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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. 
In this Newsletter...
Click here to see a complete list of happenings.
BOYS II MEN

Join us for this year's Boys II Men father/son weekend. This weekend is jam-packed 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.


Last Chance to Sign up!
Registration Deadline:  Sunday | February 26th


FAMILY JAM - FAMILY 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 is available for infants and toddlers. 

Wednesday | March 1st | 6 pm
FUEL's Annual Family Night Supper

Family Night Supper is an important evening for all of the students and families that are involved with the FUEL program. You will receive the Summer Calendar, have the opportunity to learn more about upcoming trips, and ask any questions you or your family members may have. 

6th-8th graders are encouraged to bring a dessert and 9th-12th graders, to bring a side dish. Fried Chicken will be provided. 

If you have any questions or concerns, please email Marshal Hardy at marshal@fcnorfolk.org.

Sunday | March 5th | 6 pm

   Missions Update: Miyazaki Bible House
This Sunday night, American pitcher Dennis Sarfate plans to visit our international Bible study in Miyazaki. We will hear in an interview what he has learned about sharing his faith in the public arena as he played Japanese pro-baseball the past five years. The following week, a Japanese Christian will speak about how he has shared his faith in a business setting. This is part of our focus this year on equipping the MICF members to pass on the Gospel in the context of the Japanese culture. 

We’re also preparing for outreach events to further connect us with new friends and neighbors. February 25 is a Photography Workshop sponsored by our Cross-Culture Connections group to meet people interested in improving their photography skills. On March 18, a men’s gospel quartet will present a concert in the community center at the end of our block. People we have met over the past 16 months will hear a short Bible talk in addition to favorite songs. Both events will be followed by Sunday afternoon Tea Times at Bible House for those interested in hearing more.  

Please pray for us, and the MICF Bible study members this year as we seek to Pass It On!

Marshal's Musings:
The Fatherly Relationship

I have a theory. I cannot scientifically prove this theory and there is no concrete evidence that proves it as a fact. My very simple theory is this: There is a direct connection between your relationship with your earthly father and your relationship with your Heavenly Father.

            Think about your relationship with your earthly father. Was he present or absent? Was he willing or always too busy? Was there clear and meaningful communication? Was he supportive or overly demanding? Was he patient when you needed patience? Was he quick to fly off the handle? Did he cheer for you or constantly tell you what you did wrong? Did he assist you in succeeding or demand perfection? Did he want you to be with him? To sit with him, to play with him, to wrestle, to joke with you, give you piggy back rides. Or, did he keep his distance from you? Was he compassionate and would also defend you, or was he harsh? Was he interested in what you were doing? Did he ask about your day? Did he invest in you? Or, would he make you feel like you were always bothering him? How did your father learn to love? Was it through the Godly example of his father? Now, how well do you trust God? How well do you communicate through prayer (talking and listening)? Where do you turn in times of struggle or trials? Do you attempt obedience out of fear, of punishment, or because you love our Creator and desire to worship in the freedom that only He offers? I know for a few of you, these were some difficult questions to answer. Were you able to see and make any connections?

My favorite weekend of the entire year is finally on the horizon; Boys II Men!  Bacon, zip lining, worshiping with fathers and their sons, conversations, competitions, big fires, and the smell of gun powder. All of these experiences, activities, and conversations, are purposeful and our desire is to see men of all ages learn, grow, and strengthen their horizontal relationships as well as their vertical relationship with our Heavenly Father. I am always so encouraged and grateful by the incredible effort and progress that occurs within these relationships over the course of the weekend and that continues throughout the year.

                                                            Learning together,

                                                                                  Marshal   



Volunteer Hub
Are you currently volunteering at firstChristian? Well, we have some very exciting news! Coming soon on Sunday, March 12th we will launch our Volunteer Hub, a room dedicated to you! We could not exist without your leadership, commitment, and passion and we wanted to give you a space where you can experience our appreciation week in and week out. With this new space brings some new opportunities and changes to the way you serve on Sundays. To find out what this means for you, click the link below.
In Other News...
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 office@fcnorfolk.org.
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 office@fcnorfolk.org.  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 (tim@fcnorfolk.org), Randall Coffin (randall@fcnorfolk.org), or Stacy Hardy (fcstacy@icloud.com).
morning star logo
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 randall@fcnorfolk.org .
Stay Connected
Sunday Announcements
If you missed Sunday's video announcements or last week's newsletter, you can view them on our website at fcnorfolk.org/news.
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. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x3gLeCiMJqI

for HIS glory, 

~ Greg

THE BIG FOUR

At firstChristian, 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.    

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, 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
February 19, 2017
 
Attendance 
Worship: (364, 277) 641
Sunday School: 276

General Fund
Budgeted weekly: $14,704
Given: $12,529
Budgeted ytd: $117,632
Given ytd: $118,766
 
Missions
Given: $2,287
Given ytd: $14,623
 
Thrive Vision | Building
Given: $4,038
Total given to Thrive: $891,469
Committed: $1,354,600
 
Give Online Now!
first Christian | 402.371.5734 | office@fcnorfolk.org | fcnorfolk.org