Roger Partridge — Supporting Our Church Ministries
Lisa Helm — Give Yourself a Gift this Christmas Eve
MJM Speaks for Over 1,000 Women And Children
Close to Home at the Habitat Build
2015 Advent Devotional
Las Posadas Angel Tree
Giving Tuesday — And Every Day
December Church Tour
Blessing Our First Responders
Service of Remembrance
Book Study: Falling Upward by Richard Rohr
Book Study: Walking the Road to Bethlehem by Adam Hamilton
Advent Sermon Series Bible Study
The Wonder of Christmas: A Bible-Focused Advent Study
Traditional Worship | 9:30 & 11:00 am | Sanctuary | Rev. Brooks Harrington
DiscipleChurch | Community Breakfast | 7:20 am | Wesley Hall
Chapel | 8:30 am | Dave Purcell
Discussion Groups | 9:30 am
Chapel Communion | 10:35 am | Chapel | Dr. Len Delony
eleven:eleven celebration | 11:11 am | Wesley Hall | Rev. Tom McDermott
First 7th | 5:30 pm | Wesley Hall | Rev. Lance Marshall
Dr. Tim Bruster
This Sunday, November 22, we will celebrate the 10th anniversary of our Methodist Justice Ministry, founded and directed by Rev. Brooks Harrington, who is both an ordained United Methodist elder and a licensed attorney with years of legal experience. As part of the celebration of this vital ministry, I have asked Brooks to preach in the Sanctuary services on Sunday.
The vision to begin our Methodist Justice Ministry a decade ago quickly found solid support in our faith community. This was simply something we knew we must do. With Brooks at its helm, the lasting impact on the lives of those whom this ministry serves has illustrated well its twofold purpose: to protect indigent women and children from domestic violence, neglect, and abuse and to help them establish new lives free of violence, abuse, fear, and self-loathing.
As a church we celebrate and support this work that is guided by this scripture from Proverbs: “Speak out for those who cannot speak, for the rights of all the destitute. Speak out, judge righteously, and defend the rights of the poor and the needy.” (Proverbs 31: 8-9)
Over the nearly 10 years since the Methodist Justice Ministry began, this very special ministry of our church has represented in court the interests of 1,027 women and children from low-income households. Methodist Justice Ministry has obtained and enforced court orders for protection, for custody, for denial or restriction of visitation by the abusers, and for child support and medical support. The Ministry has not only counseled with these individuals, but with hundreds more — all of whom are desperate for help. To learn more about this life-transforming ministry, I encourage you to watch this video introduction from Brooks and three of the women helped by the Ministry.
The purpose of this Sunday’s celebration is twofold: to raise awareness of this important ministry, and to help raise funds that will enable it to thrive and expand to meet the growing need in our community. While our church provides the space that houses our Methodist Justice Ministry, along with some accounting and fundraising support, the Ministry itself is funded through “second-mile” gifts from church members as well as through gifts from foundations and individuals in our local community. Your giving to the Ministry makes a big difference in the lives of many women and children.
Brooks’ sermon, entitled “True Heroes,” will be based on John 15:12-17. I hope to see you on this Thanksgiving Sunday as we are inspired by Brooks’ sermon and celebrate our Methodist Justice Ministry and its many heroes among us.
Grace and Peace,
Rev. Brooks Harrington
Friends of the Methodist Justice Ministry:
This Sunday, November 22, 2015, is “Methodist Justice Ministry Sunday” in our church. This is the 10th year of the Ministry, and the Church has very generously decided to celebrate us churchwide. We are very grateful.
I have been invited to preach in the main Sanctuary at the 9:00 and 11:00 am worship services. I am very grateful to be given the opportunity to spread the word about the Methodist Justice Ministry (MJM) to our members who might not be familiar with our work.
I have a request of each of you. I am going to take this preaching opportunity to celebrate some people in our community who protect women and children daily. To that end, we have invited some caseworkers from Child Protective Services with whom we at the MJM have worked closely over the years. We have also invited the licensed professional counsellor, who has counseled with so many of our women and children clients over the years, to help them deal with their trauma and their fears. And we have invited all of the Tarrant Court family court judges, most of whom have accepted the invitation. All these people will be in attendance at the 11:00 am service. Please, if there is any way for you to do so, come to the 11:00 am service this Sunday, not so much to support the MJM (which will certainly be appreciated), but mainly to express our personal thanks to these people whose calling is to deal daily with the worst in human failure and to protect women and children from abuse and neglect.
This will be a Thanksgiving service. I plan on preaching about true heroes and thanking them. These people, and our hundreds of clients over these 10 years whom we have helped obtain legal custody of children who are not their own — in order to provide for, protect, and nurture them — are true heroes.
Every Sunday morning, groups of adults meet in FUMCFW Sunday School classes to enhance their spiritual growth and enjoy fellowship with other Christians. We have classes for a variety of demographic groups, with many different class personalities and styles. Visit the Adult Sunday School page to learn more!
Throughout each week, our FUMCFW bloggers (staff, lay leaders, and others wanting to share thoughts and information related to First Church programs, events, and activities) write on a variety of topics. And, while you can always find the latest posts on our blogs link at the top of every page, we also send each week’s collection out every Friday under the “Who’s Blogging This Week” subject line.
This coming Sunday, we will celebrate a very important ministry of First Church as we focus on our Methodist Justice Ministry. I hope you will take time to stop at the tent on 5th Street between services to learn about the life-changing work of this ministry — I promise you’ll be glad you did.
Also on Sunday — afternoon and evening — our FUMCFW Youth will hold a fundraiser in our parking lots to raise money for their 2016 mission trips. As downtown Fort Worth fills with people ready to launch their holiday season with the XTO Energy Parade of Lights and the lighting of the Christmas tree in Sundance Square, our Youth will be offering close, convenient parking for $5 per car — along with the opportunity to support a very worthy cause for our Youth Ministries. Click here to continue reading.
“Lisa, I promise it’s not that complicated; just don’t drop a plate and you will be fine . . . and even then, it wouldn’t be the end of the world!”
Those were the words of encouragement Chris Lokey, one of our lead ushers, shared with me a few Sundays ago when I volunteered to be an extra set of hands at the 11:00 am service. I was skeptical, but since the other ushers were so nice and encouraging I decided to give it a shot. I did make it through without dropping a plate — or banging anyone in the head — but I certainly wasn’t as adept as all the “regulars.” Click here to continue reading.
“Speak out for those who cannot speak, for the rights of all the destitute. Speak out, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and the needy.” — Proverbs 31: 8-9, scriptural motto of the Methodist Justice Ministry
The Methodist Justice Ministry (MJM) protects women and children from domestic violence, neglect, and abuse. The Ministry has helped 377 women and 650 children since it was founded. This means MJM has changed the lives of 1,027 people over the years.
MJM was founded in 2006 by Rev. Brooks Harrington, the Legal Director of the Ministry. Brooks is an ordained United Methodist elder and has been a licensed attorney for 39 years. Brooks has first-hand experience with the physical, emotional, and psychological damage women and children suffer as a result of domestic violence and other crimes. Together with the Ministry, he represents hundreds of women and children from low-income families.
The Ministry is completely faith-driven, and it seeks to empower women and children so they can live free of abuse, violence, and self-doubt. MJM shows these women and children that they are not alone. They know that our Methodist Justice Ministry is by their side, and God is with them.
Join us on November 22 for Methodist Justice Ministry Sunday as we lift up MJM in worship, then meet on 5th Street for refreshments and more. This is your chance to learn all about this life-changing ministry.
Close to Home at the Habitat Build
By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established. — Proverbs 24:3
While it’s true that there’s no place like home, it’s also true that some people are blessed with better living conditions than others. Sometimes families just can’t afford a suitable home. Other times, natural disaster strikes and leaves families homeless.
This reality expresses the core vision of Habitat for Humanity: a world where everyone has a decent place to live. With a mission to put God’s love into action by bringing people together to build homes, communities, and hope, Habitat for Humanity has helped more than 1 million families — representing 5 million people — improve their living conditions since its founding in 1976.
Each year, more than 1 million people volunteer to build houses to give families a new start with a place to call home. Locally, the 2015 Habitat for Humanity Fall Fellowship Build was held on October 17 in the Como Neighborhood in west Fort Worth. For this build, eight FUMCFW members teamed up to help those in need with rewarding results — for homeowners and volunteers alike.
Our 2015 Advent Devotional begins Monday, November 23! Follow along as each day prepares you for the next Sunday’s sermon. Get a printed copy this Sunday in the Welcome Center and Main Office or click here to follow along each day online!
Las Posadas Angel Tree
November 22 – December 13
Pick up tags starting on 11.22 | Return gifts by 12.13
Trees located in Narthex, Welcome Center, 2nd Floor Children’s Wing, & Main Church Office
This Advent season, we will collect 500 gifts for children and youth from 0 to 18 years of age in celebration of Las Posadas at El Buen Samaritano UMC. Las Posadas commemorates the journey of Mary and Joseph as they searched for lodging in Bethlehem. Children living near El Buen, many of whom attend T.A. Sims Elementary School, come out for the parade and to receive gifts as part of this traditional celebration.
Please consider supporting this cooperative effort between El Buen and FUMCFW to brighten the holidays for these children. Visit any of the four trees throughout the church to pick up a tag with a child’s age, gender, and gift instructions. Return your gift to the church by Sunday, December 13, 2015.
For more information, please contact Elizabeth Becker (firstname.lastname@example.org) at 817/339-5068.
Some people shop till they drop on Black Friday. Others are only a click behind on Cyber Monday. Everyone can be a part of Giving Tuesday.
The Tuesday after Thanksgiving is #GivingTuesday, a global day of giving powered by social media and collaboration. More than 30,000 partners in 68 countries join together on this day with one common purpose: to celebrate and encourage giving to something that is important to you.
Here at FUMCFW, our #GivingTuesday donations will support our annual Christmas Offering, a collective donation that benefits ministries focusing on serving children. This is a great opportunity to give and support these vital ministries of our faith community.
Sunday, December 6
Immediately after 11:00 am Worship | Meet at front of Sanctuary
Want to find a Sunday School class, learn about our library, Television Ministry, Children’s Ministry, and more? Join our tour of the building on Sunday, December 6. Meet Norma Loughridge at the front of the Sanctuary immediately following the 11:00 am Worship Service.
Offered the First Sunday of every Month
11:00 am | Room 230 | Led by Rev. Casey Orr
Baptism is a special moment in the life of a church, a family — and an individual! If you’re considering baptism for your child or children in the coming year, please join us for this single one-hour class where we will: Define the sacrament of baptism Explore the United Methodist Church’s understanding of baptism Discuss the logistics of a baptism at FUMC Fort Worth Learn how to schedule a baptism at FUMC Fort Worth Consider any questions we may have about baptism Connect with other parents All parents (and their children) or parents-to-be are welcome to this very special hour. There is no cost to join the class; however, we do ask that you register online below, or by contacting Gayle Ammerman (email@example.com) at 817/339-5091, so that we can prepare accordingly.
Sunday, December 6 & 13
Pick up boxes for treats | 12.6 & 12.13
9:00 – 9:30 & 10:30 – 11:11 am | Welcome Center
Deliver treats to local first responders | 12.6 – 12.19
Share hospitality with others by baking goodies and taking them to local fire and police departments. Come to the Welcome Center on December 6 and 13 to pick up a special box for your treats that includes an invitation to worship with us on Christmas Eve. Let’s bless Tarrant County and beyond with these special holiday treats for those who serve others so generously throughout the year. For more information, contact Sammye Dunn (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Rev. Chuck Graff (email@example.com) at 817/339-5065.
Sunday, December 6
6:30 – 7:30 pm | Leonard Memorial Chapel
Rev. Phyllis McDougal
This service offers a special time to come together in worship to remember and celebrate lost loved ones.
Have some exciting news about an FUMCFW member that you would like to share? This section of the E-news is the perfect place to do just that! Please send your information to Caroline Petty (firstname.lastname@example.org) and we will include your story!
(Click on the name of a section above to skip directly to it)
November 18, December 2, 9, & 16
Wednesdays | 9:30 – 11:00 am | Room 154 | Book available for $10
Led by Rev. Phyllis McDougal | Registration required
Experience the nativity story in new ways as you take your own journey to Christmas. Walking the Road to Bethlehem combines content from Adam’s travel from Nazareth to Bethlehem, a summary of both historical and scriptural.
December 2 – 23
Wednesdays | 6:30 – 7:30 pm | Room 350
Led by Dr. Tim Bruster
Join our Senior Pastor Dr. Tim Bruster for a very special Bible study during the season of Advent. This engaging class will take a deeper look into the scriptures for each week’s worship service leading up to Christmas Eve. No materials or registration are required, and the study is open to people of all levels of Bible study experience.
December 6 – 20
Sundays | 11:00 am – 12:00 pm | Room 331
Led by Rev. Chuck Graff | Registration required
Please join Rev. Chuck Graff in exploring a deeper meaning of Christmas for this Bible-based Advent study on preparing and opening hearts to experiencing anew the wonder and joy of Christmas this season. Bring your Bibles and a notebook and pen to take notes to review during the week. You will be given handouts and readings/prayers to reflect upon during the week.
November 8 – 29, 2015
Sundays | 1:00 – 3:00 pm | Room 230
Led by Dr. Len Delony
In Falling Upward, Father Richard Rohr seeks to help readers understand the tasks of the two halves of life and show them that those who have fallen, failed, or “gone down” are the only ones who understand “up.” Most of us tend to think of the second half of life as largely about getting old, dealing with health issues, and letting go of life, but the whole thesis of this book is exactly the opposite. What looks like falling down can largely be experienced as “falling upward.” In fact, it is not a loss but somehow actually a gain, as we have all seen with elders who have come to their fullness. Click here to purchase the book on Amazon. For more information, contact Dr. Len Delony (email@example.com) at 817/939-4593.
Polar Express Party
Wednesday, December 2, 2015
5:30 – 7:30 pm l Wesley Hall
Good Book Club is celebrating its third annual party and family celebration around The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg. Join us in Wesley Hall for dinner and this classic holiday film, complete with hot chocolate and Christmas fun! Be sure to wear your most festive pajamas! For more information, contact Janice Cooper (firstname.lastname@example.org) at 817/339-5093.
December Parents’ Night Out
Friday, December 4
6:30 – 11:00 pm | 3 mo. – 12 yrs.
$30 for first child | $40 for 2 | $45 for 3+ | $20 no-show fee
Reservations due 12.2
It’s our annual PNO Christmas Party! We will have reindeer games, crafts, and snacks. Space is limited so make reservations early to Paula Wagstaff (email@example.com) at 817/546-4414. Remember, if you volunteer for the Children’s Ministries or in the Nursery on Sunday morning, you will earn a free Parent’s Night Out (must have completed the Ministry Safe program). Contact Paula Wagstaff for more info.
Join hearts and hands to provide 800 local families with a holiday meal.
Food Delivery for Thanksgiving Baskets
Friday, November 20
6:00 pm | Wesley Hall
Thanksgiving Basket Assembly and Pickup
Saturday, November 21
8:00 am – 1:00 pm | Wesley Hall
Food items for Thanksgiving Basket Assembly will be delivered on Friday, November 20, and volunteers are needed to help unload them. On Saturday, November 21, First Street Methodist Mission will assemble 800 Thanksgiving baskets. Volunteers are needed to help assemble boxes of food, package fruit and vegetables, and welcome guests and case managers. For more information or to sign up to volunteer on either day, please contact Linda Murphy (firstname.lastname@example.org) at 817/335-6080, ext. 103.
During the month of November, please bring hats, gloves, and scarves to:
First Street Methodist Mission
Monday – Thursday | 8:00 am – 4:00 pm
OR in the donation bins at the West, East, & Garden Entrances | Sunday mornings
For more information, contact Elizabeth Becker (email@example.com) at 817/339-5068.
Small Gifts. Big Difference.
Cornerstone Youth Choir
The Gathering at the Marty Leonard Chapel
Sunday, December 6
2:00 – 3:00 pm | Lena Pope Marty Leonard Chapel
3131 Sanguinet St. | Fort Worth, TX 76107
Cornerstone Youth Choir will be singing at The Gathering at the Marty Leonard Chapel. It is a community concert with several choirs coming together to sing. Church member Jeff Donahue coordinates this special musical performance. For more information, contact Jeff at 817/988-6253.
Sunday, November 22
1:00 – 6:00 pm | FUMCFW Parking Lots | $5
Benefits youth mission trips
The XTO Energy Parade of Lights is on Sunday, November 22. FUMCFW Youth Ministries will be raising money for our summer mission trips by offering $5 parking for the event throughout the FUMCFW Parking Lots. All proceeds will go to our middle school and high school mission trips and our annual high school trip to Camp Barnabas. All lots will be open for $5 parking from 1:00 – 6:00 pm before the parade.
Sunday, December 6
5:30 pm | Justin Building
It’s time for our annual Christmas celebration! We will close out the semester by gathering in the Justin Building to participate in all things Christmas at the Youth Christmas Pajama Party! We will have lots of food, story time with our special guest Santa, a white elephant gift exchange, a photo booth, and more! Wear your best Christmas pajamas to celebrate the season together after a long semester. Don’t miss out! Questions? Contact Brenda Kegans (firstname.lastname@example.org) at 817/339-3888.
January 16 – 18, 2016
Glen Lake Camp & Retreat Center | Grades 7 – 12
Youth: $100 11.1 – 11.15 | $125 11.16 – 12.6 | $150 12.7 – 1.3
Guest Speaker: Dwight Johnson | Musical Guest: Bus Seven
Click here to register and pay as a youth
Click here to register and pay as an adult
It’s that time again! Our big winter retreat, Revolution Weekend, is coming up and we want YOU to join us January 16 – 18 down at Glen Lake Camp and Retreat Center! Click here to see what you can look forward to at Revolution Weekend 2016: Get Dirty and why you will want to be a part of it.
First Street Methodist Mission In Memory Of:
William Scott by Susan Scott Kitchens
Maudean Goforth Ball by Anne & George Cude
Foundation Memorial Fund In Memory Of:
Nelda Gathings by Fran & Bill Mizell Jr.
Doris Klabzuba by Law Offices of Paup, Shutt and Associates
General Memorial Fund In Memory Of:
Doris Klabzuba by Gina & John Brown
Doris Klabzuba by Nancy & Marc Smith Jr.
Methodist Justice Ministry In Memory Of:
Nelda Gathings by Ann & Don Dunkin
Thanksgiving Baskets In Memory Of:
Jeffrey & David Harman by Marlise Harman