Installation of Lindsey Spies, Minister of Faith Formation & Pastoral Care

Join us for worship on January 16th as we officially welcome Lindsey Spies as the Minister of Faith Formation and Pastoral Care. A reception will follow worship in the large dining room with cake! Lindsey is looking forward to meeting and talking with CE families.

Contact Lindsey here!

Annual Meeting 2022

The annual meeting will be Sunday February 13th following worship in the sanctuary.

  • 1/23 – Emergency Congregational Meeting in the Sanctuary at 11:15am.
    • Our upcoming congregational meeting on Sunday, January 23rd will address some of the financial concerns regarding the future of the church and the growing need for leadership volunteers.  Your attendance at this meeting is much appreciated as we try to put together a plan for 2022 and beyond.  A livestream option will be provided.
    • YouTube Livestream
    • Facebook Livestream
  • 2/6 – Tentative Finance Update at 9:00am in Large Dining Room (no livestream)
  • 2/13 – Year in Photos Presentation at 9:00am in Large Dining Room (no livestream)
  • 2/13 – Annual Meeting at 11:15am in the Sanctuary (livestreamed following worship)

Due to inclement weather, services are are canceled tomorrow Sunday January 2nd.

Join us on we will rebroadcast an earlier service.

My name is Lindsey Spies and here’s a little about myself. I grew up here in the QC
area on a family farm just outside of Buffalo, IA. My dad taught me the importance of
“hard work pays off” and my Mom gave me a big heart, love, kindness and my outgoing
personality. My Grandma (full Italian) put me in the corner when I needed it.

I’m a proud Mom of my amazing son Cooper (12). He certainly keeps me on my toes and I
learn so much looking through his eyes. My lovely fiancé Bek and I are looking forward to
getting married in September of next year. Our families are so excited that we have found each other. Bek is the one who saw my passion for ministry and encouraged me to pursue it again. She is also the best Bonus Mom to Cooper you could ever ask for.

After high school I started my journey in Cosmetology, working and managing for 17 years. During those beginning years, I also worked serving tables as well as bartended. All three jobs gave me the skills to work with diverse teams, customer service and patience.

While working behind the chair, I went back to school to obtain a funeral home director degree, however, I had many QC directors tell me not to get into the business, due to traditions I love becoming a thing of the past. It was a hard decision to set a dream aside, yes, a dream. When I was in confirmation we toured Runge Funeral Home and the whole tour was fascinating and I felt overwhelmingly called to help families through such difficult times.

Low and behold, God had a different plan for me. The Faith Formation Director (Youth Director) opportunity came up at my home church. I applied, got the job and fully ended my 17 years behind the chair. I, and my friends, would have never in a million years thought I’d work for a church. Little did I know how much I would learn and feel the Holy Spirit move within me. I believe this became a call, not a job. I believe my endeavors over previous years have given me the gift to see others’ passions, potential, purpose and

I worked alongside refugees and immigrants for employment while working at World Relief and then became the Church Outreach Coordinator. I loved learning about all the many cultures we served in the Quad Cities. It taught me patience, as well as how to say hello in a few other languages. COVID unfortunately, interrupted outreach to churches and the whole country for that matter. This is also where I met Pastor Michael for the first time. He and I had some great conversations and I enjoyed hearing about his travels abroad.

I’m excited to join the FCC leadership and ready to get to know everyone. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I would love the chance to get to know you and your family. Thank you for this opportunity and call.

Peace, Love & Jesus,
Lindsey Spies

Board Nominations 2022

Dear Friends,

Nominating Committee has started to meet with the goal of filling seats on our church boards and Council. Each board consists of seven members who serve staggered 3-year terms. Church Council has nine members, the chairs of each of the boards and five at-large members. At-large members also serve staggered 3-year terms. Each board and Council tend to meet once a month.

We are calling attention to the need for board and Council members because in the past there seems to have been a feeling that this process is secretive and selective. A healthy church needs not only a financial commitment from its members, but also a time commitment. We appeal to you to consider nominating yourself or someone you know not only to continue the tradition of those who have served so well for so long, but also for you to become involved in the leadership of First Congregational Church. If you are completing your first 3-year term, you are eligible to serve another 3-year term if you feel so inclined. Please know that while all nominations will be considered, not all will be called to serve. Please contact one of the members of the Nominating Committee listed below if you are interested in serving or would like to nominate another church member to serve. We greatly appreciate your consideration during this important chapter in the life of our church.

With sincere thanks and warm regards,

Audra Bailey, Cliff Carlson, Carol Freeman, Wesley Llewellyn, Steve Schippers

We had a truly wonderful turnout during last Sunday’s worship, and so many were gracious enough to complete pledge cards. But for those who couldn’t join in person or tune in to our live stream, there’s still time to make your pledge. Here’s how:

  1. Complete your pledge card in-person during this Sunday’s worship. You may also do so on Monday, Nov. 29 during our regular office hours.
  2. Pledge online! It’s simple, fast, and just as effective as doing so in person.

Again, we are so grateful for all who pledged to give in 2022. With your support, our church can continue to grow and prosper.

Join us this year for Christmas Eve in person worship at 5 pm or 10 pm.

5 pm Living Nativity Family Service

10 pm Music & Lights Traditional Candlelight Service

Come and experience the wonder and joy of a Christmas Eve service by candlelight.

Our 10:00pm service of Music and Lights features scriptures heralding the Christmas story, with music responses featuring the chamber orchestra, Campanella Ringers, Chancel Choir, and congregational carols. In sacred beauty, we sing Silent Night by candlelight, and conclude with voices raised together, singing Joy to the World!

Christmas Eve Bulletins

5 pm Living Nativity
10 pm Music & Lights

Christmas Eve on FCCLive

Christmas Eve 5 pm service will be livestreamed. 
Christmas Eve 10 pm service will be a rebroadcast of 2020 Christmas Eve Service. 

FCCLive 5 pm Christmas Eve on YouTube
FCCLive 5 pm Christmas Eve on Facebook
FCCLive Rebroadcast 10 pm 2020 Christmas  Eve YouTube

Advent Festival | Sunday, December 5th | Following Worship

Advent Festival is back! Join us December 5th directly after service for a delicious holiday meal of ham and sides, followed by different crafts for all to enjoy!

Interested in volunteering? Or want more information? Contact Amanda Beck

Sundays in Advent

Season of Advent 2021

We choose to love what we have.
We look in the mirror and speak kindly to our body.
We buy flowers at the market and arrange them in jelly jars.
There are a million ways to choose a home.
So like Jesus in the temple
who chose to stay,
who chose to speak,
who took up space because he knew he was home,
I invite you to do the same.
Put your body
where your soul feels alive.
Give yourself permission
to take up space there.
Stay, as long as it takes.
Return, as often as you need.
There are a million ways to choose a home.
Choose wisely. We need you here.

— From “Chosen Home” by Rev. Sarah Speed
From the Close to Home poetry collection by @sanctifiedart

Season of Advent 2021

“Is there anything more healing
than an open door?
If you’re seeking sanctuary,
if the waters are rising—
It may be hard to hear,
but God is always saying,
‘Come on home.’”

— Excerpt from “Come on Home” by Rev. Sarah Speed
From the Close to Home poetry collection by @sanctifiedart

Season of Advent 2021

“My hands cannot build you safety.
My words cannot give you time.
My heart cannot be home enough.
So until the day when you are truly at home,
I will keep marching for you.
I will keep advocating for the home you deserve—
the home in your own skin.
I will keep praying.
I will give you my second coat,
and the shirt off my back, and the food from my table.
I won’t give up on preparing the way.”

— Excerpt from “Advocating for Home” by Rev. Sarah Speed
From the Close to Home poetry collection by @sanctifiedart

Season of Advent 2021

…Advent invites us to slow down a bit – to take time to make room in the inn of our hearts for the incarnate God who wants so deeply to dwell in us…

“And you are enough, already enough.
You haven’t done anything yet.
You’ve just been here,
and already, you are enough.”

— Excerpt from “Words for the Beginning” by Rev. Sarah Speed
From the Close to Home poetry collection by @sanctifiedart

Advent begins this Sunday, November 28

Updated Monday November 22nd 2021

Dear Friends,

The season of Advent has always brought with it a few challenges.  It is the season of the now-and-not-yet, poised before Christmas liturgically but right in the middle of a larger culture already playing carols about the Christ Child, surrounded by lit Christmas trees, and incessant invitations to buy more. Yet in the middle of all the hustle of early December, Advent invites us to slow down a bit – to take time to make room in the inn of our hearts for the incarnate God who wants so deeply to dwell in us.

I am both pleased and excited to provide you with a tool for such slowing down.  Coming this week in the mail, is an Advent Devotional that is designed to help you and your family prayerfully connect more closely your everyday life with Sunday worship.  It is my hope that by using the devotional for just a few minutes every day, you will feel the presence of God with you and in you – a little more each day.  (If you have not received your booklet by December 1st, please contact the church office).

May your Advent devotion prepare your heart to welcome the incarnate God into your heart and into your life.  

Blessings to you in this season of waiting.

Pastor Becky

Check out last year’s Christmas Eve Service!

Roth & Traditional IRA Distributions to Charities

By Bill Henning

If you have an IRA and have reached 72 years of age, congratulations!   Now, the government requires you to start taking money out of these tax deferred accounts. This is a Required Minimum Distribution (RMD).  You will be taxed on these mandatory withdrawals every year thereafter.  However, each year you have the option to transfer some or all of that year’s RMD to a charitable organization, such as your church, FCC.  The amount of the RMD that you give directly to charity is not taxable for the IRS income tax filing.  Talk to your tax profession about how this works and consider magnifying your charitable gift while reducing your taxes.