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October 8, 2013

Weekly Pulse - October 8, 2013

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Weekly Pulse - October 8, 2013 The official eNewsletter of First United Methodist Church of Grand Rapids. If you are not seeing graphics in this email, click here to view it in your browser.


PastorFor where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Mt. 6:21 & Lk. 12:34

Greetings Friends,

What is your greatest treasure? Is it a material item like a rare baseball card, a beloved token from someone special, or something that you have worked really hard to achieve? Or is it a person, like your spouse, your child, or a dear friend? We all have something or someone that we treasure, and that is a blessing. The trick is not to allow that something or someone become the entire focus of our lives.

My son Ben and I recently read the J.R.R. Tolkien book ‘The Hobbit.’ The character Gollum is a wonderful example of obsession. His ‘precious,’ a ring with magical properties, rules his very existence. His life is nothing more than a dark, lonely, and miserable quest to guard his treasure and when it is lost, so is he. While I sincerely hope none of us has fallen into this depth of obsession, it is still something that we need to guard against. We need to be careful about where we place our heart.

October is the month in which our church focuses on stewardship. Stewardship is the act of managing our time, talents, gifts and, in fact, our entire lives. As Christians, we believe that everything that we are and everything that we have is a gift from God. We also believe that God has given us these treasures to be used in the service of God’s kingdom here on earth. I can’t think of a better place for our hearts to be.

When we join the church, we make a solemn pledge faithfully to participate with our prayers, presence, gifts, service and witness. These are the foundational blocks upon which God builds our church. As we get ready for Consecration Sunday (October 27), might I suggest we all make a special effort to refocus on our commitment? Here is what I’ll be focusing on in the weeks to come:

  • Hold our congregation in your prayers. Pray for faithfulness in the people of our church. Pray for the ministries of nurture and outreach. Pray for God’s will as we serve in God’s name.
  • Be present. Make a commitment to being present in worship each and every week. When even one member of the body is missing, we are incomplete.
  • Give generously. As God has blessed you, be faithful in blessing others.
  • Serve. Only when we give ourselves away in service to others do we truly find ourselves. Find a way to make service a part of who you are and what you do on a regular basis. Call the church if you need some suggestions!
  • Give the credit to God. Remember, we can only be faithful disciples through the power of Christ. None of this is easy, and without help we probably wouldn’t do it at all, so when you experience God working through you, name it and celebrate it.
Our truest treasure is our life in Christ. When we live as fully committed disciples, we discover that what we give to God becomes the greatest blessing of our lives. That’s true treasure and that’s where I want my heart to be. Let’s get giving for God!

Yours in Christ, Pastor Tish

P.S. If you haven’t gotten your flu shot yet, be sure to get to our Flu Shot Clinic this Sunday from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm. Medicare and many insurances will be directly billed for you!

P.P. S. Mark your calendar for October 19 at 6:00 pm. You won’t want to miss this Jazz Vespers service featuring the Fred Knapp Trio.

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• October 13, 10:00 am - 1:00 pm  —  Flu Shot Clinic
• October 13, 12:15 pm  —  Second Sunday Lunch Bunch
• October 16, 8:00 am  —  Caring Connection
• October 17, 2:00 pm  —  Pastoral Care at Porter Hills
• October 19, 8:30 am  —  Feeding America Distribution
• October 19, 6:00 pm  —  Jazz Vespers: Fred Knapp Trio
• October 20, 4:00 pm  —  James Croom Opera Singer in Concert
• October 21, 12:00 pm  —  60+ Luncheon
• October 27  —  Consecration Sunday
• October 27, 10:00 am - 12:30 pm  —  Fellowship Brunch
• November 3  —  Eastern Standard Time begins
• November 3, 12:30 pm  —  Willing Friends Luncheon
• November 5, 5:30 pm  —  Moms’ Group: Tacos & Turkey Project
• November 6, 6:00 pm  —  Taizé Sung Prayers
• November 7, 9:00 am  —  Prayer Quilters
• November 12, 7:00 pm  —  Infertility Support Group
• November 16, 6:00 pm  —  Jazz Vespers: Wonderland Jazz Ensemble
• November 17, 10:00 am - 12:30 pm  —  A Different Kind of Christmas Fair
• November 18, 12:00 pm  —  60+ Luncheon
• November 20, 8:00 am  —  Caring Connection

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Sunday Schedule: Children & Youth

9:15 AM
• Infant Nursery — 0-23 months Room 107
• Toddler Nursery — 2 yr. olds - young 3´s Room 106
• Children & Worship (toilet trained) — Older 3´s – Pre K Room 204/201

9:15 AM: Faith Travelers, Junior High, and Senior High begin in worship with their families and are then dismissed to their classes. (Children of all ages are welcome to remain in worship if their families so desire.)
• Faith Travelers — K-6th grade Church 3rd Floor
• Junior High — 7-8th grade The Vine South
• Senior High — 9-12th grade The Vine North

11:00 AM
• Infant Nursery — 0-23 months Room 107
• Toddler Nursery — 2-3 years Room 106
• One Room Schoolhouse — 4 years-Grade 2 Room 202
(One Room Schoolhouse children begin in worship with their parents. Following the Children´s Moments, they are dismissed to class.)

**Worship bags and Children´s Pages are available in the narthex with activities that allow for children to participate in worship at their own level.**

Please contact Annette Erbes at 451.2879 or with any questions.

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SECOND SUNDAY LUNCH BUNCH will meet Sunday, October 13 after the 11:00 am service for lunch at New Beginnings Restaurant (1455 Michigan St NE). Because we reserve space there, please let us know you are planning to join us by calling Sherry Gates at 942.8527 by Friday, October 11.

FLU SHOT CLINIC Mark your calendar! Spectrum Health Visiting Nurses will provide flu shots from 10:00 am - 1:00 pm on Sunday, October 13 in the parlor. Medicare and many insurances billed directly for you. No reservations needed!

LIBRARY In conjunction with Pastor Bob´s sermon series this fall, we have a "library" set up in the narthex. Books on prayer are available for church members to check out.

• Don Merrill will be 93 on Oct 6
• Kathryn Olson will be 91 on Oct 22
• Leola Hathaway will be 94 on Oct 26
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!

SUBSCRIBE! Missed church? Never go sermon-less again. Our pastors´ sermons are now available on YouTube. Simply search for GRFUMC and click the subscribe button. Printed copies are also available in the north lobby rack.

DON´T FORGET YOUR SWEATER Outdoor temperatures are fluctuating like mad! How are we supposed to dress? The outdoor temperature has a direct effect on how the church building feels inside. When the temperature is going back and forth, church can be very warm or very cool. During this time of temperature uncertainty, please wear layers. In this huge building, it´s difficult to get the temperature favorable for all, so please come to church prepared!

PHOTOGRAPHS During the course of the year, photographs of children are taken during children´s ministry activities. These photos may be used occasionally for church publicity. If you prefer that your child´s photos not be used publicly, please contact Annette Erbes, Director of Children´s Ministry at or Monday through Wednesday at 451.2879. Thank you!

STEPHEN MINISTRY MEET AND GREET Meet and greet your Stephen Ministers after both worship services on Sunday, October 13 in Wesley Hall. Learn about Stephen Ministry, what the ministry is, whom we care for, and how you might become one! Look for the people in the blue shirts.

NICARAGUA FEEDING PROGRAM The Coffee Can offering on Sunday, October 13 will benefit the Nicaragua Feeding Program. Our medical mission partner, Dr. Mir, feeds children who are in need from her own home. Children are fed on Tuesdays and Thursdays, milk is provided on Sundays. $10 feeds one child for a month. 40 children are currently being fed with available funds. Additional funds will allow Dr. Mir to expand to include other children. The need is great!

SHOWING IN OUR FIRST CHURCH ART GALLERY is an exhibit by FUMC member Barbara Groat. A native of Grand Haven, Barb holds art and design degrees from MSU and Aquinas. She has served on our Celebration of the Arts Committee as well as winning 4th Place in our 2012 show. Barbara shares that through her work she "celebrates life." Let´s take this opportunity to celebrate with her as we enjoy her art.

GIVE TO JFON THROUGH THE UNITED WAY JFON has been registered as a Donor Choice Agency of Heart of West Michigan, since 2008 and can accept donations through this program. This is particularly timely as United Way pledges are being collected in the fall. Donors can elect to choose Justice for Our Neighbors to receive their funds. Please consider JFON when you pledge, and spread the word with family and friends!

FACEBOOK CONNECT Make sure to visit our Facebook page ( for fun things to do and new activities.

PORTER HILLS FRIENDS Please mark your calendar to meet with your Pastoral Care team on Thursday, October 17 at Porter Hills. We will meet in the 2nd floor library area at 2:00 pm for fellowship and snacks. Please join us! – Pastor Bob, Pastor Tish and Parish Nurse Marj

FAITH TRAVELERS’ MISSION OFFERING FOR HEIFER PROJECT INTERNATIONAL: Our Faith Travelers program will be taking a voluntary offering each Sunday morning during their 9:30 am church school classes. Our goal is to purchase a share of a heifer cow ($50) from Heifer Project International. Children are encouraged to do chores or read at home to raise their offering money. (If each Faith Travelers child were to bring in just $1, we would meet our goal!) Our purpose is to teach children that by working together, they can make a difference in the life of another child. Thank you for supporting families around the world that they might have regular meals, a stable income, and likewise pass on this gift to their neighbors. Please contact Annette Erbes at with any questions.

DID YOU KNOW? The Pastor Parish Relations Committee (PPRC) is a committee of church members who meet regularly with our pastors. This committee supports our pastors with educational and spiritual growth opportunities and by providing guidance in setting yearly goals, giving on-going constructive feedback, celebrating achievements and successes, and facilitating meaningful communication within the church family. In order to achieve these goals, the PPRC welcomes communication that might consist of affirmations, reflections, concerns or suggestions. Church members may have direct contact with the PPRC via a confidential form on the church website at pastor-parish-relations. Only the current chairperson will have access to your information and your comments will be shared only with permission.

MARTIN LUTHER KING ~ FUMC GIFT OF GIVING CHRISTMAS PROGRAM Each year our church embraces the families of MLK at Christmas in a wonderful way.

  • MLK Parents sign up at fall registration and immediately begin doing volunteer work at the school or outside agencies to “earn” the gifts provided for their children.
  • They provide us with a wish list of presents for each of their children, which may be aged birth to 12. The lists tell us the gender, age and sizes, as well as clothing needs and desired toys or games. Teens aged 13-18 will have a choice of 2 stores and donors simply purchase a gift card, as they are difficult to buy for.
  • We solicit donors who pledge to spend AT LEAST $40 for each child they request. The wish lists are passed out on Nov. 3 at church or mailed November 4.
  • Donors shop from November 3 - December 4.
  • Unwrapped gifts are brought to our collection area on the third floor of First Place December 4 or December 8.
  • MLK Parents will come to accept and wrap the gifts December 11 and 12.
What are this year’s needs? They are great! 95% of MLK families live below the national poverty level. We anticipate needing to gift approximately 200 children this year. Please indicate your interest in
sponsoring today by filling out the Sunday
sign-up sheet.

A DIFFERENT KIND OF CHRISTMAS FAIR Many major box stores are already “decking the halls” and setting up their seasonal Christmas displays. You may think it is a bit early but we invite you to think differently about gift shopping this year. Consider giving alternative mission gifts to your loved ones. Save the date and some of your gift budget for A Different Kind of Christmas Fair scheduled for Sunday, November 17, 2013 in Wesley Hall.

JAZZ VESPERS, featuring the Fred Knapp Trio, on Saturday, October 19 at 6:00 pm weaves scripture, a pastoral message and prayer into a celebration of faith, hope, and the love of God. Please join us!

EASY FUNDRAISER TO BENEFIT OUR TUTORING CENTER AT MLK Shop D &W Fresh Market Stores and Family Fare Stores October 20-26. The CASH for CLASS fundraisers for the MLK Academy at D&W and Family Fare now have a very easy format. To support our Tutoring Center you must first be registered for the Spartan/D&W/ Family Fare YES card, then during specific promotional periods, when your YES card is swiped MLK automatically benefits. Now is the time to get registered! The catch is, everyone must register anew for this school year! This is how it’s done….
  1. Already a YES cardholder? Go to www., log into your account by entering your email address and password under “Returning Members,” go to “My Profile” page and link our school CODE 89389
  2. Already a YES cardholder, but don’t have an online account set up? Go to www. click “First-Time to Site” and follow the steps to complete account registration. Then complete part 1 as written above. CODE 89389
  3. Not a YES member yet? Go to www. and click “Join Us”, fill out the registration form and link our school code to your card 89389! You can pick up your YES card at your store’s Customer Service desk. CODE 89389
  4. If all else fails, go to the Customer Service desk in any store and they can help you get a card and link your card to the FUMC – MLK Cash for Class number 89389.
LEGACY WILLING FRIENDS Willing Friends of First Church are those individuals and families who have indicated that they have included the church in their will or estate plan. They are both “friends” of Christ and “willing” to support Christ’s ministry and mission now and into the future. If you are a Willing Friend or would like more information on becoming one, you are welcome to join us for a luncheon at Mangiamo! on Sunday, November 3 at 12:30. Wayne Barrett will be the speaker. Reservations for this event are required through Sharon Sorensen at 451-2879, x 124 or

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Concerns & Prayers for:
• Donna Anton (Trillium Woods)
• Don Far
• Charles Fry
• Jim Hoff
• Lois Moseley
• Alan Norton (Metro)
• Robert Newell
• Lea Tobar
• Helen Williams

Service Personnel
• Chris Bolhouse
• Scott Grifhorst
• Stephan Mathos
• Jesse Mounts
• Trevor Norton
• Shawn Seher
• Peter Taylor, Jr

I’d like to say “many thanks” to Gary, Marj, and my Stephen Minister for the very appreciated support given me when I lost Frannie. Each of you were there when I needed you most.

- Roy Nixon

Congratulations to April and Steve Hulst on the birth of a daughter, Victoria Cecelia Hulst, born September 5; and to Liz and John James on the birth of a son, John Andrew Ensor James, born October 4. Proud grandparents are Karen and Bill Lott.

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 Pastor´s Message
• Weekly Pulse Downloads
• Mark Your Calendar
• Sunday Schedule: Children and Youth
• Pathways: Growing In Grace
• News and Events
• Worship Service
• First Church Family Concerns
• Attendance


Click the following links to download a PDF.
• "Lord, Teach Us to Pray" Sermon Series
• Current Sunday Sign-Up Sheet: Sign up online at

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WEEKLY PULSE: Click the link to download a PDF version of the Weekly Pulse.

Worship Services
9:15 & 11:00 am

Lord, Teach Us to Pray!

Sunday, October 13
“Learning the Art
of Prayerful Listening”

Dr. Bob Hundley
1 Samuel 3:1-10; James 1:19-25
Coffee Can Offering
Ministry Focus: Stewardship

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• A Disciple´s Path You are invited to take this six-week class based on the Wesleyan understanding of our growth in God´s love and grace. Learn the practices of spiritual disciplines outlined in our membership vows to uphold the church with our presence, prayers, gifts, service, and witness. Meet Sunday evenings (5:00 - 6:30 pm) in room 3109. It will meet from October 27 - December 1. Books are $10 and can be picked up at the north lobby reception desk.


LEARN ABOUT THE WORK PROGRAM, an outreach ministry of FUMC that works in collaboration with several Heartside Neighborhood agencies to provide temporary employment for people who are homeless or living in extreme poverty. Striving to be an agent of Christ´s love, we are committed to helping the needy achieve hope, pride, dignity, and grace, and learn to become self-sufficient. Each Tuesday morning at 7:00 am, volunteers greet participants and help them select two-hour jobs for the week. The Work Program volunteers welcome anyone who would like to have a better understanding of the program operation to come and observe. You´ll be glad you did. RSVP to Richard Johnson at 451.2879 or richardj@

FUMC AND THE SOCIAL CONCERNS COMMITTEE will be collecting toilet paper for Westminster Food Pantry every Sunday during the month of October. Our goal is to collect over 800 rolls of toilet paper over the next several weeks. Please drop off your donation in the collection bins in the north lobby office.

• Navigating the Medicare Maze If you are new to Medicare (at or near age 65), please join us November 3 for details, answers to your questions, and other useful information. For those who are over 65 and need to enroll for 2014, join us November 10. Classes will be led by Bob Callery, the Regional Coordinator with the Area Agency on Aging in West Michigan. Meets Sunday 9:30 - 10:30 am in room 3107.


 Coming Soon: Immigration and the Bible Led by Laura Rampersad. The Bible was written by, for, and about migrants, immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers. It gives directions for responding to sisters and brothers from around the world who come to a land seeking safety, sanctuary and sustenance. Join this class to learn what the Bible teaches us about immigration. Meet Sunday mornings (9:30 - 10:30 am) in room 3109. It will meet from October 27 - November 17. Books are $7.
• Coming Soon: If Christians Were Really Christian Led by Dr. Bob Hundley. In the world today churches and church members are often diverted from their central mission of loving others and interpreting life through the vision of Jesus Christ. If Christians Were Really Christian shows that with the message we have been given and the spirit of God to lead us we should have led everyone to the kingdom of God. Meet Sunday evenings November 3 - 24 in room 3107. Child care provided. Books are available for $10 in the north lobby (there are only twenty copies, pick up yours today) or purchase your ebook online.


DRIFTING “My wife and I seem to be drifting apart, but I love her and hold our vows sacred.” For information about marriage issues, call your Church Assistance Program (CAP). Just dial 455.6210 and make a CAP appointment today. As a member or friend of First Church, you will receive 2 one-hour sessions with a counselor at no charge to you.

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Wednesday, October 2
Taizé Service 6:00 pm........25

Sunday, October 6
Worship 9:15 am..............160
Church School....................10
Worship 11:00 am.............257
Evening Activities...............62

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