Words of Wisdom for Our Graduates (and for the rest of us too!)
It´s that time of year again. Pomp and Circumstance is in the air. Tasseled mortar boards are flying through the air with reckless abandon. The eyes of proud parents are welling up with pride. Tables at open houses are groaning under mountains of ham on buns, potato salad, and cake. And the youth of today take those first tentative steps into adulthood. What a wonderful time of life! What a scary time of life! It´s a lot of pressure. The world can be a big and scary place. What to say to a young graduate? Well, I of course, find scripture to be a great place to start. It is, after all, where many of our young adults got their start that first day when their parents walked them through the Sunday school door. We´ve learned them up in the way they should go so what better way to send them on their way. So here is my scriptural advice to them, and to all of us (I really like Eugene Peterson´s paraphrase):
Trust God from the bottom of your heart;
don´t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God´s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go;
he´s the one who will keep you on track.
Don´t assume that you know it all. Run to God! Run from evil!
Your body will glow with health,
your very bones will vibrate with life! Honor God with everything you own;
give him the first and the best.
(Proverbs 3:5-9, The Message)
Trust, listen, run to, and honor God. I can´t think of better advice for our graduates or for all of us. When we center our lives on God we really do "vibrate with life!" It´s easy to get lost in today´s world with all the competing messages being broadcast in stereo, 24/7, everywhere we go. This is sound wisdom, a firm foundation. Hold fast, God will never let you down. I would also echo the apostle Paul´s words:
My counsel for you is simple and straightforward:
Just go ahead with what you´ve been given. You received Christ Jesus, the Master; now live him.
You´re deeply rooted in him.
You´re well constructed upon him. You know your way around the faith.
Now do what you´ve been taught.
School´s out; quit studying the subject and start living it!
And let your living spill over into thanksgiving.
(Colossians 2:5-7, The Message)
After graduation comes summer and our new summer series, "A Pilgrimage Through the Psalms." I hope you will join us as we explore the scripture passages highlighted in our clerestory windows (the ones at the very top of our sanctuary). Why did our fore-fathers and mothers choose these particular Psalms? What do these windows say about who we are and what we believe to be true? Do they still have meaning for us today? I would encourage you to bring along a pair of binoculars to get a really good view (although each window will be featured on the bulletin cover over the summer) and to sit in a good place for viewing them (don´t hide out under the balcony or you´ll miss all the beauty!).
Our graduates will learn, as generations before them have, that learning and growing doesn´t stop with a diploma. There are lessons written all around us, some literally like in our windows, and some metaphorically in the people we meet and in the places we journey. Blessings graduates! We are so proud of you. Now, see you on Sunday.
• June 15-17 — Father Child Camp
• June 18, 12:00 pm — 60+ Luncheon
• June 18 - 22 — Office Reorganization Week
• June 20, 8:00 am — Caring Connection
• June 20, 7:30 pm — Co-ed Softball Team Game
• June 21, 9:00 am — Fixin´ ‘n´ Fellowship
• June 27, 11:45 am — Women of First: Summer Lunch Series
• July 1-8 — Family Promise/IHN Week
• July 4 — First Church and First Place closed
• July 5, 9:00 am — Fixin´ ‘n´ Fellowship
• July 11, 11:45 am — Women of First: Summer Lunch Series
• July 13 - 21 — Senior High Workcamp
• July 14, 12:00 pm — Methodist Connection Picnic at Johnson Park
• July 18, 8:00 am — Caring Connection
• July 19, 9:00 am — Fixin´ ‘n´ Fellowship
• July 25, 11:45 am — Women of First: Summer Lunch Series
• August 12, 11:15 am — Church Picnic
CHRISTIAN EDUCATION OPPORTUNITIES: Please contact Kim DeLong at 451.2879 (Monday-Wednesday) or firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions.
ARTS ALIVE CAMPis August 6 - 9! This year´s day camp theme is "Under Construction," a biblically-based program by Habitat for Humanity, which uses a construction theme, and involves children in activities that teach the value of "building" Christian community and participating in outreach service missions. Program elements include Bible theme activities, music, art, and dance. Registration forms may be picked up at the church or register online. Volunteers are needed for Arts Alive Camp, so please see the Sunday bulletin to sign up to volunteer. Both senior high students and adult volunteers are needed.
CALLING ALL JUNIOR HIGH STUDENTS! Do you like to work with your hands? Do you want an opportunity to serve? We will be constructing a tool shed during the week of Arts Alive Camp, August 6-9. You may sign up for one day or all four days. We may also have opportunities for you to be involved in a few short (5 minute) dramas each morning. If you would be interested in either or both opportunities, please see the Sunday sign-up sheet. Contact Kim DeLong at 451-2879 or email@example.com for questions.
SUMMER NURSERY VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES are now available through Doodle. Please go to www.grandrapidsfumc.org/volunteers to serve in the Infant, Toddler and One Room Schoolhouse classrooms at 10:00 am this summer!
SUMMER CHILDREN´S EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITES ON SUNDAY MORNING: Summer Sunday Worship Schedule through September 2 8:30 AM
• Childcare: 0 years old-2nd grade Room 106 10:00 AM
• Infant Nursery: 0-2 years old Room 107
• Toddler Classroom: 2-3 years old Room 205
• One Room Schoolhouse: 4 years old-2nd grade Room 202
SUMMER TRANSITION Summer is always a good time to transition your child to the next classroom. Please contact Kim if you have any questions about which classroom is appropriate for your child.
ADULT EDUCATION OPPORTUNITIES:
• INVITATION TO PSALMS — The final class will meet at 8:45 am on Sunday, June 17 in the parlor. All are welcome!
SUMMER HOURSThe church building opens during the summer at 7:45 am. Beginning September 9 our opening time will revert to 8:00 am. Mark your calendar!
Church Building Hours
Sunday: 7:45 am - 11:30 am
Monday: 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Tuesday: 9:00 am - 9:00 pm
Wednesday: 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Thursday: 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Friday: 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
First Place Hours
Monday: 8:00 am - 4:00 pm
Tuesday: 8:00 am - 4:00 pm
Wednesday: 8:00 am - 4:00 pm
Thursday: 8:00 am - 4:00 pm
Friday: 8:00 am - 12:00 pm
SUMMER NEWSLETTER SCHEDULE: During the summer months the First Pulse will not be published in June, July and August and the Weekly Pulse will be mailed out on an alternating schedule. Please remember to submit your Weekly Pulse articles by the prior Thursday: Weekly Pulse schedule
• June 12, submission deadline June 7
• June 26, submission deadline June 21
• July 10, submission deadline July 5
• July 24, submission deadline July 19
• August 14, submission deadline August 9
• August 21, submission deadline August 16
60+ LUNCHEON will be Monday, June 18 at noon. Jim Strohmer will be sharing "The Canyons of Utah." Please call Elaine Youngs at 735.5506 or Luci Baer at 457.7797 if you would like to make a reservation.
MOMS GROUP @ FREDERIK MEIJER GARDENS You and your little ones are invited to join us Tuesday, June 19 at 10:00 am for a morning at the Gardens. Please pack a swimsuit or change of clothes. (Most choose to get wet in the children´s area.) We´ll end with lunch at one of the picnic pavilions. Either pack a lunch or grab one there. Garden´s admission: Adults - $12, Kids (5-13) - $6, Kids (3-4) - $4, Ages 2 & Under – Free. Address: 1000 East Beltline Ave NE, Grand Rapids
MOMS GROUP: EVENING PICNIC & WATER FUN @ KENTWOOD SPLASH PAD Grab the kids´ swimsuits, towels, and a side or dessert to share. We´ll meet at the splash pad at Veterans Park in Kentwood on Tuesday, July 24 at 5:30 pm for an evening of summer fun. We´ll grill hotdogs by the picnic area while our kids enjoy some free water fun. Dads invited too. Address: 355 48th St., Kentwood.
YOUNG ADULTS HEARTSIDE BINGO We´re going to a low-income housing building in Heartside to lead bingo with some of our neighbors. We´ll meet in The Vine on Wednesday, June 27 at 6:00 pm for a little dinner then walk over to lead bingo. Open to all young adults (18-30).
YOUNG ADULTS HEARTSIDE SCAVENGER HUNT Are you a young adult who´d like to connect with other young adults while exploring the Heartside neighborhood? If you´re 18-30, then please join us on Wednesday, June 20. We´ll meet at The Vine at 6:00 pm. Please bring money for dinner (we´ll be stopping along the way). Friends & new folks invited! Questions: email firstname.lastname@example.org.
JOB POSTING FUMC is accepting applications for the position of Director of Children´s Ministries. Responsibilities include oversight of all Sunday morning children´s education classes; recruitment, training, and supervision of volunteer teachers and paid childcare staff; planning and oversight of additional children´s activities. This is a part-time paid position. A bachelor´s degree is required. Experience working with children in a church setting is desirable. A complete job description and application are available in the church office. For additional information, contact Laure Mieskowski at 616 451-2879 or email@example.com. Members of the staff team and representatives of Pastor Parish and Lay Personnel are contemplating staff alignment and job descriptions of current staff as well as searching for a Director of Children´s Ministry. Some of the responsibilities of the current Director of Education may be reassigned to other staff members. Stay tuned - we´ll keep you posted! - Laure Mieskowski
JULY CONNECTIONS EVENT: A PICNIC AT THE GRAND RAPIDS YACHT CLUB on Friday July 13, 6:00 pm. Pam and Steve Rowe will host a picnic at the Grand Rapids Yacht Club. Enjoy an evening of fun and food in a beautiful setting. (The Yacht Club is next to the East Grand Rapids Library at 740 Lakeside Drive.) Bring your own meat to grill, a dish to pass and a beverage. Paper products and grills with charcoal will be provided. Arrive at 6:00 pm so we can begin grilling by 6:30 pm. Those whose last names begin with A – L bring a salad/side dish, M – Z a dessert. See the Sunday sign-up sheet to make reservations. Seating is limited to 20. First come, first served! Connections is designed for the 50s – 60s age group, but we welcome all!
PHOTO DIRECTORIES Our new photo directories are here and are available to be picked up from the receptionist desk in the church lobby on Sunday morning or during the week (9 am - 4 pm, Monday, Wednesday - Thursday, 9am - 9 pm, Tuesday). Directories are free (one per family) to everyone who had their picture taken. Members and First Church friends who did not have their picture taken may purchase a directory for $2. Our directory may also be viewed online. Access information can be found on the label on the inside cover of the printed directory or can be obtained by calling Mary Molhoek in the church office. Please make the following revisions and additions to your directory.
• Mary Ross: primary phone 616/776-5915
• Jean McNabb: 2239 Eastern Ave SE, Grand Rapids MI 49507-3249 primary phone 616/452-9373
OFFICE REORGANIZATION WEEK will take place June 18 - 22. During that time the First Place office will be closed to the public. There will be a secretary/receptionist at the north lobby desk from 9:00 am - 4:00 pm Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, and 9:00 am - 9:00 pm Tuesday.
CARING CONNECTION The next meeting is on Wednesday, June 20 at 8:00 am at New Beginnings Restaurant (1455 Michigan St NE). We welcome anyone who would like to participate in caring for our homebound with phone calls, note-writing, and visits.
LET´S GET PERSONAL! The Social Concerns Committee is collecting personal care items to help stock the shelves of Westminster Food Pantry. Many of the things we take for granted are unavailable to low-income families because they are not covered by food stamps. Here´s a way we can help ease the problem. Why not pledge that each time you go to your favorite market, you will pick up one or more of the following items to donate to the pantry: deodorant, toothbrushes, toothpaste, bar bath soap, shampoo, conditioner, combs, brushes or feminine hygiene products. Donations may be dropped off in the collection bin in the north lobby office. Your ongoing support of the Westminster Food Pantry is an essential part of helping area families in need.
METHODIST CONNECTION SUMMER PICNIC Everyone is invited to attend The Methodist Connection Summer Picnic which will take place at Johnson Park on Saturday, July 14 at noon. If you haven´t experienced the Methodist Connection, put a toe in the water and come to the picnic! Meat provided, bring a dish to pass.
UMW SCHOOL OF CHRISTIAN MISSION 2012 will be held Thursday - Sunday, July 12-15 at Central Michigan University, Mt. Pleasant. This years theme is "That All May Have Life." Studies are offered for adults, youth, and children on "Immigration and the Bible," "Poverty," and "Haiti." The registration deadline is June 30. Details and registration forms are available on the north lobby bulletin board.
UMW GRAND RAPIDS DISTRICT DRIVE-IN DAY will be Saturday, August 11 at South Wyoming UMC. Details and registration forms are available on the north lobby bulletin board.
C.S. LEWIS´ THE SCREWTAPE LETTERS will be performed in DeVos Hall at 8:00 pm on June 23. This is a one-time performance for which we have reserved 10 tickets in row F of the mezzanine level for $33.50 each. You can reserve your spot by paying for a ticket. The Screwtape Letters creates a topsy-turvy morally inverted universe set in an eerily stylish office in hell, where God is called the "Enemy" and the devil is referred to as "Our Father below." The play follows His Abysmal Sublimity Screwtape, Satan´s top psychiatrist, played by award winning actor Max McLean, and his creature-demon secretary, Toadpipe, as they train an apprentice demon, Wormwood, on the fine art of seducing an unsuspecting human "patient" down the "soft, gentle path to hell." Contact Kim DeLong at 451-2879 or firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions.
FUN FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY All are welcome at the All-Church Picnic on Sunday, August 12, following the 10:00 am worship in the parking lot. Please bring a dish to share.
WOMEN OF FIRST A new ministry is forming at First Church and if you are a woman, this is for you! The planning committee has been busy. Our goal is to hold a series of events throughout the year to bring together all the women of the church ‘to grow together in Christ, loving and nurturing one another along the way.´ We´ve held our first Summer Lunch which focused on the book of Ruth. If you missed this first event, then join us for the next lunch Wednesday, June 27 at 11:45 am. Contact Tish at email@example.com for more information. Child care provided.
FIRST CHURCH AND FIRST PLACE will be closed Wednesday, July 4 in observance of Independence Day.
TORONTO ROAD TRIP Join us for a 2-night/3-day trip to Toronto, Canada, August 7 through 9! Highlights include seeing "War Horse," the play at the Princess of Wales Theatre, dinner, and a play at the Famous People Players Dine & Dream Theatre, a tour of Casa Loma, a city tour, and time for shopping or relaxing. Reservations are due by June 26th.Click here for detailed itineraries and reservation forms or pick one up in the north lobby, or by emailing Marj at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ILLINOIS ROAD TRIP Join us for an autumn road trip to Springfield, Illinois! We´ll leave Thursday, October 4, and travel by deluxe motor coach. We´ll visit the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, the Lincoln home, the Old State Capitol, and Lincoln´s tomb. Admission to all the attractions, coffee and donuts, Thursday´s dinner, breakfast on Friday, overnight at the Hampton Inn, baggage handling, and gratuities are included for $239 per person. Click here for detailed itineraries and reservation forms or pick one up in the north lobby, or by emailing Marj at email@example.com.
STRUGGLING? Sometimes it´s just hard to reach out for help. Your Church Assistance Program (CAP) understands. Just give CAP a call at 455-6210. They will answer the phone 24 hrs a day 7 days a week and will set you up to meet with a trained counselor. The first two one-hour sessions will be at no charge to you by telling them you are a member or friend of First Church! So don´t wonder any longer – call today!
SEEKING SUMMER MUSICAL OFFERINGS Summer worship has begun and we are seeking people who are interested in singing or playing an instrument during our worship services. Please contact Eric Strand at firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can facilitate this offering. Children who study an instrument or sing are especially encouraged to contact me. Playing and singing in church is a great way to get experience playing for others in a non-threatening environment that honors the offering of your gifts.
SOWHOPE GALLERY EXHIBIT Showing in our First Church Art Gallery through July is an exhibit highlighting the work of "SowHope," a charitable organization which supports disadvantage women around the world through wellness, education, and economic opportunities. The organization was founded by Mary Dailey Brown, whose photographs appear in the exhibit and are the inspiration for the art of fine artists Kimberly Gill and Loralee Grace whose works complete the gallery show. Fifty percent of the sales of the pieces exhibited will go to the work of SowHope. The gallery is open during the following business hours: Mondays, Wednesdays – Fridays: 9:00 am - 4:00 pm, Tuesdays: 9:00 am - 9:00 pm, and Sundays: 8:00 am - 11:00 am.
FIRST CHURCH FAMILY CONCERNS Concerns & Prayers for:
• Lynne Beals
• Drake English (outpatient surgery 6/5)
• Abby Greer
• Ginny Groat (hospice care)
• Ardis Merrill (hospice care)
• Rachel Reed (surgery 6/15)
• Shannon Smith
• Chuck Zimmerman
• Chris Bolhouse
• Neesa Broussard
• Scott Grifhorst
• Stephan Mathos
• Jacob Mol
• Trevor Norton
• Shawn Seher
• Peter Taylor
The love and prayers of the congregation are extended to Bill Jackson and children Bill, Scott and Melissa and families on the death of wife and mother, Judi Jackson, on June 6th. Judi´s service was held on June 11th.
Congratulations to Katie and Jeff Rowe on the birth of a daughter, Grace Anne-Louise Rowe, on May 29th. Proud grandparents are Pam and Steve Rowe.
Congratulations to Kirsten and Paul Deenik on the birth of a son, Oliver Rhys Deenik, on June 11th. Proud siblings are Morgan and Grady and proud grandmother is Kathie Fahrner-Jones!
Congratulations to the 2012 Disciple I Class graduates who made it through all 34 weeks! Amy Hinman, Eric & Julie French, and Katie & Jeff Rowe, and leaders Ed Rock and Pastor Tish.
Thank you to all those who attended the Ordination Service at Annual Conference. I appreciated the support of your prayers and your presence. You made it even more awesome than I knew it was going to be! Pastor Kim