According to the news this morning, this will be the busiest 4th of July travel day ever, so be careful out there!
And, as you embark on your summer travel and recreation, I want to say that along with extra patience and prayers, I hope you will also remember that as long as you have a smartphone or tablet, you can bring the peace, reassurance, and love of your FUMCFW faith community right along with you — wherever you go — without packing another thing! I invite and encourage you to click on your smart phone or tablet this Sunday to enjoy a message from Rev. Phyllis Barren, Rev. Lance Marshall, or Rev. DeAndrea Dare. Give your kiddos a healthy break from playing games on their devices and watch Mister Mark in Children First, available via live stream at 9:45 am this Sunday — or anytime on our FUMCFW YouTube channel’s Children First playlist.
As you enjoy your summer travels and vacation time, I hope you will continue to join me in celebrating and praying for FUMCFW throughout the summer. As you know, summer around FUMCFW is about the farthest thing from rest or vacation for our ministries and staff as we take our message of love beyond our walls and local community to other parts of our nation and our world. June was very busy for our youth, starting off with 33 youth participating in the Middle School Mission Blitz and shared God’s love with our homeless and less fortunate. The High School Mission Trip took 27 youth to New Orleans, and the Cornerstone Youth Choir Tour made up of 16 youth traveled to Colorado Springs. In these groups our Youth shared messages of hope and love through hard work and beautiful music. In mid-July, 22 youth will have a life changing experience as they volunteer at Camp Barnabas, an amazing camp for youth who live with severe disabilities. And for our adults the Costa Rica Mission Team, our largest mission team ever that now includes our very first medical team, heads to Costa Rica on July 7 to minister and heal in our 12th Costa Rica Mission Trip to the Puerto Viejo community.
On the home front, our beautiful church is open all week and brimming with activities.
• In June, 100 elementary school age children came together in our church for Summer Jam where they worshiped God through joyful music and song.
• On July 10, our hallways will be filled with 600 Vacation Bible School children, ranging in age from 3 to 11 years.
• Every Wednesday at 6:00 pm in Room 231, there is the Pastor’s Bible Study; Covenant Bible Study meets on Sundays at 11:00 in Room 332, Men’s In-depth Bible Study meets on Tuesday at 7:00 am in Room 154 — and First Talks brings a TED Talk-styled study and format to First Church every Sunday morning at 9:30 am in Room 350.
• First Yoga is catching on with both regular mat and chair classes for all abilities, our Fit First Walking, Running & Cycling group continues to hit the beautiful Trinity Trail together every Saturday morning.
• During August, Choral Union will resume weekly choir practice, but meanwhile, MorningSong offers everyone in our church the opportunity to experience the magic of singing together for our church under the inspiring and engaging direction of our own Robert Stovall — making it fun for even the most timid of voices and good for all ages (bring the whole family!).
Throughout the summer, opportunities to serve for our First Street Methodist Mission escalate as the temperature rises. And even as all these activities hum throughout each week — on our campus and beyond — it is also, of course, “wedding season,” running alongside our routine preparations for Sunday morning worship, classes and programs, baptisms, and funerals — all of which require the full attention our clergy, staff, and volunteers.
With all this in mind, I have one more request. It is because of your generosity that our church’s vital ministries and programs don’t ever take a break. Please remember that the need for your financial support continues — and even escalates — during these busy summer months. This work depends on YOU — and by keeping current on your annual commitment and giving additional gifts whenever you feel moved to do so whether you are at home or on the road, our church and its many programs will continue to Love God, Serve People and Transform Lives.
And, just as we made it easy for you to stay connected to FUCMFW through our website, we have also made it easy for you to continue your giving when you’re away from home. In addition to our online, text-to-give, and mail-in giving options, I invite you to take a moment to download our ShelbyNext app to your smart phone to make showing your support and appreciation for our church and its ministries both quick and easy.
- For Online Giving, visit fumcfw.org/givenow.
- Give through our mobile ShelbyNext App. Learn more here on how to download the app to your smart phone or smart tablet.
- Text your gift to 817-241-2327 (You must either be set up for online giving or have the ShelbyNext App to use this option, but once you do, it’s a snap!)
Thank you for all you do for First Church. If I can be of any assistance please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or give me a call at 817-339-5098. Again, safe travels and God be with you.