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

101 State Street
Charlevoix, MI 49720

Weekly Newsletter- July 8, 2021

First Congregational U.C.C. Charlevoix
July 8, 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…

            As we dive more deeply into discipleship and seek to become better followers of Jesus, I’ve been thinking about my own path as a follower. I’ve considered what the key turning points, the significant markers, and the catalysts for growth in my life were. I came up with three.
            The first was when I made a significant, daily commitment to reading and studying the scriptures. Having a daily dose of God’s word each morning set a course for my days. I had – and still have – something from God to think about and contemplate as I go about my daily work and activities. I’d find myself thinking about the scripture I’d read, putting it in conversation with the things that would happen in my day. It was almost like having a running conversation with God, sometimes at the subconscious level.
            A second key turning point in my road from fan to follower came when I committed to a Christian community, not just as an attender once a week, but as an involved contributor. Helping with ministry opportunities, offering my time and energy to projects and events that I believed in, and teaching others about Jesus deepened my faith exponentially. I still remember the first Bible Study I ever led back in college. At first, I felt so overwhelmed and underqualified, that I put tremendous effort into learning everything I could about the focal passage. I found that teaching others to read and study the scriptures was probably the best way for me to get to know God’s word better as well. I never expected that, but what a gift it has been and continues to be.
            Finally, I started keeping a gratitude journal. Each night, as I crawled into bed, I’d pull out a notebook and write down the date and a list of things that happened that day for which I was grateful. Little by little, that small, simple spiritual practice strengthened my gratitude muscles. It trained me to tune into many blessings that came my way in any given day. Over time, perhaps because I knew I’d be making a list later that night, I developed a sort of gratitude frequency. I’d tune into the good, the positive, and the dozens of little kindnesses that God put in my path each day. Finishing my day with this gratitude journal practice helped me sleep better, and I even started waking up in positive anticipation of what blessings the next new day would bring.
            May you grow in Christlikeness today through your study of scripture, your active, personal involvement in the ministries of this church, and your counting of blessings, each and every day. Amen.

 A Note on Some Staff Vacation Time…

Leah will be out of the office on  Monday, July 19th and Tuesday, July 20th. Linda Weller will be in the church office those days to cover. 

Toby will be working from home on all Mondays this summer. Feel free to email him at or to call or text on his cell phone on Mondays at 231-881-6734. Monday is the day he usually does all his writing – sermon, bulletin, newsletter, etc., so doing this from home will be no problem. Thank you all for your support!

Opportunities for Volunteer Service are Abundant!
Now that we are back to full capacity and without masks or restrictions, we need volunteers to help us with things like hosting coffee hour, being lay readers, ushering, greeting, and helping set up and run outdoor services. Please do your part and sign up on the sheet near the greeting table. Thank you!


Funeral Luncheon Helpers!
            Now that Covid is largely behind us, people are starting to gather again to celebrate the lives of their deceased loved ones. In the last week alone, we have been asked to host two funeral luncheons – one for John McKown and the other for Nomis Mol. Hosting such gatherings is a vital ministry of compassion at a time when a grieving family could really use some support.
            Marty Trubilowicz has been coordinating our volunteer team for funeral gatherings and could really use some additional volunteers. Tasks include baking cakes, setting up tables and chairs, serving food and drinks, and restoring Ransom Hall to its original state once the guests leave. All of these acts of service make a significant difference in the lives of those who are grieving. Won’t you call Marty today to offer your assistance? Our next two funeral luncheons are July 14th or 15th (to be determined) and July 21. Thank you!  

 Assistant Childcare Volunteer – a few people have volunteered to help one Sunday a month so we are getting there! We have added childcare to the sign-up sheet available during coffee hour so you can sign-up there as well. If you have questions please reach out to Lynette Webb or the church office 

Outdoor Worship Service Volunteers – Our outdoor services are fantastic for all of us and for potential visitors, but they do take a lot more work to set up and execute than our in-the-sanctuary gatherings. We are looking for individuals or families who would be willing to help one Sunday a month or so. We are especially in need of folks who can help run the sound and some of the technological aspects of the service. We can teach you how! The time commitment is from 9:30 am to noon. Please let Bill Trubilowicz or the office know if you can cover a Sunday or two. We’ll get you trained on the ins and outs. Thank you!

A Message from the Kitchen Coordinator…


The return of Coffee Hour after church each Sunday has given us a time to gather and visit after such a long time not being able to do so.

A big thank you to those who have signed up to host coffee hour.  A procedure is posted for making coffee in the urn.  Coffee is provided and stored in the freezer.  Sugar, sweetener, and cream are also available.

The kitchen is committed to being ‘green’ and limiting any trash that would be dumped into a landfill.  The best choice is to use our china cups and plates and then use the dishwasher (a procedure is posted).  However, if you’re serving outside on the patio, compostable or recyclable cups and plates are available.  Receptacles will be available for these items once they are used.

We also have a punchbowl, trays, carafes, and pitchers available for your use.

A reminder that Coffee Hour food does not need to be elaborate. Simple store-bought cookies, or crackers and cheese, or fruit is much enjoyed and appreciated.

Sign-up sheets for coffee Hour are in the Fellowship Hall.

-Marty Trubilowicz, Kitchen Coordinator

Volunteers Needed for 2 Community Service Endeavors…

Hosting the Venetian Fest Road Race – We’ve offered up our building once again as the registration site/home-base for runners on the July 24th road race. Linda Weller has come forward to coordinate the hosting of this event, but she STILL needs a small team of helpers.

The Muffin Sale for the Waterfront Art Fair – This event on August 14 needs a coordinator, an army of bakers, and a team of people willing to prepare, set up, be on hand to sell, and then to clean up afterward.

If you believe in either of these events enough to champion them with your time, energy, and leadership, please let the church office know right away. Time is running out. Thank you!

A Family Devotional for the Week


  1. Read the Lord’s prayer as Jesus instructed us to say it in Matthew 6:9-13 from the New International Version (not one with “thee’s” and “thy’s”)
  2. Reread verse 10 – “your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven,” and ask your kids to imagine what they think God’s kingdom would be like here on earth. How would people treat each other? Would there be any hungry or poor people in God’s kingdom on earth? If so, how would people who were hungry or poor be taken care of?
  3. Remind them that when Jesus came to live on earth, he said that God’s kingdom would come in little bits at a time – like a mustard seed planted in the ground or a little bit of yeast mixed into some bread dough. So what are some little things we can do each day to help God’s kingdom to come and God’s will to be done on earth?
  4. Close by saying the Lord’s prayer together, being careful NOT to pause after the phrase “thy will be done,” so that you say, “thy will be done ON EARTH” all together.

Posted weekly on our website. Click Here to check it out! 

In-Person Worship Service- July 11, 2021

We will be holding TWO in-person worship services on Sunday, July 11th. At 8:45 am we will be holding our FirstLight service at Michigan Beach and at 10:30 am we will be gathering for worship  OUTSIDE on the church lawn, weather permitting.

Masks are not required for outdoor worship and you do not need to RSVP. Please remember to bring a lawn chair, umbrella, sunglasses, a cup of coffee, and anything else you may need to be comfortable outdoors! Don’t forget your nametag. A limited number of padded chairs are available for use on the porch and are accessible from inside the building, where an elevator is also available. 

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

Online Virtual Worship- Click Here To Watch
Digital Worship Bulletin- Click Here 

A Word About Our New Videos:  

You may have noticed we have begun creating a video that is both on the church website and delivered to you on a weekly basis. It summarizes what is going on in and around this church that week. For church insiders – those who already worship here – some of the video may cover things you already know. But imagine seeing this video as a church outsider, someone without a church who may be looking for one. We think this could be another outreach tool for every one of us to use. Share it with your friends and neighbors, people outside this church. That is a major part of its purpose and you can help. So don’t keep these terrific videos to yourself; forward them onto others who have no church family. Thank you!

*If you are watching this video and would like to make it larger, click the brackets button [ ] at the bottom right of the video. This will make the video full-screen. To exit the full-screen view, hit the ESC button on your keyboard. 

To copy and share this video, first, you would right-click on the video, then select the “Copy URL” option. Now you can paste the video link into an outgoing email, or onto your Facebook or other social media page. 

Prayer List:

Nomis Mol- passed away on July 7th. Please pray for her family & loved ones.
Michelle Steffey- was diagnosed with breast cancer (Lani Ochs) 
May Lee Drost– is very ill and may be at the end of life. Please pray for her family and the Loretta Towsley family as they are closely related (Julia Heddle) 
Heather Wadland- recently received a cancer diagnosis and is having major surgery. (Bill & Betty Wadland) 
Roger Caylor- is home from hospital with heat exhaustion, recently underwent many tests after coding in the ambulance. He is still very weak and in recovery.
Jim & Christel Gibbons-
“It is with sad hearts to tell you we sold our Charlevoix home and will move to florida. The work of maintaining a house and garden is to much for old, 90+ years codgers with accumulations of infirmities. So we thank you all for your support  and prayers; and God willing, we’ll be back next season as summer fudgies. So it is with hearts full of love we say a fond good bye” 

Please click the link below to submit your prayer requests. Include as much detail as possible and use a separate form for each request. Please submit requests prior to noon on Wednesday of each week to ensure your prayer is included in the Sunday bulletin. 

Click Here to Submit your Prayer RequestDon’t forget to share both Joys and Concerns! 

EarthKeeper Nature Camp 
August 9-13, 2021

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