January 8, 2015
About Us
More Information
What's Happening Past Issues
Click Here to browse past issues.
"The TIE"
More About 
Church Outreach Programs
THIS WEEK                     
The Rev. Dr. James Gertmenian, a graduate of Oberlin College and Union Theological Seminary (NY), served parishes in New York and Connecticut before becoming Senior Minister of Plymouth Congregational Church in Minneapolis in 1996.  He retired from that position in early 2015 and moved with his wife, Susan (Sam) King, to Cumberland, Maine.   In 2000, Rev. Gertmenian and his congregation founded Beacon Interfaith Housing Collaborative, an organization that has subsequently created $80 million in new and rehabilitated housing for formerly homeless individuals and low-income families.    Jim has also been active in providing support and encouragement to young progressive clergy around the country, and he led his congregation in working for marriage equality in Minnesota.   He is a hymn writer whose work appears in various denominational collections, including the United Church of Christ's New Century Hymnal.  Sam King is a poet, teacher, and retreat leader.   Jim and Sam are parents of twin daughters.  Emily, who is a teacher, lives with her husband, Brendan and their two children in San Rafael.   Enid, is a psychotherapist in New York City.   
Rev. Phyllis Richards
is a graduate of Case Western Reserve University and the Chaplaincy Internship Program of On One Accord Ministry. She works as the Program Associate for the Global Sharing of Resources Team of the United Church of Christ (UCC). She has dedicated her life to helping others.
With a special passion for families and youth, Rev. Richards began working with youth in Ohio over 25 years ago, who were associated with agencies including the Positive Education Program (PEP), Child Services, and Parmadale. In 2006, Rev. Richards began volunteering at Cuyahoga Hills Juvenile Correctional Facility. She graduated from the Chaplaincy Internship Program through On One Accord Ministries where she continues to volunteer and teach others about prison ministry and ways to offer pastoral services to the adjudicated and their families. In 2007, Phyllis Richards received her license for Ministry and was registered with the State of Ohio in 2011. In 2013 she was ordained and installed as Associate Pastor of Restoration Family Worship at Cuyahoga Hills Juvenile Correctional Facility.
Rev. Richards works for the UCC promoting the One Great Hour of Sharing offering, an ecumenical offering in which several denominations and Church World Service are participants. Working together, they share Gods love around the world raising funds and sharing funds where needed most. Approximately $12 Million is raised annually, to respond to disasters in the States and around the world, to support sustainable development in the areas of health, education, and agriculture internationally, and to address and support refugee and immigration concerns. Rev. Richards, as part of the National Headquarters of the UCC helps its 5,300+ churches promote the offering.
Through the program monitoring and evaluation aspects of her position with the UCC, Rev. Richards has travelled internationally to Haiti, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Indonesia, (East Timor) Laos, South Africa, the Congo (both the Republic and Democratic Republic of the Congo) China, Lebanon, Jerusalem, and Switzerland.
The UCC lifts up John 17:17, "That we may all be one". Rev. Richards believes that we are all called to be one, spreading the good news of Jesus Christ.

Refreshments 2.0
We all agree that coffee hour and refreshments after worship are an important social time.
And we all agree that it's been challenging to find enough volunteers.
So Cindy Ray has volunteered to manage this important time in our community life.

Here's how it will work.
  1. First, Cindy Ray will personally call the list of church attendees, asking each person (or family unit) to be responsible for making the coffee, providing refreshments, and cleaning up for only ONE Sunday between now and the end of April. 
    • You will get to select the ONE Sunday that works best for you. You will NOT be asked to bring refreshments for more than that one Sunday. 
    • If everyone cooperates, that means no one in the church will have to bring refreshments more than 2 or 3 times for the whole year. 
      • (Currently, some people have been bringing refreshments almost every month.)
  2. Second, she will ask EVERYONE to bring ONLY four plates/trays of food. 
    • Frankly, our church refreshments have turned into an elaborate affair that scares many people away from volunteering. An extensive array of many dishes is too expensive for many members and requires a lot of purchasing, carrying, and cleaning up after. Also, it's really unnecessary. We are providing a simple social time, not lunch.
    • So four (4) food items (four plates or bowls) is the maximum. 
      • (If possible, it would be good if one of those four items were fresh vegetables of fruit.)
      • If you're bringing cake for a special day, then ONE food item is probably enough.
      • Please keep it simple so everyone will feel able to provide refreshments.
  • So expect a phone call during the next few days, and think about what Sunday would be most convenient for you.
  • If you need help knowing where tablecloths are, or how to make the coffee, ask Cindy when she calls you, and she will get help for you.
  • Please, no more than four plates of food. 
  • If you want to bring more, instead volunteer for another Sunday after April.

As we enter into 2016, we will be preparing a new church directory.  Please keep an eye out on Sunday mornings for a directory in the Community Room so that you can double check that all your address and phone number information is correct for the new edition!!  Please call or email the church office if you have any questions.  

Pixar's "Inside Out" has been hailed as "A thrilling return to form for Pixar" and "a flat-out masterpiece."  It deals brilliantly and seriously with how we grow up and learn resilience;  It's full of uproariously funny moments; and it's a shoe-in to win big at the Oscars in February.
"Inside Out" takes place inside the head of an 11 year-old girl named Riley. There we meet the crew of emotions - Joy, Fear, Anger, Disgust, and Sadness - who negotiate how she will respond to life's challenges. Their job threatens to overwhelm them when Riley's family moves from Minnesota to San Francisco, and she has a rough time adjusting.
This is a perfect movie for pre-teen and older kids to share with parents and anyone else who's survived growing up.   This movie night will be a joint production with the FCCSR Youth Group, and Pizza will be served!
7 PM Friday January 22 In the DeHaan Center at Pilgrim Park

Winter REST Dinners for Woman Shelter 2015-16
The First Congregational Church of San Rafael - Mission Board is happy to provide dinners for homeless women during 2015-16 Winter REST Program.  FCCSR Team will be feeding 15-20 homeless women, at the Wellness Center in San Rafael.  The Mission Board Team we will prepare and bring everything needed for a hot, nutritional and tasty meal for these women.  We will also eat and chat together with our guests before we clean up. It all begins at 5:45pm to set up tables, chairs, and place settings. The guests will be at the center and ready to be serve by 6:00pm, we eat with them and then we clean up the dishes and are usually done by 7:30 PM.  
Our REST Dinner dates - All on Monday nights:
Jan 25* - Feb 22 - Mar 28 - April 25
We can use your help with table set up, food dishes (we can also pick up any dish/item you make/donate prior to 5:30, if needed), food serving, and clean up. Whatever the donation, help or time you can offer is appreciated.
*The Jan 25 dinner coordinated by Rev Tracy and the Youth.
If you have any questions, ideas to help, suggestions for dinner themes, please call Sher Ripley on her cell at 415-577-6104 or email sher_ripley@comcast.net

What is two days before Groundhog Day, seven days before that American football extravaganza, and the same day as Jackie Robinson's birthday? Save the date for these celebrations, and more importantly, for the church congregation annual meeting immediately after church. In the United Church of Christ denomination, the congregation is the final authority. In this annual meeting, the congregation reviews and approves the budget and elects officers for the coming year. Following the meeting, the congregation's important task will be to enjoy the comradery and food of our classic church potluck.

Janeth Paz - Who has provided household help to the Millers for 15 years, the Fullers and Spoffords, needs a job on Tuesdays, preferably 12:30-4:30pm.  For info call Alan 415-479-5467, or Janeth at 415-261-1743.

Contact Us
First Congregational Church of San Rafael 
8 North San Pedro Rd.
San Rafael, CA 94903

Current Church Office Hours:

  Monday: 9:00am - 12:00pm

Tuesday: 9:00am - 12:00pm

 Friday: 9:00am - 12:00pm