ONE Service this Sunday 🎶🙏

Sanctuary Enhancement Project

Thank you to everyone who came last Saturday, August 26th, to help wipe down the window ledges of construction dust.  Due to Hurricane Idalia, we were NOT able to move the pews back to the sanctuary this week.  Pews will be moved back into the sanctuary after Labor Day. 

We have cancelled our cleaning for this Saturday.  We will Murphy Soap Oil the pews on Saturday, September 9 starting at 8 am. 

We continue to be grateful to Bud Rives for his leadership and management of this project!  We are grateful to Carol Fields, Doug Fields, and Don Hoy who are working hard to reupholster the chairs in the back of the sanctuary.   

On Saturday ~ September 9 at 8 am ~ we could use YOUR help to Murphy Soap Oil the pews and continue to prepare for our Rededication Celebration on September 17.  Many hands make light work.  You are welcome to come at anytime and for as long as you can Saturday morning before 11 am


Prayers for all those in the pathway of Idalia….please pray with me:

Sheltering God, we pray for You to protect and be with all who have been impacted by the hurricane this week.  We pray for those whose homes are destroyed and businesses flooded.  We pray for those without power, afraid, and whose lives are turned upside down.  We pray for us to let Your love be poured out on our neighbors here in Florida as we deal with another hurricane this week.  Be with those working to restore power, staffing and living in shelters, and rescuing people who are stranded.  Gracious God continue to be with us in the days to come as we pick up the pieces.  Grant us Your strength that sustains and Your love that makes us whole.  In the name of the One who is with us always, Jesus the Christ. Amen.


 ONE Service this Sunday ~
September 3 at 11 am ~ with communion.


Please note on Sunday, September 3rd, Labor Day Weekend, we will have ONE Service at 11 am in Syster Hall and online.  It is also birthday Sunday so we will enjoy cake after service!  

While Greg is on a well-deserved vacation, we welcome Cynthia Roberts-Greene as guest pianist and choir director.

11 a.m. ~ in Syster Hall and online ~ Welcome Cynthia Roberts-Greene as guest pianist and Pastor Wes will preach on Hebrews 12, “A Great Cloud of Witnesses”.  Our amazing Chancel Choir will sing and we will celebrate communion together.  

For our online viewers, we encourage you to stream on YouTube directly.  YouTube offers a GREAT experience for participating in the service.  You are welcome to continue to watch on Facebook right now.  Please note that our website is taking the feed from YouTube, so going directly to the platform will help.

Click Here to Watch on Facebook

Fellowship this Sunday, September 3 is Birthday Sunday ~ please stay to celebrate after worship.

Pastor Wes’s morning meditations this week have focused on reading the Psalms.  You can click here to read.



September Newsletter is now available online!

Please click here to read.

Thank you to Carol McCloud, Evelyn Crooks, and Sherry Glover for their help with the newsletter!

October 19 Luncheon
Michael’s On East

Doors open 11:00
Program 11:30 to 1:00

A Look Behind the Scenes: The Realities of Prisoner Reentry

Laura I. Appleman, JD, discusses the myriad ways in which criminal justice costs–fees, fines, court costs, probation payments, mandatory classes, and non-payment penalties–affect reentering citizens and how these costs can lead to years of indebtedness.  Professor Appleman is a member of the faculty at the College of Law at Willamette University in Salem, Oregon where she is the Van Winkle Melton Professor of Law and a University Research Integrity Officer. She is a member of the Yale Law School Executive Committee, co-reporter for the Yale Law School class of ‘98, a member of the Bar of the City of New York, and has worked with the Brennan Center for Justice on issues of indigent defense and criminal procedure.

Secure tickets early!

Click here to reserve your seats. Tickets are $40 each and include lunch.


90+ Wise Birthdays in September

8/21 ~ Donald Dumford
8/24 ~ Ed Dupree
9/1 ~    Rev. Dr. Robert Bryant
9/5 ~    Barbara Mask
9/12 ~   Guy Spencer
9/19 ~   Joann Evans


Family Promise Francis House Volunteer Opportunities.

An expectant mother with two children, ages 8 and 18 months moved into Francis House the weekend of August 12.  She is currently working so Family Promise congregations will help her by supplying a hot healthy meal once each weekend.  First Congregational, UCC will supply meals in September with the help of our volunteers. Volunteers, who are interested, will also be attending one of two possible training events so that they can interact with the mother and children.  Thank you for the support of time, money, food and supplies that so many of you have given to Family Promise.  We ask for your prayers as the search for a center/shelter continues so that the shelter program for families can be started again. If so, please contact Ellen Marsey or Dotty Reed and they will be glad to add you to the year-round list and/or send you a current list of specific volunteer opportunities.


COLLAGE visit from Tom Edwards, LGBTQ+ Sarasota School Board member, will be speaking to COLLAGE on September 10, 12-1:00, in Syster Hall. He will share his thoughts on professional and personal experiences in the LGBTQ+ community. All church members are invited. Feel free to bring a friend. In lieu of a full luncheon, snacks will be available. 


Monday, September 18th, at 6 p.m. at First Congregational United Church of Christ. We will hold our kickoff as well as a meet and greet with Mackenzie Grimes as the new lead organizer.  

First Congregational UCC will host our annual House Meeting after both services on Sunday, October 15 in Syster Hall.
Mackenzie is planning to participate with us this day.


The Mission Team encourages you to give to the Hawaii Conference of the United Church of Christ following the devasting fire there.  You can donate by clicking here.  The United Church of Christ as a LONG relationship with our siblings there and we want to offer our love and financial resources in these days.

Please pray for all who are grieving: family and friends of Pat Myers.  Family and friends of Gail Johnson.  Jane Delgado-Semidei whose husband, Joe passed away. Pamela and Bob Gore-Meade on the passing of Bob’s mother, Esther.  Please pray for Lee Smith on the passing of his cousin who was like a sister, Sandra.

Millie Small and Nancy Gillum on hospice care. 

Prayers for Lorraine Matthews, Nydia Muniz-Smith, Maria Duprez, Chuck Shipman’s granddaughter (Barbara), Julia Detoff, Dick Sparrow, Kitty Miller, Jon Metzger, Melissa Hill, Michael Carone, John Hilficker, Helaine Eckstein,  Dr. Robert Bryant, Blaine Pool, Roger Weiss, Connie Schaefer, and who all continue to recover. 


Sacred Conversations on Race ~ gathers at 3 pm in the Oasis Center and on Zoom on the following date:

September 13: “The Urgency of Intersectionality” – TED Talks by Kimberle’ Crenshaw 
September 27: “We Need to Talk about an Injustice” – TED Talks by Bryan Stevenson 

All are welcome!  You can join either in person in the Oasis Center or on Zoom.  Please see Jim Crumel for more information.


ALSO Youth Art Exhibit

ALSO Youth, a local non-profit organization serving the LGBTQ+ youth community in Sarasota & Manatee Counties, is proud to present the art showcase, “Expressions Exhibition” on Thursday, September 7, 2023, at the Sarasota Opera House. The Exhibit will feature the works of local artists as well as youth artists from Sarasota and Manatee Counties.  

The Expressions Exhibition will include a silent auction of local artists’ works, live music, free lite bites, and a cash bar. Artwork in various mediums submitted by youth from Sarasota and Manatee County will also be showcased in celebration of their creative expressions.

Please click here to purchase a ticket or support ALSO Youth


Wednesday, August 30
Bible Study, 11 am, Oasis Center and Zoom

Sunday, September 3 ~ ONE Service
Sunday Worship, 11 am, in Syster Hall and online
Fellowship Time birthday Sunday, noon, Syster Hall

Monday, September 4 ~ Labor Day
Church Campus Closed

Tuesday, September 5
Bible Study, 6:30 pm, Zoom






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