"Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and
mind. Love your neighbor as you love yourself
Whoever you are, and wherever you are on life's journey, you are welcome here.
Welcome! Whether you are a member of our church, or looking to try something new, we are glad to have you. We invite you to learn more about our ministries, view our recent sermons and newsletters in the archive, and reach out if we can answer any questions.
First Congregational UCC
10:00 AM Sanctuary Worship
11:00 AM Fellowship Hour
Sunday School during 10:00 AM service
5:00 PM "Thank God It's Sunday" informal Worship Service
Dress code: Casual, you will see everything from jeans to suits.
There is some street parking, or in the city lot next to the church. Handicap entrance is in the back of the building, with the elevator entrance
News and Events
from rev. lance
Dear First Church members and friends,
This email attachment is quite different from anything else I have written or preached about. It arose from my deep concern about the news of the assassination of the Iranian General Qassem Soleimani in Iraq on Friday. It is more like a history lesson than a sermon, less about Jesus and more about our current attitudes toward war and peace. If you don't want to read commentary like that, simply don't do so. If you do read it, however, I invite you to send me an email about it. Don't just hit "reply" or it might go out to hundreds of addresses.
Meanwhile, I hope to see some of you in worship. I'll be preaching about the tension in Jerusalem when the wise men arrived seeking someone who has been "born king of the Jews." King Herod was upset about that news, and the story ends badly, with a massacre of babies & small children in Bethlehem. It, too, is a story we don't much want to hear during the Christmas season. But it is part of the bigger picture.
May your New Year be peaceful, healthy, and happy.
Rev. Dr. Paul A. Lance
First Congregational UCC of Alpena, Michigan
(Above) Dr. Avery Aten directs the other members of the Handbell Choir during Worship Service.
(Left) Members of the congregation enjoy the Ladies' Christmas Luncheon.
A Little bit of ucc Christmas
Why it is so hard for white people to talk about racism?
Multicultural educator Robin DiAngelo uses that term to refer to the defensive moves that white people make when challenged about their racial presumptions.
Emotions such as anger and fear, guilt and shame, surface when an open and honest discussion of racial stereotypes and experiences takes place. These behaviors, in turn, function to re-instate “white equilibrium” and prevent any meaningful cross-racial dialog. People get “stuck” in their prejudices and don’t even realize it.
In a community that is 97% white, it may seem odd to want to talk about “racism”. And yet, that’s what our church is going to promote in January 2020 here in Alpena.
The big event will be a workshop led by Rosie Gibson, retired nurse & trainer from Cincinnati, who is a “Member In Discernment” preparing for ordination in the United Church of Christ. She is a member of the Lewiston Congregational UCC.
Rosie Gibson will facilitate a Saturday workshop on the themes from this book on
Jan. 18, from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm in Alpena’s Fellowship Hall… open to the public. Lunch will be provided. Please register in advance. $20 will cover the book and the meal. (If you purchase the book on your own, you may register for only $10.)
Prior to that event, Dottie Haase will lead a book discussion of “White Fragility” on Wednesday, January 8, at 7:00 pm. Several copies of the book are available from Bri in the Church Office for those who want to read it in advance.
Do we have “eyes to see and ears to hear”? Or are the cultural blinders so ingrained that we cannot recognize our discriminatory behaviors... without a strong dose of guilt and defensiveness? The topic is relevant, and the timing is right. Please pick up a copy of the book (or download it to your Kindle or Tablet) and plan to join in the discussion in January.
For those who are especially interested in helping the conversation move forward, Rosie Gibson will offer a ‘facilitator training” day on Mon., Dec. 30, from 10 am to 2:00 pm in our Fellowship Hall. These eight people will help guide the table discussions during the Saturday, Jan. 18, workshop. Let us know if you’re interested.
For more information, or to register for the event, contact Rev. Lance at (989) 356-1795. The invitation to this workshop on “White Fragility” is being sent throughout the United Northern Association UCC churches and neighboring congregations.