Dear Faith Community Church,
In the Old Testament, when God’s people were exiled from the Promised Land, the reason was clear: God’s covenant people had refused to listen to his messengers, the prophets, who were urging the nation to repent of their waywardness and return in obedience to their covenant God. The captivity in Babylon that Isaiah predicts in Isaiah 40-55 was an aspect of God’s judgment on Israel’s sin. As the whole bible attests, sin results in our alienation from God. Even in that exile, however, there remained hope for deliverance and reconciliation. Isaiah describes the arrival of this glorious message of reconciliation in Isaiah 52:7: “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news” (Isa: 52:7).
This Sunday our sermon text is Isaiah 52:7-10, where the prophet predicts the arrival of the good news of peace and happiness that will be proclaimed throughout all the earth.
For the link to this Sunday’s 9:45am livestream service, click here.
This Advent our church community has been focusing our mercy efforts on the country of Haiti as we partner with Chicago Friends of Haiti. During our worship service Sunday, we heard Joanna and Natalie Wierenga discuss the benefits of participating in short-term missions as we prepare to send a team to Haiti this summer. A link to the extended conversation between Joanna and Natalie can be found here.
Many of you came out Sunday evening to join us in praying over our Haiti project. A special thanks to Susie Wetherington for her efforts in coordinating that special event.
A few things for you to note this week:
Christmas Eve Services: Please let us know which service you plan to attend! 5:00pm (in-person) and 6:15pm (in-person and livestream)
We will still host our traditional candlelight service this Christmas Eve (December 24). Our services will be at 5 pm and 6:15 pm. If you are able, please let our office administrator, Rosa, know which service you plan to attend (firstname.lastname@example.org; 630-231-8230).
Send a Christmas Greeting to Your FCC Family by This Sunday
Record a Christmas video greeting on your phone or computer (15-30 seconds) and we will include it in a Christmas video collage to be shown at the Christmas Eve services. Please send your video to Tim Wierenga by this Sunday at email@example.com.
Adult Sunday School: This Sunday, December 20 at 4 pm
Our series in Cultivating the Fruit of the Spirit continues this Sunday with chapter 5 (kindness) at 4 pm in the Worship Center. After this Sunday, our class will take a break until January 10, when we will resume with chapter 6.
Advent Bible Project
Many of you have already submitted donations to go toward purchasing bibles for the students of the orphanage in Cavaillon, Haiti. To participate, take an ornament from the Christmas tree in the lobby (if worshipping in-person). You may make your donation by (1) placing it in the offering plate, (2) making a payment through the church website, or (3) sending a check to the church (910 Main St. West Chicago, IL 60185). If you give through our website, please help us to keep track of donations by contacting Rosa Matos in the church office, notating your intention for your gift to go toward the Advent project (630-231-8230; firstname.lastname@example.org).
Guest Preacher: Sunday, December 27
On the final Sunday of December, we will welcome FCC missionary Phil Smith to our pulpit to preach a sermon on John 16:33, entitled “No Matter What the New Year Brings, You Can Have Peace.”
Congregational Meeting: Sunday, January 3, 4:00pm (in-person, and livestream)
At our January congregational meeting we will be looking forward to what’s next for our church following our Refocus 2020 vision. We want to encourage all FCC members to join us. Also on January 3, we will begin a new five-week sermon series that explores our identity as a gospel-centered community. Please continue to pray for our church as we make this transition in focus to what the Lord has next for us.
Velazquez family: On Monday, December 14, Salvador Velazquez, the brother of Dario Velazquez, went to be with the Lord. A link to the obituary can be found here. Please pray that our God would strengthen, encourage, and comfort the Velazquez family during this time.
Grace and Peace,