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Welcome to the firstChristian E-Newsletter!

If you are reading this, it means you are on your way to learning more about upcoming events and getting up close and personal with all the things happening within the FCC family. Be sure to check out this week’s blog post and other vital information to stay connected.

Join us Sunday as we continue our sermon series which takes a deeper look into the book of Nehemiah. Nehemiah is a dramatic story of one man’s faith-fueled response to seeing God’s people and city in a neglected state of disrepair. God providentially protects and provides as His people are stirred to rebuild the wall around Jerusalem, and in the process are rebuilt themselves. 
Marshal's Musings:
The Big 4 in Student Ministry

Gather big, group small, give something, and serve somewhere. These are four characteristics that we have identified within the body of FCC. All four benefit you as an individual in your relationship with Jesus Christ and other people in the body. The Big 4 are not just applicable to the adults at firstChristian, but FUEL, the Student Ministry, is actively pursuing, participating in, and promoting each action point also.

On a weekly basis, FUEL gathers big and groups small. One of the major needs of students from the ages 13-18 is the idea of consistency. Consistency is essential in life, schedules, decisions, motives, as well as relationships. Consistency is also encouraged by students, parents, and sponsors.  Something that is asked of all our FUEL sponsors is to be present. Not just physically, but also mentally, emotionally, and relationally. It is a huge commitment to be an adult volunteer within the FUEL student ministry.  Every Sunday evening, we gather big for worship as well as our teaching time, and then we immediately group small. The conversations, biblical discussions, weekly challenges and commitments are all part of consistently living life together. There are certain habits that are highly beneficial for individuals as well as the whole group.

Give something is a learned act of obedience. Something that I have learned about this generation is that they get a bad rap for being incredibly self-focused. In this selfie/Instagram culture, we often see a ridiculous collage of personal worship. The interesting thing is that although students love to take pictures of themselves and love the idea of being #blessed; they are almost too generous. When this generation is passionate about a cause or a situation in which they have an opportunity to impact the outcome, they are often generous beyond their means. Willing to go without, so that someone else has an opportunity to succeed. Biblically, God calls us to tithe 10%. In Paul’s letter to the Church in Corinth, he challenges their motives with these words, “whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”  Giving requires faith, obedience, and action. That is what we ask and attempt to model for our students.

Jesus stated that he “did not come to be served, but to serve.” It is difficult to implement the teachings of our Savior, if we are not willing to follow his example. We have so many students actively involved in seeing and meeting the needs of others. Many of our students serve in our JAM Children’s Ministry. We have 18 of our High School students who are small group leaders for Club 56, our after-school program. We also have students in the praise band on Sunday mornings, helping in the sound booth, and leading worship on Sunday evenings at FUEL. These are just a few examples of how our FUEL students are regularly putting their faith into action. 

The Big 4 are basic action points that provide stability, balance, direction, and purpose. I am so excited to see this generation of students living out their faith in measurable ways, so that we know where we have been and see where we want to go.                                                                        


Because HE lives,

Marshal Hardy

You can view this and other blog posts on our website here. 

Click here to see a complete list of happenings.
Small groups are one of the Big Four of firstChristian. We want everyone to be a part of a small group to:
  • Keep the Conversation Going – small groups are a great way to talk about what you heard on Sunday morning and apply it to your life

  • Build Community – small groups are a place to develop meaningful connections with other people and care for each other 

  • Impact our Communities – small groups provide opportunities to serve others, invite new faces, and transform lives

    Small groups start up again January 29. 
     
    Sign up on Sunday at the Connection Center!

    Women's Bible Study
    Rejection often finds its way into our hearts at an early age. In Uninvited , Lysa TerKeurst gives concrete truths to combat the Enemy’s lies; you are handpicked by God. Study begins on Monday, January 23rd at 9 a.m. and Tuesday, January 24th at 6:30 p.m. 

    Study book cost is $9. 

    Contact Chris McKibbon at 379-4596 (evenings) or cmckib@telebeep.com to register.
    On Sunday, January 29, parents and kiddos have the opportunity to worship together at both the 9:15 and 11 AM services as part of Family 5th Sunday!
     
    K-12th Students: Students in grades K-12 will have the opportunity to worship with their families during the entire main service.

    Preschool 4's & 5's: Preschool children ages 4-5 will join their families for worship in the main service and be dismissed after communion for Children's Church.

    Nursery, 2's & 3's: Children ages birth through 3 years will have regular programming during both of our services.

    Family JAM- Date Night Challenge
    Our Family JAM Date Night Challenge is designed for married people wanting a little time to reconnect. We make it easy for couples to do what sometimes seems impossible: make time for each other to have a little fun. We want couples to have time to be with each other and only each other through this guided date night. Only catch: we want parents to complete the date night challenge, too. We promise it will be fun! Date Night challenge cards will be distributed that night. Childcare will be provided for infants and toddlers. Kids programming will be provided for Preschool - 6th grade. 

    Wednesday  |  February 1  |  6pm
    Winter Jam -  4th & 5th Grade
    Winter JAM is a weekend retreat designed specifically for 4th-5th graders to help them grow in their relationship with God and others. This event provides a great opportunity for students to get to know each other better as well as meet students from other Nebraska churches. This year’s theme is “I AM”. We will spend the weekend digging deeper into what Jesus meant when he said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” Students will also be challenged to see who they really are in Christ and to live that out every day.

    Registration Deadline: 2/5/17

    Register online

    February 24th – 26th  |  Cost $48
     
    Boys II Men
    Join us for this year's Boys 2 Men father/son weekend. Activities, teaching topics, worship, conversations, competitions,  lots of shotguns, lots of bacon, incredible snoring, and essential time with each other. $110 per father/son, and $40 per additional child. This is specifically for Jr/Sr High students and their dads.

    Registration Deadline: 2/26
     
    Contact Marshal Hardy through facebook, email (marshal@fcnorfolk.org), or even face to face, to get registered.

    Dates to Know
    1.29-2.4 Small Groups Kick-Off
    1.29 Family Sunday
    2.1 Family JAM
    2.5 Drop in the Bucket
    2.5 Winter JAM (deadline)
    2.19 Serve Somewhere Sunday
    2.26 Boys II Men (deadline)  

    In Other News...
    Office Personnel Update
    For the last two weeks we have been without an Office Manager. The office is very much the central nervous center of the church. It is the hub of communication for ministries, small groups, and volunteer support. But the office is nothing without the people that make everything happen. We are incredibly blessed to have exceptional volunteers and Tatum Hausmann, a very capable temporary office assistant to bridge the gap. (It is Tatum’s voice you likely have heard when calling the office.) We will continue to lean on them for another couple of weeks as we transition to a new arrangement. We are pleased to announce that we have found two new part-time employees, an Office Manager and an Administrative Assistant. We will introduce them both to you in next week’s Newsletter. We are excited to welcome our new team members.
    Family Dedication
    Lee and Jessica Hahn dedicated their 4-month old, Josiah, following the 11am service on Sunday, January 15th.

    Congratulations to the Hahns!

    The individuals below placed membership at firstChristian on Sunday, January 15th.

    John and Shirley Schmitt (9:15am)

    Norma Christiansen (11:00am)

    Levi and Robin Dotson (11:00am)


    Congratulations to each of you and welcome to the firstChristian family!
    Stay Connected
    If you missed Sunday's video announcements or last week's newsletter, you can view them on our website at fcnorfolk.org/news.
    Missions Update: Deaf Missions
    The translation team at Deaf Missions has just grown! Starting January 1st, Deaf Missions added new translators to their staff to help complete the first ever Bible in any Sign Language - the American Sign Language Version (known as the ASLV). The translation team is now fourteen people strong and is comprised of previous employees, former students enrolled in the Deaf Missions Training Center, as well as new hires who are skilled in American Sign Language and translation techniques.

    Please pray for the team as they continue to translate God’s Word into Sign Language. Their goal is to complete the entire ASLV by the year 2020!

     
      The team picture above was taken at Deaf Mission's recent training retreat held at
    Camp of the Good Shepherd in Louisville, NE.
    January Song of the Month
    This We Know by Vertical Church Band

    I love Ephesians 6:10-20. It’s entitled “The Whole Armor of God” in the NIV. You might have heard it before (I would encourage you to take a moment right now and read it). Paul writes that we need to remember our battle is “not against flesh and blood”, but against the “spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places”. In light of this, Paul says we need a different set of weapons, not earthly ones like swords and shields, but spiritual ones: truth, righteousness, the gospel of peace, faith, the word of God. If we forget who we are fighting (the Devil himself, not people), we resort to human ways, which often lead to destruction instead of advancing God’s Kingdom.  It’s important for us to remember what God told us through Isaiah, “God’s thoughts are not our thoughts, neither are our ways God’s ways.” (Isaiah 55:8) This We Know is a song of declaration, giving us an opportunity to remind ourselves of God’s role in our lives and providing us an opportunity to renew and declare our trust and obedience to Him and His ways.

    Click here  to browse FCC's Worship Sets.
    In Case You Missed Sunday...
     We know life gets busy, but that doesn't mean you have to miss out on Sunday Mornings at first Christian . All of our sermons are available online on our website, fcnorfolk.org. On the website, you are also able to keep the conversation going with our sermon discussion guides. Parents can also keep the conversation going with their kiddos with the parent cue here. No matter where you are on Sundays, you can always take firstChristian with you. 
    Participation and Giving
    January 15, 2017
     
    Attendance 
    Worship: (330, 292) 622
    Sunday School: 290

    General Fund
    Budgeted weekly: $14,704
    Given: $22,335
    Budgeted ytd: $44,112
    Given ytd: $46,732
     
    Missions
    Given: $1,670
    Given ytd: $5,653
     
    Thrive Vision | Building
    Given: $3,923
    Total given to Thrive: $897,764
    Committed: $1,354,600
     
    Give Online Now!
    first Christian | 402.371.5734 | office@fcnorfolk.org | fcnorfolk.org