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!!!!

CHURCH CALENDAR THIS WEEK

MONDAY, November 3rd
7:00 pm Men’s Dart Ball here
TUESDAY, November 4th
8:30 am Coffee Bunch @ Travelers’
10:00 am Worship Committee @ Kirk’s
1:00 pm Balance & Memory class
WEDNESDAY, November 5th
10:00 am Bible Study
4:30 pm Spaghetti Dinner in Progress!!
7:00 pm Silent Auction ends!!
THURSDAY, November 6th
11:00 am Women’s Fellowship Board
12:00 noon Women’s Fellowship Luncheon
FRIDAY, November 7th
10:00 am Balance & Memory class
NEXT SUNDAY/KXRA Sunday, November 9th
10:00 am Worship/Communion
11:00 am Fellowship
__________________________________________
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 co-sponsored by JoAnne Norling and Helen Williams in loving memory of their husbands, Jim Norling and Roy Williams.
___________________________________________
Confirmation Brunch is Today right after the worship service. We are thrilled to have 4 students in our confirmation class this year.
___________________________________________
Your help is very much appreciated today after worship to help set up the tables downstairs for the Spaghetti Dinner. -KL
____________________________________________
Please sign in on the pew pad when it comes around. Thank you!
Also, Lay Readers are needed in November on 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
___________________________________________
Spaghetti Dinner—This is the week!! This Wednesday is D-Day! The schedules have gone out, but we will find a slot for you if you have discovered you can join us. Check your list and see if you have invited everyone you wanted to. Do you have some e-mail groups? Best thing you can do is e-mail all your friends and remind them of the event and invite them to “come on along.”
-Kathryn LeBrasseur, Publicity
____________________________________________
Women’s Fellowship will meet this coming Thursday, November 6th, at noon. Sandy Grove will lead devotions, Pam Anderson will provide music, and the luncheon crew is led by Donna Jamieson, Kathryn LeBrasseur, and Shirley Whitten. Katy Mohabir will present the “Thank Offering” program.
____________________________________________
Herberger’s Community Days…Herberger’s Community Days are November 14th and 15th. If you want another $10 coupon, we are still selling the books! You can use as many as you have. –Kathryn LeBrasseur, Publicity
____________________________________________
Stewardship Update: To date, of the 137 pledge packets distributed, we have received 60 pledges of financial support for the Church in 2015 representing $100,136. 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. You can even 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
____________________________________________
News about Bob and Aurolea Nelson: Bob has just moved to Barrett Care Center, 800 Spruce Street, Barrett, MN, 56311. Aurolea is still at Windmill Ponds here in Alexandria. They both would love cards and visits. (Note: He may have returned to Windmill Ponds just recently)
____________________________________________
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 being mailed to you on Wednesday, October 29th! Their website should be available on or about November 6th for on-line ordering. 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.
____________________________________________
Update on Bountiful Basket Grocery Bingo at Alex Technical & Community College, held Wednesday, October 29th, 5:30 pm. Sixty-one students attended, eager and excited to win the following prizes:
12 large shopping bags full
of assorted groceries
4 envelopes each containing 2 tickets
to Spaghetti Dinner, which always gets
a “yeah!” from the students
1 grocery gift card
4 gas cards
1 beautiful quilt won by Isaiah Homan,
an accounting major
also 1 very large can of beans

The night ended with lots of thank yous to pass on to all of you here at Church.

Proud to be your outreach member!
–Julie Hjelm, Missions Committee
____________________________________________
A Thought for Election Day: “Even with all of the debate, faith has a firm presence in Washington DC.
As it says on the chaplain’s page of the U.S. Senate website, ‘Throughout the years, the United States Senate has honored the historic separation of Church and State, but not the separation of God and State.’” -(as found in the Auxiliary
magazine 8/2014 by LD in the Library)

CHURCH CALENDAR THIS WEEK

MONDAY, October 27th
11:00 am Sammons Memorial Service
6:30 pm Men’s Dart Ball practice
TUESDAY, October 28th
8:30 am Coffee Bunch @ Travelers’
11:00 am Bronson Memorial Service
1:00 pm Balance & Memory class
WEDNESDAY, October 29th
Newsletter goes in the mail
10:00 am Bible Study
5:30 pm Choir practice
THURSDAY, October 30th
United Way Food Drop
11:00 am Ecclesiastical Council for
Pastor Charles in Cities
FRIDAY, October 31st
10:00 am Balance & Memory class
NEXT SUNDAY/KXRA Sunday, November 2nd
10:00 am Worship
11:00 am Fellowship
11:15 am Confirmation Brunch
_____________________________________________
FROG Halloween Party Today!!! Join us right after worship until 2:00 pm. All students in grades K-6 are invited to join the CE Committee members in F.R.O.G. Club (Fully Rely On God) for a Halloween-themed party!!
___________________________________________
Please sign in on the pew pad when it comes around. Thank you!
Also, Lay Readers are needed in November on 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
___________________________________________

Our Angels responsible for visiting and
delivering blankets to those hospitalized or
grieving October are Judy Kuhlmann (763-6033) and Daisy Stahlberg (763-9461). Thank you, Angels.
____________________________________________
Spaghetti Dinner—It is time to start making your guest list. Don’t just donate the money for the tickets you got last week! Invite a friend to use them. We love to have the people here to enjoy the food and fellowship as well as the money. It is a great opportunity for them to participate in the tremendous spirit of our Church Family!
-Kathryn LeBrasseur, Publicity
____________________________________________
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.
____________________________________________
Herberger’s Community Days…Our current
report of sales to qualify to work at the store on November 14th and 15th is: 70 sold; need 75 to qualify!! Have you purchased one as your donation to the Church yet?
–Kathryn LeBrasseur, Publicity

____________________________________________
Pastor Charles Extends Us an Invitation to attend his Ecclesiastical Council review this week on Thursday, October 30th, at 11:00 am at Union Congregational Church in St. Louis Park. A noon meal will follow. Delegates from at least seven churches need to attend and vote on whether they feel he is a suitable candidate for ordination. If you would like to be a delegate for this special event, please contact Pastor Scott as soon
as possible. Carpooling to the Cities can be arranged. We have room for one more person in Pastor Scott’s car.
____________________________________________
Stewardship Update: To date, of the 137 pledge packets distributed, we have received 59 pledges of financial support for the Church in 2015 representing $98,936. 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. You can even 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 Memorial Service for Dick Sammons will be held here at the Church tomorrow morning, Monday, October 27th, at 11:00 am, with a reception following.
A Memorial Service/Celebration of Life will
be held here at the Church for Pat Bronson on Tuesday, October 28th, at 11:00 am with a reception following.
____________________________________________
The Balance & Memory Class (formerly Yoga class) has moved to the Nursery (instead of up in the back of the sanctuary). Sessions are on Tuesdays at 1:00 pm and Fridays at 10:00 am.
___________________________________________
Our Bountiful Basket—Today we box up all the groceries after Church. You can help! Then we will load the groceries for delivery tomorrow, Monday, October 27th, to take to the Alexandria Technical Community College for their Bingo Night on Wednesday, October 29th, at 5:30 pm. Thank you! -Missions Committee
________________________________________________
News about Bob and Aurolea Nelson: Bob has just moved to Barrett Care Center, 800 Spruce Street, Barrett, MN, 56311. Aurolea is still at Windmill Ponds here in Alexandria. They both would love cards and visits.
____________________________________________
Congratulations to Celesta Podolske for correctly figuring out the ingredients to win a batch of “Scripture Cookies!” She played the game offered by our Moderator, Jane Harstad, which appeared in the October, 2014, issue of the VISITOR. See what Jane has in the November issue!
____________________________________________
Our Congratulations bear repeating once again to Kathryn LeBrasseur! She received the prestigious Andrus Award for Community Service for 2014 from AARP. A special reception and ceremony was held at the Alexandria Senior Center this past Thursday afternoon, October 23rd. What a deserving recipient!
____________________________________________
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 being mailed to you on Wednesday, October 29th!

CHURCH CALENDAR THIS WEEK

MONDAY, October 13th
Newsletter items due NEXT Monday
7:00 pm  Garden Club
TUESDAY, October 14th
Upper level carpets cleaned
8:30 am  Coffee Bunch @ Travelers’
9:00 am  Friendly Service
1:00 pm  Strength & Balance class
4:00 pm  Membership Committee
5:00 pm  Domestic Violence Walk
WEDNESDAY, October 15th
10:00 am  Bible Study
11:45 am  Domestic Violence Luncheon
5:30 pm  Choir practice
THURSDAY, October 16th
  9:00 am – 2:30 pm  Confirmation Retreat
@ Pilgrim Point Camp
9:30 am  Morning Circle @ Church
1:00 pm  Circle II
6:30 pm  Church Council
FRIDAY, October 17th
   9:30 am  Angel Care Committee
10:00 am  Strength & Balance class
1:00 pm  Dart practice
NEXT SUNDAY, October 19th   
10:00 am  Worship
11:00 am  Reception for New Members
11:15 am – 2:00 pm F.R.O.G. Club meets
___________________________________________
Today we honor our Church members and friends who are 90 years of age—
what a blessing it is to have you in our midst!
The 17 honorees are:
Hope Bisek
Bob Carlisle (will turn 90 in Nov.)
Wilma Carlson
Viva Froemming
Marian Hamann
Elgene Graves
Don & Lorraine Heckman
Evelyn Hovland
Leighton Knutson
Ed & Helen Morrison
Leanne Namur
Bob Nelson
Aurelia Schimmelpfennig
Shirley Whitten
Helen Williams


* * * * * * * * * *

Also today we celebrate the conclusion of our 2015 Stewardship Drive.  
Our  heartfelt thanks to those folks who have given prayerful consideration to how they are able to support the Church for 2015 and have made their pledge accordingly.  If you did not receive a stewardship packet, there are extras on the pedestal at the back of the sanctuary.  Please turn in your pledges as soon as possible so our Administrative Board can prepare a responsible Budget for 2015.  We invite everyone to join us in celebrating our blessings together with a potluck meal and service of in-gathering.

* * * * * * * * * *
CELEBRATE OUR BLESSINGS!  See you downstairs after the worship service this morning for a time of fellowship at the Harvest Festival.            –K.L.
________________________________________________

Please sign in on the pew pad when it comes around.  Thank you!  We also need a Lay Reader for October 19th —there is a sign-up sheet at the back of the sanctuary.           -Worship Committee
_______________________________________________

Help!  Help!  Bountiful Basket Reminder!
Only 14 days left to collect items for the ATCC!!  All donations are needed by Sunday, October 26th.  Thanks for what you are able to do to Help!
-Missions Committee
____________________________________________
Our Angels
 responsible for visiting and delivering blankets to those hospitalized or grieving October are Judy Kuhlmann (763-6033) and Daisy Stahlberg (763-9461).  Thank you, Angels.                      
________________________________________________
Spaghetti Dinner— Pay your real estate taxes and then start thinking about what you can do to make our Spaghetti Dinner event special.  Kay Sukovich has been shopping for the fixin’s for weeks, and Diane Severson is trying to adapt the new size containers of ounces, etc., to match her recipes!  Sign up to help, and spread the word.                                   -Kathryn LeBrasseur, Publicity
________________________________________________
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.
_______________________________________________
Herberger’s Community Days Won’t harass you today—we are celebrating our blessings!  I will have books to sell available, though, as this opportunity has been a real blessing to us through the years and we generally gain at least $2,000 for our mission projects!       –Kathryn LeBrasseur, Publicity

_______________________________________________
New Member Recognition Next Sunday!  On Sunday, October 19th, following the worship service our Membership Committee will host a special reception downstairs so you can meet our newest Church family members!  Plan to join us!!
____________________________________________
Pastor Charles Extends Us an Invitation!  
Most of you recall that Pastor Charles served as our pastor while Pastor Scott was on sabbatical a year ago.  He has invited us to his Ecclesiastical Council review to be held on Thursday, October 30th, at 11:00 am at Union Congregational Church in St. Louis Park.  A noon meal will follow.  Delegates from at least seven churches need to attend and vote on whether they feel he is a suitable candidate for ordination.  If you would like to be a delegate for this special event, please contact Pastor Scott as soon as possible.  Carpooling to the Cities can be arranged.
________________________________________________
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 highlights from 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.  You can even watch live on Sunday morning!                        –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 Memorial/Prayer Service will be held here at the Church for Pat Bronson on Tuesday, October 28th, at 11:00 am with a reception to follow.
________________________________________________

AROUND TOWN
Tickets for the Domestic Violence Luncheon on Sale Today—
A Walk is scheduled for this Tuesday, and the luncheon is then next day, Wednesday, from 11:45 am – 1:00 pm with Dr. Curt Brungardt.  Contact Pastor Scott for luncheon tickets at $15 each.  A sign-up sheet is on the back table.  There are just two tickets left to complete our table of ten. Thank you for your support.

CHURCH CALENDAR THIS WEEK

TUESDAY, September 30th
  8:30 am  Coffee Bunch @ Travelers’
1:00 pm  Strength & Balance class

WEDNESDAY, October 1st
10:00 am  Bible Study
4:30 pm  Missions Committee
5:30 pm  Choir practice

THURSDAY, October 2nd
11:00 am  Women’s Fellowship Board
12:00 noon  Women’s Luncheon

FRIDAY, October 3rd
 10:00 am  Strength & Balance class

NEXT SUNDAY, October 5th   
10:00 am  Worship/Neighbors in Need offering
11:00 am  Fellowship


Please sign in on the pew pad when it comes around.  Thank you

We also need Ushers and Lay Readers for the month of October—there are sign-up sheets at the back of the sanctuary.-Worship Committee

Our collection for the Bountiful Basket through Sunday, October 26th, is for the ATCC.  Julie and helpers will pack up the items after worship that morning and she will deliver them to the tech college on Monday, October 27th, for their Grocery Bingo Night that Wednesday, October 29th, at 5:30 pm at ATCC.  There is a great need for basic items for the students:  any non-perishable food items, as well as paper products, boxed dinners, soaps, etc.  Gift cards for gas, groceries or movies would also be great.  If you have questions, please contact Julie Hjelm at 320-766-1970. She would be happy to shop for you.  Thanks for what you are able to do to help-Missions Committee

Our 2015 Stewardship Packets have all been distributed.  If you did not receive one, there are extras on the pedestal at the back of the sanctuary.  Please give prayerful consideration to how you wish to support the Church for 2015 and return your pledge card by Sunday, October 12th, when we will celebrate our blessings together with a potluck meal and service of in-gathering.

Buy Your Church Mug Today—It has been said that coffee tastes better in a First Congregational Church Mug!  Fortunately we have a large supply of Church Mugs available to purchase!  Dark blue, Kelly green, black, and burgundy mugs will be on sale after services today and through October 5th.   Please consider donating $5 to help with the cost of giving a Church Mug to our visitors, or purchase one for yourself.  For each $5 donation or mug purchased, you will be given the opportunity to select a “treasure” from our gift table.  Thank you-Membership Committee

Women’s Fellowship Meeting this Thursday, October 2nd, at noon.  Judy Kuhlmann will lead devotions; the program will be provided by Barb Grover telling us about her latest book, “Postcard History Series:  Alexandria;” and the luncheon will be hosted by Carolyn Chlian and Julie Thompson and their committee.  The Executive Board will meet prior to the luncheon at 11:00 am in the Cambridge Room.         –Carol Zavadil, President

Our Angels responsible for visiting and
delivering blankets to those hospitalized or
grieving in September are Ceil Campbell
(763-5886) and Elaine Krassas (846-0168).
Those Angels for October are Judy Kuhlmann
(763-6033) and Daisy Stahlberg (763-9461).
Thank you, Angels.                      

“Celebrate our Blessings!”  Pastor Scott is preparing a photo gallery with personal highlights about each of our Over-90 Members!  What a treasure that will be!!  Better see that your calendar is open of other obligations, so that you can join in Celebrating our Blessings on Sunday, October 12th.   You don’t have to celebrate Columbus Day until Monday, the 13th, this year—so see you at Church and the great pot luck!!  -Kathryn LeBrasseur, Publicity

Spaghetti Dinner—LaDonna Anderson and
Joan Holverson want to remind you that they
are already collecting items of value for the
Silent Auction to be held the night of the Spaghetti Dinner.  With so many of our members “downsizing” their living arrangements, we have truly been able to offer beautiful antiques, collectibles and/or services these past years.  If you need to get your items picked up now, let us know.  We can store them.  Items don’t have to be “things,” as such—our highest priced items the last few years have been “services.”  This includes things like Italian and Indian dinners, baked rolls monthly, a pie a month.  Give it some thought and let them know what you can contribute. -Kathryn LeBrasseur, Publicity

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.

Herberger’s Community Days…To be able to participate in Community Days on November 14th and 15th (when sales and profits are terrific!), we must sell at least 75 books on our own.   That’s to qualify and you know what?  It isn’t hard.  Easier than setting up the dining room and cleaning up the kitchen after an event.  Want to buy some books?  Willing to take some books to try to sell?  See me or call me at 763-3394.
–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 highlights from 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.  You can even watch live on Sunday morning–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

AROUND TOWN

Ecumen Bethany Community will have their annual All-Saints Service next Sunday, October 5th, at 2:00 pm.  The public is invited to honor, remember or celebrate the special people who have touched their lives.  Honor lanterns cost $50 and donation forms are available in our Church office, or by contacting Bethany Community.

Organ Recital!  A return visit to Alexandria by Volodymyr Koshuba, international performer from the Ukraine, will be at Calvary Lutheran Church on Thursday, October 9th, at 7:30 pm.  There will be a “get to know the organ” session at 6:45 pm. All are welcome.       –Joe Capistrant, Music Committee Chair

Tickets for the Domestic Violence Luncheon—  A Walk is scheduled for Tuesday, October 14th; a luncheon at Arrowwood on Wednesday, October 15th, from 11:45 am – 1:00 pm with Dr. Curt Brungardt as the featured speaker.  He is a nationally recognized trainer and educator on domestic abuse.  Contact Pastor Scott for luncheon tickets at $15 each.  A sign-up sheet is at the back.  We need a minimum of 10 persons to reserve a table, so let’s do it!

Don’t forget!

Our CE Board is hosting our Rally Day Celebration this Sunday, September 21, right after worship with a baked potato bar! They are providing the potatoes and dessert. You bring the potato toppings! Confirmation orientation for 7th-9th graders will follow