E Courier September 30, 2019

Ketchen-up . . . 

It has been a difficult month for our church family due to the passing of three of our members . . . Devon Kruger, Bob Ulbricht, and Diane Dodson.  While their deaths were not unexpected and while each had struggled with poor health for many months, it is still hard to let go.  Let’s keep each of these families in our prayers and look for ways to encourage and comfort them during this difficult time.

I want to thank the leaders of our Special Care Ministry Team who provided a meal following each of these funerals.  This is a very important time of ministry.  Thank you to ministry team leaders Sally Wuethrich and Darlene Williams and all others who helped to prepare food and serve.  You have all been a great blessing to these three families.

“Healthy Marriages” Seminar: I want to encourage you to participate in this seminar to be held this Saturday, October 5, from 1:00 to 5:00.  The location will either be in our fellowship hall.

E.Anne and I have been married for 44 years and we are planning to attend.  We both believe there is always something to be learned.  If you are married, let me encourage you to attend.  Adam & Liv Huber heard seminar leaders Justin & Trisha Davis speak a couple of years ago and they were very impressed with what they had to say.  If you have questions, please contact Adam or Liv.  You will need to RSVP to attend.

Worship Services: Our worship services over the last two weeks have been a little different.  On the 22nd our 8:30 worship was in the Fall Festival’s big tent uptown.  The attendance was very good and we had a number of visitors.  Our 10:45 worship attendance on the 22nd was considerably lower than usual, but it was again a blessing to be together.  Our worship time was made a little more special as we witnessed the baptism of Emmaline Hart.  She came at the invitation time to make her good confession of faith.  Her father, Bryan, had the privilege of baptizing her.  Let’s keep this young lady in our prayers.

Our worship attendance on the 29th appeared to be down, but in reality it was not.  This past weekend was our church’s annual campout at the Tippecanoe River State Park.  Fifty-nine (59) people participated in a worship service at the park on Sunday morning.  Adam Huber led the worship music and Sean Owens gave a meaningful devotion.

Preaching Schedule: I am continuing to preach sermons from the Book of Psalms.  There is no particular theme I’m addressing, but I’m selecting psalms which speak to my heart and I’m praying they will speak to yours as well.

May God bless us all.

Love, Jim

Sympathy

Three members of our church family recently passed away.  These include:

Devon Kruger was 92 years old when he passed away at his home on September 10.  He leaves behind his wife Phyllis.

Phyllis Kruger

2047 S  925 W

Francesville, IN  47946

Bob Ulbricht was 83 when he passed away on September 15 in Illinois at the home of his daughter Stacy.  He leaves behind his wife Barb and his two daughters Debbie and Stacy.

Barb Ulbricht

c/o Stacy Ledford

P.O. Box 351

Minier, IL  61759

Diane Dodson was 74 when she passed away at her home on September 23.  She leaves behind her husband Cecil and her two daughters Trina and Angie.

Cecil Dodson

3712 N. Meridian Rd.

Reynolds, IN  47980

Let’s keep each of these three families in our prayers and look for ways to encourage them.

Baptism

Congratulations to Emmaline Hart who was baptized by her father on September 22.  Emmaline is 11 years old and the daughter of Bryan & Nikki Hart.  Let’s keep this young lady in our prayers and look for ways to encourage her. 

Emmaline Hart

6818 N  500 E

Wheatfield, IN  46392

Wedding

Congratulations to Kyle & Krystal (Anderson) Gerlach who were married on Sunday afternoon (9/29) in a ceremony at the church.  Kyle & Krystal will make their home in Kewanna.  

Healthy Marriages

This Saturday, October 5, the church will be hosting a “healthy marriages” seminar.  The time will be 1:00 to 5:00 p.m.  Justin & Trisha Davis from Refine Us Ministries will be the speakers.  This event is for both our church family and the Francesville community.  An RSVP will be required.  It is not too late to sign-up.  If you have questions, please contact Liv Huber.


Baby Girls

Congratulations to Bill & Holly Luebbert at the birth of their granddaughter Lily Jean Saren Ayres.  She was born on September 19 weighing 9 pounds 3 ounces.  Her parents are Jeanadette & Benjamin Ayres. 

And congratulations to Christopher & Jennifer Gutwein at the birth of Isabel Mae.  She was born on September 26 weighing 8 pounds 12 ounces.  Her grandparents are Gordon & Carolyn Lewis and Curtis & Helen Gutwein.

Thank You

The Special Care Ministry would like to thank everyone who graciously made food and/or worked the past 3 funeral dinners.  Your willingness to serve is greatly appreciated!  Please don’t forget any dishes you may have in the kitchen.

The Humanitarian Distribution Center would like to thank all who made cupcakes and/or served at the Chicken Dinner during the Fall Festival.  God bless your willingness to serve.

Thanks, Sally Wuethrich

We wish to thank everyone for all the cards, visits and especially prayers while Dick has been battling the sore on his foot.  It is healing, just taking a long time.

Many blessings, Dick & Martha Lowry

The Foundry 

 This past Friday Adam and I traveled to the Orange Tour conference stop at Northview Church in Carmel. Orange is the company that provides our youth teaching materials. It was good to soak in a day of encouragement and practical ministry application. One of the key elements from this and past conferences  that we are nearing implementation of is parent emails. Very soon we will be sending parents emails to help keep you informed of events and what is being taught in our youth ministries to encourage and supplement the discipleship that happens in the home. Studies over time have shown that parents are the largest influence on the faith development of children. Our ministries want to be a companion to you!

 We want to thank everyone that helped work in the walking taco stand fall festival weekend or made a purchase. It benefits our kids!

Fields of Faith: The West Central High School Fellowship of Christian Athletes is hosting “Fields of Faith” this Wednesday night, October 2. The WC football field will open at 6:20, pizza at 6:30 and the event begins at 7:00. (will be in gym if weather dictates) Foundry students will all be directed to attend this event with other students, youth groups and FCA groups from local schools. The event is open to the community, anyone can attend. The program includes; worship, scripture reading, student testimonies and guest speaker Ryan Lewellen from the Pisgah Christian Church, near Lake Cicott. Join us for an impactful night focused on Christ!

5th Quarter: There is a 5th Qtr this Friday night after WC Football until 11:15pm. We will be having a Pizza, Games, Hangout and a Blacklight Dodgeball Tourney.

Jeremy’s #: 219-204-0422

The Spark

 According to the calendar, it’s officially fall, and the Spark’s Wednesday night program is now in full swing! If you’re unfamiliar with the way our Wednesday night program works, each month we focus on a particular biblical virtue and look into Bible stories that speaks on that virtue.  We also have a memory verse that goes along with our virtue.  Now that the month of September is on its way out, we are wrapping up our first virtue of the new school year.  September’s virtue was “trust” and our memory verse was Proverbs 3:5, which says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.”

 Each week we focused on a part of the story of Joseph, which is personally one of my favorite Bible stories.  The thing about the story of Joseph that stands out to me is the amount of time that goes by in the story where Joseph is faced with frustrating adversity, and yet continues to trust in God.  We sometimes get frustrated when we have a few bad days or a bad week where things don’t go our way.  But Joseph endured years of undeserved hardship and continued to trust in God through it all.  What a great example of trusting God when we’re not able to understand the big picture!

Backpack Pantry Program:  The BPP has returned for another year.  Both the Spark and the Foundry Ministries have invested in this program as a missions project for the last few years, serving elementary students by providing food on the weekends to kids that might not otherwise have food to eat.  If you would like to partner with us, you can do so by donating food to be packed.  Please find the list of specific items that we are able to include in these bags in the church foyer.  Thank you for your help in this project!

Adam’s #: 317-430-4827

Events

Oct 4 – There will be a 5th Q following the West Central football game.

Oct 5 – The church is hosting a “Healthy Marriages” seminar from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m.

Oct 12 – A church family will be using the fellowship hall for a 50th Wedding Anniversary celebration.

Oct 13 – Jim, E.Anne Darlene and Darlene will be giving a report on their recent mission trip to Haus Edelweiss.  The time will be 6:00 p.m.

Oct 13 – The elders will meet at 8:00 p.m.

Oct 14 – The church board will meet at 7:00 p.m.

Oct 31 – The church will again participate in a “Trunk or Treat” during “trick or treating” hours set by the town.

Nov 11 – Youth Sunday

Nov 11 – The elders will meet at 8:00 p.m.

Nov 12 – The church board will meet at 7:00 p.m.

Nov 20 – The church’s annual Thanksgiving Dinner will take place at 6:00 p.m.

Nov 22 thru 24 – A group of high school youth and their leaders will be attending the Indiana Christian Youth Convention this weekend in Anderson.

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E Courier September 9, 2019

Ketchen-up . . . 

Our church office staff has had a front row seat to the demolition taking place across the street from our church building.  It has been interesting to watch, but also sad when we remember why these grain silos are being taken down.  As I watch the demolition, I am reminded of a poem written by an unknown author.

Builder or Wrecker?

I watched them tearing a building down,

A gang of men in a busy town.

With a ho-heave-ho and a lusty yell,

They swung a beam, and the side wall fell.

I asked the foreman: “Are these men skilled – 

Like the ones you’d hire if you had to build?”

He gave me a laugh and said: “No, indeed!

Just common labor is all I need.

I can wreck in a day or two,

What builders have taken a year to do.”

And I thought to myself as I went my way,

Which of these roles have I tried to play?

Am I a builder who works with care,

Measuring life by a rule and square?

Am I shaping my deeds to a well made plan,

Patiently doing the best I can?

Or am I a wrecker, who walks the town,

Content with the labor of tearing down?

The demolition crew across the street is highly skilled.  They are not common labor, but still they are able to demolish in a few weeks what took many months to build.

The First Christian Church of Francesville came into existence 153 years ago.  The year was 1866.  There have been many builders down through the years.  Each new generation of Christians must decide whether they will be a builder or a wrecker.  History teaches us that churches can be destroyed in a matter of months, or even weeks, when members take their eyes off Jesus, failing to remember that the church belongs to the One who died to establish His church.  

The poem talks about “common labor,” but understand that Satan is skilled in his efforts to destroy churches.  We must remember the words of Peter in his first letter (5:8-9) . . . “Be self-controlled and alert.  Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.  Resist him, standing firm in the faith.” 

Let us always be faithful to build.  Let us be faithful to share our faith in Jesus with others.  Let us always return to God’s word seeking his will.  Let us be faithful in prayer.  Let us always strive for unity.  Let us always remember that the First Christian Church of Francesville belongs to Jesus and not to any one of us.  

As a church we do have a mission:

  • To Reach the Lost

  • To Teach the Saved

  • To Repeat the Process

Let’s be builders.  Please give this some prayerful thought and may God bless us all.

Love, Jim

Annual Meeting & Election of Officers

Yesterday (9/8) the church held its annual meeting and election of officers.  The vote confirmed all who were nominated.  Please note that ministry team leaders will assume their roles on October 1st.  At this meeting informative reports were given by Chuck Mellon regarding the church’s finances and by Jeremy Glasford and Adam Huber on the church’s youth and children’s ministries.

Ladies Retreat at The ARK

This year the annual Ladies Retreat at The ARK does not conflict with the Francesville Fall Festival.  The retreat date is September 13-14.

Registration is $50 ($20 Friday only, $30 Saturday only).  The theme is Treasured and is based on 1 Peter 2:9.  The speakers are Bethany Jett & Michelle Medlock Adams.  E.Anne, Jodie & Tina are leading the worship music with Cheryl accompanying them at the piano.  

Check-in & pampering is from 1:30 to 5:30 on Friday.  Supper is at 5:30 with the main session beginning at 6:30.  On Saturday morning breakfast is from 7:30 to 8:15 with activities beginning at 8:30.  If you have questions, contact the church office.

Healthy Marriages

On Saturday, October 5, the church will be hosting a “healthy marriages” seminar.  Justin & Trisha Davis from Refine Us Ministries will be the speakers.  This event is for both our church family and the Francesville community.  An RSVP will be required.  Be sure to mark this date on your calendar.  If you have questions, please contact Liv Huber.

Church Cleaning Project

A crew of at least 18 people showed up over a two day period to do some deep cleaning in the church building.  Walls, light fixtures, tables and chairs were washed.  All the woodwork in the auditorium was washed down.  Thank you to all who came to work and thank you to Mary Putt for getting the day organized.  Thank you also to those who provided food for the day.  In the near future a crew will do some deep cleaning in the kitchen.  If you would be willing to help, please contact Mary.

Baby Boy

Jim & E.Anne are pleased to announce the birth of their third grandchild.  Benjamin Crisp Fierley was born on August 26 weighing 8 pounds 9 ounces.  Ben’s mother and father are Jaime and Jacob and his big brother is Joe.


Church Campout

The annual church campout will be September 27-29 at the Tippecanoe River State Park.  Even if you are not planning to camp, you are welcome to come to the campground for the day to share a meal and some fellowship.  The Membership Ministry Team is in charge of this outing.  If you have questions, please contact Cheri Delph or Lisa Marlatt.

Fall Festival Worship

Once again this year, the church’s 8:30 a.m. worship service will take place in the big tent uptown on Fall Festival weekend (September 22).  This worship experience is a good opportunity to invite friends and family who do not have a church family.  Sunday school at 9:45 and the 10:45 worship will both take place at the church building.

The Foundry 

 The adult small group that I am a part of just recently finished the “Forensic Faith” curriculum. There was a lot of good material and thoughts on how to make our case to others for embracing Jesus and the Christian faith. What struck me was while having the right tools and knowledge about our faith is very important, it is still paramount to have relationships and the time to engage in one on one conversation with others to invite them into a saving relationship with Jesus. Be praying for the Foundry leaders as they meet with their small groups each week, but also as they try to find the time and avenue to also have conversations with each individual student to mentor and challenge their faith.

 I have recently been added to the NW Indiana FCA office as a Field Ambassador. That means that I will encourage FCA huddles in our county and a few that surround us. I will leverage my ministry and sports contacts. Some of you may have seen this in a FCA newsletter because you are on their mailing list from supporting Jerod’s internships, for which he is very grateful. I, however, am not personally raising any funds as a part of FCA, although it is a great ministry to students and athletes and I believe very worthy to invest in. My involvement is on an “as available” basis, meaning it will never keep me from fulfilling my ministry roles at FCC or the Foundry, it is just an added way for me to use my gifts and passions entrusted to me by God to invest into the advancement of His Kingdom. Contact me if you would like to learn more about FCA.

5th Quarter: There is a home game this Friday night and it is homecoming. The WC student council is hosting a bonfire at the school when the game is over. We want regular 5th quarter student to attend.

Jeremy’s #: 219-204-0422

The Spark

 After a summer of anticipation, the Spark’s 2019-2020 Wednesday night program is now officially underway! Last week we held our kickoff event for elementary students to get things going for the new school year.  Kids started the night with an opportunity to eat a meal with their new small group leaders.  We then came together as a large group and learned about our theme for the year, “Fuel the Fire”.  We spent some time discussing Romans 12:11, which is the passage behind this year’s theme, and talked about what that means for us.  After the lesson, we headed outside to enjoy the beautiful weather and for some group games and activities.  As we look ahead to this week, we prepare to unveil our first virtue of the school year.

 The Backpack Pantry Program will soon be starting back up at West Central Elementary.  In case you are unfamiliar with this program, it provides simple meals for elementary students at West Central that might not otherwise have food on the weekends when school meals are unavailable.  The number of students at the school enrolled in the state’s free and reduced lunch program has grown to reach nearly two thirds of West Central Elementary’s student population, and food security has become a growing concern for our community.  The Backpack Pantry Program started as a service project for our youth ministries, supported entirely by our students.  As it has grown over the last three years, we’ve been grateful for the support we’ve also received by others in our church family, as well as individuals and other organizations outside of our church, which has allowed us to continue this program as it’s grown.  Look for information on the Backpack Pantry in the church foyer to see how you can contribute!

Adam’s #: 317-430-4827

Sept 14 – A community family will be using the church for a wedding.

Sept 21 – On Fall Festival Weekend the church will again hold the 8:30 a.m. worship in the big tent uptown.

Sept 27 thru 29 – The annual church family campout will take place at Tippecanoe River State Park. 

Sept 29 – A church family will be using the church for a Sunday afternoon wedding.

Oct 4 – There will be a 5th Q following the West Central football game.

Oct 5 – The church is hosting a “Healthy Marriages” seminar from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. 

Oct 12 – A church family will be using the fellowship hall for a 50th Wedding Anniversary celebration.

Oct 13 – The elders will meet at 8:00 p.m.

Oct 14 – The church board will meet at 7:00 p.m.

Oct 31 – The church will again participate in a “Trunk or Treat” during “trick or treating” hours set by the town.

Nov 11 – Youth Sunday

Nov 11 – The elders will meet at 8:00 p.m.

Nov 12 – The church board will meet at 7:00 p.m.

Nov 20 – The church’s annual Thanksgiving Dinner will take place at 6:00 p.m.  Watch for details.

Nov 22 thru 24 – A group of high school youth and their leaders will be attending the Indiana Christian Youth Convention this weekend in Anderson. 

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