MVFCC Volunteer Opportunities:
1. The Friendship House needs you the last Friday of every month. Sign up at church this Sunday.
2. Neighbors in Need Food Bank is looking for donations of canned and dry foods. Place in the bins provided this Sunday.
3. Our Common Table requests financial donations for growing their congregation.
4. Family Promise: We partner with Salem Lutheran Church on a rotating basis to provide food, shelter and support for families who are struggling to find affordable housing and employment opportunities.
Mount Vernon First Christian Church General Board Meeting
Pastor Report: Steve handed out his calendar of scheduled leave and vacation time. He stated that Jack & Liz Miller will fill in as Pulpit supply during his sabbatical next September. A Celebration of Life for Ann Smith will be held on Saturday, March 17, Jeanne will coordinate the refreshments following the service. Lenten events include a Maundy Thursday supper on March 29, and Egg Hunt following Easter Worship service on April 1.
Elder’s Report: A dinner will be held on Saturday, February 17 for all Elders and their spouses.
Financial Report: Kerri reported on both December & January, including a year-end report. The Marshallese church is still $80.00 short with their monthly contributions.
Out Reach Report: Jeanne reported that the Run for your Mum will not be held this year, but that she would like to take an offering for Pregnancy Choices at the time the race is usually run. She reported that the Quilt Auction was well attended and a success.
Trustees Report: the trustees met on February 4 to discuss the possibilities of investing a portion of the savings account. They will meet with a representative from Thrident Financial on March 4 to hear about options available to churches.
Old Business: A discussion on the Marshallese Church and how to help them with their finances resulted in a decision to put a statement in their mail box every month with the payments and balance due. Steve will also calculate the covenant agreement building cost numbers for 2018 and a meeting will be scheduled with AA and Ben Bress. We will address our concerns about the importance of paying on time at the meeting.
Mount Vernon First Christian Church Disciples of Christ
Hours of Worship
We gather together for worship service on Sunday mornings beginning at 10:30 am. Each week, during our worship service, we celebrate through prayer, song, scripture, message, and communion. In sharing of the Lord's Supper, we remember and honor Jesus our Christ. Everyone is invited to participate.
“What Do I Have?”
What do I have, Lord, that you would need me as a servant?
Eyes, he said,
to see the beauty in all that I’ve made —
and my children as they travel life’s highway.
Hands, he said,
to reach out and touch hurting souls,
to give a hug or encouraging pat on the back.
Feet, he said,
to lead my children through this world of strife
and to help them run from sin and follow me.
Mouth, he said,
to lift up your voice and sing praises to me
so others may hear the joy in your heart.
Ears, he said,
to listen to my still, small voice of love
and to hear my children when they cry for help.
Heart, he said,
so you may know the full love of my Spirit
and love my children as I have loved you.
“My neighbor’s material needs are my spiritual needs,” said 19th-century theologian Israel Salanter. In other words, when someone else suffers hunger and poverty, when people endure a natural disaster and lack shelter, when another human being is sick or injured — in all such cases, God calls us to action. And God knows that whatever we do to meet those material needs will meet our spiritual needs at the same time.
It might be our spiritual need to expand our horizons into neighborhoods, cultures or situations where we’re uncomfortable. We might need to grow in love for people different from us. By serving others, we might find our own sagging spirits nurtured with a sense of well-being or even joy. And as we reach out to help, surely we’ll notice others doing the same thing, and our spiritual need for renewed faith will be met.
As members of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), we believe our only creed is Christ. We shouldn't burden our lives with confusing rules of fellowship. There is no test of membership beyond faith in God's love and the Christ we have in Jesus, who leads us to reconcilliaton with God and each other. Our emphasis is placed on living in ways that confirm our beliefs and understanding. At our best, we carry out a ministry that makes a difference in the world and reflects the good news of God's grace extended to all people.
There’s a tale of a traveling priest who was confronted by a soldier in pre-revolutionary Russia. Rifle in hand, the soldier barked, “Who are you? Where are you going? Why are you going there?”
Instead of answering, the priest asked how much the soldier was paid — and offered double if the soldier would challenge him with those three questions each day as he passed by.
Those three important questions can guide us on our journey through the brand-new year ahead. For Christians, thankfully, the answers are clear:
• Who are you? “I’m a child of God!”
• Where are you going? “I’m going out into the world!”
• Why are you going there? “I’m going out of love for Jesus, who died for me!”
Place these questions and answers in a spot where you can see them each day. Then go forward confidently, knowing “whose” you are and what your purpose is.
From the Correct Perspective
A child sat at his grandmother’s feet as she embroidered. Looking up, he saw a mishmash of threads and ugly knots but no discernible picture or words. “Nana,” he said with concern, “that’s not very pretty.”
“Come up here,” Grandma invited, “and look at it from this side. You have to see it from my perspective.”
“Oh!” the boy exclaimed then. “It’s beautiful!”
Seeing the world from our human, earthly viewpoint, we can’t grasp the masterpiece that God is completing. But when we finally see it from his perspective, we’ll discover that the threads and knots all contribute to a beautiful work of art. That work won’t be finished until Jesus returns, but in the meantime, may God grant us an occasional glimpse of the work in progress — from God’s side!
Visit us at:
900 Skagit Street
Mount Vernon, WA 98274
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Bible Study - 6:00 pm
MVFCC Elder Message
How would you feel if your favorite coffee mug slipped from your hands and shattered on your kitchen floor? Probably some combination of surprise and dismay. In Japan, instead of tossing these broken pieces in the trash, some craftsmen practice the 500-year-old art of kintsugi, or “golden joinery,” which is a method of restoring a broken piece with a lacquer that is mixed with gold, silver, or platinum. While the general Western consensus on broken objects is that they have lost their value, practitioners and admirers of kintsugi believe that never-ending consumerism is not a spiritually rewarding experience. The kintsugi method conveys a philosophy not of replacement, but of awe, reverence, and restoration. The gold-filled cracks of a once-broken item are a testament to its history. The importance in kintsugi is not the physical appearance, rather it is the beauty and the importance that stays in the person who is looking at something broken. We may not realize it, but we practice this philosophy when we see a broken object’s potential, when we up-cycle, when we re-purpose, when we re-incarnate an object that would otherwise likely be thrown away. The kintsugi technique suggests many things. We shouldn’t throw away broken objects or broken people. When something breaks, it doesn’t mean that it has lost its value. The breakage can become valuable. Repairing the damage sometimes creates a more valuable object. This is the essence of resilience. Each of us should look for a way to cope with traumatic events in a positive way, learn from negative experiences, take the best from them and reassure ourselves that exactly these experiences make each person unique and precious. Perfection, as it is portrayed in the Western media, is not perfection. There is no perfect love, no perfect beauty. Because without the presence of imperfections, the wonders of the world would not be so breathtaking. Imperfection is simply part of being, and perfection is all about embracing each other as we strive to naturally better ourselves. Just like the cracks in a piece of pottery, when looking at our own imperfections and those of others, rather than hiding them, we should look at ourselves and the world at large and consider what we really want out of this blessing called life that we have been given.
Jesus calls us to service. In answering his call, we support a number of community service organizations and projects. Among these are the Friendship House, Skagit County Community Action Agency, Battered Women's Shelter, Everett's Common Ground and Common Table, Family Promise, and Lincoln Elementary School
United in Diversity
Although early Christians had much in common, they also dwelt in diversity. Each of their leaders emphasized certain parts of the gospel and favored certain worship styles. They all believed in the resurrected Jesus, and they all celebrated the Lord's Supper and baptism. But Christians in Corinth had a unique approach, as did those in Ephesus, Philippi, Galatia, Rome and so on.
It might be boring if we all believed and practiced completely alike. Variations don’t need to be an impediment to Christian unity. As pastor Charles Best said, “If we’re going to be in heaven together, we might as well get along now.”
Partnering with Our Common Table and Our Common Ground:
Our Common Table is a new Christian Community seeking to cultivate spaces of welcome for all people where we can explore and practice life in the way of Jesus together, seek holistic justice, and love and celebrate our neighbors and neighborhood.
Donate to Our Common Ground:
Here is a current list of needed items at Our Common Ground:
Socks (new crew socks are preferred)
Gift Cards to grocery stores and restaurants in Everett
Coffee (preferably ground)
Snacks (protein rich and non-perishable are best)
Razors and Shaving Cream
Toothbrushes and Toothpaste
NEWS FROM THE PEWS
The month of February has many special events that we invite you to participate in. The Trustees will meet on February 4 to consider the investment possibilities for our savings account. Then on February 17 the Elders will gather for their annual dinner. All Elders past and present are invited to attend. February 18 is Secret Pal Sunday! We will reveal our Pals from last year and pick new Pals. If you are interested in this fun and rewarding activity, look for the sign-up sheets at church. We will also celebrate Coleman Day on the 18th, where special surprises await Steve and Lela.
February 18 marks the beginning of Lent. Look for special Lenten and Easter events coming your way.
The Book Club meets the last Sunday of every month. It is never too late to purchase the book and join in the discussion. See Steve for more information.
We continue to pray for our homebound members and those who are traveling or unable to attend Sunday services. If you have a special need or someone you need prayers for, call Steve or one of the Elders.
We have received a generous donation of a new sound board. Ours was stolen last month. We were also able to purchase a new hand-held microphone for Sunday services as well as special events and memorial services. Thanks to those who donated for this important addition to our sound system.
We appreciate your monthly tithes and offerings. Our building expenses continue to increase, and we are so thankful for those who contribute on a regular basis. We could not continue our ministry here in the valley without you.
Please remember when purchasing from Amazon, always log into smile.amazon.com and a small percent of your purchase comes back as cash to our church. Here is the link to click on, or simple sign into your Amazon account, and look for the link to choose a charitable organization to donate to. Our church is already registered and will come up in a search. Thank You!
“Let love live long; let hate live short.”
“Love doesn't make the world go round. Love is what makes the ride worthwhile.”
—Franklin P. Jones