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Mag azine of the Congregational Way since 1849
Mag azine of the Congregational Way since 1849
Mag azine of the Congregational Way since 1849
congregationalist. org
Published by the National Association
of Congregational Christian Churches
Photo by Barry W. Szymanski
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Christmas Is A Time Of Love by Michael Chittum
hristina Rossetti was an influential 19th century English poet. Several of her poems were
set to music, and some became popular as Advent or Christmas hymns. Among these were
In the Bleak Midwinter and Love Came Down at Christmas. It is this latter piece that I want
to reference. Here is the full text.
Love came down at Christmas,
Love all lovely, love divine;
Love was born at Christmas,
Star and angels gave the sign.
Worship we the Godhead,
Love incarnate, love divine;
Worship we our Jesus:
But wherewith for sacred sign?
Love shall be our token,
Love shall be yours and love be mine,
Love to God and to all men,
Love for plea and gi and sign.
I believe this poem and its central message sets the tone for our worship during Advent and
Christmas. As a people of God, we are blessed by the coming of Immanuel, God with us. We
proclaim this great good news of the divine love coming to us incarnate in the world. Our “sacred
sign” of the earnestness of our worship is the love we give to God and to all people. Our love serves
to show our relationship with God and our receipt of the divine love.
In this time of Christmas, you will gather with many people at dierent times and in dierent contexts
to share in the love of the season. As you gather with your family, may you express your love for them.
As you gather with your friends, may you express your love for them. As you gather in worship through
Advent, on Christmas Eve, and on Christmas Day, may you manifest your love for your family of faith.
Merry Christmas to All. May the blessings of the Love who was born at Christmas be with us all.
Michael chittuM
Executive Director
Mag azine of the Congregational Way since 1849
Mag azine of the Congregational Way since 1849
Mag azine of the Congregational Way since 1849
by Doug Gray
Support the NACCC
by Lowell Lindon
by Douglas Kelchner
Reections of HOPE/NAPF
by Michael Glidden
e Congregational Foundation
For eological Studies
by Charles Packer
A Silent Retreat
by Charles Packer
Rev. Wendy Van Tassell and Rev. Tom Van Tassell, husband
and wife and co-pastors of First Congregational Church in
Spencer, IA.
First Congregational Church of Wauwatosa, WI
Christmas is A Time of Love
Peter Taylor Forsyth (1848-1921)
e Puritans: beyond the myth
by Doug Gray
Support the NACCC
by Lowell Lindon
by Douglas Kelchner
Reections of HOPE/NAPF
by Michael Glidden
e Congregational Foundation
For eological Studies
by Charles Packer
A Silent Retreat
by Charles Packer
Vol. 168/No. 4 DECEMBER 2016
All content in The Congregationalist appears by the authority of the editor.
We reserve freedom of expression to our authors and freedom of opinion to our readers.
Except for service information clearly sponsored by the National Association of
Congregational Christian Churches or its component parts, content does not necessarily
reect policies and opinions of the National Association.
Neither The Congregationalist nor the National Association has a creed or holds
positions on social or theological issues; but we recognize the authority of each local
church to do so for itself, if and as it wishes, and we encourage thoughtful
and respectful discussion of our agreements and dierences.
Photo by Barry W. Szymanski
eter Taylor Forsyth, better known as P. T. Forsyth, is an important gure in Congregational
history. He was born in Aberdeen, Scotland, in 1848, and he died in London in 1921. He served
Congregational churches in England, but he also lectured in the United States. As a young man,
he studied in Germany and was greatly inuenced by the liberal theology of Albrecht Ritschl, casting a
very critical eye on the authority of Scripture and on evangelical theology. However, in his later years,
he began to see liberal theology as thin and lacking in intellectual and spiritual value.
In a time when major Congregational pastors and scholars were moving away from the thinking of
the Puritans, Forsyth was one of those who moved back toward them. However, as Sydney Ahlstrom
points out, Forsyth was “only belatedly discovered in the United States.
Alister McGrath, a great
theologian of our time, quotes Forsyth with approval: “ere is nothing we are told more oen by
those who would discard an evangelical faith than this—that we must now . . . return to the religion
of Jesus. We are bidden to go back to practise Jesus’ own personal religion, as distinct from the Gospel
of Christ, from a gospel which calls him its faiths object, and not its subject . . .. But . . . as far back as
we can go, we nd only the belief and worship of a risen, redeeming, and gloried Christ, whom they
could wholly trust but only very poorly imitate; and in his relation to God could not imitate at all.
On decision-making in a Congregational church, Forsyth had this to say: “Majorities and minorities
are not the calculus of the Spirit . . .. We must look for a power which is immune from a mere majority.
We look to an electorate in no form, but to an Elector, His choice, His historic gi, and His Holy
Spirit in His church, and no majority vote can guarantee the presence of His will.
On where the
Church gets its authority, he said: “When any community ceases to care whether it is a real Church of
the apostolic Gospel, so long as it is for the hour rationally free, pious and social, that simply means
that evangelical liberty, the release of the conscience from itself by God for God, has been lost in the
assertive liberty of the atomic, unhistoric, natural man exercised on a religious matter.
Such a body then means nothing for the Gospel anymore. To renounce the Word is, in
principle, to dissolve the Church.
On the kind of creative theology that he had admired in his youth, he wrote
later: “ere is a popular impression about both philosophy and theology
that [they are] a scene in which each newcomer demolishes the work of
his predecessor in order to put in its place some theory doomed in turn to
205 Ahlstrom, 936, note.
206 Peter Taylor Forsyth, “On the Person of Christ,” in e Christian eology Reader, ed. Alister E. McGrath (Malden: Blackwell Publishing, 2001), 302.
207 Peter Taylor Forsyth, e Principle of Authority (Blackwood: New Creation Publications, 2004), 234
«» (accessed 29 Apr 2012).
208 Ibid., 252.
209 Peter Taylor Forsyth, e Work of Christ (Blackwood: New Creation Publications, 1994), 175-176
«»(accessed 29 Apr 2012).
210 Peter Taylor Forsyth, e Soul of Prayer (Blackwood: New Creation Publications, 1999), 71 «»
(accessed 29 Apr 2012).
the same fruitless fate. . .. If it were so with theology, we should not only be distressed for Humanity,
but we should be skeptical about the Holy Spirit in the Church. It could be the Church of no Holy
Spirit if those who translated its life into thought did not oer to posterity a spectacle higher than
dragons that tore each other in the slime, or lions that bit and devoured one another.
Adapted and reprinted with permission from e Congregational Minute by Robert Hellum. (Seaside, Calif.: Robert
Hellum, 2012.)
To renounce the Word is, in principle,
to dissolve the Church.
Forsyths view of the pastor’s position in a Congregational church is worth quoting: “e work of
the ministry labours under one heavy disadvantage when we regard it as a profession and compare
it with other professions. In these, experience brings facility, a sense of mastery in the subject, self-
satisfaction, self-condence; but in our subject the more we pursue it . . . the more . . . we . . . sense
not only . . . our insuciency, but . . . our unworthiness. . . We have to handle the gospel. We have to
li up Christ—a Christ who is the death of natural self-condence—a humiliating, even a crushing
Christ; and we are not always alive to our upliing and resurrection in Him. We have to handle a
gospel that is a new rebuke to us every step we gain in intimacy with it. ere is no real intimacy with
the gospel which does not mean a new sense of Gods holiness . . . And there is no new sense of the
holy God that does not arrest His name upon our unclean lips.
Gaming makes church a winner
ecently, I have become the “Poké-Pastor” in our neighborhood. Perhaps you
have heard of the runaway app for mobile devices called Pokémon Go? If you
have seen people walking around looking at their phones, probably they are
playing this new game. It combines the old Pokémon trading card game with Google
Maps to create an addictive scavenger hunt game.
My family and I found Pokémon Go this past summer, downloaded it and have
spent blissful hours walking around our neighborhood together, checking our
phones to see what little Pokémon has appeared. On these “Poké-hunting” trips, we
have the chance to talk together, not just about the game, but about whatever other
things are on our minds. It’s been a great bonding (and exercise!) tool.
What my family and I noticed almost immediately is that the game designers
made our church, First Church of Squantum in Quincy, Massachusetts, a “Poké-
stop.” is refers to a place at which players can periodically re-equip themselves
for the game. My wife and I discovered that we could “set a lure” on the church’s
Poké-stop to attract gamers to our location.
Soon aer setting the lure, one small group of Poké-hunters was gathered on one
corner, and a second on another corner, and a third was walking back and forth in
front of the church. Our middle school-aged son had brought some of his friends
over to play at the parsonage, which is adjacent to the church, and before long my
sons group had headed toward the church (reception is better) and they could
play and charge their phones. Soon they had joined with the other groups of Poké-
hunters canvassing the neighborhood.
If gamers are out long enough, they usually need a place to rest, recharge their
mobile devices, get a cool drink and use the restroom. We welcome these groups to
By Doug Gray
of Being
We just got our copy of T C
and noticed that I am accidentally listed as living
in Connecticut. [September issue: “Our Pilgrimage
Continues”] I expect to hear from a few people about
the typo, especially my mother. But they will be happy
to hear I didn't move without telling them.
Brenda Gammon
Florence, MA
In the "Psalterium Americanum" article which was
printed in the September issue, it was expressed that
Cotton Mather was instrumental in administering the
Small Pox vaccine to the public. It is more precise to say
that Mather administered the Small Pox variolation,
or inoculation.
Rev. Harvey Lord
Bow, NH
T R. D G is a third-generation Congregational pastor and
Mayower descendant. He serves as Pastor at the First Church of Squantum
in Quincy, Massachusetts. He and his wife, Cynthia, promise their children
(Morgan, Hannah and Caleb) they don’t have to be ministers!
our Poké-stop, e First Church of Squantum, as it turns out, is in a perfect place
to do a Poké-ministry! I have met lots of new people who were just walking by. If I
happen to know that there’s a cool virtual Poké-creature just behind the church, I
let them know. ey are very grateful and o they go!
At rst, I resisted the idea of being the Poké-Pastor, but I began to realize that
this was just one more amazing opportunity to show the grace of God, to welcome
the stranger, provide energy for the drained, and rest for the weary. Now I’m a
fan! Perhaps this is a eeting opportunity, but doesnt that make it all the more
important to seize this transient moment of ministry?
...this was just one more amazing
opportunity to show the grace of God
Meeting &
June 24-27, 2017
Dreaming, Talking, Acting
will lead attendees, preachers,
and speakers into myriad scripture texts
Bible Lecturer
Barbara Brown Taylor
Harry R. Butman Professor of Religion,
Piedmont College
Among TIME Magazine’s
100 Most Influential People in 2014
Hosted by
Demorest, Georgia
Get That Happy Feeling:
Experience the Joy of Giving
hen the Psalmist wrote: “For You formed my
inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s
womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fear-
fully and wonderfully made,” he had no idea the depth of
his declaration. We have every reason to give thanks to
God for the way in which He has created us.
As Charles Darwin devised his theory of evolution,
he started to ask himself why any creatures at all are
altruistic. Aer all, “survival of the ttest” leaves little
room for generosity and gratitude. Yet, there is evidence
that we are, at least to some degree, able to give and to
share even when it may not be to our advantage.
Neuroscientists have been investigating regions of
the human brain that give rise to altruistic behavior.
Using MRI scanning, blood ow to certain parts of
the brain can be measured. Dopamine and oxytocin
are two chemicals released in the brain which give
us feelings of happiness and of bonding. It has been
discovered that the brain secretes these chemicals
when we are generous, even if that generosity is not
to our benet. Some people have named these the
happy chemicals.”
What does all of it mean? First of all it means we are
created in the image of God to even a greater degree
than we thought. e Lord loves in the extreme. John
tells us: “God so loved the world that He gave His only
begotten Son . . . . “Apostle Paul declares, “While we
were yet sinners Christ died for us.” He willingly
forgives our sin. He bestows blessing upon blessing.
“Every good and perfect gi comes from God,” says
James. And, as a result of Gods grace and mercy
freely given, how do we respond? We respond with
thanksgiving and generosity toward God and toward
others. We discover we are hard wired to respond with
abundant love and thankfulness and gratitude. God
created us with the “happy chemicals” in our brains
that encourage us and give us truly blessings in the
midst of our generosity and giving.
During the Advent and Christmas seasons we hear
once again the story of the Magi who traveled to
Bethlehem from afar because of the star in the sky.
When they came to the place where they found the
Christ Child, they worshipped him, and they gave to
him gis of gold and frankincense and myrrh. ey
expected nothing in return, and yet their “happy
chemicals” gave them good and pleasant feelings.
Jesus was truly correct, even more so than we ever
thought. “It is more blessed to give than it is to receive.
As we come to the end of the calendar year, we
celebrate with our families and with our congregations
By Lowell Linden
Get That Happy Feeling:
hen the Psalmist wrote: “For You formed my
tells us: “God so loved the world that He gave His only
By Lowell Linden
Get That Happy Feeling:
Get That Happy Feeling:
60.00% 18
40.00% 12
36.67% 11
66.67% 20
93.33% 28
60.00% 18
Q1 What NACCC services do you and/or
your church community value?
Answered: 30 Skipped: 1
Total Respondents: 30
Center for
Church Renewal
& New...
and Consulti...
The Annual
0% 10%20% 30%40% 50% 60% 70%80% 90%100%
Answer Choices Responses
Center for Congregational Leadership and the Congregational Foundation for Theological Studies (CFTS)
Church Renewal & New Planting(s)
Scholarships and Consulting with Churches in Need
The Annual Meeting
The Congregationalist Magazine
Building Relationships with Missions & Other Congregational Groups
rst anksgiving and then the seasons of Advent
and Christmas. ese are times when our “happy
chemicals” work overtime. But in the midst of
these celebrations there is also an opportunity to be
generous and giving even to the point of doing so
without thought of reward or recognition.
In this past year, the National Association of
Congregational Christian Churches held a very
successful Annual Meeting and Conference
in Dearborn, Michigan, and Rev. Dr. Michael
Chittum, Executive Director, hired a new Director
of Development and Communication, Mrs. Debra
L L has been active in the
National Association for Congregational
Christian Churches since 1973. He has
fullled terms on the World Christian
Relations Commission, serving as chairman
for the last two years; the Congregational
Foundation for eological Studies, the
Executive Committee, with one year as
chairman; and is nishing his nal year on
the Congregational Foundation. He was
Senior Minister of the First Congregational
Church of Redlands, Redlands, California,
for 38 years and is presently the Minister
Fulton. More than 40 search committees were assisted
in their ministerial searches, and 29 ministers were
called to new places of service. Eight ministers have
been ordained to the gospel ministry, and nancial
support was provided to 27 national and international
missions. e Congregational Foundation distributed
$122,700 to directly support the NACCC.
Perhaps in the past year or in the recent past your
church has received assistance in some way from the
National Association, and we rejoice that we have
been there to help. On the other hand, it’s possible
your church has received no direct assistance from the
National Association. But in either case, there is every
good reason to give to some aspect of our Association.
Your dollars can help support the important work of
missions at home and abroad. You can help ensure that
the educational support exists to provide ministers
for our pulpits in years to come. You need only go to for a clearer picture of all the NACCC
does to assist its member churches and preserve the
Congregational Way.
Of course, the giving is voluntary. However, I do
remember a remark made at one of our Annual
meetings: in our Association, voluntary does not mean
optional. If you have an interest in a certain aspect
of the work of the Association, make a contribution
in keeping with that interest. e Shared Ministries
Fund serves all aspects of the Association, and making
a donation to that fund allows the Associations
resources to be used where most needed.
When you make your contribution to the mission
of the NACCC you also give your happy chemicals an
opportunity to express themselves.
The Nominating Committee of the National Association of
Congregational Christian Churches (NACCC) is actively soliciting
        
Nominations are due on or before January 15, 2017. The ofcial Nomination Form,
with position descriptions, travel reimbursement policy, and leadership expectations,
may be downloaded at
NACCC Seeks Nominations
A change in focus brings success
n 2009 the Edison Congregational Church in Fort
Myers, Florida, was considering how long it would
be able to continue operating with both attendance
and income falling. e aging congregation rallied
around their new minister and a renewed vision to
minister not simply to snowbirds but to all ages year-
round. Slowly but surely the church started to rebound.
A New Focus
Financially the focus was taken o failing eorts
to meet the annual budget and placed on making
missions and benevolence causes the greater priority.
e church had nancial goals for a designated list
of missions and agencies, but we have made an equal
push to engage members of the congregation in service
projects. For example, we took a team to build homes
in Haiti; we send teams to feed and help migrant farm
workers in our local county; we became an active
and supporting congregation in a large food bank
coalition; and we found many other opportunities for
more hands-on service.
By Douglas Kelchner
As a pastor, it has always been my strong belief that
God will nancially bless the church that puts others
(missions and benevolence) rst. ankfully, our
Council and the congregation bought into that belief
and began to watch it work. We reported on the budget
shortfalls, but stopped crying about it or letting it stop
us from doing other important things.
When a congregation focuses on the needs of others
and puts its energies into special projects the small
victories begin to mount. Excitement builds, which
leads to more victories to celebrate, and suddenly
attitudes changed; overall giving is up, and the budget
is met. Not only did our nancial situation start to
improve, but the church pews were soon lled, with
overow space created by providing multiple video
screens to assist viewing in our fellowship hall.
eNhANciNg the worship experieNce
Our worship style is traditional in both word and
music. We have not changed that approach, only
in Florida
Photos (left to right): Edison Congregational Church was the only structure built in Edison Park during the depression., Growth in membership required
additional space for Sunday school classes., e children of Edison Congregational Church enjoy their new facilities.
strengthened it. When the music is good, the
preaching is solid, and there is a sense that something
is actually happening in the life of the church, there
is an excitement that extends beyond a single hour
on Sunday. e congregation starts inviting their
friends and neighbors to come share in the experience.
One helpful factor is the natural friendliness of this
congregation. No one gets in or out of our church
without being touched by many others.
growth MeANs expANsioN
In the midst of this growth, the church seriously lacked
educational space, with only one room that could be
used for childrens ministry.
Planning began early in 2013 to build the needed
space. Because we have an historic building in an
historic location it took more than three years to
achieve the needed approval to build. In September
of 2016 the church realized the completion of a new
addition that provides our much needed nursery
T R. D. D K
is Senior Minister at omas A. Edison
Congregational Church in Fort Myers,
Florida. A native of Virginia, he was elected
to serve as Senior Minister by the Edison
congregation on October 4, 2009. He is
a graduate of Central Bible College and
Bethany eological Seminary.
in Florida
and classroom space. e addition was built without
incurring any debt.
roughout this building process the annual budget
was fully funded and records set each year in the
churchs missions and benevolence giving.
e people of Edison Congregational Church have
been amazing. In my 46 years as a pastor, serving here
may well rank as my greatest joy. By Gods grace our
church has not closed, but has turned around for His
honor and glory. Christ is still building his church
against all odds, and we give Him all praise!
he National Association of Congregational Christian Churches (NACCC) encourages teens
and young adults to continue their faith journey and develop their leadership skills by
participating in its NAPF and HOPE programs.
NAPF (National Association of Pilgrim Fellowship) brings Christian teens together for worship,
fellowship and fun. HOPE (Heritage of Pilgrim Endeavor) helps post-high school adults to
gain a deeper understanding of their faith through discussion, leadership opportunities and
missions to those in need. Both groups enjoy an annual conference that typically coincides
with the NACCC Annual Meeting & Conference. A highlight of their conference is a service
project in the host community.
In June 2016, the NAPF/HOPE conference met in Detroit, the most impoverished city in the
U.S., with almost 40% of the city’s population living under the poverty level.
This past summer the NAPF/HOPE youth went to Detroit, Michigan, to worship, foster friendships, begin
new friendships, and to serve God and the community. It was amazing!
Reections on the HOPE/NAPF
Annual Conference Mission Project
Continued on Page 16
We stayed at Wayne State University and commuted to different work sites throughout the
week Forgotten Harvest, CASS Community Services, and Urban Development. At Forgotten
Harvest, the youth packaged food that was then sent around the community. The amount
of food that was packaged was astounding! CASS has a lot of different activities, including,
making old tires into mats, painting buildings, and cleaning up the surrounding community.
At Urban Development, we worked on a nine-block radius of houses mowing lawns, sanding
walls, removing branches and debris, among other things!
This year for our nightly speakers, we decided to split the NAPF youth from the HOPErs in
order to better meet the needs of the broad spectrum of ages at the conference. The NAPF
speakers were Matt Matthews and Jenny Rouble, who both live in Michigan and grew up in
NAPF and HOPE, maintaining a close relationship with both organizations. Steve Erkel. United
Church of Beloit (Wisc.), addressed the HOPE group. I loved being able to really deepen my
understanding of the Bible and its contents in our nightly study.
It was a very amazing and rewarding experience, and I promise, NO ONE was bored!
The highlight of my week was getting to work with a man named Julius from Urban Development
Corporation. As Christians, we are called to love one another, and this mans love for the city
of Detroit was inspiring. When we left, he cried tears of joy because of the amount of work we
accomplished. His seless love for his community was something I will never forget.
When we were not at the mission sites, we had the opportunity to hear from some great
speakers. In HOPE, we had the privilege of listening to Steve Erkel. He challenged us as followers
of Christ to dive into God’s Word and really study what is being said. He encouraged us to
ask questions and think outside the box. After listening to speakers, we separated into small
groups to talk and reect about what had happened that day and what the speaker had
said. Having the opportunity to engage in these conversations with other young adults from
across the United States was incredible. The mission work, fellowship, and time with friends
experienced through NAPF/HOPE this year was absolutely amazing
Continued from Page 15
HOPE/NAPF volunteer mops up
HOPE/NAPF Detroit kids
Bonding through Christ
n September 2, the start of the Labor Day
weekend, Rev. Bob McLaughlin, outreach
pastor at Sebago Church of the Nazarene, and
I did a ship visit at the Portland International Marine
Terminal in Portland, Maine. Bob and I are volunteer
chaplains for Seafarer’s Friends, a Christian outreach
organization. Our role is to board the ships of merchant
mariners from all over the world. Many of the seafarers
who enter the port have seen long, lonely months at sea,
separated from home and family. We serve their unmet
spiritual, social and practical needs. We may help seafar-
ers communicate with loved ones back home, take them
to local stores for re-provisioning, and help them cope
with the dangers and loneliness of seafaring life. Sea-
farer’s Friends (originally known as Bostons Seaman’s
Friend Society) was founded by Congregationalists.
Today’s organization has expanded to Portsmouth and
Portland. Support comes from Baptist, Congregational,
Episcopal, Methodist, Presbyterian, as well as many in-
dependent congregations.
11:55 a.m.
Bob and I checked in at the terminals security desk to
pay a visit to a crew from Iceland.
We boarded the container ship and checked in at
the ships security point. From there we were led into
the ocer’s room. ere were ve or six men in this
cabin. We were quickly informed that the men were
taken care of and all their needs were met. e room
became silent as the men began to converse with each
other and stare at their iPhones.
12 noon
Bob and I looked at each other and could read in one
another’s eyes the shared understanding that our visit
was basically over. Five minutesthat would be it. I
felt a tug on my heart. I went over to one young man
and asked him where he was from. He began to show
me pictures of Iceland on his phone. He then began
to share with me some of his photos of family and the
Icelandic scenery. e ship’s captain wandered over and
shared photos of his own family and scenes of quaint
little churches dotting the hilly landscape in a faraway
place. Soon everyone in the room joined their shipmates
in sharing snapshots of their life and reminiscing about
their families. Bread was broken and shared.
In those moments, Bob and I entered a world of
intimacy in a small cabin sitting at port. ese people
were foreign to us, but Bob and I felt a special bond
with them through Christ.
It wasn’t over though. e captain, being a humble
man, oered each of us a cup of coee. Near the end
of the visit, Bob and I were alone with the captain. I
thought “where two or three are gathered” and we
drank our coee. Not much was said aer that.
e captain returned to his duties. Bob and I were
le alone. And we realized that we had experienced
communion. Bread was broken. e cup was shared.
And we were lled with the joy of fellowship. en
we departed.
12:45 p.m.
Bob and I chuckled as we le the ship. Five minutes
had turned into a memorable moment that would last
forever in our memories.
A Ship Visitors Tale
T R. M G, D. M
has been the senior pastor of the Sebago
Lake Congregational Church in Standish,
Maine, since 2012. He has been pastoring
since 1993. Rev. Glidden earned his Master
of Divinity Degree in 1995 from Bangor
eological Seminary and a Doctor of
Ministry Degree from Gordon-Conwell
eological Seminary in 2002. He was
ordained in 2000. Mike lives in Saco,
Maine, with his wife Rhonda .
By Michael Glidden
Congregations can cultivate those with a calling
By Charles Packer
lease humor me in re-imagining the eort of the Congre-
gational Foundation for eological Studies a bit. In the
parable of the Good Samaritan, there are two who stay
at a distance from the one who is in need and one who draws
close and recognizes something important about the individual
who is in the ditch. e Samaritan picks up the man, takes him
to an inn, does his part to make sure he is tended well and given
what he needs to go on, and then leaves. At the inn, the man
presumably takes the next steps of getting what he needs there
and walks on into his future whole and complete.
While I would not say that future seminary students are like wounded
women and men in ditches in need of emergency assistance, oen the
one who has heard the call of God feels isolated from others, somewhat
vulnerable, and unsure about how to respond to the call. ey need help.
e “rst responders,” if you will, the Good Samaritans, are you. You,
the pastors and congregation members of our churches are the ones who
have to be attentive, compassionate, and sensitive enough to recognize
when one among you has heard the call to ministry and service to the
Lord. Upon recognizing the presence of this call in a young persons or
an adult’s life in your church community, it is you who will make the rst
moves to help the individual clarify this summons to service and meet
the needs involved in responding positively.
I see our Congregational Foundation for eological Studies, a program
that is unique in its direct support of seminary students preparing for
T C F  T S:
ministry in our Congregational
churches, as being like those at the
inn at which the wounded man
was taken. Our goal is to take
those men and women who are
called and lied up by their local
congregations for ministry and give
them the help they need to become
full, complete, and whole in their
educational journey and process.
In other words, as we seek to
answer the question, “How are
we going to get ministers for our
churches now and in the future?”
we all have to start answering that
question within our churches, by
our ministers, among our youth
groups and our lay leadership.
Where do we see God forming
someone for ministry? Where do
we see God at work in someone’s
life? Who do we identify as having
spiritual gis and/or curiosity about
the ministerial vocation? What
small or signicant statements
have been made in our presence
that make us wonder if someone is
considering a call to ministry?
When our churches and ministers
have conscientiously answered
these questions, the Congregational
Foundation for eological Studies
is that resource that will help with
the next steps of formation for
ministry. We are glad to be here
and we are ready to assist. But we
need “Good Samaritans” among
our churches to bridge the gap
between a call from God and the
development of future ministers.
T R. D.
C A.
P is Director
of the Congregational
Foundation for
eological Studies.
He is the Senior
Minister of Pine
Hill Congregational
Church, Bloomeld,
Mich., and Adjunct Professor at the
Ecumenical eological Seminary in
Detroit. His background is in Hebrew
Bible/Old Testament studies and
methodology in research and writing.
No individual should minimize his
or her capacity to be Gods answer
to the prayer for more ministers for
our churches.
ere are so many ways that one
may do this. Recognize interest
and gis for ministry and connect
them to the Foundation through
me. Establish a scholarship to give
nancial aid to students who do
respond positively to the call from
God to serve in our churches. It
does not require a set amount to
make scholarship funds available.
It is the nancial contributions of
individuals and churches throughout
the Association that make a real
dierence in the practical needs of
seminary education. For churches
who create scholarships, in addition
to being a great support to our
seminarians, it spreads the name
and good will of such churches
through future ministers of the
Congregational Way. One never
knows: e seminarian one church
or individual helps today may be
that church’s or individuals future
e work of the Congregational
Foundation for eological Studies
is not abstract. It directly impacts
individual lives and the lives of our
churches. We should not pass by
on the other side, assuming it has
nothing to do with our interests.
It is indeed about us, it is about
our churches, and it is about the
future of the Congregational Way
that we hold dear. Perhaps you
are that Good Samaritan that
will make a dierence in helping
someone translate a vague call into
a lifetime of ministry and service
to our churches.
I look forward to continuing
to help the helpers, today’s
ministers and lay leaders of the
Congregational Way, nd the next
ministers to lead and to serve in
our churches. ank you for all
your discernment that makes so
much possible.
 
 
 
  
Puritanism and
Emotion in the Early
Modern World,
edited by Alec Ryrie
and Tom Schwanda.
Palgrave Macmillan, 2016
Puritanism is often
seen by Congregationa-
lists as one of our
forebears whom we
would happily forget.
They are considered
cold, wooden, legalistic … the kind of people you
would not want to meet at a party – not that you
would accept a party invitation to their place,
because Puritans just arent “party people.” But
caricatures are, by definition, exaggerations of the
grotesque. And while burning witches in Salem
was indeed grotesque, it does not begin to sum
up what, and who, Puritans are all about. In fact,
the more we learn about the Puritans, the more we
find out about ourselves.
Ryrie and Schwandas volume, Puritanism and
Emotion in the Early Modern World, is an essay
collection which shows that the emotional range of
Puritans ran more than “the entire gamut from A
to B.” While known for their rationality, Puritans
regularly wrote and spoke fervently of experiencing
Joy, Happiness, and (even though they did not use
the word itself) Depression. Crises of both the mind
and spirit were favorite topics for reection, both by
Puritan divines as well as by laypersons. While their
musings pre-date the modern science of psychology
(not to say psychiatry), we have insights into the
Puritan psyche stretching over centuries, and how the
inner life blossomed into the expressions of piety and
religiosity which seem increasing foreign to many of
us in the early 21st century.
Sympathetic Puritans:
Calvinist fellow
feeling in early New
England, by Abram
C. Van Engen.
England: Oxford University
Press, 2015.
A more concentrated
focus on one aspect of the
Puritan mind is found in
Van Engens Sympathetic
Puritans: Calvinist fellow feeling in early New England.
To be sure, “fellow feeling” is more than an emotion,
but is an expression of group solidarity. So this study
is not just religious anthropology, but also religious
(and political?) sociology. In its more negative forms,
this “fellow feeling” can manifest itself as clannish
tribalism, an accusation against Puritan New England
that is not entirely inaccurate - in some regions and
periods more than others. But Van Engens picture
of the 17th century (the end of his study opens with
a scene from a Salem witchcra trial in 1692) shows
that doctrinal rigidity oen collided with individual
experience, and the victory of the former over the latter
was never complete. Indeed, “borders” of the Puritan
communities were not only internal, including some
The Puritans: beyond the myth
by Steven Blackburn
T R. S B,
P.D., is Hartford Seminarys Library
Director. He has served Congregational
Christian Churches in Connecticut
and Massachusetts, and was elected to
three terms as executive secretary of the
Connecticut (now Northeast) Fellowship.
He has also chaired the NACCC’s World
Christian Relations Commission.
and excluding others, but also helped to dene the
decidedly complex relationship of Puritans to non-
Christian native Americans. While the edges of
Puritanism seem very sharp to the modern mind, in
actuality the picture was more nuanced.
e Last Puritans:
mainline Protestants
and the power
of the past,
by Peggy Bendroth.
Chapel Hill, NC:
e University of North
Carolina Press, 2015.
e Executive Director
of the Congregational
Library in Boston, Margaret Bendroth, has produced
an insightful analysis of why Congregationalists
are who they are today. Her 2015 book, e Last
Puritans: mainline Protestants and the power of
the past, takes the reader from the Pilgrim Fathers
through to our present, endeavoring to show through
our denominational histories the ways in which we
continue to be more than simply heirs of a tradition.
Of course, Congregationalism has bequeathed much
of its genius to the entire American experiment, so
much so that the myths of Plymouth still confuse
many our fellow citizens, who conveniently forget
that the Episcopalians arrived on these shores more
than a decade before the Separatists. Bendroth
implies that the descendants of the Puritans, by
championing ecumenical eorts, are doing more than
simply following a religious heritage, but are actually
living out the meaning of what Puritanism tried to
do in the 17th century: to remain within the larger
Church universal in order to inuence it and move it
to a “purer” form of the Protestant faith.
I am writing with some important news about the Library
and its future. As many of you may know, the American
Congregational Association, the organization that originally
established the Library, also owns the eight-story oce building
in which it is housed. 14 Beacon Street was built in 1898 as a
quasi-denominational headquarters, and in recent decades has
provided rental to a wide variety of tenants.
At their September meeting, and aer much discussion and
deliberation, the board of the ACA made the dicult decision
to explore the sale of the building. We have engaged a real
estate broker, Jones Lang LaSalle, and marketing will begin in
November. Whatever the outcome of this process, the Library
will remain in our present location, under a long-term lease.
The board has absolute clarity about the Library›s mission
and lots of energy and enthusiasm for carrying it forward.
We are committed to preserving, interpreting, and making
accessible the story of the Congregational tradition, and in
the past years have seen enormous success in growing public
programs, building our collection and making it accessible
in digital form, and nurturing cutting edge scholarship. We
have ambitious plans for the future, especially as we approach
«2020,» the 400th anniversary of Congregationalism in
North America.
You play a very important role in all of our work, and I covet
your support in the complicated months ahead.
Peggy Bendroth
Executive Director
Dear FrienDs anD supporters oF the Congregational library & arChives:
Understanding the ways of disciples
efore there were “ministers,” there were disciples
and apostles, those whom Jesus gathered and sent
out to do the work of sharing and enacting the
good news of the kingdom of God. e Rev. Dr. Barry
Szymanski served as Retreat Guide for the recent Silent
Retreat, sponsored annually by the Congregational
Society of Classical Retreat Guides. Rev. Szymanski,
Minister of Pastoral Care at the First Congregational
Church of Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, asked the question,
“What kind of lens does it take to both glorify God and
to expand his kingdom?
Particularly in the gospel of John, Jesus speaks about
“the time of his glorication” not being complete as
he fullls his mission through teaching, healing, and
performing miracles. All four gospels emphasize the
great importance of those around Jesus and those
who follow him glorifying God in their own lives
and their own ministries. As with Jesus, it takes
preparation and reection, sometimes over a long
period, to fully accomplish this endeavor of glorifying
God. e Silent Retreat, which involved long blocks of
silence interrupted only by brief morning and evening
devotions, meals, and Rev. Szymanskis four short
talks, provided a wonderful opportunity to do that
preparation and reection as 21st century ministers.
Magnifying God Through Our Discipleship:
A Silent Retreat
Rev. Szymanskis sessions oered several rich
examples of what it means to be ministers engaged in
discipleship. Mary, the mother of Jesus, was lied up
as a model of soulful discipleship. As Marys soul is said
to “magnify the Lord” in the Magnicat of Luke 1:46-
55, it is imperative that we determine how our souls are
magnifying the Lord, or whether “our souls somehow
diminish God or reduce Gods work.” Part of this is
not always recognizing how, but that we are called to
respond to Gods request for engagement in a greater
design. As Rev. Szymanski stated, “Mary, Elizabeth,
and John the Baptist all
knew they had a part to play
in Gods plan, but did not
know the outcome.
Rev. Szymanski presented
the humorous, but honest,
credentials of biblical
disciples such as Noah,
Moses, David, Jeremiah,
Elijah, Solomon, John the
Baptist, and several of the
twelve who followed Jesus
that would make them
unlikely candidates for
By Charles Packer
Rev. Dr. Barry W. Szymanski
successful ministry. Yet, the apostles were charged
with embodying Jesus, for speaking for him aer his
ascension. Rev. Szymanski presented us with a list of
qualications for being a disciple that isolated some
of the qualications found in scripture. From the
Beatitudes: “Can disciples change their paradigm?”
From Matthew 11: are we able to always be “learning
from” Jesus, arming, as Jesus states in Luke, that a
disciple is not “greater than” but “like” the Master?
As Jesus calls the disciples to “follow him,” do we
understand that “hour by hour, we are called to be
holy people and to make all things and people holy?”
Finally, do we have the capacity to follow Jesus with
joy in our hearts?”
Candidly acknowledging his own struggles with the
concept of “living in a tiny house,” Rev. Szymanski
had us probe our own attitudes toward simplicity
in our prayer lives, our relationships with others, and
our living spaces. Oen the material things we seek
are “distractions we invite to avoid interaction with
others.” Contrary to this is the way of life described
in the Acts of the Apostles in which believers in
Christ were to embrace “not a life of doing or having,
but a life of being.” Even in the Ten Commandments
there are warnings against the desires for things—
stealing and coveting a neighbor’s property, and for
people—coveting a neighbor’s spouse or servant and
committing adultery. e commandment to keep
the Sabbath centers one on the things that are truly
relevant: the love of God and the love of neighbor.
Ultimately, there is great value in 21st century disciples
asking the questions, “How many bags do we carry
every day?” and, “Could our lives be simpler?”
e hard summons to courage in the face of the
threat to ones life was brought into sharp focus by
Rev. Szymanskis concluding session. He retold the
story of Dietrich Bonhoeer, who resisted the Nazis’
violence and destruction, leading to his own execution.
Bonhoeer’s life is an example of how “faith, hope,
and lovelead to the cross,” as he knew and expressed
oen. Bonhoeer preached that “it was not enough to
pull those out and bandage those under the wheel,” but
T R. D. C A. P
is the Senior Minister of the Pine Hill
Congregational Church in West Bloomeld,
Michigan, Director of the Congregational
Foundation for eological Studies of the
NACCC, and Chaplain-Director of the
Congregational Society of Classical Retreat
Guides. He has served NACCC congregations
in Iowa and Michigan since 1998 and has led
and organized a number of Silent Retreats
and Quiet Days across the country. Dr.
Packer also is an Adjunct Professor at the
Ecumenical eological Seminary in Detroit,
Michigan, and has been a Faculty Member
of the Boston Seminar in Congregational
History and Polity.
that one needed to “drive a spoke into the wheel itself.
For those striving to be disciples, it is as true now as it
was in Bonhoeers day and circumstance: “Silence in
the face of evil is evil. Not to speak is to speak. Not to
act is to act.” Revisiting the account of the martyrdom
of Stephen, we were urged to always keep in mind that
the book that records the account of Stephens giving
of his life is not called “e Faith of the Apostles,” but
“e Acts of the Apostles.
Magnication. Simplicity. Courage. e willingness
to adapt, to keep learning, to follow, and to rejoice in
the midst of life… these are the qualities necessary to
be a faithful disciple of Jesus Christ, in biblical and
ancient times and today.
e Congregational Society of Classical Retreat
Guides annually hosts the autumn Silent Retreat and
the Quiet Day prior to the start of the NACCC Annual
Meeting and Conference. e Retreat Guide for the
Quiet Day, June 23, 2017, will be the Rev. Wendy Van
Tassell, Co-Pastor of the First Congregational Church
of Spencer, Iowa. Please contact the Rev. Dr. Charles
Packer, Chaplain-Director of the Society, to nd out
more information about the retreats that it sponsors
and the work that it does.
(l-r) Around dinner table--Rev. Mark Jarvie, Rev. Dr. Marilyn Danielson,
Rev. Eric Britcher, Rev. Dr. Barry Szymanski, Rev. Garry Fisher, Rev.
Donald Mullen.
e Hermitage is situated on 62 acres of rolling hills and endorsed by the
Indiana-Michigan Conference of the Mennonite Church, USA.
170 AND COUNTING! - On October 16, First Congregational
Church of Beardstown, Ill., celebrated its 170th anniversary. e
congregation of 25 shares a preference for traditional and simple
worship services. Originally organized as a Presbyterian church in
1845, a congregational form of government was approved in 1850.
e original church building was situated at the corner of ird
and Washington Streets. e church underwent some major
remodeling before the old structure was torn down to make way
for new construction on the same spot. e local Masonic Lodge
conducted a ceremony for laying of the cornerstone in 1911. e new
church was ocially dedicated on February 4, 1912.
On New Year’s Eve 1939, a late-night re destroyed the building,
bringing the 1,500-pound, 90-year-old bell crashing to the ground.
News from the fellowship of churches
is past September, Plymouth Church, Brooklyn Heights, N.Y.,
installed the Rev. Dr. Brett Younger as the 11th settled senior
minister in the historic church's 169 years. e Rev. Dr. Amy
Butler, senior minister of the similarly historic Riverside Church in
Manhattan, was the guest preacher.
Before coming to Plymouth, Dr. Younger was a professor at the
McAfee School of eology of Mercer University, Atlanta, for eight
years. He taught preaching, worship and writing. Last year, he spent
a ve-month sabbatical in Santiago, Chile, as full-time minister at a
multi-denominational church.
Dr. Younger was a pastor for 22 years in Texas, Kansas, and Indiana.
He is the author of six books, two of which he co-authored with
his wife, Carol. He is a frequent conference speaker and workshop
leader. Dr. Youngers articles and sermons have appeared in journals,
periodicals and websites such as Christian Century, Feasting on the
Word, Lectionary Homiletics and Review & Expositor.
e Youngers met at Southern Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, where
they both earned the Master of Divinity degree, and Dr. Younger earned
a Ph.D. Mrs. Younger is the editor of Reections: A Daily Devotional
Guide. ey have two sons.
Rev. Dr. Brett Younger
First Congregational Church held services at the
Masonic temple until a new, smaller church, dedicated
in 1941, could be constructed. A church history from
that time noted: “e church building is modest and
creates an atmosphere of worship by its simple, symbolic
design. It’s neo-gothic architecture combines modern
eciency with traditional lines in a most pleasing way.
Congregational Church of Soquel, Calif. lived up to
its catchphrase, Open Hearts, Compassionate Hands.
On September 23, the church’s project, A Taste of
Soquel, raised over $10,000 for Second Harvest Food
Bank. at translates to 40,132 meals for children
and families of Santa Cruz County.
A Taste of Soquel
organizers with Rev.
Mark Fountain
(back row). From
left to right: Scott
Hamby, Leah Martin,
Dorothy Nicholson,
Laura Hamby, Liz
Musal, Cindy Boram.
Hillary Nicholson,
e event was oered by First Church in association
with the Islamic Society of Milwaukee (ISM). e
Society’s panelists included Ahmed Quereshi,
ISM President; Sheikh Noman Hussain, Imam at
the Brookeld Mosque; and Sr. Zehra Tahir, ISM
Education Chair. Church member James Santelle
served as moderator. e Rev. William S. Trump, Jr.
and the Rev. Barry W. Szymanski, J.D. welcomed the
public to the church.
e panelists were informative, poignant and
oen humorous in their discussion of Islamic
beliefs, contemporary practices and being Muslim
in America. ey were also eager to answer audience
questions about the status of women in Islam,
attitudes toward terrorism and the meaning of Sharia
Law. Following the program, First Church hosted
a reception that provided audience members the
opportunity to speak one-on-one with the panelists.
“e reception was important,” said Cheryl Lund,
FCC member and part of the ‘Understanding Islam’
Planning Group. “Having a cup of coee with someone
in an informal setting removes some of the barriers to
a meaningful dialogue.
First Congregational
Church member
Lissa Edens chats
with Sheik Noman
Hussain during the
e annual festival, co-sponsored by the Capitola/
Soquel Chamber of Commerce, has raised a total of
$62,514 for Second Harvest since 2009. Festival-goers
shared some of Soquel's nest food, wine and beer
oerings. People danced to the tunes of local bands
and took home rae prizes. Children in the KidZone,
drummed, danced, and played miniature golf and
games. Over 50 Soquel and area businesses contributed
goods and services for the events popular rae. In true
Soquel spirit, 103 volunteers staed the event!
A panel presentation, "Understanding Islam," drew
about 100 people to First Congregational Church of
Wauwatosa (Wisc.) on October 9. e event kicked o
the church's new Community through Understanding
program to promote interfaith understanding.
Presenters (l-r) Rev.
William Trump,
Ahmed Quereshi,
Sheik Noman
Hussain, Zehra Tahir,
James Santelle, Rev.
Barry Szymanski.
e generosity of NACCC’s member churches during
this past falls One Great Hour of Sharing has allowed
Mission and Outreach Ministry Council to provide
additional funding to the following organizations:
$1,500 to Hosanna Industries for their rehab work in
West Virginia following the ooding in that region
$1,000 to First United Methodist Church in Denham
Springs, Louisiana, for their work with ood victims
$500 to Panamerican Institute for building upkeep
$500 to Church World Service for its response to the
earthquake in Italy
$1,050 to Congregational Church Myanmar for the
ooding that began in June
$1,000 to Love Worth Sharing, Haiti, for Hurricane
Matthew relief
Hosanna Industries
(Pennsylvania) mission
workers raised $12,000,
with which they provided
construction services
valued at $100,000 to
the Richwood, W.V.,
community. e mission
workers led over 100
volunteers in providing
plumbing, electrical and
drywall to 15 households
that were aected by the
summer ooding in the
Worker for Hosanna Industries
Relief work in Haiti
On October 9, the team members of Love Worth Sharing
and A Voice in e Wilderness led two groups of people
on relief eorts to the southern peninsula of Haiti. e
rst group, led by Ezechiel Felix, took ten people to the
village of Cavallion, which was almost completely wiped
out by the hurricane. e second group, led by Ricardo
Laguere, went to the village of Maniche, which was his
mother’s home village. Both teams took rice, oil, spa-
ghetti, and bottled water, as well as personal hygiene kits
containing, toothbrushes, tooth paste, sanitary napkins,
toilet paper and soap.
is was the rst food many of the hurricane victims
had obtained since the hurricane made landfall. Ricardo
sends his thanks to all saying “While the government is
still evaluating, we were able to meet the needs in these
two villages.” Ezechiel and Doctor Desor returned with
medicine and held a clinic for those in Cavallion the fol-
lowing week.
e Mission and Outreach Ministry Council continues
to welcome donations for hurricane relief eorts in Haiti,
Florida and North Carolina.
Linda Miller, Editor
ank you for your support!
For more information on any of these missions,
or to make a donation to any of the above projects,
please contact Linda Milller at the NACCC oce,
800-262-1620, ext. 1618 or
e Mission and Outreach Ministry Council,
PO Box 288, Oak Creek WI 53154
For a complete listing of NACCC Mission Projects, please go to our
Web site,, and click on “Missions.”
Mission Vehicle Needs
Indian Trails Mission (Payson, Arizona)
like funds for a new van to use in their ministry in
Mexico. ey keep xing the one they have, but it is
on its last leg … or wheel.
Jaime Julian, Christian Mission in the Far East (Phil-
ippines), needs $4,000 to buy a car. Jaime says he is
now too old to be traveling on a motor bike. He had an
accident a few months ago and injured his leg.
Musical Instruments
Happy Life Children’s Home (Kenya) is making beauti-
ful music and can use your help. Any musical instru-
ments that are in good shape are needed by this mission.
Please contact Linda Miller at the NACCC Oce if you
can help.
Training School in Myanmar
e Congregacional Church of Myanmar trains women
in sewing at the Grace Tailor’s Training School. Aer
passing the class, they can use their sewing skills to
Mary Titilayo Adebesin and Matthew Oladele
Congratulations to Rev. Matthew Oladele, Christ to
the Villages, Nigeria, on his upcoming wedding to
Mary Titilayo Adebesin. eir celebration will cover
two days, December 16-17, with the church on the
second day.
make money for their family. So far, the church has fa-
cilitated training for over 108 women. Each year they
train nine women (three women per 3-month session).
Rev. SaDo is working on getting a few more sewing
machines so the training school can expand. is train-
ing center is part of the Grace Childrens Ministry. It
has three locations now and serves about 100 children.
ey want to repair the building and get school buses
to reach more children.
Christmas in the Mission Fields
Please remember your Missions at Christmas. Pana-
merican Institute (Mexico) distributes food baskets to
all their students, while the missions in the Philippines,
Honduras, and Mexico give an extra months salary to
their pastors.
Prayer Requests
Jaime Julian, Christian Mission in the Far East (Phil-
ippines) requests prayers for his ailing mother. She has
heart, liver, and kidney problems.
REV. FRED M. DOLE (1940 – 2016)
he Rev. Fred (Ted) M. Dole, age 75, of East Hampton and formerly of Colchester,
Conn., passed away February 9, 2016. Rev. Dole was a graduate of Trinity College
and earned his Master of Divinity degree from Hartford Seminary. He was pastor of
the Westchester Congregational Church for 33 years and, following retirement, became
Associate Pastor at Marlborough Congregational Church. He was also an active
member and longtime Chaplain of the Colchester-Hayward Volunteer Fire Company.
In addition, Ted was a professional photographer and a model train enthusiast. He
is survived by his wife, Edi, three children and four grandchildren. Donations in his
memory may be made to Marlborough Congregational, P.O. Box 57, Marlborough
06447 or to the Colchester-Hayward VFC, 18-54 Old Hartford Road, Colchester 06415.
ichael Paul Halcomb passed away August 31, 2016. He was Executive Secretary of
Missions for the National Association of Congregational Christian Churches in Oak
Creek, Wisc., from 1986 to 1996. His responsibilities included mentoring missionaries and
supporting mission elds for the more than 600 NACCC churches around the globe.
Michael received his degree in Sociology from Wheaton College, where he met
his wife Bonnie. He received his Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry degrees
from Bethel Seminary, and was the Pastor of Chandler Park Drive Baptist Church in
Detroit, Mich., from 1969 to 1973. Michael then served as the Senior Pastor at Salem
Baptist Church in New Brighton, Minn., Mayower Congregational Church in River
Hills, Wisc. From 1966 until his retirement in 2011, Michael served in various interim
ministry leadership positions. He authored Imprisoned for Christ, the biographical
story of Pastor Christo Kulichev, which describes Christo's dramatic imprisonment for
his Christian faith by the Bulgarian government.
Michael was a lifelong supporter of Wheaton College and loved to spend quality time
with his family and friends attending Wheaton College athletic events.
Michael is survived by Bonnie Lou, his wife of 52 years, two sons and five
Memorial donations may be made to e Halcomb Endowed Scholarship at Wheaton
College, the Milwaukee Rescue Mission or the Windsor Park Benevolence Fund.
obert “Bob” Brunner, President of the River Hills Village Board (Wisc.) passed away
at home on Sept. 22, 2016. Bob served the National Association of Congregational
Christian Churches as Chairman of the Investment Advisory Committee for 25 years.
He and wife Audrey were active members of North Shore Congregational Church, where
he served as Moderator, was a member of many committees, and sang in the choir.
Bob graduated from Rutgers University, New York University Graduate School and
Harvard Business School, during which time he began working at Dun and Bradstreet.
Bob and Audrey lived in New York and New Jersey before moving to Wisconsin
when Bob became President of Holsum Foods. In 1976, Bob was elected Milwaukee
County Supervisor and appointed by Governor Lee Sherman Dreyfus to Secretary of
Business Development, Tourism and Minority Aairs, followed by a position on the
Public Expenditure Survey and Research Foundation. Governor Tommy ompson
appointed Bob to the Council on State-Local Relations. He was elected President of
River Hills Village Board in 1990, an oce he held until his passing.
Bob is survived by three children and seven grandchildren.
Watch the Land’
are between you and Land’
SouthCross Community Church,
Burnsville, Minn. ordained
the Rev. Derek Martin with
the concurrence of a vicinage
council, Sept. 11, 2016.
Second Congregational Church
of Biddeford, Maine and e
Neweld Community Church
of Neweld, Maine ordained
the Rev. Catherine Anglea with
the concurrence of a vicinage
council, September 17, 2016.
First Congregational Church,
Waseca, Minn. called the Rev.
Jan Crissinger as pastor.
First Congregational Church, Salt
Lake City, Utah called the Rev.
Marijke Rossi as senior minister.
Preston City Congregational
Church, Preston, Conn. called
the Rev. omas Flynn as
Associate Minister.
Plymouth Church, Brooklyn, NY
called the Rev. Elizabeth Coates
as Associate Minister.
First Congregational Church,
Roscommon, Mich. has called the
Rev. Lonnie Wilkerson as pastor.
First Congregational Church,
Vermontville, Mich. Has called
the Rev. David Poole as pastor.
Ashby & Hyannis
Congregational Churches
(share pastor), Neb.
Community Congregational
Church, Kewaunee, Wisc.
Community Congregational
Christian Church,
Citrus Springs, FL
Craig Memorial
Congregational Church,
Paradise, Calif.
Duluth Congregational Church,
Duluth, Minn.
First Church of Christ,
Lynn, Mass.
First Congregational Church,
Allegan, Mich.
First Congregational Church,
Anchorage, AK
First Congregational Church,
Ashland, Neb.
First Congregational Church,
Interlachen, Fla.
First Congregational
Church of Salida,
Salida, Calif.
Congregational Church,
Brooklyn, N.Y.
Gomer Congregational Church,
Gomer, Ohio
Hampshire Colony
Congregational Church,
Princeton, Ill.
Ingle Chapel
Congregational Church,
Milton-Freewater, Ore.
Olivet Congregational Church,
Olivet, Mich.
Orthodox Congregational Church,
Petersham, Mass.
Plain Congregational Church,
Bowling Green, Ohio
Plymouth Congregational Church,
Racine, Wisc.
Second Congregational Church,
Jewett City, Conn.
e Shandon
Congregational Church,
Shandon, Ohio
United Church of Marco Island,
Marco Island, FL
First Community Church of
Joplin, MO
JANUARY 16—General copy
deadline for T C
March Issue. Contact Marianne King, or 800-262-1620, ext. 1610.
APRIL 30Deadline for the
NACCC Excellence in Ministry Awards
nominations. For information go to www. and click on Now Trending.
MAY 18NACCC Minister's
Convocation,Weber Center, Adrian, MI.
JUNE 24-27—63rd NACCC
Annual Meeting and Conference,
Piedmont College, Demorest, GA
JULY 6-11International
Congregational Fellowship
Cape Town, South Africa.
Marianne E. King
Carrie Dahm
Linda Miller
Kris Grauvogl
Barry W. Szymanski
Rev. Dawn Carlson,
Rev. Don Olsen, Randy Asendorf
e National Association of Congregational Christian Churches
Bringing together Congregational Christian Churches for mutual
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