FIRST CONGREGATIONAL UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST – OUR OPEN AND AFFIRMING GREAT FALLS CHURCH WHERE EVERYONE IS WELCOME!

 

GROWTH BOARD RIB FEST RAISES FUNDS!

Not only did everyone enjoy scrumptious food, we were also able to present $500 to BOTH Family Promise of Great Falls and the LGBTQ Center.  We profusely thank Dave Sheryak and his two-day hard-working kitchen crew who prepared the food:  Mary Fry, Bonnie Lane, Janet Olson, and Lynne Weeks. We also thank the following who helped with either set up, clean up, or collecting money: Elaine Balzer, Lila Byers, Shirley Davis, Maribeth Doan, Marvin & Joan Duncan, Dick & Mende Kloppel, KimKay McCarty Martin, Sue Skees, Karen Spencer, Lou Santopietro, and Lynne Weeks.  Additional thank you’s go to Tom Spencer for the posters advertising the event and to KimKay for the decorations.  A special thank you to Joan Duncan for organizing rib fest, and to those who attended and supported this fundraiser.  We all had a wonderful time!  Be on the lookout for another rib fest in the future!

LOOKING AHEAD – SUNDAY, MAY 6th

Following worship on Sunday, May 6th, there will be a PIE SOCIALA sign-up sheet is on the bulletin board in the hallway near the sanctuary for those willing to bring pie to shareThe Fellowship Board will provide ice cream.

In honor of hosting Bruce Van Voorhis, mission co-worker serving Hong Kong, a meet and greet is being planned for the evening of May 6th. This will include a potluckLast names beginning with A-K are asked to bring a main dish, L-Z a side dish or salad.  More information will follow in the coming weeks.

MONTANA/NORTHERN WYOMING CONFERENCE ANNUAL MEETING

June 15-17, 2018 – First Congregational United Church of Christ, Great Falls   The Rev. John Dorhauer, General Minister and President of the United Church of Christ, will be delivering a keynote address at Saturday night’s banquet and preaching in Sunday morning worship.  YOUR HELP WILL BE NEEDED for hospitality and food, and perhaps more. Watch for more information. Plan to help us make a Great Big Great Falls Welcome to our siblings in faith from across the conference. In preparation for the Conference Annual Meeting, we would like to provide limited home hospitality for Conference participants.  Hospitality would include housing guests on Friday, June 15th and Saturday, June 16th, and providing breakfast on Saturday and Sunday. If you have a spare room and are willing to host, please contact Janet Koostra at 727-8443, or janetkoostra@gmail.com. We would like to have volunteers signed up by April 15th.

FROM THE PASTOR

When Inconvenience is an Honor

All you have to do is go and spend the night. And get up in the morning to make coffee and set breakfast stuff out. And stay up until everyone is in and settled for the night. And be available if they need something through the night. And sleep on something not quite like my pillow-top king-sized bed at home….. in the church basement….. without a tv on to put me to sleep.

It might sound like a real inconvenience. But there’s more. (Isn’t there always more?)

The “more” is the family who is working hard to get on their feet and so Mom and Dad are working different shifts at the same place. It’s what they can do to balance the care of their lively 4 year-old daughter. They have no car so they use bicycles. Dad goes to work at 2:00 P.M. and gets off at 10:00. Mom goes to work at 10:00 P.M. and gets off at 6:00 A.M. Mom takes care of their child until it’s time to go to work and she takes her with her, meets dad, they tell each other good night and Dad brings their daughter back to the church around 10:30 at night and gets her tucked in. (Talk about inconvenience!)

Whether it’s spending the night at church for a Family Promise week or helping distribute food at FISH, serving others does have its inconveniences. But the “more” always rises to the surface. The “more” is about letting people know they are loved. And that there are people who will welcome them when they come “home” at 10:30 at night with an adorable daughter already in her PJ’s and ready for bed. And that there are church people who understand that they are part of Jesus’ miracle of feeding the multitudes when they prepare a meal and bring it to church for families who are doing their best to get on their feet. And that when the church opens up its hearts and doors to our neighbors, we are doing perhaps one of the most honorable things in the world because it’s precisely what Jesus would do.

We are just coming off our most recent week of hosting Family Promise. We’ll have another opportunity to be the hands and feet of Jesus for Family Promise families in August. But don’t wait until then to do the honorable thing. Look around. Keep your eyes and hearts open for the many ways that you could do the honorable thing to love your neighbor. And, I know, it will be an inconvenience…. But maybe not.

Have a blessed week and see you on Sunday!  Lynne