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

101 State Street
Charlevoix, MI 49720

Weekly Newsletter- October 8, 2020

A great way to get your cardio workouts is to eat a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables. This will be my last season playing the part of Rick Grimes,” a clearly emotional Lincoln began, nearly bursting into tears.

First Congregational U.C.C. Charlevoix –
October 8, 2020

From your Pastor…

This Sunday, I will deliver part 2 of my series on my vision for our church moving forward. The sermon title is “Dozens of Doorways,” which you will make sense of once you hear the message. My hope is that these 4 Sundays in October will present a clear, logical, and compelling vision for moving forward now that we are successfully through the interim transition. Don’t forget to watch the service online – either live at 10:30 am or later on the church website and Youtube – if you can’t be present at the service.

                A big Thank You to Lucy Witthoeft for representing us so well at this year’s virtual CROP walk. As of last Sunday (October 4), she had raised $750. That’s a great start, but we can and should do better, particularly in this COVID time when so many families are dealing with food insecurity. Fortunately, Lucy is able to receive our donations up to October 15, so please be as generous with this important endeavor as you can. And thanks again, Lucy!

                Our Outreach Team is trying to keep local kids warm this winter by sponsoring a winter outerwear drive. You’ll see 2 boxes as you enter the church each week, and we are hoping you’ll bring new or gently used winter coats, hats, and glove/mittens to keep the less advantaged kids in our community warm as another winter descends upon us. Thanks to Sue Fowler and her team for spearheading this effort!

                You should have gotten word this week that my email address has changed. My new address is toby@chxucc.orgNOT Please note this change in your email address book, and if you tried emailing me in the last 4-5 days at the pastor@ address and didn’t hear back from me, just resend the email to the new address. Thank you!

Sunday, October 11, 2020, we will be offering one indoor worship service at 10:30 am. Limited space is available so please be sure to RSVP early.

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. Digital Worship bulletins are available HERE as there will only be a limited number of printed copies on hand.

Good RSVP Form- Click Here

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

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

Message from the Moderator…

Our first foray back into Ransom Hall was pretty successful for a first try at an inside service.  You all earned a gold star for following the rules!

The plan for this Sunday, October 11 is a little different.  We will hold one service at 10:30 AM.

The RSVP request this week that will have more questions than you are used to answering.  Since we are limited in the number of people we can allow in the hall for the service, you will be asked to designate how you plan to attend.  For this week, we are setting the maximum number of people at 40 attendees.  I will be watching the headcount number and when we reach 40 the congregation will be notified that the service is full. 

The room will be set up with folding chairs to provide social distancing but they will be facing the Church Office and the service will be conducted from that end of the hall.  This will allow for more seating in the hall and the overflow on the patio to be a part of the congregation.

This week we will use the doors that open out to Park Avenue to gain entry into the Fellowship Hall.  I suspect that this will be the normal path for the future as we move into the sanctuary and use the hall for overflow seating.  Doors will open 15 minutes before the service.  We will take attendance for contact tracing.  Masks will be required and we will ask you to use hand sanitizer as you enter the building.  If the person is medically unable to wear a mask, serious consideration should be given as to whether that person should access the building. There will be a small number of masks available.  Each person is encouraged to bring their own.

The nursery is still closed. Children are encouraged to be with their parents.

Only one person is allowed in a restroom at a time.   Sanitizing materials will be provided.

Now, we all want to come together for Sunday worship but if you are not feeling well or uncomfortable meeting with other people please do not come to the church.  Persons that have been exposed to the COVID-19 virus or are feeling ill should not attend services in person.  The 10:30 am service will be live-streamed on our website.

One other note – October is traditionally the month when we approve the slate of officers and committees for the next year.  I plan to hold that congregational meeting on October 25 following the Sunday Service.  We are required by our bylaws to announce this type of meeting on each of the two Sundays prior to the meeting.  I will make the first announcement this Sunday.

Prayer Request Form- Click Here to Submit