With a nod to the familiar turn of phrase that also became the title of George Strait’s 2008 hit, this brand-new weekly column will feature stories of the Grace, Faith, and Transformation to be found in the love of God through Jesus Christ in the First United Methodist Church of Fort Worth faith community.
It is with very heavy hearts that we announce that John Howard, FUMCFW Executive Director, mentor, friend, model of compassion and kindness, and cheerleader for all, died Wednesday night due to complications from COVID-19.
Welcome 2021 by joining this tranquil, personalized, tailored yoga oasis via zoom as Linda Blanchard, FUMCFW member and certified yoga instructor offers our entire First Church family free yoga classes January 4-15. Classes available for all ages, stages, and abilities.
The Recent Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act includes some changes regarding charitable contributions you should know about!
Because of the generosity of our congregation throughout this past year, we are very close to finishing our year financially strong, and it is well within reach if everyone participates in our 2020 Step Up! year-end giving campaign.
The state of the church is strong and growing in strength, even during this very difficult year when we have had to learn to do things in a different way. We are looking to the future in trust and faith and great hope — all based on what God is doing in the present.
Volunteer teams are invaluable in times of disaster, absorbing some of the expenses and personnel needed to face the tasks.
The mission of MJM is to provide light and hope to families who have experienced neglect and domestic violence by providing free legal representation and ongoing support to ensure that the children with a caring and protective caregiver.
Do you ever enjoy the appetizers more than the meal? us THIS Monday evening at 7:00 pm, live online at fumcfw.org/live, for the premiere concert of Spectrum Chamber Music Society’s Fall season, another Six-Feet-Apart concert livestreamed from our beautiful First Church sanctuary.
This past month retired FUMCFW pastor Rev. Chuck Graff, along with first church UMCOR trainees Kim Gudimetla and Rusty Thompson traveled to Deridder, Louisiana with our First Church trailer to help with debris cleanup following recent storms and flooding in the Lake Charles area.
We have been carefully planning a safer return to in-person worship for months now, and we are so excited to invite you back to in-person, indoor worship this Sunday, October 18 at the 9:30 Gathering and 11:00 am Sanctuary services. We’ll hold both of these services in the Sanctuary using a limited (under 25%) seating capacity.
As part of this Sunday’s Next90 Congregational Meeting and vote regarding moving forward now into the construction of Phase I of our Next90 Building Expansion Program, Building Finance Committee representative Connie Beck will present the updated financial plan for Phase I construction.
In his July 30 Fort Worth Star-Telegram article about this installment of “Hometown Heroes,” a weekly series sponsored by Lockheed Martin, reporter Brian Lopez writes of hope amid COVID-19 closures, and this First Church member and Haltom City resident who continues to serve the city’s seniors.
The FMC Foundation Board voted unanimously last night to contribute $1.5 million to our Next90 Phase I Building Expansion campaign. Huge thanks to the FMC Foundation Board, Building Committee, and our devoted FUMCFW members for helping us move into the next 90 years as a faithful and growing church community.
When our FUMCFW Youth Ministries team joined imaginations with our Communications team and CYC director, Erin Ypya, another First Church “first” was created — a fun and memorable virtual youth banquet to honor our 2020 graduating seniors. Here’s how they brought this newest First Church first into being.
When you hear bells (including ours!) pealing throughout Fort Worth next Wednesday, August 5, at 6:15 pm and Saturday at 9:02 pm, it will commemorate and celebrate 75 years of peace between the US and Japan — and our collective desire to create peace now, in our lives today.
If you’ve been feeling a little bit growly, grouchy or whiny (or possibly all three) in these, the hottest days of our Texas summer, Peggy Graff and Friends are back with “Dog Day Duets,” specially curated music selections posted each Wednesday afternoon to offer a brief respite for your soul.
Our partners at the MJM have not stopped working during the pandemic and working harder than ever before with more and more families seeking refuge from the increase of abuse. Sometimes the work they do is in the courtroom; often, the work they do is as simple as creating space for smiles.
In its final meeting of the summer, Rev. Linda McDermott’s Summer Book Club will examine Almost Everything: Notes on Hope, by acclaimed author Anne Lamott, that speaks directly to the heart of this unprecedented time we’re living in. All are invited to join us August 13 at 11:45 am on Zoom for this hope-filled discussion!
The next step for our Next90 Building expansion project is a churchwide vote to begin Phase I construction. With this past week’s unanimous vote by our Building Committee, this (virtual) Church Conference and vote is now set for September 13 at 1:00 pm.
Our church has a rich history of remaining connected and strong in the face of all kinds of challenges. So where are we now, in this year of uncertainties? We’re still First Church strong, that’s where. Even during these unsettling times, we remain steadfast in our commitment to Love God, Serve People, and Transform Lives.
Celebrating our Knights of North Castle virtual Vacation Bible School and its unique offering of faith and fun for 300 children and their families, Mister Mark, Ms. Janice, Queen Amber of the House of Shive, countless volunteers, our VBS creative team — all who helped make this big idea become a reality — say, “Huzzah!”
With so much uncertainty consuming our lives right now, we are all reaching, searching, looking for something to help us make sense of all of this. Why now? Why is this happening to us all? It can feel like punishment at times, and during difficult times like these, it is normal to cry out to God and wonder, Why? Join us Tuesday evenings on Zoom as we ask questions, turn to scripture, and Wright’s book to search for answers.
Could there be a way to bring up difficult subject matters with our family and friends without fear of shutting them down or it ending in familial strife? Some argue that holiness – tiny miracles – can be found within these difficult conversations; when two humans who disagree greatly can find mutual respect and even love within these tough conversations, God can be found.
Since the onset of the Covid19 outbreak, the Mission has never been closed. Although they did have to shut their physical doors, they have remained true to the mission of the Mission — to keep folks fed and to prevent homelessness. Learn how you can help them and let’s do something that matters — together!
Be sure to join us this Sunday, July 26, in the Sanctuary as orchestra violinist Arthur Busby and his daughter, Evelyn, on harp, will be performing our special music — prelude, postlude, and offertory — during the 11:00 am worship service, live online at fumcfw.org/live.
Of all the remarkable stories told in the Bible, Noah is arguably one of the most intriguing. Join us Tuesday night at 8:00 pm as Rev. Lance Marshall and Dr. Zhenya Gurina-Rodrigez return to their aftershow format to discuss Darron Aronofsky’s critically acclaimed 2014 film, “Noah.”
Join Peggy and friends throughout the month of July, every weekday evening at 6:00 pm for this brief, peaceful, evening “lullaby” at the end of your day and enjoy the opportunity to slow down, reflect, and connect – to the music, to one another, and to God.
Join Len and others in this journey of prayerful, holy, mystery, every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 9:30 am, come when you can, and as you are, as we intentionally open grace-space to listen with “ears of the heart,” to discover God’s Indwelling Spirit and the deep Wisdom of our Holy Counsellor.
Robert Stovall and Peggy Graff have curated a selection of fun and inspiring musical pieces that are sure to fill your hearts and souls with the whimsy of the American spirit! Join us on July 4th at noon and 6:00 pm, for our first ever FUMCFW Virtual Patriotic Concert. With something for everyone, this concert is sure to inspire both the young, and the young at heart.
Summer fun at First Church is just beginning! The final day to register for Vacation Bible School is this Friday. We already have over 250 kids registered, so, if you haven’t had time to sign up, now is your chance to discover the wonder and awe that is VBS at First Church.
Introducing a new summer venture from our FUMCFW Children’s Ministry – Sacred Spaces at home. Last week, our Children’s team safely distributed well over 100 sacred spaces boxes to our First Church kiddos. Each simple brown box contains a few special treasures designed to help your children curate their own, unique, sacred spaces.
First Church family, we need your help! We are calling on you to help feed our community. We still need 65 people to agree to purchase all of the grocery items provided for the kids participating in this year’s Project Transformation, one of FUMCFW’s annual partners. Read this story to find the list and to learn how you can help.
Our incredible partners at the Methodist Justice Ministry have been awarded a grant from The Junior League of Fort Worth to support the MJM Safe Home Program, specifically designed to provide women and their children who have been impacted by family violence and abuse a safe and healthy home environment. Read on to learn more how MJM supports its clients as they learn to live a new life free from violence and fear as they begin to rebuild the life they deserve.
Our Music and Worship Arts ministry continues to reach our congregation through more and different avenues than we’ve been used to in the past, including this premiere performance of the virtual choir performance of Come Thou Fount. Here’s more about what our Music and Worship Arts ministry is doing to fill that choir-sized hole in our hearts.
Last week’s Summer Jam, FUMCFW innovative virtual children’s day camp, brought together 65 kids for a unique combination of live-online events, activity videos, a special opportunity for kids to learn how to process their feelings into song — and a daily surprise video. Celebrate with us how First Church kids are deepening their connection with God — and with one another.
On Thursday, June 18 at 7:00 pm, the Spectrum Chamber Music Society will present its finale concert of the season – social distance style. Join us in watching this once-in-a-lifetime, livestream event!
For many First Church goers a new hobby has been beginning – or improving – our home yoga practice. With two class options, Hatha Flow and an Adaptive/Chair class for those with some mobility issues, our First Yoga may be just what your quarantine schedule is missing!
The church isn’t a building in one location — it’s the people, wherever they are. And now, with careful consideration and extreme caution to protect the health and wellness of our congregation and community, we’ve developed a framework for resuming in-person gatherings and worship on our campus.
In her first Summer Book Club meeting of the season on June 11, Rev. Linda McDermott looks forward to asking some hard questions and delving into thought-provoking conversation surrounding this incredible feat of story telling. Join the discussion in one week at 11:45 am!
On Saturday, June 6, Nikki LaBonte, horn, hosted a special episode of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra Living Room Concert Series, live streamed from our beautiful Sanctuary for an intimate evening of both classical and contemporary favorites from Bach to The Beatles. Here’s how to view this fabulous concert — for the first time — or again!
In a May 9 op-ed published in the Fort Worth Business Press, Dr. Tim Bruster, Senior Pastor, as part of a group of 17 local religious leaders representing a variety of faith traditions and centuries of theological reflection on faith-based freedom and responsibility, discuss their collective decision to remain “closed” for corporate worship.
In times like these, it is crucial to maintain some kind of “north star” for your life – a lighthouse, a beacon that helps hold you steady when the seas of uncertainty get rough. Our Healthy Plate Discipleship, Digital Edition, is now available to you online, whenever and wherever you need help staying on your course, steady in your faith, and growing as a disciple of Jesus.
This week our Notes From the Bunkers series features long-time FUMCFW member, Woman’s Club golden child, and Trinity Terrace resident, Gaye Fuller, who advises us not to get too wrapped up in the boredom and scariness of this time — that will fade with time; what you have when it’s all over are the memories you make.
Peggy Graff says that the idea for doing her “Hymn a Day May” daily music offering came to her shortly after she invited our beloved 11:11 band cellist Dace Sultanov to play for a Sanctuary worship service where the two of them played several pieces—prior to the service, then prelude, offertory, and special music.
The FUMCFW Staff Parish Relations Committee is delighted to announce the return of Mark Burrows to the helm of our bustling FUMCFW Children’s Ministry, effective immediately. “When all this started happening, my first thought wasn’t ‘How can I edit more music?’ but ‘How can I help children?’ I have to honor that instinct. It was put there for a reason.” Welcome back, friend!
On Thursday, May 7, we launched a new weekly video series called Tim Talks with “Hymns of Our Faith” to share some surprising stories around some of our favorite hymns and hymnists. Join us each week as Senior Pastor Dr. Tim Bruster offers his thoughts and reflections on a variety of topics — some theological, some not!
The FUMCFW Staff Parish Relations Committee (SPRC) is delighted to announce the return of Mark Burrows to the helm of our bustling FUMCFW Children’s Ministry, effective immediately. Please join us as we welcome Mark home — and we collectively watch and wait for the creativity and heart of Mark Burrows to provide new and innovative care and support to our children…of all ages.
Join us THIS Sunday at 11:00 am in our online Sanctuary worship to help wish our First Church Senior Class of 2020 all the best on their next grand adventure! Congratulations, Class of 2020, and thank you for all the inspiring moments and sweet memories you have provided for your church family.
North Texas Giving Tuesday is May 5 — offering a new opportunity to support our FUMCFW non-profits including Methodist Justice Ministry, First Street Methodist Mission, and Dementia Friendly Fort Worth during this difficult time. Here’s how to be part of this.
When the quarantine hit, many of the Loyalty class members were hesitant to start their zoom Sunday school meetings, but they were more committed than ever to staying in touch during this trying time. This is their story of grief, practice, acceptance, and zooming with confidence.
We are all in this together, yet our experiences are as varied as snowflakes, this week we examine the life of an FUMCFW mom quarantining at home with her husband and five children. How will this moment alter our lives and how will we let it transform us?
We want to celebrate with you the vibrant ministries of our church, particularly during this time of Stay Home – Work Safe physical distancing. Recent comments by the Governor and City of Ft. Worth have led a few of you to question our church’s plans for worship in the immediate future.
One of the things it is easy to take for granted in our normally fast paced, do-more, be-more, more-is-more world is how the little things underscore the story of our lives. The music beneath our story, as it were. Do you even really hear it? Do you really even notice the wispy images that float in the background of your perceptions — and add depth and hue without your ever really realizing it?
Take a moment now to enjoy how the multifaceted magic of Hans Grim brings Bill’s 2006 inspiration back to the forefront with special and powerful impact for this difficult time — and feel the hope that lies just beneath despair and the joy we can find even amidst our sadness and fear.
While we won’t be bringing a traveling petting zoo, we will be bringing the fun this Easter Saturday!
Palm Sunday may have looked a little different this year than in years past, but that didn’t stop our First Church children from waving their palm branches and shouting “Hosanna!” Our FUMCFW Communications team combined with the power of Children’s Ministry came to the rescue to help keep traditions alive!
To help connect willing volunteers with real needs in our First Church Family during this time of social distancing, we’ve installed a new button at the top of our Home Page where each Week we’ll update the opportunities available for those who would be willing to make check-in calls, write notes of encouragement, shop, run errands, and more!
In keeping with current restrictions keeping us safe from a new darkness called COVID-19, FUMCFW keeps the faith by providing its annual Good Friday Service of Darkness — online. Here’s a look behind the scenes of this historic re-imagining and the Herculean teamwork it took to make it happen.
A new and exciting offering has emerged here at FUMCFW — and we’re calling it Family Sunday School! Although this time of social distancing is not without its struggles, it has granted us a unique, albeit sometimes trying, gift of uninterrupted family time. Read on to find out more about Family Sunday School!
Join us live at noon on April 9 to witness this unique theatrical experience of the Living Last Supper. Trying to find a way to bring this story to our First Church family online was not without its struggles, but we’ve come together, and found a way – another First Church first!
Easter Sunday Online at FUMCFW promises a unique and unforgettable experience of the glory of Easter. From music, to message, and everything in between, this year will be no different from any other Easter Sunday celebration here at FUMCFW, with the possible exception of our Easter worship attire.
As over the course of just two weeks this quiet little ministry became everyone’s connection to church, attendance numbers have soared with online sign-ins, online gifts and unscheduled giving climbs to new heights — and visitors to our FUMCFW Media Archives have reached an all-time high.
Just a week or so ago life was like it used to be. And now it’s not. We are not physically together, but we are here for each other. All of us, collectively transforming into what we could have been, who we could have been, all along.
While no one is certain when this time of “social distancing” and online worship will end — and if we will indeed be celebrating Holy Week and Easter services online — one thing is clear: we’ll still need Easter lilies to adorn our service. But wait. There’s more!
So how can we create a meaningful Sunday morning worship service in our home, in our jammies, and possibly surrounded by our furry, four-legged worshippers? Here are some tips we’ve come up with to help make your “house of worship” feel just a little more sacred.
Right around the corner from our church, a small building hosts thousands of our friends who are struggling to make ends meet or experiencing homelessness. The First Street Methodist Mission provides dignified and loving support to our neighbors from all walks of life. Read on to learn what Linda Murphy, Bernie Scheffler, and our Mission volunteers are up to, week in and week out at our First Street Methodist Mission.
With the help of our First Church family, on March 1st, the first Sunday in Lent, we packaged over 20,000 meals for families who suffer from hunger and starvation.
John Harrington, father of Rev. Brooks Harrington turns 101, save the date for three upcoming Habitat events coming up in April and May, and a huge shout-out to our beloved groundskeeper, Todd Hearne, who will be saving the church a lot of money by not having to repair a rogue sewage line in Phase I…read on for more details!
FUMCFW is staying on top of CDC recommendations and updates on the Coronavirus (COVID – 19), how to prevent the spread, stay in touch with us, and stay healthy. Read on for First Church updates on preventative steps to remain healthy.
The Cowtown Marathon is upon us yet again, so don’t forget to plan accordingly as you come to Sunday worship the morning of March 1! This year, we want to highlight one member of our staff who will be running in the full marathon for the first time: our communications team’s graphic designer, Richard McQuillar.
Ever wanted to read the entire Bible but feel like you just don’t know how to start? Join Dr. Z and her group of Bible challengers for the 2020 Bible Challenge and meetups happening next on Sunday, March 8 at 8:00 am in room 350 and Monday, April 6 at 1:30 pm in room 154.
Please join us in worship THIS Sunday in the Sanctuary at 9:30 and 11:00 am for a combined worship experience that celebrates the combined strength of all our worshipping communities AND our collective commitment to our NEXT90 Building Expansion Project!
Open Door is a new class for younger couples, individuals, parents, non-parents, members, not-yet-members, and everyone in between. The kind of class is in the title, we want to welcome you with open doors and open minds. Meet us on Sunday mornings at 9:30 am in room 335 for some coffee, treats, and stirring conversation!
Join us for our annual Family Ash Wednesday Service on Ash Wednesday, February 26 beginning with dinner at 5:30 pm in rooms 333 and 334 followed by a family friendly service in Wesley Hall at 6:15 pm.
Spectrum Chamber Music Society joins us once again in the Leonard Memorial Chapel on Monday, February 17 at 7:00 pm followed by a reception in Wesley Hall at 8:30. We hope you will join us!
Among the many fond farewells to Mister Mark Burrows as he heads off to pursue his long-time passion as music editor for Heritage Music Press, here’s one from the vantage point of a former Youth Choir member who speaks for so many in this large group whose lives were forever changed by this amazing First Church legacy.
Every Monday, whether in person here at the church in room 350, or via Zoom Video Conference, join Rev. Lance Marshall, FUMCFW Co-Pastor, and the rest of the Brown Bag Bible Study group from noon to 1:00 pm. In this study, we want you to become more familiar with the scripture, grow in your spirituality, and meet some fine FUMCFW folks while you’re at it!
Discover FUMCFW Coffee is a great chance to find where you might fit here at First Church. It is hosted the first Sunday of each month from 10:30 am to 11:00 am in the Library, located on the first floor. Stop by on Sunday morning, February 2 and see what all the buzz is all about!
Phase I of our Capital Campaign officially begins January 26 — and if you, like many members of our faith community, want to know more about what’s next for First Church, there will be one more Next90 Vision Casting Event on January 19, 2020 in Wesley Hall at 12:15 pm, just after our 11:00 and 11:11 am services.
Transitions can be tough, and goodbyes are hard, but rest assured that we at FUMCFW are doing everything we can do to make this Children’s ministry transition as stress-free as possible.
The Refuge is just what it sounds like — a safe, fun, yet restful place for teens to come together and be themselves every Sunday evening and get themselves ready for each new school week. But that’s not all it is. Here’s more about this unsung rite of passage into Christian adulthood.
Join us in Wesley Hall on Sundays January 12 and 19 at 12:15 to learn the latest news, information, and updated vision for the Next90 Building Expansion Program.
Here’s an early and exciting progress report on our search for a new Director of Children’s Ministries.
Focus First Steering Committee Member Patricia Healy shares her own reflections on the Focus First process, along with her hopes and dreams as a volunteer dedicated to its success.
What excites you most about the Focus First planning process? I think it’s having a direction for our congregation to strive for.
Meet Jim Whitton. Jim is an attorney by profession. He has practiced law for almost 38 years and has been with the firm of Brackett & Ellis for more than 27 years.
What excites you most about the Focus First planning process? The opportunity we have to really be intentional about deciding our way forward.
What excites you most about the Focus First planning process? I know where I think I want the church to go, but it’s exciting to see where the congregation wants the church to go.
Ron Hicks was on his way to California in 1983 following his exit from the military in Petersburg, Virginia, when he says he “landed in Texas and decided to stay.” Previously stationed for a brief time at Fort Hood, Ron says it was then when he “found out how pretty…