First Christian Church
“Good News” Newsletter
Church elders are (l to r): Barbara Stivers, Sonya Vann, Eileen Mischke, Judy Shade, Eileen Crouch, and Sue Catron.
Not pictured are Paula Reif, Richard Reif, Doug Stivers, and Mike Phillips.
First Christian Approves Slate of New Officers
and Budget for 2021
The congregation of First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Tahlequah approved the 2021 church budget and the Church Board’s Nominating Committee’s recommended slate of Officers, Trustees, Elders, and Deacons for 2021 at their annual Congregational Meeting held November 22.
Next year’s Board Chair will be Sonya Vann, and the Vice Chair will be Doug Stivers. Judy Hathaway will serve as the Church Board Secretary, and Candy Wolf will be the Church Treasurer.
Trustees for 2021 are Judy Shade, Jack Dobbins, and Jerry Dorr.
Serving as Elders will be: Eileen Mischke, Eileen Crouch, Sue Catron, Sonya Vann, Barbara Stivers, Judy Shade, Richard Reif, Doug Stivers, Mike Phillips, and Paula Reif.
The Deacons for 2021 are: Sarah Olivares, Bob Childers, Sr., Linda Spears, Candy Wolf, Laurie Dorr, Greg Crouch, Cody Dorr, Jerry Dorr, Gary Dorr, Marjie Dowling, Trevor Crouch, Janet Augerhole, Herman Augerhole, Lindsay Crouch, and Connie Sinclair. Additionally, Karly Crouch has been selected to serve as a Junior Deacon.
Don’t Let the “Covid Grinch”
Steal Your Holiday Joy
by Pastor Darell Christopher
My brothers and sisters, you will have many kinds of trouble. But this gives you a reason to be very happy. 3 You know that when your faith is tested, you learn to be patient in suffering. 4 If you let that patience work in you, the end result will be good. You will be mature and complete. You will be all that God wants you to be.
James 1:2-4 (ERV)
As the song, “Deck the Halls” tells us, "'Tis the season to be jolly”, but this Covid-19 Pandemic Crisis has everyone feeling not so jolly. But as James reminds us, we have very good reasons to be happy. The NIV translation says, “Consider it pure joy, when faced with trials of many kinds”. My prayer is that during this Holiday season, we won’t let this virus or any of life’s troubles keep us from counting our blessings and being thankful. This holiday season should remind us that we can find joy in knowing God sent Jesus because He loves us.
Let’s not forget that the concept of holidays (“Holy Days”) originated in connection with religious observances. The intention of a holiday (“Holy Day”) was typically to allow individuals to tend to religious duties associated with important dates on the calendar. Today, most holidays serve as recreational vacation time with little attention paid to its religious significance.
Although the word originally referred only to special religious days, we now have a “Holiday” season. Holiday season usually starts around Thanksgiving and ends with New Year's Eve. My prayer is that we will take a moment to reflect on the true meaning of Christmas and during this “Holiday” season we will rejoice.
In Nehemiah 8, the Children of Israel have been freed from captivity and Nehemiah tells them, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”
We can rejoice every day, and every day can be a “Holiday” because God loves us and “The joy of the Lord is our strength.”
You would not know it by listening to the media or walking by sight and not faith, but we have so much to be thankful for: family, loved ones, and Church family. I praise God for food, shelter and health. I am so thankful for my salvation and the confidence I can have by trusting God.
My hope and my prayer is that each of us will take time during this holiday season to be happy.
“Joy to the world, the Lord has come!”
GOING DOWN THE ROAD WITH JUDY:
Exploring Oklahoma’s Historic Churches
By Judy Shade
Greetings, sisters and brothers. This month brings us to near Grove, Oklahoma. Overlooking the Neosha River sits the Splitlog Church, some nine miles northeast of Grove. It is a handsome, still impressive, monument to a remarkably able, public-spirited man.
Mathias Splitlog was born in New York in 1812- half Cayugan, half French by ancestry. An important figure on four frontiers, he died in 1897. With his wife Eliza, a Wyandot, he lies buried in the pleasantly oak-shaded burying ground of the church he helped dedicate just six weeks before his death.
The church itself may well be the only structure of its kind in the country today, built by a Native American with his own funds. Splitlog “possessed the quality known as Vision”. According to one historian, ”His ideas were ahead of his time”. Pressured from homes in Ohio, Kansas and Missouri, the Wyandots finally found a sanctuary in 1874 among the Senecas here in Indian Territory. Once again Splitlog set to work building a new life for his people.
He settled near the springs he named Cayuga. The town that developed around it became Cayuga Springs. He built a sawmill and a grist mill, established a blacksmith shop, operated a ferry, and erected an impressive four -story factory for manufacturing wagons and buggies. Most ambitious of his projects, however (if largely unsuccessful), was the “Splitlog Line”, now part of the Kansas City Southern Lines. Work began on it in 1887. By 1890 the tracks had reached Solitlog City in Missouri. “I go on,” he promised in a dedicatory speech. “I make Cayuga and Splitlog biggest towns in the Ozarks.” Alas, Splitlog church is about all that’s left today of the Cayuga Springs settlement. But it is no crude frontier affair.
Matching its buttressed walls and high roof topped by towers front and back were an ornately carved alter, confessional, and choir loft, stained glass windows and a bell cast in Belgium. The organ was not delivered when Splitlog died. But the rock ruin behind the church once housed a steam heating plant. The special Catholic furnishings were removed when the church was sold to the Methodists in 1930. Though privately owned today, Splitlog Church is well preserved, an altogether fitting tribute to a great man.
From Window On The Past, by Kent Ruth
Reaching Out While We Are In – November and December
By Eileen Mischke
We will be featuring two ministries these two months.
The first is local, and it is Hope House. Hope House is the only homeless shelter in Tahlequah that houses families. They, as most other ministries these days, are having to struggle to help folks in need. They don’t have a large facility, and with the CDC guidelines, they can accommodate fewer folks because of the need for social distancing and additional sanitation.
They are also having a difficult time locating some of the supplies needed. Then, too, since they can have fewer folks in their facility, they are working to keep local people in their own accommodations, and there is a great demand for help with utility bills so that they don’t have the lights, heat, etc. cut off. Any financial help that we can provide would be appreciated.
It’s also time for the Disciples’ Annual Christmas Offering.
What is the Christmas Offering?
Gifts to the Christmas offering support the work of the Oklahoma Region. It sustains the life of the church by connecting, empowering and equipping Disciples of Christ to love and serve like Jesus.
100% of your gift supports Oklahoma Regional Ministries.
Even during this long season of COVID we continue to –
Connect congregations and clergy to each other
Gather Disciples virtually in camps, conferences and assemblies.
Nurture those called to vocational ministry.
Assist churches in calling new ministers.
Participate in the global mission of the church.
Respond to disasters in Oklahoma with dollars and resources.
Walk with those in conflict.
Lead the church to address racism.
Inspire leaders to experiment and create.
This special offering will officially be received December 13th and 20th, but you can give anytime in December in church, online, or by mail. Please designate your offering “Christmas”.
We thought you would enjoy pictures of Christmases past.
Online Giving Now Available
Those who wish may now give to First Christian Church, Tahlequah online!
You may give through our website by clicking here.
If you wish to give using your Smartphone, you will need the app. Here are the instructions:
Tithe.ly Giving App:
Since this is your first time giving with Tithe.ly you will be prompted to create an account that you can use for all future gifts.
The first time you will also need to add your credit/debit card or ACH/banking info.
Once your account has been created you won’t need to enter your personal or payment information. Just enter your PIN and give!
A reminder you have the ability to set your gift up as recurring.
Pastor's Devotional Podcasts
Pastor Darell does a regular Devotional Podcast on the Members of First Christian Church Facebook page. If you are not a member on this page and would like to be, please contact us at 918. 456-2415, by e-mail at , or send a message through our website here.