Daylight Saving Time begins this Sunday. Set your clocks forward one hour!
First Church News & Updates - March 9, 2018

Daylight Savings Time
Don't forget to set your clocks forward one hour this weekend. Daylight Savings Time begins on Sunday!

FYI...The Williamson County Symphony Orchestra has a concert in our sanctuary at 7:30 pm this evening, with a theme of A Musical Journey Around The World. The free and family-friendly concert will feature a fun mix of music, including The Lord of the Dance, Egyptian March, March Slav, & more.

Enjoy this First Church News!
This week in worship...
Sermon Series

Lenten Sermon Series: Metamorphosis
At the touch of Christ, lives change - spiritually, emotionally, physically and relationally. Sometimes our lives change quickly and sometimes slowly over time, but the difference is often striking. With that in mind, during the Sundays of Lent and Easter, we will be preaching from the miracles of Jesus, culminating in the difference the cross and the resurrection makes for us personally and for the whole world. The goal of this series is for each of us to have a metamorphosis of our that we become witnesses of Christ's life-changing power.  Metamorphosis  will be a series you won't want to miss!

Sermon: "The Authority to Believe"
Scripture:    Luke 7:1-10

Dr. Will Cotton will preach at the 8:30, 9:40 and 11 am worship services. 

During the Ministry Moment, we will be highlighting a new ministry, Sharegiving while Caregiving. This support group is designed for those who serve as caregivers to others.

The Source , our weekly devotional guide, is available on the  church website Please join us in worship this weekend...Sunday at 8:30 am (Sanctuary), 9:40 am (Family Life Center) or 11 am (Sanctuary).
Words from Will...
This Easter at First Church
This past Easter we encountered two challenges that affected the quality of services we could offer. People raised a concern that the 8 am service was pretty normal, rather than exultant like the other services. The truth is that three services back to back that have full choir and orchestra are very expensive and hard on the choirs as a whole. The second concern was overcrowding at Crossroads in the Family Life Center, with 655 attendees. That size crowd is both a fire hazard and has no chance to grow further in the future.
Dr. Will Cotton
Dr. Will Cotton

With the goal of making more room for people and providing four strong and celebrative services, the schedule for this year will be two simultaneous services at both 9 and 11 am  (two traditional and two contemporary). With our south parking area, police parking facilitation and the shuttle system we have done on previous Easters, we believe the new schedule will work very well. 

The CrossRoads services will let out about 10 minutes earlier than the sanctuary services to allow better crowd flow. It is also guest-friendly to advertise that our Easter services will be held at 9 and 11 am. Last year's Easter attendance was about 2,800. The new arrangement will accommodate about 3,200-3,400.

Which ones will the Senior Pastor preach? I will be preaching all four services. The sermon will be in the first half of the Crossroads services and in the second half of the Sanctuary services... with a good solid break in between. So make plans to attend at either 9 or 11 am traditional or contemporary service. Invite someone to join you in what will be a fabulous Easter in our Lord Jesus Christ!

Sincerely in Christ,

Will Cotton Signature

Dr. Will Cotton
Senior Pastor 
Spotlight on...Retired Clergy-in-Residence
Retired Clergy-in-Residence are Bridging the Gap!
We are blessed to have several retired clergy who call First Church home and they are stepping up during this time of transition to support and fill many pastoral responsibilities such as pastoral support in the office, assisting and officiating during worship, hospital/homebound visitation, and clergy connection to various church ministries. Retired clergy include Rev. Van Dickens, Rev. Kathy Clark-Dickens, Rev. John Clifford and Rev. Marion Childress-Usher.

Let's see how the Dickens will be assisting...

Rev. Van Dickens
You might see Van or Kathy in the Associate Pastor's church office. They are each volunteering one day a week in the office to provide pastoral support. They are also coordinating the Maundy Thursday worship service. 

Van will also be officiating at some worship services and funerals, making hospital visits, and serving as the clergy connection for our Hospitality ministry (first time visitors through Welcome Home) and the Military First Responders Network. And he is also one of our writers for The Source. 

Kathy is coordinating our hospital and homebound visitation, which includes putting together a team of people and training them for visitation. She is the clergy connection for Caring Angels and grief groups, and may also be officiating at funerals.

Kathy and Van are a great team and we are thankful for their gifts that they share with First Church.

We will learn more about other retired clergy next week. When you see these retired clergy, please take a moment to thank them!
Planning ahead for Easter?
Holy Week

Ministry Focus
Handbell Ministry
Chime Camp
Bee a Ringer!
These wonderful 3-day camps are offered to all children entering 3rd-5th grades in the fall of 2018. Children learn the basics of ringing chimes from experienced teachers. July session is July 10 - 12; August session is August 7 - 9. 

Introduce your child to the joy of ringing ! 
Registration is open now. Click to learn more about  Chime Camps. Lots of ringing and fun!
Children's Ministry
Resurrection Celebration

Save the Date...Resurrection Celebration is coming up on March 25
Resurrection Celebration has become one of our Holy Week traditions at First Church. It is an opportunity for c hildren, accompanied by parents, to experience five events that occurred during Holy Week.
New this year! We are asking families to sign up for a time to begin their Walk through Holy Week. We hope the sign up will decrease the amount of time spent waiting in line outside of stations. Do allow 50 minutes to visit all five stations.  Sign up for your time today! 
More from Children's Ministries...  
Student Ministry
Summer Missions

Register now for Summer Mission Trips
The  Middle School Mission Trip will be J uly 8-13, 2018 in Houston, TX, participating in Hurricane Harvey recovery.  Cost: $300. $100 d eposit is due June 1.  Balance is due July 1

The High School Mission Trip will be June 10 - 16 in Baton Rouge, LA, participating in Red River flooding recovery. Cost: $400.00. $100 deposit is due May 1. B alance is due June 1.

Summer mission trips provide opportunities for our students and adult participants to put their faith to work and show love through their actions.  Click here for all the info and registration forms.
More from Student Ministries...  
  • No FUSION or Ignite this week. Enjoy Spring Break!
Adult Ministry

Sharegiving While Caregiving...a New Support Group for Caregivers 
Are you a caregiver for a loved one...a parent, spouse, sibling or other? Sharegiving while Caregiving is for you! This group will be a place to find support, exchange information, and express your needs. The initial meeting will be on Sunday, March 18 at 12 noon in Bldg. 5-122. A light lunch will be served. Three more sessions are planned and future sessions will be decided by the group. Please contact Wanell Soslow, 512.255.3336 or, for more information or to register.
Walk to Emmaus
Reconnecting with our First Church Emmaus Community 
Have you been on a Walk to Emmaus or related Cursillo? We are looking at ways to strengthen our First Church Emmaus community through gatherings, 4th day groups, etc. We invite you to take this short survey to let us know about you and your interests. 

For more information, c ontact John Clifford at
JOY Senior Fellowship
JOY Senior Fellowship Luncheon
Thursday, March 15 at  11:30 am  Bldg. 5-127.

Join us as Rev. Mark Holmes, Chaplain Site Coordinator of Dell Children's Medical Center of Central Texas, shares the impact the quilts made by our church Heart to Heart Quilters has had on the hospitalized children and their families.  A $5 donation is requested for the luncheon.  Registration due by Wednesday, March 14. Click to register.

JOY Senior Fellowship welcomes all mature adults over the age of 60 (or thereabouts!), who enjoy spending time with others while learning, traveling, and just having fun together.
More from Adult Ministries...
  • Plenty Good Room Lenten Series: Sundays at 9:40 am in Bldg. 5-136; an in-depth look at Scripture, American history, and the music of six African American spirituals.
  • Believing God: Tuesday Women's Bible Study began February 27
  • Uninvited: Wednesday Women's Bible Study began March 7
MIssion Focus
Heifer Project

Progress report on the Heifer Project

Did you see the live rabbits and animal puppets in worship last Sunday? Our Elementary Sunday School classes all selected an animal as their goal to purchase during this spring mission and are working steadily toward their goals. Kinders and 4th graders met their first goal and selected another goal. 1st grade girls met their goals and are now collaborating with the 1st grade boys on their goal!

Collected so far
$37.94 Chicks - $20; Ducks - $20
1st Girls $60.00 Rabbits - $60
1st Boys $72.25 Pig - $120
2nd Grade $144.17 Fish - $300
3rd Grade $131.22 Llama - $150
4th Grade $163.51 Llama - $150; Goat - $150
5th Grade $376.08 Heifer - $500

Click to learn more about how the  Heifer Project empowers families to turn hunger and poverty into hope and prosperity.
Other Mission Opportunities...
First Scrub-a-dub Day is tomorrow, March 10!
Scrub-a-dub Days

Boy Scouts
It is Spring Cleaning time! During the month of March, several 4-hour clean up shifts (9 am - 1 pm and 1 pm - 5 pm) will be offered to complete a variety of projects on the church campus. A group of Boy Scouts got us off to a great start last Saturday by weeding and planting some of the landscape beds on campus. Sign up online or just join in the fun and fellowship by reporting to the Sanctuary foyer for your special assignment. Click for more info and to sign up!
This week at First Church
Saturday, March 10 

Sunday, March 11
  • 8:30, 9:40 and 11 am - Worship Services
  • 8:30 am - LifeGroup-Spiritual Growth, Bldg. 4- Rm 2
  • 11:00 am - Life Groups, Bldg. 5-124, 148, & 222
  • 12:15 pm - Sunday Ladies of Faith, Bldg. 5-124
Monday, March 12

Tuesday, March 13
  • 8:30 am - UMM Tuesday Breakfast group, Ju├írez Restaurant on South Mays
  • 9:30 am - First Church Crafters, 115 Winsted
  • 7:00 pm - Community Bible Study, Bldg. 5-223/224
  • 7:00 pm - LEADFirst, Bldg. 5-122 
Wednesday, March 14
  • 6:15 am - UMM Breakfast, fellowship, & devotional, FLC/Bldg.3
  • 6:00 pm - HeartSong Choir rehearsal, South Suite
  • 7:15 pm - Chancel Choir rehearsal, South Suite
Thursday, March 15
  • 9:30 am - Heart to Heart Quilters, 115 Winsted
  • 11:30 am - JOY Senior Fellowship Lunch, Bldg. 5-127
  • 7:00 pm - Orchestra rehearsal, South Suite
Friday, March 16
  • 8:30 am - Round Rock Helpers, Bldg. 4/Payne Cottage, Rm 2
  • 8:00 pm - Narcotics Anonymous-Right Stuff, Bldg. 4
    St. Patrick's Day
Saturday, March 17 - Happy St. Patrick's Day
  • Williamson County Genealogy Seminar, Bldg. 3/FLC
  • 6:30 pm - Bridge Club, Bldg. 5-127

There is always a lot going on at First Church. Visit the website, find us on Facebook or Twitter, and check the  Church Calendar so you don't miss out! 
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