Our last 10 days at Clinton FCC
As we move toward the end of July, our time with this most special church is drawing to a conclusion. Thank you so much for your love and prayers during this transition time! Thank you so much for loving your church! Most important of all, thank you so much for Loving the Lord unconditionally and Loving people without apology! This morning, I need to remind you of several upcoming opportunities and events, and also share some personal thoughts as I reflect on ministry at FCC.
Reminders . . .
** This Sunday July 28 - ONE service Sunday at 9:30am - NO programming at 8:15 or 10:45 - I'll be sharing my final message as a ministry staff member at FCC: "The Church is NOT about ME . . . and it is NOT about YOU!"
** Sunday morning August 4 - Jody Owens from Johnson University will be our guest speaker and teacher and simply put, he one of the very best! I have been personally blessed by Jody's teaching through the Spiritual Formation Retreat I have attended the past three years in the Smoky Mountains and you will as well on August 4!
** Tuesday August 6 will bring the Area Men's Fellowship at Clinton FCC. Just a quick reminder - we are now hosting two of the Area Men's gatherings each year - January and August and the Area Men's Fellowship exists to support Little Galilee Christian Camp. On the 6th, new Executive Director Rob Shoaff will be bring the message and Kathy Wickenhauser and her team are preparing an incredible meal!
** Sunday August 18 - Little Galilee Connections Event - enjoy the pool, the zip line and the Gage and Ryan Food Truck - the fun begins at 12:30pm and EvERYONE is welcome and invited!
** August 23-24 - Spiritual Disciplines Retreat at the Chiara Center near Springfield - look for more info in the weeks that follow or reach out to Susan Klein, Becky Glenn or Rachel Emery - I love this 24 hour retreat - why not consider giving it a shot?
Personal Thoughts . . .
** I'm sure thankful for my wife Marla and my children Jordan and Peyton - they blessed me on Friday night with a surprise 50th birthday party and to say I was stunned is an understatement! I am so thankful for those that wasted a Friday night blessing me, and cannot believe how full my cup really is. It was precious beyond words to have the four of us together for 24 hours this weekend!
** I'm so excited about two new ministry staff additions: Pete Cocco begins next week as Interim Lead Minister at our church and Dinelle Frankland will begin September 1 as a part time Worship and Music Minister, preparing and leading our 8:15am service, as well as our Adult Choir. FYI - choir practice will begin on Wednesday September 4. This goes without saying, but can I implore you to go the extra mile in bringing encouragement and support to both Pete and Dinelle as they begin ministry at FCC?
** I taught my final Faith Builders SS class yesterday and it was certainly bittersweet. I have been blessed to teach this class most Sunday mornings since the summer of 2009 - ten years! I'm so thankful for so many that love to study God's word and encourage one another in the Lord! I will really miss teaching this weekly gathering!
** Trust Your Leaders - that was the sermon yesterday - my prayer is simple: this will become reality at Clinton FCC as we move into this time of transition.
** Our home in Chestnut - as we begin our last 7-8 days living in the Geo center, I'm reminded how many memories and special gatherings have taken place over the past 20 years on West North Street. We arrived in 1999 a family of three and we leave as empty nesters with two adult children and a son-in-law. We watched our kids grow up here. We have done life here for two decades. We will really miss this home! And we really want to sell it! Please pray.
Blessings to each of you - see you Sunday at 9:30am!
Mid-July weekly update
When I shared the news with staff and Elders on Monday May 13 that I was accepting another ministry in Danville and would be leaving Clinton FCC, it seemed like my last day at Clinton FCC was still too far off to even really think about it. Well here I am, early on a Monday morning, and I find myself with just two weeks left at this church I love so much - time has really flown by this summer! Last night, Marla and I were blessed by an evening of burgers and laughs with the FCC staff at the home of Brett and Mandi Ries - it reinforced what we already knew - this staff and their spouses are incredibly special people and we will miss each of them dearly! Listen up Clinton FCC - you are so blessed to have this staff serving the Lord at your church and in your community.
Here are several updates and reminders as we enter the second half of July:
** This Sunday July 21, I'm sharing a message entitled "Trust Your Leaders" from Hebrews 13 and 1 Peter 5. I'm so thankful for the leadership of our church - they are not perfect men but so many of them love the Lord unconditionally and have the absolute heart of a servant!
** Our final Sunday at Clinton FCC will be July 28 and we are having a ONE SERVICE Sunday at 9:30am at my request. I"ll be sharing my final sermon - "The Church is NOT about ME . . . you YOU!" I'm excited about the worship service Samuel and Allison are putting together and look forward to sharing one final time at FCC!
** Pete Cocco begins as Interim Lead Minister the last week of July - can I encourage you to warmly welcome Pete and also bring encouragement and support to his ministry at FCC? We are so blessed to have Pete through the final five months of 2019 serving the Lord at our church!
** Do not miss Sunday morning August 4 - Jody Owens from Johnson University will be our guest speaker and teacher and simply put, he one of the very best! I have been personally blessed by Jody's teaching through the Spiritual Formation Retreat I have attended the past three years in the Smoky Mountains and you will as well on August 4!
** Tuesday August 6 will bring the Area Men's Fellowship at Clinton FCC. Just a quick reminder - we are now hosting two of the Area Men's gatherings each year - January and August and the Area Men's Fellowship exists to support Little Galilee Christian Camp.
** Sunday August 18 - Little Galilee Connections Event - enjoy the pool, the zip line and the Gage and Ryan Food Truck - the fun begins at 12:30pm and EvERYONE is welcome and invited!
** August 23-24 - Spiritual Disciplines Retreat at the Chiara Center near Springfield - look for more info in the weeks that follow.
Speaking of Little Galilee, what a great day yesterday hosting the LGCC staff and having the opportunity to meet and connect with new Executive Director Rob Shoaff! Thanks to Bob Phillips for his 21 years of service at Little Galilee - so blessed to have Bob at LGCC and also a part of our church at FCC! Thanks also to Kevin Peterson and Max Aper for sharing with us yesterday - LGCC is in good hands!
Have a great week - see you Sunday!
Blessings and Opportunities
It is hard to believe how quickly time can move - and how easy it is to miss the blessings unfolding all around. Can I invite you to take some time this morning and "smell the coffee" and "open your eyes" to the blessings this life provides? Here are multiple blessings I'm thankful for on this beautiful July Monday:
** I'm thankful for a quick trip to Door County and Washington Island with Marla last week - always good to get away and I was especially thankful for the "island pace" we encountered just above the tip of the Door County peninsula.
** I'm even more thankful for Marla - she has been a wonderful life and ministry partner, an incredible mother to our children and a great example for women following Jesus. These last couple of months have brought a lot of tough decisions and conversations for Marla and she has always approached it with the heart of a Christ Follower - it has been a blessing to watch!
** I'm thankful for how God provides - Marla was offered not one but two teaching opportunities in the Danville area in mid-June and has accepted a Math position at Georgetown-Ridge Farm High School. In addition, last week we were able to negotiate the purchase of a home in the Denvale West neighborhood of Danville, and if all goes well, we should be able to move in before we begin ministry and teaching in August! So thankful and blessed!
I'm reminded of the words of Jesus - "do not worry" - and how easy it is to ignore his command. Peter said it like this late in his life - "cast all your anxiety on the Lord, because He cares for you." God is so good - all the time!
** I'm thankful for the opportunity this month to share four final messages - yesterday we looked at Mark 12 and the Main Thing - Jesus' instruction that the most important thing is to Love God with your all and to Love your Neighbor as yourself. This week, we will consider what it means to be DEVOTED - how can Clinton FCC be a DEVOTED church in an Acts 2:42 kind way. I hope you can join us this Sunday!
** Also this week, we will be blessed to have many from the staff of Little Galilee Christian Camp with us during both services and during the Bible School hour in the Family Life Center. Come out and meet new Executive Director Rob Shoaff and hear his life story, and also hear how God continues to bless LGCC through the ministries of Bob Phillips, Kevin Peterson and Max Aper. Clinton FCC was instrumental in helping start the camp back in the early 1950's and it continues to be a "first among equals" as a monthly mission partner.
** And don't forget - FCC will provide a 50% tuition scholarship for your kids and grandkids to attend camp this summer!
** I'm thankful for the faithfulness of so many at Clinton FCC - men, women, teens and children that LOVE their church without apology or condition - you are needed more than ever during this time of transition! Thank you!
** Sunday July 28 will be our final Sunday at Clinton FCC and we are doing a ONE SERVICE Sunday on the 28th at 9:30am - no programming at 8:15am or 10:45am on July 28.
** Save the Date - Dr Jody Owens from Johnson University will be with us on Sunday August 4 - you will NOT want to miss this Sunday!
Have a great week - see you Sunday!
July thoughts and musings
As I sit in my office early this Monday morning on the 1st day of July - my last month at Clinton FCC - several thoughts are rolling through my mind . . .
** I'm thinking David Upchurch from Lincoln Christian University was such a blessing yesterday at FCC. His message on attitude was so appropriate and his Q/A during the 9:30am hour was just about perfect. I'm so thankful for my Alma Mater and the many great servants like David that pour into local churches like FCC. If you missed his message or the Q/A, check out our website. You will be blessed.
** I'm thinking FCC is such a special place and we are so blessed w/ our leadership - so many striving to lead our church in a positive and uplifting way! I'm especially thankful for the leadership of Mark Behrends, chairman of the Eldership. We have been so blessed by his leadership the past year and I'm thankful for his willingness to serve!
** I'm thinking FCC and the Eldership will really miss Mark Witzke and Dana Korneman as they move toward their sabbatical year off, but I'm thankful both men can rest and refresh, and I know they will continue to shepherd and love other in the name of Jesus.
** I'm thinking with Independence Day happening this Thursday, it's an appropriate time to remember how blessed we are to live in the greatest country in the history of the world and the blessings that freedom bring us. I'm thankful for all that have paid an incredible price so we can live in the land of the free.
** I'm thinking Little Galilee made a great hire in new Executive Director Rob Shoaff! I was blessed last week to spend time w/ Rob during our week of camp at LGCC and I'm really impressed with his leadership. I want you to meet Rob, so on Sunday morning July 14, Rob will be introduced during both morning worship services, and then at 9:30am, the LGCC staff will be "interviewed" by me in the Family Life center - you will learn all about Rob and his journey up to this point, and you will also hear from Bob Phillips, Kevin Peterson and Max Aper about the summer this far and updates on the 2020 Vision project.
** Speaking of Camp, we had a great week of Junior Main 2! Our own Allison Hitchings did a great job as Dean and so many from our church, including Ben Pertl and Cassandra Benton, served as faculty for 103 campers. It was once again a blessing to share the preaching with my great friend Mike Mallick from Jeff St CC in Lincoln. Best news of all? 37 students stepped forward to accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and 24 were baptized Friday afternoon at the LGCC pool - many more baptisms happened yesterday in churches throughout Illinois. God is good! All the time!
** I'm thinking July 28 - my final Sunday at FCC - is going to be here before we know it. Just a reminder, July 28 will be a ONE SERVICE Sunday at 9:30am - no services at 8:15 or 10:45 on July 28. Marla and I have been so blessed by so many during our ministry here and I have much I want to say on July 28!
** Finally this morning, I'm thinking it is easy to get distracted in this life by things that really don't matter. I look forward to bringing a message this Sunday entitled "The Main Thing" from Mark 12:28-34 - I hope you can join us!
** Cassandra shared yesterday about the Summer Family Challenge starting today and going through July 31 - get more info at the FCC website or from the office.
** Men's Mission Trip to Mexico info meeting - this Sunday July 7 at 9:30am in the Alcove - see Gage Lyons or Ryan Sosaman for more information.
** Area Men's Fellowship goes to Monticello on Tuesday July 9 at 6:30pm and Clinton FCC is hosting Area Men's on Tuesday August 6 at 6:30pm.
** Don't forget, FCC will pay a half tuition scholarship for your kids or grandkids to attend LGCC this summer!
Have a great week!
Sunday brought our bi-annual congregational meeting for the purpose of affirming those men that were nominated, and accepted, the invitation to serve as Elder at FCC. Both John Rodgers and Ryan Sosaman were on the ballot. John has previously served as Elder so his term is for three years. Ryan is just completing his initial first year, so his term will be for two years.
The vote results are:
** John Rodgers Yes: 205 No: 32 (87%) John Rodgers is affirmed as Elder for a 3 year term
** Ryan Sosamon Yes: 230 No: 13 (95%) Ryan Sosamon is affirmed as Elder for a 2 year term
1st Service Ballots were counted by Bill Chapman, Larry Humphreys, Dan Holland, and Mike Mathias
2nd Service Ballots were counted by Roger Dial and Darvin Robinson
Vote count witnessed and minutes respectively submitted by Tim Wenthe & Ken Klein
Your Eldership for 2019-2020 will be:
Both Dana Korneman and Mark Witzke enter into their sabbatical year - I'm very thankful for the service of both of these men! They have truly impacted FCC in a great way during their times of service as Elders!
Thanks Dana and Mark!
On a personal note, I am thankful for the willingness of John and Ryan to serve as Elder - both are Godly men of faith that LOVE FCC unconditionally, are on board with our VISION and MISSION, have participated in ROOTED and are serving the Lord with excellence!
blessings to each of you - see you Sunday!
Camp week - one of the best each year!
One of my great life blessings - every summer since 1992 - has been the opportunity to serve in some capacity at a week of camp at Little Galilee Christian Camp. For the past 21 years, I have served with Junior Main camp, and this year, we are blessed to have 100 5th and 6th graders. Our own Allison Hitchings is the Dean and she does such a great job putting together the week. Several from our staff are part of the faculty this week - Cassandra, Ben and Samuel! And many more from Clinton FCC are serving at camp this session.
My good friend Mike Mallick and I have the blessing of preaching each day - I bring the word during morning worship and Mike preaches each evening. This year, our theme is Heroes of the Faith, and we are looking at women and men like Noah, Abraham, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Joshua and Rahab, Esther, Jesus, and the Disciples. Will you pray for all who are part of this week of camp? Will you pray that many will make a decision to follow Jesus? And will you pray that Friday afternoon brings many baptisms?
And don't forget - FCC will pay a 50% scholarship for one session of camp for your children and grandchildren to experience LGCC! Take advantage of this opportunity - your children and grandchildren will be blessed!
On Sunday, we announced several blessings from the Lord - evidence that God is already providing for our church! First, we announced the hiring of an Interim Minister - Pete Cocco from Bloomington-Normal. Pete served Encounter campus ministry at ISU for 23 years and is no stranger to Clinton FCC. We are so excited that Pete has agreed to serve as Interim Lead Minister through December!
We also announced the hiring of Dr. Dinelle Frankland from Lincoln Christian University. Dinelle will be assuming the part time position held by Ruth Davidson - planning the 8:15am service, serving as the primary instrumentalist, leading the adult choir and leading the chimes choir. While everyone will miss Ruth and we are thankful for her many years of service, we couldn't be more excited about what Dinelle will bring to our church! Dinelle has committed to this role at least through next May and will begin on September 1.
Can I encourage you to welcome Pete and Dinelle and thank them for serving our church? God is truly already providing for Clinton FCC! God is good - all the time!
Sunday began the first of five final sermons I will share with our church leading up to my final Sunday on July 28. My hope and prayer during these five weeks is to share from my heart about what really matters most and where Clinton FCC should go from here. Yesterday's message - "Change is Good, even when it seems otherwise" - was intended to help all of us understand God HAS this!
During my sermon yesterday, I shared four ways YOU can be a blessing to your church:
#1 - Unconditional LOVE for Clinton FCC in word and deed!
#2 - FAITHFULNESS to Clinton FCC is attendance and stewardship - especially during the transition!
#3 - Ministry INVOLVEMENT - the work of the Lord must go on!
#4 - Passionate PRAYER partnership!
You can do this! You SHOULD do this! Will you LOVE, be FAITHFUL, SERVE and PRAY?
Several upcoming days to be aware of:
* Sunday June 30 - David Upchurch from Lincoln Christian University will be preaching in both services, and sharing at 9:30am in the Family Life Center for anyone interested on change and transition. David met w/ our faculty back in late May and we were so thankful and blessed, we asked if he could come back on a Sunday and share with the church. David is no stranger to FCC - he has been a guest preacher before - and you will be blessed by his words of advice and encouragement.
* Sunday July 14 - Little Galilee day at Clinton FCC - come and meet Rob Shoaff, the new Executive Director at camp and hear an update from Bob Phillips on the 2020 Vision Project and all that God is doing at camp. Rob will be introduced during both morning services and then at 9:30am am in the Family Life Center, Rob and Bob will share. Don't miss it!
* Sunday July 28 - my final Sunday at Clinton FCC will be a one service Sunday at 9:30am. Marla and I have been so blessed by our almost 13 years serving at FCC, and there is so much and so many we will miss! My final message will be entitled "The Church is bigger than ME . . . and YOU" and shares my heart for Clinton FCC!
Have a great week - see you Sunday!
Change is upon us
Last week, I had the opportunity to spend several days with multiple ministry friends in Colorado and the highlight was hiking Pikes Peak - what a beautiful journey! As a result, I did not post my weekly blog update. Two weeks ago, I shared some personal news - that Marla and I were candidates at Second Church of Christ in Danville to accept their Lead Minister position. On June 9, I preached during their three main auditorium services and yesterday we were affirmed by congregational vote. As a result, allow me to share this letter with you:
Dear Clinton FCC family,
It is with a heavy heart that I tender my resignation as Lead Minister of First Christian Church effective July 31, 2019. Marla and I have absolutely loved our almost 13 years of ministry at Clinton FCC and yet believe without a doubt that God is calling us to another ministry in Vermillion County, Illinois. On August 14, Marla and I will begin ministry at the Second Church of Christ in Danville, IL – a sister church that is changing the world for Christ in east-central Illinois. Please pray for the Taylor family as we begin the transition process. Please also pray for the leadership of Clinton FCC as they discern what the next several months will look like for our church.
During the summer of 2006, you took a chance on a 37 year old that had never served as a full time preaching minister, and I am forever grateful. There are far too many blessings to share in this letter, but I am thankful for the women and men I have been blessed to serve alongside in leadership ministries, and the many relationships within the church and the community that I will never forget and forever cherish.
Anytime there is change, the temptation is to approach it with a “cup-half-empty” perspective – please do not do this! I believe without a doubt that God has this and Clinton FCC’s best days are yet to come! In the next couple of weeks, you will have the opportunity to learn about multiple pieces of the transition plan and what exactly it will mean for Clinton FCC throughout the remainder of 2019 and into 2020. I have already seen God’s mighty hand at work!
Please feel free to reach out to me if you have questions or concerns about this letter and/or decision. You are also invited to contact Mark Behrends, the chairman of the eldership at FCC, if you would like more information.
May God bless you and may God’s hand be on Clinton First Christian Church!
Change is never easy but both Marla and I have seen God move throughout this entire process and we believe He always provides! We look forward to the next month and a half as we conclude ministry at Clinton FCC - we are so thankful for so many that have blessed us during this journey! We covet your prayers - both for our family, as we prepare for this transition, and also for your leadership, as they navigate change. And do your very best to be in church this Sunday, as we will be sharing some exciting news related to God's blessing on Clinton FCC and the rest of 2019! God is good - all the time!
Two quick notes:
** This Sunday is the bi-annual Congregational meeting following both services to affirm those nominated to serve as Elder at Clinton FCC. This year, two men are on the ballot - John Rodgers and Ryan Sosaman - and I 100% endorse both men to serve as Elder at FCC! These Godly men also have a humility that guides them and an unconditional love for your church. I'm so very thankful for John and Ryan!
** Please be in prayer for the family of Bernice Zastrow - she passed away on Friday the age of 93 in the Chicago area. Bernice and her husband Winston - who passed away in 2016 - served our church in the 1960's and 1970's in the Senior Ministry role. My heart goes out to Craig, Teri, Brent and Todd, as well as the spouses and grandchildren of the Zastrow family. Visitation will be Friday afternoon from 3-6pm and the funeral will be at 10:30am Saturday at the Christian Church of Clarendon Hills in the western suburbs.
Have a great week - see you Sunday as I preach a message entitled "Change is Good."
June has arrived - here we go!
So much is happening in the life of Clinton FCC - here are several quick reminders:
#1 - This Friday is our June gathering of Young at Heart - ALL folks over 55 are welcome and will be blessed! 10:30am in the Family Life Center on Friday June 7! I hope you can make it!
#2 - VBS begins one week from today! Please make sure your children and grandchildren are signed up and ready to participate - see Cassandra Benton if you have questions.
#3 - Little Galilee Christian Camp has begun - the first youth campers have arrived! Please take advantage of our 50% tuition scholarships for your children and grandchildren. And it is NOT too late to donate cereal to the camp - call our office if you have questions.
#4 - Elevator out of service - unfortunately, we will not have a working main elevator for at least six weeks this summer beginning Monday June 17 - we are replacing the existing elevator. You will have access to both the sanctuary and family life center levels via the lift just outside the office door, but there will be no access to the lower level. Our hope is to have this project complete in early August.
#5 - Congregational Meetings on June 23 at the end of services to affirm those nominated to serve as Elder. The names of those on the ballot will be announced this Sunday June 9.
#6 - Clinton FCC's staff goes to LGCC - once again, several from our staff and our church will be serving at Junior Main 2 camp June 23-28 - our own Allison Hitchings is the dean! If you have children going into 5th or 6th grade this fall, we would love to have them join us!
#7 - A big thanks to Allison Hitchings for stepping into a new interim role this summer, planning and executing many of our worship services during June, July and August. In September, Allison will return to her role as Children's Minister and in a couple of weeks, we will announce who is being hired to lead and plan our 8:15am worship service and lead our adult choir and chimes choir. Please encourage Allison this summer! She is doing a great job!
Finally, I want to share some personal news with you - I read this letter at the end of each service on Sunday:
I wanted to make all of you aware of something that is happening about 80 miles east of Clinton this morning. Marla and I are being introduced today via video to the Second Church of Christ in Danville, and I am the candidate to become their next Lead Minister. Next Sunday morning, I will preach during their morning services and more than likely will become their Lead Minister late this summer.
Please understand, this was an opportunity we did not seek out but feel that God has provided and is calling us to accept. Throughout the last three and a half months Marla and I have prayed a simple prayer: “God, if this is from you, please open the door wide and if it is not, please slam the door shut.” Needless to say, we sense the door has continued to open wide throughout this process.
I am sharing this news because I didn’t want anyone to learn about this from a video on social media or through third-hand conversations. Please understand Marla and I love Clinton FCC deeply and believe its best days are still to come. Marla and I believe God always provides and his plan is perfect – even if it is uncomfortable or unsettling. Please pray for Marla and I as we discern God’s plan and direction for us. Please pray for our leaders at Clinton FCC. And please reach out to me if you have questions.
Thanks for your unconditional love for our church - Clinton FCC. Thanks for your support for our leaders and for me personally. Please feel free to reach out to me if you have questions and please pray.
Honor to whom honor is due!
At the end of both services on Sunday, I shared some important information about a transition that is taking place, the effects of which will be felt for quite some time. Ruth Davidson was a staple at Clinton FCC when I arrived almost 13 years ago, leading our adult choir, our chimes choir, playing piano (and eventually organ) for many of our services, and in 2007, taking over the planning of the 8:15am service. She has served the Lord faithfully for decades at our church. What a blessing! I read a letter from Ruth about an important decision she has reached:
I have made the decision to step down from my responsibilities as pianist/organist and choir/handbell director. It has been my honor and privilege to provide music and serve as choir and handbell director at FCC. Your support for the 1st Service music program has been wonderful and greatly appreciated by all involved and I pray for it to continue in the future. Greg has encouraged me to allow him to plan an appreciation day honoring my service but I have adamantly declined his gracious and heartfelt offer. It’s just not me. The sole reason for this decision is that I feel God is leading me in a new and different direction. I step down with a love in my heart for FCC and all its’ people.
To say we will miss Ruth would be the understatement of the decade! But if anyone has earned the right to step aside and hand off this ministry to another, it is Ruth. And at the end of the day, when God is calling you in another direction, the only correct response is obedience.
Thank you Ruth for ALL you have done for our church! We are so blessed! We will also honor Ruth's desire to not have a reception or appreciation gathering. I would, however, encourage you to personally thank her via card, letter or email should you choose. Please call the FCC office at 217-935-3139 for her address or email. More information about what is next in terms of leadership in these areas of ministry will be shared in the weeks and months ahead and please feel free to reach out to any elder or myself if you have any questions. Thank you Ruth!
** Yesterday brought graduate recognition Sunday - thanks to Ben Pertl for leading the recognition time and sharing an important prayer for our graduates. Let's make sure we are men and women full of encouragement for those young men and young women that are truly the future of our church!
** Congrats to all of our track and field athletes that excelled over the weekend at HS and Jr Hi state! We are blessed to have two state champions in our midst: Junior in HS Payne Turney won the 800 and 7th grader Nick Feather won the discus. And many others from our church and community excelled on the highest of athletic platforms.
** Of course these athletes would never achieve this level of success without INCREDIBLE coaches - women and men that are passionate about track and field, skilled in the area of teaching and frankly, sold out followers of Jesus! So thankful for women and men like Leann Sosaman, Rachel Lyons, Katy Koritz, Darren Moser, Randy Anderson, Alia Burton, Leslie Creager, Ken Lovett and so many more!
** This Sunday is a ONE SERVICE SUNDAY at 9:30am - no programs at 8:15 or 10:45 - see you Sunday!
** VBS at Clinton FCC is June 10-14 - make sure your children and grandchildren experience this week!
** Little Galilee Camp is back! And once again, Clinton FCC will pay 50% tuition for one session this year - take advantage of one of God's special places. Many of our staff will be serving at LGCC June 23-28 - Allison Hitchings is dean and we would love to have your soon-to-be 5th and 6th graders join us!
** Congregational meetings at the end of each service on June 23 to affirm those nominated to serve as Elder.
Have a great day and see you Sunday for our one service Sunday at 9:30am!
A weekend away in the Wabash Valley
Yesterday marked the first Sunday of 2019 I was not at Clinton FCC - Marla and I enjoyed a weekend away in the Terre Haute, Indiana area as we attended Peyton's final track and field meet of his freshman season at SIU - the outdoor conference meet. It was a blessed weekend for several reasons . . .
** It is always good to get away and spend time with Marla - I am so blessed by her unconditional love and support. Most don't see the ugly side of ministry - the stress, anxiety and pain - but Marla has had a front row seat for almost 31 years! Thankfully, I have been blessed much more than most through the years but this much I know: Marla has been a continual blessing and source of encouragement in good times and difficult seasons! I'm so blessed!
** It was a blast to watch Peyton throw personal bests in both Shot Put and Discus, finishing 5th in DIscus as his first season of college track and field concludes! It was a lot of fun to meet several of his teammates and their families and to get to talk with a couple of the coaches. I keep saying this but its true: Time flies when you are doing life, so treasure every moment mom and dad - it will be over before you know it!
** This weekend in Terre Haute brought not just the MVC outdoor championships, but also graduation at Indiana State University. As a result, hotel rooms were crazy expensive. So - Greg and Marla ventured into a brand new world of overnight lodging: Airbnb (I realize we are about 5 years late to this party). We stayed in cozy Marshall, IL at the 100 year old plus Pancake House - and what a blessing! We loved our first Airbnb experience - it will NOT be our last!
** I only get to do this a couple of times each year, but I was able to experience what it is like to be a first time visitor at a church where NO ONE knows your name! I really enjoyed visiting First Christian Church of Marshall, IL but experienced the uncomfortable feeling of being a visitor and it made me so thankful for everyone at Clinton FCC that goes out of their way to help people overcome this! I loved the message during morning worship - Acts 2:42 and the power of being committed to teaching and the Word! Good stuff!
** Yesterday was Mother's Day - I'm super thankful for Marla and the great mother she is to Jordan and Peyton. I'm forever grateful for all my mother Dorothy and my mother-in-law Lavina have done for me and my family through the years. My cup overflows!
Several quick reminders and thank you's:
* Yesterday brought the end of the year Choir Cantata - thanks so much to Ruth Davidson and the choir!
* Thanks to Ed Bacon from Northeast Community Fund in Decatur for preaching during the 10:45am service from 1 Kings 3 and the power of Wisdom!
* Friday May 17 - our last RELOAD for Men until fall at the Clinton Y at 6:15am
* Sunday May 19 - Graduate Sunday at FCC - see Ben Pertl if you would like your HS or College graduate recognized in the bulletin insert.
* Sunday May 26 at 9:30am - ONE SERVICE Sunday at FCC - no programming at 8:15 or 10:45 on May 26.
* VBS at Clinton FCC - June 10-14
* Sunday June 23 - Congregational Meetings at the conclusion of both morning worship services to affirm those men nominated and approved to serve as Elder. The ballot will be announced and published on June 9.
Have a great week - see you Sunday!
Weekly update on what's happening at FCC! Glad you're here!