First Congregational Church is literally the FIRST church established in Wauwatosa, in 1842. Our roots go all the way back to the Pilgrims, who reached the New World in 1620 after hearing Jesus say, “Follow Me!” Today, we are modern pilgrims, searching together for a meaningful Christian experience in the 21st century. “Faith, Freedom, and Fellowship” are our core tenets, as we come together to worship, pray, and support one another; each in our own special, unique way. You can learn more about us at www.FirstChurchTosa.org or by attending a Sunday morning Worship Service or one of our many programs. All are welcome … we invite you to come see who we are, and learn what we are all about!
As I sit in my new office here at the First Congregational Church of Wauwatosa it is hard to believe that it has been more than 30 years since I have made the Milwaukee area my home. It is definitely great to be back. I had pretty much figured that I would stay in Southern California for the rest of my life. I had been a minister of the same church for 17 years, raised my two children there, and had grown to love the wonderful climate.
During the past two years, as the opportunity to serve First Congregational developed, I began to see an outstanding congregation truly making a difference. The facility here at the church was top notch and so was the staff, but I had grown comfortable where I was, I owned a home in Los Angeles and I wasn’t sure I wanted to leave all that. It was when I met the people that I began to feel a strong call to this church in Wisconsin. Meeting them, talking and interviewing with them, I was reminded of the Midwest character and the wonderful people who live here.
In so many ways, moving back to the area is returning to my roots. I grew up on the northeast side in Bayside and graduated from Nicolet High School. So many connections to my youth have come to light that this church already feels like home. My first experiences with First Church go back to the early 1970’s with my participation in youth activities here. It has always been a place of fond memories.
The Congregational Way came to be important in my life and eventually I felt called to the ministry. As I matured I realized the beauty of the Congregational Way as a way of governing a Christian church. Congregationalists are Christians who are free from outside ecclesiastical control, joined in covenant to walk the journey of faith. I’ve had the privilege of serving Congregational churches in a small town Michigan, as well as in Iowa and Southern California. There is so much more to share about this wonderful way of practicing the Christian faith, and I look forward to sharing more about it with you in the future.
As my career developed, my image of the Wauwatosa church was always as a leader in Congregationalism in our country: a kind of “flagship” church. Their vitality in youth and outreach have helped to develop and feed the Christian faith of so many in the Wauwatosa community and surrounding area. I am truly humbled by being called to serve such a vibrant congregation in the midst of a wonderful community like Wauwatosa.