All Saints Day 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 ~
November 5 at 9 am & 11 am ~

We will honor our Saints at both services.  This is also food pantry Sunday (focusing on Thanksgiving ~ see below).  And Family Promise Fundraiser after both services.    

Please remember Daylight Saving Time ends early 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.  


9:00 a.m. ~ in the sanctuary ~  Pastor Wes will continue the Sermon Series on Elijah when the chariot swung low to carry him home, 2 Kings 2, selected verses.  All are welcome.

11:00 a.m. ~ in the sanctuary and online ~  Pastor Wes will continue the Sermon Series on Elijah when the chariot swung low to carry him home, 2 Kings 2, selected verses.  Our amazing Chancel Choir will sing two beautiful anthems.  

Stewardship 2024: I’m so excited….

We began our Stewardship kick off on Sunday with a wonderful testimony from Pauline Geary.  Thank you, Pauline!!!
 Please click here to listen to her powerful reflections.

Also if you have not received you pledge card, please contact the church office.  If you did not have a chance to participate in the budget presentation:  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.


The Family of Myron Robinson would like to thank First Congregational Church  for a joyous home going for Myron.

Stories were told, prayers were prayed, food was consumed, hugs were given along with smiles and words of comfort.

All of God’s  helpers were out in full force.  Special gratitude for Pastor Wes, Greg Chestnut, The Choir, Felix McElroy, Lois Wilkins, Dr. Marsha Kindall-Smith, and Mark Swain.

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.

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.


Celebrate Birthdays and Support Family Promise Sunday, November 5th ~ after both 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.  After 11 am there will be 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!


Thank you to Chris Cooper and EVERYONE who showed up to help with the church yard clean up last Saturday.  Many hands made light the work and the campus looks great.  Thank you to Mark and Dawn Swain, Philip Swain, and Al Cady who work every Thursday pulling weeds.

Thank you to Gregg Matthews and the Safe Team for an outstanding presentation on Sunday.  

Thank you to Carol and Page McCloud and Bud Rives for their hard work on remodeling the kitchenette in the Outreach Building for our groups who use the campus almost every day of the week.  This new kitchenette truly will help us share a warm welcome with those in our community coming to 12 step programs, painting and art classes, and other groups.  

As we honor and name our saints this Sunday, please note the day and time for the Celebrations of Life
Bill Moore ~ Saturday, November 18 at 1 pm ~ Sanctuary and online
Millie Small ~ Saturday, December 2 at 10:30 pm ~ Chapel
Lorraine E. Matthews ~ Saturday, December 16 at 10 am ~ Sanctuary and online

Lovette Harper and Wes Curry on hospice care. 

Prayers for Jeff Smith, Jan Andersen, Mary Lou Starcher, 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. 


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. 

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


Book Study on Core Values Continues…still time to join.

In connection to our Core Values work this past year, we are reading, Christianity for the Rest of Us by Diana Butler-Bass.  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.  This coming Monday, November 6 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. 


In September, the Church Council of First Congregational UCC signed onto a Pastoral Letter speaking out on behalf of Education Justice in Florida. 

45 additional UCC Churches have also signed.

View the Letter Here  


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. 


Wednesday, November 1
Lay Visitation Team, 9 a.m. to noon, Chapel
Wednesday Bible Study, 11 am, Oasis and Zoom
Choir Rehearsal, 7 pm, Chapel

Thursday, November 2
Staffing Team, 3:30 pm, Oasis Center and Zoom

Saturday, November 4
Racial Justice Mission Group Blanket Exercise, noon – 3 pm, Syster Hall
Set Your Clocks back on hour!!

Sunday, November 5 ~ All Saints Day
Early Worship, 9 am, sanctuary
Sunday Worship, 11 am, sanctuary and online 
Birthday Sunday and Family Promise fundraiser, noon
New Member Class, noon, Oasis Center

Monday, November 6
Facilities and Groups, 10 am, Oasis Center and Zoom
Racial Justice Mission Group, 11 am, Zoom
Core Values Subcommittee meeting, 1 pm, Oasis Center and Zoom
Christianity for the Rest of Us Book Conversation, 4 pm, Oasis and Zoom

Tuesday, November 7
First UCC Women Board Meeting, 10:30 am, Syster Hall
First UCC Women Luncheon, 11:30 am, Syster Hall
Drumming as a Spiritual Practice, 3 pm, Chapel
Tuesday Night Bible Study, 6:30 pm, Zoom






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