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Highland Highlights

October 30 - November 6, 2019
First Congregational Church United Church of Christ 
309 Highland Road, Ithaca NY 14850  607.257.6033 
Office Hours:  M-F  9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Please return your completed Pledge Card as soon as possible!  We are both passengers and crew for our Sailing Church.  A 10% average increase in time, talent, and treasure is needed from everyone in 2020 to continue our outstanding programs, provide for a talented staff, and maintain our facilities to extend to all our extravagant welcome. Help us continue sailing on God’s wind as a technicolor beacon of faith, hope, and love in the world.
A Message from David Kaden

and Church Council

Almost every Sunday we speak a version of the UCC's Be The Church charge, and we exhort each other to love our neighbors and our planet, and to live more fully into the image of God. But to be the church is also to remember that together we are the church. Together we contribute to making First Congregational Church of Ithaca a vibrant, meaningful place. This fall, as we celebrate the 60th anniversary of the building of our church in Cayuga Heights, a small group of our members, with Council's blessing, has begun to look at the overall landscape of our church community, to learn from you the things that you value most about FCCI. To help us in our work, (if you haven’t had a chance to already), we would like you to reflect on two questions and then submit your answers. 

Here are some of the more recent answers to our questions:
  • “The Children's Ministry-differentiated, thoughtful instruction from loving adults, and the breadth of opportunities for kids and parents.”
  • “I love David's pop culture references in sermons!”
  • “I value our awesome staff. They are hardworking, caring, and serious about their work and our church  and much more. They are worth every penny we put into salary, benefits, and extras.”
  • “I love 1st Sunday Dish-to-Pass.”
  • “Our physical decorative improvements are awesome, including cushions, carpets and quilts.”
  • “This church challenges me to be the body of Christ in community with others in ways I would not or could not do by myself.”
You can fill out a paper form (located next to the box at the front table) and place it in the box or you it in the box or you can fill out the form on our website  Here are the questions we would like you to think about and answer: What do you value personally at FCCI?  What makes this place special to you? Your answers will help our leadership continue to craft an experience of church that brings blessing to your life.

New FCC Security Systems in Place and More are Coming!
Church Council is very happy to share that FCC has some new security systems and processes in place, and more are coming. This will benefit us all, including the Community Nursery School housed here, and our many other building users. This is thanks to the long hours spent by the Building and Grounds team, and the Sanctuary Ministries team.This will allow us to better control access to our building (especially during the nursery school days as well as "off hours") while still being welcoming to all.
Please know that current church key holders may need to make some changes as we go forward. Locks and procedures will be changing. Also keep an eye out for updated signage and other improvements that our Council Ad Hoc Security Task Force will be recommending to Council in the near future. 
Thanks all for the hard work, everyone! Questions or ideas, email me at . ~Pam Hanna, VP of Council
The Security System
Is now active on the rear / CNS entrance. Entry through that door now requires a code. If you are currently a key-holding member, your key will still work with the front and lower doors. Committee Chairs and Council Reps: the office has now been given your code for side door entry. Please stop by the office (M-F 9:00-1:00) to get your code.  Leaders of normally scheduled events will still unlock the main entrance when needed.

Women’s Book Group
Women’s Book Group-Mondays at 10:30a.m. In the church library.We are currently reading The Book of Forgiving by Desmond Tutu & MPHO Tutu.
Please join us!

Bible-Side Chats (a.k.a Bible Study)
NEW TIME! We will meet at 12:00 p.m. on Tuesday in the parlor. We read and interpret the week’s lectionary texts. No prior Bible knowledge necessary! Feel free to bring your lunch. We provide the coffee and the Bibles.


Children & Youth  
Interdenominational Parenting Group-We're hosting the second meeting of the Ithaca-area Interdenominational Parenting Group this Saturday, November 2nd from 4-6 p.m. This group is exploring Cindy Wang Brandt's book Parenting Forward, a progressive Christian parenting book with a social justice orientation. Everyone is invited to join, even if you haven't read the book or didn't attend the first meeting! Food and child care provided. Email to RSVP. 

On Sunday, November 17th, all are invited to join our middle school and high school participants as they share their experience, reflect on what they learned, and answer your questions. We'll meet in the chapel after the service. Child care is provided in rooms 1 & 2. 

Worship toolkits- Are now available at the welcome table each week. In additional to rotating seasonal supplies, the toolkits include interactive worship tools like LED candles, pipe cleaners, paper, colored pencils, and wooden figures. Pick one up if you haven't tried them yet! 

Save the date! Our annual Advent Dinner, Decorating, and Crafts event will take place on Friday, December 6th from 5-8 p.m. We hope to see you there! 

FCCI Women's Retreat!
Saturday, November 2, 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at private wooded venue near Treman Park. Our topic will be STILLNESS, and activities will include meditation, labyrinth-walking and discussion of various aspects of stillness. Breakfast and lunch will be provided by Women's Ministries. We are asking $10 to help cover our costs. Directions to venue will be provided to retreatants. Sign up in the Narthex. For questions please contact Nancy Stewart.

All Saints Sunday
On November 3, 2019-Remembering our loved ones who have died. During the service, we will recite the names of those dear to us who have died since 11/1/18. If you wish to honor someone who has died since that date, fill out the blue form in the narthex and place it in the box or contact the church office.

CPR / AED (automatic external defibrillator) Training
Will take place on Saturday, November 9th at 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall. Anyone 12 years or older welcome. Certification is for two years. Cost $40 paid to CMC. Sign-up sheet is located on the Narthex.

Sunday, Nov 17, 4:30 pm, at Tikkun v'Or What is a "diaconate"?  Well, if YOU are on a committee of any sort for our church, YOU are ON the Diaconate and a "deacon" for our church! AND we (on behalf of Church Council) want YOU and YOUR INPUT! Come to the annual meeting of our Diaconate, where we will share ideas and eat food (TBD). It will be Sunday November 17, at 4:30 pm til about 7:30 pm, at Tikkun v'Or's beautiful space at the corner of Burdick Hill Road/Horizon Drive and North Triphammer Rd, about 1 mile north of the Shops at Ithaca Mall. Address:  2550 N. Triphammer Rd, Ithaca. Questions?  Email Pam Hanna at
Making a Difference

The Sanctuary Team
FCCI Sanctuary Ministries Benefit-On November 16th there will be a cabaret & dinner that the Ithaca College theater students will be featuring at First Baptist Church. All Proceeds will benefit FCCI Sanctuary Ministries. 

Sanctuary Ministries Support
The Sanctuary Ministries team continues to fundraise. If the church's Sanctuary work and advocacy for immigrants is one of the reasons that you like coming to church at FCCI, please help us.

How you can provide financial support:
 Please use your network of friends, both in person and on social media, to help us reach people who are not currently church members, but feel strongly about this issue. People are eager to feel that there is some way to help locally and this is a good opportunity. The sanctuary team is committed to making sure that fundraising for sanctuary ministries does not take away from current church operating budgets and projects. So please help us reach out to the broader Ithaca community (and beyond!). This is an opportunity to bring in new members and let people know about some of the fantastic things that happen here at First Congregational Church.
Worker Justice Is Climate Justice
As the climate movement pushes our society toward becoming fossil free, how can we ensure that the transition happens in a way that is just and fair for workers? This question will be at the heart of the UCC’s next Creation Justice Webinar is on November 14. The featured guests will be Michael Leon Guerrero from the Labor Network for Sustainability and Michael Williams from the BlueGreen Alliance. In a world that often falsely pits the well being of workers against protection of the environment, they will show how matters of justice are interconnected rather than oppositional.

Please Note

Interested in engaging more with our community here at FCC? We will soon be making a call for nominations for committee membership in anticipation of our annual congregational meeting in January. Not only do committees do the work of the church - they are also a great way to connect with people in the church. A list of committees can be found ON THE WEBSITE or IN YOUR BULLETIN. If you have any interest in joining a committee, or want to switch the committee you are on please let one of the Growth & Membership Committee members know in person - or by sending an email to Another opportunity to engage with the community is to sign-up for our online community and church directory, known as Servant Keeper. There will be an email coming soon from Servant Keeper which will ask you to set up your profile. Once you’ve done that you have access to the online directory, your giving history and more. We are asking that everybody update their information and upload photos so that the directory can be complete as possible. If you have problems in getting access or setting up your profile - please contact the church office.

David's Office Hours- If you would like to meet with David, his office hours during the week are typically Tuesday-Friday, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. He is often in and out, though, so setting up an appointment is best (
   Volunteer Opportunities

Many hands make light work!

 FCC’s wonderful services and programs are made possible by member volunteers. We encourage every member to support our congregation through your participation in one or more capacities. Please sign up to help with our services and other church activities on a regular basis.  
Sign-up Here

Sunday November 3, 2019
Acolytes: Brittany Sternberg
Liturgist: (1 needed)

Offering Counters(Finance Committee): Laura Andolina (1 needed)
Reader: FCCI Youth 

Ushers: FCCI Youth 
Greeters: FCCI Youth
Pew Supplies Re-Stocker : (1 needed)

Sunday November 10, 2019
Acolytes: Melody Sternberg
Liturgist: (1 needed)

Offering Counters(Finance Committee):  (2 needed)
Reader: FCCI Youth 

Ushers: FCCI Youth 
Greeters: FCCI Youth
Coffee Servers: (2 needed)

Pew Supplies Re-Stocker : (1 needed)

Sunday November 17, 2019
Acolytes: (1 needed)
Liturgist: (1 needed)

Offering Counters(Finance Committee): Laura Andolina (1 needed)
Reader: Ellie Kraft Sanders

Ushers: (4 needed)
Greeters: (2 needed)
Coffee Servers: (2 needed)

Flowers: Alene Wyatt
Pew Supplies Re-Stocker : (1 needed)

Sunday November 24, 2019
Acolytes: Kate Breen
Liturgist: (1 needed)

Offering Counters(Finance Committee): (2 needed)
Reader(1 needed)

Ushers: (4 needed)
Greeters: (2 needed)
Coffee Servers: (2 needed)

Pew Supplies Re-Stocker : (1 needed)
Wednesday, October 30
5:30 p.m.          Tai Chi (RM10-11)
Thursday, October 31
6:00 p.m.          Handbells
7:15 p.m.          Choir Rehearsal (Choir RM)
Saturday, November 2
9:30 a.m.           FCCI Women's Retreat (
Treman Park)
4:00 p.m.           Interdenominational Parenting Group (Chapel)
Sunday, November 3
All Saints Sunday
Communion Sunday
New Members Sunday

Junior Chimes & Pentecost Singers Perform in Service
8:55 a.m.           Pentecost Singers (Choir space)
9:00 a.m.           Children & Youth Committee Meeting
9:15 a.m.           Junior Chimes (Sanctuary)
10:00 a.m.         Worship
11:20 a.m.         Dish-to-Pass (FH)
11:20 a.m.         Junior Handbell (Sanctuary)
1:00 p.m.           Conformation Session #2 for Youth (RM 10/11)
3:00 p.m.           Turkish Music (Sanctuary)
Monday, November 4
10:30 a.m.         Women's Book Group (Library)
Tuesday, November 5
12:00 p.m.         Bible-side Chats (a.k.a Bible Study)      
4:00 p.m.           Finance Meeting
6:00 0.m.           Worship Committee
Wednesday, November 6
5:30 p.m.          Tai Chi (RM10-11)
Thursday, November 7
6:00 p.m.          Handbells
7:15 p.m.          Choir Rehearsal (Choir RM)
Saturday, November 9
9:00 a.m.         
CPR / AED Training (FH)
Sunday, November 10
No Choral Rehearsals
10:00 a.m.         Worship
11:20 a.m.         Coffee & Fellowship
11:20 a.m.         Junior Handbell (Sanctuary)
11:20 a.m.         Committee Meetings
11:30 a.m.         Junior Chimes (Youth RM)
1:00 p.m.           Conformation Session #2 for Youth (RM 10/11)
Monday, November 11
10:30 a.m.         Women's Book Group (Library)

309 Highland Road
Ithaca, NY 14850
Office Hours: 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
Phone: 607-257-6033
Highland Highlights
First Congregational Church of Ithaca

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First Congregational Church UCC · 309 Highland Rd · Ithaca, NY 14850 · USA

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