First Church Alert
5+ Things to Know this Week @ First Church
1 “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day”
A word of hope. A word of joy. Our Christmas Eve worship at 5 p.m. will feature readings from “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day,” with four special anthems from Dean Rees and the Chancel Choir, along with some guests readers and a solo from Karl Ludwig, singing, “I Wonder as I Wander.” We’ll celebrate the Lord’s Supper and conclude with our candle lighting and hymnsing. If you’re unable to attend, tune in on our YouTube channel (see below)
2 Worship on Christmas Day at your best time
We’ve recorded our short, festive Christmas Day worship service, and it will be available on our YouTube channel beginning at 10 a.m. on December 25.
3 Christmas Joy Offering & Adult Mission Trip
Our Christmas Joy Offering supports the construction of water cisterns in and around Xpujil in the Mexican state of Campeche. Todd Luke of the Outreach Foundation has invited us to send a work team this summer. If you are interested, please contact Pastor MJ. We have the option of work trips beginning July 24 or July 31, so please consider which week would work best for your schedule.
4 Into 2023
For New Year’s Day, January 1, we’ll gather (weather) at Vogel Canyon for a short worship service followed by a prayer walk. Watch social media for updates that weekend. We’ll celebrate Epiphany Sunday on January 8, beginning at 9 a.m. for breakfast and crown-making for the kids, followed by worship at 10 a.m. with special music from the Leitners and a celebration of the Lord’s Supper.
5 Congregational Meeting, January 8
Please stay after worship on Sunday, January 8, for a brief congregational meeting for the purpose of amending our bylaws to shorten our elders’ terms on the Session. Currently, elders are elected for up to two three-year terms. With this change, elders would be elected for up to two two-year terms. The Session is recommending this change in order to allow greater flexibility and avoid the burnout we sometimes see in leaders at the end of three or six years.
Finally, a few quick updates & thanks…
Church Office Hours
The Church Office will be open Monday, December 26. We will close Tuesday through Thursday and reopen on Monday, January 2.
“Escape to Bethlehem”
Thank you to Aricka Hulsey, kids, parents, and grandparents, for a fabulous Christmas pageant. With so many kids sick, you did a great job filling in the gaps. Thanks too to the Fellowship Team for a tasty luncheon afterwards!
Say a prayer for our pipe organ
Our pipe organ console is inoperable. An electrician has done all he can, so we’re waiting on an organ repairman who will be here (weather permitting) on Friday afternoon. Thankfully, Dean Rees is ready with his keyboard should the pipe organ not be fixed by Christmas Eve.
We’ve closed on the sale of the empty lot on Cimarron. Thanks to Neil & Nakia Fisher, Karen Gacnik, Dottie Burnett, and Kathy Parker for their help in making the sale. Our net proceeds were just about $21,000. Along with some generous one-time gifts from former members and friends, our 2023 budget is balanced with a little left to spare.
Visit the church website to find out more on our midweek groups for men, women, youth, and Mothers of Preschoolers!