Once again we are setting the stage for the annual Valentine’s Dinner Theater! Plan to attend as the Youth serve you a delicious dinner, and then enjoy all the talent FCC has to offer. New this year: Silent Auction themed baskets….a Wellness basket, a Fun for the Family basket, a Bling basket…and that’s just to name a few!  As usual, we will also have 50/50 and door prize raffles. Silent Auction theme baskets will go on display during fellowship the morning of February 11th and will be open for bidding through the evening.

All proceeds from this event will go towards Youth Activities….if you would like to donate to FCC Youth but are unable to attend this event, please click the button below.

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craig-for-webOur Church Council called a special meeting on June 25th. On the agenda was a motion to withdraw $95,000 from our Endowment Fund to address three urgently needed building repairs. The motion passed unanimously.   

First, our roof shingles had exceeded their lifespan.  If you looked at our roof from a distance, you could see that the shingles had worn so thin that the roof joists shown through. Worse, we were beginning to suffer interior water damage.  

Second, our atrium windows—the windows that surround the stairway connecting the first floor to the fellowship hall—were single-pain glass framed in steel. Consequently, the condensation from the windows caused the steel to rust, and this problem had been left uncured for so long that knife-like shards of decayed steel curled out into the stairwell.  The rust deteriorated steel frames were not only an eye-sore, but a danger to our children.  

Third, over the past several years, we have had trouble with our boiler losing water, so we have been spending funds to solve a problem without fixing the underlying cause. There was even a Sunday in 2017 when there was no heat on during worship because the water level had so decreased the the boiler automatically turned off as a safety precaution.  The problem, we discovered, was a “condensate return pipe,”  a pipe that returns condensed steam (water) to the boiler, thus maintaining the water level.  Because of the many ways our building has been remodeled and added onto over the years, fixing the underlying cause was no small matter and thus came at no small cost.  

I am glad to report the the work is completed.  We owe a debt of gratitude to Jeff Newcomb for his help guiding mechanical repairs to our boiler system. Also, as we all well-know, Jim and Dan Moorhusen donate their time and expertise to our building, the devotion and commitment is gift and blessing to us. Jim not only found a roofing contractor and helped to select shingles that look like our original tile roof, but he and Dan took out the steel frames in our old atrium windows, which turned out to be a formidable task. Thank you also for the Council for developing a plan to address these urgently needed repairs, and to the congregation for its unanimous support.

May God bless us as we work together to maintain and improve our lovely and historic building.  

 

Estimate Actual
Roofing $56,000 $56,365
Windows $15,000 $14,337
Boiler $12,000 $14,608

Bal. to Building Fund


 $9,690


Total  $95,000

Door Issues

DoorPicSmallerWe found that our Tower Door was remaining open all hours because, after 100 years of use, the latch no longer works.  Until the parts come in and the door is repaired, we are forced to lock the door physically. Members who need to access the building on Friday or after hours on the weekend, are asked to enter through our North Door. We apologize for the inconvenience.  

By Steve Schippers

What’s better than a Turkey at Thanksgiving?  For Quad Cities families in need the answer is Thanksgiving Essentials Baskets filled with non-food items such as soft, fluffy bath towels, laundry detergent, personal hygiene products.  Thanks to the generosity of our congregation, we gave over 100 Thanksgiving Essentials Baskets to five local agency partners to distribute to the populations they serve.  Each of these five agency partners sent grateful thank-you cards to our congregation.  

From Churches United: “Your baskets were beautiful and all the great things inside were just what we needed.”   

From Healthy Families: “The laundry soap, hygiene products and washcloths are all things that our families go without when finances get tight.  This is such a huge blessing!”

Additionally, new this year, our families delivered Thanksgiving Baskets to local agency partners.  Becca Peterson, our Family Ministries Director, says that these deliveries were “awesome.”  Our young people and their families were warmly welcomed and thanked for their generosity and received an education about each agency partner and the population they serve in the process.

Thank you for your support of this new twist on Thanksgiving Baskets.  Thanks to our youth of all ages for their diligent work to uniquely package over 30 different items in each basket.

 

Click on the images for a bigger version. Thank you to all of the families and young people who helped deliver baskets!

This year there will be three Christmas Eve services at First Congregational UCC!

10:00 AM: Christmas Eve Morning Service

This morning service will celebrate the lighting of the “Joy” candle and complete the celebration of the season of Advent. The worship will conclude with the congregation singing the “Hallelujah” chorus from Handel’s Messiah.

5:00 PM: Living Nativity Family Service

A Christmas Eve tradition continues with the “Living Nativity” Family Service! Children of all ages are invited to participate in this special service, no practice required. Children are invited to choose a costume in Son Café at 4:30pm. All are welcome, bring your children and grandchildren!

10:00 PM: Music and Light Service

Come and experience the wonder and joy of a Christmas Eve service by candlelight! Sing your favorite carols, enjoy music by the adult choir and hand bell choir (accompanied by a chamber instrumental ensemble) and be comforted with the reading of the Christmas story.

Wes
Wes Llewellyn
Director of Fellowship

I thought I would provide you with an update on our position with the church’s First Friday initiative.  As we enter into the last quarter of the year, it seems now might be the best time to enlighten you on future thoughts regarding our monthly program.

Unfortunately, our October event was rained out on the 6th.  (Mercado)   We have decided to not provide a November/December or January program because of the season, weather and busy schedules.  We do plan on starting back up again in February with our popular gathering on the 2nd at Quad City Family Entertainment Center.  We also plan on having events every month for the remainder of most of the year including our ballpark gathering at Modern Woodmen on the third of August, 2018.

As we approach the new year, I have considered changing the name of our event from First Fridays to The Gathering….reason being that in order to respond in kind to EVERY FIRST FRIDAY of the MONTH many scheduling challenges take place.  Whether it be a conflict with the church or holiday calendars, I have found myself often-times dealing with a date that is not compatible with other events taking place near or about the same time-frame.  Rather than to cancel the event, it seems to make more sense to schedule it on a day that works better for our congregation and purpose.

Additionally, over the last couple of years we have been holding this event, many of the places we chose to hold our party have closed.  Joe’s Grille, Venue, Van’s, Five and Jako’s (Omelia’s) are no longer in business.  This creates an additional challenge in trying to find a venue that can accommodate our needs from a pricing and proximity perspective as we endeavor to plan on our 2018 schedule.  So, if you have any ideas for a location for our monthly event, I am all ears.

As we approach the new year and given the obstacles I have outlined for you, I feel good about changing the name to The Gathering.  That way we can still provide an occasion where we can meet on a regular basis but not be restricted by having the date land solely on the first Friday of every month and we will need to be mindful of the change when making our plans.

I would love to hear from you with your ideas and perspective. As a church, we have every intention of keeping this event ongoing and vibrant.  I hope this message serves to update and enlighten our stance in this regard.

Stay tuned for the Tower news blog coming this month!

On Saturday, October 14th from 11:00 to 12:00 we will host a “mobile food pantry” in our north parking lot. Shoppers will be families in our neighborhood, and families who use food pantries. The food will come from River Bend Food Bank. (We may have donated some of it.) The workers will come from our congregation. Forty people are needed to unload the truck, assist shoppers and load food into cars. Please join us! This is a chance to reach out (connect with shoppers), to work out (lifting, walking, pulling wagons) and to live out our faith. Children are welcome to participate!

You and your family may participate by helping with set-up, distribution, or clean-up, or help with all three tasks:

10:00-11:00:  Set-up
11:00-12:00 Distribution
12:00-1:00 Clean-up

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September 23rd | Modern Woodmen Park

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is having their annual 5K Walk to raise awareness about mental illness in the community and funds for ongoing programs in support of those with mental challenges and their families.  We will all be wearing our First Congregational UCC logo t-shirts. If you don’t have a shirt from last year, please indicate that on the form and we will provide you with one. Those who wish to walk should be at Modern Woodman at 9 am. Step off is at 9:30.  If you are unable to participate in the walk but would like to donate, you may do so by making a check to First Congregational Church and add in the memo “NAMI” or you can donate online.

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This year the Kids Against Hunger event is on September 24th at 4pm!

Our Kids Against Hunger packing event is not just for Kids, its for everyone! Help package highly nutritious, life-saving meals for starving and malnourished children and their families in developing countries and the United States. In one hour, 50+ volunteers are scheduled to package 5000 meals…what an impact!
Kids and Adult ages 5 years and up are encouraged to help pack meals, those younger than five years are welcome in our staffed nursery.

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