Happy first Wednesday of Spring 2018!
STRATEGIC PLAN UPDATES
I just returned from a St Croix Valley LEAD Team overnight, and I am grateful and tired. But because I just returned from this retreat, I'd like to jump in and talk a little bit about one specific initiative in our strategic plan: Multiply Disciples by Extension.
We have the goal of planting local and cross-cultural churches based on discipleship principles and practices. With this goal, we have joyfully been a part of the St Croix Valley LEAD Team.
The St Croix Valley LEAD Team is a network of churches in the St. Croix Valley joined together for the mission of planting churches. This network of churches includes FCC Hudson, FCC New Richmond, The Bridge in Somerset, The River in River Falls, The Village Church in Baldwin and Torrent in Prescott. The LEAD Team is made up of the pastors of these churches. This network is important for so many things, but with regard to our strategic plan, it is with this network of churches that we seek to implement discipleship principles to extend the kingdom of God.
Together, we seek to establish a sustainable church planting movement in Uganda, building on the solid foundation that has already been laid. We also seek to establish more churches in the St. Croix Valley through church birthing and calling a bi-lingual pastor to help us establish Iglesia Christiana, a Latino church in the St Croix Valley.
For we are his workmanship,
created in Christ Jesus for good works...
Michelangelo was once asked how he was able to create his famous “David” out of marble. His response was he just took away the parts that weren't David. That is such a helpful way to look at our lives between conversion and seeing Jesus face to face. We are right now God's workmanship, we are his creation. And God has a vision for what we will look like. He will form us in such a way that one day we will look like Jesus in character. The project won't be complete until we see Jesus. John reminds us that, when we see Jesus, we will be like him (1 John 3.2). Right now, what God is doing in our lives through our circumstances is taking away the pieces of our lives that aren't us, that aren't what we are created to be in Jesus.
What this means is, in Christ Jesus, you are God's workmanship, his masterpiece. You belong to him and he has a vision of what you will be like. And today, God is at work. He is taking away the pieces that aren't you, so one day you will look like Jesus.
This week, we'll continue in our series on Our Only Hope. We will be learning from 2 Corinthians 1.8-11 about how Hope in God strengthens our confidence in the midst of trials and difficulties. God led Paul through many difficulties, which taught Paul not to trust in himself, but in God. As Paul experienced God's repeated deliverance in difficulties, Paul's confidence in God's work was increased.
We all experience trials, but many go through trials without hope. But it doesn't have to be this way. There is a God of Hope, on whom we can fully rely for help and grace. Reminder: pray about those around you in hard times, and consider inviting them this weekend to hear about Our Only Hope.
FAITH FORUM: THE GOSPEL AND IMMIGRATION | SUNDAY, MARCH 25 | 6:30 P.M.
Just a reminder about the Faith Forum planned for this Sunday evening on “The Gospel and Immigration.” Some topics are so crucial, current, debated and/or divisive, they require focused attention in addition to sermons. Faith Community hosts Faith Forums as an additional way to offer biblical perspective on a variety of culturally relevant topics. The evening includes a presentation by the speakers followed by Q & A (questions and answers.) This forum is an opportunity to consider a complex issue from a gospel perspective. It is not intended as a response for or against immigration or any related policies.
We’ve invited two experts on this topic as our featured speakers. Liz Dong is the Midwest Regional Mobilizer for the Evangelical Immigration Table, and Matthew Soerens is the US Director of Church Mobilization for World Relief and the National Coordinator for the Evangelical Immigration Table, a coalition of evangelical organizations of which World Relief is a founding member. Learn more about the forum and the speakers at fcchudson.com.
HOLY WEEK SERVICES
Maundy Thursday with communion, March 29, 7 p.m. Childcare will be available for children through age 5.
About Maundy Thursday
If you are new to FCC, maybe you have never heard of a "Maundy Thursday" service. Maybe you’re wondering, "what’s this all about?" The word Maundy is a loan word from Latin, and it means “mandate or command.” The "mandate" that we celebrate on Maundy Thursday is Jesus’ command to wash one another’s feet. Jesus gave this command to his first disciples at the last supper. So this Maundy Thursday service is a night we set aside to remember Jesus’ humility in serving the disciples by washing their feet and giving us an example to follow in serving one another. In this service we focus on Jesus’ death in our place. We remember acutely his sacrifice for us, so we are fueled by his love for us, so we can love one another.
Good Friday, March 30, 7 p.m. A viewing of “The Passion of Christ” movie followed by communion. No childcare.
Easter Services – Sunday, April 1, at 9 & 11 a.m. Print invitation cards are available to give to your friends and neighbors, or share this page from our web site through text, email or social media. Pray for who you will invite to Easter services this year. (LifeShaping classes will not take place on Easter Sunday. The nurseries will be available for children through age 5.)
Would you consider a couple of hospitality requests for the Easter services? We tend to have a large attendance at the 9 am service, so if you are able, could you please consider attending at the 11 am service? And, also if you are able, could you please park in the lower lot or away from the main door so that our guests will have parking spots closer to the door? Thank you, Faith Community, for considering these two ways to extend kindness to those attending our Easter services this year!
FCC DIRECTORY – SIGN UP FOR A PHOTO SESSION!
Be a part of our new FCC family directory–we need YOU to make it complete! Each individual or family photographed will receive a complimentary 8x10 photograph and free directory for participating. Find more information and sign up online for a photo session today at this link.
BAPTISMS – SUNDAY, APRIL 8 – SIGN UP BY APRIL 2!
Baptism is an act commanded by the Lord Jesus Christ as an expression of faith and a symbol of our union with Christ, especially in his death and resurrection. We are planning for baptisms in the services on Sunday, April 8. Pick up a “Believer’s Baptism” brochure at the Info Center for more info or contact Becki at bhedstrom@fcchudson or 715.386.4070 by MONDAY, APRIL 2, if you are interested in being baptized.
LEARN ABOUT more FCC events and registrations at fcchudson.com.