Pastoral Ponderings – December 2023

“Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” ~ Isaiah 40:28-31

 In the most barren of situations, God continues to create something new. Two years ago, First Christian did what every church tries to avoid having to do, and that is sell their precious building. Blood, sweat, and tears went into the planning and creating of that church building. It was beautiful, and so many wonderful and beautiful things happened within (and outside) those walls. Children were born, children, youth, and adults were baptized, people got married, loved ones were put to rest, Christmas programs, Easter programs, Christian Education, worship, fellowship, all of that created a loving, and God-fearing community.

But as it has a tendency to do, life changes. The choice was to leave that beloved building. Without a place to go, Faith UCC invited them to share space until the community could get their bearings straight again. The building was no longer First Christian, but the faithful community of believers still is.

And now, two years later, what once was, First Christian Church and Faith UCC—separate, and yet very much alike—are preparing to create something new: Faith First Community Church. And it is beautiful!!

It is beautiful because, as the leader of both churches right now, I am watching each community work diligently to become one. There is give and take on both sides. Sometimes, those are easy changes, and sometimes—thanks to our emotions—the changes are more difficult.

While we have many things done—a new name, a new constitution, a new way to govern the community, a budget for next year—we still have a long way to go, and many decisions yet to be made. But these decisions are the details, and they will get done, in time.

Safe church policies (for volunteers who will work with our children and youth), bequest policies, building use policies. Then there will be the decisions around what we keep for furniture from both churches, and what we don’t. And how will we go about marketing our new church? Then, down the road, how will we change the sanctuary to make it Faith First Community Church? (Like I said, some of them are a ways down the road!)

The paperwork has been turned into the lawyer to work on the incorporation of Faith First, and the plan is to have an incorporation date of January 1, 2024!! While we wait for that, the Merging Committee continues to move forward, working on coming up with our Core Values (what we believe our church values most), a mission statement, and a vision statement. Once they come up with a few ideas, we will schedule another congregational meeting to decide on those.


Thank you so much to our Merging Committee for all of your hard work and dedication to the new creation. As much as we would like to believe that creating is easy, it really isn’t—in fact, it is really difficult at times. It takes patience, and courage, and passion. So, thank you to Cheryl Leamer, Don Walton, Mark Christy, Glenn Perreault, Jill Pepper, Doug Cox, Amy

Dowell, Sharon Perreault, Jan Hannel, and Martha Watters—who isn’t on the committee, but has been HUGE in helping make this transition work! And thank you to all of you for your thoughts, prayers, ideas, and any other way you are helping.

I can’t wait to see where we are one year from now! In the meantime, if you have thoughts and ideas on any of these things, please find a committee member and talk to them!

May you all have a blessed and Happy Thanksgiving!

Always Peace, 

Pastor Heidi