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


                   February  28, 2016   

Our Church School Childen are sponsoring a cereal drive for Lent!! Bring in cereal boxes each Sunday to be delivered to Friends in Deed Food Pantry!!!

Reflections on Sunday Worship ....
Isaiah 55:1-9 and Luke 13:6-9
"Come, Behold, Seek, Produce"

So often we hear that the Bible is divided up between the wrathful Old Testament God and the grace-giving New Testament God.... Well, this Sunday the lectionary texts offer us the exact oppositepicture of God!! In Isaiah 55 we hear of God's promises and offers to us - water, wine, milk for free. Hearing that we may delight in our "fatness" of life's pleasures and assurances that our souls may live; hearing promises of an everlasting covenant with our God as well as steadfast love. Oh, and forgiveness since our God is one who "abundantly pardons." And finally, a reminder that God's ways are loftier and other-wordly, not like finite human ways. Wow, pretty cool huh? Then we turn to the Gospel reading assigned for this Sunday and we read the short and shocking little parable of the fig tree that doesn't bear fruit.  Just to refresh your memory... we hear that for three years the landowner has come looking for fruit on his tree and there were none.  He tells the gardener to cut the unproductive tree down; but the gardener intervenes and says, let me work with it, fertilize it and give it one more year to produce. Then we can cut it down. Hmmmm, so basically the message is "Produce something or you are OUT of the garden!!!" Well, we have both kinds of stories in our Bible because both things are important for us to know - that God is an abundant, loving, giving God, AND that there are expectations that we will be abundant, giving, productive people!! We will explore this more on Sunday, this 3rd Sunday in Lent. Hope to see you in church! 10 a.m. Corner of Los Robles and Walnut. Coffee, music and prayers being prepared especially for YOU!!!
-  Rev. Marlene W. Pomeroy

Also This Weekend

On Saturday we will have an Aid Africa Water Walk in Montrose starting at 9 a.m. See article below for details. We are planning to have a light picnic in the park at the end of the walk -  come join us for both events or just one!! The picnic will be held at the play structure up the hill from the baseball fields. Drinks and some food will be provided, especially for walkers. If others are coming and not walking, please plan to bring some food to share. If you can let Tara Bernard and Marlene know that you are coming and/or bringing food, that would help us in our preparations! tara_tinique@hotmail.com or fccrevs@yahoo.com
Sunday after worship the Church Council will meet for a brief meeting in the conference room (between Sallie's office and the main office) to look at January financials). Please grab your coffee and join us so those who wish to attend the Forum led by Brian Brandenburg can do so. Details on the forum are below.

For more information visit aspireucc.org.

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

Ushers :
Judi Tyler
Dana Pell
Mary Camacho
Brian Weltman

John Gamber-Thompson

Organist & Music Director
Andrew Whitenack

Church School Teachers:
Elementary class with  Neva Orr/Grace Rinck//Krysty Leckrone in Room 232. Youth class with Jake/tba in the east parlor.

Church Nursery (for infants - Pre-K):
Mrs. Irene Phillips, Jaquelyne Rodriguez and Serena Van.

Nursery opens at 9 a.m. for early birds and then everyone comes to worship at 10:00 and stays through the Children's Time and then  children return to the nursery. 

Nina Kung  

Visit us at:  uccpasadena.org 

Sermon podcast:

Office Hours

Monday - Thursday

9:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.

We close for lunch
12 - 1:30 PM

Tel. # 626.795.0696
Fax # 626.795.0698

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Aid Africa Walk for Water, Sat/  February 27, 2016 at Montrose Community Park
Join us for our 2nd Annual Water Walk (9 a.m.), followed by a Picnic in the Park (a 11 a.m.) Please RSVP to Tara Bernard or Marlene Pomeroy for the picnic. Contact Aid Africa or Peter Keller for the walk.

You can get all the information and forms you need at: http://www.aidafrica.net/walk-for-water/
You can walk or sponsor another walker and you'll get a t-shirt for participating. Join us!

Peter Keller
Executive Director
Aid Africa
+256-788-060-602 - Uganda Cell

Lamplighter Fellowship Group 

Our Lamplighter Fellowship Group met this past week and organized many outings for this year. They will be highlighted through the Touchstone and include trips to various museums, sports arenas, etc. The first event will be held this Sundy after worship on Sunday Feb. 28th when member Brian Brandenburg will present a forum. Click here for flyer. All are invited to attend any of the Lamplighter events and outings. The coordinator this year is Regina Meyers if you have any questions about upcoming events. They will be publicized in the Touchstone as dates and outings get scheduled.

Lenten Small Group is Meeting!

The first meeting of our Lenten small group (that may extend beyond Easter) was held. The next meeting will be Wednesday March 9th at 7 p.m. in our church nursery. We are reading An Altar in the World by Rev. Barbara Brown Taylor. Marlene has an extra copy (for $11 or whatever you can donate) or you can pick one up at your local library!! Feel free to join us. We plan to meet about every two weeks for discussion and prayer together.


Youth Room Renovation Underway

You may have noticed that our church library is undergoing some construction! We hope to unveil the dedicated Youth Room on Sunday March 6th! Stay tuned. Thanks to Sallie and Building Ministry for their work on this.


Sunday March 6th we will be having a Coffee Celebration during Coffee Hour! We will have some brief videos that educate us about why we support Fair Trade coffee, we will nosh on some good food that goes well with coffee, we will drink coffee, and you will be able to donate coffee that we will be serving all year long!!! You may recall that we are going to fund our coffee drinking this year by having folks donate coffee (much like we donate flowers for worship or food for potlucks). How does this work?? You may either: buy coffee on March 6th that we have available for $8 per bag; OR you may write a check and we will buy coffee for you; OR you may simply buy Fair Trade coffee at your local grocer in one pound bags and bring them to church on March 6th. We hope to gather enough coffee for the entire year so we don't have to ask repeatedly for coffee. So, come, eat and drink and donate coffee on March 6th! Speak with Elizabeth Lanski or Marlene for further information.

Children's Choir Update

Our Children's Choir will be singing in worship again on Palm Sunday, which is Sunday March 20th in our sanctuary. The children will be practicing Sunday March 6th after worship, Sunday March 13th from 10-10:20, and then before worship on March 20th. Parents, be in communication with Connie Washburn for more information!!

Save the Date for All-Church Camp in the Fall

Our Membership Ministry has selected the weekend of October 14-16th for our All Church Camp!! We have reserved cabins and safari tents and will be publicizing this over the next few months. You must call directly and reserve your spot and pay only one night. The second night must be paid as you arrive in October. So, check your calendar, grab a friend or two and plan to join us!!! We are just above the heated pool and a short walk to the store and a hike to the beautiful beach. The more the merrier! 

Friends in Deed Annual Meeting

Four FCC folks were able to attend the FID annual meeting this past week. Many thanks to Sue Miele, Marilyn Rorvick, Kim Story and Cindy Speakman who represented us at the meeting. Nina has a copy of the Annual Report in the church office if you wish to read it. Highlights for 2015 include: a new church member congregation, a credit card balance balance paid off through a generous donor and matching funds, a very successful fund raiser "Jazz on the Green" at the Green hotel (another one is being held on Sept. 28th - save the date!), a new venture called Norma's Nook launched that provides a free place for clients to "shop" for clothing for job interviews, etc., new corporate donors and sponsors to replace dwindling government funding, and 6 of the Women's Room women who moved from being homeless to being housed; also partnering with Fuller Seminary to provide leadership in getting all homeless women in Pasadena housed. The Food Pantry provided food for 12,899 households and almost 30,000 people in the past year. Financially, FID is healthier than ever! In addition to paying off a very large sum of credit card debt, FID is receiving enough donations to finish the year in the black!! Did you know that the funding for FID is divided by: $232,779 in contributions, $107,424 in fundraising and only $92,833 in governement funds? Our church is one of about 50 faith communities that support the work of FID. Their operating budget was $370,125 for 2015 with $176,886 spent on personnel which is typical for a volunteer organization. All in all, the Rev. Dr. Donna Byrns and her staff and Board have done an amazing job revitalizing this organization!!! Well done! Rev. Donna will be a guest at our church on Sunday April 10th to share in person about the ongoing work of Friends in Deed. 

Youth Winter Camp Fun

Over Presidents' Day weekend, 5 of our youth joined 15 youth from the First United Methodist Church of Pasadena for a winter camp near Big Bear. We learned Spiritual Practices and grew in our relationships with each other. Thanks to Lu Burd for coming up to spend part of the weekend with the youth and to Jeff Tyler for coming up to help with transport.

Visioning Forum

Last Sunday the 21st we had a forum after worship to discuss a draft Vision Statement developed by the Vision Team.  In the next couple of weeks the Vision Team will be finalizing a draft to present to council, along with recommendations for further action.

The congregation will have the chance to approve the new statements of Vision, Mission and Values at our next business meeting in June.
National Youth Event Orlando July 26-30, 2016

Registration opens 
January 20th for the National Youth Event happening this summer in Orlando Florida. FCC Youth are invited to go and we have some new scholarship funds available to make it affordable for all who attend. If your youth are even remotely considering, please check out this link to learn more about the agenda for the event: http://nye.uccpages.org/

There will be worship, discussion on faith and ethics, social justice activities and LOTS of fun time at one or more of the Disney parks. The group will be staying at the Coronado Springs Resort & Conference center; it'll be about 4000 youth and family members from UCC churches around the country. Please let me (Andy) know if your youth are interested and I will get you more information as it becomes available. So far youth and adults (and some families) from First Congregational Church of Long Beach, UCC and Manhattan Beach Community Church (UCC) will be going. 
Easter Lilies & Tulips Request Form
First Congregational Church of Pasadena, UCC
Please provide information for your Easter flowers for our Sanctuary on Easter Sunday, March 27th.
In honor of____________________________________________________________
In memory  of _________________________________________________________
Number of Lilies _____@$8.00     Number of Tulips  ___@$8.00
Payment must accompany order.  Make check to First Congregational Church and designate for Easter flowers.  You may take your flowers home after the Easter service.
Flower purchases are not tax-deductible and will not show up on your church statement for tax purposes.