We are Open & Affirming of All — won’t you join us?
"We are a spiritually diverse congregation where God is still speaking. We affirm all who seek to follow Jesus’ way and share their gifts in service to the church and wider world, regardless of race, physical or mental capabilities, socio-economic status, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression. Whoever you are, wherever you are on life’s journey, you are welcome here.”
We gather for worship at 10:00 AM during the school year and at 9:30 AM in summer (June thru Labor Day). We would love to get to know you!
- Ceil’s Meal – Saturday, July 29th! 07/14/2017
- Christian Service Board offers 2017 Grant Application 06/13/2017
- In Memoriam: George Alexander Friedley 05/26/2017
- Understanding the “Trinity” 05/10/2017
- E-post from 5/4/17 05/04/2017
- Easter Services at 8:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. 04/15/2017
- Cate Bayles to speak 9:00 a.m. on Sunday, April 9th 04/08/2017
- Weekly E-post 3/9/17 03/10/2017
- Welcome To First Congregational! 02/04/2017
- “Food for Body, Mind & Spirit” is still on, despite weather. (1/25/17) 01/25/2017
Here is the grant application for 2017 requests to our Board of Christian Service. See application for details.
We will host a memorial service on Sat. May 27, 2017 to celebrate the life of George A. Friedley. Prelude (organist Wayne Wildman) begins at 11:00 a.m. with service starting at 11:30 a.m. Lunch to follow.
Here is the obituary that was published last summer when George died.
George Alexander Friedley, 87, a native and longtime resident of Sheboygan, WI, died on Monday, June 27, 2016 in Fort Worth, TX. He was born on October 14, 1928 to Ner Orium Friedley and Esther Amalia (Strassburger) Friedley. George married Mary Louise Dobbins on August 6, 1960. Together the couple raised three children, Gretchen, Geoffrey, and Melanie, and celebrated 50 years of marriage. In 2011, he moved to Fort Worth, where he resided at The Vantage and at Bethesda Gardens.
George graduated in 1946 from Sheboygan North High School. In 1950, he graduated with honors from Heidelberg College in Tiffin, OH, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication and Theatre Arts. From June 1950 to March 1952 he worked as a buyer for the H.C. Prange Co. in Sheboygan, during which time he also enlisted in the U.S. Naval
Reserve. In March 1952 he was called into active duty, served in Korea on the destroyer U.S.S. Wiltsie, and was honorably discharged in September 1953. During his term of service he received the National Defense Service Medal, the United Nations Service Medal, the China Service Medal, and the Korean Service Ribbon with two stars. Following his release from the Navy, he joined the Leverenz Shoe Company in Sheboygan, where he worked for the next 35 years, achieving the position of Vice President for Customer Services. In the late 1980s he worked for Ross Business Machines, and from 1991 to 2000, he served as a Business Banking Representative at Associated Bank of Sheboygan. George was a member of Zion Reformed Church (later Zion United Church of Christ), where he was baptized and confirmed and over several decades directed and participated in choirs, taught Sunday School, and served on the consistory. Later in life, he and Mary Lou joined the First Congregational Church U.C.C. in Sheboygan, where they sang in the choir and in numerous other ways integrated themselves into their new church family. A third generation resident of Sheboygan, George was committed to active involvement in his hometown. A passionate Rotarian, George was a Paul Harris Fellow and a Lifetime Member and Past President of the Sheboygan Rotary Club, where for years he also served as song leader. In 1982, George received the club’s Good Citizenship Award. He was a founding member of the Sheboygan Y’s Men’s Club, and he supported and volunteered for many other organizations, including the Sheboygan Area United Way, Meals on Wheels, the Sheboygan Symphony, the John Michael Kohler Arts Center (JMKAC), Lakeland College, and Sheboygan Community Concerts. He enjoyed playing bridge and Scrabble and was an avid Green Bay Packer fan. Music making and singing were pastimes that, for George and his family, superseded nearly all others. Both George and Mary Lou had studied Voice in college, and Mary Lou was a certified public school music teacher. Together they enjoyed singing in many different ensembles, especially choirs at Zion, at the First Congregational Church, and at JMKAC. In the 1960s, they and their friends would gather periodically to sing 16th century
madrigals. At different times, both directed Zion’s Youth Choir. When their children were old enough, the family constituted a quintet that would sing carols in four parts for friends at the holidays, and in 1982 they were named Musical Family of the Year by the Sheboygan Music Club. In maintaining these musical activities, George was continuing treasured family traditions established by his grandfather and grandmother, Gustav Albert Strassburger and Amalia (Karth) Strassburger, and continued by their six children, Esther, Karl, Edith, Robert, Eleanor, and Helen, and their families. George was preceded in death by his beloved wife Mary Lou in 2010 and his siblings Mark Royer Friedley in 2009 and Suzanne Ner (Friedley) Duffy in 2005. He is survived by his three children and their families, Gretchen and Paul Steck (Katie, Kara, and Drew), Geoffrey and Diana (Livingston) Friedley (Grace), and Melanie and Patrick Towle (Alex, Charlie, and George). The family requests that memorial gifts be sent to the Ohl Endowment at Heidelberg College or to the John Michael Kohler Arts Center.
Tonight at 6pm – final showing of videos from Richard Rohr et. al “Trinity” conference. Pastor Jim will lead showing and discussion. Tonight will include: Cynthia Bourgeault on the “law of 3” and the “law of 7.” In the Conf. Room. All are welcome.
“GROW Great Food Garden Party – Fri. May 5th The GROW (Gardening Reshapes Our World) ministry is hosting an event, for all ages, to celebrate the upcoming growing season. Potluck supper (Lucas Hall) from 5:30-7 pm. A rep from NOURISH will offer a spring food demonstration – how you can cook with produce from your garden. Mz Tree (musician and church member) will provide children’s song and story programming as well. There will be a seed exchange and more. Open to the wider community (from master gardeners to beginners). Contact Adrienne Barrett – 920- 819-9001 or Facebook (GROW Sheboygan).
Winter Farmer’s Market (last one of the season) – Sat. May 6th Come to Lucas Hall from 9 am to 1pm this Sat to purchase locally grown and produced goods. Hosted by SCIO.
Sun. May 7th – CONFIRMATION SUNDAY
9:00 am Adult Forum – Video Series – Rob Bell’s “Everything is Spiritual” – Mark DeZwarte is facilitating the discussion of this video series (“Rob Bell’s latest re-telling of the story of humanity.”). (Parts 3&4 will be 5/14 and 5/21)
9:00 am Breakfast for Confirmation Students/Families and Mentors – Hosted by the 8th grade families in Lucas Hall. Thanks to Cheryl Meyer for coordinating.
10:00 am – Worship We will be celebrating the spiritual journeys of 12 high school freshman as they share their statements of faith/practice – Sierra Fish, Davis Opel, Emily Edson, Colby Meissner, Eli Mayer, Noah Ertel, Evan Vorpahl, Leo Viglietti, Alex Burg, Julia Weiland, Ben Persick and Derek Wesener. Evan Vorpahl and Leo Viglietti will also be sharing their musical gifts.
JMKAC Senior Honors Recital Come support Mimi Viglietti (soprano) as she performs with three other local high school seniors. Held at 1:00 pm at JMKAC theater.
“Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” Appetizers in the church lounge at 5:30 pm. Dinner in member’s homes at 6:30 pm. Hosted by Deacons. (Advance sign-up was required)
“What We Talk About When We Talk About God” (by Rob Bell) – The Thursday Study Group is in a 7-week study of this book which tackles the misconceptions about God and reveals how God is with us, for us, and ahead of us. Group meets 9:15-10:15 am.
“Retire Wisely” financial workshop – Tues. May 9th with Tim Sager from Thrivent Financial. (their motto: “Connecting faith and finances for good.”) Held at FCC (Room #2) at 6:00 pm. Free admission; no products will be sold. This is part of a UCC-sponsored series: 5/23 at St. John’s UCC: “Social Security: Strategize to Maximize” and 5/31 at Ebenezer UCC: “Give Now, Give Later, Give & Receive.” All at 6pm. Talk to Pastor Jim if you have any questions.
Talk about the “Trinity” – Richard Rohr, Cynthia Bourgeault, and Wm. Paul Young (author of “The Shack”) presenters. Pastor Jim will be showing various sessions and segments on Thurs. 5/4 from 6:30-8 pm and on Wed. eve 5/10 from 6-8p.
Pilgrim Preschool Open House – Weds. May 10th Stop in anytime between 6:30-7:30 pm to meet the teachers and ask questions about the program. All family members welcome.
Mission Trip Info Meeting – Weds. May 10th The Middle School youth and their parents will gather from 6-7pm in the sanctuary to learn detail about the GROUP Workcamp in Cannon Falls, MN. The High School youth and parents will gather from 7-8 pm to learn details about the Appalachian Service Project Trip to Salyersville Kentucky. This is a required meeting for all participants. If you cannot attend – please speak to Jim Johnson.
Membership Conversation Class – Thurs. May 11th Are you interested in learning more about the ministry, vision, values and history of FCC, Sheboygan? On May 11th, there will be a gathering for friends of FCC who are interested in learning more about membership. Just come to the church lounge from 6:30 -8:00 pm. Dessert refreshments will be served. If you are in need of childcare that evening, we can provide it in the church nursery – just let us know of your need. New members will be received into FCC on Sunday, May 21st during 10:00 am worship. Speak to either Pastors Jim or Julia – if you plan to attend class.
Church School Classes Sing On Mother’s Day On Sun. May 14th, the church school children (4-yr-old class through 5th grade) will be singing at the 10:00 am worship service under the direction of Ann Berchem. All of the children will be singing the song “”Mungu ni Mwema, “(God is so Good). The 2nd -5th Grade class are singing “You’re My Mom.” There will be a 9:30 am rehearsal for both groups in the sanctuary.
Graduation Parking Spaces $15 per space – pay the day of graduation. Proceeds benefit our youth mission trips this summer. Call Suzy in the church office to reserve a space.
Parents of Graduates – Please call or email the church office by Sunday, May 28th, to let us know if your child is graduating from high school, college or vocational school this spring. We would also like to know of their upcoming academic or vocational plans.
The Summer Softball Season is Here Again! We have again organized a co-ed softball team to play in this year in Sheboygan’s “Church League”! We will begin games on Mondays starting on May 15th (5:45 pm at Veterans SW) Summer games are held at 5:45, 6:55, 8:00 pm at Roosevelt, Veterans and Kiwanis Park NE. Thanks to Chris and Wade Heinen who are coaching again this year. If you are interested in joining the team (and haven’t already let them know) contact the Heinens (firstname.lastname@example.org) about your interest and the position(s) you would be interested/able to play, and if you need a (blue) jersey.
Easter Sunday, April 16th – Worship at 8:30 and 10:30 am.
- 8:30 am Worship – Pastor Julia will preach on “Easter Courage.” Music includes Brass Ensemble, flute (Leo Viglietti) and piano/organ (Bill Born). There will be childcare in the nursery.
- 9:30 am Coffee Hour in Lucas Hall – Thanks to Linda Schroeder and Deacons for providing.
- 10:30 am Worship – Pastor Julia will preach on “Easter Courage.” Music includes the Choir, Brass Ensemble, Nicholas Akstulewicz (tuba) and Bill Born (organ). There will be children’s classes for 1st grade and younger (including an Easter Egg Hunt) for children. Older Children are encouraged to remain in worship.
At Adult Forum this Sunday, April 9th (Palm Sunday) =
Join Cate Bayles as she shares photographs and stories from her 2016 teaching residency in Honduras at the Sociedad Amigos de los Niños (SAN). SAN is an agent of social transformation, offering 200 of Honduras’ most vulnerable children shelter and safety in its homes and community, and then empowering them with education, vocational training, scholarships, and work experience to help them lead self-sufficient lives as adults. Cate spent two weeks working with high school students and is excited to share more about the experience with FCC! All are welcome. 9am Sunday in the Conf. Room.
Here’s a brief report that Cate gave in December: https://www.crowdrise.com/fundraiser/campaign-updates/1000784#!/status/4
Weekly E-post to members & friends
We’re on Facebook: www.facebook.com/fccsheboygan
Pastors: Revs. Jim & Julia Hollister
Sent: Thurs. Mar. 9th, 2017
Sun. March 12th – Second Sunday in Lent – DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME BEGINS (Turn clocks ahead one hour)
9:00 am – Adult Forum – Second of a 4-week series on the four gospels led by Pastors Jim and Julia. This week: Gospel According to Matthew. All are welcome (Conf. Room).
10:00 am – Worship – “Celebrating the Ministry of Manufacturing” We will be recognizing church members/friends who have engaged in the work/business of manufacturing. Thanks to Gil Nimm (American Excelsior), Christopher Baldwin (Kohler Co.) and Karen Habeck (Manning Lighting) who will share reflections on their faith in relationship to their work. The Choir will sing “God So Loved the World” and the Handbell Choir will perform “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross.”
Sunday Night Meditation @ 7pm in the lounge.
The Wednesday Morning Study Group is currently discussing Jonathan Haidt’s THE RIGHTEOUS MIND: WHY GOOD PEOPLE ARE DIVIDED BY POLITICS AND RELIGION. Every Wed. at 6:45a in the Lounge. All are welcome. For next Wed. =chapter 4.
Thursday Women Group – During Lent, this group, led by Pastor Julia, is using “Diving Lessons” – The “Still Speaking” Lenten Devotional for discussion. Group meets from 9:15-10:15 am in church lounge.
“Journeys” – Weds. Mar. 15th – 8th graders will learn about “Pontius Pilate: The Troubled Politician” from 5:30-6:30 pm in the Youth Room. Thanks to the Persick family for providing dinner at 6:30 pm.
Thanks to ALL who contributed to the Mission Trip Brunch last Sunday We raised over $500 for our youth mission trips this summer.
“Sponsor-a-youth” Campaign There are two youth mission trips this summer. In June, the Middle School youth will be attending a GROUP Workcamp in Cannon Falls, MN. They will be weatherizing homes for low-income and elderly residents. In July, the High School youth will participate in the Appalachian Service Project in Kentucky. Sponsor a youth for a full day ($50) or half day ($25). See poster in narthex. Sponsors receive a postcard from their sponsored youth. We need to raise $8,259 so please be generous with your support. Make checks out to First Congregational Church and indicate in the memo line “youth mission trip.”
A Spring Retreat for FCC women
“Finding Our Voices”
led by Pastor Julia and Nancy Engberg
Friday evening, May 12th through Sat. afternoon, May 13th
at Pilgrim Center on Green Lake, WI
Come enjoy a chance for women of all ages to join
in fellowship, rest and reflection.
Cost is $80.00 (scholarship is available)
Retreat begins at 6:30 pm on Friday
(with dinner by Pilgrim Staff)
and ends at 4:00 pm on Saturday (following lunch)
Participants will stay in Oak Mound Lodge.
Flyer with details on Education Table in narthex
We gather for worship on Sundays at 10 a.m. during the school year (9:30a in summer). Our service includes time for singing, prayer, encountering the scriptures, and a message (sermon) from one of our pastors. We share in the Lord’s Supper (Communion) on the 1st Sunday of each month. Free infant care is available in the nursery (Room 7) each Sunday. Children start off in worship, then leave for their classes after about 20 minutes, often after a “Time for Children” led by a pastor.
Whoever you are, wherever you are on life’s journey, you are welcome here!”
See you this evening if you can get to church. It’s wet and slippery. Snow is heavy. Be careful out there.