FUMCFW Weekly News 12.3.15

By December 4, 2015News

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Enews Web Header_150_This Sunday

Dr. Tim Bruster — Mary: The Courage to Follow God

Enews Web Header_150_Advent

2015 Advent Devotional
Las Posadas Angel Tree
December Church Tour
Baptism 101
Blessing Our First Responders
Christmas Cheer: A Churchwide Caroling & Christmas Celebration
Las Posadas Parade

Enews Web Header_150_Teachers & Topics

Enews Web Header_150_Churchwide News

Roger Partridge — Faith In Action: Sharing Our Blessings
Lisa Helm — Nativity Seen . . . It’s a Beautiful Sight!
Nativity Seen in the FUMCFW Chrismon Tree
Ellie’s Thanksgiving Message
Fun, Fellowship, and More on FUMCFW Senior Adult Ministry Retreat to Branson, MO
Icing on the Cake for Station 16
Service of Remembrance

Enews Web Header_150_Member NewsEnews Web Header_150_Ministry News

Enews Web Header_150_Gifts & MemorialsEnews Web Header_150_Who's Blogging


Book Study: Walking the Road to Bethlehem by Adam Hamilton
Advent Sermon Series Bible Study
The Wonder of Christmas: A Bible-Focused Advent Study


Preschool Concerts


Youth Christmas Pajama Party
Revolution Weekend 2016: Get Dirty

Sub_new_150_compassion & justice2

December Mission Sundays: Red Food Bags


The Gathering at the Marty Leonard Chapel
Christmas Music Festival with Dr. Bradley Hunter Welch, Organist, & Choral Union

This Sunday Web HeaderThis Sunday’s Worship Opportunities

Traditional Worship

9:40 am | Chapel
11:00 am | Sanctuary
Dr. Tim Bruster

Children First | 9:45 am | Sanctuary | Mister Mark Burrows

DiscipleChurch | Community Breakfast | 7:20 am | Wesley Hall
Chapel | 8:30 am | Rev. Casey Orr
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 | Worship | Wesley Hall | Rev. Lance Marshall

Click here to view and download PDFs of our worship bulletins, posted weekly as soon as details are finalized!

Tim BrusterMary: The Courage to Follow God

Dr. Tim Bruster

Dear Friends,

This Sunday as we continue our Nativity Seen Advent sermon series, we will turn our focus to Mary. In our scripture reading, Luke 1:26-38, God’s messenger — the angel Gabriel — appeared to Mary. He brought a message of life and hope for the world. He said, “And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus.” (The name, Jesus, is the Greek form of the name, Joshua, with a clear and specific meaning: “God saves.”) Suddenly, Mary realized that she was a part of a holy purpose that went beyond anything she could have imagined. This was big news! Think of how frightened she must have been. Just imagine! She was receiving news that she would bear a great responsibility — in fact, the greatest responsibility. No wonder Gabriel said, “Do not be afraid, Mary.”

Mary then asks, “How can this be, since I have no husband?” The angel replies, “With God, nothing will be impossible.” As astounding as this conversation is, the real miracle of the conversation is Mary’s amazing response: “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.”

There are so many other responses she could have had:

“I just can’t believe this!”

“Why don’t you just go away and leave me alone?”

“But, how will I explain this to everyone else?”

“I am too young for such a gigantic task: get someone else.”

But Mary didn’t say any of those things. She said, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.”

Mary’s surprising response is also very unusual in scripture. Remember the responses of others whom God called? Sarah laughed: “I’m too old.” Moses tried to get out of it because of his speech impediment: “I’m not a good speaker.” Gideon said, “Wait a minute, I’m just a farmer.” Jeremiah said, “I’m too young.” Jonah sulked: “I just don’t want to.” But not Mary! Mary’s response was, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.”

I think the most remarkable thing about young Mary is her radical openness to God. It is at the point of her response that this story of the annunciation speaks most powerfully, raising the questions: What about me? How do I respond to God? Do I receive Christ into the heart of my life so that my life is transformed into who Christ calls me to be?

What about you? How do you respond to God?

Mary is a good model for what it means to respond in faith, in trust to God — a true example of what it means to open our lives to God.

I look forward to worshipping with you on this second Sunday of Advent as we explore Nativity Seen in Mary — and in any life open to God.

Grace and Peace,


Advent Web Header

Click here for a complete list of our 2015 Advent programs and events

Linda McDermott_150A Word About Worship: Nativity Seen — Intro to Advent 2015

When you hear “a Nativity Scene,” what is the first image that comes to mind? Mary, Joseph, and the baby Jesus in a manger. Right? It’s a beautiful image of a long ago event that we celebrate each year, reminding us of God’s “good news to all people.” You’ll notice, however, that this year our theme for Advent is not exactly the same as the traditional Nativity Scene. Notice the different spelling: A Nativity SEEN. It’s a provocative play on words that invites us to not simply remember Jesus’ nativity, but to look for evidences of nativity all around us. Instead the SCENE of a nativity, we are focusing on SEEING the nativity in our daily lives and in our world.

It goes back to the meaning of nativity, “the process of being born.” A Nativity Seen asks us the question: How is Christ born and made alive in our lives and in our world today? And that question becomes personal for each of us as individuals — and for us as a faith community. How are we participating in “birthing” Christ in our world and in our lives? We see a nativity, Christ born, in grand and bold actions as well as in small and easily overlooked gestures and lifestyles. And what we understand is that Christ and his gospel are born every day and every time we follow the ways of his witness. Click here to learn more about our Nativity Seen theme.

Advent15 Devotional Graphic2015 Advent Devotional

Our 2015 Advent Devotional began 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_HSLas Posadas Angel Tree

November 22 – December 13
Pick up tags at the Welcome Center 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 (ebecker@firststreetmission.org) at 817/339-5068.

FUMCFW Church Photo

December Church Tour

Sunday, December 6
Immediately after 11:00 am worship | Meet in front of Sanctuary

Want to find a Sunday School class and learn about our library, Television Ministry, Children’s Ministries, and more? Meet Norma Loughridge in front of the Sanctuary after the worship service to join our tour of the building.

3.1 Intro To Baptism Class For Parents

Baptism 101

Sunday, December 6
Offered the first Sunday of every month
11:00 am | Room 230 | Led by Rev. Casey Orr | Registration required

Baptism 101 must be attended by first-time parents and/or parents whose older children were not baptized in a United Methodist Church. At the class, a pastor will discuss the history, theology, meaning, and responsibility of baptism. We will also go over logistics and steps to scheduling.

Blessing First Responders2_HSBlessing Our First Responders

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 (sammyelou9@gmail.com) or Rev. Chuck Graff (cgraff@myfumc.org) at 817/339-5065.

Christmas Music Festival__HSChristmas Cheer: A Churchwide Caroling & Christmas Celebration

Sunday, December 13
2:30 pm | Starting in Wesley Hall
2:30 – 4:00 pm | Community caroling
4:00 – 5:30 pm | Christmas celebration | Wesley Hall

Join us for 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 downtown 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. For more information, contact Elizabeth Marshall (emarshall@myfumc.org) at 817/339-5096.

Las Posadas Parade_HS2Las Posadas Parade

Saturday, December 19
4:00 pm | Parade begins at Avenue G & Campbell
Worship after the parade at El Buen Samaritano UMC
3429 Strong Ave. | Fort Worth, 76105

You are invited to join El Buen Samaritano UMC in their annual holiday tradition of Las Posadas. Las Posadas is the traditional re-enactment of Mary and Joseph’s journey to find lodging in Bethlehem. The parade, with live animals, will begin on the corner of Avenue G and Campbell and will end with a worship service at El Buen Samaritano.

Teachers & Topics Web HeaderClick here to see classes meeting this Sunday, December 6

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!

Who's Blogging Web Header

Click here to see who’s blogging this week, posted each Friday!

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.

Churchwide News Web Header

staff_Roger Partridge_500Faith In Action: Sharing Our Blessings

Roger Partridge

This week I took a few moments to check out the construction in our Children’s Wing. I’ve been watching with great excitement as these improvements have come together throughout this project, and I have been so pleased to see the ideas of Mister Mark and the Children’s Council come to fruition. As we were raising funds for this project, we also decided to think about the children in our community who might not have the ability to attend our wonderful Children’s Academy. To put our stewardship theology to work in this process, we decided to set aside 10 percent (a tithe) of all donations to the Children’s Wing Expansion to help support the Women & Children’s Interim Housing Center at the Presbyterian Night Shelter. Click here to continue reading.

Lisa Helm

Nativity Seen . . . It’s a Beautiful Sight!

Lisa Helm

What comes to mind when you hear Nativity Seen? Honestly, for me, because of the people of this church, I see Nativity every day I come to work. And, a week of spending time with the people I love most (and eating way too much turkey!) reminded me of God’s love and grace in so many ways.

So, as we start this season of Advent, I encourage everyone to really think about this year’s theme, and to expand your own image of a Nativity Seen here in our church family. Click here to continue reading.

image2Nativity Seen in the FUMCFW Chrismon Tree

“The Chrismon tree has been very meaningful . . . It adds to the worship and the Christmas season . . . We enjoy seeing the people come around and admire it and enjoy it.”

— Ann Maddox, FUMCFW Chrismon tree committee member since its inception

Every year after Thanksgiving, people everywhere start to hang lights, decorate trees, and get into the Christmas spirit. Here at FUMCFW, we kick off the holidays with the decorating of our Chrismon tree in the Narthex. If you attend our Sanctuary worship services, you can’t miss its stunning beauty. Like many other church members, you might even take Christmas photos in front of it to send to family and friends. What you may not know, however, is the remarkable story behind it.

Tracing a centuries-old tradition, Chrismons are a variety of Christian symbols used to proclaim the birth of Jesus Christ. (The words “Christ” and “monogram” are combined to form Chrismon.) Our own 15-foot Chrismon tree celebrates the birth of Jesus with more than 600 Christian monograms that were handmade by volunteers from our congregation. All ages of members crafted these lovely gifts, so the Chrismon tree is a product of our whole church.

Since 2009, a faithful committee of volunteers have come together to decorate our Chrismon tree to honor both this great Christian tradition and our own First Church Family members whose handmade Chrismons adorn this enormous tree. Rev. Chuck Graff and our committee members invite you to stop by and admire our Chrismon tree and all of its precious symbols as we begin our celebration of the Advent season made possible by the love and commitment of those who created and maintain this beautiful FUMCFW tradition.

IMG_3939 for enewsEllie’s Thanksgiving Message

Ellie Robertson, daughter of FUMCFW members Amber and Troy Robertson, decided to give thanks for her blessings by sharing them with the children at First Street Methodist Mission:

“My daddy was helping unload the Thanksgiving basket truck, and I wanted to do something to help too. I have a house and all the food I want, but I know there are lots of kids who don’t. I decided to give them my extra pencils and write them notes to tell them how much God loves them and I’m praying for them.”

We’re thankful for kids like Ellie who help us see the true meaning of Thanksgiving. Follow Ellie’s example and show your thanks this year by helping others who are less fortunate.

IMG_6319Fun, Fellowship, and More on FUMCFW Senior Adult Ministry Retreat to Branson, MO

“A special kind of bonding takes place when people realize they are part of a church family that really loves and supports one another. On this retreat, people who didn’t really know each other before — and might have never crossed paths otherwise — were able to make special connections for life.”

— Rev. Phyllis McDougal, Associate Pastor of Congregational Care

A combination of FUMCFW members from five different Sunday School classes recently went on a retreat together, and it was a trip they say they’ll always remember.

Many of our church members who didn’t really know each other before have now become new friends and created special bonds on this delightful cross-country trek. Some people were able to reconnect with others and find new independence. One woman who said she wasn’t sure about her beliefs anymore was able to reaffirm her faith in God. From Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas, to a live performance of “Jonah” in Branson, Missouri, the group covered a lot of ground on their road trip together — in distance and in their hearts. Click here to read the full story.

Beverly-firefighters-1Icing on the Cake for Station 16

Our local firefighters and policemen help others all year long. As a thank-you for their service this Christmastime and every year, FUMCFW’s special Advent program, “Blessing Our First Responders,” provides holiday treats that church members bake and then deliver to local fire and police departments.

Beverly Stevens is just one First Church Family member who has gone the extra mile to bless our local first responders with this gift of thanks. It began a couple years ago when Beverly volunteered to help with the annual blessing of our first responders. She filled her box with cookies and delivered it to the firefighters at Station 16. She thought it was such a good idea that the next week she took them a cake. The following week she brought two pies, followed almost every week thereafter by cookies, brownies, and even some refreshing homemade ice cream in the summertime. Two years later, she’s still baking all kinds of sweets for the same firefighters who have become her good friends. Now that’s icing on the cake! Click here to read the full story.

Service of Remembrance_HSService of Remembrance

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.

Member News Web Header


12.4.15 Baptisms2


Charlotte Elizabeth Potts was born on November 16, 2015.
Proud family includes: parents, Tiffany & James Potts,& big brother, Henry.

John David Howard was born on November 27, 2015.
Proud family includes: parents, Allison & Rob Howard,
& grandparents, Debbie & David Grant, Liz & John Howard.

Known Hospitalized

Francis Batchelor
Charlene Berry
Yale Lary

In Memoriam

Charles Livingston


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 (cpetty@myfumc.org) and we will include your story!

Ministry News Web Header


Sub_new_150_compassion & justice2Sub_new_150_mwa2

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Walking the Road to Bethlehem_HSBook Study: Walking the Road to Bethlehem by Adam Hamilton

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.

Advent Sermon Series Bible Study_HSAdvent Sermon Series Bible Study

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.

The Wonder of Christmas_HSThe Wonder of Christmas: A Bible-Focused Advent Study

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.

Visit the Adult Ministries page for more information on programs and activities.


Christmas Music Festival__HSChristmas Cheer: A Churchwide Caroling & Christmas Celebration

Sunday, December 13
2:30 pm | Starting in Wesley Hall
2:30 – 4:00 pm | Community caroling
4:00 – 5:30 pm | Christmas celebration | Wesley Hall

Join us for 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 downtown 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. For more information, contact Elizabeth Marshall (emarshall@myfumc.org) at 817/339-5096.

Preschool Concerts

Tuesday, December 15 & Wednesday, December 16
10:00 am | 2-year-olds | Wesley Hall
11:00 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.

Visit the Children’s Ministries page for more information on programs and activities.

Visit the FUMC Day School page for more information on programs and activities.

Sub_compassion & justice

Dec15 Mission Sunday_HSDecember Mission Sundays: Red Food Bags

Sundays during Advent
Pick up bags at the Welcome Center
Return bags to antique trucks parked on 5th Street

Food insecurity is a frightening reality for many families in our community. Help fill First Street Methodist Mission’s food pantry by picking up Mission Red Food Bags, located at the Welcome Center each Sunday during Advent. Please include several of the Mission Red Food Bags in your holiday grocery shopping. Fill them up with nonperishable food items, and then return them to the antique trucks parked on 5th Street on Sundays!

For more information, contact Elizabeth Becker (ebecker@firststreetmission.org) at 817/339-5068.

Small Gifts. Big Difference.

Visit the Compassion & Justice Ministries page for more information on programs and activities.


The Gather at the Marty Leonard Chapel_HS

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.

Christmas Music Festival__HSChristmas Music Festival
with Dr. Bradley Hunter Welch, Organist, & Choral Union

Sunday, December 13
9:15 & 11:00 am | Sanctuary

Hailed as “a world-class virtuoso,” Dr. Bradley Hunter Welch’s mesmerizing performance at FUMCFW’s organ dedication concert last spring was nothing short of spectacular, and we are thrilled to welcome him back to perform this Advent season. Enjoy a morning of beautiful music as we continue to celebrate the Anne S. and Henry B. Paup Sanctuary Pipe Organ and hear Choral Union’s presentation of Gloria by John Rutter and A Christmas Gloria by Gary Fry, along with brass and percussion accompaniment. There will also be a heartwarming arrangement of What Child Is This by Barlow Bradford. A 15-minute concert featuring Dr. Bradley Hunter Welch beginning at 9:15 am and 11:00 am will embrace joyful music of the season.

Visit the Music & Worship Arts page for more information on programs and activities.


Youth Christmas Pajama Party_HSYouth Christmas Pajama Party

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 (bkegans@myfumc.org) at 817/339-3888.

Revolution16_HSRevolution Weekend 2016: Get Dirty
Crafted by God. Made for a purpose.

January 16 – 18, 2016
Glen Lake Camp & Retreat Center | Grades 7 – 12
Youth: $125 11.16 – 12.6 | $150 12.7 – 1.3
Adults: $50
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.

Visit the Youth page for more information on programs and activities.

Gifts & Memorials Web Header


First Street Methodist Mission In Memory Of:

Mayo Vick by Jo Ann Durham

Foundation Memorial Fund In Memory Of:

Doris Klabzuba by Texas Health Resources Foundation
Roy Coleman by Marci & Ned Stocker
Roy Coleman by William Fescenmeyer

Music Ministries In Memory Of:

Jeanie Sandlin by Carol & Jim Catching
Jeanie Sandlin by Flo & Robert Francis

Thanksgiving Baskets In Memory Of:

Betty & Ray Kennedy by Ernestine Kohl
Larry McQuien by Carol McQuien
Laura & Bob Janzen by Ernestine Kohl


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