Wednesday, July 28, 2010

This Just In!

Pay careful attention to the details in that picture, friends.

Look closely and you'll see it.

Do you see it? Right there in the upper lefthand corner of the page? Just under the name of the church?

Click on the image for a bigger picture if you need it. Go ahead. I'll wait...

Did you see it?!?

That's is my name! Which means the new letterhead came in today! As well as a great big box of business cards chocked full of my information!

It is OFFICIAL! I'm the Pastor of First Christian Church Scottsdale. It says so right there on the stationary!

Can you tell I'm excited!

In related news I've been in preliminary discussions with the Regional Office about scheduling my Installation Service here at the church which really will make things official. It will be a time to celebrate our ministry together at FCC Scottsdale, rejoice in God's bounty, and look expectantly toward the future that God is calling us to be a part of. More details to follow. In the meantime, check out that cool letterhead!

Interfaith Power and Light

I spent yesterday afternoon with the Steering Committee for Arizona Interfaith Power and Light.

Never heard of it? Well that is what the blog is for!

Interfaith Power and Light (IPL) is "mobilizing a religious response to global warming in congregations through the promotion of renewable energy, energy efficiency, and conservation." That is the official language from the national website. From our biblical view of things, you can simply think of it as "being good stewards of creation." Or, the evocative image I like to throw out to people is simply churches, synagogues, and mosques with solar panels on their roofs or wind-turbines in their parking lots!

IPL started a dozen years ago and has affiliates in 34 states right now. Surprisingly, Arizona has been a bit late getting into the action (I says surprisingly because, well, have you seen how much sun we get!) but we have a Steering Team in place to help get Arizona IPL up and off the ground.  By the way, I've started serving on that Steering Committee...if you were wondering why I was there!

Want to know more about this great group and how they are seeking to help religious communities put their faith into action? Then check out these links:

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

I've been thinking about...


{Note: For regular followers of the blog, this is a familiar section. For those new to the blog, at the beginning of each week I run a short newsletter-style article called, "I've been thinking about..." This grew out of the Order of Service at the Encanto Community Church where the back page of the bulletin was reserved for "whatever the pastor has been thinking about." I liked the practice so much (and the opportunity to share things with the church) that I brought it to the blog too. So every Tuesday you can stop by to see what "I've been thinking about." Now back to your regularly scheduled blog post.}

I've had prayer on the brain this week partly because this coming Sunday's sermon text gives us Luke's version of the Lord's Prayer. When asked, "Lord, teach us to pray," Jesus says, "When you pray, say: Father, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive everyone indebted to us. And do not bring us to the time of trial." (Luke 11:2-4)

Um, that looks a little different than the way we say it! Anyway, in getting ready for this Sunday's worship service I'm already thinking about prayer.

But there is another reason too! You see, I firmly believe that the church that prays together stays together. Which is why in every church that I have served I have had an intentional time of prayer. Last Wednesday at Noon I blocked out an hour in my schedule to pray for FCC Scottsdale. And this Wednesday at Noon (and every Wednesday from here on out!) I'm inviting anyone who wants to join me to come to my office and join in a time of prayer for First Christian Church Scottsdale.

We'll lift up all of the names listed on the church's prayer list, everyone on our Joys and Concerns list, any of the names brought forward during Sunday's "Prayer's of the People" and whatever prayer requests come up that day. If you can make it, join me in my office at the church at Noon on Wednesday. If you can't make it, then feel free to carve out a little bit of time on Wednesday at Noon wherever you are and know that you and your church are in prayer together!

Yours in the journey, Rev. Brian

Three Things From Administrative Council

The Administrative Council met on Sunday July 18, 2010. Here are the three things you need to know from that meeting:

  1. We had a lively conversation about recording the sermons from Sunday worship. If there is interest in having audio copies of the sermons, then we'll figure out how to make that happen. If you have an opinion (pro or con) about it, then Admin Council wants to hear from you!
  2. The budget is in good shape. We are a little ahead so far on the year, but now isn't the time to let up! Thanks for your generous financial support, and even though it is summer time don't forget to keep up with your pledge!
  3. Do you love worship here at FCC Scottsdale? Do you have a keen eye for beauty and an adept sense for what is aesthetically pleasing? Then we've got a spot for you! Starting in January we will need a new Design Coordinator for FCC Scottsdale. Carrie will be stepping down and if you feel called to this important ministry in the worship life of our church then this is the opportunity for you.
Okay, technically this is a fourth thing (which goes against my trendy title and blog labels!) so I'll just sneak it in as a hyperlink. If you want to know more about my schedule and plans for office hours then you can read my earlier post from the Elder's meeting by clicking right here.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Three Things from the Elders

Time to kick-off a running series on the blog called "Three Things".

After every board/council/group meeting I attend here at First Christian Church Scottsdale I'll post the three things you should know about the meeting (if you're curious where the list comes from, we brainstorm it together at the end of each meeting and then I report 'em here on the blog; occasionally with a silly picture like the one to the right...get it, three things!).

So here we go. The three thing you should know from the Elders Meeting on July 14, 2010 are:
  1. The Elders brought me up to speed on the visitation ministry of the church and the care needs of individual church members. From there we updated the visitation list. If you would like a visit or know someone who would like a visit (from the Elder, from the pastor, from both) please don't hesitate to let us know.
  2. In an effort to be nice to me the Elders are encouraging folks to wear their name tags at worship. As a visual learner, this really does help me. It is also pretty nice for visitors too, to be honest. And, if you don't wear a nametag then I am probably just going to call you Bob, since I'm guaranteed to be right about 50% of the time here at FCC Scottsdale!

  3. I shared my plans for my weekly schedule. I will use Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday for regular office hours, Friday I will write my sermon from my home office, Saturday will be a general catch-up day, and Sunday is our time to worship together! Mondays will serve as the "Frederick-Gray Family Day Off" (my wife, four-year-old son, and I all get the same day off) and then I'll repeat the pattern starting the next Tuesday. Other schedule notes include:

    • Wednesday Noon Prayer Time - Each Wednesday at Noon will be a special hour set aside to pray for our community...and everyone is welcome to join me! We will pray for the members on our church's prayer list, for the boards and committees that are meeting that week, for everyone we lifted up in prayer on the previous Sunday, and for any other prayer concerns that we have. The church that prays together stays together. Feel free to join me in my office Wednesday at noon for a special time of prayer!
    • Saturday Drop-In Office Hours - Starting in August, on the first and third Saturdays of each month I will have Drop-In Office Hours at the church. Recognizing that mid-week office hours don't work for everyone, we'll have a designated handful of hours twice a month where I will be available at the church office to meet with folks. We'll kick it off on Saturday August 7. More details to come.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Howdy Scottsdale!

Greetings, friends!

This is my first post in nearly two months, and in that time some major changes have taken place. For starters, the blog has been completely redesigned (new colors, new format, new template). More importantly, I'm writing to you from my new office on the very first day of my ministry at First Christian Church Scottsdale! I am truly honored and thrilled to be the settled pastor here at FCC Scottsdale.

For first time visitors, welcome! I am the Rev. Brian Frederick-Gray and this is my professional blog. That means that you won't find goofy pictures of my family or links to silly videos of cats doing cute things here. Rather, I'll be using this space to spread the word about what we are doing at First Christian Church Scottsdale.

You can click through the archives to see the kinds of things I did with the blog while I was at Encanto. Some of the running features will return (like the weekly "I've been thinking about..." posts, the "Three Things" reports, and my semi-regular "What I'm reading" articles). Other features may or may not be back (I'm not sure about the Sermon Wordles and the calendar updates will have to be retooled).

As the blog evolves I hope that you will enjoy the things you find here and that it will be one of many effective ways that we communicate all the great things that are going on at First Christian Church Scottsdale. Don't just stop with the blog though. Please come and join us Sunday mornings at 10:15 for worship, click here for directions to the church.

Make sure to bookmark the site, check back often, and let me know what you think!