First Christian Church "E-news" for

January 10, 2019

Blanket Sunday (January 20)

This giving ministry (sometimes done in conjunction with Mother’s Day or Father’s Day) of Church World Service (CWS) ensures woolen blankets are distributed to neighbors across the U.S. and around the world in response to inclement weather and other disasters.  It seems a simple thing, but these blankets find heavy use in both disasters and in helping communities that are impoverished and cold.  (For a history of this and other work by CWS, scroll to the later part of the eNews).  Every $10 donation purchases a blanket!

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Mid-Winter School Supply Drive

(Held through January 27)

First Christian Church has a special relationship with Tarrant Middle School just down the street.  The school dearly needs a resupply of pencils, paper, spiral notebooks and folders, which the school system does not provide.  Teachers often have children without needed materials.  Items may be placed in the School Supply Box in the narthex.  The collection will go through January, with supplies transported to Tarrant after Sunday the 27th.  For questions, check with Brenda, and thanks for your help!

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Warming Tree Wrap-up!

Thank you so much for the donations that were given for our warming tree.  All items were delivered to the Peninsula Rescue Mission.

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MANY THANKS to Eleanor, Sudie, Charlene and Louella (Sonie's cousin) who, on Tuesday, helped us get a start on getting our Christmas decorations down for tucking away, and to Linda,  George, Sylvia and Dick for coming on Saturday to get all decorations put away and our sanctuary cleaned up and ready for the new year. Blessings to all of you.

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CMF District 8 Meetings (2019 Schedule)

January 24, 2019 - New Light Christian

April 25, 2019 - Chalice Christian

July 25, 2019 - Grafton Christian

October 24, 2019 - Virginia Beach Christian

* Copies of the schedule through October 2024 are in narthex. *

* These are all “dinner” meetings which start at 6:30 p.m. *

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Welcome Table-Finding New Ways to Serve

On New Year’s Day we had the smallest number of diners in several years – only 29 guests. It was a reminder of what the WT looked like in the very first weeks some four years ago.  Apparently, many assumed that we would not be serving a hot meal because we did not do so on Christmas. We carefully announced that there would be a normal meal on New Year's Day but the message did not get through.

Our cooks had prepared an excellent meal that included some small potatoes that had been laborious prepped by Sue Sawyer and Sylvia as well as the traditional pork loin and black-eyed peas. Such marvelous vittles should not go to waste and they did not!

A quick search found that HELP’s Nights Welcome program was being held at Ivy Memorial Baptist Church and they happily confirmed that our WT excess would serve their needs.  The pork, potatoes and peas were delivered while still warm! 

There are many paths to serving others in God’s name!!!

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Word from the Pastor

Your steadfast love, O Lord, extends to the heavens,

your faithfulness to the clouds.

Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains,

your judgments are like the great deep;

you save humans and animals alike, O Lord.

How precious is your steadfast love, O God!

All people may take refuge in the shadow of your wings.

They feast on the abundance of your house,

and you give them drink from the river of your delights.

For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light.

Psalm 36:5-9 (New revised Standard Version)


Sometimes there is just a turn of words that just brings me to a full stop, a half dozen words where a whole world is captured.  When reading through the lectionary for the coming weeks, I came to these words of the Psalmist in how the Lord “give them (us!) drink from the river of your (God’s) delights.”  The words drew me back to when my Grandfather Miller built his second NC mountain house back in the 1960s.  A spring was found a 100 yards from the house, hidden in thicket of mountain laurel and wild blackberry vines.  There, Grandpa drove iron pipe back into the spring and ran a line to the house to convey the sweet, ice cold water that to this day has such a marvelous flavor.  We grew up with that water, as every summer my Dad would bring a couple dozen water jugs with us from wherever we were then living, to fill and take home.  My brothers later did the same thing, raising their children on the mountain’s spring water.

It reminds me of how such sweet water of the river of His “delight” runs through FCC, in great and small ways; not through an ancient iron pipe, but often in the quietest of ways.  Someone notices an unmet need among the church, in the community which we serve, or in an individual’s life – and sets out to address that need.  We were reminded afresh of this water of “delight” last Sunday, after we had sung one of the songs from the Chalice Praise hymnal.  Linda lifted up how Mary Keith had seen praise music as an unmet need, and so she made those hymnals happen, their ongoing love gift and legacy rekindling our hearts with memories of her friendship and love of our Lord.  Likewise, the construction and furnishing of the heavily-used church parlor was on the wish list for many years.  Following the recent death of Ann Meanley, it was brought to my attention (thanks Sylvia!) as to how Ann and her family chose to remember Ann’s mother (Ethel Holland was a vital member of FCC).  We continue to make heavy use of the comfortable parlor and its furnishings with a memorial gift that made it a reality. Gifts in memory of several others completed the furnishings.

Most things don’t have a name stamped on them, they are just the work and heart of folks silently seeing and doing.  It is in these that we witness the ever new “river of (His) delights” running through them and through us – this sweet water of the Lord.

As we make our way through Epiphany, remembering its many messages, we cannot but help to remember the magi (aka “wise men” or “kings”) and the gifts they brought, having found the One who came in peace to heal our spirits.  These observers of nature and the mystical ways of God, invite us along, to see the King, to bring the gifts of who we are and what talents we possess.  The river runs through us, this fountain of life, Epiphany a fresh reminder of the things we bring out of the abundance of our hearts and counsel of God. 

I hope in this time, amid the cold & flu season and mix of pleasant and wintery days, you can take time to reflect upon how to deepen this river of God’s delight that runs through you and those of our fellowship.



PS:  As an aside, an older work which I drew upon for the economic background of Jerusalem, when preparing my sermon this past Sunday, can be downloaded in full from the internet.  Entitled Jerusalem in the Time of Jesus, by Joachim Jeremias, for those who enjoy digging into Biblical text, this offers a readable and deep history that draws upon Biblical, historical and other texts.  Download at:

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Church World Service

We are amid preparations for “Blanket Sunday,” a program of Church World Service.  It, along with Crop Walk and One Great Hour of Sharing, are a vital part of the generosity of our congregation is addressing human needs within the United States and aboard.  I’ve edited the amazing history regarding the work of Church World Service, in which First Christian Church is a long-faithful partner congregation.  Please take some time to read through it all.  Thank you! - Vinson


During the course of each year, First Christian Church supports a number of efforts to alleviate human suffering in the United States and aboard, through our support of Church World Service.  CWS was born in 1946, in the aftermath of World War II, when 17 denominations came together to form an agency "to do in partnership what none of us could hope to do as well alone."  The mission: Feed the hungry, clothe the naked, heal the sick, comfort the aged, shelter the homeless.

In 1946-47, U.S. churches opened their hearts and provided more than 11 million pounds of food, clothing, and medical supplies to survivors of war-torn Europe and Asia, as well as pooling talent and resources to meet a staggering refugee crisis.  This became the Immigration and Refugee Program of CWS, an internationally-recognized operation which has resettled nearly half a million refugees since its inception.

During those same post-war years, in 1947, CWS, Lutheran World Relief, and the National Catholic Welfare Program created a joint community hunger appeal, the Christian Rural Overseas Program, also known as CROP.  The acronym is gone but the name and life-saving work remains as CROP Hunger Walks in some 1,500 communities across the United States – including our own First Christian Church!  Out their use of  “Friendship Trains” to pick up corn, wheat, rice, and beans to be shared around the world, came the interdenominational program called One Great Hour of Sharing.  During the 1950s and 1960s, this ministry expanded its reach across Asia, Africa, and Latin America, as added support for long-range, problem-solving locally-based “development” projects and programs, in Algeria in North Africa, when over a 4-year span with more than 5 million human-days of volunteer labor, 20 million forest and fruit trees were planted to combat desertification of arable lands.  In India, CWS helped countless villages construct reservoirs, dig wells, and lay irrigation systems.

Expanding early efforts, in 1976, CWS established refugee resettlement offices in various parts of the U.S. to provide greater support to refugees and their sponsors in the USA, including  the growing number of refugees from Southeast Asia resettled in the U.S. after the Vietnam War.  CWS continues with refugee resettlement efforts, which First Christian Church has been a part of in more recent times.

It was also in the 1970s that CWS first began responding to U.S. disasters at the request of its member churches, focusing both in international emergency response in partnership with other NGO’s and local groups, which in some instances led to the creation of new, independent organizations such as the Middle East Council of Churches, the Christian Commission for Development in Bangladesh or CEPAD in Nicaragua.  For instance, this has become an annual effort in our Blanket Sunday, which we will be having the next two weeks at First Christian Church, and in efforts like that of Hampton Christian Church in the collection of the clean-up buckets following floods and hurricanes

More recently, CWS was one of the founding members of a 130-member global partnership of faith-based humanitarian agencies, ACT Alliance, with members in 140 countries.  ACT Alliance provides a dynamic environment for collaboration in responding to human needs around the world.

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Welcome Table Wish List.

The Wishlist has been updated to reflect items needed for weekly meals. Our pantry is in short supply of items not available from the Foodbank and not received in weekly Food Lion pickups. Please check the Wish List in the most recent e-news prior to making a purchase, as changes will be made based on needs identified by the lead cooks. If you bring donations on a Sunday, please place them on the tables across from the Welcome Table pantry. As always, your gifts are greatly appreciated!

Current Needs:

§  Eggs

§  Margarine or butter quarters

§  Cornbread mix

§  Beef broth

§  Vegetable broth

§  Canned sweet potatoes

§  Stuffing mix

§  Cream of mushroom soup

§  Beans-black, pinto, navy, great northern

§  Applesauce

§  Canned fruit

Items NOT Currently Needed:

§  Instant mashed potatoes

§  Tomatoes (any type)

§  Canned corn


Got Clothes You No Longer Need?

Fall cleaning and those great clothes don’t fit anymore (one way or the other)?  Bring CLEAN clothes in good repair to the Girl Scouts’ clothes closet at the church.  It is open during Welcome table hours and gets a lot of much-appreciated use!  Clean clothes, shoes, hats, etc. – are all needed. Leave your bag of donated clothes outside the clothes closet door.


HELP Inc’s Community Pantry & Medical Needs.

·       Emergency Food Pantry.  Always needed – peanut butter, dry potatoes, SpaghettiO’s, canned chicken/spam/ham, cereal, oatmeal, grits, powdered milk packets, canned vegetables & toilet paper.  HELP will not accept expired items nor soft drinks.

·       Medical Equipment & Supplies.  Have no longer needed walkers, wheelchairs, adults “Depends” or children’s diapers, or other unused medical supplies?  HELP’s medical and dental clinics can use them to assist those without medical insurance.


Box Tops for Education!

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



After Worship Refreshments Sign-Up.

Want to help out with cookies or simple finger-foods for members and guests to enjoy following worship?  A sign-up sheet is in the Narthex.  No baked goods requiring the use of plastic utensils or paper plates, except for the first Sunday of the month when we celebrate birthdays (Pam Goode provides everything needed for the birthday celebrations).  Those providing cookies may also provide lemonade if so desired.  The CMF will continue to prepare the coffee and maintains a stash of commercially packaged cookies, in the event that we do not have a cookie volunteer.

 Sermon Copies & Lectionary Readings.

Printed sermon copies are kept on the literature carousel in the Narthex, and online at:

Read the scriptures lessons for upcoming Sundays online, go to:  Readings are in the New Revised Standard Version.

 Church on the Web at:

The website is a useful “one-stop shop” resource for church members and the community.  The “Welcome” page has links to all our social media sites, scriptures for each Sunday, and pastor’s sermons.  On other pages you can find links to daily meditations, helpful resources, and more!  Make it a “favorite” for yourself and others!


Jan 10

CMF Meeting, 6:30 pm

Jan 13

-Elders & Deacons Meeting, 6:00 pm

FCC Board meeting, 7:00 pm

  Jan 17

CWF Group 1-6:30 pm, Parlor

Jan 20

Blanket Sunday

Jan 21


Office Closed

 Jan 24

CMF District 8-6:30 pm, New Light Christian Church

 Jan 27

Mid-Winter School Supply Drive ends


Welcome Table Teams

   Cooking        Shopping

   Jan 15 Kuster & Cuthrell

   Jan 22 O’Brien & Boyer

   Jan 29 Miller & Kuster

   Feb 5 Herring & Cuthrell


Bulletin & eNews Inputs


Bulletins.  If you have calendar items for the Sunday bulletins, please let Tiffani know by close of business on Mondays, so there is plenty of time to get everything right in them and on the announcement roller before worship.

 ENews.  Same thing, please send or drop off with Tiffani on Mondays, every other week.  Because that can be hard to keep up with, just call Tiffani.  She keeps us all straight!

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First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

1458 Todds Lane

Hampton, VA  23666

Office:  757-826-0711


Church Office:


Welcome Table:



Pastor's Blog: