As things begin moving back to some sense of normalcy, First Community Church is also making steps to return to the important work of faith and community, at least in ways the pandemic prevented. For example, last week we gathered at Pastor Manda’s for a church-wide cookout (many thanks to Manda and Syed for their gracious hospitality!). We also celebrated our first in-person worship service since March 2020. During worship we also announced a new outreach project (see below in the Justice and Outreach news). Needless to say, spirits soared, and laughs abounded as our souls were nurtured by the love and community of our church family.
It is my prayer that this weekend’s events serve as not only a return to in-person activities, but also as a reminder of how important FCC is to each of us and the community at large. That’s why I’m inviting you to spend the month of July in prayer for your church. I’m not suggesting anything elaborate or esoteric, nor am I initiating a new program or time-consuming ministry. Rather, I’m inviting you to simply be intentional about lifting FCC in prayer each day.
Throughout the month of July, I will include specific prayer requests for FCC in the “Connect and Grow” section. Simply reading these requests with prayerful intention will lift them to God in petition. There are many things I do not know for sure, but one thing I do know is, great is God’s faithfulness! I also know that our own human ability is limited, but with God, all things are possible!
So, please join me in praying for our church, its members, its ministry and direction. And as always, thank you for your continued love and support of the ministry of First Community Church!
As announced Sunday, the choir will remain on sabbatical until August. In the meantime, we invite the talented vocalists and instrumentalists of FCC to provide special music this summer. If you’re interested in providing special music, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
SAVE THE DATE!!!!! Sunday, July 18, 12pm
Many thanks to Rita Stewart, Gina Blanton, and Joshua Jordan for their hard work during Sunday’s vaccination clinic! Save the Date for our next vaccination clinic (July 18) and spread the word!
Also, announcing the First Community Cupboard, FCC’s newest outreach project! The First Community Cupboard will be a 24-7, self-directed food pantry for any community neighbors who are in need of little extra. Located in the back parking lot of the building (to provide privacy) this small structure will house non-perishable food items, as well as other items such as diapers, etc. It will be a “take what you need, leave what you can” system. So, when doing your personal shopping, please pick up a few extra items for our new food pantry.
During this week’s worship experience, we will lift poetry found in a new chapbook, Pitching Our Tents: Poetry of Hospitality. Written and published in support of the Peace Cathedral, located in the Republic of Georgia, it includes the works of thirty-two contributors from seven countries sharing experiences of inclusion and connection. One contributor is our very own Pastor Ray.
Peace Cathedral was established as First Baptist Church of Tbilisi in 1867. Its history is full of dangerous activist stands and more than twenty years of interfaith work, offering them the trust of Muslim, Jewish, Yezidi and other religious traditions (in a context where the more dominant Christian culture often responds violently against minorities). For example, Peace Cathedral is currently constructing a mosque and a synagogue under the roof of their church building, turning it into a spiritual home for all Abrahamic faiths. In addition, there is a Centre for Interfaith Dialogue, an interfaith adult library and a children’s library with programming and summer camps. Likewise, their pilgrimage program brings people to visit the Republic of Georgia to learn about the hopes and struggles of people of all of faiths.
Pitching Our Tents: Poetry of Hospitality is offered in support of the worthy work of Peace Cathedral, as the writers focus on issues of inclusion and connection, creating extraordinary poetry from widely varied perspectives.
This book’s purpose is to raise awareness of Peace Cathedral’s work and to raise money for its ongoing project. If you would like to receive a copy of the book, please follow these instructions to make a suggested $10 donation.
On the second line of the form, where it states “Other Designation,” please write in Peace Project - Tbilisi
Use the following Book Funnel link to receive your free electronic copy of Pitching Our Tents: Poetry of Hospitality with a choice of e-book formats and a PDF version for those who like simplicity, in thanks for your support of the Peace Cathedral. https://dl.bookfunnel.com/q5j6on197f
This is a free book, however its editors want it in as many hands as possible. If you cannot make a donation at this time but would still like to receive a copy, you are only asked to share this information with those you know who might be interested in learning more about the Peace Cathedral’s mission or those who simply need encouragement with their own struggle for justice, reconciliation and hospitality.
During the month of July, you are invited to include the needs of First Community Church in your time of mediation and prayer. Each week, specific prayer needs, joys, and concerns will be listed here for you.
We give thanks for new staff members, and we pray that God use their gifts and graces to the fullest, for both the benefit of FCC and the building of God’s kin-dom.
We give thanks for the justice and outreach ministry and pray God continue to lead their work for peace and justice.
We give thanks for the new First Community Cupboard and pray it serves as a reminder of God’s love in our community.
First Community Church is a proud congregation of the United Church of Christ. To learn more about the historic ministry of the UCC, click the logo above and below, find additional opportunities to engage the national church and UCC member from around the country.
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"Podcast For a Just World" invites listeners to engage complex realities grounded in faith and considers what it means to build a just world for all. The weekly podcast includes a regular segment, "reading the story of God in the streets," reflecting on lectionary readings, weekly news and updates from Justice and Witness Ministries. Weekly guests include artists, activists, ministers and people along the way. PFJW is hosted by Tracy Howe Wispelwey, Minister for Congregational and Community Engagement for the United Church of Christ National Ministries. Click the image above for more info!