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

101 State Street
Charlevoix, MI 49720

Weekly Newsletter- December 31, 2020

First Congregational U.C.C. Charlevoix –
December 31, 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…

               What a joy it was to celebrate my first Christmas with all of you here at 1st Congregational Church! Even though we couldn’t be together on Christmas Eve, it was such a blast to put together that service with an amazing team of worship leaders! I wish all of you could have seen the lengths to which Roger Waters, Shelley Fisher, Bill Trubilowicz, Hugh Hansen, Vince Chew, John Hess, John Warstler, and Eloise Jones went in order to create such a beautiful service of worship. I was privileged to be a part of it. Thank you all!

                I also want to thank those in the congregation who took the time to respond to my 3 questions about this Covid Christmas. Your answers formed the core of the worship time on December 27, and the feedback I have received on that service has been super positive. Thank you!

                As we begin 2021, I’ve decided to come out of the gates with a sermon series based on Beatles’ music. I am a huge Fab Four fan and have always found their songs to be filled with spiritual wisdom. So each of the 4 January Sundays, we’ll hear a different Beatles’ song, which I will then break down in the sermon, placing it alongside some scripture passages that deal with the same theme. I’m confident that you will find this series both enjoyable and meaningful. I’m also hoping that you will share all of these sermons with some of your non-church going, musically-inclined friends.

                Finally, I want all of you to know how much I am enjoying being your pastor. I’ve been here six months now, and despite all of those months being compromised by Covid, I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. Happy New Year!

Special Musical Guest- Sunday, January 03, 2020

Byron Farrar, a native of Lexington Kentucky, was born into a family of string players and began playing the cello at a young age. He attended grade school at the School for the Creative and performing arts and completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Louisville where he studied under Paul York on a full scholarship. He received a quartet assistantship to attend Southern Illinois University – Carbondale for his MM and is currently working on his DMA at the University of Alabama. He spent his time in Alabama performing in the Capstone Quartet, which recently played a series of concerts in Ireland and Italy. Byron moved to Northern Michigan in the summer of 2020 to work for the Dorothy Gerber Strings Foundation.   

The History of Our Bell

If you happened to watch CBS Saturday Morning this week, there was a segment on the bells that are in church steeples throughout the country.  Here is a link to that segment:

In particular, the segment refers to a bell manufacturer that has been making bells since 1879. The Henry McShane Company cast our bell in Baltimore, MD in 1886. 

Dave Nedwick & I were up in the bell tower in 2016.  Here is a picture of our bell:

The TV segment also showed the man playing a set of real carillons up in the bell tower.  Although we have carillons, ours are the electronic version that he refers to in the video.  I hope that you have heard our bell ringing on Sunday morning as well as our carillons playing throughout the day.

After the holidays, I may contact the company to get the history of the casting and shipping of our bell.

Bill Trubilowicz, Church Moderator 

Attention Church Leadership

2020 Annual Report submissions are due no later than January 10, 2021. Please submit your typed reports via email in an editable format, preferably Microsoft Word. No JPEG or PDF files, please.  If you need help submitting your report, please let the church office know. If you would prefer, a submission form can be found on the church’s website at

Email Scam Update

The church continues to receive messages from the congregation regarding concerns over spam emails. As mentioned previously, we are aware of this ongoing issue and are working with IT to do everything we can. The church’s email itself has not been compromised so we are limited in what we can do. 

If you have received one of these emails or receive one in the future please check the sender’s email address, if it does not say or it was not from the church and most likely spam. You do not have to notify the church, please just block the sender, and delete the email. We will keep you posted as we learn more.

You can find more information on phishing emails and how to report them on our website.

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. 

To schedule a one-on-one appointment with Leah to go over online worship, Zoom meetings, or accessing the church’s website, please Click Here.

Want to watch our worship services on your TV? Image may contain: one or more people, phone and screen

Click the link below for instructions!


Each week we will be featuring a new local restaurant that needs our support. Restaurants have been among the hardest-hit industries by the covid-19 pandemic. Let’s help our friends and neighbors during this difficult time by ordering take-out, donating to servers and employees who rely on tips, or by buying gift cards for future use or as holiday gifts. Together we can make a difference for those who have always been there for us with a hot meal, a special anniversary dinner, a cup of joe to start the day, or a warm smile!

This Week’s Featured Restaurant: 

Bridge Street Tap Room

Online Ordering

What Child Is This/Child Of The Poor 

We loved this song and thought you might enjoy it too! 

*Beware- the last two minutes of the video are advertisements 

What are you singing: What child is this/ child of the poor 

January / February 2021 

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

Happy Birthday from all of us at First Congregational UCC, Charlevoix MI 

The Deadline to submit photos or make corrections to your Breeze file prior to the new photo directory being printed is January 7, 2021. Any changes made after this day will appear in future revisions.