Last Sunday I began a series of sermons entitled Three Simple Rules—a name taken from the title of a book by Bishop Rueben Job. Each Sunday we are considering one of the three General Rules—a part of Methodism from the early days to the present. They are 1) Do no harm; 2) Do good of every possible sort; and 3) Stay in love with God. What a difference it would make if we all lived by these rules!
The very next day after we focused on the imperative to do no harm in our sanctuary worship services, we were all shocked and deeply saddened by the terrible act of extreme harm perpetrated at the Boston Marathon. Once again there is a tear in the very fabric of our society as we once again become a nation of mourners. Do no harm! The tragic events of Monday remind us again of the importance of that simple rule and how terrible it can be when that basic rule of how we relate to one another is shattered. We hold the victims of this tragedy and their families and friends in our prayers.
Do good of every possible sort. That’s the second of the three general rules. Do good of every possible sort! What a difference that makes. When the images and stories started emerging from Boston, they were images and stories not only of the terrible harm done, but also of the great good done—good of every possible sort. READ MORE
Congratulations to our TWO Classes of 2013!
Special Service of Confirmation
April 21 | 7:00 pm | Sanctuary
April 28 | 11:00 am | Sanctuary
This year we’re trying something new to honor both our newest church members, the Confirmation Class of 2013, and our graduating seniors, the outgoing Class of 2013, by marking — and then connecting — these milestones to make them even more special, both for involved families and for our entire church family.
Whether or not you have a family member participating in either of these services, we hope you will make it part of your worship experience as we mark each of these important milestones as a faith community. If you have questions, contact Dr. Mike Marshall (firstname.lastname@example.org) at 817/339-2409. READ MORE
THIS WEEK’S NEWS
“Yes! UMCOR is here!”
Click on the link below to read an early report on the city of West sent Thursday April 18 from Central District Superintendent Don Scott regarding relief efforts and prayer concerns for the city of West. Watch our Conference Website and upcoming issues of FUMC WEEKLY for more specifics on how you can help. CLICK HERE TO READ MORE: “THE SITUATION IN WEST, TEXAS”
Called Charge Conference
There will be a called session of the Charge Conference on Sunday, April 28 immediately following the 11:00 service. The Charge Conference is composed of the members of the Board of Stewards and the clergy who are part of our congregation. The purpose of the meeting is to act on a recommendation from the Church Council to enter into partnership with the Annual Conference to start a new worshipping community (or “campus”) of our congregation to expand our ministry in a new way to the W. 7th area to reach a population of young adults we are not currently reaching.
Join us for the “Second Mile”
Our “second-mile” Easter Offering is off to a wonderful start, and we are nearly halfway toward reaching our 2013 “second mile” goal of $50,000. The Easter Offering represents a vital part of Jesus’ ministry — to share God’s love through our mission and outreach programs, including First Street Methodist Mission, FUMC Outreach Ministries (Crime Victims Council, Justice for Our Neighbors, FUMC Methodist Justice Ministry, United Community Centers, and Habitat for Humanity), Central Texas Conference Church Growth and Development Shares Program, and Global Theological Education with the SMU Perkins School of Theology. We will receive Easter Offerings throughout the end of the Season of Easter on May 19. Offering envelopes are in the pew pockets in the Sanctuary (or you can simply designate “Easter Offering” on your check), or visit www.myfumc.org to give online.
5.5 YOUTH SUNDAY
11:00 am Worship | Sanctuary
The Youth will lead the 11:00 am morning worship service in the Sanctuary for the congregation. Youth Ministries Director Casey’ Langley’s sermon and the theme for the service revolve around the Genesis 1 story of creation and how God makes beautiful things. Youth praise band will be leading music and communion will be served.
4.17 – 5.8 ALMOST CHRISTIAN BOOK GROUP
Wednesdays | Room 154 | 12:00-1:00 pm | 7:00-8:00 pm
It’s not too late to join Casey Langley, Director of Youth Ministries, as she leads a discussion group on Almost Christian: What the Faith of our Teenagers is Telling the American Church, by Kenda Creasy Dean.The book is available in the Adult Education Office for $18. Register weekdays in the Adult Education Office or by emailing Gayle Ammerman at email@example.com.
5.2 ABINGDON WOMEN is hosting a worship service at Arborlawn UMC with authors Babbie Mason, Jessica LaGrone & Kimberly Dunnam Reisman.
Sign up site:
5.1 BIKE FW WITH MAYOR BETSY PRICE
Please join Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price and others of all ages from our congregation and community for a leisurely bike ride on Wednesday, May 1 at 5:30 pm, starting at Daggett Middle School, 1108 Carlock Street. Contact Rev. Chuck Graff (firstname.lastname@example.org) at 817-339-5065 or visit http://fortworthtexas.gov/bikefw/.
XYZ (EXTRA YEARS OF ZEST)
Thursdays | 9:30 am – noon | Rm 224
Play dominoes, 42 and chicken foot, as well as enjoy lively conversation and great food with the XYZ Seniors. All are welcome to come and play! Questions? Contact Rev. Phyllis McDougal (email@example.com) at 817/339-5082.
NEW SUNDAY SCHOOL CLASS
9:45 am | Room 336
Join this new discussion-based class for young couples, led by Molly and Tom Hardgrove, to explore the essentials of building a solid foundation that will weather life’s ups and downs. Contact Rev. Gena Anderson (firstname.lastname@example.org) at 817/339-5067.
4.23 UMW STYLE SHOW
4:00 – 6:00 pm | Ridglea Country Club
THIS TUESDAY is the day to enjoy this new twist on a favorite UMW tradition hosted by UMW President Ann Paup, Honorary Chair Nancy Bryant, and Event Chairs Anita McCrary and Jenny Purcell. Enjoy a runway style show format, favorite local retailers and “celebrity” models, afternoon tea, silent auction and drawing. Get tickets now in the Welcome Center on Sunday mornings or contact Anita McCrary at 817/ 596-0126 or Jenny Purcell at 817/291-1935.
5.3 – 5.5.DAINGERFIELD STATE PARK RETREAT
Travel to beautiful Daingerfield State Park in East Texas for an inspirational church-wide outdoor retreat sure to renew your soul through worship in the great outdoors. Read and relax, hike, fish, and even swim if it’s warm enough! We have campsite/RV sites reserved and there are several nice motels within 6 miles of the park if you want to enjoy more comfortable accommodations and still enjoy the great outdoors with us. Please contact Reverend Chuck Graff (email@example.com) at 817/339-5065 for more details or to make reservations.
4.26 SCHOLARSHIP APPLICATION DEADLINE
There’s still time for Graduating Seniors to apply for two scholarships offered at FUMC. For more information contact Brenda Kegans (firstname.lastname@example.org) at 817/339-3888.
4.26 – 4.27 LOCK-IN-N-OUT
Open to all current 6th – 12th graders, the Youth Lock-In-N-Out is designed for tons of fun! Cost is $50; contact Brenda Kegans (email@example.com) at 817/339-3888.
4.28 SENIOR RECOGNITION SUNDAY
11:00 am Worship | Sanctuary
The graduating seniors of the class of 2013 will be recognized and celebrated during the 11:00 am morning worship service. Graduating seniors need to e-mail their names, parents’ names, high school, plans for next year, most meaningful memories of our church and senior pictures to Brenda (firstname.lastname@example.org) by this Sunday, April 21.
5.1 WEDNESDAY NIGHT OUT
The youth are going to meet for dinner (Location TBD) to eat and catch up as the school year winds to a close.
5:30-8 | Justin Youth Building
The youth are invited to a special evening to celebrate the seniors in the Justin. Youth will have a chance to share memories and moments from their time with the youth group to show how much each senior has meant in their lives.
FIRST STREET MISSION
APRIL MISSION SUNDAYS: POTS/PANS/PLATES/GLASSES
Throughout April, please bring pots, pans, plates and glasses to the Mission during regular donation hours during the week (Monday – Thursday 9:00 am – 4:00 pm) or to the Welcome Center on Sundays.
5.2 ROOM IN THE INN VOLUNTEER TRAINING
6:00 PM | Justin Building
Room in the Inn offers food and shelter on Thursday evenings to 12 homeless men during July and August. To participate, plan to attend the mandatory new volunteer training. Volunteer opportunities range from preparing the Justin Building, driving our guests to and from the Day Resource Center, preparing meals, and visiting and staying overnight with our guests. To attend the training or if you are interested in volunteering but can’t attend this mandatory training session, you must contact Rev. Page Hines (email@example.com) at 817/339-8881.
5.6 COFFEE, POVERTY AND JESUS BOOK CLUB
6:00 – 7:30 pm | Room 231
Our May CPJ Book Club Selection is Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk by Ben Fountain. The book is available for $10 in the Adult Education Office. Questions? Contact Rev. Page Hines (firstname.lastname@example.org) at 817/339-8881.
4.21 LISTENING TO DIVORCE
Sundays, 4.21-5.5 | 9:00 -10:30 am Foundation Bldg. | Rm 370
A three-week series focusing on understanding, healing, and learning from the past to move into the future. Contact Marianne Wilson (email@example.com) at 817/339-5071.
5.2 REGISTER FOR MISSION DAY CAMP, VBS & SACRAMENT SCHOOL
There will be registration tables in the garden for Day Camp, VBS, and Sacrament School from 9:30 am -12:30 pm. For more information contact Nikki McInnis: firstname.lastname@example.org.
4.24 THE GOOD BOOK CLUB
6:15 – 7:15 pm | Children’s Wing
The theme for our April Good Book Club – on April 24 – is Reach Out and our three book selections will focus on the importance of outreach.
Kindergarten and Younger –
Fandango Stew by David R. Davis, illustrated by Ben Galbraith.
1st, 2nd, and 3rd Grade – Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Jon Klassen.
4th Grade and Older – The Quiltmaker’s Journey by Jeff Brumbeau, illustrated by Gail de Marcken.
May 19 | Wesley Hall
All youth are invited to celebrate another great school year and another year of great memories with the youth group. We have a Hawaiian luau theme and the menu is sure to make you say “Aloha!” Join us for dinner, laughs, and the famous “Justee” Awards. Invitations will be sent out soon. If you have any questions, please e-mail Brenda (email@example.com).
6.9 KENDA CREASY DEAN will visit FUMC to lead an event and preach in both sanctuary worship services before serving as speaker for the 2013 Central Texas Annual Conference.
6.7 – 6.9 HIGHER LOVE WEEKEND: BASIC TRAINING FOR THE HEART
Contact Marianne Wilson (firstname.lastname@example.org) at 817/ 339-5071.
Lisa and Ranjan Muttiah, and children Aidan, Christian and Rachel
Samantha and Daniel Morgan
Mary Beatrice Malloy, Daughter of Lucie and Michael Malloy, was baptized Sunday, April 14, 2013.
Three Simple Rules_continued:
An NBC News headline read, “Amid the chaos and carnage in Boston, heroes emerge.” One could say that in the darkness there was light shining. We saw illustrated not only the tragedy of intentionally doing great harm, but also the blessing and gift of doing great good:
• A retired football player carried a wounded woman from the Boston Marathon finish line.
• A father who lost both his sons, one in Iraq and one by suicide, rushed to aid the fallen.
• A veteran turned the shirt off his back into a bandage.
• A surgeon from Kansas finished the race and then started removing shrapnel from other runners.
• A Florida emergency room physician waiting for his wife to cross the finish line found himself standing about 20 to 30 feet from the first blast and immediately began to render aid.
• A number of runners crossed the finish line and kept on running straight to give blood.
• Countless others immediately stopped running and started to do good in every way they could.
All these images and stories remind us that light shines in the darkness and the darkness does not overcome it. They remind us that death does not have the final word. They remind us that good is not overcome by evil. They remind us that our families, our churches, our schools, our cities, our communities, our nation and our world need us to do good of every possible sort.
I want to remind you that each Sunday in this series our scripture reading is the same—Romans 12:1-2, 9-21. I encourage you to read it every day during these three weeks as part of your devotional and prayer life and keep in front of you this thought in the coming week: how can I do good—of every possible sort—today?
Grace and Peace,
(Romans 12:1-2, 9-21 – The Message)
So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.
Love from the center of who you are; don’t fake it. Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good. Be good friends who love deeply; practice playing second fiddle.
Don’t burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant. Don’t quit in hard times; pray all the harder. Help needy Christians; be inventive in hospitality.
Bless your enemies; no cursing under your breath. Laugh with your happy friends when they’re happy; share tears when they’re down. Get along with each other; don’t be stuck-up. Make friends with nobodies; don’t be the great somebody.
Don’t hit back; discover beauty in everyone. If you’ve got it in you, get along with everybody. Don’t insist on getting even; that’s not for you to do. “I’ll do the judging,” says God. “I’ll take care of it.”
Our Scriptures tell us that if you see your enemy hungry, go buy that person lunch, or if he’s thirsty, get him a drink. Your generosity will surprise him with goodness. Don’t let evil get the best of you; get the best of evil by doing good.
I have been in conversation with Jimmy Sansom (pastor at West FUMC), Lariane Waughtal (Conference Disaster Relief Coordinates) and Kyland Dobbins (Conference Mission Experience Coordinator). At this time, Jimmy and Laraine are in the process of assessing the need, both short term and long term. At present there is no need for persons to come to West. They are still in the search and rescue mode. It will be at least another 24 hours before they are through.
We have begun a relief offering conference wide (see Conference Website). As time passes, there will be other needs. We will advise as those arise. This will be a long term recovery. Please be in prayer for all. Laraine will be updating me soon. As a note, UMCOR has already contacted Bishop Lowry to offer assistance. When Laraine walked in to the Red Cross Center in West, her badge had UMCOR on it. The Red Cross official shouted, “Yes! UMCOR is here!”
With God’s strength and resources, together we will be a vital part of the team rebuilding the community.
Specific Prayer Concerns:
Casey and John Nader (Associate Pastor at Grace, Copperas Cove) on the deaths of two of Casey’s uncle’s who were firefighters on the scene when it exploded.
Boyce Vardiman (Retired Clergy) on the death of his nephew who was also at the scene when it exploded.
Prayer Service Tonight
There will be a Prayer Service tonight, 7:00 p.m. at Central United Methodist Church, 5420 Bagby Avenue, in Waco.
The Carter Blood Mobile will be at First United Methodist Church, Cobbs and Lake Air, Waco, from 8:-12:30 this Sunday, April 21st. The blood mobile will be parked down by the Family Life Center.
Thank you for your prayers.
2013 Confirmation Class
Matthew McFarland Bruner
David Henry Buis
Rollin Sebastian Bumstead
Bryson Kernan Clark
Carter Christopher Cooke
Bryan David Corser, Jr.
David Jacob Drez, IV
Samuel Murrin Dulle
Rory Colleen Dunnahoe
Easton Zachary Green
William Augustus Hahnfeld
Joshah Ray Hampton
Hayden Cartwright Harvey
Gage Michael Laswell
Kira Michelle Loveday
Lawrence Paul Marriage
Luke Henry Martin
Ruby Clare Moore
Randall Sanford Hartnett Morris
Clare Elizabeth Rice
Lauren Isabel Richardson
Caleb Granville Russell
Margaret Elizabeth Stuckey
Christopher Neff Vardy
Luke Standish Walker
Sydney Jean Williams
Walker Lynn Woods
Welcome, FUMC CONNECT!
If you have not yet seen the new FUMC CONNECT magazine, we invite you to click here to take a look at it (and download it if you’d like!). If you’d like to receive CONNECT by mail, please contact Lisa Helm (email@example.com) at 817/339-2403 to order your mail subscription. Please be aware that although there is no charge for printed copies of FUMC WEEKLY NEWS and/or FUMC CONNECT magazine, we welcome donations to help cover the costs of printing and postage for those who prefer print.