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

101 State Street
Charlevoix, MI 49720
231-547-9122


Weekly Newsletter- February 25, 2021

First Congregational U.C.C. Charlevoix
February 25, 2021

Join us for either in-person or virtual worship each Sunday at 10:30 am
Click Here for Online Worship and the Digital Bulletin!


A Message from Toby…

            If I had to use one word to describe the most damaging by-product of this now year-long Covid-19 pandemic, that word would be “isolation.” So many people are feeling utterly alone, cut off, and without connection. The vast majority of my pastoral care ministry since arriving here in July has been massaging the wounds inflicted by this prolonged isolation. Widows and widowers, the elderly and homebound, and all those who live alone have been particularly hard hit.
            Those of us with partners and families right in our homes or neighborhoods have been shielded somewhat from Covid’s stay-at-home orders and quarantines. In fact, many of us in this category have actually found blessing in the chance to spend more time with loved ones without all of us going in a million directions to our countless activities.
            But today in this newsletter I must bear witness to the deep and excruciating loneliness that I’ve seen Covid inflict on so many in our church family. With that in mind, I’d like to give all of you an assignment. Pick up the latest hard copy or the on-line version of our church directory. Click Here to view the photo directory. (please contact the church office if you have misplaced your password) Page through it slowly and prayerfully, asking yourself these questions:

            – Who in these pages lives alone?
            – Who has no family in town?
            – Who has lost a spouse or partner recently?
            – Who might appreciate a call from a church family member?
            – What else might I do to alleviate some of that awful isolation?

            James, the brother of Jesus, put it this way: “Genuine religion, the kind that God accepts as pure and faultless, is this: to look after widows and orphans in their distress…” (James 1:27) Thank you for recognizing that part of what it means to follow Jesus is that we take care of each other. We reach out in love and compassion to those in need. Don’t worry about what to say; just have a conversation. We are a family of faith. We are our brother’s and sister’s keeper. Amen.

A Note of Thanks…
            I want to give a special shout out to those 15-20 people who are setting aside a little time (60-90 minutes) each week to participate in one of our two study groups. Our Tuesday morning Bible Study (at 10:00 am each week both in person and on Zoom) has a hungry bunch of spiritually alive folks who are growing together. And the Wednesday night Lenten Study group is doing an incredible job of diving into Brian McLaren’s Faith After Doubt. As a pastor, it is such a gift to have men and women around me who are committed to their own spiritual growth. Thank you! 


A Message from the Moderator…

As we start to loosen the restrictions on access to the building for meetings, we need to do so in a controlled, measured fashion.  I would like to establish the following controls:

  • Schedule all meetings through Leah in the Office – only one meeting at a time is allowed
  • Limit the number of people to 10 – take attendance for contact tracing
  • Always require the use of masks
  • Encourage the use of hand sanitizers
  • Set up your meeting room to meet the 6-foot social distancing rule
  • Limit the length of the meeting to one hour
  • Email me at moderator@chxucc.org of the plans for your meeting

For now, if anyone on your committee is uncomfortable attending a meeting in person, please continue to hold the meeting remotely on Zoom.  In the future, we will phase in a combination of in-person and Zoom meetings.

-Bill Trubilowicz 


In-Person Worship Service- February 28, 2021

Sunday, February 28, 2021, we will be holding ONE in-person service at 10:30 am with services also being live-streamed

Google RSVP Form- Click Here 

*Google RSVP is only required if you plan to attend in-person worship. Please do not submit a form if you plan to watch from home. Thank you! 

Sunday, February 28, 2021, we will be holding ONE in-person service at 10:30 am

*Seating in the Sanctuary is VERY limited and handled on a FIRST-COME-FIRST-SERVE BASIS. Once the Sanctuary reaches capacity, you will be directed to the Fellowship Hall, as space allows.

We cannot take reservations specifically for Sanctuary seating. The best way to guarantee a seat in the Sanctuary is to RSVP online and to arrive early to church on Sunday.

Those who arrive without an RSVP on file will be directed to overflow seating in the Fellowship Hall EVEN IF SPACE IS STILL AVAILABLE IN THE SANCTUARY. 

Seat cushions and bibles have been removed from the pews in the sanctuary, If you need a padded seat or a bible, please bring your own.

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

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

Should you require the use of the elevator to access the building, the office should be notified prior to Sunday and during regular office hours.

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 contact 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

If you have questions, please contact the church office at office@chxucc.org or 231-547-9122
Office Hours: Monday – Thursday from 9:00 am to 3:30 pm. The church voicemail and email are not monitored over the weekend.

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


This Sunday, February 28th, there will be a Noisy Offering for Heifer International. Please bring your loose change and drop it in the bucket provided. It’s been nearly a year since the Outreach Team has done a Noisy Offering, and we felt it was time to continue this tradition.- Jack Weber, Outreach Treasurer 

You can also give to the noisy offering online! Click Here! 


Your church family wants to help you!
Please complete the form below and let us know how we can best assist you. 

If you are interested in helping your friends and neighbors get their Covid-19 vaccine please complete the form below.

 


Each week we will be featuring a new local restaurant that needs our support. Restaurants have been among the hardest-hit industries of 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 buying gift cards for future use or as gifts for others. Together we can make a difference for those who have always been there for us with a hot meal, friendly service, and a warm smile!  

This Week’s Restaurant Of The Week Is:

That French Place

212 Bridge Street
Charlevoix, MI 49720
 231-437-6037

 www.thatfrenchplace.com

Menu 

Order Online 


Dropbox: A Beginner’s Guide

If you are serving on a church committee or board you may have recently received an email granting you access to the Church Council Consent Agenda files in Dropbox. In order to view the items and documents in this file, you will need to create a Dropbox account if you do not already have one. 

Below are the steps to do that. 

  1. Open the email invitation you received from the church office. 
  2. Click the blue box in your email invitation that says: “Go to Folder”
  3. Select the small “sign up” option near the bottom of the webpage. 
  4. Enter your first and last name, email address if it is not already populated, a 5 character password, check the “I agree to the Dropbox terms” box, and then select “Create Account”

Once you have completed this process you should be directed to this shared folder. You can log in at any time using your new username (email address) and password. You can also download the Dropbox app on your smartphone or device. 

 

A Beginner’s Guide On How to Use DropBox.