Thursday, September 30, 2010

Newsbrief: The Installation is Coming!


At long last, the Installation Service is almost here! It is going to be a wonderful celebration of our ministry together at First Christian Church Scottsdale! There is going to be fabulous music, inspired preaching, guests from all over the state (and all over the country!), and YOU ARE INVITED!

I hope you will be able to be with us this Sunday afternoon at 4PM in the Sanctuary for the Installation Service. Folks have been working hard behind the scenes for some time now to make it all come together, and I am forever grateful to them. Now it is time to come and celebrate!

I’d write more, but we are busy getting everything in place for the Installation (and for the World Communion Sunday celebration at the 10:15 AM service!). So how about a sneak peak at the Keith Haring image that we’ll be using as our centerpiece for the Installation instead!

Looks pretty good, eh? Makes you wanna come out and see what the Installation is all  about. I’ll see on Sunday!

Yours in the journey, Rev. Brian

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Inviting Everyone: Installation Service!

First Christian Church Scottsdale is overjoyed to invite you to a special worship service celebrating the Installation of our new Senior Minister, the Rev. Brian Frederick-Gray!

Please join us on Sunday October 3, 2010 at 4PM for the Service of Installation with a reception to follow.

Clergy please wear a robe with red stole and plan on processing in together at the beginning of the service.

Thank you for being a part of our celebration at FCC Scottsdale. You’ll find directions to the church by clicking here. We look forward to welcoming you on Sunday October 3 at 4PM!

“A Christ-centered community inviting everyone to seek and celebrate God’s love through joyful worship, mission, and ministry!”

Newsbrief: World Communion Sunday

Habari, bwana! Habari, bibi!

Buenos días!

Malo e tau ma'u 'a e 'aho' ni!

That is how you say “Hello” in French, Arabic, Swahili, Korean, Spanish, and Tongan.

It is also how I am going invite you to participate in our worship service on Sunday October 3 (please note: that is not this Sunday, but the Sunday after).

You see, October 3 is World Communion Sunday. It is that one Sunday in the year when Christians all throughout the world gather in their own unique and distinct ways in order to celebrate the unity that we have in Christ by sharing the bread and the cup of Holy Communion.

If those themes sounds familiar (unity, celebration, Christ, Holy Communion) they should, because are the characteristics that best define us as the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). Which is why I have always considered World Communion Sunday one of the highest of high holy days for the Disciples!

So we are going to celebrate World Communion Sunday in some special ways on October 3. We’ll have a beautiful set up in the front of the sanctuary care of our Decorating Committee. We’ll celebrate communion in a familiar, though different style. And we’ll also hear the Lord’s Prayer offered in many different languages.

Which is where I need your help. If you are comfortable reading in a foreign language (French, Spanish, Japanese, German, Sign Language, Koine Greek, whatever) and would be willing to participate in an amazing way in our worship service on October 3 then let me know. I have copies of the Lord’s Prayer in as many languages as you can think of, so you won’t have to translate it, simply read it out loud during Sunday morning worship.

(As a side note: The other important thing happening on Sunday October 3 is my Installation Service at 4PM. I’m thrilled to be installed as Senior Pastor at First Christian Church Scottsdale, and the fact that we’re doing it on World Communion Sunday is just icing on the cake for me. Hope you can join us for both services on October 3.)

Au revoir! Ma as-salaamah! Kwaherini! Annyong-hi kashipshio! Hasta luego! Po'uli!
Yours in the journey, Rev. Brian

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

3 Things from Administrative Council

The Administrative Council at FCC Scottsdale met on Sunday September 19 for their regularly scheduled meeting. Here are the three things you need to know from that meeting:

  1. Our Outreach Program is off and running. We heard an enthusiastic report on the goings on from "We Serve" (aka our Outreach Ministries). Click here to check out their page on our website for a full listing of events including the After School Program, the Pumpkin Patch, and more!
  2. We have some new dates to share for upcoming October events. In addition to the things you've heard about over and over again (World Communion Sunday, the Installation Service, the Rev. Vy Nguyen's guest sermon) we have new dates for you:
    -- Mission Trip Meeting Sunday October 10 after worship. Come join us to talk over options for our 2011 Mission Trip.
    -- Trunk or Treat Celebration on October 31. DWM will sponsor a Trunk or Treat event in the church parking lot on Halloween afternoon. Never heard of Trunk or Treat? Well, it is just like Trick or Treat, only we do it in a safe place here in the church parking lot. More details to come!
  3. Stewardship is coming! In the coming weeks we'll be launching our annual stewardship campaign in order to make sure that we can fully support the mission and ministry that FCC Scottsdale is called to.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Newsbrief: Prayer Shawl Sunday

{Editors Note: In my continued efforts to keep folks informed about what is going on at the church, I've decided to publish my weekly "Newsbrief" articles here on the blog. The "Newsbrief" is our weekly e-newsletter at FCC Scottsdale, and if you would to subscribe to it, you can find the link at the bottom of this post.}

I need your help this Sunday.

Truth is, I need your help every Sunday. We simply couldn’t pull off a worship service with you!

But this Sunday in particular I have a favor to ask.

You see, this Sunday we celebrate a major milestone in the life of one of our ministries at FCC Scottsdale. Our very own Prayer Shawl Ministry has distributed over 200 prayer shawls, and we are going to celebrate by dedicating this Sunday as Prayer Shawl Sunday!

We’ll hear the story of our Prayer Shawl Ministry! We’ll celebrate God’s amazing gift of prayer! And we will charge our noble knitters to keep up the good work!

So here is where I need your help. If you are one of the members of this church who has received a prayer shawl, please bring it with you to worship on Sunday. Feel free to wear it or simply bring it with you to worship (I’ll be wearing mine, a beautiful orange one that Kay Jones presented me on my first day as your pastor!). We want to show off the full force of this ministry and demonstrate its significance in the life of our church – and what better way to do that than to have a sea of prayer shawls flooding our sanctuary with color!

We will also be gifting the Prayer Shawl Ministry with gift bags that they will fill with future prayer shawls. Please bring a gift bag on Sunday so that we can get our knitters fully equipped for the next 200 prayer shawls! In so doing, you will literally be giving the gift that will carry our prayers to folks when they need them the most.

I’ll see you Sunday, and don’t forget: Bring your prayer shawl and bring a gift bag. I’ll see you there! I’ll be the guy up front…with the orange prayer shawl on!

Yours in the Journey, Rev. Brian

{The "Newsbrief" is our weekly e-newsletter at FCC Scottsdale. If you would to subscribe to it, then click here.}

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Work Day!

You know what simply HAS to proceed any good Kick-Off Sunday?

Work Day, of course!

Lucky for us, FCC Scottsdale has plenty of committed, hard working folks willing to give up part of a Saturday morning each month (you know, once the weather cools off a little...which should happen any day now, right?) in order to help keep our church grounds looking great.

Here are some action shots from Work Day, September 11, 2010:

Don, our fearless leader (and keeper of the list of projects for the day) hard at work

Dave repainting the handrails leading up to the Sanctuary

Barry doing...well, I'll just let you insert your own punchline here!
Scott cleaning up the roof of the Education Building (thus proving that the newly installed ladder actually all we need is a fireman's pole to help folks get down quicker!)

Jim raking up after one of our many olive trees
Thanks to everyone who participated in work day (both those pictured and those who weren't!). We hope more folks will join us for the next Work Day on Saturday October 2 at 8AM. See you there...and don't forget your work gloves!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Three Things from the Elders

The Elders met on Wednesday evening at 5:30 in the library for their regularly scheduled meeting. Here are the three things you need to know from the Elders:

  1. The worship service will be slightly tweaked this coming Sunday. Same for the printed bulletin on Sunday morning. Nothing major, just a few small changes here and there. For starters, we'll be reintroducing the prayer of dedication for the offering. We'll also be introducing a "take home page" in the Sunday Bulletin. To put it together we've shuffled a couple of items in the Bulletin, but hopefully it makes the whole thing more readable for everyone, more usable for our members, and more inviting to our guests and visitors!
  2. My Installation Service is fast approaching! In fact, several significant announcements on that front: The Rev. Eric Smith (one of my best friends and closest colleagues) has agreed to come in as our guest preacher for the Installation. Eric is a PhD student at the Illiff School of Theology in Denver, the Associate Minister at Plymouth Congregational Church (a large UCC congregation), an ordained Disciples pastor, and a great preacher! I'm thrilled that he'll be with us. We also have a set time for the Installation, so please plan on joining us Sunday October 3 at 4PM in the Sanctuary with a reception to follow (that is the other big news, the menu has been set for the reception and it is going to be delicious!).
  3. In celebration of the 200+ prayer shawls that our ladies have knitted and given away we are dedicating Sunday September 19 as Prayer Shawl Sunday! Please plan on joining us for worship that morning, and if you have received a prayer shawl then bring it with you! We'll rededicate all of the prayer shawls, celebrate this vibrant ministry in our church, and give God thanks for the holy gift of prayer. And don't forget to bring a gift bag to donate to the ministry, so that your gifts can literally carry the prayers of our congregation to those folks who need them the most.
We're cheating a little bit here, but if I don't number it then it doesn't have to count as a "Fourth Thing" in our "Three Things from the Elders". We want everyone to know that we looking for new Elders! We will have four openings available starting in 2011 and have already started to review names. If you are interested, or if you have somebody in mind who you think fits the role as a spiritual leader in our congregation then let us know!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Three Things from the Worship Committee

The Worship Committee had a brief meeting in my office on Sunday September 5 to plan for all the amazing worship services we'll be having in the coming weeks at FCC Scottsdale. Here are the Three Things you need to know from that meeting:

  1. Kick-Off Sunday is coming! We are going to recognize Sunday September 12 as Kick-Off Sunday and use it to celebrate the formal start of our Fall Program Year! You are not going to want to miss it! We'll dedicate and bless all of our Fellowship Groups, Sunday School Classes, and Outreach Projects that are kicking back off after the summer hiatus. Come and join us!
  2. October 3 is going to be HUGE! "How huge?" you ask. So huge that we'll need two worship services just to contain it all! At our regular 10:15AM Worship Service we will celebrate World Communion Sunday (one of the highest of high holy days for us as Disciples) and then we'll reconvene in the afternoon for my Installation Service. Both services are going to be great and I can't wait to celebrate them...on the same day!
  3. We're going to see if you are paying attention... In conjunction with Kick-Off Sunday we are going to usher in a few small tweaks to the regular Sunday Order of Service and our printed materials for the Bulletin. Don't worry, nothing too radical. In fact, we're sure you are going to love them. You know, if you even notice them!