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

101 State Street
Charlevoix, MI 49720

Weekly Newsletter – October 22, 2020

First Congregational U.C.C. Charlevoix –
October 22, 2020

Notice: Congregational Meeting 
October 25th at 11:30 a.m.

*You can attend the meeting either in-person or virtually by clicking the link provided below. 

Join the All Church Meeting from home by
Clicking Here 

2021 Proposed Slate of Officers PDF

Click Here to VOTE!

Please be aware that there have been some instances of fraudulent emails being sent out to members of the congregation under the pretense that they’re from either Toby or the office. If you look closely you will see the sender’s email address is not accurate. Neither Toby nor Leah will ever ask for money, account information, or gift cards via email. If you received one of these emails, do not respond and delete it. Thank you! 

Message from your Pastor…

It’s hard to believe that I have been with you for over 3 months already! Where does the time go? Coming into a congregation during a pandemic is not ideal, but I feel we are all making the most of it. I so appreciate everyone’s flexibility with changing worship schedules, outdoor seating, and having to wear a hat and gloves inside! These are very unusual times, but God is still God and we will all get through this together.

One thing that has been particularly challenging for me is the complete absence of feedback that I have received about my work here so far. Looking over a masked congregation from the pulpit makes it utterly impossible for me to know if people are with me or not. Couple that with the fact that everyone just leaves immediately after the service without a coffee hour or a receiving line at the exit door, and I am left to wonder if my sermon and the overall service made any difference or not.

For these reasons, it would be very helpful to me if each of you would take the time to send me an email or call if you prefer. I’d just like to know what our worship experiences have been like for you in the past 3 months. We all know that Covid protocols have made Sunday mornings strange, so no need to talk about that. I’m more interested in how or whether the messages and services have had an impact on you, and, if so, in what ways. Remember my email is now Thank you for your honest feedback.

Leah and I are going to work very hard to do a better job of keeping in touch with those of you who leave for all or part of the winter. For that reason, if you fall into that category of “snowbirds,” would you please take a moment to shoot Leah an email – or call if you prefer – telling her where you’ll be going and what your return date is? Be sure she has an accurate address as well. Do keep in mind that wherever you are, you will be able to watch our live-streamed services each Sunday. Or, if you’re busy at that time, you can catch a recorded version of the service any time during that next week. Just go to our church website at We’ll keep you posted on other goings-on that you can take advantage of even from a distance this winter. Thank you!

Message from the Moderator…

I think that it is time to expand our “Locker Room” that we use for Sunday Services into the Sanctuary.  We have the streaming system operable enough that we can use the Fellowship Hall and the Sanctuary to accommodate more people in the building.  This should be good news but please bear with us as we work out the next phase of our live church experiment!

For this Sunday, we will conduct the service in the Sanctuary and stream the service into the Fellowship Hall via projector and audio signal.  The Sanctuary has been divided up into pods to provide social distancing and control the number of worshipers at a safe level.  The seat cushions and books have been removed from the pews to control contamination potentials.  If you need a padded seat or a bible, please bring your own.

On Sunday morning, you can really help us a lot if you enter at the Park Avenue doors.  As you come up the stairs you will see the table we have been using to record attendance.  Once you are checked in, you will be directed to the sanctuary where an usher will point you to a seat.  The pods are big enough to allow up to four members of your pod (family) to sit together.

When all the seats in the Sanctuary are filled, you will be directed into the Fellowship Hall to take a seat as we have been doing the last few weeks.  At this time, seats in the Sanctuary will be filled first then the Fellowship Hall. 

We will be providing outside ventilation during the service so be prepared for the rooms to be cooler than normal.

Remember that our overall goal is to provide a safe environment for our church family to be able to worship together on Sunday morning.  The following practices are still in effect:

  • Masks are required in the building
  • Practice social distancing
  • Use hand sanitizer
  • One person in the bathroom at a time
  • Exit the building at the end of the service
  • Nursery is closed

-Bill Trubilowicz

Sunday, October 25, 2020, we will be holding ONE in-person service at 10:30 am.

Limited space is available at the service so please be sure to RSVP early.

Windows and doors will be open for ventilation and also to allow those that are sitting on the porch to hear, please be sure to bring a jacket and maybe even a pair of gloves so you don’t get cold.

Social distancing is required and there will be markers on the carpet in the Fellowship Hall for individual groups. Don’t forget your mask!

Google RSVP is required for contact tracing. Please only submit your form once.

RSVP for in-person worship by clicking here 

Digital Worship bulletins are available HERE as there will only be a limited number of printed copies on hand. The bulletin is where you can find the weekly calendar and Prayer List. 

If you have questions, please contact the church office at or 231-547-9122, Monday – Thursday from 9:00 am to 3:30 pm.

If you would prefer to join from home, our Sunday services will be recorded and live-streamed at 10:30 am. Click Here To Watch

On Sunday, November 1, 2020, we will be having a service to remember those church members and loved ones who have died in the past year.

If you have a family member or loved one that you would like remembered on this day, please submit the form below prior to noon Wednesday (10/28).

All Saints Day Submission Form

If you have questions please contact the church office at

Reminder- Sunday, October 25th is the last day to donate winter outerwear to our coat drive! 

Donation boxes are located at both the front and back doors of the church. 

See Outreach Chair Sue Fowler or Outreach Secretary Heather Kage for more information! 

Tuesday Bible Study – 10:00 am

Join us either in-person or via Zoom every Tuesday at 10:00 am.

Emails containing both a link to the Bible Study materials and the Zoom invite are sent out weekly. Changes, updates, and cancellations will be shared via email, Facebook, and the Weekly Newsletter.

Please be sure you are clicking the links included within all correspondence for the most accurate and up-to-date information. 

If you are not currently on our Bible Study email list please contact the office at and we will be happy to add you! 

Are you struggling to navigate the church’s new and ever-changing online presence? Click Here for information on the three best ways to stay up-to-date. 



Follow us on Facebook! Click Here 


Last year (2019) the Community Christmas Project served more than 250 families by providing food, gifts, and clothing for Christmas.  We anticipate that we will have at least that many individuals/families this year.  Possibly many more.  This project is supported by churches, businesses, and individuals in Charlevoix.

The team that puts the project together has been meeting to figure out how to meet the needs of Charlevoix families in the midst of the pandemic.  It will look a little different this year, as there will not be an opportunity for families to ‘shop’ at the church for gifts and clothing.  We will ask families to be specific (ages and sizes of children, etc.) when they sign up so that we can meet as many of their needs as possible.

Our church, once again, is responsible for collecting jars of JAM/JELLY and SOCKS of different sizes and colors.   The socks most requested are the short variety that young people wear inside their sneakers.

This week we will label collection boxes and put them in the fellowship hall for socks and jars of jam/jelly.  We will deliver them to the Lutheran Church on Dec. 13.  The distribution will be Dec. 17-18

Martha Trubilowicz
Lois Lewis

Congratulations Murphy! 

Click Here to Submit Your Prayer Requests for the Bulletin.