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

101 State Street
Charlevoix, MI 49720

Weekly Newsletter- September 3, 2020

First Congregational U.C.C. Charlevoix –

Weekly Newsletter September 3, 2020

Welcome to our weekly newsletter!

Don’t Miss September’s Worship Series!

You are gifted! Don’t blush…Don’t try to deny it! It’s true! Check out I Corinthians 12:7 or I Peter 4:10-11. God has given every one of us gifts, and throughout September we’re going to celebrate God’s many gifts to this congregation. The essence of Christian stewardship is discovering our gifts and finding ways to use them for the benefit of others. On each of the Sundays in September, you’ll be hearing about that not just from Toby, but from a handful of folks in our congregation who have turned their gifts loose on the world and watched the blessings flow.

As we begin the campaign to fund our 2021 ministry endeavors, we’ll explore the many ways God has given us the time, talent, and treasure we need to be positive difference-makers both in Charlevoix and beyond. Thank you for your generosity toward this church and for doing your part to help this year’s pledge drive set a record for participation and giving.

-Toby Jones 

Worship in the Garden- RSVP

Sunday, September 6, 2020 at 10:00 am – Weather Permitting

This Sunday is Communion Sunday. Each family group should bring their own communion elements with them to share among themselves.

Worship will be recorded for future viewing but will not be live-streamed. Updates on future live streaming capabilities can be found below! 

Social distancing required and there will be markers in the lawn for individual groups. Please bring your lawn chairs and umbrellas. Don’t forget your mask!

Google RSVP is required for contact tracing, please use the link below and only submit one form per group/family. Digital Worship bulletins are available HERE as there will only be a limited number of printed copies available.

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

Worship in the Garden RSVP Form- Click Here

QR Codes: What, how, why?

The past couple of weeks you may have noticed square bar-codes popping up everywhere you go and wondered what they are. They are QR codes and they are an amazing technology to have during this time of Covid. A QR code, which stands for Quick Response Code, can be used in many different ways. They can take you directly to a specific website or web page link, a document, form or even a restaurant menu without you having to search the web or your email to find it. It is a fast, convenient, and easy way to go digital without much hassle. 

As the church finds new ways to stay healthy while also being efficient, a QR code allows you to view documents directly on your phone or tablet as opposed to having something printed in-hand. On Sunday, this saves us money and resources when it comes to printing bulletins that are ultimately destined for the recycling bin, especially in the event of poor weather that would result in worship being cancelled. It also helps protect everyone coming in contact with paper documents from cross contamination made possible by multiple people handling the same materials. 

Most smart phones, i-phone and android alike, are already equipped to scan QR codes. You either open your QR scanning app already installed on your phone or you simply open your camera, just like you would to take a photo, and point it at the code, it will scan automatically and open the intended link or file for you. If your phone cannot do this, you can download a QR scanning app for free. 

Like most new technology, there can be a bit of a learning curve. If you would like help using this new asset, please contact Leah in the church office at 231-547-9122 and she would be happy to help! 

Update from the Moderator

Sunday Services Update;

I hope that you are aware of the fact that we have been holding Sunday Services out in our garden at 10:00 am every Sunday.  This Sunday will mark the sixth Sunday that we have held church in the garden.  We are hitting our stride with social distancing (find a white dot to sit on), masks and using the RSVP form to help with contact tracing.  A couple of rain showers last week didn’t even faze us!  Come on out, bring your lawn chair, coffee and an umbrella and join us on Sunday morning.  It’s really great to see people – as they are smiling at you from behind their mask!

There are questions out in the congregation about recording and live-streaming the services. Let me update you on where we are in the process.  Currently, we are recording the service on Sunday morning and then posting it online on Monday.  This is different from earlier weeks when we pre-recorded the service and had it posted for viewing on Sunday morning.

As far as live-streaming the Sunday Service, this project is in the works but we are not quite ready to kick it off.  Most of the equipment has been purchased (or, is on back order) but we need to hook everything up and test it out before we go live.  Once we do go live, you will be able tune in for the service as it happens and a recording of the service will be available for viewing at a later time.  Please have patience with us as we work through the new technology.

In other news, we have been looking forward to the weather changing and the need to move inside the church building.  We have marked off the floor in Ransom Hall to see how many people we could serve and still maintain social distancing requirements.  Moving back into the Sanctuary is our ultimate goal but we have to work out the social distancing issue in the pews.  The number of attendees will be limited in both cases and may require conducting two services on Sunday.  Our sub-committee on reopening the church is working on plans to come in out of the cold.

-Bill Trubilowicz

This Sunday is Stewardship Sunday

Addressed envelopes will be available for pickup after church or will be mailed to you on Monday. The church painting project has been completed. The Old Lady (115 years) looks pretty snappy.  Thanks to those who financially supported the project.

-John Dixon