This year we have TWO options for free devotionals to help guide your Lenten journey.
Devotional Booklets (hard copy or digital)
1) Our Lenten Devotional Booklets from A Sanctified Art are available for pick-up beginning Feb. 11. You can pick up in the church lobby or in the plastic box outside the office doors. If you prefer a web-based version or would like a hard copy placed in the U.S. mail, please contact the church office. (This is the devotional that the Adult Sunday School class will use to guide their conversations throughout Lent.)
About the devotional: "Beginning with the First Sunday in Lent, this weekly devotional follows the scriptures of our Wandering Heart series through the Second Sunday of Easter. Each week offers commentary, poetry, visual art, hymns, and reflection prompts. We encourage you to walk through these weekly readings at your own pace throughout the season, following the rhythm that works best for you. The devotional features biblical commentary by our guest writers, Dr. Terence Lester and Dr. Karoline M. Lewis, and art and reflections by our guest artists, Rev. Nicolette Peñaranda and Rev. T. Denise Anderson.” (from sanctifiedart.com)
Daily Devotional Cards (via e-mail)
2) For those who prefer a daily devotional, we are pleased to offer Daily Devotional cards via email. Receive a daily invitation to a Centering Practice, Reflection Question, and Prayer. These cards were also created by A Sanctified Art and follow our Wandering Heart theme. If you’d like to receive one each day in your inbox, please email email@example.com and we’ll get you added to the list.
Use one or both of these great resources to guide your spiritual journey this Lent. And....don't forget about the Spotify playlist for when you need some music.
On Nov. 5th, we join with Christians around the globe in remembering our saints on All Saints’ Day. We will name those who have died in the past year who we hold dear to our hearts. Please join us for worship as we remember our saints together.
Since the late 1990’s, our faith community has held a Thursday night worship service of prayer and song, inspired by the worship tradition in the community of Taize, in southern France. During the Covid-19 pandemic, we moved this worship experience online, meeting over Zoom on Thursday evenings. We have been on a summer vacation since May, however, and as we resume, we will be making some changes. Beginning on October 19, we will resume worshipping together in person only, in Pioneer Hall. We will meet once a month, at 7:00, for prayer and song, on the third Thursday of each month thereafter. We have missed the communal aspect of our songs and prayer, and look forward to being together again. We extend a loving invitation to all of our church family to join us for this quiet, approximately 30-minute time together.
Sunday, Oct. 15 is our celebration of Second Helping volunteers. Join us as we give thanks for the hard work of the many volunteers who make Second Helping possible. Linda Thurston will present a history and current state of Second Helping as the sermon. The Mission Board is organizing a reception to follow during the Fellowship Hour. We would love to have you join us!
This week marks the beginning of the fall semester at First Congregational and we can't wait to see you!
Join us during worship for the Blessing of the Backpacks and Educators + hear from our youth about what they learned on their summer service learning trip. And....the choir is back!
Plus...it's time for Sunday School for all ages to kick off again!
🎉 Kids ages 3 through 5th grade are invited to join us in the church building for Sunday School at 9:30 a.m.
💡 Adults also have Sunday School at 9:30 a.m. and we meet in-person or via Zoom for this class. This class begins with a two week series on praying the Psalms. We will study some
of them and then write our own prayer based on the Psalm we choose. This will be a guided activity. Come! Be like David and write a Psalm!
🍩 Youth in grades 6-12 are typically meeting twice a month - once for donuts and conversation and once for Confirmation Class. This Sunday is our first Confirmation Class at 9:30 a.m. If you're not receiving regular updates from Pastor Caela about youth events, please let us know.
This summer we have THREE special worship series at First Congregational. Learn all about them here!
Compassion Camp - for all ages!
As we look around the world, our deep need for compassion becomes increasingly evident with each passing day, perhaps now more than ever. Join us on Sunday mornings this summer for Compassion Camp. People of all ages are invited to cultivate compassion for each other, ourselves, and the world!
During Compassion Camp we will explore what all living things need to live—shelter, food, water, and air —and how we can have compassion for the living earth, especially in our local ecosystems. Through awareness, gratitude, wonderment, reciprocity, and kinship, we will consider how to become co-sustainers and participants in the work of God’s creation.
Sundays at 10:45 a.m. in-person and via Zoom:
🏠 June 18 - every living thing needs shelter
🍎 July 2 - every living thing needs food
💦 July 23 - every living thing needs water
💨 August 13 - every living thing needs air
AND....don't forget to order your First Congregational UCC t-shirt, inspired by Compassion Camp here by June 25th.
Speak with the Earth....
...and it will teach you.
"I don't think it is enough appreciated how much an outdoor book the Bible is," wrote Wendell Berry. Join us this summer for a sermon series inspired by Speak with the Earth and it Will Teach You by UCC pastor, Rev. Daniel Cooperrider. This book takes us on a journey through rivers, trees, mountains, and clouds to read God's "first testament" - nature.
Join us Sundays at 10:45 a.m. in person or via Zoom for this series.
🌊 June 4 - rivers
🌳 June 25 - trees
🏞 July 16 - mountains
☁️ July 30 - clouds
Shared Worship with Ecumenical Friends
This summer we'll be sharing 3 worship services with our friends from Manhattan Mennonite Church and the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship (UUFM).
Worship will be available via Zoom and at in-person at the locations below:
June 11 - shared worship at Manhattan Mennonite Church (1000 Fremont)
July 9 - shared worship at First Congregational
August 6 - shared worship at UUFM (481 Zeandale Rd.)
For those gathering on Zoom, we'll provide the Zoom link the day-of at uccmanhattan.org/online - just like we normally do.
Nov. 27th: Advent begins with HOPE (and decorating)
Dec. 4th: the Sunday of PEACE (and brass and cookies!)
Dec. 11th: a JOYful Christmas Pageant
Dec. 18th: Lessons & Carols (and LOVE)
Dec. 24th at 7:00 p.m. Christmas Eve Worship
Dec. 25th: Cozy Christmas Morning on ZOOM only
Jan. 1st: Christmastide Continues
The season of Christmas continues (which means one more week of Christmas carols!) on Jan. 1st. Start the New Year off right by gathering around Christ's table for Holy Communion as we give thanks for the year that's been and look forward to the year that will be.
Jan. 8th: Epiphany Sunday
Star Words will make an appearance once again at our annual Epiphany service. The use of star words, also called “star gifts,” is a prayer practice connected to Epiphany and the new year that has been growing in popularity in Protestant churches for nearly a decade now. The idea is that a list of intention words, or guiding words, are written or printed on paper stars. These paper stars are then distributed at random. Individuals are often encouraged to place their star word somewhere they will see it regularly throughout the year to allow consistent reflection on how God has moved through, around, or in connection to that word. (Description from A Sanctified Art, LLC.)
Learn more about Epiphany the Star Words here.
Wow! ECM at K-State is celebrating 101 years of ministry! Join us on Sunday, May 8th at Long's Park as we welcome guests from ECM and celebrate with them. And then on Sunday, May 15th we'll have guests from ECM with us at 9:30 a.m. (church basement or via Zoom) to share about what ECM is up to and answer our questions. We're excited to welcome these partners in campus ministry and deepen our relationship with them.
You can learn more about ECM on their website (https://www.ecmatkstate.org/) and you're encouraged to sign up for their e-mail list and/or follow them on social media.
It's time for our annual Blessing of the Animals and Worship in the Park. Join us at (shady) Long's Park on Sunday, May 8th at 10:45 a.m. for this special service. Childcare staff will be on hand to care for young kids who want to explore the playground or the rest of the park.
After worship we'll have a good ol' fashioned potluck and friends from ECM at K-State (our campus ministry) are coming to visit with us so we can help them celebrate 101 years in ministry.
Things to bring to the park:
- your own lawn chair, if you have one
- a potluck dish to share
- your own tableservice, to reduce our use of disposable dishes
- your pet (or stuffed animal!) for a blessing
***If you have any questions about accessibility at the park, please let us know.
For those worshiping at home, please use the regular Zoom link. If you have an animal you'd like blessed at home, please reach out to Pastor Caela so she can arrange a visit.