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The Informer

 Life at Abilene First
 Abilene First Church of the Nazarene                                 March 2018 
From Pastor Dave
Jesus weeps with his close friends Mary and Martha of Bethany, as they weep over the death of their brother Lazarus. And here in one of the bible's shortest verses - Jesus wept (John 11:35) we have one of the bible's larger mysteries. The death and resurrection of Lazarus looks a lot like a rehearsal for Jesus' own death and resurrection.  And Jesus knows he will raise Lazarus from the dead. Just as he knows he himself will rise from the dead. Why then, is he weeping?
Most likely for much the same mix of reasons for which he weeps also in Luke's account of his entry into Jerusalem (Luke 19:41-42), where Jesus weeps because of people's habit of not recognizing what makes for peace. The real mystery, perhaps, is not so much in why Jesus weeps, but in why we don't weep more with him. A well noted theologian states, "Jesus is weeping today, too, because we have preferred the path of war, the path of hatred, the path of enmity..."
I remember a time in my ministry when I met with a precious family who had their daughter prematurely and she only survived 30 minutes, words failed me as I arrived to minister to them. My ministry for the most part that sad day was to simply hold them and cry with them. I told them that I was sorry that I had no words and they replied that the compassion through tears and company was all they needed because there are no words in time like this.
In January 2015, the pope listened to a 14-year-old boy in Manila describe life on the streets as a struggle to find food, to fight the temptation of sniffing glue and to avoid adults looking for the young to exploit and abuse. A 12-year-old girl, rescued from the streets by the same foundation that helped the boy, covered her face with her hand as she wept in front of the pope. But she managed to ask him, "Why did God let this happen to us?" Pope Francis said a real answer was impossible, but the question itself was important and the tears that accompanied the question were even more eloquent than the words. "Certain realities of life," he said, "are seen only with eyes that are cleansed by tears." For people who are safe, comfortable and loved, he said, learning how to weep for others is part of following Jesus, who wept at the death of Lazarus and was moved with compassion at the suffering of countless others....
Still today many like Mary and Martha are weeping for many, many lost brothers and sisters. Still today most of the world lacks knowledge of what makes for peace. And weeping is still one of our most basic and most often overlooked spiritual practices...
Just as surely as Jesus weeps, I also believe he also smiles. I picture Jesus smiling whenever his people get it right. Many times, I'm pretty sure, I catch glimpses of Jesus smiling as he watches his people in worship, in prayer, in loving service...
I picture Jesus smiling every Sunday in our worship services, Sunday School, our Life Groups, our children, our youth and during our fellowship as we share joys and sorrows, hopes and needs.  I'm sure Jesus is smiling even in some of  our most difficult and tedious moments, whenever we pause to consider "what would Jesus do?" - and try to do likewise.
I've felt Jesus smiling on us in every sorrow, every joy, every blessing shared in prayer, hope, fellowship and in every promise of the resurrection life that he leads us into.
May we follow him together always by His grace. May we experience great joy and great peace as we all walk this faith journey together.
Loving you and Lifting you,

Annual Church Election Results
SDMI Board
Kathy Bullock
Cindy Chitwood
Malisa Creager
Norman Hassel
Loretta Leach
Brody Ratto
Jennifer Ratto
Ashton Seigman
Larry Smith
Joyce Thurman

SDMI Superintendent
Pat Bigham
NMI President
Gayla Hastings

NMI Vice-President
Kathy Bullock

NMI Secretary
Sue Peters

NYI President
Kevin Seigman

Delegates/Vision Conference
Kathy Kessell
Rosie Esparza
Julio Santana Castro-1st Alt.

Delegates/District Assembly
Julio Santana Castro
Rosie Esparza
Ganpat Ganesh-1st Alt.

Online Giving

New things can often seem overwhelming.  When something isn't working, we don't like to change.  But everything we bring into this building is here to help us collectively serve the Lord better, and this is no exception.
There are a few different ways we're able to give.  First, you can give on Sunday morning during the service.  Next, you can give through the church website.  It's easy to sign up and doesn't take much time.  We are also offering text giving.  You will find the website address and text giving # at the bottom of this insert.
Benefits of Online Giving:
         *  The ease of being able to sign up for, and donate all in one place.
         *  Even when you are traveling or visiting family away from our four walls, our giving is with                   you  through our website or through text messaging to help you continue to faithfully give.
         *  We even have the ability to set up recurring giving, meaning you set the amount you want                to donate to a certain fund, and it's automatic-you decide how often.
         *  You can login to your giving account and track your donations for the year.  You can also                   print a report for your taxes.
Using Online Giving, you can donate to multiple accounts.  Log in to the giving link/create an account.  Navigate to the box for adding additional funds.  Click the dropdown menu and choose the fund to which you wish to give.
Online Giving Guides and Text Giving Guides are located on the Welcome Center table or on our website.
FCN Website:  fcnabilene.org/online-giving
Text Giving:  325-221-0299
If you have questions, please feel free to contact the office at 325-677-9429.
Online Giving Security statement from Clover Giving:
Everything you enter is encrypted so it can't be spied on by anyone else. It's encrypted with 256-bit SSL (also known as HTTPS). Sensitive credit card information is stored only when necessary - for example, when a donor sets up a recurring transaction. When we do store information like this, it's also encrypted (essentially scrambled) using an algorithm called AES-256 in "cypher-block-chaining mode".
Our servers are behind hardware and software firewalls, which serve to protect your data and our code from hackers and intruders. We're also PCI Compliant as service provider, which means we've been certified to follow a comprehensive set of rules created by the credit card companies to ensure that security precautions are held to the highest standard.  There are many other specific measures we've put in place to ensure safe and secure transactions.  

Baby Shower "Pounding"
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The FCN family would like to welcome  Lila Wren Brooks  (daughter of Christopher & Marlee Brooks)  with a baby "pounding". 
Baby essentials: diapers, wipes, creams, lotions, onesies, baby blankets, etc. would be greatly appreciated.  
Boxes will be in the FCN foyer until Sunday, March 4th.
Lila was born on February 3rd.  She weighed 5 lb, 2.8 oz and was 15.5 in long.  

Congratulations Christopher, Marlee, and Willa!

Nazarene Missions International
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The Mission Money March during the month will go to Easter Offering, but you can also give in the regular offering, just designate it "Easter Offering".

SUNDAY NIGHT MISSION FELLOWSHIP will begin again in March. We will meet on Sunday, March 11, at 6:00 p.m. in the Dining Room.  We will begin with a finger foods/fellowship time at 6:00 p.m. with Mission Emphasis time to follow. We want everyone to be able to attend, so we will not keep you past 7:00 p.m.  Please join us!!

Thank you for your support for Missions!!

Gayla Hastings
NMI President

Active Shooter Response Team Training

The Abilene Police Department will be hosting an Active Shooter Response Team Training session on at FCN on Tuesday, March 20, at 6:00 p.m. in the Sanctuary.  This class is for anyone who would like to educate themselves on how to react and respond in the case of an active shooter situation here at the church.  

FCN will be forming an official security team which will be headed up by Terry Butler.  We already have individuals who check all the halls and parking lots throughout services each week but we will now be building a security team which will better ensure the safety and security of the FCN Family, visitors, and guests.

More information about the FCN Security Ministry will be coming soon.  It is sad that we have come to a day and time where we have to have classes such as these, but nonetheless, that day and time is here and we want to make sure that everyone is safe and secure in the case of any event.

Men's Basketball

Are you ready for some basketball?  The men of the church will meet on Saturday, March 3, at    6:00 p.m. in the FCN gym for some fun and fellowship.  Bring a friend!  Participants must be at least 14 years of age.  Please contact Robert Hehn for more information.    

FCN Book Club

The next FCN Book Club meeting will be Monday, March 12, at Mad Coffee and More located at  8049 Hwy 83/84 (the corner of FM 707 & Hwy 83/84) at 
6:30 p.m.  Contact Carol Hehn for more information.   

Prime Timers (Senior Adult Ministry)
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Laughter, The Best Medicine
"The old saying that 'laughter is the best medicine' definitely appears to be true when it comes to protecting your heart," says Michael Miller, MD, director of the Center for Preventive Cardiology at the University of Maryland Medical Center and associate professor of medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.  "We don't know yet why laughing protects the heart, but we know that mental stress is associated with impairment of the edothellium, the protective barrier lining our blood vessels.  This can cause a series of inflammatory reactions that lead to fat and cholesterol build-up in the coronary arteries and ultimately to a heart attack."
"The ability to laugh-either naturally or as a learned behavior- may have important implications in societies such as the U.S. where heart disease remains the number one killer," says Miller.  "We know that exercising, not smoking, and eating foods low in saturated fat will reduce the risk of heart disease.  Perhaps regular, hearty laughter should be added to the list."
The next Prime Timers fellowship will be Thursday, March 15, at 11:30 a.m. in the FCN Dining Room.  Lunch will be provided.

Children's Department
Hello Everyone! 
It's hard to believe that March is already here! We have been busy in the Children's Department with Children's Caravan and our Freestyle Wednesday nights. I think one of our favorite activities we've recently done is make ice cream using zip lock bags. It was delicious! 
Here is look at things coming up this month: 
Saturday, March 3- It's a pizza party at the Gymnastic Sport Center from 6-7:30 p.m. Please invite your friends! This time is for us just to have fun together! 
Our annual Flash Light Egg Hunt will Saturday, March 24 at 12:00 p.m. Don't forget your flashlights! We will have the Easter story, food, and games too. (The time may change...I'll keep everyone posted of any changes.) There is box for candy donations to stuff our eggs.  Your help is greatly appreciated. 
Sunday, March 25- The kids have a song in our Easter cantata. Please come listen as we worship the Lord in song.  
To help our nursery needs, I would like to start a nursery crew. This will be a group of 8-12 individuals who are willing to be on a rotation through out the year. This way we do not need to worry if the nursery is covered on Sundays. Depending on how many sign up, it would only be once every two to three months. I'm also needing a volunteer for Sunday nights. Please let me know if you're interested. 
It is also time to renew our Ministry Safe certificates. This includes everyone that helps out with the Children's Department. I will have more information soon. We may pick a day and all get certified together or do it individually. The Ministry Safe certificates are good for two years. 
Also, the annual Andy 500 Pine Wood Derby is coming up in April.  Start thinking about your car design now! And as always, a big thank you to all who help! I appreciate all of you!
Carrie Turnbow
Children's Director

WYBT1 Youth
Kevin and I would like to take a minute to thank everyone who attended the Valentine Banquet. A special thank you to those who helped us with the cooking (Aaron) and for the parents who stuck around afterward to help clean up. You are amazing.
I don't know that I will ever be able to tell you how awesome everyone is here at the church. You as a congregation go above and beyond to support the youth.
March is a slower month for us. We are going to be planning a couple of fundraisers before we go to camp. Camp is expensive and is sometimes hard for families to cover the cost so I want the youth to raise as much as possible. We will be getting information out as soon as we decide what we are going to do.
I wanted to keep you up to date on the meals the youth are delivering once a month. This past month the prayer requests were:  financial freedom, a young lady who had been diagnosed with cancer and was having surgery in a couple of days, a woman who was trying to get moved to get away from an abusive spouse, and one traveling to South Carolina. This is not all of them, but it is the majority.
Keep praying for the youth, for their friends, and those who are not friendly, for their teachers, and school administration.
Your Sister in Christ

Online Sunday Morning Services


Our Sunday morning Worship Services can be found online!  Go to:


 http://www.fcnabilene.org/sermons and click on


"First Church of the Nazarene on Livestream"


You can view on a computer or any device through the Livestream app found at the App Store, Google Play, or Roku.  Click on the appropriate link to download your app.


March Calendar

Are you missing out?   Check out events on the FCN Calendar.  See the events and times listed (they are even color coded)!
March Birthdays & Anniversaries



  6  Brad Turnbow

11  Edwina Stewart

12  Aaron Hocking

19  Julia Hehn
      Stoker Harper

21  Jimmy Creager

24  Jake Knowles

25  T.J. Butler

27  Riley Pitcock
11  Christopher & Marlee Brooks

13  Sandy & Kathy Bullock

18  Doyle & Toni Fannin

22  Charles & Almaz Barrinton

From the Staff and Ministry Leaders of
Abilene First Church of the Nazarene

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