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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. 
Click here to see a complete list of happenings.
Dates to Know
2.18 TNT Valentine's Party
2.19 Serve Somewhere Sunday
2.24 - 2.26 Winter JAM
2.26 Boys II Men (deadline)  
3.1 Family JAM
3.3 - 3.5 Boys II Men
3.5 Drop in the Bucket
3.5 Family Night Supper (FUEL)

There is Something Coming Out of This Coffin

This past Fall at a Cross Country State qualifying sectional in Luverne, Minnesota, Liana Blomgren demonstrated a value that should be incorporated into our Small Groups.

Gracie Bucher had just missed qualifying for state the previous season by two spots. She was determined to make it to state this year.  Early on during the Luverne sectional, Gracie’s legs felt heavy and her chest tight.  She knew that she was not keeping pace with the qualifiers, but she kept pushing with one stride and then another.  As Gracie approached the finish line, she staggered and fell face forward to the ground.  She tried to get to her feet only to fall again.  Under the rules enforced by the Minnesota State High School League, one runner assisting another runner is grounds for disqualification for both.  Gracie continued to struggle – staggering, falling, crawling, collapsing.  Multiple runners ran right past.

Liana Blomgren, a former state qualifier from Mountain Lake High School, was approaching the finish line when she saw Gracie stagger and fall.  Liana bent down and pulled Gracie to her feet, then supported her weight as the competitors crossed the finish line together.  Gracie remembers hearing Liana telling her, “You’re with me, I’ve got you.”  For her act of sportsmanship, Liana was disqualified, and so was Gracie.  The rules are the rules.  Kyle Blomgren, Liana’s dad and coach, believes his daughter did what others should have.

In 1 Thessalonians 5:11, we are challenged to “encourage one another and build each other up.”  In verse 12, “to acknowledge those who work hard among you.”  Then in verse 14, we are urged to “encourage the disheartened.”  Literally, the word for encourage is to call to one’s side.  The strength of encouragement is in the act of coming alongside another person.  The strength of a Small Group is that we are constantly calling people to our side.  It is nice to know that we do not have to go through life alone.  God never intended for us to go it alone.  He built the church and family of believers for this vital connection.

Coming alongside means being a good listener.  Coming alongside means looking at the Bible to see the best ways to live.  Coming alongside means to encourage good decision making.  Coming alongside means praying for one another.  The wins for Small Group ministry supports this idea of coming along side.  The first win is that people build relationships (we are not alone)  The second win is that the Bible is being applied to life. (we know the best way to live) The third win is that people begin praying for one another. (we are willing to come alongside)

Starting in 2017, the national organization overseeing high school athletics has made a change.  A runner who stops to assist a competitor will not be disqualified, so long as a medical care provider is not available.  The Minnesota State High School League has adopted the same rule change.

Now you won't be disqualified for making the right choice to come alongside someone in high school Cross Country.  It has always been the right choice to come alongside someone in Christ.

In Community We Thrive


At first Christian , we believe that “in community we Thrive”. So, together as a church, we focus on four essential practices that are found throughout scripture to help us discover and develop life through Jesus. We call them "The Big Four". Each of these helps move our faith beyond the everyday into the extraordinary. They encourage us to partner with God and each other in changing our attitudes and actions, shaping us more into who God made us to be. But don’t be fooled by their simplicity. They are bursting with opportunities and next steps, but never a final step.
Gather Big: Gathering together every Sunday to learn more about who God is and praise Him for what He has done. God does something special when we gather together.

Group Small: Meeting weekly with a few to do life together and to “keep the conversation going” beyond Sunday morning.
Serve Somewhere: Using our gifts, skills and passion to serve within the church and community. One cannot be like or become like Jesus without serving.    
Give Something: Practicing generosity in everyday life. Giving releases the grip of stuff on our hearts, so we can more fully give our hearts to God.    

TNT Valentine's Party
  A TNT (55+) Valentine's Party is this Saturday, February 18, at 12:30 pm at FCC. Come alone or bring your Valentine! Join us for food, fun and fellowship. The main dish will be provided. Please bring either a salad, veggie dish, or dessert to share. Prizes will be awarded. If you have questions contact Jean Hopkins at 402-371-1466.

Kari Uhlir and her daughter Cameron Uhlir were baptized at first Christian  on January 12th at the FUEL service.

Congratulations and welcome to the first Christian  family.

We are celebrating with you!

Boys II Men

Join us for this year's Boys II Men father/son weekend. This weekend will be filled with fun activities, awesome worship, great conversations, lots of bacon 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. 

The Deadline is fast approaching so sign up today!


Registration Deadline: 2/26

Family JAM FX

Our Family FX creates a shared experience for parents and children as well as a fun place to bring friends for the first time. The Family FX includes worship, interactive learning and fun for all ages. This month's theme is FORGIVENESS. Join us as we focus on God’s love that went to great lengths to rescue us from our sin. Childcare will be provided for infants and toddlers. 

Wednesday | March 1st | 6pm
If you’ve lost a spouse, child, family member, or friend, you’ve probably found there are not many people who understand the deep hurt you feel. This can be a confusing time when you feel isolated and have many questions. GriefShare groups meet weekly to help you face these challenges and move toward rebuilding your life. 
Each GriefShare session includes a teaching Video, Small Group Discussion, and Personal Study. GriefShare meets at first Christian:
  • Tuesdays at 6:30 pm
  • Thursdays at 2:00 pm 
To join a group or for more information, please contact Randall at .
Thrive Update

Jesus came to give life. The Thrive Vision is about sharing Jesus’ thriving life with northeast Nebraska. God continues to draw people to himself and to firstChristian. The Thrive expansion and remodel will provide space to share Jesus with children, space to connect with each other, and space to communicate and celebrate the life giving good news of Jesus. The anticipated completion of the expansion is June, 2017 and the remodel September, 2017. For more information on the Thrive Vision visit our website at Click on the link above to view the latest time lapse video of the expansion construction.

You can view this and other great items on our website here. 

In Other News...
New Personnel Update
It is our pleasure to introduce Albert Ponder. Albert Ponder started Monday, January 23rd as our part-time Building and Grounds Coordinator at first Christian . He is also employed at Northeast Community College. He and his wife Paige and 2 1/2 month old daughter, Kennedy live in Battle Creek. Albert can be found at the church in the afternoons. Be sure to greet him when you get the opportunity.
2016 Annual Report
The first Christian 2016 Annual Report is now available at the firstChristian office. If you would prefer to receive a PDF version of the report, please email the office at
Morning Star Preschool
Has your life been impacted by Morning Star or Kiddie Kollege Preschool? Though we will not be offering it next year, we want to recognize and celebrate what God has done through FCC’s preschool over the years. We invite you to join us by sharing your stories. Please email them to  We will compile your stories and share them this Spring. If you have any questions concerning this project or the decision to not provide preschool please contact Tim DeFor (, Randall Coffin (, or Stacy Hardy (
morning star logo
Stay Connected
In Other News...
Sunday Announcements
If you missed Sunday's video announcements or last week's newsletter, you can view them on our website at
February Song of the Month
Joy of the Lord by Rend Collective

I got the chance to worship with The Rend Collective in Lincoln, last October.  It was quite the experience.  One of the things I remember most clearly is a thought they gave on the Fruit of the Spirit, in other words, the qualities of Godly character we will see in our lives when we are listening to and following the direction of God’s Holy Spirit within us.  

Galatians 5:22-23 "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control." 

What they said was simple, but rather profound.  “Seriousness is not a fruit of the Spirit, but Joy is.” You can watch their full explanation here. 

This world is trying to steal our Joy in the Lord, deceiving us to mourn, to fret, to lose hope, but Nehemiah reminds the Israelites in Nehemiah 8 that “The joy of the Lord is our strength.” Knowing God’s great power coupled with His great love and joy over us being His children is what will strengthen us and enable us to bring God’s Kingdom on Earth as it is in Heaven.  Their song, “Joy of the Lord” is just such a song for the occasion, giving us a chance to celebrate remembering that when we celebrate our Joy in the Lord here on earth, we are just preparing ourselves for the eternal celebration in Heaven.

for HIS glory, 

~ Greg

Take firstChristian With You
We know you aren't in town every weekend, 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, 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
February 5, 2017
Worship: (331, 263) 594
Sunday School: 258

General Fund
Budgeted weekly: $14,704
Given: $14,437
Budgeted ytd: $102,928
Given ytd: $106,237
Given: $1,881
Given ytd: $12,335
Thrive Vision | Building
Given: $3,427
Total given to Thrive: $887,430
Committed: $1,354,600
Give Online Now!
first Christian | 402.371.5734 | |