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

10:00 a.m. FCC Worship in the  chapel


                   January 10. 2016   


"Do not lose by saving, but gather in by scattering. Give to the poor, and you give to yourself. You will not be allowed to keep what you have refused to give others."
                                          -Saint Peter Chrysologus, Sermon 43

Reflections on Sunday Worship ....

"Plan B"
Matthew 2:1-12
Our text in worship this week is for Epiphany -  three astrologers coming to see the baby Jesus in a carefully crafted tale to show the reach of the Good News - written some 50-60 years after the birth of Christ, it was important for Jews and followers of Jesus to know and to show that this was more than a reform of Judaism and this Jesus movement was and is open to Gentiles and others.  In a sermon entitled "Plan B" we will consider the change that faced these astrologers once they had been called in and commissioned by King Herod.  Each of us faces significant changes at some points in our lives, and those changes can disrupt our sense of ourselves and our relationship with God.  Come and join us for worship at 10AM in the Chapel this Sunday as we look at how to navigate change faithfully!
- Rev. John H. Pomeroy

Visioning Forum This Sunday!

From 11:15AM until 12:45PM this Sunday we will gather in the East parlor to work together on discerning the collective gifts of our congregation.  This is an important step in our Visioning process that will help us to be more specific about the relationship we wish to nurture in the community and the way in which we want to do ministry in the days ahead.  Individual gifts are one thing - they help us to serve and perform ministry no matter where we are.  The collective gifts of a congregation tend to group themselves in a few areas and help determine what kinds of outreach and ministry are possible for any given faith group.  We will practice a couple of simple exercises in small groups and help evaluate one another's responses to give the Visioning Team input and direction for the final step in offering a vision for our congregation for the next 3-5 years.  All are welcome - we need your input!

For more information visit aspireucc.org.

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

Ron White
Kathie Arscott
Jeff Levison
James Maddox

Sue Miele

Organist & Music Director
Andrew Whitenack

Church School Teachers:
Combined class with Grace Rinck/Neva Orr teaching in Room 232.

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. The nursery is open on Christmas Eve but not staffed - it is offered as a quiet place for children and parents who do not wish to stay in worship.

Nina Kung  

Visit us at:  uccpasadena.org 

Sermon podcast:

Church Office Closed for the Holidays Next Week

January 4, 2016 - Office Re-opens at 9:00am

Tel. # 626.795.0696
Fax # 626.795.0698

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2016 January
Calendar Wizard

2016 February
Calendar Wizard

2016 March

(a)Spire Planning Continues

On January 9th the (a)Spire community will spend time in half-day retreat planning small groups, service events and outreach and friend-raising activities for 2016. We are expecting a fun, creative, unorthodox and life-giving year ahead. If you have not already made a pledge in support of (a)Spire in 2016 but would like to, please see the attached pledge form and talk with Andy Schwiebert if you have any questions. The changes to (a)S pire programming in 2016 (i.e. eliminating weekly worship and refocusing energy on small groups and service events, cutting staff) will be discussed at another opportunity as part of the 2016 FCC budget process culminating in a vote at our congregation's Winter Business meeting on February 7.

Halogen Gathering to Say Goodbye to Penn-Romine and Anderson families

This Saturday January 9th beginning at 6 p.m., all FCC members and friends are invited to gather at the Ashenmiller residence for a dinner and send-off to two families who have brought so much joy and caring to our church over the past 15 and 6 years respectively!!! Come out for an evening of fun (and maybe a few tears). Bring a dish to share and a gift you wish to re-gift in a Yankee Swap! Festivities begin at 6 p.m. Consult your directory for the address. This is scheduled as an adult event! Please RSVP to Grace Rinck or an Ashenmiller so we know how many chairs to set out.And bring your own alcohol if you wish.
Pastor Marlene Returns to Work

Dear All,
How significant that I sit down to write this note on the Feast of Epiphany - a day in the life of the Church where we observe and celebrate the journey of the Wise Ones who traveled to find Jesus!!! I love this imagery of wandering and journeying to encounter the child Jesus - the manifestation of God in the flesh for the Church. I always think of this as the "Aha!" day in the church calendar - when we each celebrate new beginnings, new understandings or maybe a new arrival into our lives! Even though today is actually the 12th day of Christmas, as we remember Magi from far away lands coming to bring gifts to the Christ child, we each have epiphanies throughout the year. Like the rest of you this Christmas season, I have been on my own personal journey the past few months. You have showered me with gifts of love and I am truly appreciative of them. Thank you all for your gifts of love and care! I have felt connected to you through them in my physical absence.
I am easing back into work this week with the thumbs up from my doctors. I look forward to seeing each of you and reconnecting in person over the next few weeks. I will be working partly in the office and partly at home until my stamina is fully regained. I look forward to what God will reveal to our community in 2016! Happy Epiphany!
Note: I had agreed to guest preach at a colleague's church on Jan. 10th way back at the end of the summer so I will honor that and be off-site this Sunday. I will see some of you at the Ashenmiller's house on Saturday and then in worship on Jan. 17th.   Warmly, Marlene

Now is the time to act - right now!
While the new year has begun, 2015 isn't quite over. Red is still the color of the season and I don't mean poinsettias but ink. Some of us have not completed our 2015 pledges due personal/financial reasons or changes in our lives. Others of us are simply behind in our giving. 
But it's not too late!  Donations dated December 31, 2015 (or earlier) can be booked for 2015 if they are received this by Sunday, January 10.

Please complete your pledges or even give a little extra for 2015. Our bookkeeper informs me that we will likely end the year with an overall deficit of about $15,000 unless more money comes in. Every dollar we receive will help bring us closer to covering the costs of providing meaningful worship, enriching experiences, life-changing outreach, and a vibrant and loving community.  Help us change red ink to green. Thanks.
Elizabeth Lanski
Vice-Moderator and Budget Committee Chair

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.

Volunteer Opportunity

Discipleship Ministry invites you to help us serve this year at the Bad Weather Shelter.  If the weather is cold and/or rainy we are scheduled to set out cots, blankets and cook/serve a meal at the Covenant Church just above the freeway on Lake Ave. on Saturday January 16th.  We need 12-15 persons and begin about 5PM and end with clean up by 9PM.

Please contact John Gamber Thompson, Chair of Discipleship, to let us know if you can help - his contact info is in the church directory.
aspire bad weather shelter
Ordination of Carolyn Olney
Please join us on Saturday, January 23, 2016 in Carolyn's Ordination at FCC. See invitation below:

Youth Winter Camp Feb 13-16: Signups Begin in January

Youth (and youth parents, please help) SAVE THE DATE! Our youth have joined forces with youth from the First United Methodist Church of Pasadena in the past for their winter camp (when Allison Mark was there). This year we have been invited to join their youth and adults again (sorry, no Allison Mark!) for winter camp (Camp Sky Meadows) near Big Bear over the Presidents'/Valentine's Day weekend, and with El Niņo it's likely to be a a lot of snowy fun. The cost will be $75 per youth, but we will have some scholarship funds available upon request. Let Andy know soon if you are interested, and we will get signup forms out in early January.