first congregational church
First Congregational Church, Amahl the Night Visitor
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Here’s a round-up of news from First Congregational Church, located at 6105 Center Road, on the left side of the road past the intersection of Center Road and Peninsula Drive. For more info, visit the church’s website.

AMAHL AND THE NIGHT VISITORS: Don’t miss the performance of Amahl and the Night Visitors, conducted by Russ Larimer. There will be two performances: Saturday, Dec. 17, and Sunday, Dec. 18 at 7 p.m. Also, please enjoy our outdoor nativity walk with cookies and hot chocolate. Complimentary dessert and community fellowship will follow the performance. Free Will Offering; Reserve your seat on the website.

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NOTE: Due to a cancellation, we still have roughly 15 seats available for Amahl and the Night Visitors on Saturday Dec. 17. If you’d like to attend on Saturday, call Marcy in the church office, (231) 947-6698. Tickets for Saturday cannot be reserved online at this time. Tickets are still available for Sunday December 18, by reserving your space online. Just click here and follow the instructions.

UPCOMING COMMUNITY CONCERT AT FCC – ENCORE WINDS: Don’t miss a very special Christmas concert at FCC on December 18 presented by the Encore Winds, “Northern Michigan’s Premier Concert Band.” The afternoon begins at 2 p.m. with Tuba Christmas (a free event) followed at 3 p.m. by “Holiday Pops” with the Encore Winds, conducted by Tim Topolewski, and featuring the Grand Traverse Show Choir. Tickets will be available at the door: $15 adults, $10 seniors, $5 students, and kids 12 and under are FREE. Bring the whole family for this fun-filled holiday concert.

DINNERS FOR EIGHT: For those of us who endure the long winters in Traverse City, we are again offering “Dinners for 8.” In January, February and March, we hope to meet once a month with the date and time decided by the host. The host will provide the main course, with the guests providing an appetizer, salad or dessert.

If enough people sign up, you will dine in a different home, with different people, each month. This Sunday is the final day to sign up at the Caring Counter. You’ll also be able to indicate if you’d like to host. We look forward to meeting new people and renewing old friendships! After Sunday, we will create the rotation schedule and contact you regarding your first dinner location.

GRIEF SUPPORT DINNER: The FCC Grief Support group will be meeting for dinner at Boone’s Long Lake Inn, Tuesday, December 13 at 5:30. If you would like to join us, please contact Peggy Byland, (231) 421-5269.

First Congregational Church, old mission peninsula, traverse city
First Congregational Church, Traverse City, Michigan

WITH GRATITUDE: To those volunteers making Christmas at FCC especially beautiful:

Interior Decor: Stewie Zacks and Ken Zacks, Rick Smith, Rick Smith, Ralph Cerny, Bob Joldersma, George Kausler, Jan Vlach, Jay Griner, Barbara Kausler and Vladimir.

Stable/Nativity Creation: Russ Larimer and Deb Larimer, Rick and Tricia Klaasen-Smith, Ron and Nancy Tennant, Al Jordan, Joe Fields, Bill Evans, Bob Joldersma, Chick Marentette, Bob Portenga, John and Joy Tobin, Linda Stegenga, Barbara and George Kausler.

COOKIE BAKER ALERT! We have already reserved hundreds of seats for the Amahl production at FCC on December 17 and 18. After the production, our guests will be invited to stroll through the Nativity outside and conclude their beautiful evening’s experience with hot cocoa and Christmas cookies in the Fireside and Cross Way.

THATS WHERE YOU COME IN! We need to help Judy with the baking. It would be impossible for her to bake 800+ cookies, but if each of us brought 3 to 4 dozen homemade Christmas cookies by December 14, marked them for Amahl and placed them in the kitchen freezer, we would be able to provide a heartwarming conclusion to what promises to be an unforgettable event.

Please let the office know that you will be bringing homemade Christmas cookies for Amahl by emailing [email protected]. Thank you in advance for being a bright spot during this Advent season.

SAFE HARBOR: We will be hosting Safe Harbor starting December 24 here at FCC. We are looking for help in many areas. We need dinners prepared, visiting, men and women overnight volunteers, and morning cleanup. There will be a list of items that we will need for the week, and any monetary gifts will be greatly appreciated. Stop by the spotlight room near the Cross Way, and see where you can be of help.

UPCOMING CLASS ON AGING: Dr. Hogue is offering an 8-week class based on the book “Keeping Love Alive As Memories Fade: The 5 Love Languages and the Alzheimer’s Journey,” by Barr, Shaw and Chapman. The class takes place from 2 p.m. until 3:30 p.m. each Monday in the FCC Fireside Room beginning January 9 and concludes February 27.

“Through moving and honest stories this book shows how love can persist even as dementia gradually erodes memory and physical abilities. It offers powerful testimony to the lasting nature and immense power of human relationships,” says Peter V. Rabins, MD, Co-auther, “The 36-Hour Day.” This class is for all people struggling with how to cope with peoples’ fading memories. The book can be ordered from Amazon for $16. FCC will order copies for those who pre-order by December 15. To reserve your spot in this class, email Dr. Hogue at [email protected].

GRIEF SUPPORT: Coping with loss is hard, especially during the holidays. If you need someone to listen, or you just want to be with people who understand, please join us on Sunday evenings for grief support. We will meet in the Fireside Room at First Congregational Church from 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., December 4, 2016 through January 8, 2017, including on Christmas Day and New Years Day.

You are encouraged to bring a photograph of your loved one, and you’re welcome to share your thoughts/questions or to simply come and listen, as we draw hope from each other. This group is for adults and is facilitated by Marcy Rogers. We ask that you RSVP by calling her directly at (231) 866-1539 or emailing [email protected].

POINSETTIA SPONSORS: Poinsettias at Christmas are a special way to remember our loved ones, and they add to the beautification of the church during the holiday season. Beginning this Sunday, poinsettia sponsor forms will be available on the Caring Counter. If you would like a flower in memory of, or in honor of a loved one, please fill out this form and return to Cheryl Chism with you payment. Poinsettias are $15 each. Names submitted by December 19 will be included in the Christmas Eve service bulletin.

Flowers should be left at the church until after the 9 p.m. Christmas Eve service. If you’d like to take yours home, please take the ones located along the windows, as this will help maintain the display through Christmas.

A NOTE FROM JANE: I started Old Mission Gazette in 2015 because I felt a calling to provide the Old Mission Peninsula community with local news. After decades of writing for newspapers like the New York Times and Los Angeles Times, and magazines like Family Circle and Ladies' Home Journal, I really just wanted to write about my own community where I grew up on a cherry farm and raised my own family. So of course, I started my own newspaper. Because the Gazette is mainly reader-supported, I hope you'll consider tossing a few bucks my way if I mention your event, your business, your organization or your news item, or if you simply love reading about what's happening on the Old Mission Peninsula. Check out the donation page here. Thank you so much for your support. -jb

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