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Worship on June 16 -  “Not So Small”
Annual Meeting after Worship Service

Jesus tells a parable about how the small mustard seed grows into a grand plant that offers a place for birds to make their nests. The Mustard plant was seen as an invasive species -something that no one at the time would plant on purpose. And yet, this tiny seed holds so much potential. I wonder what this parable might mean for each of us in this time and place.

Join us for worship in-person and online at 10:00 am.

Scripture:  Mark 4:26-34
Liturgist: Lowell Johnson



Church Office Hours:
Wednesday, Thursday, Friday
10:00 am - 2:00 pm
Phone: 218-829-2528

Pastor Leslie's Workday Schedule

>> Sunday through Thursday (Days off are Friday and Saturday) << 

Drop-in Hours:

  Wednesdays 11:00 am – 1:00 pm       Thursdays 2:00 - 4:00 pm


*Drop-in hours are times set aside for “drop-in” conversations, much like a professor’s office hours. Pastor Leslie is typically working at the church the rest of the week, but it is possible that she may be in meetings, at a community event, or working off-site. 

Everyone is encouraged to make an appointment if the above times are not convenient.

You can go to and select a day and time that works for you, or you can email Pastor Leslie at or call/text at 218-656-0096.



This Week
**Unless specified otherwise, all church Zoom Gatherings use this link:
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, June 14
10:30 am - Book Group via Zoom

Sunday Worship, June 16
10:00 am - Worship Service in-person and Facebook Live
Pastor Leslie leads Worship Service
11:00 am - Annual Meeting in-person Sanctuary
11:45 am - Fellowship in Fellowship Hall
3:00-5:00 pm Gary & Judy Whiteman's 60th Anniversary Celebration
in Fellowship Hall  

Wednesday, June 19
11:45 am - Men's Fellowship @ Wings Cafe Brainerd Airport.

Thursday, June 20
3:30 pm - Council Meeting in-person & Zoom

Friday, June 21
10:30 am - Book Group via Zoom

Sunday Worship, June 23
10:00 am - Worship Service in-person and Facebook Live
Pastor Leslie leads Worship Service
11:00 am - Fellowship in Fellowship Hall 
  ** Special Offering WeARE
** Newsletter Deadline


Hosts, Ushers, Greeters, Scripture readers
Sign up on the clipboard in the narthex or click here to go to

H.U.G.S. this  Sunday, June 16
Host: Pat Scott & Deb Griffith
Greeter/Ushers: Shirley Carper & Isaiah Janowiak
Counters: Holden Holister & Marcia Ferris

H.U.G.S. next  Sunday, June 23
Host: Judy Whiteman & Georgia Harris
Greeter/Ushers: Shirley Carper, Deb Griffith & Georgia Harris
Counters: Tracy Lyons & Maggie Anderson

Liturgist: Sunday, June 16 - Lowell Johnson
Liturgist: Sunday, June 23 - Gary Whiteman









Reminder! Annual Meeting
June 16th - After Sunday Worship in the Sanctuary

All voting members are encouraged to attend as we elect new committee members and review the last 12 months. If you are unable to attend in-person, join via Zoom.

Reports were emailed this week of June. 
There will be copies available at the meeting.








Gary & Judy Whiteman's - 60th Anniversary Celebration
Sunday, June 16th Open House 3:00 to 5:00 pm
First Congregational UCC  Fellowship Hall. 
Please share this occasion with us! 
(NO gifts, please. Just you!)







































Friday Book Group via Zoom

We meat each Friday at 10:30 am via Zoom

We are reading the non-fiction book, “Eight Bears: Mythic Past and Imperiled Future”, by Gloria Dickie. This is an investigative journalism book about the 8 species of Bears.
Contact Pat Scott for information. 











Congregational Care Team

Your Congregational Care Team: 
Barb Hoeft, Deb Griffith, Jack and Kay Kraywinkle, Pat Scott, Chris Yager, Carla Benjamin, and Joey Halvorson (texts only).

The members of the Congregational Care team are available and would love to connect with you. Contact information for the care team members is in the directory or can be obtained by contacting the church office.

If you or someone you know would enjoy a call from the care team, or is in need of support, please let one of us know. 

If you have an urgent pastoral care need (an unplanned hospitalization, a death, etc) or would specifically like a visit or call with Pastor Leslie, please call or text her at 218-656-0096.








First Congregational Food Shelf Collection


Our church continues to collect non-perishable food items for the Salvation Army Food Shelf.
There are two collection boxes: one in the parking lot entry hallway, the other in the Narthex. Brian Twamley picks up and delivers the food.

Please consider bringing items and donating.
You may also send a money donation to the church; First Congregational UCC, 415 Juniper St. Brainerd, MN 56401. Or for your convenience use our Paypal account at:  Make sure to write in memo “Food Shelf”.




H.U.G.S. Hosts, Ushers, Greeters & Scripture-readers

Sunday morning greeters/ ushers and coffee hosts play an important part in making our church a warm and welcoming place for all.

Here’s a secret; it’s FUN!! If each household committed to 3 Sundays a year as greeter/ushers and/or coffee hosts we would have a full complement of participants. For instance, I plan to take 2 Sundays in August to greet/usher and 2 Sundays in February to Host Coffee.

The Christian Ministry Committee is working on simplified instructions for these duties and one of us will be available to guide you through your first go if needed. Are you ready to take the leap into RADICAL HOSPITALITY?

Give it a go and signup below for your first Sunday as the face of the church!



Pat & George Scott 50th Anniversary Celebration

Sunday, June 30th Open House 3:00 to 5:00 pm
First Congregational UCC  Fellowship Hall. 

Please share this occasion with us! 
(NO gifts, please. Just you!)






Check out the 2024 Conference Retreats & Events

Below is a listing of upcoming events. Find full details on the 
Minnesota Conference website.

To facilitate a more comprehensive and secure registration process, the Conference is using a new registration system for overnight events.
Check out CampDoc!


Great Lakes & West Central Regional Youth Event
July 17-20, 2024 | Augustana College, Rock Island Illinois


Clergy Family Retreat:
"What Do You Mean We Don’t Have to Plan Anything?"

August 11–13, 2024 | Camp Onomia, Onamia, MN

Women’s Retreat: "You Are a Story"
Friday, September 13 – Sunday, September 15 |
Camp Onomia, Onamia, MN Martha Brunell, Facilator

Fall 2024 Conference Youth Event
October 11–13, 2024 | Osprey Wilds Environmental Learning Center






































































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


Bridges of Hope: 218-825-4357 or 1-800-462-7682
Suicide & Crisis Lifeline: Call or Text 988
Crisis Line & Referral Service: 218-828-4357, 218-828-HELP or 1-800-462-5525
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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