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Friday UpDate - August 21, 2020

Hello, Faith Community! Here’s what’s coming up at FCC!

Please continue to pray for Pastor Tim Porter and his family. Pastor Tim’s father, who lives in Rockford, Ill., is now in hospice care, and Pastor Tim is there with him now.


  • Celebrating communion this Sunday, Aug. 23
  • Sammys Ministry offers new online option this fall
  • Baptisms scheduled for Sunday, Aug. 30


We are excited that we will be celebrating communion together this Sunday. Communion is very important for remembering Jesus’ death, resurrection, and return, and also for our unity together as a church.

  • During the in-person services, we will provide the communion elements in individually wrapped disposable packages.
  • We invite everyone watching online to make plans to have grape juice with bread or crackers available to celebrate communion at home with your family, too.

During our teaching time, we will continue in the “All for One” series on the parables found in Luke 15. What is God like when we wander and stray? How does he respond? That is at least one of the questions that Jesus will answer in this week's sermon on the parable of the Prodigal Son.

Find the online sermon guide and conversation guide with the option to download and print at and also on the app.

Whether you watch at home or are on campus on Sundays, you matter to us and you matter to God. We are one church joining together in many locations, on mission to help everyone meet, know and follow Jesus.



Sammys Ministry offers new online option this fall.

In a recent video message, Pastor Tim Porter shared Faith Community Church’s approach to fall ministry, as we make adjustments due to the COVID-19 pandemic: go small in the fall. (You can watch the video at this link.) God has allowed significant challenges to enter our lives through the COVID 19 pandemic, and God’s Spirit has been helping us to learn to do mission in a new way as we seek to help everyone we can meet, know and follow Jesus.  

A central part of the “go small in the fall” approach is small groups, as they are the core of progress in discipleship. 

  • They allow us to apply the gospel to our lives alongside others who can support and challenge us in our journey to know and follow Jesus.   
  • And, in the uncertainty of the pandemic, small groups are the least likely to be affected during our time of potential changes.

Ministry leaders are creatively shaping their ministry around small groups this fall. Today, we highlight how one of FCC’s Women’s Ministries, the Sammys (Strength Among Many) Ministry, has expanded to include an online group.

For nearly 20 years, Sammys has offered Bible studies for women. Founded by FCC member Pennie Bixler (pictured above), the weekly teachings offer a comprehensive, yet approachable, way to study God’s Word. Each class session includes a lesson on Scripture taught in a group format, along with small group discussion. Sammys is inter-denominational and multi-generational, so women are encouraged to invite their friends and neighbors, no matter their knowledge of Scripture.

This year, Sammys is offering both in-person and online options to participate in the study. The teaching, co-led by Pennie Bixler and Bethany Christensen, will be based on the Scriptures taught in FCC’s Sunday services. The in-person group will meet at FCC from 9:30am to 11:15 am on Wednesdays. Masks will need to be worn and meeting spaces will accommodate social distancing measures. Childcare will not be available for the Sammys study or events.

“Each week, we’ll be expanding on the sermon’s Scripture with ways to apply what we’re learning,” Pennie said.

New this year, Sammys is adding an online option for women who may be unable to meet in person. Women may join a private Facebook group to watch a video recording of the weekly teaching. Each week’s video will be posted by Wednesday evening, then participants may post comments and questions in response to the small group discussion prompts.

“I’m looking forward to expanding our reach to more people with the online group. People who used to be a part of Sammys and now work during the day can access the teaching and add to the conversation,” Pennie said. “Women can also invite long-distance relatives and friends, which may lead to opportunities for them to learn more about discipling others.”

Also new this fall, Sammys will include monthly gatherings to bring both the in-person and online groups together. They plan to offer field trips that allow women to build friendships and have fun in socially distanced outings. Sammys would love to have input for field trip ideas, so send your suggestions to Pennie at or post your idea in their Facebook group.

Each Sammys semester begins with a kickoff brunch. The fall brunch is planned for 9:30am on Sept. 16. Instead of a potluck format, Sammys will provide individually-wrapped food.

“Sara Bockland leads our hospitality, and is our hostess-with-the-mostest,” Pennie said, “She will be preparing a variety of delicious choices in a socially distanced setting.”

Learn more about Sammys and register for the fall session at or the FaithBase app. If you have questions, please contact Pennie at



Our mission to help everyone meet, know and follow Jesus continues in the middle of a pandemic. An important step in following Jesus is baptism.  In consultation with local health workers, we want to offer you an opportunity to take a next step to be baptized. If you have said yes to following Jesus, but haven’t been baptized yet, we invite you to sign up to be baptized.

If you are hesitant because of COVID-19 concerns to join us on campus for your baptism, we would love to assist you in celebrating your relationship with Jesus in a setting more helpful to you. Whether you'd like to be baptized during an in-person service on Sunday, Aug. 30, or in a different setting, please sign up at or on the app, and Pastor Larry Szyman will follow up with you.

Faith Community Church


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