• Sunday Traditional Worship 9:00 a.m. with Worship and Wonder for Children
  • One and All Worship 10:15 a.m.
  • Sunday School for All Ages 10:00 a.m.
February 27, 2019
  • Ash Wednesday March 6 (see Lent information below)
  • Youth Sunday March 17
  • Blankets Sunday March 24
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.
Easter is April 21!

Final Epiphany Scripture and Sermon Topic: Stories That Matter

March 3  Revelation 3:14-22  A Lukewarm Church
Important Dates in the Season of Lent:
  • March 6 Ash Wednesday: Meal at 6:00 (chili and vegetarian soup); Worship at 6:30 All take place in Fellowship Hall. Ashes will be imposed. Invite a friend!
  • April 18  Maundy Thursday: Meal at 6:00; Worship at 6:30 all in Fellowship Hall. For this evening’s activities, we welcome Centennial Christian Church to participate with us, as is an annual tradition.
  • April 19  Good Friday service will be held at Second Presbyterian Church at 12:10 p.m. 
The Handbell Choir and Children and Youth Choir will perform March 3 at the 9:00 service.
Children and Youth
Youth Group 

March 3 and March 10 Youth Group    These two meetings will be spent preparing for March 17 Youth Sunday.   We would love for all children and youth to participate, so they should come March 3 (K-12) and March 10 (3-12) to be prepared!
See pictures of the February 24 card-making and birdfeeder-making event here .

Youth Sunday is March 17, and Youth Group (for grades 3-12) is a celebration after Youth Sunday. We will go to Altitude Trampoline Park at 5:00 p.m. (meet there). A parent will need to sign a waiver, either in advance or online at Altitude:  altitudebloomington.pfestore.com/waiver/ . Cost is $10 per person (FCC will pay $5 of $15 charge for one hour).  

Have you checked out the newly-decorated Youth Room?
A Youth Group Schedule can be seen here .

Camp Registration is open for all 2019 camps  Visit cciwdisciples.org/camp-program/ to access and complete the online registration form. Instructions and other important information are also available on the website.
Blankets Sunday is March 24. 
Details soon!
The Nominating Committee will begin meeting this Sunday, March 3. Please consider your spiritual gifts and contact Chip Jamerson if you are interested in serving in a leadership capacity at FCC. Chip can be reached at cjamerson@gmail.com.
Reach Out
Gifts for Another Table Center for Hope Ministries has a food pantry and we’re happy to help them with stocking it in March. Let’s get off to a strong start this Sunday by bringing these item : 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. Thank you!
Meals for Abundant Life Church will continue to be served the third Sunday of each month . Mark your calendar now for the meal on March 17. We need servers and those who can help with desserts or meal preparation. Contact Julie Robinson at
Bent School teachers and students are in need of many items. FCC is “adopting” the school and we are collecting the following, new or gently used,  at the Info Desk through the end of February: tennis shoes, all sizes sweat pants, headphones, Clorox wipes, 3-hole punch, stapler, snacks, timers, trinkets/small prizes, mini white boards, dry erase spray cleaner, flashlights, thermometers, stickers. Thanks for the great response so far!
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. The topic studied each week is the scripture for the upcoming Sunday. 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. The group is involved with the Rob Bell NOOMA DVD series, which will wrap up in late February or early March. It is likely the group will then begin a Lenten study.
Meet Julie Robinson, one of your Reach Out Ministry Stewards
 I have been a member since 1983 when Bob Cueni was the minister. My grandchildren are 4th generation Disciples as their grandparents Keith and Betty Phillis were members at FCC for many years.
I started out being a youth coach when Randy O' Brien was the Youth Minister and my girls were in youth group. I went on the first mission trip to Mexico and was hooked on mission work after that.
I have served in many roles since then: Interim Youth Minister after Randy left, VBS Director, Sunday School sub, Deacon, Elder, Ministry Steward for Grow Spiritually and Reach Out, Casserole Ministry, Search Committee for Greg Summers, and Advent preparation.
I enjoy the many relationships I have been fortunate to have with congregation members. I have had many good mentors along the way who I try to honor by passing on to the next generation what they taught me. Serving at FCC is an honor.
Disciples Women’s Ministries  On Thursday, March 7, at 1:00 p.m., in the Conference Room, we will have our last lesson of our current study: Devotion/ Prayer, Brenda; Lesson, Chapter 12, Leslie (page 143 & Workbook page 66 “Suffering” through page 71 “Is It I Lord?”).  Reminder: at our April meeting we will discover our individual gifts. We will review changes that will begin in June of 2019 approved at our last meeting. A special meeting is being planned for May. We need everyone’s involvement.
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 and we can make a big impact on a local school. Thank you!
Save the Date   Spring is coming! 
On April 6 we will have an all-church cleanup of the FCC grounds.
Want to help the Warrens by providing a meal?    
If you would like to help provide meals for the Warren family, please follow the steps below. Thank you!
  • Go to the web site: www.takethemameal.com
  • Type in "Warren" for the family name
  • The Password: Godisgood
  • Sign up for the time(s) when you would like to supply a meal, and just follow the simple steps for delivery 
Please find a Thank You note from Helen Joyce Barclay (sympathy) on the Centrum bulletin board.
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.
Lion’s Club Used Eyeglasses Collection  Please remember to bring eyeglasses you no longer use and place them in the box above the coat rack at the north end of the Centrum. 
New Names  You may have noticed that the Information Center is now known as the Info Desk, and that Fellowship Time is now known as Coffee Fellowship, throughout our publications. Nothing else about these areas has changed. The names are more descriptive and clearer for those serving. 
Washer/Dryer Donation  The Regional Alternative School has happily accepted our gift of the washer and dryer set that resided in our library area near the Fellowship Hall kitchen. At the RAS many members of our community will benefit from the usefulness of the appliances. 
Serving Schedule
Serving Schedules are included in each Messenger and in the Friday Email (sent via email to all who have subscribed) two days before worship services. These are to help you as a final reminder of your duties. Ministry areas send initial serving calendars or schedules for each area of duty, and we hope you have already marked your calendar. When you find it necessary to find a substitute, please try to trade with someone else and don’t forget to tell the church office at 309-829-9327 or office@blmfcc.org as soon as you can. Knowing who is actually serving is important to the staff and leadership for various reasons. Thank you for your help!

Sunday, March 3

Acolyte:  Campbell Damery
Child Care: 
·        Trish Logan
·        Corin Chapman
·        9:00 Ted Logan, Matt Nichols
·        10:15 Kathy Dailey, Valerie Fisher
Jr. Deacons: --
·        Gabe Warren
·        Bryce Reed
·        Rich Crusius
·        Gary Thompson
·        Susan Cleaver
·        John Dailey
Homebound Elders:  
·        Gregg Kiesewetter
·        Leslie Frizzell
Coffee Fellowship:  Tamara Shields
Fill Candles:  Ryan Newton
Greeters:  Nate & Heather Damery
Info Desk:  Mary Helen Haskell
Scripture:  Don Mahannah
Sound Techs: 
·        Austin Metz
·        Brian Metz
Time for Children:  Patty Thompson            
Video Tech:  Nate Damery
Worship & Wonder Greeter: Heather Damery
Pulpit:  Jim Warren – Revelation 3:14-22
“A Lukewarm Church”
The church in Laodicea is a lukewarm church and distasteful to God. What causes a church to be lukewarm? What can be done about it?

Ash Wednesday, March 6
6:00 p.m. Meal 6:30 p.m. Worship
Jim Warren – “Giving It Up and Taking It On”
Psalm 51 asks God to cleanse us from our sins and create in us a clean heart
Elders:  Sue & Joe Bandy

Sunday, March 10

·        Mackenzie Nichols
·        Kenley Nichols
Child Care: 
·        Trish Logan
·        Kathie Chapman
·        9:00 Nate & Heather Damery
·        10:15 Pat & Jenny Lawler
Jr. Deacons: 
·        Carter Kiesewetter
·        Reed Naughton
·        Gary Thompson
·        Ryan Newton
·        Camille Taylor
·        Art Taylor
Homebound Elders:  
·        Susan Cleaver
·        John Dailey
Coffee Fellowship:  Bill Chaney
Fill Candles:  Ryan Newton
·        Alan & Kathie Chapman
·        Martha Hunter
Info Desk:  Jan Dyer 
Scripture:  Nate Damery
Sound Tech:  Dave Phillis
Time for Children:  Matt Chapman     
Video Tech:  Chip Jamerson
Worship & Wonder Greeter:  Karen Crusius
Pulpit:  Jim Warren – Luke 6:32-38
“Giving Up Grudges and Taking on
 Forgiveness” – Jesus tells us to love our enemies, be merciful to them, and be ready to forgive. However, sometimes we hold onto grudges and are hesitant to forgive. What does it mean to forgive someone? Whom do we need to forgive?

A long obedience in the same direction…
An Invitation to Lent

When I was a kid, I noticed some odd things happening in late winter and early spring. One was that the school cafeteria served only fish on Fridays. Another was that my Catholic friends weren’t eating chocolate or drinking pop.  And then there was that day when people went around with a smudge of dirt on their foreheads. Only later did I discover that all of these things were related and had something to do with a period of time known as Lent.

I grew up in a Christian church and never heard anything about Lent. The only thing I knew about Lent was that it was spelled “l-i-n-t” and was something my mom pulled out of the dryer when she was doing laundry. It wasn’t until I was in college that I learned about a different kind of Lent, spelled “L-e-n-t.”

Lent was a period of about six weeks leading up to Easter. Catholics had observed Lent for centuries, since very, very early in the history of the church. One of their Lenten traditions was not eating meat – except for fish – on Fridays. Another tradition was that they gave up something during Lent. My young friends usually gave up something like chocolate or pop. The purpose in giving up something was to remind them of the sacrifices Jesus Christ made for them. And I found out that it wasn’t dirt smudged on their forehead, but ashes in the shape of a cross. This happened Ash Wednesday when Catholics went to church and a priest imposed ashes on them.

I’ve come to appreciate Lent increasingly over the years. It is for me a rich time devoted to listening and receiving, to confession and prayer, to reassessment and reordering. The disciplines and practices of Lent have made this a profoundly meaningful season for me.
I invite you to join me this Lent in drawing closer to God. Lent begins next Wednesday, March 6, which is Ash Wednesday. We’ll have an Ash Wednesday service at church beginning at 6:30 p.m. If you’d like to come a little earlier, a supper will be served at 6:00 p.m. You will have the opportunity to receive ashes and hear the traditional Ash Wednesday call: “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”

The sermon series for Lent is Giving It Up and Taking It On.  I’ll use the traditional Lenten spiritual practice of giving up something for Lent and pair it with the complementary spiritual discipline of taking something on for Lent. These two movements of the spiritual life, giving up and taking on, can help us reorient our lives to God and be more faithful Christians.

Instead of chocolate and pop, I’ll encourage us to give up things we’re holding onto that God wants us to give up permanently. I’ll talk about grudges, apathy, selfishness, fear, and death. In their place I’ll urge us to take on forgiveness, compassion, generosity, trust, and life. These are some of the qualities of Christian living that God wants us to demonstrate daily.

In preparation for our Lenten journey, I invite you to begin pondering what you might give up and take on for these weeks leading up to Easter. It might be something like chocolate or pop, simple, everyday items that, in denying them to yourself, will remind you of what God has done for you in Jesus Christ. Or maybe you’ll want to give up something weightier, such as a conflict you’re having with someone, gossiping, or anger. One year in divinity school I gave up not doing my Greek homework for Lent.

And what will you take on? A daily habit of prayer and scripture reading, acts of service for others, or an attitude of gentleness and peace?

Giving up and taking on are corresponding movements in the spiritual life; one naturally leads to the other. Begin reflecting now on what you can give up and take on for Lent.

And journey with me this Lent into a deeper relationship with God through Jesus Christ. I’ll see you Ash Wednesday, March 6, for supper and a service, and then each of the following Sundays as we make our way toward Easter and the celebration of the resurrection of our Lord.
Jim Warren

PS: Lenten devotionals will be available for you beginning this Sunday. Our devotionals, At the Crossroads , consider the critical crossroads of life – losses, transitions, choices, uncertainties, and disappointments – those times when faith and life intersect. These devotionals will help us become more keenly aware that our crucified and risen Savior navigated the difficult crossroads of this world for the sake of our salvation, equipping us to navigate the crossroads of our own lives. Each devotion includes a scripture verse, meditation, and brief prayer.
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
  • 2/17/19: 98, 29
  • 2/24/19: 123, 38

Offering:  $13,503.32
Prayer Concerns

OSF St. JOSEPH:   Marilyn Kopp
Awaiting Tests/Surgery: 
  • Jim Guither
  • John Hensley
  • Dan Cavanaugh
  • Jim Fry
  • Catherine Lain
  • Connie Lindenbaum
  • Kaleigh Menken
  • Mary Lou Mercier
  • Peggy O’Neal
  • Mary Smart
  • Carolyn Stucky
  • Don Gottselig
  • Forrest Kaufman
  • Sharon Warren
Hospice: Harold Goyen
Assisted Living:  
  • Mickey Armstrong (Luther Oaks)
  • Niola Daily (Westminster)
  • Mary Lou Mercier (Home)
  • Glenn & Betty Metz (Villas of Holly Brook)
  • Neil & Dorothy Sallee (Westminster)
  • Alma Samuels (Taylors’ home) 
  • Suzanne Summers (Evergreen Village)
Nursing Homes:    
  • Alden Valley Ridge, Bloomingdale – Hazel Kuhn
  • Eastview Terrace, Sullivan – Joe Violano
  • Heritage, Blm. – Merle Murray
  • Heritage, El Paso – Sonna West 
  • Heritage, Normal – Harold Goyen
  • Liberty, Clinton – Corena Meyer
  • Martin Health – Myrna Cable, Marlyn Mahannah, Neil Sallee, Barbara Thatcher
  • Adam Jacobs (Army)
  • Chris Kavanaugh (Marines, CA);
  • Harley Scott (Phillis niece/Navy, VA)
Welcome New Member: Neal Kentch, retired minister from Centennial Christian Church
Meet Your Pastoral Staff 
Rev. Jim Warren , Senior Minister
Jim came to First Christian Church in December 1998 as our Senior Pastor. He is a native of Mattoon, IL, and attended Olivet Nazarene University in Kankakee, IL, Harvard Divinity School in Cambridge, MA, and San Francisco Theological Seminary in San Anselmo, CA.    Jim and his wife Sharon have 10 children ranging in age from 12 to 32, and a granddaughter who is 12. Their four youngest attend Bloomington Junior High School. 
Jim and his family live in an old house in the Dimmitt’s Grove neighborhood of Bloomington and feel like they’ve put down deep roots in our community. He delights in reading, cooking, wearing strange ties, and chasing his children from one school, sport, or musical activity to another. He also has a deep passion for the Chicago Cubs, which is quite obvious when you see the Cubs “shrine” in his office. One of the happiest days of Jim’s life came when the Cubs won the World Series for the first time in 108 years. Go, Cubs, Go!!
Jim has been in ministry for over thirty years, and First Christian is only the second church he’s served. When asked what he finds most rewarding in ministry, he’ll quickly reply that it’s getting to know people, providing pastoral care, attending to the spiritual lives of others, preaching, studying, and spending time in personal prayer and contemplation.
His favorite scripture is Psalm 42:1-2: As a deer longs for flowing streams, so my soul longs for you, O God. My soul thirsts for the living God. He feels these verses express the universal desire of the human heart for the divine. He hopes this is the focus of his life and the direction toward which he guides others.
Holly Irvin , Director of Music and Youth Ministries
Holly came to First Christian Church in January 2017 as our Director of Music and Youth Ministries. She is from Pekin, IL, and attended Western Illinois University in Macomb, IL, and Southern Seminary in Louisville, KY. She has two children in college: Shelby in Denver, CO, and Lydia, in Lakeland, FL.
Holly loves walking, biking, reading, laughing, and making music, especially playing the flute. She also enjoys meeting new people and developing relationships and friendships. She is passionate about involving children, youth, and adults in the church and in helping them deepen their relationship with God, especially through music and worship.

She has been in ministry for 31 years in Georgia, Virginia, and South Carolina and is glad to be back home in central Illinois (but not for the weather!). Her greatest enjoyment is in helping people use their spiritual gifts to praise and serve God, and find the joy and fulfillment that comes from that!

Her favorite scripture is Micah 6:8: What does the Lord require of you but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God.  She believes the best symmetry in life is when justice, kindness, and humility are equally embraced and practiced.
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