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First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
120 N. McArthur Macomb, Illinois
(309) 837-6473

December 12, 2013



Heaven and Nature Sing


This Sunday, De-cember 15, will be the annual Christmas celebration by all of the choirs, interns and staff of the First Christian Church, Macomb, music ministry team. 


It will begin with a very special prelude played on four pianos! Carol Harmon, Jayme Soule, Connie Workman and Bill Froom have all been practicing and are excited to share The Bells of Christmas with you. 


The combined Children’s and Youth Choirs will start the service with Away in a Manger , accompanied by Jeanna Montgomery on guitar. The Youth Choir will also join the Chancel Choir on their first anthem, Climb to the Highest Mountain. Interns Mariah Chapdelaine, Jayme Soule and Arturo Martinez will all be featured with special solos. As usual, the organ music by Carol Harmon will be outstanding. 


As we light the candle of Joy this week, come prepared to be surprised by the wonder of Christmas. Invite your friends and neighbors. Come and worship through music as we present Heaven and Nature Sing. 




How wonderful is music? Really there are few words to truly describe. Music is something that must be experienced. I am sure you could mention, if asked, some of your memorable musical moments. 


One of my least favorite moments was when I was in 9th grade. Do you remember the old Christmas song I Wonder as I Wander? I had a solo at our Christmas concert. During rehearsal I had struggled to reach the high note on the word wander. The performance was no different. As I approached the note, my voice cracked. Horrible. (The song is now stuck in your head isn’t it? You’re welcome.) 


Some of my favorite musical memories include some concerts. A couple of concerts I have seen with Anne are Billy Joel and Depeche Mode. In seminary, my roommates and I saw The Rolling Stones. We were a little more interested in the opening band, though—Living Color. We also saw Tears for Fears and John Mellencamp. Good times. 


As an associate minister in Danville, IN I made a promise to some of the youth. If they wanted to go to a concert that their parents did not want to go to yet would not let them attend without adult supervision, as long as they bought my ticket I would go. Billy, along with his brother and a friend, took me up on the offer. The headlining band was Poison. It was loud. It was rocking. It was fun. Billy played guitar and dreamed of being in a band and making it big. The joy on his face during that concert was priceless. 


This Sunday our choirs will present a message in song. The prelude will include four pianos. You already know what joy awaits you. 


This Sunday we light the pink candle and name it joy. As our Advent journey stretches on, may the joy of the Christ-child truly be ours. 


Peace, Kelly


Sermon Date

Sermon Title


December 15 , 2013

Chancel Choir will present Heaven and Nature Sing


2013 Christmas Offering for Regional Ministries


Matthew’s story of the Wise Men who come seeking the newborn King is a familiar one, re-enacted in countless Christmas pageants every year. Amidst the costumes, animals, shepherds and mangers crowded into most depictions of the Nativity, the gifts they bring often are seen as just props for the Magi to carry. Yet they are far more than that. When they found the Child, they were prepared. Bowing down, they worshiped him. “Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense [frankincense] and of myrrh” (Matt 2:11), gifts that they had carried with them all the way from Persia, extravagant gifts fit for a King. 


We may think ourselves incapable of giving such gifts until we remember that the good news of Jesus’ birth also came to common folk like the shepherds, and that extravagance comes in many forms. For the shepherds, it came in the form of praising God. For you, maybe it will be in doing mission together in response to a disaster or on an immersion trip to learn about another culture. Your extravagant gift to the Christmas offering, whether large or 

small, supports the many ways Disciples across our region discover and share their gifts of ministry. Whatever gift you bring, give it joyfully; that’s the kind of giving that makes God smile, and therein lies the secret of its extravagance. 


As we celebrate anew the Good News of God-with-us, the coming of our Lord, what gifts shall we bring? Whatever it is, may we present them in humble thanksgiving and with joyful extravagance! 


The Christmas Offering will be accepted at FCC on December 15 and 22 and will be used to support the Il-Wis Regional support of local congregations and ministries arising out of the gifts thousands of Disciples bring. 


Thank you for giving as generously as you are able to the ministries we share. 


Special Olympics Secret Santa Christmas Party


The Christian Action and Outreach Committee will hold a Special Olympics Secret Santa Christmas party on Friday, December 13, 5:30-7:30 pm in Fellowship Hall. 


The Committee is still working on details, but we plan to have food, singing, games, and a visit from Santa Claus. He will be here to greet the participants as they arrive. 


Invitations have been sent to all Special Olympians in the community, and names of those persons who have responded will be included on the angel tree in the parlor. Members of the congregation who would like to choose a name from the tree are asked to buy a gift for that person and bring it to the party. The age and gift suggestions are included on the tag. 


We hope to make this a fun event for the Special Olympians and we invite everyone in the congregation to attend. 

Reservation information will be forthcoming. 


Christmas Cookie Exchange


The Membership Department will hold its annual Christmas Cookie exchange in the Parlor on Sunday, December 15, 2013, 9:30 - 10:30 a.m. Please have your cookies there by 9:00 am. 


Make cookies - take as many as you bring! That way, for the holidays, you only have to bake one kind! 


Everyone is welcome to participate. 


Annual Congregational Meeting


Betty Sherwood, Chair of the Church Board, has scheduled the Annual Congregational Meeting for December 15, 2013, immediately after worship. The agenda will be to vote on the Slate of Officers for 2014 submitted by the Nominating Committee and the 2014 Budget submitted by the Board of Trustees. We also hope to discuss renovation ideas for our building. Please mark your calendar and plan to stay for this important meeting. 


Advent Bible Study


On Wednesday evenings during Advent, we will be having a light meal, beginning at 5:30 pm in Fellowship Hall. The meal will be followed by an Advent Study. The schedule is: December 4, 11, and 18. Choir rehearsal will begin at 7:00 pm on those nights. Everyone is welcome and encouraged to attend these meals/studies. In order to prepare food, we would like to have reservations; please make a note beside your name in the Friendship Register each week, indicating your intention to attend on Wednesday evening. 


Candlelight Service December 24, 2013 6:00 PM


We will be holding our annual Candle-light Christmas Eve service this year on December 24 at 6:00 pm. 

Please mark this date and time on your calendar and plan to bring your friends, neighbors and family to this celebration service. 


Host Fellowship Time!


It’s time to think about hosting the Coffee Fellowship Time each Sunday morning at 10:00 a.m. in the Parlor. 


This is an opportunity to “catch up”, make new friends, meet new members, etc. 


You will need to make coffee and set out punch which is furnished by the church. Bring a treat that you made or bought. 


And then clean up the mess! 


Please think about serving in this important ministry of our church and sign up on the sheet posted on the Bulletin Board in the Parlor. 


Bertha Gilchrist Cirlce


The Bertha Gilchrist group will meet on December 19 at 6:00 p.m. for dinner at the home of Mary Raymer. 


Stuffed Animal Ministry


Carolee and Stan Sellers have been asked to extend their stuffed animal ministry beyond Macomb once again. The school in Washington, IL that was hit by the tornado has asked for consideration. 


To meet the need of the school, 500 stuffed animals are needed. The sophomore class at MHS is contributing over 200; 300 more are still needed. If each of the congregation contributed 2-3 items, this need would be met next Sunday - the date that the items are needed. Please check your closets and storage areas and see if we can’t meet this challenge. This is another great opportuni-ty for our church to serve the community. Mid-sized stuffed animals are the size needed. Please bring them to the church next Sunday, December 15! 


Thank You


A BIG THANK YOU to all who helped in any way with the “Festival of the Creche”. There isn’t enough room to name everyone who took the time and shared their talents to help with the display. Thanks to YOU who brought in the 263 nativity scenes to be displayed. The event was beautiful and meaningful. 


Approximately 200 came to view the scenes and admire the decorations. Many good comments were received. The event really expressed the true meaning of Christmas.   -Jean Vaughn 


Sunday, December 15, 2013

Third Sunday of Advent


Sermon Title:

Heaven and Nature Sing





Lectionary Readings:    


Isaiah 35:1-10 

Psalm 146:5-10 

Luke 1:46-55 

James 5:7-10 

Matthew 11:2-11 


SERVING THIS WEEK OF December 15, 2013

Worship Leader:

Rev. Ingersoll



John Carden (bread); Mary Stipanowich (cup)




Don Hodges, Dorothy Loop, Larry Loop, 

Margaret Taylor, Pat Ward, Marcia Higgins 



Bob Sherwood, Natalie Workman, Samantha Adams 



Marcia Higgins, Donna Bainter, Sharon Butcher 




Larry Loop


Central East

Dorothy Loop


Balcony South

Roselyn Chown



Jeanna Montgomery


Sanctuary Superintendent(s):

Bob & Betty Sherwood


Soundboard Tech:

Chris Dace


Children's Moment:



Children's Church:



Coffee Fellowship Time:

John Harmon


Hospital Caller(s):

Janet Shank


Sunday Morning Office Staff:

Janet Shank


Finacial Escort

Rachel Bliven


Weekly Calendar


Sunday, December 15

Bill Butcher opens/closes church 

John Carden drive(s) the van 

8:30 AM Prayer Group 

9:00 AM Sunday School 

9:30 AM Cookie Exchange, Parlor 

10:00 AM Coffee Fellowship 

10:30 AM Worship 

12:00 PM Annual Congregational 


2:00 PM Grand Prairie 

Elder: Char Carden 

Deacons: Rod & Nita Burg 

4:00 PM Everly House 

Elder: Char Carden 

Deacons: Rod & Nita Burg 


Tuesday, December 17

1:00 PM Memorial Service 

1:30 PM Martha Shemwell Circle 

6:00 PM Bertha Gilchrist Circle 


Wednesday, December 18 

5:30 PM Light Supper & Advent Study 

7:00 PM Choir Rehearsal 


Sunday, December 22 

Bob Sherwood opens/closes church

Jim Schauble drive(s) the van

8:30 AM Prayer Group

9:00 AM Sunday School

10:00 AM Coffee Fellowship

10:30 AM Worship  


Birthdays and Anniversaries


15 Donna Weinberg 

20 Rod Burg 

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