A message from Greg
    
This past week (week of January 22) Nancy and I participated in two events designed to promote unity and understanding among people of faith.  The first 'event' was a worship service held at St. Andrew UMC to celebrate and observe the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.  Several churches and parishes from around the county participated  with the hope that we could foster closer ties and deeper understandings with one another.  This was the fourth year the service has been held and Deacon Jim Rush from the Lafayette Diocese does an outstanding job of organizing us for the service.  The second event was our 'God Conversations' gathering which we have every Wednesday evening.  On this particular Wednesday we had as our guest Enosh Kazem, a Muslim graduate student from Purdue.  Enosh graduated from West Lafayette High School and has lived in greater Lafayette his entire life.  His family, originally from Afghanistan, has live in the U.S. for fifty years.  The purpose of the event was to have dialogue so that we might understand and appreciate the things that Muslims and Christians have in common and at the same time recognize the beliefs that are clearly different.
A few thoughts:  
1.  I always find participation in Christian unity service meaningful and at the same time unsettling.  Why unsettling? Because it is a reminder that the church continues to be divided.  Why meaningful and indeed inspirational?  Because we keep trying, searching for ways to come together. The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) was founded on the idea that a church divided is sinful and that we would be a movement to work for unity.  Almost two hundred years later we still claim that we are "a movement for wholeness in a fragmented world."  We keep trying and from blessed time to blessed time we see glimpses in services like the one held at St Andrew UMC of what Jesus prayed (John 17) the church would look like.  We have a long way to go, but we keep trying.  
2.  Our 'God Conversations' dialogue also achieved in some measure our hoped for outcome.  We came away with better understanding.  Rev Nancy began the service with reflections on 'The Great Commandment' (Matthew 22: 36-40) and the prelude to the story of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10: 25-28).  She asked, "What does it mean to love neighbor?" and with that question hanging in air she introduced Enosh.  Enosh then spoke about the many similarities that Christianity, Islam, and the Jewish faith share.  Enosh clearly enjoyed being with us and those gathered clearly enjoyed having the opportunity to host him.  We came away with a deeper appreciation that we are neighbors that we need to care for and about each other.  Still, although only briefly touched upon, there are clear differences.  Enosh said a couple of the clear differences between Islam and Christianity exist around who Jesus is, Savior, the Messiah, the Son of the Living God or simply prophet, and the Christian belief that we know the One God revealed in three persons; Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  Interestingly enough though it is one similarity that perhaps creates the greatest division and tension between the two faiths.  What we call evangelism.  As Christians we are commissioned to share the Good News (the Gospel) about Jesus Christ (Matthew 28: 19,20).  In a similar way Muslims are charged to convert people to Islam.  For over one thousand years Christians and Muslims have run into and up against one another, often times violently, at least in part because of our efforts to efforts to share our faiths.  The question for both faiths continues to be how can we Love God and Love our neighbor, while understanding that we are neighbors with differences?  We have a long way to go in trying to figure that out, but when we have folks like Enosh come to talk with us we are saying we will keep trying.


 

I thank God for his grace and for both opportunities to experience that grace through two remarkable events.   Peace, Greg       

Scripture of the Month  
1 Corinthians 2:2
For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.
PLEASE KEEP IN YOUR PRAYERS: 
HOSPITAL : IU Health: Lucille Maris # 424 (waiting to be moved) (1/26)
REHAB:
NURSING HOME/HOMEBOUND: St Anthony's : Lynn Mann, Martha Oliver   Cumberland Pointe : Harriett McDowell    
Elmcraft (GreenTree): Suzie Mounts Westminster: Frances Britt Springs: Norma Sue England # 327
Rosewalk Commons : Vernetta Lynn; Verne & Rosemary Comer M. Charlene Bowman  502 W. Jackson St.  Mulberry 46058
St. Anthony; Delores Findlay - Mel Braswell's mother # 116 under hospice care
At Home : Jeanne Dible, Marilyn Galloway, Ruby Ward at home of son, Marcus Haley 8415 Turner Rd. West Point, IN 47992, Becky Britt - 2106 S. 7 th St.  Lafayette 47905, Ralph Ward home after being hospitalized
CONGREGATIONAL PRAYER REQUESTS:         
Loretta Lowe - Louise McDole's niece - cancer, Ann Prather,   Jan Rybka, Cindy Garvey, Cay Long,  Cora Woods - granddaughter of Paula & Letcher Floyd - tumor in jaw line 

The Worship Committee meeting will be on Monday, February 6th at   5:30pm.   We will meet in Fellowship Hall. A light snack will be provided.


GOD CONVERSATIONS
Come join us on Wednesday evenings in Fellowship Hall at 6:30pm.
 

February Diaconates
Feb. 5th
10am
Team Leader: Donna Adams
Serving: Robin Sturgeon
Serving: Larry Sturgeon
Serving: Sue Dismore
Serving: Juanita Hobaugh
Set Up & Clena Up: Robin & Larry Sturgeon
Feb. 12th
10am
Team Leader: Dave Schluttenhofer
Serving: Suzie Kelsey
Serving: Dave Kelsey
Serving: Linda Brammell
Serving: Richard Brammell
Set Up & Clean Up: Suzie & Dave Kelsey
Feb. 19th
10am
Team Leader: Howell
Serving: Howell
Serving: Cindy McDonald
Serving: Denise Jones
Serving: Howard Jones
Set Up & Clean Up: Howell & Cindy McDonald
Feb. 26th
10am
Team Leader: Howell
Serving: Howell
Serving: Cindy McDonald
Serving: Denise Jones
Serving: Howard Jones
Set Up & Clean up: Denise & Howard Jones

YES, Jubilee Christmas was a huge success again this year.  A huge THANK YOU is needed for everyone that contributed to make this possible.  It all came together with your generosity that last week.  Each year Pastor Greg tells me to not stress, because everything will work out at the end.  Thank  you Pastor Greg for all you encouragement and support.  As the Lord has blessed each of you, you have blessed 35 parents who were able to be the heroes by providing Christmas toys to their children.  Again, I would like to thank each and every one of you for making this possible.
Now I am looking forward to Jubilee Christmas 2017, which will be on December 9, 2017.  The fleece blanket project is the first on the list for me.  Anyone wishing to purchase fleece, I need 2 yards of print and 2 yards of a solid color to make each blanket.
Next, I am looking for people to sew stockings for the children.  I hope to get enough volunteers so each person only sews 20 or 25 stockings.  If you can do this please contact me.  My cell phone number is 427-2672.
Last, but on least, I would like your feedback on our Jubilee program.  Your ideas and input for change to improve the event would be much appreciated by the committee.
Thank you, God Bless You, and I look forward to Jubilee 2017.   Sandie Hauser
Thank You
To FCC Congregation,  
Thank you for the gift and support you have given me. Sam Hilgediek

The family of Vera Idle would like to thank the congregation of First Christian Church for all of the many kindnesses shown to us during the past few months.  We would like to especially recognize Rev. Eberhard for his meaningful funeral service, Jeff Goodspeed for the beautiful music, and the ladies of the church for the delicious luncheon served on our behalf.  We appreciate all of the cards, visits, floral and monetary contributions that were received.  The caring of our congregation is a blessing.  Sincerely, Marsha and Lou Hill, Marilyn and Bob Vanderpan and Greg and Cheri Idle

Many Many Thank Yous, for the wonderful cards, words of support and prayers. I am simply overwhelmed! My medical journey still continues as I go from specialist to specialist. Having lung damage and low immunity is a real problem -- a simple cold virus could make me very ill. God is with me on this journey and I continue to hear the words of many angels! While this journey continues know that I am coming to church  on Sunday, but sitting up in the balcony. I miss being able to extend my hand or give someone a hug. But my love is with you all! Blessings, Jan Rybka
Kids Club (K-5th grade)
February 5th     Game Night at Pizza King (18th & Veteran's Mem.) from 5-6:30pm.
                          Pizza provided just bring money for a drink and a friend.
February12th    Kids Club meeting from 5-6:30pm.
March 4th         Ski trip to Bittersweet, MI sign up at the Gathering place by February 26th
                          Cost is $70 for ski and lift ticket.  Rooms will be paid for with youth funds.
                          You must have an adult with you.  There is more info and forms at the 
                          Gathering Place.  www.skibittersweet.com 
 
     February 5th       Game Night at Pizza King (Veteran's Mem. &18th)
                                 from 5-6:30pm.  Pizza provided just bring money for
                                 a drink and a friend.
     February 12th      Youth mtg at church from 5-6:30pm.
     February 19th      Mission: Breakout Lafayette 325 S. Earl Ave.  Cost:$10
                                  I will have pizza at the church for lunch.  We will leave at
                                  Noon from the church.
                            February 26th       NO YOUTH MTG
                            March 4th & 5th   Ski trip to Bittersweet, MI! We leave at 7am on the 4th and
                                                          return at 1pm on the 5th.  Cost is $70.  Hotel will be 
                                                          paid for with youth funds.  Sign up by February 26th 
                                                          at the Gathering Place.  www.skibittersweet.com 
CROSS camp is the week of June 12th.  Please consider sending your youth.  I will have more information out SOON!


Click on this link to see the calendar.   http://www.fcclaf.org/#/calendar
First Christian Church | office@fcclaf.org | http://www.fcclaf.org
329 North 6th Street
Lafayette, IN 47901