UCC church to dedicate solar panels

Nov. 16, 2014

First UCC solar panels
Left to right: Mary Carlson, church moderator, Randy Reister, church vice-moderator, Rev. Abigail Henderson, and Rev. Todd Smith Lippert.


Northfield’s First United Church of Christ (UCC) is reducing its carbon footprint.

Earlier this month, it activated 39 solar panels installed on the roof of its 19th brick church on the corner of Third and Union streets. The panels will prevent the releaseof 30,000 pounds of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere annually, while reducing the congregation’s electricity costs by almost 50 percent.

The congregation will dedicate the solar panels and affirm its commitment to ecological stewardship with a special worship service Sunday, Nov. 23, at 10:30 a.m. Every one is welcome.

The Rev. Todd Smith Lippert said being good stewards of the earth is a central part of First UCC’s ministry.

“This is our congregation’s response to God’s call to care for creation,” Rev. Smith Lippert said. “The science is clear. The dramatic effects of climate change are all around us. We need to pay attention and act.”

UCC purchased the solar panels through the state’s Made in Minnesota Solar Incentive Program. The panels were manufactured by Bloomington-based TenK and installed by All Energy Solar of Minneapolis. Fifty-eight percent of the project cost is covered by rebates.

The congregation sees these solar panels as a first step toward responsible energy use. It is hopeful it will soon be able to purchase more solar energy through a local community solar project, now in its formative stages.

Rev. Smith Lippert says First UCC is exploring the prospect of becoming a “carbon-neutral facility.” Plans are being formulated to be more energy efficient, to pursue more renewable energy and to employ creative carbon offsets.

First United Church of Christ is a progressive, Christian community of faith and action, committed to theological openness and justice for all creation. It is an “open and affirming” congregation, committed to the inclusion of all of God’s people — all ages, genders, sexual orientations, races, backgrounds, and abilities.

Worship With Us At Valley Grove

Our worship service on Sunday, July 6, will be held at Valley Grove Church at 9:30 am with a picnic to follow.  Please bring your own lunch, a dessert to share, table service, chairs and blankets.  Lemonade and water will be provided.  Please note that SCRIP card orders and deliveries will not be done at Valley Grove.

Strawberry Fest

Everyone is warmly invited to the 14th Annual Strawberry Fest, Friday, June 27 from 2:00 – 3:30 in the Assembly Room.  Help us honor First UCC’s beloved elders and dear friends, and enjoy delicious strawberries, a gathering of UCC friends and entertainment by delightful musicians.

If you can attend, need a ride or can volunteer to help, please sign up with Kristin Kasten on Sundays after worship or call they church office.  We hope to see you there!

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Fill the Bus for the Binding the Covenant Event on June 28!

Binding the Covenant EventIsaiah MN is a faith-based community organization that seeks to be “a vehicle for congregations, clergy, and people of faith to act collectively and powerfully towards racial and economic equity in the state of Minnesota.”   Isaiah is holding a “Binding the Covenant” gathering on Saturday, June 28th, at which they plan to gather with 1,500 people of faith from Minnesota and the gubernatorial candidates at the Minneapolis Convention Center.

The Core Organizing Team and the Service and Social Responsibility Team are inviting you to attend this Binding the Covenant Event.  We think this event is so important that we’re providing a charter bus for transportation.  The bus will leave First UCC at 11:45 a.m. for the Minneapolis Convention Center.  The event lasts from 1:00 – 4:30 p.m.

Here’s what Isaiah MN is saying about this event:

We have invited Minnesota’s gubernatorial candidates and other top elected legislative leaders from both parties to join us, and join with us, as we tell and celebrate our compelling story of power and race. We will join in a sacred covenant, pledging to stand with each other and for our shared values of economic dignitypathways to opportunity and racial equity.

We will proclaim our new vision of a path from our own times of systemic oppression and inequity to God’s Commonwealth. This prophetic path shows how we will transform the structures of power to be just, sustainable and to serve God’s vision for our lives in community with one another.

Please contact Pastor Todd or Carolyn Fure-Slocum if you would like to attend.  Register below for the bus and the event.

Binding the Covenant Event June 28

You are invited to join First UCC members in attending the Isaiah MN’s Binding the Covenant Event.  Learn more below, and contact Pastor Todd if you are interested in attending.  We hope to arrange transportation.  Click here to register.  

“In our work to transform Minnesota, a new reality has become clear in our own congregations and communities where we have personally witnessed the impact and swath of despair caused by the lack of a livable wage; the school-to-prison pipeline; the loss of wealth in our communities; the mass incarcerations and deportations – and the list goes on and on.
As prophetic people of God, we are embarking on a new strategic direction for ourselves, our elected leaders and our communities to move Minnesota towards racial and economic equity.
On Saturday, June 28th from 1 pm – 4:30 pm we will bring 1,500 people of faith together with the gubernatorial candidates and Minnesota’s top elected officials to endorse and proclaim a new vision of a prophetic path towards achieving God’s commonwealth.
We will begin the day from 9 am – 12 pm by launching a movement to organize tens of thousands of religious voters to stand up for our shared values of economic dignity, family security, and racial equity in the public arena.”

Public Lecture on Ian Barbour on Religion and Science

On Wednesday, May 14 at 7:30 pm, Carleton College will host a panel discussion on the future of religion and science in the Weitz Center Cinema.  The event is in memory and honor of the intellectual legacy of long-time Northfield resident Ian Barbour, Professor of Religion and Physics at Carleton College, who died last December.  The panel discussion, “Ian Barbour and the Future of Religion and Science,” will bring together five nationally renowned theologians who will address questions about evolution, faith, technology, and ethics.  Speakers include: Ted Peters, Pacific Lutheran School of Theology; Philip Clayton, Claremont School of Theology; Nancy Howell, St. Paul School of Theology; Celia Deane-Drummond, University of Notre Dame; and Bob Russell, Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences.

Food Truck Tuesday Starting in Northfield!

An exciting option for good food and hanging out is coming to a church near you!  Starting May 6, come to the First United Church of Christ parking lot on Tuesdays between 11am–1pm to pick up a tasty, affordable lunch from a different food truck each week. See friends, have a picnic on our lawn, and sample some fun new eats! 

In the last few years, food trucks–also known as mobile kitchens or catering trucks–have grown in popularity in American cities, business districts, and university campuses. Operated by restaurant professionals, the trucks serve specialty dishes across a variety of gourmet and ethnic cuisines. 

First UCC hopes that Northfield will become a vital market for Twin Cities metro food trucks. Let’s enjoy good food and good company together! All are welcome! 

Visit the new Food Truck Tuesday page on our website for more information, the schedule of food trucks and more!



Join Free Workshops and Activities on Sat. April 26th

Make goat cheese and goat soap, sew snack bags, attend a solar tour, make a felted wool project Plant seedlings in the Arb and more!

At 5pm on Sat.4-26 join us for entertainment & a free soup supper- community potluck at the Weitz Center. After supper visit local sustainability stations. Bring your instruments and voice- we will end the day with a community jam session.

Registration required: starts 3-24 for 4-26 activities/soup: www.transitionnorthfield.org

“Community Solar 101”
Friday April 25th Free presentation & evening coffee
6:30p-8pm – First UCC- 300 Union St
Registration for Fri 4.25 begins now at:www.transitionnorthfield.org

All Are Welcome-Hope to See You There!

Questions? northfieldearthday@gmail.com

Sponsored by:

*Transition Northfield * First UCC * The Center for Community and Civic Engagement- Carleton * CRWP
*Just Food Coop * All Energy Solar * Northfield Rotary Club * Organic Farming Works * Life Skills Education * Eco Gardens * Thousand Hills
*Montessori Children’s House * Sustane Natural Fertilizer

Centering Prayer Group

If you have found yourself enjoying the meditation service during Lent and would like to continue the practice of meditation or centered prayer, we are looking to form a meditation group.  Please click on this link to sign up if you are interested.  We will be contacting everyone in a few weeks to determine dates and time.

Pastor Abby is Heading to Taizé!

From Pastor Abby: “As many of you know, I have been invited by the Minnesota UCC Conference to be a mentor on a pilgrimage for young people to the Taizé Community in France! I’ll see you in worship this Sunday, and then I’ll be out of the office starting April 2 for two weeks. I plan to be back at work on April 15 (just in time for Holy Week!). I am so grateful for this opportunity. Thank you for your support and prayers!”

First UCC Parent Potluck

The annual Parent Potluck will be held on Saturday, March 15th from 6:00 – 8:00 PM at the home of Regi and Amy Haslett-Marroquin (4597 315th St. West). This is an adults-only event where parents have an opportunity to socialize with one another in a fun and informal setting. This is always a great time, and we’d love to have you join us! Please bring your own beverage and a dish to pass:
A – J = Side dish (veggies, bread, fruit, salad)
K – Q = Main Dish
R – Z = Dessert

Please RSVP by March 12th to Carrie Menk.

Childcare – First UCC youth will provide childcare at the church for a donation toward youth programs. A meal will also be provided. Drop off your kids at 5:30 and pick them up no later than 8:30.  You can register online here. Questions? Email Shana Hodel.

This is always a fun and enjoyable evening! We hope to see you there!

-Sponsored by the Children’s Faith Formation Committee

Good Music for a Good Cause!

Andre Een and Theo Wee, with guest Minnesota Orchestra violinist Taichi Chen, once more do a benefit concert for the Friends of Way Park at 7:00 pm on Saturday, March 8 at First UCC.  Desserts and a short jaz surprise after a concert of Mozart, Rebecca Clarke compositions and others.  Suggested donation of $10 aunts and $5 for youth 15 and under.

“This Amazing Earth”

An exhibition, “This Amazing Earth” has been hung on the walls of the church main floor halls, assembly room, library and parlor this fall through November 17.

The work is the visual expression of three artists in our congregation, Meg Ojala, Margit Johnson, and Jan Shoger, to the theme of “This Amazing Earth”. The exhibit honors and celebrate’s God’s creation of the earth and all that is alive within it. The exhibit will serve as inspiration for our faith community, as we contemplate this fall, the ways we can address the severe nature of global warming and the changes we can make to our facility and within our lives.

October 6 after worship, at Adult Forum, the artists will informally talk about the ideas and content of the visual work. Come to join in that conversation.

On Saturday, October 12 at 6:30pm there will be an evening weekend coffee house event at which poets and musicians from our congregation will join the visual artists of the exhibit to share their art with our congregation and the wider Northfield Community.

All are Invited to Attend the Installation of Abigail Henderson

In our United Church of Christ, a service of installation for a pastor is a service of holy covenant. During the service, a local church and its newly called pastor and teacher enter into a covenant bond, which remains in effect as long as the pastor continues to serve that congregation.  During the service a covenant is also created between the church and its newly called pastor and all the United Church of Christ congregations in the conference where that church is located

Rev. Clyde Steckel will lead a service of installation for Rev. Abigail Henderson at 4:00 p.m. on Sunday, September 29. A meal, hosted by Special Functions and Parish, Life and Fellowship committee members, will follow the service. All are welcome.