Two Services this Sunday 🎶🙏

Sanctuary Enhancement Project

Pews are now back in the sanctuary!!  The new pew cushions have arrived ~ and the sanctuary is looking amazing!!

This Saturday, September 9 at 8 am you are invited to help us Murphy Soap Oil the pews and put hymnals back.  Next week, September 11-15, the piano will return to the sanctuary, organ will be tuned, and audio/visual equipment will be reconnected.  We are on track for an amazing Re-dedication Sunday, September 17 at 8:45 and 11 am in the sanctuary.

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.   

This Saturday ~  Saturday, September 9 at 8 am we will Murphy Soap Oil the pews.  You can help bless the sanctuary as we prepare for the rededication.   


 TWO Services this Sunday ~
September 10 at 8:45 am & 11 am ~


We welcome Cynthia Roberts-Greene as guest pianist and choir director.

8:45 am ~ in the chapel ~  Pastor Wes will preach on John 15, I am the vine, you are the branches.  

11 a.m. ~ in Syster Hall and online ~ Welcome Cynthia Roberts-Greene as our guest pianist and choir director.  Pastor Wes will preach on John 15, I am the vine, you are the branches. Our amazing Chancel Choir will sing.

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

Pastor Wes’s morning meditations this week have focused on Information and Inspiration.  You can click here to read.



Sunday, September 17 ~ Dedication Sunday Picnic Celebration after 11 am worship ~ Fried chicken (ordered from Publix), drinks, and dessert will be provided.  YOU are invited to provide a side dish (potato salad, macaroni salad, cole slaw, baked beans, vegetables, fruit salad, or any appropriate “picnic” side dish).  Please remember home-made and store bought are equally great.  


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. 


Please pray for Gregg Matthews on the passing of Lorraine on Monday.  May God’s love enfold and hold this whole family as they grieve and hold onto the light Lorraine shared with this world.  A service to celebrate Lorraine’s life will be held at a date to be determined.

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.  We pray for all those in the pathway of Hurricane Idala.

Please pray for Jane Delgado-Semidei whose husband, Joe passed away.  Please pray for 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, Nancy Gillum, and Wes Curry on hospice care. 

Prayers for Gib Mitchell, Gordon Quimby, Pam Ganch-Boyth, Chuck Shipman, Sue LaRosa, 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. 


90+ Wise Birthdays in September

9/1 ~    Rev. Dr. Robert Bryant
9/5 ~    Barbara Mask
9/12 ~   Guy Spencer
9/19 ~   Joann Evans


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.


You are invited to an evening reception at the Lexow Gallery at the Unitarian Universalist Church (3975 Fruitville Rd) featuring our very own, Brenda Robinson!! The evening reception is on Friday, September 22nd from 5-7 pm.  The Art Show is entitled, “Our Stories are in our Scars”.  The show runs from September 17-October 12.  Come and support Brenda!


 Monday, September 18th, at 6 p.m. at First Congregational United Church of Christ. Sarasota United for Responsibility and Equity will hold the kickoff for the coming year as well as an opportunity to meet and greet 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.


Manasota Interracial Book Club (MIBC) fall meeting on Saturday, September 30. The meeting will take place from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm at First Presbyterian Church, 2050 Oak Street, Sarasota.  The gather will center around the question,  “What are the long term consequences of ignoring diversity, equity and inclusion in our society?” This is a FREE event open to the public.

The panelists include:
•    David Wilkins, Esq and President, Manasota branch of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) 
•    Jill Lewis Spector, 2nd Vice President, League of Women Voters of Florida Chair, LWV-FL & LWV-SRQ Education Action Teams 
•    Sharon Preston-Folta, Sr. Account Executive with WUSF Public Media in Tampa and Volunteer Programmer at WSLR 96.5 FM, Sarasota 
•    Rev. Dr. Wes Bixby, Senior Pastor, First Congregational United Church of Christ, Sarasota
Renée James Gilmore, Producer & Host of Empowering Voices at ABC7-WWSB will serve as moderator of the panel.


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.


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

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!


Wednesday, September 6
Bible Study, 11 am, Oasis Center and Zoom
Worship Team Meeting, 1 pm, Zoom

Thursday, September 7
Green Team, 10 am, Oasis Center and Zoom

Saturday, September 9
Cleaning Sanctuary, 8 am!

Sunday, September 10 ~ TWO Services
Early Worship, 8:45 am, Chapel 
Sunday Worship, 11 am, Syster Hall and online
COLLAGE speaker, Tom Edwards, noon
Reading the Bible in a Year, 1 pm, Oasis Center and Zoom

Monday, September 11
Facilities and Grounds, 10 am, Oasis Center
Racial Justice Mission Group, 11 am, Zoom
Reading the Bible in a Year, 1 pm, Oasis and Zoom

Tuesday, September 12
Spiritual Education and Growth, 2 pm, Oasis and Zoom
Bible Study, 6:30 pm, Zoom






Copyright © 2023 First Congregational UCC, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp