A Pastor’s Perspective
Our pandemic response group met Sunday evening and decided that it is time for us to begin in-person worship again, beginning this Sunday, February 28. Our service will continue to be held at 10 am, and will also be live-streamed on our YouTube channel!
As before, when we returned to in-person worship in August, we will continue to follow CDC guidelines in regard to wearing masks, taking temperatures, hand washing, and social distancing. As we return, we wish to do so safely and gradually, and remind everyone that seating will be limited in the sanctuary!
One day, we will be able to resume our services to full capacity. Health experts remind us that time is not yet here. COVID -19 cases are trending downward and vaccines are becoming available to more people, but transmissions of the virus are still significant. We still must be on guard.
My hope for this since the beginning is that not one person contracts this disease within the walls of our church building. That is my continued prayer! I look forward to seeing you in church this Sunday, either in person or online!
The Youth will be meeting in person this Wednesday night at 6:30 pm. Bring your own food, as we still cannot serve a meal.
I’m looking forward to seeing all of your faces!
Love & Prayers,
One Final Request
Written by Norman D. Stolpe
The two criminals who were executed with Jesus each made one final request. The first said, “Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us!” (Luke 23:39) The second asked, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” (Luke 23:42) Jesus seemed to have let the second one’s rebuke stand, and he made this well-known response, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise.” (Luke 23:43)
During Lent we ponder our finitude and mortality, which may prompt us to make an ultimate request of Jesus. Listen for what Jesus tells you as you contemplate his words from the cross.
Scholars have speculated on where Jesus was and what he was doing between his death on the cross and his resurrection on Easter. From Jesus’ response, some have suggested Jesus may have been in heaven enjoying fellowship with his crucifixion partner. Theologians consider several other possibilities. Instead of sorting that out, consider Jesus’ personal response to your ultimate requests. Jesus undoubtedly spoke in Aramaic, which Luke translated into Greek, which has been translated into English for us. Rather than proving a theological point, consider how a simple change of English punctuation opens a way for us to listen personally to Jesus.
Just move the comma from before “today” to after. What changes if you listen to Jesus’ response to your ultimate request this way? “Truly I tell you today, you will be with me in Paradise.”
What may Jesus be telling you today in response to your ultimate request? The first criminal mockingly asked Jesus to release them from their excruciating execution, presumably to pick up with life where he left off when he was arrested. The second asked Jesus to remember him when Jesus came into his Kingdom without specifying a schedule. Jesus responded with the immediacy of “Today!”
The substance of Jesus’ promise was “You will be with me.” As you think through your ultimate request, Jesus promises you will be with him, not delayed for a distant paradise, but you are with him today. He assures you today that you will be with him on your path from today forward. This echoes Psalm 23:4 “Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil; for you are with me.” Jesus’ ultimate desire is that where he is, “there you may be also.” (John 14:3)
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
2020 Giving Statements that were not picked up will be mailed Thursday afternoon, February 25th.
Shine, Jesus, Shine – Lent, Week II
Set our hearts on fire
Flow, river, flow
Flood the nations with grace and mercy
Send forth your word
Lord, and let there be light.
Like many of you, I imagine, we were pretty much trapped inside our house (a weather quarantine inside of a pandemic quarantine inside of a . . .) never mind…..
Anyway, from snow drifts above my knee at -14 F at the height of the storm(s) to, now, looking out our front windows at the park across the street and +67 F there’s nary a flake of snow at all remaining anywhere on the grass.
But you know, isn’t that how forgiveness from sin is supposed to work? We are not only just covered up with sin, but we’re (quite literally!) trapped in it. Unable to get ourselves out of it, we simply pile up more and more, until the ‘drifts’ of sin surround us and hinder our every thought, motion and action.
But God . . . (there’s a wonderful Oral Roberts sermon by that title I’ll share with you sometime).
But God did something about it for us when we could not. He sent his son to die for us; to atone for and release us from our sins – the giant, cosmic Snow (sin?) Shovel of Salvation, if you will.
Ok, ok . . . I’m a little far away from the song text … or am I?
Isn’t that what the sin/salvation equation is all about? Trapped in sin, unable to move, God sends his son (Epiphany) to die for us (Lent) and, by accepting him as Savior, frees us from our sins (Easter!).
The Spirit ‘blazes,’ our hearts ‘fire,’ and the ‘drifts’ of sin melt into an wonderful ‘flow’ of grace and mercy, overcoming everything in its path. . . just like the ‘flow’ of the melting snow these last few days.
As Tennessee Earnie Ford used to say: “Think about it, folks!”
With Grace, Peace and Floooooow….
Hear Ye! Hear Ye!
Calling All Choir Members!
The Chancel Choir will resume in person rehearsal tonight at 7:00 pm. We will practice social distancing and will be recording in the Sanctuary.
We will be filming a couple of anthems, so please dress accordingly for Lent with darker tones. Avoid white, bright colors and patterns until Lent season is over.
See you then!
On February 28th we will collect an over and above offering for Week of Compassion. Please mark your gift WOC.
Here are a few options for giving:
1) You can write a check to FCCMWC (add a note for WOC)
2) You can give directly to Week of Compassion at this link:
3) You can give by texting FCCMWC to number 77977. A link will be sent via text for your donation.
As Disciples, we believe in the transforming love of Christ, and trust that God uses all of our gifts for good. Even in trying times, the gifts that we share in love have the power to change the world.
Giving 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:
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!
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First Christian Church
(Disciples of Christ)
11950 E Reno
Midwest City OK 73130
Rev. Gary Mitchell
Monday – Thursday:
9 am – 4 pm
9 am – noon
Disciples News Service
To the Memorial Fund given by Fern Burling
In memory of Nancy Hall
In memory of Lorene McMahan
To the Youth Fund given by Don & Mary Nicholson
In memory of Nancy Hall
In memory of Patrick Isaac
In memory of Lloyd Kitchell
In memory of Lorene McMahan
To the Mobile Meals Fund given by Carol Hamilton
In memory of Dam Nguyen
In memory of Mrs. Oakley, Melissa Richey’s grandmother
In memory of Mrs. Wiley, Jim Wiley’s mother
To the Memorial Fund given by Mary Keller
In memory of Nancy Hall
In memory of Dona Harris
In memory of Lorene McMahan
In memory of Ray Shirley
In memory of Ron Sipes
To the Memorial Fund given by Ralph Pease, Huntsville TX
In memory of Paul Pettigrew
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
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!
*Paul Niehoff, heart procedure 2/25/21; *Beverly Rubino, wrist surgery; *Lucille Williams, broken arm (Nancy Williams mother); *Betsy Hormel, cancer (Leah Wakely’s aunt); Carolyn Slaughter (Niehoff); Lori Lange (still hospitalized but improving from covid & pneumonia); Kathleen Woodruff (friend of Deidre Burk); Maryann Lane (MM client, hospitalized with covid); Carilee Delano; Anita Oliver and her mother (ongoing health issues); Alan & Elta Bowman (MM clients); Millie Sawyer; Judy Martin (Mitsy’s mother); Johnny Fillips (English)
Congregation Long-Term Prayer List:
Julie Avants; Barbara Benge; Katie Benge; 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; 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; Harold Powers; Margaret Scears; Joyce Shirley; Shirley Tharp; Renata Thomas; Barbara Wilson
Family/Friends Long Term Prayer List:
Tom Acree (Acree); 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); 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)