(Click on the name of a section above to skip directly to it)
Traditional Worship | 9:30 & 11:00 am | Sanctuary | Dr. Tim Bruster
DiscipleChurch | Community Breakfast | 7:20 am | Wesley Hall
Chapel | 8:30 am | Charme Robarts
Discussion Groups | 9:30 am
Chapel Communion | 10:35 am | Chapel | Dr. Len Delony
Special Music: Hans Grim, piano
eleven:eleven celebration | 11:11 am | Wesley Hall | Rev. Tom McDermott
First 7th | Worship | 5:30 pm | Wesley Hall | Rev. Lance Marshall
Social Hangout at Oliver’s | 6:30 pm | 415 Throckmorton Street
Life is Difficult
Dr. Tim Bruster
This past Sunday I began a series that will take us through some of the life and the major passages of the Apostle Paul. During this fall series, we’ll let this intriguing leader of the early church speak to us today.
One of the aspects of Paul’s life that stand out is that it was difficult. Paul had a lot of trouble in his life. There are several passages in his writings and in the book of Acts that tell of his difficulties and suffering. To one degree or another, this is part of every life. We may wish that it were some other way. We may feel that the troubles we have are unfair. At some level we may believe that life is supposed to be without trouble or suffering. It is because of these wishes, feelings and beliefs that M. Scott Peck, is compelled to open his classic book The Road Less Travelled with a line that seems too obvious. It seems to go without saying. His opening sentence is only three words: “Life is difficult.” He goes on to write,
“This is a great truth, one of the greatest truths. It is a great truth because once we truly see this truth, we transcend it . . . Most do not fully see this truth that life is difficult. Instead they moan more or less incessantly, noisily or subtly, about the enormity of their problems, their burdens, and their difficulties as if life were generally easy, as if life should be easy . . . I know about this moaning because I have done my share.”
I can echo that, for I have done my share, too.
Paul listed his problems and difficulties, too, but he gives us insight into how difficulties can function in our lives, how we can place them in perspective, and what resources are available to us. Sunday in the sanctuary services I’ll look at one passage in particular — Romans 5:1-5. In that passage, Paul writes, “Trouble produces endurance, endurance produces character, and character produces hope.” Sunday, I look forward to exploring what this can mean for us in our own lives.
Grace and Peace,
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 each Friday under the Who’s Blogging This Week subject line.
Faith In Action: Children’s Wing
Taking a quick stroll around the church this morning to check in on all our construction projects, I wanted to invite you on this walk for a quick snapshot of your giving dollars at work as our construction projects are progressing!
The new library space is almost complete, the Bride’s Room is available for use, and the ladies restroom on the first floor should be complete very soon.
Making space for the Children’s Wing Expansion is infusing our church with excitement — just walking through these areas of growth fill me with joy for the many children and families now and soon-to-be who will enjoy this expansion and this ministry.
Here is part of our former library space (see image 1 below) currently being transformed into two new Academy classrooms that will open for our Spring Academy semester.
Also starting this Spring, Parents will be able to drop off their children and then stop by this new parent gathering area (image 2) for a cup of coffee or tea and a visit with other parents, or just to take some time to read and relax while waiting for children for complete their Academy rotation.
Once completed, this fabulous expansion (image 3) will offer a quick, easy, and secure check-in area on the second floor (until our Spring Grand Opening, please continue to use the first floor check-in), as well as a unique window into Mister Mark’s natural habitat (notice our puppet friends adorning the top shelf? Who wouldn’t guess that this is where Mister Mark spends his office hours?)
As we round this important turn and construction moves toward its projected year-end completion date, I want to express my deep thanks (I do this daily in my heart!) to all who have given to this exciting project so far — and to encourage everyone who wants to become part of this legacy to join us! Creating and furnishing this wonderful expansion for our children and young families is a gift to our church that will touch the life of every new family who enters our doors with your generosity.
If you’d like to visit with me about these opportunities or to make a gift to help bring this project to full completion, please feel free to contact me (email@example.com) 817/339-5098, or give online at fumcfw.org/give.
Roger Partridge, Director of Stewardship
Connect, Serve, Grow
“I would love to serve my church — but I’m just too busy.”
Who hasn’t said — or felt — that way? It’s easy to look at all the many opportunities to serve at FUMCFW and feel a little bit overwhelmed. There are so many worthwhile and meaningful ways to give your time — ongoing opportunities at First Street Methodist Mission, as a teacher for Children’s Academy classes, or as a Neighbor 2 Neighbor volunteer — or in any one of the singular events such as Stop Hunger Now or Thanksgiving Baskets. Serving people, from helping with small household repairs to teaching a child about Jesus to helping feed people who are hungry is more than just part of our tag line. And we all know that the life most often transformed by serving others is our own.
But how? When? In a busy schedule already overflowing with commitments and responsibilities, where can we fit in this important work?
The good news is that there are opportunities every week — things that are just part of our regular Sunday routines that can serve our church in very important ways.
What I’m talking about here is the need for friendly, welcoming faces on duty each Sunday morning in our Welcome Center, parking lots and at each entrance to the church to help welcome everyone and answer any questions our visitors may have. Romans 15:7 says “Welcome one another, just as Christ has welcomed you, to the glory of God.”
Christian hospitality means that we, as a congregation, embrace all those who enter our church so that they may find a spiritual home at FUMCFW. So if you’re feeling that tug toward serving our church, but running short on free time, what about combining your commitment to service with your regular Sunday morning worship time? If you have questions or would like to give this 20-minute service opportunity a try on any weekend you choose, please let me know! You can email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) or call me anytime, 817/339-2403. I’d be delighted to tell you more!
Lisa Helm is the Director of Welcoming Ministries, a new ministry devoted to making sure all who enter our campus feel welcome, safe, and cared for by our Church — on Sundays and beyond!
Passing the Torch
Thank you, Janis!
It began when she was dropping off her 18-month old son for Mother’s Day out. She wandered upstairs to see if there’s something she might do to help out. (It’s possible that she had no idea what to do with herself with this sudden freedom . . . or maybe she just didn’t want to get too far in case he missed her too much). Cynthia McElrath found her a few things to do, and soon realized how sweet, efficient and pleasant to work with she was — and how she managed to step in quietly and take care of everything and everyone who crossed her path. “I knew I had skills that might be helpful, and I wanted to be involved in the activities of my children outside of the home,” Janis remembers. “I stayed all these years because I thought I could make a real difference.”
One thing led to another and her volunteer work turned into part time employment in the children’s division. When Mark Burrows joined the staff in 1995, (and her son was a young teenager who liked music) she found a place where she could add quiet and indispensable support to a burgeoning youth choir, serving as “choir mom” to a youth choir that topped out at 85 teens and organized and traveled with them on 10 tours, including such noteworthy jaunts as the 2000 “Elvis Tour”, to LA, twice to Chicago, and in 2004, Jolly Old England! In her 25 years of service to our church, including sleeping more than 50 nights on the floor on tour with teens whose own children are now coming to VBS, Janis Rathburn has been that same sweet, steady, capable and generous influence she added on that first day of “helping out” to more children, teens and families than anyone can count. “I have so many memories of choir tours,” she says. “I loved the way being on the bus let the kids get to know each other and discover things they had in common that they never knew they had. I remember the roaring laughter and the extreme exhaustion and how excited we were every year to get on that bus! Of course, I also remember the bittersweet moments,” she adds, “like how I teared up every single time they sang ‘What a Wonderful World’, especially when my own kids were seniors! But all those youth touched my heart.”
Janis’s reach of generosity, spirit and kindness goes far beyond being helpful to touching the hearts and lives of many people who may not have even realized the impact of her behind the scenes care of our church’s families. “Working with Choral Union with Mark and then with Taylor Davis taught me that people never outgrow that desire to be appreciated and cared for,” Janis relates. “I wanted to make the choir experience as enjoyable as possible for the choir members because of the many hours they give in order to bring such beautiful music to our worship services. I just believe so deeply in the power of music. And I’m extremely grateful for every friendship I’ve made here. I’m going to really miss being a part of it all.”
With Janis’s retirement this past week, an era ends for First Church, and a new one begins for Janis. She, her husband, Steve, their son, Chris (that 18-month old that started it all is now 33), daughter, Ashley (now 30) are now looking ahead to some well-deserved R&R to launch the next chapter in their own story. We’ll miss Janis deeply, and wish her all the best in her new adventures to come! If you’d like to send a note of appreciation to Janis, her new personal email is (email@example.com).
With Janis’ retirement, the job of choir mom will be capably assumed by Elaine Johnson, Music and Worship Assistant (dubbed last week by the kids as “Mama J”) whose work with our Youth Choir has spanned decades and countless miles caring for our teenagers (as well as her own two, Jenny and Michael) and all the adults who love and lead them.
Welcome Our Interim Directors!
We are thrilled to announce that Mr. Robert Stovall will serve as our interim Director of Music & Worship Arts beginning October 7. No stranger to the Texas choral world, Robert has taught high school choral music, taking many of his choirs through invitation process to perform at Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA) conventions, and is a Past President of TMEA. Robert was the head choral director at Birdville High School for five years with our now Organist and Associate Director of Music & Worship Arts Peggy Graff as his associate. After leaving Birdville High School, he served as Fine Arts Director at Eagle Mountain-Saginaw ISD and is currently the Fine Arts Director at Fort Worth Country Day.
Robert brings to this interim time in our music ministries not only an enthusiastic, positive, outgoing, personable presence; he is a superior choral director/conductor and musician who will offer us decades of church and educational choral experience, including eleven years as music director at Meadowbrook United Methodist Church in Arlington.
With thirty-seven years devoted to the Texas Public School System, Robert is a Past President of the Texas Music Educators Association whose choirs have been awarded UIL sweepstakes, festival grand champions, and convention performance invitations throughout his career, including five invitations to perform at the TMEA convention.
As an active adjudicator, speaker, clinician, and conductor throughout Texas and the Southwest United States, Robert’s involvement in the Texas Music Educators Association, Texas Choral Directors Association, American Choral Directors Association, Texas Music Adjudicators Association, and most recently, The Texas Music Administrators Conference, has allowed him the opportunity to promote fine arts throughout the state. Robert continues to serve as Site-Chair for several Southwest ACDA Conventions as well as recent national ACDA conventions in Los Angeles, California and Miami, Florida.
A native of West Texas who graduated with both a Bachelors of Music Education and Masters of Music Education from Angelo State University. Robert and his wife, Cindy, have two sons, Parker, of San Angelo, Texas, and Austin, of Fort Worth, Texas. Robert and Cindy also are proud grandparents to Ryder, son of Parker and Bonnie Stovall.
A special First Church welcome also to Hans Grim who will serve as interim director of our Cornerstone Youth Choir, as well as a Choral Union section leader and pianist for DiscipleChurch and Chapel Communion. Hans Grim is the choir director at Arlington Heights High School in Fort Worth ISD.
Hans says that some of his favorite musical moments include playing keyboards for the national tour of Mamma Mia and three separate choir tours to China, Eastern Europe and the United Kingdom. As a singer and piano player and lover of diverse musical styles, Hans also brings to First Church Cornerstone youth choir his 8th grade son, Max, who is a soloist with the Texas Boys Choir. Hans also has and two beautiful and talented dancing, singing girls, Rose and Maddie. His wife, Mary, just finished performing with the cast of Les Mis at Casa Manana and is current starring as the Baker’s Wife in Lyric Stage’s production of Into the Woods. (Mary actually started performing in musicals right here at First UMC when she was in high school!)
The whole family is extremely excited to get involved at FUMCFW this fall, and our church family is equally excited to welcome them!
Lay Leadership Committee Nominations
Know someone who would make a great leader in our church community? We would love to hear from you about anyone you believe would provide capable leadership for our church. Forms are available online at fumcfw.org/layleaders15, in the Main Office, and in the Welcome Center. According to the Book of Discipline, some nominations must be approved by the Charge Conference so please understand that a recommendation does not automatically mean a nomination. Please submit your suggestions by completing the form online, or mailing or dropping it by the Main Office, attention Pam Erlandson (firstname.lastname@example.org).
North Texas Giving Day is This Thursday
Thursday, September 17 | 6:00 am – Midnight
Online at NorthTexasGivingDay.org
Click here to give online on September 17!
This year, First Street Methodist Mission and Methodist Justice Ministry are taking part in North Texas Giving Day, Thursday, September 17, when every donation of $25 and above you make will be multiplied with bonus funds and prizes!
In addition, this year a special opportunity offered by generous donors will match your donation up to $5,000 for each organization!
First Street Methodist Mission and Methodist Justice Ministry are two vital ministries of the FUMCFW faith community, often working together to share and maximize resources for the benefit of those we serve. Because these are also two distinctly separate entities, your North Texas Giving Day gifts must be designated individually to each ministry. Thank you for all you do to support these vital ministries of our church!
3 Easy Steps To Donate:
1. Wake up on September 17
2. Log on to your computer between 6:00 am and Midnight
3. Go to NorthTexasGivingDay.org and donate to First Street Methodist Mission AND Methodist Justice Ministry right from the home page!
How can I give to multiple organizations?
North Texas Giving Day allows donors to make gifts to multiple organizations straight from the NorthTexasGivingDay.org home page and enter your credit card information only once. You will receive a separate e-mail receipt for each gift and each nonprofit will receive a separate notification of your gift.
Stop Hunger Now
Sunday, September 20
9:30 am – 12:30 pm | Justin Building | 801 W. 5th Street
Click here to sign up!
Join this collaborative effort of FUMCFW Youth, Children, and Compassion & Justice Ministries as they partner with Stop Hunger Now, a national meal-packaging program whose goal is to end hunger by providing food and lifesaving aid to those people who are most vulnerable. Our goal is to package 20,000 meals! For more information, contact Elizabeth Becker (email@example.com) at 817/339-5068.
Foundation Lunch and Learn
Thursday, October 1
Noon – 1:00 pm | Foundation Conference Room
Want to learn more about First Methodist Church of Fort Worth Foundation? We want to answer your questions. Come join us for lunch on Thursday, October 1, 2015 from Noon to 1:00 pm in the Foundation Conference Room (1st floor of Foundation Building). The lunch is free but we do need an RSVP so we can pack you a lunch! RSVP to Lisa Tucker (firstname.lastname@example.org) at 817/339-5089.
Col. Warner “Tex” Rankin
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 (email@example.com) and we will include your story!
(Click on the name of a section above to skip directly to it)
Register for Fall Adult Studies
Classes began September 13, but it’s not too late to sign up!
Click here to register online OR Register in the Main Office
Weekdays | 9:00 am – 5:00 pm OR Sundays | Between Services
Welcome fall by joining our new slate of studies and learning opportunities with something for everyone!
Book Study: Seeing Gray in a World of Black and White
September 16 – October 14 (5 Weeks)
Wednesdays | 9:30 – 11:00 am | Room 154
Led by Rev. Phyllis McDougal
Book Available for $15 | Registration Required
Everyone agrees that America is polarized, with ever-hardening positions held by people less and less willing to listen to one another. No one agrees on what to do about it. Adam Hamilton rejects the easy assumptions and sloppy analysis of black and white thinking, seeking instead the truth that resides on all sides of the issues, and offering a faithful and compassionate way forward. He writes, “I don’t expect you to agree with everything I’ve written. I expect that in the future even I won’t agree with everything I’ve written here. The point is not to get you to agree with me, but to encourage you to think about what you believe. We will use Hamilton’s book, Seeing Gray in a World of Black and White: Thoughts on Religion, Morality, and Politics as a resource. Click here to learn more and register for this and other fall studies!
Pastor’s Bible Study
September 16 – May 15 (37 Weeks excluding holidays TBA)
Wednesdays | 6:30 – 7:30 pm | Room 231
Led by Rev. Lance Marshall
This offering is an open Bible study, with no purchase or registration necessary. Our focus of study will be on the sermon text for the upcoming Sunday evening worship service led by Rev. Lance Marshall. It is offered to those who have never opened the Bible in their lives, to those who study on a regular basis. Childcare is not available for this class. Click here to learn more and register for this and other fall studies!
September 17 – December 10 | Thursdays | Refreshments & Gathering
9:15 – 9:30 am | Class | 9:30 – 11:00 am
Room 350 | Led by Rev. Linda McDermott | Registration Required
Thursday Theologians is a welcoming group interested in open minded and challenging discussions of theological topics. It is specifically designed for those who are eager to ask the more difficult questions about faith and to be challenged to explore personal beliefs. We will use the book, Convictions: How I Learned What Matters Most by Marcus J. Borg. Space is limited. Click here to learn more and register for this and other fall studies!
Rebuilding When Your Relationship Ends
September 22 – October 27 | Tuesdays | 6:00 – 7:30 pm
Foundation Building, 2nd Floor
Led by Rev. Phyllis McDougal
Divorce is one of the most difficult experiences that most people will ever face. Even the most amicable of divorces can create intense emotional and psychological issues which may have lasting effects if they are not given attention. The good news is that there is help for facing the challenges that divorce brings. This six-week series will use the book Rebuilding When Your Relationship Ends, featuring divorce process rebuilding blocks, a proven 19-step process for putting one’s life back together after divorce. This widely-used approach to divorce recovery makes the process healthier and less traumatic for those who are going through a divorce. The focus will be on gaining insights into facing the experience of divorce, and offering time for participants to process their current experience in a supportive setting. Rev. Phyllis McDougal is an ordained United Methodist minister who also holds a Masters in Psychology and is an LPC-I. This series is free and open to members and non-members of FUMCFW. For participants who would like a copy of the book, it will be available for $15 in the church office in advance or at the first class. For more information contact Phyllis McDougal (firstname.lastname@example.org) at 817/339-5082. To register, contact Marianne Wilson (email@example.com) at 817/339-5071.
9.13 – 10.14 Living Through Grief Support Group
Sundays | 9:30 am
Foundation Building, 2nd Floor
Led by Charme Robarts, certified Grief Recovery Specialist and Community Advocate, this group is focused on providing participants with tools and basic understanding of ways to handle grief that are healthy and lead to healing. Opportunity is given for sharing personal concerns. Participation is free and you do not need to be a church member to participate. Optional guidebook is $5. For more information or to register, contact Marianne Wilson (firstname.lastname@example.org) at 817/339-5071.
Financial Peace University
September 13 – November 8 (9 Weeks)
Sundays | 9:30 – 10:45 am | Foundation Building, Room 274
Led by Roger Partridge, Director of Stewardship
$109 for Materials (Includes Workbooks & CDs)
Registration Required | Scholarships Available
Through the 9 weeks of Financial Peace University, you’ll learn how to write a budget, create an emergency fund, and get out of debt along with creating retirement and college saving plans. Click here to learn more and register for this and other fall studies!
New Sunday School Class: Parents of Teenagers
Starting 9.13 | 9:45 – 10:45 am | Justin Youth Building | Room 306
We’re launching a brand new Sunday school class JUST for parents of teenagers (more accurately: 6th – 12th graders). As people of faith, it is important that we model the same disciplines of faith that we hope for our children. So together, we will be nurtured as disciples while journeying with others who share the same joys and challenges of raising a teenager. Class Leaders Chris and Tami Vardy, parents of two teenagers themselves, are both also small group leaders for the youth with extensive experience as youth ministries volunteers. Chris also serves as chair of the Youth Ministries Council, and Tami has completed doctoral studies in Educational Administration and Leadership. The ongoing discussions will span both youth and confirmation content to help equip parents for faith conversations with their teens, guided topical book studies, and opportunities to share experience, wisdom, and inspiration while raising teens in our current cultural climate. Please contact Rev. Casey Orr (email@example.com) with questions or to receive more information.
Improv 1st! Everything’s an Offering
September 13 – November 1 (8 Weeks)
Sundays | 1:00 – 3:00 pm | Foundation Building, Room 370
Led by Rev. Tom McDermott & Guest Instructors
Improvisation in life, as in theater and comedy, is a way of responding to life’s ups and downs with humor, playfulness, and most importantly, “openness to the moment.” Through improv training we learn to be: more present to one another, more relaxed in the face of life’s (and work’s) surprises, more creative in all our endeavors, less judgmental, and discover the joy in “free play.” This class will teach basic improv techniques, character development, and scene work. Facilitators are Rev. Tom McDermott, Chuck Shanlever, Winn LaRue (graduate of the four year Four Day Weekend School and member of two area comedy teams), and other guest instructors. There is no cost, though we will use several resources individuals may want to purchase. Click here to learn more and register for this and other fall studies!
Third Grade Bible Presentation
Presentation of Bibles | September 20 | 11:00 am | Sanctuary Worship Service
Third Grade Bible Presentation is THIS Sunday, and I wanted to make sure you had all the info you need.
We will have several rows in the front of the sanctuary reserved for you, so come on down. Don’t be bashful.
Also, no need to come up and get your child out of Academy class. We will take care of bringing all the 3rd graders down to the sanctuary at 10:50 to come sit with you.
The Bible Presentation will take place within the first 20 minutes of the 11:00 service.
After that, if you would like your child to stay with you for the remainder of the service, great.
Any 3rd graders who would like to come back up to their Sunday morning activities, we’ll bring them for you.
September Mission Sundays: Toilet Paper
During the month of September, please bring Toilet Paper to the First Street Methodist Mission, Monday – Thursday, 8:00 am – 4:00 pm or to the Welcome Center on Sunday Morning. For more information, contact Elizabeth Becker (firstname.lastname@example.org) at 817/339-5068. Small Gifts. Big Difference.
Food 4 Kids
September – May
Sundays | Pack backpacks for 1 hour between 9:00 am – Noon First Street Methodist Mission
Food 4 Kids is a ministry of First Street Methodist Mission that will send food home for the weekend for 100 students at I.M. Terrell Elementary and 50 students at T.A. Sims Elementary during the school year. Groups of 10 are encouraged to come to First Street Methodist Mission for one hour between 9:00 am and Noon, September through May.
To learn more, please contact Elizabeth Becker (email@example.com).
9.19 – 9.20 Middle School Lock-In
Saturday 6:00 pm – Sunday 11:00 am | Justin Building
$15 | Middle School Only
Click here to register and pay online now
Middle Schoolers ASSEMBLE! Come out for an incredibly fun filled evening in the Justin to hangout and relax after the busyness of the beginning of school. It’ll be a night filled with games, food, and worship. It’s your time to play and rule the Justin! The morning after we will help serve our community alongside of Stop Hunger Now. Don’t miss out!
Foundation Memorial Fund in Memory Of:
Frances Jeane Stuart by the Law Offices of Paup, Shutt and Associates
Judith Lokey by the Law Offices of Paup, Shutt and Associates
Daphne Motheral Jose by Nancy & Marc B. Smith, Jr.