Glory to God in the Highest, Christmas at FCC! Many thanks go to Mary Holland and her crew for our beautifully decorated tree and decorations around the building. Their service honors God, enhances our worship, and brings all of us to a place where we can celebrate the coming of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.
There are several upcoming unique worship opportunities where you may worship the coming of the infant King. Next Sunday during both morning worship services the choir will involve the whole congregation in a worship experience with songs, bells, and readings telling the Christmas story in a unique and meaningful way. You are encouraged to invite your friends and neighbors to hear the Christmas story told through music and the word.
Plan now to attend, and bring your family and friends to our Christmas Eve services to be held at 4pm and 6pm. Both services will be identical. For many in our church, Christmas Eve is a family tradition that keeps the true meaning of Christmas in the holiday. If this is not your tradition, won’t you plan to join us this year and focus your heart and mind on the wonderful gift of Christ’s birth? Christmas Eve can also be a wonderful time of renewal for those who have drifted away from their relationship with God. Is there someone in your life whom God has laid on your heart to invite?
The 2020 MAP was approved during the congregational meeting yesterday by a vote of 216 to 10. As explained during the meeting, the finances of Clinton First Christian Church are strong. We have experienced a decline in giving since Greg’s departure, but we continue to be debt free and carry strong cash balances on our balance sheet. Even with the decline in giving we have a positive net revenue for this year. We are asking that you prayerfully consider an additional year-end gift to make up for our giving decline. Please look for a complete report of the church’s finances after the end of the year in the annual report.
Chairman of the Congregation
Please continue to pray for the committee searching for our next lead minister. The committee is being led by Tori Moore and consists of Cassandra Benton, Nate Bostic, Samuel Green, Rod Karr, Bob Phillips, Leann Sosamon and Jim Taylor. This committee has been meeting regularly, and they have started the process of soliciting for and receiving resumes of potential candidates to fill our pulpit. Part of the process of soliciting resumes is providing information about our church and the position. The search committee and the elders have developed a church and candidate profile which answers many of the questions that a candidate might have, but the committee is also charged with providing additional information that might not be included in the profile. Additionally, the committee is currently using the profile to develop screening criteria that will be used to provide the elders with the top candidates to interview.
Because of the nature of the search and the need to maintain confidentiality with the prospective candidates, we will not be able to share a lot of specific information about the applicants. I can tell you that we have already received a couple of resumes and have contacted several others who are praying about this opportunity. What we want everyone to know is that the window is now open for those who would like to apply. Spreading the word is something that everyone can help with. If you know of Godly men who are strong leaders and articulate God’s Word in a powerful way, and you feel this person would be a good fit for our church, then we encourage you to invite them to submit a resume. Please remember to be sensitive to this person’s current situation, contacting them privately and not on social media. The church and lead minister profile is available for you to have and pass along at the Welcome Center, on the church’s website and in the church office. Resumes should be returned to the attention of the search committee at the church’s address or the search committee’s email that is listed on the profile. If you would prefer for the search committee to contact your individual, please forward his name and contact information to Tori Moore or Cassandra Benton, and someone from the committee will reach out to them to gauge their interest. While we continue to work in God’s timing, we have set a target of mid to late January to have resumes collected so that we may begin interviewing in early February.
You may help by telling those in your network about our open position, but more importantly: Pray! Pray expectantly knowing that God has a plan and He is already preparing who He wants to be our next lead minister. Pray for the leadership as we strive to listen for where God is leading in this time of transition. Pray for the search committee and their discernment in this process. Pray that in all things God will be Glorified!
During your prayers of Thanksgiving this week lift up a special prayer of thankfulness for Pete and his leadership during this time of transition. A lot of specific things fell into place so that Pete was available. Know that I see this as God’s hand at work, and this gives me reassurance of God’s faithfulness and the expectation of His continued blessings in the next season.
In addition to Pete, be thankful for all of the staff members. I am so privileged to be able to see how hard they work in their own respective ministries, and each has gained my respect and admiration. Each lives out being the hands and feet of Jesus, and they continually show His love to others and desire everyone to know Him in a personal and profound way. Each is the example for all of us on how to bring someone to Jesus - not just telling us about Him. I love our staff and they are doing a great job.
Don’t forget that the bi-annual congregational meeting to approve the MAP is at the end of both services on December 8th.
Wishing you all a very blessed Thanksgiving!
Chairman of the Congregation.
Last Monday evening we held our annual MAP informational meeting and unfortunately the weather did not cooperate. Thank you to everyone who made the special effort to attend and to those who the weather kept at home we understand and appreciate your wisdom. I am available to answer any specific questions that you may have with regard to the 2020 MAP, but for now let me give you some of the highlights from last Monday’s meeting. The 2020 Ministry Action Plan that is presented for your approval on December 8th totals $943,789 which statistically is no increase over our current year. Of this total, almost 20% goes to support our benevolent ministries of Missions and the Neighborhood Care Center. Financially our church continues to be very strong and debt free. Current year giving is trending lower than last year but we fully expect for this year’s giving to fully fund this year’s MAP with some extra to add to our cash reserves. There are several capital and deferred maintenance projects that are not included in the MAP but instead will be funded out of cash reserves.
While we are on the topic of money, each year FCC collects three special offerings (Easter, Thanksgiving & Christmas). This year our Thanksgiving offering will go to the Clinton Area Ministerial Association. CAMA funds help provide financial crisis relief to families in DeWitt County, Maroa, and Heyworth. CAMA funds are run through the Neighborhood Care Center where our goal is to not only provide some financial relief to families but to also cover them in prayer and love them in the name of Jesus. Would you consider making a donation to this wonderful ministry and partner with us in making a difference for the Kingdom? More information will be coming about the Christmas offering but it has been designated toward the purchase of a van at the Friendship Center.
There are a couple of special services coming soon. This Friday, November 22 is the Rooted Celebration at 7:00pm. Won’t you consider coming and supporting those who have just completed this ten week experience? You will be blessed with their stories and encouraged by the ways God is moving in our church. Next Sunday November 24th is the annual community Thanksgiving service at 6:00. This service of Thanksgiving will be at FCC this year and Dinelle is coordinating the service. We have much to be thankful for, please come together as a community of believers to celebrate His blessings.
Make sure you are in attendance this Sunday for a Lead Minister Search update!!
Chairman of the Congregation
I apologize for the lack of a blog the past couple of weeks. Sherry and I were traveling, and it was good to get away for no other reason than to be together and away from our responsibilities here in Central Illinois. While we were away much continued with the business of the church.
Don’t forget that tonight at 6:30 we will hold the MAP information meeting in the Family Life Center. This is your opportunity to hear from the ministry leaders what the plans are for 2020. If you are unable to attend, look for details in this blog next week as we move toward a congregational vote on the MAP on December 8.
The Lead Minister Search Committee has met several times and is making good progress. Resumes are starting to be collected and screened. If you know of someone you would like to have considered, please funnel those names to Tori Moore, Cassandra Benton or any committee member, and we will be happy to send them our church and candidate profile. Once the profiles are sent, it will be up to that person to decide if they would like to proceed with our process. Please continue to pray for all of those on the committee (Cassandra Benton, Nate Bostic, Samuel Green, Rod Karr, Tori Moore, Bob Phillips, Leann Sosamon, and Jim Taylor) as they continue this work.
Let’s continue to look for ways to become the “Passionate Community of Disciple Makers” that is the vision of our church. For years our church has provided communion to those who (for whatever reason, either temporary or permanent) are unable to come to our church building. It has come to our attention that either we were unaware of someone who desired outside communion or one of our volunteers missed their opportunity to serve. To those who were missed we apologize, and we recognize that we must do better. This opportunity to serve, however, should not only be the outside communion team’s responsibility. If you are aware of someone wanting communion, won’t you take the opportunity to bless that person with it? It does not matter if they have already received communion, and it does not have to be on a Sunday; the church will be happy to provide a communion kit, and no special training is required. All that is necessary to remember is that “Where two or more are gathered” and “Do this in remembrance of me.” This would be an example of a way to move from “Corporate to Contagious!!”
We are glad to be back and look forward to worshiping with you all this coming Sunday.
Chairman of the Congregation
I am sure many of you have already heard of the passing of Charlie Belangee and Barb Baker. Charlie and Barb lived their lives with a great love for Jesus and were the example of being the hands and feet of Jesus that we all should aspire to be. For forty years Charlie served as the Superintendant of our Bible School. Barb was instrumental in organizing our Benevolence ministry which she led for many years. While they both served in their areas with excellence what defined their service was showing the love of Jesus to others in a quiet, personal way.
Both Charlie and Barb were great examples of people carrying out the Great Commission. As they were about the duties of their service, they were loving those around them and bringing them to Jesus. This is exactly what we have all been called to do.
Please be in prayer for the Baker and Belangee families as they grieve the loss of Barb and Charlie, but also consider how you may honor their legacy by being involved in service to our Lord. Serve with a purpose: to honor God while showing others His love and saving grace.
In last week’s update it was announced that the search committee was being formed and I am excited to now let you know who will be serving on this very important committee. The eight members of the committee are: Cassandra Benton, Nate Bostic, Samuel Green, Rod Karr, Tori Moore, Bob Phillips, Leann Sosamon, and Jim Taylor. After much prayer each of these individuals were selected to serve because of their discerning hearts and commitment to our church and the Kingdom at large. We truly believe that God placed each of these individuals on this committee because of their specific gifts and abilities and because of that we trust that this group as a whole will have His blessings of effectiveness and success. As this committee begins their work please keep them in your prayers, pray that they will be strong against Satan’s attacks, clarity and joy in their work, and a cooperative spirit of unity in their search.
While your ministry staff deserves your appreciation all year long don’t forget that October is “Pastor Appreciation Month.” FCC’s ministry staff is hard working and dedicated to promoting the Kingdom in Clinton and DeWitt County, why don’t you take a moment to send each of them a note of thanks and encouragement! While our ministry staff is very good, remember they are not there to do your work for you. Each of us needs to be out “Loving God, Reaching the World & Building the Church.” The corporate “programs” of the organized church don’t do that, we each have the individual responsibility to be out ministering and showing God’s love to others. Let’s move from “Corporate to Contagious.”
This Saturday October 19th is a great opportunity to serve with your family or friends at the Mobile Food Pantry. Sign up to volunteer on the church website under the upcoming-serve-opportunities tab.
This Sunday October 20th is a great opportunity to mix, mingle and visit down in The Underground from 9:00 until 10:30 for DONUT SUNDAY. Come grab a donut and head off to Bible School or stay and meet someone who you may not be acquainted with.
The following is the announcement that was read in our worship service this past Sunday.
It has now been almost two and a half months since Greg and Marla finished their ministry here in Clinton, and the leadership would like to give just a brief update of our current status and the plan moving forward.
First of all we would like to thank you for your continued prayer support and the encouragement given to us, that has truly been a blessing. We have appreciated the opportunity to take a step back, spend time in prayer, and take a breath for a moment as we did an honest evaluation of our church which was necessary before we could begin a search for a new minister. This will give this new minister the best opportunity to be successful here in Clinton. We have been appreciative of Pete as he has led us through several assessment exercises which has led us to where we are today.
We are currently putting together the search committee who will solicit, screen and do initial interviews of candidates and ultimately make a recommendation to the elders for final interviews. This committee will be made up mainly of people from the congregation with staff and elder representation. I was hoping to name the committee today; unfortunately a couple of the spots are not yet filled. Once the committee is complete the names will be made public so that you may cover them and the search in your prayers. Everyone being asked to serve on this committee has the skill set and life experience to be successful with this task, and are all Godly people with the gift of discernment. I believe God is placing each on this committee for this season and I thank them for their sacrifice and their willingness to serve.
With the selection of the committee, we have also opened the window to accept resumes and the tentative plan is to continue to accept those until January 15th. All resumes should be sent to the church to the attention of the search committee. We would hope to begin interviewing candidates by February 1st. While this sounds like a long time to wait we realize that those currently in effective ministries, which is the type of candidate that we will be looking for, will most likely not be available for interviews until after the advent season.
Initially, when we asked Pete to serve as our interim minister he was able to commit to being with us through the end of this year. Now some of his other commitments have changed and he is able to commit to being with us until May. I thank Pete for his willingness to continue to serve here and I personally view this as an answer to prayer showing God’s faithfulness and provision. I also see this as a sign that God will provide the right person for this pulpit in His perfect time.
Continue to pray for your leadership and for this new search committee as we strive to follow God’s leading. With regard to additional updates please follow the weekly update on the Monday blog and monthly with the “Elder’s Corner” of the K.
Additionally, don’t forget that October is Pastor Appreciation Month. Your ministry staff at FCC is second to none, make sure to reach out to them and show them your appreciation for all that they do for the Kingdom!
Chairman of the Congregation
September 23, 2019
Calling all prayer warriors of FCC, this week there are two meetings that will have a big impact on ministry for the next year in our church.
For the past month the ministry teams of FCC have been working on their plans for the 2020 ministry year. The teams have submitted their funding requests and on Tuesday evening the Finance team will review the requests and will most likely make a recommendation to the elders of a 2020 MAP that will be presented to the congregation for a vote in December. Please pray for the Finance Team as they work to discern anticipated giving for 2020 and how to meet the funding requests to promote a movement for God in Clinton, DeWitt County and around the world. Also please pray for our stewardship. Our church continues very strong financially; however, the past two month we have seen a decline in giving. Some of this could be attributed to the traditional “summer slump” or in Greg’s departure as Lead Minister but we would ask that everyone continue with your financial support of Clinton FCC.
The second meeting to pray for will be the September Elder’s meeting on Thursday. At this meeting we will be completing the final analytic tool of our church and also finalizing the committee that will work to discern who to recruit to be our next Lead Minister. This committee is so important to get correct and we request that you solicit our Father for his divine intervention on the selection of those with discerning hearts void of personal agendas.
We are planning a public update during a morning worship service very soon, most likely October 6th. While we realize this process has been slow moving, we have appreciated the opportunity not to be rushed and to spend time in prayer and be diligent with our discovery and evaluation of our church. Many of you were asked to give your opinions of our Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. For those of you still working on those, it is not too late to turn them back in. We have received many great responses and they are being used in our church profile. This SWOT analysis reinforced that while we are not perfect and have much left to work on we are a very good and health church. Thank you to everyone who responded.
P.S. On the subject of “Thank you for your Patience” the elevator is back in service. PTL!!
**Tuesday, Sept 24th Women’s Bible Study at 10am in Room 2221
**Wednesday, Sept 25th First Kids youth group, Jr. High Underground, Choir practice
**Sunday, Sept 29th ONE SERVICE SUNDAY @ 9:30
**Tuesday, Oct 1st Area Men’s Fellowship @ Saybrook Christian Church
**Friday, Oct 4 Young at Heart
**Saturday, Oct 5 Beth Moore “Living Proof” Simulcast. Please join us at 9:30am in the sanctuary for this simulcast. This event is the opportunity to hear three teaching from Beth Moore and experience worship from Travis Cottrell and the Living Proof praise team. This event is open to women of all ages and the cost is FREE! Plan to attend and invite your friends. To find out more information or to register, please call the church office or visit clintonfcc.com/upcomingevents.
**Sunday, Oct 6 New Attender Meet and Greet 9:30am
**Monday, Oct 7 FEED Cook Night
I was uncomfortable in church yesterday. I prefer to come and worship and have that warm fuzzy feeling that God loves me and everything is great. Yesterday, Pete preached how Jesus starts the Lord’s Prayer with Our Father or Sodality (community) and then moves into Modality (individual needs) and how if we only focus our prayers Modality our church will die. That was uncomfortable for me because lately almost all of my prayers have been very inward focused. This is a pattern that easy to fall into when we stay in our own small area and are not engaging with others. Yes, God wants to meet our personal needs but it’s important to balance with Sodality. Start with the End in Mind and remember that God wants everyone to know His saving grace. Keep your eyes open, your prayers active and your actions ready to engage those who need to know Jesus.
The leadership of the church has taken the same approach in looking for our new lead minister. We have started with the end in mind and are determining the necessary skills and personality traits that will be required in this minister. Once those are nailed down we will initiate the search. Please keep us in prayer tonight as we continue to work through this process.
Pray for Pete as he heads to Kenya tomorrow. He will be leading a evangelistic team in several slums of Nairobi. Just as you are praying for a movement of God throughout DeWitt County also pray for a movement of God in Kenya.
We would love for you to be plugged in and involved with our church. Cody has many volunteer openings in the Care Center, Ben Cassandra and Allison would love to get you plugged into Children’s and Student Ministry. Jen and Mandi need help in the office and with funeral dinners. Really the list is endless but if you are looking for a specific area, here are a couple of suggestion:
- Dinelle Frankland is looking for a rehearsal accompanist for the choir. Come help the choir learn their parts on Wednesday evenings, the choir will mainly perform with a CD for worship.
- Jr. High and High School Students will park cars again at Apple & Pork, let Ben know what shifts you can work.
Here are some things to pray over:
- BSF starts for men and women this Tuesday
- Rooted continues
- Wednesday night programming (Choir, First Kids and Underground Student Ministries)
- Pete to Africa
- A movement of God throughout DeWitt County
- New workers to be sent in the harvest
- More and more prayer
- Neighborhood Care Center to be a catalyst for gospel transformantion.
- Staff/Elder/Search Committee
- Next Lead Minister
- A specific household within FCC and out
Chairman of the Congregation
Time to Pray
August 26, 2019
The new group prayer room is now fully functional and ready for your use!! This room (Kent’s old office or the old benevolence room) is located on the west side of the building between the Family Life Center and the Library hallway. The two smaller, more intimate prayer rooms (located in the Adult Education hall and in the sanctuary entrance) are still available for your use but we are excited to now have a designated space for larger groups to meet together to pray. We have designated this space as Holy and would ask that you not use this space for meetings or classes but just specifically for prayer and drawing close with God.
Prayer is the foundation of the personal relationship with our Heavenly Father. I would like to give a prayer list for you to pray over this week:
- Pray for your personal relationship with Jesus
- Pray for the forgiveness of your sin and the revelation of what you need to repent from
- Pray for a specific person that you can encourage in their walk with Jesus
- Pray for the leaders of our church
- Pray for the person that God is preparing to be our next Lead Minister
- Pray for Pete Cocco as he delivers God’s word to us
- Pray for Samuel Green and this next session of Rooted.
- Pray for Ben Pertl, Cassandra Benton, Allison Hitchings and the youth leaders as they ramp up for fall programming, that this will be a impactful year in children’s and student ministry.
- Pray for Dinelle Frankland as she begins her ministry with FCC next Sunday.
- Pray for Cody Monkman and all of the care center volunteers, that they continue to be the hands and feet of Jesus.
- Pray for those who are ill, depressed and have suffered loss
Through our prayer life let’s have the goal of being very intimate with God!
Do you struggle with your intimacy with God? Is that a desire of yours but you just don’t know how to get that rolling? Have you experienced Rooted? Rooted is a 10 week guided experience that will lead you to that relationship that you desire. If you are feeling that pull to be involved this is the last week to sign up. Call the office or sign up on line, you will be blessed!! Men please consider joining the all men’s group!
Rooted signup’s continue through the end of this week. Men’s group for those interested!!
Elevator work should begin this week and will be out of service for about four weeks.
**Saturday August 24 – YAH trip to Farm to Table meal
**Friday Aug 30 – Monday Sept 2 – Family Camp at Little Galilee
**Tuesday September 3 – Area Men’s at College Park
**Wednesday September 4 – Fall programming begins (Choir, First Kids, Underground for Jr. High)
**Friday September 6 – Young at Heart
Weekly update on what's happening at FCC! Glad you're here!