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 the upcoming events and other vital information to stay connected. 

By Your spirit I will rise, From the ashes of defeat. The resurrected king, Is resurrecting me. These words from the song "The Resurrecting King tells a story." It is a story about a king who himself once was dead and now lives forever. It is a story of those who have tasted death at the heart level and are discovering the life Jesus came to give.

In this Newsletter...

5.3 Family Jam Picnic

5.7 Drop in the Bucket

5.7 Fiesta Grande

5.17 & 5.21 FirstLook Classes

5.21 Serve Somewhere Sunday

6.7 Jr. JAM Camp 


Missions Update
Literature and Teaching Ministries, one of firstChristian's Core Missions, supplies ministry leaders around the world with resources in their heart language. Phil and Susan Casey of LATM will be in Norfolk this Sunday! Join us for Sunday Service on May 7th as they share their heart for ministry.

Who is LATM?

Literature And Teaching Ministries was established in August 1992 to put Christian books into the hands of church leaders all over the world in their own languages. LATM does whatever it takes to guide these books through the publishing process, from translation to proofreading to formatting to printing. LATM's main job is to help provide funds for these book projects by partnering with churches and individuals in the United States. firstChristian is one of those partners!

Why does firstChristian partner with LATM?

There is an abundance of books in English in the U.S., but in most countries, books are a rarity. A church leader who has even a handful of books in his own language is fortunate. Most church leaders would love to get their hands on good books in their native tongue, but in most cases, they simply do not exist!

What does our partnership do to assist LATM?

Our gifts to LATM will help them publish 5,500 books this year. This amount would almost completely fund one of LATM’s largest book projects in 2017, 365 Daily Devotions in the Hindi language. Christian reading material assists the Word of God to significantly impact a culture. Consider how your life has been influenced by other Christian reading and imagine what it would be like to have never experienced those resources. Could you help influence a culture that has few contacts with reliable Christian books in a way that helps Scripture come alive? You can, by partnering with LATM.


The Caseys will be at both services this Sunday, May 7th. 
Learn more about LATM here http://latm.info/

Would you like to give to the Literature and Teaching Ministry? Giving opportunities can be found here: LATM

May 7th | 9:15 & 11:00 am

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.

Staff Blog
    Walking in my Chacos:
What area of your life do you feel you're giving evil space to run free?

I was recently discussing Tim's message from Sunday with a friend. (If you haven't heard it yet, you can do so here www.fcnorfolk.org/current-series) I had posed the question "What area of your life do you feel you're giving Evil space to run free?" What my friend said caught me off guard. I was expecting, answers like, the movies I watch, gossip with my friends, a difficult work environment, etc...But their answers went much deeper than that, and it resounded true in my own heart. Their answer... "ungratefulness."

Since that conversation, I've become keenly aware of moments of ungratefulness in my own life... Here are a just a few from just the past 24 hrs... Wood that split when I put a screw in it, a coaches meeting interrupting my Sunday evening, having to shove an equipment bag into my truck cab that I wish was bigger, snow in May!!!, wet socks from snow in May!!! And that's just a few.

But what does this have to do with Evil having a foothold in my life? I think it's because of what ungratefulness robs us of. It robs us of moments to see and remember the generosity and abundant blessings of God. Paul in 1 Thessalonians 5:18 tells us to "Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." God's will for us is to choose gratefulness over ungratefulness, to look at what we've been given instead of being obsessed about unmet wants or what we feel owed.

In every one of those recent moments in which I felt ungratefulness was an opportunity to give thanks, to realize God's blessings. It was a scrap piece of wood that I didn't have to buy, I learned how to swing a bat properly (which probably explains why I struck out so much as a kid), I didn't have to walk home in the rain carrying said equipment bag, the beauty of bright green grass dusted with pure white snow, a warm comfortable place to dry out my wet socks.

Here is the danger. The more we allow an ungrateful spirit to take root in our hearts, the harder it will be for us to give thanks. The more difficult it will be for us to realize God's blessings in our lives and respond in worship. A spirit of thankfulness and gratitude is at the core of true worship, and without it, our worship of God will feel empty to us and to God. Wondering why your worship times are not satisfying? Start with looking at if your heart is characterized by ungratefulness.

So what do we do? I love what Paul says to the Colossians in Chapter 2 verse 7. "Let your roots grow down into Him (Jesus), and let your lives be built on Him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will OVERFLOW WITH THANKFULNESS (or gratitude)." The more we build our lives on Jesus, the more we will realize just how blessed we are, and Satan's empty lures of ungratefulness, will be exposed for the petty lies they are.

I pray that each of us might realize God's abundant blessings and realize that there is no circumstance in which gratefulness and thankfulness can't outweigh ungratefulness.

for HIS glory,
Greg 

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.

Upcoming Events
Click here to see a complete list of happenings.
Family JAM Picnic

Join us for the Family JAM picnic as we celebrate a great year! We’ll eat, laugh, play games, enjoy time with our JAM family and maybe eat some more. Meat, drinks and desserts will be provided. Please bring a side dish to share with everyone.

Tonight | May 3rd | 6 pm

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.  

This Sunday | May 7th
Fiesta Grande (FUEL)

As we come to the end of another great year of FUEL, it is time to celebrate! FUELites, please join us at the church for an evening of celebration. We have a variety of activities that you can choose from as well as a huge nacho bar! Help us wrap up the year and build momentum for our summer schedule! 

If you have any questions, please contact Marshal Hardy at marshal@fcnorfolk.org.  See you Sunday!

This Sunday | May 7th | 5-7 pm

 
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!

Jr. JAM Camp

Join us for a fun-filled morning for preschoolers ages 3-5 years old. Through stories, games and crafts, we will learn more about our God who created us and loves us so much.

Preschoolers: 3-5 years
Cost: $5
Register online here.

Wednesday | June 7th | 9 am – Noon

Morning Star Preschool

Has Morning Star or Kiddie Kollege Preschool impacted your life? We invite you to join us in recognizing and celebrating what God has done through FCC’s preschool over the years.

Please share your stories with us before May 8th by emailing them to office@fcnorfolk.org.

morning star logo
In other news...
  Congratulations

Mitchell Peterson was baptized at first Christian  on April 30th at the FUEL service.

Congratulations and welcome to the first Christian  family.

We are celebrating with you!
Serve Somewhere Opportunity
Funeral Luncheons
We are looking for volunteers to assist with funeral luncheon preparation, serving, and cleanup. Volunteers see firsthand how grateful the families are, and the people who attend can feel the love and compassion extended to them.

If you are interested in being contacted to help serve, email us at: office@fcnorfolk.org or sign up online: Funeral Kitchen Team
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
April 30th, 2017
 
Attendance 
Worship: (375, 285) 660
Sunday School: 144

Financial information for the General Fund, Missions, and Thrive Vision will be available next week.
first Christian | 402.371.5734 | office@fcnorfolk.org | fcnorfolk.org