T O U C H S T O N E  -  A  M i d W e e k  B u l l e t i n


  9:00 a.m. Combined FCC/(a)Spire Worship in the Chapel


                   July 19, 2015   



This Sunday we will collect backpacks and supplies to be donated to Friends in Deed Back-to-School Drive.
Reflections on Sunday Worship . . .

This Sunday July 19th we are continuing with our 4 part series on "Why UCC." Andy is preaching on the theme, "United in our Faith," reflecting on Ephesians 2: 11-14, 19-22. What brings us together, as the UCC? What do we care about, passionately? What do we share with other churches... and what makes us unique and different from others? 

Also this Sunday . . .

We continue our summer practice of church folks providing food for Sunday mornings. Thank you to Elizabeth Lanski and Marlene Pomeroy for food July 5th; and to Timothy and Candace Murphy for bringing food July 12th; the tradition continues with Irene Keller bringing a casserole this Sunday July 19th and  Andy Schwiebert bringing a cake to celebrate Kaira's blessing. The Rincks are scheduled to bring food on July 26th - if you would like to supplement what they are bringing, please speak to them. 


Blessing Kaira
Also this Sunday July 19, there will be a blessing of Kaira Mark-Schwiebert in worship. Kaira was already baptized with her United Methodist family about a month ago in Redlands, and now we are adding the blessing of FCC, (a)Spire and her UCC and Schwiebert families. 

Who are all these people?!?
This weekend Andy and Allison Mark-Schwiebert are hosting the Schwiebert family reunion, including about 45 participants. Many of them are staying nearby at the Courtyard Marriott. We expect about 25-35 will come to worship this Sunday July 19th. If you find yourself face to face with a Schwiebert from Ohio or Munich, Germany, please say hello and welcome them to Pasadena!



To see the latest e-news from (a)Spire, click here  


Worship Leaders:
Rev. Andy Schwiebert
Rev. Marlene W. Pomeroy

FCC Ushers: 
Sandy Biehler
Cindy Speakman
Robert Rinck
Kevin Cordova-Brookey

(a)Spire Usher:
Megan Fazio  

Wes Moore, FCC

Pianist & Music Coordinator:
Connie Washburn

Church School Teachers:
Combined class with Grace Torpoco and Jake Pomeroy assisting in the library.

Nursery is staffed for infants and small children after the Children's Time.
Nina Kung  

Visit us at:  uccpasadena.org 

Sermon podcast:

Office Hours

M-Thurs  9AM - 5:30PM

  We close for lunch 
12 - 1:30PM

Tel. # 626.795.0696
Fax # 626.795.0698

Like us on Facebook



Opportunities for Service


Friends in Deed Back-to-School Backpacks

This Sunday we will be receiving all offerings of backpacks and school supplies. Please click here

for a list of items that they have requested. Note: if you cannot buy your own supplies, please bring a check and we will shop for you! In addition, FID could use some help in distributing the backpacks on Tues. and Wed. July 21st and 22nd between the hours of 10-3.  Come and join a few others in seeing the children pick up their packs and supplies!! Marlene will be going for a few hours on Tuesday if you wish to join her. Please let her know ASAP.


Union Station Meal

Our next Union Station Meal that we will host is Monday Aug. 3rd from 6-9 p.m. featuring the Delta Team. If you can be a substitute for this team or any other team, please contact Nina in the church office.


Women's Swap a Fun Success!

Almost 15 women met and swapped personal items last Sunday while we noshed on finger foods and had some beverages. There was a plentiful supply of: belts, shoes, purses and clothes for all. We asked each participant to donate $10 and we raised $150 towards our overall FCC fund-raising goal of $4,000 for this year. (The next fund-raising event is our Fall Tea, scheduled for Saturday Sept. 26th. Details to come!!) If there is interest, we will have swaps occasionally. Thanks to Shannon Anderson for the idea and organizing this event.


Save the Date:

On Saturday afternoon October 17th Aid Africa will host its annual fund raiser in our church!! It is a wonderful event that profiles the amazing work that Aid Africa has done for 10 years now!! FCC will be able to offer radical hospitality for this event - details to come! Please save the date and be thinking about how you can help us host this event. We will be asking for many hands to make this possible in the coming months. - Pastor Marlene




Documentary Film Screening


The Peace and Justice Committee invites you to join us for a documentary film screening at the home of Jeff Levison and James Chavers on Saturday August 8th at 4PM.  The film is entitled Chasing Ice and chronicles the work of a National Geographic photographer as he leaves his work for the magazine and spends a couple of years gathering photographic evidence of the melting of glaciers and warming of the ocean at the Arctic Circle.  Both a human story and an environmental project, this film offers important education and information about the condition of the polar ice cap and the effect of its health on our society.  

Come join us!  Call the church office if you need directions and we will provide refreshments for the film and a discussion afterwards!



Rich Discussion at our 2nd FCC Visioning Meeting on 7/12

This past Sunday July 12 about 30 people from FCC gathered in the Parlors to discuss a "Spiritual Style Test" and to debrief the findings of the Natural Church Development (NCD) survey that a sampling of about 30 people took.

Please see the attached "Spiritual Style Test" if you have not yet taken it. It's a helpful tool for understanding each of our own spiritual styles, and the style of our congregation. At this point we don't have enough SSTs in hand to say what the spiritual style of our congregation is, so if you are willing to share your findings, please send in a copy of your completed SST to Nina by next Friday July 24.

Elizabeth Lanski prepared our meeting space (with help from Krysty Leckrone and pastors) by dividing the room into the Spiritual Style wheel and we sat/stood around the room based on each of our spiritual styles. It was clear that most of our congregation landed in the "green" area of the wheel/spectrum with styles ranging from Sacramental, to Sensory, and to Rational (with a few in Doctrinal). Only a handful of us were in the red and blue areas of the spectrum.

Also, please see the attached NCD Survey Report. The results of the survey are that our "minimum factor" (or area of greatest need/growth) as a congregation is "Passionate Spirituality." For a description of Passionate Spirituality, see page 4 of the attached report for a summary.

At the Visioning meeting this past Sunday July 12, we brainstormed the reasons why Passionate Spirituality is our minimum factor, narrowed our reasons down to 5, and then brainstormed possible initiatives we could take on to address those reasons.
  • The Vision Team will further narrow and prioritize/choose 1-2 initiatives to take on that will help us address & improve our minimum factor and then bring a proposed plan to the congregation for feedback at our next congregational Visioning meeting in August (date TBD). 
  • Also, at our next meeting in August we will do an exercise to begin to identify our congregation's core values. 
  • At our congregational meeting in September we will do an exercise to help create a revised vision statement and mission statement. 
  • By October we will have a refined vision and mission statement, and will come up with a plan for creating an action plan for implementation in the coming year.


Highlighted at GS2015 (a)Spire Meal in the Park Project and Fundraising Tool


(a)Spire was awarded a new "matching" grant this year by the Local Church Ministries of the national UCC. As part of that, (a)Spire was invited to prepare a ministry project for which we might seek out new, outside funds using a brand new crowdsourcing online tool. We launched the new site just before General Synod and then an announcement was made there in the plenary with over 3,000 members of the UCC. Soon thereafter a generous gift of $1000 was made to (a)Spire's project by an anonymous donor. This caught the attention of the UCC News, who wrote an article highlighting the new fundraising tool and (a)Spire's project. See below for a link to the article about the gift, (a)Spire's Meals in the Park project and this new fundraising tool on UCC News website here:


Click here


See the link to the actual project and consider making a contribution to support our meals in the park:


Click here



After the initial anonymous gift of $1,000 and a few other donations, we are now more than halfway towards meeting our goal of $2,000. But we need your help. Please consider sharing this project page with friends, family and colleagues and inviting them to give so we can reach our goal and make these meals happen! The point is to raise new OUTSIDE funds.



Small Groups Up and Running


We have three small groups running this summer through September. One is full but the other two have a few spots left. Please contact Carolyn Olney for the group meeting at Kim Story's house.


You may also contact Lisa Gamber or Stacy Thomas for the group meeting at Barb Bonzo's house. They have already met once but could take newcomers if you can come July 14th at 7:00 p.m.


We will start new groups as there is interest and host homes later this summer. Please let Pastor Marlene know if you wish to host or join a group down the road.


Real Good Church book


You are invited to join our church council and pastors in reading this book this summer. It is written by a pastor in Massachusetts who embarked on a revitalization ministry over ten years ago and had some success. Pastor and author Rev. Molly Phinney Baskette writes about their experience in order to inspire other churches to think about how they can do ministry in a new way. From her book,


"When I was working with the church growth consultants.... back in 2005, they said that in 20 years, all the unhealthy churches would be dead.  They will have run out of money and out of people, and only the churches that had figured out relevancy and authenticity and healthy communication would be left."


Pastor Marlene has two copies of the book left if you would like to purchase one for $16 each. You may also buy your own copy and read it. It will definitely spark some new ideas for each of us as we go through our own visioning process.


Time for Some Summer Fun with our Dive-in Movie!


We are having a pool party and movie viewing of
Big Hero 6
at the Weltman house/pool on

Saturday Aug. 29th.

Save the date. Details to follow.


 The Art of Corita Kent

My name is Raquel and I am writing from the Pasadena Museum of California Art. Here at the PMCA, we greatly admire the mission First Congregational Church of Pasadena (UCC) and sincerely hope that Little Heart, an enthralling new play
reading, in conjunction with our triumphant exhibition of Sister Corita Kent, will be of interest to you, your members and employees.

Corita Kent, a former Sister of the Immaculate Heart Order, was
pioneering artist, designer, and educator, who for over thirty years experimented in printmaking, producing a groundbreaking body of work. Little Heart is a play based on Corita's life and explores her ongoing battle with arch-conservative Cardinal McIntyre, as well as her private struggles with fellow sisters, students, and her own spiritual doubt. Little Heart is written by the acclaimed playwright Irene O'Garden, directed by John Pielmeier, author of Agnes of God, and starring Amanda Plummer.

The reading is FREE, and hope you will pass the information that I've attached along to the members of your church. The play is Sat. July 18th at 2 p.m. at All Saints Church. The art exhibit runs through Nov. 1st at the museum.

All the best,
Raquel Olvera
Getty Multicultural Undergraduate Intern
Exhibitions & Marketing
Pasadena Museum of California Art (PMCA) 495 E. Colorado Blvd. Pasadena, CA 9110, 626.568.3665 pmcaonline.org