As we shove off into 2022…
Here are eleven inspired verses from the Scriptures that Christians can cling to regardless of the storms on this year’s sea:
#1 “Anyone who trusts in Him will never be disgraced.” – Romans 10:11
As believers, we may feel out of place in today’s upside-down world and for good reason. Maybe the neighbors whisper behind our back because of our family’s size, schooling choice or church attendance. That’s okay. God’s opinion of you is what counts.
#2 “The Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen and protect you from the evil one.” – 2 Thessalonians 3:3
It can be daunting to consider the risks of life today – from a virus to foreign enemies who threaten our safety. Take a big deep breath. The Lord is over it all.
#3 “Be strong, and do not fear, for your God is coming to destroy your enemies. He is coming to save you.” – Isaiah 35:4
Do you often feel outnumbered by the wicked and conniving ways of those who mock the Lord and His ways? Stand tall. Fear not. He is on our side. What a comforting promise of ultimate victory.
#4 “The eyes of the Lord are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good.” – Proverbs 15:3
There is no time, nor space or place where God is not with you. Be bold. Step out in confidence and He will accompany you wherever you go.
#5 “God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” – Phil. 4:19
Feeling the pinch of inflation or an unpredictable COVID-economy? Our needs are far more than financial. Bring your cares and concerns to Him, and He will provide.
#6 “Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.” – Jeremiah 33:3
We often assume tomorrow will be an extension of today – but here we’re warned of our small imaginations and low expectations. When God is involved, anything is possible. Consider what tremendously significant things the Lord might do with you in the coming year.
#7 “God is not a God of confusion but of peace.” – 1 Cor. 14:33
If the world seems upside-down and inside out, it’s because the world is rejecting the Lord’s ways. It should confuse us. The apostle Paul’s words provide a practical filter for discerning these curious times.
#8 “Cast all your anxieties on Him because He cares for you.” – 1 Peter 5:7
How often do we lament about something but not pray about that very concern? Whatever burden you’re carrying, bring it to the Lord. He cares. He understands.
#9 “Be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded.” – 2 Chronicles 15:7
Wading into the culture can be wearisome and downright disappointing. But we must remember success isn’t always measured in the short term. “Keep on keeping on” is an effective mantra for those Christians engaging in the public square.
#10 “The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.” – Exodus 14:14
It’s human nature to want to push and fight back, even exact revenge. But here we’re reminded that God remains our most effective and powerful advocate. Leave your burdens with Him.
#11 “Everyone who lives in Me and believes in Me will never ever die.” – John 11:26
Jesus’ words to Martha prior to raising Lazarus from the dead are the ultimate promise for anyone who puts their faith in Him. Today’s fevered pace of living will soon fade for all of us this side of Heaven – but life eternal will go on and on absent all of this world’s frustrations. Eternal life begins now.
The Bible is full of thousands of additional promises – but these are just eleven that can transform your world at the beginning of the new year.
The above was an excerpt from an article at The Daily Citizen by Paul Batura
Budget Listening Session
THIS Sunday following 10:45 service
Alan Roberts, Finance Elder will moderate as FPC’s Session will describe the 2022 Budget gap and listen to congregational input on solutions.
Executive Presbyter Chaz Ruark visits FPC
January 30, 2022
Chaz will be coming to visit FPC and preach at both services. In between services, he will be available to explain the upcoming pastoral succession process and to answer any questions.
Shepherding the Flock
December Session Meeting Summary
Submitted by Dianne Larson, Clerk of Session
Most of Session’s December meeting was filled with discussions concerning FPC’s budget for 2022 because pledges received by the meeting date produced a budget gap of over $300,000. A motion listing the recommended process for church budget alignment was passed. It has five steps:
- Communicate to the flock with honesty and openness
- Welcome input from Session Elders and church members
- Make budgetary decisions led by God’s Spirit
- Communicate these decisions to the flock
- Remain prayerful through it all
A letter explaining the financial situation will be mailed to all members by the end of the year.
On Sunday, January 9, at 12:00 PM there will be a Question & Answer session in the Gathering Space for any interested members.
Sunday night, January 9, Session will have a special meeting to work on the budget.
At the January 17 Session meeting, a budget for 2022 will be approved.
A follow-up letter will be mailed to members after the Session meeting.
January 30 is our Annual Meeting. This year we will not include questions and answers on the budget but will have a special meeting Sunday, February 6, 12:00 in the Gathering Space to discuss the budget.
Session news other than budget included:
An online form has been created for announcing events in the Connector. The link will be published in every Connector.
Session voted to not allow ads for outside groups on our signboard.
The mission trip to Guatemala has been canceled due to covid.
Video Devotional: Fear Not, For I Am With You
Reverend Jeff Quinto, Director of The Bethel Series and FPC member, shares a devotion based on Isaiah 41:10 and 2 Timothy 1:7.
Large print issues of Our Daily Bread
The large print versions of Our Daily Bread are now available for pickup both outside in the tote by the front door, and also inside by the front door and south door in the education wing. Get yours today!
WEEKLY ANNOUNCEMENTS | January 9, 2022
Connect with the Connector!
In an effort to streamline the process for submitting requests for event announcements in the Connector or spoken during the worship service, Communications has developed this easy-to-use online form to share all of your important information.
Click the link below to check out the form and if you have any feedback or questions, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!
FPC Family Bingo Bash
January 12 | 6-7:30
Join us on Wednesday, January 12, from 6:00-7:30pm for Free Pizza! Free prizes! Free family fun! Meet downstairs in Fellowship Hall. There is a sign up link this year, so please Contact Christa Schmeelk with any questions!
The Chosen Season 2 Watch Party Groups
January 9 | 4pm
“The Chosen” is an incredibly well-written web series that allows us to see Jesus in a new way – with humor and amazingly creative backstories for his disciples. We will be watching episodes on our own each week and then meeting on Zoom to discuss it. If you haven’t started this series yet, that’s ok! Contact Christa Schmeelk for more information!
FPC’s Confirmation Journey is getting ready to begin and is open to all current high school students. The class will be meeting on Sundays beginning February 6 through Confirmation Sunday on April 24. Please reach out to Ezrah Schmeelk, our Director of Student Ministry if you are interested or have any questions.
Children’s First Publicly Recognized Communion
Sunday, Feb. 6
For families who wish to publicly recognize this important moment in their child’s faith journey, we invite them to come forward to receive communion during our worship services on February 6. To get ready for this day, Contact Christa Schmeelk or call the church office for more information.
Anxious Parents, Anxious Kids
In-Person and Virtual Book Groups
Lynn Lyons shows us 7 Ways to Stop the Worry Cycle and Raise Courageous and Independent Children. Join us as we read this book together in 2 parts. If you have already read this book, we invite you to read it again with us!
In-Person Group: Wednesdays: February 9/March 9 at 7pm
Virtual Group: Thursdays: February 10/March 10 7-8pm on Zoom
FPC is looking for someone to help in the nursery. We have one person ready to help, but we need two people to run the nursery. If interested, please contact Elder Melissa Schall via email or call the church office.
Stephen Ministry at FPC: Providing God’s Care to Hurting People
What is this ministry about?
Extensively trained and supervised Stephen Minister Caregivers provide high-quality, one-on-one confidential Christian care to anyone in need. They provide weekly visits and ongoing support as long as the care receiver needs. Should the care receiver have needs that are beyond the scope of a Stephen Minister Caregiver, they are referred to professional caregivers.
What kind of care is offered from a Stephen Minister?
- CRISIS CARE – For people experiencing change(s) that significantly challenge their ability to cope.
- FOLLOW-UP CARE – After the crisis event.
- CHRONIC CARE – For a person whose situation is unlikely to change.
- PREVENTIVE CARE – Providing care before a crisis occurs.
- SUPPORTIVE CARE – Care for the caregiver.
How can I find out more about this ministry?
Call the church office at 608-949-9445, or reach out to a pastor or deacon. Stephen Minister Caregivers don’t replace the care of pastors and deacons. They carry it a step further.
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