Press play to hear Pastor Craig’s message about Let Light Shine Celebration!
Join us this Sunday for the Let Light Shine Celebration! Pr. Craig will kick the morning off with a tour of the window restoration, inside and outside, weather permitting. The celebration continues throughout worship with jazz music by the Mossman Quartet and celebrating the generosity of our Let Light Shine contributors. After worship make your way downstairs for a Mardi Gras jazz brunch with Jambalaya, red beans & rice, mac & cheese, corn bread, fruit, and Pineapple Upside Down Cake celebrating the last Sunday before Ash Wednesday and Lent. Thank you for your faithful generosity!
The beauty of our stained glass windows, though dimmed, adds to the richness of our worship life together. We have grown accustomed to the dimming of the light, but we are now ready to Let Light Shine, unobstructed and brilliant.
“Squeezy” Wes Miller accordion music, magicians, FREE BOUNCE HOUSE.
Help share the fun-loving joy of our congregation with our neighbors by helping to host the party (32 volunteers needed to fill 2 hour shifts) or contribute to support this important outreach to our community. Click the button below!
As some you may have heard, Red Wagon lost a very special person that touched so many children’s lives.
Wendy Larson Simmon passed away on August 21, 2020. From January 26, 1981 until her retirement in 2017 Wendy was Director of Red Wagon Preschool, a ministry of First Congregational Church in Moline, IL. She welcomed everyone to Red Wagon by saying “We just want to be part of Your family!” She touched the lives of countless children and their families. Wendy had an infectious personality and a selfless work ethic. She created an environment that encouraged children’s learning, but also took time to make her staff feel like family. She had an amazing impact on everyone she met and will remain in the hearts of all fortunate enough to call her “teacher” or “friend.
The safety of the children at Red Wagon was always the top-most concern for Wendy. With the family’s blessing, a memorial has been established for Wendy here at Red Wagon. Memorials may be made to Red Wagon, 2201 7th Avenue Moline, IL 61265. Any memorials received will fund the Playground Resurfacing Project. This project will replace the currently used wood mulch with rubberized mats to keep the children safe while being active during outside playtime.
Thank you in advance for considering making a memorial in remembrance of Wendy.
On Sunday, October 4, First Congregational United Church of Christ will offer a drive through blessing of the animals in the spirit of Francis of Assisi as part of the Sunday morning worship experience.
The service of worship will be livestreamed beginning at 10 am so our congregants can join in the experience from their homes, as usual. Those who wish may also drive to the north church parking lot and listen to the service on their FM radio. (And watch on their cell phones if they wish.) This will be a communion service and the elements of communion will be served to those in the parking lot.
At the conclusion of the service Pastor Michael and some of the worship team will come to the north parking lot for a blessing of the animals. The pets can stay in the car with their owners.
Pastor Michael will remain at the North door portico until 11:30 or so for those who have been watching from their homes and want to drive through with their pet for a blessing.
We did a service of blessing animals on the lawn in front of the church a few years back on a Saturday evening and it was a joy. This is a variation on that theme.
On Saturday September 19th, First Congregational United Church of Christ volunteers assisted with the RiverBend Mobile Food Pantry. Thank you to the amazing team of volunteers that made this possible!
Cliff Carlson, Heather Carlson, Mary Curry, Mike DeToye, Maggie Driscol, Michael Dyer, Ann Marie Figura, Wes Llewellyn, Lucy Manis, Jeff Newcomb, Mary Newcomb, Bruce Noring, Dustin Peterson, Abe Peterson, John Riley, Steve Schippers, Linda Shearer, Toni Stotts, Jim Summers, Rev. Michael Swartz, Pam Wendt, Careyna Wennekamp, Sara Wynn, Zach Wynn, Brendan Young
The Sunday morning Adult Forum will resume on Sunday, September 20th at 9:00 am in a Zoom format. Our speaker will be Laura Fontaine of World Relief, and she will be bringing us up to date on what is happening with this refugee resettlement and support organization.
The link will go live about 8:45 am and those who log on early can drink coffee and chat. Promptly at 9 am the speaker will begin to make a presentation, which will be followed by question and answer. We will log off at 9:45 am so we have enough bandwidth for livestreaming worship. And time.
On September 27th the speaker will be Sara Wynn, who will talk about the Outreach and Missions efforts of our church this fall.
On October 4th the speaker will be Kim Fuller who will tell us about growing dalias.
There will be a learning curve as we try to get more sophisticated over time in how we manage this presentation.
For many years, our church members have been supporting NAMI (the National Alliance on Mental Illness). an organization that provides mental health education, support, and advocacy in our community.
Although we can’t physically walk this year, NAMI still needs our financial support. Please consider supporting NAMI by clicking on the link below and making a tax deductible donation on line and joining the team . If you prefer, you can send a donation to the church office. Please designate in the memo line “Nami walk.”
First Congregational United Church of Christ 2201 7th Avenue Moline, IL 61265
NAMI will hold a virtual walk on the 10th of October via facebook that will highlight their work in the community. Please consider joining them on that day on their facebook page.
Technicians arrived from Bovard Stained Glass Studios on a rainy Tuesday after Labor Day to begin completion of the last phase of the “Let Light Shine” windows project here at First Church. Fortunately, most of the work was inside. They are removing the narrow stained glass windows from either side of the chancel to take them to their studio to be rebuilt.
Fortunately, the new glass coverings are already in place, so no rain came in. In the empty space they will install insulation and Masonite, so that there is not a flood of light in the chancel.
“It is wonderful to see this final phase of work begin,” says Wes Llewellyn, past Moderator. “We certainly did not want to put this off any longer; we are doing the job right and we should be good for 50 years!”
It will take some time to get the work completed on these medallion patterns in the windows. We will receive word soon about a completion date.
“There is still time to make a donation for the project,” says Wes. “We have made good progress and I am grateful for the loyal efforts of our congregation.”
Fall is upon us and in a typical year we would all be very much looking forward to all church activities and fellowship. As you know, this is not a “typical” year. The exciting news is that the church leadership has been working to still provide many of our fall activities and events in new, creative ways! Here are just a few events coming up in the near future:
Confirmation – Started September 10th….in person!
Sunday School – Started September 13th…virtually!
Bible Study – Resumes September 16th…as a conference call!
Mobile Food Pantry – September 19th…in person!
Adult Forum – Starts September 20th…virtually!
Blessing of the Animals – October 4th…in our church parking lot!
Prayer Group & Warm Fuzzies will also be starting again!
You can keep up-to-date on all of these activities on our church website, The Tower e-newsletter & e-bridge, or simply call the church office. Additionally, Council has approved small groups (10 people maximum) to begin meeting in the church again. If your small group would like to meet at the church, please let the church office know so that appropriate scheduling and social distancing can be considered. As always, masks are required while in the church building. ☺
I wanted to also give you an update on the interim pastor search. Associate Conference Minister, Kathy Lawes has been working to place an interim pastor in our church. Originally, the timeline was to have everything in place by the beginning of fall. However, due to the ongoing pandemic and small pool of applicants at this time, we are now looking at maybe the end of November.
I had a lovely, socially-distanced meeting with a church member this past weekend. I forgot how much I needed to see them! Please reach out to each other during this strange time. Send a card, make a phone call, leave some cookies on a doorstep, send a goofy text message….these are just a few ways we can remain connected. We will be opening up to a larger capacity at some point, and that will be even better!
Sunday School will Zoom into action on Sunday September 13th! Plan to enjoy online Sunday School with your children on Sunday September 13th, attend online Worship at 10am with contemporary music by the Mossman Trio, then say “Hello” to FCC families on a Zoom call after worship!
Much like the rest of the online learning world, our virtual Sunday School will “live” on the FCC website, with access starting Friday prior. All ages will watch my video lesson, then select an activity from three age levels: PreK, Lower Elementary, Upper Elementary. All materials used for activity will be items you should have around the home.
I know this is not how we would prefer to have Sunday School, but I’m grateful for the resources to be able to bring the lessons of our faith to your children and homes each week! I keep telling my own kiddos, this is for now but not forever. Let’s embrace the now!
Riverbend Mobile Food Pantry Saturday September 19th, 2020 10 am
Riverbend Food Bank reports the demand for food is even greater during the pandemic than before, as much as 30% higher. We have reserved Saturday September 19th at 10 am for food distribution sponsored by the Riverbend Mobile Food Pantry.
Because of COVID it will be different and we will not be using red wagons or shopping carts. The food for distribution will be prepackaged and we will distribute food from the Mobile Food Pantry truck directly into vehicles.
We need about 5 people to direct traffic, and 10-15 to place boxes into cars. All volunteers will need to wear a mask and be able to lift 20 pounds. We expect between 120-150 cars. There is going to be a lot of car traffic so we suggest this is not a good activity for preteens. Volunteers sign up by clicking the button below.
You can support this ongoing mission by volunteering and/or by donating to Riverbend Mobile Food Pantry through the church.
Mail checks with Mobile Food Pantry in the memo line to: First Congregational United Church of Christ 2201 7th Avenue Moline, IL 61265
Outreach and Mission is asking for new or gently worn warm coats, boots, gloves, hats, and scarves to benefit World Relief. Size guidelines are Extra Small, Small, and Medium, Large, and Extra Large for women. Small, Medium, and Large for men. Any size for children. Collection begins Tuesday, September 1st and goes through Wednesday, September 30th.
Please drop off your donations during office hours Monday – Thursday from 9AM – 2PM. A bin will be located just inside the NORTH DOOR entrance and the door can be opened by office staff when you ring.
The Outreach and Mission Board thanks you for supporting God’s work with this vulnerable population.