News and Announcements


In Memoriam

 Paul Tutas died on Monday, September 14 • Lloyd Smith died on Friday morning, September 11.


• To Lou Probst. Lou is turning 100 years old on Sunday, September 20!

• To the members of our 2020 Confirmation Class who confirmed their faith and became official members of the church on Sunday, September 13: Hailey Bergin, Macy Eslinger, Kyle Guschl, Lainey Holmes, Joshua Jacque, Elyse Karrels, Reese Kasza-James, Ausin Lemke, Madeline Schlehlein and Tessa Yandry.

Special Thanks

• To Joy Bloemer for handwriting our Confirmation certificates.

• To Kay Rego for creating a banner to celebrate our confirmands.

• To Mike and Jane Spalding for helping to prepare the church patio for our private Confirmation services.

• To the two members of the Search Committee, Doug McManus and Shandy Roehrig, and the two members of the Church Council, Mike Spalding and Phil Stepanski, for serving on the Minister Call Agreement Team.

• To the following church members who have been meeting regularly as the church's Racial Justice Team: David Franks, Bonnie Jacque, Jeanne Mantsch, Craig Modahl, Louise Mollinger and Don Niederfrank.

• To Joe Mueller and Claude Zimmerman for conducting weekly walk-throughs of the church building and grounds, and for completing a number of projects.

In Our Prayers

Jane Schwacher recently underwent surgery. Please keep Jane in your prayers.

Jim Melichar continues to undergo treatment for glioblastoma (brain cancer). Please keep Jim and Sherri, and their family, in your prayers.


September 9, 2020

September 2, 2020

August 26, 2020

August 18, 2020

August 5, 2020

July 22, 2020

July 8, 2020

July 1, 2020

2020 January-June

2019 July-December

2019 January-June

2018 July-December

2018 January-June

2017 July-December

2017 January-June


We are happy to report that Church School will resume this month as a virtual program, with videos produced by the Church School Leadership Team as well as take-home projects. Please click here to view the video and learn more!


The Search Committee and the Council are making plans for our upcoming Call Weekend, September 26 and 27, a time to officially call the selected candidate to become our settled minister. Please plan to participate!

-A Meet and Greet will be held at the church on Saturday, September 26. The event will be complete with masks, staggered arrival/departure times, and a prescribed path through the church for maximum safety for all participants.
-The Call Sunday (on September 27) begins with a virtual church service conducted by the candidate to be viewed at home between 8:00 and 10:00 a.m.
-A Special Congregational Meeting follows at 11:00 a.m. via Zoom. An official vote will take place at that time.

Many more details, including information specific to the candidate, will be sent the week beforehand. Please be on the lookout and let us know if you have any questions!


As you recall, our Committee has been actively pursuing a new settled minister since June 2019.

On Thursday evening, August 13, the Search Committee joined the Church Council’s monthly Zoom meeting to present a candidate for formal recommendation, after actively pursuing a new settled minister since late last spring. The Council approved of the recommendation.

For your interest, the Search Committee prepared an overview of their work.


The next first Sunday morning of the month, October 4, we will hold another Drive-Thru Communion Pick Up. We invite you to drive into the church parking lot anytime between 9:00 - 10:00 where you will receive sealed package(s) of wafer and juice to take home with you, as well as a blessing from Pastor Jim.  We then invite you to watch Worship in the Gap with your communion elements handy. 


Our traditional worship services continue to be suspended at this time. First Congregational Church will continue to provide spiritual guidance and care. We welcome you to call or email if you have any pastoral needs or questions.


Our Reopening Team was formed in July to take a look at when we might be able to resume in-person worship services and church activities. Their focus is on reopening safely, and they take into account the recommendations of epidemiologists and public health authorities for guidance. In general, the recommendations all say similar things: reopening should proceed in gradual steps, and each step should only occur following several weeks of positive trends in controlling the virus in our community. By most measures, virus activity in Ozaukee and neighboring counties is high, so, at this time, we feel we are weeks away from beginning the first of several steps towards in-person worship. The Team is using this time to work out details of what each phase will look like, and which specific criteria will allow us to proceed to the next phase.


Since we are not currently conducting church services, we wanted to let you know that you can drop off your pledge payments by using our mail slot to the right of our Webster Street entrance. Or you can simply mail it to the church. Thank you!


Family Promise is currently in need of the following items: paper towels, toilet paper, laundry detergent pods, deodorant for women, body wash for women, shaving cream for women, new bath towels and gas cards.

You may drop off donations in our church entryway Tuesday through Friday mornings, or you can drop them off directly to Family Promise (136 W. Grand Avenue here in Port Washington). If you would like to make a financial donation, please send it to the church marked Family Promise


We have placed a Food Pantry Barrel outside the church, near the entryway doors. We invite you to stop by to make contributions of non-perishable food items so that we can continue to support the Port Washington Food Pantry.

Items on their request list include: progresso soup, pudding, flour tortillas, rice-a-roni, knorr sides, mustard, ketchup, spaghetti sauce, cookie mix, vegetable oil, shampoo, bar soap and dish soap.


As a way to continue to stay connected while our church services and activities are suspended, we are pleased to provide you with our YouTube video series, Worship in the Gap. Huge thanks to Brett Dimmer for producing the series!

Click on the links below to view each episode:

Episode 52: Worship in the Gap - September 13, 2020

Episode 51: Worship in the Gap - September 6, 2020

Episode 50: Worship in the Gap - August 30, 2020

Episode 49: Worship in the Gap - August 23, 2020

Episode 48: Gap Chat - Dealing with Anger

Episode 47: Worship in the Gap - August 16, 2020

Episode 46: Worship in the Gap - August 9, 2020

Episode 45: Gap Chat - August 8, 2020

Episode 44: Worship in the Gap - August 2, 2020

Episode 43: Worship in the Gap - July 26, 2020

Episode 42: Worship in the Gap - July 19, 2020

Episode 41: Gap Chat - Standing in the Need of Prayer

Episode 40: Worship in the Gap - July 12, 2020

Episode 39: Worship in the Gap - July 5, 2020

Episode 38: Gap Chat - Congregational Meeting Update

Episode 37: Worship in the Gap - June 28, 2020

Episode 36: Worship in the Gap - June 21, 2020

Episode 35: Gap Chat - The Congregation's Work

Episode 34: Worship in the Gap - June 14, 2020

Episode 33: Gap Chat - Racial Justice

Episode 32: Worship in the Gap - June 7, 2020

Episode 31: Gap Chat - Dedicated to our 2020 Graduates

Episode 30: Gap Chat - Invitation to Pick Up Communion

Episode 29: Worship in the Gap - Pentecost Sunday

Episode 28: Gap Chat - When Will We Open Church?

Episode 27: Gap Chat - Dedicated to Confirmation Class

Episode 26: Worship in the Gap - May 24, 2020

Episode 25: Worship in the Gap - May 17, 2020

Episode 24: Gap Chat - The Sabbath

Episode 23: Worship in the Gap - Mother's Day

Episode 22: Gap Chat - Church Update

Episode 21: Worship in the Gap - May 3, 2020

Episode 20: Gap Chat - The Gatekeeper

Episode 19: Gap Chat - Social Contracts and Covenants

Episode 18: Worship in the Gap - April 26, 2020

Episode 17: Gap Chat - Anxiety and COVID-19

Episode 16: Gap Chat - We're All Connected

Episode 15: Worship in the Gap - April 19, 2020

Episode 14: Gap Chat - Faith or Folly?

Episode 13: Gap Chat - What Changes After the Gap?

Episode 12: Worship in the Gap - Easter Sunday

Episode 11: Worship in the Gap - Maundy Thursday

Episode 10: Worship in the Gap - Palm Sunday

Episode 9: Gap Chat - A Search Committee Update

Episode 8: Gap Chat - Jim explains "Interim Ministry"

Episode 7: Worship in the Gap 3/29

Episode 6: Gap Chat - Jim & Don discuss Ministry

Episode 5: Gap Chat - Harold Kushner's Book

Episode 4: Worship in the Gap 3/22 -Man Born Blind

Episode 3: Gap Chat - Baptismal Heresy

Episode 2: Gap Chat - Jim and Don Discuss John 4

Episode 1: Worship in the Gap - March 15, 2020


Our annual Spring Congregational Meeting was conducted via Zoom on Sunday, June 28. The primary item of business was the election of Church Council Officers and Team Representatives. Thank you to the almost two dozen members and friends for joining the meeting! If you were unable to attend, please take a look at the Meeting Summary prepared by Jeanne Mantsch, our Church Moderator, and view Gap Chat #38 as Pastor Jim and a few members of the Council recap the meeting.

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