Thursday, September 26, 2013

 Wednesday, September 25, 2013 members and friends of Faith United Church of Christ gathered for the Annual Blessing of the Pets service.  This year we were joined by cats, dogs and a pretty little bunny rabbit.

Our liturgy began with a short verse: "How many are your works, O God!  In wisdom you have made them all."  Psalm 104:24

We sang "God of the Sparrow God of the Whale", read scriptures lessons from Genesis, Psalm 104 and Romans.  We offered prayers of confession for our human failures to tend better our pets and our plant.

We heard words of forgiveness and pardon for our shortcomings.  We offered prayers of thanks and blessing for our pets.  We sang "All Things Bright and Beautiful"

Pastor Bob then moved to each pet and each pet caretaker to lay hands on them, bless them in God's name and offer thanks for the gifts pets and pet caretakers give to one another.

This blessing of the animals service is just one our special services scheduled for fall.  Why not join us each Sunday morning at 9:30 a.m. for worship?  You will always be welcome!

Our annual celebration of fall will be Sunday, October 20, 2013 at 9:30 a.m.  Join us for readings, poetry, songs, and art works that celebrate the season.

No matter who you are or where you are on life's journey. . .You are welcome here!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

 The summer season has been an active and busy one for Faith United Church of Christ.  As September begins we look to return to some familiar ministries and seek to begin some new ones.  Please take the time to review the information you will find on the pages of this web sight for worship information, upcoming ministry and programs and some basic information about Faith United Church of Christ.  Leave comments for us, if you'd like.  Join us on Sunday morning for worship at 9:30 a.m.  The remainder of this month's blog is devoted to updating you on our back to school back pack project for Mark Twain Elementary.  It seems to me the best way to do so is to share with you the information received on August 27, 2013 from Pam Zehr, our back pack program coordinator:

School Supplies
"It’s been a week since our Back to School project for Mark Twain. With a week to reflect, I’ve got several thoughts running around my head that I’d like to share with you. First of all, by all measures, our project was a spectacular achievement. There were a number of pieces to this grand puzzle, each piece requiring skill and helping hands and prayer, and our “little church that could” always came through.

Back Packs ready to be filled

The book bags were superbly fashioned by our master seamstresses. And this was no small feat; 285 bags were created in total, each a reflection of patience and love.
More School Supplies

School supplies were purchased and donated by Faith as well as the ToGather Together program, and then prayerfully blessed at the end of Sunday services. They were counted and organized and then packaged in grade specific bundles with the speed and efficiency and accuracy to rival any Fortune 500.

Distribution of back packs
 The distribution of the supplies culminated the season, and with just one hiccup was also a grand success. The Mark Twain gymnasium was stifling hot that evening, but the excitement of the children as they picked out their new backpacks lifted the air as well as our spirits.

More back packs to give

To see those smiles was so invigorating; the children and parents, but also the teachers with the anticipation of the new school year on their faces. So many words of thanks, so many smiles, so many expressions of gratitude.

In the last newsletter we made a call for volunteers for each of these activities, and you came out in force. We had plenty of helpful hands, making the tasks at hand go smoothly, but also allowing for lightheartedness and laughter. In the last newsletter we also made a call for donations. We carefully crunched and calculated our expenses, and asked for a fundraising goal of $1,000 for our back to school project. Knowing this was an enormous amount of money, we were still cautiously optimistic it could be done. In fact, by the end [of August] our back to school donations totaled $2,194, a sum that was clearly above and beyond any of our expectations.
Just take a look around the sanctuary at the paper dolls encircling the space, symbolic of the children sponsored not only THIS year by these donations, but eagerly awaiting for school to start NEXT year. Truly amazing.

Also remarkable is the height of our Tower of Tissues for Twain. We asked for 250 boxes of tissues, one for each child we sponsored this year. Again, we knew this was a tall order but one we were hopeful could be achieved. When all boxes were counted, we had actually received 308, again far surpassing our requests. So our Tower of Tissues easily reaches the sanctuary ceiling with enormous cartons stacked on either side.
Dozens of volunteers, thousands of dollars, hundreds of tissues. Numbers don’t lie; numbers tell the story. Equally true, smiles don’t lie; smiles tell the story. Smiles on the faces of school children who are starting their new year on equal footing as their classmates. Smiles from grateful parents and teachers who sense the value and potential of every child. And smiles amongst ourselves knowing that this was a task well done. Too schmaltzy to think of Christ smiling as He walks the halls of Twain?

Faith Church. Not just the little church that could, but the little church that does. My heartfelt thanks to each of you."


Please join us for 9:30 worship each Sunday morning.  No matter who you are or where you are on life's journey, you are welcome here.

FAITH UNITED CHURCH  OF CHRIST 1609 DeForest Avenue Iowa City, Iowa Why not join us for any or all these events?   Fa...