- SCRIPTURE offers us a whole world of learning and support. The Old Testament, rich with stories from the prophets of old and the fascinating experiences of their lives in covenant with God, opens to us an adventure-filled exploration of how it is that God loves his people. We often read from the OT in worship and examine its teachings in Bible study. This historical foundation is strong and learning more is always a blessing. The New Testament brings us into Jesus' life and times - and the time after when the disciples were teaching and preaching God's word to the world. These books reveal God's love in a new way, and the reading of both the Old and New Testaments is alive with faith and offer help for everyday living. Think of Psalms and Proverbs - just for two examples - of poetic verse filled with wisdom!
- DAILY DEVOTIONALS AND PRAYER bring us closer to God as we learn more about him and communicate with him regarding our faith, our needs, our hopes - and our praise and thanksgiving to him. Many good devotional programs are available, both in book form and online. We will be sharing more about these and our own devotional focus for the year: vision and mission for the church. Stay tuned for more on that coming up soon! PRAYER is one of the dearest and most oft-used of the Christian's tools of communication with God. The Lord is always available to us, and prayer helps us verbalize our needs and praise. From formalized prayers shared in worship - such as The Lord's Prayer - to quiet prayers uttered at any hour, he is listening. Let us enter into a new year of prayer and devotion, seeking to deepen our relationships with God.
- THE CHURCH AND THE GUIDANCE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT are available to us as resources for knowledge, guidance, and inspiration. The church offers us ways of gathering together to praise and worship God as well as to learn more about him and his everlasting love for us. The services of the church begin with baptism, a precious sacrament that brings us formally into the family of God. As children of God, it is good for us to proclaim our faith in him; doing so will bless us all our days. After baptism, the church carries on its mission of sharing the teachings of the Lord through preaching, Bible study, and other opportunities to serve and foster spiritual growth. Service as deacons and elders enrich our lives, as does engagement in other services including praying for the church, helping to keep it clean and ready for worship. The service of the Lord's Table brings us together each Sunday, as we worship and pray together. Managing the daily affairs of the church as a Trustee or Board officer yields many spiritual benefits to all. The Holy Spirit guides us, and as we respond, joy fills our hearts.
- THE FELLOWSHIP OF BELIEVERS AND COMMUNITY SERVICE both offer us many opportunities to enjoy our shared faith and the hope that lifts our spirits even when challenges come. As we stand together in prayer, service, and fellowship, we enjoy the enrichment of friendship and faith; together, these bonds make us strong. Sharing times of learning and service to the community bring us closer and open wide the doors of welcome to all. Here at FCCYC, we are known for outstanding community meals and collaborations with the Woodson County Ministerial Alliance and other charitable groups. Whether it is the Annual Bean Feed; Chili and Soup Lunch; Christmas Eve Service and Tea; or supporting the Annual Community Thanksgiving Service and Baccalaureate, we enjoy the fellowship. The Easter Sunrise Service and Breakfast has become a tradition at FCCYC and we look forward to it again in 2016. All opportunities to work with others in the service of Christ are deep blessings for which we are grateful, and we are pleased to offer what we can to groups such as the Woodson County Resource Council by collecting non-perishable foodstuffs every Fifth Sunday. The Southeast Kansas Achiever's Program (SEKA) continues to meet and serve the needs of area children at the church's parsonage. The congregation is blessed knowing that the building is being used for such service - and we all enjoyed the cookies the children gave us at Christmas; they were a bright spot at the Christmas Tea this year.
So, as 2016 continues, let us renew our commitment to the foregoing - and continue offering kind and loving care to one another as the year commences. There's an old saying that, "Time marches on." That is true, and we want to imbue every moment with the kind of quiet enthusiasm that captures the spirit of faith and falls on us like manna - grace sufficient for the day, and spiritual nourishment for evermore. Amen.