"This Week" Email

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Our Loving God, Who Art In Heaven...

These words are spoken as the beginning of a prayer every week during worship at First Congregational United Church of Christ in Brainerd. Similar words are spoken in churches around the world and have been prayed by millions of Christians in a variety of languages and translations. Unfortunately, when something becomes familiar, it has the potential to become less meaningful. We say the words but we don't always think deeply about what we are saying.
Over the next 4 weeks, we will take some time to really rest in the words of the Lord's prayer. What is the significance of what we are praying each week? How might our faith be deepened if we looked at this prayer that Jesus taught his disciples with a fresh perspective. 
Each week, you will be encouraged to write your own version of one section of the prayer.

Scripture this Sunday: Luke 11:1-10


Information about In-Person, Indoor Worship

Join us for worship this Sunday in the sanctuary!
What to expect…

• Masks are not required if you are vaccinated.
• Fellowship Hour after worship will be downstairs. Masks required for those who are not vaccinated.
• No one will be asked to show proof of vaccination
• Physical distancing will be observed by closing off every other pew.
• Service will include one hymn at the end of the service.
• Young Disciples will be invited to sit in the front pews for the Time with Young Disciples
• Prayers will be done with written prayer cards, read by Pastor Leslie (no passing the mic)

>Over 90% of people who responded to the survey were fully vaccinated! This high rate of vaccination makes it possible for us to gather indoors with low risk. Thank you!
The Covid Response Team will continue to monitor the situation locally and may decide to make further changes as the need arises. 


How to watch Sunday worship

If attending in-person worship isn't for you, check out our livestream. The worship service is broadcast live on the church Facebook page every Sunday at 10:00 am and uploaded to the church's YouTube channel by 6:00pm on Sunday.
To watch worship on Facebook, go to www.facebook.com/uccbrainerd/live
To watch on YouTube, go to www.youtube.com/firstcongregationaluccbrainerd

If you don't see the service when you click on the link, try refreshing your browser. The videos typically begin streaming less than 5 minutes before 10:00 so if it is before 10:00, please be patient and continue to refresh your browser.
Live stream videos are saved and can be viewed at any time.

Worship Bulletins are uploaded on Sunday Morning to this link: tinyurl.com/uccbrainerdbulletins


Church Office Hours Update!
The office will re-open on August 4th. 
Regular office hours;
Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday
9:00 am to 1:00 pm


Please call the office to make an appointment if you need assistance at another time.

Pastor Leslie's drop-in hours* are as follows:
Wednesdays 1:00pm - 3:00pm
Fridays 10:00 am - 12:00pm

*These are hours that, barring an emergency, Pastor Leslie will be in the office and available for drop in conversations or meetings. Appointments are preferred to best manage her schedule, but don't hesitate to drop in during the above times. 
Pastor Leslie will be in the office at other times but may not always be available due to other obligations. To make an appointment outside of the drop in hours, go to calendly.com/pastorleslieucc/1to1 to schedule an appointment, or call or email Pastor Leslie directly.


This Week
**All church Zoom Gatherings will use this link: 
tinyurl.com/UCCBrainerdZoom  or  us02web.zoom.us/j/6452350419
If the Zoom meeting window does not automatically launch, click "Launch Meeting"
By phone: dial 1 312 626 6799, Meeting ID: 645 235 0419, password: 56401

Friday, July 30
10:30 am - Book Group via Zoom

Sunday, August 1
10:00 am - Worship Service & Communion in church and online
11:00 am - Fellowship in Fellowship Hall

Wednesday, August 4
9:00 am - 1:00 pm - Church Office Re-opens
10:00 am - Prayer Circle - Fellowship Hall
1:00 pm to 3:00 pm - Pastor Leslie's Drop-in hours

Thursday, August 5
4:00 pm - Uppity Women of the Bible Study Series

Friday, August 6
10:00 am to Noon - Pastor Leslie's Drop-in hours
10:30 am - Book Group via Zoom


New Art Exhibit in our church Fellowship Hall

Visit the new exhibit in the Fellowship Hall by artist Judith Kuusisto.
Judith has participated in gallery shows in the Lakes Area and in the Twin Cities. She offers classes and workshops for adults and children in her Brainerd, MN studio. Follow Judith on Facebook.


Friday Book Group - 10:30 am via Zoom

We are reading "The Source of Self-Regard: Selected Essays, Speeches and Meditations"
by Toni Morrison.

These pages give us her searing prayer for the dead of 9/11, her Nobel lecture on the power of language, her searching meditation on Martin Luther King Jr., her heart-wrenching eulogy for James Baldwin. She looks deeply into the fault lines of culture and freedom: the foreigner, female empowerment, the press, money, “black matter(s),” human rights, the artist in society, the Afro-American presence in American literature. And she turns her incisive critical eye to her own work (The Bluest Eye, Sula, Tar Baby, Jazz, Beloved, Paradise) and that of others.


Uppity Women of the Bible Study Series - NEW TIME
Thursday Evenings - 4:00 pm via Zoom

Pastor Leslie leads Uppity Women of the Bible which is a DVD-based series featuring Hebrew Bible professor Dr. Lisa Wolfe. Combining careful scholarship with humor and fresh insights, Dr. Wolfe presents information for a lively, thoughtful discussion. Currently studying the book of Judith.
Judith, the woman for whom the book is named, is known for beheading the General of the Assyrian army and saving the Hebrew people. Judith was courageous, fierce and downright uppity.

August 22nd Special OfferingOperation Sandwich & Bridges of Hope
Kids need your support today 

To date, Bridges of Hope with Operation Sandwich has served 13,825 lunches to kids facing summer hunger—that is more than half what we served last year, and we still have over a month before school starts. We have seen a tremendous influx of families requesting Operation Sandwich’s services to receive lunches that give their kids the nourishment they need during summer break. Many kids rely on their school’s free and reduced meal programs for lunch and now that summer is here, they are falling short on getting three meals a day.
To keep up with growing demand, Bridges of Hope and Operation Sandwich are teaming up to raise $25,000 by the end of summer. Funds will enable us to serve more families facing missed meals during the summer break and create lasting solutions to minimize hunger in the community.  
No one parent or child should have to skip a meal during the summer. You can help these families by making a donation today.

To donate, send a check with "Operation Sandwich" in the memo line to:
First Congregational UCC,  415 Juniper St. Brainerd, MN 56401
Or donate online using PayPal and indicate "Operation Sandwich" in the Note. payl.me/uccbrainerd


Join us! WeARE Clinic is sponsoring a Community Block Party!
Wednesday, August 18th 2021 
5:00 - 7:00 PM
Sage on Laurel Parking Lot
Downtown Brainerd
*Food  *Drink  *Shopping  *Games 
*Music  *Raffle  *Program  *Socializing
**VIP Tent ($50.00)**
For Ticket Information: wearebrainerd.org


First Annual LARJP Community Extravaganza!
Saturday, August 21, 2021
10:10 am - 2:47 pm
Heritage Church - 13242 Berrywood Drive, Baxter MN
Join us for any or all of the following events:
Bike, Run or Walk; Raffles, Food Vendors, Door Prizes, Bingo, Dunk Tank and More!


Lakes Area Habitat for Humanity 25th Annual Dinner & Auction
August 23rd at Whitebirch Room at Breezy Point Resort, Breezy Point MN.

Silent Auction and Social Hour begins at 6:00 pm.

Invitations are in the mail. If you didn't receive one, but are interested in attending, please contact the office at 218-828-8517. Tickets and sponsorships are available on-line by clicking here.


Brainerd Lakes Pride
Gregory Park
September 18th 2021
10:00 am - 3:00 pm
Volunteer Coordinator Needed

First Congregational will be joining this event in September and have an informational table. We are looking for a coordinator and individuals to commit to working our table. Please contact Pastor Leslie and Terri in the office to volunteer. 

2021 Walk to End Alzheimer's
This year's walk will be on Saturday, September 25.  Can I count on you to show up again?
Last year, despite being in the midst of COVID, members of our congregation continued to show up and support this worthy cause - just as we have year after year! First Congregational UCC made a great impact by raising over $2000!! 

We need walkers to register to walk and would also love to receive monetary donations, if you are able. Please visit act.alz.org/brainerd and search for the First Congregational UCC team to help.

Friends through Christ,
Lois McBroom 


The Eviction Moratorium is over - now what?
Bridges of Hope is hosting a FREE RentHelpMN applications event in August. Call Bridges of Hope for an appointment at 218-825-7682.

If you run into someone that is able to apply on their own, or you have questions about the program, head over to www.renthelpmn.org for more information and the application!

Summer 2021 Events for All Ages!
Go to: www.uccmn.org/2021/06/16/outdoor-ministry-summer-2021-events
for more information

Senior Graduate Day: Wednesday, August 4
9:00 am - 2:00 pm
Hidden Falls Park, St. Paul - Free
MNIPL – Be the Spark!: Thursday, August 5
9:00 am - 2:00 pm
United Church of Christ, New Brighton
Organic Farm Tour: Saturday, August 7
10:00 am- 2:00 pm
Auntie Annie’s Fields, Northfield
Rest and Renew at Green Island: Sunday, August 8
1:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Green Island Preserve, Wadena
Hemp and Food Health Day: Saturday, September 11
9:30 am - 2:30 pm
Cotter Farm, Austin
REGISTER by September 3
Women’s Wilderness Retreat: September 24–26
Camp Amnicon
REGISTER by September 10
Men’s Retreat – Overwhelmed by Life: An Invitation to Reconnect and Remember: September 24–26
Start time 4:00 pm, end time 11 am
Osprey Wilds Environmental Learning Center, Sandstone
REGISTER by September 10
Women’s Retreat: October 15–17
Start time 4:00 pm, end time 11 am
Camp Onomia, Onamia
Conference Youth Event: October 8-10
Start time 5 pm, end time 11 am; no dinner served first night
Osprey Wilds Environmental Learning Center, Sandstone
REGISTER by September 24. 


Calling all singers and musicians!
We want to include your voice and instruments during the worship services. If you are able to record yourself using a smartphone or other device, you don’t even have to leave the comfort of your home to add your talents to the services!
Please contact Diane Hauan if interested.


Important Information For Groups who meet at First Congregational

Restrictions for small group gatherings are easing, and many of the groups who use our building are resuming their gatherings. 

Please click here to read our expectations for groups meeting in our building at this time.


Crisis Services
All are available 24-hours, FREE and confidential

Bridges of Hope: 218-825-4357 or 1-800-462-7682
Crisis Line & Referral Service: 218-828-4357, 218-828-HELP or 1-800-462-5525
CRISIS: from cell phone call CRISIS (274747)
Crisis Nursery-Crow Wing County: 218-692-2859
Crisis Text Line: Text “MN” or HopeLine” to 741741
Minnesota 1st Call for Help: 211
Minnesota Farm & Rural Helpline: 833-600-2670
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
Poison Control Center: 1-800-222-1222
Suicide & Mental Illness: 1-800-462-5525
Teen Crisis Line: 310-855-4673
The Trevor Project (LGBTQ Crisis & Suicide Hotline – Youth under 25): 866-488-7386
Trans Lifeline: 877-565-8860
Veteran’s Crisis Line: 1-800-273-8255 – press 1
WARMLINE: Speak with peers who are there to listen and support adults experiencing emotional distress. 1-844-739-6369 from 5:00pm -7:00am.





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