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A w ee kl y pub li c at ion of F ir st C hr i st ia n Ch ur c h ( Di s ci pl e s of C hr i st)

Christian Echoes Bringing Perspective to Life A Minister’s Perspective by Rev. Isaac “Ike” Nicholson, Senior Minister

T

his Sunday is the First Sunday in Lent. The word, “Lent,” comes from on old word, “Lenten,” which means to lengthen. The ancients knew that the celebration of Christ’s Resurrection was coming when the days began to lengthen with spring approaching. This past Wednesday, we began our 40 day journey toward the Resurrection (not counting Sundays), and so also we begin a journey of deeper reflection in our daily life and worship. The ancient church adopted the 40 days as a reminder of Christ’s 40 days in the wilderness where he was tempted. In the early church, it was during this time that new believers prepared themselves for baptism through fasting and prayer. Baptized Christians would join with them in the discipline, focusing on the power of the cross. An instrument of cruel torture became the symbol of the followers of Jesus Christ. It was Christ who conquered sin and death once and for all. Our Worship Department has worked hard to prepare and plan for a powerful Lenten observance this year. When you arrive at

Church this Sunday, you will immediately notice specific changes in the Sanctuary. Purple boxes will be displayed in front of the Communion Table for our Lenten collage, a powerful witness of the signs and symbols of the season. The items used in the collage remind us of the specific moments in the final days of Christ’s life. In many ways, these symbols are everyday things that, when united with the passion of Christ, take on powerful meanings to remind us of our salvation. The paraments (cloth coverings on the Table, Lectern and Pulpit) will be purple. The color purple is both a sign of Christ’s royalty, and specifically for Lent, the color of repentance. The Gospel will enter the Sanctuary during the solemn procession and be placed in front of the Chancel steps reminding us that our lives are centered on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. As the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), we are unique in much of Christendom in that our beliefs and practices are rooted firmly in the Bible alone. The teachings of Jesus, as we have them recorded in the Gospels, are the jewel in the crown of Scriptural authority. On this First Sunday in Lent we also will begin with a truly ancient practice dating back to the First Century Church as we read together the Decalogue, commonly known as the Ten Commandments. In the

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subsequent weeks of Lent, we will return to our traditional Prayer of Confession as the opening act of worship. Lent is perhaps one of the most powerfully raw seasons in the liturgical year. Our church calendar reminds us of the cycle of life and draws us to observe and celebrate the major aspects of Christ’s life. Advent, Christmas and Epiphany took us through the promise of Christ’s return, the birth of the Savior and the universal scope of the ministry of Christ. Now, we join with Christ on his final journey to Jerusalem. He has been there before, but this time, He will confront the evil of human greed, selfishness and rebellion. In spite of the worst that humanity could exact on the Son of God, God the Son, Christ looks up from the cross and intercedes on our behalf: “Father, forgive them, they do not know what they are doing.” I promise you, if you observe Lent with all of its intensity and honesty, your celebration of the Resurrection on Easter Sunday will be the most amazing experience of the year. Easter is the highest holy day for Christians. However, before we go there, we must journey through Lent. Let us begin. As a final note, several have asked me what they should “give up” for Lent. My suggestion is always the same: don’t give something up; rather, add something to your life. Daily prayer, Bible reading and regular worship attendance are the most powerful rituals in any Christian’s life.

40 Days of Prayer & Service

Prayer of Love: “To love Him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as oneself, is much more important than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.” Mark 12:33 (Deanna Bradley, World Outreach Department Chair) Service: Most of us pitch in when we see there is help needed. You see a lot of people, including children, helping fold and put away chairs and tables after one of our church dinners. That’s volunteering! At Christmas time, CAReS needed help with sorting toys for children, so I showed up to help. Then I was asked to help one day a week. Why not! In remembering my first day, I had no idea what I could do. It didn’t take long to find out what needed to be done and what I could do. God sure had a hand in that. If you help only for minutes, an hour, a day or more, it is so appreciated by those in charge. At CAReS, they make you feel like you have helped so much. May God guide you to volunteering where your talents may be used. (Guided Volunteer, Kay Pearce) Volunteer applications for CAReS are on the 40 Days of Prayer and Service table in the Narthex.

Youth News

Chi-Rho and CYF will meet Sunday, February 17 at 5 p.m. to deliver chili and brownies to the King’s Daughters Hospitality House.

Prayer Vigil

First Christian Church will host a 24-Hour Prayer Vigil from Thursday, March 28 at 9 p.m. until Friday, March 29 at 9 p.m. We are seeking participants who will commit to thirty minutes of prayer. We also need men willing to act as security during the hours when the Church office is closed. The sign up schedule is on the table in the Narthex.


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Worship Participants—February 17, 2013

Elders: Cheri Daniel/Loaf; Nick Raybourn/Cup; Pete Wonn/ Homebound Deacons: Bryan Brumfield, Tatum Brumfield, Charles Buchanan, Linda Buchanan, Jennifer Burchett, Steve Burchett, Marvin Childers, Sherry Childers Acolytes: Jake Damron, Reed Daniel A/V Department: Team 1 Children's Church: Alisa Belville/Wren Jenkins Coffee Fellowship: Helen Harmon, Libby LaFon and Sharon Brown Communion Coordinators: Kay Pearce, Nancy Turman Greeters: Herman & Judy Roe Lay Readers: Spencer Lett, Connor Crace (Boy Scouts) Ushers: Linda Schuman, Libby Albright Van Driver: Susan Gabbert Youth Deacon Liturgist: Stephen Corbitt

Lectionary Texts—Sunday, February 17:

Deuteronomy 26:1-11; Romans 10:8b-13; Luke 4:1-13, Psalm 91:1-2, 9-16

Memorial Gifts Given

Gifts have been given in memory of: † Betty Curnutte by Libby Albright, Harry & Patty Wiley † Martha Daniel by Libby Albright, Mary Wilson † Wilma Justice by Mary Wilson † Eleanor Schneider by Mary Wilson

Notes of Gratitude

Thank you to my church family for your acts of kindness during my recent illness. I appreciate your prayers, visits, cards, calls, gifts, flowers and communion. Having the service on television has allowed me to hear the sermon and I am truly grateful for that. I still have back pain and would appreciate your prayers for my continuing recovery. You are a very special church family and I appreciate all of you and everything you do. (Faye Barker) Many thanks to my church family for all of the cards, calls, prayers and thoughts. Thank you to Rev. Ike, Rev. Larry and Bob Cruickshank for the hospital visits. I am so blessed to have you all in my life. (Patty Noe) The Pacesetters thank Garry and Cheryl Lewis for their time taking the Pacesetters to Columbus. It made our trip much better and comfortable taking the bus together. (Sandy Mobley) Thank you for your recent donation of paper towels and toilet paper to Shelter of Hope. Your kindness and generosity are greatly appreciated. (Debbie Sivis, Executive Director)

DWM Book Club News

Our first meeting of the new year is scheduled for Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 7 p.m. to discuss A Land More Kind Than Home by Wiley Cash. Bring a snack to share and join us for a fun time of fellowship and discussion!

Ski Trip News

Calendar of Events: 02/17/13—02/23/13 SUNDAY 9:30 a.m. 10:30 a.m.

10:45 a.m. 5:00 p.m. MONDAY 3:30 p.m. 6:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. TUESDAY 8:30 a.m. 5:30 p.m. WEDNESDAY 11:00 a.m. 4:00 p.m. 4:00 p.m. 6:00 p.m. 7:00 p.m. THURSDAY 3:30 p.m. 5:00 p.m. 5:30 p.m. 6:00 p.m. 6:45 p.m. FRIDAY 11:00 a.m.

Sunday School “A Place For You” Television Ministry (Adelphia, Ch. 9; Time Warner, Ch. 9) Morning Worship Chi-Rho & CYF Faith and Fitness/cancelled Cub Scouts Boy Scouts Men’s Breakfast/ham, eggs, biscuits & redeye gravy Chancel Ringers Meals on Wheels/Marvin & Sherry Childers Moms In Prayer St. Andrew’s Kids Vespers Chancel Choir Faith and Fitness/cancelled Kindermusik/0-18 months Kindermusik/Newborn Kindermusik/18-36 months Kindermusik/3-5 years Youth Ski Trip

Heart Health Sunday

Faith Works, sponsored by King’s Daughters Medical Center, will provide free health screenings on Sunday, February 24 from 9 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. and again following the conclusion of Morning Worship. The screenings include cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar and O2 saturation. (Jan DeLaney)

Faith & Fitness

Faith & Fitness will resume Monday, February 25 at 3:30 p.m.

Pacesetters

The Pacesetters will meet for breakfast at Bob Evans on Thursday, February 28 at 9 a.m. Please RSVP to Sherry Childers (329-0501) or Sandy Mobley (923-4684) by Tuesday, February 26.

February Needs

We are collecting saltines for the First Ashland food pantry and paper towels for the Shelter of Hope during February.

Twenty-four people are needed to serve as prayer partners for the youth and chaperones traveling to Snowshoe Mountain on February 22-24. Prayer partners are invited to join the group for prayer prior to their departure on Friday at 11:25 a.m., if you are available. Please see Diana Thompson or Kim Sutton if you can commit to praying, or email Diana at diana@firstchristianchurch.org.

This year, our ski accommodations include a kitchen, enabling us to prepare more of our own meals. If you would like to donate food for the trip, please sign up on the sheet in the Narthex or email Diana. The following items are needed: 2 jars peanut butter, 2 jars grape jelly, apples, bananas, 4 packages (6 per pack) chicken Ramen noodles, 2 packages (6 per pack) beef Ramen noodles, 3 family size mac-n-cheese, 3 boxes (8 packages per box) cheese and crackers and peanut butter crackers, 6 boxes Little Debbie snacks (brownies, oatmeal or zebra cakes, etc.), 5 cans chili beans, 5 cans tomatoes, 3 dozen cookies, 4 cases (12 oz bottles) Gatorade, 3 cases of water (small or large bottles). Please leave donations in the youth office by Wednesday, February 20. (Elaine Corbitt, Christian Education Department Chair)

Christian Echoes 02/14/13  
Christian Echoes 02/14/13  

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