First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
120 N. McArthur Macomb, Illinois
July 3, 2008
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
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
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
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.
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
Reported in The Christian Century, June
17, 2008. Survey by LifeWay Research.
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
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
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
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
There is a registration form on-line,
and it is our hope that many participants will register on-line. The
web address is:
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
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
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
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,
Tim Rose is a missionary with the Reformed
Church of France, working primarily with African refugees in the
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
And these are the reasons that inspire me today to witness to my
faith and my love for Him before you all.
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
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
AMONG THE FLOCK
Al Keithly had surgery last week at
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
June 29, 2008
Sunday, July 6, 2008
Eighth Sunday after Pentecost
Sacred Time of Rest
Matthew 11:13-19, 25-30
Genesis 24:34-38, 42-49, 58-67
Sunday, July 6, 2008
Ninth Sunday After Pentecost
Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23
SERVING THIS WEEK OF July 6, 2008
East Central Door
Back East Door
Sheryl & Carter Donnell
Back West Door
Robert & Sawyer Donnell
Bob Chatterton (Bread), Jean Moore (Cup)
Chris Dace, Mike Marlow, Tweed Mummert,
Betty Sherwood, Bob Sherwood, Crystal Walters
Abby Dace, Linda Dace, Phyllis Rogers
Dorothy Summy,* Phyllis Shields, Shirley
Upstairs South & East
Bob & Donna Blansett
Nikki & Tweed Mummert
Hospital Caller(s) for:
July 8 & 10:
Elder: July 11:
Sunday Morning Office Staff:
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
Alex Adams, Jack McKinnon
Myron & Mary Raymer
Monday, July 7
5:00 PM - Personnel Committee
Tuesday, July 8
7:00 PM - Boy Scouts
Wednesday, July 9
11:30 AM - Samaritan Well Board
1:30 PM - Evangelism Committee
7:45 PM - Church Board Mtg
Thursday, July 10
7:00 PM - Prayer Service
Friday, July 11
Birthdays & Anniversaries
4 - Larry Loop
5 - Ron & Jean Vaughn (a)
6 - Barbara Houck, Shannon Reed, Bob
8 - Mike & Bev Drake (a)
11 - Julie Meyer, Steve & Connie