ORUCC Weekly Announcements for November 16

Spiritually Alive, Joyfully Inclusive, Committed to Justice

Week at a Glance November 16

Sunday, November 19

For children & youth: 9:00 am Sunday School

For adults: 9:00 am Java & Jesus

9:15 Children’s Christmas Eve Service

Parents’ Meeting

10:00 am Worship

Stewardship Celebration Sunday

& Children’s Bible Presentation

Kate Mackey Preaching

Lay Liturgist: Bruce Gladstone

Music: ORUCC Choir

11:15 am Sermon Talk-Back

Labyrinth Walk

Monday, November 20

3:00 – 7:00 pm

Friendship Hall

Palestinian Justice Mission Team

Tuesday, November 21

7:00 – 8:00 pm

Alfred Swan Room & Zoom

Tom Beilman & Diane Dulin

Care of Creation

Tuesday, November 21

7:00 pm – 8:30 pm


Jill Westberg


Thursday, November 23

Office Closed

Mark your calendars for A Night at Culvers-Verona

to support our Youth Service Trip

Wednesday, November 29

4pm – 8pm



ORUCC has a long tradition of supporting our social services partners in their work with neighbors in need. Post pandemic and the end of CARES funds have left some of our neediest ORUCC neighbors struggling to keep up with inflationary food prices and skyrocketing rent increases.  

Established in 2020, the ORUCC Thanksgiving Year Round Fund helps support our neighbors with Woodman’s gift cards distributed by staff from Joining Forces for Families (JFF), Commonwealth Development (CWD), and Early Childhood Development (ECI). There is now a need to replenish this fund in order to continue this vital support. 

ORUCC member Loretta Swanson and Community Social Worker, Eric Alvin are our lead social services team who distribute the gift cards to other neighborhood case workers. Loretta reports how a $20-$50 gift card can help a family through the holiday season and beyond: 


  • To cover the cost of extra food needed while children are home during holiday breaks
  • To help pay for gas to allow a parent to travel for a job interview

These gift cards help in so many ways. Please consider a donation to the Thanksgiving Year Round Fund to provide direct support to families and individuals in our neighborhood. Your donation is truly appreciated, this holiday season and beyond. 


Thank you in advance for your contribution.

You can make a donation by check, on the memo line, please write “compassion” and mail to ORUCC, 1501 Gilbert Road, Madison, WI 53711,

or donate online from our website. The link is https://orucc.org/contribute/support/

Sermon Talk Backs

Sundays at 11:15 am in the Alfred Swan Room

Come share in an opportunity to discuss how the sermon of the day touched you spiritually. This is hosted and facilitated by members of the Ministry of Adult Faith Formation.



for you!

For the week of Nov 16 – Nov 22


Read this week’s reflections as a way to dive deeper into your spiritual practice or to get some nourishment and inspiration

for your day.

Click Here for Reflections

We are grateful for the ministry of Jeanne Moberly who is a member of Adult Faith Formation, as she puts together a set of fresh readings every week for our devotional practice at Orchard Ridge UCC. You will see these posted daily if you are part of the “Members & Friends” Facebook group. If you know someone who needs encouragement and would like the devotional mailed to them, please contact Julie Wombacher in the church office.

There is a new way of Giving to ORUCC

We Now have online Mobile Giving

The Vanco Mobile app is available for Apple or Android phones in the

App Store.

Stewardship Notes

Talk given by John Day, Treasurer, ORUCC

November 5, 2023

“Because of you the church changes lives”

I’ve been asked to be the stewardship speaker today as I have the honor of being the ORUCC Treasurer.


The Treasurer’s responsibilities include helping set the church’s budget for the coming year which obviously involves both the income and expenditures.


ORUCC is fortunate that we have no mortgage on this beautiful building, but we still have to pay the increasing costs of heating and electricity. We have to make repairs when the roof leaks and fix the sidewalk when it cracks. 


We rely on volunteers to sing in the choir and teach Sunday school, but we need professionals like Bruce Gladstone and Vicky Nonn, Rob Martens, Bethany Schultz, and Julie Mazer. We depend on the work of office manager Julie Wombacher, the work of our maintenance person Tim Rotar and the folks who clean the building. And obviously, the work of our pastors. All these professionals need to be paid (and despite the increase in the cost of living we won’t be able to give them raises next year).


Overall the costs of running the church have increased from $440,000 in 2019 to $530,000 for 2024 a 20% increase over five years. Unfortunately the income from contributions have not kept up with our spending.


This means that we will probably have a deficit of around $20,000 for both 2023 and 2024. We can cover these deficits from savings, but this must be a short-term measure.


We are counting on you, the members and friends of ORUCC to contribute to help us continue the great work the church is doing. A five percent increase in your 2023 pledge will go a long way to reducing next year’s deficit. More than 5% will be even more welcome.


How do you contribute? Filling out the pledge card is the first step – then fulfilling the pledge is next. A pledge is a promise to help pay for what you value – ORUCC


Checks are best as they cost the church nothing. Signing up for direct deposit is great but the bank charges us for this service. Contributing online costs also, especially if you use a credit card. I don’t want to discourage any of these methods, but if you don’t use a check, please add an extra amount to your pledge to cover these costs.


Feel free to use the website to give, but in order for us to keep track of pledges we need your pledge card.


How about just giving cash when you come to church – well that’s great as you’re contributing to our monthly compassion offerings, but your gift doesn’t cover the operating costs we budget for.


So, bottom line. Please pledge. Please increase your pledge. We need you. Because of you the church changes lives.

Moderator-elect Message

“Serve the Lord with gladness!” Psalm 100

I was thinking about this verse as I reluctantly began the process of planning for Nominations for next year’s Ministries. It is my hope that the wonderful members who agree to serve on these Ministries do feel gladness as they contribute to the work of the congregation. However, I am not fond of asking people to do things, thus the reason for my reluctance. I feel that when people are interested and volunteer, they are more productive and engaged with the group. As we approach this Nominations “season” I hope that you will consider where you might best serve our congregation. I hope that you might actually volunteer for a Ministry or Mission Team. Please consider engaging with one of these groups. You can email me or call me if you’d like to talk about it some more: [email protected] or 609-712-0263.

There are brochures in a rack in the Crossroads near the TV screen that describe what each Ministry does if you aren’t sure. The brochures also mention some of the Mission Teams that are connected to each Ministry. Each Ministry needs a Chairperson who will set the agenda and plan the meetings. Each Ministry also has a Leadership Team Liaison who comes to Leadership meetings and conveys information. Briefly our five ministries are:

  • Congregational Life-cares for members of the congregation individually or in groups with meals, game nights or other social activities

  • Resources-cares for our physical building

  • Christian Witness and Service-provides outreach & funding to local, regional and international service organizations and is responsible for our monthly Compassion offerings

  • Adult Faith Formation-provides opportunities for adult education

  • Youth Faith Formation-cares for our Sunday School and other youth education

We will also be looking for Financial Secretaries who gather and count money after the offering and put it in the safe. And we are starting a year-round Stewardship Mission Team that may need members. We will need one or two people to work on Nominations for 2025, and may need one or two new Leadership Team members.

I will be looking for a Moderator-Elect to service three years, the first year is spent learning the ropes with me, the second year as moderator and the third year as past moderator in an advisor role.

Don’t wait to see if we call you! Pick your area of interest, work with like-minded, committed people and enjoy getting to know other members. Serve the Lord with gladness!

Your moderator-elect,

Deanna Blanchard

Children/Youth Updates

We have some fun things coming up!

“Friendsgiving” Potluck this Friday, November 17 from 5:30-7:30: ORUCC youth (6th-High School) have been invited to a party at St. Dunstan’s Episcopal Church. We are hoping to get to know youth at St. Dunstan’s as we explore some shared ministry opportunities together. Bring a dish to pass and a friend!

Sunday after Thanksgiving, 11/26: No regular Sunday school–instead, we will have an intergenerational opportunity to make Advent wreathes and other seasonal crafts at the 9:00 hour in Friendship Hall.

Indigenous Justice – McFarland UCC & ORUCC Present

Mark Charles, November 18th 6:30 pm

Native American author and activist Mark Charles will be the keynote speaker later this month at the public launch of McFarland UCC’s Indigenous Peoples’ Justice Project.

The project is aimed at healing past injustices against the Ho-Chunk Nation and other Indigenous groups in Wisconsin stemming from the now-discredited Doctrine of Discovery. The Doctrine of Discovery originated with a Papal Bull issued in 1493 that declared that any land not inhabited by Christians was available to be “discovered,” claimed and exploited by Christian rulers. It became the basis of European claims in the Americas and the foundation for the westward expansion of the United States.

Charles will appear from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 18, at Waubesa Intermediate School, 5605 Red Oak Trail in McFarland, and will speak the following day at worship at McFarland UCC.


“Relearning a truthful past and facing the truth about the Doctrine of Discovery may be hard for many individuals or groups to acknowledge or buy into,” said Rachel Saladis, chair of Racial Justice Ministries at McFarland UCC. “We want to promote greater awareness of Indigenous Peoples’ injustice. Our church is stepping forward. Together with community partners and other churches we are making a commitment to relearning our part in the history of Indigenous Peoples.”


The Nov. 18 event is free and open to the public.

There will be a follow-up meeting on Friday December 8 at 6pm at McFarland UCC (5710 Anthony St) for people who want to discuss what to do next.


Members of ORUCC are invited to apply for 2024-2025 college scholarships of $500 to $2,000 from the Frank E. Page Scholarship Fund. Applicants should be planning to begin or continue education at any accredited 2- or 4-year college or university and should have a record of academic achievement, service to church and community, and demonstrated financial need. The application deadline is February 15, 2024.

Contact [email protected] for an electronic application. Questions? Contact Ann Evensen at [email protected]

Labyrinth Walk

Nov. 20th 3pm-7pm

The theme is gratitude for the start of Thanksgiving week, including an opportunity to express gratitude to Chris Thomas for her labyrinth ministry.

6:00 – 7:00 pm Interfaith Service also streamed to YouTube.

7:00 – 8:00 pm Fellowship and Community Resource Fair in person only

Event by Wisconsin For Justice, Temple Beth El and 12 others (see link below)

Where: Fitchburg Memorial United Church of Christ, 5705 Lacy Rd, Fitchburg, WI 53711

The Transgender Day of Remembrance is an annual observance honoring the memory of those whose lives were lost in acts of anti-transgender violence. We gather to remember, and we will continue to gather until we are all accepted for just being us, human beings. Memorial United Church of Christ in Fitchburg shares this solemn day of remembrance with many interfaith partners and is proud to be the host congregation for this event this year.

Transgender advocate Gwendolyn Ann Smith started this tradition in 1999 in memory of Rita Hester, a transgender woman who had been killed the previous year. It became an annual tradition to honor all transgender people who lost their lives to violence because of who they were.

For more information: LINK

Palestine Justice Movie Discussion

Tuesday, November 21 


Many books, films and study guides are available for people who are trying to make sense of the Israel/Palestine conflict. The ORUCC Palestine Justice Mission Team recommends the widely acclaimed film Roadmap to Apartheid, narrated by Alice Walker. We invite you to watch this film on-line at a time convenient for you, then join us for a discussion of the film on Tuesday, November 21 from 7:00pm-8:00pm at the Alfred Swan Room at church. You can also join the discussion via Zoom using this link:


Roadmap to Apartheid is an historical document on the rise and fall of apartheid in South Africa, and a film about why Palestinians feel they are living today in an apartheid system – a view that many people worldwide have come to share. The film can be viewed on YouTube, Prime Video, and Apple TV.

Virtual Wayfinding will gather on the 3rd Wednesday in person and virtually over ZOOM the 3rd Thursday from 4pm-5:15pm.

By Zoom on Thursdays: 04:00 PM Central Time



    Dec 21, 2023 04:00 PM

    Jan 18, 2024 04:00 PM

    Feb 15, 2024 04:00 PM

    Mar 21, 2024 04:00 PM

    Apr 18, 2024 04:00 PM

    May 16, 2024 04:00 PM

Click here to join Zoom meeting


Meeting ID: 879 9802 5473

Passcode: 573548

Dial in

1 312 626 6799 US 

Gala Invitation to Support and Celebrate MOSES on December 9th

Orchard Ridge is an organizational member of MOSES, a community group focused on racial justice in the criminal legal system that is part of a statewide network called WISDOM. ORUCC’s Racial Justice Mission Team would like to encourage our membership to attend or contribute to MOSES Annual Gala which will be held:

Saturday, December 9th, 5:30-9:00 PM

Brassworks at Goodman Center

214 Waubesa Street

Link to Ticket Registration closes Wednesday, November 22

Single Ticket: $75        Two or More: $65    or       Donate Any Scholarship Amount

Prepare to be inspired by MOSES’ three honorees.  Join us for mingling, heavy hors d’oeuvres, and a raffle.  We hope to see you there!

Falls Prevention Exercise Class

Tuesday & Thursday at 10:00 AM



Several people expressed interest in the balance and strength exercise classes and most wanted a morning class. There is no formal charge but donations can be made to benefit the Heart Room fund that provides support for families in transition from homelessness. Everyone is welcome to come to learn some principles of falls prevention through exercise — even if you prefer to work out elsewhere.  Contact Joyce Pohl at [email protected] if you have questions. 

Purchase Cards on the table

in the Crossroads each Sunday Morning!

ORUCC Member Manuel Ramminger, Co-Founder of Ethical Trading Company invites you to volunteer…

We would like to extend the opportunity for people at ORUCC to volunteer with Ethical Trading Company specifically in running our store at the Eastmorland Community Center at Madison’s east side. Ethical Trade Co empowers through trade artisans and farmers that are vulnerable to exploitation and modern slavery. This trade relationship provides a livable wage in artisans’ respective communities and empower them to break out of extreme poverty –

the root cause of exploitation and modern slavery. 


Currently the store is open Wednesdays through Saturdays from 11am-5pm at 3565 Tulane Ave. Volunteers would sign up for a whole day or half day shift and tasks would range from welcoming customers, answering basic questions about our nonprofit and product, and checking customers out. Occasionally help with pricing or restocking may be needed. 


As the holidays pick up our store gets much more busy but at times it can be slow especially before thanksgiving so volunteers are advised to bring a book or something else to work on. 

Questions? Email Manuel at [email protected]

AT ORUCC, the Members

are the Ministers!

We are seeking volunteers to serve on Sunday mornings for in-person worship. You need not be a member, simply a person who loves ORUCC and is eager to find

a place to serve!

Young people are welcome to sign up too!

Would you consider serving one or more times as

a Coffee Maker, a Welcomer, a Lay Liturgist or

to assist with Holy Communion?

Feel free to sign up as an individual, a couple, or a family!

Click here to sign up as a Coffee Maker

Click here to sign up as a Welcomer

Click here to sign up as a Lay Liturgist

Click here to assist with Holy Communion

After selecting one or more dates, you will need to click “Submit and Sign Up” at the bottom of the page, then enter your name & email address, then click “Sign Up Now.”

Questions or problems signing up?

Contact Ken Pennings at [email protected] or 608-556-2371.

Office Manager Julie Wombacher

available Mon.-Thurs. 8:30am -12:00 pm

by appointment

608-271-7212 or EMAIL

Senior Pastor Julia Burkey available

Tues.- Fri. & Sun. 9:00 am – 7:00 pm

by appointment

518-542-6915 EMAIL

Associate Pastor Ken Pennings: available

Tues.-Thurs. 10:00 am -5:00 pm 

by appointment

608-556-2371 EMAIL

Associate Pastor Kate Mackey: available

Mon.-Thurs. 10:00 am – 5:00 pm

by appointment

608-358-6143 EMAIL

Julia and Ken (try to) take Monday & Saturday as Sabbath days,

Kate Friday and Saturday

Friday is observed as a writing day for the preaching pastor.

In case of a pastoral emergency, please call any of the pastors, as all pastors are available by phone, text and we will always have a pastor on call who we can turn to.

LIKE or FOLLOW the Orchard Ridge FaceBook Page

JOIN our Private FB Group:

Members & Friends of Orchard Ridge UCC

Orchard Ridge United Church of Christ

1501 Gilbert Road

Madison, WI 53711


Office Hours: M-Th 8:30-12:30

Facebook  Twitter  Pinterest