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Ecclesiastical Council and Fall Worship

Ecclesiastical Council for Sara MacGilvra Branom

On September 9, 6:30-8:30 PM, First Congregational UCC-Great Falls will be hosting the Ecclesiastical Council for Sara Branom. The event will be streamed live but since it will be hosted in our Great Falls UCC church, all interested in attending and participating is encouraged to attend the event in our sanctuary. We are able to have 5 official delegates but as many of our FCUCC-GF congregation who want to attend are welcome. Please let Karen Spencer, Dick Kloppel, Sara Branom, or Holly Garcia know if you are interested in being a delegate and we’ll get you registered. Registration closes on August 31. Everyone is encouraged to attend and participate in this unique opportunity!

Click HERE to view the Ecclesiastical Call and supporting documents.

Fall Worship Time Change

The short version:

Due to a Methodist worship time conflict resulting from the new assignment of Dawn Skerrit (Christ United Methodist pastor), your First Congregational UCC-Great Falls (FCUCC-GF) Council has determined that we (FCUCC-GF) will continue to worship at 9:30 AM for the remainder of this calendar year. This is a temporary solution that will resolve the Methodist worship time conflict and also allow us time to more thoughtfully develop a permanent resolution. Beginning with Rally Sunday on September 11, please plan on continuing with our 9:30 AM worship time.

The ”rest of the story”:

As most of us know, each year on July 1, Methodist ministers are assigned/re-assigned per the polity of the United Methodist Church. Recall that the current CUMC minister, Dawn Skerrit, was assigned to CUMC a couple of years ago and has been assigned to serve not only CUMC but also Highwood, Fort Benton. As of July 1 2022, Highwood and Fort Benton were dropped and Dawn’s new assignment is to serve Christ United Methodist Church (CUMC) (our sister church) and First United Methodist Church (FUMC downtown).

Dawn’s current assignment of serving both CUMC and FUMC (downtown) has created a worship time conflict. FUMC downtown worships at 9:30 as does CUMC for the remainder of the joint worships with us for the summer and then for the remainder of the calendar year. After Labor Day we (FCUCC-GF) are scheduled to return to the 11:00 worship time for the remainder of the calendar year and then move to the 9:30 time for 2023.

FUMC downtown is firm on the 9:30 worship time so the CUMC leadership has offered to move their worship to 11:00 after Labor Day. Knowing that we (FCUCC) are also scheduled for the 11:00 worship time in the sanctuary, CUMC has offered to hold their worship in the Fellowship Hall and to coordinate with the pianist/organist at FUMC downtown to serve for the CUMC worship. While we appreciate their effort to not let the Methodist time conflict impact us, it will in that our social hour following worship will not be able to happen because the Fellowship Hall will be in use.

On Monday evening (7/18) your Council met to discuss this conflict and to come up with a temporary solution that will minimize any inconvenience for our members and friends. Following the discussion, which included collaboration with Rev. Lynne, your Council decided that, as a temporary solution, we (FCUCC)  would remain in the 9:30 AM worship time after Labor Day for the remainder of the calendar year. This temporary adjustment will give us time to formulate a more permanent plan and will allow us to involve Rev. Lynne while respecting her sabbatical time. Because we are scheduled to worship at 9:30 in 2023, this will give us ample time to involve not only CUMC in formulating a plan but also those in the broader United Methodist Church that are involved in minister assignments.

So – beginning with Rally Sunday on September 11, please plan for continued worship at 9:30 AM followed by our traditional social hour for the remainder of the year.

Dick Kloppel, Moderator

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