Light and Leaven

 FCPC Christian Education Newsletter

April 2016


Spring Edition

Flowers are in bloom, lawn mowers are buzzing, people have allergy sniffles. It must be Spring!

Spring means a lot of things for First Central, not the least of which was Easter. Easter is one of the busier times in the life of First Central Presbyterian. Not only do we have special services through Lent like our Ash Wednesday Service, but we also participate in Holy Week lunches, have a Maundy Thursday service, and have plenty going on for Resurrection Sunday.

Perhaps you’ve already brought flowers for the flowering of the cross. Maybe you came for the Maundy Thursday Service. Sleepy? Did you volunteer at the youth Lock-In? Spring buzzes at FCPC like bees in a garden.

With that in mind, this edition of Light and Leaven is designed to let you focus on Spring, Easter, and for the multitude of ways you can participate at First Central.

Happy Easter and happy Spring.



The Way to Anathoth

Anathoth was the hometown of the prophet Jeremiah. The town suffered greatly from Sennacherib’s army. According to Nehemiah and Ezra, only 128 men returned to Anathoth after the Babylonian Captivity. When the armies of Babylon approached, Jeremiah was confident that his hometown would be taken. So what did Jeremiah do? He decided it was the right time to buy property.

According to Jeremiah 32:9 and following, “And [Jeremiah] bought the field at Anathoth from [his] cousin Hanamel, and weighted out the money to him, seventeen shekels of silver. I signed the deed, sealed it, got witnesses, and weighed the money on scales...he took the deeds and sealed them in an earthenware jar, in order that they may last a long time. For thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: Houses and fields and vineyards shall again be bought in this land.”

The garden at Anathoth was a symbol of the longevity of Israel. Even in the winter of exile, there would again come a spring of promise that Israel would again inhabit the promised land. For Jeremiah, the clearest symbol of return was a garden in his hometown.

There is no shortage of lessons that can be gleaned from a garden—health lessons, work lessons, care lessons, attention lessons. For these reasons, and maybe some of your own, FCPC has embarked on a planting pilgrimage. Perhaps you’ve noticed the work going on across the street that included dirt, mulch, and now a few plants, berries, and trees.

Saturday, April 16th, is a special day for our FCPC garden. We will be laying bricks along the labyrinth path. Although the path is winding, it always leads to the center. All people are invited, but a special invitation goes out to our children to help in laying the bricks. Please consider coming at 9:00 am.

Last Logos

Our last Logos meeting for the semester was March 22nd, Palm Sunday. While all Logos meetings are fun, this was especially meaningful as parents were invited to join along.

Not only were parents learning songs and eating with everyone, but we had a few special games planned for them. When we asked people to imagine the fellowship hall was a map, did you know we had people pressed against the wall to show they were from Romania?

Logos is a fantastic program for our students, and now it has been fantastic for families as well!



Seekers and John 3:16

How often do you hear something like, “I couldn’t quote you chapter and verse,”

People respond differently to quoting from the Bible. Chapter and verse can sometimes feel like a bludgeon in an argument rather than a kind word in a conversation. However, for those occasions when a kind or wise word is called for, scripture provides a treasury from which to draw if one is willing to search it.

That is why, starting this month, we are beginning the “Seekers” Bible memory program at the start of Sunday School. Each student will be given a booklet of 26 Bible verses to memorize. If the student can recite the verse from memory to his or her Sunday School teacher, then the student will get a signature and a Bible Buck for the task.

More than a signature and a Bible Buck, students will hopefully become filled with what Paul calls in Romans 2:15, “instruction written on the heart.” And 20 years from now, maybe they won’t still remember chapter and verses, but a kind word at the right moment just happens to come to mind.



Newspaper Seedlings

Looking for ways to contribute to FCPC’s garden or your own? Try these biodegradable newspaper planters!

You will need one sheet of newspaper (each roughly 22" x 12") for each pot you want to make / one 10- to 15-ounce can / moistened seed-starting medium / waterproof tray.

Fold Newspaper “hot dog style” to create a long strip. Then wrap your can with the strip, leaving about two inches of overhang at the bottom of the can.

Make the base by folding the overhang inward and taping.

Slip out the can, and fold the edge to make a stable rim.

Fill the pot with soil and seed to make a seed pod. The entire pot can be planted to start your new plant. OR you could bring your pods to FCPC to leave a lasting mark on our garden!

CE Calendar

Fri-Sun, April 22-24— Mo Ranch Spring Retreat for Youth
Sun, April 22— Bible Bucks Store is Open

Monday Mornings, 7:00-8:00 Men’s Bible Study
Sunday Evenings, 4-5 Confirmation Classes
Sunday Evenings, 5-6 Women’s Bible Study