First Christian Church of Midwest City
(Disciples of Christ)
11950 East Reno Ave
Midwest City, OK 73130
A Pastor’s Perspective
A special thanks to all who joined together to decorate our worship space for Advent and Christmas! Our ‘hanging of the green” looked a little different this year, and included consulting camera angles to make sure everything is visible on the chancel for our livestream. Here are a couple of photos that show Linda Harris, Karen Holt, Becky Searcy, and Kristyn Reid checking the video monitor to make sure everything looks right, and Denise Jenks working on the Advent wreath! Mark Reid braved the ladder to install our huge wreath! Thanks to all of our helpers, including Margaret English!
If you haven’t seen their work yet, tune into our livestream worship on Sundays at 10:00 am! It is available on our YouTube channel, and can be accessed by using the link that Nancy sends out each week by email or by using this link:
In addition, our tech team is doing a wonderful job presenting our service each week, including awesome graphics. Advent is off to a great start! Join us as we celebrate the in-breaking of God’s love into the world together!
With Hope for these Holy Days!
The youth group has been very busy preparing for Christmas for others. They packed food boxes on Wednesday & plan to help with the pick up process on Saturday 12/5. The youth will arrive at 7:30 am to help make sure each family receives their Christmas blessing! We should be finished about 1:00 pm.
The youth group is looking forward to the holiday season & like the rest of us they are unsure what this Christmas will be like this year. While most of them are going to school online, they are missing their friends & in need of social connection. Please pray for our students that they can release any anxiety about Christmas & that they find a connection with God and others.
May this advent season bring unexpected joys, safe visits with friends and family & may all of you know the presence of our Savior Jesus Christ!
With love & prayers,
For the time being, Sunday Worship service Has moved to online streaming only. Catch it live on YouTube at 10:00 AM
Drive-In Communion in the church parking lot (enter Anderson Road) at 11:30 AM
ADVENT WEEK TWO – PEACE
We use difficult words, and they sound so easy! We sing, “Peace is flowing like a river, flowing down into the sea.” Inevitable. Gravity-pulled from icy peaks to ocean’s edge.
For two summers my friend, Tish, and I, along with Fred and Ed, were the adult leaders (we were always yelling, “Wait for us! We are you leaders!”) for our Christian Church state youth mountain climbing trips in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains near Santa Fe. On our weeklong treks, when it came to crossing the inevitable creeks it was a scary ordeal, the icy water roiling and crashing over boulders, rounded stones, and pebbles on their journey to becoming soil and sand. Our trails always led us to some fallen log where it was possible to cross, and then we had to balance, heavy packs on our backs, to get to the other side. There is nothing peaceful about a river flowing down the mountain. It is a battering, destroying and creating force, changing the landscape as it goes.
Jesus said, “Peace. My peace I give you.,” but he also said, “I come not to bring peace but a sword.” He knew that peace does not flow easily. It is hard won. Many who pass a lifetime working for peace find themselves targets of verbal or physical attack or even martyrdom. And we Christians have prayed for peace forever, yet, in our world we seem unable to avoid bitter arguments, broken relationships, violence, and worst, wars.
At a university chapel service I once heard a long-imprisoned Chinese Christian speak. He said, “If you want to do good in this world, you can’t expect anyone to roll the logs out of your path, but often, instead, to roll logs into your path.”
The trust in God’s promise for Mary in a stable, the knowledge of God’s peace for an imprisoned Paul, this promise of peace dropped into our lives, our struggles, our imperfect world is real! It binds into one gift both the Cradle and the Cross. This resurrection of hope rises up even as we struggle to share God’s peace when we are not sure it makes a difference.
In our service together, trying to share God’s love … Refuge Fellowship, Mobile Meals, Mid-Del Food Pantry, S.O.A.R., Christmas for Others, service projects of our groups and classes … we may become discouraged when we find those we want to help are ungrateful or as they try to “work the system.” But God’s promise did not ask us to be successful. He called us to be faithful. The real gift of Christmas is the light of faith that keeps us going despite all the logs rolled into our paths or the precarious ones we must cross. Everything we need to complete the journey we carry in our backpacks.
So we light and praise the second candle of Advent, the light of Peace, that “peace that passeth all understanding.” We may not always understand, but we believe in this small but mighty light.
Advent II – Why We Wait.
Come surely, Lord Jesus, as dawn follows night, Our hearts long to greet you, as roses, the light. salvation, draw near us, our vision engage. One candle is lit for the hope of the Age.
Last week, we looked the idea of waiting in the season of Advent and asked the question: “Why Wait?”
Here’s the payoff: Christians are called to be ‘…set apart…’ in our faith. Said another way, to be “…in the world, but not of it.” In the Ancient World, where all kinds of gods and goddesses abounded, and existed alongside thousands of ancient “cults” – groups of people who affiliated with each other for various civic reasons – this old fashioned wording may have made more sense.
But 2000 years later, I’m not sure it’s all that much different. What do we call people who use Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and so forth? “Followers.” And based on the data I see (and distracted drivers on the roads!?!), people these days are as just as devoted to “following” their own brand of civic ‘digital cult’ as people ever were before them!
The bottom line: modern culture doesn’t reward waiting but rather encourages us to “consume” or find instant gratification. Said another way, we want to find things to “like” and constantly make ourselves “happy” J thumbing our way through life on a constant endorphin high.
But life doesn’t –or shouldn’t—work that way. As Christians, and especially in the Season of Advent, we embrace the differences and diversity of our “waiting” for the coming of Christ each year. And taking the long view, we wait for his eventual Messianic Return when he will be revealed as Lord of All Creation.
So this Advent, why not wait … and … try out the idea of taking God’s longer view? Recent psychological research has validated what the Bible has said for centuries is actually true: delayed gratification can have profound spiritual and physical benefits.
…They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. Is. 40:31
With Grace, Peace and Waiting,
Join the Painted Sky Opera for their annual production of Amahl and the Night Visitors. The production is directed by Dr. Molly Johnson and will feature a very special “pre-curtain” version of “We Three Kings” featuring Dr. Mark Johnson. Use either link below for information on in-person or on-line tickets:
CHRISTMAS FOR OTHERS
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 5th
CFO is this Saturday!
To allow for social distancing while working we would like to keep the number of persons in the JCAC to less than 8 at a time. We welcome your help but ask you to please sign up for a specific time on MyFCC so that we can keep everyone safe. Call the church office if you need help signing up. Thankful, grateful and blessed.
MOBILE MEALS MINISTRY
Mobile Meals is once again asking for your help. We are approaching that time of year when the weather is unpredictable and this year, we are also dealing with the craziness of COVID 19. We will be preparing our Emergency Food Kits again this year to ensure that none of our clients go without food because we are unable to deliver due to unpredictable weather or the possibility of having to shut down our ministry because of COVID.
We will be collecting food items starting Sunday, December 6th thru Sunday, December 20th. There will be a collection box in the Narthex marked “Mobile Meals Emergency Food Kits”.
Items needed: canned goods such as soups, stews, and ravioli; ramen noodles, Macaroni & Cheese; canned meats (i.e. tuna, chicken ham); individually packaged peanut butter or cheese crackers, fruit cups or pudding cups, individually packaged cookies, Ensure, or any non-perishable food item that can be eaten cold or easily heated. Please remember some of the dessert type items need to be sugar free for our diabetics.
We deliver food to 40 people, some of whom are members of our Church. We are able to do these Emergency Food Kits every year because of the generosity of our Church Family. Please help us make our Kits a success again this year by donating a few items from the list above.
Your donations will be greatly appreciated. If you have any questions, please contact Dottie Tucker at 610-6959 or 919-4589.
THANK YOU to everyone who came out to help with the tree branch clean up. We had a great response and were able to move all the branches to the street for the city to pick up.
Tom Hill / Landscaping Chair
Mark Reid / Property Chair
Craig & Misty Davis
Bryan & Becky Searcy
William & family member
2020 CHILDREN’S ADVENT BOOKS
Sunday, November 29th is the first Sunday of Advent. The Worship Department has prepared a fun children’s activity book to guide them through Advent to Christmas Day. It’s a great resource to talk with your child about the events leading to the birth of Christ. These are available in the narthex. Grab one for each child in your home!
“Candles and Carols”
Join us via live stream on YouTube for Cantata Sunday, 10:00 a.m. on December 27th. The service will feature beautiful music of the season, as well as meditative reflections and scripture readings — all presented by members of our Chancel Choir.
Dear First Christian MWC Congregation,
We would like to extend our thanks for your support of our ministry. Our time of worship with you was uplifting and we trust that you received a blessing for your participation. We believe that worship is not in observing a performance of musicians, but in participating through the music that is shared.
We appreciate all the work that Mark Johnson did in promoting the concert, and for Becky Searcy’s help in setting up the CD’s and books, and the help of the sound man, Brett Moler.
Once again, thank you for having us at your church and for your supporting us financially and for being a blessing to us with your spirit of enthusiasm for the Lord. We pray that God will bless you in your service to Him and to those in your community.
Jean Shackleton and Ruth Ann Yerden
To Give online:
Log 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:
To mail your check to the church:
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!
THANK YOU FOR YOUR FAITHFULNESS!
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Check out the church’s new and improved
First Christian Church MWC
(Disciples of Christ)
11950 E Reno Ave
Midwest City OK 73130
Rev. Gary Mitchell
Monday – Thursday:
9 am – 4 pm
9 am – noon
Disciples News Service
In memory of Pauline Venator
Given by Sally Venator to the Capital Fund
In memory of Jerry Lang
Given by Sally Venator to Mobile Meals
For the time being, we are not gathering for in person worship. Please join our Live Stream Worship Service on YouTube, Sunday mornings at 10:00 AM. We will have drive thru communion here at the church 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
Rev. Gary Mitchell cell: 245-8678
For Youth related events
Shauna Becker cell: 820-3178
For Choir related events
Mark Johnson cell: 903-312-3827
Please contact the church office with new prayer concerns and with updates on those who are listed. Thank you!
*Family & Friends of Lloyd Kitchell; Tanni Jamison, surgery 11/30; Nancy Hall, OU Medical; Lane Ross
Congregation Long-Term Prayer List:
Julie Avants; Barbara Benge; Katie Benge; Donna Brubaker; Ashley Dean; Gene Gilbert; Katy Givens; Karen Holland; Lloyd Kitchell; Lange families; Richard & Mary Layman; Sandy Lees; Lloyd family; Becky Long; Faye Miller; Shirley Niehoff; Rev. Lee & Mary Nirschl; George Pettigrew; Kristyn Reid; Vicki Richey; Millie Sawyer; Jim & Connie Sharp; Wanda Williams; Jim Wylie
Shut-Ins Prayer List:
Lola Jean Ashford; Virginia Douthitt; Ken Foust; Dona Harris;
Dr. Gifford McBride; Bill & Robbie McGruder; Bertha Owen; Cole Padgham; Harold Powers; Margaret Scears; Ray & Joyce Shirley; Shirley Tharp; Renata Thomas; Barbara Wilson
Family/Friends Long Term Prayer List:
Tom Acree (Acree); Alvin Bates (Moler); Kate Benge (Benge); 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); Michelle Canada (Beverly Albee’s niece); 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); Leisinger Family (English); 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); JoEllen Rush (Searcy); Ralph Seabaugh (McKinney); Charlene Shirey (Pettigrew); 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)