Welcome Debbie Kunakey!

Hello I’m excited to join the First Congregational Church of Christ as the Director of Children, Youth, and Family Ministry. Previously, I worked as a full-time youth and family minister at Trinity Lutheran Church in Moline for a year and a half. I left my position in mid-February of 2023 and have been actively volunteering at Willard Elementary School and Bethel Wesley UMC. I enjoy working with children of all ages, from toddlers to young adults but have a heart for kids with special needs and English as second language learners.

I live with my husband and daughter in Moline, Illinois. I grew up in Silvis, and returned to the Quad Cities area six years ago to be closer to my parents, siblings, and their families. I spent twenty years teaching elementary special education in public schools in Illinois and Iowa but felt God calling me into ministry a few years ago. While working at TLC, I completed four online ELCA synod-authorized seminary courses through Select Learning and desire to complete my Master’s in Ministry and Social Work.

I graduated from Illinois State University in 1996 with a Bachelor of Science in Special Education and completed twelve semester hours of graduate-level coursework. In addition to teaching, I’ve served as a library outreach worker for Davenport Libraries and a youth transition specialist and advocate for the IL/IA Center for Independent Living. I enjoy working with others and have built relationships with several schools and churches in the area. I love planning and hosting multi-generational events and taking youth into the community for social activities, retreats, and service projects. I desire to help children and youth connect to our living God and each other through community, home, and church wide activities.

My passion has always been to help people of all ages understand how much they are loved and valued by God and encourage them to develop their God-given talents and spiritual gifts. I strive to love others like Christ and hope to inspire people to extend that grace and compassion to others. I am thrilled to begin this journey at FCC.

Debbie Kunakey

LENT Service & Soup Wednesdays

Join your friends in the large dining room at 6:00 p.m. this Wednesday to nourish the body and soul. Enjoy soup, bread and desserts provided by members, then stay for the series, “Life on the Edge of Faith.” Each week a different character will provide their perspective on Jesus’ Passion. (All ages)

  • March 1, 6pm Wednesday Soup and Lenten Worship: A Sleeping Disciple
  • March 8, 6pm Wednesday Soup and Lenten Worship: The High Priest
  • March 15, 6pm Wednesday Soup and Lenten Worship: A Maid
  • March 22, 6pm Wednesday Soup and Lenten Worship: A Soldier
  • March 29, 6pm Wednesday Soup and Lenten Worship: A City Dweller


Easter Lilies 2023

Easter Lilies will again adorn the sanctuary on Easter Sunday (April 9th). The church will order the Easter Lilies. A $15.00 donation is requested per Easter Lily. Deadline to give a flower in memory of a loved one is March 26th.

If you would like to give a flower in memory of a loved one: 

Request from World Relief

Update from Outreach and Mission –  Emergency Request from World Relief!!

Due to a recent influx of refugee families arriving in the Quad Cities, World Relief as asked us to forego our annual winter coat drive in order to help them meet their current needs. 

They URGENTLY need help filling their residences with the items below (new or gently used). If you would like to donate to the families, bring items to the coat rack area in the basement and place them in marked bins. Or if you would prefer to take items directly to World Relief, contact them at 309-764-2279. 

O&M will collect items until Sunday, October 2nd.

Items needed: 

  • shower curtains
  • shampoo and conditioner
  • deodorant
  • bathroom rugs
  • lotion
  • nail clippers
  • bathroom cleaner
  • toilet cleaner
  • toilet bowl brush/holder
  • small trash can
  • plunger
  • tub brush
  • pillow (new)
  • zippered fully enclosed mattress protector
  • laundry basket
  • clothing storage
  • bedspread/quilt
  • nightstand
  • can opener
  • utensils
  • oven mitts
  • paper towels
  • cutting board
  • teakettle
  • kitchen cleaner
  • large trash can
  • large trash bags
  • bucket
  • mop
  • broom with dust pan
  • end table
  • scissors
  • pie tins
  • light bulbs
  • magnets
  • air fresheners

Summer Worship Reflections

Summer Worship Reflections – Part 9

Here’s What Folks Are Saying!

Summer worship has been a great source of fun and fellowship.  The feedback from those attending has been overwhelmingly positive.  I think part of what folks have enjoyed is the opportunity to talk together about the scripture and how it is speaking to FCC in this moment.
On Aug 28th  the scripture was Deuteronomy 34:1-5.   Here’s what folks noted about their conversation.

What does this passage suggest about transitions in ministry?

  • We do this for others and future generations. Time to pass the torch. Drawing boundaries. Don’t always get what you see. The promise is still valid.
  • It’s the responsibility of the leader to pass pm tp descendants the current ministry.
  • TRANSITION will continue beyond our lifetime
  • God has a role in establishing leadership.
  • Moses suffered and didn’t experience final outcome – possibly unfair.
  • Transition far beyond our vision and there is more to come.
  • God knows outcome before we do.
  • The outcome may not be what everyone wants.
  • Religion and spirituality vs a mystery
  • God’s plan includes transitions
  • Moses may have been exhausted and relived to relinquish leadership.
  • Leadership is tough – lots of waiting a thankless job but necessary. 
  • Boundaries
  • We need ro leave it in the past.
  • Will leave the results to the descendants
  • We’re not always here to see the results of our work.
  • Our work is not completed by one generation but continues from generation.
  • Always moving – one location to another and is spreading, going from leader to leader.
  • When there is a transition – you (the leader) don’t get to keep going.
  • They Had a job to do, did it – Wasn’t there to celebrate But went to heaven.
  • See the whole land and path.

What wisdom does this story offer about beginnings and endings in ministry?

  • Continued Journey
  • Way to Heaven? Gives guidance for next steps.
  • Natural, indefinite, keep going, pass on to the next generation.
  • Faith that it will keep going.
  • “A new broom sweeps better” (new)
  • One ending is not necessarily the end of everything.
  • We have a chance to see our future, but it isn’t only in one person’s hands.
  • My plan may not be God’s plans.
  • Can’t always get what we want But, you do get what you need
  • Disappointment may happen if you don’t get the result you wished/prayed for.
  • Have to have faith if you aren’t there to see the end result, it will work out and be okay.
  • Ministries don’t end. They are passed on.
  • There is never an end the story continues. Look to god for guidance for when it’s time to begin or end.

What do you imagine it was like for Moses to lead for so long only to hand off his ministry before it was “completed”?  Why might God ask this of him?

  • Moses may be happy that he did his job, but upset that he doesn’t get to finish perhaps – hopeful that his work will continue beyond him. The work doesn’t belong to Moses, but to God. So it’s time for someone else.
  • Maybe others need a turn to engage or maybe another’s special talents were needed for the completion of the work. 
  • The work of Moses was done. Others will need to carry on. They might need some evangelism to bring in the non-believers.
  • God made Moses realize his humanity.
  • Moses was telling his people what to do and they may have seemed to worship Moses as a God.
  • Heroes of the Bible are all humans and make mistakes, but God still uses them – so he can use us, too!
  • He saw the future – we must have faith in ours. Don’t get too attached to one person; we all have a stake in this.
  • His ministry is not completed – time for new leadership.
  • Leader knows his role is done – Joshua there to continue ministry
  • His minority will continue through others.
  • God hoped he could do it.
  • Reward was going to Heaven. 
  • Plant the seed.

Summer Worship Reflections

Summer Worship Reflections – Part 8

Here’s What Folks Are Saying!

Summer worship has been a great source of fun and fellowship.  The feedback from those attending has been overwhelmingly positive.  I think part of what folks have enjoyed is the opportunity to talk together about the scripture and how it is speaking to FCC in this moment.
On Aug 21st  the scripture was Luke 19:11-27.   Here’s what folks noted about their conversation.

What talents (pounds) do you feel God has given you to share with FCC?

  • Make people feel cared about, singing, organization and insite, Leadership
  • Music, Engineering, open hearts, and transparency, knowledge to use what you have.
  • Invite more music groups to use our sanctuary – Saturday- Sunday afternoons
  • Financial resources
  • Presence at worship
  • beautiful voice

What talents do you feel God has given FCC to share with the community?

  • Beautiful building, people have always been supporters and believers over the course of history.
  • Change isn’t when people GO to church – change happens when you become the church.
  • Mission projects and generous outreach to the community
  • Red wagon, gardening produce, music programs, Sunday school.
  • Craft a survey to members:
  • Could do more with our building especially the kitchen
  • Members talented in business, buildings, teaching, etc.
  • Compassionate and generous people – help make the ministries of the church happen
  • Music ministry Outreach (former choir members remember)
  • Share organ duties w/ student interns (4 of IA)
  • Essential baskets/ Christmas giving tree
  • Funeral luncheons for families

How well do you feel FCC has shared those gifts? 

  • Not as much as we could- Think we could do better
  • Our intern groups (women’s connection, senior health, and wellness
  • Do well at things we do do, but need to find other ways to share.
  • It’s not “news” that we’ve been in a financial ‘pickle’ for a long time, but ignoring it has just made it more critical.
  • Big money projects (boiler) aren’t attractive as feel good projects, so people are less willing to give support, or spend the necessary funds.
  •  Could use building better
  • Mission and outreach does more mission then outreach
  • FCC is friendlier now then when I joined 15 years ago
  • Times have changed – family commitments are different today
  • Time and energy are limited and schedules are so full for young families
  • In the opinion of older members, we remember a different time but are open to bigger ideas
  • New leadership. Willing to work to make FCC thrive in our community once again
  • Renew and refresh us, O God!

If FCC was one of the slaves in the story would it be the first, second, or third?

  • Overall, we are probably a #2. But we definitely have the full range of those who want to “hold on” to the money no matter what! And, others who want to give to others and the church, to receive God’s Blessings.
  • Overall, we are probably a #2. But we definitely have the full range of those who want to “hold on” to the money no matter what! And, others who want to give to others and the church, to receive God’s Blessings.

Summer Worship Reflections

Summer Worship Reflections – Part 7

Here’s What Folks Are Saying!

Summer worship has been a great source of fun and fellowship.  The feedback from those attending has been overwhelmingly positive.  I think part of what folks have enjoyed is the opportunity to talk together about the scripture and how it is speaking to FCC in this moment.

On Aug 14th  the scripture was Matthew 9:14-17.   Here’s what folks noted about their conversation. 

What within FCC constitutes “old wineskins” that may need to be let go in order to make room for something new?

  • What we did 30 years ago
  • In holding on to the way things were. Old habits
  • Let go of old attitudes and some objectives that are no longer relevant. We are not John Deere’s church anymore
  • “Unusual way” of worship.
  • Process/Construction
  • Is tradition serving a purpose. Who is it serving? Need balance between tradition and evolving
  • Old wiresking (traditions) may need to be put aside 
  • Not meeting needs of people
  • old form of worship, old hymns
  • Staffing and governance models
  • Building – its use, its needs
  • Structure of pastors, no moderator, running of council
  • Location of building
  • Tendency to stay within these walls rather then reach outside of them
  • Some of what we love most cliques, comfort with friend circles
  • Structure of staff
  • Large to small congregation – thinking big when feeling small
  • Be willing to change
  • Staff
  • Membership
  • Worship
  • People came to us – we are not use to going out and looking for people

What comes to mind when you think of “new wine” being poured into FCC? 

  • New missions
  • New ways of doing things
  • New events to say to community join us
  • Do baskets more than once a year
  • Someone to lead their ideas.
  • Host big events
  • Thoughtful discernment around new staffing
  • New enthusiasm and willingness to work
  • Agreeing on what the new wine is
  • Welcome and include the new members we accept a common guest seeking God’s will
  • New music
  • Everything old is new again
  • Younger generation. Give them the tools they need
  • New ideas. New structures of worship. Need to “open up” to see what new ideas and processes can be put in places
  • New wine/ideas can compliment what we already have in place
  • Ministry is changing. Possibly share the building with other congregations
  • Paid vocalist in choir
  • New wine will be here when..Deal with our struggle To pigeon-hole people, Continue to share on small groups, openness – literally open to community more often, leadership – fresh energy needed, step up- change up the ranks
  • Let go of “thats the way we’ve always done”
  • ONA
  • New pastors
  • Youth – Families “freshness” leadership change, hope, febreeze, looking outside the congregation

What container or wineskin needs to be created to hold this new wine?

  • Get bigger congregation
  • Thick skinned, strong, stable, understanding a transition, honest, open, exposed
  • A new building? Using this one differently
  • Let people know about us
  • Small group
  • Stay open to outside groups
  • Concerts, organizations, clubs
  • Make ourselves more information to service groups.
  • Communication amongst the congregation so all can understand the direction we are going together.
  • What is our goal? Try to make sure that everyone knows the goals
  • Written processes need to be created – ie, new constitution.
  • Don’t need to be a huge church to do great things
  • Talk to other churches that have been through splits or mergers
  • New settled pastor
  • Congregation agrees on job description for new pastor and new staffing structure
  • Focus on Christ 
  • Pastor = wineskin. When pastor leaves, we need to keep going
  • Online presence needs to be strong tended
  • Flexible worship

Welcome Marcia!

Marcia Renaud, Organist/Accompanist

Welcome Marcia Renaud as our new Organist/Accompanist

Marcia Renaud has worn numerous musical hats since joining FCC over 30 years ago. She has been a Chancel choir member, youth choir director, substitute organist, substitute choir director, and now will step into the organist/accompanist position.
Marcia taught general and vocal music in Catholic and public schools for 31 years. While teaching in Dubuque, she collaborated on an original musical which was produced at Five Flags Theatre. She was musical director/accompanist for numerous shows in Dubuque, and has been active in productions at QC Music Guild, Countryside Community Theater, and Playcrafters. As an active substitute organist in the QC area she will miss the friends she has made in other congregations, but looks forward to being back at the console here, and seeing the pews filled with worshippers on Sunday mornings.
Marcia continues to accompany and will be busy in the coming months in the Pleasant Valley District, as well as being Assistant Musical Director for “Elf” at QC Music Guild in December.

Welcome Trent!

Trent Teske, Music Director

Welcome Trent Teske as our new Music Director!

Trent Teske is in his 7th year of teaching, 1st year working at Northside Elementary in Geneseo, IL as a General Music Teacher. He is also in his first year as Music Director at First Congregational Church in Moline, Illinois where he oversees music selection and performances as well as directs the congregation’s Church Choir.

Before coming to the Quad Cities, Mr. Teske attended Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa and graduated in 2016 with a Bachelor’s of Music Education degree. He then started teaching 6-12 Vocal Music at Forest City Community School District in Forest City, Iowa for 2 years, before taking over as Director of Choral Activities at Emmetsburg Community School District in Emmetsburg, Iowa.

He then attended The University of Iowa as a Graduate Teaching Assistant working towards a Master of Arts in Music Education, which he completed in 2022, while also working with the prep show choir “Showtime” and musical productions at Iowa City West High School.

Mr. Teske has directed many musical performances at the community and collegiate level as well as has directed and participated in numerous community and barbershop ensembles. He has also directed high school musicals, show choirs, jazz choirs and many other ensembles at the highest of qualities. In his free time, he loves attending Hawkeye football and basketball games, playing cards & board games, and spending time with family and friends.

Summer Worship Reflections

Summer Worship Reflections – Part 6

Here’s What Folks Are Saying!

Summer worship has been a great source of fun and fellowship.  The feedback from those attending has been overwhelmingly positive.  I think part of what folks have enjoyed is the opportunity to talk together about the scripture and how it is speaking to FCC in this moment.
On Aug 7th  the scripture was Luke 14:15-24.   Here’s what folks noted about their conversation. Children’s responses are in blue

  1. What might the banquet of God look like in our time and place?
  • A big fancy feast with a load of people 
  • Our sanctuary filled with people. Everyone is invited, the tabled is never ending
  • Coffee and Donuts
  • Communion
  • Funeral Banquet 
  • Who are the people of our individual lives with whom we want a relationship?
  • We want to stay in our safe place – tend to shut people out
  • The Banquet of God is inclusive, not decisive 
  • We are invited to worship every Sunday
  • A banquet is more than food
  • People will make excuses for not attending
  1. What “banquet” is FCC being invited to?
  • We’re all fully participating in the work of the church
  • We take in all people
  • Worship
  • Gatherings either small or large
  • Banquet or mission
  • Everyone is invited! Be welcoming of others
  • Are we neighbors to our neighbor?
  • We should be inviting of  other churches to join us.
  • We are invited to the banquet of our future but we don’t know what will be served 
  • The future direction of the Church
  1. What does it look like to say “yes” to this feast?  To say “no”? 
  • Yes”:  to serve the community, “No”: We remain isolated 
  • “Yes” – To be open minded – & participate 
  • To invite others to worship
  • Having Faith
  •  “No” Giving up – walking away from our faith
  • “Yes”:  to serve the community
    “No”: We remain isolated 
  • We would invite homeless, refugees. Friends and Family
  • See our space as God’s Table 
  • “Yes” is a lot of work. We would have; Garb, Chinese, Pizza, Tacos, and Chicken, Pot luck style.
    “No” is no work But comes with emotional distress that we are not listening to God.

Summer Worship Reflections

Summer Worship Reflections – Part 5

Here’s What Folks Are Saying!

Summer worship has been a great source of fun and fellowship.  The feedback from those attending has been overwhelmingly positive.  I think part of what folks have enjoyed is the opportunity to talk together about the scripture and how it is speaking to FCC in this moment.

On July 31st  the scripture was Deuteronomy 30:11-20.   Here’s what folks noted about their conversation. Children’s responses are in blue

1. How do you understand the covenantal agreement outlined between God and Israel in this passage? (if… then what?)

  • That we will live if we choose god. 
  • If we obey the commandments by loving God, we will live.
  • If we choose God above false Gods we will live.
  • Follow the
  • Do not follow = perish
  • Yes – Promise/plan/path/vow
  • Chores, cleanup room
  • Do something for brother
  • Better at behavior at school
  • It’s hard to keep it
  • Financial Condition or Church/ declining membership 
  • Change in what is/ Church will look different
  • Organization Structure as essence 
  • Way we’ve always done it
  • Other priorities/ Busy schedules 
  • Resentment
  • Covid Apathy moved on in life
  • Technology it separates us

2. What “other Gods” are operating at FCC that distract you from fully from upholding your end of this covenant?

  • Talking behind each others’ backs
  • Day to day business of the Church
  • Building maintenance
  • Personal “agendas”
  • Other things outside of Church that take your energy and financial resources
  • We need to do the work ourselves instead of expecting others to do it for us
  • Not being open minded
  • Being rigid, Stuck in the past
  • Our beautiful building
  • Family/parents, food, dog, water, o2, shelter, clothing, money, sleep
  • Willing to accept/ embrace change and where our deep joy meet wold needs
  • Walking in Gods ways
  • Speak Life
  • Show up! Be presently engaged
  • Be positive and up beat
  • Offer something 

3. As explained in this passage, what might “choosing life” look like for FCC?

  • Choosing to actively address the financial challenges and Building issues to live 
  • Accepting change
  • Choosing major changes that might be disruptive to what we are used to.
  • Recognizing that Money – It’s source and use is a source of conflict 
  • The building upkeep is draining our resources and “giving” income continues to decline
  • As people leave, we need other avenues of income – building rental, weddings, trivia event, classes, caterers, cooking classes, etc..  
  • Be more outspoken
  • Choosing to be an island
  • We need to connect to the community when asked
  • No- God is what they stand for
  • Yes – Sometimes different for everybody
  • Renewed passion for fellowship with God and that
  • Remaking relationship with God