As soon as I saw it, I froze. I couldn’t believe I hadn’t seen it before. Right there, a mere six feet away, was a large, paper wasp nest buzzing with activity. I had unconsciously walked under it and beside it all summer long! It was expertly camouflaged, nestled among the leaves, the perfect color and form to remain invisible to anyone but the most careful observer. But for whatever reason, my eyes caught sight of it that day and I couldn’t look away; I was mesmerized. I quickly reported my discovery to my family and we all rushed out to see the nest. We stood there watching in awe.
The nest was 12 inches wide and 18 inches high. A little research revealed our shadowy neighbors were bald-faced hornets; a misnomer, websites pointed out, because they are actually wasps. They have beneficial characteristics. They eat caterpillars and nuisance insects. But most people don’t respect them, instead, they fear them. Though they don’t pose trouble unless they’re threatened. I can attest to that. We climbed in and out of our cars and walked our dog under them all summer long without incident.
How could this entire enterprise have escaped our attention all summer? How could they be so busy and active so close by? How could this entire community be completely invisible to us?
As I pondered the nest, I couldn’t help but draw some lines of comparison to our church. Is it possible our church, like this leaf-obscured nest, is camouflaged in our community? What if much of our activity goes largely unnoticed, hidden in plain sight? Are we flying in and out of our nest, hard at work at something quite invisible to most passersby? And if that’s so, what can we do in 2019 to make our church more noticeable and our works more noteworthy? How can we let our light shine brighter so that our community sees our good works and gives glory to our Father in heaven?
The Elders have been pondering that goal for several months. At our winter church meeting, Sunday, January 13 at 9:30am we’ll present a plan. We’d like every member and regular attender to come! Join us for coffee and donuts in the upper auditorium to hear for yourself what’s sure to be ‘all the buzz.’
- Pastor Richard
For the last several weeks, we have been talking about the mission of God as displayed in the
book of Acts. In our newsletters, we have been highlighting how the Missio Dei (Mission of God) is lived out practically at Faith Community Church. The last two months, we have focused on FaithKids Worship and the mission that Linda, and her team of volunteers, is on each week as they share the Gospel with our children at Faith Community. Now we are going to transition and talk about the work that Lynn Haseltine and her volunteers do through our Faith Community Network. Listen below as she shares why she is passionate about volunteering in our Faith Community Network. If you would like to volunteer to serve alongside Lynn in our Network, please email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In December, the Youth had a blast playing Angry Birds, Dodgeball, learning about Christ's birth and cruising around Brookhaven for the Progressive Dinner. At the dinner they enjoyed excellent food, an intense game of Jenga, Password and an interesting White Elephant (see the picture to the right, for the worst gift!).
A couple of reminders for the upcoming year:
Youth Group will resume on January 4 and Sunday School will resume on January 6th. Also, don't forget to sign your child up for SHACC coming in the summer!
Cody, Grant and Michaela have enjoyed getting to know the students who have come out over the past months and look forward to the new year and all that it will bring!
Ladies…New Year, new bible studies! Come out on Sunday mornings before worship at 9:30 am beginning January 20, as we study the book of James. You can check out the book we will be using by clicking here. If you prefer a weekly mid-week study, the Wednesday morning group will begin on January 16 at 9:00 am and will be exploring the life of the apostle Paul, using this guide. We would love to have you join us!
Mark your calendar for January 26…. winter is the perfect time for a movie & jammies night. More details to come!
Questions? Email us at email@example.com.
New Year, new stuff! What's new you ask?
A couple of things!
The 34K are now Faith Friends. For several years the 3 year old,4 year old and Kindergartners have been referred to as 34K. So with the start of a new year this great group of children will have a new name...Faith Friends!
Since late November our Faith Kids Worship has added in some game playing before the children head in to sing a song or two and then be taught the lesson. The elementary children have been playing games like kickball, freeze tag, sharks and minnows, basketball and dodgeball. So far the kids seem to really love it! Some weeks they will do more song singing other weeks they will play games. So ask your 1st-5th grader, "What is your favorite part of Faith Kids Worship?"
Pioneer Club will start back on January 9, 2019 at 7:00 pm. The annual slumber party will be February 1 at 7:00 pm until 7:00 am on February 2, 2019.
Children's Baptism classes will begin on January 6 and last for four weeks. RSVP via your Connection Card on Sunday or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
ABF will begin again on January 6, then skip January 13 because of the Town Meeting, and resume again on January 20. We will be studying "Engaging culture in an ever-changing world." Life today is not what it was 50 years ago, our culture has changed and will continue to change. In some ways that is for the better and in other ways, it's contrary to biblical values. This series will help us navigate these changes holding firm to the truth in an every changing culture.
More than anyplace else, the church should be a place where we belong. It is important to realize that God has created us to share life with others, each taking time to counsel, listen, fellowship, cry, and pray for one another. At Faith we have designed a place for each person to find their place, Faith Groups. Dr. Bilezikian points out in his book Community 101, “Community is deeply grounded in the nature of God. It flows from who God is. Because he is community, he creates community. It is his gift of himself to humans. Therefore, the making of community may not be regarded as an optional decision for Christians. It is compelling and irrevocable necessity, a binding divine mandate for all...”
Faith Groups is a place where each person can find community, surrounded by caring, loving believers to help us live for Christ. Please commit 8 weeks to one of our Faith Groups beginning the week of January 20th. If you have any further questions please contact the church office or Kevin Skaer at email@example.com.
As Pastor Richard referenced above, the Town meeting is scheduled for January 13 at 9:30 am. This is a very important meeting as we have some very exciting news to discuss, so mark your calendars and plan on being with us before church!
If you are a new visitor (within the last 3 months) to FCC, we would like to invite you, January 27 at noon, to join us for a casual lunch so that you can meet some of the FCC staff. If you would like to participate in this, please use your Connection Card to sign up or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you want to track your giving to FCC for your taxes come April, the easiest way to do that is to have an account with FaithNet. This is our online community portal that also tracks giving. You can log on now and make sure everything looks correct. 2018 tax statements will go out in January. You can also print your own copy if you need it before then. Sign up for a FaithNet login on your Communication Card or email the office.
We had a delightful Christmas Eve Candlelight Service. This photo was taken by Aleia Carmer of Brookhaven.
This picture reminds me (Jill) of Acts and the Great Commission, and that our job is to take the Good News into all the earth. But it also reminds me that the Gospel really is Good News. Take a minute as you plan to move into 2019 tomorrow and ponder the mind blowing, too good to be true yet it is true Good News of the Gospel. If you aren't sure exactly what I am talking about, then please email the office and we can set up a time to tell you about it.