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All Activities CANCELLED for Sunday, March 15

Dear Members and friends of ORUCC

This has been a crazy week for everyone as we grapple with the reality of the coronavirus, COVID-19 pandemic. The last couple of Sundays, we had already changed how we pass the peace and receive the final benediction to minimize person-to-person contact. We have been following closely the guidance provided through local and state health departments, the United Church of Christ, the Wisconsin Council of Churches, the CDC, and our own members who are part of the healthcare community.

The virus is a fast spreading virus, and the major focus at this time is to prevent the rapid spread through the community. While those most at risk of serious health issues are those over 60 or who have other existing health complications, the virus can be carried by any person of any age, even if they haven’t traveled outside the country.

I am writing to you today to let you know that the pastors have agreed to CANCEL all activities for Sunday, March 15. We will have a broader conversation with the Leadership Team on Tuesday to make plans for the next several weeks, to figure out how to communicate more effectively using digital platforms, and to deliver a meaningful worship experience electronically at least through Palm Sunday, April 5.

This decision does not come easily. This action is both about managing our own risk as well as modeling the kind of leadership and behavior we want to see in our community. We are called to love our neighbors as our selves and to show that love in both our actions and in speaking honestly about the need to protect one another through social distancing. We do this not out of fear, but out of love for one another.

If you have responsibility for meetings or other activities through the week, please be in contact with the office. While we are not mandating everyone stay away, we are trying to minimize large groups of people gathering in the building until we know the rate of spread of the virus is under control. If an event is held, please attend to your own health first – if you are not feeling well or have concerns about attending, do not attend.   If you have a scheduled meeting, please consider options where people can call in remotely using platforms such as Skype, Zoom, or even a simple phone call.

The spread of this virus is swift and schedules and protocols can change very rapidly. Please make sure you are checking the church Facebook page and watching your email regularly. If you know of someone who may not see this or a future update, PLEASE SHARE THE INFORMATION. It is better for someone to get the notice multiple times than not at all.

One final comment – our commitment to social distancing creates other kinds of opportunities to create community and reach out to those who might be feeling alone or vulnerable. If you are missing seeing someone, choose to pick up the phone and call them, or send them a note. Check on neighbors and ask baout their needs. If you are running to the grocery store, offer to shop for the person down the street who is unable to do so for themselves. Utilize neighborhood message boards to share resources if you find that store shelves are empty.

We can be the church in many important and tangible ways in this time. If you have any questions or concerns, please call the office or one of the pastors. Blessings and peace to all – stay well and stay safe.

Laura Crow

ORUCC is Hiring a Communications Coordinator

We are seeking a sharp, enthusiastic individual to fill a newly created communications role in our active, progressive congregation that is spiritually alive, joyfully inclusive, and committed to justice.  Please see below for a full job description.

To apply for this position, please email your resume including references to office@orucc.org, or by mail to: Communications Hiring, ORUCC, 1501 Gilbert Road, Madison WI 53711. Deadline for applications is March 14, 2020.

Job Description

Annual Meeting of the Congregation to be held on Feb 2 at 11:15

Each year, our congregation holds an annual meeting to conduct business and elect leaders.  But, more than that, it is a chance to celebrate the ministries of the congregation, the leaders and volunteers of the congregation and the Spirit of God at work in our midst.  All are invited to our 2020 annual meeting on February 2nd after worship at 11:15.

Click here for the 2019 Annual Report of ORUCC

Annual Meeting of the Congregation to be held on Feb 3 at 11:15

Each year, our congregation holds an annual meeting to conduct business and elect leaders.  But, more than that, it is a chance to celebrate the ministries of the congregation, the leaders and volunteers of the congregation and the Spirit of God at work in our midst.  All are invited to our 2019 annual meeting on February 3rd after worship at 11:15.

Click here for the 2018 Annual Report of ORUCC

Laura Crow to be Interim Senior Pastor

The Leadership Team has selected Laura Crow to be our Interim Senior Pastor.  Laura is finishing up her second stint as Interim Pastor at First United Church of Christ in Belleville.  In addition, she served as Interim Pastor for Memorial UCC in Fitchburg in 2017 and Zwingli UCC in Paoli in 2018.

Prior to that, for 10 years, she was on the staff of Middleton Community UCC, most of that time as their Director of Faith Formation.  In 2016, she was licensed to be a worship leader at Middleton as they developed a new late-afternoon Sunday service. And then when the pastor in Belleville died suddenly that October, Laura was licensed to be their Interim Pastor until they could hire a longer-term interim. She won high praise for her work in that very difficult situation.  She returned to Belleville this past June to complete their interim period.  She will be licensed to serve ORUCC.

She will begin her work here during the week of January 7th.  She has already met with Winton Boyd and will meet again with him and Ken Pennings and Tammy Martens between now and January.

Laura’s experience goes well beyond church work, however. She was elected to two terms on the Middleton-Cross Plains School Board from 2000 to 2006 and was on the board of directors of the Middleton Outreach Ministry from 1995 to 1999. Her degree is microbiology and she worked for 19 years at Agracetus in Middleton.

December Advent and Christmas Schedule

Reflections from our Civil Rights Bus Tour
December 16th at 9 a.m.
We will have a chance to hear from participants on the Civil Rights Tour the church sponsored in October.  There will be photos, stories and time for questions.
Youth Bake Sale
December 9th after worship
Buy lovely Christmas time sweets to support our summer Youth Mission Trip.
Longest Night Service
Friday, December 21st
7:00 p.m.
In the midst of the busy season, we stop for a time of prayer, Taize style music, quiet, and reflection on the power of darkness in our spiritual journey.  This short service is a favorite of many.
Christmas Eve Services
Family Friendly Candle Light service with our children and
Tru Function
4:00 p.m.
We will be led by our children.  Tru Function will play.  We’ll sing with candlelight.  Come early as the seats fill up!
Candlelight Service
with the ORUCC choir, readings and carols
7:00 p.m. (Note new time)
A service of readings and music.  Traditional biblical texts and contemporary reflections.
Music will include John Stevens on the Melodica, Dave Allen on the piano, Paul Hedges and Kythie Boyd singing together, Bruce Gladstone and Vicki Nonn playing together and of course our ORUCC Choir!

The Ministry of ORUCC in stories

As part of our recent Stewardship Drive, Paul Hedges and Jarrett Gersten interviewed and filmed several ORUCC members and staff about a few aspects of our life together.

 

Food as a Means of Building Community & How We Stand with our Families  – Loretta McClure and Gary LeFluer talk about the power of food to build community

What Shall We Bring?   – Several teenagers and Tammy Martens speak about our Mission Trip ministry.

 

Standing With Our Undocumented Neighbors – featuring Winton Boyd and Ruthanne Landsness speak about our work with the new Sanctuary movement.

 

 

 

 

 

Ash Wednesday Observance

We begin the season of Lent on Ash Wednesday 

5:30 p.m. –  An open Labyrinth Walk.  

We have an labyrinth in the carpet of our Friendship Hall.  It will be open for walking meditation and prayer from 5:30-6:45.  There will be volunteers welcoming you and offering any guidance you might need.

7:00 p.m. – Ash Wednesday Service 

We share this service with Madison Mennonite Church.  It includes the imposition of ashes to remind us of our humanity and the celebration of communion to remind us of God’s grace in our lives.  All ages are welcome.

Annual Meeting of the Congregation to be held on Feb 4 at 11:15

Each year, our congregation holds an annual meeting to conduct business and elect leaders.  But, more than that, it is a chance to celebrate the ministries of the congregation, the leaders and volunteers of the congregation and the Spirit of God at work in our midst.  All are invited to our 2018 annual meeting on February 4th after worship at 11:15.

Click here for the 2017 Annual Report of ORUCC

Care of Creation’s 2018 Winter Film Series on Climate Change