First Free Family,
The loss of not being able to gather with you is especially great as we think about entering Holy Week this Sunday. It’s a week full of rich traditions for First Free—kids waving palms on Palm Sunday; walking through the passion narrative at our Good Friday service; and bundt cakes, Easter lilies, the “Hallelujah” chorus, and the overall joy of celebrating the resurrection on Easter Sunday. Missing these things doesn’t seem right! And yet, praise God, the events all these traditions point to—the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus—are just as true in 2020. And we can still celebrate them, even though it will feel very different. It’s ok to mourn the loss and embrace the celebration at the same time.
For Palm Sunday we encourage you to grab some supplies from home, make some palms, and share a picture on social media or directly with others from First Free on Sunday! Tag us @firstfreewichita or use the hashtag #firstfreewichita to share your celebration.
For Good Friday, we’ve put together a Scripture and Songs Guide for reflection and have also included some additional Holy Week devotional links on our resource page for you to use.
Some of you have reported difficulty with connecting to the livestream on Sunday mornings. If your connection hasn’t been stable and you would prefer a recorded video, the recording of the livestream is available on the same webpage through the first part of the week. You can plan to tune in later in the day and access it that way. We believe we have resolved the issue that caused the audio looping this past Sunday. Other issues like skipping or restarting haven’t been universal and are not showing on our monitoring of the stream, which indicate there may be issues with your device or internet connection. We appreciate your patience and are committed to continue making the livestream and video available to you.
We ended March $37,716 (14%) short of our giving goal.
April Giving Goal: $213,048
General Fund Giving Last Week: $53,024
Missions Partner Highlight
Each week, we’ll be highlighting one of our missions partners in our weekly emails so you can learn more about their ministries and be praying for the gospel to go wide through their work.
Paul and Audrey Schultz are one of our local missions partners and have been members of First Free for many years. Paul serves as the property manager for World Impact, including Morning Star Ranch. He can basically fix and build anything and equips people to do the same. Audrey is a gifted professional artist and uses her talents to share Christ with the marginalized, poor, and broken. They’ve shared the following prayer requests:
- Pray for Paul in his work maintaining World Impact properties that include offices, an apartment building, and several houses. His workload has not been slowed by the coronavirus, but World Impact has suspended volunteer help. Ask the Lord to empower him through his spirit and show him what to prioritize.
- Praise God for the opportunities they have had to connect with their neighbors. Pray for Paul and Audrey as they love their neighborhood and look for ways to embody Christ on their street and to the surrounding area using their gifts.
- Recently Audrey was invited to share her testimony and teach a one-time art class to a group of teenage girls. Pray for these young women to believe in Jesus and find eternal hope in him.
This coming Sunday we’ll be looking at Psalm 96 and Israel’s response of praise in times of exile. Take advantage of the extra time at home and read through it a couple times this weekend in preparation. The Lord’s Supper won’t be part of our service this week like we would normally observe on the first Sunday of the month as a gathered church. May our longings draw us closer to God as we praise him in this time of waiting.
Ascribing to the Lord the glory due his name,
Pastors Josh and Ron