A Liberal Church, Welcoming of All, Passionately Committed to Social Justice

The Pilgrim - August 7, 2016

Sunday Celebration Notes
Lifting Up God's Love Every Sunday at 10 am

Dear Church,

Prolific poet and five-time Coretta Scott King award winner Walter Dean Myers wrote it this way:

I like hot days, hot days
Sweat is what you got days
Bugs buzzin from cousin to cousin
Juices dripping
Running and ripping
Catch the one you love days

Birds peeping
Old men sleeping
Lazy days, daisies lay
Beaming and dreaming
Of hot days, hot days,
Sweat is what you got days. 

At First Church, we are coolly blessed with an air-conditioned brick building, but summer’s beauty still rolls out around us. The children and young adults of DAYS (Downtown Associated Youth Services) fill our campus with fun and music during the week. The youth in our Christian Education program have triumphantly returned from National Youth Event (NYE) and are filling August worship with their own special music. The Drop-in Center is preparing to reopen after their summer hiatus, and our church members on that board are gearing up to receive donations of snacks for our guests.

Summer isn’t particularly “lazy days” at First Church, but it’s a season of fun and good projects that make a difference!

Happy August,
The Rev. Elena Larssen


In this issue

Music This Sunday

Christian Education

UCO Snack Drive

Interfaith Service August 4, 7 pm

Municipal Band Concert

No Senior Coffee in August

Antioch Bridge Program

Drop-In Center News


Parish Concerns

For more information

The Pilgrim - current and past editions of the newsletter


First Church website

Contact us


Heard's Words: Music on Sunday

August at First Church will feature some of our younger musicians. This Sunday, I have invited one of my students from Wilson High School (class of 2016) to come and share his vocal talents with us. Jake Tuaniga will be singing a couple of songs for us and accompanying himself on the piano. He has been a fantastic tenor at Wilson for the last four years, and I’m sure you will be impressed. Jake will be attending Cal State Long Beach in the fall, and is already taking summer school classes. I hope you will give him a warm reception on Sunday!

Curtis Heard, Director of Music


In Sunday School

Theme: Faith: Into the Unknown
Scripture: Hebrews 11:1-3, 8-16

Adult Education
Sundays at 8:30 am in the Klar Rooms, upstairs in Pilgrim Hall




UCO Summer Snack Drive
By Alison Morales, Urban Community Outreach

Greetings, Church! Urban Community Outreach is hoping you'll help us gather up some nourishing summer snack items for our weekly guests at the Drop-In Center. Suggested items would be peanut butter crackers, single serving tuna/cracker sets, and protein bars. These things can be easily found at local grocery stores and places like Dollar Tree. There will be a large box for donations in the narthex throughout August. We really appreciate your help!

peanut butter crackers     protein bars     tuna salad


The Cranes of August
An Interfaith Service of Remembrance
of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
and Reflections on Peace and War

Thursday, August 4, 7 pm

Join us beneath more than 1700 origami paper cranes, light candles in offering to peace and disarmament, listen to words from leaders of many faith traditions, and be in community with many who wish and pray for a world free of nuclear weapons and committed to peace.



One More Municipal Band Concert - Friday, August 5

Come and join your First Church family at the last Friday evening Long Beach Municipal Band Concert in the park. Bring a picnic, blankets, beach chairs and friends.

El Dorado West - Studebaker and Willow
6:30 pm - Come early to get good parking


No Seniors Coffee in August

The Seniors Coffee and Conversation group will not meet in August. We'll see you again on Tuesday, September 20 at 10 am!


Antioch University Bridge Program Returning to First Church in the Fall

Antioch University's Bridge Program provides university-level education for students who may not otherwise have access to higher education. Each week, Bridge students attend class to begin college, to earn up to 15 transferrable units of university credit, and to study philosophy, literature, art history, writing, and urban studies – all free of charge.

More details:

1. The 2016-2017 school year is the fourteenth year for the Bridge program in Southern California.
2. Bridge is in four locations: Long Beach, Culver City, Norwalk and Boyle Heights.
3. Tuition is free to students.
4. All books, classroom materials, nightly snacks, bus tokens (when required) and field trips ... FREE.
5. Open to students whose income is less than $25,000 annually.
6. No grades - written evaluations are provided to all students.
7. There is open dialogue and non-judgemental environment for ALL students.
8. The program includes field trips to libraries, museums, Antioch University events, and more ...
9. Courses of study: English/writing, art history, philosophy, literature.
10. 12-15 units of transferable units are possible.
11. We assist students with future education planning beyond their Bridge academic year.

If you or anyone in your community would benefit from the Bridge education experience, call the Bridge office (310-578-1080 ext 300) for more information or go to the Antioch University website for an online application. You may also download a brochure (pdf).


Drop-In Center News
By Arlene Mercer, Executive Director

I thought I’d confirm that the Drop-In Center will be open this coming Sunday, August 7. We are enthused to open the doors once again with good food, services, and referrals for the underserved in Long Beach.

Our new Operations Manager, Cherry Bush, and new Outreach Worker, Ann Lampe, will be joining in the efforts to make a difference for the many people who need us. Stop in and say “hello.”


Pilgrim and Bulletin Deadline

The deadline for submitting items for inclusion in the Sunday service bulletin and for the newsletter is Tuesday at 1 p.m. The Pilgrim is emailed every Wednesday.




Parish Concerns

Your thoughts and prayers are requested for Tim Mountain upon the death of his father; Jim Heard (Curtis Heard's father); Priscilla Norris (Teri Brewster's sister-in-law); Gary Shelton; Terry Sandoval (Greg Mausbach and Jason Hudson's friend); and Patrick Malone (Larelle Hendon's brother).

Names on the Parish Concerns lists appear in two consecutive editions of the newsletter. To share a Parish Concern or a Parish Joy, put a note on the board on the Third Street landing or contact Ruth Warkentin in the church office.

Online Calendar

Don't miss out! Check the online church calendar for details about all church events. You can use the online calendar to email invitations to friends to church events and to set up emailed reminders to yourself. Just click on any event to see more information.




To place an ad in this newsletter, please contact Ruth Warkentin in the church office.



First Congregational Church - 241 Cedar Avenue - Long Beach, California 90802
562-436-2256 - Fax: 562-436-3018 - E-mail: office@firstchurchlb.org