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

101 State Street
Charlevoix, MI 49720

Weekly Newsletter- October 29, 2020

First Congregational U.C.C. Charlevoix –
October 29, 2020

Message from your Pastor…

As we begin November, I will be kicking off a new sermon series based on the book of James. James was the brother of Jesus – YES, Jesus had a brother! – and his little book, tucked toward the very back of the New Testament, is profoundly important. Just 5 chapters in length, James focuses his teaching on the practice of Christianity. It didn’t take very long, once Jesus left, for his followers to get way off the track, and James sought to get them straightened out. I love this book because it’s focused on actions – on DOING the things Jesus did and instructed us to do as well. Questions that my November sermon series will explore include:

  • How are we supposed to handle the trials and tribulations that come our way?
  • How can we be more “doers of the Word” and not just hearers of it?
  • How can we better “tame our tongues?”
  • What does it really mean and look like to be dependent on God?
  • Does God ever play favorites? And if so, whom does God favor, and why?

I hope you won’t miss any of these 5 messages as we move into the Thanksgiving season. Don’t forget that you can live stream our services every Sunday at 10:30 am by using a link on our church’s website. You can also watch recorded versions of each service whenever your schedule allows by using a link on our website as well. (

As we march toward Advent, plans are in the works to offer a fascinating study on the Jewish practice of sabbath and its powerful implications for us today. How great is it that we worship a God who actually commanded us to rest! But do we? If this topic is intriguing to you and you’d like to help plan and execute this 4-session Advent study, please contact Julia Heddle at 231-437-3051 (email – or Toby Jones at 231-547-9122 ( Thank you!

A Message from the Moderator… 

Here is a short update on the work that your Council has been covering.  First, now that the congregation has approved the officers & committees for 2021, new members should expect to be contacted by their boards to invite them to the next meeting so that they can start an orientation on the function of the committee.  Our goal is to have the new committees up and running in January. 

Next, you may have heard about the project to update the Church’s Bylaws.  This is a long-term project to streamline the requirements of the boards and committees to reflect on the current needs of the congregation.  Once a draft has been developed and approved by Council, a Congregational meeting will be held to approve the revision.

Lastly, the Council approved our plan to conduct Sunday Services using the Sanctuary and the Fellowship Hall.  It felt really good to be back in the Sanctuary last Sunday.  A copy of the plan will be in the Policy Binder in the office.

We have the streaming system operable enough that we can use the Fellowship Hall and the Sanctuary to accommodate more people in the building.  Following the guidelines from the state, seating in the Sanctuary will be limited to 30 people and up to 40 people can sit in the Fellowship Hall.  We will not utilize the balcony in the Sanctuary at this time.  We should be able to accommodate everyone that wants to worship in person.

Just like last Sunday’s service, we will conduct the service in the Sanctuary and stream the service into the Fellowship Hall via projector and audio signal. The seat cushions and books have been removed from the pews to control contamination potentials.  Windows may be open to increase ventilation.  If you need a padded seat or a bible, please bring your own.

The service will be streamed on to the website ( if you choose not to attend in person.

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:

  • RSVP for tracing purposes
  • Enter through the Park Avenue doors
  • Fill the Sanctuary seats first
  • Could be cool in the building
  • Masks are required in the building
  • Use hand sanitizer and practice social distancing
  • One person in the bathroom at a time
  • Exit the building at the end of the service
  • Nursery is closed

-Bill Trubilowicz 

Sunday, November 1, 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, 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.  When available, written sermon transcripts can be found on our website. 

Should you require the use of the elevator to access the building, the office should be notified when submitting your RSVP.

If you have questions, please contact the church office at or 231-547-9122.  Hours: 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

If you are hungry for a little live entertainment as the temperatures drop and the darkness lengthens, consider attending the “Festival of Shorts” at Crooked Tree Center for the Arts on Nov 20 and 21 at 7:30 pm. A “short” is an 8-12 minute, one-act play, and this festival features 4 or 5 of them back to back. One of these shows features Toby Jones in the leading role. His short is entitled “You Haven’t Changed a Bit” and is a light-hearted, touching piece about a 70th high school reunion. This festival will have very limited seating to keep everyone safe; only 40 people will be able to attend on each of the two nights in the theater that seats over 200. Masks, of course, will be required.

Tickets are $10 and will soon be available at

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

Click Here to Submit Your Prayer Requests for the Bulletin. 

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. 



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