This Week


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Shine Your Light

We are taking a break from the Narrative Lectionary cycle this week to hear a word from the gospel of Matthew. The narrative lectionary text for this week would have been a reading from 2 Samuel about David and Bathsheba. If you would like to read the sermon I delivered on that text in July, click here.
Our scripture this week comes from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. It is the beginning of Jesus’ ministry to the people and he starts with a message that those who feel like they are worthless, are favored by God. That those who were gathered with him on the hillside were the salt of the earth and the light of the world. Though they may have be viewed as the lowest of the low by people in power, God loved them. Jesus encouraged them to let their light shine bright.
How are we invited to do the same? What light do we have that we are hesitant to share with others? How might God be inviting us to be saltier and brighter and the fullest expressions of God’s incarnation?

Pastor Leslie has posted her sermons online so you can read and share them! Visit
Sunday, October 21
Dan Hegstad
Sunday, October 28
Jan Kurtz

Please contact Barb Stokke if you are interested in being a liturgist.

Please join us on Tuesday, October 23, 4-6 p.m. for FALL CLEANUP followed by a light meal. The weather looks just right! Many hands make light work. Bring rakes, tarps, tools, pruners, etc. Please contact Nancy Gould 330-0844 if you have questions. Look forward to seeing you there!
Sunday, October 21
Hosts: Shirley Barten & Deb Lundberg
Ushers: Brian & Becky Twamley
Greeters: Austin & Itty Newgord
Counters: Tracy Lyons & Mabel Schultz

Sunday, October 28
Hosts: Karen Ogdahl & Jean Schaeffer
Ushers/Greeters: Kai & Kyd Lukanen,
Tracy Lyons & Mike Schrader
Counters: Tracy Lyons & Mabel Schultz

This Week
Thursday, October 18
6:00 pm – Taize Service
Friday, October 19
10:30 am – Book Group
Saturday, October 20
9-11:00 am – WISE Congregations with Rev. Rachael Keefe
Sunday, October 21
8:30 am – Choir
10:00 am – Worship
11:00 am – Fellowship
11:15 am – Sunday School
11:30 am – All Ages Games for Sunday School
Monday,October 22
6:30 pm – “Big Questions” Discussion Group
Tuesday,October 23
4:00 pm – Fall Clean-up
6:00 pm – Lifesaving Church: Faith Communities
and Suicide Prevention
Wednesday,October 24
9:30 am – Prayer Circle
12:00 pm – Men’s Group @ Sawmill Inn
6:00 pm – Confirmation
Friday, October 26
10:30 am – Book Group
4:00 pm – Soup Kitchen
Usher/Greeter Training has been rescheduled to November 4 in order for all adults and youth to be able to participate in multi-generational games during Sunday School.
Creating a W.I.S.E. Congregation
Saturday, October 20, 2018 9:00 am – 11:00 am
Did you know that 1 in 4 adults is diagnosed with a mental health condition every year? People with mental health challenges are already in our congregations and they are in need of a safe and welcoming place. The Mental Health Network of the United Church of Christ invites you to explore becoming Welcoming, Inclusive, Supportive, and Engaged with persons with mental health challenges. Bring your questions and concerns to join us for this important conversation!
The Rev. Dr. Rachael Keefe, author and pastor of Living Table UCC in Minneapolis is the Vice Chair of the Mental Health Network. She will present the process of becoming a WISE congregation, respond to our questions, and help us discern our next steps.
We will meet from 9:00-11:00am.

Would you know how to respond if the person sitting next to you in your pew was contemplating suicide?

Every year, millions of people engage in suicidal activity, including those in our faith communities. Yet the Church remains largely silent around the topics of mental health, depression, and suicide prevention. How can you and your faith community be prepared to recognize and respond to those struggling for their very lives?
The Rev. Dr. Rachael Keefe will share her own painful story of life-long depression and suicidality—and how her various faith communities responded, for better and for worse. She will help us recognize the signs and struggles of those who suffer silently and remind us of the Church’s call to be the Body of Christ for each other.

Tuesday October 23, 2018 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
First Congregational United Church of Christ
Register at

This is a free event and is open to all.

A “Candidates Forum on Environmental Issues” will be held on Wednesday, October 24 at 7:00 pm at the Northland Arboretum.
Candidates for State House Districts 9A, 9B, 10A and 10B, Crow Wing County Commissioner District 2, 3 and 4 and Soil & Water Supervisor District 2, 3 and 5 have been invited to participate in this forum on environmental issues.  This is a non-partisan event sponsored by the Brainerd Lakes Area Audubon Society, Crow Wing County Lakes and Rivers Alliance, Bee-Nay-She Bird Council, Brainerd Lakes United for the Environment, Central Lakes College Natural Resources Club, Gull Chain of Lakes Association, Happy Dancing Turtle, Hunt’s Utility Group, Northland Arboretum, Pine River Watershed Alliance and the Whitefish Property Owners Association.

This forum is an opportunity for citizens to meet the candidates and hear their views on environmental topics. Attendees have the opportunity to submit environmentally related questions to the moderator who will pose as many of the submitted questions as possible to the candidates.
Refreshments will be served and there will be opportunities to talk with the candidates. This event is free and open to the public.
For more information contact Lorrene Maroney at or the Northland Arboretum at

The Third Annual Halloween Extravaganza
is fast approaching !!!
We will be needing bags of candy as per last year AND
large containers of hot chocolate mix (COSTCO size).
If anyone has fog machines, that would be a great bonus.
We would also take any decorations – even on loan!
We will have a box out for goodies.
Anyone would like to volunteer to help, contact
Jolene H. 218-251-6912 or any Christian Ed member.
You can come in costume!!
The last two years we averaged over 400 kids!

Día de Muertos: On Sunday, November 4th , we will be observing “All Saint’s Day” following the Mexican traditions from Día de Muertos/Day of the Dead. In the Mexican culture, November 1st and 2nd are days for remembering their ‘dearly departed” through arranging family altars, preparing special foods, sprucing up the cemeteries and naming the names of the dead, to keep their memories alive.
To help us remember our church family and our own family members, please participate by bringing in a photo or item that reminds you of the person you with to commemorate. Examples of items might be a football, for a football fanatic; a Hershey bar for a chocolate lover, a favorite book or an actual possession left to you by the person. Photos and items will be placed on a table/altar during the chuch service.
If you have photos that could be used in our tri-fold photo wall of past church members, please contact Jan Kurtz at 218-829-1192.
Copyright © 2018 First Congregational United Church of Christ, All rights reserved.

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415 Juniper Street
Brainerd, MN 56401