News and Notes

The Building Study Task Force of First Congregational UCC-Appleton was established as part of a recommendation from the Horizon team’s efforts. The team has been hard at work since November 1, 2017. We are happy to announce that we will be conducting presentations to the congregation during services on March 18 to share our journey so far and the work we’ve done. Find out what we’ve been up to and take the opportunity to get involved by filling out a survey. We will be conducting a second session during worship services on April 15 where we will present information regarding the survey results. Thanks! For members who are not able to attend service on March 18, the survey can be found at

Social Singles Chatters will meet on March 21 at 11:30 AM. Join us for a delicious lunch at Mr. Brews Taphouse, 201 Riverheath Way, Appleton. Contact Sue Ahrens at for questions!

Those who are planning to attend church on Palm Sunday on March 25 are invited to our pancake breakfast between worship services. There will be pancakes, bacon, and juice. Come enjoy brunch and fellowship in Fellowship Hall. There is no specific charge for the meal, but donations are appreciated.

Easter is coming! Please help fill Easter eggs!

Easter is just around the corner! Be sure to plan to attend the First Congo Easter Egg Hunt on April 1, between services. All First Congo children ages 2 through grade 6 are invited to join the hunt. We will be hiding approximately 2,000 eggs throughout the CYF Center Church School classrooms. They will be filled with new, individually wrapped candies (Lifesavers, bubblegum, Starburst, Jolly Ranchers, Milky Ways, etc.). Children should be sure to bring an Easter basket to carry their eggs home in. If you are one of the wonderful volunteers who took home a bag or two of empty plastic eggs to fill, please remember to return them by Palm Sunday, March 25. Thank you! Due to the classrooms being used for the Easter Egg Hunt, there will be NO CHURCH SCHOOL during the 8:45 AM service on Easter Sunday.  Please enjoy the Easter service with your children prior to the start of the Easter egg hunt.

JOY! JOY! JOY!  Time for a great big group hug to celebrate exceeding our Journey to Generosity goal of a 2.5% increase over last year’s $904,161 pledges. We are delighted (some would even say “joyful”) to report receiving the commitment of pledges and donations of $941,832, exceeding last year’s level by 4.2%! We are so grateful for your warm, generous, and loving support of all the good work which our First Congregational UCC family brings to our community and mission partners.

Gratitude, blessings and joy,

Your Stewardship Team

First Congo member Lyle Van De Hey has been a part of our Appalachian Service Project adult mission trips since 2014. For the past 2 years, he has also volunteered individually to support ASP’s mission of making warmer, safer, drier places for people to live.

ASP receives work crews year-round at several sites and often needs extra volunteers to help oversee sites and groups. Lyle served for 2 weeks in April 2017 in Rainelle, Virginia, and returned to ASP for 3 weeks this month as a construction lead/handyman.

Please pray for Lyle and those he is working with and for. We look forward to hearing about his experiences when he returns. If you sense God might be calling you to share your talents in a similar way, let us know or check out ASP at (Our next group trip to ASP will be in September 2018).

It's that time of year where you might have mittens without mates or a single, lonely glove. Don't throw them out! Bring them to First Congregational (basket in hallway) and they will have a happy new life when they get upcycled in a craft project with nursing home residents. Especially looking for kid's sizes. Clean and in good condition only, please. Thanks! 

Please join us on April 22 for our Annual Kenya Student Sponsor Appreciation Luncheon in the Fellowship Hall from 11:45 AM to 1:00 PM. This year, we will be joined by two of our Kenyan partners (Mildred Chepkonga & Jeramiah Kibor). After lunch, they will share news from Kenya and give updates on our students.

There is a sign-up sheet in the Narthex for those who are interested in attending or you can message Matt Wiskerchen. We hope to see you there!

The Kenya Partnership Team

Are you looking for ways to connect with other First Congo members? We are too! What better way to get to know each other than at the dinner table. We’re organizing a “dining fellowship,” where members would meet in each other’s homes three to four times a year, in groups of seven or eight (adults only this time). Everyone would contribute some portion of a pre-planned menu; cost would be shared equally among participants. Sign up in the gathering area if you want to know more or contact Dan and Cheryl Nisler at 540-6046 or Doug and Pat Nelson at 731-4693 or the church office at 733-7393. An organizational meeting will be held the evening of Friday, April 6 at the home of Doug and Pat Nelson (125 E. McArthur St., 54911). Bring an appetizer and a beverage, and we’ll see you there! There is a sign up sheet in the Narthex.

Jonathan Steffen, our Technology Coordinator, is creating a documentary about First Congo’s building for its 50th anniversary! If anyone has any fun stories, cool photos or videos, or any information to share on the history of the building, feel free to reach out to Jonathan Steffen. Thanks!

The Church’s technology needs your help! Recently the Church’s technology has grown, and we are looking for volunteers to assist our Technology Committee this program year. Additionally, our Audio/Video capabilities in the Sanctuary have grown and volunteers are welcome to this opportunity as well. If you are interested in helping with the Church’s technology or A/V, or both, please contact the church office at (920) 733-7393. Have questions? Contact Technology Coordinator Jonathan Steffen at ext. 226.

Our community partner Project NOAHH is in desperate need of twin-size bedding for bunk beds. Please consider donating twin sheets, pillows, plastic mattress protectors and comforters — the sheets and pillows are the most needed.

You can drop off your donations at the Church Office.

Thank you for your help!

Learn more at our Project NOAHH page.

First Congregational takes the cultivation of a loving and safe environment for all of its members very seriously. Our SafeConduct™ Policy protects the safety of everyone who participates in ministries for children, youth and vulnerable adults. The Code of Conduct section within this policy is required reading for anyone applying to volunteer in these ministries. You may view the policy at

If you are interested in volunteering with children, youth or vulnerable adults, we invite you to apply in advance so that you have the flexibility to jump in whenever an opportunity comes your way. Please contact the church office to get the application process started.

We’re happy to announce that First Congregational has upgraded its WiFi network. This means you don’t have to wait to share that cute photo of your child’s baptism, you can upload church group documents on the fly, and you can download our bulletin to your smartphone—all without using data.

Our revamped network is named FCUCC-Guest and the network password is UCCWireless. Happy surfing!