Weekly Newsletter 3.17.2021

A Pastor’s Perspective

This Sunday, the fifth Sunday in Lent, will soon give way to Holy Week.  Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, and Easter offer us once again the focused opportunity to reflect on the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.  We share the stories once again, seeking to be inspired and challenged to live the fuller, more abundant lives that Jesus envisioned for us.
As Holy Week approaches, we continue to explore being “Holy Vessels”, as our lenten series reminds us, that are broken, reclaimed, and restored by God’s grace.  We will celebrate restoration through both online and limited seating in-person worship experiences.  I hope that you will be able to connect in!  Below is a schedule or Holy Week opportunities!  We will still follow our pandemic protocols, including masks, temperatures taken, and social distancing, etc.


March 28
Palm Sunday at 10:00 am:    
(online and limited in-person seating)

April 1
Maundy Thursday at 6:00 pm:
(online and limited in-person seating)
Prayer Vigil:  
Immediately following Maundy Thursday service
thru Friday at 6 pm

April 4
Easter Sunrise at 6:30 am
(in-person only – outdoors, weather permitting)
Easter Service at 10 am
(online and limited in-person seating)


We are not meeting this week, March 17th.
Hope you are enjoying your spring break!
Join us for in person group time, next Wednesday
from 6 – 8 pm in the JCAC.
If you want to eat, you’ll need to bring your own food. Due to covid restrictions, we aren’t able to serve a meal. I’m looking forward to seeing all of you!

Love & Prayers
Shauna Becker

Meditation on “I Thirst”

In John’s gospel, 19:28, we find these painful and remarkable words of Jesus, “I thirst.” He is bound, nailed to the cross and cannot reach for something to quench his thirst. The guards will further torture him by putting a sponge dipped in gall to his lips, burning his mouth and throat even as he takes it in.

In portraying Jesus as the logos, the Word, in his opening chapter and throughout the gospel, John underscores the divinity of Jesus—his gospel full of lengthy speeches, with mysterious “I am” statements such as “I am the Bread of Life,” “I am the light of the world,” etc. But in these words from the cross, John does not flee from Jesus’ humanity, nor from his suffering. The words are simple and direct and profound. “I thirst.”

As we attend prayerfully to these words from the cross we need to imagine not only the pain that Jesus felt and suffered, but we need to imagine how these words speak to us in our suffering, calling us to name the pain and suffering in our lives, so that we might seek healing. Just as we wish that we could ease and end Jesus’ suffering, freeing him from the cross and cooling his thirst, we can, and need, to ask how we might respond to the suffering of others in our midst, in our families, in our communities, and our world?

Recalling that these words, “I thirst” are uttered from the cross, we might also reflect on ways that we are bound, kept from naming our thirsts and our wounds, and kept from seeking, therefore, how we might be made whole. From the space of the cross, from the space of suffering, we often cannot imagine new life. Jesus’ words can free us to begin to name the suffering that binds us. But these words help to free us to act beyond ourselves by helping us see the reality of others also suffering, also bound. In what ways can these simple words also give us courage to respond to the cries of others in our world?

May these words of Jesus from the cross enable us to listen and speak more courageously the truth from our hearts and to honor the words of others who risk sharing that they too suffer and need assistance in becoming healed and whole.
By: Dr. Joe Bessler
Robert Travis Peake Professor of Theology
Phillips Theological Seminary


Join us for in-person worship or online at our YouTube channel
Sundays at 10:00 AM

Share the link with your family and friends!


Weather permitting Drive-In Communion in the church parking lot
(enter Anderson Road) at 11:30 AM 



Is He Worthy?

In a recent interview, songwriter Andrew Peterson talked about how this song was written:
“I’ve been attending a liturgical church for several years where the language is beautiful and rich, and every service rehearses the story of salvation, culminating in Communion. I also love it that the congregants are part of the service. There’s a lot of interaction, not just in the call and response but in the singing and prayer time as well. Revelation 5 contains one of the most beautiful and dramatic scenes in scripture, and is centered around the question, “Is anyone worthy?” The resounding answer is, “Yes! And his name is Jesus.”
“Then, when we were in the studio working on an album in the fall of 2017, I remembered a voice memo on my phone. It was recorded while I was driving somewhere in Nashville, I think. In it, I hum a melody, then I sing, “We do.” Then I hum another melody, and I answer it again with, “We do.” I had no clear idea how to sing it, or what the question was, but I realize now that I had been thinking about a Kenyan liturgy we use in church. It goes like this:
Celebrant: Is the Father with us?
People: He is.
Celebrant: Is Christ among us?
People He is.
Celebrant: Is the Spirit here?
People: He is.
Celebrant: This is our God!
People: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Celebrant: We are his people;
People: We are redeemed.

“The verses of the song follow a similar question-and-answer format because that’s what happens in a liturgical service. Then I got to the chorus and asked myself, what does this have to do with Christ’s suffering, death and resurrection? I remembered another question-and-answer moment in Revelation that thunders with the love of God.”
“Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you    ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.” Revelation 5:9-10 (ESV)

Grace and Peace,
Mark Johnson
P.S. Listen for this beautiful song, sung as a duet anthem this Sunday by Christi Miller and Wendy Walters.
Edited and republished with permission BrentwoodBenson.com


We are making Easter baskets for our church children. If you’d like to help us fill their baskets, please bring your donations to the church by this Sunday, March 21st. There is a collection box in the narthex. We are making 30 baskets. Donations will be combined. Some ideas are kites, pinwheels, bubble wands, sidewalk chalk, playdoh and candy filled plastic eggs.
Thank you
Molly Updegraff


Blanket Sunday 1/24/21:  Our donations were $1,665.00 compared to $1,301.00 given last year.

Week of Compassion:  2021 $985.00 does not include any money that was given directly to WOC using the link that was publicized.

Mid-Del Food Pantry:  $1,000.00 will be delivered in the next week.

Thank you for your faithful giving to the FCC MWC Outreach Ministry!
Mitsy Martin Davis

Sign Ups for Worship Leader and/or Offertory Message are open for April & May

Log in to MyFCC:

Once on the NEEDS page, select Worship Leader or Offertory Message. Choose the date you would like to serve. If you need help signing up, or do not have access to a computer, call the church office. We can help!Thank you!

Life Line Screening is coming to FCC MWC
Wednesday, April 7 from 8:30 – 4 pm

To register, go to www.lifelinescreening.com. If you need help registering, please call the church office at 405-769-2717.

The 2021 Church Directory is now available.

A BIG Thank You to Jamie Benge and Karen Holt for helping get this project completed!

Giving OnlineLog into MyFCC at: fccmwc.org/my-fcc
Select Give from the dropdown menu on the top left.
Follow the instructions to set up a recurring gift or send a one time gift.
If you have questions, please watch this video:  


Or mail your contribution to:
First Christian Church of Midwest City
11950 E Reno Ave
Midwest City, OK  73130

When dropping your offering in the church mailbox, please make sure it slides all the way to the back of the slot so that it drops down into the lock box area. 
Thank you for your faithfulness!  

FACEBOOK Search name:  
First Christian Church MWC
INSTAGRAM Search name: 
FCC Midwest City

YOUTUBE Search name: First Christian Church Midwest City  

First Christian Church
11950 E Reno Ave
Midwest City OK 73130

Senior Minister:
Rev. Gary Mitchell

Monday – Thursday:
9 am – 4 pm

9 am to noon

Disciples Around
The Webwww.disciples.org



Disciples News Service


To the Memorial Fund given by Johnnie Gasaway
      In memory of Lori Lange
To the Memorial Fund given by Greg McIlvoy
     In memory of Lori Lange
To the Memorial Fund given by Scott Jones
      In memory of Lori Lange
To the Memorial Fund given by Dona McKee
      In memory of Lori Lange  

Join us for in-person worship on Sundays at 10:00 am. We are also streaming live on the YouTube Channel. Weather permitting, we will have drive through communion following the service at 11:30 am in the Anderson side parking lot.


Please do not hesitate to reach out if you have any questions.

Church Office: 769-2717
email: [email protected]

Rev. Gary Mitchell cell: 245-8678
email: [email protected]
For Youth related events
Shauna Becker cell: 820-3178
email: [email protected]
For Choir related events
Mark Johnson cell: 903-312-3827
email: [email protected] 

Please contact the church office with new prayer concerns and with updates on those who are listed.
Thank you! 


*Braeden Fennell, heart condition still running tests (Phyllis Fennell’s grandson); *Brian Foughty, metastasized cancer (Phyllis Fennell’s son in law); *Karen Holland, broken foot; *Leo Holland, fell and hurt his hip; The Lange and Moler families; Lane & Randy Ross; Kristyn Reid and her family for the loss of her brother Rick McCulloh; Andrea Kintzinger, blood clots in her leg, a result of covid; Paul Niehoff; Beverly Rubino; Lucille Williams, broken arm (Nancy Williams mother); Betsy Hormel, cancer (Leah Wakely’s aunt); Carolyn Slaughter (Niehoff); Kathleen Woodruff (friend of Deidre Burk);  Carilee Delano; Anita Oliver and her mother (ongoing health issues); Judy Martin (Mitsy’s mother) 
Congregation Long-Term Prayer List:
Julie Avants; Donna Brubaker; Ashley Dean; Gene Gilbert; Katy Givens; Karen Holland; Tanni Jamison; Richard & Mary Layman; Sandy Lees; Lloyd family; Becky Long; Faye Miller; Shirley Niehoff; Rev. Lee & Mary Nirschl; George Pettigrew; Harold Powers; Kristyn Reid; Vicki Richey; Lane Ross; Millie Sawyer; Jim & Connie Sharp; Wanda Williams; Jim Wylie
Shut-Ins Prayer List: 
Lola Jean Ashford; Virginia Douthitt; Ken Foust; Dr. Gifford McBride; Bill & Robbie McGruder; Bertha Owen; Cole Padgham; Margaret Scears; Joyce Shirley; Shirley Tharp; Renata Thomas; Barbara Wilson
Family/Friends Long Term Prayer List:
Tom Acree (Acree); Lori Bonnewell (Bonnewell); Glen & Allie Benson (Brubaker); John Booth (McKinney); Jim & Bonnie Brooks (Lloyd); Betty Brubaker (David’s mother); Angela Bruning (Martin Davis); Jacob Burkhart (Avants); Johnny Cambell (S Updegraff); Lisa Coffman (Stanfill); Chris Cornelius (Cornelius); Coleen Crow (Lange); Sue Crumrine (Gambill); Michael DeGennaro (Camp); Doug Egerer (M Holt); Barbara Fretwell (Reid); JoAnn Fritz (S Updegraff); Malik Givens (Avants); Jim Graves (Moler); Wayne Haney (Moler); Johnna Harvey (S Updegraff); Tom Henthorn (Albee);  Leo Hickman (Gambill); Rev. Lawrence Howard (M Howard); Sam Howard (Howard); Jim Johnson (Greffin); Blair Lanning (Avants); Larry & Sandra Stanfill); Gary LaVigna (S Updegraff); Amber Leamy (Niehoff); Misty Leeper (Jamison); Evelyn & Norman Lees (Lees); Rod & Cathy Lees (Lees); Cathy Martinez (Moler); Sue McCormick (Brubaker); David &  Diane McEvoy (Walters); Annis Hickman Miller (Gambill); Cathy Miller (Reid); Kathleen Miller (Gambill); George Niehoff (Niehoff); Michael Niehoff (Niehoff); Darryl Rowton (Northcutt); Ralph Seabaugh (McKinney); Ann Simon (Lange); Susannah Smith (Lees); Joel & Jeff Staggs (Walters); Michael & Debbie Stevens (McGruder); Rosa Stock (M Holt); Jim & Betty Temple (Williams); Alton Ray Tidwell (Niehoff); Austin Traylor (Traylor); Alyse Walker (Gambill); Megan White (Suffridge); Lucille Williams (N Williams); Ann Windel (Cornelius); Cindy Winkle (Fennell); Jorge Zamora (Gallegos); Lori Zang (M Holt)