Thursday, October 29, 2015

Whiteboard: Mission

Stewardship Season continues at FCC Scottsdale this Sunday!

We built our Narrative Budget around the tri-fold purposes spelled out in our Mission Statement: We are a Christ-centered Community Inviting Everyone to Seek and Celebrate God's Love through Joyful Worship, Mission, and Ministry!

On the second Sunday of our Stewardship Season we are focusing on Mission.

At First Christian Church Scottsdale we have a heart for mission. We truly strive to be the hands and feet of Jesus, alive and at work in the world. We do that through direct service, volunteering with mission partners, reaching out to our neighborhood community, and supporting the wider church through the Disciples Mission Fund. This Sunday I'll be telling stories about our Mission work, about our partners in ministry, and about the difference that this church is making in the world.

This Sunday is also All Saint's Day, which gives us a chance to recognize and honor those saints of our church that we have lost in the past year and to hear once more that the invitation of our faith is to live saints ourselves.

As promised in last Sunday's sermon, I will also have the full percentage breakdown of our Narrative Budget as well as some big news about a leadership gift we have received that will help us continue to dream big dreams here at the church!

See you on Sunday!


Psalm 24 Entrance into the Temple

The earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it,
  the world, and those who live in it;
  for he has founded it on the seas,
  and established it on the rivers.

Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord?
And who shall stand in his holy place?
Those who have clean hands and pure hearts,
  who do not lift up their souls to what is false,
  and do not swear deceitfully.
They will receive blessing from the Lord,
  and vindication from the God of their salvation.
Such is the company of those who seek him,
  who seek the face of the God of Jacob.

Lift up your heads, O gates!
  and be lifted up, O ancient doors!
  that the King of glory may come in.
Who is the King of glory?
The Lord, strong and mighty,
  the Lord, mighty in battle.
Lift up your heads, O gates!
  and be lifted up, O ancient doors!
  that the King of glory may come in.
Who is this King of glory?
The Lord of hosts,
  he is the King of glory.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Whiteboard: Worship

This Sunday we kick off our Stewardship Campaign!

You'll remember that last year we made the switch to a Narrative Budget (and if that doesn't ring a bell, then check out my blog post from last year that describes the whole process). We have re-purposed our line item budget into the three major categories that define our work here at FCC Scottsdale: Worship, Mission and Ministry.

We didn't just pick those categories out of thin air. No, they come straight from our Mission Statement. The very same Mission Statement that I speak aloud at the beginning of each Worship Service. The same Mission Statement that is affixed to the Agendas of our Administrative Council Meetings and is printed onto our church letterhead.

At First Christian Church Scottsdale 

We are a Christ-centered Community 

Inviting Everyone to Seek and Celebrate

God's Love through joyful 

Worship, Mission, and Ministry.

That Mission Statement tells us who we are...and that is exactly what a budget (at its best) should be able to do too.

So for the next fours weeks we'll be walking through our Narrative Budget during our Stewardship Season. This Sunday we'll start, as the picture at the top of the post indicates, with Worship! You'll get to hear about the worship ministries of the church, celebrate the power of praising God together in community, and answer the question "Why do we worship?"

This year the Psalms will be guiding us through our Stewardship Season. While we are using Psalm 126 as our theme text ("When the Lord restores us, we are like those who dream") we will have a different Psalm for each Sunday. This Sunday we'll be using Psalm 34:1-10, which you can find below.

By the way, I love that picture! After all, worship stands at the very heart of what we do here at FCC Scottsdale. What better way to kick off our Stewardship Season than with a reminder of the power of praising the Lord! See you Sunday.


Psalm 126 A Harvest of Joy

When the Lord restores us,
  we are like those who dream.
Our mouths are filled with laughter,
  and our tongues with shouts of joy;
then we said to the nations,
  ‘The Lord has done great things for us.’
The Lord has done great things for us,
  and we rejoiced.

Restore our fortunes, O Lord,
  like the watercourses in the Negeb.
May those who sow in tears
  reap with shouts of joy.
Those who go out weeping,
  bearing the seed for sowing,
  shall come home with a harvest of joy.

Pumpkin Patch Unloading Day

Wow! What a turn out!

On Saturday we had 62 volunteers at the church helping to unload the pumpkins for our FCC Scottsdale Pumpkin Patch.

You know that saying "Many hands make light work"...well it is true! We were able to completely unload the truck and set up in the Pumpkin Patch in just over an hour!

Thank you to everyone who participated on Saturday. Thank you to everyone who has volunteered to staff the Pumpkin Patch this week and next week. Thank you to everyone who has stopped by and bought a pumpkin to support the outreach ministries of First Christian Church Scottsdale. Remember that all proceeds from the Pumpkin Patch go to support local outreach ministries that make a difference right in our neighborhood community.

Here are some photos (taken by my son, Henry!) from the Great Unloading of the Pumpkins.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Whiteboard: World Communion Sunday

I am fond of saying, "World Communion Sunday should be one of our highest of Holy Days for the Disciples of Christ."

Think about it. It is a Sunday that is:
  • Dedicated to the Unity We Have in Christ.
  • Celebrated around the Lord's Table.
  • Participated in by Churches All Over the World Regardless of Denominational Identity.
Those are three of our core values as a church right there! Unity, the centrality of the Lord's Table, and a ecumenical spirit that guides us!

So come join us this Sunday for one of our highest of Holy Days. Come to celebrate the oneness that we experience in Christ Jesus our Lord. Come to remember him in the broken bread and the shared cup of the new covenant. Come to celebrate in worship with our brothers and sisters all over the world who will be gathering this Sunday in their own communities of faith, singing praises in their own language, and breaking bread in their own special way in service to the Lord. See you Sunday!


Mark 8:1-10 Feeding the Four Thousand
In those days when there was again a great crowd without anything to eat, he called his disciples and said to them, ‘I have compassion for the crowd, because they have been with me now for three days and have nothing to eat. If I send them away hungry to their homes, they will faint on the way—and some of them have come from a great distance.’
His disciples replied, ‘How can one feed these people with bread here in the desert?’
He asked them, ‘How many loaves do you have?’
They said, ‘Seven.’
Then he ordered the crowd to sit down on the ground; and he took the seven loaves, and after giving thanks he broke them and gave them to his disciples to distribute; and they distributed them to the crowd. They had also a few small fish; and after blessing them, he ordered that these too should be distributed. They ate and were filled; and they took up the broken pieces left over, seven baskets full.
Now there were about four thousand people. And he sent them away. And immediately he got into the boat with his disciples and went to the district of Dalmanutha.