Upcoming Events

This page is updated every Wednesday for the upcoming week. If you’re here on Monday or Tuesday and it seems “outdated”, we invite you to check back in at that time.


Worship with Us this Sunday,
Sunday, September 24th, 2017:

A Greeting from Our Pastor

Dear Eli,
One month after their dramatic departure from slavery in Egypt, the Israelites were having second thoughts about their new-found freedom. The wilderness offered challenges that felt more daunting than their memories of captivity. They struggled not only to survive the dangers of life on the move in a harsh barren landscape, but also to cope with their fears, discouragement, doubts about their leaders’ competency, nostalgia for the past, reluctance to change, and struggle to trust the One who had set them free.
In the story we’ll hear this Sunday, hunger has them at a breaking point. But God hears their cries and provides food to nourish them. This food, this bread from heaven which they end up calling “manna” arrives with a condition: each morning, they must only collect what their family needs for that day. Except for on the sixth day, when they collect enough for two days so that they can rest from the labor to put food on the table on the seventh day. Unlike Pharaoh’s bread, which required unending back-breaking labor with no allowance for restorative rest, manna is God’s generous gift


Join us this Sunday as we explore the subversive truth of this story–God will bless us with all we need to thrive. Why are we so often tempted to hoard what we could share and to envy what we don’t have? What contributes to our getting lost in a wilderness of discouragement, nostalgia for some idealized past, or fear-ful resistance to a future we did not expect? How can we learn to trust that the new life God offers us can be better than the life we know now? We’ll also look at the apostle Paul’s charge to “live your life in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ”, and consider the kinds of the spiritual conditioning we could undergo that would give us a greater sense of freedom and joy in our lives.
Come and experience the presence of the One who gives us life, satisfies our deepest hunger, and shows us what is possible. Come and learn how in a wilderness of suffering and fear, poverty and violence, ecological exploitation and habitat destruction, God provides all we need to heal what is broken.
We can’t wait to see you here!
-Rev. Heather

[This section updates weekly on Wednesday/Thursday.]


A Note from Sunday School:

Sunday School has resumed!

We celebrated Homing Sunday this past Sunday, September 10th. On that day we welcome back those who may have been away for the summer on vacation or have been away from church for an extended period of time, and resume our “regular” programming: choir, worship in the sanctuary, and Sunday School classes.

Know someone who hasn’t been coming to church all that often? Invite them back! Sometimes all it takes is an ask to remind someone who may not be a regular in the pew that they are loved and missed.


Book Study Group:

“When ‘Spiritual but Not Religious’ Is Not Enough: Seeing God in Surprising Places, Even the Church” by Lillian Daniel

Gathering #5 (of 6):
Saturday, September 16th at 10:30am at Dotty Martinez’s house!


Contact Eli, Dotty or Mary if you’d like to read the book with us!


September Women’s Prayer Breakfast:
All Women Welcome
Tuesday, September 19th at 7:00 am

For 12 years the ladies of the Women’s Prayer Breakfast have been meeting. They share their joys, concerns, meditations and dutch-treat breakfast.

This group of ladies has met faithfully every third Tuesday of the month, no matter the weather and no matter the challenges! They have braved winter’s cold and summer’s heat, fall’s chill, and spring’s warmth. And you are invited to join them!

They meet at 7:00 am at the Dutchess Diner on Route 9 across from the mall.

Join them, won’t you?


Mission/Vision Conversations

We’ve held two conversations about the mission of this church. Quite a few of you took part. Thank you! These discussions are important to the future direction our congregation takes to best service God and all of you as well as members of our community near and far. Our Church Council met on June 20th and discussed what we’ve talked about this far.

  1. Where do you sense God’s presence in the life of the church today?
  2. What do you think God is calling us to be and to do in the future?

We have a double-sided white 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 cardstock handout with these two questions printed on it and space to write your responses. Ushers will help to distribute these handouts along with a summary of responses to these questions from the June 11th congregational conversation. We will be happy to mail you a handout if you cannot come to worship or stop by the church office to pick yours up.

With God’s help, and the Holy Spirit’s guidance, we will gain greater clarity about our mission (what are we here to do and be in our Poughkeepsie community and beyond over the next 10 years) and our vision (the way we will make that happen). Every person’s prayerful input is welcomed and needed.


More News on our Sign


Members and friends of our church,

Thank you to everyone who has donated even $5.00 for your help and generosity to help fund a replacement sign after our sign was destroyed earlier this year. We have finally raised the funds needed to replace our old sign (wood with a foam interior) with a new sturdier sign with a PVC base. You should expect to see it up in the next few months.

In the meantime, we continue to offer gratitude for the repair work one of our church members did on the old sign back in early June. Thank you Ken Stickle for your gracious donation of your time, materials, and talent in repairing our sign. (And thank you God that all pieces of our sign were salvageable and able to be reassembled as a temporary fix.) Additional thanks to members of lay leadership who have taken on the extra work of researching materials, costs, insurance, and so much more over the last few months!

May this sign be a testimony of our resilient spirit and creativity, and in God showing up through the gifts of the Spirit in our daily lives.

The peace of Christ be with you today and always,

Eli Mann
Deacon Chair
FCCUCC Lay Leadership


Mark Your Calendars! / Save The Dates

Spaghetti Dinner – Saturday, September 23rd

On September 23rd, our church will be holding a fundraiser Spaghetti Dinner. A delicious menu of spaghetti, salad, bread and desserts will be served from 6-7:30 pm. Advance tickets cost just $10.00 per person. Tickets purchased at the door will be $12.00 per person. Children 6-12 are just $6.00 and children 5 and under will be free! There will be a family (parent and children) maximum charge of $30.00 per family. Want to purchase your tickets in advance? Give Ted or Linda Riedeburg a call or call the church office at (845) 454-2960. Available to help with the dinner in all variety of ways? Please watch for sign-up sheets in Margaret Chapel. You know with Pete and Patty Driever heading up the culinary crew, this meal is a “not-to-be-missed opportunity!” Make your plans to join us, today!

Turkey Dinner Fundraiser – November 11, 2017

The Church Council has voted to restore our Thanksgiving-themed Turkey Dinner to the church calendar for the evening of Saturday, November 11, 2017! More details will be communicated as the date draws nearer. In the meantime, please contact Patty and Pete Driever if you would like to be involved.

10th Anniversary of becoming an Open and Affirming (ONA) Congregation– Sunday, November 12, 2017

Sunday, November 12, 2017 marks the 10th anniversary (to the exact day!) of us becoming an Open and Affirming Congregation and making our welcome of the LGBTQ community explicit and clear. We will be holding a special, festive worship service to commemorate a decade of being an Open and Affirming Congregation where on this exact day in 2007 we made our welcome of the LGBTQ community explicit and clear. This celebration will be a part of our regularly scheduled worship service. More info forthcoming. Mark your calendars and invite your friends!

ONA 10th Anniversary Fundraiser- Saturday, April 28, 2018

You may have noticed prior announcements from us included a (tentative) Save the Date for a “Big, Bold, and FUN” Fundraiser to commemorate our 10th anniversary of our becoming an Open and Affirming Congregation originally scheduled for Saturday, November 11, 2017. This has been MOVED to Saturday, April 28, 2018 to allow more time for preparing and planning, and so we have no fall or winter holiday (or weather) conflicts. We will be forming a steering committee for this event in order to best plan how to mark this significant anniversary in a way that builds connections with people in our wider community who don’t yet know about us. Eli Mann and Elizabeth Clifton continue to be the best points of contact on this event.


Welcome, New Members!

On Sunday, July 16th, we had the pleasure of welcoming 3 new members into our church family. Welcome (from left to right) Ken Stickle, Daphne Romeo and Tom Kirshner! We’re so happy to have you!

new members with cake
new members - service4


Thank You for Being a Part of our Music Ministry!

Together we celebrated Patrick’s two-year ministry with us last Sunday, July 16th. The choir sang “For the Beauty of the Earth” (John Rutter), and Patrick played our organ for perhaps his last time!

Recognizing all members of our 2016-17 Chancel Choir:

Linda Barnes
Cloud Bartoli
Jean Borasi
Elizabeth Clifton
Laura Lamica
Eli Mann
Linda Riedeburg
Ted Riedeburg
Daphne Romeo
Diane Soyka
Mike Soyka
Don Twitchell
Natalie Ward

Special musicians or ensemble singers for 2016-17:

Cloud Bartoli – guitar and voice
Deb Bucher – piano; voice
Elizabeth Clifton – soprano & soloist
Debbie Furman – saxophone
Sarah Jo Gomez-Lorraine – soloist
Mary Jalloh – alto
Eli Mann – guitar & voice; percussion
Linda Riedeburg – alto; trumpet
Daphne Romeo – guitar & voice
Gene Scholtens – woodwinds and more
Don Twitchell – saxophone
*Michelle Williams – gospel singer

Easter choir anthem (2)



Patrick postlude2

Thanks, all, for a great year together!


Food Donations to Dutchess Outreach

According to Feeding America,

“In 2015, 42.2 million Americans lived in food insecure household, including 29.1 million adults and 13.1 million children. 13 percent of households (15.8 million households) were food insecure. 5 percent of households (6.3 million households) experienced very low food security.”

What does that really mean? It means that last year there were a LOT of households that simply didn’t have enough food in their fridges, freezers and cabinets to prevent hunger.

How can we help? We can donate items to help one of our local food pantries sponsored by Dutchess Outreach. There are boxes at the front of our sanctuary. When you’re grocery shopping this coming week, could you grab one or two extra boxes of pasta? Maybe an extra jar or two of sauce? How about an an extra can or two of vegetables? Bring them to church with you and we’ll see that your donations get to Dutchess Outreach. Your donations are making a direct difference to a hungry person or family right here in Poughkeepsie.

To learn more about Dutchess Outreach visit them online or on Facebook.


Updated Church Photo Directory!

An updated church directory is available! Please contact Tracy in the church office if you need one. If you weren’t caught by Eli or Dotty this summer in order to update your contact information or photo, please feel free to reach out to either of them at any time! We are delighted to have so many fabulous new people worshiping with us and want to make sure none of our wonderful people are missing from its pages.


Fellowship Hour

coffeehour1Coffee Hour or Fellowship Hour immediately follows most of our worship services. It provides a setting for our current members and friends to catch up with one another and it offers an opportunity for visitors to engage in conversation and see what kind of community we really are. But it’s also an expression of our commitment to the Christian practice of hospitality – of welcoming people to the table where all can find refreshment and nourishment not just of food and drink but of connection and care.

Coffee Hour can’t take place without coffee hour hosts. Hosts set up the coffee pots during worship and get the yummy stuff brewing! Then they set out the cookies or cakes or treats that will be consumed while we greet and visit with each other. Hosts are an important part of the success of this ministry!

Could you be the one to provide nourishment for body and soul that day? Food can be provided so all you’ll need to do is to physically set everything up. Please use the sign-up sheets in Margaret Chapel to sign up.

Our fellowship hour coordinators will ensure that we have sufficient supplies of coffee and paper products on hand every week. They are also looking for contributions of freezable or non-perishable food items that could be available for anyone who would like to host fellowship hour but may not have the means to shop for it. Could you be the one to provide nourishment for body and soul that day?