Greetings,
           A few years ago I went through a period of spiritual crisis. It wasn’t so much that I was faltering in my belief, but more of a crisis of hearing God’s call. I didn’t know what it was that God wanted me to do with my life, nor did I feel like I understood how my ministry was aligned with that call. I had piled my plate full of all sorts of ministry projects that I thought were in line with God’s call…at least, what I remembered of God’s call. What that amounted to was an endless list of things I needed to do, projects that had to be done, and community connections I needed to make. None of the things I was doing were bad—in fact, most of them I was really proud of—it’s just that I didn’t have any idea why I was doing them. Without that sense of God’s call, they were just things I did to pass the time.
           It was at a retreat a few years ago that I rediscovered God’s voice. Before a day of silence, the worship team read from 1 Kings 19, the story of Elijah hiding in the cave, where he hears God’s voice not in the fire, or the wind, or the earthquake, but in the silence. The words that God spoke rang out in my ears during my day of silence: “What are you doing here, Elijah?” When you go back and read the passage, the whole story, from Elijah’s nap under a broom tree, to the climactic moment in the cave, God says it again and again: “what are you doing here?” Hearing these words on that retreat led me to question much of what my ministry had become, including the never ending business of it all. Instead, in those words I heard a call to reconnect with the source, to let go of some of the things I felt I needed to be doing, and instead seek a reconnection with God.
           Hearing God’s voice often requires that we go into our own wilderness. Elijah does it when he flees to the cave, Paul does it after his conversion when he goes to Arabia for 3 years (Galatians 1) and even Jesus does it before his public ministry begins. (Luke 4) In order to hear and understand what God is calling us to be, we first have to set aside all of the things we do to keep ourselves occupied. It’s not to say that what we do from week to week is bad; it’s that in order for something new to happen we have to have the willingness to let go of the things that keep us from listening. In letting go of those things, we reconnect with the source of our call, the living God who has instilled in us a desire to serve and who has called us to follow.
           Throughout August we’re going to be talking about discernment. This is because, as you will learn, the New Beginnings steering committee has been in its own period of listening and by the end of the month they will have proposed a call to all of First Christian Church to join them in that discernment. For the next year, we are seeking to create space to hear anew what it is God is calling us to in this place. It will require us to place trust in our leadership in new ways. It will also ask that we practice trust in God but above all, it will be a time of reconnecting with one another around what it means to follow Jesus.
We are asking every member of this congregation to join us over the next year in listening to God’s pointed question: “What are you doing here?”

Blessings, Rev. Andrew Guthrie 
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General Assembly Update:
On July 19 th I drove with a few friends to Des Moines, Iowa (so much corn!) to be at the General Assembly of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the US and Canada. For 5 days I worshipped, communed, discussed, conversed, advocated, and learned from members of our denomination from around the world. The time spent was fruitful and rejuvenating, and it was good to connect with other Disciples, both those I already have known and those I’ve met.
         If you’ve never been to an assembly, there are several things that go on. Each evening we worship together, about 3,200 of us celebrated in song, word, and prayer, including hearing from some of the best preachers our denomination has to offer. Throughout assembly’s there were lunches, breakfasts and other gatherings to celebrate the various mission organizations, schools and ministries that make up the Disciple. Of course there are all the informal meetings, networking and conversations that happen in halls and hotels throughout the day. Sometimes these are the most valuable part of assembly.
         Of course, if the church at large only gets together every 2 years, of course there’s going to be business. This comes in the form of resolutions and reports. Resolutions are calls for the church to make statements, to encourage our churches to explore new topics through increased education and discernment or to make changes to the structure of the church. Sometimes they are controversial and sometimes they are formalities. Either way, they are an important part of the life of our denomination. Below are the resolutions that came of this assembly:
(If you want to read more about the items go here: https://ga.disciples.org/business/)
adopted
GA-1917
adopted
GA-1918
adopted
GA-1919
received
GA-1920
received
GA-1921
adopted
GA-1922
adopted
GA-1923
adopted
GA-1924
adopted
GA-1925
adopted
GA-1926
adopted
GA-1927
adopted
GA-1928
adopted
GA-1929
adopted
GA-1930
adopted
GA-1931
adopted
GA-1932
adopted
GA-1934
adopted
GA-1935
All in all, I always leave assembly feeling re-energized and connected with the Disciples. We are becoming a bold movement of Christians dedicated to making room at the table for all people. It’s exciting stuff and I look forward to bringing back some of the ideas and conversations to First Christian Church as we continue with all of our siblings in the Disciples of Christ to discern God’s call for our future.
Rev. Andrew Guthrie
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NURSING HOME/HOMEBOUND:
Bowman, M Charlene--Mulberry Brunger, Sally—Mulberry (209) Curtis, Marylou—Westminster (3404) Linda Edwards - home England, Sue—Signature Health (134) Fairfield, Charles—Signature H (229) Galloway, Marilyn—Creasy Springs (201) Hamilton, Gordon & Joyce--home Harvey, Barbara--home Leslie, Edna—Glasswater Creek (200) Lynn, Vernetta—Five Star Residences Maris, Lucille—Westminster (3201) Mounts, Suzie—Elmcroft (124) Peters, Flo—Friendship House (320)
Prather, Ann--home Reagan, John—Westminster (2102) Sharp, Wanda--Indianapolis Ward, Ralph—Five Star Residences (87) Ward, Ruby—son’s home Zarzour, Connie--home
CONGREGATIONAL REQUESTS: Nancy Eberhard – chemotherapy; Walter Colburn family – death of great- nephew; Roberta Pilotte family – death of mother 
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Back to School Bash will be held at Trinity United Methodist on Sunday, August 4, from 4:00 to 6:30 pm. There will be food, games, free haircuts for school children, and free school supplies. Please spread the word to anyone who could use a helping hand with school expenses. All are welcome!
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YOUTH & KIDS EVENTS FOR AUGUST
August 4th Game Night at Pizza King (Veteran's Memorial & 18th St.) from 4:30-6pm pizza provided just bring money for a drink and a friend!
THIS IS OPEN TO ALL AGES. COME AND JOIN US!
August 18th Trivia & Lunch at Buffalo Wild Wings (South) at noon
August 25th Ice Cream Social at 3pm outside the church

SUNDAY SCHOOL FOR CHILDREN & YOUTH WILL RESUME ON AUGUST 18TH AT 9:15AM!
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August Muggers - Dick & Shirley Ellsworth
Deacon Schedule for August 2019
August 4th
First Service
Team Leader: Navarra
Serving: Navarra
Serving: Laura Gullian
Serving: Denise Jones
Serving: Howard Jones
Set Up & Clean Up: Navarra
Set Up & Clean Up: Laura Gullian
Second Service
Team Leader: Donna Adams
Serving: Carolyn Weedon
Serving: Linda Brammell
Serving: Richard Brammell
Serving: Josh Tully
Set Up & Clean Up: All Available

August 11th
First Service
Team Leader: Navarra
Serving: Navarra
Serving: Laura Gullian
Serving: Denise Jones
Serving: Howard Jones
Set Up & Clean Up: Denise Jones & Howard Jones
Second Service
Team Leader: Dave Schluttenhofer
Serving: Richard Shaw
Serving: Harriet Beeler
Serving: Crystal Cover
Serving: Zach Dismore
Set Up & Clean Up: All Available

August 18th
First Service
Team Leader: Navarra
Serving: Navarra
Serving: Laura Gullian
Serving: Denise Jones
Serving: Howard Jones
Set Up & Clean Up: Navarra
Set Up & Clean Up: Laura Gullian
Second Service
Team Leader: Kathy Stirlen
Serving: Sue Dismore
Serving: Paula Floyd
Serving: Letcher Floyd
Serving: Josh Tully
Set Up & Clean Up: All Available
August 25th
First Service
Team Leader Navarra
Serving: Navarra
Serving: Laura Gullian
Serving: Denise Jones
Serving: Howard Jones
Set Up & Clean Up: Denise Jones & Howard Jones
Second Service
Team Leader: Donna Adams
Serving: Dee Chitty
Serving: Crystal Cover
Serving: Harriet Beeler
Serving: Richard Shaw
Set Up & Clean Up: All Available
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