Chalice Tidings

First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
120 N. McArthur Macomb, Illinois
(309) 837-6473
July 3, 2008

Newsletter

FCC HAT DAY THIS SUNDAY JULY 6, 2008

     Ladies, do you have a favorite hat? Perhaps it is a dressy Cloche Hat or a Fascinator Hat that you just love to put on. A “pill box” like Jackie Kennedy? Maybe it’s your favorite gardening hat because it reminds you how gardening draws you closer to God and gives you peace and comfort. Or a straw model to keep off the sun? Perhaps you have something appropriate for the “Red Hat Society?”
     Men, do you have a favorite hat? A flat cap or bowler? A Fedora or a Homburg? Some men have that favorite baseball cap or the fishing hat with all of those special lures just when you need them. Some might even be seen in something JD or IHC.
     Whatever your favorite hat may be, THIS SUNDAY, JULY 6, is HAT DAY at First Christian. Add some spice to the service by wearing your favorite hat or cap.

S T E V E ' S   S P A C E

     We Are The Church Together” The church, our church, is all of these: the local church, the Regional church, the General church.
     Our congregation represents the Disciples of Christ in the local context: the community of Macomb. We offer ministry to those in need. We welcome those who come to worship and to study. And we’re learning how to invite others to come to worship with us, as well as learning to share our personal faith story of how Jesus Christ has made a difference in our life.
     We also represent the Region: The Christian Church in Illinois-Wisconsin. We support the nuts and bolts of the Region financially. Fifty percent of our giving to DMF (Disciples Mission Fund) comes back to our Region. In addition, our special offering at Christmas comes back to CCIW at 100%! Further, we participate in the projects and activities of the Region, as well as education programs. We send representatives to the Regional Assembly. Your minister is serving on the Regional Board, as well as the planning committee for worship at the November Regional Assembly. This year alone, our congregation has participated in the most recent “Equipping Workshop” led by Acting Regional Minister, Dr. Beth Dobyns, with a focus on the Pastoral Relations Committee, and our Trustees attended the Regional Stewardship Event, held the end of February. Our children and youth are invited to go to Summer Church Camp and the Youth Summit. Our Regional Staff supports the local congregation as we represent the Region in our community. We are the ONLY Disciples of Christ congregation in our county with a voice of ecumenism, open communion, and moderate theology that values thinking, as well as the heart.
     We also represent the General Church. The budgeted money, the giving from CWF, and individual giving goes to DMF every month with 50% going to the General Units. We participate in the General Assemblies every two years. We have sent our Elders to the national Elders Training Workshop and youth to their activities of study, fellowship, and mission/serving at General Assembly. It is our responsibility to transfer information from the General Units (ministries) of the church to our own local congregation, staying informed about the missionaries, educational opportunities, events and reports that come from the national-level of the church. In November, our General Minister and President of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada, Dr. Sharon Watkins, will be the guest speaker/teacher at our Regional Assembly in Springfield.
     These things don’t just happen. We must make them happen. We must share news and information. We must strive to know what the national offices are doing and offering to us. We must report to the General Units and the Regional church what we are doing in the local congregation in our particular community. We must live into the covenant we hold with our sister churches in the DOC.
     In this week’s newsletter there is an article from the Sunday School curriculum of our children about Christian Education. And there are articles of news and thanks and prayer requests for our church family. Also in this newsletter are articles about Week of Compassion (our national disaster relief agency), church transformation and ministry from Disciples Home Missions, and a devotional thought/report from one of our missionaries at Global Ministries. Why? Because we need to know. We must be informed. We must know to what and whom our giving goes. And we must be the voice of the DOC in Macomb!
     I hope you will take the time to read and consider these articles. Please do not skim these publications and then toss them aside. These are important for you, me, our church, our Region, and our General Units. Thank you for reading them carefully. I appreciate the time you invest in reading this material.
     Blessings! Steve

Out with the New

     By a ratio of almost 2:1, unchurched [i.e., inactive] Americans prefer churches that look more like medieval cathedrals than the modern, utilitarian church facilities that currently are being constructed. This preference for the Gothic, found among both unchurched Catholics and unchurched Protestants, is even more pronounced among people between the ages of 25 and 34. “I don’t like modern churches, they seem cold,” said one survey respondent. “I like the smell of candles burning, stained-glass windows and intimacy that’s transcendent.”
Reported in The Christian Century, June 17, 2008. Survey by LifeWay Research.

LEARNING-SERVING

SHARING THE LOAD: How congregations can support Christian Education

     
by Susan McIlveen
     One of the greatest challenges facing children’s Christian Educators today is burnout. Many church school leaders report feeling spiritually undernourished, unappreciated, or isolated. Congregations may recognize the need for quality Christian Education, and can guess at the resources such programs require, but may be uncertain when it comes to putting theoretical support into practice. These four suggestions will help support children’s programs by broadening the whole congregation’s sense of the value of Christian Education.
Create a culture of passion about faith formation across the generations
     To support Christian Education for children and youth, we need to support and participate in Christian Education for adults, too. Nothing creates a congregational stalemate around Christian Education faster than the idea that Christian Education is for children only: if I don’t have children, then it’s none of my concern. Conversely, nothing discourages children and youth from embracing faith learning faster than the idea that it is something they can stop doing when they’re finally grown up.
     The culture of passion about faith formation begins with the core belief that “this is who we are as a church” – we all read, pray, question, debate, encourage, explore, discover, write, and make art to learn about who God is and how we might share life as God’s people in this time and place. What have you learned recently? How can you share it?
Create a distinct, identifiable budget area – and honor it
     How important is Christian Education to your church? Check the budget. If faith formation isn’t listed as a separate line item, then maybe it doesn’t rank at all. Be aware of where Christian Education fits – is it 0.5% of your overall budget? Is it the smallest line item in a long list of budget items – behind light bulbs and cleaning supplies?
     Consider drafting a narrative budget. This process, rather than simply listing amounts that will be spent in a given year, describes how the expenditures fit into the church’s overall mission and purpose. What percentage of your clergy’s time (and, therefore, salary) goes toward communicants’ classes, Bible studies, or training for elders? What portion of your church’s building is used for education activities? Factor in direct Christian Education expenses as well as related expenses for library, technology, and facilities (utilities, repairs, cleaning, upgrades). This will also clarify where increased support might help.
Grow your Christian Education leaders, too
     Set aside funding and time for continuing education for Christian Education workers of all kinds – paid and unpaid: church school, Bible study, elders/church council, and music leaders can all benefit from networking and training opportunities. Christian Education workers will be better equipped for the work they’re doing on the congregation’s behalf, and the congregation will be affirming their value to the whole church.
     If no organized learning or networking opportunities exist in your area, create them: provide a book or magazine subscription allowance, find a great website and pass it on, invite a local music teacher or school literacy specialist in to share knowledge and strategies with Christian Education workers for all ages. (It’s not just children who have learning challenges.)
Celebrate Christian Education by sharing during weekly worship
     Just as returning mission groups report on their learning, so too can the adult Bible study participants, elders returning from a conference on Christian Education, and youth emerging from the 30-hour famine report on their shared learning. In this way, we remind each other regularly that “this is who we are as a church; learning is what we do.” Warm, inclusive, and relevant sharing about growth in faith is contagious, and acts as a living invitation to further faith growth activities.
     As a church’s sense of itself as a place of Christian Education, of spiritual growth and faith inquiry expands, all ages become eager to share their own journey with others. In doing so, we give joyful life to our baptismal vow to nurture Christian faith in one another.
Susan McIlveen is a Christian Educator and member of the Seasons of the Spirit editorial team.

VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL IS COMING

     "God’s Big Backyard" is the theme of this year’s Vacation Bible School. It is a service-oriented program designed for all age groups. There will be VBS classes for nursery-age children through adults. The junior and senior high classes will be out in the community working on a service project rather than in the classroom. For more information check out the display window across from the office at the church.
     We will be asking for donations again to assist in the purchase of t-shirts. The t-shirts will cost $10.00 each. If you would like to donate to the t-shirt fund, please see Jack McKinnon or Shannon Reed, or leave your donation in the church office.
     There is a registration form on-line, and it is our hope that many participants will register on-line. The web address is:
www.VacationBibleSchool.com/1st%20Church
     Paper registration forms are also available in the church office.
     The dates for VBS are Sunday, July 20, 2008 through Thursday, July 24, 2008. Mark your calendars and reserve these dates to join in the fun.
     We need volunteers to help prepare the supper meal on Tuesday, July 22. Amber Carden will be in charge, but she needs your help! Please talk to Amber and let her know if you can volunteer.
     We also need cookies! We need them for the meal we provide on Tuesday, but also for the other nights as well. Cookies will be served each evening. Bakers can leave their cookies at this church on Sunday, July 20, or take them to First Presbyterian any evening before 5:30 pm.
     The third need is for shepherds during the Bible School hours. A shepherd’s job is basically to stay with an assigned group to help them get from center to center without getting into trouble! Shepherd’s need to be available starting with the meal at 5:30 pm until the students are delivered safely to parents when VBS is over each evening.
     We hope to see all of you at VBS this year! Please keep VBS in your prayers.

GREAT PARADE FLOAT

     What a wonderful time we had putting our float together for the Heritage Days Parade. A BIG THANK goes to sooooo many people.
     The walkers were: Janet Shank, Jack McKinnon, Judy Graves, Connie Workman, Amber Carden, and Nik Kuster. The riders on the float were: Donna and Conley Bainter, Jean Moore, Samantha Adams, Natalie Workman, Sara Stipanowich, and Jean Vaughn. Others helpers were Bob & Betty Sherwood
     The tractor, wagon, and convertible were supplied by Bob and Karen Chatterton - Bob drove the tractor towing the wagon, and Karen drove the T-bird with Rev. Workman riding in the car. Nancy and Dan Reed supplied green and blooming plants. Myron Raymer provided the key chains. The church office prepared the colorful flyers that were distributed.

WEEK OF COMPASSION UPDATE: 6/26/2008

The Needs are Many, but Take Heart

     The aftermath of the floods and storms in the Midwest continues to be a burden for many. The needs are great. Churches and regional offices are still gathering information about their members, and Week of Compassion is in regular contact with them. As always, in times of disaster and crisis, there are also acts of tremendous kindness and generosity. Week of Compassion is pleased to have witnessed many such acts in the past days and weeks. We, as Disciples, are family, and it is in these moments that we see that, perhaps, most clearly. We come to each other's rescue when we need it most. For that we praise God!
     We continue to lift up in prayer all those who suffered from the wildfires in California, those in Missouri affected by the floods, all those in Indiana, Illinois, Nebraska, and Iowa, as well as our people in Oklahoma. The list of needs is long. Just as we continue to respond to these needs here at home, we are also aware of the ongoing recovery work in Myanmar, China, the Philippines, and India. We also hold close the people all over Sudan, Chad, Zimbabwe, the Congo, and South Africa.
     But, be strong, be of good courage, and take heart: for as many needs as there are in the world, there are just as many ways to respond. Thank you for being our partner in the Gospel.

DHM UPDATE:

June 30, 2008

     DHM (Disciples Home Missions) remains focused on church transformation and revitalization. Below is an article discussing what congregations need to remain vital and what they need to grow. Yet, the purpose of the church is to bring others to Jesus Christ.
     Years ago, Dr. Win Arn printed a small book called Ratios. It did not capture much attention, perhaps because many people do not understand the church to be a social organism. If people understood this, church leaders would pay attention to numbers in their congregation. They would if they wanted their congregation to grow numerically. People who understand the church to be a social organism work to insure that a certain number of people who are new to the congregation are on the congregation's decision making board. They know that they must start a certain number of new small group opportunities every year, a number that is dependent upon the size of the congregation. They know how many people will be lost to the congregation each year due to death, moving, or theological and/or lifestyle changes. They know this same number must be added each year simply to maintain the same size congregation.
     They understand that a certain number of people must be trained for various ministries of the congregation if it is to function effectively as the Body of Christ. They understand that a certain number of those ministries must be new in order for new people to find a way to be involved in the ownership base of the congregation. They know that the number of people who feel the congregation is their congregation must increase if it is to grow.
     There is one catch to all this. Our motivation will make a significant difference in the numerical experience we have. If we are doing this simply to make "our church" grow, the results will be like putting a tongue on a frosty pole on a cold winter day. We will not like the results. If we are motivated to help make life better for people through the love of God through Jesus Christ, you will find the results encouraging.

Other DHM information....."The heart of the recovery"

     The needs across the Gulf Coast remain strong and Disciples are committed to respond at the heart of the recovery. Disciples congregations helped surpass the goal for the first phase of response because more than 750 work groups traveled to the Gulf Coast to lend a hand. In the on-going response, volunteer groups will work to repair and/or rebuild hurricane damaged homes. In planning for Phase II, an initial goal of 250 work groups was announced. Given the reality of rising fuel costs and recent disasters occurring throughout the Midwest, the goal has been revised to 150-200 Disciples congregations traveling to the Gulf Coast between September 1, 2008 and December 31, 2009.
     Seven churches will serve as Mission Stations across the Gulf Coast. These Mission Stations will be set up in Gulfport, Miss.; Port Arthur and Beaumont, Texas; and Slidell, Metairie, Lake Charles and Algiers, La.

GLOBAL MINISTRIES UPDATE: July 200

Never Alone by Tim Rose

     As a prison chaplain, I met Thomas when he served time for drug trafficking. During our visits we talked about the Christian faith, morals, family and plans for the future. When he was released from prison, he asked to be baptized, and he now holds a steady job and has a wonderful fiancée. This is the confession of faith that Thomas wrote:
My life is similar to many of your own lives,
When I came into this world I started to cry, and it wasn't for the last time,
Then my mother put me to her breast and I smiled, and it wasn't for the last time.
My life has had its share of ups and downs, moments of joy and moments of sorrow, of good and bad surprises.
After all these years of happiness and sadness I can assert that I was never alone; someone in the silence, in those secret places, was with me.
Many times I could feel his presence, sometimes comforting, other times inspiring, and sometimes calming. That outstretched hand, those open arms, that warmth in the cold night, that voice in the desert...it is Him, my Savior, it is Our Lord.
Yes, I believe in God, in Jesus and in the Holy Spirit.
I believe that he is the origin of all things,
I believe that he is just and that he loves all of us equally,
I believe in his word and in that of Jesus, his Son, who he sent to help us find peace, love and eternal life.
Even though he was only a humble carpenter, I believe that he had the strength and the courage to offer us his life and to die on the cross for us.
And, despite my rational side, I believe that he is resurrected and that he accompanies each of our steps.
I believe in forgiveness, which is so precious to Him.
I believe in His love,
But above all, I believe that he is alive and that he is with us today.
And these are the reasons that inspire me today to witness to my faith and my love for Him before you all.

Tim Rose is a missionary with the Reformed Church of France, working primarily with African refugees in the resettlement process.

ELDERS CALL FOR SUMMER OF PRAYER

     The Elders of First Christian Church have called the congregation to a summer of prayer. The major thrust of the call will be a summer-time “prayer meeting” each week. At this service, not a traditional worship service with sermon and all, the emphasis will be placed on prayer: praying for the ministries of the church, praying for the leadership of the church, praying for the all-church E-vent this fall, and praying for the specific needs of individuals in the church family and the community.
     The Elders will be working with Rev. Workman to plan these prayer meetings. Althea Alton will be leading the meeting on July 10.
     The Elders of the church include: Mike Drake (Chair), Althea Alton, Bob Chatterton, Bev Drake, Jean Moore, Myron Raymer, Jan Rockwell, Mary Stipanowich, Arlene Westerhold and Jean Vaughn.

AMONG THE FLOCK

     Al Keithly had surgery last week at MDH.
     Betty Landis had surgery on July 2.
     We offer sympathy to Helen Thompson at the passing of her daughter-in-law last week in Texas.
     FCC member, Dorothy Ellis, passed away on June 28, 2008 in Pekin. Rev. Workman officiated at her graveside service on Wednesday, July 2, at Cap Creek Cemetery.

CHURCH TRUSTEES AND PERMANENT FUNDS

     This congregation has two “permanent” funds that have been entrusted to the care of the Trustees as the financial leadership of the congregation. The two funds are the “Gilbert Trust” and the “Permanent Fund”.
     The Gilbert Trust came from that family around 30 years ago. Initially it was farm land. The land was sold and after the last family member passed, the entire interest income is given to our congregation. If our church family ever chooses to leave the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), we lose this fund to another congregation.
     Due to some disagreement and great disappointment with the investment policies of a Kansas City bank, particularly the arbitrary decreased payout of interest income, and the active legal action against that bank in federal courts, the Trustees went to court to gain investment control of the fund.
     Unfortunately, the judge supervising the transfer of this endowment fund would not allow it to be invested in our denominational program. The Trustees investigated local management possibilities, selecting the leadership from MidAmerica National Bank to do the actual investing of these funds.
     On average, a fund of this type gains around 8% yearly in any decade or 20 year period. The bank will pay out 5% of the fund value twice yearly. Each year any income over that 5% is reinvested in the fund so the fund grows, even as the church receives interest income. If the fund is down due to economic activity, the Trustees may choose to leave the interest in the fund. The current value of this fund is $489,195.00, twice its original value.
     The same type of investment strategy guides the “Permanent Fund” of this congregation invested through the Christian Church Foundation, the denominational investment programs for the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).
     Some will remember the old “Macomb Trust” given to the church in the 1940s. That trust fund is included in the Permanent Fund. For many years that fund never grew beyond the original $10,000 because the interest was always pulled for the church’s use. Yet, $10,000 today is a lot less money than it was originally in 1940.
     Other surplus funds on hand, interest income and non-interest income that was carry-over from healthy years of giving, were combined to form this fund. The purpose is to provide a vehicle for church members to gift the church through estate or other planned giving of cash, stocks, or such that continues their giving to the church in perpetuity. It is hoped that the church will be remembered in the wills and final estate planning of its members. Like the Gilbert Fund, twice yearly, 5% of this fund is paid to the church, hoping that additional income will grow this fund. The current value of this fund is about $75,000.
     Interest income from these funds is dispersed by the Trustees as directed by the church.

FCC KIDS RRR (Reduce, Re-use, Recycle)

     The children of our Sunday School program would like to offer a “green” reminder to the congregation each of the next several weeks. God’s care of creation, humanity and all, have been in their lessons recently. Several Genesis passages are in the current lectionary texts.
     The children have made a list of ideas of things we can all do to help preserve God’s beautiful earth. Several have also completed quick pencil drawings to help us remember their goal. These will make nice “refrigerator art” and daily reminders for us all!
     We thank the children for their concern and care of God’s great creation.
Reminder: Pick Up Trash
Youth Art Work.
Artist: Jonathon Meyer

PRAYER AROUND THE TABLE

     There’s a new prayer group starting. Following each Sunday morning worship, you are invited to gather for a brief time around the communion table from which we have just shared and remembered our Savior, Jesus Christ. You may offer prayer requests, you may pray for others, and you may stand in the circle and hold hands as a Christian sign of support for those who have prayer needs.
     Ronda Kimler will be coordinating this informal time. Contact her with questions.
     SEE HER THIS SUNDAY following morning worship.

HOLY DAYS & HOLIDAYS

July 11 – St. Benedict

     St. Benedict, who lived from approximately 480 – 550 CE, was the founder of the first Western monastic order. The “Rule of Benedict” was noted for its great spiritual and human wisdom to guide abbots and monks in daily living, viewing the monastery as a family. Benedict taught that “The care of the sick shall come before and above all else, so that in every deed they may be served as Christ.”

WORSHIP LEADER WORKSHOP

     If you have volunteered to be a worship leader this year or are thinking about volunteering in the future, please plan to attend a workshop and brainstorming session on Sunday, July 27, immediately following morning worship.
     We will share a simple lunch and spend a couple of hours sharing strategies, ideas and thoughts about leading worship.
     The worship leader is the first to start the worship service - in so doing, may “set the tone” for worship that morning.
     We want to share and encourage each other to be a worship leader in the way that God has called and empowered us.
     Please plan to attend on July 27. We sincerely plan for this to be an exciting event, one from which you will leave empowered and encouraged in the methods of starting and leading our worship services.
     The lunch will be furnished. You will not need to bring food.

ATTENDANCE

June 29, 2008

Worship Attendance
     95
Sunday School
     36

Sunday, July 6, 2008

     Eighth Sunday after Pentecost
     Youth Sunday

Sermon:

     Sacred Time of Rest

Sermon Text:

     Matthew 11:13-19, 25-30

Lectionary readings:

     Genesis 24:34-38, 42-49, 58-67
     Psalm 45:10-17
     Romans 7:15-25a

Sunday, July 6, 2008

     Ninth Sunday After Pentecost

Lectionary readings:

     Genesis 25:19-34
     Psalm 119:105-112
     Romans 8:1-11
     Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23

SERVING THIS WEEK OF July 6, 2008

Worship Leader:

     Connie Workman

Greeters:

Front Door
     Margaret Black
East Central Door
     Crystal Walters
Back East Door
      Sheryl & Carter Donnell
Back West Door
      Robert & Sawyer Donnell

Elders:

     Bob Chatterton (Bread), Jean Moore (Cup)

Diaconate:

Floor
     Chris Dace, Mike Marlow, Tweed Mummert, Betty Sherwood, Bob Sherwood, Crystal Walters
Balcony
      Abby Dace, Linda Dace, Phyllis Rogers
Preparatory
     Dorothy Summy,* Phyllis Shields, Shirley Rigg

Ushers:

Downstairs South
     Michelle Neve
Downstairs East
     Lou Neve
Upstairs South & East
     Bob & Donna Blansett
Elevator
     Conley Bainter

Sanctuary Superintendent(s):

     Nikki & Tweed Mummert

Soundboard Tech:

     Tim Adams

Fellowship Time:

     Phyllis Shields

Hospital Caller(s) for:

July 8 & 10:
      Ronda Kimler
Elder: July 11:
     Arlene Westerhold

Financial Escort:

     Jean Moore

Sunday Morning Office Staff:

     Patti Jones

Weekly Calendar

Sunday, July 6

     Eric Reed opens the church
     8:30 AM - Prayer Group
     9:00 AM - Sunday School
     10:00 AM - Coffee Fellowship
     10:30 AM - Worship
     1:30 PM - Shut-in Communion
          Deacons: Alex Adams, Jack McKinnon
          Elders: Myron & Mary Raymer

Monday, July 7

     Camp Charisma
     5:00 PM - Personnel Committee

Tuesday, July 8

     Camp Charisma
     7:00 PM - Boy Scouts

Wednesday, July 9

     Camp Charisma
     11:30 AM - Samaritan Well Board
     1:30 PM - Evangelism Committee
     7:45 PM - Church Board Mtg

Thursday, July 10

     Camp Charisma
     7:00 PM - Prayer Service

Friday, July 11

     Camp Charisma

Birthdays & Anniversaries

      4 - Larry Loop
     5 - Ron & Jean Vaughn (a)
     6 - Barbara Houck, Shannon Reed, Bob Sherwood
     8 - Mike & Bev Drake (a)
     11 - Julie Meyer, Steve & Connie Workman (a)

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