Advent 2017

The dawn of a new day. When the first glimmer of light makes its presence known.
The dawn of a new spiritual reality. When the first rays of God’s Incarnation in Christ herald the potential for new beginnings:
Hope’s poetry.
Love’s most precious gift.
Joy’s defiant smile.
New possibilities for Peace.
Through God’s love, just when our night seems darkest — dawn breaks anew. First Light.
“The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.”
— John 1:9


Gathering to focus on God together

First Light

An Advent Sermon Series By Dr. Tim Bruster

Sunday, December 3 | LOVE

“The Light of Love”
First in the series First Light | 1 John 4:7-9
9:30 – 10:30 am & 11:00 am – noon | Sanctuary | Dr. Tim Bruster

Singing Women of First Church will present three movements of “Ceremony of Carols” composed by Benjamin Britten, featuring harpist Laura Brandenburg-Logan. Fifth Street Bells will also enhance the Advent Season during sanctuary worship.

Sunday, December 10 | HOPE

“Light Shines in the Darkness”
Second in the series First Light | John 1:1-14
9:15 – 10:30 am & 11:00 am – 12:15 pm | Sanctuary | Dr. Tim Bruster
Choral Union Presents “Magnificat” by John Rutter

As part of our Gift of Music concert series, Choral Union will perform the full musical setting of the biblical canticle “Magnificat” which its composer described as “a poetic outpouring of praise, joy, and trust in God” that “has always been one of the most familiar and well-loved of scriptural texts.” Be sure to join us for this special extended service.

Sunday, December 17 | JOY

“Comfort and Joy”
Third in the series First Light | Luke 1:46b-55
9:30 – 10:30 am & 11:00 – noon | Sanctuary | Dr. Tim Bruster
Adoramus Presents “Small, Dancing Light” by Taylor Davis

As part of our Gift of Music concert series, Adoramus will perform composer and former FUMCFW Music Director Taylor Davis’ Advent work “Small, Dancing Light” for organ, chamber orchestra, and chamber choir. This thematic presentation, which includes six original texts and three congregational hymns, will fill the hearts of all who listen.

Christmas Eve Candlelight Services

Sunday, December 24 | PEACE

“Silent Night”
Fourth in the series First Light | Luke 2:1-20
11:00 am – noon, 3:30 – 4:30 pm, 5:00 – 6:00 pm
7:00 – 8:00 pm, 9:00 – 10:00 pm, 11:00 pm – midnight

Other Sunday Offerings

8:30 am | Chapel

The Gathering
9:30 am | Wesley Hall | 11:00 am | Room 350
Rev. Lance Marshall

eleven:eleven celebration
11:11 am | Wesley Hall
Rev. Tom McDermott

Chapel Communion
10:35 am | Chapel | Dr. Len Delony

10:30 – 11:00 am & noon – 12:30 pm
Garden & Wesley Hall

Christmas Eve Candlelight Services

Midday Candlelight Service

11:00 am | Sanctuary | Dr. Tim Bruster

Offering the same special First Church Christmas Eve worship traditions as our 7:00, 9:00, and 11:00 pm evening services, including communion, candlelight, and special music, this midday service provides an earlier alternative to our evening services.

Family Candlelight Services

3:30 & 5:00 pm | Sanctuary | Dr. Tim Bruster & Mister Mark Burrows

Come join us for an evening filled with all our cherished traditions — candlelight, Christmas carols, Communion, and the wondrous story of Jesus’ birth. We’ll also have our kid-favorite Christmas Eve puppet show.

Traditional Candlelight Services

7:00, 9:00 & 11:00 pm | Sanctuary | Dr. Tim Bruster

The traditions of Christmas and the beauty of this night are enhanced by uplifting music and proclamation of the Word, celebrating Holy Communion, singing carols, and lighting candles. The Sanctuary doors will open 20 minutes prior to each service, and special music will be performed by First Church Brass and our own Peggy Graff on organ.

Christmas Eve Connections

10:15 – 11:00 am | Wesley Hall

Enjoy this opportunity to gather in Wesley Hall before the Sunday morning service! Visit with friends, enjoy coffee and pastries, then grab a candle and head to the Sanctuary to enjoy the first of our beautiful Christmas Eve services.

2:45 – 3:15 pm & 4:15 – 4:45 pm
6:15 – 6:45 & 8:15 – 8:45 pm | Cellist Dace Sultanov
10:15 – 10:45 pm
Wesley Hall

Arrive early before the Christmas Eve services to get a good parking place, visit with your friends, and beat the rush! Join us in Wesley Hall for refreshments and beautiful music while waiting for the Sanctuary to open. The doors will open 20 minutes prior to each service.

Valet Parking

Complimentary Valet Parking Assistance will be available from 10:30 – 11:00 am and 3:00 – 10:30 pm for anyone with mobility issues. Just turn into the Justin Building lot from 7th Street, and then come straight through to 5th Street where you’ll find the Valet Parking stand. You can drop your car off and take the ramp straight into the Sanctuary for all services. The doors will open 20 minutes prior to each service.

Alzheimer’s & Dementia Support Christmas Service

Wednesday, December 13, 2017
11:30 am – 1:30 pm & 5:30 – 7:30 pm | Leonard Memorial Chapel
Led by Dr. Bill Longsworth, Rev. Jim Abel, Linda Abel, RN & Friends
Reception to follow | Room 154

Join us for this brief holiday Chapel service for people with dementia and special needs and their families. We’ll sing some favorite carols and enjoy candlelight and the Christmas story in a low-key environment that celebrates the season and offers families the opportunity to enjoy a Christmas worship service together in a smaller, more intimate setting. The reception afterward will provide a space to visit and share stories and favorite Christmas traditions.

Contact: Linda Abel |

Service of Comfort and Peace

Sunday, December 17
6:00 – 7:00 pm | Chapel
Led by Dr. Tim Bruster, Rev. Linda McDermott & Rev. Phyllis Barren

For many people, Christmas is a difficult time, when celebrations of joy and expectation can overlook feelings of pain and hurt, grief and sorrow. This service offers a way for people to claim those feelings and still feel surrounded by the compassionate love of God.


Being God’s people in the world

Blessing Our First Responders

Sundays, November 26 & December 3
Pick up treat boxes in Adult Sunday School Classes, Children’s Wing & Welcome Center
Deliver to first responders December 1 – 31

The Advent season provides a wonderful opportunity to bless our many local first responders who so willingly serve the various communities represented within our congregation. We invite you to pick up a box, which includes an invitation to worship with us on Christmas Eve, fill it with baked goods, and then deliver it to your local police or fire station.

Contact: Sammye Dunn |

Red Bag Food Drive

November 26 – December 17, 2017
Pick up & return bags to tables on first floor

One in four children face hunger in our community. Help us give the gift of food this holiday season through our annual Red Bag Food Drive. The bags of food we collect will be given to United Community Centers (UCC) to distribute to families enrolled in their programs. Each of the three UCC locations serves 150 low-income senior citizens and provides year-round educational programs to children and their parents. One hundred years ago women from FUMCFW saw a need for child care and education for children whose mothers were working, and our church has continued this partnership with UCC through financial and volunteer support. This year we will help fight hunger together.

Contact: Charme Robarts | | 817-339-5069

Christmas Eve Volunteers

Sunday, December 24

Christmas Eve is right around the corner — and with that comes the PERFECT opportunity to be a part of one of the most beautiful and meaningful days at FUMCFW. There are six services on Christmas Eve this year: a Traditional Service at 11:00 am, Family Services at 3:30 and 5:00 pm, as well as Traditional Services at 7:00, 9:00, and 11:00 pm. If you would be interested in ushering at one or more of the services that day or volunteering in the Welcome Center, we would love to have you! And, for those who serve, we will have seating roped off downstairs and in the balcony for volunteers and their families so you can greet people in the Welcome Center or usher and enjoy reserved seating with your family — what a great deal! It’s truly a fun and festive way to serve our church on Christmas Eve. Please arrive 30 minutes before each service. You will be contacted with further instructions.


Contact: Lisa Helm |


Enjoying the good life God gives

Christmas Cheer

Sunday, December 3, 2017
2:30 – 5:30 pm | Wesley Hall

Everyone is invited to this special day of service and fun! We’ll meet in Wesley Hall to kick off Christmas Cheer, which begins with caroling groups traveling to local assisted living facilities to share God’s love through song and fellowship. Then it’s back to Wesley Hall to celebrate the joy of Christmas with carriage rides, flip books, a Christmas card station, and cookie decorating.

Contact: Heather Teems | | 817-339-5096

Youth Christmas Party

Sunday, December 3, 2017
5:00 – 8:00 pm | Justin Youth Building
Come join us at our annual Youth Christmas Party for dinner, activities, and of course, our annual white elephant gift exchange (price limit for gifts is $10). All are welcome!

Contact: Kat Bair |

December Women’s Luncheon

Tuesday, December 5, 2017
11:30 am | Wesley Hall | $15
RSVP by noon on Friday, 12.1
“Fort Worth Traditions: Texas Ballet Theater & The Nutcracker”
Ben Stevenson, Artistic Director of Texas Ballet Theater

A native of Portsmouth, England, Ben received his dance training at the Arts Educational School in London. He has performed with the top English Ballets where he was a principal dancer and received numerous awards for his choreography. Ben was also named an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (O.B.E.) by Queen Elizabeth II in December 1999. He assumed the artistic directorship of the Texas Ballet Theater in July 2003. Ben choreographed “The Nutcracker” that is performed each year by the Texas Ballet Theater at Bass Hall. According to the Dallas Morning News, “Mr. Stevenson’s Nutcracker takes the magical impossibilities of a Christmas dream and . . . makes them beautifully, tantalizingly real.” Join us to hear how, just like the nutcracker, this holiday tradition came to life here in Fort Worth.

All women are invited to Luncheons & Programs sponsored by United Methodist Women. Reservations are required by noon on Friday, December 1, so we can plan accordingly for meals, seating, and child care. We look forward to seeing you there!

RSVP: Online | 469-844-8690
Child care: Paula Wagstaff |

Polar Express Party

Wednesday, December 13, 2017
5:30 – 7:30 pm | Wesley Hall

It’s our fifth annual family celebration around the holiday classic “The Polar Express” by Chris Van Allsburg. Join us for dinner and this classic holiday film, complete with hot chocolate and Christmas fun! Be sure to wear your most festive pajamas! Optional nursery care for children under 3 years old is offered with reservations by December 11.

Contact: Janice Cooper | | 817-339-5093
Child Care: Paula Wagstaff |

Preschool Christmas Programs

Monday, December 18 & Tuesday, December 19, 2017
10:00 – 10:30 am | 2-year-olds | Wesley Hall
11:00 – 11:30 am | 3s, 4s, & Pre-K | Wesley Hall

There’s really nothing like the joyful noise of young children singing their favorite Christmas songs with all their hearts to amp up your holiday spirit. Join us for these sweet expressions of Christmas joy.

Youth Choir Alumni Christmas Eve Reunion Performance

Sunday, December 24, 2017
Rehearsal | 6:15 pm | Choir Room
Performance | 7:00 pm | Sanctuary
Register by December 23

We would love for you to sing with us this Christmas Eve! This year we will be bringing back the well-loved tradition of asking Cornerstone Youth Choir Alumni to sing with us. We will also be adding to this tradition by inviting any current youth choir parents to sing with us as well! This year we will be singing “Almost There.” We are hoping to make this a tradition as well. The piece itself is very powerful and we believe you will enjoy singing it! We will rehearse together and then perform in the 7:00 pm Traditional Christmas Eve Candlelight Service. Please register so you will have a chair. Email Erin Ypya if you would like a copy of the music in advance.


Contact: Erin Ypya, Youth Choir Director |


Discovering and understanding who God is

Monday Musers Advent Study: “Faithful: Christmas Through the Eyes of Joseph”

November 27 – December 18
Mondays | 1:00 – 2:30 pm | Foundation Building, Room 271
Led by Dr. Mike Marshall | Book available for $15

The “Monday Musers” are a study and spiritual growth group who meet during Advent, Lent, and a portion of the summer. We are always excited to welcome new people to our sessions. This year during Advent, we look forward to benefiting from Adam Hamilton’s new book entitled “Faithful: Christmas Through the Eyes of Joseph.” We invite you to prepare for the joy and new birth of Christmas with us!

Contact: Mike Marshall | | 817-339-2409

Wednesday Morning Advent Study: “Faithful: Christmas Through the Eyes of Joseph”

November 29 – December 20
Wednesdays | 9:30 – 11:00 am | Room 350
Led by Rev. Phyllis Barren
Registration required | Book available for $15

We will use “Faithful: Christmas Through the Eyes of Joseph” by Adam Hamilton. In the study, you will examine Christmas through the eyes of Joseph. You will come to understand how Joseph’s place in the Nativity story is much like our own. In life, we encounter circumstances that we would have never chosen for ourselves. At times, it can be tempting just to walk away. Joseph provides us a great example of humbly obeying God even when we don’t understand and faithfully moving forward in the strength that God provides. Books are available in the Main Office on Sunday mornings.

Contact: Gayle Ammerman |

Advent Sermon Series Bible Study

November 29 – December 20
Wednesdays | 6:00 – 7:00 pm | Room 350
Led by Dr. Tim Bruster

Join 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.


Talking and listening to God’s direction

Advent Devotional

Get a printed copy of our 26 day Advent Devotional for yourself and one to share with a friend in the Welcome Center and Main Office.


Putting God first in all things

Christmas Offering

Help us support our church ministries and local community with our Christmas offering. Please make your Advent gift with a check or donation envelope marked “Christmas Offering” in the Sunday offertory, by mail, or in the Main Office. You can also make your gift online.


Read a letter from Dr. Bruster

Dear Friends,

As we joyfully embrace this Season of Advent, I am especially glad to bring to your attention all the special ways our theme, First Light, connects with our many significant outreach ministries that serve those in need. At Christmastime and all through the year, our faith community brings light to darkness in the lives of those we serve in the following ways:

Kids Hope USA  mentors at-risk children at T.A. Sims and Charles Nash Elementary Schools for children in need of a relationship with a caring adult

Infant Formula Program of First Street Methodist Mission  provides formula, diapers, and clothing for infants 12 months old and younger

Methodist Justice Ministry  works to obtain legal protections for abused women and abused, neglected, and/or at-risk children

Food 4 Kids of First Street Methodist Mission  supplies 250 weekend bags of food each week to children in Fort Worth ISD who live in poverty

Kenya Mission  provides 250 orphans and other vulnerable children of Kenya with school supplies and tuition support

Costa Rica Mission  serves children and families in rural Costa Rica with building projects, a medical mission team, and Vacation Bible School

Providence Place  helps young adults with disabilities achieve life/work skills, and provides adoption options and assistance

Methodist Children’s Home  provides services to more than 1,400 children and youth daily through residential foster care

The World Service  connects the United Methodist Church to Christian ministry and mission around the globe

Plus, I am delighted to tell you that thanks to your generosity in past Advent/Easter offerings, this year we paid off our $50,000 pledge for the renovation of The Women and Children’s Center at Presbyterian Night Shelter. This is truly an accomplishment we can all be proud of!

Join us for our special First Light Advent offerings, culminating in six candlelight Communion services on Christmas Eve, and celebrate with me the light we’ve brought to those in need. With prayerful consideration, I ask that you make your 2017 donation to support these many vital ministries that will continue to bless others as we’ve been blessed.

Grace and Peace,



Dr. Tim Bruster, Senior Pastor


Choose “Christmas Offering” from the drop-down menu

Subscribe to E-News

Subscribe to Newsletter Footer