From The Pastor

Dear Friends,

Good byes are never easy. This one seems particularly difficult to me. As you know from my letter of resignation my final worship service with you will be Sunday, June 25. At that time we can celebrate our ministry together, giving thanks for the gifts God has given us. Following worship we will have a potluck & barbeque at Sue Bell & Manny Odom's home 13721 127Ave S.E. Call 568-2129 for directions. Bring a dish to share, something to grill and your table service.

Because I will remain in the area for a time it is important to be clear about our relationship in the future. After June 30 I will no longer be your pastor. I will still care about you but our relationship will be different. Because I will no longer be your pastor I will not be available for hospital visits, memorial services, weddings, or other pastoral services. I will move out of the role as your pastor, allowing a new person to move into the role as your pastor. I will not worship with you or attend church functions.

Many of you are friends. I am grateful for your friendship and hope we can continue to be friends. It will be different however. We will not be able to talk about church business and what is happening at the church, or about your new pastor. We can talk about our lives. We can see each other and care for one another as friends do. This may seem strange to you. I understand that. These are standard boundaries designed to allow you to develop a relationship with your new pastor. It is also to allow all of us to move on in our lives. Davi Martin has a copy of the document describing these boundaries if you would like to read it.

After June 30, when a pastoral emergency occurs you will need to call our Moderator, Davi Martin. You may call her at home: 805-9288 or call her pager: 425-267-3690. Please leave your phone number and Davi will return your call as soon as possible.

During June I will be finishing my work with you. As always, I will be available for pastoral care. I will gather helpful information for church leaders and the next pastor. I will lead worship. I will be your pastor. I've enclosed in this newsletter a Directory update with new persons and change of addresses. This is a gift to you as I prepare to go.

I hope during June we can have time together to say our personal good-byes. I will be glad to talk with you about questions, concerns, or hopes you have. I would enjoy getting together with you and invite you to call me to make a date! I want to express my thanks to you for our time together as pastor and people. Some of our hopes and dreams for First Congregational Church, Monroe have not worked as we would wish. I pray God will make us aware of our many blessings during our time as pastor and people. In particular I am grateful for your loving support during my mother, Grace's illness and at her dying. Thank you. I care for you and pray God bring you many blessings!

Peace & Joy,

Fairwell to Bill and Sheri

Sunday June 4 we give thanks for Bill and Sheri Comfort's presence with us. We'll receive communion. Following worship please attend one of our great potlucks in the church hall. Bring a dish to share and your table service. Please bring a symbol of your appreciation for Bill's ministry among us.

Sunday, June 11 is Pentecost. Please wear something red as we celebrate the birthday of the church and the gift of the Holy Spirit!

Sunday June 25 will be Pastor Mary's final Sunday with us. Following worship we will have a potluck and barbeque at Sue Bell and Manny Odom's home: 13721 127Ave. SE. Phone 568-2129 for directions. Bring something to barbeque, a dish to share, and your table service. You are invited to bring a symbol of your appreciation of Mary's ministry among us. Remember if it rains that we'll be under cover '96 under the arena. Come celebrate!

Friday, August 25, several adults and youth who are biking across the U.S.A. will stay in our church. There will be a breakfast on Sat. a.m. It is possible to have a potluck on Friday evening. If you would like to help with either contact Davi Martin.

Conference News

News from the WA N. ID Conference The Conference Board of Directors have made a decision to sell the Conference Home in Seattle. This has been an item of discussion for some time. These reasons enter into the decision: wanting space which is physically accessible; the need for better parking; maintenance costs are an increased concern (recently a section of sewer line collapsed costing $12,000 to repair); property value has increased dramatically.

The Conference office in the Seattle area will seek other space to facilitate an interim move. The offices will seek a one-year lease with a possible two-year extension. It is hoped that within this time it will be possible to work with ecumenical partners to create or purchase new, permanent office space.

Thank Yous

For flowers given for Maundy Thursday and Easter by Eileen Rosenzweig in memory of her mother, Mrs. Camp.

For candles given by Grace Kirwan in memory of Mrs. Camp.

For those who contributed to the special offering at the ecumenical Good Friday Service. $147.-88 was received and sent to the Sky Valley Food Bank.

From Bill Comfort

Time goes by! June 4 will be the last day of my internship at First Congregational United Church of Christ. Thanks to all of you for providing a great experience. I have managed to have all of the experiences I wanted and some I never expected to have. We have shared a lot of joy and pain.

I leave you at a difficult time in the life of the church. You will move through a period of intense growth in the next weeks and months deciding how the church will look in the future. Good luck, my prayers are with you. I know you will choose wisely and well.

I will be taking some time off in June. Sheri and I will spend a week on Orcas Island doing nothing together. For the summer at Seattle U I am taking Earth Ethics and Worship and Presiding. I look forward to being a regular student again.

Each of you and the church itself is enshrined in my heart and will remain there even to the end of the age.

Bill Comfort
(425)631-4504 pager

From the Moderator

Dear Fellow Parishioners:

I am sure you are aware of Pastor Mary's resignation. As we take time to catch a breath, we need to keep in mind that truly a door doesn't close without another opening somewhere. We all wish Mary the very best for her future, and I am sure that there will be something wonderful in store for all of us '96 Mary personally, and us as a congregation. We will be facing a time of work and decisions, but it will also be an exciting time as we pull together and find a new direction. We have many options to consider, and I urge as many of you as possible to attend the meeting we will be having with Randy Hyvonen on June 3. That is a Saturday morning so we'll gather in the fellowship hall at 9 a.m. and breakfast will be served. We'll have a chance to talk with Rev. Hyvonen about our church's strengths and weaknesses, and ask about where do we go from here??

Also in June we will be saying another goodbye of sorts as Bill Comfort ends his internship with us. His farewell potluck will be on Sunday, June 4, in the fellowship hall right after worship. Let's give him a real show of appreciation.

Later, on June 25, we will have a celebration of Mary's ministry at Sue and Manny's home. It will also be a potluck. Manny will turn on the barbeque so bring something good to eat. There will also be a short service to commemorate Mary's time with us. The plan is to go directly to Sue and Manny's right after worship, so bring the food with you to church!

As we go through this time of transition, I would like to let you know that I appreciate all the work that has already been done by so many people, and ask that we all be as helpful as possible with our time, suggestions and participation in the things yet to be done. I know we are heading into the summer months when we will all be having lots of extra activities planned. Please let the health of our church be one of those important consideration.

Peace and joy,

Taize Worship

March 2000 saw the introduction of the Taize Worship Service at the Monroe Congregational Church. Taize Worship is singing a prayer and praying with song. Those who have attended the service have found it to be both a spiritually uplifting and centering experience. Our last weekly Taize service of the summer will be held on June 4 at 6:30 p.m. This is also the last day Pastoral Intern Bill Comfort will be with us. Bill has been the organizer and inspiration of the Taize Worship and will be sorely missed. We will continue to hold a monthlyTaize Worship during the summer months, with the goal of weekly services starting again in September.

The following Sunday evenings are scheduled for Taize Worship. Please mark your calendar so you don't miss them: June 4, July 9, August 6 and September 10. Watch for the large yard signs to be posted the Monday prior to the service. These signs will be a reminder to our congregation of the upcoming service and will also inform the general public that services will be held.