New Lenten Sermon Series...Metamorphosis
First Church News & Updates - February 16, 2018
Lord, hear our prayers

On a day when we gathered for Ash Wednesday worship, we were rocked by the news of another horrific school shooting. We grieve for the lives lost and pray for the students, families, teachers, staff and community surrounding this tragedy.

Please note: The First Church office will be closed on Monday, February 19, in observance of Presidents Day. 

Don't forget to pick up your new pictorial directory at the Andrew Ministry desk on Sunday.

Enjoy this First Church News!
This week in worship...
Sermon Series

Lenten Sermon Series: Metamorphosis
At the touch of Christ, lives change - spiritually, emotionally, physically and relationally. Sometimes our lives change quickly and sometimes slowly over time, but the difference is often striking. With that in mind, during the Sundays of Lent and Easter, we will be preaching from the miracles of Jesus, culminating in the difference the cross and the resurrection makes for us personally and for the whole world. The goal of this series is for each of us to have a metamorphosis of our that we become witnesses of Christ's life-changing power.  Metamorphosis  will be a series you won't want to miss!

Sermon:  "Set Free"
Scripture: Mark 2:1-12

Rev. Dr. Beverly Jones will preach at the 8:30 and 11 am worship services. Kevin Karschnik will preach at the 9:40 am CrossRoads service.  The Source , our weekly devotional guide, is available on the church website

Please join us in worship this weekend...Sunday at 8:30 am (Sanctuary), 9:40 am (Family Life Center) or 11 am (Sanctuary).
Security update
Over the past nine months, the Emergency Preparedness Team (EPT), under the leadership of Willis Seabrook, has been hard at work. 
Early steps have included enhanced lighting and reducing the number of entry points both on Sunday morning and during midweek activities. Soon there will be a new access system for Building 5, Council Oak Preschool and the Family Life Center. The contract for that work has already been approved by our Trustees. The next step has been placing armed security on our campus during worship services and special events. It has already been in place last Easter, Christmas Eve and at our last two Fall Festivals. The Emergency Preparedness Team has worked very hard to implement security while protecting the sense of the sacred on our grounds. 

Starting last Sunday, two steps were taken, with the guidance of our Critical Incident Team that has worked with the EPT (made up of law enforcement people in our congregation). 
  • There will be two Round Rock Police Department vehicles on our property.  For many years, the officers have parked on the vacant property across Mays street to process their paperwork. We invited them to process their paperwork here. They responded: "You mean we would have access to a restroom and some coffee." We said, "Yes, and a taco or Round Rock Donut".  This arrangement is a win-win provides benefits for the officers at no charge to the church, unless you count the coffee and taco (Twin Oaks Cafe volunteers, please do not charge them) and their presence on our campus is also a deterrent.
  • There will be a Round Rock police officer on the grounds each Sunday during our worship hours. On heavy attendance Sundays, there will be an additional officer. While we might wish not to take these steps, nearly all large congregations are choosing to implement these safety measures. The response to these steps has been overwhelmingly positive.
Next up will be the training of our parking shuttle ministry, ushers and Andrew ministers so that hospitality and security are both addressed. We want people to feel welcome and safe. Please note that these procedures are being taken as preventative measures. This whole effort has been a marvelous partnership between Trustees and their working task forces, Finance, and Staff, allowing for outstanding solutions that have come in under budget.
Spotlight on...The trail of the attendance books
Attendance Books
What happens with those attendance books you find  in the  pews on Sunday?
It is a process with several steps. It begins on Thursday afternoon when  Janet Reynolds
comes to the church office, gets the books and puts them in the pews. It is one of those behind the scenes volunteer jobs that no one knows about. Next step...on Monday mornings, Debbie Anika and Lucretia Lehrmann (sometimes affectionately know as the  Holy Tearers ) come in to tear out the completed sheets and resupply the books as needed. Then  Celeste Ridgley , our Monday afternoon office volunteer enters all of the attendees in the church database.  Yes...we really do want you to sign in on Sundays!  We appreciate these dedicated volunteers who quietly take care of these important tasks.

Other Church office volunteer opportunities
We need a Wednesday morning volunteer! If you are available between the hours of 9 am-1 pm on Wednesdays, why not consider coming in and answering the phone and other tasks? Men and women are welcome.Email or call Wanell Soslow, or 512.255.3336.
A reminder for Heart Month
The JOY Senior Fellowship had an outstanding program on Thursday. Dr. Stephen Benold spoke on the topic of What Do I Do Now? While we may not like to think about it, people do have sudden cardiac emergencies. What happens if someone near you in worship or in a church group goes into cardiac arrest?  It is good to know that at First Church, we have four Automated External Defibrillators or AEDs. One is in the sanctuary foyer, one is in the Family Life Center, and two are in Building 5 - one on each floor. They are easy to use and have excellent directions. Take a look around and make sure you know where they are located. You may be in a position to save a life someday.  
Ministry Focus
Children's Ministry
Children's Ministrydepends on volunteers! 
Each Sunday, volunteers teach and assist in Sunday School classes at 9:30 am for children age 3 through 5th grade. We provide a lesson and all materials.  We welcome parents, grandparents or others over 18 who love children and would like to share an hour of their Sunday morning with our youngest. We also have opportunities for adults to volunteer teaching a Bible Buddy lesson to 3 and 4 year old children at 8:30 or 11 am.
We will be recruiting VBS volunteers soon!
Registration for Vacation Bible School will be opening very soon for volunteers and their children. Keep your eyes open for that! For more information, visit the the Children's Ministry website or email
Student Ministry
Kickball this Sunday! 3 - 5 pm
All students are invited to join us for our 2nd Annual Kickball Event! We will be hosted by the Texas Baptist Children's Home and have invited them to join us. Meet us at the soccer fields on their campus for some friendly kickball. We will have snacks and drinks. There is no cost for this event and we encourage everyone to bring friends!

Texas Baptist Children's Home is just across Hwy. 79 at  1301 N Mays St, Round Rock.
Adult Ministry
Mike Middleton
UMW Deborah Circle - Tuesday, February 20
The UMW Deborah Circle invites you to a special program at their monthly meeting on Tuesday, February 20. Dr. Mike Middleton will present a program of accordion music. Dr. Middleton is a semi-professional accordionist who plays for many churches and senior groups in the Central Texas area. We look forward to some great music! 

Deborah Circle meets at 9:30 am in Bldg. 5-232/234. Join the fun!
Plenty Good Room
New Lenten Study begins this Sunday
The Paths to Positive Living Sunday school class begins a new Lenten study on February 18 at 9:40 am in Bldg. 5-136. In this series, Plenty Good Room, Marilyn Thornton and Lewis Baldwin combine an in-depth look at Scripture, American history, and the music of six African American spirituals. Be inspired this Lenten season by studying deep spiritual truths in such spirituals as "This Lonesome Valley," "Plenty Good Room," and "Were You There?"  All are welcome!
Walk to Emmaus
Reconnecting with our First Church Emmaus Community 
Have you been on a Walk to Emmaus or related Cursillo? Please join us on Sunday, March 4, at 12 noon (immediately after 11 am worship) in Bldg. 5-127, to discover who else has shared this experience and consider future possibilities for First Church gatherings. 

Contact John Clifford at for more information.
Women's Bible Study
New Women's Bible Study begins 2.27
Tuesday Morning Women's Bible Study meets on Tuesdays at 9:30 am during the school year.  The next study will be Beth Moore's Believing God . The bride of Jesus Christ in our generation is nearly paralyzed by unbelief. God is calling His bride to a fresh and lavish anointing of faith. This  in-depth study examines the lives of Abraham, Moses, and others as examples of persons who believed God.  For more info and to register, contact Denise Blomquist at
MIssion Focus
Food Drive

If the congregation collects more items, Dr. Will and Rev Bev will get a pie to the face! If the students collect more, Jodi Marfell and Taylor Ory will get a pie to the face!
Currently, the congregation has donated  1874 cans. The students will bring all of their collections in next weekend during D-Now. T he congregation needs to step it up!

Why the Backpack Project?
The Backpack Coalition is a collaboration of area churches, civic and business organizations, including our First Church Backpack Project, designed to meet the needs of hungry children in the Round Rock Independent School District by providing them with nutritious and easy to prepare food to take home on weekends. Each food pack contains a variety of non-perishable and kid-friendly food items. Every Friday
Backpack Project
the child you sponsor will receive food to take home. This may be the only food that they have for the weekend as many are dependent on the free and reduced school lunch program to meet their nutritional needs. First Church sponsors 95-100 students at both Wells Branch and Bluebonnet Elementary schools.

We distribute these specific, single serve, kid-friendly items to prepare and eat. During the month of February, collection bins are in the entry areas of the Sanctuary, Family Life Center and the Student Ministries Office.

We are collecting all non-perishable items. However, we especially need the following items: peanut butter, Ramen noodles, Vienna sausage, Chef Boyardee individual pop-top cans of ravioli, spaghetti & meatballs, etc., applesauce cups, microwave popcorn packets, snack cracker packs, granola or fruit and grain bars, single serve cups of peanut butter, individual size cereal boxes, 100% juice boxes or pouches.
Any products not needed by the Backpack Project will be donated to the Round Rock Area Serving Center.
Heifer Project

Progress report on the Heifer Project

Elementary Sunday School classes all selected an animal as their goal to purchase during this spring mission. The children are very excited about their goals and have been working steadily towards them. the children received (or will receive) a calendar produced by Heifer International. The calendar has a daily educational fact and opportunity to give a small amount based on what is in your own pantry or refrigerator. During the current season of Lent, we hope families will set aside a time daily, like at dinner or bedtime, to devote to the opportunities presented in the calendar. 

Collected so far
$9.69 Chicks - $20
1st Girls $39.87 Rabbits - $60
1st Boys $39.88 Pig - $120
2nd Grade $54.11 Fish - $300
3rd Grade $119.66 Llama - $150
4th Grade $97.26 Llama - $150
5th Grade $182.08 Heifer - $500

Click to learn more about how the  Heifer Project empowers families to turn hunger and poverty into hope and prosperity.
Other Mission Opportunities...
Friends of First Church...Footprints Children's Grief Ministry
Footprints Children's Grief Ministry
Date change: Footprints Children's Grief Ministry Classes will begin March 22
Footprints Children's Grief Ministry will offer two classes for parents and children: Loss Due to Death and Loss Due to Divorce. Both classes will begin March 22. Classes are offered for ages 6 to 18 years and will be 1 hour, 1 day per week for 10 weeks. 

The classes will be meet at 6:30 pm at the YMCA/Chasco, 1812 North Mays, Round Rock. Click here for registration forms and more information,or call 512.705.5194.
This week at First Church
Saturday, February 17

Sunday, February 18
  • 8:30, 9:40 and 11 am - Worship Services
  • 11:30 am - Alleluia Chorus Children's Choir, Bldg. 4-2
  • 3:00 pm - Kickball with Texas Baptist Children's Home, TBCH campus
  • 5:00 pm - Youth Choir Rehearsal, Bldg. 4-2
  • 5:00 pm - Grief Group, Bldg. 5-222
Monday, February 19 - Presidents Day, church office will be closed
  • 4:00 pm - Kids of the Kingdom Bells, Rehearsal, Bldg. 3/FLC
  • 7:00 pm - Boy Scout Troop #157, Bldg. 3/FLC
Tuesday, February 20
  • 8:30 am - UMM Tuesday Breakfast group, Ju├írez Restaurant on South Mays
  • 9:30 am - UMW Deborah Circle, Bldg. 5-232/234
  • 12:30 pm - Brown Bag Theologians, Bldg. 5-124
  • 6:30 pm - Stephen Ministry Supervision, Bldg.5-123, 126, 127
  • 7:00 pm - Community Bible Study, Bldg. 5-223/224
  • 7:00 pm - Finance Committee, Bldg. 5-124 
Wednesday, February 21
  • 6:15 am - UMM Breakfast, fellowship, & devotional, FLC/Bldg.3
  • 9:30 am - Women's Bible Study, Bldg. 5-232/234
  • 5:00 pm - Revelation Ringers Tins, FLC-East Cry Room
  • 5:00 pm - Revelation Ringers Bronze, North Suite
  • 6:00 pm - HeartSong Choir rehearsal, South Suite
  • 6:30 pm - Women's Bible Study, Bldg. 5-232-234
  • 7:00 pm - Jubilation Bells rehearsal, North Suite
  • 7:00 pm - D-Now meeting, Bldg. 3/FLC
  • 7:15 pm - Chancel Choir rehearsal, South Suite
  • 8:00 pm - Ignite, Bldg. 5-220
Thursday, February 22
  • 9:30 am - Heart to Heart Quilters, 115 Winsted
  • 12 noon - Mom Life, Bldg. 5-122
  • 7:00 pm - Council Oak Bells rehearsal, North Suite
  • 7:00 pm - Orchestra rehearsal, South Suite
Friday, February 23
  • 8:30 am - Round Rock Helpers, Bldg. 4/Payne Cottage, Rm 2
  • 9:30 am - Ministry Of Motherhood (MOM) gathering, Bldg. 5-232/234
  • 8:00 pm - Narcotics Anonymous-Right Stuff, Bldg. 4
Saturday, February 24
  • 9:00 am - First Church Choir & Round Rock Community Choir Boot Camp, South Suite


There is always a lot going on at First Church. Visit the website, find us on Facebook or Twitter, and check the  Church Calendar so you don't miss out! 
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