He Is Risen!

“Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be handed over to sinners, and be crucified, and on the third day rise again.” Luke 24: 5-7

Happy Easter from Faith United Church of Christ!

Maundy Thursday

As our journey of the Lenten season begins to wind down, you are invited to a service of Tenebrae to observe Maundy Thursday. Please join us via Zoom on Thursday, April 1 at 6:30 pm, the invitation to join will be emailed prior to the service. Please contact our office if you’re not yet receiving Zoom invitations from Faith UCC and we can add you to the invitation list.

Spring Environmental Study: Cathedral on Fire

Faith Works members will lead a 4-Sunday discussion series on the environmental crisis, responding to ideas in the book Cathedral on Fire. Our UCC Minister of Environmental Justice, Brooks Berndt, has written this slim paperback including discussion questions as a guide for groups like us. Contact Michael Neville at michael-neville@uiowa.edu to order your copy of the book for $6.95.

We’ll meet after worship of Sundays April 11, 18, 25, and May 2. Please bring your voice to the conversation or come to listen!

Book Description: The urgency of the climate crisis requires that we act as if our cathedrals and churches are on fire. Indeed, God’s creation can be seen as one grand cathedral on fire with burning forests and rising temperatures. Amid this dire situation, Brooks Berndt focuses our attention on the unique and vitally needed gifts that churches can offer. He writes with poetic passion but also with an eye toward the practical as every chapter ends with suggested, field-tested actions.

Chapters in the book explore the following areas in which churches possess immense potential:

  • a commitment to care for God’s creation as our first calling
  • a scriptural basis in pursuing justice for a planet and its people
  • a moral foundation for understanding the climate crisis as an inequality crisis
  • a powerful, sacred language for articulating what fundamentally motivates people to act
  • a hope-giving history found in the faith leaders who launched the environmental justice movement
  • a rich tradition of theology in times of crisis
  • a countercultural ethic of generational justice found in the Bible
  • a recognition of youth as the climate prophets of today

One Great Hour of Sharing

As the One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS) suggested offering Sunday (March 14) approaches, many of the materials found in the 2021 Planning and Resource Guide have been formatted to be easily used in electronic mediums such as newsletters or PowerPoint presentations. This includes the Mission Moments.

We are offering a variety of formats, in hopes that it will save time, and make your promotional activities easier, whether you are worshipping in person or virtually.

The OGHS website was updated to make it easier for you to find the materials you need. Visit the website at www.ucc.org/oghs_resources. If you prefer printed resources, order them from UCC Resources for fast and free delivery.

By supporting the One Great Hour of Sharing Offering, we let love flow into communities worldwide by providing hope in adverse times. When we share our resources, it also gives us a tangible way to be present in the world and to serve beyond our local communities. OGHS supports sustainable development, disasters, and refugee initiatives.

In 2020, during the devastating fires in Oregon, we were able to be there to help leaders organize and prepare their immediate as well as long-term responses. We were proud to stand with and support these communities in their time of need. Responding to the needs of our neighbors is the primary goal of the offering.

Thank you for helping the members of your church learn how far their support goes in creating a just world for all. Thank you for promoting One Great Hour of Sharing and for your generous gifts.

Karen Georgia Thompson
Associate General Minister for Wider Church Ministries & Operations
Co-Executive for Global Ministries
United Church of Christ

Introducing Rev. Alexis Fuller-Wright

The Faith UCC Church Council is pleased to announce the selection of Rev. Alexis Fuller-Wright to serve in pastoral leadership as a short-term pulpit supply pastor during this time of pastoral transition. Rev. Fuller-Wright comes highly recommended by the Iowa Conference. Her brief biography is below.

Rev. Fuller-Wright will join us and lead worship until the end of April. She will assist us as we begin the process of taking the steps to creating a church profile and identifying a more formal interim pastor, prior to our calling a more permanent worship leader for Faith UCC.

We are very pleased that Rev. Fuller-Wright has agreed to join in our shared ministry for the next couple of months.

Rev. Alexis Fuller-Wright has joyfully served congregations in New Jersey, Maine, and California. She represents a new generation of leadership within the United Church of Christ (UCC) who have been called by the Spirit to bring new life and energy into the church. Her passions in ministry are helping people deeply connect with the heart of God and empowering congregations to find new and relevant ways to live out their faith in the 21st century.

Alexis is the former co-moderator of the UCC 2030 Clergy Network and a member of the UCC Next Generational Leadership Initiative, a program for young clergy who are passionate about transforming the church. She received her Master of Divinity from Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, California.

Alexis recently stepped away from full-time ministry to help shepherd her family through the pandemic. She is currently doing part-time development work for the Waldorf School of Princeton and training to become a certified spiritual director. She also serves as a member of the pre-ordination committee of the NJ Association, as a board member of HiTops (a local youth sexual health organization), and as the faith community liaison for the Bayard Rustin Center for Social Justice.

Alexis is married to Liz, a science writer for Princeton University, and they spend their non-working hours chasing after their kids, Nora (5) and Will (18 months).

In Memory of Pastor Robert Loffer

On February 9, 2021, Pastor Bob Loffer, Faith UCC’s faith leader for the past ten years, passed away following an illness. His passing has been a great loss to all of us. Pastor Bob was a tremendous leader for Faith UCC. He steadied our congregation and helped nurture us into the vital, strong, committed congregation we are today. He will be deeply missed.

His obituary can be read at this link.

WELCOME

A new year has already begun, liturgically for the church. Our liturgical year begins with the first Sunday in Advent. Christmas follows Advent in the liturgy and this year we had two Sundays after Christmas. Epiphany is always on January 6 (the Twelfth day of Christmas), and celebrates the arrival of the Magi in Bethlehem. Epiphany ends on Ash Wednesday, this year February 17. Lent begins with Ash Wednesday continuing to Easter, this year April 4. Easter Season is always 7 Sundays and end on Pentecost Sunday, this year May 23. Sundays after Pentecost, or sometimes called Proper time or Ordinary time continues through Advent. So, the Church New Year began November 29, 2020.

Our calendar New Year begins January 1. 2020 has been an adventure for us all. Each of have years when we celebrate births, deaths, weddings, divorces, and many other significant things. Through all those things in 2020 we have also experienced with worst pandemic in history, radical racial change, political blunders, lies, and grid lock. Mask wearing, social distancing, quarantine, and isolation have become “normal”. Who would have guessed a year ago the state of our world today?

Each new year brings a promise of hope. Advent focuses us on the hope of God coming into our world. Now, we know that has happened, so hope for 2021 lies in mask wearing, social distancing, vaccines, and being responsible in all our social, religious, and political actions. God is with us. It is true.

Our calendar new year begins; our liturgical new year is already several weeks old. Both offer the opportunity for a closer relationship with God and each other. Both of them offer promise, challenges, and new opportunities for service. God bless us as we travel these new year’s together.

WELCOME

FAITH
UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST
IOWA CITY, IOWA

Join us for pre-service Christmas music at 6:10 p.m. with Worship at 6:30 p.m. Zoom link at
https://faithucciowacity.com/zoom-meetings/christmas-eve-worship/

Sunday, December 27, 2020 9:10 a.m. preservice music followed by Worship at 9:30 a.m. Our worship will be lead by the National Staff of the United Church of Christ. Please join us at

https://faithucciowacity.com/zoom-meetings/pre-service-music-and-worship/