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Join me in church tomorrow as we begin a summer sermon series, "The Seven Deadly Sins!" Can you name them? Do you suffer from them? Do you want to know how these came to be known as "deadly"? We will spent this month and next examining these seven, and ourselves! Join me at 10:45 Sunday morning in the sanctuary. I will be waiting on you!
If only the enthusiasm and excitement found in the ministry team known as "The Needler's" could be bottled up and sold, we would be rich indeed! Rich to do even more ministry for the good of God's Kingdom.
The Needler's are a ministry team that gather to work with needles of all sorts: crochet, knitting, sewing, etc.
On March 17, 2013, two prayer shawls were dedicated during the Sunday worship service which had been made by two of the Needler's specifically for and to be given to two members of our congregation who have been very ill.
Then just a few days later on March 22, the efforts of all the Needler's hands were a blessing to the community. Seventeen (17) heart pillows, twenty-two (22) chemo hats, and five (5) scarves were donated to the local cancer center, Bethesda Cancer Treatment Center.
The group is also working on items for The Children's Jungle Room at Crittenden Regional Hospital and items for newborns and their mothers. And, they are also making things for residents of the local nursing home.
Amazing! Fantastic! Phenomenal! There are not enough words to express the work this ministry team has done in the short time they have been together. All I can say is, just keep it up!
And may God bless your every stitch!
Plan to join in the laughter tomorrow (Saturday, March 9th) as we do spring cleaning of the church and grounds. Will the pastor be able to sneak those plastic flowers to the dumpster? Will property be able to sneak a few of the broken Christmas trees out without being caught? Sermon seeds might be plentiful! The fun begins at 10:00 am. We will have lunch together, but not fried chicken this time!
Tomorrow is the Second Sunday of Lent! We began the Season of Lent with Ash Wednesday, with a wonderful dinner prepared by the ministry team who made sure this was a memorable AND delicious meal. It followed with an Ash Wednesday Service which included the Imposition of Ashes and beautiful Taize` music. FCC was honored to have the Eight Street Mission worshiping with us this night. We talked about what we might give up for lent, but more importantly, what good thing we might put in its place. Forty days, are we up for it? I believe with the strength we find in community, and the strength that comes from the Lord, all things are possible. We CAN do this! I know it is early, but hang in there, you have a great support team, and the best coach anyone could possibly have...God!
What an amazing start to the New Year of 2013 First Christian Church has had! The newly elected Board and Church Officers had their first off-campus retreat on January 12th at a sister DOC church in Memphis. We met at Lindenwood CC from 10:00-5:00 on Saturday, and we did good work together. We looked at where we have been, where we are now, and where we need and want to go in the future. There was a much deeper sense of teamwork amongst those who were present at the end of the day. There was an air of enthusiasm, the Board seemed ready to begin the projects laid before them.
Mission in Ministry Opportunities were handed out to the Board members at the retreat. The rest of the congregation received theirs the next day. I asked that they be returned to me within one week, if possible. The response has been phenomenal! Many of you have signed up for ministry teams counting up in the double-digits, with the highest number being 27! Kuddo's to this congregant, you are going to be a busy bee with 27 ministry teams to keep up with, but I love your willingness to serve your God and church.
We are off to a great start! It is going to be a fantastic year! I can't wait to see what God has in store for FCC.
I woke up yesterday to the morning news show reporting two officers had been shot in East Memphis. Police were on the scene. As details were uncovered, it was an apparent drug bust that had gone bad. One police officer, Martoiya Lang, lost her life protecting our city. Mrs. Lang was the mother of four girls, ages 2 to 14 years old. The other officer survived. Mrs. Lang is the first female officer to lose her life while serving on the MPD.
As these events were unfolding, there were other news bleeps. There had been a shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, CT. (I had a feeling of 9/11 all over again, not of terrorism, but of tragedy happening one right after the other.) Pictures of parents scrambling to the school, waiting, hopeful, watching, praying....please God, bring my child out alive.
And then the lastest report of those dead, 20 children, six adults at the scene, the shooters mother, and lastly the shooter at the scene. Eighteen of those children died at the scene. The shooter was in his early 20's.
The enrollment at Sandy Hook Elementary School was around 500 students. Yesterday was December 14th. Those children were thinking about Santa, and classroom Christmas parties, and Christmas holidays. School is supposed to be someplace safe, where you can learn. These little ones from God never dreamed such terror would enter their day when they brushed their teeth that morning. Nor did their parents, or their teachers.
Today this city is in morning, both for the loss of Officer Lang, and these children and teachers of Sandy Hook who were so brutally gunned down. Our nation is in morning. The surviving officers of the MPD and other law enforcement agencies across the nation morn for the loss of a fellow officer. The surviving students and teachers at Sandy Hook are in shock, and will NEVER erase the pictures from their minds eye of what they saw yesterday. What will their Christmas be like? What will it mean to them? What will it be like and mean in the future? What effect will it have on them, these children, when they are grown, marry, and have children of their own, and have Christmas? Just what has this shooter done?
And then there are the parents of the children died. I have no words, only scripture:
"A voice was heard in Ramah,
wailing and loud lamentation,
Rachel weeping for her children;
she refused to be consoled,
because they are no more." Matthew 2:18
It seems most appropriate that this new web-site is being launched in the season of Advent, as Advent is a time of waiting and preparing for the birth of the Christ child. I feel like I have given birth to something amazing and wonderful for our church, a new way to communicate with one another, and a new way to communicate our ministry with the community in which we live. Just as God broke into the world in that baby dressed in swaddling clothes, may First Christian Church break into the hearts of those of the least of these, to those who need to hear that they are loved by God, and need to feel the arms of compassion of our Christ child, Jesus.
Many hours have been spent waiting and preparing, and this would not be possible without the work of Grace and Geoff Whiting of Washington, D.C. They are amazing web designers and wonderful to work with. Thank you both!
Please come back to this page often, as I will be sharing my thoughts with you. And try out the new "message the minister" function, and let me know what you think about the web-site.
Blessings! Rev. Jill