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Come to the Table of Grace

God’s table is one of plenty! God decides how much to give and gives more than we can ever imagine; more grace than we expect. God even gives more than we would give ourselves. In the face of such abundance, we are called to be generous as God is generous. Indeed, at God’s pot-luck of grace, even the last in line have more than enough to eat!

We look forward to seeing you in worship at 10:00 am!

Worship with us in person or online via our Facebook page.

Scripture: Philippians 1:21-30, Matthew 20:1-16
Liturgist: Sue Hadland




Pastor Leslie's Workday Schedule
Pastor Leslie's workdays: Sunday through Thursday
*Drop-in Hours:
Wednesdays 2:00pm - 4:00pm  &  Thursdays 11:00am - 1:00 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.
Pastor Leslie typically works off-site on Mondays for sermon research and writing. 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.


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



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, September 22nd
10:30 am - Book Group via Zoom
11:00 am - Kay Adler Memorial Service with reception to follow
(Visitation begins at 10:00 am)

Sunday Worship, September 24th
10:00 am - Worship Service in-person and Facebook Live
11:00 am - Fellowship in Fellowship Hall
11:30 am - Adult Forum: Justice Concerns
**Special Offering Neighbors In Need
**Newsletter Deadline

Wednesday, September 27th
12:00 pm - Men's Group @ Black Bear Grill

Thursday, September 28th
11:30 am - Women's Fellowship @ Dock 77 on Gull Lake
4:00 pm - Rescheduled Council Meeting in-person & Zoom

Friday, September 29th
10:30 am - Book Group via Zoom

Sunday Worship, October 1st
10:00 am - Worship Service & Communion
in-person and Facebook Live
Stewardship Kickoff - Pledge Envelopes Handed Out
11:00 am - Fellowship in Fellowship Hall
11:30 am - Prospective Members Class in-person



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, September 24th
Host: Maria Bertram
Greeter/Ushers: Georgia Harris
Counters: Tracy Lyons & Sarah Jo Armstrong

H.U.G.S. next  Sunday, October 1st
Host: Sue Hadland
Greeter/Ushers: Shelly Trimble
Counters: Reed Campbell & Marcia Ferris

Liturgist: Sunday, September 24th  - Sue Hadland
Liturgist: Sunday, October 1st  - Mary Reardon



Kay Adler Memorial

Kay Marie Adler, age 68, of Brainerd, passed away at her home on Monday, September 18, 2023. Kay was born at St. Mary's Hospital in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota on October 13, 1954, to Milo & Hazel (Jasken) Hoban.

Kay initially graduated from Detroit Lakes Area Vocational School as a Licensed Practical Nurse before attending Anoka Ramsey Community College to achieve an Associate of Science in Nursing and become a Registered Nurse. 
Five years ago, Kay retired and moved to Brainerd to live in her dream home on the Mississippi River. 

A Celebration of Life for Kay will be held on Friday, September 22, 2023, at 11:00 am at First Congregational Church in Brainerd. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service and a reception in Fellowship Hall following the service.

Memorials are preferred to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.



Adult Forum
11:30 am After worship Service
September 24th - Prioritizing Congregation's Justice Concerns

Last spring we identified congregational justice concerns and passions.  In this session, we will use a group activity to group similar concerns and passions and identify our social justice priorities. Please plan to join us as we set congregational justice priorities. We need your voice and perspective.



UCC Men's Fellowship

Join the guys for a casual fellowship gathering each Wednesday
at various locations in the 
Brainerd Lakes area.
Weekly Rotating Schedule
First Wednesday: B-Merri - 19624 Co. Rd. 3 Brainerd
Second Wednesday: Four Seas Brainerd
Third Wednesday: Dunmire's East Hwy 210 Brainerd
Fourth Wednesday: Black Bear - Baxter
Fifth Wednesday: El Tequila Mexican Restaurant
7399 Garrison Rd. Baxter



UCC Women's Fellowship
Each month two gatherings are scheduled so we can include as many people as possible.
Thursday, September 28th 11:30 am Luncheon at Dock 77 on Gull Lake.
Contact Kay Cox to RSVP or for more information.
Saturday, October 14th Coffee in Fellowship Hall at Church
Contact Marcia Ferris for more information.
All updates will be posted on the Connections Facebook Group and RSVP’s may be made in the comments under the post at:






Prospective Member Class
11:30 am after worship
Sunday, October 1st - Session One
Sunday, October 8th - Session Two

nterested in becoming a member? Join Pastor Leslie after Sunday worship. 
Curious about “joining” the church?” Or are you interested in learning more about the UCC and our congregation? This first in a series of 2 sessions will last about 90 minutes. Please contact Pastor Leslie if you plan to attend in order to assure enough materials are available.



Healthy Communication - Healthy Church
Saturday, October 7th 9:00 am in Fellowship Hall
Please come to this All-Church workshop about the tools for healthy communication in church presented by 
Rev. Kelly Gallagher, Associate Conference Minister.

9:00 - 10:30: The first half of the workshop will focus on ways that healthy communication is fostered in a congregation. Coffee and light refreshments will be served. 
10:30 - 12:00: The second half will focus on how a Pastoral Relations Committee functions effectively and is optional for people who are not serving on the Pastoral Relations Committee, though everyone is welcome to stay for a little extra knowledge!



UCC & TheShop Meal!
The next two months for October and November have been scheduled!
Meal cooking is Thursday, October 12th and November 9th at 4:00 pm.
For the last several years, UCC volunteers have provided a meal to the youth at TheShop -  Brainerd Baxter Youth Drop-in Center. A number of youth from TheShop come over to our kitchen and help prepare a delicious meal that is then brought back to TheShop for the hungry and appreciative teens there.

Mary Benson is coordinating the meals, so if you are interested in joining in and enjoy cooking with youth, please call or email Mary at 218-839-4990 or



The Bridge on 7th - Warming Shelter

First Congregational members and friends volunteer!
Our week to volunteer is October 8th through the 15th.
Chris Yager and Deb Griffith are our team organizers. 
Please contact them to sign up!























Ann Hunnicutt - Overnight Shelter Director at The Bridge on 7th
(218) 825-7682 Office or (218) 892-2400 Shelter




Friday Book Group via Zoom

The Book Group is reading "Water Always Wins:  Thriving in an Age of Drought and Deluge by Erica Gies. “A hopeful journey around the world and across time, illuminating better ways to live with water". 

In this quietly radical book, science journalist Erica Gies introduces us to innovators in what she calls the Slow Water movement who start by asking a revolutionary question: What does water want? Using close observation, historical research, and cutting-edge science, these experts in hydrology, restoration ecology, engineering, and urban planning are already transforming our relationship with water. 



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!



UCC Care Team

In March a Congregational Care Team was formed with the purpose of proactively reaching out to the congregation and offering care and support.

Pastor Leslie, with input from the Care Team, keep track of parishioners who are homebound; living in a facility; living with chronic conditions; the bereaved and those with other concerns. Those who would like prayers are lifted up during worship and those wishing a pastoral call or visit are given to Pastor Leslie.

If you are interested in joining the team to make phone calls or visits, please contact Barb Hoeft or Pastor Leslie. If you or someone you know would enjoy a call from the care team, please let one of us know.

Your Congregational Care Team: Barb Hoeft, Jack and Kay Kraywinkle, Pat Scott, Chris Yager, Joey Halverson, and Deb Griffith.































First Congregational UCC church is honored to be a sponsor of "The Laramie Project". Our night as a sponsor is Saturday, October 14th. If you are interested in being a representative at our informational table, please contact Cynthia Janes or Tim Anderson to volunteer


































Save the Dates!!!













































Connect, learn, and grow with the Minnesota Conference

Mark Your Calendar for Youth Conference Events

Fall Youth Conference Event: October 6-8, 2023 - Osprey Wilds Environmental Learning Center MORE


2023 Adult & Intergenerational Retreats & Camps!

We have an amazing line-up of adult and intergenerational camps and retreats for the summer and fall. Check them out!




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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