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CONNECTION

A publication of First Christian Church of Edmond, OK Vol. 4 No. 49 December 13, 2012

The Chalice

Twas the Night Before Christmas


By Rev. Greg Bunton, Associate Minister of Student Ministries
We are approaching the third Sunday in Advent and I find myself amazed at how quickly time goes by. Before we know it, Christmas day will be here! Its a busy time of year, and it seems like there is always something to do or somewhere to go, doesnt it? This Sunday, we celebrate the gift of Peace. Its ironic, because the busyness of the season doesnt always lend itself to being peaceful. As I was thinking about what to write this week, I remembered a poem I had in one of my files. I think it says a lot about why we tend to lose the spirit of peace during Christmas... Twas the night before Christmas and all through the town, not a sign of baby Jesus was anywhere to be found. The people were all busy with Christmas time chores, like decorating, and baking, and shopping in stores. No one sang Away in a manger, no crib for his bed, instead they sang of Santa all dressed up in red. Mama watched Martha Stewart and Papa longed for nap, as hour upon hour the presents theyd wrap. When what from the t.v. did they suddenly hear, except an ad which told of a big sale at Sears. So away to the mall they flew like a flash, buying things on credit and others with cash. And as they made their way home from their trip to the mall, did they think of Jesus? Oh no, not at all. Their lives were so busy with their Christmas time things, no time to remember Christ Jesus the King. There were presents to wrap and cookies to bake. How could they stop and remember who died for their sake? To pray to the Savior they had not time to stop, because they needed more time to shop till they dropped. On Wal-Mart, on K-Mart, on Target, on Penneys, on Hallmark, on Zales, a quick lunch at Dennys. From the big stores downtown to the stores at the mall, they would dash away, dash away, and visit them all. And up on the roof there arose such a clatter, as grandpa hung icicle lights up on his brand new step ladder. He hung lights that would flash, he hung lights that would twirl, yet he never once prayed to Jesus, the light of the world. Christs eyes how they twinkle, Christs spirit how merry, Christs love how enormous, all our burdens Hell carry. So instead of being busy, overworked, and uptight, lets put Christ back in Christmas and enjoy some good nights! May the peace of Christ be with you!

Time to Pick Up Your Poinsettia!


If you purchased poinsettias to take home, you may pick them up this Sunday, December 16. Look for the one with your name on it. Thank you for supporting the youth mission fund!

Notice of Annual Congregational Meeting


Sunday, January 6, 2013 following each worship service

Purpose: To vote on 2013 nominated leaders and budget, along with proposed modifications to our bylaws. Questions? Contact Frank Gresh, Board Moderator, at 844-9120, or Robbi Kinnaird, Board Moderator Elect, at 340-2427.

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!

Advent Schedule

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

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 open each Sunday morning, through December Give Love Joy Hope Peace 23. With an Alternative Gift Market will behonor your loved ones and make a difference Christmas gift, you in the lives of people around the world at the same time. Alternative gifts are 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

GIFT MARKET

ALTERNATIVE

Back to Bethlehem
2012

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. A memorial service will be held on Friday, December 14 at 10:30am in the chapel at FCC-Edmond.

Happy Birthday!
12/16 Jim Burke, Evan Beasley, Cody Ward 12/17 Brittany Hendricks, Mary Ellen Shepherd, Craig Adkins, Carlita Walters, Piper Lowder, Steve Barker 12/18 Ted Perrin, Gwen Shaw, Zach Benear, Neal Hunt, Jerri Dillon, Tyler Burleson 12/19 Austin Greenhaw, Shawn Fapp, Chris Clark 12/20 Pat Warner, Greg Cunningham, Meagan Rivera, Allison Ernst 12/21 Tyler Black, Wes Warner 12/22 J.C. Goza, Joyce Werhun, Bob McKibbin, Cathy Justice, James Winn 12/23 Andrea Deal, Cora Deal, Jennifer Cain

by Rev. Chris Shorow


Several of our church leaders have a dream to pay off the remaining $666,775 debt on our mortgage. Our debt represents the cost of building our Family Life Center (in 2002) and the cost of the acquired 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!

Financial Report

from the Finance Committee


Through November of 2012, FCC general fund revenues are greater than general fund expenses. Year-to-date building fund revenue is less than yearto-date mortgage payments - it is only 93.1% of year-to-date building fund pledges. Please take the time to review your year-to-date contributions to your annual pledge. If you are unsure where you stand with your giving this year, contact Karla Mahan in the church office at 341-3544. You have about two weeks to make 2012 gifts to the church. You may also wish to make 2013 contributions in December for 2012 tax purposes. Be sure to designate on the memo line of your check or on your envelope that this is a 2013 contribution. The Business Office will then credit your contribution during the 2013 church year. Please remember to note on your checks or envelopes to which church accounts you want your contribution credited.

Worship
8:15, 9 & 11am

at First Christian
December 16, 2012 Third Sunday of Advent
Message: Rev. Chris Shorow Rev. Dr. Jerry Black Scripture: Luke 2:8-14

December 23, 2012 Fourth Sunday of Advent


Message: Rev. Dr. Jerry Black Rev. Greg Bunton Scripture: Luke 2:15-20

The Chalice CONNECTION


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

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!

Are you looking for a way to serve? Breakfast on Boulevard is a Edmond ministry held weekday mornings here at FCC. 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 continued support with donations and volunteering 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, contact Judy Griffis at 348-1443.

A Ministry in Need

Breakfast on Boulevard:

Sunday, December 30 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!

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