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Highland Highlights

January 8, 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.
Christmas Decorations

We will be taking the Christmas decorations down on January 12 at 11:30 a.m. after the Worship service. Volunteers are most appreciated!
Women’s Book Group
We will be meeting on Monday's at 10:30 a.m. In the library.
Our next book is Holy Envy. Please join us!

Men's Breakfast & Discussion
We will meet on January 14 at 8:30am at the Royal Court Restaurant on Meadow St. across from Tops & Wegmans. We meet on the 2nd Tuesday morning of each month.
                            Baptism of Christ Sunday 
Reading of Names on Baptism of Christ Sunday- January 12, 2020: On this day we celebrate the sacrament of baptism, but we also honor its meaning: birth and rebirth. Each November we read the names of saints who have passed away the previous year. We are starting another tradition each January on Baptism of Christ Sunday: we will read the names of new births from the previous year in families of those dear to us. If you wish to include someone you know, fill out the blue form in the Narthex and place it in the basket or contact the church office.
"Faith for Today"
An adult bible study group is forming to explore, learn, and apply the essentials of following Christ. We plan to dig deep into the Bible using study guides and other resources to help us grow and strengthen our faith through discussion and sharing. Our goal is to build faith that is alive, growing, and relevant in our daily lives. We're going to start with the Nooma video series. Here's an explanation of this series from the publisher: "Jesus lived with the awareness that God is doing something, right here, right now, and anybody can be a part of it. He encouraged his listeners to search, to question, to wrestle with the implications of what he was saying and doing. He inspired, challenged, provoked, comforted, and invited people to be open to God's work in this world. Wherever he went, whatever he did, Jesus started discussions about what matters most, because for Jesus, God is always inviting us to open our eyes and join in."
The group meets Sunday mornings at 9:00 am. Child care will be provided. If you are interested, please sign up. Please see Richard and Melissa Stup if you have any questions. 

Yarn Group
 Will be gathering every two weeks on Tuesday evenings at 7:00 pm. Our yarn group welcomes all to join in. We knit and crochet prayer shawls and work on all sorts of things together, for a  joy filled time. Lovely yarn and instructions are in the church library. Please help yourself. If you are in need of a shawl for love and comfort for yourself or another, please let Susan Fast or myself know. We have plenty at church.

Next Yarn group  will be at 7:00 p.m. on January 21 at Cathy Dawson's home 256 Renwick Dr. Ithaca, NY. Be sure to look for a celebration of our shawl ministry during worship on February 2nd. Any questions? Please e-mail Linda Yannone (

FCCI Against Hate Action
Introduction to NonViolent Communication (NVC) Workshop sponsored by FCCI's Against Hate Action group, Saturday January 18, 2:00- 4:30 pm in the FCCI chapel

Through awareness and curiosity, unpack habitual ways of communication and learn to shift your focus from what’s wrong to what matters. Facilitated by communication trainer and life coach Corirose Benitez Anjali, this engaging introductory workshop will give participants the opportunity to practice communication skills that build connection in our lives and empower our impact in the world. We will share the key elements of communicating through the lens of Nonviolent Communication (NVC).  Tap into the bedrock of our shared humanity. Explore the mechanics of empathy for ourselves and others. Develop self-expression that promotes connection. Practicing NVC/Compassionate Communication helps people to:
  • Speak in a way that inspires compassion and understanding.
  • Listen with an increased awareness of what matters most to others.
  • Initiate difficult conversations with more ease and confidence.
  • Translate criticism, judgments and blame into life-serving messages.
  • Resolve long-standing conflicts and heal painful relationship
  • Support group visioning and decision making 
  • Strengthen relationships by expressing and receiving gratitude.
Nonviolent Communication (NVC) helps people to create a quality of connection with others so that compassion can flow more readily in relationships of all kinds.  NVC was developed by the American psychologist and international peacemaker, Dr. Marshall Rosenberg who led trainings in forty countries and five continents from 1965-2010.  Dr. Rosenberg founded the Center for Nonviolent Communication in 1985 to promote the sharing of this body of work internationally.  Everyone is welcome - this workshop is accessible to people with all levels of experience. 

Children & Youth Spotlight!

This Sunday, we celebrated Epiphany with one of our church's favorite traditions - giant puppet kings! Thanks to Karin Silva, Jennifer Visscher, Dan Visscher, Jacquie Kaden, Leah Yonker, Karin Sternberg, and Sue Sullivan for your help planning, facilitating the rehearsal, helping things run smoothly on Sunday, and cleaning up! A special thanks to Frank and Lorrie Phillips, who care for the kings during the year and have helped make this process much easier.  

This week, our youth were visited by neighbors from Lansing United Methodist Church. This is the first in a series of events where we'll partner with our friends from Lansing to visit different faith communities and learn about how they worship. If you would like to join us as a chaperone for future trips, please email 
We're recruiting teachers! If you would like to help with our children's and youth programs (even on an occasional, as-needed basis), we'd love to hear from you. Email to learn more. 

Friends of all ages are invited to join us at our "Crafternoon" (Craft-afternoon) on Saturday, February 8th from 2-4 pm. We'll gather together at Kendal (2230 N Triphammer Rd) in the craft room to make love-themed crafts to share with our neighbors. We'll also decorate Valentine's cookies and drink hot chocolate. This is a fun way to make service and sharing God's love a part of your weekend.
Lent starts on Ash Wednesday, February 26th. If you have any favorite Lenten practices, please share them with We'll share a Lent Toolbox at the beginning of February that you can use to consider different ways to connect with God during this special season. 
Make a Difference
 "WHEN it is HARD to be Human – Lessons from the Rescuers in the Holocaust”.  Will be on February 2 at 3;00 p.m. at Ithaca College's Whalen Center for Music Presser Room.  Presented by many local ecumenical organizations. Roald Hoffmann, Nobel Prize winner for Chemistry and survivor of the Holocaust will be speaking. Eva Fogelman, who compiles stories of those who were rescuers, will also speak. Free and open to the public.
An Evening of Jewish Stories, Poetry and Music on February 8  at 7:30 p.m. at Temple Beth El Social Hall.  All are welcome!
FCC needs your support
 An 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. We are $30,000 short of our  pared-down stewardship goal and down by 12 pledgers from last year. If you have misplaced your pledge card or did not get one, extras  are on the table in the Narthex.
If you have already made a pledge for 2020 prayerfully consider increasing the amount (as a few have already done). Help us continue sailing on God’s wind as a technicolor beacon of faith, hope, and love in the world.

Please Note

2019 year-end giving statements are now ready. Please pick up your statement from the table outside the church library-- we love saving on postage! A huge thank-you to all who supported our mission and programs in 2019!
David's 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

Interested in engaging more with our community here at FCC? Not only do committees do the work of the church, they also provide a great opportunity to build relationships with others in the church. A list of committees can be found on the website and on the bulletin board outside the office. If you are ready to serve FCC by joining a committee please let one of the Growth & Membership Committee members know in person. Committee members are; Steve TenEyck, Sue Eslinger, John Zollweg, Dave Wickstrom, Barbara Schramm.

Another opportunity to engage with the community is to sign-up for our online community and church directory, Servant Keeper.

   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 January 12, 2020
Acolytes: (1 needed)
Liturgist: (1 needed)
Offering Counters(Finance Committee):  Laura Andolina, Eugene Yarussi
Reader: FCCI Youth & Children 

Ushers:  FCCI Youth & Children 
Greeters: FCCI Youth & Children 
Coffee Servers: (2 needed)
Snacks:(1 needed)

Pew Supplies Re-Stocker : (1 needed)

Sunday January 19, 2020
Acolytes: Gigi Weislogel
Liturgist: (1 needed)
Offering Counters(Finance Committee):  Eugene Yarussi (1 needed)
Reader: (1 needed)

Ushers: (4 needed)
Greeters: (2 needed)
Coffee Servers: (2 needed)
Snacks:(1 needed)

Pew Supplies Re-Stocker : (1 needed)

Sunday January 26, 2020
Acolytes: Sammy Sternberg
Liturgist: (1 needed)
Offering Counters(Finance Committee): Laura Andolina (1 needed)
Reader: (1 needed)

Ushers: (4 needed)
Greeters: (2 needed)
Coffee Servers: (2 needed)
Snacks:(1 needed)
Flowers: Misao & Len Johnson

Pew Supplies Re-Stocker : (1 needed)
Wednesday, January 8
Strategic Planning Meeting (Library)
5:15 p.m                    Security Team Meeting
Thursday, January 9
3:00 p.m.                   Kendal Service
7:15 p.m.                   Choir Rehearsal
Saturday, January 11
4:00 p.m.                  Grades 7-8 Our Whole Lives Overnight (FUIST)                  
Sunday, January 12
 Annual Committees Report Due!!
 9:00 a.m.                 Adult Bible Study (Chapel)
 10:00 a.m.               Worship - Baptism of Christ
 11:15 a.m.               Coffee & Fellowship
 11:20 a.m.               Committee Meetings
 11:30 a.m                Junior Chimes Choir (Sanctuary)
 11:30 a.m.               Pentecost Singers (Choir Area)
 1:00 p.m.                 Confirmation Session # 6 (RM 10-11)
Monday , January 13

10:30 a.m.                 Women's Book Group
Tuesday, January 14
 8:30 a.m.                  Men's Breakfast & Discussion (Royal Court Restaurant)
 6:00 p.m.                  Church Council Meeting (Narthex)
Thursday, January 16
6:00 p.m.                   Handbells
6:30 p.m.                   Popcorn & Pajama Party  (RM1/2)
7:15 p.m.                   Choir Rehearsal
Saturday, January 18
2:00 p.m.                  Non- Violent Communication (Chapel, Parlor)
Sunday, January 19
 9:00 a.m.                 Adult Bible Study (Chapel)
 10:00 a.m.               Worship 
 11:15 a.m.               Coffee & Fellowship
 11:30 a.m.               AfterWords
 11:30 a.m.               Pentecost Singers (Choir Area)
 11:30 a.m.               Junior Chimes Choir (RM 1-2)
 12:30 p.m.               Lunch Bunch (Ramada In)
 1:00 p.m.                 Confirmation Session #7  (RM 10-11)

Monday , January 20
10:30 a.m.                 Women's Book Group
Tuesday, January 21
11:30 a.m.                  PEO (RM10-11)
 6:00 p.m.                  Church Council Meeting (Narthex)
7:00 p.m.                   Yarn Group (Cathy Dawson's Home)
Thursday, January 23
6:00 p.m.                   Handbells
7:15 p.m.                   Choir Rehearsal
Sunday, January 26
 9:00 a.m.                 Adult Bible Study (Chapel)
 10:00 a.m.               Worship 
 11:15 a.m.               Coffee & Fellowship
 11:30 a.m.               Junior Chimes Choir (RM 1-2)
 12:00 p.m.               Pentecost Singers (Choir Area)
  TBA                        Annual Meeting
Monday , January 27

10:30 a.m.                 Women's Book Group
Thursday, January 30
6:00 p.m.                   Handbells
7:15 p.m.                   Choir Rehearsal
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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