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: FellowshipOne

Rev. Dr. E. Scott Jones
September 18 2019

Your ability to get information, interact, and plan together will soon noticeably improve.  We are launching a new Church Management System, the fancy name for the software programs churches use for record-keeping.  What is changing is that the new system is cloud-based and has a mobile app, so every congregant will have access.

First, some background.  In my almost ten years here one of the constants has been improving how we communicate and share information.  This initiative often intersects with technology, as we are constantly updating technology and utilizing new technologies in new and better ways.  In the last few months alone we have upgraded the internal wiring at the church, installed a new phone system, purchased new computers for some of the staff, engaged a professional IT company for ongoing maintenance, begun a redesign of the website, reviewed new communications guidelines, and launched this new church management system.

Our old church database was a few decades old, and I had long wanted to replace it.  As part of the Long Range Plan we identified what we wanted out of such software in order to maximize our ministry goals for the future, so a special task force was appointed and led by Garret Higginbotham to select from the very many options that currently exist.  After months of establishing criteria, researching the various systems available, and a trial period with our final choice, we contracted with FellowshipOne.

All of 2019 we, particularly Sara Sharpe, have been in transition.  Many thanks must go to Sara for her good, hard work of cleaning up our records ahead of the transition, and also to Lou Lamberty who has been transferring accounting systems.

In July we rolled out the new system to the Staff and then Council and Ministry members in August.  We’ve been tinkering with the system and learning how it works through trial and error (which will continue for a while I’m sure).  And are only just beginning to learn all the new capability it affords us.

And next week it will be your turn.  We will roll out the new system to congregrants.  Next week’s newsletter will include more details, but here are the highlights.  We will give you instructions on how to download the mobile app and/or find the site on your computer.  You will receive an e-mail with your username and login.  You’ll want to set up your account.  On Sunday, September 29 after church we will have an informational and how-to session in the sanctuary following worship to walk you through it.  Again, next week you’ll get much more information about all of this, but I wanted to alert you ahead of time.

What will this enable you to do?  You will have access to your own records and will be able to update them when that is necessary.  You’ll be able to see your giving record, track your pledges, and make donations.  If you serve on a team or ministry, you’ll have new capacities for group interaction, record-keeping, and planning.  Our calendaring and event capacities will dramatically increase.  You’ll be able to set up notifications of events.  And more.  We are just living into this new program and all the capacity it gives us.  There will be some headaches as we figure it out.  But I’m very excited about the ways it has already helped me and will help us improve our ministry in the years ahead.

Radical Joy

Rev. Dr. E. Scott Jones
September 23 2019

Radical Joy is our Advent Theme this year.  What images, words, ideas does that theme inspire in you?  Come and share those … More

Annual Giving Campaign – FAQs

Kerrie Kleppin-Winn
September 12 2019

Annual Giving Campaign Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)   Q:   Why should we give to First Central?   A:   First Central is … More

Katie’s Musings – Back to School

Kerrie Kleppin-Winn
September 12 2019

To all the students newly back to school…. The new students, clutching lunch boxes and shiny new trapper keepers, looking for a … More

Parables: Wednesday Night Bible Study

Rev. Dr. E. Scott Jones
September 11 2019

“The parables give us access to the way Jesus re-imagined the possibility of living, of being in the world.”–Brandon Scott Our Wednesday … More

Peace Works: Summer Camp at First Central

Rev. Dr. E. Scott Jones
July 24 2019

Our campers this summer explored the topic of peacemaking from a variety of cultural and theological perspectives.  Now Katie and Scott are … More

First Central Library

Cassie Williams
June 21 2019

Ever wondered what books are available in the church library? The First Central Library catalog is now online. You can access it … More

Katie’s Musings: Church/Theater

Katie Miller
May 21 2019

One of the first theatrical productions I was a part of took place in a decommissioned Episcopalian church.  In retrospect, it was … More

Scott’s TED Talk

Rev. Dr. E. Scott Jones
April 2 2019

In February Scott was an invited speaker to this year’s TEDxUNO where the theme was Resilience.  His talk, “Living Open” has now … More

Stewardship Spotlight – Caretakers of the Way

Kerrie Kleppin-Winn
September 18 2019

Caretakers of the Way   Humans leave traces of connection.  The British naturalist Robert MacFarlane has written “that once you begin to … More

Scott’s Column: Resolution 8

Rev. Dr. E. Scott Jones
August 27 2019

“The covenant communion of the congregations with each other gives each the responsibility of engaging in a common conversation,” writes historian Randi … More

Scott’s Column: “Eagle Has Landed”

Rev. Dr. E. Scott Jones
August 22 2019

  On Saturday, July 20, I was caught up in the commemorations of the fiftieth anniversary of the moon landing, and I … More

Scott’s Column: Church Camp

Rev. Dr. E. Scott Jones
July 31 2019

The second week of July I spent in the Sandhills, on the banks of the North Loup River outside of Burwell.  I … More