Newsletter – May 8, 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: COMPLETING THE CIRCLE AND MOTHER’S DAY CELEBRATION
Have you ever wondered why Jesus chose 12 apostles? It wasn’t an arbitrary decision; the 12 apostles represented the 12 Tribes of Israel. When Judas died after betraying Jesus to the Jewish authorities, the group of apostles was incomplete. This week, we will take a look at the story of how the apostles chose someone new to complete the group. We’ll also consider how the apostles narrowed down the options, and we’ll wonder about why women weren’t considered. Join us on Sunday as Rev. Diane shares a sermon based on Acts 1: 15-17 and 21-27. 

We will also celebrate mothers, grandmothers, and all other women who provide mothering in our lives during worship. Please See you Sunday, in person or online!

CWF/DWF MEETING
The Ewing Circle of CWF/DWF will meet on Tuesday, May 14 at 1:00 p.m. in the Conference Room. Elizabeth McElhanon will lead the study.

PENTECOST OFFERING: RESTORE AND REWIND
When it comes to church, we have a lot of negative tapes playing in our heads:

“Church is judgmental.”
“Church is hypocritical.”
“They think they’re better than everyone else.”


It’s time for restoration. Time to rewind the tape. New Church Ministry is dedicated to fostering faithful communities marked by deep Christian spirituality and a passion for God’s love and justice. Like our ancestors, we’re going back to the beginning, when new Christian communities gathered together and shared all they had, organizing everything around the Spirit’s dreams for their lives and their communities.

Yesterday, today, and tomorrow, God is singing a new song: not a song of judgment, but of welcome and forgiveness; not a song of superiority, but of humility and grace; not a song of hoarding, but of sharing everything we have!

God’s movement for wholeness is already underway. Our job is to listen, and learn, and follow – supporting leaders and communities as the Spirit calls them into being, laying down a new song for a new generation. Church as a place of generosity and justice. Church as a movement for wholeness in a fragmented world.

 

Your gifts to the 2024 Pentecost Offering are divided equally between your regional ministry, which supports local new churches, and New Church Ministry, which trains, equips, and assists emerging leaders to be “movement initiators.” You can give to the Pentecost offering in worship on May 12 or 19, or mail a check to the church. Please mark “Pentecost offering” on the memo line of your check. 
SUCCESSFUL BLESSING OF PETS!
On Sunday afternoon, May 5, we blessed pets in the church parking lot, and remembered beloved pets who have passed on. It was a fun event with several dogs, one cat (in a space capsule), and several pets blessed in photos. Thanks to all those who donated old blankets/towels, dog and cat treats, and dog and cat toys for the animal shelter.  We hope to make this an annual event!
  
  
  

SUNFLOWER GARDEN COMING SOON
The Outreach team has come up with the idea of planting a sunflower garden as a place for people to visit and take photos at the church. With the approval of the Finance and Facilities team, the team of Andrew Jensen, Joey Baker, and Rod Baker tilled land near the basketball goal and planted sunflowers last weekend. We look forward to seeing them grow and flourish this summer and fall!

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.

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 like to help out. 

Sketch of Wes Morgan from his Facebook page
MEMORIAL ARRANGEMENTS FOR WES MORGAN
A memorial service for Wes Morgan will be held on Saturday, July 6th at 4pm at First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Conroe, TX. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to Mission ISpossible of Rome, Georgia, an organization that was dear to Wes’ heart. Learn more about Wes’s life in his obituary

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

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
7:30 pm: Congregational Care and Connect team on Zoom

Tuesday, May 14 (DATE CHANGE FOR MAY ONLY)
1 pm: CWF/DWF Meeting in the conference room
6:30 pm: Let’s Eat! at Lavender Bistro

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
Primary voting at the church (all day)

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 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: Rod Baker
Scripture (Acts 1: 15-17, 21-27): Libby Ballew
Communion Meditation: Dennis Higdon

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 are signing up volunteers for worship leadership for July – December. See Rev. Diane to sign up as a greeter, scripture reader, or to share a communion meditation, or contact her to let you know when you want to volunteer.
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 MAY 5 AND MAY 12
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 12
  • Acts 1:15-17, 21-26
  • Psalm 1
  • 1 John 5:9-13
  • John 17:6-19
Sunday, May 19 (Pentecost Sunday)
  • Acts 2:1-21
  • Ezekiel 37:1-14
  • Psalm 104:24-34, 35b
  • Romans 8:22-27
  • John 15:26-27; 16:4b-15
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
  • Canned fruit
  • Canned chicken
  • Instant potatoes
  • Adult diapers Size S-L
  • Baby wipes
  • Feminine products
HOW ELSE CAN I SUPPORT THE 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
  • Barbara Bagwell’s birthday is May 10
  • Kayla Lee’s birthday is May 13
  • Tony Ramirez’s birthday is May 15
Weekly Prayers
  • For our interim co-ministers Rev. Diane Bales and Rev. Teresa Bensch
  • For a joy-filled celebration of all the important women in our lives this Mother’s Day
  • For the Pentecost Offering, that it may help grow Christ’s church
Immediate Needs (names in bold are newly added)
  • Chris Klimshuk and her sister Veronica (Veronica is having heart surgery on Thursday)
  • Beth S. (friend of Beth Thompson, dealing with father’s illness)
  • 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
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
  • Family and friends of Wes Morgan, as they grieve
  • Betty Higdon (recovering from hip surgery)
  • 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