By July 11, 2013News

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“God breathes life into our breathless places”

Rev. Linda McDermott

When I was eight years old, my family and my best friend’s family all took off for a vacation in the Rocky Mountains.  We were going to stay at the cabin of one of my friend’s family’s relatives.  None of us had ever been there.  When we arrived, we discovered that it was not so much a cabin, as four walls and a roof- about 12 x 12- there were 9 of us.  And the restroom facilities were up the mountain about 100 feet in an even smaller four walls and a roof.  Now, being 8 years old girls, my friend and I thought it was… perfect!  After the initial shock wore off, our parents decided the only thing they could do was laugh- and not stay the full two weeks we had planned.  Let me recount some of our adventures:  hiding in the outhouse for two hours while the others lured two skunks away from the door, sleeping in the tent that we set up for the five kids and one of us- not me- deciding that there were too many mosquitoes and spraying bug spray all over the tent and basically gassing us out for the rest of the night.  READ MORE

“The experience of Pentecost”

Page Hines

This past Sunday, we celebrated Pentecost – the birth of the church.  Just like in the ancient celebration of Pentecost, we now celebrate Pentecost by coming together to worship God.  And, although we may not all speak the same language it is through the work of the Holy Spirit that everyone is able to hear and understand each other.  Here at the First Street Methodist Mission we experience Pentecost in a variety of ways.   READ MORE

Come Rock With us this Summer at VBS! Register NOW!
Mark your calendars for KINGDOM ROCK, Where Kids Stand Strong for God!  Kingdom Rock is the awesome Vacation Bible School experience offered at FUMC this summer.  Kingdom Rock VBS begins on Monday, July 8, and finishes with a huge celebration on Sunday morning, July 14. READ MORE

Dr. Kenda Creasy Dean
Sunday, June 9 | 3:30 – 5:00 pm
Please plan to join us as we welcome Dr. Kenda Creasy Dean to the pulpit on Sunday morning and for a one-time Sunday afternoon seminar. Kenda is a United Methodist pastor, a professor of youth and culture at Princeton Theological Seminary, and the author of Almost Christian: What the Faith of American Teenagers is Telling the Church. She is also this year’s Central Texas Annual Conference teacher. For more information about this program, Dr. Kenda Creasy Dean, or Almost Christian: What the Faith of American Teenagers is Telling the Church, please contact Casey Langley, Director of Youth Ministries (clangley@myfumc.org) at 817/339-5070.

Are you looking for a way to make a difference?
Have you ever come to church on Sunday and a warm greeting by the person at the door brought a smile to your face?  Have you ever visited a place for the first time, felt a little lost and confused, and someone was right there to answer your questions?  Have you ever faced a challenge and someone handed you just the thing to make your experience better? Then you’ve experienced first-hand the difference good ushers and greeters can make.  READ MORE


6:00 pm | Wesley Hall
 | Light snacks and beverages

Please join us for an evening with an inspirational woman working in Tanzania and explore the impact of U.S. foreign aid on women and girls.

Special Guest Speaker : Emiliana Aligaesha
Farmer, Karagwe district, Kagera region, Tanzania

Emiliana Aligaesha is a coffee, banana, bean, and maize farmer and livestock keeper in Karagwe district, Kagera region in the northern part of Tanzania. Emiliana began her career as a schoolteacher, but when her husband died in 1992 she found that her salary was not enough to reach the educational goals for her children. Emiliana taught herself how to farm and in 2007 she joined with other farmers in her community to form Kaderes Peasant Development Ltd., a private company that sells coffee and beans. Emiliana and her fellow farmers received support from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to find better prices and customers for their products. Emiliana now exports coffee around the world and the World Food Program has bought her beans to use in emergency food aid programs in neighboring countries. Through her determination, and by leveraging a tiny investment of U.S. foreign aid, Emiliana has become a successful farmer and businesswoman. In 2012, Emiliana was the first runner up in Oxfam’s Female Food Hero contest in Tanzania, which highlights the achievements of small-scale women food producers. As a former teacher, Emiliana’s most important accomplishment is that all eight of her children have been put through college as a result of her hard work.

For more information, contact Rev. Phyllis McDougal at 817/715-1944.



9:30 am – noon | Adult Education Office
Register on these Sundays or anytime during the week by contacting Gayle Ammerman (gammerman@myfumc.org) at 817/339-5091. Click here to download the brochure.

Wednesday Morning | 9:30 – 11:00 am
Rev. Phyllis McDougal will lead this great summer study to examine how God’s presence is always around us and see how God moves in and through our world. The group is open all summer, so come when you can!


May 31 | Time TBD
Ready for school to be over? If you’re in middle school, come swim with us at the Richardsons’ house Friday evening to hang out and celebrate the end of another school year. Snacks will be available. Make sure you bring a towel!


Throughout May, please bring family-size shampoo, toothpaste, soap, and deodorant to the Mission during regular donation hours, Monday – Thursday, 9:00 am – 4:00 pm, or to the Welcome Center on Sundays.  Be part of our service to those in need by participating in monthly Mission Sundays.  Remember: Your Small Gifts.  Big Difference in the lives of those we serve.


Stillwater Lodge | Glen Rose, TX

It’s not too late to sign up for this relationship-changing weekend retreat led by Charles Gaby, MA, LPC, but registration closes soon.  All inclusive cost is $245 per person. Click here to download more information, or  contact Marianne Wilson (mwilson@myfumc.org) at 817/339-5071.


9:30 am | Sanctuary

As part of Children First Sunday next week, our Children’s Choir and Junior Worship Leaders will present a production of Table for Five…Thousand! The Miracle of the Loaves and Fishes by Tom S. Long and Allen Pote.

6:30-11:00 pm
We are going camping! (well, just for pretend) Camping activities: S’mores, Camp Crafts, Camp movie, Campfire Songs (by the pretend campfire). Reservations are required and due by Wed. June 5. Space is limited so make your reservations early!!! Contact: Paula Wagstaff (pwagstaff@myfumc.org) at 817/546-4414. Remember, if you volunteer in the Nursery or for Mister Mark on Sunday morning you will earn a Free Parent’s Night Out. Contact Paula Wagstaff, Nikki McInnis or Mark Burrows for more information.


5.26,  6.2 & 6.16  – YOUTH CHOIR
No Youth Choir rehearsal on these dates.

Youth Choir members need to be at Arborlawn UMC at 2:00 pm to rehearse, have dinner and then perform at the Annual Conference Worship Service.

More details coming soon!

New Orleans, LA

Join the youth (9th-12th graders) for a week of work in the Big Easy! We’ll be working with families in the city to repair and restore their homes and share a week serving and being served. Adult leaders also needed! To sign-up, pick up a form in the Justin and return it to the youth office by June 2. For questions, please e-mail Brenda (bkegans@myfumc.org).

All alums are invited to sing with the Youth Choir. Saturday rehearsal 10:30 am – noon and 8:30 am on Sunday morning to sing for both worship services.

6.24 – 6.29 YOUTH CHOIR TOUR
Nashville, TN

Cost is $360 per person; scholarships available. Includes travel, food, lodging, activities, unforgettable experiences and unlimited fun! For more information, contact Janis Rathburn (jrathburn@myfumc.org) at 817/339-3883

Waco, TX

Our Middle School students (6th – 8th graders) are heading down south to Waco for a week of work in the middle of July.  Join us as we spend a week in service to the people and the city.  Adults are also needed for this trip! To register, pick up a form in the Justin Building and and return it to the Youth Office by June 16.  For questions, please email Brenda Kegans at bkegans@myfumc.org.


Peyton Scott Davis

Jean Webb, John Crawford, Neil Franklin, Michael Jaffee

Page Hines, continued
We worship God along with other local denominations (whom we often believe are speaking slightly different languages from us) when we collaborate to do God’s work.  For example, we have joined with Broadway Baptist Church to provide sack lunches everyday of the week to our neighbors who are homeless.  First Street provides sack lunches on Mondays and Wednesdays while Broadway offers lunches on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.  This is no accident – this is the work of the Holy Spirit!

We come together to worship God when we collaborate with Broadway, First Presbyterian, St. Stephens, University Christian, and other local congregations to provide Room in the Inn for our neighbors who are homeless during the hottest and coldest months of the year.

First Street, Broadway Baptist and First Presbyterian are coming together again to worship God by providing a compassion fatigue workshop in July for all local caseworkers who work so hard everyday to help our brothers and sisters who are homeless.  This is a special gift to these compassionate and generous men and women who give of themselves unselfishly everyday to help others.

We all have the opportunity to worship God, in so many ways, in the way we live out our life.  “Worship” does not just happen on Sunday mornings in a particular building.  Worship also happens when we are out in the world being God’s people.

So, when we come together with others, often speaking “different languages,” to praise and worship God, we have the opportunity to experience Pentecost anew!

Have a Pentecost Day!

Rev. McDermott continued

But what I remember most clearly was on the trip up, stopping in White Sands, New Mexico.  As far as the eye could see, a gleaming desert of white sand.  Hills and hills, with beautiful waves in the sands created by the wind.  My friend and I had never seen anything like it and could hardly contain ourselves to get out of that car we’d been in for over 10 hours and running as fast and as far as we could.  As we took off, I could hear my mother shouting, “don’t over exert yourselves- you’re not used to the altitude!”  Phffff!  Altitude?!  No problem!
So we ran, over one hill, down another, up the hill and down, up the…….. and the sand started spinning and my lungs felt like they weren’t working anymore and I fell over.  I thought I was going to die.  Visions of cartoon characters crawling through a desert full of bones went through my mind.  It was as if the breath had been knocked right out of me in this beautiful but lifeless desert.    Since then, I have had the breath taken out of me several times.  Not so much literally, but you know those times:  terrible grief, overwhelming fear, shocking news.  Those times when we can hardly breathe.  Like when Ezekiel looked out over the desert and saw only dead, dry bones- the experience of complete and utter hopelessness and despair.  And we’ve all been to that desert- maybe you are there now.  You feel as though your breath has been knocked right out of you.
Recently, we celebrated Pentecost Sunday- a birth story- or re-birth story.  And like so many birth stories in the Bible, God brings life, new life, into the world, into us, with breath.  In the Hebrew scriptures, the word is Ruah– it means either breath or wind.  In the New Testament, it is Pneuma– like pneumonia- pneuma meaning breath or wind or, in most cases, spirit.   Wind, breath, spirit- in the Bible, it is the power of God to bring life.

Think of Genesis, the first creation story:  a wind from God moved across the face of chaos and brought order and life.  Wind brought life to creation.

Think of the second story of Creation, when the human body lay lifeless, God breathed into its nostrils and brought the Adam, or human, into being.  Wind brought life to humanity.

Skip over to Job, the suffering one whose only request is an audience with God- and God speaks to Job?  Out of the wind.  God speaks about things the human mind simply cannot comprehend.  Wind brought life to wisdom.

And Pentecost, the risen Christ leaving his followers with a promise- they would not be left to their own devises but would receive power from the Holy Spirit- and how did that Spirit of God’s power make itself known?  “A sound like the rush of a mighty wind”- God’s breath blowing in the power of new life and hope.

That is the power of Pentecost.  God breathing life into the breathless places in our lives and in our world.


VBS continued
Kingdom Rock will encourage your children to explore God’s incredible love for them.  As children are surrounded by a colossal castle theme and the usual cast of silly characters, they will journey through Bible stories that teach them about God’s love, their family, prayer, trust, and God’s Word all helping them to Stand Strong!  They will experience a fanfare of fun music and dancing, epic Bible stories, creative crafts, yummy snacks, and so much more.

What makes this year’s VBS even more awesome?  Online registration and payment through our website is now available!  We no longer need the medical form notarized, so just print it off, fill it out, and send it in.  We have made it easy and convenient, so REGISTER TODAY!  You will also find much more helpful information and details about Kingdom Rock VBS on our website, www.groupvbspro.com.

We can’t wait to see your children’s shining, happy faces this summer as we ROCK at FUMC VBS!  And remember, grown-ups are welcome to come rock too!  Volunteer registration is also available on our website.

If you have a problem with registration or payment, please contact Nikki McInnis at 817/339-5086.

Pass this along to any friends  – even if they’re not involved at FUMC –  we would love to have them too!

Ushers continued
According to Chris Lokey, Lead Usher, “Being an usher is one of the best volunteer jobs at FUMC: you work during the service, there are no meetings during the week, and no lessons to prepare!”

Ushers don’t necessarily work every Sunday; some choose to sign up for specific Sundays while some work one month on and one month off.  There are those who choose to pass the plates during the offering and help greet people while some prefer to “meet and greet’ but not to pass the plates.  On communion Sundays, the Ushers take on the additional role of directing people to the front of the church to receive communion.

“We feel that our ministry to the church is to ensure that everyone’s experience at FUMC is as good as it can be.  When someone comes to our church for the first time, it is important that they feel welcome,” Lokey says.  “Ushers are often the first contact someone has with our church so our goal is to greet them warmly and make them feel comfortable.  We’re here to help people find the nursery or a bathroom, make sure they have a large print bulletin if they need one or help them down the stairs.  Anything we can do to make people’s time at FUMC enjoyable, we do!”

Interested in becoming part of this vital ministry?  Contact Chris Lokey at clokey@lokeymetals.com or Rev. Chuck Graff (cgraff@myfumc.org) at 817/559-5065

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 (lhelm@myfumc.org) 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.


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