Christian Courier

The ―healing role‖ of arts, activism, civil dialogue, and compassion in various religions traditions is the topic of this year’s Minneapolis Interfaith Forums.

October 29, 2011 Inside the Courier:
•A Look at the Brite Side, page 2 • Mission notes, page 3 • Let’s Talk Applause, page 3 • November calendar, page 4 • Board Notes, page 5

On the Web:
First Christian Church website Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) Lectionary Resources for All Saints’ Day

November 1 is All Saints Day, also known as All Hallows

a dn a ™emiTk ciuQ rosse rpmo ced .e rut cip siht ees ot dedeen e r a

First Christian Church of Minneapolis (Disciples of Christ)

Forums examine Four Steps to Healing
The first Forum on ―The Healing Role of the Arts in our Tradition‖ was Oct. 27 at Temple Israel. Three more Forums are coming in the next three weeks: • ―The Healing Role of Activism‖, Nov. 3 at Westminster Presbyterian Church • ―The Healing Role of Civil Dialogue‖, Nov. 10 at The Basilica of St. Mary • ―The Healing Role of Compassion‖, Nov. 17 at Central Lutheran Church All Forums follow the same schedule: 6:45 pm - arrival/refreshments; 7 pm - Panel Presentation/Discussion, 9 pm - Sanctuary tour (optional) Forum sessions are free and open to the public. Participants do not need to preregister, and are welcome to attend one or all of the sessions.


Clergy of the 21 Catholic, Islamic, Jewish, Protestant, and Unitarian congregations that make up the Minneapolis Downtown Clergy Association (which includes FCC) chose the topic in recognition of the ongoing impact of the loss of lives and the destruction during this tenth anniversary year of the 9/11 terrorist acts.

Upper Midwest Disciples meet to reorganize
The newly reorganized Upper Midwest Region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) held its first annual ―Congregational Gathering‖ on Oct. 15 to launch the new, more localized focus of the region. The gathering was held at the West Des Moines Christian Church. Four representatives from FCC attended: Pastor Bob Brite, Deb Murphy, Nancy Curry and Tom Curry. The Rev. Dr. Sharon Watkins, General Minister and President of the national Disciples, was there to share in this new beginning of a new way of doing ministry together. She presided over the installation of Bill Spangler-Dunning as Regional Minister. After Spangler-Dunning’s installation, the assembly broke into small groups to discuss what ministry in the region should and could look like. Later in the day, representatives broke into geographical small groups to discuss how congregations might do ministry together and to pick a representative to the Operations Council. Churches in attendance from Minnesota were Plymouth Creek, Lake Harriet, Open Source Rochester, Garden City, and FCC. Our area representative is Nancy Curry.

Page 2

October 29, 2011

A Look at the Brite Side

Oh boy! There’s lots to be done!
December, which means we need to finalize our own plans for moving our worship services (first, and then the rest of our stuff over the following six months.) Our conversation to this point has focused on having final Christmas Eve and Christmas Day services, and then moving over sometime in early January, maybe as early as New Year’s Day, with the service beginning at our current building and finishing at the new one. There are too many variables right now still to nail down the timeframe, but it’s something people need to be thinking about. Of the many, many groups meeting among the three churches, one of them about to gear up is the ―stuff‖ committee. Oh, boy! There’s a lot to be accomplished in the next three months! Of course, after that point of moving, it then behooves us to consider ―what happens then?‖ It’ll be a new set of circumstances in which our ministry will be taking place, hopefully one with more spiritual focus than building focus. The elders are talking it over, and it’s for all of us to talk it over – what will be the ministry of FCC from here on out? What are new ideas that can come forth out of all the changes? Think about it; better yet, pray about it and see what God seems to be saying to you? I’d like to see YOU on Sunday! Bob

Pastor Bob Brite

I haven’t been into the new building for a while (I hope to do so sometime this week), but I understand that good progress is being made, even to the point of painting beginning in some of the rooms. The office managers have met to talk about what sort of equipment can be moved; we’ve asked for bids from three organ companies about moving the organ. All in all, it looks as if the building will be ready sometime in mid-

Welcome to Blair Bouler, born at 8 a.m. on Sunday, Oct. 24, 19 inches and 6 lbs 6 oz. Congrats Jenn & Clyde!!

In our prayers
Gracious God, we lift up these persons in our prayers, asking the blessing of your Grace and outpouring of your Love upon them.

We offer prayers of thanksgiving for the new life of Blair Bouler, son of Clyde and Jenn Bouler, born Oct. 24, and for Phyllis Takekawa who is recovering well from her recent surgery for melanoma; prayers of concern for Wayne, a 52-year old man suffering from AIDS whose only family is the greater church family; prayers for all those who are serving their country overseas and for those who struggle with PTSD when they return from service, and for the discouraging polarities in our civic life and for God’s peace to find a language to talk about our differences; prayers of gratitude to Jim Baumgartner, Bryon Wilson, our soloists and choir members who bring such beautiful music each week for our worship services; prayers for the well-being of all our homebound members, including Ruth White and Helen Smith, Amen.

Christian Courier

Page 3

Mission Notes from Pastor Sanders

A Note on St. Stephens Shelter ministry
One of the long-standing traditions here at First has been serving meals to the men at St. Stephen’s Homeless Shelter. For years, many folk from First have come to the shelter on the third Saturday of the month to serve the meals and Warren Westphal has worked hard as the congregational coordinator of this important ministry. Over the last few years, fewer people have signed up to serve at the shelter, meaning there were gaps in the calendar that Warren had to fill. At the same time, our sisters and brothers at Spirit of Joy Christian Church in Lakeville have stepped up to serve during the summer months. After conversation with Warren and Pastor Jan Linn at Spirit of Joy, it as decided that beginning in January, 2012, Spirit of Joy would handle the scheduling for to St. Stephen’s. Spirit of Joy has had an excitement for this ministry, giving this suburban congregation a chance to do urban ministry. While Spirit of Joy will now handle scheduling this doesn’t mean that First Christian is giving up its long-standing relationship with the St. Stephen’s shelter. Just as we invited Spirit of Joy to work with us at the shelter, Spirit of Joy is inviting us to continue on in this worthwhile mission. Anyone from First is invited to come along on the third Saturday of the month to serve meals. If you or a group of people are interested, simply send me an email at or call the church office and I will pass the information along to Diane Tran and Wendy Barta from Spirit of Joy. I do hope you will consider taking part on a Saturday evening. And if you have a moment, please thank Warren Westphal for his hard work. He and Karen have always reminded me we must always be the church to those we meet. So, go and be church. Dennis Sanders Associate Pastor for Mission and Diversity

Applause during worship: an invitation to share your thoughts
by Martha Harris, Courier Editor

When the choir sings a beautiful anthem, are you drawn to fold your hands in prayer, or clap your hands in applause? Is clapping along while singing ―Every time I feel the spirit‖ different from clapping after a soloist sings? Does the psalmist’s call to ―clap your hands all you people‖ mean we’re supposed to clap as we worship? I was surprised to find article after article on such questions when I Googled ―applause dur-

ing worship recently. As you can imagine, opinions on this question abound – even here at FCC.

to say ―Amen‖ when the choir sings a lively spiritual, I usually choose to fold my hands and close my eyes after anthems and solos to stay in the spirit of worship provided through the music. I invite you to share your thoughts on the matter of applause during worship in these pages of the Courier. Send your ideas to: or jot down some thoughts and leave them in the Courier box by the office. Let’s talk!

Even though I am often moved

Page 4

October 29, 2011

Worship Hours 8:45 Breakfast Club

November, 2011 First Christian Church
1 7 pm Worship Committee 2 9 am Nikkei 6 pm Bible Study 6:30 pm Bell Choir 7:45 pm Chancel Choir 9 6 pm Bible Study 6:30 pm Bell Choir 7:45 pm Chancel Choir

9:15 Spiritual Formation Classes 10:30 Worship 11:45 Fellowship Time in Lounge
3 9 am Handcrafters 4 5 9 am- Men’s Group



8 7 pm Property Committee

10 9 am Handcrafters


12 9 am- Men’s Group 12n Whittier Alliance Green Fair (FH) 19 9 am Men’s Group 10 am Laura Lynn/Naomi Circle 6 pm Serve dinner at St. Stephens 26 9 am- Men’s Group


14 7 pm Carter Circle @ Barb Rusinak’s

20 Thanksgiving Service (Fellowship Hall) Food Pantry Sunday 5 pm Elders Mtg 27


15 9 am Mpls Retired Teacher’s Luncheon 6 pm Mission & Witness Committee 7 pm Board Meeting 22

16 9:00 am Nikkei 5:30 Finance Committee 6 pm Bible Study 6:30 pm Bell Choir 7:45 pm Chancel Choir 23 6 pm Bible Study 6:30 pm Bell Choir 7:45 pm Chancel Choir

17 9 am Handcrafters 7 pm Ministry Council

18 7:30 Christian League

24 Thanksgiving


28 7 pm Book Club @ Diane Hackett’s


30 6 pm Bible Study 6:30 pm Bell Choir 7:45 pm Chancel Choir

Elders November 6 Mike Brady (p) Barb Creighton (a) Dean Creighton (p) Val Dunham (a) Russ Griffin (p) Mike Brady (a) Val Dunham (p) Russ Griffin (a)

Worship Leader Jay Hillestad

Children’s Moment Steve Rusinak

Diaconate Odd Team

Bus Drivers Garry Hesser 612-7214905 Mike Hesano 651-6456758 Mike Morgan 612-9269384 Garry Hesser

Greeters Ardie Armstrong, Shirley Draine Karen Kandik

November 13

Kirsten Cackoski

Steve Rusinak

Odd Team

November 20

Mike Brady

Caleb Callanan

Odd Team

Valerie Dunham

November 27

Alison Creighton

Steve Rusinak

Odd Team

Ardie Armstrong, Shirley Draine

Note: Please call drivers by Saturday for Sunday bus ride

Christian Courier

Page 5

Coats and Socks for refugees
Every month, new refugee families arrive in Minnesota barefoot in sandals, which becomes a problem as the weather gets colder. Without socks and a warm coat, it’s difficult to be out and about during the winter – just imagine waiting for the bus in sandals and t-shirts! The Minnesota Council of Churches has a goal of providing socks to 20 adults a month, and is seeking donations from individuals and congregations. The annual Coat Giveaway was held Oct. 27, but coat donations are always welcome. Coats, socks and other winter items can be delivered to the Minnesota Church Center, 122 W. Franklin Ave., during business hours. Contact Green Bouzard at 612-230-3249 or for more information.

Karen “pioneers” celebrate milestones Two daughters of the Karen refugee family that FCC helped sponsor nine years ago were featured in a recent Pioneer Press article about the successes of the Karen community. Dayliar and Zin Zin Htoo are the first Karen students to enroll at Hamline University, and are ―pioneers of sorts for their peers and their ethnic community.‖ Read the full story about the Karen community’s milestones in Minnesota at

FCC Board Notes
The after-worship meeting of the General Board on Oct. 16 drew 24 attendees, including three staff members. The board passed two financial motions and heard updates on the timeline for moving as well as reports from pastors and committee representatives.  By board vote, $1000 was transferred from Open Table to the Transition Team fund to cover expenses of the Search Committee, and $1190 was transferred from the 10-year old ―Embrace the Future Fund‖ to ―Designated Outreach,‖ a fund used to match other Outreach giving. The most recent target for the Ministry Center construction to be finished is now mid December. The two partner churches, Salem Lutheran and Lyndale UCC, must vacate Intermedia Arts by Jan. 1. Nancy Curry and Arlene Hillestad are heading up the Nominating Committee. They are seeking nominees to fill Elder, Deacon and Trustee vacancies for 2012, as well as names for Board Chair, Vice-Chair and Secretary. They ask congregation members to seriously consider stepping forward for these important leadership positions.

Music and spoken word fundraiser for St. Stephens Human Services
Celtic music and spoken word performances will highlight a fundraiser for St. Stephen’s Human Services at FCC on Nov. 2. Molly Culligan will perform Meridel Le Sueur’s ―Ripenings,‖ a one-person play about a girl in downtown St. Paul during the Depression. Garry Jones and his ensemble ―Talun‖ and Laura Mackenzie will perform music that is ―a modern day call to rediscover the spirit of the land that sustains us.‖ The show will be at 7 pm on Wednesday, Nov. 2. Tickets are $15 at the door. All proceeds will benefit St. Stephens Human Services programs for people experiencing homelessness. Grande Sale final tally announced Becki Whitaker, Grande Sale organizer, announced that the sale netted a grand total of $1400. The total will be divided evenly between FCC and St. Stephens, with both congregations planning to donate the money to mission and service causes.

Bi-Weekly Calendar
Sundays at First Christian Church
Sunday Worship at 10:30 am Before Worship After Worship

Reflections on the Word
from readings for 10.30.11 ―And call no one your father on earth, for you have one Father—the one in heaven.‖ –Matt. 23:9 How we name God has been of particular interest in the last 30 years. Is God a ―He‖ or ―Father,‖ or does God transcend human categories of gender? These traditional ways of naming God are comforting to some but alienating to others. Here in Matthew, Jesus indeed calls on people to deny their earthly fathers and exalt God as Father— one very particular use of gendered language for God. How do you see God in this way? Creator God, we know you by many names, but you are still the one God. May our language about you glorify you and the majesty and wonder of your eternal and transcendent being. Amen. --Chris Wogaman

Breakfast Club 8:45 am Spiritual Formation Classes 9:15 am This Week at FCC
Sunday, October 30 Organ Recital Tuesday, November 1 3-church Bible group @ Intermedia Arts Worship Committee Wednesday, November 2 Nikkei Bible Study Bell Choir Chancel Choir Thursday, November 3 Handcrafters Saturday, November 5 Men’s Group 1 pm 4 pm 7 pm 9 am 6 pm 6:30 pm 7:45 pm 9 am 9 am

Fellowship Time 11:45

Next Week at FCC
Tuesday, November 8 3-church Bible group @ Intermedia Arts Property Committee Wednesday, November 9 Finance Committee Bible Study Bell Choir Chancel Choir Thursday, November 10 Handcrafters Saturday, November 12 Men’s Group Whittier Alliance Green Fair 4 pm 7 pm

5:30 pm 6 pm 6:30 pm 7:45 pm 9 am

9 am Noon

A Thoughtful Church in the Heart of the City Ministry Team
All Members of the Congregation Robert Brite, Transitional Minister Dennis Sanders, Minister of Diversity and Mission Chris Wogaman, Office Manager Jim Baumgartner, Director of Music Bryon Wilson, Organist/Pianist Rick Bowman, Building Manager Serena Carlson, Nursery Attendant Martha Harris, Courier Editor Telephone: 612.870.1868 Prayer Phone: 612.870.0984 E-mail: Fax: 612.870.1860 Christian Courier is published bimonthly. Send items and ideas to church office or to Martha Harris by Sunday, Nov. 6 for next issue.


2201 1st Avenue South Minneapolis, MN 55404
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