The actor Rex Harrison, and his wife, Elizabeth, were dining with a few friends at an exclusive Manhattan restaurant known as Club 21. As often happens to famous people, while they were preparing to order, a handsome young man from another table got up to come over and meet the Harrisons. He said, "I just came off of a big flight, and saw you sitting here and wanted to meet you. You´ve given me so much pleasure through your career, Mr. Harrison, and it has been a great inspiration to me. I just had to come and share that with you, and say thank you."
As soon as he walked away, Rex Harrison turned his attention to the wine list and said, "What a very odd fellow. I don´t know why he felt compelled to mention that he had just gotten off a big flight. I just arrived from London last night but don´t feel the need to tell others about it."
"Rex," his wife said, "that was James Lovell. He just came back from flying around the moon."
Harrison, star of My Fair Lady and Anne of a Thousand Days, did not have a clue. When one is the center of one´s own universe it´s hard to see beyond one´s own limited horizon. When one is concerned only about one´s world, one´s own self, it´s so easy to be blind to the person who stands in front of you, or even to slip into self-righteousness. This is a timeless truth. Hence, the Apostle Paul wrote:
"Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment." (Romans 12:3)
First United Methodist Church is a fellowship of believers with a vision that leads us to see beyond ourselves. We attempt to look beyond the walls of our facilities, in order to see and respond to the needs in our community. We try to see beyond the constraints of our budget and beyond the limits of what we´ve previously accomplished. In every way we seek to be alive in the heart of our city, to embrace mission in the far reaches of our world and thus fulfill Christ´s call to make disciples.
This church has long done this, but it´s not because people here think highly of themselves. To the Romans, Paul warned Christians not too think too highly of themselves. Then, to the Philippians, he said we should consider others better than ourselves. This is the character of a great Christian community. Our future will be determined by the way we see others.
Paul declared that love "does not insist on its own way." When we pay the check at a restaurant and calculate the tip, do we see a server who brought the wrong entree, whose eye we could not catch, or do we see a person stretched to their limits and struggling to make ends meet? When we get a little attitude from a sales clerk, do we see someone who is paid to serve us or someone who may have been hurt by the cruel words of another customer? When we come to worship, is our expectation exclusively to be "fed"? Or do we seek to grow as servants of Christ, so that we take off our bibs and put on our aprons?
I think these are worthy questions. Well, they are worthy questions for anyone seeking to be a follower of Jesus. If you seek to be served, if you seek to have your needs met, if you seek to be praised, these questions are utterly irrelevant to you. It goes back to Jesus who put it this way: "Whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it" and "I came not to be served, but to serve."
Think on these things, okay? If you want to grow in wisdom and stature before God, Paul´s advice is pretty good: "Don´t think more highly of yourself than you should; but consider yourself with sober judgment."
• 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 11, 7:00 pm — Infertility Support Group
• September 15, 6:00 pm — Jazz Vespers: Max Colley III Quartet
• September 24, 3:00 - 7:00 pm — Blood Drive
• September 28, 1:00 - 9:00 pm — ArtPrize Lot Party
• September 29, 12:00 - 4:00 pm — ArtPrize Lot Party
• October 3, 7:00 pm — Taizé Sung Prayers
• October 5, 7:30 pm — Film & Lecture: Soul Tenders
• October 6, 7:30 pm — Anne Hills – Contemporary Folk Musician
• October 9, 7:00 pm — Infertility Support Group
• October 10, 6:00 pm — Sparks Service
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: 0-23 months Room 107
• Toddler Classroom: 2-3 years old Room 205
• One Room Schoolhouse: 4 years old-2nd grade Room 202
FALL 2012 SUNDAY MORNING CHILDREN´S CLASS SCHEDULE Begins September 9 9:15 AM
• Infant Nursery — 0-23 months Room 107
• Toddler Nursery — age 2-young 3 Room 205
• Children & Worship — older 3s (potty trained) – K Room 204/201
• Faith Travelers — 1-6th grade 3rd floor Church bldg (Faith Travelers begin in worship with their parents. Following the Children´s Moments, they are dismissed to class. Children of all ages are welcome to remain in worship if their families so desire.) 9:30 AM
• Junior High — 7-8th grade The Vine South (1st floor of First Place bldg.)
• Senior High — 9-12th grade The Vine North (1st floor of First Place bldg.) 11:00 AM
• Infant Nursery — 0-23 months Room 107
• Toddler Nursery — age 2-young 3 Room 205
• Children & Worship — older 3s (potty trained) – K Room 204/201
• Junior Church — 1-2nd grade Room 202 (Children in Junior Church begin in worship with their parents. Following the Children´s Moments, they are dismissed to class. Children of all ages are welcome to remain in worship if their families so desire.)
**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 go to www.grandrapidsfumc.org/volunteers to sign up to serve in one of the areas listed below. If you have questions, please contact Annette Erbes at 451.2879 (Monday-Wednesday) or firstname.lastname@example.org. All volunteers must be cleared through our child protection policy procedures. • Infant Nursery (Rm 105) 9:15 & 11:00 am This fall our experienced nursery staff of Sherry Gates and Joyce Bland will care for all infants, birth – 23 months. The nursery is open from 9 am – 12:15 pm every Sunday. Adult and senior high students may volunteer in the Infant Nursery for the 9:15 am and/or 11:00 am services. Please sign up to serve three or more Sundays in the fall. • Toddler Nursery (Rm 205) 9:15 & 11:00 am Emily Mol, Stacey Siegel, Linnae Smalley and Helen Williams staff our Toddler Nursery for children aged 2 - young 3. Junior or senior high teens are needed to serve as helpers during the 11:00 am service. Please sign up to serve three or more Sundays in the fall. • Children & Worship (Rm 204 / 201) 9:15 & 11:00 am Children who are 3 years old and potty trained - kindergartners are eligible for this class. Holly Cook and Michele Vander Berg will return as the teachers at 9:15 am. Tammy DeWitt and Traci Beals will be the teachers at 11:00 am. Adult or senior high helpers are needed for each Sunday at 9:15 am or 11:00 am. Please sign up to serve three Sundays this fall. • Faith Travelers (3rd Floor) 9:30 am Faith Travelers is our rotation model church school class for 1st-6th graders. Children may attend worship with their families at 9:15 am and then are excused to church school following Moments with the Children. Children may also attend Faith Travelers at 9:30 am and then attend the 11 am worship service with their families. New teachers are always welcome. Contact Annette if you would like to learn more about Faith Travelers! • Junior Church (Rm 202) 11:00 am 1st and 2nd graders attend worship with their families at 11:00 am and then are excused to Junior Church following Moments with the Children. Our Junior Church teacher is Linnae Smalley. Junior, senior high or adult helpers are needed each week. • Kids Club (Wesley Hall) 5:00 – 7:00 pm Involves children in fun, service, prayer, and friendship as they learn what it means to be part of a Christian community. Kids Club is for children in 3rd-6th grade. The Kids Club Director is Emily Mol, assisted by Ken Mol. Parents are encouraged to help on a rotating basis.
ADULT EDUCATION OPPORTUNITIES Please sign up for the following adult education opportunities in the Sunday bulletin or online at www.grandrapidsfumc.org/education-sign-up. • GENESIS — It´s all so familiar, so we´ll make it interesting ! Join Dick Youells and George Bob for a 10 week study of Genesis this fall modeled on the Disciple study series. From the beginning thru the patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph we´ll study their search for God and meaning in their lives. We begin Sunday, September 9 and meet from 5:00 - 6:30 pm at First Place. Study materials can be picked up in the north lobby. Cost is $12.
FIRST PLACE AND CHURCH BUILDING HOURS Church Building Hours
• Sunday: 7:45 am - 11:30 am
• Monday: 9:00 am - 9:00 pm
• Tuesday: 9:00 am - 9:00 pm
• Wednesday: 9:00 am - 9:00 pm
• Thursday: 9:00 am - 9:00 pm
• Friday: 9:00 am - 4:00 pm First Place Hours
• Sunday: Closed
• Monday: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
• Tuesday: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
• Wednesday: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
• Thursday: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
• Friday: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
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.
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. This goes through the growing season.
2012 FIRST UMC CO-ED SOFTBALL TEAM hit a new plateau this year. Finishing the season with a 9 win, 3 loss record. They tied for the League Championship, but by virtue of a League rule and because they scored the most runs against opponents, they were declared the League Champions. The team scored 158 runs to the opponents 77, and the team had an on base % of 0.537. Which means they were on base more than 50% of the time.
Team members who played were; Liz Balck (1B), Adam DeLong (OF), Lindsay DeLong (OF), Sharai DeLong (C), Jon Hiler (3B), Ken Mol (OF), Jacob Mol (OF), Dean Peffers (P), Laura Rampersad (1B,OF), The Smalleys; Brett (SS), Dennis (OF,P), Elise (2B), and Linnae (OF,2B); Joe Stein (OF), Ann Thorpe (OF), Steve Walker, (OF, coach), Jim Strohmer (coach). Congratulations to the team and thanks to the fans who came to watch their champions play!
HANDS ACROSS THE CITIES - Grand Rapids and Mizak, Haiti Join us in celebrating International Day of Peace on September 22 from 10:00 am - 2:00 pm. Inspired by the work of Haitian Artisans for Peace International (HAPI), Grand Rapids artisans and justice workers will share practical ways to create peace through art and friendship. Located at the UM Conference Center parking lot - under the big tent. Free parking a block away at the Salvation Army Booth Family Services (1215 Fulton). See you there!
YOUNG ADULTS SPARKS SERVICE A casual worship service for college students and young professionals that sparks faith, conversation, and friendship. Have you been looking for a different way to worship? We have. This service is based on memories of times around a campfire where worship seemed so natural. Where a sermon isn´t something that is only heard, but discussed. A service where bread is passed between friends looking to connect to something bigger. On Wednesday, September 12, we´ll begin with dinner at 6:00 pm and transisition to worship at 7:00 pm. All in The Vine (207 Fulton St E). Friends invited!
FIXIN´ ‘N´ FELLOWSHIP Thursday, August 30 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.
COMMUNITY DIVERSITY DINNER All are invited to our Community Diversity Dinner on Friday, September 14, from 6:00 - 8:00 pm at La Nueva Esperanza (1933 Buchanan SW). This is a potluck-style dinner sponsored by JFON and the Immigrant Welcoming Committees in the Grand Rapids area where we can discuss our family histories of immigration to the US and hear testimonials of more recent immigrants´ experiences. If you´d like to join the First Church group going to the dinner, reservations are required. To RSVP, please email Norm Kohns at firstname.lastname@example.org or use the Sunday sign-up sheet by September 6.
UNITED METHODSIT WOMEN Don´t miss the following UMW events. The Grand Rapids District UMW Annual Meeting & Celebration on Sunday, September 16 at Holton UMC. Reservations are due September 7. The UMW West Michigan Conference Annual Meeting will be Thursday, October 18 at Lansing Christ UMC. The speaker will be Rev. Dr. J Brown. Join us for the Grand Rapids District UMW Evening Apart on Thursday, October 25 at Cedar Springs UMC. The program will be "Women & Children of the Amazon." Watch the bulletin boards for further details, or call Luci Baer at 457.7797.
SENIOR HIGH YOUTH GROUP Are you a high school student who´s looking to make new friends, grow in faith, and make an impact in our community? Then you´re invited to connect with our Senior High Youth Group! We will typically meet on Sunday evenings from 5:00 - 7:00 pm. However, we will stray from that schedule when we have the opportunity to make a difference beyond our walls. For a complete schedule visit: www.grandrapidsfumc.org/youth or email SamiM@grandrapidsfumc.org.
YOUNG ADULT ARTPRIZING If you´re 18-30, then you´re invited to join our Young Adult Group on Wednesday, September 26 at 6:00 pm. Wear your walking shoes and join us in exploring ArtPrize! Meet at The Vine and bring some $$ to grab dinner as we go.
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!
LAY SERVANT MINISTRIES (formerly Lay Speaking) classes will be offered this fall in October. Don Williams will teach a Basic Class that will meet on Tuesday evenings, October 9, 16, 23, 30 at Georgetown UMC from 6:30 - 8:30 pm. Jody Pratt (GR District Lay Servant Ministries Director) will teach the advanced class titled Spiritual Gifts on October 9 and 16 only at Georgetown UMC from 6:30 - 8:30 pm. The cost for these classes is $25 per person, but folks must pre-register as the class materials need to be ordered. Registrations should be made with Jody Pratt via email at email@example.com
YOUNG ADULTS TEAM BUILDING & WELCOME PARTY Are you a college student, young professional, or young adult (age 18-30) who´d like to connect with other young adults? Then please join us on Wednesday, September 5 at 6:00 pm! Friends and new faces are always invited!
THE PRAYER QUILTERS will not meet in September. Our next meeting is Thursday, October, 4 in Wesley Hall from 9:00 am - 12:00 pm. We have had some time off and now it´s time to get back to work. Why not come and join us? It´s a great way to make new church friends, learn about quilting, and be a part of this wonderful project. No skill is required. We have a job for everyone. Come when you can and stay as long as you´re able. We also would welcome any donations of 100 % cotton material, which can be dropped off at the desk at the north entrance. For more information contact Ginnie Edwardson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
MEALS NEEDED! We have a family in our congregation with health challenges who would greatly benefit from some meals. You can view the schedule 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.Meals do not need to be fancy! Thank you so much!
READY TO GIVE UP? When you feel like you are ready to give up, call your Church Assistance Program (CAP) hotline at 455.6210. Trained personnel will set you up with a one-hour appointment to talk with a counselor or therapist about what you can do. They will listen and will help! Remember to tell them you are a member or friend of First Church and you can have 2, one-hour sessions at no charge to you! CAP is totally confidential and available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call now!
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.
BLOOD DRIVE Our next Blood Drive will be Monday, September 24 from 3:00 - 7:00 pm in Wesley Hall. Please use the Sunday sign-up sheet or call the office to reserve a time to donate blood. If you can´t donate blood, cookies and caffeinated beverages are also needed! Be a part of this important mission to save lives.
TAIZÉ SERVICE Wednesday, September 5 at 7:00 pm. Taizé is a meditative service of choruses, accompanied by instruments and vocal solos. Communion, prayers for healing, and the lighting of candles are also offered. It´s a wonderful way to connect with God in the midst of a busy week.
FIRST CHURCH FAMILY CONCERNS Concerns & Prayers for:
• Lynne Beals
• Ginny Groat (hospice care)
• Ardis Merrill (hospice care)
• Lois Moseley
• Sue Reinhard
• Betty Rosendall
• Maya Smitter (outpatient surgery 8/20)
• Bert Vermeulen (outpatient surgery 8/20)
• Kamryn Wezeman (outpatient surgery 8/22)
• Dorothy Wimmer
• Chuck Zimmerman
• Chris Bolhouse
• Neesa Broussard
• Scott Grifhorst
• Stephan Mathos
• Jacob Mol
• Jesse Mounts
• Trevor Norton
• Shawn Seher
Thank you to our church family for your prayers, notes and concerns expressed during my year long battle with Parkinson´s and the many complications I have had. Every note and message touched us deeply. Lyle and I are so blessed to have such a loving and caring church family. I am hopeful to get back in worship soon. God Bless you all.
Shirley and Lyle Etcher
The love and prayers of the congregation are extended to the family and friends of Marian Vader who died on August 15th; and to Kayleigh Peffers and family on the death of Kayleigh´s mother, Diana Peffers, on August 16th.