News 

58 Operation Christmas Child

58 OPERATION CHRISTMAS CHILD BOXES SENT!

“He who gives a child a treat makes Joy Bells ring on Heaven’s streets”

A HUGE THANK YOU to everyone who brought items, filled shoeboxes, and a special thank you to all who
attended the potluck lunch and helped pack the boxes! Also thank you for the very generous monetary gifts of $424.00 to help with shipping costs. We were overjoyed to have 58 shoeboxes to send and share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with children around the world, some who live in such deep poverty they have never received a Christmas gift. Thank you for prayers for the children and a very successful shoebox response! Harriet & Del Winter and Jerry & Laura Heitland delivered the shoeboxes on Wednesday to the First Covenant Church in Mason City.

 



Children’s Christmas Program

2017 CHILDREN'S CHRISTMAS PROGRAM
The 2017 Children's Christmas Program will be held during our regular worship time on December 17th at 10:00 a.m.


What will Heaven Be Like?

What Will Heaven Be Like?
 

by Pastor Harlan Seri

Clear Lake First Congregational Church

Many people pick up wrong ideas about what Heaven is going to be like.  Some people feel that Heaven is going to be boring—kind of like a l-o-n-g church service where a pastor speaks for 200 hours straight, then you sing some really slow hymns for another 800 hours.  Finally, finally, they let you go sit on a cloud and if you feel like it, you can pick up a harp and start playing.  Sound pretty exciting?  Probably not.

             I think it's always good to contemplate where we are heading in life.  No, I don't mean the summer cabin.  I mean when you "give up the ghost" or you "go to Davey Jones' locker" or, as we used to say in the Dakotas, "bought the farm."

            Author Randy Alcorn tells of a pastor who wrote about being so depressed about the thought of going to Heaven.  The pastor editorialized in the New York Times newspaper that Heaven won't be any more exciting than going to hell.  How on earth could a seminary educated pastor write something like that when Paul wrote in Philippians 1:23 that being with Jesus is far better than staying on earth. 

            Why are there so many people who have such a negative view of Heaven? The Bible says that there is a good explanation for it.  It is the work of Satan, the enemy of God.  Some of Satan's favorite lies are about Heaven.  Revelation 13:6 tells us the satanic beast "opened his mouth to blaspheme God and to slander His name, slander His dwelling place, and slander those who live in Heaven."

            Satan will try and convince us that Heaven is so boring that you don't want to go there. And if you believe that Heaven is so boring, why would you want your friends and relatives to go there? 1

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Peter 5:8 tells us that Satan is looking for Christians whom he can trick into believing his lies.

            But Heaven is going to be an exciting place!  Jesus told his disciples in John 14:2, "In my Father's house are many rooms ... I am going there to prepare a place for you."  Some people wrongly believe that we're not going to have a body in Heaven.  They believe that we're just going to be floating around up there. But Jesus chose physical terms like "house" and "rooms" to describe for us an actual place where we would go to be with him.

            My sister has a book called "1000 Place to See Before You Die." The gist of the book is that there are things you'd better see before you die because you won't see them in the next lifetime.  However, if you believe Revelation 21:1 and if Jesus is your Lord and Savior, you'll see the earth the way it was intended to be -- no sickness, no pollution, no weeds to pull, and no tornados.

            Some people wrongly believe that we won't have any work to do in Heaven. They view Heaven as some kind of giant retirement center. You might be surprised to learn that there will be work to do in Heaven. Revelation 22:3 tells us that we will serve Him there. We will have a physical body in Heaven especially created by God to love the work that we will do there.

            Sigmund Freud was a psychiatrist, and old Siggy didn't get a lot of things right in his lifetime, but even a broken watch is right twice a day, right?  Freud got this right about work: he believed that we were created to love work. God will give us work in Heaven that we will absolutely love.

            Now there are many things about Heaven that are misstated by even sincere churchgoing people. You might hear some person say when someone dies, "Well, I guess God needed another angel up there."  We won't be angels when we die. 1

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Corinthians 6:3 says that we will judge the angels, not become one.
            Here are some questions that you might have:

What kind of body will I get in Heaven? Will I be able to recognize my great grandmother in Heaven?  How old will I be in Heaven? What language will we speak in Heaven? Will our pets be there with us in Heaven? Will we eat in Heaven? If so, what kind of food?

            Now, if you want to hear more about Heaven, I invite you to come to the First Congregational Church on Sunday, August 13

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from 8:45 AM to 9:30 AM.  We will have Cabin coffee and South Shore ‘baked’ donuts for you.

            Heaven is going to be really, really exciting.  You're going to love it there!  You don’t want to miss it.  If you're not sure whether you're going to Heaven or not, come!  We'll convince you that Heaven is where you want to be.   

            First Congregational Church is located at 923 Buddy Holly Place.  Call the church (641) 357-2818 if you want more information.



A Lenten Cantata

"THE LENTEN SKETCHES" CANTATA
MARCH 26, 2017

CLEAR LAKE - A powerful  cantata depicting the last days of Christ, “The Lenten Sketches”, will be presented at First Congregational Church at 10 a.m. Sunday March 26.

Heartfelt narration, evocative choral anthems and instrumentation will be combined with a PowerPoint displaying classic works of sacred art for this worship of contemplation and reflection.  “As we gather together to reflect and pray, may our art be redeemed by divine purpose and our music motivated by the spirit of worship,” wrote Composer Joseph Martin.  “May we offer our simple gifts of sound and sight as a testimony to the faith we long to honor and share.”

The cantata will feature Margaret Tue as pianist, Vernon Johnson as narrator and the First Congregational Church Choir, with Worship Coordinator Marta Eenhuis .



CONFIRMATION SUNDAY

CONFIRMATION SUNDAY
MAY 7TH, 2017
On May 7th, Lydia Futrell, Eric Heitland and Julia Merfeld reaffirmed their baptism and became official members of the church. They helped in serving communion and with the service itself. It was a wonderful morning and we thank and welcome them!


Rock ‘n Sunday God Rocks!

ROCK'N SUNDAY; GOD ROCKS
FEBRUARY 5, 2017

CLEAR LAKE - The public is invited to roll on over to a 1950s-style celebration “God Rocks/Rockin’ Sunday at First Congregational Church at 10 a.m. on Sunday, Feb. 5.

It coincides with a street address change of the church to 923 Buddy Holly Place and the annual Winter Dance Party at the legendary Surf Ballroom.  The event will feature gospel songs, traditional hymns sung to popular 50s tunes and praise songs.  1950s attire is encouraged.  Malt cups and other treats will be served after the service.

Pastor Harlan Seri notes that the 923 part of the new address is significant because it corresponds with Luke Chapter 9, verse 23: “Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.” (NIV).   

The church is located just north of Highway 18 behind The Other Place. 



CANCELLATION POLICY CHANGED

WORSHIP CANCELLATION POLICY
It was decided by the council that Sunday worship services will continue no matter the weather conditions.


51 BOXES OPERATION CHRISTMAS CHILD!

51 BOXES FOR OPERATION CHRISTMAS CHILD SENT IN 2016!
The Women's Fellowship worked hard at their annual potluck meeting to gather and pack 51 boxes. Another 9 boxes was collected from the Sunday School kids and Congregation. Making this year a record breaker for us! Harriet & Del Winter and Jerry & Laura Heitland delivered the boxes to the First Covenant Church in Mason City to start their Christmas journey! Thanks to all that helped make this possible!


Helping Hands Food Pantry

HELPING HANDS FOOD PANTRY
Helping Hands Food Pantry is open the third Wednesday of every month from 5:00-6:30 p.m. Call the office at 641-357-2818 for an appointment if you are in need of a little extra help with groceries this month or if you have a donation to share with us.