We haven´t heard a lot about the Tower Project of late, but that´s about to change! Since the congregation gave their resounding approval to rebuild the tower at the Church Conference last December, certain other matters came about. Christmas, for one. Churches know very well that very little substantive work gets done when people are buying gifts, attending parties, visiting family and otherwise preparing for the holiday of Christmas. Then there was the formality of having the Leadership Council give approval to form a Campaign Committee. That was accomplished in January. Then there was the unexpected news of my re-appointment to the Birmingham First United Methodist Church, leading to introductory meetings both at Birmingham and here, involving lots of time on the part of church leadership. Life happens and things take time.
Still, much has been done! The Campaign Committee has been established and it is an outstanding group. Dan Miller has agreed to be our campaign leader and he will be an outstanding leader. David Bloss, Steve Walker and Betsy Mathiesen are working as organizers to keep the various aspects of this effort on task. Within the first days of our initial meeting, they already had detailed plans for our work and scheduled future meetings. Other members of the committee, taking on various tasks, include Leadership Council Chair Karen Lott, Tish Bowman, Lori Curley, Debbie Lambrix, Darlene Regula, Trustees Chair Bob Gillette and myself. Other invitations have been extended and we hope some others will soon join us. The Rev. Wayne Barrett has agreed to help in any way he can as a consultant. I´m delighted as Wayne is among the very best experts on Christian stewardship in the country.
Darlene Regula will kick things off with a Ministry Focus at both worship services this Sunday, March 10. A second creative Ministry Focus will be given in April. In addition, Lori Curley and Dave Bloss will be organizing some after-church "Coffees" as informational settings. Members have already come to us volunteering to write articles in the Weekly Pulse to voice their support for the project – I know I´ll eagerly watch for their perspective on rebuilding the tower.
All of this will culminate on Mother´s Day, May 12, when we offer our up-front gifts and three-year pledges to this project. As in the past, the largest support for this effort will need to come from initial gifts – contributions of cash, stock, bonds, insurance policies, and gifts of property (like homes, good cars, valuable coins and stamps). But not everyone has such assets to use, so we offer the opportunity to make a three-year pledge. Many people do everything they can up-front and still make an ongoing pledge.
Mother´s Day is the day we´ve chosen for the culmination of our many other building programs. It´s strategically placed so that our building campaigns are over five months distant from our Stewardship Sunday. So it does not conflict with the support we give to our vital church ministries in late October. A joyful reality is that we find our giving remains higher after a building campaign, so it positively affects the mission and ministry of the church. Once we have raised our funds, we can begin to raise a new tower. Work on removing the balcony organ and rebuilding the tower will begin almost immediately. We´ve been given many assurances that all of this work can be done by late fall. That´s amazing! That´s also dependent upon a successful "Raise the Tower!" Sunday.
So this brings you up-to-date. But be patient! There are many, many more details to be shared in our Ministry Focus and church coffees. I hope to see you in worship soon – the coming months are going to be very interesting!
• March 6, 7:00 pm — Taizé Sung Prayers
• March 10 — Spring Forward: Daylight Saving Time Begins
• March 16, 6:00 pm — Jazz Vespers: The Dave Collee Quartet
• March 18, 12:00 pm — 60+ Luncheon
• March 20, 8:00 am — Caring Connection
• March 24, 9:30 am - 1:00 pm — Youth Auction and Brunch
• March 25, 3:00 - 7:00 pm — Blood Drive
• March 28, 7:00 pm — Maunday Thursday Service
• March 29 — Church Building & Offices Closed till 6:00 pm for Good Friday
• March 29, 12:00 pm — Community Good Friday Service (Central Reformed Church)
• March 29, 7:00 pm — Good Friday Service
ROAD TRIP TO CHICAGO Join us on Thursday, July 11 for a road trip to Chicago! We´ll depart church at 7:15 am and travel on a deluxe motor coach. Upon arrival, we´ll take a 90-minute narrated boat tour and learn about the architecture and history of Chicago. After lunch, we´ll see the fabulous world premiere of "The Jungle Book," a musical at the Goodman Theatre. We´ll leave Chicago after the musical and have dinner together at Cracker Barrel in Stevensville before arriving back at the church by 10:00 pm. Click here or pick up a form in the north lobby rack for more detailed information and to reserve a place on this special day trip!
DON´T FORGET to spring forward Sunday, March 10. Set your clocks ahead one hour for daylight saving time. Don´t be late for church!
THE FUMC BOOK CLUB will meet at 6:00 pm on Wednesday, March 13 at Walker Road House (3272 Remembrance Road NW) to discuss When the Killing´s Done by T. C. Boyle. Set on the Channel Islands off the coast of Santa Barbara, this novel combines pulse-pounding adventure with a socially conscious, richly humane tale regarding the dominion we attempt to exert over the natural world. Please RSVP to Marlys Davis at firstname.lastname@example.org or 735-3339 by noon on Tuesday, March 12 to reserve a place.
KIDS´ CLUB: CAMPOUT Friday, March 22 - 23, we will be taking our 3rd-6th graders on a campout at Wesley Woods. We will be leaving the church at 5:00 pm and returning Saturday at 5:00 pm. We are looking for parents who would like to come and chaperone. The cost per child is $30. Parents are free. The kids will be playing board games and participating in team building activities. Saturday we will be geocaching, so please bring warm clothes and outerwear. Contact Emily Mol at email@example.com for more information.
MEALS NEEDED! Chuck and Anne Zimmerman live on the SE side of Grand Rapids and would appreciate meals on Mondays and Wednesdays. Sign up online at www.TakeThemAMeal.com/meals.php?t=NRIT8621, or contact Marj at 901-9224. Meals do not need to be fancy.
TECHNOLOGY RECYCLING EVENT Electronic waste is harmful to our environment, harmful toxins leak into our soil and water when placed in the garbage. You can help make a difference! Comprenew® will have a drop-off trailer in our parking lot Saturday and Sunday, March 23 - 24. Most any item with a cord or battery will be accepted at no charge and computer hard drives will be wiped or destroyed. A partial list of our acceptable items follows: computers (working/non-working/parts/accessories), printers/scanners/fax, cell phones/PDAs/iPods/MP3 players, VCRs/DVD players, radios/stereos/CD players, microwaves, miscellaneous electronics, and televisions. Comprenew cannot accept refrigerators, air conditioners, dehumidifiers, or large appliances.
PARENTS AND YOUTH Spring sign-ups for serving in children´s church school are ready on Doodle! Go to www.grandrapidsfumc.org/volunteers to sign up to serve in the Infant or Toddler Nurserys and Children & Worship classrooms! Volunteers are especially needed on Easter Sunday. Thank you for supporting our church school.
60+ LUNCHEON will be held on Monday, March 18 at noon. The program will be a spring concert by the Calder Band. Please call Elaine Youngs at 735.5506 or Luci Baer at 457.7797 if you would like to make a reservation.
CARING CONNECTION The next meeting is on Wednesday, March 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.
GOOD FRIDAY HOURS The church building and First Place will be closed Friday, March 29 for the Good Friday holiday. The church building will open at 6:00 pm for the annual Good Friday Service at 7:00 pm.
STEPHEN MINISTRY Meet and greet our team after both services on Sunday, March 10 in Wesley Hall.
PALM SUNDAY SERVICES, BRUNCH, AND YOUTH AUCTION Services will be held Sunday, March 24 at 9:15 and 11:00 am. The youth will also be waking early to make you brunch. There will be pancakes, sausage, eggs, and fruit. All are invited from 10:00 am - 1:00 pm in Wesley Hall. Suggested donation: $5/person or $20/family. While enjoying your brunch, stay for the Youth Auction. The silent auction will run from 9:30 am - 1:00 pm and the live auction begins at 12:30 pm. The auction and brunch are a fundraiser for our summer workcamp.
PALM SUNDAY PROCESSIONAL We will celebrate this special Sunday with a palm procession at both worship services! Parents are asked to bring their children aged 3 year olds – 6th grade to the corridor on the west side of Wesley Hall 10 minutes prior to the start of the worship services. Please see the schedule below: 9:05 am — 3 yr olds - grade 6 West Corridor by Wesley Hall (Following Children´s Moments, children will be excused to their classrooms.) 10:50 am — 3 yr olds - grade 6 West Corridor by Wesley Hall (Following Children´s Moments, 3 Yr. Olds - 2nd Grade will be excused to their classrooms. 3rd – 6th Graders will remain in worship with their families.) NO Evening Choristers, Kids´ Club or Youth Groups
MAUNDY THURSDAY SERVICE All are welcome to this unique Tenebrae service observed on Maundy Thursday, March 28 at 7:00 pm. Child care provided.
FIRST CHURCH GOOD FRIDAY SERVICE Join us Friday, March 29 at 7:00 pm for this contemplative service of drama, music, and a time of meditation and prayer. Child care provided.
IDENTICAL EASTER SUNDAY SERVICES will be held in the celebration of Easter Sunday, March 31 at 9:15 and 11:00 am. Join us for a continental breakfast in Wesley Hall from 10:00 - 11:00 am.
On EASTER SUNDAY, MARCH 31, children are encouraged to worship with their families on Easter Sunday. 9:30 Faith Travelers, Youth, and Adult Classes will NOT be held on Easter Sunday. Children´s Nurseries and Classes Available on Easter are as follows: 9:15 am and 11:00 am
Infant Nursery (0-2 Yr. Olds) Room 107
Toddler Nursery (2 Yr. Olds-Younger 3 Yr. Olds) Room 205
Children & Worship (Older 3 Yr. Olds-Kindergarten) Room 204/201
Junior Church (Grades 1 – 2) Room 202 NO Evening Choristers, Kids´ Club or Youth Groups
Concerns & Prayers for:
• Beth Colvin
• Kathy Crawford
• Abby Greer
• Roy Hart (Butterworth Hospital)
• Rick Kase
• Norma Mann
• Pat Newell (surgery March 12)
• Jessica Stokes
• Anne Zimmerman
• Young Adults (DC through 3/7)
• Nancy & Bob Gillette (Nicaragua 3/7-17)
• Chris Bolhouse
• Scott Grifhorst
• Stephan Mathos
• Jesse Mounts
• Trevor Norton
• Shawn Seher
• Peter Taylor, Jr
A big thank you to my wonderful Church family. Your prayers, cards and calls during my recovery from hip surgery were inspiring and encouraging. I am well on the road to full recovery and your encouragement was so helpful. Once again thank you.
BLOOD DRIVE Receive a $10 Meijer gift card when you register to donate at our blood drive on Monday, March 25! Appointments are preferred, so sign up now for a time between 3:00 - 7:00 pm that works best for you. Unable to donate blood? Homemade cookies are needed, too. Give a little of your time and a little of your blood and help save a life! Questions? Contact Marj Timmerman at 901.9224 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
MEN´S LENTEN BREAKFASTS 2013"How My Mind Has Changed." Join us on Fridays through March 22 at 7:00 am in Wesley Hall. Upcoming schedule: March 8 — Rev. Sean Kidd, Pokagon UMC; March 15 — Rev. David Nellist, Trinity UMC; and March 22 — Rev. Steve Charnley, Greenville UMC.
WOMEN OF FIRST LENTEN STUDY: "WATCH AND PRAY" Join us on Wednesdays through 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. Upcoming schedule is March 6 — It Is Right to Give Our Thanks and Praise, March 13 — Give Us This Day, and March 20 — How Long, O Lord?
FIRST AID STATION
INFERTILITY SUPPORT GROUP All who have experienced infertility issues, including miscarriage and secondary infertility, are invited to attend our next meeting on Tuesday, March 12 at 7:00 pm in The Vine. Please RSVP by using the bulletin sign-up sheet or by calling Marj Timmerman at 901.9224.