

MONDAY, December 8th
Offices and Library still closed for carpet drying
7:00 pm Men’s Dart Ball @ Zion

TUESDAY, December 9th
8:30 am Coffee Bunch @ Travelers’
9:00 am Friendly Service meets

WEDNESDAY, December 10th
10:00 am Bible Study
6:00 pm M.I.S.S. meets

THURSDAY, December 11th
11:30 am Circle III meets at Bella’s

SATURDAY, December 13th
9:00 am – 2:30 pm Confirmation Retreat @ Church

NEXT SUNDAY, December 14th
10:00 am Worship/Communion Pastor Steve Johnson, leader
11:00 am Fellowship
6:00 pm Nat’l Children’s Memorial Service @ our Church

Our special thanks to Jon Hall for leading our worship this morning while Pastor Scott is away; to the Schauff family for lighting our Advent candles; and to the Flute Choir members: Barb Brown, Karen Erickson, and Andrea Olson, for our special music.

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 Dorothy Shinn in loving memory of husband, Darwin.

Friendly Service will hold our annual potluck luncheon this coming Tuesday, December 9th. Please bring your favorite dish to share. Everyone invited for quilting at 9:00 and lunch around noon. –Carol & Celesta, Co-Chairs

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. Thank you for your generosity.

A New Venture, “Local Harvest Market,” is using our Church as a local drop site for food and produce. Scheduled drop dates at our Church are on the following Thursdays from 2:00-7:00 pm: December 4th, December 18th, and January 15th. Their website should be available for on-line ordering. Any questions? See Ron Branch.

Our Angels responsible for visiting and delivering blankets to those hospitalized or grieving December are Judy Kuhlmann (763-6033) and Kathy Midvedt (762-2737). Thank you, Angels.

Pastor Out of the Office: Pastor Scott will be out of the office on medical leave until mid-December. We have some wonderful leadership on deck to cover the upcoming Sundays and other emergencies that may arise. Please keep Pastor Scott and his family in your thoughts and prayers during this period. Pastor Steve Johnson is on call for pastoral emergencies and he may be reached at 320-759-2199.

A Special Musical Program is planned for our worship service on December 21st and will feature our UCC youth, but the choir will also be involved and we are looking for more folks willing to share their talent. Please contact Diane by phone: 320.763.4517; e-mail: Aveshere@Charter.net; or write to her at
702 County Road 22 NW,
Alexandria, Minnesota 56308
..OR….you may also contact Barb Grover at 846-4313. Barb is willing to share her ideas for this service. Let us know what talent you would like to share with all. We are excited about it. Waiting to hear from you. Thank you. -Diane E. Alveshere, Coordinator of Music

Christmas Dinner Good News. Annie Clark and family have agreed to lead the charge on our Christmas Day Dinner again this year. Please give the Clark family your heartfelt support and thanks the next time you see them.–Jane Harstad, Council Moderator

There is a sign-up sheet at the back of the sanctuary where you can indicate how you’d like to help.

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

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.

The Church office and Library will be closed Monday, December 8th, so the carpets can dry thoroughly.

LaDonna Anderson will be covering the Church office from December 2nd through December 11th while Barb is on vacation. Please be patient if there are unforeseen gaps. Thanks

(Speaking of “gaps,” Oh, my goodness have I had a taste of filling in a bunch of them while Pastor Scott and several other key folks in the congregation have been out for various reasons. I am ever grateful for all our gracious volunteers who have been so patient, kind and courteous to me with all my questions, etc., in situations that I am not familiar with handling. Phew. You are all absolutely amazing. Many, many thanks Barb, vacationing from the office

Want to Know the Status of Your 2014 Giving to the Church? Periodic 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.

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

 CHURCH CALENDAR THIS WEEK

MONDAY, November 17th
   Newsletter items due today
7:00  pm  Men’s Dart Ball @ Good Shep.
TUESDAY, November 18th
  8:30 am  Coffee Bunch @ Travelers’
1:00 pm  Balance & Memory class
WEDNESDAY, November 19th
  9:30 am  Administrative Board meets
10:00 am  Morning Circle visits Grand Arbor
10:00 am  Bible Study
5:30 pm  Choir practice
THURSDAY, November 20th
9:30 am  Morning Circle @ Betty W.’s
(carpool leaves from Church @ 9:00)
1:00 pm  Circle II
2:00-7:00 pm  Local Harvest Market here
6:30 pm  Church Council meets
FRIDAY, November 21st
10:00 am  Last Balance & Memory class
NEXT SUNDAY, November 23rd     
10:00 am  Worship/Jon Hall, leader
Special “Thank You” Service
11:00 am  Fellowship

Our special thanks 
to Pastor-in-Training Kathy Hodges for leading our worship this morning while Pastor Scott is away; and to  Bill Riggs for sharing his extra special musical talents!

Stewardship Update:  To date, of the 137 pledge packets distributed, we have received 65 pledges of financial support for the Church in 2015 representing $104,796.  Extra pledge packets are available at the back of the Church in the event you misplaced yours.  We sincerely appreciate the heartfelt pledges received thus far.

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

Quarterly Giving Records—
Periodic statements of your Church giving can be prepared for you at any time.  Just contact the Church office.–Barb, office

A New Venture, “Local Harvest Market,”
will be using our Church as a local drop site for food and produce beginning Thursday, November 20th.  Their website should be available by now for on-line ordering.  Any questions?  See Ron Branch.

Our Angels responsible for visiting and
delivering blankets to those hospitalized or
grieving November are JoAnne Norling
(763-6703) and Helen Williams (762-0315).  Celesta Podolske (763-3079) will be covering for JoAnne between November 17th and  November 24th.  Thank you, Angels.

Pastor Out of the Office:  Pastor Scott will
be out of the office on medical leave until mid-December.  We have some wonderful leadership on deck to cover the upcoming Sundays and other emergencies that may arise.  Please keep Pastor Scott and his family in your thoughts and prayers during this period.  Pastor Steve Johnson is on call for pastoral emergencies and may be reached at 320-759-2199.

Note to Strength & Balance Class Participants:  The final class for this season will be on Friday, November 21st, at 10:00 am.

Newsletter items
 for the December issue
of the VISITOR are due in the Church office tomorrow Monday morning, November 17th.  Thank you!-Barb, Church office

Special Announcement from Diane, our Music Coordinator:  We are working on our special Christmas service which will feature the youth of UCC.  This service will be held on Sunday, December 21st, 2014, at 10:00 am.  The choir has expressed their willingness to sing for this service, but this event will definitely feature our youth and their many, many talents.  We really would appreciate the participation of each and every one of you, so would you PLEASE call me, Diane 320.763.4517 ore-mail me:  Alveshere@Charter.net…..
write
 me a note:  702 County Road 22 NW Alexandria, Minnesota 56308
OR contact Barb Grover at 846-4313. Barb is willing to share her ideas for this service.

Let us know what talent you would like to share with all.  We are excited about it!!!

Waiting to hear from you!!  Thank you.
-Diane E. Alveshere, Coordinator of Music

UPDATE:    Very Preliminary Spaghetti Report!!!  Thanks to everyone’s help, we have the following unofficial figures to report:
Bakery $500 approx.
Dinner Tickets & cash donations $2,731
Silent Auction $2,295.50 (includes $200 for carrot cake and $350 snowblower)
Served more than 400 meals
Stay tuned for updates!  Awesome job!!!!

A sincere Thank You to everyone who donated treasures to the Silent Auction.  There were many, many kind comments on the quality and variety of items available.  Our thanks for making it a successful and entertaining event!-Joan Holverson & LaDonna Anderson, Co-chairs

Christmas Dinner Good News!  Annie Clark and family have agreed to lead the charge on our Christmas Day Dinner again this year.  Please give the Clark family your heartfelt support and thanks the next time you see them.–Jane Harstad, Council Moderator

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

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

St. Mary’s hosting community Thanksgiving Day Dinner again.  See letter on E. bulletin board.

 CHURCH CALENDAR THIS WEEK

MONDAY, November 10th
   7:00 pm  Garden Club meets here
   7:00  pm  Men’s Dart Ball @ Villard
TUESDAY, November 11th
  8:30 am  Coffee Bunch @ Travelers’
9:00 am  Friendly Service meets
1:00 pm  Balance & Memory class
WEDNESDAY, November 12th
10:00 am  Bible Study
4:30 pm  Missions Committee
5:30 pm  Choir practice
6:00 pm  M.I.S.S.
FRIDAY, November 14th
10:00 am  Balance & Memory class
NEXT SUNDAY, November 16th    
10:00 am  Worship
11:00 am  Fellowship
___________________________________________
Our special thanks 
to Pastor Steve Johnson for leading our worship this morning while Pastor Scott is away.

Please sign in
 on the pew pad when it comes around.  Thank you!
Also, Lay Readers 
are needed in November for the 16th, 23rd, and 30th.  There is a sign-up sheet at the back of the sanctuary and also one for November Ushers.  Thank you!                -Worship Committee

Herberger’s Community Days…Because we participate in the Community Days event, our members can shop this week.  Items can be put on “Lay by” and picked up next week.  So locate your book.  It has value, even if you won’t be here Friday and Saturday.  Use your discounts now!  –Kathryn LeBrasseur, Publicity

Stewardship Update:  To date, of the 137 pledge packets distributed, we have received 65 pledges of financial support for the Church in 2015 representing $104,796.  Extra pledge packets are available at the back of the Church in the event you misplaced yours.  We sincerely appreciate the heartfelt pledges received thus far.

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

Quarterly Giving Records—
Periodic statements of your Church giving can be prepared for you at any time.  Just contact the Church office.                        –Barb, office

A New Venture, “Local Harvest Market,” will be using our Church as a local drop site for food and produce beginning in November.  Look for details in the November issue of the VISITOR which you should have just received!  Their website should be available on or about November 6th for on-line ordering.  Any questions?  See Ron Branch.

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

Our Angels responsible for visiting and
delivering blankets to those hospitalized or
grieving November are JoAnne Norling (763-6703) and Helen Williams (762-0315.  Thank you, Angels.

Pastor Out of the Office:  Pastor Scott will
be out of the office on medical leave from now until mid-December.  We have some wonderful leadership on deck to cover the upcoming Sundays and other emergencies that may arise.  Please keep Pastor Scott and his family in your thoughts and prayers during this period.  Pastor Steve Johnson is on call for pastoral emergencies and may be reached at 320-759-2199.

Note to Strength & Balance Class Participants:  The final class for this season will be on Friday, November 21st, at 10:00 am.

Newsletter items
 for the December issue of the VISITOR will be due in the Church office by NEXTMonday morning, November 17th.  Thank you!-Barb, Church office

Special Announcement from Diane, our Music Coordinator:  We are working on our special Christmas service which will feature the youth of UCC.  This service will be held on Sunday, December 21st, 2014, at 10:00 am.  The choir has expressed their willingness to sing for this service, but this event will definitely feature our youth and their many, many talents.

We really would appreciate the participation of each and every one of you, so would you PLEASE …………………….
call me…….Diane 320.763.4517…..
e-mail me:  Alveshere@Charter.net…..
write
 me a note:  702 County Road 22 NW,
Alexandria, Minnesota 56308
..OR….contact Barb Grover at 846-4313.
Barb is willing to share her ideas for this service.

Let us know what talent you would like to share with all.  We are excited about it!!!

Waiting to hear from you!!  Thank you.
-Diane E. Alveshere, Coordinator of Music

Very Preliminary Spaghetti Report!!!  Thanks
to everyone’s help, we have the following unofficial figures to report:
Bakery                      $    500 approx.
Dinner Tickets &
cash donations       $2,731
Silent Auction      (still growing!)
($200 for carrot cake; $350 snowblower
for starters …)
Served more than 400 meals
Stay tuned for updates!  Awesome job!!!!