News & Events Highlights

Here you will find information on some of the exciting things going on at FCC. Visit this page often to review featured events, ongoing opportunities, and various updates from the congregation.

Scott’s Column: The Great Recession- 10 Years

Cassie Williams
September 20 2018

The Great Recession: 10 Years

This month has marked the tenth anniversary of the collapse of Lehman Brothers and the subsequent events in our national economy that came to be called the Great Recession.  The news reminded me that I had preached on the financial crisis as it began ten years ago, so I looked back at that sermon. At the time I was still pastoring in Oklahoma City, and we were in the midst of a series based on the Book of Exodus.  Here’s how my September 28, 2008 sermon on the Ten Commandments entitled “God Restores, We Witness” began:

As I’ve watched the financial news the last two weeks, like everyone else I have been surprised by how many titans of the financial industry have collapsed. Like everyone else, I have been caught up in the speculation about the future of our economy. The national debt has doubled. And now the political leadership debates a $700 billion bailout package. We listen to the news and think about 1929 all over again.

But this week I read something which excited my imagination, filled me with courage, and renewed my hope. Oddly enough it was in Time magazine. In this week’s Time Andy Serwer and Allan Sloan wrote an article about the nation’s current financial crisis, entitled “The Price of Greed.” They went into detail about all the problems and how we had gotten to this point. Then, they concluded the article this way:

Coping in this new world will require adjustments by millions of Americans. We all will have to start living within our means – or preferably below them. If you don’t overborrow or overspend, you’re far less vulnerable to whatever problems the financial system may have.

Why that conclusion excited me is because it told me something I already knew. Something I had learned from the Christian story. We Christians already knew this simple, economic wisdom. And it was this prior knowledge which renewed me hope.

We Christians live counter-culturally, spending our money differently than society tempts us to, because scripture invites us to share a portion of our property and income investing in hope and the kingdom of God. The Christian practice of tithing helps us to set priorities and make choices. As such we are less vulnerable to the winds of the economic system. We have committed part of ourselves to opting out of the economic system, because we realize that no matter how good it may be, every economic system exploits and oppresses. We aren’t separatists, trying to completely escape the economic system. But with the priorities we set, the choices we make, and the commitments we observe, we witness for hope and the reign of God.

This week, then, we have a vivid reminder that the laws of God exist for our own salvation. These aren’t arbitrary rules. Rather, they are invitations into a relationship which will draw us closer to each other and closer to God.

Serwer and Sloan were a little naïve.  Greed didn’t end. Americans didn’t radically alter their spending and saving habits in the long term.  A new era of developing moral character did not emerge.

And I was naïve.  The recession did end up affecting all of us, even those of us who obeyed the economics of scripture.  So this sermon is one of those I remember with a little sheepishness.

Yet, my bold statement was not wrong theologically.  The practice of Christian stewardship is one way we stand against injustice and invest in a better world.  It is one way we witness for the kingdom of God.


Wednesday Night Bible Study

Cassie Williams
September 20 2018

“The Judges material is supposed to be rough, uncouth, and in places very exciting and comical.” So writes Victor H. Matthews in his … More

Blessing of the Animals

Rev. Dr. E. Scott Jones
September 29 2018

Woof!  Meow! Our annual pet blessing will occur this year on Saturday, September 29 at 11 a.m. on the church patio.  This … More

Inspire!

Rev. Dr. E. Scott Jones
September 18 2018

“Art, like prayer, draws us away from the self towards an appreciation of that which is good. In this way, great art … More

Stewardship 2019- What’s Your Story? Pam Beranek

Cassie Williams
September 18 2018

“I feel love here in times of sadness and happiness.” – Pam Beranek   “I’m Pam Beranek and I’m what I call … More

Stewardship 2019- What’s Your Story? Nikki Zimmerman

Cassie Williams
September 18 2018

“I will always remember that a simple invitation to visit our church where everyone is made to feel very welcome may lead … More

Stewardship Campaign 2019

Cassie Williams
September 14 2018

“I felt like I had a hole that needed to be filled, a longing for companionship with friendly, loving people.” — Julie … More

First Forum: September 2018

Cassie Williams
September 14 2018

Ravished by Beauty: Theology Brunch for September

Rev. Dr. E. Scott Jones
September 27 2018

“My spiritual journey, ever since, has been an effort to recover God’s wild and winsome splendor . . . ” In Ravished … More

Scott’s Memoir

Rev. Dr. E. Scott Jones
August 30 2018

Open: A Memoir of Faith, Family, & Sexuality in the Heartland by our Senior Minister Scott Jones will be published on Tuesday, … More

Autumn at First Central

Rev. Dr. E. Scott Jones
September 6 2018

Inspire–a worship series in collaboration with the Joslyn Art Museum. New Wednesday Night programming for all ages. Trunk or Treat. And more … More

Theology Brunch: Fall 2018

Rev. Dr. E. Scott Jones
August 30 2018

“Let’s gather over food to talk and learn some contemporary theology.” We will continue to gather at noon the last Thursday of … More

Mission 4/1 Earth Update

Rev. Dr. E. Scott Jones
August 30 2018

Last week Scott Jones happened to be in Macy, Nebraska where he checked on our Mission 4/1 Earth trees.  What are those, … More

Katie’s Musings: Grief

Katie Miller
August 29 2018

When I first walked into Dow Edgerton’s Poetics of Grief class a few years ago, I was truthfully not looking forward to … More

New Roof

Cassie Williams
August 24 2018

The repair of all church roofs except the sanctuary has begun. The repair will be covered by insurance but will create some inconvenience for … More

Wednesday Night Bible Study–The Book of Judges with Scott Jones

Rev. Dr. E. Scott Jones
August 22 2018

“The Judges material is supposed to be rough, uncouth, and in places very exciting and comical.” So writes Victor H. Matthews in … More

Confirmation Kickoff Party

Rev. Dr. E. Scott Jones
August 19 2018

Our next round of Confirmation: Phase Two is about to kick-off. On Sunday, August 19th at 10 a.m. in Memorial Hall will … More

MasterSingers 2018/2019 Season & Audition Information

Cassie Williams
August 16 2018

MasterSingers Omaha Announces 2018/2019 Season Omaha, NE – The Omaha MasterSingers are excited to announce their upcoming 2018/2019 season of performances. Join Omaha’s … More

REFUGEE TEAM TWO

Cassie Williams
July 19 2018

REFUGEE TEAM TWO As you know, for the last two years I have chaired a team on behalf of our church which … More

Wednesday Nights Update – Scott & Katie

Cassie Williams
July 13 2018

Formation is “the natural process by which a people’s understandings and ways of life, their world view, and their ethos are transmitted … More

Losing a Pet

Rev. Dr. E. Scott Jones
July 5 2018

Last summer we lost our precious little yorkie Jack to kidney failure. After Christmas we again had to make the painful decision … More

HELP WANTED

Cassie Williams
June 28 2018

We are looking for a couple of people to take on a few of Jon’s duties. The main job is to open the … More

Share the Bounty

Rev. Dr. E. Scott Jones
May 31 2018

Each summer our Share the Bounty program promotes food security and sustainability while showing our love of neighbor. Please bring your extra produce … More

Holy Resilience: Summer Worship Series

Rev. Dr. E. Scott Jones
May 10 2018

Jewish historian Simon Schama writes that the Hebrew Scriptures are “not a rehearsal for grief but a struggle against its inevitability.” In … More

TAGG for First Central

Cassie Williams
August 17 2017

TAGG for First Central TAGG – Together A Greater Good – is a small, local enterprise based here in Omaha.  Conceptualized by two … More