The month of May continued the Board’s attention to critical issues in the community. We highlighted Mental Health Month with information about the United Church of Christ (UCC) WISE congregation designation. A WISE congregation emphasizes the mission of being Welcoming, Inclusive, Supportive, and Engaged in the mental health of the community and the wider world. The objective of W.I.S.E. is to encourage UCC congregations to become more welcoming of those living with mental health challenges, to expand our inclusion of those who are living with mental health challenges, to be supportive of all who are affected by mental health conditions, and to engage in ways to live our commitment to be W.I.S.E. about mental health. During May Pastor JT preached a powerful sermon on the topic of mental health; Chris Cunningham and Betsy Holst organized the reading of a book on the challenges people with mental and emotional conditions face in our world.

The Board also approved the creation of a planning group to work with retired Rev. Dr. Dean Kokjer on a celebration of the 135th Anniversary of the founding of FCC. The planning group will collect both personal stories and historical facts about the 135 year history of our church, and plan a celebration scheduled for June, 2024. I will continue to update you on the activities of the planning group as we look forward to this important milestone in the life of FCC.

In May the Board scheduled a meeting after worship on May 7 to continue our efforts at being transparent about all of the policies and issues of importance to FCC. The Ongoing Dialogue of May 7 included question and answer sessions on the Church Budget, our Stewardship activities, the Transition Team process to prepare for the hiring of the settled pastor, and an introduction to the new Aging and Spirituality ministry of the church. Over 70 persons attended this activity. Based on feedback from those in attendance, we will make some adjustments to the process to better allow all participants to attend the scheduled topics. We plan to conduct these Ongoing Dialogues on a regular basis throughout the year.

As we look forward to June, the semi-annual All Church Meeting is scheduled for June 25 following worship. The main item on the agenda is the election of three new members to the FCC Board. In addition, the Moderator and Vice Moderator will be elected for the coming year. Please prayerfully consider whether you feel called to serve FCC in the important role as a Board Member. Information on the application is available from the Church Office. Please plan to attend this important meeting where we all as members of FCC conduct the business of the church. The United Church of Christ (UCC) is one of a few Christian denominations to be led by the members of the congregation.

Blessings to you all for a safe and enjoyable summer.
Dan Close, FCC Board Moderator