In coordination with the McFarland Food Pantry, a Giving Tree has taken root in the MUCC sanctuary filled with tags representing families in need throughout our McFarland community.
Simply take a tag off the tree, write your name down, shop for what is listed on your tag, and bring it to church before December 10. Questions? Contact Melissa in the office 608-838-9322 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Saturday, November 11
9am - 3pm at McFarland UCC
A gathering of sewing friends – new and old …
Calling all who may be interested in a day for sewing. If you are not a sewing person, and want to be, join us! We will make some simple projects (drawstring bags, origami sewn bags, and runaround bags) to share at the McFarland HS Food Pantry and the McFarland Village Food Pantry. If there is another service project you are sewing for, feel free to bring it along. If there is another resource for the bags we'll be making, you are welcome to make bags for another organization. We will have some fabric and patterns available, but you are more than welcome to bring patterns you like, and fabric that’s been waiting to be used.
After you finish a bag or two, we support you in using the sewing time for YOU. Sewists sew, because it's good for our souls – and we are often trying to finish up projects to give in our own circles of loved ones.
During 10 am worship this Sunday, October 22
we will be welcoming our Interim Pastor, Michael Bausch.
All are invited to stick around after worship for a little "get to know you" time.
Coffee will be brewing and treats will be served! Continue reading to learn more about Pastor Mike.
Introducing Our Interim Pastor
The Rev. Dr. Michael Bausch is a Wisconsin native with many years of experience serving UCC congregations in California, Wisconsin, and Iowa. Most recently he served as the interim pastor for two UCC churches at Slinger and Hartford, Wisconsin.
He resides in Beaver Dam with his wife, the Rev. Catherine Ann Carlson, a retired UCC minister, and they have two daughters, Anica, of Madison, and Brianna, living in Waupun with her husband Aaron, and their two children.
Michael is a graduate of Carroll University in Wisconsin, the Pacific School of Religion in California, and the United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities.
Among the books he has published are Everflowing Streams: Songs for Worship (1981), Silver Screen, Sacred Story: Using Multimedia in Worship (2002), Feeding Imaginations: Worship That Engages (2015) and Drawn In: Encounters With Art (2017). A CD of his original songs, You Can't Stop The Music, will be released next month.
While serving churches, Michael was also part-time adjunct faculty at the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary and the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, CA. and a lecturer teaching introductory courses in Old and New Testament at UW-Platteville.
In worship and teaching, he loves bringing together the Bible, music, art, and film. He enjoys being around church people of all ages, and every now and then you might hear him whistle a tune as he walks through the church building. You may call him by his first name, Michael or Mike, and if you wish to add Pastor or Reverend, he'll say that's all up to you.
For fun, he plays tennis and pickle ball, and plays acoustic guitar as well as harmonica in several musical groups.
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 1
2 PM AT MCFARLAND UCC
We are pleased to announce the ordination service of one of our own McFarland UCC covenant partners, Kristin Gorton. Kris is a graduate of Chicago Theological Seminary and served as our sabbatical interim pastor during summer 2016. After her ordination, the newly minted Rev. Kristin Gorton will serve at Memorial UCC in Fitchburg, as their pastor and teacher. We are extremely proud of Kris and celebrate with her during this exciting time in her pastoral adventure.
It is with a full heart that I write to share the news that I will be leaving McFarland UCC this fall to serve as the Executive Director of the Wisconsin Council of Churches. I have said to you for some time that I had no plan or intention of leaving unless God's Holy Spirit called me elsewhere. It seems - as we sing in our doxology - 'the Spirit has been moving in my heart,' preparing me for this new ministry.
When I leave, I will continue and broaden the work I have undertaken among you here in McFarland. The common ministry of the Wisconsin Council of Churches focuses on church unity, peacemaking, social and economic justice for Wisconsin's most vulnerable residents, and revitalizing congregations.
I want you to know that serving as your pastor these past seven years has been one of the greatest joys of my life. You have shaped me into the pastor that I am. You opened your hearts, listened to my stories and shared yours with me. There has been laughter, fingerpaint, confetti (ok, lots of confetti), general messiness, and grace for all the times of cleaning up. You allowed me, in so many holy moments, to remind you that you are a beloved child of God.
The months ahead will have time for grief at leavetaking - space for holy tears if you need them - and time for celebrating what we have accomplished in ministry together. I am ready to receive whatever it is you need to express. Know that we will still be pastor and congregation together through October 15th. There will be opportunities to break bread (and run to the communion table), tell stories, sing and make noise, and bless one another. Our building project continues, as does our giving challenge! There are babies being born, new families to welcome into the faith community, and things to learn about our faith every day.
After I leave, the congregation's leadership and representatives from the wider church will guide you through conversations about what's next. I believe, with all my heart, the future of McFarland UCC can be as vibrant as our years together have been. You have all the wisdom and heart of each other, and God's Spirit to lean on.
Christ stands with us at every crossroads. My great hope for these final months together is that we can keep showing up for one another,passionate about our shared ministry, being the real, messy people that we are.
Peace and blessings,
Having so fond an affection for you, we were well-pleased to impart to you not only the Gospel of God but also our own lives, because you had become very dear to us.
We're tremendously excited that Valentine's Date Night is back again this year! Last year we raised over $12,000 for the McFarland Community Food Pantry through "Bucky and Lena Get Hitched," a musical staged in our sanctuary with actors from McFarland, Stoughton, and the Madison area.
This year's sequel is a vow renewal - Bucky & Lena 2: Lutefisk and Lies. You know you don't want to miss it! You can find all the details at mcfarlanducc.org/valentine. Reservations are now open for the weekends before and after Valentine's Day. If you are interested in serving as a host or contributing to the dessert reception at intermission, please contact the church office at 838-9322, or check the church's Mission & Service group on Facebook.
On Sunday, January 15 in worship we blessed individuals going to Washington DC over inauguration weekend to witness to our Gospel values, where they joined others holding forth a vision of a more just and generous world for all people. Below is the online journal of several MUCC members who participated in the Listening & Witnessing trip: Kristin Gorton, Joan Jacobsen, and Maddie Loss.
Want to see more pictures and stories? Visit facebook.com/mcfarlanducc.
And if you're curious about the ministry trip as a whole, CLICK HERE to learn more
from the United Church of Christ.
The bus is packed and ready for the trip to D.C. with the Wisconsin Conference United Church of Christ.
MORNING: We arrived in the Washington DC area just after midnight yesterday. Today dawns with a quiet morning of reflection and prayer. This afternoon our sisters and brothers at Emmaus UCC will be hosting us for a day of sacred conversations around issues of interfaith and inter-race engagement. An inter-religious worship service...and...of course...a community meal, will end the day.
You are invited with us in this digital sacred place to experience God's transformative love. Blessings this day, and in the months and years ahead. You are a beloved child of God.
This morning's moment of faith included a scavenger hunt for copies of We the People posters.
MID-DAY: An afternoon in community. Reflecting on the faith tools we carry as followers of Jesus... tools that can transform. Food. Community. Christ.
We have spent the day talking and listening and learning. The day ends with a shared worship with 6 different faith communities. Praying for Peace and Understanding.
"I envision all people coming together in unity...Tonight, all of us said 'yes' for understanding...for peace..." - Rev. Russell Heiland
Good Morning! Ready to MARCH in mind, body, of spirit? Come along with us digitally as we walk in the Women's March in Washington, DC. Folks will also be marching in Madison with a contingency of people from McFarland UCC. Carpool available 9:45am at the MUCC parking lot. Join us- all are welcome!
A beautiful journey in unity burst forth during the Women's March on Washington today.
Multiple moments of compassion and care were observed in the massive crowds.
"And what does the Lord require of you, but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?" Micah 6:8
A photograph from the road. Members and friends from UCC congregations from around the state (including 3 from the McFarland UCC). On our way home from the Women's March on Washington! We took time this morning to reflect on the global solidarity and radical hospitality we experienced on the trip.
Visit facebook.com/mcfarlanducc to see more!
This past week was a busy one! We began the season of Advent by handing out gift bags to the congregation on the first Sunday of Advent for them to decorate. In a twist on the traditional Advent calendar, in which you open a door or package to receive a gift, we asked people to set something aside instead - selecting one of three local food pantries to receive the food items they placed in their gift bags. During Advent, we heard from representatives of the McFarland Community Food Pantry, the AIDS Resource Center, and the McFarland High School Pride Pantry. In the days leading up to Christmas (and for those who traveled, a little afterward), we brought the gifts to the front of the sanctuary. They were blessed in worship on January 8th. The result was over 40 bags of food and essentials delivered to three wonderful community organizations:
The McFarland Food Pantry
AIDS Resource Center of Madison
THANK YOU to all who participated!
Testimony by Maddie Loss
One of McFarland UCC’s participants in the
‘Listening & Witnessing in Washington DC’ Mission Trip, January 19-21 2017.
(an edited version of her 1/8/2017 mission moment)
I’ve been coming to a United Church of Christ congregation for as long as I can remember. It’s what I know. I’ve gone through confirmation and other activities within the church. This church drew me to the General Synod in Cleveland, Ohio. This trip was where I became so enthralled with the United Church of Christ’s mission. The constant call for social justice. The daily grind to ensure that the world is a more just and loving world for all people. I was able to witness these moments of faith. The excitement when the supreme court ruled on the right for LGBTQ couples to marry, the sorrow filled moments in remembering the Charleston shooting, and the calls to action found on the plenary floor. I fell in love with the message. The message of extravagant acceptance and widespread love. Where no single person is left behind or forgotten or devalued. The message of loving all people regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, gender expression, sexual orientation, or religion.
I grew up hearing messages from the church that have shaped who I am as a person. That all were created in God’s image. That whoever you are and wherever you are on God’s journey, you are welcome. That all are blessed to be a blessing. And that ALL are welcome at God’s table. These messages. These messages pack all that this Church is about. These are all ideas that I witnessed as I was growing up that became such a constant part of my life. These are the messages that I heard in a setting that was loving and accepting. I desperately wish that all people can hear these messages for if the words are heard they can make the world a little softer and little more loving. It is a type of love that continues to lead my life today. And in these past few months I have formed my concept of the church leaving the building and heading to college.
College is complex. Because while it is believed that one pursues a degree, it is for yourself. But it is actually all about Him. You go to college to learn how to love God and His children better. Love His children regardless of their race, age, gender expression, sexual orientation, religion, or gender.
I went to college expecting that the majority of people that I met would believe the same and be aspiring to the same knowledge. That love and acceptance lived loudly. I was devastated to discover that this approach that I saw in the actions United Church of Christ and represented to myself was not widely accepted. I found myself participating in a campus ministry where other students rejected this idea just as firmly as the UCC embraces it. I felt like I had to transform my identity as a Christian to be viewed as a Christian among my peers in this group. Do I continue down the path that I belong on, a path of love and acceptance that my life has been shaped by? Or do I turn away from my prior identity to conform with this new group that I stumbled upon? Thankful for my decision to read “Let Your Life Speak” by Parker J Palmer I came across this paragraph. It was my involvement in this group that “made me feel inadequate to the tasks of living my own life, creating guilt about the distance between who I was and who I felt I was supposed to be.” And living these two lives left me exhausted and frustrated. But after I faced myself with this question the decision was an easy one. I made a choice that reflected who I had been, am, and always will be. But I was disappointed that I was even presented with this type of decision. I was hurt. Because as I moved through this process my country was moving through an election where some feel that they had not been the offered love and acceptance that they deserved.
After the election I listened to other new friends that I have met that are Jewish and Muslim. Friends that are sent flyers from Christian organizations on campus that preach about how the only way of saving the world is have everyone convert to Christianity. How this generation was going to fix the world by leading everyone to the one true savior. A belief that frightens my friends that are not Christian. My dear friend would question, trying to figure out where these actions come from. She would ask me, “But aren't you a Christian too?”. And I would respond with, “Yes, I am, but … I don’t believe that stuff. I believe all are equal, and that all can coexist, and that all are welcome in the world”. And this “but” made me even more confused. For the frustration of having to defend my own beliefs in response to other beliefs of Christians wasn’t something that I had exactly experienced before. And this reasoning wasn't enough and will never be a enough for members of the Islamic or Jewish faith. The faiths that believe in the same God, come from the same father, Abraham. And after a few weeks of school these excuses were not enough. Because I saw daily fear and knew I had to do something more. For my beliefs, the beliefs of love and acceptance have constructed who I am. And to see others so comfortable with rejecting this one core belief of my own God was brought out feelings that I cannot put into words.
After the election I witnessed the fear of females who are survivors of sexual assault. Women that attend school at a university where one in four of the undergraduates experience sexual assault. Women that live in a country where the general populace elected a man who brags of sexual assault. Terrified that the rhetoric of the election will come to normalize what they have survived. I watched as my friend moved through the process of receiving the justice for what she had gone through. The process of fighting the uphill battle and the heartbreaking realities in her life that she struggled to comprehend. And as things continued to stack up against her, she asked me if she could go to church with me. The hope that my religion of love and acceptance was prevailing over all of the voices that were shogun at her. She heard the calm beckoning of love and acceptance. Love and acceptance where even the most fragile could find solace in a vesper service on a cold, Sunday afternoon.
These experiences are just scratching the surface. And I am forever grateful that I followed the life that I was meant to live. I felt that I finally found my true being in these moments of tenderness and hurting and joy by striving to live through all that I was taught as a young girl. And now this is a continued version of the church leaving the building and heading to the streets. It first started by leaving to go to high school, then to college, and now to Washington DC.