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Join in on Palm Sunday, April 5, after second service for an eggciting time at FCC Torrance. Everyone is invited to come for lunch and watch a very special Easter play put on by our own CYF. There will be several crafts for the kids and a visit from the Easter Bunny so bring your cameras. If we are lucky the Easter Bunny will lead us in a “bunny hop” around Sippel Hall. We will end with our traditional egg hunt. Please bring a dozen filled eggs for each child who will be participating.

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March 26, 2009

Disciples Women’s Ministry
It seems these days we start out walking, and end up running! No matter how far ahead we plan, there seems to be something waiting for us to do. Somehow, it seems we just had Ash Wednesday, and started our walk with our Lord through this time of reflection. For some of us, the time has gone much too fast, and Easter is almost upon us! Depending on when this Newsletter reaches you, you are anticipating our Sunday luncheon, or looking back at how wonderful it was! Just in case it is the former, we will see you on Sunday, March 29th for an afternoon with Janie Fietz and the Prayer Shawl ministry. If it was the latter – wasn’t it great! We do not have a luncheon in April, so remember to mark your calendars for May 31st, and a wonderful Spring Tea. More information in a later newsletter, but you won’t want to miss it. Running too fast sometimes makes us miss things. The Bake Sale to benefit our Regional Women brought in $165.00 and it missed being reported in the last Newsletter. Sorry - and many thanks to all who donated and participated in this event. All of us are in need of extra time these days, to prepare for our family Easter celebrations, and for our own journey through Lent. Women of the church are attending the Bible studies and planning meals. Many are enjoying Pastor Steve’s taking us for a walk through “Messy Spirituality”, the theme for the Lenten Dinner Discussion series. Lots of fun, good food for nourishment and for thought. There are two evenings left, one on March 29th, and one on April 5th, and you are welcome to join in. Dinner starts at 5:00 PM. Call the office if you would like to worship with us and have any questions, or just come on down! Oh – and the men are welcome too! Next time you get to slow down a minute – please take that minute and give some thought to our Family Night on May 16th. We still need a decoration chair, and someone to pull our “talent” show together. Tickets for our “Country Fair” will go on sale on April 18th - $10 for adults, $5 for kids under 12, and $25 for a family of four or more. The DWF Board is counting on you to join in the fun, so please contact Judy Rickabaugh or Sakura Koontz .Lots more information coming.
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And, if you see ladies running up and down the grocery aisles, it is just our ever-ready Women’s Circles working on meals for Holy Week. Monday starts off with lunch from Faith Circle, Tuesday is a dinner with New Hope in charge, and Wednesday, join us for Brunch with the Love Circle. Slow down your steps for a short time, sit and share a meal with friends, a communion meal with our Lord, and renew your spirit in the busy day’s rush. Holy Week schedules are printed in the Newsletter and bulletins, so don’t be in too much of a hurry to share these special times. And so, step by step, we walk again this wonderful journey. As Pastor Steve always reminds us – take a deep breath – and as the old saying goes – “stop and smell the roses.” May each of us be able to say during this busy season…… “I walked today where Jesus walked – and felt His presence there.”

“Go Light Your World”—Special Easter Offering
As part of a larger church known as the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), our congregation participates in a number of special, over-andabove, Holy Day offerings. Addressing the dark economic times we find ourselves in, the theme for this year’s Special Easter Offering is “Go Light Your Word.” This offering supports the General Ministries of our church in North America. These ministries include the Office of Disciple Women, whose work includes Women’s Quadrennial, which our own Chery Carew is helping to plan. The offering also helps support Global Ministries and their work in places like Bolenge Hospital in the Congo. Through these and many other ministries, Disciples of Christ receive the encouraging word to “Go Light Your World.” We will receive our Special Easter Offering in worship on Palm Sunday and Easter, April 5 & 12.
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Outreach News
The outreach/Amazing Grays have been very busy organizing the Kids Kloset It looks SO GOOD. During the clean up, we have found we are in need of short diapers in size 2 and 5. So if you would like to donate we would be very pleased to have them. Along those lines we have decided to make some small fleece blankets to give out along with clothes, etc. If you have extra fleece from a project or would like to donate fleece or cash to buy fleece let Sherril or Hilda Coleman know. We will do this project the first week in May. Love in the name of Christ will hold its annual fundraising dinner on April 4, at Journey of Faith Church in Manhattan Beach This dinner supplies most of the funds for the projects that Love INC is involved in the South Bay. If you are interested in attending, please contact Sherril Wiechmann. On a personal note, I am leaving the South Bay area for Northern California in late July. It has been a pleasure to serve as Outreach Chair for the past 2 years. All the accomplishments we have made could not be possible without the support of the entire church. So on my behalf I would like to say a great big thank you for making outreach chair an easy job. Outreach Chair/ Sherril Wiechmann

Facility Usage Update
In order to increase our rental income and better fund our building maintenance and outreach efforts, we have discussed at length in the Cabinet, Board and Congregational Meetings the possibility of finding another Christian Tenant to share our facility. As a Church Family we agreed this was an acceptable plan and to move forward with it. However, it was made very clear that we are only willing to share the Gymnasium. After explaining these limitations and reviewing the current Gym Schedule with the Realtor we were planning to employ in this effort, it does not appear we have enough time and space to offer to make this a viable situation for him to handle. So, for the time being, we will not be officially listing the Gym for rent with a realtor. However, we will continue to review our current usage and if any possibilities arise in the future we will give them every consideration. On a positive note, during this process we have successfully completed a new rental agreement with the Korean Church that includes a substantial but fair rent increase. May we strive to Glorify God in all that we do. Doug Crawford Chairman of the Board
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Dolores Koontz is choosing to not have a biopsy done on a mass in her lung. Round-the-clock oxygen is helping her sleep better. Jim Crawford (Doug’s father) was readmitted to the hospital with an irregular heart-beat, and had a pace-maker successfully implanted. Beverly Roseberry was scheduled to come home from the physical therapy facility on March 20. She will continue to receive in-home therapy as she recovers from a stroke. Carole Jones’s 17 year old granddaughter, Cassandra, has had surgery to remove a brain tumor and a cyst, and is awaiting word on heart complications. Anne Beecher’s brother Brett is waiting for test results on a growth in his inner ear. Chery Carew asks prayers for her niece in Missouri, Crystal Workman, who has received a diagnosis of Hepatitis C, and is beginning a rigorous regimen of treatment. Patricia Bryant has traveled to North Carolina to be with her sister, who has been hospitalized with an aggressive lung cancer. Prayers are asked on behalf of former FCC member Jean Stamp and her family as she nears death. Officer Steve Kroesen, a co-worker with Carol Wilk, is doing so much better in his battle with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma that plans are being made for him to return to work. Susan Babcock’s beloved canine companion Shiloh continues in our prayers. Prayers are asked for the many families, some within our church, who are being impacted by job or pay cuts. Please pray for the work of our church’s Mission Discernment Group, the Finance Committee, and the Nominating Committee.

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April 2009
Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday WORSHIP SERVICES 8:30 and 10:30 am Sunday School 9:30 am


Bible Study 10:00 a.m.

New H 7:00 p





Palm Sunday Eggcitement

Holy Week Lunch 12:00

Holy Week Dinner 6:00 p.m.

Holy Week Brunch 9:00 a.m.

Maundy/T Footwashing Dinner Worship 7

EASTER Cantata 10:30 a.m. “The Rock”



Bible Study 10:00 a.m. Cabinet 7:00 p.m.


Cho 7:00 p



Love Group 9:30 a.m. Faith Group 1:30 p.m. Elders 7:00 p.m.

Bible Study 10:00 a.m.

Cho 7:00 p





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April Birthday’s
Earl Woods (6) Laurel Nelson (6) Rick Reeley (7) Maxine Wanbaugh (8) 4 Stephanie (Sebaugh) O’Brien (9) Bill Adams (9) Kevin Mine (10) Sue Zukas (12) Carol Wright (12) Baptism Class Sharon Dexter (13) Time TBA Jack Perry (14) Kevin Session (14) Charles Bales (14) 11 Amanda Thompson (15) Brandon Matson (16) Susan Babcock (17) Harriett Sherwood (17) Cantata Rehearsal Bonnie Evans (18) Basil Ibe (20) 11:00 –1:00 Andrea Whobrey (20) Matt Townsend (20) Bryce Matson (26) 18 Doris Wilson (26) Rod Norris (26) Stan Carew (27) CMF 8:30 a.m. Daniel Nelson (27) Jerry Gimbrone (28) Glenn Oden (28) Bronze Ibe (28) William Wheatley (30)



Hope p.m.


Prayer Vigil 6:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. Good Friday Prayer Service 6:00 p.m.

Thursday g 6:00 p.m. r 6:30 7:30 p.m.



oir p.m.




oir p.m.

Kurt & Suzanne Nelson (18) Eric & Vicki Johns (22)

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Education Notes & News
Sunday, April 5-Palm Sunday
This Sunday our Bible Explorers and high school classes will be participating in several mini-rotations that include making Empty Tomb Buns and doing a special eggshell art project. During both services our children will also participate in our traditional palm branch processional.

Easter Sunday-April 12
There will be no adult or youth Sunday school classes this morning, but you are invited to come to the Easter Pancake Breakfast, which will be served from 7:30-10:15 under the capable leadership of Chef Dave Marvin. Tickets on sale soon.

Bible Explorers
Planning will be starting soon for next year’s curriculum. If you are interested in joining the team please see Jill Foster. Supplies Needed: We are still looking for small size containers with lids (to be turned into banks). Drop them off in the Donation Box located in room 2. Thanks for your support!

Date 3/29 4/5 4/12

Class PRE K-1 2-5 PRE K-1 2-5
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Last Supper Reenactment Palm Sunday Activities No Bible Explorers today

Room # Everyone meet in 3 Everyone meet in 4 Pancake Breakfast

Report from the Retreat
Forty of our members spent a wonderful weekend up at Loch Leven Camp and Conference Center last weekend. We lived out the theme of “Called to Fellowship” as we spent time together in song, praise, worship and multi-generational interaction. Watch out for flying marshmallows!!!! Thank you to Steve Fietz, Janie Oden, Ted Oden and Samantha Lubrani for being part of the planning team and putting together a really fantastic weekend.

Adult Sunday School
Our study of Martin Smith’s A Season of the Spirit concludes on Palm Sunday. Our thanks to Linda Houston for facilitating the series, and for bringing this wonderful devotional to our attention. There will be no adult class on Easter Sunday, but on April 19, Lynne Redderson will begin a four week discussion on the book The Shack.

Footwashing Ceremony
“So if I, your master and teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet.” (John 13:14) According to the Gospel of John, footwashing is commanded as clearly as are communion or baptism. Yet it is not observed with nearly the regularity of these other two ordinances. So, for those who wish to participate, we will be celebrating a special footwashing ceremony in the Sanctuary at 6:00 pm on Maundy Thursday. As we have previously, we will begin our Maundy Thursday Dinner and Worship at 6:30 in Sippel Hall. Those who have experienced a footwashing ceremony testify to its humbling power—you are invited to find out for yourself.

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Upcoming Sermons
March 29 – “God’s Hand Is Not Too Short” (Isaiah 59:1-2) “Confession is good for the soul,” so the saying goes. Do we believe it? Are we willing to bring our deepest selves before God? To others? If not, what stands in the way? This Sunday, we conclude our series on spiritual practices with Confession—it’s not just for Catholics! Palm Sunday, April 5 – “I Kind of Like a Parade” (Mark 11:1—11) Among the four gospels, Mark’s telling of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem is particularly lowkey, even ironic. What might this mean for our understanding of Jesus’ purpose? What might it mean for our expectations of Holy Week, and the Christian life? Easter Sunday, April 12 – “He Appeared Also to Me” (1 Corinthians 15:1-8) Our Easter Cantata focuses on Jesus’ resurrection appearances. In a number of these, Jesus’ followers did not recognize him at first. What aids (or hinders) us in recognizing the resurrected Christ in our own lives?

“Messy Spirituality” – a Discussion Series for Lent
The series continues Sunday evening in Lent through April 5. We begin at 5:00 pm with a simple meal, and follow with theme time that is part discussion group, part worship. One need not have come to earlier sessions to get something out of our upcoming gatherings.

Wednesday Morning Bible Study
Our Wednesday morning series on Lenten Psalms continues through April 1. We will not meet during Holy Week, but will begin a study of Jesus’ resurrection appearances in April. Our Bible Study meets in Sippel Hall every Wednesday morning from 10 to 11:30.

Baptism Class
Our final baptism class is Saturday, April 4. We look forward to receiving confessions of faith on Palm Sunday, April 5, and a celebration of baptism on Easter Sunday, April 12. (Due to schedules, some confessions and baptisms will be celebrated on other dates.) Please keep our baptismal candidates in your prayers: Anne Beecher, Trevor Bise, Dallas Cooper, Dixie Cooper, Rebecca Foster, Caitlin Hedde, Ileana Iannucci, Sarah Iannucci, Brittany McPherson, Ryan Rogers, Paul Ryan, and Sydney Thornton. Marie Wood, who was baptized last year, has also joined the class, so as to share and learn with her friends.
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So when we say “Holy Week” around here, we really mean Holy Week! I am looking forward to experiencing our tradition of gathering each day to observe some aspect of this wonderful span of days! It is crucial (“of the cross”) to do this, because, without midweek observances, it is too easy for Christians to go from the joyous parade that is Palm Sunday to the wonder of Easter’s resurrection without experiencing what comes between. Conflict. Betrayal. Abandonment. Trial. Death. “Even death on a cross…” Our weekdays are, of course, often given over to other things. Sundays are easier, more part of our habit. And, though I sometimes wish it weren’t, I also know that Holy Week also doubles as Spring Break for many of us. I understand about other commitments. I also know that we avoid conflict and betrayal, abandonment and trial, and surely death, out of pure human nature—they are ugly, painful. And we avoid ugliness and pain. But great portions of the gospels are dedicated to the events of this week; many of our hymns tell of this great drama. So if all we experience are the Sundays, Palm and Easter, we are moving from the shallow, misunderstood joy to the real fullness of joy—but still without a full understanding of what gets us from one to the other. And without that fuller experience, we will find it harder to give over our own pain and death to the redemption and transformation that are intended in God’s raising of our Savior. So come. For as much as you can, come. And if you cannot, see nonetheless how the week between these Sundays can be Holy for you, for us all. Shalom, Steve Home phone: 310-212-5950 email:

**Next Newsletter articles need to be at the church office by 4/13/09.
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FIRST CHRISTIAN CHURCH (Disciples of Christ) 2930 El Dorado Street Torrance, CA 90503 (310) 328-2820 Fax 310 328-2929 E-mail - Web address - Sunday Schedule 8:30 a.m. - Worship - Informal 9:30 a.m. - Church School for all ages 10:30 a.m. - Worship - Traditional Children’s Worship - Ages Pre-school through 2nd Grade (During the Traditional Worship Service) Nursery Provided For birth through age 3 during Sunday School and the Traditional Service Office Hours Monday - Friday 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Staff Steven Fietz, Senior Pastor Ted Oden-Minister of Contemporary Worship Administrative Assistant– Camelia Olloque Choir Director - Ken Potter Nursery Attendant - Sherril Wiechmann

The Christian Messenger


First Christian Church 2930 El Dorado Street Torrance, CA 90503



Officers Chair - Doug Crawford Vice Chair - Don Zukas Treasurer– Bill Wysong Financial Secretary - Moggy Emmen Clerk– Chery Carew

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