Vacation update

On May 30, Marla and I celebrated 25 years of marriage and we are on the trip of a lifetime – visits to Custer State Park, Yellowstone and now Rocky Mountain National Park. What a blessing it has been to disconnect w/ Marla – and Marla only – for the past 10 days! That said, we can’t wait to get back to good old central Illinois! Several quick thoughts this morning and some prayer requests:

Thoughts/Updates:

  • This Sunday is our congregational meeting for the purpose of affirming Mark Behrends and Gage Lyons as Elder candidates – the meeting will take place at the conclusion of both services.
  • Also this Sunday – all-church picnic at the Wapella park – bring your own food and plan to connect with your church family!
  • Great job to everyone involved w/ VBS 2017! Special huge thanks to Cassandra and Allison for leading w/ excellence!
  • Thanks to Samuel and Allison for leading the all-church presentation on the recent spiritual growth survey from February!
  • Thanks to Scott DeWitt and Bob Phillips for preaching the past two Sundays!
  • Thanks to everyone involved in the June 10 Mobile Food pantry!
  • God’s creation is INCREDIBLE! I’m preaching this Sunday a message entitled “Creation or the Creator . . . or both?” Can’t wait! Also this Sunday, you will get to hear from one of our monthly mission partners who serves in a country where you cannot be a Christian – and yet the church is doing incredible things! Don’t miss Sunday!

Prayer requests:

  • Please pray for the Micah Wakeman family – elder at Mt Pulaski CC and Decatur firefighter, he passed away last week in a farming accident and his visitation is tonight and his funeral is tomorrow. I LOVE the entire Wakeman family – Marla and I have watched as they raised their family – their two oldest are very close in age to Jordan and Peyton. Micah and his wife Laura changed and are changing their world through foster parenting and mission trips – one of Jordan’s classmates shared this from Micah’s journal during a trip to Uganda – his level’s of importance:
    • First – Jesus
    • Second – Those you are serving
    • Third – Every other team member
    • Fourth – ME
    • This really sums up a great man who truly loved Jesus with all his heart!
  • Please also pray for Little Galilee weeks of camp and especially the week several of us from Clinton will lead July 2-7! Last year, about 25 campers made the decision to follow Jesus at our week of camp – praying for God to move hearts again this year!
  • Finally, will you pray for Peyton and his team of students and their teachers as they travel home from Spain on Wednesday?

Have a great week – see you Sunday!

GT

VBS is here weekly update!

In just a couple of hours, we will have a couple hundred people rolling through the halls of FCC as VBS 2017 gets rolling. Super excited about this week for so many reasons! Will you pray right now and throughout the week for the children, teens and adults who are a part of VBS 2017? Thanks in advance! Here are multiple things to keep track of:

  • This Saturday June 10, we are hosting a MOBILE FOOD Pantry at the Cable Building – help is needed from 9am until noon and food is distributed from 10-11:30am. Can you help? We could certainly use you!
  • This Thursday evening June 8 – at 7pm in the foyer outside the sanctuary – a meeting will take place for the Men’s Mission Trip 2017 to Mexico to work with Casas por Cristo. Scott DeWitt will be leading the meeting and Gage Lyons and Ryan Sosaman are leading the charge at FCC. If you are able to do physical labor and have a current passport, we want you!
  • Elder Recommendation forms are due TODAY at 4pm in the church office!
  • Congregational meetings for the purpose of affirming those recommended to serve as Elder will be on Sunday June 25 at the conclusion of both morning services. The ballot will be listed on the screen and in the news notes on both June 11 and June 18.
  • Saturday June 17 brings the Kingdom Classic 5K at Little Galilee to support COPE – get registered today!
  • Also on Saturday June 17, the Vault is hosting a dinner and an auction to raise funds for our new youth center in Clinton – take advantage of this great opportunity!
  • Saturday June 24 – the annual tour De Witt – I’m riding, are you?
  • Little Galilee camping season is HERE! Are you taking advantage of FCC’s 1/2 tuition scholarship for one session of camp? Let’s do it!
  • Sunday June 25 – All church picnic at the Wapella Park during the evening – ALL are invited and welcome!
  • Tuesdays June 13 and June 27 – RELOAD for Men at the Cable Building at 6am – Samuel Green will be leading on the 13th and I’m back on the 27th – Karen Rice and Ginny Carter are going to make sure we don’t starve!
  • Saturday July 29 – Father/Son Cookout at Weldon Springs – this is another event brought to us by Joyce Mathias, Mary Holland, Joyce Trummel and crew!

Finally this morning, three final thoughts:

First – thanks to Little Galilee for continued partnership in ministry! They allowed us to do our rescheduled 5K to Raise 5K at LGCA on Saturday and are a special ministry partner! Thanks Ken, Kevin, Bob, Max, Bev and crew!

Second – please remember families in our church who are experiencing loss – so difficult for so many – blessings and love to the Lord, Dumser, Lehman and Walden families!

Finally – we are almost out of here! Marla and I leave Friday afternoon for a two week journey to South Dakota, Wyoming and Colorado! Thanks in advance to Scott DeWitt and Bob Phillips for preaching in my absence!

blessings,

GT

Memorial Day weekly update

Blessings to you on this Memorial Day – an important day for all Americans as we pause to remember those men and women who have truly paid the ultimate price for our freedom. Enjoy today – the gatherings, the games, the day off from work – but don’t forget to take time and say thank you to those who gave all they could for you. I love our country – I hope you do as well – and I pray we will never take for granted the blessings of living in the USA!

Several quick hits this morning:

  • This Saturday is the reschedule 5k to raise 5k at Little Galilee – note the change in location! Check in/registration will begin at 6:45am and the race starts at 8am. Two options for walkers! You can walk the full 5k route or we will be offering a 1.5 mile walk route as well!
  • Elder Recommendation forms are at the welcome center and will be accepted until 4pm on Monday June 5 – if you have questions about the process or the form, please let me know.
  • VBS is coming soon! Monday June 5 through Friday June 9 – it will be a blast! Will you start praying now for a great week!
  • Operation Bold Bible Study!!! Yesterday at the end of Family Sunday, we issued a giving challenge – we wanted to raise $903 for a special Bible and Bible study tools for each camper at our week of Junior camp in early July. We didn’t raise $903 – we raised close to $1500! God is good all the time! Every penny given will go to purchasing Bibles and Bible study tools and getting them in the hands of children and students!
  • Mobile Food pantry on Saturday June 10 at the Cable Building – we need YOUR help! Can you serve?
  • Congregational meetings for the purpose of affirming those men recommended to serve as Elder will take place on Sunday June 25 at the conclusion of both morning worship services. The ballot will be published on Sunday June 11.

Finally – tomorrow Marla and I will celebrate 25 years of marriage and I am so thankful for this incredible gift God has blessed me with! Being married to a minister is so much more difficult than most could ever imagine – I won’t go into detail other than to say I wouldn’t be where I am today without Marla. She is special beyond words and my cup overflows. Love you Marla Taylor!

Have a great day!

GT

Special Friday May 26 blog update:

I realize it is NOT Monday but several things need to be announced or reminded, so this week brings a bonus blog! Here we go:

  • This Sunday is a ONE SERVICE SUNDAY at 9:30am – NO programming at 8:15 or 10:45 – you will NOT want to miss it! We will be having a FAMILY SUNDAY and should be really memorable!
  • Elder Recommendation forms are at the welcome center – if you are planning to make a recommendation for Eldership, it needs to be turned in to the church office by 4pm on Monday June 5.
  • Men’s Mission Trip 2017 to Casas por Cristo in Del Rio, TX will take place in August of this year – the 8th through the 15th – work to be done in Acuna, Mexico. If you are interested in this trip, see Gage Lyons or Ryan Sosaman. An informational meeting will take place during VBS week with Scott DeWitt from Casas!
  • The annual Memorial Day service will take place at the cemetery at 10am on Monday May 29 – FCC will be the bad weather/rain back up location. Please do your best to attend this important gathering!

Have a great weekend and we will see you Sunday at 9:30am!

Happy Graduation weekly update

Graduation 2017 is either in the books or just around the corner for most of the folks connected with Clinton FCC. Let me share four quick thoughts for ALL of our graduates – whether it is 8th grade, HS, college or graduate degree completion:

1st – CONGRATS! Seriously, well done. We all go through times during the educational process where we wonder if it is truly worth it. And guess what, it is truly worth it! So congrats on staying the course and finishing. Well done!

2nd – Don’t look at your graduation as an ending, but rather a beginning. If you are wrapping up HS, begin to visualize what you can accomplish next. If you are completing your undergraduate education, begin to hope and dream about what might be next. Never quit learning. Never stop having the desire to learn. Make the most of the opportunities in front of you!

3rd – Look at this next phase of life as new beginning. I remember talking w/ an 8th grade graduate several years ago who was a good student but had the reputation at his Jr High of being a trouble maker and clown – and he was really discouraged about this label he was wearing. My message was simple: next year brings a new school, possibly some new friends, a different faculty and the chance to start over – to begin again. If you are not thrilled with where you have been up to this point one way or another, use your graduation – and new beginning – as the chance to start again new.

4th – Most importantly – put your hope and trust in God! In the book of 1 Timothy, Paul shares some important spiritual encouragement for his young son of the faith Timothy. He says in 1 Timothy 4:12 “don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith, and in purity.” Really good advice! In 1 Timothy 4:16 he says “to watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them . . .” Good advice! And in 1 Timothy 4:9, he says to remember this trustworthy saying, “we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all men.” Great advice! Put your hope and trust in God!

Congrats on your graduation! Blessings to you!

Hey Clinton FCC – don’t forget the following:

  • RELOAD for Men – THIS Tuesday May 23 at 6am at the Cable Building!
  • ONE SERVICE SUNDAY – THIS Sunday at 9:30am – no programming at 8:15 or 10:45! This will be a FAMILY Sunday!
  • RESCHEDULED 5K to Raise 5K – Saturday June 3 at 8am!!!
  • VBS at Clinton FCC – June 5-9!

Have a great week!

GT

Thankfulness for God’s people

A day late Happy Mother’s Day to all of those who have sacrificed and loved children and grandchildren through the years! Special blessings to the three “mothers” in my life: my mom Dorothy, my wife Marla, and my mother-in-law Lavina – three special women who have blessed me and my family continually. Honor to whom honor is due!

I want to write this week about three special happenings this past weekend at Clinton FCC – the blessings flowing as a result:

  1. Mother Daughter banquet – back in February, Joyce Mathias asked to have a meeting with me and to be honest, I wasn’t really sure what she could possibly want? It turned out to be an idea she wasn’t sure I would be excited about – to attempt to begin a new program/tradition at our church – a Mother/Daughter banquet. I actually was very excited! And Saturday turned out to a an incredible day of blessing after blessing! Thanks Joyce for taking the lead on this event, and her team of Mary Holland, Joyce Trummel, Jan Dial and others hit a home run! It was special to see so many men serving – from teens like Peyton and Isaiah to men in their 80’s – every generation serving the Lord! We had about 160 participants – I would call that a success for year #1! Way to go Joyce and crew!
  2. Post Office Food Drive – also on Saturday – all day for the that matter – was the annual Post Office Food Drive to support the food pantry’s in our community. Barb Baker and an army of volunteers gave up their Saturday to help with this all-day event and our food pantry was very blessed as a result – over 800 pounds of food was donated by our community to our food pantry alone! Thank you Barb and all those who served on Saturday! By the way, if you want to help our food pantry, why not consider buying a ticket for the Rotary sponsored Nelson’s Chicken Dinner tomorrow May 16? Pick up will be at the Junior High from 4:30 – 6pm – tickets are $9 in advance, or $10 day of.
  3. End of the year Choir Cantata – Ruth Davidson and the choir blessed us at 8:15am yesterday with five moving “specials” – each telling a different story about faith and life! Two highlights for me personally: The Mother’s Day special w/ pictures from our church; and the Flash Mob to conclude the service that reminded us we should never apologize for celebrating the blessings of our faith! Christians should the happiest and most joyful people of all – and sadly this is not always the case. If you didn’t leave first service Sunday with a smile on your face and joy in your heart, I don’t really know what to say! Well done Ruth and choir!

Keep the following in mind:

  • Saturday is our 5K to raise 5K – not to late to sign up – get your registration form in the church office, at the welcome center or call the church and we will deliver! Cost to participate is just $20 and ALL monies raised support our summer mission trips!
  • RELOAD for Men – Tuesday May 23 at 6am at the Cable Building! Summer dates for RELOAD will be June 13 and 27; July 11 and 25; August 8 and 22.
  • ONE SERVICE Sunday Memorial Day weekend – Sunday May 28 at 9:30am – FAMILY Sunday – you will not want to miss this special service!
  • Daily Bible readings continue – don’t miss the blessing of reading through the NT with your church family! This week we wrap up Romans and read the book of James!

Have a great week!

GT

Biggie Smalls week

I’m typing this morning from beautiful Southern Indiana as Cody and I get ready for the 2017 Big Church-Small Town gathering in Corydon, Indiana. My friend Randy Kirk had the vision for this gathering last year, and we learned much from other churches that fit our unique demographic: churches of 500 or more located in communities of 10,000 or less. Several quick updates and reminders before we leave for First Capitol Christian Church to learn from one another:

  • Mother/Daughter banquet – this Saturday at FCC – I still need 4-5 men who can help w/ serving the event – can you help?
  • Sunday May 14 – End of the year Choir Cantata at 8:15am service – come on out and support Ruth Davidson and our choir!
  • Tuesday May 16 – Nelson’s drive through chicken dinner sponsored by Clinton Rotary at the Jr High from 4:30 – 6pm – tickets are $9 and ALL money raised goes to support the local food pantries in our community, including FCC’s!
  • Saturday May 20 – 5K to Raise 5K – run, walk, register but don’t participate – all are GREAT options – just $20 per person – supports summer missions trips!
  • Sunday May 28 – ONE service Sunday at FCC at 9:30am!
  • VBS at FCC will be June 5-9
  • Men’s Mission Trip to Casas Por Cristo – August 5-12

Have a great day – see you Sunday!

GT