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September 17, 2013


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Weekly Pulse - September 17, 2013 The official eNewsletter of First United Methodist Church of Grand Rapids. If you are not seeing graphics in this email, click here to view it in your browser.


TishGreetings Friends!

The great command, "Go into all the world and make disciples," is a pretty tall and sometimes daunting endeavor. Who are we to carry out such a command? How are we to go about this divine mission? It can be easy to find ourselves in the place of Moses saying, "Seriously, Lord? You want me?" In moments like this it helps me to remember that Christ also said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you." Christ has given us the church, and, through the church, opportunities to grow spiritually in Bible study and prepare ourselves in ministry equipping classes. This fall we have an amazing line-up.
• Get Off Your Donkey – Sept. 8 – Oct. 13, 9:30-10:30 am with Jess DeBoni. Jesus had little patience with institutional religion that cared for its own needs while neglecting the plight of ordinary people. In one of his most famous parables, he sets up as a model of Christian behavior a man who, unlike some religious folks, actually gets down off his donkey and helps a person in dire need. Reggie McNeal calls believers to dismount, get down and dirty, and live a life that makes a difference.
• Disciple I – Sept. 25 – May 28, 6-8:30 pm with Pastor Tish, Rev. Dick Youells, George Bob, Dave and Sue Rowe, and Laure Mieskowski. This 34-week comprehensive Bible study, broken up into six sessions, is a life-changing experience. Join with a group of fellow disciples to gain an in-depth understanding of scripture, from Genesis to Revelation, and to encourage one another in living out your call as a disciple of Christ.
• Mere Christianity – Sept. 22-Oct. 27, 5-6:30 pm, with Pete Muszkiewicz. In 1941 England, when all hope was threatened by the inhumanity of war, C.S. Lewis was invited to give a series of radio lectures addressing the central issues of Christianity. More than half a century later, these talks continue to retain their poignancy. C.S. Lewis proves that "at the center of each there is something, or a Someone who, against all divergences of belief, all differences of temperament, all memories of mutual persecution, speaks with the same voice," rejecting the boundaries that divide Christianity´s many denominations.
• Immigration and the Bible – Oct. 27- Nov. 27, 9:30-10:20 am with Laura Rampersad. The Bible is the ultimate handbook for practicing a theology of radical welcome. It was written by, for, and about migrants, immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers. It gives directions for responding to sisters and brothers who come to a land seeking safety, sanctuary, and sustenance. Participants will examine what it is to be a sojourner and to live into the biblical mandate of hospitality for the strangers and aliens in our midst, developing a theology of radical hospitality, defining the role of God in migration, and learning about ministries of radical, inclusive hospitality.
• A Disciple´s Path – Oct. 27-Dec.1, 5-6:30 pm. The study combines a Wesleyan understanding of our growth in God´s love and grace with the time-tested practices of spiritual discipline expressed in the membership vows to uphold the church with our prayers, presence, gifts, service, and witness. Participants will develop spiritual practices, discover their unique gifts, and become engaged in ministry that brings transformation in their own lives, the lives of others, and the world.
• If Christians Were Really Christian – Nov. 3-24, 5-6:30 pm, with Dr. Bob Hundley. In the world today, churches and church members are often diverted from their central mission of loving others and interpreting life through the vision of Jesus Christ. This book shows that with the message we have been given and the spirit of God to lead us, we should have led everyone to the kingdom of God. It is a reminder of how often we have broken trust with Christ in the most essential elements of our discipleship, and how effective our churches can become if we recover the central thrust of our ministry--following Christ and modeling his message in our deeds as well as our words.

Join a class today! (It´s not too late!) You may sign up for classes online at or by calling the church office. Books for these classes are available at the north lobby desk. See you in class!

Pastor Tish

P.S. Don´t miss our first Jazz Vespers service for the season. This Saturday, September 21 at 6:00 pm with Max Colley III Quartet.

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• September 18, 8:00 am   —   Caring Connection
• September 21, 8:30 am   —    Feeding America Distribution
• September 21   —   Scrapbooking
• September 21, 6:00 pm   —   Jazz Vespers: Max Colley III Quartet
• September 22, 12:30 pm   —   Luminary Workshop
• September 23, 3:00 - 7:00 pm  —    Blood Drive
• September 26, 9:00 am   —   Fixin´ ´n´ Fellowship
• September 28, 10:30 am - 7:30 pm  —    Lot Party
• September 29, 11:00 am - 1:00 pm  —    Lot Party
• October 2, 6:00 pm   —   Taizé Sung Prayers
• October 3, 9:00 am   —   Prayer Quilters
• October 8, 7:00 pm   —   Infertility Support Group
• October 10, 9:00 am   —   Fixin´ ´n´ Fellowship
• October 13, 10:00 am - 1:00 pm   —   Flu Shot Clinic
• October 14, 12:00 pm   —   60+ Luncheon
• October 16, 8:00 am   —   Caring Connection
• October 19, 8:30 am   —    Feeding America Distribution
• October 19, 6:00 pm   —   Jazz Vespers: Fred Knapp Trio
• October 20, 4:00 pm   —   James Croom Opera Singer in Concert
• October 27   —   Consecration Sunday
• October 27, 10:00 am - 12:30 pm  —    Fellowship Brunch

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Sunday Schedule: Children & Youth

9:15 AM
• Infant Nursery — 0-23 months Room 107
• Toddler Nursery — 2 yr. olds - young 3´s Room 106
• Children & Worship (toilet trained) — Older 3´s – Pre K Room 204/201

9:15 AM: Faith Travelers, Junior High, and Senior High begin in worship with their families and are then dismissed to their classes. (Children of all ages are welcome to remain in worship if their families so desire.)
• Faith Travelers — K-6th grade Church 3rd Floor
• Junior High — 7-8th grade The Vine South
• Senior High — 9-12th grade The Vine North

11:00 AM
• Infant Nursery — 0-23 months Room 107
• Toddler Nursery — 2-3 years 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.)

**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 contact Annette Erbes at 451.2879 or with any questions.

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1stJAZZ VESPERS, featuring Max Colley III Quartet, on Saturday, September 21 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!

HAVE A "MOVEABLE CRAFT?" Come join us on Saturday, September 21 in Wesley Hall. For more information see Patsy or email her at

SHOWING IN OUR FIRST CHURCH ART GALLERY is an exhibit by our own Barbara Groat. A native of Grand Haven, Barb holds art and design degrees from MSU and Aquinas. She has served on our Celebration of the Arts committee as well as winning 4th Place in our 2012 show. Barbara shares that through her work she "celebrates life." Let´s take this opportunity to celebrate with her as we enjoy her art.

OPEN MINDS. OPEN HEARTS. OPEN PARKING LOTS??? This September 28 and 29, we´re renting another tent and transforming our parking lot into a space to build community. A few things going on this year are: coffee hour, urban playground, creation stations, music, and a picnic. We hope you´ll join us! Find out more or volunteer online at

THIRD GRADE BIBLES Parents, do you have a third grade child this year? If so, we want to make you aware that Bibles will be presented to third graders this Sunday, September 22nd during both worship services. If you would like your third grader to receive a Bible, please notify Annette Erbes, Director of Children´s Ministry, at or 616.451.2879, as soon as possible regarding which worship service your child will be attending on Sunday and the preferred listing of your child´s name for the nameplate. We look forward with your child to this opportunity for faith learning and growth!

FLU SHOT CLINIC Mark your calendar! Spectrum Health Visiting Nurses will provide flu shots from 10:00 am - 1:00 pm on Sunday, October 13 in the parlor. Medicare and many insurances billed directly for you. No reservations needed!

CALLING ALL 5TH AND 6TH GRADERS: Come join the new Faith Travelers program created specifically for you, "Mission in Action Faith Travelers." Do you like to share your faith by helping others? Do you want to learn about organizations that are changing the world? Would you like to join your friends and be part of making a positive change? We will explore the Bible and God´s teachings by learning ways to be involved with mission work that our church supports! The best part is every couple weeks we´ll have a new mission focus and you will help decide what we do. Mission in Action is unique because we can build a team that shows our faith through our actions! Come join us to learn more and to start building our team of Mission in Action Faith Travelers.

SUBSCRIBE! Missed church? Never go sermon-less again. Our pastors´ sermons are now available on YouTube. Simply search for GRFUMC and click the subscribe button. Printed copies are also available in the north lobby rack.

DON´T FORGET YOUR SWEATER Outdoor temperatures are fluctuating like mad! How are we supposed to dress? The outdoor temperature has a direct effect on how the church building feels inside. When the temperature is going back and forth, church can be very warm or very cool. During this time of temperature uncertainty, please wear layers. In this huge building, it´s difficult to get the temperature favorable for all, so please come to church prepared!

LUMINARY WORKSHOP As part of our ArtPrize experience, we are offering a workshop on Sunday, September 22 at 12:30 pm to build your own luminary to carry in a grand procession on the evening of Saturday, September 28, which will leave at 7:30 pm from our ArtPrize Lot Party and join up with a large crowd at Rosa Parks Circle at 8:00 pm. Be a part of this fun ArtPrize entry.

CHILDREN´S PHOTOS During the course of the year, photographs of children are taken during children´s ministry activities. These photos may be used occasionally for church publicity. If you prefer that your child´s photos not be used publicly, please contact Annette Erbes, Director of Children´s Ministry at or Monday through Wednesday at 451-2879.

DINNER FOR EIGHT Are you an adult wanting to get to know others in the church or to make better connections? Dinner for Eight is one of the best ways we know of to help you out! Have a potluck dinner with seven other singles or couples in someone´s home. If you have questions, contact Janet Wood at 447.1667 or Suzy Wood at or 891.9069. Please use the sign-up sheet if you plan to participate and let us know if you can host. The last sign-up opportunity is Sunday, September 22.

LIBRARY In conjunction with Pastor Bob´s sermon series this fall, we have a "library" set up in the narthex. Books on prayer are available for church members to check out.

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Concerns & Prayers for:
• Donna Anton (Trillium Woods)
• Art Beals (Blodgett)
• Don Chisnall
• Jim Hoff
• Lois Moseley
• Robert Newell
• Bob Reed (outpatient surgery 9/23)
• Sue Rowe (outpatient surgery 9/18)
• Richard Wimmer

Service Personnel
• Chris Bolhouse
• Scott Grifhorst
• Stephan Mathos
• Jesse Mounts
• Trevor Norton
• Shawn Seher
• Peter Taylor, Jr

Miles KrillThank you to our church family with love for all you did for Lyle and me the 6 weeks I spent in Tender Care Rehab and now while I am recuperating at home. Thanks for your prayers, the cards, your visits, and the food. A very, very special thanks to the prayer quilters for the lovely quilt and Marj for all her support. You are a very special group.
Shirley and Lyle Etcher

Thank you church family for the many cards, prayers, and all the love and kindness that you gave us during the time of the death of our beloved mother. You are truly a church of love.
Ray Tromp and Family

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Wednesday, September 4
Taizé 6:00 pm........27

Sunday, September 15
Worship 9:15 am........198
Church School........156
Worship 10:00 am........224
Evening Activities........39

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Link to Facebook Page


 Pastor´s Message
• Weekly Pulse Downloads
• Mark Your Calendar
• Sunday Schedule: Children and Youth
• Pathways: Growing In Grace
• News and Events
• Worship Service
• First Church Family Concerns
• Attendance


Click the following links to download a PDF.
• "Lord, Teach Us to Pray" Sermon Series
• Current Sunday Sign-Up Sheet: Sign up online at

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WEEKLY PULSE: Click the link to download a PDF version of the Weekly Pulse.

Worship Services
9:15 & 11:00 am

Lord, Teach Us to Pray!

Sunday, September 22
"I Need Help"
Dr. Bob Hundley
Philippians 4:10-13
3rd Grade Bibles

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• A Disciple´s Path You are invited to take this six-week class based on the Wesleyan understanding of our growth in God´s love and grace. Learn the practices of spiritual disciplines outlined in our membership vows to uphold the church with our presence, prayers, gifts, service, and witness. Meet Sunday evenings (5:00 - 6:30 pm) in room 3109. It will meet from Oct 27 - Dec 1. Books are $10 and can be picked up at the north lobby reception desk.


BLOOD DRIVE Our next Blood Drive will be Monday, September 23 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! Everyone who tries to donate is entered to win one of these great fall packages!
Family 4-Pack to Robinettes:
• Corn Maze Tickets
• Hayride Tickets
• 1 Dozen Donuts
• 1 Gallon Apple Cider
West Bay Beach Resort
• 2-Night Stay (not valid on weekends)
• $50 Meijer Gas Card

ACCESS COUNTY WIDE FOOD DRIVE Access of West Michigan has facilitated the County Wide Food Drive for many years and in that time has collected up to 100 tons of food annually for over 60 Kent County food pantries. Every month, these pantries provide over 20,000 food services to individuals who find themselves with no other place to turn for help. Here are some ways members of First Church can get involved in this year´s food drive:
1. Paper bags will be distributed on Sunday, September 29. Take a bag home, fill it up with food and personal care items, and bring it back on Sunday, October 6. Suggested items include: cereal, soup, rice, canned fruits and vegetables, canned meats, pasta and sauce, peanut butter, soap (dish, laundry, bar), toilet paper, diapers, shampoo and conditioner, toothbrushes and toothpaste. All FUMC donations will go to Westminster Food Pantry, our neighborhood pantry.
2. Volunteer on Saturday, October 12 at Cascade D & W to help us collect food. Shifts are from 9 – 11 am, 11 am – 1 pm, 1 pm – 3 pm. Sign up through the bulletin sign-up sheet, on-line, or contact
3. Pray for the volunteers as well as those receiving food through the pantries in Kent County.

LEARN ABOUT THE WORK PROGRAM The Work Program, an outreach ministry of FUMC, works in collaboration with several Heartside Neighborhood agencies to provide temporary employment for people who are homeless or living in extreme poverty. Striving to be an agent of Christ´s love, we are committed to helping the needy achieve hope, pride, dignity, and grace, and learn to become self-sufficient. Each Tuesday morning at 7:00 am, volunteers greet participants and help them select two-hour jobs for the week. The Work Program volunteers welcome anyone who would like to have a better understanding of the program operation to come and observe. You´ll be glad you did. RSVP to Richard Johnson at 451.2879 or

• Navigating the Medicare Maze If you are new to Medicare (at or near age 65), please join us November 3 for details, answers to your questions, and other useful information. For those who are over 65 and need to enroll for 2014, join us Nov 10. Classes will be led by Bob Callery, the Regional Coordinator with the Area Agency on Aging in West Michigan. Meets Sunday mornings (9:30 - 10:30 am) in room 3107.


• Mere Christianity Led by Pete Muszkiewicz. In 1941 England, when all hope was threatened by the inhumanity of war, C. S. Lewis was invited to give a series of radio lectures addressing the central issues of Christianity. More than half a century later, these talks continue to retain their poignancy. First heard as informal radio broadcasts on the BBC, the lectures were published as three books and subsequently combined as Mere Christianity. Join this class discussion based on the book. Meet Sunday evenings (5:00 - 6:30 pm) in 3107. It will meet from Sept 22 - Oct 27. Books are $10. Child care provided.
 Coming Soon: Immigration & the Bible Led by Laura Rampersad. The Bible was written by, for, and about migrants, immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers. It gives directions for responding to sisters and brothers from around the world who come to a land seeking safety, sanctuary and sustenance. Join this class to learn what the Bible teaches us about immigration. Meet Sunday mornings (9:30 - 10:30 am) in room 3109. It will meet from Oct 27 - Nov 17. Books are $7.
• Coming Soon: If Christians Were Really Christian Led by Dr. Bob Hundley. In the world today churches and church members are often diverted from their central mission of loving others and interpreting life through the vision of Jesus Christ. If Christians Were Really Christian shows that with the message we have been given and the spirit of God to lead us we should have led everyone to the kingdom of God. Meet Sunday evenings Nov 3 - 24 in room 3107. Child care provided.

CARING CONNECTION The next meeting is on Wednesday, September 18 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.

FUMC~MLK TUTORING NEWS! With the start of the school year, we are looking forward to our 22nd year of tutoring at MLK! Jer Hon-Hawkins and Leah Muir will again coordinate the program assisted part time by a tutor, Maryann Warren. If you are aware of anyone interested in joining our program this year, we are always in need of more volunteers to work with our students! We work predominately on reading with Kdg-2nd graders. Please feel free to pass our information along. Tutors must be at least 18 years old and pass the GR Public Schools background check. Volunteers from all walks of life enrich our program greatly. A teaching degree is not necessary. Please contact Leah today if you are interested in participating by using the sign-up sheet, email Leah at MLKTutoring, or call 616.819.1745.


DISCIPLE I Have you ever wanted to take Disciple I but couldn´t commit to 34 weeks? Or have you taken it but would like to revisit a portion of the study? We will divide the year up into 6 sections ranging in length from 5-7 weeks each and invite students to participate as much or as little as able. The schedule will be Wednesdays from 6:00 - 8:30 pm as follows:
• Session 1 Sept. 25 - Nov. 6: In the Beginning: Torah — Tish Bowman
 Session 2 Nov. 13 - Dec. 11: History: Judges & Prophets — Dave and Sue Rowe
• Session 3 Dec. 18 - Jan 29 (Skip Dec. 25 & Jan 1): Poetry (& etc.) — Dick Youells and George Bob
• Session 4 Feb. 5 - Mar. 12: The Gospels — Laure Mieskowski
• Session 5 Mar. 19 - Apr. 16: The Church & The Epistles — George Bob
• Session 6 Apr. 23 - May 28: Order & A Future — Tish Bowman

CARING CIRCLES We now have 15 of our homebound friends paired up with Caring Circles visitors who visit them monthly. I am looking for a visitor for 1 of our homebound women who lives on the SW side of town. If you are willing to be a regular visitor to one of them, please let Marj Timmerman know at 901.9224 or



ADDICTION Perhaps, you decided to take an extra pill (or two) of your prescription to help with your chronic pain. Has this turned into a daily habit? Call your Church Assistance Program (CAP) for help. Just dial 455.6210 and make a CAP appointment today. As a member or friend of First Church, you will receive 2 one-hour sessions with a counselor at no charge to you.

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Weekly Pulse is published by First United Methodist Church of Grand Rapids. To subscribe to this newsletter, click on this link: subscribe.