This Week


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For Such a Time As This

Esther and her uncle Mordecai are living in a time of genocidal fear. Living in a foreign land, the Jews were a minority at the mercy of royal decrees, one of which has just been issued that would wipe them out. Rather than lamenting about having been born during such a time, Esther and others throughout history have found ways to rise up and use whatever power they have to bring about peace and justice. How are we called to this present moment to to bring peace into the world?

Scripture Reading: Esther 4:1-17
Consider reading the book of Esther before worship on Sunday. It is not a long book, and the entire story is much more powerful than one selection to be presented during church. You can also click here to watch a video which does a good job of summarizing the book.

Pastor Leslie has posted her sermons online so you can read and share them! Visit
The deadline for the January newsletter is December 16th
at 5:00 pm.
Liturgist Schedule

Sunday, Dec. 9
Karen Ford
Sunday, Dec. 16
Ellie Burkett

Please contact Barb Stokke if you are interested in being a liturgist.
Please bring food donations for the December food shelf offering on Sunday, December 16th. The Salvation Army closed for part of the holiday and we would like to deliver it prior to Christmas. Thank you!!

Celebration of Life for Millie Gjertson

Visitation will be from 2-3:00 pm, followed by the celebration of life at 3:00 pm,
Saturday, December 8, at First Congregational United Church of Christ.

This Week

Friday, December 7
10:30 am – Book Group
Saturday, December 8
3:00 pm – Service for Millie Gjertson
Sunday, December 9
8:30 am – Choir Practice
10:00 am – Worship
11:00 am – Fellowship
11:15 am – Sunday School
11:30 am – Adult Forum “Story Circle on Mental Health”
Wednesday, December 12
9:30 am – Prayer Circle
12:00 pm – Men’s Group @ Sawmill Inn
6:00 pm – Confirmation – Dinner provided by Jill Carlson
Thursday, December 13
5:30 pm – Committee Meetings
Friday, December 14
10:30 am – Book Group
11:30 am – Clergy Cluster


Sunday, December 9
Hosts: Jack & Kay Kraywinkle
Ushers/Greeters: Maria Bertram, Mary Harder,
Lois McBroom & Austin Newgord
Counters: Deb Griffith & Georgia Harris

Sunday, December 16
Hosts: Claire Steen & Barb Stokke
Ushers: Charlotte Goedsche & Cynthia Janes
Greeters: Marina Grabowski & Barb Stokke
Counters: Tracy Lyons & Mabel Schultz

Sometimes Christmas is not so merry. If this is true for you this year, or if you are feeling a mixture of merry and blue, please join Pastor Leslie for a “Blue Christmas” service on Saturday December 15 at 10:00 am. This will be a peace-filled, gentle, and safe time of prayer, ritual, music, and reflection. While the service will acknowledge the pain and grief of those gathered, we will ultimately depart in hope. Not the shiny, fake hope of wrapping paper and ribbon, but the sustaining hope of our ever-present, ever-faithful God whose incarnation we await in birth of Christ. All are welcome!
Invite your Facebook friends:
Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread: Food, Land, and Sustainability
January 30–31, 2019
Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota

How do we care for all that God has created?
What happens when our answer differs wildly from others?

This year’s speakers at Mid-Winter Convocation will help us navigate the challenges of how we live, what we eat, and our fraught relationship with the land.

  • Melanie Harris, Professor of Religion, Texas Christian University
  • Barbara Rossing, Professor of New Testament, Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago
  • Kathryn Schifferdecker, Associate Professor of Old Testament, Bible Division Chair, Luther Seminary
  • Norman Wirzba, Gilbert T. Rowe Distinguished Professor of Christian Theology, Senior Fellow, Kenan Institute for Ethics

Click Here to Register by December 14 for the early-bird rate.   

ATTENTION High School Youth!!!
Registration is open for the 2019 High School Trip to Chicago & Milwaukee! 

Please fill out the form at no later than December 28.
We will be fundraising to offset the cost of the trip. In the meantime, a deposit of $100 is due with the registration to secure a spot. Please give payment to the church office (make checks payable to First Congregational UCC). Financial assistance is available, and payments can be made over time. The most important piece is completing the form. Please let Pastor Leslie know if you need assistance or if you have any questions.
Copyright © 2018 First Congregational United Church of Christ, All rights reserved.

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415 Juniper Street
Brainerd, MN 56401