Content of Character: God Looks At The Heart

Sunday, June 17th, 2018 ~ 4th Sunday of Pentecost

God is radically kind. God does not look at our age, our gender, or our race. God looks at our inside, at our heart.


Sermon Notes

Bible Passage:  1 Samuel 15:34-16:13


Special Music: Jazz Worship Service    Special Guests: Musicians from the Central Illinois Jazz Society House Band  ~ Larry Harms, bandleader, Andy Crawford, bass, Scott Anderson, guitar, and Jeremy Clark, drums.



Special Music






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God Has Freed Us

June 10th, 2018 ~ 3rd Sunday After Pentecost

There is no problem with questioning God, lots of people in the Bible did it, the church has done it for centuries, but when questions turn to doubt we often forget what God has already done for us. Just as God freed the Israelites from slavery, God has freed us too. The slavery from which we have been freed isn’t so much a physical thing, although it can be, as much as it is a freedom from sin. We are no longer bound to it. Those chains have been broken. In God, we are a new people. The old life has gone and the new life has begun. God has freed us.



Sermon Notes

Bible Passage:  1 Samuel 8:4-20

Bible Passage:  1 Samuel 11:14-15

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Mysterious Call: God Is Persistent

June 3rd, 2018 ~ 2nd Sunday after Pentecost

Today, it seems as though the word of God is rare too. It also seems that when God does call us it’s hard to distinguish God’s voice from every other voice trying to get out attention. Is God calling to us? Or, is it just our desires playing tricks on us? Things would be so much simpler if we had some sort of Caller ID for God. If we could look at a screen and know the call is important because the Caller ID reads “God is calling.” That would make life much easier.



Sermon Notes

Bible Passage:  1 Samuel 3:1-20

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A Secret Conversation? Jesus Tells Nicodemus The Truth.

May 27th, 2018 ~ Trinity Sunday

At some point in our lives, we have told a secret. Maybe you told one this week. Or even this morning. At some point in our lives, we’ve heard secrets, some big, some small. Secrets aren’t necessarily bad, but secrets don’t make friends. Secrets leave people out, making them feel excluded and alone.


Sermon Notes

Bible Passage:  John 3:1-17

Special Music:

In Christ Alone       By Stuart Townend      Performed by Russel Boulton


Mine Eyes Have Seen The Glory  (Battle Hymn of the Republic)

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Wind and Fire, A Pentecost Sermon

Sunday, May 20th, 2018 ~ Pentecost

With Pentecost a new chapter is dawning; a new chapter is being penned in our lives. Are we up to the challenge of tearing down walls, of being color blind, and to see the face of God in the faces of the least, the last, the lost and the lonely?


Sermon Notes

Bible Passage:  Acts 2:1-19


Special Music

Spring Cantata:  Missa Brevis in d      Composer: Mozart KV65      Performed by:  The FFC Chancel Choir and Morgan Koehler, Lauren Smagacz, Joseph Maubach, and Greg Etzel; Katie Ross for helping in the alto section; and our string trio: Andrei Gabor, Ellyn Liu, and Felix Yang;


Sunday, May 20th, 2018 ~ 10 am Worship Bulletin

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Roots and Wings: A Sermon for Mothers’ Day

Sunday, May 13th, 2018 ~ 7th Sunday of Easter

It has been said that there are two lasting things that we give our children; one is roots and the other is wings. Good deep roots make a good foundation upon which they build their lives. Wings give freedom and the courage to fly, to soar on the winds of life.


Sermon Notes


Bible Passage:  John 17:6-19

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Jesus Calls You Friends

Sunday, May 6th, 2018 ~ 6th Sunday of Easter

Jesus transformed the way society functions and in Jesus there are not cliques. Jesus calls you a friend because of who he is not who you are. Being called “friend” by Jesus charges us to love one another with a sacrificial love. The type of love that seeks justice, peace, and unity.

This sermon was delivered at the 8 am service, no audio file is available.

Sermon Notes

Bible Passage:  John 15:9-17


Special Music:

Here I Am, Lord      Arranged by:  Emily Pritchard      Performed by: The Limestone Community High School Advanced Vocal Jazz Ensemble


A Mighty Fortress      Arranged by:  The Men of AVJ    Performed by: The Limestone Community High School Advanced Vocal Jazz Ensemble, Men


I’ll Fly Away      Arranged by:  The Women of AVJ      Performed by: The Limestone Community High School Advanced Vocal Jazz Ensemble, Women


Sunday, May 13th was Youth Sunday. At the 10 am service several of Senior High students reflected upon their time at FFC.

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Pain and Joy: God Is At Work In Us

Sunday, April 29th ~ 5th Sunday Of Easter

We all know that pain and discomfort are part of life. So, too, is joy and comfort. We are confronted with that reality in the Gospel of John. The 15th chapter begins with a word of pain and discomfort “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine grower. He removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit he prunes… .”



Sermon Notes

Bible Passage:   John 15:1-10


Special Music:

Prelude to Prayer      By: David Justice      Performed by: The FFC Chancel Bells


Trouble!      By: Sally K. Albrecht      Performed by: The FFC Chancel Choir with the Illini Bluffs High School Chamber Singers


In Remembrance*      By: Eleanor Daley      Performed by: The Illini Bluffs High School Chamber Singers


* “Our ensemble has recognized the void of the innocent lives that this world has lost. In Remembrance is our small, but hopefully meaningful contribution to wishing condolences to the family members of those lost, both in the recent present and past. Through music, there is an opportunity to make the world a better place by how moving and beautiful it is and can be. Using the love we have for arts, we can be the people who will make a positive impact to other generations in hopes that things change for the better.”                                 

 – IBHS Seniors, Cassie Drake and Kyla Kerans

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Grace Along the Appalachian Trail

Sunday, April 22nd, 2018 ~ 4th Sunday of Easter

If you walk the Appalachian Trail where hikers cross from Pennsylvania into New Jersey, you will see The Presbyterian Church of the Mountain, a small country church seemingly in the middle of nowhere.  Through this ministry to the hikers of the Appalachian Trail, a once dying church experienced a resurrection. In 1976 they had 15 worshipers. Facing death they experienced Resurrection. They could have done one of two things; they could have circled the wagons and looked inward, or throw caution to the wind and take “a flyer”. The chose the latter course. They chose, in the words of Jesus, too willing lay their lives down for God’s sheep that lay outside of their fold. They knew that God has planted them there and sustained them through the years to be a blessing and an outpost of the world and their community. They asked themselves how they could live out their “call”, their baptism. How could they show God’s love to the world?

Audio files are unavailable for this service.


Sermon Notes

Bible Passage:   John 10:11-18


Special Music

The Lord Is My Shepherd     By: Allen Pote     Performed by The FFC Chancel Choir

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The Estate Sale

Sunday, April 15th, 2018 ~ Third Sunday of Easter

The truth of the two estate sales of life, one that is fleeting and the other that is eternal is that a life dedicated to stewardship in the Lord is a life of joy, peace, hope, and celebration.



Sermon Notes

Bible Passage:  I Chronicles 29:1-20


Special Music:     Look at the World      By: John Rutter     Performed by:  Aria Cramer and Christian Sauder


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