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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


anuary is a flurry of paperwork in the church world. Our Financial Secretary’s office is finalizing giving reports for those who have financially supported the ministry of First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). The Treasurer is making sure all of our 2011 financial reports agree as we close out the budget year. The Church Office is preparing the necessary documents to send our report to the Yearbook Office of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) that outlines average attendance, total, participating and new members, DWM statistics, mission giving and demographic information about generational and ethnic representation. I find myself in the mix of all of the processes, although the actual work is done by other staff, Department Chairs, and members of our congregation. As I watched this activity, I was humbled by the blessing of so many people dedicated to a well-administered church. They are making it possible to do ministry within the legal constraints of the law and the ethical demands of biblical stewardship. X

That being said, our Stewardship Campaign this year was successful. Our 2012 Budget is underwritten by your estimates of giving. That is a victory in this economy. Many churches within our Region and community have had to drastically reduce their budget to meet their current levels of giving. Of the newsletters we receive, the church with the least shortfall still had to borrow $40,000 to meet their budget. The worst shortfall was $200,000 which was overcome by significant staff reductions

and heavy borrowing. I am grateful for God’s continued blessings here at FCCAshland. Our attendance reports were of some concern to me as our Sunday morning worship attendance has dipped over the course of 2011. Our annual report on attendance is to include an average of attendance at all weekly worship services. For us, that includes our Wednesday Vespers Service which has seen a rather significant increase in average attendance. When the attendance reports were calcu-

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lated, our average is actually higher than last year at 238. FCC-Ashland celebrated the resurrection of 11 participating members in 2011 while welcoming 11 new members and overall participating membership increased by 6. What does all of this mean? Sometimes it is hard to see the blessings that are right in front of our face: continued strong stewardship, solid participation in the various worship opportunities and in the life of the church overall, and most importantly, a vitality to do mission work and share the Gospel. You built a church in Pakistan in 2011, raising $20,000 in 40 days, helped build a sewing school for girls in Rwanda, provided food for 400 families through the Emergency Food Pantry and Holiday Bounty, and continued support of both local ministry partners and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), ranking this congregation in the top 100 of all Disciple Churches in North America. No, we’re not done yet. God has just begun to use us for His glory. X

Youth News! 

A Super Bowl Smorgasbord Fundraiser will be hosted by Chi—Rho and CYF this Sunday, February 5. Delicious appetizers and snacks will be available for purchase following Morning Worship. Let us help prepare your Super Bowl snacks! Proceeds will go to support youth programming. Attention Chi—Rho and CYF: We will meet at the church to prepare and package food for the Super Bowl Smorgasbord Fundraiser on Saturday, February 4 from 12—3 p.m. Youth and parents are welcome and all youth are encouraged to help during the fundraiser on Sunday. If you have empty containers that we can use to package, please bring them.  Chi—Rho (grades 6—8) and Christian Youth Fellowship (grades 9—12) will NOT meet this Sunday, February 5 due to the Super Bowl Smorgasbord Fundraiser.  Saint Andrew’s Kids (grades K—5) will meet Wednesday, February 8 from 4—5:30 p.m. Join us for a devotion, snacks, and recreation.  The February meeting of Little Disciples’ Toddler Time is just around the corner! Children ages 18 to 36 months and their parents or caregivers are invited to join us on Tuesday, February 14 from 10 - 11 a.m. for stories, crafts, games and fun!

Disciples Women’s Ministries News 

The Beth Moore Bible Study group will have a morning meeting on Tuesday, February 7 at 9:30 a.m. in room 3. This is in addition to the regularly scheduled meeting for that evening at 6:30 p.m. in the library.  The Pacesetters will meet for dinner at Everoni’s Pizza in Kenova on Saturday, February 11. If you will be riding with the Pacesetters, please be at the church by 4:15 p.m. Please RSVP by Friday, February 10 to Sherry Childers (329—0501), Brenda Hall (325— 2812), or Sandy Mobley (923—4684).  The DWM Book Club February selection is Clay’s Quilt by Silas House. We will meet Thursday, February 23 at 7:00 p.m. to discuss the book.

Saint Andrew’s Kids Seeking Volunteers

Would you like to make a difference in a child's life? St. Andrew’s Kids is praying for two or more adult volunteers to be group leaders this semester. Leaders can rotate on a monthly basis and no lesson preparation is necessary. If you are available in February, March, April, or May, we need you! St. Andrew’s Kids is a program for children grades K – 5, and meets weekly on Wednesdays from 4—5:30 pm. Please see Cathy Hawkins ( for more information.

Upcoming Meetings

The Christian Education Department will meet Thursday, February 9 at 5:30 p.m.


Non-Profit Organization US Postage Paid Permit No. 48 Ashland, KY 41101-7742 V O LU ME 46 | I S SU E 5

Worship Participants—February 5, 2012

Elders: Jack VanHoose/Loaf; Steve Corbitt/Cup; Pete Wonn/ Homebound Deacons: Herman Roe, Judy Roe, Joyce Schuman, Linda Schuman, Kevin Smith, Sandi Smith, Aaron Sutton, Kim Sutton Acolytes: Children’s Church, No Acolytes A/V Department: Team 1 Children's Church: Cheri Daniel (K-2), Alisa Belville (3-5) Coffee Fellowship: Smorgasbord Fundraiser/Fellowship Hall Communion Coordinators: Charles Buchanan, Linda Buchanan Greeters: Scott, Kim & Wren Jenkins Lay Readers: Garry Lewis, Carolyn McSweeney Ushers: Bryan Brumfield, Libby Albright, Bob Cruickshank Van Driver: David Ruth

Memorial Gifts Given

Gifts have been given in memory of: † Zula Borders by Harry & Patty Wiley † Evelyne Dixon by Angelus Class, Harry & Patty Wiley † Nancy Feiock by Angelus Class † Marie Lewis by Stu & Beth Taylor, Harry & Patty Wiley † Mary Lou Neese by Harry & Patty Wiley † Christopher Smith by Debbie Drake & Melissa Drake-Reed, Raymond & Liquitta Langdon, Larry & Carolyn Lawson, Angelus Class, Byrnside Hardware

With Sympathy

We express our heartfelt love and sympathy to the families of Dr. Evalyn Evans and Betty Lou Senteney. Evalyn Evans passed away on January 29, 2012. Betty Lou Senteney, the sister of Chuck Simmons, passed away on January 24, 2012. Please remember their families in your thoughts and prayers.

Notes of Gratitude Thank you for all of the cards, well wishes, and prayers for me as I underwent surgery last week. It is such a blessing to belong to such a loving church! (Kim Sutton) Thank you for your prayers and expressions of sympathy upon the death of our mother, Marie Lewis. Your visits, thoughtful cards, delicious food and kind words are comforting during this time. We gratefully appreciate the care and support you continue to lovingly provide. (Joan Reed and Terri VanHoose)

Calendar of Events: 02/05/12—02/11/12

SUNDAY 9:00 a.m. 9:30 a.m. 10:30 a.m.

Men’s Ensemble Rehearsal Sunday School “A Place For You” Television Ministry (Adelphia, Ch. 9; Time Warner, Ch. 30) Morning Worship Super Bowl Smorgasbord Fundraiser Chi—Rho/CYF/Canceled

10:45 a.m. 12:00 p.m. 5:00 p.m. MONDAY 11:30 a.m. 3:30 p.m. 6:00 p.m. 6:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. TUESDAY 8:30 a.m.

Intercessory Prayer Group Faith & Fitness Adoption Support for Kentucky/Canceled Cub Scouts Boy Scouts

9:30 a.m. 5:30 p.m. 6:30 p.m. WEDNESDAY 11:00 a.m. 4:00 p.m. 6:00 p.m. 7:00 p.m. THURSDAY 3:30 p.m. 5:30 p.m. SATURDAY 4:30 p.m. 5:00 p.m.

Men’s Breakfast Fellowship/French Toast & Bacon Beth Moore Bible Study Chancel Ringers Rehearsal Beth Moore Bible Study Meals on Wheels/Larry & Brenda Hall Saint Andrew’s Kids Vespers Chancel Choir Rehearsal Faith & Fitness Christian Education Department Meeting Pacesetters Dinner/Everoni’s Church Reserved/Wedding

Nominations for Elders and Deacons We are receiving nominations from the congregation for the office of Elder and Deacon through Friday, February 10. Please submit nominations in writing to the Church Office including the name of the nominee and your name as the one making the nomination.

Lectionary Texts for Sunday, February 5: Isaiah 40:21-31; 1 Corinthians 9:16-23; Mark 1:29-39; Psalm 147:1-12, 21c

Echoes 02-02-12  
Echoes 02-02-12