I am now in my 14th month of serving among the good people of First United Methodist Church. As I have listened to the congregation, I am impressed by the outreaching tentacles of the people connected to First Church. We seem to be a group of people who are interested, engaged, and invested in many worthwhile causes in and around the city of Grand Rapids.
Volunteerism is a significant part of our culture. The six years I served as Chaplain and Director of Pastoral Care at Ingham Medical Center in Lansing, I was incredibly impressed by the work of the Department of Volunteer Services. It was a well-oiled organization that focused on recruiting, educating, assigning, supervising and rewarding volunteers. While I was at the hospital, we topped 1,200 people who were contributors of their time and expertise as volunteers within the hospital community. The average volunteer invested 2 hours per week with the goal of 100 hours per year. At the annual recognition dinner that was hosted by the hospital as an expression of appreciation, there were many who received 25-, 30-, 35- and 40-year pins in honor of their longevity of service. Volunteer Services was also responsible for significant fund-raising. While I was there, the volunteers bought a 4-acre parcel of land adjacent to the hospital to build a hospitality house - similar to the Ronald McDonald Houses. It was approximately a 2.5 million dollar project that the volunteers completely funded and staffed.
Volunteers make a difference in any organization.
Nationally, 62 million people gave themselves to some form of volunteerism in 2013. That is approximately 25% of the population. And that percentage is actually 1.1% lower than the previous year.
First Church ... in fact, any church ... is a volunteer organization. Indeed, we have a professional staff who are paid - but one of the realities is that the paid staff must recruit, train, empower, assign, and supervise volunteers if we are to be the church we can be. We need volunteers.
From a stewardship principle, we teach ´tithing´ - or giving 10% of our income to God. What would happen if we began to practice the tithing principle of our time? We have 168 hours in a week. That is a bit unrealistic to think about 16 hours of volunteerism per week. So - what if we base it on 40 hours - or the equivalent to the normative work week. What would happen to the ministry of this congregation if we had half of the average 500 people who attend worship who would invest 4 hours per week in service, education, or administrative investment?
As we do the final preparations for the fall ... we are in need of volunteers. We need greeters ... ushers ... communion stewards ... nursery workers ... teachers ... assistants to the teachers ... youth ministry helpers ... worship support folks ... readers in worship ... choir members ... handbell players ... class participants ... committee members ... food preparation helpers ... and on and on.
We need YOU! Please prayerfully and thoughtfully consider how you can invest in your congregation with a time investment. Write a note about your skills, gifts, and interests and the time you feel you can give as a volunteer in ministry at First Church. Let us hear from you soon. The rewards are heavenly.
• August 19, 5:30 pm — Frederik Meijer Gardens Evening Family Potluck
• August 20, 9:00 am — Caring Connection
• August 21, 12:00 pm — "The Christ-Centered Women" Bible Study
• August 23 — Stephen Leader Retreat
• August 24, 6:00 pm — Sunday Night Worship
• August 25 — Regular Office Hours: Church and First Place
• September 3, 7:00 pm — Taizé Sung Prayer Service
• September 3, 6:00 pm — Orientation: Disciple 2
• September 3, 6:00 - 8:00 pm — Young Adults: Welcome Night
• September 7, 10:00 am — WORSHIP ONE SERVICE: Homecoming Sunday
• September 7, 10:00 am — Children & Worship
• September 7, 10:00 am — Faith Travelers
• September 7, 5:00 - 7:00 pm — Junior High Youth Group
• September 7, 5:00 - 7:00 pm — Senior High Youth Group
• September 10, 6:00 - 8:00 pm — Young Adults: Evening at Well House
• September 14, 9:15 am Faith Travelers
• September 15, 12:00 pm — 60+ Luncheon
• September 17, 6:00 pm — Disciple 2
• September 17, 6:00 - 8:00 pm — Young Adults: Dinner & Communion
• September 18 - 20 — Pennsylvania Road Trip
• September 20 — Feeding America
• September 22, 3:00 - 6:00 pm — Blood Drive
• September 24, 5:00 - 8:00 pm — Young Adults: ArtPrize Open House
NEWSLETTER CHANGES To be better stewards of the church´s resources, beginning September 2, the Weekly Pulse newsletter will be available only online. The newsletter will be emailed on Tuesdays (listing upcoming events) and Thursdays (featuring prayer concerns, sermon title, Sunday events). If you are unable to access email, you may pick up a copy on Sundays (preferred method), or sign up for a mailed copy by contacting the church office at 616.451.2879. If you already receive the Weekly Pulse online, your subscription will continue as usual. If you haven´t subscribed for the online Weekly Pulse, please use the Sunday sign-up sheet or visit www.grandrapidsfumc.org/subscribe. The monthly First Pulse newsletter still will be printed and mailed the last Tuesday of each month.
EVENING WORSHIP Join us this Sunday evening as we explore a new style of worship! This will be a casual time of worship on our side lawn by the Barclay doors. (If it´s raining, we´ll move to the parlor.) We will begin at 6:00 pm with gathering time and community-building. Please bring a picnic dinner for yourself (and if possible, bring a little extra to share with a new friend) to eat during the gathering time and your own lawn chair or picnic blanket. We will transition from dinner and conversation into singing, a message, message reflection, and shared prayer time. Child care will be available for babies and toddlers. Our goals for this new service are to build community and create a place to invite new friends to First Church all while worshipping God and growing in faith. See you August 24!
MEALS NEEDED Let's surround Melinda Hoff and her daughter Lil with our prayers and some good food while Melinda is recovering from breast cancer surgery. Sign up online at www.grandrapidsfumc.org/meals.
YOUNG ADULT: S.H.O.E.S. VOLUNTEER PROJECT We´re volunteering with In The Image´s S.H.O.E.S. program again on Wednesday, August 20 this summer! We´ll be fitting kids with a NEW pair of back-to-school shoes for elementary students in select Grand Rapids, Godfrey-Lee, Kentwood, and Wyoming Schools. Either meet us at The Vine at 5:00 pm to carpool or at In the Image (1823 S. Division Avenue) at 5:30 pm. Open to ages 18-30. Please sign up on Facebook or email SamiM@grandrapidsfumc.org to hold your spot.
PASTORAL CARECall (616) 490-1708 if there is a pastoral care emergency or concern. This is the new pastoral care phone number which will be carried and answered by one of our pastors or another staff member who is ready to help.
FIRST RESPONSE TEAM If you are current in CPR training, we need you for our First Response Team! Three people are scheduled each worship service to respond should a medical emergency occur. You are especially needed for our 9:15 am worship time. For more information or to sign up, please contact Marj Timmerman at 901-9224 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
90+ SEPTEMBER BIRTHDAYS
• Ginny Groat will be 92 on Sept 12
• Corinne Terkeurst will be 92 on Sept 20
• Barb Sirrine will be 93 on Sept 23
• Weldon Hodges will be 95 on Sept 25
If we have missed listing your 90+ birthday, please call the church office at 451.2879 with your name and birth date and we´ll list it!
FREE SCHOLASTIC BOOKS for the FUMC MLK Tutoring Center. We give each MLK child a book to keep on alternate visits to the FUMC Tutoring Center. That means we need to have at least 1,700 books each year! Here´s how you can help out: This program runs now through March 31, 2015.
1. Purchase specially marked FREE BOOK Kellogg products (examples: cereals, Pop-Tarts, Eggo waffles, snack packs, Cheez-It, Nutri Grain bars, Rice Krispie Treats, Special K products, Keebler cookies, Pringles)
2. Look inside the specially-marked packages to find the Kellogg´s Family Rewards 16-digit codes printed inside the packaging.
3. Register as a participant in the program and enter the codes at www.freebookoffer.com. You may enter your codes and save them in your account until you have at least 3, which enables you to select books to donate. The program allows each person to submit a maximum of 60 codes, which equals 20 donated books!
4. Choose any available books for MLK. We work with students in grades Pre-K through 8th grade, so all titles are perfect. Surprise us!!
5. It is best to have the books mailed to your home and then bring them to the church collection room off the north lobby or to the tutoring center.
Please share this information with your friends to enable them to support our young readers!
DID YOU KNOW… MLK Academy is able to order daily healthy snacks for all the 450+ students from the Feeding America West Michigan Food Bank? We have an account there which accepts monetary donations. Our agency identification for donations is: M.L.K. Jr. L. Academy/First UMC. A teacher at the school goes online each week to place our order, drives to Feeding America in Comstock Park to pick up and deliver the order for us. Then the food items are distributed to all the teachers to pass out to the children. For the 2014 calendar year our report shows we purchased 5,074 pounds of food, which was valued at $11,010.58 wholesale. However, because the food bank receives donations and discounted food items, we only had to pay $1,240.11 from our account last year! We are so blessed by the generosity of the community to allow us to serve the children in this way! Jer Hon-Hawkins, Church and School Coordinator
MEIJER COMMUNITY REWARDSOur number is 513357. Sign up to have a percentage of all your Meijer credit card and debit purchases benefit the FUMC Tutoring Center programs. When you swipe your card, we automatically benefit. To enroll call 1-800-962-7011 or go to www.meijer.com/mcr/choose_card.jsp.
DINNER FOR EIGHT Are you an adult looking to connect with others at First Church? Then sign up for Dinner for Eight. Three times a year, each participant enjoys a potluck style dinner with seven others. It´s fun, you meet new people, and enjoy a meal together! Hosting is an important and fun part of Dinner for Eight, so please sign up to host a dinner in your home. Sign up in the Sunday bulletin or contact Janet Wood (447.1667) or Suzy Wood (891.9069 or email@example.com).
HOW MUCH CAN YOU COLLECT and RECYCLE? Did you know we collect various items which are submitted for cash to support programs that benefit children of MLK Academy? All are collected year round. Please save these and put them in the designated bins in the collection room off the north lobby:
• Campbell "Labels for Education" product stamp located near the UPC mark on the label
• Box Tops For Education stamps on various products
• Spartan UPC code stamps from any Spartan product.
• Aunt Millies Bread School Spirit coupons cut off the bread bags
• Pull tabs such as those found on pop cans & all canned goods
• Used clothing and shoes for In the Image
• Torn, stained, damaged shoes and clothes which are recycled by In the Image to earn money for school shoes for children. Just label these bags "Scrap."
DONATIONS FOR UNACCOMPANIED CHILDREN NEEDED On Friday, September 12 we will assemble 60 "Care Sacks" - a backpack filled with: personal care items, water bottle, book, colored pencils, stuffed animal, and a small blanket. Steelcase has adopted our project and will bring volunteers and most of the items we need, but we still need a few items to complete our project:
• International Phone Cards (Central America) - $10 suggested value
• Personal Care Items (soap, toothpaste/brush, deodorant)
Items can be dropped off in the north lobby. If you prefer to make a cash donation, you can mail it to the church office or make donation the online at www.jfonwestmichigan.org and note "JFON Day of Caring."
This project is intended to bring awareness and to educate our community on this humanitarian crisis that is developing at our border. We plan to serve immigrant children from Central America who are arriving in record numbers at US borders unaccompanied, without a parent or adult, and need to be housed in foster care facilities. Conat Laura Rampersad with any questions at (616)481-8145 or L.Rampersad@jfonwestmichigan.org.
A HISTORY OF FIRST UNITED METHODIST CHURCH Pat Hiler, our volunteer church historian, has spent many hours working on a book. Pat finished her portion of our church´s history a few weeks ago and the book "A History of First United Methodist Church" will be available for sale (cash, check, or credit card accepted) on Homecoming Sunday at the north lobby desk for $15 per book. This book includes Volume I 1835 – 1911 by Joseph B. Ware, and Volume 2 1911 – 2013 by Iris (Pat) J. Hiler. Proceeds will go towards the Historical Fund. The book cover was designed by Barbara Moser. Thank you, Pat and Barbara!
DISCIPLE 2: INTO THE WORD INTO THE WORLD – Beginning September 17 from 6:00-8:30 pm and led by Pastor Tish. The study builds on biblical knowledge gained in Disciple 1 by delving deeper into the books of Genesis, Exodus, Luke and Acts. The emphasis of this 32-week study is both to understand the text and to allow the text to challenge and inspire the student to respond in practical ways. If you are interested, please sign up for our informational orientation on Wednesday, September 3 at 6:00 pm. Study books ($35.00) and Bibles ($30.00) will be available for purchase beginning September 3 at the north lobby desk. Sign up using the Sunday bulletin or online at www.grandrapidsfumc.org/sign-up-sheet.
TIRED? DEPRESSED? Is it more than just feeling blue? Your Church Assistance Program (CAP) can help you identify and work through your feelings! Call CAP at 455-6210 to make an appointment today. By telling them you are a member of Grand Rapids First United Methodist Church, you will receive two one-hour appointments at no cost to you. Don´t wait, call CAP today!
Concerns & Prayers for:
• Linda Bassett
• Lynne Beals
• Dave Berles
• Janet Gillespie
• Melinda Hoff
• Thelma Hunter (hospice care)
• Josh Siegel
• Devin Tryon
• Les White (Blodgett)
• Chris Bolhouse
• Scott Grifhorst
• Xavier Kenmoe
• Stephan Mathos
• Jesse Mounts
• Trevor Norton
• Shawn Seher
• Peter Taylor, Jr
Congratulations to Alison Zeerip and Gary Lockard, who were united in marriage August 16 here at First Church!
Meet Aspen Emily Keller, who was born on August 9 to Christina and Andy Keller. Aspen´s big brother is Jackson and proud grandparents are Fred and Linn Keller.
The love and prayers of the congregation are extended to Dale and Fae Ewalt and family on the death of Dale´s brother, Jack Ewalt, On August 10; to Jessica and Eric Malinowski and family on the death of Jessica´s grandmother, Janet Detweiler, on August 14th; and to Liz and Henry Kingma and family on the death of Liz´s grandmother, Janice Potoka, on August 15.
SUNDAYS 10:00 AM
• Infant Nursery — 0-23 months Room 107
• Toddler Nursery — 2-3 yr. olds 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.)
Children in Grades 3 and up are welcome in worship this summer! In order for middle and older elementary children to be engaged in worship, they will find… • worship bulletins created just for them each week with the theme/scripture of the day (located at each entrance into the sanctuary) • worship bags filled with books, activity sheets, worship bulletins, & colored pencils (available in the back of the sanctuary on a wooden cart). Bags hanging up are ready for use; then simply return your used bag in the basket on the cart to be filled for the next week.
We would also welcome children as worship participants this summer. Would you like to play your instrument or share a song or reading? Please talk to Pastor Tish as we would welcome your participation.
In April of 2014, we began to plan our summer vacation. At about that same time, I found Dave Ramsey´s "Junior´s Adventures Story Time Books." The first book was "The Super Red Racer, Junior Discovers Work." In this book, Junior learned to work for the things he wants. Junior learned the value of working for his money rather than being given an allowance.
The second book was "My Fantastic Fieldtrip, Junior Discovers Saving." In this book, Junior learns the value of taking care of his money so that his money can take care of him in the future. This book introduced Dave Ramsey´s system of give, save, and spend. You need to save money for big items in the future… for your first car…for your education…or for a down payment on your first house. These things cost a lot of money, so start saving now!
The third book was "The Big Birthday Surprise, Junior Discovers Giving." In this book, Junior visited an orphanage and saw that these new friends did not have much. Junior discovered the joy of giving to others who are less fortunate.
The fourth book was "Careless At The Carnival, Junior Discovers Spending." Junior learned that those arcade games can eat up all your money and you may not have enough money left to go on the rides… make wise choices.
The fifth book was "A Special Thank You, Junior Discovers Integrity." In this book, Junior and his friends find some money. After careful consideration, they decide to turn it in to a police officer. It was the right thing to do.
The last book was "Battle Of The Chores, Junior Discovers Debt." Junior discovered that if he borrowed money from his sister, to buy something he wanted NOW…then he would have to do her chores and his own chores to earn the money to pay her back, and it was not worth it! It is not a good idea to loan money to relatives or friends.
As we prepared for our vacation, my granddaughter worked to earn money to spend while on vacation… what a great lesson for Grandma! Now when we go to the store, she knows she will need to spend money that she has earned, rather than just asking Grandma to buy her things. Let me know if you want to borrow these books.
Sharon Sorensen, Teaching Children About MoneyTreasurer and Legacy Administrator