Mar 5
March 5, 2021, 1:48 PM
 
 

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March 5, 2021

 

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Prayer: “Jesus were you just being difficult

when you gave us the church?”

from Will Willimon:

"Preachers love the story of Jesus driving the money changers out of the Temple. Jesus is at last cleaning up the church, finally tossing out of his church those whom we find difficult.

In the past months I’ve spoken with hundreds of pastors, many of them former students. There is widespread fear. After we come out of this pandemic, will people still be part of the church? Having received church online, cloistered safely at home watching church on screen, will they again risk showing up at our church and worship Jesus with people with whom they have little in common but Jesus? Their fear is justified. Jesus is easier as a disembodied, virtual experience. Jesus’s body, the church, is the hard part of discipleship.

 

If Jesus were among us as a disembodied spirit, everybody would adore him. Jesus makes our salvation a group phenomenon otherwise known as church.

 

After I left academia to become a bishop, a frequent question was, “What do you miss most in the university, compared with your new life as a church bureaucrat?” “I miss the Office of Admissions, which ensured that I would never be forced to work with anyone unlike me. Sure, we had cultural and racial differences, but all of us shared the same gifts for manipulating the American educational system to our personal advancement. It was wonderful. Every day on the campus without a really nasty disagreement.

 

Church, on the other hand, is notoriously nonselective. Jesus prohibits us from having an admissions committee. You can choose friends, but you can’t choose with whom to be church. Jesus forces us to work with anybody Jesus drags in the door.

 

Church can never be limited to me and my enlightened buddies huddled around the blessed Eucharist because, as Henri Nouwen noted, church is constituted not by “...family tie, or social or economic equality, or shared oppression or complaint, or mutual attraction, but the divine call. The Christian community is not the result of human effort. God has made us into his people by calling us.”

 

Jesus makes us put up with one another even as our Lord puts up with us (Eph. 4:2). A disembodied, docetic Jesus would be easier to worship than the Christ who takes up room in our church. But it wouldn’t be salvation in the name of Jesus.

 

“My congregation is fragmented and divided, red vs. blue, conservative vs. liberal. Their bickering and contentiousness is wearing me down,” complained a ministerial colleague. “Blame it on Jesus,” I said. In love."

 

This week pray for our church board members, Gregory, Paul, Olga, Mac, Stephanie, Prince, Tory, and David. We typically meet twice a month, once to review the corporate life of the church and once to review the life of the church as cause and community. We are still processing the book, The Unstuck Church: Equipping Churches to Experience Sustained Health and seeking the mind of Christ as we consider the

next key step that would move us out of the Preservation

stage or Life Support stage back to an era of Sustained Church Health in which we baptize again and make new disciples.

Like those who speak with Will Willimon we wonder what it will be like after we come out of the pandemic and we want to be prepared when the day comes to worship in person again. Dear Lord, we look forward to that day with some trepidation. In the name of Jesus who never said that being

the church would be easy. Amen.

 

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Parking Lot

Communion Service

Every Sunday @ 10:30

 

We hope you will join us. When you arrive, drive under the portico, where our communion servers

will provide you with sanitized communion

elements and a song sheet.

If rain is likely please

check your email on Saturday after 3:00 pm

to make sure that the service will take place.

 

Also Our Online Sunday Celebration

is on our Website and on Facebook at 10:30

See you Sunday!

 

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Please pray for these . . .

DAILY!

For all of those who lost family this past week during the storms and from Covid. For those who are still dealing with storm related issues across our state.

For the vaccine to be made available for

all in Hays County and around the world.

For nurses & doctors - continued protection

and for the energy and health they need to continue.

 

For FCC, the Board and Staff for tough

decisions that are being considered and must be made.

For all of those in our community

who are in great need and are being impacted in

ways we can't comprehend by this pandemic.

Also for these with special health needs

and those experiencing grief.

 

Honey Cuellar; Randall Klimeck; David Voight; Charles Scott;

Covid Vaccine (praise); Phillip Reyes; Mary Hinson and family;

Erica in Mexico; Rex Dowden; Meghan Rameriz; David Rose;

Greg LaCoss: Family of Bertha Delgado; Guye Rheinlander;

Rebecca Chapmon; Eric Elder; Carolyn Smith;Vicki Roberts;

Dawn Jester; Bert Cobb; Susan Pruett; Jackie Cable; Judy Deforest;

Kathy Smith; Tracy Wilson; Dorothy McLendon; Mary Tijerina;

Dawn Shank; David Warren; Richard McDaniel;

Ellen & Manfred Kremkus; Lois LaCoss; David Druham;

Melissa & Brett; Rose Seagrave; (Praise) Jay Monson;

Justine Tunnell; Jackson Karlik & Family

 

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Our continuing response to the Pandemic

This week the governor of Texas has announced that he is rescinding state regulations to follow the Centers for Disease Control guidelines. What should that mean for us? It does not mean that the pandemic is over. It does not mean that individuals, businesses, schools and churches should not make their own decisions about how to behave responsibly and safely to protect themselves and their customers, employees, students and church members.



Our board at First Christian has been monitoring the pandemic and how to respond for a year now. Every quarter our board and staff decide what we should do as a church. We will be meeting again soon and will continue to address our situation.

In the meantime, please continue to be safe and to personally follow the guidelines recommended by our medical experts.

In our gatherings as a church we will maintain our online and outdoor services and our online meetings. We are thankful to God for the current downward trends in new cases. We are thankful for the distribution of vaccines to protect our people. But this is not yet the time to relax our guard. To love our neighbor as ourselves still means, among other things,

to keep them safe.

 

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Disciples of Christ Easter Offering

The Easter Offering, received by most congregations on

March 28 and April 4, 2021,

supports several of the general ministries of the Christian Church. Your gift supports college students in leadership development programs, global mission partners, health and social service ministries, the formation of new congregations, support for pastors and chaplains, and so much more.

If you wish to give to this worthy cause mark your check

DOC Easter Offering. Thank you!

 

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Check out Amplify Austin



For agencies that can use your help.

Make a check to FCC for either the Food Bank or

Southside Community Center (designate in memo line) and mail it or drop it off at FCC. Mail drop in office door.

 

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These items are needed:

• Canned meats, fruits, vegetables

  • Canned tomato products (
  • Soups • Peanut butter and jelly
  • Rice and beans • Pasta and pasta sauces
  • Macaroni and cheese • Shelf-stable milk
  • Cereal • Granola bars • Applesauce

• Trail Mix • Pancake Mix • Oatmeal

  • Fruit cups • Raisins • Bottled water

 

Food donations may be dropped off in the bins at FCC or on the front porch at the Food Bank on the green bench.

The Staff at the Food Bank will check the green bench regularly for any donations.

Thank you for your help.

Check the Food Bank website https://haysfoodbank.org

for other ways to help or donate.

If you need a receipt for food donations,

please email Jessica Cruz @ https://haysfoodbank.org/