Greetings from your Board of Directors!

June signaled the change from spring to summer in the life of First Congregational Church.

First, we said our good-byes to Gretchen Jewett, our beloved Director of Children and Family Ministries. Gretchen has taken a teaching position and will serve children through the public school system. We are all so fortunate to have had Gretchen leading our children’s ministry for the past many years. I will personally miss her infectious enthusiasm, warm, loving personality, and well-crafted Children’s Moments.

June was also the time for the semi-annual Congregational Meeting. A large group attended the meeting. The primary agenda item was the election of board members and Vice-Moderator and Moderator for the coming year. Laurie Swanson Gribskov and Georgia Quick were elected for three year terms. Tim Bloch was elected to serve a second three year term. Polly Shannon will serve as the Vice-Moderator and Dan Close as Moderator for the coming year.

Endowment Chair John Soper also announced Julia Roelof as the recipient of the Elkins-Nelson Scholarship grant; she gave a memorable thank you speech that was passionate and articulate. We are so proud of Julia and wish her the best as she attends Pacific University.

We hosted a Third Act Luncheon, the inaugural activity of our rejuvenated Aging and Spirituality Ministry. The Board approved an expanded vision of an Aging and Spirituality Ministry at the March board meeting. The four pillars of this ministry include:

  • Pastoral Care and Outreach to people living in assisted living facilities or isolated at home, or in hospital;
  • Social Connections such as the Third Act lunches, Intergenerational Cafés between youth and elders, and Seekers/Elder Conversation Circles;
  • Spiritual Roles such as Elder Sunday and the roles played by Elders such as grandparenting, mentoring and care-taking;
  • Elder Education and Themes of Aging, including Adult Education forums, book groups, workshops, etc.

We welcome any person who would like to participate in the further planning and implementation of the Aging and Spirituality ministry. A planning meeting was held on July 10 at the church. Contact Dan Close for more information about this ministry.

Finally, the Board will administer a second All Church Survey this summer. The survey will be primarily qualitative, and will be focused on your ideas about the overall vision, process and structure of FCC. The survey is currently in draft form and will be edited by several congregants. Look for the survey in late July or early August.

Thanks to you all for the love, generosity, and prayers you give FCC.
Dan Close, FCC Board Moderator