On August 29th, 2017 I submitted my letter of retirement to the General Board of First Christian Church.  That letter follows.  While on my vacation I noticed a plaque in one of the many gift shops Nancy decided we had to absolutely visit.  The plaque stated: 'Do not count the days, make your days count.'  Over the next few months that is exactly what I hope to do.  Fall and Advent Season is easily our busiest time of year at FCC and I look forward to enjoying and being fully involved with you in all the wonderful ministries that are part of this season in the life of the
                                         church.  God Bless You! Greg

(Rev. Greg's letter to Mike)
Mike Rubesch August 29, 2017
Chair of the Board and Congregation, First Christian Church

Dear Mike,  
In accordance with the constitution and by-laws of First Christian Church I am giving you as Chair of the General Board of First Christian Church notification of my intention to retire on January 12th, 2018.   My last Sunday will be January 7th, 2018 and I will take the several days after that to pack up and leave things as "decently and in order" as possible.
I want to briefly express my thanks to the congregation for the blessing it has been to serve FCC for nineteen years.   In the coming weeks I will have the opportunity to give greater expression and thanksgiving for the wonderful opportunity I have had to serve this church for these many years.    
It is with a mixture of joy and sadness that I make this announcement.   The joy, of course, comes in looking forward to retirement and the new opportunities and experiences that this chapter in my life will bring.   I trust that God is not finished with me yet and that I will have chances to serve the Lord in ways that are still to be determined.   And I look forward to playing more golf!
The sadness, not sorrow, comes from knowing that a significant chapter in my ministry and life is coming to a close.   Nancy and I have spent over half our married life at FCC.   Our two youngest sons have grown up in this church and were baptized here.     I have been in commissioned and ordained ministry for thirty-five years and I am blessed to have spent nineteen of those years here.   It has been a remarkable journey.     I could go on and at a later time I will.   It is enough to say right now THANKS BE TO GOD for the wonderful gift of being able to serve this great church as your minister.   Peace, Greg

Well, I guess my first message to the congregation as Chair of the Board is a big one: the General Board received Reverend Eberhard's letter of resignation, stating that he will be leaving his position as Senior Minister of First Christian Church at the beginning of 2018 (you've probably already seen the text of that letter in the "A MESSAGE FROM REV. GREG" section of this newsletter).

I had a flood of different feelings and emotions when I learned of Rev. Greg's resignation: surprise (although Greg's retirement was not entirely unexpected, the reality of a date is a different matter), sadness (over the loss of a thoughtful and skillful minister and friend), trepidation (what will this mean to FCC), concern (what does our Church do now), and worry (about the details ahead of us).  There may have been other feelings, and I imagine you can probably add some others to the list of feelings that you experienced on hearing this news.  

With God's help we'll work through those feelings.  I would like to begin working through our feelings by telling you about what the Church will be doing in the coming months to call a new Senior Minister.  The Constitution of First Christian Church outlines the steps that we will take in the selection and calling process, which I summarize below:

A Ministerial Search Committee will be created, comprised of the Chairs of the Elders, Diaconate, Functional Ministries, CWF, CMF, and CYF (and others as needed and approved by the General Board).

A Chair of the Ministerial Search Committee will be selected by the Chair of the General Board and approved by the General Board.

The Ministerial Search Committee will utilize the services of the Regional Minister of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Indiana and other agencies for identifying prospective candidates.

The Ministerial Search Committee will gather information on potential candidates, and consider prospective candidates one at a time.

The prospective Senior Minister recommended by the Ministerial Search Committee will be presented to the General Board, requiring two-thirds majority approval, and to the Congregation, requiring two-thirds majority approval.

During the search the Ministerial Search Committee will work with the Regional Minister to select and engage Interim Minister(s).

This process will begin immediately.  It will be long and arduous, will take six months to a year or more, and will be a challenge to all of us.  I hope that you will face that challenge like I have done, by looking at the wall of photos of the past Ministers of FCC outside of the parlor.  Whenever I look at the very small number of Ministers that FCC has had throughout its history, I think about how God has blessed us with outstanding Ministers, and trust that He will continue to do so.

Finally, I hope that you will add one more feeling to the list: JOY.  I hope that we all rejoice in the fact that Rev. Greg has made this life decision and will be able to spend a long and well deserved retirement with his family and pastimes. Rev. Greg has given us several months to celebrate his presence with us.  Please find a time during those months when you can reach out and thank Rev. Greg for what he has done for you and your families, and what his ministry has meant to you.
Scripture of the Month  
John 14:27
Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you.  Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.
HOSPITAL : St Elizabeth: Robert Walkup  3N48  (change in room)
St Anthony's: Lynn Mann    
Cumberland Pointe: Harriett McDowell   
Elmcroft  # 124:    Suzie Mounts   Westminster:  Lucille Maris # 1112   Rosewalk Commons:  Vernetta Lynn;  Verne Comer  Rosewalk Village # 216 Sue England   Friendship House
# 320 Flo Peters   M. Charlene Bowman 502 W. Jackson St.  Mulberry 46058; Wanda Sharp - home  Connie Zarzour - 
# 114 Fowler Apts.
At Home : Jeanne Dible, Ruby Ward at home of son, Marcus Haley 8415 Turner Rd. West Point, IN 47992       
CONGREGATIONAL PRAYER REQUESTS:                               
Ann Prather  Prayers for Sue England's sister, Ruth - in critical condition Gerald Edwards - Linda's husband
Jim Ogden  - brain cancer friend of Daryl Killian.
Don Weedon - health issues Barb Renaud - Prescott, MI   friend of Carolyn Weedon - aggressive  lung cancer
Our sympathy to the Comer family on the death of Rosemary Comer, 8/21   There were no services.
   Kids Club & Youth Activities for September
September 3rd     NO Meetings!  Happy Labor Day!
September 10th  "Kick Off Sunday" with Trinity UM 4-6pm
                            We will have balloon animals, ice cream 
                             with LOTS of toppings, Kona Ice Truck,
                             Nerf Gun games and MORE!!!  Bring a 
September 17th    Hunger Hike! We will meet on the steps at 
                             Riehle Plaza at 1:30pm.  The walk begins 
                             at 2pm.  COME AND WALK WITH US!
Property Committee Update
At the August Board Meeting, the Property Committee presented a report with two item of general interest to our congregation.  
1.  Office Security
The Property Committee has been working to install increased security in the office area.  The reason is that we have been concerned for the safety of our staff when they are working in the office especially alone.  Haley's began work on Monday and the system should be operational soon.
The way this will work is that the office exterior door which is now normally unlocked during the office hours, will be normally locked.  If you are coming in through the office, you will ring the bell and June will be able to see you on a video screen or through the window; and buzz you in.  Please remember that after normal working hours when the office is closed, this door is locked and alarmed.  
2.  Building Usage
The Property Committee asks all of our ministry chairs (and any others who use the building) to remember that we need you to fill out a Building Use form in advance of any activity that you are planning to conduct in the building.  The form will let us know the date and time of your event and which rooms are needed.  This is not a new procedure, but has become increasingly important as we are sharing space with the LUM After School Program.  LUM has been very good about respecting our building needs and trying to work around them, and it will help everyone to share the space more effectively if we know in advance when these activities are planned.  
Jim Rybka, Co-Chair of Property Committee

We will be walking in the Hunger Hike on September 17th at 2pm.  We meet on the steps at Riehle Plaza (200 N. 2nd St.) at 1:30pm.  If you would like to sponsor our youth that will be walking please make a check out to Hunger Hike and place it in the offering plate.  You can also mail a check to church at 329 N. 6th St. 47901.  Thank you for helping this great cause in our community.
September Diaconates
September 3rd
Team Leader: Quil Standiford
Serving: Joan Standiford
Serving: Sally Brunger
Serving: Randy Harrington
Serving: Daryl Killian
Set Up & Clean Up: Joan Standiford & Sally Brunger
Team Leader: Kathy Stirlen
Serving: Crystal Cover
Serving: Richard Shaw
Serving: Megan Eberhard
Serving: Stephen Eberhard
Set Up & Clean Up: Crystal Cover & Richard Shaw
September 10th
Team Leader: Quil Standiford
Serving: Joan Standiford
Serving: Sally Brunger
Serving: Randy Harrington
Serving: Daryl Killian
Set Up & Clean Up: Mary Sego & Daryl Killian
Team Leader: Dave Schluttenhofer
Serving: Roberta Pilotte
Serving: Greg Smith
Serving: Robin Sturgeon
Serving: Larry Sturgeon
Set Up & Clean Up: Roberta Pilotte & Greg Smith
September 17th
Team Leader: Quil Standiford
Serving: Joan Standiford
Serving: Sally Brunger
Serving: Randy Harrington
Serving: Daryl Killian
Set Up & Clean Up: Joan Standiford & Sally Brunger
Team Leader: Donna Adams
Serving: Roberta Pilotte
Serving: James Sanders
Serving: Denise Sanders
Serving: John Sanders
Set Up & Clean Up: Denise & James Sanders
September 24th
Team Leader: Quil Standiford
Serving: Joan Standiford
Serving: Sally Brunger
Serving: Randy Harrington
Serving: Daryl Killian
Set Up & Clean Up: Mary Sego & Daryl Killian
Team Leader: Floyd's
Serving: Floyd's
Serving: Harriet Beeler
Serving: Mike Nelson
Serving: Sue Dismore
Set Up & Clean Up: Mike Nelson
Tuesday morning Bible Study will resume September 12th.  We will be studying Philippians

Thank you so much for the gifts and support.  It means a lot to me!!!!  Tyler Wilken
You are invited to participate in a Screening and Workshop
 on the PBS Film
 An American Conscience-The Reinhold Niebuhr Story
Saturday, September 16, 2017 2-5pm
at Central Presbyterian Church
7th & Columbia St. Lafayette
2017 Jubilee Christmas
It's not to early to be thinking about Jubilee Christmas.  December 9th is Jubilee day for all the churches involved in the program.  This is definitely one place we can all share our riches with those who have little.  This year we will be providing pajamas and socks to the children ages 12 and under in addition to the toys.  It is also time to start watching for food items on sale to fill the baskets again this year.  Please contact me at 427-2672 if you have any questions or suggestions.  Thanks for all your help and support with this rewarding mission.  Sandie Hauser
We have been asked to serve lunch for 15 people at the work site on Sept. 23rd at Noon and to paint trim on Oct. 7th from 9am to 4pm. Please sign up at the Gathering Place if you can volunteer.  Contact Michelle at 742-4058 with questions.
Hurricane Harvey made landfall in Texas last night at 10pm local time as a category 4 hurricane, causing flooding and structural damage in towns along the coast. The mayor of Rockport, where the eye of the hurricane crossed, has reported "widespread devastation." Nearly 300,000 power outages have been reported, and may last for days. President Trump has issued a federal disaster declaration for the state, and Texas Governor Abbott has named 50 counties in a state disaster declaration.
Winds have weakened since landfall and the hurricane has been downgraded to a tropical storm.  The primary concern right now is flooding within the next few days as heavy rainfall of three feet or more is expected. Water levels in bayous, reservoirs, and waterways are already rising.Two tornadoes have also been reported south and west of Houston, damaging multiple business and approximately 50 homes. Several other tornado warnings continue.
Week of Compassion will continue to monitor the storm and reach out to Disciples communities and our partners. If you are interested in helping, the best immediate response from afar is three-fold: pray, stay, and donate.  
            Pray.  Keep the people who are in the path of the storms, for the rescuers and first responders who will be working on the ground in your prayers as the storm continue into the next few days..
            Stay put. Out of concern and a desire to be useful, you may want to go and help. Now is not the time! The situation is dangerous and is ongoing. Volunteers at this time put themselves at risk and create additional challenges for rescue and emergency crews. Volunteer opportunities will come later for clean-up and long-term recovery.
            Donate. You can donate at  http://www.weekofcompassion.org and designate US Storms where 100% of your gifts will go to help communities rebuild after storms such as Hurricane Harvey.  
God of Noah's rain and the psalmist's morning dew; Jesus, our water-walker and storm-stiller; Spirit of mighty wind and word who moves the tides of creation's seas and the hearts of those drenched in baptismal waters:  Protect those in Hurricane Harvey's path.  Provide comfort to those who suffer loss.  Grant safety and courage to those who respond to victims of flood, fire, and injury.  Sustain all our hearts with compassion for our neighbors and with hope of days filled with sunshine and gentle breezes.  Amen.
Click on this link to see the calendar.   http://www.fcclaf.org/#/calendar
First Christian Church | office@fcclaf.org | http://www.fcclaf.org
329 North 6th Street
Lafayette, IN 47901