June 6th: BYOCE!! (Bring Your Own Communion Elements!!)

As we excitedly anticipate our time together with in-person worship, we will also celebrate communion this coming Sunday.  Yes, it will look a bit different BUT we will be together.  To comply with safety protocol, you are invited to bring your own communion elements (BYOCE) to worship on Sunday, June 6.  Just as we have done these past months, just use whatever you have.  This will be the norm until folks are completely comfortable passing the bread and cup.

June 6th: Faith UCC Returns to In-Person Worship!

Following a survey of the membership (results attached) and upon the recommendation of the Committee on Returning to In-Person Worship, the Church Council has voted unanimously to resume in-person worship at Faith UCC on Sunday, June 6th with certain measures in place.

Below are the measures recommended by the Committee and approved by Church Council:

*Chairs will be spaced for social distancing; couples can sit together.

*Masks are recommended in the building. Bump elbows for greeting, unless a couple.

*No coffee or snacks right now.

*Faith UCC will use this first in-person gathering as prep for Pastor Bob Loffer’s memorial service June 13.

We will revisit the protocols as progress continues on vaccinations. We will continue to offer the service on Zoom to those who cannot attend.

Thank you to all of you who participated in the survey, to the Committee, and to the members of Council. Hope to see you in church!

May 23rd: God’s Work, Our Voices: Bread for the World Offering of Letters

Worship services will begin slightly later than normal this Sunday, May 23rd, at Faith United Church of Christ. Please join the Faith UCC service via Zoom starting at 10 AM! Contact the church office for the Zoom code.

On Sunday, May 23rd, at 11:10 AM, Faith United Church of Christ and Congregational United Church of Christ will have a combined virtual Bread for the World Offering of Letters. Steve Panther, a member of Zion Lutheran Church in Iowa City, will give a presentation on Bread for the World’s 2021 advocacy campaign. Then, he will guide the participants in the use of an online sample letter. The sample letter can be found at this link. Suggestions for personalizing the letter will be provided. When the letter is sent, it will go to Senators Charles Grassley and Joni Ernst and to Representative Mariannette Miller Meeks.

Fiesta!

Please join Faith members and friends for this festive zoom celebration on Sat. May 1!

Gather food and beverages of choice and celebrate virtually!  Please enjoy the fun and festivity and dress for the occasion!  The event will begin at 5:45. 

Abbey Ferenzi , director of Guide Link Center, will be our speaker.  She will begin at 6 pm and tell us about this newer community organization.  There will be time for questions.  Guide Link Center will be the recipient of the Fiesta financial donations.

Please contact our office if you’re not yet receiving Zoom invitations from Faith UCC and we can add you to the invitation list.

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).