Weekly Announcements

First Christian Church
(Disciples of Christ)
111 North Fifth Street
Murray, Kentucky 42071
(270) 753-3824

For the week of
Tuesday, March 31, 2020 through Monday, April 6, 2020

Tip: Let wakefulness be an opportunity for prayer and meditation.

"...when I think of you on my bed, and meditate on you in the watches of the night;" ~  Psalm 63:6

Rhonda Roso wrote on March 22: "A lovely at-home worship packet provided by our church. While we cannot gather together now as usual, we can still join our hearts and our spirits while at home. Not only are folks being introduced to educating their children at home and working from home, but also now worshiping at home as well. In the comfortable sanctuaries of our own homes, we can be truly blessed by moments of peace and solitude to pray, read, reflect, meditate, rejoice, praise, and forgive... empowered to face any situation, to show our love and compassion for others, and to provide help in any way that we can with renewed strength and hope. By the way, this type of worship is not limited to Sundays and nor is it limited to any particular building. May your light shine all week long, especially as we make loving sacrifices for the benefit of others. Love and Peace to you and yours."

See Rhonda's photos above on the first row. The Hughes family (left) and Judy Phelps (right) submitted photos on the second row.

Dear Church Family and Friends,

One of our elders, Erica Gray, sent me a note over the weekend that said This is the Lentiest Lent I’ve ever Lented.  That kind of sums it up, doesn’t it? When we began our forty-day Lenten journey to the cross on Ash Wednesday, which was just a little over a month ago on February 26, we received the sign of the cross on our foreheads or hands made of ashes.  These ashes symbolized grief and sorrow for sin, our mortality and death (from dust and ashes we come and to dust and ashes we will ultimately return), and they also are a sign of the promise of new life emerging from death—a sign of the forgiveness, blessing, and transformation that God offers in every moment.  All of this takes on new meaning this year as, faced with a global pandemic, we recognize how fragile human beings are as we also embrace the hope we have in Jesus.  How are all of you doing and feeling in our new circumstances?  Where have you been finding God’s grace shining through in the midst of such uncertainty?
Last Sunday we celebrated the fifth Sunday in Lent.  I hope that you found ways to worship this past Sunday using your at-home worship kits or other means. Perhaps some of you also read or listened to the sermon that was both emailed out to you as well as the video of it that was posted on our website. In allowing myself to be videoed preaching, I crossed a big milestone in my own life by overcoming my almost paralyzing fear of being filmed. I’m fine if I’m in front of real live flesh and blood people but there is something about being on the radio or filmed that makes me extremely anxious.  But I felt I needed to accept this challenge, which was made all the more difficult by preaching to an empty sanctuary, with the exception of our amazing Director of Communications Debbie Batteiger who filmed it on her Apple Ipad and was a calming presence. It was a strange experience to say the least, but I was helped by imagining all of your beautiful faces in the pews.  What we learned after Debbie was up half the night converting the video she made on her Apple Ipad onto a vimeo clip (thank you Debbie!), is that it is too time consuming to do it that way. So this week we will be doing a Facebook live video on Saturday afternoon that you can tune into if you want any time after that. This means, however, that we need those of you who don’t yet have Facebook accounts to get one. Yes, I know, there are some of you who are very resistant to this.  However, you don’t need to add a lot of contacts.  In fact, you only need to add our church to your account. It’s super simple to set up a Facebook account. All you have to do is go to www.facebook.com and sign up. Then you will need to add our church as one of your contacts by typing First Christian Church, Murray, KY into the search window.  This way, if you feel like watching a videoed version of the sermon (and hopefully Donnie’s music) you can do so.  The sermon, joys, and concerns will still be mailed out.  The email is especially important since it will only be there that we can share our joys and concerns, since we should not be sharing personal information about people on a video that anyone in the public can access.
Two other activities that we are embracing are: (1) creating a way for people to give online, which will be shared with you in a separate email once the account has been established; and (2) we have set up a ZOOM account so that we can start to have meetings via phones and computers.  Our first trial ZOOM meeting will be this Wednesdays with the elders.  I thank the amazing Ellen Blalock for acting as our consultant on this how to set up virtual meetings!
It’s hard to believe that this upcoming Sunday already is Palm / Passion Sunday when we will begin Holy Week!  I encourage you to continue your Lenten practices and get ready to journey with Jesus to the cross and beyond!
In Christian Love and Service,
Pastor Ruth

Please note that ALL events at the church continue to be cancelled until further notice as we all do our best to physically distance ourselves from others as an act of Christian love to prevent the spread of COVID-19.  Debbie, Aimee, and I will be in and out of the church over the course of the week to make sure that the building is secured and mail is brought in.  Voice mails and emails are checked.
We encourage you to remember to be faithful in the giving of your tithes and offerings by mailing them to the church at: First Christian Church, 111 North Fifth St., Murray, KY 42071 or dropping them at Sheila Wilson Alexander’s office.