News and Announcements


In Memoriam

 Lincoln Smith died on Thursday, October 1. Poole Funeral Home is handling the arrangements.

 Paul Tutas died on Monday, September 14. Pastor Jim conducted a private Memorial Service at Eernissee Funeral Home on September 22.

 Lloyd Smith died on Friday, September 11. The family is planning to have a Memorial Service sometime next year.


• To the Search Committee - Joe Mueller (Chair), Kurt Blum, Brad Katzer, Doug McManus, Sarah Riemer, Shandy Roehrig, Holly Ternes and Joe and Grace Wilsnack (Youth Representatives) for successfully bringing forth a pastoral candidate to the church on Call Weekend, September 26 and 27.

• To Lou Probst. Lou turned 100 years old on Sunday, September 20!

• To Cole Michael Janke, son of Rose and Ryan, who was baptized into the Christian faith on Sunday, September 20.

• To the members of our 2020 Confirmation Class who confirmed their faith and became official members of the church on Sunday, September 13: Hailey Bergin, Macy Eslinger, Kyle Guschl, Lainey Holmes, Joshua Jacque, Elyse Karrels, Reese Kasza-James, Ausin Lemke, Madeline Schlehlein and Tessa Yandry.

Special Thanks

• To the members of the Stewardship Committee - Jason Jacque (and helper Joshua), Jodi Cowen (and helper Connor), Bev Mueller (and helper Joe) - along with Joy Bloemer (and helper Jenna) - for hosting a Brat Fry on Saturday, October 3. The proceeds will help to offset the expenses of our Window and Bell Tower Repair.

• To everyone who came out and supported the Brat Fry!

• To Jim Clements, Chair of our Property Team, for painting the new wood frames around our exterior sanctuary windows.

• To Kay Rego for providing graphic art for our Call Weekend special mailing.

• To Barb Olson for helping the Justice Team build a page on the church website.

• To Jane Spalding for creating a floral altar arrangement, "Late Summer Bounty", for the recording of the Call Sunday Church Service.

• To Joy Bloemer for handwriting our Confirmation certificates.

• To Kay Rego for creating a banner to celebrate our confirmands.

• To Mike and Jane Spalding and Joe and Bev Mueller for tending to the church patio.

• To the two members of the Search Committee, Doug McManus and Shandy Roehrig, and the two members of the Church Council, Mike Spalding and Phil Stepanski, for serving on the Minister Call Agreement Team.

• To the following church members who have been meeting regularly as the church's Racial Justice Team: David Franks, Bonnie Jacque, Jeanne Mantsch, Craig Modahl, Louise Mollinger and Don Niederfrank.

• To Joe Mueller and Claude Zimmerman for conducting weekly walk-throughs of the church building and grounds, and for completing a number of projects.

In Our Prayers

Jane Schwacher recently underwent surgery. Please keep Jane in your prayers.

Jim Melichar continues to undergo treatment for glioblastoma (brain cancer). Please keep Jim and Sherri, and their family, in your prayers.


September 30, 2020

September 23, 2020
September 16, 2020

September 9, 2020

September 2, 2020

August 26, 2020

August 18, 2020

August 5, 2020

July 22, 2020

July 8, 2020

July 1, 2020

2020 January-June

2019 July-December

2019 January-June

2018 July-December

2018 January-June

2017 July-December

2017 January-June


Exciting news! Our church officially called a new settled minister to our church on Sunday morning, September 27, after a unanimous affirmative vote. We will be giving our new minister some time to provide notice to his current congregation before we post specific information about him. The agreed upon start date is January 1, 2021.

Our Call Weekend went really well. Thank you to those of you who participated!

-A Meet and Greet was held at the church on Saturday afternoon, September 26. Thank you to the sixty members and friends who came to the church patio, and spent a bit of time getting to know our candidate! Thanks also to the dozens of people who viewed the virtual Meet and Greet!

-Our Call Sunday began on Sunday, September 27, with a virtual church service conducted by the candidate. If you did not have a chance, and would like to view the Call Sunday Church Service, please email Amy Gilhooly, our Communications Director, at for the link.

-A Special Congregational Meeting followed at 11:00 a.m. via Zoom. Almost 75 members from 50 households took part! A unanimous affirmative vote was cast at that time.


Our traditional in-person church services continue to be suspended at this time. First Congregational Church will continue to provide spiritual guidance and care. We are continually working toward the return of in-person worship. In the meantime, we welcome you to call or email if you have any pastoral needs or questions.


Pastor Jim just announced to the Church Council that he is going to be providing Interim Ministry at a church in Middleton, Wisconsin starting in November. He will be serving our church through the end of October. We thank him for being with us during a year of transition.


Our church Justice Team has created a new Justice page for our church website. We welcome you to take a look! To learn more, please watch a Gap Chat with one of the Justice Team members, Don Niederfrank. More to come!


Our Property Team Chair, Jim Clements, along with Joe Mueller and Claude Zimmerman, discovered considerable window frame rot on a number of our windows as well as needed repairs to the Bell Tower.

The cost of these exterior repairs is $46,200. We were able to pay over $13,500 toward the project from our Memorial Fund (with the families' permission). While dealing with the adverse effects of the pandemic, the UCC Cornerstone Fund made low interest loans available to congregations. We applied for and were approved to receive a grant of $25,000.  This first year we pay interest only and in years two and three the borrowed amount will be repaid. Funds from our checking account make up the difference. We are in the final stages of completing the repair work.


Owen Madson has resigned as our Financial Administrator. We would like to thank Owen for his many years serving our church in this capacity. Lorraine Halls, our church Treasurer, has been assuming the responsibilities, with support from our Finance Committee.


A reminder that our Church School resumed this past month as a virtual program, with a video produced by the Church School Leadership Team as well as a take-home project of Legos. If you have not had a chance, we invite you all to view the video.


Lighthouse Youth Ministry is back in action this fall! All middle and high school kids are invited to participate in upcoming Lighthouse events. Please click here to see their current flyer.


On Sunday morning, September 13, we provided a mix of in-person private Confirmation services on the church patio and a group service held via Zoom. Congratulations to the ten confirmands on becoming official members of our church! When you have a moment, please view a Gap Chat where Pastor Jim talks more about Confirmation. We also have a chance to hear another insightful Statement of Faith.

You might interested to know that our new minister, Pastor Scott, is planning to conduct our Confirmation program the second half of the program year (January to June) for our current 8th graders. He is looking forward to it!


The Search Committee put in 17 months of time and work to bring our church a quality candidate who they feel is a great fit for our church. Sincere thanks and congratulations to the committee members: Joe Mueller (Chair), Kurt Blum, Brad Katzer, Doug McManus, Sarah Riemer, Shandy Roehrig, Holly Ternes and Joe and Grace Wilsnack (Youth Representatives). For your interest, the Search Committee prepared an overview of their work.


Since we are not currently conducting in-person church services, we wanted to let you know that you can drop off your pledge payments by using our mail slot to the right of our Webster Street entrance. Or you can simply mail it to the church. Thank you!


As a way to continue to stay connected while our church services and activities are suspended, we are pleased to provide you with our YouTube video series, Worship in the Gap. Huge thanks to Brett Dimmer for producing the series!

Click on the links below to view each episode:

Episode 56: Worship in the Gap - October 4, 2020

Episode 55: Gap Chat, Confirmation

Episode 51: Gap Chat, Justice Website

Episode 53: Worship in the Gap - September 20, 2020

Episode 52: Worship in the Gap - September 13, 2020

Episode 51: Worship in the Gap - September 6, 2020


Family Promise is currently in need of the following items: paper towels, toilet paper, laundry detergent pods, deodorant for women, body wash for women, shaving cream for women, new bath towels and gas cards.

You may drop off donations in our church entryway before 3:30 during the week, or you can drop them off directly to Family Promise (136 W. Grand Avenue here in Port Washington). If you would like to make a financial donation, please send it to the church marked Family Promise


We invite you to stop by the church to make contributions of non-perishable food items so that we can continue to support the Port Washington Food Pantry. You may drop off donations in our church entryway before 3:30 during the week.

Items on their request list include: progresso soup, pudding, flour tortillas, rice-a-roni, knorr sides, mustard, ketchup, spaghetti sauce, cookie mix, vegetable oil, shampoo, bar soap and dish soap.

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