Don't miss out on the news, announcements, and upcoming events at first Christian!
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 this Newsletter...
Click here to see a complete list of happenings.
Nebraska Christian College Matching Gift
 

When a man or woman responds to God’s calling, they soon discover the need to prepare for ministry challenges ahead. One of the biggest barriers to fulfilling their calling is the cost of quality ministry training. Now, for the first time, you can be a double answer to their prayers.

Nebraska Christian College, one of FCC’s Core Missions strives to “prepare exceptional Christian leaders”. During April, all gifts to Nebraska Christian through FCC will be doubled up to $5,000 and will be used for scholarships. A generous donor has made this opportunity possible.

Together, we can encourage men and women to prepare to help a local church to Thrive. Please consider a gift to Nebraska Christian during the month of April.

Visit https://nechristian.edu for a closer look at Nebraska Christian.
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 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:
Hawaiian shirts, grass skirts, flip flops, and sunglasses welcome! 

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 6:00pm, 9:15am, and 11:00am services. We hope 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 meaningful 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 Easter weekend, an even larger number of people will join us in our celebration. To help welcome everyone, we will need an expanded team of volunteers!

What better way to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus than by serving in His name, welcoming others to join in His praise. This is a wonderful opportunity to make this weekend a great experience for everyone, allowing God to not only work in you but also through you. So, s ign up at the Connection Center or the Volunteer Hub on Sunday.
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, 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.) 

FCC Staff Blog
It Takes A Village
Circles of Influence:
Who's Influencing Your Family?

This Monday is our next FamilyD class and in a few short weeks (April 22nd) we will have our FamilyD Celebration. I can’t help but get excited about these events. Not only do I get to interact with the parents of firstChristian, but I have an opportunity to hear their hearts as they seek to raise their children to know and love Jesus. Our FamilyD Celebration is a time for families to dedicate their children to God, but it is much more than that. It is a time when parents can pause and think about their child and what makes them unique. They also ponder who they want their child to become – what characteristics and qualities they want to instill in them. Parents also are encouraged to think about who is in their “circle.” Who is in their lives, and in turn, their children’s lives as an influence? Who are those people who will show up at big celebrations – birthdays, concerts, sporting events, graduations, but also in the day-to-day? Who will invest in their kids and show them Jesus in the everyday?

I recently read Parenting Beyond Your Capacity by Reggie Joiner and Carey Niewhof. One of my favorite quotes from the book is this:

“Seth Godin makes this observation: “Human beings can’t help it; we need to belong. One of the most powerful of our survival mechanisms is to be part of a tribe, to contribute to (and take from) a group of like-minded people.” Don’t miss this point. The right community is not only important because of what it gives to your children, but also because of what it requires from your children. Children need more than just a family that gives them unconditional acceptance and love; they need a tribe that gives them a sense of belonging and significance. Something powerful happens when you partner with other influences who desire to instill a sense of mission into the hearts of your children. You give them a different view of their place in the world, and you transfer a different kind of passion to them that your family alone cannot give them.”

Here’s the thing…we ALL need someone to show up for us and come alongside us in life, wherever we may be on that path. We need a tribe, a community. Children and teenagers need positive adults that can point them to Jesus. As adults, this need doesn’t change. Whether we’re parenting preschoolers or preteens. Whether we are empty nesters or early retired. We need people who are in this same stage of life and are walking through this with us. We also need people who have been down this road, who have experienced it and can encourage us. It is vital that we find people in our lives that can walk alongside us. And in return, we have the opportunity to do that for someone else. Think about who is in your “circle” and who you want to invest in the lives of your family and your own life. Think about who showed up for you and what that meant for you…how that impacted your life. Then consider who you want to show up for and invest in. It’s never too late to invest in someone’s life so that they may see Jesus and know Him more.

Circle Up,

Liz Spray

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 

Thrive with Us

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 firstChristianGod’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.

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. Click on the link above to view the latest time lapse video of the expansion construction.

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 26, 2017
 
Attendance 
Worship: (381, 246) 627
Sunday School: 288

General Fund
Budgeted weekly: $14,704
Given: $18,500
Budgeted ytd: $191,152
Given ytd: $201,062
 
Missions
Given: $2,587
Given ytd: $24,292
 
Thrive Vision | Building
Given: $22,131
Total given to Thrive: $955,490
Committed: $1,354,600
 
Give Online Now!
first Christian | 402.371.5734 | office@fcnorfolk.org | fcnorfolk.org