First Christian Church 

(Disciples of Christ) 

14 West Fifth St. 

Covington, KY  41011

September 2021

The Gleam

A publication of First Christian Church, Covington, KY  

“WELCOME Wholly 

LOVE Authentically 

SHARE God’s Grace Abundantly”

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First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) 



From the Pastor

The congregation has been participating in the Thriving Congregations program of Lexington Theological Seminary funded by a grant from the Lilly Foundation.  The work of the team this year is to understand the role of the pastor.  Our team, Cathy Farkas, Sheri Jackson, Tom Norwood and I, have been learning about leadership styles and pastoral roles.  Our work will culminate later in the year with help for understanding the expectations of our shared ministry.

Part of the program this year included a grant of $500 for me to go on a retreat.  I had planned to go to Christmount Retreat Center in Black Mountain, NC.  Christmount is a ministry / camp / conference center of the North Carolina region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).  Due to COVID, I felt it unsafe to travel such a distance for lodging that would require me to regularly go into town for meals.

I will continue with my plans to take a spiritual retreat during the week of Labor Day.  I have rented an AirBnB in the Cincinnati-area.  I will be in a home in a secluded neighborhood where I can escape from home and the office but not have to travel too far.  I will have all the amenities I need and not have to leave regularly.  I will continue with my plans to engage in webinars and continuing education opportunities that I had to miss due to the demands of daily ministry.

During my retreat, Pastor Sheri, Marie and Brenda will be available for pastoral care and concerns.  Should they feel I need to be notified, they will contact me.  As this is a retreat, I will be devoted to my spiritual life through renewal, prayer and education.  I will be unavailable by phone, email, text or FB except for emergencies from Pastor Sheri and our Elders.

Pastor T

COVID Precautions

Based on new CDC guidance, we are STRONGLY SUGGESTING people to wear masks when gathered in the sanctuary.  There are disposable masks at the back of the sanctuary if you’d like to take one when you arrive at the church.

Pet Blessing Scheduled for Saturday, August 28th is canceled – it will be too hot for the pets to be outside.


Baptisms are being planned for Sunday, September 12th.  We have 3 young people who are considering baptism, perhaps a new member, a dedication and signs of recommitment to one’s faith journey.  Mark your calendar!

Book:  The Stranger Diaries by Elly Griffiths. 

When:  No date yet. 

Death lies between the lines when the events of a dark story start coming true in this haunting modern Gothic mystery, perfect for fans of Magpie Murders and The Lake House.

Children’s Worship Time

I am pleased to share that Rev. Lisa Kay Comingore Smith will be leading worship time for our young people during Sunday morning worship.  Pastor Lisa brings years of ministry experience and a long history with our congregation.


On September 1, 2021, Rev. Linda J. Jones will be retiring after 34 years of active ministry in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).  Rev. Jones was ordained on December 18, 1989, after completing a Master of Divinity degree at Lexington Theological Seminary.

Linda served Central Christian Church in Lexington as a Student Associate for 3 years and then worked for 13 years with the Christian Church Homes of Kentucky (now Christian Care Communities).   

Linda began her time as Associate Regional Minister with the Christian Church in Kentucky on December 3, 2002. As Associate Regional Minister, Linda served as Staff Consultant for Disciples Women’s Ministries, Assembly Planning Committee and the Region’s Reconciliation Ministries Team.  Additionally as Associate Regional Minister, she served as the Region’s Treasurer; District Minister for Districts 4, 5, and 6; and Editor of the Kentucky Christian newsletter.  

During her 19 years of ministry, Linda help to facilitate three Peer Learning groups, shared responsibility for Search and Call and served as Acting Regional Minister during the Regional Minister’s sabbaticals.  Linda’s ministry with the Christian Church in Kentucky was a blessing to the region, with her warm laughs and great personality.  Linda says “I will end my years of active ministry with the Christian Church in Kentucky after 18 years and 8 months.  It has been a blessing to serve the church and Kentucky Disciples in this capacity.  I cherish the relationships I have forged over the years with the Region, and will greatly miss you all.  It has been an honor to serve with you and among you for all these years.”

A Retirement Party for Linda had been planned for September 18th at Jeffersontown Christian Church in Louisville.  Due to the recent COVID surge, the decision was made to postpone the party.  Linda isn’t planning to move for several months so we should be able to reschedule the party before she leaves Kentucky.  We will get the word out about the new date as soon as we can.


The Mary & Martha class will resume in person on Sunday, September 5 at 9:30a in the room at the end of the hall of the first floor. We will be using a new book called From Daughters to Disciples by Lynn Japinga, a study focusing on women in the New Testament.  Masks will be required, and social distancing will be followed. The Tuesday Bible Study via Zoom will continue.  For more information, contact Marie Lancaster or Brenda Staggs.  All are invited!

Breakfast Everyone?!

Tom Edwards stopped in to say that we have served over 10,000 breakfasts so far this year!

Faith in Action Together – advocates needed!

The Leadership Council voted to form a Faith in Action Together Task Force that will lead the congregation in creating racial, environmental and queer justice ministries.  If you are interested in becoming a part of this work, please contact Joe Gallenstein

First Christian In the Know

Happy Birthday to our September Birthdays!

** for all Zoom meetings, contact the office for participation info. **


The next Leadership Council Meeting will be Sunday, Sep. 19th, 2021 07:00p

200 Year Celebration – help write our story!

FCC Covington will celebrate the 200-year anniversary of Racoon John Smith preaching in Covington in 2027.  It takes a lot of time to plan a 200-year celebration.  The Leadership Council has approved the formation of a group to plan this celebration, because 5 years goes by quickly when you’re planning such an event.  Much of the work will be gathering all the historical documents in one place, creating a place like a library to store and display important items and compiling a history of the church – that doesn’t seem to have been updated since 1965.  If you’re interested in helping, please contact Alex Gallenstein.

Week of Compassion: Afghanistan and Haiti

How to help:

Donate to support refugee relief

-Advocate for a robust U.S. refugee resettlement program

Get involved with resettlement in your local community 

Pray for those who are fleeing violence and seeking refuge

To Give: 

Text WoC to 41444; or; or

mail checks to: 

P.O. Box 1986

Indianapolis, IN  46206

Designate your gifts for Refugees; Earthquake; or Where Most Needed

Prayer from Week of Compassion

​​*The Lord is close to the brokenhearted, and saves the crushed in spirit.

Oh Lord, when the earth shakes and walls fall down–you are refuge and strength.

Be near to the brokenhearted, and those who have lost home and family. 

When human leaders commit violence against people of goodwill–you are mercy and justice.

Be near to the persecuted, and give shelter to those who seek sanctuary. 

​​The Lord is close to the brokenhearted, and saves the crushed in spirit.

Holy one, when suffering is too deep for words, you hear the silent prayers of

pain, loss, and grief. Be near to those who mourn. 

When all seems to be lost, fallen, or broken, you restore life again.

Be near to those who wait, and draw hope out of the desolation. 

​​The Lord is close to the brokenhearted, and saves the crushed in spirit.

God of our lives, send your spirit of comfort and peace to move through the depths.

Awaken in us your spirit of compassion, that we might draw near to you as we love and serve our neighbors around the world. 

Amen.   *Psalm 34:18

Pie the Pastor – Donate Food!!

*** We have collected 708 items toward our goal ****

Challenge:  Donate 1200 food items to the Panorama food pantry.

Timeline:  By the end of September

Payoff:   You may get to Pie the Pastor!

When: Sunday October 3rd

Deets:  On that day, after worship, we’ll go outside and 3 lucky people will get to throw a whip cream pie in my face!

What is needed:  small boxes of mac & cheese, pudding cups, fruit cups, applesauce cups, 1 lb boxes of spaghetti, small jars of spaghetti sauce, saltine crackers, instant oatmeal, cans of soup, small packages of instant potatoes, small boxes of instant rice, canned meat (tuna, chicken, spam, Vienna sausage).  NOTE: a four pack of pudding cups, etc. will count as 4 items donated.

The stats and the challenge

The poverty rate in Covington, Ky is 24.7%, much higher than the 18.3% state average.  One in 4 people living in Covington is living in poverty.  There are roughly 5000 seniors living in Covington which would equate to about 1200 seniors living in poverty.  Remember, we collected nearly 12000 feminine products and 800 cans of soup just a couple years ago, so let’s get this done!!!  

Thank you to Sue and Steve Rehfuss, John Longard and others who have kept this ministry going!

Come on and Laugh a Little

Why should you never trust stairs?
They are always up to something.

Sometimes I tuck my knees into my chest and lean forward.
That’s just how I roll.

What do you call a cheese that’s not yours?
Nacho cheese!

Bulletin Blunders

“If you would like to make a donation, fill out a form, enclose a check, and drip in the collection basket.”

“The sermon this morning: ‘Contemporary Issues #3 – Euthanasia.’ The closing song: ‘Take My Life.'”

“For those of you who have children and don’t know it, we have a nursery downstairs.”

“Bilingual Chicken Dinner this Sunday at Noon.”

From our very own Pete Pro

Sergeant:  I didn’t see you at the camouflage practice today.

Soldier: Thank you Sarge!

What nails do carpenter’s hate to hit most?  Fingernails!

A man was walking down the street and saw a sign in a store window that said “help wanted”.  He ran into the store and yelled out “What’s wrong!!!!”

Son:  Dad there is someone at the door collecting for a community swimming pool.

Dad:  Okay, give him a glass of water!

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