Traditional Worship | 9:30 & 11:00 am | Sanctuary | Dr. Tim Bruster
DiscipleChurch | 8:30 am | Chapel | Charme Robarts
The Gathering | 9:30 am | Wesley Hall | Rev. Lance Marshall
eleven:eleven celebration | 11:11 am | Wesley Hall | Rev. Tom McDermott
More Ways to Worship
Live Stream | Join us live online on Sunday mornings at 9:45 am for Children First (first Sunday of each month), 11:00 am for Traditional, and 9:30 am for The Gathering, and at 11:11 am for eleven:eleven celebration.
WRR Radio | Listen to each previous week’s sermon and music on Sunday mornings at 7:30 am on WRR 101.1 FM.
Chapel Communion | 10:35 am | Chapel | Dr. Len Delony
Connections | 10:30 – 11:00 am & noon – 12:30 pm | Garden & Wesley Hall
“The Gift of Song”
Dr. Tim Bruster
Third in the Advent series: “We Have Gifts to Open”
Can anyone imagine the Advent and Christmas season without music? Just as we see the heavenly hosts are singing in the Gospel of Luke (“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace . . .”), we sing on occasions of great joy — we sing to express some of our deepest emotions.
This Sunday in traditional worship we’ll open “The Gift of Song,” the next in our Advent worship series, “We Have Gifts to Open.” This Sunday is our annual Christmas Music Festival — a service of music and message, featuring virtually all of our choirs and music groups. Each year in this special festival we celebrate the message of the Advent and Christmas season — the glorious message of the promise and hope of the birth of the Christ Child and the fulfillment of that promise. The service is also a celebration of all the ways that music — especially Christmas music — speaks directly to our hearts. It evokes a deep sense of joy because of what God has done — and is doing — for us in Christ.
As we approach this third Sunday of Advent — the traditional Sunday of joy, symbolized by the pink candle in our Advent wreath — we discover a lot of joy imagery in our selected passage of scripture. The dry desert erupts in beautiful blooms, the crocus bursts into bloom, and the wilderness itself rejoices with joy and singing. So amazing is the transforming power of God that “the eyes of the blind will be opened, and the ears of the deaf will be cleared . . . the lame will leap like a deer, and the tongue of the speechless will sing. Waters will spring up in the desert, and streams in the wilderness. The burning sand will become a pool, and the thirsty ground, fountains of water . . . Happiness and joy will overwhelm them; grief and groaning will flee away.” It is especially appropriate, then, that this Sunday we will be reflecting on all the instances of joy we find woven throughout this passage by filling our Sanctuary with music.
Among my earliest memories of singing in the little church in East Texas where I went until I was about nine years old was Christmas Eve. It is the first time I remember singing in a choir in public, and we all had on these robes our mothers had made. Believe me, no boy there wanted to wear a robe, but because we were all dressed in the same short, blousy, white robe-like things, we were all in the same boat. We were all so nervous that we were shaking. We had all been given candy canes wrapped in cellophane to hold as we sang. We were trembling so hard that the sound of crinkling cellophane became part of the “joyful noise” we made as we sang our Christmas carols.
Among some of my best Christmas memories as a youth and young adult are the memories of singing the songs of Christmas in a madrigal Christmas boar’s head feast, in the church youth choir, and in the Centenary College Choir. The Centenary Choir even taped a television Christmas special every year that aired on Christmas Eve. When I think back over Christmas music and the feeling of deep joy it evokes, I realize what a powerful expression — and experience — of joy our Advent music creates.
So it is for all these reasons I especially look forward to opening “The Gift of Song” with you this Sunday in our Sanctuary — and making new music memories to enjoy this year and in the years to come.
Grace and Peace,
Dr. Tim Bruster
The desert and the dry land will be glad; the wilderness will rejoice and blossom like the crocus. They will burst into bloom, and rejoice with joy and singing. They will receive the glory of Lebanon, the splendor of Carmel and Sharon. They will see the Lord’s glory, the splendor of our God. Strengthen the weak hands, and support the unsteady knees. Say to those who are panicking: “Be strong! Don’t fear! Here’s your God, coming with vengeance; with divine retribution God will come to save you.” Then the eyes of the blind will be opened, and the ears of the deaf will be cleared. Then the lame will leap like the deer, and the tongue of the speechless will sing. Waters will spring up in the desert, and streams in the wilderness. The burning sand will become a pool, and the thirsty ground, fountains of water. The jackals’ habitat, a pasture; grass will become reeds and rushes. A highway will be there. It will be called The Holy Way. The unclean won’t travel on it, but it will be for those walking on that way. Even fools won’t get lost on it; no lion will be there, and no predator will go up on it. None of these will be there; only the redeemed will walk on it. The Lord’s ransomed ones will return and enter Zion with singing, with everlasting joy upon their heads. Happiness and joy will overwhelm them; grief and groaning will flee away.
Welcome to Advent 2016: We Have Gifts to Open
The days leading up to Christmas are some of the most beautiful, exciting, and anxiety-producing days of the year. This season of Advent, intended as a time of preparation and anticipation, has become cluttered with so many distractions, “to-do” lists, obligations, and plans that many of us simply miss out on the very sacred opportunities present.
This season of Advent, even as our thoughts start to whirl around gifts, shopping lists, or our own wish lists, we as a faith community will also be exploring the gifts God gives us in the coming of the Christ Child. Examining passages from Isaiah together each week, we’ll be considering deeply what it means to receive and open those gifts.
To help you in this exploration, we’ve also created a Devotional Guide, in both print and digital formats, which offers a weekly theme along with daily devotionals that reflect back on that week’s theme. I hope you will set aside time in the busy days ahead to read each day’s devotional and prayer, re-read the scripture for the week, think about the gifts God offers to us and to our world: gifts of Vision, Peace, Song, and Presence.
Blessings to you and yours as we open these gifts together this Advent season!
How Our Youth Stole Christmas
We had a blast on Sunday night at our annual Youth Christmas Party! The Justin was covered in Grinch-themed decorations, and we had activities like brownie decorating, an ornament-making contest, a sing-a-long, and a white elephant gift exchange. Over 50 youth in tacky sweaters, onesie pajamas, and other Christmas regalia filled the Justin with what can only be described as joyful noise; needless to say, we loved getting to celebrate with so many of our teenagers! Read more.
Goodies and Appreciation For First Responders
Our local firefighters and policemen help others all year long. As a Christmastime thank-you for their service every year, our “Blessing Our First Responders” Advent program provides holiday treats that church members bake and then deliver to local fire and police departments. Read more.
Let’s Finish Strong!
It’s time for us to work together as a church family and faith community to close out 2016 with the strength of our gifts and commitments to support the many vital ministries and programs of our church. Here are five ways to give:
1. Make a check or money order payable to FUMC Fort Worth; deliver to the Business Office, the Main Church Office, or via mail to 800 W. 5th St., Fort Worth, Texas 76102. Read more.
Spreading Christmas Cheer by Singing Loud for All to Hear
FUMCFW created Christmas Cheer in 2014 as a way for the whole First Church family and friends to share our good tidings with others. This past Sunday, our 2016 Christmas Cheer offered up yet another wonderful day of this special Christmas outreach and fun. First, caroling groups traveled to local assisted living facilities to spread God’s love through song and fellowship. Then, everyone met back in Wesley Hall to celebrate the joy of Christmas together. Read more.
GIFTS & MEMORIALS
Feeding the Flock in Memory of:
Bill Mizell by Bishop & Mrs. John Russell
FUMCFW Archives in Memory of:
Bill Mizell by Joan Gaspard
General Memorial Fund in Memory of:
Barbara Moller by Karen Fitzgerald
Rev. Ray & Reah Miley
Thanksgiving Baskets in Memory of:
Barbara Moller by Kay Watkins
Christmas Offering in Honor of:
Becky Christensen by Cecile Montgomery
Carol Hahn by Cecile Montgomery
Carrie Harrington by Cecile Montgomery
Cindy Hardgrove by Cecile Montgomery
Dr. Longsworth by Marlise Harman
FUMCFW Archives in Honor of:
Lucille Pumphrey by Joan Gaspard
Creating That Warm Feeling and a Smile!
This past Sunday afternoon, I was blessed to be a part of the annual Christmas Cheer event. My group of singers went to a fantastic retirement community to sing carols and mingle with the tenants of the home. It’s been a while since I’ve participated in an event such as this. Read more.
The Perfect Way to Dive Into Advent
Advent is in full swing at FUMCFW! The Welcome Center has been a hub of activity as a constant crowd of people flock to pick up their copies of the Advent Devotional, take tags off the Gift of Warmth tree in the Welcome Center (other trees are located in the Children’s Wing and Wesley Hall) to give children coats to keep warm and toasty this winter, and pick up boxes to fill with treats for our First Responders. Read more.
Polar Express and Christmas Eve
Just wanted to touch base one last time before the weekend. Polar Express Party — Wednesday, December 14, from 5:30 – 7:30 pm. We’ll have a meal, a short reading, the movie, hot chocolate, and a special visit near the end. Kids can come in their PJs. Read more.
A Surfer’s Peace
This past Sunday in Advent we lit the candle of peace. I shared with our teenagers a moment in my life when I most remember peace. It was 5:00 am early one June morning in Ocean Grove, New Jersey. I was on staff with the Methodist conference up there helping to facilitate youth programs throughout the community. Read more.
Sunday, eleven:eleven celebration — incantare!
Rev. Tom McDermott
I grew up on opera and bluegrass. It was weird and confusing at times. On a certain week my grandmother, a former soprano with several opera companies, had me sitting at the Convention Center, a 9-year old stuffed in tie and jacket, on a perfectly beautiful Saturday to be outside, instead listening to young Cherubino (in “The Marriage of Figaro”) singing, “I speak of love awake, I speak of love dreaming, to the water, to the shade, to the mountains, to the flowers, to the grass, to the springs . . .” Read more.
The Dove’s Call
Dr. Len Delony
As we move further into Advent as preparation for Christmas, I am reminded again of how much I love this spiritual practice of being mindful and prayerful of the seasons throughout the church calendar. It can help me remember that life is not just a linear, rushing-through-chronological-time as we measure our “efficiency” with ever more precise time pieces. Read more.
Learn more about upcoming events as well as additional church activities by clicking on the links below.
Pick up tags in Narthex, Welcome Center & Children’s Wing
Return coats to table by Main Office
Pick up bags in Welcome Center | Return to table by Main Office
9:30 & 11:00 am worship | Sanctuary
12:15 pm | Room 230
9:00 am | First Street Methodist Mission | 801. W. 1st St.
10:00 am – 1:00 pm | First Street Methodist Mission
Noon – 1:15 pm | Room 350
Bring your own lunch | Refreshments provided
Led by Rev. Linda McDermott | Book available for $13
5:30 – 7:30 pm | Wesley Hall
7:00 pm | Sanctuary
10:00 am | 2-year-olds | Wesley Hall
11:00 am | 3s, 4s, & Pre-K | Wesley Hall
6:00 pm | Drum circle | Garden
Doors open at 7:00 pm | Music begins at 7:30 pm | Wesley Hall
$20 online and at the door | Free for children under 12
Sanctuary | Rev. Linda McDermott
3:30 & 5:00 pm | Sanctuary
Dr. Tim Bruster & Mister Mark Burrows
7:00, 9:00 & 11:00 pm | Sanctuary | Dr. Tim Bruster
4:15 – 4:45 pm | Quartet of carolers
6:15 – 6:45 & 8:15 – 8:45 pm | Cellist Dace Sultanov
10:15 – 10:45 pm | Christmas music
“The Gift of Christ”
One service at 11:00 am | Sanctuary
Tuesdays | 7:00 – 8:00 am | Room 154
Led by Fred Cantu and other leaders
First Wednesday of every month
Noon | Room 230
Mondays & Fridays | 7:00 – 8:00 pm
FUMCFW West Parking Lot
Waiver and registration required
Saturdays | 8:00 – 9:00 am
6:45 am | Cowtown training
The Trailhead at Clearfork
4801 Edwards Ranch Road
Fort Worth, TX 76109 | Waiver required
Sundays | Pack backpacks for 1 hour between 9:00 am – noon
First Street Methodist Mission
Wednesdays | 9:30 – 11:00 am | Room 154
Led by Rev. Phyllis Barren | Book available for $10
Wednesdays | 6:00 – 7:00 pm | Room 350 | Led by Dr. Tim Bruster