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12/4/19

TheUpDate Weekly Newsletter - Dec. 4, 2019

It’s Christmas Time! Welcome to December and welcome to the Christmas season! We’ve got our Christmas tree up and Christmas music is playing in the background. I am praying for you, FCC, that we would experience hope, joy, peace, and faithfulness this Christmas and share our experience with everyone we meet. Because hope, joy, peace, and faithfulness are not just concepts, nor just feelings, but it is a person. His name is Jesus.  

As you experience hope, joy, and peace this Christmas season, be honest with others about how Jesus gives you hope, joy, and peace!

IN THIS ISSUE:

  • Gospel reminder
  • Sunday’s worship gathering
  • This week’s Bible memory verse
  • FCC News and Events

GOSPEL REMINDER

What do we do, when we’ve blown it? Maybe we’ve blown it by willfully, not listening to the warnings of others. Maybe we’ve heard sermons about the dangers of persisting and hiding our behaviors and attitudes that are hurting the people around us, but still we press on. Or maybe we didn’t fully understand the devastating impact of our harmful behaviors and attitudes on our own lives and the lives of the people we love.  

This can take many forms. Maybe your spouse has warned you about your drinking, and you ignored her, thinking you’ve got it under control. But then, eventually, you’ve found yourself out of control. Maybe a friend warned you about your relationship with a guy, but you thought it was ok. Or maybe your husband warned you against how you were treating your children and now they are out of the house, and your relationship is terribly distant. Where do we find hope, when we start to realize our decisions have brought devastation to our lives and the lives of the people we love most?

The people of Israel experienced this in their relationship with God, and how God responds to them gives us great hope. In the book of Isaiah (a book written 700 years before Jesus), God warns his people through the prophet Isaiah about the consequences of their attitudes and decisions. Though Israel practiced the religious rituals God gave them, their hearts were far from God. So out of love for them, God warns them. He calls them back to a relationship with him, but on a whole they don’t listen to him. And everything that God warned would happen, happens to them. They are destroyed and taken captive by Assyria in 721 BC and Babylon in 586 BC.

The people of God were broken, devastated. Their sin (I.e., actions and attitudes that violate God’s laws and character) had torn down their lives. Sin always tears down what is most precious to us.

But God did not sit back and say, I told you so. No, God did something about the devastation.  See we need to remember that God takes sin seriously because he loves us—but because he loves us and is gracious, God loves to rebuild what our sin tears down. God promised to send a king to deliver his people and rebuild what their sin had torn down. So in Isaiah 61.1 we read, “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor, he has sent me to bind up the broken hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives....”

God’s heart is to bring freedom when we are trapped in our sin and rebuild when our sin tears down. God shows us his hear,t not only in his words, but in his son, Jesus. Because 700 years after the words of Isaiah were penned, Jesus said that he was the anointed king who has some to fulfill these words (Luke 4.21). God loves to rebuild what our sin has torn down. How do we know? Because Jesus was torn down so that he can rebuild us. Jesus has the power to rebuild our lives, because he was torn down for our sins. He died on the cross—torn down, for us—in our place. So that his resurrection power could rebuild us.

If you have areas in your life where you see the destructive power of your sinful decisions, remember, right here, right now, you can have hope. God loves to rebuild what our sin has torn down. If you entrust yourself to him, he will rebuild your life.

WORSHIP GATHERING

This Sunday, we will continue our Christmas series called, “Fulfilled.” We are looking at some key passages from the prophet Isaiah to see how Jesus is the promised king that God said he would send. But not only did Jesus fulfill the promises in the past, he is still fulfilling his promises. We can experience hope, peace, joy, faithfulness right now, because Jesus has come and he is alive and he is changing lives right now. Kevin Christopher, FCC’s Director for Missional Worship, will be preaching from Isaiah 9.1-7 about how Jesus fulfills the promise of peace. Peace is a person, and his name is Jesus!

Watch or listen to the sermons in the “Fulfilled” series at fcchudson.com or the FaithBase app.

Want to listen to this week’s worship music playlist? FCC is now on Spotify! Check it out here. (You’ll need to sign up for a free Spotify account to listen, if you don’t already have one.)

THIS WEEK’S BIBLE MEMORY VERSE

2 Corinthians 12:9 (Strength)
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

LATTE WOMEN’S MINISTRY EVENT

Invited: OPEN HEARTS AND DOORS | Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019 | 9 - 11:30am

Relationships rely on hospitality, not just in our homes, but in our hearts, as well. Intentional relationships do not begin with a perfect home and hearts, but the perfect gift and hospitality Christ gave us. Darcy Prince will be presenting on this timely topic as we gear up for a season of love and hospitality—Christmas. Complimentary breakfast served. Come on Saturday and invite a friend, too!

FCC BUSINESS MEETINGS PLANNED FOR DEC. 8 AND 15

At Faith Community, we want to help everyone meet, know and follow Jesus. Through our strategic plan, we have established five main initiatives to help us move toward this overall goal. A couple times a year, we get together as a church family to talk about our plans for how we hope to live out this goal, and this includes talking about how we steward our resources.

Please pick up a copy of the 2020 Vision Forward booklet to see what’s planned for next year. We will have a brief meeting after both services this Sunday, Dec. 8, in the Refuge Room, to discuss the budget proposal.

Then, on Sunday, Dec. 15, FCC covenant members will vote on the budget proposal following the 9 a.m. service with a meeting starting at approximately 10:30 a.m.

CHRISTMAS SERVICES | DEC. 22, 23, 24 at 5:00pm

Come celebrate Christmas at one of our three services on Dec. 22, 23 and 24, at 5:00pm each evening. Childcare available for children through age 5. Invite a friend by text or email by sharing this link. Or pick up invitation cards at the invitation tables in the lobby at FCC.

Christmas is a time for us to celebrate, because God fulfilled his promises to create a way for real hope, real peace, and real joy! This Christmas season is a time for us to experience and tell the greatest news of all time. God has given us real hope. Hope is a person. Hope has a name. His name is Jesus.

Come experience great music, candle lighting and a clear gospel-centered and practical sermon and then stay for a time to connect with others and enjoy some Christmas goodies and beverages after the services.

INVITE a friend! SEE you there!

WORTH REPEATING

END OF YEAR GIVING

We have a vision, that in the coming years, we will help thousands in the St. Croix Valley meet, know, and follow Jesus. Your generosity, especially at the end of the year, can help us do this. Your generosity is helping lives be changed. Seventeen people recently made the step to be baptized! As you have been changed by God's grace, would you please give generously to help others meet Jesus, know and follow Jesus? Thank you!

“THE STAR OF BETHLEHEM” MOVIE NIGHT | FRIDAY, DEC. 6

Doors open at 6:00pm. Movie begins at 6:30pm. Refreshments served following the movie.
Does modern astronomy align with the Bible about the story of Jesus Christ’s birth? Come for a FREE showing of the documentary, “The Star of Bethlehem!" Invite a friend, too! LEARN MORE at fcchudson.com or the FaithBase app.

CHRISTMAS CAROL SING | SUNDAY DEC. 15, 3:00pm at FCC

Join with others to sing treasured carols from a hymnal. Invite a friend, too!

LEARN ABOUT FCC events and registrations at fcchudson.com or the app. Search for “Faith Community Church Hudson” on the App Store or Google play to download the app.

PRAYER REQUESTS + CARE NEEDS are posted on the Prayer + Care wall on the FaithBase app. You can also sign up on the app under “Emails + Registrations,” if you would like to receive an email when new prayer requests and care needs are posted.

Wondering if something at FCC is canceled? Check fcchudson.com or the FaithBase app.

Tim Porter

Lead Pastor for the Mission

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