First Christian Church
“Good News” Newsletter
Andy Crouch and Jenisi Reif on Youth Sunday
Youth Sunday- “Peace Talks”
Our Youth Sunday Worship Service on August 29 was uplifting and timely. Several of our young people were unable to participate in Sunday’s program. Many of our young people could not attend because they were under quarantine during this Pandemic crisis.
But we are thankful that Andy Crouch and Jenisi Reif were able to put their talents to use and deliver a superb service. We would also like to thank Eileen Crouch and Paula Reif for putting together a beautiful and thoughtful worship service.
The theme for August’s Youth Sunday was “Peace Talks”. The music, the scripture, and the message all focused on how important peace is in our lives. Some of our folks who could remember the ‘60’s commented on how much they appreciated “Turn, Turn”, by the Byrds.
Our next “Youth” Sunday will be October 31.
From the Pastor's Desk
by Pastor Darell Christopher
“Children are a Gift from God?”
“Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him.” (Psalms 127:3 NLT)
Besides the gift of salvation, there is no greater gift we have been given than our children. To become a parent of a precious child that we can love and nurture is a gift God has allowed many of us to have and experience. But there is also no greater responsibility we have been given than bringing our children up in the right way.
Let’s be honest; with all the stress and worries of life, caring for kids can feel like draining work. You can say it’s a gift, but sometimes it can feel more like a heavy burden.
It’s easy to miss out on the daily joys of raising children and watching them become mature, responsible adults. We can forget how important it is to have family-life, and how important it is to pass on our legacy to our children. It hurts my heart to know that there are kids who have none to very little love and nurturing in their lives.
If you are a parent, grandparent, or great-grandparent, and you need encouragement, turn to the Bible. God’s word is a place we can keep going back to when our lives need re-grounding in truth. God’s word reminds us of what in our lives matters most. It points us to the good and beautiful all around us, and our children are one of the most beautiful gifts we have in this life.
Every Christian parent's job is to raise our children with right Biblical foundation, so that they too may learn the gospel, accept Jesus into their hearts, and live the rest of their lives dedicated to Him and His service. The New Living Translation of Proverbs 22:7 reads, “Direct your children onto the right path,and when they are older, they will not leave it.” The Message says, “Point your kids in the right direction— when they’re old they won’t be lost.”
Parenting is difficult, and it takes a village. Often we say, “Children are the Church of the future”, but honestly, they are the Church of today. I love our young people at First Christian. I am enjoying watching them grow up.
I know how difficult it is to raise children, especially in today’s world. But rather than judge and condemn a parent, we should find ways to make a parent’s burden lighter. I am so thankful to be part of a church family that appreciates the children of our congregation. It is my prayer that we all will continue to support parents and celebrate the gifts that God has given to us.
GOING DOWN THE ROAD WITH JUDY:
Exploring Oklahoma’s Historic Churches
By Judy Shade
Greetings Sisters and Brothers. This month I am doing something a little different. Here is the first of a 2- part series that I found to be very interesting. Hope you enjoy it too.
Since the time of Christ, the Church has lived a history of both glorious and deplorable moments. Oftentimes, the circumstances and culture surrounding believers affected how the Church responded. Despite the imperfection of man, Christ has continued to sustain His Bride.
Below are 5 facts you may not know about church history.
1.The early apologists never apologized for their Christian faith.
False teaching and doctrine existed early in the Church’s history. We often think of false teaching about the Bible as existing within a contemporary context. However, early believers refuted various objections about Jesus shortly after his death and resurrection. The New Testament warns against false teaching (Matthew 24:24; Acts 20:28-30; 2 Timothy 4:3-4; 2 Peter 3:14-18).
Opposition eventually arose against Christianity. Those who opposed the faith began to accuse Christians of being atheists because they had no visible gods. They argued that believers were subversive because they refused to worship the emperor. Because of the enmity from the culture and rumors about Christians, early theologians responded.
These apologists defended the basic tenants of the Christian faith: the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Many of these heroes of the faith died defending truths we gloss over today. The apologists had several objectives: dispel misconceptions about Christianity, explain Christian doctrine and practice, and model the Christian life.
Influential believers during this time include Origen, Tertullian, Justin Martyr, and Clement of Alexandria.
2.Persecution among early Christians helped spread the gospel throughout the world.
In the Book of Acts and the rest of the New Testament, we see evidence of persecution within the early Church (Acts 22:7; Romans 12:14; 2 Timothy 3:12). For the first 300 years of the Church’s existence, Christians experienced seasons of persecution. Through the trials, the gospel continued to spread.
Tertullian of Carthage stated, “We multiply whenever we are mown down by you; the blood of Christians is seed.”
Freedom from persecution finally came for Christians after the emperor Constantine had a revelation on an eve of a battle. After he went into battle victorious, he issued the “Edict of Milan,” which led to the end of the persecution for Christians.
3. Heresy often helped clarify church doctrine.
In 325 AD, a council of church leaders met in Nicaea to address Arianism, the teaching that Jesus, the Son, was neither divine nor of the same substance as the Father. The outcome of this meeting was a clarification and solidification of who the Church believed Jesus to be.
Other important councils which helped unify the theology of the Church include: the First Council of Constantinople (381 AD), the Council of Ephesus (431 AD), the Council of Chalcedon (451 AD), the Second Council of Constantinople(553 AD), the Third Council of Constantinople (680–681 AD) and finally, the Second Council of Nicaea (787 AD).
These councils not only condemned heresies and created Church creeds, but they also solidified the canonization of the Bible.
4. The Latin Vulgate was initially not well received.
Originally, the Bible was written in Hebrew and Greek. In the fourth century, more and more people spoke Latin, and there were many forms of a Latin text. Pope Damascus I commissioned Jerome to revise the Old Latin Gospels.
Jerome then, by his own volition, went on to translate the Bible directly from the Hebrew and Greek texts. This gave the Church a standard version of the Bible. While eventually, the Vulgate became the accepted version for worship, it was not initially well-received by both the general public, as well as leaders such as Augustine of Hippo (St. Augustine).
5. The fall of Rome strengthened the church in the Middle Ages.
As the Roman Empire declined throughout the Fifth Century, Christianity continued to grow throughout the world. When Rome fell in 476 AD, the Church felt the impact of the barbarian conquest. Christianity had unified as a religion by this time and was declared the religion of the state by Constantine. The hierarchal structure of the church stepped in to fill holes that the empire left. Suddenly, the church became involved in politics and education; giving the institution more wealth and power than it had ever experienced.
Our precious children during Children's Moment
Feeding Tahlequah's needy at Feed My Sheep
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:
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