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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 the upcoming events and other vital information to stay connected. 

Jesus challenges us to see the world differently. By doing so, followers of Jesus get to live in an alternative reality. We can discover, like Alice in Lewis Carol’s story of Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, that things are often not as they seem. Luke recounts how Jesus turned the accepted view of his day upside down and inside out. Join us for five weeks starting this Sunday, as we look at Jesus, the world and ourselves through the mirror of Luke 5 and 6. It may not be what you expect, but it will be worth the adventure. 

In this Newsletter...
Staff Blog
Growing Orange:
Why Summer Camp?

Growing up, summer meant summer camp. It was the top summer priority. From the ages of 8-18, I was at camp every chance I could get. I would attend all events for my age every year. By high school, I was attending weekly and serving multiple times a week. I would soak up every minute of it!


At the time, all I knew was that camp was fun. It gave me opportunities to meet new friends who loved God, too. There were adults who thought I was cool. I got to buy food at the canteen. I didn’t mind getting dirty if it was part of a game. Camp food was tolerable. Staff scavenger hunts were the best. Midnight giggles were mandatory. Every night ended with a campfire, and I was able to rule on the softball field. Most importantly, though, I always left feeling closer to God.
Looking back, it was so much more than that:

  1. Camp provides the perfect environment in which lives can be changed. Relationships with Christ are developed and deepened. Getting away from everyday distractions and hectic routines makes it easier to concentrate on this relationship. It is the focus of every camp experience and it made a difference. At the age of 13, I was baptized in a small camp lake. At the age of 18, I decided to major in Youth Ministry while attending CIY. Camp changed the direction of my life.
  2. Camp provides a safe and fun environment where personal relationships can be formed. No matter how you do camp, relationships are a huge part of it. Camp is the perfect place for relationships to form and grow.  Some of my best childhood friends were the people I attended camp with. Some of them attended my church and some of them attended churches throughout Nebraska. However, this circle of friends became my support group throughout junior high, high school and into college. We shared our faith and could hold each other accountable. We encouraged each other and knew we were accepted. These people are still my friends today.
  3. Camp provides the opportunity for additional adult voices to be heard. Adult sponsors have dedicated time to reinforce the value and worth of each camper. These sponsors share their faith, speak truth into the lives of each kid and keep the conversation going. Adult sponsors reinforce the message parents want their kids to hear – you are loved, you are valued, God wants a relationship with you, and God has a plan for you. I am so very fond of my camp sponsors, and my parents are thankful for the additional voices who poured into my life. They truly impacted who I am today.
At firstChristian, we have designed unique camp experiences with all these things in mind. We hope your child gets to be a part of it this summer! To learn more or to register, you can visit our website: fcnorfolk.org/kids or fcnorfolk.org/youth .

Keeping the conversation going,

Kristi
Upcoming Events
Click here to see a complete list of happenings.
FirstLook Classes
If you are new to first Christian  or want to learn more about who we are – first Christian  invites you to our first Look  class with Lead Minister Tim DeFor. This is a great opportunity to learn about the vision, mission, and purpose of first Christian . It will also allow you to dig deeper into the history, philosophy and doctrine of the church.

Classes will be offered:

Wednesday, May 17th | 6-7:30 pm

Sunday, May 21st 1:30-3 pm

Register online here!

Children's Ministry Activity Schedule
Our JAM Kids Ministry strives to combine the critical influences of the church and home to incite wonder, provoke discovery and fuel passion in the hearts of children toward the love of Jesus. We believe children’s ministry should be fun, creative, powerful and life-changing all at the same time. Our curriculum is always relevant, Biblical, engaging and experiential, and it also emphasizes a relationship with God and with others.   
Summer Camp

Ignite Camp
June 18 – 21 | 4th – 5th grade
Cost: $88
Register online here.

  Summer JAM

June 22 – 23 | 2nd – 3rd grade
Cost: $38
Register  online here .
Night JAM

Wednesday | June 30 | 6 – 8:45 pm
Kindergarten & 1st Grade
Cost: $5
Register online here.

Evening at the Lake

Wednesday | July 5 | 5 pm
Register online here.
Youth Ministry Activity Schedule

Our Student Ministry exists to challenge students to actively pursue a growing relationship with Jesus Christ, through various worship experiences, biblical teachings, service opportunities and opportunities to fellowship with other believers. This ultimately results in growth toward spiritual maturity. 

Day at the Lake

Friday | June 23 | 2-8 pm
Cost: $10
Incoming 5th – 8th
Online registration link

CIY – MOVE

July 9 – 14
Cost: $275
Incoming 9th – Graduated 12th
Promo video
Online registration link

Summer Fusion

July 30 – August 2
Cost: $110
Incoming 6th – 8th
Promo video
Online registration link

Faith In Action

Thursday, June 1
Thursday, June 15
Thursday, June 29
Thursday, July 20

Watch Facebook for details, locations, supplies needed and times.

Wednesday Evening FUEL

June 7th 6:00-8:00
“Old School” Big Base Kickball Tourney @ Ta-Ha-Zouka

June 21st 6:00-8:00
Ultimate Frisbee Tourney

July 5th 5:00-9:00
Evening at the Lake
Willow Creek SRA
Boats/drivers/supervision needed

July 26th 6:00-8:00
Mini Golf Tourney

Watch Facebook for details, locations, supplies needed and times.

In other news...

The Following People Placed Membership at firstChristian on May 7th:

Ken & Gina Herrmann
Joe & Sharon Davis
Eric & Rebecca Feary and Family
James LeCompte
Monica Whitby
Dawn Hall
Eric Hemmenway
Michelle Sanchez

Cam Shelton was also rededicated to Christ at firstChristian on May 7th.

Congratulations and welcome to the firstChristian family!
  Congratulations!

Eric Hemenway was baptized at first Christian  on April 3rd.

Congratulations and welcome to the first Christian  family.

We are celebrating with you!
Thrive With Us

12,000 = homes in northeast Nebraska without a church home
319 = households participating in making the Thrive Vision a reality

The Thrive Vision is about sharing Jesus’ thriving life with all of northeast Nebraska. God’s faithfulness and your generosity is realizing the Thrive Vision.
The Thrive expansion and remodel provides 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 only a couple months away. Remodeling of our current building will begin right away with a hoped-for completion in late summer. While under construction, God continues to draw more people to himself and FCC.
What does that mean for the FCC family?

  • There is more opportunity and more need for volunteers – Immediately! The ministries that have the greatest need are Worship Technology (video, audio, lighting), Guest Services (coffee, greeting, ushering) and Children’s (check-in, nursery, teachers, small-group leaders). 
  • Remodeling impacts summer programming. FCC has had an exceptional Vacation Bible School for many years. Because we will be in the middle of remodeling, we will not be able to host a VBS. Our large group activity space will not be available for youth and adult activities this summer.
  • Flexibility is necessary. There will be times that the sidewalk, parking, lobby and other spaces will be construction zones. We will need to work around it. Although we have anticipated finish dates for expansion and remodeling, we can’t know for sure. If construction lasts longer than expected, we will adapt and press on!

Thank you to everyone who is making the Thrive Vision a reality. It is exciting to think of how God will continue to use first Christian and our facilities to help the people of northeast Nebraska to Thrive.

Onward and Upward,
Tim

PS 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.

Nebraska Christian College Matching Gift

Nebraska Christian College (NCC), one of FCC’s Core Missions, strives to “prepare exceptional Christian leaders.” On April 30, Tony Clark, Associate Vice President of NCC, visited our services. Tony reflected on the long connection between the college and our congregation dating back to 1945. Even today, FCC has six staff members (and many members) who received their ministry training at NCC. Tony concluded by thanking us for our ongoing support. 

In April, a generous donor offered a matching challenge of $5,000. Together, we will be sending $9,030.00 to NCC. The entire gift will be going to scholarships to prepare that next Christian leader. Thank you for your generosity. 

Visit nechristian.edu for a closer look at Nebraska Christian College.

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. 
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.
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
May 7th, 2017
 
Attendance 
Worship: (302, 232) 534
Sunday School: 144

General Fund
Budgeted weekly: $14,704
Given: $12,702
Budgeted ytd: $279,376
Given ytd: $295,532
 
Missions
Given: $1,314
Given ytd: $43,062
 
Thrive Vision | Building
Given: $3,377
Total given to Thrive: $991,564
Households Participating: 318
 
first Christian | 402.371.5734 | office@fcnorfolk.org | fcnorfolk.org