Worship Planning Retreat


On Saturday, June 1, from 10:00-2:00, we will have our next Worship Planning Retreat. This is an opportunity for anyone to come and help envision our worship services over the next 2-3 months. We will read scripture together and brainstorm themes, songs, poems, prayers, and ways we might structure our worship time. Everyone is welcome! So, bring yourselves, your ideas, a lunch, and snacks to share. We will share a refreshing and life-giving time together, while doing the work of the church—it is a retreat, after all!

50 Years of Walking. 50 years of Ending Hunger Together.

You know what hunger looks like. You’ve seen it in on local news stations and in the faces of kids around the world. It is long-lasting, and it is everywhere.

For 50 years, average Americans have come together to fight hunger in exceptional ways through the CROP Hunger Walk. These aren’t politicians or celebrities – they’re passionate (and compassionate!) farmers, students, members of the faith community, volunteers and more who care that the people they see on a daily basis are struggling. And for five decades, they have moved to make a difference.

The story of the CROP Hunger Walk goes back to 1969. Teens in Bismarck, North Dakota and York County, Pennsylvania decided it was time to do something for families who had to walk miles for food and clean water. So they walked…and, because they took that first step, hunger has forever been changed.

Today, millions of people across nearly every state have participated in what is now called the CROP Hunger Walk. Our walks of life may look different, but we move forward with the same vision: a world where every child has enough healthy food to survive each day.

First Christian Church is one of the sponsoring organizations for the Vallejo CROP Hunger Walk. Our walk this year is on May 4th (May the fourth be with you!). This is the 12th year we have come together to raise funds for agencies in Vallejo and surrounding areas. With Church World Service's help, we gather funds many different ways. One way is by going on line at www.crophungerwalk.org/vallejoca and donate or form a team. Another is to come down to the waterfront on May 4th starting at 9:00 and walk the 3k trek with us. With each dollar raised, hunger will be a little less.

Moving Toward Easter

As we move through the Christian Season of Lent, our theme this year is “Crisis of the Heart,” and we continue to consider the ways we experience and heal from the heartaches, heartbreaks, and heart troubles all around us.
 
As Easter draws closer, Jesus moves toward Jerusalem and the cross.
 
On Palm Sunday, April 14, you are invited to bring palm branches—BIG and small—to
help us welcome Jesus.
 
On Maundy Thursday, April 18, we will have a moving service featuring communion and the last words of Christ presented by the church Elders.
 
On Easter Sunday, April 21, we will have an Easter Breakfast Potluck beginning at 8:30, followed by an egg hunt and activities for both kids and adults, and Easter worship at 10:30.

Hunger Walk Concert

On Saturday, March 23rd, the Hunger Walk of Vallejo will present the Pickle Creek String Band, Lironna Sanchez on the piano, and much more to help three local agencies help those in need. All proceeds will go to these groups: Amador Street Hope Center, DePaul Women’s Center and American Canyon Family Resource Center. Each group works with people and families in our local community. Whether it’s helping with taxes or it’s distributing food or it’s serving a hot meal, each group is dedicated to help those who are less fortunate.

The concert will start at 7:00 with the doors opening at 6:30. Bluegrass, old time/ Appalachian, Irish/Celtic, folk and American ballads are just some of the types of music you will be hearing. Tickets are $10.00 minimum donation for adults and for students high school and younger just $5.00. Refreshments will be served during the concert. This will be the fifth annual concert to help us start thinking about the 12th Annual Hunger Walk of Vallejo which is on May 4th. If you would like to donate toward these agencies, please visit www.crophungerwalk.org/vallejo.

Mission Action Sunday

From the book Live Just.ly:
“What is God saying to you (us), and what are you (we) going to do about it?”

On Mission Action Sunday, March 3rd, we are going to worship, pray, commune, discuss and think about this question. Starting with worship at 10:30, we have an interactive service focused on the faith and justice issues we feel most passionately about. It will be a special service, with opportunities for everyone to participate in the discussion. Following the service, we will have a potluck lunch and a Mission Action Workshop centered on developing a plan to put our passions into action! Please bring something to share for the potluck. Lizzy Gore, the new Common Ground IAF leader, will be our special guest speaker during the Workshop. We will conclude no later than 2:30. This is an important day for our church and the ways we will minister in our community. Plus, we will have great conversations and a lot of fun.

Worship Planning Retreat

On Saturday, February 2, from 10:00-2:00, we will have our next Worship Planning Retreat, which will be an opportunity for anyone—and everyone—to come together to help envision and chart a course for our worship services over the next 3 months, including Lent and Easter. We will read scripture together and brainstorm themes, songs, poems, prayers, and ways we might structure our worship time. Everyone is welcome! So, bring yourselves, your ideas, a lunch, and snacks to share. We will share a refreshing and life-giving time together, while doing the work of the church—it is a retreat, after all!

A SPECIAL BLUE CHRISTMAS SERVICE

The holidays are always full of heightened emotions and expectations. Our culture readily celebrates the excitement, joy, and consumption of Christmas, but many of us also experience difficult feelings during this time of year. It is easy to get lost in the demands, activities, lights, shopping; the holidays can be quite stressful.

At our Blue Christmas Service, we create a quiet, peaceful, and supportive place where you are invited to slow down and recognize the more difficult emotions you may hold—anxiety, stress, sadness, loneliness, depression, overwhelm, frustration, grief, loss, addiction, uncertainty. We will provide a space for anyone having a difficult time during the holidays—anyone needing to acknowledge some pain or loss they are carrying—and anyone simply needing to take a long, deep breath and slow down—in the midst of this season of celebration.

All are welcome to join in this beautiful and contemplative candlelight service, which will be held in our sanctuary on Friday, December 21, at 6:00 p.m., the Winter Solstice, the longest night of the year.


www.vallejochristian.org/images/BlueChristmas2018.pdf 

Global Holiday Faire

The 21st Annual Ecumenical Global Holiday Faire is coming and we are very excited about the plans that are underway for First Christian Church's largest Mission Action event of the year!

The Faire will be Saturday, December 1, from 9-3 and as always will feature gift items from around the world. This year we will be raising money for 17 different local and global non-profit organizations. We are particularly excited to have Project Have Hope as a new organization this year. They have beautiful hand made jewelry which will be a very welcome addition to our returning gift items. Other popular new organizations from the past few years like Gifts for the Journey (with hand made soaps, lotions and bath products) and the Arkansas Rice Depot will be back too.  Plus, there will be new items from long time returning favorites such as SERRV, UPAVIM Crafts and Concern America.  This will be the final year that PAL Craftaid will be at the Faire, so this will be your last chance to buy their amazing olive wood carvings from the Holy Land. As always there will be "re-gifted" items for sale as well as crafts, gift baskets and baked goods. In addition to great shopping opportunities, homemade lunch will be for sale and choirs and musicians will be performing all day to add to the festive atmosphere.

For more information about the Faire, visit globalholidayfaire.org. And remember to 'like' the Faire on Facebook!

A Colorful Unity Day


We wish more churches were doing what you are doing.” This was said by a member of the Vallejo community walking by our booth at Unity Day 2018. He said he was not a believer, but thanked us for being there and gave us a donation. It was a cool moment!


Adorned with protest signs and rainbow colors, our booth was so bright and colorful that you could see it from across the park! Many people in the community stopped by, picked up brochures, buttons, and created Justice Prayer Ribbons. We had over 44 ribbons flying! Each person who wrote their prayer came from different backgrounds and lived in different parts of town, yet all had similar wishes of peace, love, dignity, strength, and courage. A small sample of the prayers read:

-Dear Jesus, thank you for everything you’ve done for me and my family.
-Love All
-I am thankful
-More love, less hate.
-Power in Love
-No truth, no justice.
-Love conquers all. Love kills and cures all at the same time. Love is kind. Love is pure. Love is beautiful. I love you.
-Dignity for all families- may they be reunited and have enough to meet their needs.
-Dignity for all regardless of gender, age, social status, ethnicity, or birthplace or anything else...
-Peace to all. Love and harmony
-Kindness, happiness, love.
-Strength and growth come through continuous effort and struggle. Never give up. Always keep your head high.
-World peace.
-We are all one - only our egos separate us.
-Hope for Unity/ hope for a cure / hope for equality/ hope for togetherness
-Keep thinking positive things. Believe in yourself. Run your own race.

These ribbons were hung on the Johnson Garden fence on September 23, as part of our Peace Sunday service. Members of the church who weren't able to make it to Unity Day are still making their own ribbons to add, so the beautiful installation will continue to grow!