From Our Heart to Your Soul at Spectrum Concert
Party of 26 on Valentine’s Sunday
A Message from Lance at The Gathering
Beat the Clock in Cowtown
UMW March General Meeting
UMCOR Early Response Training
Roots of Change
Living Through Grief Support Group
Traditional Worship | 9:30 & 11:00 am | Sanctuary | Dr. Tim Bruster
DiscipleChurch | Community Breakfast | 7:20 am | Wesley Hall
Chapel | 8:30 am | Rev. DeAndrea Dare
Discussion Groups | 9:30 am
Chapel Communion | 10:35 am | Chapel | Dr. Len Delony
nine:thirty-nine | eleven:eleven celebration | 9:39 & 11:11 am | Wesley Hall | Rev. Tom McDermott
The Gathering | 9:30 am | Room 350 | Led by 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 & 12:00 – 12:30 pm | Wesley Hall
Sunday between services 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.
Dr. Tim Bruster
Exodus 2:23b-25, 3:7-8a & Galatians: 5:1, 13-14
As we gather for Sanctuary worship on the second Sunday of Lent, I will be continuing our “Saving Grace” Lenten sermon series with “Salvation is Being Set Free.” Throughout this series, I have selected texts from both the Hebrew Scriptures and the New Testament that highlight one of the images of salvation found in scripture.
The primary salvation event in the Old Testament is The Exodus — the story of the covenant people of God being set free from generations of slavery to the pharaohs in Egypt. Our text is from Exodus 2:23b-25, 3:7-8a. You can read the whole account in Chapters 1-15 in Exodus. The New Testament picks up this theme of salvation as being set free in setting out the meaning of the coming, life, teaching, death, and resurrection of Jesus. In Paul’s letter to the Galatians (which is sometimes called the “Christian Declaration of Independence”), he focuses on freedom. He begins in Galatians 5 with, “. . . for freedom Christ has set us free; don’t accept again a yoke of slavery . . .” In verses 13-14 he goes on to say, “You are called to be free, but don’t use your freedom to indulge the flesh, rather serve one another humbly in love . . .” And then, a few verses later, Paul calls the Galatians — and calls us — to live by the Spirit. He says that when we do, our lives will bear certain fruit. He calls this fruitfulness “the fruit of the Spirit”. What he wants to emphasize is that we are set free not only from certain things, but also for certain things. This is an important distinction.
So, what does freedom look like? What holds you captive? What captures your attention, your loyalties, your emotional life, and even a sense of your own free will? Are you held captive by fear? Bad habits? Destructive patterns? Addiction? Low self-esteem? Insecurities? The list can be long. Even negative thoughts can hold us captive. Rev. Linda McDermott, in her Lenten devotional, conveys a quote from the late Marcus Borg that speaks succinctly to this: “We all have a Pharaoh inside our heads.”
Salvation is about being set free from all of that — and more — and our salvation is a process like the wilderness experience of the Hebrew people in Exodus. The book of Acts and Paul even speak of “being saved” (see Acts 2:47, 1 Corinthians 1:18, 1 Corinthians 15:2, 2 Corinthians 2:15, and 2 Corinthians 2:16). I look forward to exploring with you on Sunday what it means to be set free in Christ.
Grace and Peace,
Dr. Tim Bruster,
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.
Faith in Action: Above and Beyond
A lot happens around here every Sunday, but last Sunday was extraordinary. The Gathering led by Rev. Lance Marshall and the new nine:thirty-nine celebration led by Rev. Tom McDermott were launched with super attendance at both. I met some new visitors and a few people who haven’t been with us for a few months, and it was great to see everyone worshipping and connecting with us at FUMCFW. The United Methodist Women hosted our new fellowship opportunity, Connections in the Garden, with special Valentine treats for everyone. At our 11:00 am worship service there was another FUMCFW favorite, our annual Baby Celebration Sunday with a record number of 26 babies, along with their parents and some big siblings to participate in this very sweet service. Click here to continue reading.
Make the Connection!
Last Sunday at FUMCFW was just spectacular — our debut of Connections honestly made me smile! The ladies from the Hannah UMW Circle were on hand to offer hospitality, delicious cookies, and Valentine candy (thank you, UMW!), and the weather was unseasonably nice so we opened the doors for people to enjoy both Wesley Hall and the Garden. The great music from the eleven:eleven band, along with the refreshments, made this first morning of Connections sweet indeed.
While it takes some effort to coordinate using Wesley Hall as a gathering space between services, I feel it’s well worth it. Click here to continue reading.
Wow! Spring Academy was great!
The first Sunday of Spring Academy was great!
Tons of kids, tons of energy — a wonderful start!
(We had 265 people in the Children’s Wing during the first hour alone.)
Remember, the first Sunday of Academy is like the first pancake — it never turns out as good as the next ones do. Click here to continue reading.
Rev. Lance Marshall
By the time I made it home on Sunday afternoon my legs felt like concrete. I stumbled to the kitchen, made a pathetic sandwich using the end-of-the-loaf pieces, and ate it all in one commercial break. Less than a half-hour later I was crashed out and on the leading edge of an epic weekend nap.
Why was I so tired?
I was tired because Sunday felt like life lived to the fullest. It was our first day of The Gathering and it included every emotion. Click here to continue reading.
Saving Grace: Seven Facets of Salvation
Lent is a time of preparing ourselves for the coming of Easter. For the past few years, First United Methodist Church has focused on a particular theme intended to help our congregation center on a particular avenue for reflection and self-examination. This year’s theme is “Saving Grace,” a seven-week exploration of some of the many facets that compose our understanding of the concept of salvation. It is a fundamental component in the Christian faith, yet many have a limited way of understanding and experiencing it.
Each week, we will explore one facet of a way of understanding and experiencing salvation. We will do this in sermons, blog posts, prayer stations, lessons, and a weekly online devotional guide. The facets on which we will focus are: Salvation is 1) this-worldly, 2) being set free, 3) a banquet, 4) returning home, 5) light in the darkness, 6) being saved from sin, and 7) life. The series will conclude on Easter Sunday.
Click here for a complete list of Lenten opportunities
Click here to download a printable version of the Lent Weekly
February 17 | February 24 | March 2 | March 9
A Time of Reflection and Communion
5:00 – 6:00 pm | Come and go | Chapel
Take a little time for yourself in this intimate, hourlong come-and-go opportunity for quiet reflection, meditation, prayer, and Communion surrounded by special music from First Church’s celebrated musical artists Rev. Tom McDermott, guitarist, Hans Grim, pianist, and world-class cellist Dace Sultanov in the quiet beauty of Leonard Memorial Chapel.
5:45 – 6:30 pm | Wesley Hall | $5 per person at the door
Enjoy a simple meal with family, friends — and maybe even a few new friends you haven’t met yet — in the congenial atmosphere of Wesley Hall. No reservations necessary — just come on in and bring your friends!
6:30 – 7:30 pm | Room 350 | Led by Dr. Tim Bruster
Dig a little deeper into the Seven Facets of Salvation explored in our “Saving Grace” Lenten sermon series in this special four-part study led by Senior Pastor Dr. Tim Bruster.
This season of Lent, we invite you to participate in a project we’re calling “Random Acts of Grace,” sponsored by FUMCFW Compassion & Justice Ministries. Here’s how it works: Each day of Lent (February 10 – March 26), we will post a Random Act of Grace on Facebook and Twitter. (Be sure to “like” our page and “follow” us on Twitter so you’ll get these posts daily!) Our challenge to you (and please share with your friends!) is to look around and see if you can find an example of someone doing a Random Act of Grace, anywhere in the world. You may want to do some of these acts yourself, or you may be content to merely notice them in the world around us. Once you have located an example, either take a picture or short video with your phone, find an image that portrays it online, or simply describe it in your own words. All examples count! Post your examples to our Facebook or Twitter, or email them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Online: Click here to register
In the Main Office: Weekdays | 9:00 am – 5:00 pm OR Sundays | Between services
Men’s In-Depth Bible Study
Tuesdays | 7:00 – 8:00 am | Room 154
Led by Fred Cantu and other leaders
“Mere Christianity: History, Meaning, and Relevance” by C.S. Lewis
Men of all ages are welcome to enjoy study, fellowship, prayer, and new spiritual growth on their faith journey with others. Fred Cantu and several others will lead this Bible study that will discuss “Mere Christianity: History, Meaning, and Relevance” by C.S. Lewis through May 3. There is no charge or registration required — all men are welcome whenever their schedules allow them to attend. Coffee is provided!
Women’s Bible Study
February 10 – March 23
Wednesdays | 9:30 – 11:00 am | Room 154
Led by Rev. Phyllis McDougal Barren
Book available for $7 in the Main Office | Registration required
“The Gift of New Creation” by Thomas Ehrich
Listen for God’s invitation to new life offered to us through Christ in this Lenten study. We will explore God’s saving and redeeming love, and prepare you to contemplate God’s restoration and new creation through the death and resurrection of Jesus. “The Gift of New Creation” is written by Thomas Ehrich, known for his winsome theology in “On a Journey,” a newspaper column loved by 3,300 readers daily. The study includes commentary and reflection on readings from the Old Testament, the Gospels, and the Epistles. It offers the opportunity to explore these Bible readings in a seven-session study. It will help participants understand, appreciate, and engage in meaningful and life-changing spiritual practices and offer gratitude for God’s salvation through Jesus Christ.
Tapestry Women’s Class Lent Study
February 14 – March 20
Sundays | 9:30 am | Room 313
Book available for $13 in the Main Office
“24 Hours That Changed the World” by Adam Hamilton
No single event in human history has received more attention than the suffering and crucifixion of Jesus of Nazareth. In this Lenten journey, each chapter is designed to help you experience and understand the significance of Jesus’ suffering and death in a way you have never done before. Whether you are a longtime Christian or simply curious about the story of Christ’s crucifixion, you are invited to join the author and the women of the Tapestry Sunday School class in retracing the last 24 hours of Jesus’ life.
Quest Class Lent Study
February 14 – March 20
Sundays | 11:00 am | Room 333
“John: The Gospel of Light and Life” by Adam Hamilton
The Gospel of John is the most deeply spiritual of the four gospels. It includes some of the loftiest and most loved verses in all the Bible: “And the Word became flesh . . .” (John 1:14), “For God so loved the world . . .” (John 3:16), “You who are without sin cast the first stone . . .” (John 8:7), “I am the resurrection and the life . . .” (John 11:25), and “I am the way, and the truth, and the life . . .” (John 14:6). The writing is filled with rich images and profound truths, but John notes that his aim in writing the gospel is that his readers will not only believe in Jesus Christ, but that they “may have life in his name.” This Lent, join Adam Hamilton and experience a season of spiritual growth and life-changing renewal while reading the entire Gospel of John.
Thursday Theologians Study & Discussion Group
March 3 – April 14
Thursdays | 9:15 – 11:00 am | Room 350
Led by Rev. Linda McDermott | Registration required
“The Once and Future Bible: An Introduction to the Bible for Religious Progressives” by Gregory C. Jenks
Thursday Theologians is a welcoming group interested in open-minded and challenging discussions of theological topics. It is specifically designed for those who are eager to ask the more difficult questions about faith and to be challenged to explore personal beliefs. We will use the book “The Once and Future Bible: An Introduction to the Bible for Religious Progressives” by Gregory C. Jenks. Space is limited, and some prerequisites may apply. For more information, contact Gayle Ammerman (email@example.com) at 817/339-5091.
“Beautiful music is food for the soul . . . and hearing it feels like your soul being fed. Music is very therapeutic — takes your mind off stuff from the day and transports you to another place.”
— Peggy Graff, Organist and Interim Director of Music & Worship Arts
Research shows that music can work in mysterious ways to heal both the mind and the body. Rhythm and tone can excite or relax you, and music-making is a healthy way of expressing yourself. Music therapy exists in lots of settings for healing and wellness purposes. Here at FUMCFW, Music Ministries are an important part of our worship experience. Think of it like this: if First Church is one body, music is a vital organ (pun intended), and the pulse of music in our church is critical to your experience!
As host to Spectrum Concerts for almost 20 years, our church provides a very special venue for a true delicacy among soul food experiences. Twice each year The Spectrum, Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra’s professional chamber music ensemble, partners with our church to provide a free performance open to the Fort Worth community and surrounding areas. The second concert of this season is coming up on Monday, February 22, at 7:00 pm in Leonard Memorial Chapel. This concert will feature Chants Encounter, a vocal quartet, singing music from a variety of genres and style periods. The intimate setting of Leonard Memorial Chapel allows musicians and audience members to experience an up-close-and-personal evening of music. Plus, the reception in Wesley Hall following the concert will give you an opportunity to meet and greet the performers and others in the community.
Take a load off after a hard day’s work and get your fill of music — from the heart of First Church to your soul. Click here to learn more about the upcoming Spectrum Concert.
On Sunday, February 14, people all over the world celebrated love with the typical Valentine’s traditions of flowers, candy, hugs, and kisses. Here at FUMCFW, we celebrated love for all the babies brought into our church world in 2015 with one of our most cherished traditions. This Baby Celebration Sunday, 26 little ones took the stage and stole our hearts during this special Valentine’s blessing with our growing church family. The celebration didn’t end there — the festivities continued even after the ceremony with a reception in honor of the babies and their families. Please join us in giving a big First Church welcome to all of these precious gifts of love.
A Message from Lance at The Gathering
Beat the Clock in Cowtown
The Cowtown Marathon will pass through downtown Fort Worth on Sunday, February 28. While the runners race against time, it’s up to you to beat the clock. Set your alarm a little earlier for your morning at First Church that Sunday. The Cowtown Marathon runners will pass by FUMCFW between 7:45 – 11:00 am, and traffic will be directed by the Fort Worth Police Department during this time. Here’s the best route to church that morning:
1. Take I-30 to Forest Park Blvd.
2. Head north on Forest Park Blvd.
3. Take a right on 5th St.
4. Head east to arrive at FUMCFW.
When you leave, traffic will be heavier after the earlier services. Go back to Forest Park Blvd. and get on I-30 to dodge the runner traffic on Lancaster. You’ll also want to avoid runner and spectator traffic in the area around Will Rogers Memorial Center during the race weekend.
Click here for more information.
Cowtown Adults 5K Race
Saturday, February 27
8:00 am | Meet at National Cowgirl Museum
8:30 am | Race begins
Join FUMCFW for the 2016 Cowtown Adults 5K! Walk or jog the 5K race with us at the Fort Worth Cowtown on Saturday, February 27. We will register individually online at cowtownmarathon.org. The race begins at 8:30 am, and we will meet together as a group in front of the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame at 8:00 am. For more information, contact Rev. Chuck Graff (firstname.lastname@example.org) at 817/339-5065. Enjoy some great fellowship and exercise as we support this amazing community event!
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United Methodist Women
March General Meeting & Luncheon
Tuesday, March 1
11:30 am | Wesley Hall | $15
RSVP by noon on Friday, 2.26
“Honoring Methodist Women of Excellence Both Past and Present”
Presented by Rev. Kay Johnson
Contact Paula Wagstaff (email@example.com) by 2.26 for child care reservations. We look forward to seeing you there!
Click here to RSVP now!
or call the UMW RSVP line at 469/844-8690
Saturday, March 5
9:00 am – 5:00 pm | FUMC Hurst
521 W. Pipeline Road, Hurst, TX 76053
Led by Richard Clester and George Murphy
$30 (includes lunch) | Register by 2.28
Would you like to “go out to be God’s people in the world” by serving and helping others within our local communities, conference, and beyond? Attend this special UMCOR Early Response Training event to receive training on being a Disaster Response Team member. Contact Rev. Chuck Graff (firstname.lastname@example.org) at 817/339-5065 to register by Sunday, February 28.
March 13 – May 22 (No class Easter Sunday)
Sundays | 12:30 – 2:30 pm
Foundation Building, Room 274 | Potluck Lunch
Led by Mike Phillips | Registration required
Gandhi once said, “We must be the change we want to see in the world.” In a culture growing less civil and more violent, change often feels impossible. But there are some things we can learn about ourselves, our faith, and our relationships that can radically empower us to deal with the issues facing our world. Roots of Change is a two-hour weekly gathering lasting 10 weeks, designed to expose how patterns in our emotions impact how we work, think, pray, and love. It is a life-changing journey into deep community that offers the opportunity to strengthen relationships and discover new insights into our lives. There is no charge, but donations are accepted to continue this ministry. Child care is available upon request.
The class will be facilitated by Mike Phillips. Mike is a member of FUMCFW who has participated in multiple Roots of Change groups. He is in the process of changing his career to the field of Restorative Practices, largely as a result of his Roots experience.
For more information or to register, contact Marianne Wilson (email@example.com) at 817/339-5071.
Living Through Grief Support Group
February 14 – March 6
Sundays | 9:30 – 10:45 am | Foundation Building, 2nd floor | Led by Charme Robarts
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. The opportunity is given for sharing personal concerns. Participation is free and you do not need to be a church member to participate. The optional guidebook is $5. For more information or to register, contact Marianne Wilson (firstname.lastname@example.org) at 817/339-5071.
July 11 – 15
9:00 am – noon | Meet in Wesley Hall
Children ages 3 years through 6th grade
$15 per child before 6.7, $30 after
Registration closes 7.5 at midnight
VBS Celebration Sunday
July 17, 2016
11:00 am | FUMCFW | Sanctuary
During the month of February, please bring socks and underwear to:
First Street Methodist Mission | Monday – Thursday | 8:00 am – 4:00 pm
OR in the donation bins at the West, East, & Garden entrances | Sunday mornings
For more information, contact Linda Murphy (email@example.com) at 817/339-2404.
Monday, February 22
7:00 pm | Leonard Memorial Chapel
Followed by reception in Wesley Hall
The second of two Spectrum season concerts is coming soon to FUMCFW! The Spectrum, Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra’s professional chamber music ensemble, partners with our church to provide a free performance venue that is open to the Fort Worth community and surrounding areas. The intimate setting of Leonard Memorial Chapel allows musicians and audience members to experience an up-close-and-personal evening of music. The upcoming concert on Monday, February 22, will feature Chants Encounter, a vocal quartet, singing music from a variety of genres and style periods. Violist Daniel Sigale will join forces with Keith Critcher, pianist, as they perform Zoltan Kodaly’s “Adagio for Viola and Piano.” Also, an FWSO string quartet will perform Dmitri Shostakovich’s “String Quartet No. 2 in A major, Op. 68.” A reception in Wesley Hall following the concert will give you an opportunity to meet and greet the performers and others in the community. Save the date for this one-of-a-kind concert and reception. For more information, contact Peggy Graff (firstname.lastname@example.org) at 817/339-2405.
Friday, April 1 – Sunday, April 3
Justin Building & Purtis Creek State Park
Friday | 6:00 pm | Guys meet at Justin Building
Saturday | 10:00 am | Girls meet at Justin Building
$30 | Register by 3.13
Come and join us for our Guys & Girls Weekend. The guys will be camping at Purtis Creek State Park, and the girls will be having a girls’ day and sleepover in the Justin. It will be a fantastic weekend for rest, devotion/prayer, and lots of fun with friends! Both groups will be back and ready in time for Sunday School on Sunday, April 3, and can be picked up afterward. Don’t miss out!
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.
First Street Methodist Mission in Memory of:
Alice Murff by FUMCFW Loyalty Class
FUMC Library in Memory of:
Mike Billington by FUMCFW Loyalty Class