This month we open ourselves to vocational shalom, Shalom of a Calling. Later this month on Ash Wednesday (February 17) we will enter into Lent, an annual period of reflection and contemplation preparing us for the commemoration of Christ’s sacrifice on Good Friday and the celebration of his resurrection on Easter Sunday. This year, may Lent be a season of opening ourselves to whatever calls God may be putting on our lives, both our individual lives and our corporate life as a church body. Tune in to morning prayers our YouTube channel on Wednesday mornings to explore this theme and connect with small groups on Monday and Wednesday evenings for companionship and guidance on our Lenten journeys. Contact Rebecca Chase to get connected with small groups.
In January we focus on emotional shalom, the Shalom of the Heart, celebrating God’s good gifts to us and our identities as God’s beloved children. Morning prayers on Mondays and Wednesdays will dwell on this theme of emotional welbeing. Tune in at 9 AM on our YouTube channel. Theology on Tap will explore issues of identity, belonging, and wholeness in their study of Austen Hartke’s Transforming: The Bible and the Lives of Transgender Christians. Contact the church office if you’d like to join in. And join the Monday and Wednesday small groups in finding joy in the book of Philippians. Contact Jim Whitfield to join Mondays and Rebecca Chase to join Wednesdays.
During December we celebrate Advent, the hopeful anticipation of the coming of Christ into the world. As we continue to shelter in place during the pandemic, and many of us are experiencing isolation from our loved ones, we are especially grateful for a God who takes on human form and meets us right where we are. Join us each Sunday morning on YouTube as we light the Advent candles during our worship services at 10 AM, pull into our parking lot for a special socially distanced carol sing on Saturday, December 19 at 6:30 PM, and don’t miss our Lessons and Carols Service on Christmas Eve at 6 PM featuring the full FPCC choir! Clicking the first link will take you to FPCC’s YouTube channel; the second and third links will take you to the Events calendar on FPCC’s website. Plus, check out this lovely Advent Calendar from our Connections team with verses and action items for each day of this season of anticipation. Clicking this link will take you to a PDF document on FPCC’s website.
November’s theme is Shalom of the City, focusing on the welfare of our larger community. Participate by joining the Outreach team in preparing and gifting shoeboxes with Operation Christmas Child, or reading and watching movies about some of the most overlooked folks in our society: the homeless, foster kids, the mentally ill, and more. Learn all about Shalom of the City in this blog post. Clicking this link will take you to a blog post on FPCC’s website.
October’s theme is Social Shalom, focusing on interpersonal relationships. Participate by attending a virtual event, engaging in a letter-writing campaign, or reading and watching movies about relationships. Learn all about Social Shalom in this blog post. Clicking this link will take you to a blog post on FPCC’s website.
Original Post from September
Shalom. Peace. Something we could all use a little bit more. But in Hebrew, “shalom” encompasses more than what we think of as peace. Wellness, security, and wholeness are all part of shalom. And that’s what we’ll be pursuing through this autumn, winter, and spring together as a congregation. You can listen to Pastor Johanna and Lisa discuss the theme of Shalom for the year in the “Shalom” episode of 1stCast by clicking here. Clicking this link will take you to our podcast page.
Northwestern University has identified eight different dimensions of wellness, and you can learn more about them here. Clicking this link will take you to Northwestern University’s webpage about wellness.
These eight dimensions are:
- and financial.
Together over the course of the next year we will examine one of these dimensions each month through the spiritual lens of shalom, beginning in September with physical health, the Shalom of the Body.
Through integrated sermon series, daily prayer themes, podcast episodes, community events, and more we will explore what shalom means for us in each of these aspects of our lives and seek God’s peace and wholeness for ourselves, our community, and our world.
Shalom of the Body begins in September with Pastor Johanna’s new sermon series Pilgrim’s Progress: The Christian Journey, and our Walk the Exodus project. Walk the Exodus is a 30-day activity goal to collectively cover the 375 miles from Egypt to the Promised Land. By the end of the month, our congregation completed over 400 miles together!
Walk the Exodus includes:
- activities such as walking, biking, running, gardening, and reading or watching films about journeys.
- a worksheet to help track the time you spend doing Walk the Exodus activities which you can download and print at home. The worksheet is available here. Clicking this link will take you to a PDF document on our website.
- a list of book and film recommendations. You can find the list here. Clicking this link will take you to a PDF document on our website.
- a list of inspirational quotes to keep us going. The list for week 1 is available here. Clicking this link will take you to a PDF document on our website. The list for week 2 is available here. Clicking this link will take you to a PDF document on our website.
You can learn all about how to participate in Walk the Exodus in this blog post on our website. Clicking this link will take you to another page on our website with more information about Walk the Exodus.
While we explore the Shalom of the Body in September, we are preparing more dimensions of wellness through the coming year.
Our scheduled themes are:
- Social Shalom in October
- Shalom of the City in November
- Advent in December
- Emotional Shalom in January
- Vocational Shalom in February
- Spiritual Shalom for Lent in March
- Financial Shalom in April
- Environmental Shalom in May
- Intellectual Shalom in June
As our plans develop, we will update this page with all the information about what to expect and how to participate.