March 21, 2020

Beloved Church Family, 

The COVID-19 outbreak and resulting safety measures we are experiencing feels like a history making event. There is a definite sense that the world is different now.  I know I awakened one morning, thinking things were as they had been, only to suddenly remember that we are in the midst of Coronavirus! It can seem unreal!


There are so few moments in a lifetime when we realize something historically significant is happening! Usually this results in a memory of “where we were when” when we share stories about those first moments. When people talk about September 11, 2001, we still share where we were and our first thoughts. Many of us remember our context as we learned that John F. Kennedy was shot. 


Where are you in your thinking and feeling right now?  I have talked with many of you, who tell me you are ‘hunkered down,’ ‘hanging out,’ ‘just trying to stay healthy & helpful’, or ‘holed up.’  All these phrases are much more alive than the terms we’ve been hearing via media such as ‘stay in place,’ ‘6 feet of social distancing,’ or even ‘isolation room!’


I read another expression from The Christian Century, ‘Tag Out,’ which is good advice for all, not just pastors: “Remember that you, too are a finite and limited creature.  Tend to your own needs. Lean into your community for support. And take turns with others giving care. It is tempting to believe in a crisis that we must give or do everything right now.  Mostly this is not possible.  Sabbath is not a luxury. Self-care is not selfish.  As this outbreak continues to unfold, take steps to renew your own energy and hope in the Spirit of God.”  


That being said, I am inspired by people in our church and community who are stepping up with their own deeds!  Bernie and Marlyn Hupperts, with other volunteers, are helping us stay in touch with phone and other communications.  Patti Roberts is offering inspirational messages. Our office staff continue to work, from home, unless necessary. Council President Barb Helmick, I and Council members are working hard to keep you safe and informed.


And so many of you continue to help in many different situations.  Let me share my recent experience of church family! I was not feeling well on Thursday and so returned to my home.  Wanting to keep track of my symptoms, Dave and I realized that we didn’t have a thermometer! 

After checking around town, we learned that there are essentially no thermometers in stock.  So, I turned to Amazon only to learn that they are not in stock online! All of a sudden, it hit me:  I have church family and neighbors! I texted Trista Langley Tyler and she graciously sanitized their one thermometer and dropped it inside our garage along with our mail.  Thank you, Trista! [No fever thus far!] 


Don’t take as long as I did to reach out for help!  It is a win-win situation:

You get needed help and the helper feels good that you reached out!

We are all searching for ways to help!  If you have a need and can’t think who to ask, just call or email me !  I’ll point you in a welcoming direction.  Also, give me a call anytime: 309-502-9037.

If I don’t answer my phone, please leave a message and I’ll get back to you asap!


Meanwhile, keep your eyes open for a very relevant worship service, sermon and children’s message.  You will receive these sometime today via email and also on our church’s webpage: .  I encourage you to share the service together on Sunday in your homes, if possible.  Also, remember to pray at 7:30 & 10:00, as Barb Helmick suggested. We will worship together in the great spirit of First Congregational UCC in Eagle River!  


   ‘We Are the Church’

“The church is not a building, 

  the church is not a steeple,

  the church is not a resting place, 

  the church is the PEOPLE!”

In Christian Love,

  Pastor Jane

Welcome to First Congregational -

United Church of Christ - Eagle River, WI!


Our Mission Statement:

“Empowered by the Holy Spirit
and with the help of God,
we open our doors and hearts to all,
in service and love as modeled by Jesus Christ.”

We are located at the corner of First and Division Streets in Eagle River, Wisconsin...

We hold two worship services each Sunday morning at 7:30 am and 10:00 am except for....
Unity Sunday Worship is held on the LAST Sunday of each month with one service only at 9:00 am followed by brunch

During the school year, there are Faith Formation Classes for children from Nursery - 8th grade.  It's FUN - come and join us!!  Please see the Christian Education pages for more info.

From young to old, there is a place for you in this faith community.....

Font Living Water

 The "Living Water" of the Baptismal Font -
through baptism, we come to Christ, who is the Living Water, and enter Christ's Church.