One of the things I have always loved about the Stone-Campbell movement - the cluster of churches we are a part of historically - is the emphasis our founding fathers Thomas and Alexander Campbell, Barton W Stone and Walter Scott placed on the Bible. These men - in the early 1800's - were concerned too many churches and denominations had allowed church traditions and creeds of faith to overrun the authority of God's word. As a result and independent of each other, these men began to preach sermons and write articles promoting "where the scriptures speak, we speak and where the scriptures are silent, we are silent" and "no book but the good book". This "passion" and "priority" has never been more important in my opinion than it is today! I pray Clinton FCC will always be a people of the Book!
Yesterday during our study from the book of James, we looked at the last part of James 1 - and the call to "not just listen to the Word and so deceive yourselves - do what it says!" (James 1:22) It is with this in mind I suggest multiple opportunities for YOU to begin or continue to grow in both your knowledge of God's Word, and also HOW you can be both a HEARER and a DOER! Please make note of the following:
#1 - ROOTED - our fall launch for ROOTED is less than three weeks away - are you in? Have you signed up? Our ROOTED groups will meet from September 9 until November 11 on Sunday mornings at FCC. I am so thankful for the testimonies shared during services yesterday by Faythe Newberry and Jacey Wickenhauser about how ROOTED really transformed their lives in Christ. Jacey put it best when she shared "I went from not really thinking much about Jesus to being engaged with him daily - Jesus has pretty much become my BFF." The last session of ROOTED saw 115 participate - we are hoping and praying for another 100 this time! We want YOU! Let me know if I can get you connected and signed up!
#2 - BSF - Bible Study Fellowship - both Women's and Men's groups will be meeting in our building on Tuesday evenings this school year from 6:30 - 8pm beginning September 11. BSF is NOT an FCC thing - it is an international Bible study program that brings together people from dozens of churches in the area to grow in their knowledge of God's Word. If you looking for something to help you throughout this school year (September - May) in your walk with Jesus, BSF might just be for you! See Gage Lyons for more info or check out the BSF website at https://www.bsfinternational.org/.
You must sign up ahead of time to be part of BSF - you cannot just "show up" on September 11. Let me know if you have any questions and spread the word to your non-FCC friends!
#3 - Elective studies at 9:30am on Sunday mornings - Cassandra Benton and our Christian Formation Team have done a great job providing at least one elective class regularly at 9:30am on Sunday mornings. Currently, a class on PRAYER is being taught by Becky Glenn and Rachel Emery. If you are not in the habit of Sunday morning Bible study and would like to get plugged in, our elective offerings might be a great option for you. Of course, we also have multiple on-going adult Bible School classes and you are always welcome to join in one of these classes as well.
#4 - RELOAD for men - will meet on the first and third Fridays of each month in the community room of the Clinton Y at 6:15am - we will study together for 45 minutes. Details are still being worked out, but more than likely, we will no longer have a hot breakfast, but instead coffee (hopefully) and light breakfast items (cereal bars, fruit, etc). Men will be welcome to fellowship beginning at 6am and our study time will start at 6:15am. Our hope is to see men from other churches, or those who have no church, join us as study together. I'm personally looking forward to living out this call to practice the UNITY of all believers! Our first gathering will take place on Friday morning September 7 - spread the word!
#5 - Daily Bible Readings - we continue to publish a daily Bible reading plan - you can find this weekly document in your bulletin each Sunday morning or on our website. Join us as we "read together" - we will begin the book of Proverbs on Sunday! The plan includes the following for each day of the week: a chapter to read, multiple questions to consider and a prayer thought/point to pray through.
Several shout-outs this morning:
** LGCC Connections Event - an incredible evening at one of God's special places! Hundreds from our church and community gathered to zip lIne, swim and eat yummy tacos! Thanks to Lindsey Moody for another great job of helping us get "connected" together as a church! I absolutely LOVE our church staff - each and every one of them! So blessed. Lindsey once again knocked it out of the park!
** Great job Rennie Cluver and the Clinton Y on their 3rd annual Triathlon and 1st annual 5K Trail run on Saturday! Over 120 participated between the two events! Well done! We are CRAZY BLESSED to have the Clinton Y right here in DeWitt County! Thanks Rennie, Gretchen and team for ALL you do!
** Love, blessings and prayer to our own Kayla Gwozdz who leaves this week to begin serving with CRU (campus crusade for Christ) in Orlando, FL on the campus of the University of Central Florida - one of the largest universities in our country! We are proud of you Kayla and we are praying for God to use you in a great and mighty way!
** Great progress is taking place on the 2020 Vision Dining Hall project at Little Galilee - thanks to Bob Phillips for giving Dana Korneman, Mark Behrends and myself a tour last night! Just a reminder, I leave in just 9 days on my 215 mile/three day bike ride to raise money for this project! Thanks to all who have given up to this point! And please consider a gift to Little Galilee if you have not - so thankful for the legacy and powerful ministry of LGCC!
** Tuesday September 4 - Clinton FCC hosts the Area Men's Fellowship at 6:30pm
** Sunday September 9 - 4th annual FCC BLOCK PARTY for the community from 5-7pm
** Sunday September 30 - ONE service Sunday at Clinton FCC at 9:30am
** Sundays in October - TELL ME MORE sermon series with other central Illinois churches
** Sunday November 18 - Coming Home Sunday at FCC
Finally this morning, I leave you with Psalm 34:18 - "The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in the spirit." We have many in our church who are hurting. We have many who are grieving. We have many who have had their worlds turned upside down. Let's make sure our eyes and our hearts are open and make the most of each and every opportunity to be Ambassadors of God's Comfort to hurting people around us. Life is really tough sometimes. Let us never stop being the hands and feet of Jesus to the broken, the sick and the hurting.
Have a great week - see you Sunday as we study James 2:1-13!