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[img src=http://firstreformeducc.org/wp-content/flagallery/hometop/thumbs/thumbs_congregation.jpg]3470Congregational Picture
January
[img src=http://firstreformeducc.org/wp-content/flagallery/hometop/thumbs/thumbs_23.png]3000Youth Ready to work
[img src=http://firstreformeducc.org/wp-content/flagallery/hometop/thumbs/thumbs_017.jpg]2770Easter
[img src=http://firstreformeducc.org/wp-content/flagallery/hometop/thumbs/thumbs_mission-trip-2013.jpg]2450Youth Mission Trip
[img src=http://firstreformeducc.org/wp-content/flagallery/hometop/thumbs/thumbs_img_0861.jpg]2250Home Repair Ministry
[img src=http://firstreformeducc.org/wp-content/flagallery/hometop/thumbs/thumbs_img_0862.jpg]1980Group Pic of Home Repair Ministry
[img src=http://firstreformeducc.org/wp-content/flagallery/hometop/thumbs/thumbs_wp_20131215_014-custom.jpg]2031Choir Singing Christmas Cantata
[img src=http://firstreformeducc.org/wp-content/flagallery/hometop/thumbs/thumbs_img_20130713_141549_791.jpg]1840Youth Trip - Zip Line
[img src=http://firstreformeducc.org/wp-content/flagallery/hometop/thumbs/thumbs_sr-adults-2.jpg]1731Senior Adult Luncheon
[img src=http://firstreformeducc.org/wp-content/flagallery/hometop/thumbs/thumbs_wp_20131102_020.jpg]1720Preparing cakes for charity auction and dinner
[img src=http://firstreformeducc.org/wp-content/flagallery/hometop/thumbs/thumbs_wp_20131102_028.jpg]1570Biscuit Makers
[img src=http://firstreformeducc.org/wp-content/flagallery/hometop/thumbs/thumbs_josh-custom.jpg]1680Josh
[img src=http://firstreformeducc.org/wp-content/flagallery/hometop/thumbs/thumbs_confirmation-2013-custom.jpg]1620Confirmation Sunday
[img src=http://firstreformeducc.org/wp-content/flagallery/hometop/thumbs/thumbs_childrens-picture-custom.jpg]1620Children during Easter
[img src=http://firstreformeducc.org/wp-content/flagallery/hometop/thumbs/thumbs_cookingjoann-custom.jpg]1600JoAnne and sons

  First Reformed United Church of Christ

 

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Mosaic Worship Service

 

Bring the work of art that is YOU and let’s discover how our lives fit together!

 

The Mosaic Worship Service will debut on March 2nd at 5:00 p.m.  This is special service that will be held in the fellowship hall on the 1st Sunday of each month.  Hallmarks of the service include it being:

Informal  -  Come as you are! No need to dress to impress.

Interactive  -  Active participation is encouraged— even during the message!

Inclusive  -  Regardless of where you are on life’s journey, you are welcome here. We embrace the beauty of diversity!

A nursery will be provided for children ages 3 and younger and we encourage folks to come early for a time of fellowship.

Please share this opportunity with your friends, family and neighbors!

Click here for MOSAIC flyer

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John C. Glenn shares his musical gift

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Share Your Time & Talent

 

Our ministries cannot be accomplished by just a few – nor should they.  According to scripture, each of us has been given a different gift for the sake of building up the body of Christ.  No one is expected to serve in an area of service for which he or she is not equipped.  That only leads to frustration and burnout.  In order to remain a vital and vibrant congregation, everyone’s participation is essential.

Each member of First Reformed UCC is asked to review the service opportunities listed and to mark those items which you are willing to support with your gift of time and talent.  We have attempted to be as comprehensive as possible, but if you would like to share yourself in a way not listed on this form, please use the space provided.

We are asking each person to return his/her completed form to the church on or before  Sunday, February 2nd.  You are welcome to drop these in the offering plate on Sunday morning or mail them to the church office.

Click here to download your Time & Talent form

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Pastor Myers shares vision for First Reformed

 

When I meet with the Consistory each month, I typically give an accounting of the pastoral services I’ve offered during the previous month and describe any new programs or projects I may be planning for the upcoming month or months. 

My November report to the Consistory started off like most others, but at the end, I asked the Consistory for its “backing and blessing” of two new endeavors I’d like to pursue in 2014:  

  • Initiating a second worship service here at FRUCC, and
  • Having intentional conversations within the congregation about the possibility of our church becoming Open and Affirming.  

What was the response of the Consistory? Overwhelming enthusiasm and support.

Realizing that the reaction from the larger membership may be a bit more ambivalent, I’d like to share some of my rationale as to the significance of these two endeavors.

 

Second Worship Service

 

I expect that one of the first questions to arise will be “Why offer a second service when we can’t even fill the sanctuary for one service?” Here are a few thoughts…

 

  • Although most of us grew up attending worship services on Sunday morning, that block of time isn’t nearly as sacred in today’s culture and society. Families are more mobile, recreational opportunities are more abundant, and many jobs now require employees to work on Sundays. By offering a service at a time other than Sunday morning, we have the potential of ministering to a larger number of people.

 

  • Our worship style does not appeal to a large portion of today’s population. This is true not only for teens, but also many adults. Many people are drawn to a different style of music, the use of audio-visuals, less formality, and greater congregational participation. Rather than completely revamping our current service – potentially alienating members who enjoy a more traditional service – a more productive approach is to offer an alternative service. 

 

  • Above all else, the main purpose for initiating a second service is not to serve those who are al-ready within the church, but to attract and minister to those who have felt excluded or marginalized in anyway.

 

Open and Affirming

 

Opening and Affirming (ONA) is an official designation among UCC congregations which make a public covenant to welcome into their full life and ministry persons of all sexual orientations, gender identities, and gender expressions. The official process for becoming an ONA church involves conducting a year-long study within the congregation and then asking the membership to vote on whether or not to become Open and Affirming. The reactions to this topic are varied. And believe it or not, some individuals who are extremely supportive of Gay and Lesbian rights have a few reservations about the ONA process.

Here are a few of the concerns I’ve heard over the years:

  • Why do we have to take a vote?
  • Why can’t we say we accept all people and leave it at that?
  • Why single out someone’s sexual orientation?
  • What about other forms of prejudice and discrimination? 

Regardless of one’s stance, the issue is too divisive. I’ve seen other church’s split over this issue. For certain, this is a complex issue that holds no easy solutions. That’s why I believe further study and conversation is so necessary. Avoidance, however, is not a faithful response.

To be up front, I prefer that our conversation exceed that of gender orientation alone and that we address other forms of discrimination as well. The materials prepared for the ONA process should prove quite helpful in that endeavor.

 

Two Invitations

 

Although I firmly believe that these initiatives will make significant contributions to the vitality and growth of our church, their success is dependent upon the “backing and blessing” of the wider membership. Neither endeavor will go anywhere without the support and participation of the broader congregation. Here’s how you can get involved! During January and February, I will be holding a series of alternating meetings in which you can share your feedback and ideas for moving forward with these initiatives.

Anyone interested in helping design and/or lead a second worship service is invited to join me on the following Tuesday evenings at 7 p.m.: January 7, January 21, February 4, and February 18.

Anyone who would like to enter into a dialogue on the potential of our church becoming Open and Affirming is invited to join me on the alternating Tuesdays of: January 14, January 28, February 11, and February 25. These gatherings will be held at 7 p.m. as well.

 

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First Reformed United Church of Christ 513 W. Front Street Burlington, NC 27215 Phone: 336.226.7346