Newsletter – May 1, 2024

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

Church News

Most of us have heard the Greek word for Love – Agape.  According to Biblical scholar David S. Cunningham, this type of Love is a theological virtue, an excellence of character that God has by nature and in which we participate by grace. Jesus shares in our scripture this week that this  Love should be so deeply woven into our lives that we might even find ourselves called to die for it.  That’s a tall order for Loving one another.  We continue the metaphor of the vine and the branches found in last week’s scripture.  Join us on Sunday as Rev. Teresa helps us learn more about John’s gospel and this Love by Grace, in a sermon called “A Different Kind of Love,” based on John 15: 9-17. 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
This coming 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. 

Friday night dinner at Regional Assembly was on the grounds of the Allman Brothers Museum in Macon

The Regional Assembly of the Christian Church in Georgia took place last weekened at First Christian Church of Macon. Rev. Diane, Rev. Teresa, Joey Baker, Connie Worrel, Peter Yoon, Hyejin Yoon, and Marilyn Parks attended. During the assembly, Hyejin was one of the featured storytellers who told a story about an important moment in her faith journey. She will be sharing her story in worship with LFCC on May 12; be sure to join us for this powerful story! We also congratulate Molly Ballew, who was installed as the YAC representative on the Regional Board and Joey Baker, who is continuing as a Regional Board member. Thanks to everyone who prayed for the assembly; it was a great success. 

We had a wonderful celebration of Rev. Seokil “Peter” Yoon, founding pastor of Story Forest Christian Church, as he transferred his ministerial standing to the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).  Rev. Joan Bell-Haynes, Interim Minister of the Christian Church in Georgia, and Rev. Stan Saunders, Chair of the Georgia Commission on Ministry, joined us for worship and led the celebration. Peter’s sons Hugh and Paul provided the special music. Thanks to the Congregational Care and Connect team for the lovely reception in Peter’s honor after worship. Enjoy these photos from the event!

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. 

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
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.
There may be additional camp workdays in upcoming weeks. We will share more information as we have it.

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.

Wednesday, May 1
6:30 pm: Pastoral Relations committee on Zoom

Sunday, May 5
First Sunday Food
9 am: Choir
10 am: Sunday school
11 am: Worship (Teresa Bensch preaching)
2 pm: Blessing of Pets

Monday, May 6
6:30 pm: Congregational Care and Connect team on Zoom

Tuesday, May 7
11:30 am: TONTO

Sunday, May 12
Mother’s Day
9 am: Choir
10 am: Sunday school
11 am: Worship (Diane Bales preaching)

Monday, May 13
6:30 pm: Outreach team on Zoom

Sunday, May 19
Pentecost Sunday
9 am: Choir
10 am: Sunday school
11 am: Worship (Teresa Bensch preaching)

Monday, May 20
6:30 pm: Finance and Facilities team on Zoom

Tuesday, May 21
6:30 pm: Let’s Eat!

Sunday, May 26
9 am: Choir
10 am: Sunday school
11 am: Worship (Rev. David Kenley preaching)

Check the calendar of events on our church website at to stay updated on what’s happening in our church community.  If you have events to add, go to and complete the form. The password is LFCC2023Event. If you have problems with the form, please contact JT Clements or Rev. Diane.
Greeter: Beth Thompson
Scripture (John 15: 9-17): Marilyn Parks
Communion Meditation: Connie Thompson

Elders: Connie Thompson and Lee Thompson
Deacons: Elizabeth Anders and JT Clements

Communion Preparation: Libby Ballew

*If you are interested in serving as a worship leader or greeter, please contact Rev. Diane.  We will begin sign-ups for worship leadership for July – December this coming Sunday, May 5. See Rev. Diane to sign up as a greeter, scripture reader, or to share a communion meditation.
Thanks for all your contributions to the e-gram. Please send any information for next week’s e-gram to Rev. Diane ( no later than Tuesday at 5 pm.
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, May 5
  • Acts 10:44-48
  • Psalm 98
  • 1 John 5:1-6
  • John 15:9-17
Sunday, May 12
  • Acts 1:15-17, 21-26
  • Psalm 1
  • 1 John 5:9-13
  • John 17:6-19
For Sunday worship and other online meetings, use this link:
Zoom Meeting ID: 628 463 3067 Password: 1234

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

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
  • Macaroni and cheese
  • Canned corn
  • Canned chicken
  • Instant potatoes
  • Adult diapers Size S-L
  • Baby wipes
  • Feminine products
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

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:
General Church:

Prayers and Concerns
  • Matthew Britt’s birthday is May 1
  • Gabriel Evatt-Machado’s birthday is May 1
  • Lynn Lane’s birthday is May 5
  • Rev. Diane Bales & James Gibson have an anniversary on May 3
Weekly Prayers
  • For our interim co-ministers Rev. Diane Bales and Rev. Teresa Bensch
  • For a joy-filled continuing celebration of Eastertide
  • For all the pets who will be blessed on Sunday afternoon, and for their humans who care for them
Immediate Needs (names in bold are newly added)
  • Bob Powell, Leigh Britt’s father (in rehab recovering from a fall)
  • Sharon Pinion Elzey and family, as they grieve the death of Sharon’s husband Donald
  • 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 ( 
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