Broadcaster Newsletter

Vol. XXVI No 4                                                     April 2017


From the Pastor’s Desk:  Now, but Not Yet

Lost and Found

As we approached Jerusalem the crowd stood at the gate

 and cried in tear-choked voice:

“We are lost in his death.”

Upon the hill the angels sang:  “We are found in his rising.”

–Ann Weems in Kneeling in Jerusalem


Writing this while still anticipating and planning for Holy Week and Easter and a few weeks beyond is a strange sort of thing.  But such is life, right?  In church-time we try to observe the days and seasons with special rituals like refraining from “Alleluia” during Lent.  Life is never quite so tidy—in or out of the church.

Things are a bit less orderly than linear dichotomies of “either/or” or even “both/and”, or straight, neatly progressing lines of “past, present, future”, or “birth, life, death (and new birth?!?).  Pick a form that captures this idea if you’re a “visual” person:  a spiral, the straight line piece of paper that with one twist turns into the eternal mobius strip without beginning or end, and so on.  Weems’ poetic expression is so apt for this, isn’t it?  Lost in death, found in rising—all at once.

It caught me  off-guard last week to see shoots of flowers popping through the earth in the garden bed on the east side of the church.  At home each day I look for buds and new growth rising out of what has seemed, if not dead, dormant during the winter trying to resist the temptation to clear out old growth quite yet.  I’m trusting that, even as we wind our way into Jerusalem and through the times of trials and tears and, yes, death, we will be doing so expectantly, actively watching for the buds of new growth, a resurrection—in our spirits and lives, individually and in community, always seeking out and shaping the “not yet” in our “now”.

I strongly urge your participation in these days of waiting, watching and celebration.  Holy Week includes a 7:30 PM Maundy Thursday communion service, along with a collection of items to share with those in need—an act rooted in the command (“mandate”/Maundy) to provide loving service for others as Christ did in washing the feet of the disciples—shared at our church with the good folks from First United Methodist and First Presbyterian churches; and 7 PM Good Friday worship at First Presbyterian Church will have us gather again in community and remembrance.

On Easter Sunday, we’ll greet the day with members of the other churches once more at a 6 AM Sunrise Communion Service at Walnut Hill Cemetery, section D, by the “old veterans” white cross area—in case of rain, at First United Methodist.  At 8 AM, back at church, we’ll enjoy an Easter Brunch and, beginning at 9 AM, decoration of an outdoor cross and Easter Egg Hunt for children, all followed by worship at 10:15 AM.

The following Sunday, April 23, will be Holy Humor Sunday…and Bring a Friend to Church Sunday, too!

May we all find peace in the now even as we move toward the not yet, confident that the world we live in is that of a God for whom death is not the final word, and who offers us life—and life abundant!

See you in church!  Pastor Doug



From Our Parish Nurse                        By: Geri Schoenoff

Calender  of Events


For Dick and me, this 60th anniversary year has given  us so many special moments with dear friends and our family.  Dick and I feel so blessed and grateful.

As this year continues, another celebration was added to our 60th anniversary memory bank.  An evening at the theater with dear friends and a time of complete joy and frivolity was anticipated.

As the play, “Cabaret”, unfolded, it takes place during the roaring easy, carefree, decadent years of the 1930’s in Berlin, Germany.  The  music was wild, jazzy, easy going with people drawn into the free, wild living of flowing booze, drugs, and sex.

Of course there is a love angle, who for a time is also drawn into this wild living, but Cliff begins to have great apprehension for himself and for his beloved, Sally, a cabaret dancer at the Kit Kat Club.

As the 1930’s become more turbulent with the rise of Hitler, Cliff senses the impending dangers of Hitler, but there are those who feel nothing of the imminent  dangers  for their Jewish friends or their beloved Country and continue to live wild, decedent lives.  Sally also cannot see the dangers and continues to want to live this decedent life – the allure of this hedonistic life is too strong – not even her lover Cliff can break her ties to come with him to have a better life.

Eight hours later, the play lingers with both of us.  At breakfast, following our “Cabaret” evening, we felt several concerns and questions.

How could so many people be oblivious to the changes Hitler was bringing to their Jewish fiends and to their beloved Germany?

What allows a dictator, such as Hitler, to have and hold such power over his people and his country?

How could a beautiful love be the loser to a life of decedent living?

With increase drug usage among our young adults in 2017, is there any difference from the 1930’s?

I have no clear answers.

Shalom, Geri, Perish Nurse


OGHS: thank you!

THANK YOU for your generous support.  As of dedication Sunday, it stood at:  $7543.  Additional OGHS contributions gladly accepted. Use a One Great Hour of Sharing envelopes or a check to First Congregational UCC with “OGHS” clearly marked in the memo.  Again, thank you.


Adult Study, 9 AM—DVD/Discussion “Who Killed Jesus?”-                                 Kathy Walker, facilitating

Worship with Communion, 10:15 AM

No Children’s Sunday School first Sun. of month

Tues, April Trustees, 6 PM

Wed, April 5 Lenten Evening Prayer, 6:30 PM

Choir Rehearsal, 7:30 PM

Thurs, April 6 Outreach Board, 8:15 AM


                                    Confirmation, 9 AM

Adult Study Class, 9 AM—The Wired Word—current                                                                  topics & faith

Worship and Children’s Sunday School, 10:15 AM

POTLUCK following worship

Tues, April 11 Stewardship, 6 PM

                        Cabinet, 7 PM

Wed, April 12 Choir Rehearsal, 7 PM


Maundy Thursday Communion Service, First Congregational, 7 PM

Fri, April 14—GOOD FRIDAY

Good Friday Service, First Presbyterian, 7 PM

Sun, April 16–EASTER

Outdoor Sunrise Communion Service, 6 AM—Walnut Hill Cemetery, Section D, by “Old Veterans” white cross; rain location: First United Methodist

Easter Breakfast, 8 AM

Decorating Outside Cross & Egg Hunt, 9 AM

Worship & Children’s Sunday School, 10:15 AM

Mon, April 17 Parkinson’s Support Group, 2 PM

Tues, April 18 Mission & Social Concerns, 6 PM

Wed, April 19 Choir Rehearsal, 7 PM

Thurs, April 20 Diaconate, 6:30 PM

Sun, April 23—HOLY HUMOR/Bring a Friend to Church

Adult Study Class, 9 AM—Rev. Jody Whelden– The Spirituality of Illness: Cracking Open, Accelerated Learning with Heart & Head, and Bringing it Home

Worship and Children’s Sunday School, 10:15 AM


Tues, April 25 Christian Ed, 6:30 PM

Wed, April 26 May Broadcaster newsletter deadline, items to Chris:

Choir Rehearsal, 7 PM

Sun, April 30  Adult Study Class, 9 AM—Attorney Megan Sprecher on immigration law, specializing in children’s concerns (also Kit’s niece)

Worship and Children’s Sunday School, 10:15 AM


Fellowship News

Potluck, April 9th

Easter Brunch April 16th, 8-9a.m.  Signup sheet in Narthex

May 7th Potluck

June 25th Church Picnic at Schoenoff farm

July 9th White Oak shelter at south shore, Devil’s Lk. Park reserved for church event.  Details later.

Many thanks to planners of March Family Game Night.  It was a memorable event.  Annual Event?


Celebrating the Easter Story

April 9: On the day that we shout “Hosanna!” and rejoice in kingship of Jesus Christ, Palm Sunday, we will also recognize the somber things that are to come, his approaching crucifixion.  Plan to join all of our children in raising a cross outside of our church.  We’ll pound the nails, drape it with a royal robe and hang a crown of thorns; all in remembrance of a sad and terrible time.


April 16: After the Easter breakfast we’ll be back at the cross to take away the crown of thorns, change the purple robe to white, and add flowers; all in celebration of Jesus rising from the dead.  To add to the excitement there will be an Easter egg hunt for all of the children before the church service.


April Adult Study 9:00 AM each Sunday

April 2 Kathy Walker Saving Jesus video and discussion

April 9 Pastor Doug  Wired Word – Current events viewed through a Christian lens

April 16 No Adult Study

April 23 Jody Whelden (see article for further information)

April 30 Megan Sprecher – How Christians Can Help Immigrants in their Midst


Jody Whelden – Care of the Spirit

 Don’t miss this special opportunity on April 23 at the Adult Study class!  Jody Whelden speaks and writes on the Care of the Spirit.  As a Unitarian-Universalist minister and nationally board-certified chaplain, she has writtien and spoken about heart centered healing, living dying.  People from all walks of life say they are helped by her work and messages of clarity and peace.  She is passionate about the book she is working on now.  The Spirituality of Illness : Cracking Open, Accelerating Learning and Coming Home.  It will be released soon.

Maundy Thursday “Blessing Bags”

On Maundy Thursday, rather than the ritual of foot washing being offered, worshippers are asked to bring items for “Blessing Bags” to be assembled as part of worship and shared with those in need.  This will be an offering during the service that captures the spirit of Maundy Thursday, to love one another in service as Jesus did.  The following items are requested:

Tuna & Crackers packets ª  Granola/Cereal bars  ª Fruit snacks or applesauce cups

Peanut Butter or Cheese cracker packs  ª  Feminine hygiene products  ª  New socks

Travel/Trial size hygiene essentials: toothpaste/brush; shampoo; soap; deodorant; razors and shaving cream/lotion; ChapStick; comb/brush; tissue packs


Easter Lilies: Order by April 9

Help to beautify the church chancel for Easter worship with very large, triplet lily plants.  Each plant is $27.  Please place your order by Sunday, April 9. Payments are to be made out to Gatehouse Gardens.  Forms for dedications “In loving memory of …” or “In honor of…” will be available at church or please email Pastor Doug at with the number of plants you’d like to sponsor and any dedications.


Land-line phone only for Vi

Vi Tully will have only the home land-line number.  That number is 355-3133.

 Immigration Round Table April 30, 2017, 2-4 pm  First Cong. UCC, Baraboo

Missions and Social Concerns Board is planning a round table discussion on immigration to share the plight of those in our community who live in fear because of new changes in immigration laws.

We will feature Megan Sprecher of Madison who is an immigration lawyer working for a non-profit organization that is dealing with these problems.

Surveys in previous years found found almost half of the laborers in agriculture were undocumented and many local business – restaurants, clothing stores, insurance agencies would close without immigrants. The tech sector and science, medicine and academia depend heavily on highly educated and skilled immigrants.

What has changed?  In February, immigration agents arrested 678 people in 12 states and many were arrested for minor offenses, where as before, none would have been deported except for “serious crimes”.   The  Dreamers, 750,000 young people who were brought here as children and are currently in school or military were previously given temporary but renewal permission to stay and work.  They provided personal information under a promise of privacy but those DHS directives now abolish those privacy rights.  “Expedited Removal”,quick deportation without judicial hearing previously was used only for those here less than two weeks and found within 100 miles of the border. Now it is extended to people anywhere in the country who have been here up to two years.

Previously the process was meant to keep families together.  Now that is no longer the case.

Walls or Bridges-  The Stranger – The Refugee  – These are the issues of people of faith.  The family of Jesus had to flee to Egypt because someone was trying to kill him.  “Remember you were once a stranger in Egypt” is part of our scripture.  How do we care for our neighbor?

Missions and Social Concerns Board


Greeter                                             Liturgists                                         Ushers

  1. Kristin Ellis Gretchen Viney                               Carl & Barb Alexander
  2. Barb Alexander Sue Kujawa                                      Bryant Hazard & Luke Moll
  3. Dwight & Connie Ament Patti Gerrish                                    Joe & Gretchen Viney
  4. Rose Eilertson Kay Hallanger                                 Joanna& Olivia Hollenback
  5. Sue Wittman Sue Wittman                                  Terry & Barb McCormick

Go Camping…Let Us Help

Be sure to check out website for camping at our two FANTASTIC Wisconsin UCC camps, Moon Beach and Pilgrim Center: . There are only two brochure calendars at the church (do not remove them) as the transition to online information and reservations is being encouraged. There are camps for youth, adults, families, and all kinds of themes and activities.  THEN… apply for a camp scholarship from the Ruggles’ Endowment Fund…applications in literature holder by choir room.  Camp scholarship applications due to Trustees by June 1.  In addition, the Southwest WI Association provides scholarships for campers attending a camping event listed in the UCC camps brochure.  Association scholarships are handled through the camp office.




Our six confirmands—Solveig Argo-Nelson, Rose Eilertson, George Fitzwilliams, Alexis Orkfritz, Tom Orkfritz, Luke Stelling—and their mentors—Sue Eldred-Kujawa, Lili Carey, Joe Viney, Shari Russell, and Greg Hollenback—are working together through the sessions of the confirmation curriculum, including expectations of experiencing what it means to be “disciples” of Christ.  This includes active participation in Sunday worship as greeters, ushers, readers; special projects for the church; attendance at Adult Study; visiting other churches including mass at St. Joseph Catholic Church and a conversation with Father Jay Poster; lending a hand and doing ministry in the community with service organizations.  Upcoming things are to interview a “saint” in the church—please say yes if you are asked; some videos/discussion with Adult Study about the Bible—what it is and even what it isn’t.  On April 9 we’ll be learning specifically about First Congregational Church and the United Church of Christ.  Confirmation Sunday will be on Sunday, May 21.  Mark your calendars and come out to celebrate the commitment these young adults will be making—and be sure to offer your help as you’re able along the way!  Pastor Doug


Save This Date:  Sunday, June 4—Organ Day

If all goes according to schedule, Pentecost Sunday, June 4, is also going to be Organ Day at First Congregational United Church of Christ.  The new Allen organ is scheduled to ship from the Allen factory on May 10.  After a few days for transit, the instrument will be installed—about a two day process.  To not plan too early or encroach on other events as well as to give folks who will be playing it a chance to get more comfortable with the instrument, the June 4th date was picked for a service of dedication at 9:30 AM and a public dedicatory concert in the afternoon.  More details to come as we get closer to this exciting time!


UCC Kids Grow in Service

“I serve because God commands me to” was spoken by Lili Carey, UCC member and of One Heart during The Black History event held at the UCC on February 18th. Lili and One Heart was gracious enough to show the UCC kids the ropes for preparing a meal for The Transition Center. While the meal was cooking, Lili and the UCC kids and parents dropped in on The Black History event being held upstairs. The kids were asked to say a few words on why they thought service was important. Many kids spoke about “it’s our duty to share our blessings”, “many people just need a little help sometimes in life” and “we have the resources to help so we should”. Profound and wise thoughts from our wonderful UCC kids. 6 heaping grocery bags were filled with garbage from the neighborhood while the food was cooking that night from the kids. Mother Earth got a boost too.

We learn and grow by doing so service will be a focus for the UCC kids in the years ahead. On March 28th,  the UCC kids did their own meal  for The Transition Center with the help of Bonnie Manning. While the food was warming, Kit Eilertson led the kids in creating a beautiful Peace/Easter Banner for outside the church.

Service grows our hearts and attune us to God’s work. These events were the beginning of many more opportunities for our UCC kids to share their gifts.

CC member and from One Heart recently. Service is the name of the game for One Heart and the UCC kids assisted One Heart in preparing a meal for The Transition Center.  Lili showed the kids the ropes of providing a meal. While the meal was cooking, the kids headed out to the downtown Baraboo area and picked up trash. 6 heaping shopping bags of trash was collected

Another Blessings of the Animals will happen Sunday,  April  23rd at 1pm in the UCC parking lot. Sauk  County Humane Society will be there to participate as well.  Please bring all your mobil beloved pets for a blessing. We will celebrate Earth Day and God’s creatures by asking those who are interested to grab a garbage bag after the blessing and collect some garbage around town.


2017 Annual Meeting of the Southwest Wisconsin Association

United Church of Christ

CARING FOR THE LEAST AMONG US:  Economic Justice in Our Neighborhood

Saturday May 6, 2017 at St. John’s United Church of Christ

1724 14th St., Monroe

Registration begins at 8:30am, with gathering worship at 9:00am. Closing worship will begin at 2:30pm with adjournment at 3:15pm. Lunch is included. Please look at the church website for directions.   While registration is normally $15 per person, First Congregational members are covered by the church. There is no fee for members-in-discernment and retired clergy and partners. Register by contacting Pastor Doug before April 21.

Keynote Speaker: Edie Rasell, UCC Minister for Economic Justice

The United States is an incredibly wealthy country, so why are so many of us barely getting by, worried about our kids, and leery of our financial future? Is the economy serving its purpose? In this keynote address we will briefly examine what the Bible says about the economy, explore how we got off track, and consider what can be done.

Workshops will include:  Hunger at Our Doorstep; Being a Part of Justice and Witness Ministry; Assisting Immigrants; Our Children in Poverty; Homelessness-Be a Part of the Solution.


            There will also be ways to connect with  other congregations around these issues!




Mission & Social Concerns Board invites you to sign up to provide meals—delivered at 5:30 PM—for the Transition Center on Tuesdays.  Thanks for your help!  If you need guidance on the what, how much, etc, of this, p


Janice Eckhart Doing Well

Because it was a major operation and many were very concerned, I’m happy to relay to you that Janice Eckhart’s heart surgery went very, very well.  I spoke with Earl and sons Adam and Andy and the said the surgeon was pleased.  They thank you all for continuing prayers and best wishes.  Now the tough part–healing.

Pastor Doug