The season of Lent begins this week with Ash Wednesday. A powerful Lenten devotional book, written by our members, awaits you at the church. A new sermon series called "Scandalous!" and a new Lenten study (held in myriad locations) called "The World Shaking Ministry of Jesus" are ready to help you on your Lenten walk. The Men´s Lenten Breakfasts on the theme "How My Mind Has Changed" begin this Friday. And a new opportunity for our Women of First, a study called "Watch and Pray" begins Wednesday, February 20th. This is a rich season in the life of the church – and it can be for your life as well.
As Lent begins, I remember the journey of a woman who sought to embody peace. She called herself Peace Pilgrim and she walked across the United States from January 1, 1953, until her death in 1981. She traveled well over 25,000 miles "on foot and on faith," carrying her only possessions in her blue tunic.
Peace Pilgrim had no organizational backing. She carried no money nor would she accept any. She went without food until it was offered to her or she found it in the wild. Her motto, "This is the way of peace – overcome evil with good, and falsehood with truth, and hatred with love" inspired thousands over 28 years.
After her death, a man named Gene King became Peace Pilgrim II and took up the walk for peace. His thoughts are most appropriate for Lent and Easter.
"I believe that peace begins with me.
I believe that I´m responsible for my actions and behavior.
I believe in letting go of blame, by viewing individuals as distinct from their actions.
I believe I can then, rather than condemning them, encourage them to their highest potential.
I believe in treating others as I want them to treat me.
I believe that love overcomes hatred.
I believe in having a high self-esteem.
I believe in relating to others out of compassionate love, not out of my neediness or self-pity.
I believe in forgiveness of myself and of others.
I believe in conflict resolution rather than force.
I believe in living unconditional love.
I believe that we are unique, precious, and more than just okay.
I believe in accepting others, no matter how difficult, as God has accepted me.
I believe that all things are possible.
I believe that we have incredible potential and enormous inner power.
I believe in gratitude and appreciation of Nature´s every gift, the flowers, trees, people, and animals.
I believe that our thoughts become our actions. I believe that we have choices.
I believe in high principles of honesty, integrity, responsibility, consideration, compassion, and fairness.
I believe in being assertive, and that gentleness is a strength, not a weakness.
"Where does peace begin?" It begins with me. And with you. May these qualities of peace guide our walk through Lent as we approach the cross of Christ! Peace to your Lenten path! – Gary
• February 13, 7:00 pm — Ash Wednesday Service
• February 16, 6:00 pm — Jazz Vespers: Fred Knapp Trio
• February 24, 10:00 am and 12:00 pm — Breakfast Burrito Benefit for Cuba Mission Team
• February 24, 6:00 pm — "Trade of Innocents" movie
• March 6, 7:00 pm — Taizé Sung Prayers
• March 16, 6:00 pm — Jazz Vespers: The Dave Collee Quartet
• March 24, 12:15 pm — Youth Auction
• March 28, 7:00 pm — Maunday Thursday Service
• March 29, 12:00 pm — Community Good Friday Service (Central Reformed Church)
• March 29, 7:00 pm — Good Friday Service
• March 31, 9:15 and 11:00 am — Easter Sunday
• April 10, 12:00 pm — Sweetheart Luncheon
CELEBRATION OF THE ARTS PEOPLE'S CHOICE Our People´s Choice Selection is "The Path Changer," by George Peebles. This piece will hang in Wesley Hall for everyone to enjoy.
THE METHODIST CONNECTION: CANCELLED This event has been cancelled. Dr. Nwando Achebe had an unexpected conflict. The Methodist Conncetion is going to meet at First Community AME on Friday, February 15 at 6:00 pm for a potluck supper and to hear a program by Dr. Nwando Achebe, the daughter of the author who wrote Things Fall Apart. Dr. Achebe is a Professor in the Department of History at MSU. Everyone is invited to come and hear her, and bring a dish to pass.
UPCOMING BAPTISM DATE will be March 17. If you´d like to schedule a baptism, contact Mary Molhoek at 451.2879.
MISSION COMMISSION NEWSSunday, February 17, 5:00 pm in Wesley Hall: Meet John Daniel (JD) Gore, Missionary to Wi´am Palestinian Conflict Resolution Center in Bethlehem. Light supper followed by discussion featuring John´s personal experiences with the people of Palestine. The Wi´am Center engages in conflict resolution and peacekeeping in a volatile area of the Middle East. John is a native of Michigan and a member of the Plainfield United Methodist Church in Grand Rapids.
Sunday, February 24, 10:00 - 11:00 am and 12:00 pm in Wesley Hall: Breakfast Burrito Benefit for Cuba Mission Team. Support this year´s Cuba Mission Team by purchasing breakfast after either of the worship services. T-shirts will also be for sale. All proceeds support the March 31st trip to Herradura, Cuba. Team members are: Betty DeVinney, Lydia DeVinney, Nick Polzin, Dana Rector, Mark Rector, Braylon Taylor, Erin Taylor, Lane Taylor, Trent Taylor, Wendy Taylor (team leader), Jackson Wierenga.
THE FUMC BOOK CLUB will meet on Tuesday, February 19 at 7:30 pm in the parlor. Note date and time change from our normal schedule! We will be discussing The Faith Club by Ranya Idliby. "When an American Muslim woman befriends two other mothers, one Jewish and one Christian, they decide to educate their children about their respective religions."-- bn.com. Join us for coffee, dessert, and a lively discussion. RSVP to Marlys Davis at 735.3339 or email@example.com by Sunday, February 17.
DO YOU HAVE A TIMESHARE? Would you consider allowing our youth to auction off some time at your timeshare for our Youth Auction on March 24? Do you have MSU or U of M football season passes? Consider giving a pair to the youth auction. You can even pick which date you´d like to share. Email Sami at firstname.lastname@example.org.
JAZZ VESPERS, featuring the Fred Knapp Trio, on Saturday, February 16 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!
YOU ARE INVITED TO PICK UP A LENTEN DEVOTIONAL from the north lobby, narthex, or one of the entrances of the sanctuary. There is a devotion for every day of Lent, beginning with Ash Wednesday, February 13. The sermon title and scripture for each Sunday during Lent is also included. This booklet will enrich your life and enable you to engage in the daily discipline of scripture, inspirational reading, and prayer. Each devotion in the booklet has been written with care and love by an adult or youth from First Church.
MLK TUTORING FUNDRAISER Shop D&W Fresh Market Stores and Family Fare Stores February 24-March 2. The CASH for CLASS fundraisers have new format, but you must register for the Spartan/D&W/Family Fare YES card, then during specific promotional periods, when your YES card is swiped, MLK automatically benefits. Go to www.myyesrewards.com, create an account and link our school CODE 89389.
CARING CONNECTION The next meeting is on Wednesday, February 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.
ATTENTION, PARENTS AND YOUTH: Winter/spring sign-ups for serving in the children´s church school area are ready on Doodle! Please go to www.grandrapidsfumc.org/volunteers to sign up to serve in the Infant Nursery, Toddler Nursery, and Children & Worship classrooms! Volunteers are especially needed in the Infant Nursery at 9:15 and 11:00 a.m. Thank you for supporting our church school teachers and children.
"TRADE OF INNOCENTS" MOVIE SCREENING You´re invited to a screening on Sunday, February 24 at 6:00 pm of the movie "Trade of Innocents." Parallel story lines intertwine and unfold twists against the backdrop of the dangerous human trafficking world in a story of struggle, life, hope and redemption in the "Trade of Innocents." Movie rated PG-13. Ticket Sales: $5 (pre-purchase at www.grandrapidsfumc.org/trade) or $8 (at the door). All profits raised from movie showing will benefit Women at Risk´s 911 fund, a way to send help directly to rescuers bringing women and children out of human trafficking. Youth groups, college groups, and individuals are invited to join us for discussion following the movie.
SAVE THE DATE - ANNUAL SWEETHEART LUNCHEON will be Wednesday, April 10 at 12:00 pm in Wesley Hall for all women age 65 and older.
Concerns & Prayers for:
• Abby Greer
• Rick Kase
• Norma Mann
• Laura Wright (St Mary´s)
• Karen Weessies
• Richard Wimmer
• Chuck Zimmerman
• Chris Bolhouse
• Scott Grifhorst
• Stephan Mathos
• Jesse Mounts
• Trevor Norton
• Shawn Seher
• Peter Taylor, Jr
Congratulations to Jim and Janet Wood on the birth of a grandson, Thaddeus Abram Green, to Rebekah and Andrew Green on February 8th. Proud uncle is Nathan Wood.
Beloved First Church Family,
God has surrounded us with his love through your many acts of kindness during this difficult time. We are truly grateful.
Blessings and Love,
The Van Wingen and
Joe and Jan Taylor Families.
WOMEN OF FIRST LENTEN STUDY: "WATCH AND PRAY" Join us on Wednesdays, February 20 - March 20 from 12:00 – 1:00 pm in Wesley Hall. Bring your own lunch! In the Judaism of Jesus´ day, prayer was experienced in many forms and formats of community. These practices of prayer continue and have been added to in contemporary Judaism, particularly among the Orthodox. Prayer was and remains an integral part of what it means to be Jewish. This Lent we will explore various kinds of prayer and what it means to have a deep prayer life as Jesus did.
• February 20: Watch and Pray Matthew 26:36-44, Colossians 4:2 • February 27: Teach Us to Pray Luke 11:1-4
• March 6: It Is Right to Give Our Thanks and Praise I Corinthians 11:17-34
• March 13: Give Us This Day Luke 11:9-10, Psalm 86:6a
• March 20: How Long, O Lord? Psalm 77:1, Psalm 22:1, Matthew 27:46
MEN´S LENTEN BREAKFASTS 2013"How My Mind Has Changed" Join us Friday mornings at 7:00 am in Wesley Hall.
• February 15: Rev. Dean Prentiss,
Wesley Park UMC
• February 22: Rev. Bill Haggard,
Grand Rapids DS
• March 1: Dr. Robert Hundley,
• March 8: Rev. Sean Kidd,
• March 15: Rev. David Nellist,
• March 22: Rev. Steve Charnley,
YOUTH AUCTION: MARCH 24, 2013 Would you like to help our youth raise money for our workcamp trip this summer? If so, please consider donating items for our Youth Auction. We´d love tickets, gift cards, vacation destinations, desserts, etc. Consider having your business donate a gift basket and we´d be happy to set out business cards next to your donation. To make a donation or ask a question, email email@example.com.
LENTEN STUDY GROUPS: "THE WORLD SHATTERING MINISTRY OF JESUS" This 6-session study focuses on Jesus as a revolutionary figure and change agent, both in his own context and in ours, and will help adults understand the radical nature of Jesus´ ministry for and among all people, including the "outcast," and how Jesus models for us a ministry that challenges and pushes the limits. Books are available in the north lobby for $5. Please sign up for one of the following classes:
• Wednesdays, 9:30 am at Clark (Game Room). Led by Dick Youells from Feb. 13-Mar. 20.
• Thursdays, 7:00 pm at Penny Schuiling´s (NW). Led by Penny Schuiling from Feb. 14-Mar. 21.
• Sundays, 9:30 am in room 3109. Led by Marlys Davis from Feb. 17-March 24.
• Sundays, 5:00 pm at the Thompsons´ (NE). Led by the Thompsons from Feb. 17-March 24.
• Mondays, 7:00 pm at the Warnocks´ (SE). Led by the Warnock from Feb. 18-March 25.
• Tuesdays, 10:00 am at the DeBonis´ (SW). Led by Jess DeBoni from Feb. 19-Mar. 26 with child care.
• Tuesdays, 5:00 pm at Jane Zwiers´ (NE). Leader TBD from Feb. 19-Mar. 26 with child care.
• Tuesdays, 7:00 pm at Tina Yalda´s (SE). Led by Tina Yalda from Feb. 19-Mar. 26.
• Wednesdays, 5:00 pm for young adults(age 18-30) in The Vine. Led by Sami Marasigan from Feb. 20-Mar. 27.
• Wednesdays, 7:00 pm at the Muszkiewiczes´ (SE/Alger Hts). Led by Pete Muszkiewicz from Feb. 20-Mar. 27.