First Christian Church "E-news" for

April 12, 2018


Celebration of Life for Mary Keith (Apr 15th)

As you are probably aware, Mary Keith’s health had rapidly declined, and she came to that place where the baptismal covenant becomes most real for all of us.  She was, in her own words, “ready,” and entered into the Lord’s perfect, holy love, on Tuesday, the 10th.

Following worship, at 2:00 p.m., we will celebrate Mary’s life with her family and friends, here at First Christian Church.  A private interment of her ashes will take place next week, at a date and time still to be determined, when she will be laid to rest beside her late husband.

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Elders & Deacons Meeting (April 29th)

The next Elders/Deacons meeting has been rescheduled for Sunday April 29th at 12:30 to wrap up our training on, "How to Survive and Thrive as an Elder." Please be prepared for discussions on moving forward to build a Shepherding Program here at First Christian Church. 

Bring a bag lunch.

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All-Church Workday

Saturday, May 5th, 7:30 am

All hands and all ages are greatly appreciated for the cleaning and maintenance work to be done.  Come as soon as you can; stay as long as you are able.  Thank you for helping. Breakfast will be prepared by Jimmy Oliver & Dick Garrett.

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Nominating Committee

Please be in prayer with and for the nominating committee as we begin the process of nominating those folks who will lead the church in this next year.  You may give names of those who you think would be a strong leader to any member of the committee: Karen Lyle, Sonie Statzer, Tina Cuthrell, Jimmy Oliver or Linda Kuster.

 Congregational Meeting for Election of Officers:

Sunday, May 20th, following Worship

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A Word from the Pastor

“May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude toward each other that Christ Jesus had, so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you,

in order to bring praise to God.”

[Romans 15:5-7]

“Peanuts” was a gift to me when I was 9 and my father was a pastor.  She was an ugly dog as dogs go.  Think of a Chihuahua.  Think of a Dachshund.  Now combine the two creating:  BIG ears, short nose, LONG tail, husky body, short SKINNY legs, bulging eyes, and moles all over her face and fortunately covered with hair that only become more noticeable as they turned white as she aged.  She soon became a lover of… chocolate ice cream (I didn’t know chocolate was bad for dogs, and she shook even more than a Chihuahua after lapping it down)… Coca Cola (which I got free because the local service station owner loved to hear her belch at the volume of an adult male)… chicken liver (we hated it while Mom thought we loved it and Peanuts was a good catch when we flipped bites off our plates!)…  and peanut butter (man, did she have a long tongue!).

Yes, Peanuts was real.  The stuff of legend in my family. She had her faults too.  She snored.  She smelled like dirty socks.  She drank to excess (yeah, my older brother made her a bit of an alcoholic on cheap wine).  She destroyed every made bed.  She hated Kleenex boxes when she was bored and/or frustrated and could quickly transform any room into a complete recreation of a “white Christmas.”  She was “human” in her personality.

Stop laughing yet? 

If my dog Peanuts was a bit of a character, she also showed me unconditional love, as dogs are great at doing!  Excited to see me EVERY time, whether in the morning and I just got up or had returned to the house after 10 minutes.  It did not matter.  Joyful and accepting, she don’t care what I looked like, where I lived, what kind of car I drove when we got a bit older.  She didn’t even care what faith I had – she simply loved and accepted me… even when I had an off day and was grumpy.  Dogs don’t ever let being “just a dog” or their limitations –  get in the way of loving us.

We come together as a body of Christ.  We look, all kinds of ways.  We think, all kinds of ways.  We struggle, all kinds of ways.  We are human, all kinds of ways.

Because of this I often find myself thinking about what I read many years ago of when Abraham Lincoln was asked about his church membership.  Said he: “When any church will inscribe over its altar as the sole qualification for membership the Savior's condensed statement of the substance of both law and gospel: "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul and with all thy mind, and love thy neighbor as thyself," that church I will join with all my heart.”

It’s easy to make things complicated, but our Lord was straight-forward, and Lincoln knew it.  Unfortunately, in his experience, he had not found that simplicity of love of God and one another that he read in scripture.  I think if he walked in the door of our church, he would find now what he did not back then.   Funny thing is, I don’t even think ya’ll think about it… it is the “culture” of this congregation.  So continue to ”Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.”

In Christ,


Rev. Vinson Miller, Pastor

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Sunday Lectionary Readings

The pastor generally preaches from the “lectionary” – so if you are a reader or not and want to read ahead for the Sunday to come, click on and save the link below, with the readings in the New Revised Standard Version.

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Church on the Web!

The church website has gone through major changes to make it a “one-stop shop” for church members and those interested in what we may have to offer.  More remains to be done, BUT, if you are on the internet you are asked to check it out. 

The “Welcome” page has links to all our social media sites, the scriptures for each Sunday, and the pastor’s sermons.

Other pages provide links to daily meditations, helpful resources, and more.

Make it a “favorite” for yourself and others!    

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Comfort Bags for Cancer Patients

The Salty Christians Sunday School class is currently preparing 20 "gift bags" a month for patients beginning chemotherapy treatment at Riverside Cancer Center.  Included in the bags are "comfort items" such as gum, small packages of wet wipes and tissues, mints, lip balm, small containers of hand lotion and hand sanitizers, hard candy, emery boards, small puzzle books, pencils, sharpeners and pens.  If you would like to help in this effort by donating any of these items, in any quantity, please place them in the identified box in the narthex.  We have found that the travel section at WalMart is a great place to find Kleenex tissues and hand lotions for 97 cents. The Dollar Tree has some of these items as does Amazon.

Thank you for considering our request,

Salty Christians Sunday School Class

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Got Clothes? (You Don’t Want)

Doing your preps for Spring and checking out those clothes you have that no longer fit or you simply aren’t going to wear?  On Tuesday nights during the time the Welcome Table is open, a Girl Scout project provides a much-used clothes closet here for our guests.  Donations will be gladly accepted for clean clothes, shoes, hats, etc.

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Regional News!

2018 Craig Springs Camp Schedule

Spring Work Weekend - May 25-27

Nature Camp - June 25-29

Special Camp - July 1-6

Triple 1 - July 8-13

AMPDD Camp - July 16-21

Triple 2 - July 22-27

New Covenant Camp - July 29- August 3

Family Camp - August 3-6

Fall Work Weekend - October 5-7

*Nature Camp Counselor Applications*

In the Narthex


 Craig Springs Work Camp (May 25-27)

 Registration is open until May 15th for helping at the Craig Spring Camp in preparation for the summer program.  The food and lodging is free.  More information will be put out in March, but for your planning purposes –dates are Friday, May 25th (arrival and work at any point in day), through Sunday afternoon (May 27th).   Flier and registration forms are available at church office.

 Regional Assembly (May 31-Jun 1)

Registration is now open for the 173rd Regional Assembly of the Christian Church in Virginia, scheduled for May 31st through June 3rd on the Lynchburg College campus.

 Regional ENewsletter

To subscribe to the enewsletter of the Christian Church in Virginia, go to:

available at church office.

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DOC Families & Children Website

Disciples Home Missions office has created a fantastic resource filled with resources and programming for leaders, faith at home, curriculum, intergenerational activities, blogs, articles, summer programs, and more.  There are great links to church safety; ideas for families at home; Children Worship & Wonder trainings and resources; ideas on missions and camps for the summer; just to name a few.  For more information, go to:, or email

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H.E.L.P. Donations

While all donations are appreciated, please remember when donating that HELP does not accept expired items to their pantry.  Please do not donate soft drinks, as they are not on their list of needed nutritious foods.

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Box Tops for Education

 Bring in your "Box Tops" and drop in the basket in Narthex.

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Welcome Table Volunteer Needs

Lead Cook

ServSafe Manager

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Welcome Table Wish List

Canned vegetables (except green peas)

Canned baked beans

Canned peaches or apples

Diced tomatoes

Canned sweet potatoes

Instant Mashed Potatoes

Creamed soups (chicken, mushroom, celery)


Dates to Remember!


April 12


6:30 pm

April 15

Celebration of Life

Mary Keith

2:00 pm

April 19

CWF Group 1

6:00 pm

Patti Moore's Home

April 25

WT Steering Team Meeting

5:30 pm

April 26

CMF District 8 Meeting

Parkview Christian Church

6:30 pm

April 29

Elders & Deacons Meeting

12:30 PM

May 2

Business Cabinet

6:00 pm

May 3

CWF Group 2

10:30 am

May 5

Spring Work Day

7:30 am

May 6

Elders & Deacons meeting

6:00 pm

FCC Board

7:00 pm

May 13

Mother's Day

May 20


Congregational Meeting

after worship


May 20 & 27

Pentecost Offering

May 28

Memorial Day

Office Closed


Welcome Table Teams

   Cooking        Shopping

                                                                                     April 17   Herring & Kuster

                                                                                     April 24   Kuster & Cuthrell

                                                                                       May 1     O'Brien & Raiford

                                                                                       May 8     Herring & Kuster