News and Notes

We are very encouraged as we approach the very end this year's Stewardship campaign. Donations on average are up and we are pleased that we've added 18 new donors during our Journey to Generosity.

Because this is a transition year into the new Realm system, we want to be sure that these changes are not causing problems for any of our donors. If you're a former auto-giver or have had a problem establishing a Realm account at the church, making your donation could be challenging.That may well account for many of the over 70 former donors who've not pledged in our current campaign.

To help make things as easy as possible, we plan to reach out to many of you by phone staring Monday, January 15. This truly is not intended to "chase" any of you, but to provide whatever assistance you might need to complete your congregation member set-up in REALM, and hopefully finalize your support for First Congo during a year of significant change in how we manage our pledge process.

Many thanks to those who have already made your generous commitment.  And thanks also to those who are ready to step forward with their pledge at this time.  We look forward to talking with you soon.

Blessings to you all,

Bill, Rick & Janice
Your Joyful Stewardship Team

Come rehearse with our Sanctuary Choir women from 7:00-7:30 PM on Wednesday, January 17, to sing in a special women’s choir on Sunday, January 21 at both services. Please contact John Albrecht to register. 

Due to the lack of interest, Movie with the Mouse on January 20 from 3:00-6:00 PM has been cancelled! 

The Church’s technology needs your help! Recently the Church’s technology has grown, and we are looking for volunteers to assist our Technology Committee this program year. Additionally, our Audio/Video capabilities in the Sanctuary have grown and volunteers are welcome to this opportunity as well. If you are interested in helping with the Church’s technology or A/V, or both, please contact the church office at (920) 733-7393. Have questions? Contact Technology Coordinator Jonathan Steffen at ext. 226.

The holiday season reminds us how much we all have to be thankful for every day of the year. We will have another opportunity during the bitterly cold month of January to open our hearts and hands to those in need.

The Fox Valley Warming Shelter provides homeless adults a hot meal and a safe place to sleep. We can offer hope by providing and/or serving an evening meal and giving back to those who are disadvantaged. The Fox Valley Warming Shelter is counting on our support in January. Sign-up sheets are now in the Narthex for January 17, 27, 29, 30 and 31, 2018.

Feel free to call Amy Lewis, (920) 205-1091, or Leigh Grube, (920) 851-3531

Looking for a dedicated volunteer to join a team and be an advocate for our church for the FVWS (Fox Valley Warming Shelter)

It involves: 

1. Communication with FVWS Volunteer Coordinator for dates and events.

2. Organize days for the Congo members to volunteer meals and shifts.

3. Make announcements in church.

Please inquire: Leigh Grube 920-851-3531 or Amy Lewis 920-205-1091.

Our next membership class is February 10 from 9:00 AM-1:00 PM. If you are interested in attending, please contact the church office at (920) 733-7393. If you need child care, please inform the church office by noon, January 29. If advance requests are not made, child care will not be available on the day of the class.

The Membership Exploration Class is designed for people who are considering membership with First Congregational United Church of Christ. This class, led by our staff and accompanied by contributions from the lay leadership of the church, explores the history and polity of the United Church of Christ, the history and programs of First Congregational UCC, the faith and theology of the church, discernment of spiritual gifts for serving God, and the meaning of church membership and opportunities to serve the church.

Our community partner Project NOAHH is in desperate need of twin-size bedding for bunk beds. Please consider donating twin sheets, pillows, plastic mattress protectors and comforters — the sheets and pillows are the most needed.

You can drop off your donations at the Church Office.

Thank you for your help!

Learn more at our Project NOAHH page.

First Congregational takes the cultivation of a loving and safe environment for all of its members very seriously. Our SafeConduct™ Policy protects the safety of everyone who participates in ministries for children, youth and vulnerable adults. The Code of Conduct section within this policy is required reading for anyone applying to volunteer in these ministries. You may view the policy at www.firstcongoappleton.org/read-it-here.

If you are interested in volunteering with children, youth or vulnerable adults, we invite you to apply in advance so that you have the flexibility to jump in whenever an opportunity comes your way. Please contact the church office to get the application process started.

We’re happy to announce that First Congregational has upgraded its WiFi network. This means you don’t have to wait to share that cute photo of your child’s baptism, you can upload church group documents on the fly, and you can download our bulletin to your smartphone—all without using data.

Our revamped network is named FCUCC-Guest and the network password is UCCWireless. Happy surfing!

First Congregational’s Facebook page is close to breaking 1,000 likes! To achieve our goal, we need your help.

Our Facebook page is a great place to keep tabs on upcoming events — both at First Congregational and in the community — as well as current mission, service, music and worship news.

If you haven’t yet done so, visit our page at www.facebook.com/1stCongo and click “Like.” Consider recommending the page to your friends, family and others who you think might be interested in our church and all we do to celebrate God.