Storyteller Elizabeth Ellis . . . The Gift of Nothing

Staff_McDermott, TomThis Sunday, December 18, is our final eleven:eleven celebration for the year, so I hope you can join us! We’ll wrap up (pun intended) our series, “We Have Gifts to Open,” with “The Gift of Presence.” Spoiler alert — it’ll be a surprise!

You’ve probably heard this before:

“What’s on television?”  


“Hey, what are you up to?”

“Oh, nothing.”

“What’d you find shopping today?”

“Nothing at all.”

“What do you wanna talk about?” “What do you want for Christmas?” “What are you hiding behind your back?”


There’s a lot of “nothing” in our lives every day. Sometimes we hardly notice it. At others, it can feel like deep emptiness, a profoundly moving reminder of that something that seems to be missing in our lives — we’re lonely, bored, depressed, disappointed, angry, sad, anxious — as if something we’re convinced should be there is not there. Just “nothing.” But maybe “nothing” is not really emptiness, but opportunity. Maybe “nothing” is an invitation to be present to what is, an opportunity to open to possibility, a doorway into the imagination of faith. Maybe nothing is a kind of invitation to be present to God in all things, and to ourselves and one another in more affirming and playful ways? What is the real gift we get to open at Christmas? If we’re really lucky, we might just find nothing.

Join us this coming week for three great opportunities to celebrate and open the gifts of music and story, humor and inspiration:


A new, TED Talk-style gathering where special guests present powerful talks around which we then have engaging, facilitated conversations with others. Ms. Ellis will lead participants in a playful, and inspiring, look at our personal and family stories. Hosted by Andria Bicknell, Os Flores, and Tom and Elyssa Drillete. Great coffee, tea and kolaches, as well as occasional guest musicians.

and then . . .

11:11 am | Wesley Hall

eleven:eleven celebration

The Gift of Presence

“It’s Nothing — The Best Gift of All”

Rev. Tom McDermott

with Storyteller Elizabeth Ellis

and the eleven:eleven Revolution Band

with the music of Brett Dennen,

Matthew West, Peter Mayer, and Christmas carols

(and a few surprises for our last celebration of the year)

and . . .


Finally, I want to remind you to consider a year-end gift to FUMCFW.

As we finish out 2016, the church continues its ministries to those in great need as well as to our local church programs, our worship services, and other ministries in and beyond our local church. All of this, of course, requires funding. This year, we find ourselves as a church community struggling to meet these year-end needs and budgets. So your contributions and gifts at this time are needed more than ever.

I hope you’ll consider making a year-end gift to the ministries of FUMCFW and/or finishing out your pledge if you haven’t done so. Our eleven:eleven celebration, its ministries, the band, and the ministries of our larger church depend on us all participating in so many ways, including through our financial support. I know by your presence and comments that you truly value the worship style, music, and community that is eleven:eleven. Thank you for all the ways you support and participate in eleven:eleven celebration, as well as the ministry of FUMCFW!

I look forward to seeing you this Sunday and Wednesday as we celebrate “the holy now” with our final events of the year!



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