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


         Fourth Sunday of Advent

10:00 a.m. FCC Worship in the Sanctuary
 1:00 p.m. (a)Spire Worship, Alden Hall 


                   December 20, 2015   

pageant 4
Our children and youth get ready to share the Story of Christmas.

 Reflections on Sunday Worship ....

Our Christmas Pageant
This week in our worship we hear the Christmas Story from our children and youth in the Christmas Pageant.  Many thanks to Krysty Leckrone, Connie Washburn, Roberta White, Jeff Tyler, Neva Orr, Laura Kalayjian and everyone who has helped with rehearsals, washed costumes, practiced lines and offered to bring food for our potluck after worship!
The persons in the story of the birth of Jesus take chances - there is more at stake here than we may think.  Young Mary risks disgrace and even severe punishment as an unwed teenage mother to be - her trust in God is presented as a model of faith and courage.  Joseph offers his support to Mary, and in the process of collaborating with her journey of faith, Joseph is a witness to God's grace and compassion in this birth.  Those astrologers who journey from other countries to see the child risk their lives and reputations by offering a gift and refusing to inform Herod of their experience of God.  In a reflection entitled "Taking Chances" we will consider what kinds of risks we have been asked to take this Advent and Christmas season, and compare our choices with those persons in the Christmas Story.
Join us for worship at 10AM in the Sanctuary; Pageant rehearsal is on Saturday at 3:30PM beginning in Room 232.  Children are to come to church at 9:15AM on Sunday to dress and prepare for worship.  Come hear the story again for the first time through the music and words of our children and youth!
                                    - Rev. John H. Pomeroy
Also on Sunday

Christmas Pageant during worship in Sanctuary. Participants arrive 9 a.m. for 10 a.m. service - Krysty, Neva, Jeff, and Roberta. Followed by potluck lunch in parlors.

This Sunday, the University Club parking lot is NOT available. You may park at Fuller overhang, Los Robles lot, or street parking.

(a)Spire Ministry worship is in Alden Hall at 1:00 p.m. and Rev. Andy Schwiebert will preside.

For more information visit aspireucc.org.

Worship Leaders:
Rev. John H. Pomeroy
Rev. Andy Schwiebert

Sandy Biehler
Cindy Speakman
Robert Rinck
Kevin Cordova-Brookey

Carol Penn Romine

Organist & Music Director
Andrew Whitenack

Church School Teachers:
Pageant during worship. Participants arrive 9am for 10am service - Krysty, Neva, Jeff, and Roberta. Followed by potluck lunch in parlors.

Church Nursery (for infants - Pre-K):
Our nursery is staffed with at least two adults every Sunday. It opens at 9 a.m. for early birds and then everyone comes to worship at 10:00 and stay through the Children's Time and then return to the nursery.

Nina Kung  

Visit us at:  uccpasadena.org 

Sermon podcast:

Office Hours

Mon-Thurs  9AM - 5:30PM

  We close for lunch 
12 - 1:30PM

Tel. # 626.795.0696
Fax # 626.795.0698

Like us on Facebook

Give the Gift of a Christmas Poinsettia

We have purchased flowers to decorate our Sanctuary for Advent and Christmas worship and invite you to donate one or more of these poinsettias in honor or memory of a beloved family member or friend.  We have fifteen flowers left for purchase - at the end of Christmas Eve services you may take your flower(s) home or leave them in our Sanctuary for our worship the following Sunday.  The form below can be brought to worship with a check, or you may phone Nina in the church office to claim a flower.  The names of those honored and remembered are published in our Christmas Eve bulletin each year.

flower order form

Exciting Dates of Events Coming Up - see details in articles below!

Dec. 20 - Children's Christmas Pageant during worship/Potluck to follow
It is that time of year again and the start of the advent season.  Practice for the Christmas pageant began last Sunday, and continues through Sunday, December 13th during church school.  There will be a dress rehearsal on Saturday, December 19th, at 3:30 in the Sanctuary.  Our pageant will once again be during the church service on the 20th.  We will also have a pot luck dinner at the conclusion of the service.    

Dec. 20 - 1PM (a)Spire Worship and Celebrating the contributions of (a)Spire Music and                                      Sound staff in worship and will enjoy food afterwards.
Dec. 24-  FCC Young Adults Gather for Dinner at 5PM (location in FCC building TBA)
Dec. 24-  FCC/(a)Spire Christmas Eve Service in Sanctuary 7 p.m., wassail bowl and reception in                     parlors
(a)Spire Looking Towards Big Changes in 2016

After more than 3 months of discernment, prayer, planning and discussion, (a)Spire Ministry isplanning to refocus energy and resources on small groups and service events... and will end its weekly worship beginning in January of 2016. This significant shift in resources will have immediate impacts for (a)Spire worship staff and pastoral staff.
We had an initial discussion about these proposed changes with FCC supporters of (a)Spire and the broader FCC community after worship this past Sunday 12/13. Discussion centered around what the relationship between (a)Spire and FCC would be into the future. (a)Spire leaders were praised for making a difficult decision of cutting staffing and expenses. 

Sunday, December 20 at 1PM we will be celebrating the contributions of (a)Spire Music and Sound staff in worship and will enjoy food afterwards. All FCC folks are invited to join in these celebrations.
December 13th was the beginning of the conversation with the broader FCC community. We will have more time to discuss a plan for 2016 and challenges and opportunities prior to the budget forum at the end of January.

-Rev. Andy Schwiebert

Young Adult Gathering
This Christmas Eve 12/24 young adults are invited to gather for dinner at 5PM prior to the 7PM worship. So far a few young adults who are recent high school graduates and further into college (and beyond) confirmed they'd like to get together so we will be providing space and food.  It will be fun to reconnect!

Lamplighters Attend PMC Concert
The Lamplighters friendship/kinship group had their December meeting last Sunday night as twenty of us gathered in the parlors for a lovely dinner prepared by Barbara Klein and Sue Miele.  After eating and visiting, we all got into the Christmas spirit by attending the Pasadena Master Chorale's beautiful program in our Sanctuary. Just six years ago, the newly formed Pasadena Master Chorale offered its debut concert, "A Pasadena Christmas Card" here at First Congregational Church, United Church of Christ!  This year their concert entitled "Christmas Gifts" included a holiday meditation in words and song by their director Jeffrey Bernstein.  The Lamplighters help build relationships within our church - we enjoy meeting new friends and catching up with current members and friends.  All are welcome - watch for announcements of more Lamplighter events in the coming months!

Ordination of Carolyn Olney
Please join us on Saturday, January 23, 2016 in Carolyn's Ordination at FCC. See invitation below:

FCC/Aspire Folks are Invited to go to Uganda July 2016!
We are offering trips for two FCC/(s)Spire folks  to travel to Uganda with Aid Africa next summer. You will see beautiful Uganda, meet the amazing Aid Africa staff and participate in their projects in the rural communities; visit the source of the Nile, go on a safari through a national park, and enjoy scenic side trips to waterfalls and local shopping/
If you are a member of our church you are already eligible to take advantage of this great opportunity.

A short Application should be submitted by January 15, 2016. Additional information about the trip, what you'll need and other costs can be found in the Travel Brochure and the  Visitors & Volunteers Tour Guide. If you have any questions about Aid Africa or this opportunity to travel to Uganda, ask Peter Keller, Irene Keller or Elizabeth Lanski. This is sponsred by the Women's Legacy Fund Aid Africa Uganda Trip Fellowship" ($2650) along with a generous donor.