The Salt Project

Salt Project

Thank you to the Salt Project for the printable advent calendar resource. Pick up your packet of cards in the narthex or follow the devtions here. A devotion will be posted at noon each day for the devotion of the next day.

 

Christmas Card Shower

Membership is hosting a
Christmas card shower for our special
needs friends. Boxes are in the narthex.
Please place a Christmas card in a box
for each individual.

Outreach News

This holiday season we adopted 10 families, including 19
children, to provide for on Thanksgiving and Christmas. We had a
good response from our congregation on helping us. With
monetary donations and a gift card from Meijers, we were able to
purchase 10 turkeys and all of our perishable items. Families
picked up their food boxes on November 20th
.

On December 3rd, we will hand out food requests plus gift
requests for all of the children for Christmas. We will also dust off
our “Hat and Mitten Tree” which John Newby designed for us
many Christmases ago.
On November 8th, Dave and Linda Lombard, Linda Poynter
and Sharon Amburgey attended the city-wide SHALOM meeting. It
was uplifting to see so many churches represented in a unified
effort to help the homeless population in our community. We will
again partner with Christ United Methodist Church during our host
weeks. Our first week begins on Sunday, December 31st. Our
second week begins on January 28th. Representatives from both
churches met on November 13th to finalize our hosting
responsibilities. We will be asking for many volunteers to sign up
in December to help us in this very meaningful program.
In the mist of preparing to provide for our adopted
families, we were again blessed by a huge donation of clothes
from SanMar Corporation. We filled three trucks with wearing
apparel and with the help of Sally Williamson, SHALOM
representative from Christ United Methodist Church, we worked
for two days to sort items that could be used immediately by the
homeless. We will store part of the shipment for a later
distribution.

CWF News

CWF Executive Board met on Oct. 15th after church and set
some dates for the following activities: Blanket Sunday will be Jan.
28, 2018 and the dedication of Blessing Boxes will be on Mothers’
Day – May 13th. We have set a tentative date for a Craft Show and
Luncheon to be held on March 17th of next year. On December 3rd
,
we will have a meeting of the Executive Board and any others who
may be interested in planning our Spring Craft Show and
Luncheon. We will meet in the Memorial Room after church that
day. On Nov. 25th, CWF will host a funeral meal for the family of
Pauline Ginter. Thanks go out to all who are able to help with the
luncheon or to bring in food items. We also thank Matt Thomas
for his help with the food preparation.
Sarah Circle has decided to move our meeting date to the
first Thursday evening of the month. Our first meeting on this
schedule will be on January 4th at 7:00 pm at the church.

Tracy Talks XV

A Christian’s calendar is complex. We have the Gregorian calendar of January through
December with reminders of full moons, the beginning of seasons and civic holidays. For the
(c)hurch, we have the fiscal year that runs July through June and time seasons based on
budgets and nominations. The Christian (C)hurch calendar runs Advent through Christ the
King Sunday which is late November to mid-November noting seasons of Holy days. On the
Christian (C)hurch calendar, the first Sunday of Advent is the beginning of the new year.
Advent is a season of hope – Advent is Latin for waiting. The image of pregnancy is often
thought of during Advent as we are preparing for the birth of a baby. Throughout the season,
the church reads Scripture about the hope of a Messiah and lights candles that express our
waiting for the hope, peace, joy and love that the Messiah will bring to the world. Advent is an
opportunity to prepare ourselves for the coming of the Christ child born anew each Christmas.
During Advent, it is a good practice to do something daily to prepare our hearts for Christ. A
recent addition to the observance of the season of Advent in the Christian church is the Advent
calendar. The observance of the Advent calendar to number the days in Advent began in the
19th century among the German Lutherans. You may think of calendars with chocolates for
each day when you think of an Advent calendar. You may have read books with ordered
devotions in the past.
I’d like to offer you a calendar to observe this year. The SALT project offered a set of Advent
calendar devotions last year that I think were helpful in observing the Advent calendar in a new
and different way. Several of us prepared packets of the SALT project Advent calendar for you
to pick up on this Sunday. You will find envelopes with the cards on the table in the Narthex.
(The SALT project is a donor-supported, not-for-profit production company. The suggested
donation for the calendar project is $25 / church. If you’d like to contribute to that donation,
please leave a dollar in the basket next to the calendars.)
The SALT project Advent calendar of notecards gives you a daily idea for doing something to
devote yourself to Christ and prepare for His coming. This calendar is designed for youth and

young adults and is easily adapted for people of all ages. This calendar can be followed as a
family, a couple or individuals. Mo Mo and I will be observing the calendar with you.
Some of the daily suggestions may be easier to fulfill than others. For instance, day 13
suggests you invite friends over for a vegetarian feast – that may not make sense for you.
Still, think of something else to do that day like no meat for dinner or taking a friend to lunch.
You may not do the days in order, either. Perhaps your schedule allows you to do day 5
(writing a faith statement) on day 7 and day 7 (leaving quarters in gumball machines) on
day 5. You can do what you need to do to make it easier to follow and still practice daily
devotion during the Advent season.
You may start your Advent calendar on the 1st Sunday and 1st day of Advent which is
Sunday, November 26th. For the candle lightings suggested on Sundays in the calendar,
you may consider lighting a candle at home or allow our candle lighting on Sunday morning
during worship to fulfill that practice as we will be lighting a candle each Sunday on our
Advent wreath.

If you follow the church’s Facebook page, there will be a daily post for the following day’s
devotion. For example, on Monday afternoon you will see a reminder for the devotion for
Tuesday. Feel free to post your progress in the comments on those posts to let us know
how you’re doing, what worked for you, or a faith statement you wrote on those days.
If you have any questions, want to share your progress, have any ideas, let me know. I’d
love to hear how this practice is working for you.

Sermon Series: Season of Promise

Date                        Scripture                       Promise

Nov 26                Daniel 3: 1 – 30         The Promise of God’s Presence

Dec 3                Ezekiel 37: 1 – 14                The Promise of New Life

Dec 10             Isaiah 55: 1 – 13            The Promise of Abundant Life

Dec 17            Psalm 130                           The Promise of Redemption

Dec 24 am                                                                     Lessons and Carols

Dec 24 pm              Luke 2: 1 –20        The Fulfillment of God’s Promise

Tracy Talks XIV

 

People often site the reason they love the Fall is the beauty of all the changing colors on the
trees. It is a beautiful time of year. I think equally as beautiful as Spring, because we see
many colors of God’s creation in both seasons. Traditionally, we think of Fall as the season of
harvest and Spring as the season of planting. This year, Fall will be a season of planting at
First Christian Church.

As some of you have noted and many have noticed, the plants and shrubs around the church
need some new life. Our gardeners have worked diligently to maintain our gardens, pruning
trees and bushes, removing weeds, and planting flowers. Their work has been marvelous,
especially given they’ve been working with some unwieldy plants and others that are showing
no signs of life.
It is important for us to maintain the grounds around God’s house so that we have a beautiful
and inviting building to welcome our members and visitors where we can love and serve the
Lord. In addition to us just wanting the church to look nice, we need to be mindful of who can
hide in overgrown bushes who may want to enter the building without our invitation whether it
be a would-be thief or our wildlife neighbors.
Our gardeners have taken time to procure plans from Berns Garden Center to add some new
life to the gardens around the church. The Property Team approved the work. Will, Gifts and
Memorials has approved funds to be used to cover the expense of the new plants and labor for
this project. The work will begin later this month and take a couple of days. Our gardeners,
Property and WGM are all very excited about the project.
Some of the funds will come from memorials given in memory of Lois Hafer. Like many of our
members and departed saints, Lois had a great love for the church. She enjoyed helping take
care of the church grounds for many years. WGM are glad for the plans and feel this will be an
excellent way to use memorial funds.
I want us to get our hopes up about how beautiful the church will look with new plants, trees
and shrubs; I also want us to have reasonable expectations. Our current landscaping is very

mature and our new landscaping will be young. We’ll need time for them to mature and it may
look sparse for a couple years. Everything will be planted with room for the plants to mature
meaning there will be space between them until they reach their full size. The plans have
taken into account flowering times for the plants so that there is a bit of color throughout the
Spring and Summer seasons without everything being in color all at once.
After the work is complete, we’ll have a prayer and dedication during our worship service to
celebrate God’s creation and the means to do this work thanks to memorials given in memory
of our departed saints. If you have any questions about the plans, please see Sharon
Amburgey, Linda Pointer, or Charlotte Steele.

Tracy Talks XIII

When I was searching for a church to call home in my 20s, I visited many churches. I
remember a few of them particularly. One was a church focused on young adults. The
preacher was great. However, no one greeted me when I visited. There was a welcome table
that I had to go to be welcomed and get more information about the church and service. No
one invited me into conversation with their group or invited me to sit with them.
Another church I attended also had no welcoming person. I was handed a bulletin and I went
to sit by myself. The pastor greeted me and gave me an opportunity for participating in
ministry well before service started. The pastor was the only one to talk to me that morning.
I think I told you the story of visiting the church that I eventually called home. Wally Franz
greeted me at the front door of High St. Christian Church. He handed me a bulletin. He
walked me to the worship space and introduced me to Char and her family. Char invited me to
sit with them and they explained the service to me so that I knew what to do and when to do it.
Had it not been for Wally and Char, I probably would have went searching again.
I often wonder how visitors feel when they visit our church. I wonder if they feel as welcomed
as I did at High St. I wonder who our Wally and Char are. I wonder if the experience of a
complete stranger is different than a friend who visits or someone who has come back to
church after a long time away. Without a Wally and Char, our visitors may not feel welcome
and may not come back. Just as we welcome guests in our homes, we should welcome
guests to our church.
Welcoming churches have dedicated people to the ministry of hosting guests. Those hosts
know they are not at church to be served, but to serve our guests in a specific capacity. Hosts
greet visitors and introduce them to others. Hosts sit with guests and help them understand
what we do in worship. Like Wally and Char, hosts can serve in different ways to the same
guests.
I understand it can be scary to introduce yourself to someone new. I believe being a host at
the church is a spiritual gifting and calling. While we may expect this hosting ministry to be

done by our leadership, not all Elders and Deacons have that gift so it can be done by others
in the congregation. Hosting may be your opportunity to serve if you haven’t yet found your
niche.

Do you feel called to host our guests like Wally and Char?

2017 Thanksgiving Special Offering

2017 Thanksgiving Special Offering

The Thanksgiving Offering benefits the Colleges, Universities, Seminaries, and Divinity Houses affiliated with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). These learning communities are an extension of the church, challenging students to understand and respond to God’s call to serve.

From the very beginnings of the movement, Disciples have founded institutions of higher learning, encouraging students in their intellectual pursuits. The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) is still committed to higher education. Your gift to the Thanksgiving Offering helps underwrite the education of students attending one of our fourteen undergraduate institutions and our seven seminaries or divinity houses.

Thousands of students have attended the Colleges and Universities of the Christian Church receiving both a quality education and the opportunity to remain within our Disciple’s heritage. Your financial gift provides scholarships and support for spiritual life offices. By giving to the Thanksgiving Offering you are investing in our students and helping keep education costs down.

The Thanksgiving Offering also provides scholarship and support for those pursuing theological education at one of our seven seminaries or divinity houses. Consider the many generations of pastors, who, if not for the support of faithful congregations and individuals over the ages would not have flourished as our pastors, teachers and leaders. What impact has your pastor had in the life of your church, community or region? You can thank them by supporting the Thanksgiving Offering.

Attending a Disciples College or Theological School is possible through the scholarships and grants that are made available by generous individuals, the Disciples Mission Fund and your gifts to the Thanksgiving Offering.

 

All Saint’s Sunday

Sunday November 5th, 2017

Join First Christian Church in remembering those who have passed in the last year.

We will hold our rememberance during worship begining at 10:30 A.M.