Greetings, Friends! Can you believe this summer! What a scorcher. It´s times like this that I start dreaming of cooler times; when I look for ways to be cool and stay cool.
The excitement for Arts Alive Camp is building. This year´s theme is "Under Construction." The children who participate will learn the value of "building" Christian community and participating in outreach service missions through a biblically-based program by Habitat for Humanity. I can´t wait to see how this all gets woven into music, art, and dance! What a "COOL" way to experience God. There is still time to register your child, or a neighbor´s child, for this exceptional experience. Visit www.grandrapidsfumc.org/arts-alive-camp.
All-Church Camp is also just around the corner. I´m told that there are already over 50 people signed up to go this year (including 5 new camping families!) and that there is still time to get in on the fun. Some of my fondest memories of growing up in the church are grounded in camping. I remember swimming with my church friends, telling stories around the campfire each evening, sharing meals together, and worshiping outside! (As a kid I found that especially "COOL" – who knew you could do that?) It´s never too late to start building these great memories for yourself and your family so be sure to sign up.
Summer time is also picnic time. Our Annual Church Picnic is coming up on August 12 at 11:00 am. This is a great way to get to know one another just a bit better. It will be held in our north parking lot under the (hopefully) "COOL" shade of the trees. Bring your appetite and a dish to share.
As you know, our Director of Christian Education, Kim DeLong, is preparing to follow God´s call to serve in a new way. On August 15 Kim will become the new pastor of the Turk Lake and Belding United Methodist Churches. How "COOL" is that! She will be leading these faithful communities in discovering new and exciting ways that they might come together in cooperative ministry. Please be sure to stop by Wesley Hall at 11:00 am this Sunday to thank Kim for her service here at First Church and to wish her well on this new leg of her journey.
Of course this opens up some exciting (and "COOL") opportunities for us. I´ve been part of a small team spending time envisioning new possibilities for Christian education here at First Church. I´m especially excited because in this new vision I get to take on the leadership of our Adult Education program! (Very "COOL.") I will be working closely with the Adult Council to coordinate all sorts of opportunities for spiritual growth and learning for our adults. We are already putting together classes for the fall that will help all of us on our journey along the "Pathways" of faith. (Watch for more information on this to come!)
And what about the Children´s Ministry? Don´t worry, we haven´t left them out of the plan. We are currently interviewing for a new leader for our Children´s Ministry. We will still have our "Super-COOL" Faith Travelers program this fall so be sure to make plans to attend!
With so many exciting things happening this summer (and these are only a few of the things going on!) we are sure to be "COOL" no matter what the weather. See you on Sunday, and all the "COOL" days of summer!
Peace, Pastor Tish
P.S. We are all deeply saddened by the events of July 20 in Aurora, CO. The United Methodist Church is responding with a full-page ad in the July 23 Denver Post and the July 26 Aurora Sentinel, declaring: "Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Aurora. Through the darkness, we come together in search of the light. The people of the United Methodist Church join with all of those affected by this recent tragedy. To understand. To heal. To find hope." You may also post a prayer for the Aurora community on a prayer wall at www.facebook.com/UnitedMethodistChurch. The ads and call to action were developed by United Methodist Communications, the denomination´s communications agency.
• July 24, 5:30 pm — Moms Group: Evening Picnic and Water Fun
• July 25, 11:45 am — Women of First: Summer Lunch Series
• July 28, 8:30 am — Feeding America Distribution
• August 2, 9:00 am — Fixin´ ´n´ Fellowship
• August 5, 11:15 am — Sanctuary Windows Tour by Pat Hiler
• August 6 - 9 — Arts Alive Camp
• August 8, 11:45 am — Women of First Summer Lunch Series
• August 12, 11:00 am — Church Picnic
• August 15, 8:00 am — Caring Connection
• August 16, 9:00 am — Fixin´ ´n´ Fellowship
• August 16, 10:00 am — Moms Group: GR Township Park
• August 17-19 — All-Church Camping Weekend at Lake Michigan
• August 20 — Fall Office Hours Begin
• August 30, 9:00 am — Fixin´ ´n´ Fellowship
• September 5, 7:00 pm — Taizé Sung Prayers
• September 9, 9:15 and 11:00 am — Fall Worship Schedule Begins
• September 9 — Homecoming Sunday
• September 15, 6:00 pm — Jazz Vespers: Max Colley III Quartet
CHRISTIAN EDUCATION OPPORTUNITIES: Please contact Kim DeLong at 451.2879 (Monday-Wednesday) or email@example.com if you have questions.
WHAT´S NEXT? First, I want to express my deepest appreciation for each and every one of you. I have thoroughly enjoyed the nearly four years I have been at First. You are an amazing congregation with an incredible heart for God and for God´s people. Thank you for your patience and support as I grew into my role. Thank you for all that you have taught me. What I have learned from this congregation and staff has been invaluable, and I know will keep me in good stead at my next appointment.
Many of you have asked, and I am now able to tell you that my next appointment will be as the pastor of Belding and Turk Lake UMCs beginning August 15. I am looking forward to this new adventure, even as I will miss all of you. May you continue to live out God´s incredible vision for you, and may God bless you and keep you!
"UNDER CONSTRUCTION" Arts Alive Camp will be based on a "construction" theme this year. We are looking for building toys such as Legos, Lincoln Logs, K´Nex, building blocks, etc. that would be donated for the week. If you are able to loan us your toys, please drop them off in the north lobby or contact Betsy Kettle at 616.791.0007 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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
FALL SCHEDULE COMING SOON, watch your next Weekly Pulse for more information.
THE SOCIAL CONCERNS COMMISSION would like to thank you for your tremendous response over the last several months as we help stock the shelves of Westminster Food Pantry. Everyday necessities such as soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant, combs, brushes etc., continue to be desperately needed.
Another one of the most basic needs that is often overlooked are feminine hygiene products. Therefore, during the month of July the Social Concerns Commission will be collecting feminine hygiene products. Your donation may be dropped off in the north lobby office collection bins.
YOUTHBUILD INFO SESSIONS! Grand Rapids YouthBuild is a partnership between Habitat for Humanity of Kent County, Bethany Christian Services, and the US Department of Labor. Grand Rapids YouthBuild is a 40-week leadership program for low-income young adults ages 18-24 that are exiting the Foster Care system, to help them obtain a GED while learning construction job skills by building affordable housing for low-income families in Kent County. A strong emphasis is placed on leadership qualities, life skills, and community service. Upon completion of the program, YouthBuild will offer its participants case management services to assist with employment placement. Visit http://www.habitatkent.org/YouthBuild.aspx for more information.
SCRAPBOOKING Our next scrapbooking event will be Friday, August 3 and Saturday, August 4. It´s a great way to get some projects done and be in fellowship at the same time. Glean ideas from each other and share supplies. Have a work space table all to yourself. We´d love to have you join us! Because scrapbooking is normally done when the church building is locked, please contact Patsy at email@example.com for information about attending and to be included on the scrapbook emailings.
FIXIN´ ´N´ FELLOWSHIP Thursday, August 2 at 9:00 am - meet in room 105. We will start the day with fellowship over coffee and baked goods, then tackle minor repairs needed throughout the church buildings.
COFFEE CAN OFFERING Don´t forget to mark your calendar for the next coffee can offering on Sunday, August 19.
UPCOMING BAPTISM DATE Our next scheduled baptism date is Sunday, August 12 . Please call Mary Molhoek at 451.2879 to schedule a baptism.
UMW SCHOOL OF CHRISTIAN MISSION DRIVE-IN DAY will be Saturday, August 11 at South Wyoming UMC (2730 56th St SW) from 9:00 am - 3:00 pm. Registration starts at 8:30 am with coffee and fellowship. Cost is $10 per person. Studies are: Poverty, Haiti, and Immigration and the Bible. Registration forms are available on the north lobby bulletin board. No youth or children´s classes are included for Drive-In Day this year. Cost includes lunch.
FUMC BOOK CLUB will meet at 6:00 pm on Wednesday, August 8 at the Grand Traverse Pie Company (3224 28th St SE). We will be discussing The Sojourn by Andrew Krivak, the story of Jozef Vinich, who was uprooted from a 19th-century mining town in Colorado by a family tragedy and returns with his father to an impoverished shepherd´s life in rural Austria-Hungary. When World War One comes, Jozef joins his adopted brother as a sharpshooter in the Kaiser´s army, surviving a perilous trek across the frozen Italian Alps and capture by a victorious enemy. Winner of the Chautauqua Prize and finalist for the National Book Award, this is a stirring tale of brotherhood, coming-of-age, and survival that was inspired by the author´s own family history. It is also a poignant tale of fathers and sons, addressing the great immigration to America and the desire to live the American dream amidst the unfolding tragedy in Europe. Join us for dinner and discussion! Contact Marlys Davis at 735.3339 or firstname.lastname@example.org by Tuesday, August 7 to make your reservation.
2012/2013 DINNER FOR EIGHT It´s time to sign up for 2012-2013 Dinner for Eight! If you´re an adult looking to get to know others in church, this is a good way to connect. Three times a year participants are invited to have dinner with a variety of people in different homes, and everyone contributes food and good conversation. Hosting is an important part of Dinner for Eight and it´s fun, too. Please use the sign-up sheet if you would like to be involved. If you have questions, call Janet Wood at 447.1667 or Mary Molhoek at 451.2879 or email@example.com.
IT´S INCREDIBLE BACK TO SCHOOL SAVINGS TIME AGAIN! Our Tutoring Center at Martin Luther King, Jr. Leadership Academy is ramping up for another wonderful school year. We provide over 500 students/teachers with supplies throughout the year and now is the time to stock up. Whenever you are out and spot a bargain, rest assured we can use the materials! Donations may be left in the collection room off the north lobby. All supplies are needed: children´s scissors, pencils, pens, notebook paper – loose leaf and spiral bound, glue & glue sticks, children´s scissors, erasers, rulers, binders, children´s scissors, tab dividers, highlighters, Crayola brand 24 crayons or primary fatter crayons, markers, colored pencils, pencil boxes…and can you tell our greatest need is children´s scissors? New or gently used 3-ring binders are always in demand, so if your office is cleaning out, we can find a home for them! Thank you for your continued support!
WOMEN OF FIRST It´s not too late to join the fun this summer - every other Wednesday. for fellowship, learning, and growing together in Christ. The next lunch is Wednesday, August 8 at 11:45 am in the Vine. We have had a wonderful cross-generational turnout with deeply engaging discussions as we have explored the question: "Is God good for Women?" What does the widow/barren woman have to teach us? What fruit is born at "ground-zero?" Contact Tish at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Child care provided.
90+ AUGUST BIRTHDAYS • Mildred Kirchenbauer will be 94 on August 5
• Emma Winter will be 94 on August 25
• Don Far will be 92 on August 30
If we have missed listing your 90+ birthday, please call the church office at 451.2879 with your name and birthdate and we´ll list it!
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.
A RECEPTION FOR REV. KIM DELONG will be held on Sunday, July 29 following the 10:00 am worship service. We thank Kim for her ministry here at First Church. Our prayers, love, and support go with Kim as she answers the call to continue her ministry in a new setting.
"REFLECTIONS OF IMMORTALITY" WINDOW TOURS Have the summer sermons on the Psalms in our clerestory windows sparked your interest in our amazing windows? Have you wondered about the window with Abraham Lincoln and Florence Nightingale? Or noticed the window with the four chaplains on the sinking ship? Join us Sunday, August 5 at 11:15 am as Pat Hiler leads us on a tour of the First Church stained glass windows!
FEEDING AMERICA Join us Saturday, July 28 for the monthly food distribution at Cesar El Chavez Elementary (1205 Grandville St. SW 49503). The truck arrives at 8:30 am for set-up, and the distribution begins at 9:00 am. First Church does not have primary responsiblity for this distribution, however, volunteers are invited to help. No sign-ups are needed.
ALL-CHURCH CAMPING WEEKEND will be held August 17 - 19 at Lake Michigan UM Camp in Pentwater. Cost is $60. You can bring your own tent, trailer, or use the campground´s platform canvas tent with six beds. Sign up in the Sunday bulletin. Payment reserves your spot. Contact Peg Terkeurst at 451.2879 with questions.
MOMS GROUP: MORNING PLAY DATE @ GRAND RAPIDS TOWNSHIP PARK Let´s enjoy one last time at the park together before summer slips away! Meet us by the playground on Thursday, August 16 at 10:00 am for a morning play date. Friends invited! Address: 1836 E Beltline Ave NE, Grand Rapids. Please RSVP to Sami or Marj at 451.2879 or email@example.com.
DÉGAGÉ MINISTRIES Going hungry is not a problem for Heartside residents but getting proper nutrition is a growing problem. Help us to provide our patrons with fresh fruit and vegetables by buying extra fruits and vegetables when you shop for your family or tithe from your own garden. Bring your produce to church on Sunday and Dégagé will pick it up Monday. Begins July 9 and goes through the growing season.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
MEALS NEEDED! We have two families in our congregation with health challenges who would greatly benefit from some meals. You can view their schedules and detailed information online. Chuck and Anne Zimmerman live on the SE side of Grand Rapids and would appreciate meals on Mondays and Wednesdays. Click here to sign up online.Lynne Beals lives on the NE side of Grand Rapids. Click here to sign up online. Meals do not need to be fancy! Thank you so much!
STEPHEN MINISTRY Do you have the gifts of listening and caring? Then Stephen Ministry may be for you! We are looking to start a new training class this fall. Talk with Marj at 616.901.9224 or use the Sunday sign-up sheet for more information.
HOSPITALIZATIONS Are you or a family member hospitalized or having surgery? Due to strict hospital privacy rules, we won´t know unless you tell us! Each day of the week, pastoral care is covered by our parish nurse or one of our pastors who are happy to visit and pray with you before your surgery or during your hospital stay. If you don´t want your name mentioned in the Weekly Pulse or in Sunday services, please let us know. However, we would still like to visit and support you, even if it´s an outpatient procedure. Please contact Parish Nurse Marj Timmerman, Pastor Gary or Pastor Tish at 451.2879.
CARING CONNECTION The next meeting is on Wednesday, August 15 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.
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.