• Sunday Traditional Worship 9:00 a.m. with Worship and Wonder for Children
  • One and All Worship 10:15 a.m.
  • Sunday School for Adults 10:00 a.m.
 December 19, 2018
  • Christmas Eve Services December 24 at 5:00 p.m. (extended Children’s Time and 7:30 p.m. (Sermon). Both services feature music and candlelight
  • Church Office Closed December 25
  • One Worship Service December 30 at 10:00 a.m.

January: Undecorating the Sanctuary January 6
Cancellations Due to Weather  Please listen to WJBC, check our Facebook page, or go to the church website at www.blmfcc.com for information regarding cancellations.
(We know it’s Cub blue
  but what could we do?!)
January 27, 2019
MEAL (& FUN!) in MAJOR HALL 11:30 a.m.
Reservations, required for meal , may be made at Information Center or on FCC Facebook page.
Sunday, January 20, 10:00 a.m. FIRM
All I Want for Christmas Advent Devotionals
are available on the table outside the sanctuary in the Narthex, and on the table outside Fellowship Hall. With cover artwork by our own Nancy Trefzger and entries written by our Elders, your family’s copy is sure to be treasured.

Advent continues
Christmas is a time to give and receive gifts, and to remember the greatest Christmas gift of all: God’s gift of the Christ Child, God’s gift of a Savior. Unfortunately, sometimes we focus so much on the falderal that comes with Christmas that we miss the special gifts Christmas has for us. Those special gifts are expressed in the traditional Advent themes: hope, peace, joy, and love. During Advent we’ll explore what these special gifts mean for us as we prepare to celebrate Christmas and the greatest Christmas gift of all.  
– Rev. Jim Warren
Please find find thank you notes from Dave & Brenda Phillis (sympathy) and Operation Santa (donation) on the Centrum bulletin board.
Christmas Greetings   Rather than sending Christmas cards to all our church friends, our tradition is to send one card to the church to be placed in a basket in the Centrum for all to read. Enclose the amount saved on cards and postage, and this donation will be given to Camp Walter Scott. To date we have received greetings from the following individuals or families: Pool, Leight, Lipscomb, Christensen, Eddie Dill, Mickey Armstrong, Dave & Brenda Phillis, Barbara Thatcher, Pat Manahan, Chaney, Dixon, Crill, Fry, and Bettie Schultz.
Disciples Women's Ministries News
  • College semesters are well underway. As you remember, our Disciples Women's Ministries group sends Love Boxes to our military personnel and college students on Valentine’s Day. Please make sure our office has the correct address for these folks. Please send the addresses to Maggie at office@blmfcc.org or give her a call. Be sure to put 'LOVE BOX' in the subject line. If the address changes for the spring semester, please re-send to Maggie. Thank you for your attention to this. After the first of the year there will be an easel with more details at the Information Center.
  • Saving those Box Tops for Education? Please do! There is a Disciples Women’s Ministries mailbox just outside the office door where you can leave them. Donate your Box Tops (they look like this and are found on many food and other grocery store items) and we can make a big impact on a local school. Thank you!

Information Center Volunteers
Maggie will soon be preparing the next schedule for the INFO CENTER Ministry Volunteers. If you would like to volunteer on the very occasional Sunday, please notify FCC Office by December 21. We welcome all -- men included.
Many people make less-often Sundays. Currently, the frequency is not more than two Sundays in a year and many times only one -- just depends on how the repeats fall.
If you have questions about the responsibilities, you can talk with Mary Helen Haskell on Sunday or email her at maryhh3444@gmail.com .
Legacy Circle  Visit the church website (in the Member Portal) to learn about this group whose members have decided to keep the church in their long-term plans.
Children and Youth
Youth Group 
  • Youth Group and Sunday School will be on a break after December 9. They will resume January 13.

  • A Youth Group Schedule can be seen here.

  • Register by January 20 for the January 26-27 Mid-Winter Retreat. Visit www.cciwdisciples.org for more information.
Spiritual Growth
Brown Bag Bible Bunch Jim Warren leads this weekly study group on Wednesdays 12:00 to 1:00 p.m. in the Conference Room. We are studying Matthew 1 and 2. Come join us! All are welcome!
Adult Sunday School Class continues, meeting in #129 after the 9:00 a.m. service. All are welcome for topical studies and studies about books of the Bible. The group is involved with the Rob Bell NOOMA DVD series, which will wrap up in late February or early March. It is likely that the group will then begin a Lenten study.
Reach Out
Gifts for Another Table Please bring food items for Home Sweet Home Mission, a great community member, during the month of December. Items needed include rice and rice dinners, potato dinners, pasta of any kind, pasta sauce, Hamburger Helper, dinner meals, cereal, mashed/boxed potatoes, and canned fruits and vegetables.
Start Fresh is a program that area churches are participating in to help men who are exiting from Lincoln Correctional Center and beginning their lives outside of incarceration. New or gently used winter coats, hats, and gloves are needed. There is a tote next to the Information Center for your donations.
Abundant Life Meal will continue to be served the third Sunday of each month . Mark your calendar now for meals on January 20, February 17, and March 17.  If you can serve or help with desserts or meal preparation, please contact Julie Robinson at jerobinson21409@yahoo.com . Those we serve are so appreciative of a home-cooked meal. Please consider helping with this outreach project.
Rita Bell is turning 95 and her family is hosting a celebration on Saturday, December 29, from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. at the Downs Fire Station in the community room. Questions can be directed to Mary, Rita’s daughter, at 309-212-0594.
Discernment Update

Where are we going…. next steps in the discernment journey?
As presented by Doug Reed at the November 18 Celebration Sunday Gathering
I want to start by thanking the core team for all their efforts over the last 16+ months leading the discernment process! They graciously took on the task of starting this process and have committed many hours of their time to get us to this point.  They have established a foundation for the board to now take the process the next leg of the journey.  Thank you to the core team (Marty Sallee, Don Mahannah, Becky White, Linda Lehmann, John Dailey, Alan Chapman, Jim Warren, Holly Irvin, myself, and Joe Bandy) for your commitment and most of all for your love of this congregation and church!  

As the board looks to move the process forward, there are five main points I want to share with you along with a challenge. These five points outline the action we intend to take as a board in the coming year.
1. Prayer / Small group The momentum, strength, and energy have been outstanding since we started prayer groups and are things we’ve been missing. I can tell you personally as a lay leader of this congregation it has been very uplifting and beneficial for me. With the help of the adult education ministry stewards, Jim, and others, we plan to continue offering these opportunities. We plan to share more after the first of the year.
2. We plan to implement Healthy Congregation Training for the Board and Elders starting in mid-January – Mid March. It was said at the prayer group recap... that as a congregation we’re not always open and honest about how we feel; not like we are in the parking lot afterwards. This training will help us gain a renewed sense of purpose and mission. It will help us to be more open an honest in a calm and thoughtful ways. It will help us boost confidence in responding to challenges and opportunities and move the congregation toward healthy functioning. 
3. Expanding and developing Prayer group outcomes Linda Lehmann shared in her article “A summary of and Reflection on fall Groups” many of the key learnings and outcomes. There were a lot of great thoughts and ideas shared that speak to our identity, passion, and desires as a congregation. We plan to work on expanding and developing these as we move forward.
4. Most importantly… Mission and Vision for FCC It was brought up in the prayer group comments and I could not agree more: As we move forward it is going to be very important that we set direction on the vision, mission, and ministry of FCC. To do this, a committee will be formed that represents the diversity of the congregation.
5. Church building After making decisions about the mission and vision of FCC, it will give us greater clarity on our building needs. The trustees have built out some different scenarios for consideration when we get to that point.

1 st challenge
The core team has done a lot of heavy lifting to get us to this point, but there is a lot more to do. There are going to be numerous opportunities moving forward for folks to be a part of this journey and to engage. We need and want you to be part of this. Look and listen for those opportunities to serve!
2 nd Challenge
At the celebration, I shared an excerpt of my spiritual autobiography. Parts of it are included in my bio located in this week’s Messenger.  In summary, we have a lot of great things going on at FCC.   My challenge to you is to share the good news and invite friends and family to join us!  
Yours in Christ,
Doug Reed
More Discernment News
Healthy Congregations Training
We are excited to start as one of our next steps in the discernment process, Healthy Congregation Training (HC) for the Board and Elders. We will have our first training session on Thursday, January 10, at 5:30 p.m. and will have two per month through March. We will be providing a light meal and child care.

Healthy Congregations (HC) Training is Biblically-based, theologically sound, and applicable to everyday life. HC Training is designed to equip church leaders to become effective stewards of their congregations. HC Training will enable participants to gain a renewed sense of purpose and mission, and learn to focus on strengths, resources, and options for the future, among many other benefits. The goal of the training is to make congregational members the experts on maintaining and improving congregational health. If you would like to learn more, you can go to www.healthycongregations.com .

We have been working with Associate Regional Minister Scott Woolridge to put the training plan together. The Rev. Melissa Ebken from Niantic Christian Church will be the lead trainer and others will assist along the way. We are excited to get started and looking forward to learning and growing as lay leaders of FCC. Please reach out if you have questions along the way.
Yours in Christ,
Doug Reed
Meet Your Congregational President and FCC Board Chair, Doug Reed
My wife Stephanie and I were born and raised in the small WIL community of Macomb. I grew up in the First Christian Church (DOC), where my parents, sibling, and family are active members today. I fondly remember my early years in church sitting next to my grandmother listening to her sing “The Old Rugged Cross” and other recognizable church hymns. 

Little did I know at that time how much those experiences in worship, Sunday school, or youth group would shape and mold who I am today. When my family and I moved to Bloomington in 2005, we were looking for a new church home. We were very fortunate to make connections with realtor Jill West and she told us about FCC. The way she spoke of FCC reminded me a lot of the church I grew up in. 

She invited us to give FCC a try and we’re sure glad we did. We did not know until visiting, that Michael Fitch was the Associate Minister. We first met him in Macomb when he was the Associate Minister there. Being re-united with him and being welcomed with open arms made us feel right at home. We have always been impressed with how welcoming and caring the congregation is at FCC.

Had it not been for our chance opportunity to work with Jill and her extending the invite to attend, I’m not sure if we would have found FCC. Sometimes it’s not enough just to tell others about all the good going on at FCC, sometimes you must take it the next step and invite them to be a part of it. That made all the difference for us! 

Serving Schedule
Sunday, December 9
·        Lucy Jamerson
·        Josie Jamerson
Child Care: 
·        Trish Logan
·        Kathie Chapman
·        9:00 Drew & Jenny Henneberg
·        10:15 Holly Rocke, Robyn Loftin
Jr. Deacons: 
·        Mason Janvrin
·        Logan Janvrin
·        Rich Crusius
·        Frank Lipscomb
·        Becky White
·        Naomi Kosier
Homebound Elders:  
·        Tamara Shields
·        David Bradbury
Fellowship Hosts:  Ron & Nancy Gramley
Fill Candles:  
·        Mark Gramley
·        Kathie Chapman
·        Alan & Kathie Chapman
·        Nate & Heather Damery
Information Center:  Leslie Frizzell      
Scripture:  Art Taylor             
Sound Tech:  Brian Metz
Time for Children: Jim Warren             
Video Tech:  Chip Jamerson
Worship & Wonder Greeter: Patti Jamerson
Pulpit:  Jim Warren – John 1:1-5, 14-18
Fourth Sunday of Advent
“All I Want for Christmas Is … Love”

Christmas is a time to give and receive gifts, and to remember the greatest Christmas gift of all: God’s gift of the Christ Child, God’s gift of a Savior. Unfortunately, sometimes we focus so much on the falderal that comes with Christmas we miss the special gifts Christmas has for us expressed in the traditional Advent themes: hope, peace, joy and love
Sunday, December 16
Acolyte:  Khloe Nussbaum
Child Care: 
·        Trish Logan
·        Rich & Karen Crusius
·        9:00 Drew & Jenny Henneberg
·        10:15 James & Libby Nussbaum
Jr. Deacons: 
·        Carter Kiesewetter
·        Clark Kosier
·        Gary Thompson
·        Frank Lipscomb
·        Leslie Frizzell
·        Gregg Kiesewetter
Homebound Elders:  
·        Mike Robinson
·        Deanne Bryant
Fellowship Host:  Nancy Pool
Fill Candles:  
·        Mark Gramley
·        Kathie Chapman
·        Vicki Hall
·        Alan & Kathie Chapman
Information Center:  Mary Ellen Gottselig      
Scripture:  Bob Trefzger               
Sound Techs:  Austin Metz, Brian Metz
Time for Children:  Tamara Shields          
Video Tech:  James Nussbaum
Worship & Wonder Greeter:  Vicki Hall
Pulpit:  Jim Warren

Christmas Eve Serving Schedule
·          5:00 PM Carrie Chapman, Brian Metz, James & Libby Nussbaum
·          7:30 PM Ryan Newton, Michelle Kiesewetter
Jr. Deacons:
·          5:00 PM Sadie Newton, Seth Newton
·          7:30 PM Rebekah Warren, Lydia Warren
·          5:00 PM Mike Robinson, Deanne Bryant
Becky White, Naomi Kosier (extra servers)
·          7:30 PM Joe & Sue Bandy
Sound Tech:
·          5:00 PM Dave Phillis
·          7:30 PM James Nussbaum
Time for Children:  Holly Irvin
Video Tech:  James Nussbaum
·          5:00 PM Matt & Naomi Kosier
·          7:30 PM Liberty Nussbaum
Contributions for 2018 must be received in the church office or postmarked by December 31, 2018.
Contact Us
Senior Pastor:   James Warren

Minister Emeritus:   John Trefzger

Dir. Music, Dir. Music & Youth
Ministries: Holly Irvin

Organ/Piano: Lou Ann Fillingham

One and All Music Coordinator:
Bill West

Communications Coordinator:
       Jenifer Petri

Office Receptionist: Maggie Burton

Financial Secretary:
Deborah Stumm

Child Care Coordinator: Trish Logan
Witness of the Faithful
  • 12/09/18: 161, 35
  • 12/16/18: 179, 40

Offering:  $29,071.60
Prayer Concerns
Advocate BroMenn: Myra Komnick
OSF St. Joseph: Betty Beer
Awaiting Tests/Surgery: Tom Crutchley
  • Sherry Blessing
  • Max Chapman
  • Laurie Heermance
  • Duff Knudsen
  • Connie Lindenbaum
  • Peggy O’Neal
  • David Pool
  • Mary Smart
Treatment:  Sharon Warren
Hospice: Harold Goyen
Assisted Living:  
  • Mickey Armstrong (Luther Oaks)
  • Niola Daily (Westminster)
  • Mary Lou Mercier (Home)
  • Neil & Dorothy Sallee (Westminster)
  • Alma Samuels (Taylors’ home)     
Nursing Homes:    
  • Heritage, Blm. – Merle Murray
  • Heritage, El Paso – Sonna West 
  • Heritage, Normal – Harold Goyen
  • Liberty, Clinton – Corena Meyer
  • Martin Health – Myrna Cable, Marlyn Mahannah, Barbara Thatcher
  • McLean County – Darlene Bethel
  • Adam Jacobs (Army)
  • Chris Kavanaugh (Marines, CA);
  • Harley Scott (Phillis niece/Navy, VA)

Best Wishes to Rick Erickson and Sherry Bright on their wedding December 14

Sympathy to:
  • Thomas (Cindy) Rousey family on the December 6 death of his mother, Agnes Rousey
  • Mike (Kathy) Mountjoy family on the December 7 death of his sister, Lynne Tammeus
Lost Coat or Jacket?   A blue jacket and a black coat have been hanging outside the church office for some time. Please claim your outerwear, as we plan to donate whatever is left after the new year. Thank you!
Front of Church
Office Phone 309 829-9327 Fax 309 829-2865
Address 401 W. Jefferson St. Bloomington, IL 61701
Website www.blmfcc.com
Hours Of fice hours have changed. The office is open Mondays from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. , and Tuesday through Friday 8:00 a.m. through 4:30 p.m.  The office closes for lunch from noon to 1:00 p.m. every day. The best times to contact the church office are while Maggie is here, from 9:00 a.m. to noon, and 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.
Keeping You in the Loop: The Messenger , Friday Email , Beyond the Bricks