This Sunday, 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. Click here for the best route to church this Sunday.
Beat the Clock in Cowtown This Sunday
What Does Writing About Horses Have To Do With Church?
General Conference Luncheon & Dialogue Gathering
Show Your Colors with Lent Devotional
Traditional Worship | 9:30 & 11:00 am | Sanctuary | Dr. Tim Bruster
DiscipleChurch | Community Breakfast | 7:20 am | Wesley Hall
Chapel | 8:30 am | Rev. Casey Orr
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
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
This week we continue our “Saving Grace” Lenten sermon series with “Salvation is a Banquet.” We turn our attention to Jesus’ Parable of the Great Banquet in Luke 14:16-24. In this parable of the Kingdom of God, a man is holding a banquet and the invited guests are too busy to show up. All of them have excuses. So he says to his servants, “Go into the highways and byways and invite everyone to come to the table . . .” Ultimately, everyone is invited to the feast.
In Psalm 63, which is entitled “A Psalm of David, when He was in the Judean Desert,” the psalmist speaks of the soul’s hunger and thirst — and the rich feast that feeds the soul: “God! My God! It’s you — I search for you! My whole being thirsts for you . . .” Then, he proclaims, “I’m fully satisfied — as with a rich dinner.”
To consider salvation as a banquet means, on the one hand, literal food — the sustenance that God provides — meaning that in the Kingdom of God everyone has enough to eat. But also what we celebrate in the sacraments of Communion is food and drink in the metaphorical sense, that salvation is satisfaction of the hunger and thirst we have for God and for meaning and purpose in our lives. Salvation as a banquet also speaks to reconciliation with God and with one another.
It’s no surprise the central sacrament for us, Communion, is at the table. When you sit down at the table with someone you are, in Biblical terms, reconciled to that person. When Psalm 23 says, “You’ve prepared a table before me in the presence of my enemies,” that’s all about reconciliation. A banquet in this sense always offers reconciliation as well as celebration.
In the Communion ritual, we speak of “feasting at His heavenly banquet.” This is another image of heaven and fellowship with God and those who have gone before us.
I look forward to exploring with you this rich idea of salvation as a banquet this coming Sunday, and I invite you to consider who you might want to invite to your table of feasting, celebration — and reconciliation — this Lenten season.
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.
Last week I met with the Budget Committee as part of their annual planning process. Members of the FUMCFW Finance Committee are encouraged to participate in budget planning and usually meet six or more times to cover all the details. Church staff from some departments have individual meetings with the committee to discuss their projected expenses and to share their vision with the committee. My conversation with this committee involved estimating our 2016 church income. We use multiple methods to estimate income: completed pledge cards and “reliable gifts” (members who don’t complete a pledge card but have a giving history or standing credit card authorization). Click here to continue reading.
When I began as Director of Welcoming Ministries, the UMW ladies were so incredibly supportive and hosted many of our Garden gatherings — which ultimately led to the launch of Connections, our opportunity to visit with one another, rain or shine, between services in Wesley Hall. (And in the Garden as well when the weather is nice!) This wonderful group of women embody welcoming in everything they do — and trust me, they make meaningful fun contagious.
But what I think many people don’t know about this extraordinary group is their commitment to the service and support of women, youth, and children in need within our community and church. Click here to continue reading.
Cowtown Marathon is this Sunday.
See below for how to come to church without getting stuck in race traffic:
1. Take I-30 to Forest Park Blvd.
2. Head north on Forest Park Blvd. Click here to continue reading.
Dr. Len Delony
The Banquet (Luke 14:16-24)
Many point out that this parable of the banquet demonstrates God’s extravagant love that reaches out beyond our imaginings. And that is a powerful point to ponder . . .
But right now what really gets my attention in this parable is that everyone who was originally invited to this banquet was just too busy — and had other things to do.
Does this sound familiar to you? Click here to continue reading.
Rev. Tom McDermott
If we know we’ve been loved by anybody, surely it’s Mr. Rogers! But we’ve all experienced some level of “betrayal” — of life’s unfairness — the carpet being yanked out from under us in some way or other.
So, what is this banquet then that Jesus speaks of in our text for this Sunday? What does it look like? Where is this great feast invitation when the chips are down? And, if we are truly invited to such a thing, why in the world would anyone turn it down? And even maybe more importantly, why would we want to make sure everyone else is invited? Click here to continue reading.
Warner “Tex” Rankin
Hattie Brannon was born on February 17, 2016.
Proud parents: Sarah & Barrett Brannon.
Conrad Wagner was born on February 18, 2016.
Proud family includes: parents, Cye & Kyle Wagner, & sister, Davis.
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 email@example.com.
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) at 817/339-5091.
Beat the Clock in Cowtown This Sunday
The Cowtown Marathon will pass through downtown Fort Worth this 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 Sunday morning at First Church. 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 this Sunday:
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.
If you are coming from I-30 West, take the Cherry St. exit to the church. Traffic will be heavier before and after the earlier services. Please be sure and dodge the runner traffic downtown on Main St., Houston St., and Lancaster. When you leave the church, go back to Forest Park Blvd. to get on I-30. You’ll also want to avoid runner and spectator traffic in the area around Will Rogers Memorial Center throughout the weekend.
Visit cowtownmarathon.org 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 (email@example.com) at 817/339-5065. Enjoy some great fellowship and exercise as we support this amazing community event!
“I really believe working with horses in any capacity can bring out the best in us, help us through all kinds of difficulty, and help us grow closer to God.”
— Melinda Smoot, FUMCFW Director of Communications and author of “Riding Through Thick & Thin”
“I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope” (Jeremiah 29:11).
While there’s no doubt that God knows these plans, sometimes it’s tricky for us to discover how to make the most of them. We all have our own plans and passions. Maybe there is a fresh college grad beginning a climb on the corporate ladder. On the other side of the coin is a soon-to-be retired teacher who has shaped the lives of countless students with pop quizzes and gold stars. One looks to the horizon ahead while the other is taking a wistful look back before beginning a new journey. For a writer, the opportunity tends to find you — and wherever you are and whatever you do, God is right there with a plan for your future.
Melinda Smoot, Director of Communications at FUMCFW, spent 20-something years as a freelance writer — “a woman on a mission to write stories that make a difference.” Little did she know that her mission would also take her behind the scenes of the church she’s loved and belonged to all along to discover a new facet of difference-making. Since she joined the staff as Director of Communications in early fall of 2012, by day she helps tell the important stories of our church and all the ways we make a difference in the world — and between her First Church workdays, writing about people and horses takes the front and center of her literary world.
Melinda’s latest book, “Riding Through Thick & Thin,” is about embracing the things you love to do (in this case, riding horses) and changing how you look at yourself — mind, body, and soul. Her previous book, “The Smart Woman’s Guide to Midlife Horses,” explores authenticity and “dusting off your dreams” in the second half of life. Before that, “Grandmaster: The Story of Struggle, Triumph and Taekwondo” tells an inspiring life story of how tenacity, character, and focus can make a difference beyond a single person’s wildest imagination. Click here to read more about Melinda’s books and their interesting connections to her work for our church.
What do you love? How does it bring out the best in you and your relationship with God? Just like its team leader, Melinda, FUMCFW Communications is on a mission to write stories that make a difference. Email (firstname.lastname@example.org) to share yours.
Sunday, March 6
Noon | Room 350
$5 for box lunch
Led by Darcy Deupree
As a follow-up to the churchwide General Conference presentations, including a time for questions, our General Conference Task Force offers two special “Luncheon and Dialogue Gatherings.” If you missed the first gathering on February 21 or would like to learn more, join us for the second gathering on Sunday, March 6, at noon in Room 350. This gathering will be led by Darcy Deupree, member of the delegation, and task force members. There will be a $5 charge for the box lunch at the door. Please join us for this important session to learn more about our General Conference. For more information, contact Rev. Chuck Graff (email@example.com) at 817/339-5065.
This year’s Lenten theme, “Saving Grace,” is all about salvation. There are many facets of understanding and experiencing salvation. It’s not black and white — and neither is our weekly Lent devotional. A weekly devotional guide is delivered to your inbox each Monday morning of Lent, and a downloadable coloring page accompanies each week’s scripture and message. We hope you have enjoyed putting some thought (and color!) into this creative process (and if you haven’t, there’s no time like the present to download these beautiful opportunities for “adult coloring” . . . just click here to read the devotionals and download pages from past weeks). Now we want to go a step further — and share our colors with one another. Bring your weekly coloring pages to the main hallway and add them to our Lent poster (tape provided). Let’s see what we can create as a congregation!
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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
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.
Sunday, March 13
10:30 – 11:00 am | Room 330
Please join us to learn more about the 2016 Costa Rica Mission Trip (July 1 – 11). This will be your final opportunity to receive information and sign up with our group. You will have an amazing experience serving others as we work and worship together, lead the Vacation Bible School sessions with the children, view the spectacular rainforests, and build meaningful new relationships with others. For more information, contact Rev. Chuck Graff (email@example.com) at 817/339-5065.
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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 (email@example.com) at 817/339-5071.
Friday, March 4
6:30 – 11:00 pm | 3 mo. – 12 yrs.
$30 for first child | $40 for 2 | $45 for 3+ | $20 no-show fee
Reservations Due 3.2
It’s an Easter Celebration! We will celebrate Easter with games, snacks, crafts, and a movie. Space is limited so make reservations early to Paula Wagstaff (firstname.lastname@example.org) at 817/546-4414. *Remember if you volunteer for the Children’s Ministry or in the Nursery on Sunday morning, you will earn a Free Parents’ Night Out (must have completed the Ministry Safe program). Contact Paula Wagstaff for more info.
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
Sunday, July 17
11:00 am | 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.
Wednesday, March 2
6:30 – 7:30 pm | Picchi Pacchi Pizza
This month Andrew and Martin will both be in downtown Fort Worth for our March First Wednesday Dinner. Meet at the Justin Building at 6:30 pm and we’ll walk down to Picchi Pacchi Pizza.
Youth Guys & Girls Weekend
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 playing in downtown Fort Worth and a 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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) at 817/339-3888.
Choir Fund in Honor of:
Pat & Arch Van Meter’s 60th Wedding Anniversary by Jean Taylor