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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