• 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 5, 2018
  • Music Sunday December 9 at 9:00 a.m. service
  • Annual Tasting Party December 9 at 10:00 a.m.
  • Christmas Eve Services December 24 at 5:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Save the Date: January 27, 2019
Celebrate Jim!
Blended service at 10:00 a.m.
Meal and mini-program
Details in the next Messenger
5:00 p.m.
Note number attending
on Sunday attendance pad
Phone FCC Office (829.9327)
by 2:00 p.m., MONDAY, December 17
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 .

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 began December 2
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
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.
Please find find thank you notes from Seedling Encore (building use) and Cuba Christian Church (prayers) 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 Pool, Leight, and Lipscomb families.
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 Luke 1. Come join us! All are welcome!
New 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. Currently, the group is involved with the Rob Bell NOOMA DVD series. 
 Meeting in small groups for eight weeks allowed each of us to gain new insights into one another that just doesn’t happen in corporate worship. Now that our prayer groups have officially ended, that doesn’t mean we can’t still get together! Several groups have decided to continue to meet for fellowship or study, but participation in a prayer group is not a prerequisite! We hope to provide an opportunity for richer relationships within our congregation. Some suggestions include a Christian Book Club (perhaps similar in structure to the Great Books Clubs), Story Circle (sharing our story with others), Sermon Discussion (delve deeper into the message). The idea is to explore our social, religious and philosophical beliefs and life experiences. Meeting places (homes, church, restaurants), time of day (morning, afternoon, evening), and frequency of meetings can be determined by each group (weekly, monthly, bi-weekly). There might be one facilitator, or members of a group could take turns. 

Please read and respond to the survey at the bottom of this email (to allow for printing)... this is not a commitment, just needed feedback so we can proceed. We would love to have at least some studies in place by mid-January. 
Please turn your response in to the office or place it in the offering basket.
Please circle all responses that apply. If you turn your response in to the office or place it in the offering basket, it will find its way to us. In the meantime, please check out at least one of the two adult study groups already meeting after the early service on Sunday morning. 
Thank you, 
Bill Robitske 
Patty Thompson
Children and Youth
Worship and Wonder   Susan Sanders began as our Worship and Wonder storyteller on December 2. She is a Worship and Wonder Trainer and has led W & W for many years. She is currently participating in the children’s ministry at Normal First Presbyterian Church, and will be able to be our storyteller as well. We welcome Susan to First Christian and look forward to many stories!

Youth Group 
Upcoming Date: 
  • December 9  Youth Group grades K-12 Scavenger hunt and Christmas party
  • 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 .
On December 2 the Youth visited Martin Health Center and entertained some of the residents with some Christmas Carols including Joy to The World, Jingle Bells, 12 Days of Christmas, and many more. Photo by Gregg Kiesewetter.
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 be served December 16. 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.
Poinsettias  If you would like to provide a poinsettia for the sanctuary during Advent, please complete a form found in the attendance pad at church and return it to the church office, or place it in the offering basket, with $9. You may also use any paper with the following information on it:

Name: ______________________________________________________________
Given in memory of or in honor of (circle choice)
___ In lieu of a poinsettia, I would like my donation to be given to the Christmas offering
Discernment Update
In July of 2017, the Official Board authorized the Trustees to initiate a discernment process for our church, the purpose of which would be to examine our mission and ministry to see if changes might be desirable as we move into the future. Secondarily, we wanted to be sure that critical decisions that must be made regarding our facility will be in line with and supportive of our decisions regarding mission and ministry. No pre-determined outcomes were envisioned, and although we have made considerable progress, highlighted to date by our recently concluded eleven prayer groups involving nearly one hundred of our members, we are not yet at the stage of making recommendations, and much important work remains to be done.
From the outset, the Discernment Planning Team has included all five Trustees, our professional staff and key leaders of the congregation, including leaders of our Official Board. We have had important input and assistance from the Christian Church in Illinois and Wisconsin Regional Office. We are now at the point of transitioning the oversight and direction of the discernment process back to the Official Board, the governing body of our congregation. The Trustees will continue to be active participants in a supporting role.
I challenge each member of First Christian Church to stay engaged, follow the leadership of the Official Board, and help to keep our discernment process moving forward.
Alan Chapman
Chair of Trustees
November 18, 2018
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!

Serving Schedule
Sunday, December 9
 Acolyte:  ----
Child Care: 
·        Trish Logan
·        Jenny Henneberg
·        9:00 Libby Nussbaum, Juan Mejia
·        10:15 Matt Davis, Michelle Kiesewetter
Jr. Deacons: 
·        Jaci Cox
·        Bethany Warren
·        Rich Crusius
·        Ralph Lehmann
·        Susan Cleaver
·        John Dailey
Homebound Elders:  
·        Al Leight
·        Beverly Leight
Fellowship Host:  Tasting Party  
Fill Candles:  
·        Mark Gramley
·        Kathie Chapman
·        Mark & Michelle Gramley
·        Brian Metz, Austin Metz
Information Center:  Susan Chaney      
Scripture:  Patty Thompson                
Sound Tech:  James Nussbaum
Time for Children:  Matt Chapman             
Video Tech:  Austin Metz
Worship & Wonder Greeter:  Karen Crusius
Pulpit:  Jim Warren – Luke 1:46-55
Second Sunday of Advent
“All I Want for Christmas Is … Peace”
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:  Hunter Trefzger
Child Care: 
·        Trish Logan
·        Corin Chapman
·        9:00 Ted Logan, Matt Nichols
·        10:15 Drew & Jenny Henneberg
Jr. Deacons: 
·        Austin Metz
·        Carson Damery
·        Ralph Lehmann
·        Ryan Newton
·        Tamara Shields
·        David Bradbury
Homebound Elders:  
·        Susan Cleaver
·        John Dailey
Fellowship Host:  Doug Reed
Fill Candles:  
·        Mark Gramley
·        Kathie Chapman
·        Justin & Kim Cox
·        Doug & Stephanie Reed
Information Center:  Jan Dyer      
Scripture:  Ryan Newton                 
Sound Tech:  Dave Phillis
Time for Children:  Scott Fisher           
Video Tech:  Chip Jamerson
Worship & Wonder Greeter:  Jessica Davis
Pulpit:  Jim Warren – Isaiah 12:2-6
Third Sunday of Advent
 “All I Want for Christmas Is … Joy”

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
  • 11/25/18: 145, 38 
  • 12/02/18: 160, 36

Offering:  $27,505.41
Prayer Concerns
Awaiting Tests/Surgery:
  • Tom Crutchley
  • Laurie Heermance
  • Duff Knudsen
  • Ralph Lehmann
  • Peggy O’Neal
  • David Pool
  • Mary Smart
  • Pam Yerkes
Treatment:  Sharon Warren
Hospice: Harold Goyen
Assisted Living:  
  • Mickey Armstrong (Luther Oaks)
  • Mary Lou Mercier (Home)
  • Alma Samuels (Taylors’ home)     
Nursing Homes:    
  • Heritage, Blm. – Merle Murray, Pam Yerkes
  • Heritage, El Paso – Sonna West 
  • Heritage, Normal – Harold Goyen
  • Liberty, Clinton – Corena Meyer
  • Martin Health – Myrna Cable, Marlyn Mahannah
  • McLean County – Darlene Bethel
  • Adam Jacobs (Army)
  • Chris Kavanaugh (Marines, CA);
  • Harley Scott (Phillis niece/Navy, VA)
Sympathy to:
  • Brenda (Dave) Phillis family on the November 25 death of her mother, Geneva Scott
  • Congregation of Mount Pisgah Baptist Church on the November 29 death of their pastor, Rev. Frank McSwain
New Baby:   Congratulations to Jill and Justin Smith, who had a baby girl, Marley Sue, on November 20. Brother is Tucker. Grandparents are Julie and Mike Robinson and Dave and Brenda Phillis.
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
Small Group Survey

Are you interested in a small group interactive study?     YES          NO
What time of day is best for you?    MORNING    AFTERNOON    EVENING
How often would you like to meet?    WEEKLY     TWICE MONTHLY    MONTHLY
Would you be willing to:    HOST          FACILITATE       ATTEND
Do you need transportation?     YES          NO                             
Name:  ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­______________________________________________________

Please turn your response in to the office or place it in the offering basket