August 11 - 18, 2023

"I will put my teaching in their minds and write it on their hearts..."
Jeremiah 31:33

Calendar of Upcoming Events

Below are weekly programs. You can find brief descriptions of these weekly programs on our website:

SUNDAY Morning Worship, 10 am in person and via Zoom Password: betogether

SUNDAY , 11:30 a.m. Bible Study in person and on Zoom

MONDAY - FRIDAY, 8 am Morning Devotion

WEDNESDAY Eve., 6:30 pm Midweek Inhale Spiritual Practices

Below are the upcoming non-weekly events on the calendar happening at McFarland UCC for about the next month. All events are on the McFarland UCC calendar with Zoom links and additional information in the details/description area. Click the event on the McFarland UCC calendar to see the details.

Thursday, August 17, 6:30 – 8:00 pm, NION Monthly Meeting. In person and Online

Saturday, August 19, 9:00 a.m. --3:00 p.m. Teen Youth trip to Devil's Lake State Park. Pastor Bryan will email details to the group.

Sunday, August 20, 10:00 am, Outdoor Worship Service (In person & Online) Indoors if inclement weather.

Sunday, August 20, 3:00 p.m. Madison Pride Fest Event at Warner Park in Madison. If you would like to meet with others from our church there please contact Pastor Bryan.

Tuesday, August 22, 6:30 – 8:00 pm, Ecojustice/Green Team Monthly Meeting (In person & Online) - Multipurpose Room, Rescheduled from 8/15

Friday, August 25, 6:00-- 8:00 p.m., All Ages Fun Night and Camp Fire (unless too hot) at church. Bring a game if you have one, including cards! The Corn Hole Championship Tournament continues...

Tuesday, September 5, 6:30 – 8:00 pm, Racial Justice Team Monthly Meeting (In person & Online)- Multipurpose Room

Sunday, September 3, 5:30 - 7:00 pm, NO Teen Youth Monthly Meeting

Thursday, September 14, 6:00 – 8:00 pm, SaLT Monthly Meeting (In person & Online) - Multipurpose Room

News at McFarland UCC

Stuff the Bus Concludes This Weekend


The annual ‘Stuff the Bus’ campaign concludes this weekend (August 12-13). Thanks to all of you who have donated backpacks, school supplies, or cash! Your donation will help some children in families served by the McFarland Food Pantry to get off to a good start with the school year.


If you wish to donate backpacks or school supplies, you can drop them off at the donation box in the lobby of the church (until noon Sunday), or at the village municipal center (until noon Saturday). You may make a monetary donation through the McFarland Community Food Pantry (specify 'Stuff the Bus' on the memo line of your check), PO Box 101, McFarland WI 53558 (or give the check to McFarland Food Pantry Manager Judy Taber at church, and save a stamp!), or donate online using PayPal or Venmo and specify 'Stuff the Bus' in a comment. 

Love Has the Final Word Support Group Announcement

There is a support group for adults that have been estranged from family members that will begin this fall. Being estranged from a family member means that the relationship has been cut off or lost for whatever reason.

Sessions will be held on the second Saturday of September, October, and November here at MUCC at 10 am. (Sat Sept 9, Sat Oct 14, Sat Nov 11)

Contact: Trish Kalhagen or Araceli Wehr

Friday, August 25th, 6:00 --8:00 p.m. All Ages Fun Night!

Our July "All Ages Fun Night" was a blast for those who made it, and I know a bunch of folks were out of town. So let's do it again! Hopefully some of you families with younger kids will be able to come this time. We're going to keep it even simpler and not have ice cream this time, but possibly s'mores if it's not too hot for a fire. But just come and enjoy a chance to play some games and get to know each other. And I know some of you are avid card players, so feel free to bring some cards and we could get a game or two of cribbage or poker (low stakes of course!) going. And assuming someone can bring a corn hole set or two we'll continue that championship match!

NOTE: Younger Youth Programming will kick off again in September with a fun Outdoor Bible Story theme event that Sheryl Rowe is working hard on. More info to come via email about this to parents of younger youth.

NEEDED: If anyone has a large cardboard box from a refrigerator or large appliance like that please let Sheryl Rowe know! She could use it for the game she's putting together about David and Goliath.

General Fund Summary Aug 2022 - July 2023

A Few Words From Pastor Bryan

...and Jim Henderson

Last week in our Bible study after worship one of our participants asked how we can possibly take a stand against injustice, which sometimes means confronting people who are behaving in a ways we simply can't stand, and also love them at the same time. The question led us to look at one of Jesus's most challenging teachings in Matthew 5:43-44;

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you..."

Another translation puts that last phrase this way;

"Pray for those who despitefully use you."

We had a great conversation, and we talked about how hard it can be to put teachings like these into practice in the so-called "real world." How do we do this when we are mistreated or abused or personally devastated by someone? How do we love someone who flat out hates us, or who undermines and pushes against us at every chance because they simply don't like us? Or someone we ourselves, no matter how hard we try, can't help but intensely dislike (if not hate)? And how do we bring this kind of radical love into conversations about work and politics and into the tone and spirit with which we work for issues of justice in this broken world?

Among other things, we reminded ourselves that to the extent that this kind of loving is ever done, "we" don't do it. Loving like that is only consistently possible when it is the Spirit of God within us actually offering Divine love through us. Our invitation and challenge is to become open and unobstructed channels of God's Love (as much as possible with God's help!) so that God can do the loving through us. It's not something we can pull off.

But we can choose to cooperate with it, and nurture it, and want it.

This week I had the wonderful good luck of stumbling upon an organization called "3 Practices." I say I stumbled upon it, but I was clearly led to it by God's Spirit. I won't take time to explain how, but suffice it to say I wasn't looking for it. It just "showed up" as I was in the process of looking for something else. God often seems to work that way in my experience.

The 3 Practices are actual commitments to put into practice when we are trying to communicate respectfully with those with whom we strongly disagree. 3 Practices is also the name of the organization established by Jim Henderson to offer workshops and trainings in which people learn how to put these practices into action. Check out this brief video of Jim Henderson (once you select the link scroll down to the video on the right called "The 3Practices: A Brief Introduction and History") explaining what the 3 practices are. You'll see Brian McLaren in the video also, and there's another video on the website of Brian talking about the practices as well. Brian works closely with Jim and this organization, and that doesn't surprise me. These practices are really a way of embodying the difficult love of Jesus without needing to use spiritual or religious language. That makes them useful in lots of different non-religious settings and contexts.

Here are the 3 Practices

  1. I’ll be unusually interested in others.
  2. I’ll stay in the room with difference.
  3. I’ll stop comparing my best with your worst.


I won't write more now, but if this intrigues you, watch the video. I can imagine, as the 2024 electoral cycle and all that's going on in our culture kicks into hear gear, us holding some public forums to deliberately discuss controversial issues using these principles... and loving each other and others who see things very differently than we do... in the Way Jesus showed us--and is still trying to teach us.

Hope to see you Sunday!

Pastor Bryan

5710 Anthony St.
McFarland WI 53558
Pastor Bryan Sirchio
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