First Congregational Church
(United Church of Christ)
Rev. Toby Jones, Pastor

101 State Street
Charlevoix, MI 49720

Weekly Newsletter- December 09, 2020

First Congregational U.C.C. Charlevoix –
December 09, 2020 

Join us for virtual worship each Sunday at 10:30 am
Click Here for Online Worship and the Digital Bulletin!

A Message from Toby… 

            So how is everyone doing in your walk through Advent? Are you walking slowly and deliberately? Are you taking time for Sabbath rest? Are you taking advantage of Covid’s blessings rather than complaining about its curses?
           It’s already December 9th, which means Jesus’s birthday is only 16 days away. Our most important work in these next two weeks is to “let every heart prepare Him room.” As you go about doing that, I invite you to take a careful, prayerful look at Luke 10:38-42. It’s a story about a visit Jesus paid to his good friends Mary and Martha shortly before he was arrested. Mary and Martha were sisters of Jesus’s dear friend Lazarus, and when Jesus arrived at their home, the two sisters responded to Jesus’s presence in radically different ways. Martha went about preparing Jesus room with frenetic busy-ness. She cleaned, she cooked, she scrubbed, and she stressed. Mary, on the other hand, dropped everything and simply sat on the floor at Jesus’s feet, hanging on his every word and drinking in every moment she had in his presence. The next time these two women would see Jesus, he would be hanging on a cross.
          My prayer for each of us – myself included – is that we would spend what remains of this Advent in Mary’s mode rather than Martha’s. It’s all over so quickly and we can’t get it back. As Jesus said at the tail end of the Mary and Martha story, “Oh, Martha…Martha. You are distracted by a great many things when only one thing is important right now. Your sister has chosen that most important thing, and it shall not be taken from her.” May Mary’s heart and resolute focus on Jesus bless each of our hearts this Advent season. Amen.

Please Remember Our Church Building is CLOSED!

          Just a friendly reminder that our church building is closed. It has been hard to remember that, especially for those of us who are helping with either the Christmas Project or the cookie and poinsettia delivery. But even in those cases where you need to drop something off or pick something up, please stay masked up and do not enter Leah’s or Toby’s office. Simply drop or pick up what you came for in the lobby and exit immediately. Thank you!

Just a Reminder about the Church Employee Christmas Donations

Don’t forget to send your Christmas donations to our dedicated staff – Larry, Leah, Roger, Shelley, and Toby – by using the church website or via a check, in accordance with the email you received from our Moderator Bill Trubilowicz last week. Thank you for making our great staff’s season bright!

You can write a check to the church and mail it to our address: 101 State Street, Charlevoix, MI 49720.  Please write “Attn: Chris Gengle “ on the envelope and write “Staff Christmas Gift” on the memo line of your check.


Go to the church website, on-line giving tab: and select “Staff Christmas Gift” from the dropdown list to make your donation.

This Week’s Featured Restaurant Is:
12/10 – 12/17

Image may contain: text that says 'MY GRANDMOTHER'S TABLE NOW OPEN for TAKE-OUT DAILY KITCHEN: 11 AM- 7 PM BAKERY & COFFEE BAR: 8 AM 231-437-3132 115 Bridge Street Charlevoix, MI •49720 PM'Click Here to connect to their Facebook page! 

Charlevoix Christmas Project (jam/jelly, socks, mittens) – we are still collecting donations! If you would like to drop off your donation, please do so on Mondays during regular office hours. Come to the Park Ave. entrance and ring the doorbell and Leah will come down to collect your donations. The deadline to donate is Monday, December 13th. 

Special Musical Guest- John Warstler
December 13, 2020 

John Warstler began his musical career in an unusual way: he was born with a stuttering disorder, and music helped him cope. He eventually became a speech pathologist as well as a professional musician. These days, he’s not only recording in the studio and playing tunes at various venues, but he’s also “Mr. John” to Northern Michigan school children. In addition to working with students with speech disorders, he uses his music to teach learning readiness skills to kindergartners through second graders.

Need Help Hosting a Zoom Meeting for your board or committee?

Click Here to check out a new blog post on our website! 

Need help joining a Zoom meeting? Try these helpful posts:

Zoom For Beginners – Video 
How do I use this Zoom thing?
Downloading the Zoom App & How to Join a Meeting

*If you need additional assistance please contact the office to schedule a time to talk. Although Leah is happy to help in any way she can, she is not a tech expert! If you have questions about how to use your computer, smartphone, email, or tablet, please let us know and we may be able to direct you to an online video or other helpful resources.