News & Events Highlights

Here you will find information on some of the exciting things going on at FCC. Visit this page often to review featured events, ongoing opportunities, and various updates from the congregation.

UPDATE: From the ReOpening Task Force

Kerrie Kleppin-Winn
July 8 2020

Greetings everyone,

I know you are all eager to hear about when and how First Central will begin to look and feel more like our familiar church home. It has crossed most of our minds that some openings are occurring, and we wonder, how that may happen for us. To help come up with some of those answers, our Reopening Task Force is working steadily to consider the factors involved in safely offering in person worship services, as well as other church activities. We meet weekly and have specific goals to consider each time. This time, we will begin to look at your responses in the surveys that were distributed last week. If you haven’t sent yours in, please do that as soon as possible, because it is an important part of the information, we need to further develop the plan.

One of our goals is to keep our congregation informed about the important considerations involved in these decisions and to help each person make their own decisions about when it may be best for them, as an individual, to stay home, even when we do offer in person worship services.  As the Task Force has progressed, we have reviewed guidance from the Douglas County Health Department and the CDC, guidance from local and state government offices, and plans from other churches. We have made a commitment to consider both the spiritual/emotional needs and the health/safety of our church family, and to keep you informed so that you can make decisions about when you may need to stay home for your own health and safety. Following are some of those consideration.

According to the CDC, persons at highest risk for developing severe symptoms of Covid-19 include:

  1. Those over 65 years of age, with risks increasing as age increases. If all other factors are equal, the greatest risk is for those 85 and older.
  2. Those with underlying health conditions, such as chronic kidney disease, COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), a weakened immune system from a solid organ transplant.
  3. Obesity with a BMI (body mass index) of 30 or higher.
  4. Serious heart conditions such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, or cardiomyopathies.
  5. Sickle cell disease
  6. Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus

There are several other underlying conditions that may create greater risk, so it would be important to contact your doctor about risks for any other conditions you may have. It is wise to consider any chronic health condition as raising one’s risk of severe illness or death.

The following advice from the CDC, requires consideration when protecting others from risk of contracting the disease. We know that Covid-19 spreads most easily between people in close contact (within about 6 feet) with one another. It is spread through respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks or sings, even if the infected person does not show symptoms. Therefore, until we know something has changed, when First Central offers in person activities, we will be asking participants to stay home whenever they do not feel well, use personal distancing, wear masks, and use diligent hand cleaning measures.

We care about the health of every one of our church family, as well as others with whom they associate, so as we move forward in preparing for the time that we have evidence that we can safely offer in person services and activities, please care for your health, the health of others and remember your church is solidly on your side.

Stay well.

Bonnie Harmon and the Reopening Task Force for First Central Congregational Church (UCC)


Scott’s Column: Ten Years

Rev. Dr. E. Scott Jones
July 7 2020

I look so young in that photo.  Which I was.  I was only 36.  That picture was taken the day I first … More

Theology Brunch: Pandemic Theology

Rev. Dr. E. Scott Jones
July 8 2020

How should people of faith understand the pandemic?  What actions might our faith lead us to? Two of the world’s leading religious … More

Pandemic Spirituality

Rev. Dr. E. Scott Jones
June 24 2020

This spring Senior Minister Scott Jones wrote a series of five essays connecting our pandemic and quarantine experiences with the spiritual wisdom … More

Katie’s Musings: COVID Time

Katie Miller
June 24 2020

I think the weirdest thing about COVID life is the passage of time.   June is almost gone.  But May was only … More

Re-Creation: Summer Worship Series

Rev. Dr. E. Scott Jones
May 28 2020

“What is given at the beginning challenges man to the self-transformations that will allow him, in spite of everything, to stand in … More

Living Well During the Pandemic: Zoom Forums

Rev. Dr. E. Scott Jones
May 26 2020

We are living through a public health crisis with profound implications for all other aspects of human living—morality, psychology, culture, politics, economics, … More

From the Health Team

Kerrie Kleppin-Winn
May 13 2020

Submitted by Bonnie Harmon, First Central Health Team   In preparation for this week’s Adult Forum on Mental and Spiritual Well Being, … More

From The Refugee Team

Kerrie Kleppin-Winn
May 5 2020

We received word last month that our (current) refugee family was struggling during this time of pandemic. The bread-winner of the Khamis … More

From The Health Team – Mask Mastery

Kerrie Kleppin-Winn
April 24 2020

Your mask protects me, and my mask protects you. I hope you have heard this many times by now. It is the … More

An Interview With… Sally Lewis

Kerrie Kleppin-Winn
March 18 2020

Late last year, the Council – with guidance from the Health Team – asked First Central member Sally Lewis to step into … More

State of the Church 2020

Rev. Dr. E. Scott Jones
January 27 2020

At yesterday’s Annual Meeting, Senior Minister Scott Jones delivered his annual “State of the Church” address. This being my tenth Annual Meeting … More

TAGG – One Easy Way to Give to First Central!

Kerrie Kleppin-Winn
November 20 2019

TAGG, which is an acronym for “Together A Greater Good” is a non-profit organization unique to Omaha.  The phone app was launched … More

From the Health Team: Cold & Flu Season

Kerrie Kleppin-Winn
November 19 2019

Here we are again, right at the onset of cold and flu season. We are all interested in things we can do … More

Education Spotlight: What’s Happening Downstairs?

Kerrie Kleppin-Winn
November 6 2019

On Sunday mornings, the kids all head out of the sanctuary after the Children’s Sermon.  But then what happens? Most Sundays, the … More

Parables: Wednesday Night Bible Study

Rev. Dr. E. Scott Jones
September 11 2019

“The parables give us access to the way Jesus re-imagined the possibility of living, of being in the world.”–Brandon Scott Our Wednesday … More

First Central Library

Cassie Williams
June 21 2019

Ever wondered what books are available in the church library? The First Central Library catalog is now online. You can access it … More

Scott’s TED Talk

Rev. Dr. E. Scott Jones
April 2 2019

In February Scott was an invited speaker to this year’s TEDxUNO where the theme was Resilience.  His talk, “Living Open” has now … More

Scott’s Column: A Life of Action

Rev. Dr. E. Scott Jones
June 9 2020

“The masses of men live with their backs constantly against the wall.  They are the poor, the disinherited, the dispossessed.  What does … More

Scott’s Column: All Shall Be Well

Rev. Dr. E. Scott Jones
June 1 2020

As I continue to reflect on how the spiritual practices and wisdom of the Christian faith might help us in our pandemic … More

Scott’s Column: Dirty Hands

Rev. Dr. E. Scott Jones
May 26 2020

It’s gardening season.  And that has truly been one of the blessings of the quarantine.  One of the few things to invade … More