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Congo Beat
October 12, 2017
First Congregational
United Church of Christ      
1000 S Cooper Street
Memphis, TN  38104
Terry Clark, Caroline & Janet Rubenstein enjoyed
last Sunday's worship, including the Blessing of    
Animals during this Season of Creation.       
 See lots more  photos of this special day below!  

We worship on Sunday mornings at 10:30 a.m.

  We Believe ...
  • That God created the world, and that every single one of us has good work to do in life. 
  • Our "good work" has to do with living in ways that reflect God's agenda of love, joy, compassion and hope for the world and all its creatures, even in the midst of struggle.
  • Jesus showed us how to do this.  He had radical trust in the Goodness of God and our ability to share God's agenda of life for the world.  We can have this trust and share this agenda too, by following in his way.
  • We feel more alive when we're living from our sense of connection - with God, with each other, and with life itself. 


A Note from our Senior Pastor:

The best Bible studies are the ones where everybody asks good and honest questions! AND, they are facilitated by a wise and well-educated teacher. We've got both of those factors going strong with the Wednesday night Bible study of I John. It's a fascinating and inspiring text-and you'll find the background information provided by Dr. Mary Lin Hudson helpful in understanding and growing with the text. No homework! No preparation required! Just show up at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesdays in my office and you'll learn something that will help you grow spiritually. I guarantee it!

      Much love,    

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A n n o u n c e m e n t s
Our Food Justic e Ministries for October 
have been dedicated anonymously.

The Adult Forum on Sunday Mornings
 Upcoming Topics: 
  • 10/15: Overview of Dr. William Barber and the new Poor People's Campaign - led by Tim Taylor
  • 10/22: Continued discussion from On Tyranny - led by Emily Holmes.
Coffee is available in the Commons, and we are meeting in the Conference Center (north building) at 9:45 - 10:30 am.


Mission Council Meeting THIS Sunday
Church Officers, Staff, Committee Chairs & Ministry Leaders please gather right after church in the Conference Center.

Moral Mondays in Memphis is inspired by Dr. King's work on behalf of poor people and the work of the New Poor People's Campaign being organized nationally by Repairers of the Breach. Spearheaded by the Museum's National MLK50 Clergy  Join us Monday, October 16, for the first of three Moral Mondays in the city of Memphis. Click on these links to register for the free events:
  • The evening will start at 6:15pm with Table Talks - dinner served family-style where we will have an opportunity to meet some of our neighbors and share some of our fears and hopes for our city. 
  • There will be a Mass Gathering at 7:30pm with great music from local and special guest artists and the Rev. Dr. William Barber II as our guest speaker. The Gathering will conclude by 9:00pm.

Interfaith Panel on Palestine Occupation
As part of Palestine Solidarity Week, First Congo will be hosting a panel on Tuesday, October 17th called FAITH AND LIBERATION: Facing the Israeli Occupation.  This will be an interfaith panel featuring Sheikh Anwar Arafat (Imam of Masjid Arrahman}, Rabbi David Mivasair (Jewish Voice for Peace Rabbinic Council) and Rev Will Christians (Shady Grove Presbyterian, Memphis).  We'll gather at 7:00 pm in the Sanctuary.  (Please NOTE the change of venue to First Congo.)


Global Goods NEWS:

Our volunteer team met on Tuesday night to talk about the future of Global Goods after the fire - and also how to make sure we're able to offer fair trade education and shopping in the meantime - so here's our plan:
Soot Sale Sunday - October 29  
We're offering some special deals on the merchandise that Mike Robertson and Emma Wilson rescued from the ashes! We'll have tables set-up in the back of the sanctuary and open for sales before and after church.
Holiday Pop-Up Store  
We will set up our displays in the back of the sanctuary with NEW merchandise to sell on Sundays before and after church.  Watch for these sales to begin in mid to late November!  


This Week at First Congo:

The Saturday Dinner Group had a fabulous time at the home of Gail Murray and Joe Hawes. From left is Chris Davis, Jeron Smart, Bill & Cindy Tupis, Ingird & Sven Olssen, Chris & Laurie Hook, Cecelia Johnson-Powell & Richard Powell, and Gail Murray.  Besides enjoying their supper, this group collected toilet paper, socks, and a can opener for our Food Pantry!

(right) The Blessed Bees Team is getting ready to  harvest honey, which begins with cleaning the tools -thanks to Danny Grubbs & Joy Winkler.  After that, it's time to get sticky - and our  second hive will be harvested this week!  Reply to this email if you'd like to get involved in this environmental ministry.

(below) A pretty photo of Gio & Algeria Kelly-Lopez taking a walking-break during worship.

(above right) Thanks to lay-reader, Frank Armstrong, during our special Blessing of the Animals last Sunday ... and enjoy these sweet photos below of  our pets & their people:

First Congo  Staff:

Senior Pastor:
Rev. Cheryl K. Cornish
901-278-6786 ext 1 

sonia staff shot
Associate Pastor:
Rev. Sonia L. Walker

Director of Mission:

Office Manager:   
Brenda Nichols
901-278-6786 ext 107 

Nikki Jones

Director of Food Justice Ministries:   Steph Rollen

Revolutions Bicycle Co-op  
Director: Sylvia Crum    

Art & Design Ministries:
Sam Griffin

Artist Intern: 
Ron Marion

Minister of Music:
Dennis W. Darling

Music Ministry: 
Tamar Love

Music Ministry:
Brennan Villines

Music Ministry: 
Chris Burgess

Music Ministry: 
Lisa Gaddy 

Juan Salter 
Bryant Wilhite

Mark Allen

Events Assistant: 
Danny Grubbs


Amy Shaw 

Minister of Child Care:
Kenitra Higgins

Sunday Nursery Care: 

Xan Lester  

Ella Mynatt

Hostel Memphis Staff 
Kim Kamga, 
Resident Manager 

Hostel Resident Advisors:
Dalton Jones
Ron Marion 
Jamie Jones
Parks Dlugach

Thanks to Butch Odom (above left) who offered our children's sermon.  We also say thanks to all the church folks who shared their fun photos from Sunday - especially Chris Cooper (right) who climbed to the balcony to capture this beautiful shot (below) capturing our community's celebration!

Here's What's Coming Up ...

Friday, October 13:  
  • Cafe Congo Community Lunch is served in the Fellowship Hall
  • NO MAGY (Memphis Area Gay Youth) Meeting This Week because of Fall Break

Saturday, October 14:   
  • Global Goods Fair Trade Store is CLOSED until further notice.
  • "No Hungry Seniors" Food Pick-up:  9:00 am in the Sanctuary

Sunday, October 15:    
  • Coffee & Fellowship:  9:45 am in The Commons
  • Adult Forum:  9:45 am in the Conference Room
  • Children's Sunday School:  9:45 am in Classroom C
  • Nursery Care:  9:45 am in the sitting room behind the Sanctuary
  • Worship:  10:30 am in the Sanctuary
  • Children's Church:  after the Children's Sermon the children will be escorted to Classroom C for their own "church time" and parents may pick them up here after worship
  • Mission Council Meeting:  after church in the Conference Center
Monday, October 16:
  • Cafe Congo Community Lunch:  11:00 am - 1:00 pm in the Fellowship Hall 
  • Mass Gathering with Dr. William Barber, II - 7:30 at Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church
     (70 N Bellevue Boulevard)
  • Revolutions Bicycle Open Shop:  6:30 - 9:00 pm 
  • Open Art Studio:  6:30 - 9:00 pm 
Tuesday, October 17:
  • Cafe Congo Community Lunch:  11:00am - 1:00pm in the Fellowship Hall
  • Tuesday Evening Prayer Service:  6:00 pm in the Sanctuary
  • Interfaith Panel on Palestine Occupation:  7:00 pm in the Sanctuary
Wednesday, October 18:  
  • Cafe Congo Community Lunch:  11:00 am - 1:00 pm in the Fellowship Hall
  • Bible Study on I John with Mary Lin Hudson:  5:30 - 6:30 p.m in the Conference Center
  • Vocal Choir Rehearsal:   in the Sanctuary at 7:00 pm
Thursday, October 19:
  • Cafe Congo Community Lunch:  11:00 am - 1:00 pm in the Fellowship Hall
  • Revolutions Bicycle Co-Op Open Shop:  6:30 - 9:00 pm
  • Open Art Studio:  6:30 - 9:00 pm

Thanksgiving Feast
After church on Sunday, November 19
Children's Christmas Pageant
During church on Sunday, December 17

Congregational Potluck & Annual Meeting
After church on Sunday, December 17

Christmas Eve Candlelight Services on Sunday, Dec. 24
Early Service, designed especially for families with children at 5:00 pm
Traditional Service of "Lessons and Carols" at 10:00 pm 


First Congregational Leadership 2017:



     Moderator,            Co-Moderator,             Secretary,             Treasurer,       Assistant Treasurer, 

    Teddy Crum           Kevin Williams        Angela Richards      Joe Pfeiffer              Bill Tupis                                       



Committee Chairs:
        Ushers                 Hospitality               Finance             Christian Education         Facilities              Nominating 
 Caroline McCraw     Angela Moore       Janet McCraw            Joe Hawes           Sammye Hudgens      Carla Orr 
    Rubenstein                                            Rubenstein 

Mission Development Committee:
 Judy Drescher   Cecelia Johnson-Powell  Joe Pfeiffer   Carla Peacher-Ryan    Jackie Nerren      Keith Norman

   Special Ministries & Program Coordinators:
vernessa sonia marsha

Tuesday Evening Prayer & Circle of Trust, Rev. Catherine Dixon
Good Books Good Friends, Sue Westmoreland
Global Goods, Jackie Nerren
The Pilgrim Center Director, Dr. Joel Chapman
Children's Sunday School, Dr. Marsha Walton
MAGY (Memphis Area Gay Youth) Chair, Board of Directors - Maria Hubbard


  First Congo Quick Links
First Congo Website & Online Donations: 

First Congo FB Link   

Freedom Journeys: 
Freedom Journeys for Youth, College & Adult Groups 

 Hostel Memphis & Retreat Center: 

Cooper-Young Conference Center:
Global Goods Fair TradeGG on Facebook 
The Pilgrim Center for Counseling:  The Pilgrim Center  901-844-HELP (4357)
 Revolutions Bike Co-Op: 

MAGY (Memphis Area Gay Youth)  MAGY on Facebook
Cooper Young Community Farmers Market: