You are on page 1of 6

Christian Courier

F irst Christian Church of Minneapolis (Disciples of Christ)

December 19, 2009 Meditating on Mary a'3"-&%2456%"7&*/'20

Inside the Courier:
by Jim F ine, F riends Committee on National Legislation
• A Look at the Brite
Side, page 2 I have made the trip between Naza- prompted in part by disturbing sights
reth and Bethlehem many times. The along the way: refugee camps, the barbed
route that Mary and Joseph traveled wire perimeters of Israeli settlements,
page 3
has changed little in two millennia. glimpses of the separation barrier that cuts
!"-.'*./0"1.)2'3./ Even much of the landscape remains in and out of the West Bank.
page 4 the same: a few broad plains and
!"FCC News Briefs,
miles of terraced For Mary and Joseph and for us
page 5 hillsides. many of the thoughts along the
way must be anxious and fear-
On the Web: By foot and donkey ful. Times are uncertain. Po-
it is a journey of a werful forces extend their influ-
week. By car, in ence, changing ordinary lives
good times, it is less and engendering bitterness. Vi-
than three hours. But olence is never far away.
the route passes from
Nazareth in Israel, Yet at journey’s end is the angels’ mes-
south for several miles, then enters sage: “Fear not. God is with us. God’s rule 
the West Bank. And these are not is peace.” Looking north from Bethlehem 
good times. For many the journey is to Jerusalem, I hear the angels’ message 
impossible now. Israeli military or- merge with the words of Isaiah: “Comfort 
ders bar most Israeli citizens from ye, my people. Speak ye comfortably to
Christmas Eve entering the West Bank. The orders Jerusalem and cry unto her that her war-
also prevent all but a few Palestinians fare is accomplished, that her iniquity is
Service from entering Israel. With few excep- pardoned.”
tions, the journey is only possible for
7:00 Reception
foreign visitors, especially the Holy We are called to do God’s work in the 
7:30 Prelude Land tourists who pass up and down world. We must speak comfort, pardon,
8:00 Worship the ancient highway in large, lux- and peace to all of God’s people in the Ho-
urious buses. ly Land.
On a tour there may be little time to This meditation was made available
reflect, as the guide offers an almost through the Global Ministries of the
continuous narrative. Mary and Jo- Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and
seph would have had much time for United Church of Christ website, and by
thought as they passed through the Churches for Middle East Peace
lonely stretches. Even today solitary
travelers have time for reflection
Page 2 December 19, 2009

A Look at the Brite Side Annual Meeting on Jan. 10

The annual meeting of the cor-
Beard Challenge a way to encourage YOU to invite porate body known as First
others to mission and community Christian Church (Disciples of
Christ), Minneapolis, MN, is
with us. And we do have scheduled for the time follow-
something to share!  We’re re- ing worship on Sunday, Janu-
gaining a sense of purpose in ary 10. A slate of nominees
mission around here.  We’re  and consultation on the 2010
working along the next steps of church budget will be the pri-
what our future is.  We’re add- mary items on the agenda.
ing depth to our practices and
spirituality to our mission. Have you thought about
Pastor Bob Brite We’re doing more than just  your 2010 pledge?
going to church; we’re BEING 
I hope you are all taking me up the church. You should be receiving a
of the challenge of making me mailing shortly about our bud-
remove my beard on Sunday. And what if we don’t get 250  getary needs for the year 2010
If I do have to do so, I’ll leave  people in worship on Sunday? at FCC. It is a challenging
church right after the Hymn of Well, I’ll keep my beard, but  budget, using up all of the an-
Commitment and (hopefully) I’ll probably still send off some nual resources available to the
return in time for the benedic- $$ to regional ministry (maybe congregation. It is a budget
tion, beardless. (I am also $1 for every person here.) That wherein congregational giving
hopeful I won’t have a ton of  would be a symbol of what is only projected to support
Kleenex on my face to stop the we’re working to be around  54% of the total budget.
necessary blood flow!) here; a deeper, more mission- Would you like to make that
focused Body of Christ! Bless- 55% Maybe 60%? What each
Why am I doing this? I like my ings as we continue the journey of us chooses to give impacts
beard.  I haven’t been beardless  towards Christmas. how ministry is done in the life
in 31 years.  Well, as I’ve said  of Christ’s body here.
before, it’s just a gimmick, a  I’d like to see YOU (and at 
means to encourage YOU to least 2.6 of your friends) on Stewardship Commitment Sun-
invite others around you to Sunday! day is scheduled for January 3,
worship God-thru-Jesus-Christ 2010.

We pray in sympathy for the family of long-time member and Handcrafter

In our prayers extraordinaire E llen A ynes, whose memorial service was held last week; in
healing for M ary Lou C ain and Barbara Dean who are both experiencing
Gracious God, we shoulder issues; for Pastor Brite’s daughter  Cor rie who was scheduled for
lift up these persons knee surgery last week; for I rene H ackett who is to have eye surgery; for
in our prayers, ask- Janice B rady; in hopes of future blessings for David G rant as he moves
ing the blessing of to Ohio; in joy with W arren Westphal’s brother who has secured a job in
your Grace and out- his field; in concern with all those who are still seeking work or worried
pouring of your Love about job insecurities; for all those who work to ease suffering of those in
upon them. our community, especially Community Emergency Services; for all our
homebound, including Phyllis Dunlap and V elma Fancher, Amen.
Page 3
Christian Courier


We baked cookies for the Alive- everyday of the year through your
Pastor Dennis Sanders
ness Project; and acts of compassion, love and jus-
When I was asked to come on tice. May God bless you all in
We raised $1000 for the Heifer
staff at the end of 2008, I was 2010 and may we together as First
tasked with promoting and streng- Christian Church in Minneapolis
And so much more. continue to be church.
thening the mission and outreach
ministries here at First Christian. I
personally saw my task at First to Dennis Sanders
help us enter a "missional" age, Associate Pastor for Diversity and
where we as a faith community Mission
discern what God is up to outside
the doors of the church and join in
God's mission. I wanted to take
the time in this column to share a
bit of where we have joined God As a community, we also were
in mission to help our sisters and able to help restart our children's
brothers. Sunday School program with Art
of the Covenant. We have seen
We restarted FoodShelf Sunday in kids come and learn the stories of
February. Every Third Sunday, the Bible by using the arts. It has
we bring our non-perishable food been a smashing success of which Former FCC organist
items and our donations to help we thank God for. We are also gives gift of music
Groveland Foodshelf; thankful for Deb Murphy's wil-
lingness to step up and create this Howard Bye, organist at FCC
We went to Feed My Starving from 1978-1983, has recently re-
rewarding ministry.
Children in June, August and Oc- leased his first studio recording
tober and were able to feed thou- which is dedicated to all the
What's on tap for 2010? Things
sands of children around the churches he has served.
are still forming, but we hope to
world; see more continued involvement Called “Christmas Eve Pre-
We were represented for the first with Feed My Starving Children lude,” the recording has 16 tracks 
time at Twin Cities Gay Pride; and Community Emergency Ser- of Christmas piano music.  “I de-
vices, increased work in helping veloped a tradition of playing a
We established a relationship with
the community become more di- piano prelude for each Christmas
Community Emergency Services,
verse in all forms, working with Eve service,” he says in notes for 
a local agency that helps the poor
other community groups such as the recording.
in South Minneapolis;
Tubman, an agency that helps
We took part in a back-to-school Anyone can listen to the tracks
those dealing with domestic vi-
drive to help Whittier Elementary; on this website or download them
olence, and continued work with
from the website to personal lis-
We gave children's books to the Downtown Congregations
tening devices or CDs without
Project Homeless Connect to give Ending Homelessness.
homeless children stories to read
and enjoy; First Christian, I am thankful for
you for not only going to church
on Sundays, but for being church Thanks & blessings, Howard!!
Page 4 December 19, 2009
Regular Worship Hours
9:15 Church School Classes
January, 2010
10:30 Worship
First Christian Church 11:45 Fellowship Time in Lounge

  1 2
        Office closed 9 am- Men’s 
  for New Group
  Year’s Day 9:30 Downtown
Grief Group 

3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Stewardship   7 pm- Worship 6:00 Lectionary 9 am Handcrafters   9 am- Men’s 
Commitment Committee Bible Study   Group
Sunday   6:30 Bell Choir 9:30 Downtown
7:45 Chancel Grief Group
Choir 12:30 Women’s 
Brunch @
Tucci Benuch 
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
7 pm Book 7 pm Property 5:30 Finance 9 am Handcrafters 6:30pm 9 am- Men’s 
Annual Con- Group @ Committee Committee   Christian Group
gregational Westphal’s  6:00 Lectionary League 9:30 Downtown
Meeting   Bible Study Grief Group
following 6:30 Bell Choir 10am Laura
Worship 7:45 Chancel Lynn/ Naomi
Choir Circle
  6 pm Dinner for
St. Stephens
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
Food Pantry Office Closed 9 am Mpls Re- 6:00 Lectionary 9 am Handcrafters    9 am- Men’s 
Sunday for Martin tired Teachers Bible Study Group
12 n Elders Luther King 7 pm FCC Board 6:30 Bell Choir 9:30 Downtown
Meeting Jr. Day  Meeting  7:45 Chancel Choir  Grief Group
24 25 26 27 28 29 30
Laity Sunday 6:00 Lectionary 9 am Handcrafters 9 am- Men’s 
Bible Study Group
31 6:30 Bell Choir 9:30 Downtown
7:45 Chancel Grief Group

Elders Worship Leader Bus Driver Diaconate Greeters

Jan. 3 T. Curry (P)    Martha Harris  Garry Hesser  Team 2  V. Dunham 
D. Creighton (A)   612‐721‐4905   
Jan. 10 T. Curry (P)   Lu Griffin  Garry Hesser  Team 2  A. Armstrong 
V. Dunham (A)    & S. Draine 
Jan. 17 J. Hillestad (P)  Sandy Morgan  Mike Morgan  Team 2  K. Kandik 
A. Hillestad (A)   612‐926‐ 9384 
Jan. 24 A. Hillestad (P)  Val Dunham  Mike Hesano  Team 2  M. Harris 
J. Hillestad (A)  651‐645‐6758 
Jan. 31 D. Creighton (P)    Mike Morgan  Team 2   
B. Creighton (A) 
Page 5
Christian Courier

FCC to host Downtown Grief Support Group starting in January

FCC will host the Downtown Coalition of ! Jan. 2 - Jim Vogt “Grief-The Fabric of Our
Churches for Grief Support during the Winter Quar- Lives”
ter. The Coalition of Churches provides education ! Jan. 9 - Phyllis Campbell, Personal Story-Child
and support for those grieving the death of a loved Loss
one. ! Jan. 16 - Mary Christopherson “New Year, 
If you are coping with the death of a loved one, New You”
you are invited to attend group meetings on Satur- ! Jan. 23 - Joan Olson, Personal Story-Mother
days, 9:30-11:30 a.m. January 2 – April 24 at First Loss
Christian Church Minneapolis. Each meeting in- ! Jan. 30 Michael Summerfield “Working through
cludes an educational presentation or a personal sto- the Pain of Grief and Loss”
ry of grief and recovery and small group discussions
The Coalition is committed to providing a res-
including spouse loss, child loss, and family loss. pectful and caring atmosphere inclusive of all faiths.
You may join us at any time and attend as many or If you have questions or would be willing to help
as few sessions as you like or are able. with refreshments or greeting people on Saturday
The speakers and topics for Winter Quarter are morning please call Mary Hurlocker at 651-777-
posted outside the Lounge. The Speakers and Top- 6622.
ics for January are:

FCC Women to have Lunch

Jan. 9 at Tucci Benuch
The Women of First Christian
Church are having lunch at
Tucci Benuch in the Mall of
America on Saturday, January
9, 2010 at 11:30 a.m. All
women of FCC and friends are
invited to attend. Reservations
are required. Please call Mary
Hurlocker (651-777-6622) by
Wednesday, January 6. We
will order from the menu.

Brite Birthday Celebration

Join us at Fellowship Hour on
Sunday, Dec. 20, to wish Pastor
Bob Brite a happy birthday.
You can ask him how many
years he’s celebrating!  The  F rom the Worship Comm ittee: Thanks to all who helped make
question is – will he have a Thanksgiving Worship in Fellowship Hall a success. With the
beard at the party? help of the Spirit of St. Stephens congregation, we were able to
quickly set tables and prepare for our worship service. And
Recent Visitors in Worship: thanks to the kitchen workers for the delicious meal that followed.
Clyde and Jennifer Bouler
Jennifer Krengel
Carol Dean
Bi-Weekly Calendar Reflections on the Word
from lectionary texts of 12.20.09
Sunday Worship at 10:30 am
Before Worship (9:15 am): “And Mary said, ‘My soul mag-
Art of the Covenant Class Hearthstone Class nifies the Lord….’” –Luke 1:46
Bible Study Class Prayer Circle
Mary was about to bear the son
After worship: Fellowship Hour 11:45 am of God. But imagine that not
only was her womb growing the
This Week at FCC Next Week at FCC baby Jesus in the flesh, but he
Sunday, Dec. 20 Monday, Dec. 28 was growing through her soul as
Food Pantry Sunday Transition Team meeting 7:00 pm well. What “soul lessons”
Board meeting following worship
Wednesday, Dec. 30 might have Mary been teaching
Wednesday, Dec. 23 Lectionary Bible Study 6:00 to and learning from Jesus as he
Lectionary Study group 6:00 pm Bell Choir 6:30
Chancel Choir 7:45 came closer to birth?
Bell Choir 6:30
Chancel Choir 7:45 T hursday, Dec. 31
Handcrafters 9:00 Teach us, O God, the lessons of
T hursday, Dec. 24 C hristmas E ve
Reception 7:00 Sat. Jan. 2
our souls, the wisdom that goes
Prelude Concert 7:30 Men’s Group 9:00 beyond what we might learn
Service 8:00 Downtown Grief Group 9:30 through our five senses, and
through reading about you. For
Saturday, Dec. 28 your wisdom surpasses our un-
Men’s Group 9 am derstanding; may it be known to
us in our experience. Amen.
--Chris Wogaman

A Thoughtful Church in the (D ISC IP L ES O F C H R IST)
Heart of the City 2201 1st Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55404
M inistry T eam
A ll M embers of the Congregation
A ddress Service Requested
Robert B rite, Interim Minister
Dennis Sanders, Minister of Diversi-
ty and Mission
C hris Wogaman, Office Manager
Bill Stump, Director of Music
Rick Bowman, Building Manager
James Barnett, Pianist
Serena C arlson, Nursery Attendant
M artha H ar ris, Courier Editor
Telephone: 612.870.1868
Prayer Phone: 612.870.0984
Fax: 612.870.1860

Christian Courier is published bi-

weekly. Send items and ideas to
church office or to Martha Harris
by Sat . Dec. 26 for next issue.