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  • Writer's pictureTom Emanuel

FINDING STILLNESS… This Week at UCC Watertown

“Never miss a good chance to shut up.” --Will Rogers

This past week in worship, I talked about Chochmat HaLev, the “wisdom of the heart” that speaks of the fullness of our potential as God’s Children. But in order to hear that small, still voice whispering within us, we have to learn to listen, to be quiet – and being quiet in our world is no easy task! Even as I hold fast to the sociopolitical convictions that arise out of my faith, I’m reminded this week (and every week) that we aren’t trained, in our noisy political culture, to listen to one another very well, let alone to the promptings of our own hearts.

There is a long tradition of contemplation in Christianity, cultivated by monastics over the course of centuries. “Be still and know that I am God,” as the Psalm says. (46:10) It’s only been in the last several decades, though, that contemplative prayer has become more widespread among Christian laypeople of all denominations. This is due, in large part, to the spread of Buddhism and Hinduism in the West over the last century – I certainly first came to meditation, not through Christianity, but through Zen Buddhism. It was only later that I learned that our wordy tradition has a contemplative streak of its own, a streak we’ve rediscovered through contact with our spiritual siblings in the East.

Granted, hours-long Zen meditation may not be for everybody; my legs tend to get restless after a mere half-an-hour! But as a person who has had to learn to live with anxiety, I’m a big proponent of taking at least a few minutes every day to stop, breathe, and check in with myself and with God.Perhaps, this week, you can carve out a moment or two to let the world’s incessant twittering fall away and get in touch with your “heart-wisdom” too.


QUESTIONS FOR THE WEEK: Are you comfortable with silence? If not, why not? What practices help you listen to and with your heart?


Worship service on Aug. 26 :

Ushers: Lucas and Amber Nogelmeier, Mark Knippling, Merv Eastberg, Aaron, Ethan, and Lucas Zemlicka

Greeters:  all members are encouraged to join in visiting and greeting one another and sharing in a cup of coffee in the narthex prior to the service.


Scripture Reader: Donna Trupe

This week's Reflection: "Body Image issues"

Deadline for all reports, news items, or other messages for the newsletter are due on or before Friday, Aug. 24

UCCW Choir: Choir rehearsals start back up 7pm Thursday 8/29 here the church. Come out and sing with us!

Wednesday, Sept. 5, 12:30 pm, Women’s Leadership Committee will meet, 1:30 pm, Women’s Fellowship will meet.  The program will be on Gold mining with Garrold Friese.

The Women's Guild have plenty of large and medium sized containers, but really needs small cans for the Pilgrim Fair Cookie Walk this fall.  Small oatmeal and cornmeal containers or something on that order will work great. 

Sunday September 9th, will be our Youth Kick-Off Sunday, in which we’ll have our young people serve as leaders in the service, with a potluck meal to follow.  Wednesday September 12 will be our first “Wednesday Church.”

There will be a sign up sheet in the narthex for meals for the Wednesday church that will start Wednesday, September 12, at 6:00 pm 

Ushers for the Youth Kick-Off Sunday are; Hannah Endres, Clayton Trupe, Aaron Zemlicka and Lucas Zemlicka.

College Students who want to apply for the Betty Ehrling Scholarship here is the URL link,  It is a Google Form.  Applications are due by the end of September.  It is a $500 scholarship which is renewable up to 4 years

Community Office Hours: Pastor Tom will be at Gather Coffee Shop (122 E Kemp Ave, just around the corner from the church) every Thursday, from 9am-12pm. Stop by for coffee and conversation!

The church will have a special meeting following worship on September 16th to amend Article VI, Paragraph A (to move annual meeting back to January) and Article VII, Paragraphs B & C (allowing Co-Moderators).  Due to challenges in working with only a partial year of financial data, the council believes it to be in the best interest of the church to move the annual meeting back to January and after the end of the fiscal year.  Julie Matteson and Shari Wirkus will be Co-Moderating the council at the beginning of 2019 and the church’s constitution needs to be amended to allow Co-Moderators.  Specific language regarding the proposed changes will be located in the Narthex.


If you have not done so yet, please "like" the church's public Facebook page in order to continue seeing messages, events, updates, photos and so on. (If you type @firstcongregationalwatertown into the Facebook search bar, it will take you to the correct page. Then click the "like" button under the church photo.)   Also be sure to visit the church’s website:

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