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

January 27 - February 3, 2023

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

SUNDAY Morning, 10 am Zoom Worship

https://zoom.us/j/97010988439 Password: betogether

SUNDAY , 12 noon Zoom Bible Study  


MONDAY - FRIDAY, 8 am Morning Devotion


WEDNESDAY Eve., 6:00 pm Midweek Inhale Spiritual Practices


Happening This Week

Sunday January 29,

10:00 a.m.

Sunday Morning Worship

(in person and

on Zoom as always)


Password: betogether

In Case The Pulse Looks A Bit Different Now...

That's because our office manager Ginger Hummer is now officially putting the Pulse together for us each week. Yay, thank you God, and thank you Ginger!

So if things look and feel a bit different all of a sudden you'll know why. I (Pastor Bryan) will of course look it over each week and add my "Few Words..." section at the end, but beyond that I've told Ginger to feel free to take creative charge of this weekly e-newsletter and to set things up in ways that she thinks are best.

Thanks to all of you for giving Ginger your support and affirmation. She'll do a wonderful job with the Pulse as she does with everything else we've asked her to do for us so far.

Have a great week everyone,

Pastor Bryan

Opportunities and Things Coming Up

Save the Date

Tuesday February 21, 2023


At McFarland UCC & on Zoom

Natural/Green Burials

Join the MUCC Green/Eco justice Team as we host Shedd Farley of The Farley Center who will share the mission and philosophy of the Farley Center in Verona which was established to promote ecological sustainability, social justice and peace. Shedd will focus our discussion on the Natural Path Sanctuary, a local natural (green) burial option, but will also share about the education and support that they do at the Center with immigrants, women and beginning farmers and beekeepers. Contact Julie Woodward from the Green Team for more info.

Upcoming Events:

Feb. 4 Worship Arts Meeting (in person) 10am-12pm

Feb. 5 Birthday & Communion Sunday

Feb. 5 Teen Youth Meeting (in person) 5:30-7pm

Feb. 9 SaLT Meeting (in person & Zoom) 6:30pm

Feb. 16 NION Meeting (Zoom only) 6:30 pm

Feb. 21 Green Team Meeting(in person or Zoom) 6:30pm

Feb. 7 Racial Justice Team Meeting (in person or Zoom) 6:30 pm

* All Zoom links are in the details area of the online MUCC calendar

A Few Words From Pastor Bryan

And author Brian McLaren...

I have mentioned my dear friend Brian McLaren many times in my tenure so far as your pastor. For those of you who are newer to our congregation, Brian is a world renowned author and pastor. He has already played a historically significant role in the global spiritual awakening and reformation that has been happening throughout the world in the past several decades, and he is far from finished. His insights and books just keep getting deeper and more powerful.

Brian grew up in an extremely conservative evangelical church tradition, and he has written numerous books that detail his spiritual, emotional, and intellectual journey from a very rigid and legalistic fundamentalism into a more progressive and "generous" expression of Christianity. Brian has helped more people to think, feel, pray, and anguish their way through their own processes of spiritual evolution and awakening than just about anyone else I can think of.

And we are all evolving you know. Or at least I hope we are.

Think about your own faith journey. Are your beliefs different now than they were 10 or 20 years ago? Mine sure are. Oh I can connect the dots pretty easily, and trace how I got from one place to the next. But the simple truth is that some of the beliefs I held 35 years ago, if placed next to where I am now, would seem like flat out contradictions. At an earlier stage of my life I probably would have seen this tension or evolution as a problem of some kind. Now I see it as something beautiful. It shows that I've grown, changed, and paid attention to life. Nothing fully alive stays the same. This certainly includes our understandings of who or what God is and what it means to know God and live in the Way of Jesus.

I'm reminded of a quote from depth psychologist Carl Jung that I just love. Jung wrote;

"We cannot live in the afternoon of life according to the programme of life's morning; for what was great in the morning will be little at evening, and what in the morning was true will at evening have become a lie."

I've heard many people quote Hebrews 13:8, which says, "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever." That's quite a verse to unpack, and I won't attempt to do that now. But what I do know is that my own understanding of God, and the Church's understanding of God, Scripture, Jesus, and Christ-- are always changing. I've come to cherish this Truth. It keeps the spiritual journey fresh and alive. It encourages us to keep listening, because as we say often in the UCC, "God is still speaking."

In one of Brian McLaren's more recent books called, Faith After Doubt, he talks about how scary and painful it can be to leave one stage of the spiritual journey and enter into the next. It can be particularly disorienting and frightening because often we're not sure there is another "stage" at all. He likens the process to Elizabeth Kubler Ross's stages of grief with which many of us are familiar. I think some of you will find these words of Brian's very meaningful.

"Just as caregivers have identified five stages of grief when we lose a loved one, doubters go through predictable stages as they grieve the loss of a simple, unquestioned faith: Denial: I’m OK! Everything is fine! Praise the Lord! Anger: It’s their fault that I’m having doubts. It’s that preacher, or friend, or church, or radio show, or denomination, or book that’s to blame! Depression: I guess I’ve lost my faith and I’m going straight to hell. I’m doomed. Or maybe I just made all of this up and it never was real at all. Bargaining: Maybe if I go to church more often, or go on that retreat, or take that class, or pray more, or read that book, or send money to that religious organization, or try harder, the doubts will all go away. Acceptance: OK. Doubts are here. What am I going to do about it? Now, someone might tell you that along with the devastating losses that accompany doubt, you will also lose some of your illusions, and that is a good thing. But disillusionment is only a good thing in retrospect. When you’re going through it, it feels like hell."

It can be frightening and disorienting when some of the things we always thought we would believe and never doubt start to feel less certain. I'm so glad we have each other to bounce things off of and to talk to if and when we feel ourselves shifting and evolving. And I'm so glad we have the Holy Spirit among us and within us. Jesus told us that the Spirit would "guide us into all Truth."

Well...this is all going to be great stuff to keep in mind this Sunday when I preach about the Word of God in and through the Bible itself, as we prepare to finally return to our sermon series on "Eve, Adam, and the Snake."

I hope to see you Sunday!

Pastor Bryan

5710 Anthony St.
McFarland WI 53558
Pastor Bryan Sirchio
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