Tuesday, May 28, 2019

June 2019 Newsletter

Solomon’s Porch

I have fond memories of a porch. In our home in West Chester years ago we had an exterior 3-season room on the back of the house. We called it the porch. It was a bright, comfortable room we shared for conversation and relaxation. It was a place we took guests and from there we had access out to a brick patio. It was one of our favorite rooms.

There is a curious feature associated with the Jerusalem Temple called Solomon’s Porch. It was an outdoor colonnade next to Herod’s Temple, which was the center of worship in Jerusalem. The porch was an exterior structure forming a covered approach to the eastern entrance of the Temple. It had a wooden roof supported by a double row of columns at regular intervals forming an open gallery.

This was an important area for the Jewish people because it was one of the last remnants of the original temple built by Solomon. It was centrally located and one of the few public places in Jerusalem that was large enough to accommodate a crowd. It was also where people passed through or gathered to socialize and discuss before or after their sacrifices and prayers at the Temple.

Jesus performed miracles and taught on the Porch (John 10:23). So, it’s no surprise then that the Porch became a good location for the early Christians to meet. The first church gathered on the Porch for teaching and shared the Gospel freely there (Acts 3:11, 5:12).

A church lobby shares some of the same purposes Solomon’s Porch did for the early church. Among church facility designers, the church lobby is considered to be the most critical environment in the church building for sharing the Gospel and welcoming guests. It’s design creates a first impression about what we’re like and what we value. Many guests decide if they’ll return to a church within the first ten minutes of their visit – much of that might be spent in the lobby.

Of course, if you’re a long-time member, the lobby is probably the last thing you care about. It’s just the room you pass through to get to the auditorium. That’s because you have friends here and want to talk with them and have come to worship. But a visitor may know no one and need help navigating to the bathroom or kids check-in. A cup of coffee spells hospitality and a couch says “comfortable,” even if they don’t sit down. They are looking all around our “porch” forming impressions about who we are and what we value.

I hope you’re getting excited about some of the spaces we’re renovating and updating. Not because you necessarily need them but because you care what first time guests need to feel comfortable. It’s all about hospitality and making space to share our love for Christ with all those who enter. I hope you’ll do all you can to support the work.

-Pastor Richard

Graduate Sunday is June 2.
Child Dedication service is June 16.
"Lunch on Us" for new visitors is June 23.

What do Deborah, Barak, Gideon and Samson have in common? If you’re not sure ask one of our elementary students. Faith Kids worship and Faith Friends studied the Judges in May. They have learned how God used a woman to rescue the Israelites, how He used cowardly Gideon and a mere 300 men to defeat the Midianites and Samson’s strength to defeat the Philistines. Faith Kids Worship were taught about the Judges, how “...everyone did what was right in their own eyes” Judges 21:25. Ask your favorite 1st-5th grader to tell you about the cycle of sin and deliverance that is a theme of the book.

What a gift it is to instruct the children of Faith from God’s word. Please continue to pray for our children and teachers.

The 3rd time was the charm! The skies finally cleared enough for the Women of Faith to gather for our (rescheduled, and then rescheduled again!) hike at Newlin Grist Mill on May 11. We enjoyed being together to explore the muddy yet beautiful trails and then headed back for our delayed Cinco de Mayo taco fest! We really had a terrific time together and are planning to do this again in the Fall. Have a suggestion for another place to explore? Let us know!

Ministries are winding down but we are looking ahead to the coming ministry year. Mark your calendars for the return of our 1 Day Women’s Retreat on January 21, 2020. We will spend the day on West Chester University’s campus with Ginny Bryant, wife, mom and missionary with New Tribes Mission in Senegal.  More details to come and registration will open in September.  We would love to hear your suggestions for book club and other ministry events as well as have some new faces join our leadership team and be a part of planning our events. If you’re interested, please let us know by emailing us at womenoffaith@faithcc.info. 

Over the last 5 years the Network has been attempting to operate as a "food co-op".  The idea was to "empower" clients by allowing them to operate the Network versus receiving a handout.   At that time we received training and attempted to implement a "food co-op" model.

However, our clients are not unemployed with hours of time on their hands to help run a co-op. But rather, our clientele would be classified as the "working poor" with a few who are disabled or elderly.  

The working poor, elderly, and disabled arrive at the Network exhausted and discouraged.  They do not need to be "empowered" because they are already using every last ounce of "power" they have.  I believe these clients need a moment to feel served and cared for.  I believe they will see Christ through our service to and for them.  

This change in philosophy is why I have been asking for more volunteers lately.  Praise the Lord for the volunteers who came out on our two Tuesday evenings this month! They made Tuesdays Terrific!

One week ago we wrapped up a great year of youth group. Below is a picture from our last youth group during our large water balloon toss. 

We are excited to announce that Wild Week will be taking place August 12-16. For anyone interested in helping at Wild Week in any capacity please email us at youth@faitcc.info

At the end of this month, June 30 - July 5,we will head to SHACC with a group of 14 students. We are excited to see how the Lord uses new experiences to challenge and help us grow in our faith.
Below is our look of relief, having completed our first year as Youth Leaders. Pray for us as we rest and recharge for summer activities and plan for the next school year!

Several months ago, we asked our two foreign missionaries to fill out an information packet so we could get to know them better and help care for them in a more refined way than just sending a monthly donation. The MacLean's sent us their list first and we promptly gathered together some supplies and mailed them to Italy. The box included hard pretzels for Scott, Reeses Peanut Butter Eggs for Karis, Peanut Butter for the whole family and some other Easter candies. Here are some pictures of Karis and Sharon enjoying their treats. 

The Bryant's, our missionaries in Africa, are coming home for an entire year, and we are asking you to help us bless them with some fun treats as well. The list has everything from their favorite candies, to their favorite candle/perfume scents, to books they would love to read, to their favorite foods, to crafts/hobbies they enjoy, to new shoes for the kids, and a soft blanket for each member of the family to use this coming winter. The prices are varied giving everyone the ability to purchase something off the list, if you wanted to do so. These items are just suggestions based on their list of preferences. I hope that you'll join us in creating a wonderful "Welcome Home" packet for the Bryant's. You can shop using the link above. If you would like to write them a greeting card, you can leave a greeting card in the church office to be sent with the package as well. Thanks to everyone who has already purchased items and had them delivered to the church! 

Whether you actually make it to the beach or spend your time imaging that you are at the beach even though you are working, I pray that this summer is restful and relaxing for you all. 

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

May Newsletter

Life’s biggest questions are some of the deepest, most important questions we’ll ever answer. “Where did everything come from?” “Why am I here?” “Why does the world seem broken?” You hear people asking these questions all the time. How one answers these questions forms the basis of their “worldview.” Your worldview is your particular philosophy of life or conception of the world. As such it must begin with your understanding of how the material world came to exist and its ultimate purpose.

The naturalistic worldview insists that the world came to exist by chance through natural causes and effects. Stephen Hawking, one of the most recognized scientists of our age said in a 2014 interview, “Before we understand science, it is natural to believe that God created the universe, but now science offers a more convincing explanation.” Nearing death he said, “I believe the simplest explanation is there is no God. No once created the universe and no one directs our fate.”

That may be simple but it is ultimately unsatisfying. The atheist worldview strains our inner sense of purpose and design. There is a sense of eternity in our hearts, placed there by God. We hear the drumbeat of undirected evolution and naturalism and while we may give it mental assent, deep down it doesn’t ring true.

“For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities-- his eternal power and divine nature-- have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.” (Rom. 1:20 NIV)

The Christian worldview runs directly counter to naturalism. It answers our questions honestly, even brutally honest at times. And yet there is something ultimately satisfying by its explanation. The universe is here because God made it. God is the beginning. And what we need to know about the world, ourselves, our problems, our lives and our destiny is discovered in Him.

“By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God's command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.” (Heb. 11:3 NIV)  

Genesis chapters 1-11 are a wonder to behold! They contain a succinct summary of fundamental truth essential to answering life’s biggest questions. Yes, there are competing worldviews. But, only a biblical worldview answers life’s biggest questions in an overarching, transcendent and ultimately satisfactory way. I hope you’ll join us for as many messages in this series as you can and listen online to those you can’t. This series may be helpful to those you know who are looking for answers to life’s biggest questions. Let them know where to find them!

-Pastor Richard

Last month the youth had a blast duct taping everything in sight...including themselves. See below for one of the few success stories of duct taping a kid to the wall. Not only did the students duct tape themselves but they also rolled around on the floor with duct tape inside out so that they could pick up candy, duct taped themselves in a long line like a caterpillar, and made duct tape crafts! 

A few reminders that the SHACC Equal Exchange fundraiser is happening right now and we will need the books returned the weekend of May 3-5. Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns. The cut off day to register for SHACC is May 15. 

Brookhaven Baseball collected donations for FCN again this year during their annual Opening Day Parade on April 13th.  The parade originates in the FCC parking lot.  We were there to receive the canned goods with our van bright and early Saturday morning.  This has become one of our favorite traditions.  It was really fun this year to reconnect with so many that just ran in the Brookhaven Fun Run the week before!    

This year’s Pioneer Girls leaders are April Campbell, Kim Rodkey, Sandy Donnelly, Liz Batter, Katya Iatsenko, and Mary DiBuonaventura. These ladies teach the girls each week life skills from a Biblical perspective. This year pioneer girls are Celebrating their 80th anniversary.  

Here at FCC we have been members of Pioneer girls’ clubs since February 12, 1958, 61 years of ministry to the girls in our community!!!!

Helping Children Follow Christ in Every Aspect of Life...”

is the Goal of the national club, and we aim to carry on that theme for the Children in our church and community. 

This year the club has been meeting every Wednesday evening from 7:00 pm – 8:15.  There are many ladies in our church that help and support this club for our girls, from agreeing to being a “pal” to each girl and attending  2 pal/gal events during the year, to assisting the leaders at various times during the school year.   This year our camp weekend is May 3rd, 4th and 5th.  We partner with the Blue church and take the children to a “fun” filled weekend at Camp Sankanac in Spring city Pa. All food donations preferred tonight or tomorrow at the latest.  Please Pray for the girls and leaders.


Here is a link if you would like to learn more about Pioneer Girls ministry:

On April 7, Faith Community Church hosted the first Brookhaven 5K fun run. And Coebourn field was filled with many adult church volunteers. But there were also about 15 Faith Kids children at the race. Many made posters, some stood along the race route and cheered on the runners and walkers and quite a few RAN in the race. It was encouraging to see these children take part in a mostly adult ministry. And in July, the 22nd-26th, you adults have the opportunity to minister to the children of Faith and our community by pitching in and serving at  Brookhaven Soccer Camp with Athletes in Action. Feel free to contact me at linda@faithcc.info for more information. I look forward to seeing you there!

Join us at Newlin Grist Mill (219 Cheyney Rd, Glen Mills) at 3 pm on May 5 for an easy hike with friends. We'll head back to Faith Church to enjoy a taco bar (it is Cinco de Mayo, after all!) dinner around 5 pm. Feel free to join us for the hike, dinner or both!

**If you are coming to hike, please wear shoes that can get wet and bring a change of shoes & socks for dinner!

You can sign up now online here or in the Church Lobby on May 5.

Hope to see you there!

We have reached $12, 225 as of this past weekend!

Thursday, March 28, 2019

April 2019

April is the time of year where everything around us begins to spring to life. The death and barrenness of winter melts away with the snow and is replaced with birds singing and flowers blooming. This new life that we see reminds us that there is, as the Lion King calls it, a circle of life. Things are being born and things are dying simultaneously.

Have you ever wondered where it all began? Where did this “circle of life” begin? Well, starting April 28th, Pastor Richard will begin a new sermon series entitled: Origins: Answering Life’s Biggest Questions. This new sermon series will follow Easter Sunday, making it the perfect topic for people who have questions about Christianity. So, if you are going to invite someone to Easter, tell them about this new series following Easter as well. Pastor Richard will be walking us through Genesis 1-10, as we investigate life’s biggest questions. After the Origins series is over, Pastor Richard will resume his series Sent on the book of Acts.  

Make sure you check out the information below on Good Friday, Easter Sunday and how to talk to your children about Easter. Then with all of that information in hand, invite everyone around you to join you for those services and for the new Origins series starting April 28th

Join us for worship and reflection on Christ's sacrifice.
April 19, 2019
7:00-8:00 pm

Join us on April 21, 2019 at 10:30 am for Easter Sunday Service. Come dressed casually or in your finest Easter clothes...whatever makes you comfortable. We just want to have you join us. We will have invitations in the lobby that you can use to give to your neighbors.

He is risen! What beautiful words, what powerful words! Easter is one of the most important days of the year. What are you doing as a parent to prepare your heart and mind to celebrate the resurrection of Christ? What are you doing to prepare your children’s hearts? There is nothing wrong with buying a new dress or suit, dyeing eggs and having scavenger hunts. Easter baskets are fun and Easter dinner is even better. But all of those things are pointless if we don’t take the time to teach our children about the Cross. The story of Jesus dying and the beautiful resurrection.

Here are a few links to help you get started talking to your children about Easter:

Resurrection Cookies

Resurrection Eggs- to buy

Resurrection Eggs- DIY

Easter devotional

Jesus Storybook Bible

 As you all know, next Sunday, April 7, is the Br5Khaven Fun Run. We are asking that all volunteers and everyone from the church show up to Coebourn Fields at 8:00 am for a brief time of prayer and worship before the race. See you then!

On April 14th, we have invited Rachel Kessler to take pictures of the church during Sunday School and the Worship Service to use on our website. We will be taking individual pictures of all elders, staff and deacons as well. 

Ladies, please mark your calendars for our rescheduled Women of Faith Hike! Join us at Newlin Grist Mill (219 Cheyney Rd, Glen Mills) at 3 pm on May 5 for an easy hike with friends. We'll head back to church to enjoy a Taco Bar Dinner (it is Cinco de Mayo, after all!) around 5 pm. Feel free to join us for the hike, dinner or both. You can sign up on line by clicking here or see us in the Welcome Center beginning April 14.

It may be muddy along the trail, so please bring a change of shoes/socks for dinner.  Questions? Email us at womenoffaith@faithcc.info.

This past Saturday a small group of us traveled the race route of the 5K distributing letters to all those who live along the route. Below you will find a few pictures from our group. 

There are a few key dates coming up to be noted, they are:

Friday, April 12 - Duct Tape Wars -  Signing up beforehand is required to attend this event. There is an online emergency contact form that can be filled out by your friends if they have not filled a paper copy. Pizza will be provided.

Friday, April 19 - No youth group. It is Good Friday, come join us for the Good Friday service at 7 pm in the sanctuary. Youth group will resume on the 26th.

Wednesday, May 15 - This is the last day to register for SHACC. Please email us at youth@faithcc.info if you have questions about activities, payment or anything else that comes to mind.

I'm thrilled to share two wonderful additions to the Network leadership.  Jennifer Gardner and Vera Bolden have joined the team.  Both have a genuine heart for mercy and some great ideas.  We are so excited to have them on board!  With this change, the Network will be moving its meeting time to every first and third Tuesday evening from 7-8 pm starting in May. In doing so, we are hoping to make it easier for the leadership, members, and volunteers to attend.  However, when we met on a weeknight in the past, our membership doubled and it became difficult to manage.  That being said, we would love to have more volunteers come out and help for an hour or so even if it is just once a month.   There are a variety of ways in which you can help. Reach out to one of us ahead of time so we can learn how you would like to serve.  Maybe you have some ideas of your own? Maybe a once a month "Soup & Shop", a Clothing Closet/Free Store, or a Seeker Bible Study. Consider joining us to make Tuesdays Terrific at the Network! Contact Lynn at mercy@faithcc.info for more information.

Congratulations to

Ray & Rachel Fuller
on the birth of:
Maverick Joseph Fuller
Birth date: 3/9/19
6lbs. 13oz.
 21 in. long

Though this isn't happening in April, we did want to let you know to reserve the dates July 22-26 for our 2nd Annual Brookhaven Soccer Camp. You can find out more info here.

Hope this spring time weather brings you much joy. Happy April everyone!!