(Click on the name of a section to skip directly to it)
Honors From Annual Conference
A Stole and a Smile for Rev. Casey Orr
Bittersweet Farewell to Roger Partridge
Snow Cones and Classic Autos
Beware of Phony Phone Calls
Outdoor Retreat Ministries 5th Street Celebration
Beginning Camping Basics
Monday Musers Summer Study Group
Pastor’s Bible Study
Wednesday Morning Summer Study Group
Rising 7th-Grader Summer Mission Blitz
Vacation Bible School Volunteer
2016 Summer Mission Trip
Traditional Worship | 9:30 & 11:00 am | Sanctuary | Dr. Tim Bruster
DiscipleChurch | 7:20 am | Community Breakfast | Wesley Hall
8:30 am | Chapel | Rev. Chuck Graff
9:30 am | Discussion Groups
Chapel Communion | 10:35 am | Chapel | Dr. Len Delony
nine:thirty-nine | eleven:eleven celebration | 9:39 & 11:11 am | Wesley Hall | Charme Robarts
Dr. Tim Bruster
Third in the series: “Parables of the Realm of God”
Once someone in an inheritance dispute with his brother wanted Jesus to make his brother divide the inheritance. Jesus responded, “Man, who made me a judge or divider over you?” Then he said, “Take heed and beware of all covetousness; for a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” It was after that when he told the parable that is the focus of my sermon this Sunday:
“The land of a rich man brought forth plentifully; and he thought to himself, ‘What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?’ And he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns, and build larger ones; and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; take your ease, eat, drink, be merry.’ But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you; and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.”
This Sunday is Father’s Day. I celebrate fathers and those who are like fathers to many. I celebrate grandfathers and great-grandfathers. But as a father my temptation on Father’s Day is to preach to myself about fatherhood. Not strictly in celebration — although there is most certainly plenty of that — but also in challenge. This parable challenges me to pay attention to my own tendency to live in the future to such an extent that I miss out on important moments with those most important to me. It was my father’s tendency and I have worked hard to avoid that. He died at age 58 when I was 16, never quite getting around to living in the only place to live — the present.
When Susan and I got married, my mother said, “Don’t save all your money for some future time. Don’t live for some future time. Live your life as you go along.” I imagine she said that to us because of her experience with my father. He provided for us and planned and planned for the future, but missed a lot of living because he was too busy to live in the present. To use the words of Jesus’ parable, he built “bigger and better barns” so he could “live at ease” — and then he was gone. The fact is, the present is the only place we can live. Without question the past is important and certainly planning for the future is important — but the only place we can live is in the present.
Considering all this made me think of the 1938 Thornton Wilder play, “Our Town.” In an especially poignant moment of this play, a character named Emily, who has died during childbirth, comes back to relive her 12th birthday. The memory proves too painful for her as she notices that no one stops and really looks at one another. She asks the unforgettable question: “Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it? — every, every minute?” So, going back to our parable, what does it mean to be “rich toward God?” I think it’s about living in the present and paying most attention to what’s in front of you. It’s so easy to get caught up in always looking toward the next thing to do — to get locked into that future focus — and to follow the notion that when we get to that next place or do that next thing or achieve that next milestone, then we’ll start really living. But when we really examine this parable, we see that Jesus is telling us otherwise. Live in the now — it’s really the only place to live.
I look forward to seeing you on Sunday.
Grace and Peace,
Dr. Tim Bruster
The Gathering | 9:30 am | Room 350 | Rev. Lance Marshall
This new and different First Church Sunday morning offering led by Rev. Lance Marshall offers a casual and relevant opportunity for prayer, study, topical exploration, and high-spirited connection free from typical worship or Sunday School structures.
nine:thirty-nine celebration | 9:39 am | Wesley Hall | Rev. Tom McDermott
This engaging experience of laughter, storytelling, and message, infused with the music of Elizabeth Wills, Brad Thompson, and the Revolution Band, offers a nontraditional, unorthodox, and transformative 50-minute worship experience. If you’re ready to “reconnect your spirit without disconnecting your mind,” join us Sunday mornings at 9:39 or 11:11 am in Wesley Hall. Discover new insights into radical community, the universal love of God, and living for the healing and transformation of our world. Come casual, bring your family, and join the celebration!
Connections | 10:30 – 11:00 am & noon – 12:30 pm | Garden & Wesley Hall
Each Sunday, Wesley Hall will be set up and ready to offer members, visitors, and guests from all our different Sunday morning worship and study opportunities a chance to visit, grab a cup of coffee, and enjoy a Sunday morning treat.
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.
Last Tuesday I filled my car with passengers with a huge desire to go to Waco, Texas. While it seems like that statement would only apply to a Baylor football game or maybe a shopping trip to Magnolia Market, I’m not interested in either. What did attract this carload of enthusiasts to Waco was the service of ordination for our very own Rev. Casey Orr. The annual conference for our Central Texas Conference was held in Waco this year, so it made for a prime road trip opportunity. During this meaningful service, Casey was ordained as a deacon in full connection. Dr. Tim Bruster and Casey’s mentor, Rev. Donna McKee, stepped forward with her as she received the blessing from Bishop Lowry. Click here to continue reading.
When I was growing up, one of my favorite summer sounds was the snow cone truck. This Sunday, I invite everyone to join me on 5th Street for Kona Ice snow cones (it’s still my favorite summer treat!) and classic cars as we honor fathers and father figures.
Beat the heat between services this week as we enjoy Connections on 5th Street!
See you Sunday, Click here to continue reading.
I’ve posted this article the last couple of years, hoping it will be helpful if you are having a hard time with Father’s Day. Feel free to email me if you want to share your feelings.
Maybe as you’ve watched the TV commercials or passed by the card aisle at Target, you’ve felt a pain in your gut about Father’s Day. All the sentimental words, and happy pictures of fathers and children hugging and playing may bring you sorrow. Families can be complicated, and the holidays sometimes make for particular difficulty. Click here to continue reading.
The 5 W’s and 1 H of God: WHEN Things Fall Apart
For many people the path of life eventually comes to the cold waters of a faith crisis. That crisis can take shape in many different ways, and it may begin against the backdrop of strong faith, weak faith, or no faith. Faith crisis is not the result of only one kind of religion or worldview; it is not a respecter of persons or religion.
For some the crisis may be like a defiant fist shaking at the universe or a sullen sauntering into the hinterlands of the psyche. For others it feels like an existential loneliness, a moving through life, struggling for meaning while the language of God and God’s will fills your airwaves and remains in the mouths of the people you love — and you know the words, but you no longer understand them. Click here to continue reading.
Dr. Len Delony
We have what we need . . . but we need to get better at knowing what we have . . .
OK — Here’s a pop quiz: What is the last line of the first verse of the song “Amazing Grace”? . . . Don’t peak now! . . .
And the answer, of course . . . “Was blind, but now I see.” Click here to continue reading.
Spencer “Monty” Brown
Elizabeth “Liz” Joplin
Caroline Stovall was born on Monday, June 13, 2016.
Proud family includes: parents, Lisa & Ryan Stovall, brother, Preston, & sister, Kate.
Following the 2016 Central Texas Annual Conference in Waco, Texas, FUMCFW has some exciting news to announce:
Our own Executive Pastor Rev. Page Hines was elected as Vice Chair of the Board of Ordained Ministry, which enlists, equips, and sustains leadership for the current and future ministries of Jesus Christ and the United Methodist Church. “This is a real honor for Page,” says Dr. Tim Bruster, “and it’s a vote of confidence by her fellow clergy on the Board of Ordained Ministry.” Page is the first deacon to be elected to this position, and only one other woman has served as chair. “I think some of our conference’s most important work is conducted by the Board of Ordained Ministry, so to be elected to this position is a huge honor and a humbling responsibility,” Page says. “As a clergyperson, deacon, and woman, having this kind of seat at the table is an incredible opportunity.”
FUMCFW member Carl Stenger was honored for his 35 years of service in the area of church growth and development. Dr. Tim Bruster describes Carl as “an amazing longtime church member who was extremely involved in the life of our church in a number of capacities. Carl was a very popular teacher and member of our congregation, and although they have now moved to Allen, Texas, we all still miss both Carl and his wife, Sharolyn, very much.”
Heartfelt congratulations to both Page and Carl! We are so proud of the many ways in which our staff and members serve our church and our denomination year after year.
“From youth ministry, to discipleship, to ordination, I have loved every layer of ministry.”
— Rev. Casey Orr
Five years ago, Rev. Casey Orr was FUMCFW’s Director of Youth Ministries. Today Casey is our Associate Pastor of Discipleship, and last week she was ordained as Deacon in the United Methodist Church. Just as she says she has loved every bit of it, so has our faith community. Casey has been here for our church as a leader, co-worker, and friend — with a hand to hold, shoulder to cry on, and laugh to share. She is not simply a minister; she is an important part of our First Church family.
While she is still on her final stretch of maternity leave, Casey took some time out from baby duty to share some of her ministry experiences with us. From graduating youth to renovating buildings to baptizing other little ones — plus an exciting new project in the works — she has been through a lot with our church. She’ll tell us about her calling as a pastor, her greatest accomplishments, her plans for the future, and much more.
Click here for some behind-the-scenes Q&A with Casey. She will be back at FUMCFW this coming Sunday, and we will celebrate her ordination and return as a church family. Be sure to look for Casey in the traditional Sanctuary worship services — she’ll be the one up front with a stole and a smile.
Congratulations and welcome back, Casey!
“It is with a very heavy heart that I submit my resignation from FUMCFW. I’ve loved serving with this staff and congregation, and am so grateful for the support I’ve received from all. My last day here will be June 30; I am leaving to work with the Gladney Center for Adoption in raising funds to assist families through the adoption process.”
— Roger Partridge, Director of Stewardship
We are sad to announce that earlier this week Roger Partridge, Director of Stewardship, resigned to pursue an opportunity with the Gladney Center for Adoption. While we are happy for Roger in this opportunity in which we know he will shine — and we know well the gifts he will offer the Gladney staff — it is bittersweet for us as a staff and church family to say goodbye.
Although we will miss Roger tremendously, we have been blessed during our time with him here and wish him well on his journey ahead. “When I think about Roger, I remember first how involved he has been in so many places in our church,” says Dr. Tim Bruster. “Sometimes it has felt like he has mastered omnipresence! Roger has been so engaged in so many places — meeting people, building relationships, and supporting the ministries of our staff members — that to use the ‘the team player’ cliché is something of an understatement. We will deeply miss Roger. I will miss his leadership, the staff will miss his congeniality, and the congregation will miss his smile, energy, and caring commitment to our church. We wish him all the best as his ministry continues, wherever he goes from here.”
Thank you, Roger. Please keep in touch and know that the prayers of our First Church faith community follow you wherever you go.
Click here to watch Roger perform a handbell solo, just one memory of the many ways he has been involved here at First Church.
We have received several reports over the last few weeks about a man pretending to represent FUMCFW, while he is actually using our name for a property rental scam. According to those contacted, he claims he is one of our pastors on temporary assignment with Global Ministries of the United Methodist Church. He then proceeds to offer low rates on real estate properties in an attempt to gain personal information or money. Be on the lookout for this type of scam under the pretense of missionary names, and do not give out your information if contacted.
Sunday, June 19
10:30 – 11:15 am & noon – 12:30 pm | 5th Street
In honor of fathers, fatherhood, and father figures everywhere, everyone is invited to our festive First Church Father’s Day celebration on 5th Street. Enjoy Kona Ice snow cones (for the throwback price of just $1), browse a fascinating array of classic autos, and celebrate this special day together. See you on 5th Street!
Sunday, June 26
9:00 am – 12:30 pm | 5th Street
Camp out with FUMCFW Outdoor Retreat Ministries at our annual 5th Street Celebration! This is your chance to get the details about our upcoming outdoor retreats and hear stories from past campers. You can also check out camping gear and shelters, including special RVs, tents, and our very own cargo trailer. Plus, sample some tasty Dutch oven cooking to get the full experience. Take a break from your fast-paced world to step outside and learn all about this growing ministry! For more information, contact Rev. Chuck Graff (firstname.lastname@example.org) at 817/339-5065.
(Click on the name of a section above to skip directly to it)
Sunday, June 26
11:00 am – noon | Room 340 – 341
Led by Claudia Blalock & Marcos Jorge
Want to take your friends or family camping outdoors in God’s beautiful creation, possibly to a state park or with FUMCFW? In an hour, we will teach you about sleeping bags, pads, and tents to guide you in your purchases or equipment rental. Food preparation and stoves will be briefly discussed. Questions are welcome and tent setup will be demonstrated. No charge nor registration is required. For more information, contact Claudia Blalock (email@example.com).
June 1 – 22
Wednesdays | Noon – 1:15 pm
Foundation Building, 2nd Floor Counseling Room
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. Participants have the opportunity to share their story and to listen to others. Through the giving and receiving of support and attention, grievers often find comfort and renewed hope. To register, email Charme Robarts (firstname.lastname@example.org).
June 13 – August 29 (Not meeting July 4)
Mondays | 1:00 – 2:15 pm | Foundation Building, Room 271
Led by Dr. Mike Marshall
June 15 – August 31
Wednesdays | 6:30 – 7:30 pm | Room 231
Led by Rev. Lance Marshall
This offering is an open Bible study; no purchase or registration is necessary. The current focus of study is the Gospel of Matthew — with occasional detours into other texts and topic of discussion. This study welcomes both those who have never opened the Bible in their lives, as well as to those who study on a regular basis. Join us!
June 15 – August 31
Wednesdays | 9:30 – 11:00 am | Room 154
This class will examine how God’s presence is always around us, and how God moves in and through our world — even through the books we read and the movies we watch! The group is open all summer, so come when you can. Click here for more information, or contact Gayle Ammerman (email@example.com) at 817/339-5091.
July 11 – 15
9:00 am – noon | Meet in Wesley Hall
Children 3 years old through 6th grade
$15 per child before June 7 or $30 after
Registration closes at midnight on July 5
Click here to learn more and register!
At Vacation Bible School 2016: Surf Shack, children will discover an interactive, energizing, Bible-based program that will give them an opportunity to catch the wave of God’s amazing love. During VBS at FUMCFW, children will become surfers and explore how to serve God’s mission for their lives.
VBS Celebration Sunday
Sunday, July 17
11:00 am | Sanctuary
During the month of June, please bring sunscreen, insect repellent, and rain ponchos to:
First Street Methodist Mission | Monday – Thursday | 8:00 am – 4:00 pm
OR the donation bins at the East, West, & Garden entrances | Sunday mornings
For more information, contact Linda Murphy (firstname.lastname@example.org) at 817/339-2404.
Singing Women of First Church
Sunday, June 19
9:30 & 11:00 am worship | Sanctuary
Singing Women of First Church Rehearsals
6.8 | 8:00 – 9:00 pm | Choir Room
6.15 | 8:00 – 9:00 pm | Choir Room
Are you a young adult, senior woman, or somewhere in between who loves to sing but is not available to attend weekly church choir rehearsals? We have the answer for you! On June 19 (Father’s Day) at the 9:30 and 11:00 am Sanctuary worship services, the Singing Women of First Church will fill our Sanctuary with beautiful women’s voices under the direction of Robert Stovall, Director of Music & Worship Arts. There are just two rehearsals scheduled for this event: Wednesday, June 8, from 8:00 – 9:00 pm and Wednesday, June 15, from 8:00 – 9:00 pm (located in the Choir Room on the second floor of the Main Building). Come one, come all! For more information, contact Peggy Graff, Organist and Associate Director of Music & Worship Arts (email@example.com).
June 27 – July 1
Branson, MO | Registration closed
This year Cornerstone Youth Choir is going to Branson, Missouri. Why tour? Touring is so much more than the music we make and the places we sing. Of course, music is a large part of it. It ties all of us together, and it is the launching pad for our tour. However . . .
- Nothing builds community and transforms lives better than traveling together!
- God works in us and through us in such different ways on tour.
- It’s an incredible opportunity to see a new city and how God is working in it.
- It’s also a chance for us to make our mark in the mission field and learn to be selfless.
- We have a blast together . . . and we make lifelong friends!
- There are a million other surprises waiting for us.
For more information about Cornerstone Youth Choir, contact Elaine Johnson (firstname.lastname@example.org) at 817/339-2406.
Sunday, July 3
10:30 am | Connections in the Garden
11:00 am | Sanctuary worship service
DFW Brass, an acclaimed brass quintet, will be with us on July 3 at 10:30 am in the Garden to perform some of the most beloved patriotic and hymn repertoire, including “Armed Forces Salute,” “National Anthem,” “Stars & Stripes,” “Washington Post,” “Shenandoah,” and “Old Rugged Cross” (Dixieland style). The group will also perform “Simple Gifts” and “Quintet” by Kamen at 11:00 am in the Sanctuary. Come hear this brass quintet and get in the spirit of the Fourth of July holiday!
Monday, June 27 – Wednesday, June 29
Monday | 5:00 pm | Meet at Justin Building
Wednesday | 9:00 am | Pickup time
$75 | Click here to register online
Come join us for our first-ever Rising 7th-Grader Summer Mission Blitz. This is your time to own the Justin, serve our community, build friendships, and create INCREDIBLE memories! There will be worship, mission projects, and Hurricane Harbor — not to mention you get to sleep over! Contact Andrew Mochrie (email@example.com) or Brenda Kegans (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information.
Monday, July 11 – Friday, July 15
9:00 am – 12:00 pm | Wesley Hall
Youth entering 7th – 12th grade
VBS Celebration Sunday
Sunday, July 17
11:00 am | Sanctuary
This year’s Vacation Bible School (VBS) theme is Surf Shack — an interactive, energizing, Bible-based program that gives children an opportunity to catch the wave of God’s amazing love! Youth volunteers will help teach and assist children in the classrooms and participate as leaders in music, art, games, and storytelling. Plus, you can earn up to 24 hours of community service.
Click here to register as a Youth Volunteer and learn more about Vacation Bible School. For more information, contact Mark Burrows (email@example.com) or 2016 VBS Chair Kasey Schrimpf (firstname.lastname@example.org).
June 19 – 24
Kansas City, MO | $225 for students | $75 for adults
Grades 7 – 12 (In the 2015 – 2016 School Year)
We’ll be going up to Kansas City this summer from June 19 – 24 for our youth mission trip, which is open to all youth grades 7 – 12. We’ll be spending the week working in the city, worshipping together, and having fun. Youth have to be able to be there the entire week. Questions? Contact Brenda Kegans (email@example.com) at 817/339-3888.
July 23 – 29
Purdy, MO | $250 per person | Space is limited
Grades 9 – 12 (In the 2015 – 2016 School Year)
FUMCFW Youth are headed back to Camp Barnabas this summer for a week of swimming, camping, and playing with amazing campers dealing with mental disabilities. This is an incredible week of life-changing experiences sure to change perspectives, redefine disability, and spread God’s love in an unforgettable way!
“We want to show our volunteers what it looks like to serve others the way Christ calls us to serve, to look past physical appearances and instead, look at the heart.”
— from the Camp Barnabas Mission Statement
Bell Choir in Honor of:
Sandy Ritthaler by Margaret & Michael Patison
Confirmation in Honor of:
Austin Patton & Tonya Sweezer for their marriage by Kay Watkins
Kenya Orphan Endeavor in Honor of:
Emily McDermott for her graduation by Reverends Linda & Tom McDermott
Congregational Care Ministries in Memory of:
Kenneth Gann by Chris Lokey
General Fund in Memory of:
Herschel Winn by Patsy & B.J. Zimmerman
Herschel Winn by Voncille & Tom Ellis
Barbara McWhirter by William Fescenmeyer & Karl Fescenmeyer