Two Services this Sunday 🎶🙏

November Newsletter is now ready Please click here to read!

Thank you to Carol McCloud, Evelyn Crooks, and Sherry Glover for their help in keeping us connected.  


 TWO Services this Sunday ~
October 29 at 9 am & 11 am ~

Sunday, October 29th is GATHERING of the WATERS SUNDAY at both services!!  Please plan to bring water from your travels this past year or from your faucet right here as we celebrate the ways God brings the streams of our lives together.  

Safety Team presentation follows the 11 am worship in Syster Hall.


9:00 a.m. ~ in the sanctuary ~  Pastor Wes will continue the Sermon Series on Elijah, focusing on 1 Kings 19, God showing up in the sound of sheer silence.  All are welcome.

11:00 a.m. ~ in the sanctuary and online ~  Pastor Wes will continue the Sermon Series on Elijah 19, God showing up in the sound of sheer silence.  Our amazing Chancel Choir will sing.  

Please remember Daylight Saving Time ends early next Sunday morning.  When you go to bed on Saturday, November 4 remember to turn your clock back one hour and enjoy the extra hour of sleep!!  Come ready to celebrate our Saints on November 5th at both services.    

Thank you to Gib Mitchell, Robin Reich and Dale Woodling for a wonderful budget presentation last Sunday.

Please click here to view the budget presentation:

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 ~  You can click here to read.


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

October 25: “How to Deconstruct Racism One Headline at a Time” – TED Talk by Baratunde Thurston.  

November 8: ““The Myth of Thanksgiving: Native American Perspectives on The Pilgrims” from the PBS program, American Experience. 

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


November 5 is All Saints Day if you have a loved one who is in God’s eternal embrace and would like the person’s name read aloud, please contact Pastor Wes. 

Prayers for all who are grieving: family and friends of Millie Small, Brenda Robinson, Carol Brickner, Gregg Matthews. 

Lovette Harper and Wes Curry on hospice care. 

Prayers for Jan Andersen, MaryLou Starcher, Charles Hawkins, Deb Polhman,  Linda Campbell, Lee Brockmann, Pam Ganch-Boyth, Chuck Shipman, Sue LaRosa, Nydia Muniz-Smith, Maria Duprez’s daughter Yvonne, Chuck Shipman’s granddaughter (Barbara), Julia Detoff, Dick Sparrow, Kitty Miller, Michael Carone, John Hilficker, Helaine Eckstein,  Dr. Robert Bryant, Roger Weiss, Connie Schaefer, and who all continue to recover. 


Sarasota United for Responsibility and Equity UPDATE

If you did not have a chance to attend the amazing house meeting on Sunday after worship, there is still time to participate!! Please see Pastor Wes or Carol Hagglund for more information.  

Please plan to attend the Community Problems Assembly on October 30th at 6 pm at Greater Hurst AME (2730 Links Ave.) 


BOOK STUDY ON CORE VALUES STARTS OCTOBER 30 ~ Our congregation is currently holding a yearlong conversation about its core values, mission and vision.  As a part of this effort, Immediate Past Moderator Jim Butterworth will be facilitating a four-week discussion series this fall based on Christianity for the Rest of Us by Diana Butler-Bass which considers the shape of emerging Christianity and the renewal of mainline Protestant churches such as our UCC.  

Butler-Bass shares examples of inspiring work which congregations around the nation are doing in vital areas of church life such as hospitality, worship, justice, healing and diversity. On four Monday afternoons from October 30 through November 20 at 4:00 pm in the Oasis Center and on Zoom, participants will discuss a few of these “signposts of renewal” each week and consider how we are accomplishing God’s work in these key areas of our congregational life.  Register with Sherry Glover in the church office at 941-953-7044 by October 23.  New and used copies of the Butler-Bass book can easily be found online.  Hope to see you there! 



The next gathering of the PRAYER SHAWL MINISTRY GROUP  will be on Tuesday, Oct 31st from 2-3:30pm at Florence Jackson’s house. Contact Florence for address and directions (  Contact Lindsey Huddleston (630-338-9294) or Carol Hagglund  (813-767-3782) for more information.  Refreshments will be served.

New Member Class ~ November 5th after the 11 a.m. worship service in the Oasis Center.  

We warmly welcome everyone who would like to learn what it means to be a member of First Congregational UCC. A light lunch will be served. You will have a chance to meet others and to ask any questions. Please call the church office to RSVP.


All Faiths Food Bank Collection ~ Sunday, November 5th is the monthly collection of items for All Faiths Food Bank. Along with the usual items, feel free to bring a few things that could be used for a Thanksgiving dinner.  Items such as canned cranberry relish or sauce, green beans, yams, or boxed stuffing mix would be helpful. Last month in October, we donated 32 bags of food weighing 360 pounds, please consider bringing a gift for our food pantry on November 5th.

Celebrate Birthdays and Support Family Promise Sunday, November 5th ~ after 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. services We will celebrate November birthdays and have a challenge to raise money for Family Promise.  Tara Maffei, Executive Director and/or Cynthia Schalk, Director of Partner Outreach, will be present and available to share information about the services Family Promise offers to support families facing homelessness and to answer any questions you have.

Treats will be offered after the 9 a.m. service and ice cream and cake will be provided for our traditional birthday Sunday celebration.  Our special challenge, to support Family Promise, is to donate either 25 cents, 50 cents or a dollar for each year of your life.  Regardless of what you donate, any donation is gratefully accepted and appreciated.  A basket will be at the end of the table, or you can give your donation to Ellen Marsey, Family Promise Co-Coordinator. Thank you!


Please join the UCC Women for their monthly lunch and program on Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2023, at 11:30 am in Fellowship Hall. We will hear from Donna Rae Smith about the charity she founded, SCHOOL ATTENDANCE SUPPORT, INC., or “S.A.S.”

Donna learned that children living in poverty are much more likely to stay home from school, especially girls who are menstruating but have no sanitary supplies, or it’s raining so boys and girls stay home because don’t have raincoats. Donna will explain how S.A.S. meets theses basic needs. Luncheon costs $12. Sign up after either Sunday service or call the church office at 941-953-7044. Questions? Call Lucy Hedrick, 203-561-9590, or Please bring a box or two of ultra-thin sanitary pads—any size. No maxi-pads or tampons. 

The Angel Tree tags will be here soon!  Tags will be available for in-person pickup after the 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. services on November 12th. Should you not be present to get a tag, please contact Sandy Smith (941-260-8337, 340-227-5121 or–she will see that you are included. 

Last Week, Rev. Dr. Karen Georgia Thompson was installed as General Minister and President of the United Church of Christ.  You can click here to read about the service and watch a video of the celebration.



Wednesday, October 25
Wednesday Bible Study, 11 am, Oasis and Zoom
Sacred Conversations on Race, 3 pm, Oasis Center and Zoom
Choir Rehearsal, 7 pm, Chapel

Thursday, October 26
Green Team, 10 am, Oasis Center and Zoom

Saturday, October 28
Outside Clean up Day, 8 am

Sunday, October 29 ~ Gathering of the Waters
Early Worship, 9 am, sanctuary
Sunday Worship, 11 am, sanctuary and online 
Safety Team Presentation, noon, Syster Hall

Reading the Bible in a Year, 1 pm, Oasis Center and Zoom

Monday, October 30
Reading the Bible in a Year, 1 pm, Oasis Center and Zoom
Christianity for the Rest of Us Book Conversation, 4 pm, Oasis and Zoom
SURE Community Problems Assembly, 6 pm, Greater Hurst Chapel

Tuesday, October 31
Tuesday Night Bible Study, 6:30 pm, Zoom



The Facilities and Grounds team invites you to a workday trimming and weeding on Saturday, October 28 starting at 8 am.  Please bring gloves, trimmers, and gardening tools.  Many hands make light the work. 






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