Newsletter – April 17, 2024

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Welcome to our weekly e-gram! Read on to discover what’s happening in our church family this week and beyond.

Church News

Image: Good Shepherd by Alfred Handel, St. John the Baptist Anglican Church, Ashfield, New South Wales

SUNDAY PREVIEW: GOOD SHEPHERDING
It’s as if we are reading this Psalm over Jesus’ shoulder. This marvelous psalm has ingrained itself into the corporate prayer and devotion of the church. Let us take the opportunity to remind ourselves that it has functioned similarly in the synagogue. In that light, perhaps we should ask ourselves how this prayer of David may have shaped the prayer life of Jesus himself, faithful yet radical son of Israel that he was and is. This prayer was on Jesus’ lips long before his followers realized he was the shepherd. Join us Sunday as Rev. Teresa shares new insight into this familiar 23rd psalm. See you Sunday, in person or online!
  

POTLUCK DINNER SUCCESS!
Thanks to all who prepared food and beverage, helped set up and clean up the fellowship!  There are too many to list but, you know who you are! Thank God for faith, food and fellowship. If you took a posey home from the table decor, please be a good steward and transplant and water it so God can grow it. (Look up 1 Corinthians 3:7.)

GIVING TREE FOR CAMP CHRISTIAN
Thank you for participating in raising funds to purchase water bottles for Camp Christian for campers and counselors during the summer camp 2024 season. As of today we have raised $900 and we will be able to order enough water bottles for all camps!

Image: Rev. Diane and James’s cat Annie, who will be blessed (by photo) on April 21

BLESSING OF PETS ON APRIL 21
On Sunday afternoon, April 21, we will hold a blessing of pets service in the church parking lot. You are invited to bring your pet to be blessed, if they are comfortable around other people and animals. You are also welcome to bring a photo of your pet for blessing if they are not comfortable coming to the church (or you’re not sure how they will react). We would love to bless dogs, cats, turtles, snakes, hedgehogs, birds, hamsters, guinea pigs, snails, fish, and any other pet who is part of your family. We will have snacks for people, dogs, and cats. Feel free to invite friends for this fun event.

As part of the Blessing of Pets, the Outreach Team is collecting old blankets/towels, dog and cat treats, and dog and cat toys to donate to the animal shelter. You can drop your items in the collection boxes in the gathering space any time between now and April 21. 
TIME TO REGISTER: REGIONAL ASSEMBLY 2024
The Regional Assembly will take place at First Christian Church of Macon on April 25 – 27. Rev. Diane, Rev. Teresa, Connie Worrel, and Marilyn Parks are registered to attend; we hope others will join us at this important gathering. We will be focusing on Telling Our Stories. All events will take place at First Christian Church of Macon. Here’s the schedule:

Friday, April 26, 2024
  • 9:15-10 am – Light Continental Breakfast in Parlor
  • 10 am-4:15 pm — Devotion & Transformative Community Conference (lunch is provided)
  • 5-6 pm — Dinner at Allman Brothers Museum Event (Fresh Air BBQ meal ticket pre-purchase required)
  • 6:15-8:45 pm — Opening of Regional Assembly, Church Narrative Project Story Hour, and Worship Service
Saturday, April 27, 2024
  • 8:30-9 am — Light Continental Breakfast
  • 9-10:15 am — Transformative Community Conference conclusion
  • 10:30 am-12:45 pm — Business Session, Closing Worship
  • 12:45-2 pm — Disciples Men Luncheon | Disciples Women Luncheon
You can get more information and register on the regional website at https://www.gadisciples.org/regional-assembly-2024. Please reach out to Rev. Diane or Rev. Teresa if you have questions. See you there!
 

HONORING PETER YOON ON APRIL 28
Rev. Seokil “Peter” Yoon, founding pastor of Story Forest Christian Church, has completed the process for transfer of ministerial standing to the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). We will celebrate this transfer of standing during our regular morning worship on Sunday, April 28. We will be joined by Rev. Joan Bell-Haynes, Interim Minister of the Christian Church in Georgia, and Rev. Stan Saunders, Chair of the Georgia Commission on Ministry. Please plan to be with us to celebrate Rev. Yoon and his family at this important moment in his ministry. The Congregational Care and Connect team will hold a reception in Peter’s honor in the fellowship hall after worship.

CALLING ALL GARDENERS!
Now that the prayer garden has been spruced up, it needs to be maintained. Jeanie Morgan has volunteered to head up a team for prayer garden maintenance, but she can’t do it alone. If you have a green thumb, or are just willing to learn, please reach out to Jeanie or to Rod Baker or Beth Thompson to let them know you would ilke to help out. 
CONGRATULATIONS TO REV. MELINDA MCDONALD
 
Congratulations to Rev. Melinda McDonald, who was our Interim Minister a few years ago. Rev. McDonald will be installed as the Associate Minister of Central Christian Church in Decatur, Illinois on Sunday, April 21 during the 10:00 a.m. worship service. he Service of Installation may be viewed on the  Central Christian Church, Decatur IL Facebook page or through the link at the church website. Rev. Melinda would appreciate your prayers and words of affirmation as she begins this new ministry.If you would like to send Melinda a personal message on her installation, you can reach out to her at Melinda.mcdonald@cccdisciples.org. A card will also be available in the gathering area during our Sunday morning worship on April 21st if you would like to sign it. 


LET’S EAT! AT LOS HERMANOS
A group of 19 people gathered for dinner at Los Hermanos on April 16. Everyone enjoyed good food and good conversation!

RED CROSS BLOOD DRIVE ON APRIL 22
The next Red Cross Blood Drive will be held at the church on Monday, April 22 from 2:30 – 6:30 pm. We need hosts for the blood drive canteen. Please let Rod Baker know if you can help for an hour (or more).

CHURCH CAMP REGISTRATION IS OPEN
It’s time to register for Camp Christian this summer. The Georgia region has camps for children completing grades K – 12. The theme is “Linked By Love”. LFCC will pay half of camp fees for children and youth who are active in our congregation. Counselors and CITs are also needed. You can find more information, along with links to camper and counselor applications, on the Summer Camp 2024 website and on the bulletin board in the hallway near the kitchen. Please reach out to Marilyn Parks or Rev. Diane if you need more information. See you at camp!

Grades listed are those completed as of June 2024
June *9, **10-14 Chi Rho Camp: 6th,  7th, 8th
June *16, **17-21 Junior Camp: 3rd , 4th , 5th
June *16, **17-19 Chrysalis Camp: 1st, 2nd
June **21-23 Genesis Camp: Kindergarten/parent
June * 23, **24-29 CYF Conference: 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th
July 15-19, Oasis Camp (Day Camp) CITs 10th, 11th, 12th
* Counselors arrive, ** Campers arrive at 10:30am
 
WISH LIST FOR SUMMER CAMP 2024
If you would like to donate items to help make Camp Christian successful this summer, you have two options:
  • Order from the Amazon Wish List; items will be delivered directly to camp. This list has a variety of items from decks of cards to basketballs. The list is updated as additional needs are found.
  • Buy items from the general summer camp wish list. Marilyn can deliver these items to camp for you. Basic needs include Clorox or equivalent (unscented, 1 gallon or ½ gallon); Pinesol or equivalent; toilet paper for use in a septic system (4 roll-12 roll packages or individually wrapped rolls); paper towels (2 roll-8 roll packages or individually wrapped rolls); Amdro ant killer bait or equivalent (in a shaker-type container, 1 or 2 lb., not requiring water); wasp or hornet spray; heavy duty 33-gallon trash bags; tall white kitchen bags of good quality; disinfecting spray to clean tables.
CAMP WORKDAYS
There may be additional camp workdays in upcoming weeks. We will share more information as we have it.

CONTINUED WEEKLY PRAYER FOR OUR CHURCH
As we continue our interim co-pastorate, we need all of our prayers to guide our church forward. You are encouraged to pause for a few minutes to pray for God’s guidance as we continue the work of discerning God’s path for our church and following God’s path on our collective journey of faith. For the next few months, we are designating Mondays at 6 pm as a weekly prayer time. You can pray wherever you are, in whatever way feels most comfortable for you. If you are not able to pause and pray Mondays at 6 pm, please set aside a different time to pray for LFCC.
UPCOMING EVENTS

Sunday, April 21
9 am: Choir
10 am: Sunday school
11 am: Worship (Teresa Bensch preaching)
2 pm: Blessing of Pets

Monday, April 22
2 – 7 pm: Red Cross Blood Drive at the church

Friday, April 26 – Saturday, April 27
Regional Assembly at First Christian Church of Macon
YAC Retreat

Sunday, April 28
9 am: Choir
10 am: Sunday school
11 am: Worship (Diane Bales preaching)

Check the calendar of events on our church website at https://lawrencevillechristianchurch.org/calendar/ to stay updated on what’s happening in our church community.  If you have events to add, go to https://lawrencevillechristianchurch.org/event-form/ and complete the form. The password is LFCC2023Event. If you have problems with the form, please contact JT Clements or Rev. Diane.
THIS SUNDAY’S WORSHIP LEADERS
Greeter: Lynn Lane
Scripture (Psalm 23): Beth Thompson
Communion Meditation: Frank Hawkins

Elders: Rod Baker and Jimmy Peeples
Deacons: Dennis Higdon and Jeanie Morgan

Communion Preparation: Hoyt Huff
*If you are interested in serving as a worship leader or greeter, please contact Rev. Diane
E-GRAM DEADLINE
Thanks for all your contributions to the e-gram. Please send any information for next week’s e-gram to Rev. Diane (diane@lawrencevillechristianchurch.org) no later than Tuesday at 5 pm.
LECTIONARY SCRIPTURES FOR APR. 21 AND APR. 28
The Revised Common Lectionary is a three-year cycle of weekly readings used by many mainline Protestant churches in Canada and the United States. The lectionary readings will shape much of our preaching, and may be helpful in your own Bible study and devotional life. 
Sunday, April 21
  • Acts 4:5-12
  • Psalm 23
  • 1 John 3:16-24
  • John 10:11-18
Sunday, April 28
  • Acts 8:26-40
  • Psalm 22:25-31
  • 1 John 4:7-21
  • John 15:1-8
ZOOM LINK FOR WORSHIP AND CHURCH MEETINGS
 
For Sunday worship and other online meetings, use this link: 
https://zoom.us/j/6284633067?pwd=YzVMN0EwQUVrb0FRM1phVkZEUjZFQT09
 
Zoom Meeting ID: 628 463 3067 Password: 1234

For those who DIAL IN, Call (646) 558-8656
Community News


HELP THE CO-OP GET READY FOR SUMMER
The Lawrenceville Co-op provides food for people in need in Lawrenceville and Dacula. LFCC supports the co-op through donations of food and money. You can make a monetary donation with your regular offering; please designate it “Co-op” on your check, envelope, or online donation. You’re also welcome to bring food items to the church. During the summer, food is especially needed for children who do not get breakfast or lunch at school. Most needed items this week (in addition to the ones on the graphic above) include
  • Canned corn
  • Instant potatoes
  • Canned beans (kidney, black, pinto, etc.)
  • Mixed fruit
  • Adult diapers Size S-L
  • Diapers sizes 3-6
  • Baby wipes
  • Feminine products
HOW ELSE CAN I SUPPORT THE LAWRENCEVILLE CO-OP?
Help Rod Baker deliver LFCC food donations to the co-op. We generally take the donations once a month, generally on Tuesday or Thursday mornings. You can go one time with Rod, or sign up to be part of a delivery team on a rotating schedule. Contact Rod to learn more or to volunteer to help with deliveries. 
 
To learn more about the work of the co-op, go to https://lawrencevilleco-op.org/.

DISCIPLES OF CHRIST
REGIONAL AND GENERAL CHURCH NEWS
Keep up with the latest news going on in our region and our general church. Click the links below to find the latest news within the Disciples!

Georgia Region: https://www.gadisciples.org/news
General Church: https://disciples.org/

 
Prayers and Concerns
Celebrations
  • Don Bell’s birthday is April 18
  • Leigh Britt’s birthday is April 18
  • Lee Thompson’s birthday is April 24
  • Elizabeth Sloan’s birthday is April 24
  • Al & Patricia Taylor’s anniversary is April 18
Weekly Prayers
  • For our interim co-ministers Rev. Diane Bales and Rev. Teresa Bensch
  • For a joy-filled continuing celebration of Eastertide
  • For a joyful and welcoming Blessing of Pets service on Sunday
  • For Peter Yoon, as we celebrate his transfer of standing to the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
Immediate Needs (names in bold are newly added)
  • Betty Higdon (hip surgery on Wednesday)
  • Family and friends of Sarah Peeples (Jimmy Peeples’s mother)
  • Thank you all so much for the thoughts and prayers for the family of Sue Shirey (member of Watkinsville FCC). Marilyn was able to attend her service on Sunday afternoon.
  • Connie Worrel (recovering at home)
Ongoing Needs 
  • Our world, including the people of Gaza and Nigeria
  • Our members and friends at home, including Odessa Adams, Gen Ashby, Barbara Bagwell, David Chamberlain, Bessie Kirby, Bill Phyfer, Bob Powell, and Patricia Saturday
  • Our family and friends with ongoing health challenges
  • Students/teachers/administration of Gwinnett County Public Schools
  • Those affected by COVID-19
  • Rev. Teresa Bensch (recovering from knee surgery)
  • Jeanie Morgan (recovering from eye surgery)
  • Neva Maffett
  • Zeta Allen (long-time friend of Mabel Simmons)
  • Wes and Peg Morgan
  • Dorrie Toth
  • Carrie Toth (Dorrie Toth’s daughter)
  • Suzy Santoro (Anna Harrison’s daughter)
  • Connie Worrel’s sister Pat
  • Grace Aguwa
  • Ada Mullinax, Linda Kellman, and Ann Kellman (Ada’s sister and sister-in-law)
  • Chris Klimshuk and her sister, Ronnie
  • Jeanie Morgan’s friend, Sue Ragsdale
  • Jeanie Morgan’s sister, Judy
  • Rev. Peggy Edge (Anna Harrison’s sister)
  • Sadie Severt (Harrison family friend)
If you have an update to the prayers and concerns, please let Rev. Diane know (diane@lawrencevillechristianchurch.org). 
That’s all we have for this week! Please be in prayer for the church and everyone in it, that we continue to do what the Lord has called us to do. God bless you all! 
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First Christian Church of Lawrenceville (Disciples of Christ)
3495 Sugarloaf Parkway
Lawrenceville, GA 30044
Rev. Dr. Diane Bales, Interim Co-Minister
Rev. Teresa Bensch, Interim Co-Minister
Kim Peeples, Music Director
J.T. Clements, Communications Coordinator