Newsletter – May 17, 2023

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

Church News

This Sunday, we will conclude our celebration of Eastertide and the joy of the resurrection as we mark the ascension of Christ, as described in Luke’s gospel. It’s an interesting story, where Christ commissions his disciples to go out and preach the Good News, then tells them to stay in Jerusalem until they receive the power promised to them. How must the disciples have felt during that in-between time? And how does that relate to our experience now as a congregation, in an in-between time? Rev. Diane will be preaching, after an unexpectedly long break since Easter Sunday. You may want to read Luke 24: 44-53 in preparation. See you Sunday, in person or online.

The pandemic has had negative effects on mental health, especially among young people. According to the CDC, more than 1 in 3 young people experienced mental health challenges during the pandemic. Suicide remains the second most common cause of death for young people. 

During May, we are focusing on mental health at LFCC. How can we let young people who are struggling know that we care? According to the National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI), “The first step to show up for our young people is to listen to them. We can’t assume we know how they are really doing, and we can’t assume we know what they need. We have to be intentional about asking, and we have to give them the judgment-free space to truly answer.” Taking time to ask genuine questions may not feel like you’re doing much, but to a young person who’s struggling, just being heard can be a lifeline of hope. Remember you don’t have to be perfect to help others. Showing up, just as you are, for yourself and the people around you is
more than enough. Learn more about mental health challenges, treatment, and support resources on the NAMI website

“Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.”  ~I John 4: 7

Image source: Grease (1978) by Thank You (23 Millions+) views. Shared on Flickr under Creative Commons license 2.0

The youth are planning an all-church movie night on Saturday, May 20, starting at 6 pm. Come join us to watch “Grease” – and feel free to dress up if you’re so inclined. Refreshments will be available to purchase as a youth fundraiser. Please mark your calendar and plan to join us for this fun night together! 
The Elders and Deacons will meet immediately after worship on Sunday, May 21 to follow up on our February planning meeting and March training with Rev. Denise Bell, to look forward into the summer and fall, and to choose a chair for each group. If you are a deacon or elder, please plan to stay after worship for this important meeting. We will conclude no later than 1:15 pm. This meeting will replace the Board meeting scheduled for May 21 at 6 pm; we will conduct any needed Board business at this meeting. 


In the beginning, every church was new. It’s right there in the Book of Acts. Early disciples came together, sharing all things in common, breaking bread with glad and generous hearts. God was doing a new thing:  creating a movement for wholeness in a fragmented world. In the beginning, Jesus sent out disciples, two by two, not to “plant”  churches, but to proclaim good news, to experience the hospitality and wisdom of neighbors all around.

At New Church Ministry, we believe God is calling the whole Church back to becoming new… back to becoming who we are: a movement for wholeness in a fragmented world. Your gifts to the 2023 Pentecost Offering help ensure our movement continues to embody the Disciples of Christ vision: to be and to share the Good News, witnessing, loving and serving from our doorsteps to the ends of the earth. Half of your gift supports the local new church movement through the Georgia region. The other half supports New Church Ministry efforts across the United States and Canada to equip, train, and empower new leaders. 

So, thank you. For participating in the new thing God is still doing — just as in the beginning. We will receive the Pentecost Special Offering on Sunday, May 21 and Sunday May 28. Please give generously to support new church ministry.
We have an opportunity as a congregation to learn more about how the Lawrenceville Co-op food bank works by spending a Saturday morning volunteering. We’re looking for 4-6 people (or more) who would like to volunteer from 9 am – noon on a Saturday. Once we know who’s interested, we will find several dates that are available for the c0-op and decide which one works best for the group. Rod Baker and Rev. Diane have committed to volunteer. If you’re willing to join us, please contact Rod at or 404-273-1444. 

During this time of transition for LFCC, the Pulpit Committee invites all of us to a time of intentional prayer for our congregation. Each Wednesday at 7 pm, you are encouraged to pause for a few minutes to pray for God’s guidance as we search for an interim minister and continue the work of discerning God’s path for our church. You can pray wherever you are, in whatever way feels most comfortable for you. If you are not able to pause and pray Wednesdays at 7 pm, please choose a different time to set aside for intentional prayer for LFCC. We need all of our prayers to guide our church forward. 
The Pulpit Committee has been interviewing candidate for interim minister over the past several weeks, and will have a report for the Leadership Council and Board soon. Once we get an interim in place, the committee will begin the process of finding a settled minister. If you have questions or ideas about the search process, please talk to Committee Chair Frank Hawkins, or any of the committee members (Andrew Jensen, Marilyn Parks, Candace Richardson, and Lee Thompson as ex officio member). Please be in prayer for the Pulpit Committee as they do this important work for the congregation.

If you haven’t registered your kids for Camp Christian yet, there’s still time! Camp registration is still available online at The final camp registration deadline is June 1. (Campers who register between now and June 1 will receive a t-shirt only if one is available.) Remember the church will pay half of the registration cost for members and children of members. Please talk with Rev. Diane or Marilyn Parks before you register a child who qualifies for this discount.
On Sunday morning, June 11, we will take time in worship to commission all those going to Camp Christian this summer from our congregation – campers, counselors, directors, storytellers, and other volunteers. Mark your calendars and plan to join us as we send them off to camp with our prayers and best wishes. 

Thank you for your generous gifts to support Camp Christian in so many ways. We want to make you aware of some other ways to support camp if you choose to. Please consider these an opportunity for those who wish to support camp, but don’t feel like you have to.

An Amazon Wish list with items summer camp can use has been created. If you buy an item from this wish list, choose the registry address to have it shipped directly to camp. In addition, the camp needs unscented Clorox or equivalent: Pine sol or equivalent; packages of 6-12 rolls of toilet paper (for septic systems); packages of 2-8 rolls of paper towel (storage is limited at camp so both toilet paper and paper towels are easier if they are packaged in smaller quantities); Amdro ant killer bait granules-shaker type container (does not require water) or equivalent; wasp and hornet spray; and heavy duty 33 gallon trash bags. If you purchase any items from this wish list, please bring them to church and give to Marilyn Parks. She will transport all items to camp on May 18.

Thanks for your support of Camp Christian and the young people whose lives are changed at camp!
Help get Camp Christian ready for the Summer 2023 camping season. Tentative dates for camp work days are during the week beginning May 30 or the week beginning June 4. Definite dates will be announced soon. Please talk to Marilyn Parks if you’re able to help with a camp work day.
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.

Saturday, May 20
6 pm: All-church Movie Night (“Grease”)

Sunday, May 21
Pentecost Special Offering
9 am: Choir Rehearsal
10 am:  Sunday School
11 am: Worship (Rev. Dr. Diane Bales preaching)
12 pm: Elder and Deacon Meeting

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: Julie Thompson
Communion Meditation: Anna Harrison
Elders: Anna Harrison and Karen Jensen
Deacons: Nancy Groves and Andrew Jensen
Scripture (Luke 24: 44-53): Nancy Groves
Communion Preparation: Hoyt Huff

*If you are interested in serving as a worship leader or greeter, please contact Marilyn Parks
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


As summer approaches, the co-op continues to focus on feeding children who will not have access to school breakfast and lunch once school is out. This week’s focus is on lunch items. The most-needed items include
  • Peanut butter
  • Jelly
  • Tuna
  • Chicken
  • Canned pasta
  • Canned fruit
  • Canned green beans or corn
  • Vienna sausages
  • Ramen cups
  • Mac and cheese cups
For more information about the co-op, please check their website:


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!

General Church:
Prayers and Concerns
Brendon Parks’s birthday (May 16)
Debbie Huff’s birthday (May 18)
Ada Mullinax’s birthday (May 18)
Tommy Hlass’s birthday (May 23)
Mabel Simmons has a new great-great granddaughter!

Immediate Needs (names in bold are newly added)
Our world

Our church family and friends
Our pulpit committee, as they interview interim minister candidates
Camp Christian directors, counselors, and campers
The family of Kris Jensen
Grace Aguwa and family, as they mourn the death of her eldest sister

Ongoing Needs
Our members and friends at home, including Odessa Adams and Barbara Bagwell
Our family and friends with ongoing health challenges
Students/teachers/administration of Gwinnett County Public Schools
Those affected by COVID-19
Flo Carroll
Patricia Saturday
Ada Mullinax

Martha Ann Wages
The Yoon Family
Peg and Wes Morgan
Chris Klimshuk and family
Kali Parks (Marilyn Parks’s granddaughter in Florida)
Rev. John Lambert (former minister of LFCC)
Rev. Peggy Edge (Anna Harrison)
Sadie Severt (Harrison family friend)
Mardell Brown (Mabel Simmons)
The Carroll Family
Connie Worrel’s sister, Pat
Regina Halvorson (Chris Klimshuk)

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 all its members, that we continue to do what the Lord has called us all 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, Associate/Youth and Families Minister
Kim Peeples, Music Director
J.T. Clements, Communications Coordinator