Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Newsbrief: Advent!

I’m warning you in advance, it is going to sound funny when I say it this Sunday.

But I’m going to say it anyway. In fact, I’m going to practice right now. Are you ready? Here we go…


See, it sounds funny, right? After all, we know that this Sunday is the last one in November, not the first day of January. So why would I start worship this coming Sunday morning by bellowing out, “Happy New Year!”

Well, it is because this coming Sunday is the start of a new year for us in the church. At least, it is a new year in our worship cycle.

You see, at FCC Scottsdale (like so many other churches) we follow the Liturgical Calendar which assigns certain church events to certain days and designates particular scripture readings for each Sunday service. With the Liturgical Calendar the church year doesn’t start with Christmas or Easter or Pentecost. The Liturgical Year doesn’t start with January 1 or the first day of School either. The Liturgical Calendar Year starts with the First Sunday of Advent -- the season of anticipation and expectation where we as a church prepare ourselves all over again to welcome Christ into our hearts and into our world. And this coming Sunday is the First Sunday of Advent!

We’ll spend the next four Sundays preparing ourselves for the miracle of Christmas. We’ll celebrate the themes of Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love. And it all starts this coming Sunday! Happy New Year, church! I’ll you see on Sunday morning!

Yours in the Journey, Rev. Brian

Monday, November 22, 2010

Three Things from Administrative Council

The Administrative Council met this past Sunday immediately after worship for their final meeting of 2010. Here are the three things you need to know from that meeting:

  1. We have a full slate of Nominees to fill all available positions for 2011! Big thanks to Bob Bruns, Jan Atkinson, and Nancy Fasolino (our Nominating Committee) for all of your hard work in filling those spots. The Slate of Nominees will be formally presented and voted on at our Annual Meeting on Sunday December 5, 2010.
  2. We have a preliminary budget for 2011! Lots of forward looking planning happened at this Council Meeting, none more important than our Treasurer's Report on the 2011 Budget. Things look good on this front, and we may even end up with a planned surplus...but lets not put the cart before the horse! Here to, the 2011 Budget will be formally presented and voted on at our Annual Meeting on Sunday December 5, 2010.

  3. A Youth Scholarship Policy was formally adopted by the Council. Administrative Council has the policy making authority in the life of the church, and we adopted a new policy regarding camp scholarships for our children and youth. Our youth have been briefed on the changes throughout the process, and copies of the new policy will go out with the first round of camp forms!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Newsbrief: Celebrate Consecration Sunday

Come to the celebration!

This Sunday we will complete our Stewardship Campaign with Consecration Sunday!

Over the past month we have lifted up the themes that define us at First Christian Church Scottsdale (Generosity, Faithfulness, Outreach) and now it is time to celebrate!

For Consecration Sunday here is my promise to you: No guilt trips, no scary stories about budget deficits, not one reference to the state of the economy. Instead, we are going to spend the morning celebrating the ways God has blessed us this past year and eagerly anticipating all that God has in store for us in the coming year.

Please join us this Sunday for this special worship service…and don’t forget your pledge card! Your pledge card represents the sacred promises you are making to support our church with your time, talent, and treasure in the coming year. Those pledges are an important part of our future. They are worth celebrating too! So we will dedicate all of our pledge cards to God’s work and witness among us and through us in the coming year.

It is going to be a great Sunday! I’ll see you at worship!

Yours in the journey, Rev. Brian

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Walking the Walk

First Christian Church Scottsdale had a remarkably successful time at the East Valley CROP Hunger Walk this past Sunday. We had 23 Walkers, raised over $1600 for Church World Service, and packed our sanctuary with folks wearing Tennis Shoes as a sign of support.

Thanks to everyone who helped to make our CROP Walk efforts so very successful! Even thought he walk is now behind us, it is not to late to donate! Click here to go to our FCC Scottsdale CROP Walk page, where you can donate online.

Here are some pictures of our CROP Walkers in action at El Dorado Park.

FCC folks walking the walk to end hunger one step at a time.

Gabe, Brooke, me, Carol, Michelle, Katie, and Nicole at the finish line.

Bob and Emily and Brayden at the halfway point.

Judy and Eric hamming it up.

Lea, Carol, Michelle, and Kaite celebrating a successful CROP Walk.

(Not pictured: Al Beasley, who provided the music before the CROP Hunger Walk. If you have a picture of Al please send it to me so that I can include it here. Thanks for your help, Al!)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Newsbrief: Bring Your Tennis Shoes!

I'm coming to church with my tennis shoes on this Sunday.

And I hope you will too!

I’m coming to church with my tennis shoes on, because this Sunday is the East Valley CROP Hunger Walk which supports Church World Service’s work to eradicate global hunger one step at a time.


During our worship service on Sunday we’ll recognize all of our walkers and offer a special prayer to commission them before they head to El Dorado Park for the walk. We have about a dozen walkers signed up so far, and it is not to late to join them!

If you can’t walk, then there are two things you can do to support our CROP Walkers. The first one is to come to church with your tennis shoes on. It might seem like a funny fashion statement (I’ll be wearing mine with suit, robe, and stole on!) but it is a great way of standing in solidarity with our CROP Walkers and with everyone throughout the world who benefits from the work of Church World Service.

The second thing you can do to support our CROP Walkers is to sponsor them. As a church we’ve been given a goal of $2000 to fundraise for Church World Service through the CROP Walk. Can you help us not only reach that goal but exceed it? We’ll be collecting donations after the worship service or you can give online at our church’s own CROP Walk Page by clicking here. The website gives you a secure, online way of giving (and it accepts credit card donations!) or you can donate via cash or check on Sunday.

Thank you to all of our Walkers! Thank you to everyone who has already given and everyone will donate! Thank you to everyone who supports this important ministry! I’ll see you all this Sunday…with tennis shoes on!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Visual Catch-Up

No Blog posts for awhile. Sorry about that! I was out of town for a bit, busy getting things together, and fell out of the habit. But have no fear, the good work at FCC Scottsdale has continued!

Here are some images and stories from what we've been up to at First Christian Church since my last blog post...

The Pumpkin Patch was a HUGE success. Thanks to all the hardwork of our tireless volunteers we totaled $9322 in pumpkin sales! That made for a profit of $3104.23 and we received another $962.07 in donations. That is $4066.40 raised for FCC Mission Projects! Great job done by all!!

I enjoyed a week of vacation in St. Louis, Missouri where my wife's brother was married at the Jewel Box (pictured above). It was a lovely ceremony and great to be with some much family and friends for the week. During my time away the Rev. Vy Nguyen filled the pulpit and preached about the upcoming CROP Hunger Walk. You can support FCC Scottsdale's efforts to end hunger one step at a time by clicking here to donate to support our CROP Walkers!

We also hosted our first ever (First Annual?) Trunk-or-Treat Event in the church parking lot. That is your's truly's Red Prius all decked out for Halloween care of the youth group. We also had...

 ...amazing entries from Monica Case!
 ...and Kim Redhage!
...and Jan Atkinson!

One more really exciting thing happened since my last blog post: FCC Scottsdale received the award as the 2009 Arizona Highest Per Capita Giver to Disciples Mission Fund. Which is amazing! And hopefully the start of several years in a row where we can set the bar for giving to our denomination!

Thanks to everyone who helped to make Trunk-or-Treating and the Pumpkin Patch and the CROP Hunger Walk and our DMF giving so successful! Stay tuned for more blog posts on the continued successes at First Christian Church Scottsdale!