(Click on the name of a section to skip directly to it)
Parking Lot Closure on Sunday
A Memory Grows
God’s Green Earth
A Big Year for UMW
FUMCFW Special Programs Survey
May Church Tour
Meridian State Park Outdoor Retreat
Wesleyan Adventurers Night at the Baseball Game
UMW May General Meeting & Luncheon
Spring Golf Tournament
Women’s Wednesday Morning Study Group
Preparing for Marriage
Traditional Worship | 9:30 & 11:00 am | Sanctuary | Dr. Tim Bruster
DiscipleChurch | 7:20 am | Community Breakfast | Wesley Hall
8:30 am | Chapel | Charme Robarts
9:30 am | Discussion Groups
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
Dr. Tim Bruster
Colossians 3:13, Luke 17:3, & Matthew 6:14
Third in the series: “Five Essentials for Living Well”
This Sunday I will continue the series in both Sanctuary services entitled “Five Essentials for Living Well.” In this series we are looking together at five aspects of living well, or in Jesus’ words: “abundant life.” This Sunday we will hear three passages of scripture that speak to the same reality:
Matthew 6:14 — “If you forgive others their sins, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.”
Luke 17:3 — “Watch yourselves! If your brother or sister sins, warn them to stop. If they change their hearts and lives, forgive them.”
Colossians 3:13 — “Be tolerant with each other and, if someone has a complaint against anyone, forgive each other. As the Lord forgave you, so also forgive each other.”
One of the essentials of living well is forgiveness. It is a theme that appears over and over again in Jesus’ teachings and in scripture in general. Martin Luther noted, “The continual forgiveness of the neighbor [is] the primary and foremost duty of Christians, second only to faith and the reception of forgiveness.”
Forgiveness is not easy and it is often misunderstood. In conversations with people throughout the years, and as I look into my own heart and mind in relation to forgiveness, I think many of us are afraid that forgiving an offense is the same as saying that the affront or the harm didn’t matter or was unimportant — but it isn’t. In spite of the old saying, “Forgive and forget,” I’ve come to realize that forgiveness is NOT forgetting. It is NOT accepting or justifying or condoning what happened. It is NOT even reconciling — although that may happen . Forgiveness does NOT require having to understand the offender or the offense. Forgiveness does NOT mean that we no longer feel the pain of the offense. We often do. And, certainly, forgiveness does NOT mean submitting yourself to abuse of any kind — that is NOT forgiveness.
So, what is it? The definition that has come to mean a great deal to me since I first read it in a study by the Fetzer Institute is this: Forgiveness is the difficult and intentional process of letting go of an old reality and opening up the possibility of a new one. The longer I live, the more convinced I am that this difficult and intentional process is essential for living well.
I look forward to seeing you on Sunday as we think together about this important part of living and what it means for each of us.
Grace and Peace,
Dr. Tim Bruster,
The Gathering | 9:30 am | Room 350 | 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 & noon – 12:30 pm | Wesley Hall
Each Sunday, 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.
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.
General Conference Update: To Answer a Rumbling Question
Dr. Tim Bruster
Last Sunday after worship someone said to me, “You’re not going to be elected bishop at General Conference, are you?” In case anyone else is wondering about this, I want to put this idea to rest right now. My answer to this question is a swift and emphatic, “No, I’m not!” In fact, not only am I not a candidate for bishop, the election of bishops doesn’t even take place at General Conference anyway. (It happens in July at Jurisdictional Conference.)
I do see why this question and concern has arisen, though, and I want to take a moment to clarify this somewhat confusing situation a little further. Click here to continue reading.
Last Sunday 49 sixth-graders became members of our church after completing their confirmation program.
We can all be proud of this group and their accomplishments in this 8-month journey to study not only the United Methodist Church but also other religions of the world. They are challenged to grow their faith through this process, which is not always an easy task for a 12-year-old.
The Affirmation of Faith in last Sunday’s bulletin was written by the Confirmation Class, and I was inspired by their words: “We believe the church is a safe haven to worship and be close to God.” Click here to continue reading.
“Some people feel the rain. Others just get wet.”
— Roger Miller
It was pouring down rain when I pulled out of the driveway at 7:10 am last Sunday and, if I’m being completely honest, sloshing up to FUMCFW wasn’t exactly what I wanted to do at that moment. Yet to my surprise, I spent my morning not just getting wet, but actually “feeling the rain!”
Director of Operations Sandy Williams, Director of Facilities Services Windle Watkins, and their fabulous team worked hard all morning to keep things dry. Click here to continue reading.
Mission Day Camp (June 13 – 17) is at about 90% capacity.
But we still have a few slots.
If you have a family member, friend, or neighbor with kids entering 3rd – 6th grade, they are eligible for Day Camp. Click here to continue reading.
FSMM Grocery program shows God’s love through feeding the hungry. Volunteers provide services to families, women, children, the disabled, poor, and people without access to a grocery store. The Tuesday crew unloads two large trucks on Tuesday mornings each week. Fun and friendship are apparent among the volunteers, several of whom have volunteered for more than five years together. These men continue to show up and work so that they can provide basic needs to our community and be the hands and feet of God in our church. Click here to continue reading.
The idea of free speech permeates our national understanding and has long been a rallying cry for defining and defending “our way of life.” The idea is pinned to not only the First Amendment, but also to The Universal Declaration of Human Rights. All governments limit speech for various reasons, and all people debate the right for governments to do that. It is interesting to note that the First Amendment at least at face value limits, not grants — it limits Congress from making laws that prohibit free speech.
But of course not about everything. Click here to continue reading.
Dr. Len Delony
Earlier this week, as I watched the primary election returns for the Republican and Democratic parties, it made me think more than ever before, we need not a political “tea party” from the past, but a movement that emerges from the depths of our souls, and, as Abraham Lincoln put it, “the better angels of our nature.”
And as I think about the possibility of a movement of great depth and integrity, I think of Parker Palmer’s recent book, “Healing the Heart of Democracy.” Click here to continue reading.
Rev. Tom McDermott
I was on the Trinity Trail bike path early in the morning and cycling around a bend in the Trinity River when the rising sun jumped out from behind the distant row of trees on the other side of the river. The brilliance of the light momentarily shocked me, making the path in front of me almost impossible to see. Stopping seemed the smart thing to do.
Of course, I hadn’t noticed the guy sitting on the bench next to the trail just ahead of me. For that matter, I hadn’t noticed the bench. Click here to continue reading.
Robert “Bob” Shellberg
(Click image to enlarge)
Due to repairs, the parking lot that is bordered by Macon St., 7th St., Cherry St., and 5th St. will be closed on Sunday, April 24. Be sure to keep this in mind when you head to church.
When Rev. DeAndrea Dare and her husband Aaron faced the harsh reality that their precious first-born child Max would not survive outside his mother’s womb, Aaron placed Max in DeAndrea’s arms and said, “We will always think about how he should be with us.”
Since that day in March 2013, they have remembered Max with tears and joy, with grief and laughter, and with courage. After receiving tender help and care from a retreat in Wisconsin designed for parents who suffered through the death of a child, DeAndrea began to look for ways to enter the pain of others and share the comfort she and Aaron had received.
She pressed forward with her calling and in October of 2014, DeAndrea received certification from the State of Texas to form the nonprofit organization A Memory Grows, which will serve families who have also experienced the death of a child. The IRS has since granted A Memory Grows the 501(c)(3) designation. In October the organization will begin to bring together parents for retreats and events that offer space and time for healing. The nonprofit will also serve as a resource to hospitals, hospices, churches, clinics, and various individuals and organizations.
An important feature of A Memory Grows will be to offer healing rituals of remembrance that help parents celebrate the life of their child even in the midst of grief. DeAndrea, Aaron, and their 2-year-old daughter Maezey have done a number of things together to honor Max. They are teaching their daughter through these rituals that love never dies and that, in some wonderful way, Max continues to share life with them.
The Central Texas Conference of the United Methodist Church appointed Rev. Dare to this ministry on March 1, 2016. FUMCFW is providing office space for her to lay plans for the organization. A Memory Grows will launch a website, amemorygrows.org, and Facebook page beginning in May where families can find resources and also apply to attend one of the upcoming retreats.
DeAndrea envisions a special retreat center where families can grieve and grow together, and where they can experience the reality of love that carries on.
Community Advocate & DiscipleChurch Coordinator
When it comes to the environment, every little bit counts. Earth Day is this Friday, April 22, so what better time to think about how we can help protect God’s beautiful creation? Here’s one way to go a little bit greener: sign up to receive our FUMCFW Weekly e-newsletter instead of the printed one. You can save trees for the environment and save money for our church — all in just one click of a mouse! E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up for e-news, and give yourself a pat on the back for making our world a little greener this Earth Day.
The United Methodist Women of FUMCFW make a huge difference year after year as they help women, youth, and children in our community and church. As the 2015 – 2016 UMW Year comes to an end, it’s time to take a look back before we move forward. Join UMW for one last general meeting on Tuesday, May 3, at 11:30 am in the Garden and Wesley Hall. UMW President, Dorothy Hudson and Rev. Phyllis Barren will present this year’s Memorial Tribute and Closing Ceremony. Click here to RSVP or leave a message on our RSVP line at 469/844-8690 by noon on Friday, April 29, and save the date for this special day in another big UMW year.
60-Second Faith Stories from Lance Marshall
Click here to take this two-question survey to help us time our programs to best fit the majority of schedules. Or, complete and return the printed survey to the Main Office of the church.
Sunday, May 1
11:00 am | Room 230 | Led by Rev. Lance Marshall | Registration required
Baptism 101 must be attended by first-time parents and/or parents whose older children were not baptized in a United Methodist Church. At the class, a pastor will discuss the history, theology, meaning, and responsibility of baptism. We will also go over logistics and steps to scheduling. Not to mention it’s a great chance to meet other young families. It is offered the first Sunday of every month at 11:00 am in Room 230. While the nursery is available during class time, babies and children are more than welcome to join! There is no cost to join the class; however, we do ask that you register online, or by contacting Gayle Ammerman (email@example.com) at 817/339-5091, so that we can prepare accordingly.
Sunday, May 1
Immediately after 11:00 am worship | Meet at front of Sanctuary
Want to find a Sunday School class, learn about our Library, Television Ministry, Children’s Ministries, and more? Join our tour of the building on Sunday, May 1. Meet Dianne Fisher at the front of the Sanctuary immediately following the 11:00 am worship service.
(Click on the name of a section above to skip directly to it)
April 29 – May 1
6:30 pm Friday – 10:30 am Sunday
Meridian State Park
Our FUMCFW Outdoor Retreat Ministries have had an outstanding response over the past several years as members and guests of all ages (a real intergenerational experience) have enjoyed retreating to various state parks for spiritual renewal, outdoor activities (nature hikes, biking, fishing, exploring park offerings, bird-watching, reading a good book in peaceful surroundings, and other possibilities), Dutch oven meals and cooking, campfires with s’mores, and meaningful outdoor worship together. Our retreats offer cabins, shelters with amenities, basic shelters, RVs, and tent sites. You will experience wonderful fellowship and a retreat that will truly renew your spirit as you take a break from your busy, urban life to experience God’s beautiful creation in a new way. Please join us for this fantastic outdoor retreat at Meridian State Park. For more information, contact Rev. Chuck Graff (firstname.lastname@example.org) at 817/339-5065.
Friday, April 29
6:30 pm | Lupton Stadium | Sold out
May General Meeting & Luncheon
Tuesday, May 3
11:30 am | Garden & Wesley Hall | $15
RSVP by noon on Friday, 4.29
“Memorial Tribute and Closing Ceremony 2015 – 2016 UMW Year”
Presented by Dorothy Hudson, UMW President & Rev. Phyllis Barren
Contact Paula Wagstaff (email@example.com) by 4.29 for childcare reservations. We look forward to seeing you there!
Click here to RSVP now, or call the UMW RSVP line at 469/844-8690.
Monday, May 9
9:00 am shotgun start | Pecan Valley Golf Course
$40 per person, includes green fee, cart, & lunch, payable at tournament
April 13 – May 25
Wednesdays | 9:30 – 11:00 am | Room 154
Led by Rev. Phyllis Barren
“Belief” Documentary Series
The class will watch “Belief,” a seven-part documentary exploring humankind’s ongoing search to connect with something greater than ourselves. “Belief” invites viewers to witness some of the world’s most fascinating religious and spiritual journeys through the eyes of believers. Traveling to the far reaches of the world, and to places cameras have rarely been, these stories will all lead us to ask, “What do you believe?” For more information, please contact Rev. Phyllis Barren (firstname.lastname@example.org).
April 17 – May 1
Sundays | 9:00 – 10:45 am | Foundation Building, 2nd floor
$100 per couple | Registration required
Led by Joy Allen, LCSW, M.Div
Couples often spend thousands of dollars on their wedding but invest very little in their marriage. Premarital counseling is very important to couples who are making one of the biggest decisions of their lives. This workshop helps couples to quickly recognize and develop strategies for approaching issues in their relationship that may limit their satisfaction. Participants will develop an understanding of the differences in each other’s personality, and explore powerful means of enhancing the intimacy and satisfaction they desire for their lives together. Cost includes materials as well as an individual session with Joy Allen. Joy Allen, LCSW, M.Div. is committed to helping couples create positive, respectful relationships with passion and health. Registration is required as class size is limited. To register, contact Marianne Wilson (email@example.com) at 817/339-5071.
June 13 – 17
Lyle Lodge | Children entering grades 3 – 6
$125 per child before May 30, $160 after
July 11 – 15
9:00 am – noon | Meet in Wesley Hall
Children 3 years old through 6th grade
$15 per child before 6.7 or $30 after
Registration closes at midnight on 7.5
Click here to learn more and register!
For more information, please contact Janice Cooper (firstname.lastname@example.org).
VBS Celebration Sunday
Sunday, July 17
11:00 am | Sanctuary
During the month of April, please bring collared polo shirts, T-shirts, and white cotton/dress shirts for men and women 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.
UMCOR Cleaning Bucket Collection
April 3 – 24
Bring assembled buckets to Main Office
Weekdays 9:00 am – 5:00 pm | Sundays between services
As followers of Christ “going out to be God’s people in the world,” FUMCFW is responding to those affected by the recent devastating floods in our region. We are collecting cleaning buckets containing supplies that enable people to begin the overwhelming job of cleaning up after a flood. Click here for information on creating a cleaning bucket. Please bring completed buckets to the Main Office through noon on Sunday, April 24, and we will deliver them. You may also leave $1 for transportation with your cleaning buckets. This is an excellent project for Sunday School classes, church groups, individuals, and families. We may send a team to help serve soon as well. Thank you for your support in helping those facing great need and loss! For more information, contact Rev. Chuck Graff (firstname.lastname@example.org) at 817/339-5065, and click here to read a message from Rev. Laraine Waughtal.
Sunday, May 8
9:30 & 11:00 am worship | Sanctuary
Singing Men of First Church Rehearsals
4.27 | 8:00 – 9:00 pm | Choir Room
5.4 | 8:00 – 9:00 pm | Choir Room
5.8 | 9:00 & 10:30 am | Choir Room
The Singing Men of First Church, a choir comprised solely of male voices, will join together once again during the 9:30 and 11:00 am Sanctuary worship services on Sunday, May 8. This short-term choir — or “sprint choir” — will only rehearse a few times before singing together. Men of all ages are welcome, whether you are a member of Choral Union looking for something different, or if you are interested in a short-term choir experience without the commitment of a weekly rehearsal. The Singing Men of First Church will perform under the direction of Robert Stovall, Director of Music & Worship Arts. For more information, contact Peggy Graff (email@example.com) at 817/339-2405.
Sunday, May 22
6:30 pm | Sanctuary
You are invited to a love story — one told by a world-class musician in memory of another. Our beloved cellist at FUMCFW, Dace Sultanov, will perform her annual tribute concert to the love of her life and all-time inspiration — 1989 Van Cliburn Piano Competition Gold Medalist, Alexei Sultanov. Dear friends and fellow musicians will perform with Dace at this year’s commemorative concert. Pianist Larisa Cherkasov and Violinist Eugene Cherkasov will perform works both individually and with Dace, including compositions by Tchaikovsky, Chopin, Brahms’ “Cello Sonata in E minor,” and Mendelssohn’s “Piano Trio No. 1.” Organist Peggy Graff will accompany Dace on the Anne S. and Henry B. Paup Sanctuary Pipe Organ as she performs Massenet’s “Thais.” Together, these celebrated musicians will bring to life the powerful spirit of Alexei Sultanov that lives on in our memories. For more information, contact Peggy Graff (firstname.lastname@example.org) at 817/339-2405.
Sunday, May 1
11:00 am worship | Sanctuary
Join us as we recognize and celebrate the graduating seniors of the Class of 2016 during the traditional worship service at 11:00 am in the Sanctuary. For more information, contact Brenda Kegans (email@example.com).
Sunday, May 1
6:30 – 8:30 pm | Wesley Hall
$15 | Dressy attire
Reservations due 4.24
Click here to RSVP and pay now!
All current youth are invited to join us for a night of celebrating our youth and honoring the Class of 2016. Click here to RSVP and pay online by April 24. For more information, contact Brenda Kegans (firstname.lastname@example.org) at 817/339-3888.
June 19 – 24
Kansas City, MO | $225 for students | $75 for adults
Grades 7 – 12 (In the 2015 – 2016 School Year)
Click here to register!
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.
July 23 –29
Purdy, MO | $250 per person | Space is limited
Grades 9 – 12 (In the 2015 – 2016 School Year)
FUMCFW Youth are headed back to Camp Barnabas this summer for a week of swimming, camping, and playing with amazing campers dealing with mental disabilities. This is an incredible week of life-changing experiences sure to change perspectives, redefine disability, and spread God’s love in an unforgettable way! Contact Martin Leathers (firstname.lastname@example.org) at 817/339-3882 with your teenager’s name to sign up.
“We want to show our volunteers what it looks like to serve others the way Christ calls us to serve, to look past physical appearances and instead, look at the heart.”
— from the Camp Barnabas Mission Statement
First Street Methodist Mission in Honor of:
Linda Abel by Ruth Huber
Methodist Justice Ministry in Honor of:
Rev. Brooks Harrington by Kay Johnson
Kay Yount by Kay Johnson
First Street Methodist Mission in Memory of:
Todd Schenck by Margaret Augustat
General Fund in Memory of:
Bernice Davis by Mary Lou McNary