Newsletter – May 31, 2023

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

Church News

After much prayer and discussion, the Pulpit Committee would like to present our proposed candidate for our Interim Ministerial position, Teresa Bensch. She will be preaching during the service this coming Sunday, June 4th. Her sermon is called “Go Therefore,” and is based on Matthew 28: 16 – 20. Please plan to attend to hear her message. After worship, you will have an opportunity to meet her and ask questions. See you Sunday, in person or online.

During May, we have been focusing on mental health at LFCC.  As we wrap up this month, here’s a reminder to each of us to help reduce the stigma of mental illness. People with mental health challenges may delay or avoid getting the help they need because of the stigma surrounding mental illness.  Even though most people can be successfully treated, less than half of the adults in the U.S. who need services and treatment get the help they need – and the average delay between the start of symptoms and receiving treatment is 8 to 10 years. Learn the facts about mental illness. Look at people as people and n and not just their mental health challenge. Use your voice to push for better policies and services to help those who struggle. 

If you know someone who is struggling with a mental health challenge, there are resources right here in Gwinnett County to help. Check out NAMI Gwinnett and Viewpoint Health – Gwinnett County Mental Health Support to learn more about the local resources available. Find more information 
more about mental health challenges, stigma and ways to reduce it, mental health 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

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. 
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 have 4 volunteers signed up for Saturday, June 17 from 9 am – noon. We have space for 4 more volunteers. If you’re willing to join us, please contact Rod at or 404-273-1444. 

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. 


Our campers (and counselors and directors) love mail! Dates camp begins are listed below. If you would like to send notes to camp along with other notes from other church members and friends, please bring your notes to church and put them in the labeled envelope by the beginning day of the camp. Thank you for supporting our members and extended family at camp. See Marilyn Parks if you have any questions.

Chi Rho Camp (beginning June 11)
Keynote: Stephen Westbrook
Counselors: Elizabeth Anders, Riley Ballew, Denise Holden
Campers: Eleanor McElhanon, Sophia Coker, Mary Kate Westbrook, Payton Holden

Junior Camp (beginning June 18)
Co-Director: Frank Hawkins
Storyteller: Diane Bales
CIT: Perry Westbrook
Campers: Harley McElhanon, Maggie Westbrook

Chrysalis Camp (beginning June 18)
Co-Director: Meredith Westbrook
Storyteller: Elizabeth McElhanon
Camper: Martha Westbrook

Genesis Camp (beginning June 23)
Camper: Drew McElhanon and Grandparents: Ralph McElhanon and Elizabeth McElhanon
Co-Director: Marilyn Parks

CYF Conference (beginning June 25)
Co-Director: Libby Ballew
Counselor: JT Clements
Conferees/Campers: Molly Ballew, Braxton Holden, Theresa Puckett, Keeley Puckett, KJ Moon, Brooks
Thompson, Perry Westbrook

OASIS Day Camp (beginning July 16)
CIT: Molly Ballew

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.

Camp wish list items include unscented Clorox or equivalent; packages of 6-12 rolls of toilet paper (for septic systems); packages of 2-8 rolls of paper towels (storage is limited at camp so both toilet paper and paper towels are easier if they are packaged in smaller quantities). 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 soon.

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. The next camp work day is Friday, June 2. Tasks include cleaning the cabins, cleaning the directors’ bungalow, sprucing up the bathhouse (it was sprayed down a few weeks ago), putting the shower curtains in place, cleaning the lake storage shed, washing the life vests, sweeping out the villas, cleaning the ping pong tables, and seeing what can be done in the area under the awning. Please talk to Marilyn Parks if you’re able to help with this 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.

Sunday, June 4
First Sunday Food
9 am: Choir Rehearsal
10 am:  Sunday School
11 am: Worship (Teresa Bensch preaching)
12 pm: Q & A session with Teresa Bensch

Tuesday, June 6
11:30 am: TONTO

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: Jeanie Morgan
Communion Meditation: Libby Ballew
Elders: Connie Thompson and Lee Thompson
Deacons: Jeanie Morgan and Dorrie Toth
Scripture (Matthew 28: 16 – 20): Elizabeth Anders
Communion Preparation: Dorrie Toth

*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. The most-needed items include
  • Peanut butter
  • Jelly
  • Canned chicken
  • Tuna
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
Mabel Simmons’s birthday (May 31)
Dennis Higdon’s birthday (June 4)
Katherine Jensen’s birthday (June 6)

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 Martha Ann Wages

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
The family of Kris Jensen
Grace Aguwa and family, as they mourn the death of her eldest sister
Flo Carroll
Patricia Saturday
Ada Mullinax

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