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1/3/18

TheUpDate Weekly Newsletter - January 3, 2018

Happy New Year!!!!  Let's seek God together for faithfulness and love in 2018!

I will be out of the office starting tomorrow, Jan. 4 to Jan. 14. I am having minor surgery to repair an umbilical hernia. Please pray for me as I go under the knife tomorrow morning at 8 a.m. Pray for my recovery as well. I don't rest well, and this will be a good time for me to learn to rest. Thank you!

GOSPEL REMINDER

...Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.
Hebrews 10.22

Last month R.C. Sproul died. He was a great pastoral theologian who has influenced countless people to know and love God more. One of his most popular works is called, “The Holiness of God.” This book is very powerful in focusing us on God's pure holiness. Because God is absolutely holy, the call to draw near to God is only allowable and doable, because God has made a way for us to be near him and not be destroyed by him.

God calls us to draw near to him with full assurance that we will be accepted, and we will survive the encounter, because God has presented Jesus, his Son and our Lord, to live the life we should have lived and die the death we deserved to die. Jesus did this for us. We get to draw near to God, the Holy One, because Jesus took on what we deserve—condemnation and death—so that we can get what Jesus deserves—full acceptance and welcome—from God.

As you begin this new year, begin on the basis of the gospel, that you have full welcome and access to God, even though you have sinned—all because Jesus has made it possible. Today, no matter what you have done, draw near to God. Draw near to God in Jesus. He has done all the work necessary to make you presentable to the most holy God!

WORSHIP GATHERING

This Sunday, Pastor Tim Prince will be kicking off a new sermon series called, “Just Like Me.” We will be looking at passages from Scripture that show us how we are to love one another as we love ourselves. An aspect of our vision for Faith Community is to see Jesus renewing neighborhoods and the valley.  Jesus will do that through us, as we are grounded in how Jesus loves us, so we can love others the way we love ourselves. We are praying that God would work in us powerfully to know his gospel in the depths of our hearts, so we can renew our neighborhoods by loving our neighbors. Tim Prince will be preaching on Hebrews 10.19-24.

Along with this series, we are asking that everyone read “The Art of Neighboring” during the first quarter of the year. We will have copies for purchase in our café area, or you can order your own following the link above.

21 DAYS OF PRAYER

Starting this Sunday, we’ll be praying as a church for our neighbors as part of a call to prayer by one of our partners, Converge, called 21 Days of Prayer. We ask that you pray one time a day for your neighbors and for your missional community to love and serve your neighborhood. If you don't have a missional community established yet, pray that God would work to do that. Pray that you would be empowered by God to serve and love your neighbors. Pray that God would prepare your family to serve this spring, summer, and fall, as the weather warms up. Pray for conversions and God to work through and in us to renew our neighborhoods and the St Croix Valley. If you are able, we also ask that you would fast from a meal or for a whole day a couple times during this 21 days.

About Converge: Converge Great Lakes is a district office of Converge Worldwide, which is a network of nearly 1300 churches throughout the US. Converge seeks to help start and strengthen churches nationally and globally.

AS WE GO DISCIPLESHIP WORKSHOP – SUNDAY, JAN. 7

Using the Bible in Discipleship – Led by Josh Graham and Caleb Johnson

At FCC, our mission is to make more and better disciples, and we want to follow Jesus’ example. We want to make disciples who make disciples. We offer workshops about once a month to help equip FCC with practical, hands-on training to live out this mission. 

The next As We Go Discipleship workshop will be held following both services in The Refuge THIS Sunday, Jan. 7. Two of FCC’s leaders, Josh Graham and Caleb Johnson, will lead a discussion on USING THE BIBLE IN DISCIPLESHIP. We believe that the Bible is central to teaching people to follow Jesus in all of life. So what do you do with it? How do you use the Bible in discipleship? Come and find out. The workshop is FREE and there’s no need to register!

ANNUAL MEETING

Please mark your calendars for the annual meeting, planned for Sunday, Jan. 28. This meeting is open to everyone! This is a time when we get together as a family of families to enjoy a meal together. The evening will include a financial report, affirmation of new members, affirmation of elders, vision casting into 2018 and prayer! Watch for more details on time and registration coming soon!

Tim Porter

Lead Pastor for the Mission

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