Deaths: We grieve this month with loss of these members of our church or of our families.
Ervin Huckbody, a long-time member of our congregation, died on March 1. We pray for Doris and their children and grandchildren as they grieve.
Dean Bauer, of our congregation, died on March 21. Dean and Margaret moved to Appleton a few years ago but have remained members here as they have been their whole lives. Remember Margaret and the many Bauers in prayer.
Jason Weiland, of our family, was killed in the line of duty with the Everest Metropolitan Police Dept. on March 22. Remain in constant prayer for Jason’s wife Kara, and daughters Ella and Anna. We pray also for comfort for his mother Eileen Denfeld, his sister Cati Quiros, his grandmother Virginia Day, and the rest of his many family and friends, both in the church and outside.
Elaine Sorenson, of our family, died on March 23. Please pray for the Sorenson family and Elaine’s friends here at church and in the community as they grieve.
Savvy Seniors will meet on March 6th at 11:30am at the Great Dane on Sherman Avenue.
United Methodist Women
Mission Action Day - Columbus
9:30am - Sunshine Gals
6:30pm - Executive Committee
9:30am - Mary-Faith Circle
North Central District UMW Retreat - Pine Lake.
Growing Faith Community Garden
The Community Garden plan is starting its work early this year. They held a preliminary meeting on March 20 and are inviting all who are interested in this project to join the team for their next gathering on April 3 at 5:15pm at the First UU Church.
Last year the Community Garden gave away hundreds of pounds of fresh produce to food pantries in our area. And people got to work side by side with partners in faith from other churches. For more information, talk to Dan Marzu.
The Ministry of Yoga
Remember that Monday nights at First Church are yoga nights. “Chair Yoga,” for those with limited mobility, begins at 4:30pm, and the class for everyone else begins at 6:00pm. There will be no classes on the New Year’s Day Holiday, January 2, however. Classes will resume January 9.
UMW Reading List
The Reading Program List is available at: umwonline.net in the Reading Program group. Click on Reading Lists in the blue box.
One of the tangible ways that we care for those who are facing the stress and distress of life changes is through our prayer shawl ministry. Each shawl is handmade and has been prayed over by our team. And each shawl is a physical, and very soft, reminder that God is with us.
Do you know someone who would appreciate a shawl? It doesn’t have to be a major crisis or illness. If so, let us know. Tell one of the Prayer Shawl team (Marion Attoe, Mary Ann Dykes, Yvonne Firary, Nancy Flath, Alice Schacht, Jessie Stange, Maggie Werhane, and Jean Zuelke) or Pastor Jerry. We will see that a shawl is provided for the person you love.
As our society, state, and community age, people are beginning to pay closer attention to issues surrounding quality of life - and dignity of death. Hospice care can be a part of this.
Interim Health Care, which has already provided flu shots for our church is beginning a new hospice program in Wausau and is looking for volunteers who might want to work in this important area of care. They have opportunities in both direct care (e.g. visits or transportation) and indirect help (e.g. office and scheduling).
If this ministry appeals to you, contact:
Human Resources Director
2402 Grand Ave.
Wausau, WI 54403
The United Methodist Women have, as a mission, provided funeral lunches. It is an honor to do this for the families. We are updating our volunteer list. We are inviting anyone to help set tables, prepare and serve lunch, and do the dishes. Any help is welcome. If you are interested, please contact Nancy Flath at 715-446-3252, Barb Ritchie at 715-843-7700, or let someone in the office know that you would like to be added to the updated list.
A Letter of Appreciation
Every now and then, we are reminded why we are here. Hint: it’s not for ourselves. This letter came to the church office on March 22.
Dear Pastor Jerry,
My husband K– and I attended our first Memory Café meeting last Thursday at your church. From the moment we came in until we left there was so much caring, helping, and smiling—it was amazing! It really felt like holy ground. The entire morning was so interesting—every detail was taken care of. We just wanted you and your staff to know how grateful we were for all that was done. May God continue to bless you and the congregation. Sincerely, K– and N-
I do have to dispute two points in this letter, though. First, while we do have a good staff, the Memory Café has almost nothing to do with any of them, including me. On the day that these guests came, I was at the Café for all of about five minutes. The Café is run entirely by volunteers. My other quibble is with the place where she says to me “your church.” It isn’t. Clearly, it isn’t. It’s yours.
A Full Day of Mission
One of the requirements for students going through our Confirmation program is experience in serving others. Since we changed Confirmation to allow students to begin when they were ready, instead of waiting for a set grade, we have confirmands who are too young to register at some official mission trips. So we are putting together an alternate plan.
Youth are now being asked to put in a full 24 hours of serving in the community, or helping others within the church. This could include working in the Personal Needs Closet, volunteering with the Sunday evening Community Dinners (This month - April 30!), highway cleanup (see article p. 3), or any of dozens of community ministries.
But it may also include helping within the church. If you, or a senior you know, could use some housecleaning, yardwork, or other assistance, call the church office and let us know.
Why Wear Nametags?
Put yourself in the place of a first time visitor in our greeting time, with names being handed to you by everyone. Wouldn’t it be nice if everyone were wearing their name tags?
Tax Preparation Help Available
Would you, or someone you know, like some free professional help with your taxes? The AARP Foundation is offering free consultation for those with low to medium income (especially ages 60+). Dates and locations for the help include:
Remember Our 1st Sunday Birthday Table
Cookie Cookbook Report
Thank you to all who purchased cookbooks as part of our fundraiser for the parking lot. We sold nearly all the books we ordered and raised almost $1,000. Thank you especially to Nancy Runner for organizing and administering this project in September. A few cookbooks are left and can be purchased from the office.
And thank you to all of you who baked cookies for or delivered them to our local police and fire departments on 9/11 as a gesture of our gratitude to them.
Downtown Memory Cafe Programs for 2016
Our Memory Care Council has been busy, and most of our programming for this year is already planned. If you’ve been wondering about getting involved, take a look at the next few months and do so.
March 17: Feelin’ Lucky. Some Wheel of Fortune and shamrock-making. Try the luck of the Irish.
April 21: Folks and Jokes. Humor month. Folk guitarist Steve Loftus and a lot of humor.
May 19: Our Fine Feathered Friends. A visit from the Raptor Education Group.
June 16: ”I Do.” A wedding-themed program, accompanied harp and violins.
Cans for Missions
The Guatemala Mission Trip is paid for! But keep bringing your aluminum cans to the church!
All proceeds will support our church’s outreach projects.
Visitation Team Report
As most of you know, we have been working to establish some new systems to help our members to be more intentional about caring for each other. Here is what we’ve done:
It’s a start. And we are just starting. If you’re interested in joining the Visitation Team or have other ideas, let either Arlene Trull or Pastor Jerry know in the Office: (715) 842-2201.
Giving by Not Throwing Stuff Away
Sometimes giving to others requires sacrifice. There’s nothing wrong with that: giving sacrificially for others’ sake is what Jesus taught us to do, after all. But sometimes it is incredibly easy to make a difference, and the only thing keeping us from doing so is absent-mindedness. Here are some examples:
Milk Moola - Do you buy milk at Kwik Trip? If so, save the caps of the jugs. Those can be redeemed for money by the Harbor House Ministry in Superior.
Labels for Education / Box Tops for Education - These little labels, found on General Mills boxed foods and Campbell’s Soup cans, can be redeemed by Northcott Neighborhood House in Milwaukee.
Pop Tops from Aluminum Cans - Those little tabs, when given to the Ronald McDonald House, become cash. And, so long as you’re pulling the tabs off the cans, bring the cans in, too.
Aluminum Cans - We all know that these can be redeemed for cash, but most of us don’t bother because the few cans that we have won’t be worth the gas to drive down to the redemption center. But if we all brought our cans in to the church, they would add up. This year, the proceeds of those cans will be used to fund the mission trip to Guatemala.
Bring your cans to the recycling bin in the kitchen. Receptacles for all the other items are in baskets prominently displayed in the Parlor. See? Ridiculously easy. All you need to do is remember.
A Resource for Cancer Patients:
Cleaning for a Reason
One of the stresses of cancer is the weariness that comes from the treatments. It’s just hard to keep up with everything when you’re tired.
Nationwide foundation “Cleaning for a Reason,” has a new affiliate in Wausau. This group provides up to four free house cleanings for cancer patients. If you know someone who qualifies and could use this service, contact:
Every Monday at 6:00pm
One of the best-kept secrets in our church is the yoga class that meets every Monday. Led by our own Maggie Schoenfeld, suitable for people of all ages and body types, yoga is a powerful way to nurture both body and soul. A suggested donation per session is $8, part of which supports our congregation’s Health Ministries Fund.
Senior Parking Spots
Now that the snow and cold weather have arrived (in force!), we ask you to think twice when you parking at church Sunday mornings. We have many senior members who find it difficult and even unsafe to walk very far in this weather. A few years ago, the Trustees designated the row of parking spots closest to the building as “Senior Parking”, and marked this with signs. Out of concern for those who have a more difficult time, please park as far from the church building as you can, to allow others to park closer. Remember, we can park on the street, and in the Y lots across the street