Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength…Love your neighbor as yourself. Mark 12:30-31
I love being a United Methodist! Of all the different denominations (and I’m glad we have variety), United Methodism seems to most clearly address the ‘greatest commandment’ – to love God and love neighbor. First Church, in the tradition of John Wesley, has always been deeply committed to this double focus through its practices of the means of grace.
John Wesley believed that the "means of grace" included both "works of piety" (instituted means of grace) and "works of mercy" (prudential means of grace). Works of piety included:
"... prayer, whether in secret or with the great congregation; searching the Scriptures; (which implies reading, hearing, and meditating thereon;) and receiving the Lord’s Supper, eating bread and drinking wine in remembrance of Him: And these we believe to be ordained of God, as the ordinary channels of conveying his grace to the souls of men."
• considered prayer an essential part of Christian living.
• read the Bible every day, usually early in the day or late in the evening.
• emphasized the importance of fasting and participating in Christian community. (http://gbgm-umc.org/umw/wesley/disciple.stm)
Most simply defined, "works of mercy" are "doing good." He preached that Christians must do both works of piety and works of mercy in order to move on toward Christian perfection.
…John Wesley not only preached about works of mercy, he "practiced" what he preached. He:
• lived modestly and gave all he could to help people who were poor
• visited people in prison and provided spiritual guidance, food, and clothing
• spoke out against slavery and forbade it in Methodism
• founded schools at the Foundery in London, Bristol, and Newcastle
• published books, pamphlets, and magazines for the education and spiritual edification of people
• taught and wrote about good health practices and even dispensed medicine from his chapels
This fall we are introducing a new tool to help adults track their progress in spiritual growth. It’s called Pathways. We are inviting everyone, from first-time members to life-long Methodists, to begin by taking the class "A Disciples Path: Deepening Your Relationship With Christ And The Church" (see Education News). The teachers are amazing and the study is a wonderful reminder of our history as servants in Christ’s name and a great springboard toward even greater growth. I sincerely hope you will join the journey.
You will hear more about Pathways and A Disciple’s Path on September 9 at Homecoming. Our sermon series for the fall is also called ‘A Disciple’s Path’ and will focus on the United Methodist membership pledge of prayer, presence, gifts, service, and witness. I wonder how the Holy Spirit will once again stir up this body at First Church to greater growth and service. I wonder how many lives will be changed because we allowed Christ to live in us as we follow this path. Let’s be bold, friends! Let’s journey on to perfection in love together!
Blessings, Pastor Tish
P.S. The Fall worship schedule begins this Sunday with services at 9:15 am and 11:00 am. See you there!
• 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
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 email@example.com. 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.
• A DISCIPLE´S PATH — Everyone is invited to take this 7 week class! Combining a Wesleyan understanding of our growth in God´s love and grace with the time-tested practices of spiritual discipline as expressed in the membership vows to uphold the church with our presence, prayers, gifts, service, and witness, you will discover the difference it makes to live out your commitment to Christ through membership in the United Methodist Church. You will learn that being a disciple means loving God and loving others, and you will be equipped to do that by discovering your unique gifts and becoming engaged in ministry that also brings transformation in your own heart and life through the love and grace of Jesus Christ. Books are available from the north lobby receptionist: Workbook (required) $6.50, Companion Reader (optional) $7.00. Register online at www.grandrapidsfumc.org/sign-up-sheet.
• Begins Sunday, September 16 from 9:30-10:30 am at First Place. Led by Rev. Bob Jones.
• Begins Sunday, September 16 from 5:00-6:30 pm at First Place. Led by Rev. Tish Bowman.
• Begins Tuesday, September 18 from 10:00-11:30 am at Skip & Lois Moseley´s. Leader to be determined.
• Begins Tuesday, September 18 from 7:00-8:30 pm at First Place. Led by Rev. Martha Beals.
• Begins Wednesday, September 19 from 6:30-8:00 pm at First Place. Led by Rev. Gary Haller.
• Begins Thursday, September 20 from 5:30-6:50 pm at FUMC. Led by Rev. Janet Carter.
• INVITATION TO 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. Register online at www.grandrapidsfumc.org/sign-up-sheet.
FUMC BOOK CLUB will meet at 6:00 pm on Wednesday, September 12 at Arnie’s (815 Leonard St NW) for dinner and discussion of Only Time Will Tell by Jeffrey Archer. "In 20-year segments, Archer’s creative page-turner features the precocious Harry Clifton, an intellectually gifted youth from the Bristol dockyards mingling in the grand estate of a millionaire shipping magnate and challenged by secrets, mysteries, growing pains, and life-changing decisions regarding his own paternity and destiny...." (Library Journal). Please RSVP to Marlys Davis at 735-3339 or firstname.lastname@example.org by Tuesday, September 11.
NEW MEMBERS AND VISITORS If you would like to be included in our new "online" photo directory, but have not had your picture taken, we have some opportunities for you! On Homecoming Sunday, September 9, between and after the 11:00 am services, pictures will be taken in the parlor to be used in our online directory and the "New Member Board." If you are not available September 9, there will also be opportunities on October 7 and 21. If you have any questions, please contact Patsy at 451-2879 or email@example.com.
RED BIRD MISSION TRIP Georgetown UMC is sending a team to Red Bird Mission in Kentucky, and has 5 additional spots. The dates are September 16-22, and the cost is estimated to be $400, plus your meals on travel days, and Wednesday during the week we are there. All lodging and other meals are provided at Red Bird, with transportation being provided by the Georgetown team. For more information, please contact Georgetown UMC at 616.669.0730 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
60+ LUNCHEON will be held on Monday, September 17 at noon. Jack and Judy Secord will present "String-Along" musical. Please call Elaine Youngs at 735.5506 or Luci Baer at 457.7797 if you would like to make a reservation.
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 St SE). See you there!
ARTPRIZE LOT PARTY DONATIONS NEEDED Items needed for the children’s craft area include: toilet paper tubes, yarn scraps, coffee filters, pipe cleaners, clothes pins, colored or patterned tissue paper, glue, construction paper, washable markers, and watercolor paints. Drop off donations to the ArtPrize bin in the north lobby donation area by September 22.
MOMS’ GROUP: SLOPPY JOES AND SILLY STORIES WITH ANNETTE Join us for sloppy joes and story time with Annette on Thursday, September 13 at 5:30 pm. You’re invited to dinner and story time with our new Children’s Director, Annette Erbes! Feel free to bring the kids in their pjs so they’re ready for bed when you get home. To RSVP or if you have a question, contact Sami at 451.2879 or email@example.com.
URBAN MINISTRY OPPORTUNITY: SECOND FRIDAY DINNER Friday, September 14, at 5:00 pm at Plainfield UMC (214 Spencer St NE). Free will offering. Come to dinner, and share a meal with neighbors in the newly-renovated Plainfield corridor. Please prayerfully consider how you might help the folks at Plainfield UMC in outreach to neighbors in this very important urban area.
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 transition to worship at 7:00 pm. All in The Vine (207 Fulton St E). Friends invited!
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. Jennie Browne. 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.
SUBSTITUTE VAN DRIVER NEEDED Family Promise is looking for volunteers to help transport children and families in our Interfaith Hospitality Network. You can make a real difference in the lives of homeless children and families. This is an on-call substitute position. Contact Lauren at 616.475.5220 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
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 email@example.com or use the Sunday sign-up sheet by September 6.
MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. LEADERSHIP ACADEMY NEWS As usual we are bursting at the seams…and more students are arriving daily. Although challenging, this is affirming to our staff. Martin Luther King Academy is a place in which parents want their children to attend school and learn! Part of that is due to the great programs FUMC provides. First Church is beginning its 21st year of our partnership with MLK. Besides weekly reading tutoring of K-2nd grade students, we run a variety of programs which involve approximately 100 volunteers on a weekly basis. These projects are encapsulated on the bulletin insert Homecoming Sunday. Additional copies of that list are available in the literature rack in the narthex. Our need for tutors is GREAT! We will provide training sessions the week of Sept. 24. Please sign up today or contact Leah Muir, Volunteer Coordinator at MLKTutoringCenter@gmail.com, to become a part of this important program. We would encourage each church member to prayerfully consider… Are you doing your part to embrace FUMC’s mission that impacts children in poverty?
PARTNERS FOR A RACISM-FREE COMMUNITY: Institute for Healing Racism It is our belief that the Institute for Healing Racism model of working on racial relationships have great value for the people of our community. The discipline and focus provided by these dialogues will begin the healing for all participants, regardless of ethnicity. This step of greater awareness and sensitivity links naturally to action steps which will have an impact on the quality of life for everyone in our community. Upcoming 8-Week Institute: Wednesdays, 7:30-9:30 am September 26 - November 14 at YWCA West Central Michigan (25 Sheldon Boulevard). Cost: $100. Call 616-466-6187 if you have questions.
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.
• 9:15 & 11:00 am Pathways Open House
• 9:30 am - 12:30 pm — We will be introducing Pathways, our new tool to guide adults in growing in discipleship, and inviting everyone to join the journey. We can’t wait to welcome you back home and to help you grow in faith! Homecoming Brunch
• 10:00 am - 12:30 pm Children & Youth Church School
• 9:15 am — Infant (0-2 years), Toddler (2-3 years), and Children & Worship (3 years - K)
• 9:30 am — Faith Travelers (1st-6th), Junior High Youth (7th-8th), and Senior High Youth (9th-12th)
• 11:00 am — Infant (0-2 years), Toddler (2-3 years), Children & Worship (3 years - K), and Junior Church (1st-2nd)
90+ SEPTEMBER BIRTHDAYS
• Ginny Groat will be 90 on Sept 12
• Jack Terkeurst will be 90 on Sept 14
• Corinne Terkeurst will be 90 on Sept 20
• Albert Hoff will be 92 on Sept 21
• Barb Sirrine will be 91 on Sept 23
• Weldon Hodges will be 93 on Sept 25
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!
INFERTILITY SUPPORT GROUP All who have experienced infertility issues, including miscarriage and secondary infertility, are invited to attend our next meeting on Tuesday, September 11 at 7:00 pm in The Vine. Please RSVP by using the bulletin sign-up sheet or by calling Marj Timmerman at 901.9224.
MEALS NEEDED!Chuck and Anne Zimmerman live on the SE side of Grand Rapids and would appreciate meals on Mondays and Wednesdays. Lynne Beals lives on the NE side of Grand Rapids. Sign up for either family online at www.grandrapidsfumc.org/take-them-a-meal. Meals do not need to be fancy! Thank you so much!
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.
JAZZ VESPERS, featuring Max Colley III Quartet, on Saturday, September 15 at 6:00 pm weaves scripture, a pastoral message and prayer into a celebration of faith, hope, and the love of God.
CURRENTLY SHOWING in the FUMC Art Gallery is an exhibit of our People´s Choice Award winners selected from our permanent art collection. Come and enjoy your favorites from years past. The art will be on display through Sunday, September 16.