You are on page 1of 4

CONNECTION

A publication of First Christian Church of Edmond, OK Vol. 4 No. 48 December 6, 2012

The Chalice

The Gift of Love


By Rev. Dr. Jerry
Bad news never comes at a good time, does it? In fact, it often intrudes on our lives at the worst of times. It foils and spoils the best moments and sours the pungent. But thankfully, the love of God bursts into the muddle of life and changes everything. Such is obviously the gift of Christmas. Joseph and Mary are preparing for a

But it is just then that love bursts in and changes everything. A carpenter Black, Associate Minister becomes a father. A young peasant becomes a mother. Shepherds are wedding. Gabriel is announcing. Mary celebrating. Sages are gifting. Angels are is pregnant. The emperor is issuing a singing. And a baby is lying in a manger. decree. All are returning to the home of their ancestors and registering for a census. He is Emmanuel, God with us. Majesty in the midst of the mess. Glory in the heart The journey is arduous. Mary is days of the inglorious. from giving birth. Joseph is exasperated. And thats when we see it. Love. The Bethlehem is packed. And there is only love of a couple. Their love for a baby. one shelter left in which to sleepa And Gods love for us. stable; a stable that stinks like all stables Come. Continue the journey back do. The ground is hard and the straw is to Bethlehem and see the baby in the scarce. Cobwebs cling to the ceiling and mangerJesuslove. unwelcomed critters scurry across the floor. What a way to start a marriage!

by Rev. Chris Shorow


Several of our church leaders have a dream to pay off the remaining $666,775 debt on our mortgage. Doing so would allow us to do so many more things that God is calling us to do and can open many doors for us as we complete our Focus process and our consultation with Dick Hamm. So what does this debt represent? After the completion of the new sanctuary in 1996, we built our Family Life Center in 2002 and acquired the Dry Cleaners property adjacent to the church. Although we have come a long way in retiring this debt, we still owe $666,775, and even with a low interest rate, we are currently paying $272,749 annually to finish off this loan. In an effort to relieve this debt so that we can do more ministry with our resources, Bernie McNickle and Scott Peters, moderator of our Stewardship Ministry, are encouraging our congregation to participate in a year-end special giving challenge called Finishing Faithful. Our Finance Committee has determined that we have $150,000 in existing funds in the church that we can use as matching funds toward this effort. So, in essence, every dollar that is given will be doubled to help end our debt! We are challenging the congregation to share $150,000 by December 31, 2012 so that we can match those funds, giving us $300,000 total toward ending the debt. Now may be a good time for many in our congregation to consider an over-and-above gift to the church, with the uncertainty of capital gains taxes and deduction ceilings in the coming year. We invite you to consider your tax position at the end of the year to see if a gift may be beneficial to you. Please consider a one-time end of year gift of $1,000, $5,000, $10,000, $15,000 or whatever amount God may lay on your heart and you can responsibly give. No amount is too small. (Please do not reduce your current giving or future commitment to our annual budget to share in this challenge.) By sharing in this challenge you will partner with us to clear a path for future ministry growth including outreach and missions. If you have questions or would like to discuss the Finishing Faithful Challenge, please feel free to contact Bernie or Scott, or any of our ministers. If you wish to participate please designate any gift you may make asFinishing Faithful and mail or deliver to Karla Mahan, our Business Administrator. Thank you for your faithful and extravagant generosity!

Advent Schedule
The Advent season is a time to ready ourselves for the true gifts that Christ brings to us: hope, peace, love and joy. We invite you to join us this Advent as we journey Back to Bethlehem and recover the simple gifts of the season. Take part in any of the following special programs and worship experiences. Invite a friend to journey with us as we experience hope, peace, love and joy!

Childrens Christmas Musical Once Upon a Christmas Light

Join the All-Star cast of First Christian as the children present the musical Once Upon a Christmas Light. It is the very first Christmas Eve ever when Super Nova and Grandioso, the heads of Galaxy Productions, appear and make an announcement. They have heard on the Greatest Authority that this is the night our Holy Savior will be born. They launch a star search to determine which star is worthy of lighting the sky above the manger. After dramatic twists and turns, we all learn we can be the brightest and the best through Gods love & light. Enjoy this Christmas gift from the children of First Christian, and stay for cookies & milk! (Nursery provided)

Sunday, December 9 - 6:30 pm

Christmas Cantata Lead Me Back to Bethlehem

The cantata, Lead Me Back to Bethlehem by Pepper Choplin, will be performed by our own FCC Chancel Choir along with Peace Lutheran Church. Through this cantata may the spirit lead you back to Bethlehem to experience the miracle of the childs birth, the joy of the shepherds, the mystery of the star and the ones who followed it. After the cantata, please join us for a reception with our friends from Peace Lutheran Church. (Nursery provided)

Sunday, December 16 - 6:30 pm

Childrens Christmas Eve Service

The Gospel will come alive with the help of our children in a narrative re-telling of the birth of Jesus. This abbreviated, familyoriented worship service includes familiar Christmas hymns. Children (ages 3 through 2nd grade) may select a costume at 5 pm and participate in the Nativity story!

Monday, December 24 - 5:30 pm

Candlelight Christmas Eve Services

Join us as we anticipate the day of our Saviors birth! The 7 pm Christmas Eve service will feature beautiful music, scripture readings, and the lighting of the Christ Candle. The 11 pm service will feature a serene, simplified candlelight service with carols, the Chancel Choir, and scripture. The service ends in candlelight with bells tolling the midnight hour, marking the arrival of Christmas Day. (No nursery on Christmas Eve)

Monday, December 24 - 7 and 11 pm

Last Chance to Purchase Poinsettias!

Each year we decorate our worship spaces for Advent with beautiful poinsettias - and this is the LAST weekend to purchase one! For just $15, you can purchase a poinsettia in honor or in memory of a loved one. There are three ways to place your order: 1) Order forms in worship bulletins through Sunday, December 9 2) Order online at www.fccedmond.org/poinsettia 3) Call Iris Jordan at 341-3544 Orders must be received by Sunday, December 9. If you purchase poinsettias to take home, you may pick them up on Sunday, December 16. All proceeds benefit the youth mission fund.

Prayers of the People


THOSE IN NEED OF PRAYER Belinda Davis, Nita Shipley (Kathy Kerrs mom), Tom Cowling, Samantha Branscum (Michelle Fritzs sister), Joan Grant, Larry Hays (Dyke Moffatts brother-in-law), Lori Snider (Loretta Parks daughter), Terra Conlin (Sid & Thadda Grooms daughter), Jason Scheer (Larry & Judy Freemans son), Virginia ONiel, Cynthia David (Winnie Halls daughter), Ed Berry, Bill & Mary Lou Womble OUR SYMPATHY AND PRAYERS TO Jim & Marcy Williams in the death of Jims step-father, Bob Earl, on December 2. Services pending AND TO the Family of Rose Marie McKee who passed away on December 3. A memorial service will be held on Sunday, December 9 at 1:30pm at Touchmark at Coffee Creek.

Happy Birthday!
12/9 12/10 12/11 12/12 12/13 Sue Sestak, Elli Young Kimberly Kerr, Joshua Jones Gina Baldridge, Robbie Shaw Sue Fraim Terry Bernard, Larry Jones, Clarity Farrah 12/14 Martina Dowell, Abby Kerr, Lauren Helzer, Lisa Weaver, Lucy Mecoy 12/15 David Dickey, Scott Peters, Marietta Stone, Jerry Black, Hayden Ball 12/16 Jim Burke, Evan Beasley, Cody Ward

Sunday, December 30, from 8:30 am to 12 pm in Fellowship Hall Every 2 seconds, someone needs blood. The Oklahoma Blood Institute provides blood all across the state and they need YOU! Come, donate blood and bring a friend!

Save a Life - Donate Blood!

Board Establishes No Weapons Policy


by Rev. Chris Shorow
On November 18, 2012, the church Board unanimously voted to post signs on all doors of the church stating that weapons are not permitted in church buildings. After the passage of the open carry law, the Board wanted to clarify the official policy of the church. Signs prohibiting weapons are currently posted on the Family Life Center and in the Child Care Center wing, in accordance with DHS regulations. Since we have a Child Care Center where children are cared for, weapons are not permitted in those areas, as is the case in schools. To be consistent throughout our church facility and to protect those entering the Child Care Center, weapons, either concealed or opencarry, are not permitted in church buildings. This does not apply to Law Enforcement officers who carry weapons as a part of their job. The Board wanted to publicize this policy so that any well-intentioned member would not violate our policy. The Board is currently exploring consistent signage options.

One of the most common traditions of the Christmas season is the giving and receiving of gifts. Each year, millions of dollars are spent fulfilling the wishes of young and old alike. From toys to clothes, to the latest electronic gadgets; we spend in hopes of giving the perfect gift to that someone we love. And for many, finding the right gift means crowded shopping malls and long checkout lines, and the busyness of the Christmas season often leads to increased financial anxiety and personal stress. Isnt it ironic how unpeaceful the season of peace can be? This year, the Outreach Ministry Team of First Christian Church of Edmond invites you to simplify your Christmas giving by going Back to Bethlehem and sharing the true gifts of Christmas hope, joy, peace, and love. Our Alternative Gift Market will be open each Sunday morning, beginning December 2. With an Alternative Christmas gift, you honor your loved ones and make a difference in the lives of people around the world at the same time. Alternative gifts dont get returned because the recipient already has one. Theyre perfect for the person who has everything and are sure to bring smiles to the gift recipient and to the faces of those who receive the benefit of your generosity. And there are no crowded malls or long checkout lines! Its stress free, the way Christmas should be! Following the example of the wise men, we will offer three simple gifts - sheep, goats, and blankets. These gifts remind us of Jesus humble birth in a stable; surrounded by animals and wrapped in bands of cloth. And these gifts bring hope to the world! Sheep and goats will be sent through the charity World Vision, while blankets will be sent to people in need through Church World Service. So avoid the malls and share hope, joy, peace and love this Christmas.

Make a Difference This Christmas

Worship
8:15, 9 & 11am

at First Christian
December 9, 2012 Second Sunday of Advent
Message: Rev. Greg Bunton Rev. Chris Shorow Scripture: Luke 2:1-7

December 16, 2012 Third Sunday of Advent


Message: Rev. Chris Shorow Rev. Dr. Jerry Black Scripture: Luke 2:8-14

Our 2012 Christmas Offering supports the General Ministries of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). The gifts that you share support vital missions and ministries from the doorsteps of our church to the ends of the earth! You can learn more about the General Ministries of the Christian Church (DOC) by visiting www.disciples.org. Thank you for your gifts and support!

The Chalice CONNECTION


Shelley Regan, Editor sregan@fccedmond.org Read News Online @ fccedmond.org/news Submit Articles to news@fccedmond.org

Are you looking for a way to plug in or serve your church? Breakfast on Boulevard is a wonderful Edmond ministry held weekday mornings here at First Christian Church. Each year, BOB sees greater amounts of people through its doors plus costs for food and supplies are higher (about 10% higher than last year). Our 2012 year-to-date expenses are $9000 higher than the year-to-date revenues. BOB needs your generous continued support - both with donations and with volunteering your time. If you would like to make a donation, you can make your check payable to FCC and mark B.O.B. in the memo line. If you would like to volunteer weekdays from 5:30 - 7:30 am, contact Mickey at 341-4742 or Judy at 348-1443.

Breakfast on Boulevard: A Ministry in Need

(USPS 210-360) is published weekly (except weeks of New Years Day and Christmas Day). Periodicals postage paid by First Christian Church, 201 E. Second, Edmond, OK 73034-456 POSTMASTER: Send address changes to The Chalice CONNECTION, PO Box 3548, Edmond, OK 73083

Periodicals Postage Paid Edmond, OK USPS 210-360