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

101 State Street
Charlevoix, MI 49720

Weekly Newsletter- December 17, 2020

First Congregational U.C.C. Charlevoix –
December 17, 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…

Your worship team is super excited to bring you the third service and sermon in our Advent series on Keeping the Sabbath. The message, entitled “Remember & Resist” will highlight American culture’s strong opposition to Sabbath keeping, while also offering you inspiration and direction for how to fight off that negative and pervasive influence. Our service will be enhanced by the presence of terrific area cellist Marga Eickholt, and, as always, Shelley Fisher will fill us with the spirit of Christmas with her organ and piano pieces.


          Looking ahead to our service on December 27, we need your help! This service, just two days after Christmas, will be focused on “Counting Our Covid Christmas Blessings.” Would you please take a moment between now and Dec 24 to email Toby your brief answers to the following 3 questions:

  • Despite all the losses and all the things you can’t do or enjoy this year, what are you most grateful for this 2020 Christmas?
  • What is 1 thing you’ve been able to do and to enjoy this holiday season that you might not have been able to do/enjoy in an ordinary Christmas season?
  • What is the 1 thing you are most looking forward to doing once Covid-19 is behind us?

I will be sharing these responses as a part of the morning message on Sunday, Dec. 27, so thank you in advance for offering your contribution to the service. My email is



           The Charlevoix Ministerial Association of which Toby is a part oversees an Emergency Assistance Fund. This fund provides almost $20,000 per year to Charlevoix area folks who need assistance for things like rent, utility bills, health care, and child-related expenses. The woman who has filled the vital role of administering this fund for us is stepping down after 10 years. This position is a front lines ministry to local poor people, and its work is directly in line with our congregation’s purpose. If you’d like to learn more about this opportunity, which is very part-time and flexible, please let Toby know. Thank you!



                Our Christmas Eve service promises to be absolutely amazing this year! It will be a virtual service, streamed in the same way our regular Sunday services are, but will take place Thursday, Dec. 24. It will be available to you by 8:00 pm that night, using the same link you always use from our website and from Leah’s weekly email to you.
                The music will feature special appearances from finger-style guitarist John Warstler, who wowed us all just last week, Eloise Jones, who has a voice that will leave you believing in that choir of angels from Luke 2, and many other musicians with whom you are familiar. Toby’s message will be unlike any you have ever heard before, as he will take on the character of key participant in that very first Christmas.
                Our hope is that when you receive the link to our Christmas Eve service, you will send it to as many people as you possibly can. People have nowhere to go this Christmas Eve. There are no live services, except by those congregations disregarding all CDC recommendations. People will be so hungry and more open than usual to clicking into our service, so please do your part to spread the good news of what is going on here at 1st Congregational UCC of Charlevoix! Thank you!

Special Musical Guest- Marga Eickholt 



Marga Eickholt joined the Great Lakes Chamber Orchestra in the Fall of 2002 after moving to the area from Saginaw, Michigan where she played in the Saginaw Symphony, later renamed to the Saginaw Bay Symphony Orchestra, from 1976 – 2002.

In her free time she’s found riding her Indian Motorcycle (7500 miles/year) with her sister.

This Week’s Featured Restaurant Is:

12/17 – 12/24

Smoke on the Water 

103 Park Ave 
Charlevoix, MI 49720



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.

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

Free Technology Tutorials- By topic

*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 if it something we are not sure how to help with we may be able to direct you to an online video or other helpful resources. 

Click Here To View A Draft Of The Photo Directory

** The online photo directory is password protected. The password was included in the original email. If you need it again, please email the office. We recently emailed a number of folks who are still missing photos and/or contact information. We will be publishing our final draft soon! If you haven’t already, please send us a photo ASAP! 

January / February 2021 – The Upper Room 

We have approximately 25 January – February 2021 Upper Rooms available. If you would like us to mail you a copy, please click the link below and submit the form.
*First come first serve, while supplies last, one per order.

The Upper Room Order Form- Click Here