Weekly Announcements December 16, 2021




Orchard Ridge United Church of Christ

Spiritually Alive, Joyfully Inclusive, Committed to Justice


Here are our weekly announcements for 12/16/2021:


Hello friends! Welcome to our weekly announcements. Stay current by reading all the way to the bottom. There is so much going on in the life of our church. We hope you take a moment to read and connect with us throughout the week. See you soon!


Please click LINK for details and protocols for Back-to-Church




This is our week at a Glance:


Sunday Worship

Sunday, Dec19

10:00 – 11:00 am

In Person & Live Stream

Julia Burkey preaching on Love,

Lay Liturgists & Advent Candle-lighters:

The Weiss Family: Monica, Sophie, Samantha(Sam)



Sunday Programming for Children & Youth

(Kindergarten–8th Grade)

9:00 am: Sunday School for Kindergarten–5th Graders

9:30: 3rd–8th Graders Christmas eve service practice

10:00 am: Kindergarten-8th Graders

Christmas eve practice

Downstairs in Bonhoeffer Room

11:00 am: Children and Youth sharing

Holiday Music for Postlude


Holiday Post Office 9:30–11:30 am

Sundays, December 19

Bring your Christmas cards to Friendship Hall. Also pick up your Christmas cards that have been mailed to you!


Java & Jesus

Sunday, Dec 19

11:30 am – 12:30 pm

Hosted by Dan Rossmiller



Christmas Eve Children’s Program

Friday, Dec 24

4:00 pm – 5 pm

Sanctuary, also Live Stream


Christmas Eve ORUCC & MMC

Friday, Dec 24

7:00 pm – 8 pm






Java & Jesus

11:30 am


Dec 19–Dick Rossmiller (beginning at 11:45)

Dec 26–No J & J

Jan 2–No J & J

Click here to join Zoom gathering


Don’t miss out! Contact Ken Pennings to be added to the Java & Jesus email list. The Zoom link will be included in the Saturday Worship Email.



December Compassion Offering

The Christmas Fund

The Christmas Fund has been caring for active and retired clergy and lay employees of the United Church of Christ for over 100 years, providing emergency grants, supplementation of small annuities and health premiums, and Christmas “Thank You” gift checks each December to our lower-income retirees.


United Church of Christ congregations and members have blessed the Christmas Fund with their generosity for many years. This year, your care and compassion will be especially appreciated by those servants of the church who are facing a time of need.


Thank you for your generosity and for helping those who have helped us in our times of need.




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 at orucc.org. Click the brown button “Contribute” in the upper right of the home page.



Daily Devotional from

the Ministry of Adult

Faith Formation


Readings will be posted daily to the “Members & Friends” Facebook group and will be available each week in the link below. If you are checking on on someone who doesn’t have email and would like the readings mailed to them, please contact Julie Wombacher in the office.

Dec 16 – Dec 22



Christmas Eve Celebrations

A note from the Covid Response Team


We have several opportunities to access Christmas cheer and community this year and they are as follows:


December 24th

·      4pm in-person & live-streamed Children’s Concert 

·      7pm Zoom service with Madison Mennonite Church 


December 26th Sunday Service 

·     10am in-person and live-streamed 


Our children and youth have been working hard in preparation for our 4pm Christmas Eve Children’s Concert. We look forward to an evening of music and congregational singing! This is special event in the life of the church, and it will be held both in-person and via live streaming.


This is always a well-attended service, and we want to welcome the families of the children and all generations of church attendees, so expect that we would quickly surpass the capacity of Worship Hall (COVID-limited to 75) – with children and families alone! Given the special nature of this one-night service, the COVID Response Team, Return to Church Group, and the pastors have made some modifications to our mitigation protocols for the Family Christmas Eve Service, in order to have a meaningful and safe experience:


·     We will continue to recommend wearing surgical masks in the church building, and these will be made available at the entrances, but all will be welcomed regardless of mask type;

·     Families are welcome to sit together; The “checkerboard” pattern in Worship Hall will be removed; instead, every other row will be blocked to encourage spacing. The sanctuary can hold just over 100 in this format.

·      Seating (spaced) will extend into the Crossroads and into Fellowship Hall. We will live-stream the service into Fellowship Hall.


The layout will thus be different from our recent Sunday morning worship services: the COVID mitigations have been scaled back in an effort to meet the significant pastoral need for this special service. If you are not vaccinated, or if you have concerns for the safety of yourself or others, we invite you to join us via the live stream.


We are excited to share a collaborative 7pm Christmas Eve service with Madison Mennonite Church. They are abiding by Wisconsin Council of Churches gathering protocols by not yet meeting in-person. So, to honor our ecumenical relationship and to create a meaningful service for those more comfortable at home, we are holding our 7pm service over Zoom.


Worship service on December 26th will be a wonderful opportunity for those who are in town to gather together and light the Christ Candle again and sing some Christmas hymns. With 12 days of the liturgical season of Christmas, don’t forget about Jan 2nd worship service too!


We hope that with these diverse offerings we can hold space for many different ways of accessing the gift of Christmastime. 



Thank You


Thanks to all those who have pledged to Orchard Ridge UCC for 2022.


Don’t forget to pay your 2021 pledge before the end of the year, remembering that the post office is closed a couple of days in there and there is a longer time for it to get to the church office to be posted at the end of the month. Also remember that if you want to contribute to the compassion offering for the month the posting dates for that are the first of the month to the last day of the month. Thanks again for all of your generous support!



Report from the Nominations Committee:

A New Moderator for 2022


Greetings of Advent hope and peace to you! We join with you in preparing for new life to be born in us and the world.


Among the many ways that we do that as a church, one of the practical ways we prepare for future life is the work of the Nominations Committee. The Committee assembles a slate of church-wide officers and ministry members for each new year, for approval by the congregation at the next annual meeting, likely in February.


Here is an important preview: We will nominate a new Moderator, Barbara Stretchberry, for your approval. Barbara has graciously agreed to undertake this leadership role, after learning that the current Moderator-Elect, Helene Nelson, will leave her position due to increasing family care responsibilities. Helene and Barbara are both committed to serving the church in partnership with our pastors and other lay leaders, and will support each other to do that.


Barbara is a long-time member and leader, well-known and respected in the congregation. She has served as a constitutional church officer (Clerk) and been on the Leadership Team. She has been a leader in church programming for children and youth for many years. She is gifted in many ways, and is an excellent fit for us now as we live into our next generation of being church together.


We celebrate and give thanks for Barbara and Helene!



Thanksgiving Year-Round Fund


Our Thanksgiving Year-Round fund will remain open in December. Our social and case worker partners (JFF, Commonwealth,ECI) in the Southwest Madison neighborhood will distribute Woodman’s $50 gift cards.


The online fund will continue to be open for donations through the end of December.


The CWS Ministry team thanks each of you who donated to this fund in past months. Your ongoing support of neighborhood families in need of food is appreciated.


If you wish to donate for Christmas, please send your check to ORUCC, or go online on/or and contribute to the Year Round Thanksgiving fund.  


Thank you in advance for your donations to help neighborhood families enjoy their holiday celebration.



Celebrating, Offering Thanks and Uplifting Tammy Martens and Her Ministry at ORUCC


Ann Evensen, Barbara Stretchberry and Kellie Miller have been charged with planning a summer 2022 celebration of Tammy’s ministry. We would like to hear your ideas for ways to lift up and remember her great work, thank her whole-heartedly, and say loving farewells. Please share any ideas, thoughts or questions with us by January 15, 2022. Thank you!

Ann Evensen [email protected]  cell 608 628 4280 

Barbara Stretchberry [email protected]  cell 608-239-6669

Kellie Miller [email protected]   cell 608 852-7578



3 Volunteers Urgently Needed to Help Prepare for Worship


We’re thrilled to be returning to in-person worship AND to continue virtual worship. To do both, however, is stretching us thin in certain areas. If you feel comfortable working with Word documents and creating PowerPoints, we could really use a rotation of volunteers (each preparing for only 1 Sunday a month) to get ready for both in-person and virtual worship. Contact Ken Pennings at [email protected], or 608-556-2371 if this may interest you.



Annual All Church Retreat!

January 14-16, 2021

Daycholah Center (formerly known as Pilgrim Center)

Registration is now open for our all church retreat. Enjoy the coziness of Daycholah Center on Green Lake and the joy of being with church friends. There will be good food, lots of fun activities, time for rest and renewal. We will also spend time going through a visioning process–discovering and dreaming about children, youth, and family programming. This process is meant for everyone! All voices matter! Housing assignments will be made in the order payments are received. Housing is also available at Heidel House Hotel, minutes away from Daycholah Center. Go to https://heidelhouse.com/

and make your own reservation.


If you would like to come up just for the day on Saturday

please let Tammy know.


Costs for retreat, meals and lodging at Daycholah Center:

Adults (12 and older)–$135.00

Children (4-11 years old)–$120.00

Children under 4 years old–no charge

Meals only (for those staying at Heidel House)–$75.00

See Tammy to register.



Friday Breakfast Group


Friday Breakfast Group hopes to return to monthly gatherings January 7, 2022, 8:30 a.m. at Denny’s, 433 S. Gammon Road. Although originally for women, the group has for many years included a popular men’s table as well. Open to all, it is informal and a chance to connect and converse on many topics. Please join us. Contact Louise Jeanne, [email protected], for more information.



Pictorial Directory

Thanks to all those who helped with the pictorial directory. Here is a print version. Photo Directory Print Version



In Case You Missed It!


Links to Worship Recordings…





Office Manager Julie Wombacher

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

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 Tammy Martens: available

Tues.- Fri. 10:00 am -4:00 pm

by appointment

608-975-3184 or EMAIL


Associate Pastor Ken Pennings: available

Tues.-Thurs. 10:00 am -5:00 pm 

by appointment

608-556-2371 EMAIL


All pastors (try to) take Monday & Saturday as Sabbath days.

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.


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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



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Orchard Ridge UCC | Spiritually Alive, Joyfully Inclusive, Committed to Justice, 1501 Gilbert Road, Madison, WI 53711