July 2010

The Tie That Binds

First Congregational United Church of Christ

Cadillac, Michigan 




Dear Friends,


Happy Anniversary! June provided many landmark anniversaries for us to celebrate.[edited for privacy]

As I mentioned in worship this past Sunday, June 25 is also the 53rd anniversary of the founding of the United Church of Christ. On that day in 1957, the Evangelical and Reformed Church and the Congregational Christian Churches came together as a united and uniting 2 million member denomination. “The new church embodied the essence of both parents, a complement of freedom with order…, of separatism with 20th-century ecumenism, of presbyterian with congregational polities, of neoorthodox with liberal theologies.” (From “Short Course in the History of the United Church of Christ” at http://www.ucc.org/about-us/short-course/the-united-church-of-christ.html)


From its very beginnings, the UCC has been grounded in covenant. It is what enabled two very different denominations to unite, and it continues to be the glue that holds us together loosely in sacred relationship, even as we espouse diverse social, political, and theological viewpoints. The theology of covenant is woven into the very fabric of UCC structure: Through our by-laws and my call agreement, the members of First Congregational covenant with one another as members and with me as pastor/member. As a UCC church, we in turn hold our standing through the United Northern Association and are in covenant with that organization and its member churches. The Association covenants with the Michigan Conference and the Conference with General Synod, the national organization of the UCC. At each level we respect and support one another, but do not necessarily speak for one another. These covenantal relationships grant us the freedom to live out our unique identities, while calling us into the mission and the accountability of a larger church structure.


Over the years the UCC and its predecessor denominations have taken bold prophetic stances and accomplished a number of notable firsts, including the ordination of the first African-American man to a Protestant denomination (1785), the ordination of the first woman pastor (1853), the ordination of the first openly gay pastor (1972), and the publication of the only Christian hymnal with an equal number of male and female images for God (1995). On this 53rd anniversary we have much to celebrate…and, of course, always more work to do as Christ’s 21st Century hands and feet.


If you would like to learn more about our unique denomination and its history, please check out the wealth of information available at http://www.ucc.org/about-us/.


Grace, Peace, and Traveling Mercies to each one of you,

Pastor Carol



July 4                            2 Kings 5:1-147                                          Surprising Prophets

July 11              Luke 10:25-37                                          Caring Neighbors

July 18              Luke 10:38-42                                          Word and Work

July 25              Psalm 85                                                        Shaped by Prayer





We are pleased to announce that our church e-mail is now up and running. Please note that our e-mail addresses have changed from what was originally announced in May. They are now as follows:


Pastor Carol                  pastor@firstcongcadillac.org                                                         

              Rita Meech                  office@firstcongcadillac.org


Many thanks for all the time and technical expertise provided by friends



We are equally pleased to announce that Rachel Whiteman’s time, effort, and design talents have made possible the launch of a pilot church website at www.firstcongcadillac.org. When completed, the overall objective of the site will be to serve as a source of information both for church members and friends and for those in search of a church home. Please take a spin and let us know what you think!


We are now seeking writers and photographers to contribute content, as well as an organizational maven to help with management of the project plus the coordination of photograph/model release forms. Pastor Carol will be contacting individuals who have expressed interest in these areas on the Talent Survey, but others who are interested are invited to volunteer as well.  




Worship Planning Committee Formed

The new Worship Planning Committee held its first meeting on June 15 and, going forward, will gather on the third Tuesday of each month at 4:00 pm. If you are interested in helping to shape the worship life of our church, please join our group or speak to one of us: Pastor Carol, Margie Annis, Marge Glander, [edit]


Taize Service Moving to First Presbyterian

Beginning with the July 21 service, Taize worship is moving across the street to its original home at First Presbyterian Church. This move enables our communities to share resources, including worship planners and musicians, as well as to expand the service’s ecumenical spirit and to enjoy First Presbyterian’s stained glass windows by candlelight. Please join us to renew your spirit with a midweek service of contemplative music and prayer. Many thanks to [contributors] for the time and love you have contributed to this inspiring service.




Home Communion

We have received the very generous gift of a home communion set from long-time member [edit] the portable communion set enables Pastor Carol (or a trained lay server) to extend our communion table into the homes of members and friends who are shut in and to the bedsides of those who are hospitalized or ill. The set also includes a flask of oil for use with those who desire anointing and healing prayers. If you would like to receive home communion and/or an anointing, please contact Pastor Carol.




Summer in Cadillac means “Art Festival” time!                                            Penny Phelps

Have you been so busy with family and sports and gardening that you didn’t notice that July is just a week away? And once we’re done celebrating the Fourth of July, we’ve got to get cracking on the Arts Festival – July 16 and 17. Our fearless leader in the food booth, Candy Lakin has agreed to head it up, but she needs the rest of us to pitch in. Everyone agrees that it’s lots of fun, especially when enough folks sign up so that no one runs out of steam.


Look for the sign-up sheets at the back of the sanctuary, for the “slicing & dicing” party Friday morning as well as the “gyro construction crews” Friday night and Saturday.

And don’t forget to bring in bottled water and Coke products to help stretch our profits a bit further.



Our UNA sister church for June is Congregational UCC in Northport. Please lift up the congregation and its pastor, Rev. Karen Schulte, in prayer during the coming month.



Mark your calendars for the Big Day: Pastor Carol’s Installation    Penny Phelps                                                                             

On Sunday, July 25th, The United Northern Association will help us officially install Rev. Carol Reynolds as our pastor and teacher. This is an important step that marks the conclusion of a process that began with the formation of a Search Committee so many months ago. The Association takes the lead in this ceremony because a pastor’s official standing as an ordained minister of the UCC rests with the association.


Very shortly we will be sending out invitations to all our members and friends, as well as other clergy in the Cadillac area, all the churches in the United Northern Association, representatives from the Michigan Conference, and Pastor Carol’s family and friends.


The Service of Installation will be held at 3 p.m. on Sunday afternoon (to allow folks from distant churches to get here), with supper to follow.


We’ll need lots of help to prepare for this special day, so if you’d like to be involved, please contact Pastor Carol or Penny Phelps.                                                                           



Our Mission Target for July: CWS and Back Bay Mission              Penny Phelps

Church World Service (CWS) came into being at the end of World War Two as a cooperative ministry of 35 Protestant, Orthodox, and Anglican denominations to provide refugee assistance, disaster relief, and sustainable self-help around the world. Whether it is Haiti, Senegal, Gambia, Indonesia, or the Gulf Coast, CWS reaches out to a network of long-term recovery groups with material resources such as blankets and shelter kits. In March we packed and sent off over 30 health kits, and at the Michigan Conference Annual Meeting in Rochester last month, all the UCC churches represented contributed enough cleaning supplies to put together over 50 Emergency Clean-Up Buckets. Funds contributed through our mission offering help with the cost of shipping these materials to places where they are critically needed.


This year we are also going to send part of the July mission collection to the UCC Back Bay Mission in Biloxi, Mississippi. This southern outpost of the UCC is just emerging from the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, and now the people of that region are facing the loss of their livelihood. Tourism and fishing are already feeling the impact of the oil spill, and families that haven’t recovered from the last disaster need the support, both material and spiritual, of the Back Bay Mission. For more information, check out their website: www.thebackbaymission.org.


Register Now for Re-Member Project to Pine Ridge Reservation **Scholarships Available!**

If you are interested in joining the mission team that will accompany the Rev. Keith S. Titus to Pine Ridge Reservation October 2-8, please see Pastor Carol SOON. To reserve a spot, you will need to submit a completed 2010 Registration Agreement as soon as possible. You can download a copy from the following link: http://www.re-member.org/docs/2010%20Registration%20Packet.pdf. An organizational meeting for the trip will be held in Gaylord in August.


For those who are interested in participating but unable to afford the $350 trip fee, I am pleased to announce that an anonymous donor has generously offered scholarships to cover trip fees for two individuals. If you are interested in applying for a scholarship, please see Pastor Carol as soon as possible.


This is an exciting opportunity for First Congregational to experience the cultural richness of our Native American sisters and brothers and be of practical help with their ministries.



July 2010










































*Jazz. 8:30 am





Sunday Worship 10:30 am



*Jazz. 4:30 pm 5:45 pm


*Jazz.    8:30 am

*Artists’    Group

1-4 pm



*Jazz 5:45pm








*Jazz. 8:30am




*Jazz. 8:30am



Sunday Worship 10:30 am



*Jazz. 4:30pm 5:45pm



8:30 am



1-4 pm




5:45 pm




*Jazz. 8:30am




*Jazz. 8:30am




*Jazz. 8:30am




Sunday Worship 10:30 am



*Jazz. 4:30 pm  5:45 pm


Items for Newletter Due!


*Jazz. 8:30 am


Artists’ Group

1-4 p.m.


Worship Committee

4 pm



5:45 pm










*Jazz. 8:30am




*Jazz. 8:30am


*Jazz. 8:30am








10:30 am

Pastor Carol’s


3 pm


*Jazz. 4:30 pm 5:45 pm



*Jazz. 8:30 am


Artists’ Group

1-4 pm



5:45 pm