Newsletter – April 24, 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

SUNDAY PREVIEW: VINE AND BRANCHES
John 15: 1-8 is a well-known and often-recited passage, about being the vine and the branches. It’s a call to be in community, to work communally. God prunes the vines to make room for new growth. On Sunday, we will explore the theme of being the branches that are deeply connected to Jesus, the vine, and tended by God, the vine-grower.  Where is God pruning us as a community, and what new growth is on our horizon? Join us Sunday as Rev. Diane explores this familiar saying of Jesus in John’s gospel. See you Sunday, in person or online!
    
Image: Buddy Bensch, Annie Bales Gibson, and Max Bales Gibson are among the pets who will be blessed on May 5
BLESSING OF PETS ON MAY 5
On Sunday afternoon, May 5, 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 May 5. 
PRAY FOR REGIONAL ASSEMBLY 2024
The Regional Assembly of the Christian Church in Georgia will take place at First Christian Church of Macon on April 25 – 27. Rev. Diane, Rev. Teresa, Connie Worrel, and Marilyn Parks will be attending. Please pray for us as we learn about Telling Our Stories this Friday and Saturday. 

HONORING PETER YOON THIS SUNDAY
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 this coming 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. 

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

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: Libby Ballew
Scripture (John 15: 1-8): Libby Ballew
Communion Meditation: Joey Baker

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. 28 AND MAY 5
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 28
  • Acts 8:26-40
  • Psalm 22:25-31
  • 1 John 4:7-21
  • John 15:1-8
Sunday, May 5
  • Acts 10:44-48
  • Psalm 98
  • 1 John 5:1-6
  • John 15:9-17
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
  • Snacks (peanut butter crackers, granola bars, etc.)
  • Canned corn
  • Canned chicken
  • Applesauce
  • Adult diapers Size S-L
  • 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
  • Lee Thompson’s birthday is April 24
  • Elizabeth Sloan’s birthday is April 24
  • Alyna Lee’s birthday is April 24
  • Amanda Coker’s birthday is April 25
  • Beth Thompson’s birthday is April 27
  • Libby Ballew’s birthday is April 30
  • Al & Nancy Groves have an anniversary on April 27
  • Lee & Connie Thompson have an anniversary on April 28
Weekly Prayers
  • For our interim co-ministers Rev. Diane Bales and Rev. Teresa Bensch
  • For a joy-filled continuing celebration of Eastertide
  • 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)
  • Family and friends of Wes Morgan, as they grieve
  • Betty Higdon (recovering from hip surgery)
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
  • Neva Maffett
  • Zeta Allen (long-time friend of Mabel Simmons)
  • 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