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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.

  In a few months we get to share new space for children, connecting, and communicating Jesus with northeast Nebraska. God’s faithfulness and your generosity is realizing the Thrive Vision. March brings the 2-year anniversary, and now, the Thrive Vision is more needed than ever. Whether you were here from the beginning or if you just found firstChristian, as a part of firstChristian you are part of the Thrive Vision.

Last Sunday, March 19th, we got a sneak peak of the building progress as Tim took us on a walkthrough of the building. To see the exciting progress for yourself, click here! And on this Sunday, March 26th, everyone is encouraged to join in for a special 2-year Thrive Vision anniversary gift. God can do more through us together, than what we could ever do alone!
In this Newsletter...
Click here to see a complete list of happenings.
First Look Classes
If you are new to firstChristian or want to learn more about who we are – firstChristian invites you to our firstLook class with Lead Minister, Tim DeFor. This is a great opportunity to learn about the vision, mission, and purpose of firstChristian. It will also allow you to dig deeper into the history, philosophy, and doctrine of the church.

Classes will be offered:

Wednesday, March 22 | 6-7:30 pm

Sunday, March 26 | 1:30-3 pm

You can register online here  or view our website for more information. 
Drop in the Bucket
Drop in the Bucket takes place on the first Sunday of every month. The people of firstChristian have the opportunity to anonymously give to people in need by dropping change or dollars into buckets around the church. Each month we give whatever is collected to someone in need as God directs.

Sunday | 4.02.17
Family Dedication Class

Our family dedication (FamilyD) is for families wishing to commit to raising their child(ren) in a Christ-centered home. We want to inspire parents to invest in the things that will matter most to their child’s faith and surround themselves and their children with people who will support their faith journey. Parents participating in our family dedication will attend a class and invite family and friends to join them for the FamilyD celebration event.  

Register online here or view our website for more information.

FamilyD Class: Monday | April 3rd | 6:30-8:00 pm

FamilyD Celebration: Saturday | April 22nd | 10:00am 

Women's Book Study



Christine Caine explores the often-hidden consequences of shame and shows you how you can move from a shame-filled life to a shame-free future.  As she leads you into God’s Word, you will see how God is bigger than your mistakes, your inadequacies, and your limitations. 

Contact Chris McKibbon at cmckib@telebeep.com or sign up at the Connection Center on Sunday, March 26th or April 2nd after Sunday Service.

Monday | April 3rd | 9:00 am 

Tuesday | April 4th | 6:30 pm

Study book cost is $9. 

(Prepayment is appreciated.) 

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 HUMILITY. Join us as we take a closer look at Philippians 2:3-8 and Jesus' ultimate example of humility. He gave up everything to come to earth to save us. Childcare will be provided for infants and toddlers. 

Wednesday | April 5th | 6:00 pm
 
Volunteer Appreciation Dinner
 
Mahalo!

firstChristian Church humbly invites you to attend the Hawaiian Themed Volunteer Appreciation Dinner. 

Enjoy dinner, meet fellow volunteers, and let us celebrate the difference you make in the lives of those around you each week by sharing your gifts and talents.

Wear your favorite Hawaiian attire!

RSVP through the Volunteer Hub or by confirming in Planning Center. 

Maundy Thursday Service
We hope you join us for our Maundy Thursday service. This is a special communion service where we reflect on Jesus’ last supper with His disciples and the suffering soon to follow. This is a powerful opportunity to prepare our hearts for the Easter weekend. 

Maundy Thursday
Thursday, April 13
6:30 pm
Easter Weekend Services
Join us for our Easter Celebration for dynamic worship and real-life biblical teaching.  We have  pro gramming  for children from birth through 4th grade during the Saturday evening, Sunday  9:15 am and 11:00 am Services. We are hoping that these service times will give you and your family a chance to celebrate with us what God has done and to be involved in the many events and gatherings that happen during this time. 

Saturday Easter Service
Saturday, April 15th
6:00 pm

Sunday Easter Services
Sunday, April 16th
7:30 am
9:15 am
11:00 am

Do you have a friend that would like to join the celebration? Get them connected with firstChristian here.
Easter Weekend Volunteers
Over the course of the weekend, a multitude of guests will join our Easter celebration. To host all of these guests, we need an expanded team of volunteers!

If you are interested in being a part of making Easter weekend a great experience, sign up at the Connection Center or the Volunteer Hub on Sunday, or give our office a call at 402.371.5738 anytime during the week. 
Tim Talks
Thrive; Investing in People

In March of 2015 people of firstChristian wrote the initials of friends, neighbors, co-workers, students, and family on a 4’X8’ canvas. What the people the initials belonged to didn’t know is that they were being prayed for. It began at a prayer and worship night as part of Thrive. We were challenged to think of people we knew in northeast Nebraska who needed the life that only Jesus could give. Over a couple of weeks, the canvas gradually filled up. We committed to pray for, invest in, and invite people we knew who were missing out on the Thriving life that only Jesus can provide.

The night of prayer and worship was a highlight for me. It helped us keep our focus on the why and not as much on the what. The what, the building expansion and remodel, is only a tool. People are the why. Now that we are getting within a few months of completion, that still has not changed.

This Sunday everyone will be invited to write the initials of people they know on the front of an envelope, people who we want to experience the Thriving life that only Jesus can provide. It may be your own initials. It may be initials of someone you are close to or someone you see at the gas station, grocery store, office, work, school or gym. Whoever it is, Jesus died for them and is drawing them to himself.

We will also get to say “I’m in.” Every household is challenged to ask God, “what would you have me give this Sunday to invest in Thrive?” God may lead some to give five figures. Others it may be something they find in their wallet that day. The amount is between you and God, and is way less important than being part of what God is doing through FCC. This is not just for those who have been in from the start. This is for those who made commitments and then life happened and they could not fulfill them. This is for those who could not or decided not to make a commitment. This is for those who have given without a commitment. This is especially for those who have not yet participated in Thrive by giving. So far 264 households are participating in Thrive. It is my hope that everyone who is part of FCC will know that they are helping make Thrive happen. Together God can accomplish through us what none of us could accomplish alone. At the end of the service, together we will be invited to give our envelopes with initials and/or gift. The gifts will go toward construction expenses. The initials will be displayed as a reminder to pray and a reminder of the Why.

T MW CS MD B&JG SL KA AS ER SB AH BN RP MK KP LV GF MR KR BBM MJ JC GB JB TM MD RM SS BB JW AO CV JK ZC DJ KS HB NK TM KT HH GVO MT CB DM JF I LP JN ZL JJ RG EH JP LF AY JA JH LP LP DR EH SH DW DP EK KS NS DP SM DM LM KW KA PG SH LK SN JT JR KH BC KC LP EH BET BET KMT JA KW WA MJJ CF GVP MB AL M DM CF JB RG AO A DM AF AH MFS JK JM IR RK AW SB KG KC VL JK JS IG TD JH AS NM TM DP MF CR DR LBGTA DW GF CR WR SO TO  JO TH MS JS BR AK MP KL KL RCO RL KS JH CP PC KA NT HP PI BPJ NT HP BP VF DL BL KP SDG ML DGB CP LH CK LH CK TJ CC MC KC KC MT ZP AL M DM NEIGHBORS

Above are the initials that were placed on the board 2 years ago. I wonder how many are now meaningfully connected with a local church. I wonder how many of them are now part of firstChristian. I wonder how many of them still need to meet Jesus. I wonder how many have put their trust in Jesus and found a Thriving Life!

To Do’s:
Ask yourself, “Who can I pray for, invest in, and invite to FCC?”
Ask God “what do you want me to give this Sunday to invest in Thrive?”

 
In Other News...

The family of Donald (Dick) and Vera Bruner invite you to celebrate their 65th wedding anniversary, Saturday, April 22nd, from 3:00-5:00 p.m. at firstChristian Church. 

RSVP to wanda_henry@hotmail.com

Dick and Vera request No Gifts Please.

Saturday | April 22nd | 3:00 - 5:00 pm

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.
March Song of the Month

This song was inspired by a prayer who many attribute to Saint Patrick of the 5th century. The chorus gives us the chance to pray to God that,

“Above and below me, before and behind me, in every eye that sees me, Christ be all around me.”

This prayer affirms a powerful scripture, Romans 12:1. I love the way Eugene Peterson interprets its’ meaning, writing:

 “So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering.”

God desires our praise, honor, and obedience not just on Sunday mornings, but in “every moment”. That when people see us in our words and actions, they would see Jesus, they would see His love, His truth, His servant heart, His compassion, His good news. But that doesn’t mean it’s easy. “In this world you will have trouble.” Jesus told us that, however He concludes it, not with encouragement that we can overcome, but rather that we can “take heart for I (Jesus) have overcome the world” John 16:33. God promises us His help in the world transforming work, it’s up to us to seek that help and accept it.

May we seek God’s will, and God’s protection and leading in every moment realizing them as opportunities to bring about God’s will “on earth as it is in Heaven”.

Take firstChristian With You
We know that you aren’t in town every weekend, but that doesn’t mean you should miss out on Sunday Mornings at firstChristian. All of our sermons are available on our website, fcnorfolk.org and can be automatically delivered to your apple or android device every week when you subscribe to our podcast.

On the website, you also have the opportunity to keep the conversation going with our sermon discussion guides.  Parents can do the same with their kiddos using the Parent Cue. No matter where you travel, you can always take firstChristian with you. 
THE BIG FOUR

At firstChristian, we believe many disciplines help shape our faith and strengthen our relationship with Jesus. Of those, we have narrowed our focus down to four essential practices that can be found throughout Scripture, and we have seen and experienced to be true. We call them The Big Four. Each of these are an influential aspect of forging a faith that goes beyond the everyday and into the extraordinary. They encourage us to partner with God 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 limitless 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. 

Participation and Giving
March 19, 2017
 
Attendance 
Worship: (369, 268) 637
Sunday School: 255

General Fund
Budgeted weekly: $14,704
Given: $12,742
Budgeted ytd: $176,448
Given ytd: $182,561
 
Missions
Given: $1,258
Given ytd: $21,705
 
Thrive Vision | Building
Given: $4,122
Total given to Thrive: $929,237
Committed: $1,354,600
 
Give Online Now!
first Christian | 402.371.5734 | office@fcnorfolk.org | fcnorfolk.org