Follow the Facebook event for updates
Join others on the journey for fellowship, meditation and renewal while viewing the Center for Action and Contemplation "Conspire 2018" webcast. It will be a weekend of contemplative teachings, practices, reflection, and conversation with Richard Rohr, Barbara Holmes, Brian McLaren, Barbara Brown Taylor, and Mirabai Starr. We'll inhale and exhale, listen and share, let go and receive while in the beautiful surroundings of WMC at the Council Grove Reservoir. Accommodations for two overnights, all meals and the webcast provided with your $65 registration fee. Proceeds from the weekend retreat will benefit Ecumenical Campus Ministry (ECM) at K-State.
Follow the Facebook event for updates
We are so excited about our new children's yoga program that will launch this fall! Beginning in September, the whole MHK community will be invited to join us on the first Sunday of each month at 9:30am for Yoga + Donuts. Kids aged 3 through 6th grade will participate in a lively yoga class led by our trained volunteers and then enjoy yummy donuts and conversation.
On Saturday, August 25 we invite kids AND their adult caregivers to join us at the Manhattan Public Library at 10:00am for a Family Yoga class led by Pastor Caela. This will be a great way to preview our new yoga program and we hope you can join us! Storytime at the library will follow at 11:00am.
A note from Linda Thurston, one of our Second Helping coordinators, written in July, 2018:
Last Sunday Pastor Caela talked about the Mutuality of Hospitality. Second Helping, the community meals we plan, prepare, and serve every Sunday in Pioneer-Blachly provide hot meals for those in the community who need food and conversation. Second Helping also blesses us with the opportunity to visit with guests and volunteers and an opportunity to serve God’s children. Did you know?
Second Helping serves 100-150 hot meals every month. We also provide sack breakfast/lunches for all our guests. What does it take to provide up to 300 meals a month:
Volunteers: cooks, kitchen crews, church hosts, and coordinators who plan meals, order food, and pick up groceries and supplies. That’s a minimum of 10 people a week! (and about 27-30 hours a week!)
Supplies: the church budget provides most of our supplies and paper products. We use over 100 sandwich bags a week, which we fill with sandwiches, cookies, and carrots and celery.
Food: During the school year, we often receive food recovered from the K-State training table, which is frozen for use to store and use as needed. We also receive some commodities, such as ground beef, noodles, rice, and canned fruit and vegetables. We purchase needed weekly groceries at Hy-Vee at a discount. We often need to buy:
• 4 loaves a bread a week
• 35 breakfast bars a week
• 70 – 105 cookies a week
• 70 packages of instant oatmeal a week
• 35 packaged peanut butter or cheese crackers a week
• dinner rolls (about 4 dozen)
Donations: On the first Sunday of every month, we collect food items and cash donations that go to providing our meals. Church volunteers sometimes bring dessert for our Sunday meals. Others bring produce or extra food and beverages from catered events.
Wondering how you can be a part of Second Helping?
Volunteer to be a church host (training provided).
Volunteer to cook or be part of the kitchen crew (training provided).
Sign up to provide dessert for 35-40 on Sunday evening.
Give a cash donation.
Include our guests and volunteers in your prayers.
Donate food: breakfast bars, packaged cookies (Oreos are very popular), instant oatmeal packet, packaged cheese crackers,
And our guests appreciate fresh produce, fruit and home-made goodies. Last year we put out donated pears, tomatoes and cucumbers for our guests to take when they picked up their sack lunches– a big hit!
Our guests are thankful for our efforts – some help out as we set up or clean up. Guests have handed us coins to help with expenses. Others play the piano for the group or help others with more iced tea or coffee. And we as individuals and as the church are blessed by our guests and our community of volunteers…. The mutuality of hospitality.
Orange and yellow leaves are still a long way off, but as we turn the calendar to August we switch back into “fall mode” at First Congregational. Our big “kick off” Sunday for the fall semester is August 19th. We will bless backpacks and teacher that morning in worship and party with our neighbors that evening at Feast and Festival. At 9:30 on the 19th we will also gather together as the Sunday School year begins.
I am so thankful for those who volunteer their time and energy with our robust Christian formation ministries at First Congregational. Throughout the school year we offer Sunday School for all ages from 9:30-10:30am each Sunday morning. The nursery is available for children 3 and under so that siblings and caregivers can attend classes. In recent years we have also had some small groups that meet during the week and I’m delighted that Pastor Sue will gain be leading a “chewy” theology-focused class this fall on Thursdays, probably over the noon hour.
We have a great lineup of adult Sunday School options this fall, beginning with a four-week class led by Pastor Sue on what it means to be a part of the United Church of Christ. Other classes this fall semester will include a discussion of the book Fierce: Women of the Bible and Their Stories of Violence, Mercy, Bravery, Wisdom, Sex, and Salvation (led by Sara K Kearns), a class celebrating the 20th anniversary of Second Helping (coordinated by Pastor Sue and the Board of Mission), and an Advent class on exploring faith through our feelings (led by Rachel Shivers). You can find a full calendar of upcoming adult offerings here.
This fall we also kick off a new way of doing children’s Sunday School. Each week of the month will have a different focus. The first Sunday of each month we invite the whole Manhattan community to join us for Yoga + Donuts. We will offer classes for three age groups on this Sunday (ages 3-Kindergarten, 1st-3rd grade, 4th-6th grade). Our volunteer teachers for the yoga program are Andria Anderson, Emily Brueseke, Susann Campbell, Tanya Gonzalez, Donna Keyser, Rachel Shivers, and me. On the 2nd and 3rd Sunday of each month, kids will learn about the Bible with Tracey Weston and Paulicia Williams using curriculum from Seasons of the Spirit. Fourth Sundays will be a children’s choir, led by Andria Anderson. And on fifth Sundays we will engage the kids in service projects. | READ THE FULL CHILDREN'S BROCHURE FOR FALL 2018 HERE
It’s a wonderfully fulfilling thing to be able to ask questions and grow together. We look forward to seeing you at one (or more!) of our faith formation activities this fall.
It’s Feast and Festival time! Join us Sunday, August 19th at 6 pm in Pioneer and Blachly Halls for food and fun. Paper goods will be provided or bring your own table set-up. Menu will include vegan options and homemade ice cream.
Once again, we will have the cake walk and the Ministry of Decorative Scissors will have a crafting table set up.
Monetary donations are requested and if you have a cake/dessert to donate, it will be appreciated! Our friends from Second Helping will join us.
It's back! One of our favorite Sundays of the year. Join us for smooth and raucous jazz on Sunday, August 12 at 10:45 a.m. (And, yes, you'll get to sing and dance along. Jesus loves a good party.)
Sunday, August 19 we will have a Blessing of the Backpacks and Teachers during worship at 10:45 a.m.. Children are invited to bring their backpacks and receive a blessing as they return to school. We are thrilled that the Ministry of the Decorative Scissors is again providing the custom-made backpack trinkets for our children. "Big kids" and adults are welcome to bring along their briefcases, diaper bags, work uniforms or other items that represent their daily work in the world. We will also bless those who are returning to teaching – whether that’s in a college classroom, an elementary school, or at home with young children.
This is also the same day we return to OUR school year with Sunday School for all ages beginning at 9:30am. We hope you'll be able to join us!
Information about Sunday School....
....for adults & youth
Our nursery is also open for children aged birth to three.
Estimated cost $12 or less. Order by August 5th.
Order online or by paper sign up in the lobby by August 5th. Pay when shirts arrive in late August.
If you have financial need, please contact Pastor Caela.
Sunday, July 15
First Congregational UCC
Trying to understand the current context of immigration in our Kansas communities? Us too! Join us for a panel to explore:
Immigration and the agricultural economy of Kansas
Statuses of non-citizens and pathways to citizenship
Impact of immigration laws and regulations on immigrants in our community
Debra Bolton, Extension Agent in Southwest Kansas
Karen Couch, Immigration Attorney for Catholic Charities of Northern Kansas, which serves the Catholic Diocese of Salina
Matthew R. Sanderson
Randall C. Hill Distinguished Professor of Sociology, Kansas State University