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Dr. Tim Bruster Re-Elected to UMC Judicial Council
Rev. Casey Orr’s Ordination
FSMM Thinks Outside the (Lunch) Box
FUMCFW Facebook is Batting 5,000
Trinity Singles Sunday School Class Reunion
Monday Musers Summer Study Group
BrainFit Seminar & Lunch
Traditional Worship | 9:30 & 11:00 am | Sanctuary | Rev. Chuck Graff
DiscipleChurch | 7:20 am | Community Breakfast | Wesley Hall
8:30 am | Chapel | Rev. Page Hines
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
Rev. Chuck Graff
This Sunday, I invite you to join me in exploring Matthew’s account of Jesus’ encounter with a Roman Centurion in Capernaum, whom Jesus proclaimed demonstrated a most extreme faith — a faith and compassion beyond any that Jesus had seen and experienced in all of Israel. It is an amazing scripture about the unlimited possibilities of faith and applying faith to our specific life situations (“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see” — Hebrews 11:1). I encourage you to read and discern what this scripture (Matthew 8:5-13) means for you prior to our worship together on Sunday morning.
On this Memorial Day weekend, we will also hear special faith stories about:
- George C. Woodard Jr., who served during World War II as a military police officer in a 1944 New Guinea prisoner of war camp, and the hand-painted flag the prisoners gave to him;
- A special pocket devotional FUMC gave to World War II soldiers in 1943; and
- Other faith-related stories.
Our Archives and Library are displaying the flag, the pocket devotional, a poster from the Wesley Bible Class, and other information in the Library and in its hallway display case this Sunday. Please stop by the Library to view them, and I look forward to seeing you in worship.
Grace and Peace,
Rev. Chuck Graff
Associate Pastor of Adult Ministries,
Welcoming Ministries Involvement
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 | Garden & 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.
GC2016: A Quick Summary of Actions Taken
Dr. Tim Bruster
It is great to be back in the saddle after General Conference. You are already aware of the major action of the General Conference regarding unity and the issues around human sexuality (see my blog dated May 19 about “An Offering for a Way Forward”). I want to share with you a list of some of the other actions taken at the 2016 General Conference. The conference: Click here to continue reading.
Continuing our conversation about gift methods . . . some members of our congregation prefer to make their annual gift in one payment and utilize a stock transfer to accomplish making that gift. To make a gift of stock to the church, contact Business Administrator Larry Ammerman (firstname.lastname@example.org) at 817/339-3884 for transfer information. Once the stock is received it is sold and the proceeds are transferred to the church bank account. You will receive a letter acknowledging your gift and it is recorded on your church giving record. There can be tax advantages to making a gift of stock as long-term capital gains can be minimized. Click here to continue reading.
It’s no secret that I’m passionate about the importance of the relationships we form with our First Church family, but did you know that regular church attendance, and the connections you form with people as a result, may actually increase your life span?
A year ago, Fort Worth became one of 20 cities — and the only Southern city — to participate in the Blue Zones Project. The Blue Zones concept grew from the research of Gianni Pes and Michel Poulain who set out to identify why certain populations lived longer and healthier lives. The data they uncovered revealed that communities with the highest concentration of centenarians had nine key things in common — and one of those key things is that all but five of the 263 centenarians interviewed belonged to some faith-based community. Click here to continue reading.
This Sunday is our last session in Spring Academy.
It has been such a pleasure having these amazing children with us!
On June 12 we transition to our Summer Schedule. We still take care of the kiddos all morning, but within the Children’s Wing the rotations change. Click here to continue reading.
Sheryl Preston, a board member at First Street Methodist Mission (FSMM), is an impressive woman with a servant’s heart. She truly embodies the spirit of 1 Peter 4:10 — “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” Sheryl’s work at FSMM helps feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and shelter the homeless. When she is not helping the Mission, Sheryl serves FUMCFW as the treasurer for United Methodist Women and is a member of the Wesley Bible Sunday School class. Outside of church, you might find her traveling, playing Bridge, sewing, cooking, or gardening. One thing is for sure — she will definitely be spending time with her children and “four perfect grandchildren.” Click here to continue reading.
Dr. Len Delony
Last Saturday afternoon I picked up my wife Beka at DFW airport. She (and Dr. Tim Bruster) were part of the 864 delegates, plus many support staff and observers, who have been in Portland, Oregon, for the worldwide United Methodist General Conference. After almost two weeks away, she was delighted to be back home in Fort Worth . . . and thoroughly exhausted from the difficult work of dealing with conflict over issues that became deeply divisive. As has happened before, a deep and soulful trust had little room to grow and guide the body. Click here to continue reading.
“For our boast is this, the testimony of our conscience, that we behaved in the world with simplicity and godly sincerity, not by earthly wisdom but by the grace of God, and supremely so toward you.”
— 2 Corinthians 1:12
“One of the hallmarks of our denomination is a structure and practice of openness, transparency, and inclusion to almost all church matters. Transparency with financial matters builds trust between the congregation and the various committees and leaders that are elected . . . Full transparency can result in greater financial stewardship through the reassurance it provides that monetary gifts are being used appropriately.” Click here to continue reading.
Rev. Tom McDermott
Kevin Kling is an NPR commentator, author, storyteller, and playwright from Minnesota. Born with his left arm a good bit shorter and minimally functional than his right, he nearly died in his 30s from a motorcycle accident that required multiple surgeries, facial reconstructions, and ultimately left his right arm paralyzed as well. A person of indomitable spirit, wit, and charm, Kevin writes and performs internationally. His stories and poems speak to the universal longing for connection and meaning, acknowledging that our stories provide a path into joy and healing, as well as a way of connecting us deeply with one another in a life Holy Mystery. Click here to continue reading.
William “Bill” Montgomery
By Vance Morton, Director of CTC Communications & IT
Dr. Tim Bruster, senior pastor at FUMC Fort Worth and the lead clergy delegate from the Central Texas Conference UMC to General Conference 2016, was chosen by the body of General Council to serve as the first alternate to the UMC Judicial Council. In a brief interview, Tim describes what it’s like to be the first alternate — a position he held in the four years previous, the role of the Judicial Council, and why it’s a vital position in the connection:
Nine persons sit on the United Methodist Judicial Council, sometimes referred to as our “Supreme Court.” The Council is at the apex of a carefully detailed chapter on judicial administration in the Book of Discipline.
Both clergy and laity serve on the Judicial Council — four of one, five of the other, alternating every eight years. Members are elected for eight-year terms by General Conference and may not serve on any other United Methodist Board or Agency beyond the Annual Conference. Members are limited to two consecutive terms. The council elects its own president for a four-year term.
The Judicial Council is required to review each decision on a point of law made by a bishop during an annual conference session. Other cases come from lower church courts, or from an official body of the church requesting a declaratory decision as to the legality of a particular action. There usually are several requests during General Conference for declaratory decisions.
The most difficult cases for the court are those involving the life and ministry of the clergy. Legal solutions may be simple, but applying them to specific cases is agonizing.
Decisions are based on the Constitution of The United Methodist Church and on the specific paragraphs of the Book of Discipline cited in a case, but may refer to other relevant paragraphs. Conflicting paragraphs must be resolved before a decision is reached. The Discipline instructs the court not to go “further than is necessary to decide the question of church law involved.”
Although there are sometimes open hearings on issues before the Judicial Council, deliberating sessions of the council are closed. The docket for each session is carried in advance by Interpreter magazine and Newscope, as are digests of decisions. Complete texts of decisions are posted on the official UMC website and printed quadrennially in compiled volumes.
Rev. Casey Orr’s Ordination
Tuesday, June 7
CTC Annual Conference | FUMC Waco
4901 Cobbs Drive, Waco, TX 76710
7:00 pm | Sanctuary | Pre-service music
7:30 pm | Service of ordination
Reception to follow | Family Life Center
You’re invited to the service of ordination at the Central Texas Annual Conference in Waco, Texas. Our own Associate Pastor of Discipleship, Rev. Casey Orr, will be ordained Deacon at this moving service. Pre-service music begins at 7:00 pm, the ordination service is at 7:30 pm, and a reception will follow for those being ordained. As Dr. Tim Bruster says, “We all celebrate this significant milestone in Casey’s life and ministry.”
In 2012 Rev. Page Hines was serving on the Board for Tarrant Churches Together when she got the bright idea for the Sack Lunch Chuck Wagon, a service opportunity to support day laborers who work the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo. Affordable food options within walking distance of the Stock Show grounds are very limited, so a sack lunch of nonperishable food items does the trick when it comes to helping workers stem hunger during their shifts. It didn’t take long for the number of lunches to outpace the capacity of the original partners alone, so Tarrant Churches Together coordinated more participants to meet this growing need. A total of 20 congregations and groups joined forces for 2016, including First Street Methodist Mission (FSMM) — which provided two consecutive days’ worth of lunches. Melinda Veatch, Executive Director of Tarrant Churches Together, recently presented the Mission with a Certificate of Gratitude as kudos for their involvement. “We value FSMM’s continued participation in this effort every year,” says Melinda. “Partnership makes the difference. The more we work together, the more lives we can touch with real help.”
Our FUMCFW Facebook page recently hit 5,000 likes, and we’re not stopping there! Step up to the plate and help us knock it out of the park. Facebook users: “Like” our FUMC Fort Worth page to get daily updates. Plus, subscribe to our event pages to see what’s coming up and join discussions. Whenever you see something you think may be of interest to your friends — or something that makes you proud about what our church is doing — please take a moment to “share” with your circle, encouraging them to do the same. Let’s like it, love it, and spread 5,000 more of it!
Sunday, June 5
11:00 am | Room 230 | Led by Rev. Linda McDermott | 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.
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June 1 – 22
Wednesdays | Noon – 1:15 pm
Foundation Building, 2nd Floor Counseling Room
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. Participants have the opportunity to share their story and to listen to others. Through the giving and receiving of support and attention, grievers often find comfort and renewed hope. To register, email Charme Robarts (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Sunday, June 12
6:30 – 8:30 pm | Pool Party & Dinner
Bad Königshofen Family Aquatic Center
2800 W. Sublett Road | Arlington, TX 76017
$15 per person | Free for children under 12
Hosted by Tracy Klansek Talambas & Laurie Hawley Stelljes
RSVP to Laurie Stelljes by 6.7
Tracy Klansek Talambas and Laurie Hawley Stelljes are hosting a reunion for former members of the FUMCFW Trinity Singles Sunday School class. Pack up the family (spouses, significant others, children, and grandchildren) and come out to enjoy dinner, friendship, and a little pool fun. The dinner menu will include chicken and beef fajitas, along with tea and lemonade. RSVP with your check, payable to Laurie Stelljes, by June 7. You can send it to First United Methodist Church, Attn: Laurie Stelljes, at 800 W. 5th Street, Fort Worth, Texas 76102. Plus, if you are on Facebook, you can join the “Trinity Singles Gang” group. We hope to see you in June!
June 13 – August 29 (Not meeting July 4)
Mondays | 1:00 – 2:15 pm | Foundation Building, Room 271
Led by Dr. Mike Marshall
Tuesday, June 14
10:30 am – 12:30 pm | Wesley Hall
Good news! Did you know that you can change your brain at any age? All the more reason to come to Brookdale’s BrainFit and discover the building blocks that can keep your brain healthy. Lunch will be provided. For more information, contact Marianne Wilson (email@example.com) at 817/339-5071.
Wednesday Morning Summer Study Group
June 15 – August 31
Wednesdays | 9:30 – 11:00 am | Room 154
This class will examine how God’s presence is always around us, and how God moves in and through our world — even through the books we read and the movies we watch! The group is open all summer, so come when you can. Click here for more information, or contact Gayle Ammerman (firstname.lastname@example.org) at 817/339-5091.
June 13 – 17
Lyle Lodge | Children entering grades 3 – 6
$125 per child before May 30, $160 after
Children of God, Citizens of the World: A Mission Day Camp for Kids combines a strong mission and outreach core with the kinds of activities that make summer camp so much fun. Activities include swimming (registered lifeguards on site), mission projects, Bible study, music, camp games, Journey of Faith nature walks, and more. Camp counselors are the youth of FUMCFW. They lead the children in activities and share a worship assembly with them each morning.
July 11 – 15
9:00 am – noon | Meet in Wesley Hall
Children 3 years old through 6th grade
$15 per child before June 7 or $30 after
Registration closes at midnight on July 5
Click here to learn more and register!
At Vacation Bible School 2016: Surf Shack, children will discover an interactive, energizing, Bible-based program that will give them an opportunity to catch the wave of God’s amazing love. During VBS at FUMCFW, children will become surfers and explore how to serve God and His mission for their lives.
VBS Celebration Sunday
Sunday, July 17
11:00 am | Sanctuary
During the month of May, please bring sheet and towel sets to:
First Street Methodist Mission | Monday – Thursday | 8:00 am – 4:00 pm
OR the donation bins at the East, West, & Garden entrances | Sunday mornings
For more information, contact Linda Murphy (email@example.com) at 817/339-2404.
Singing Women of First Church
Sunday, June 19
9:30 & 11:00 am worship | Sanctuary
Singing Women of First Church Rehearsals
6.8 | 8:00 – 9:00 pm | Choir Room
6.15 | 8:00 – 9:00 pm | Choir Room
Are you a young adult or senior woman who loves to sing but is not available to attend weekly church choir rehearsals? We have the answer for you! On June 19 (Father’s Day) at the 9:30 and 11:00 am Sanctuary worship services, the Singing Women of First Church will fill our Sanctuary with beautiful women’s voices under the direction of Robert Stovall, Director of Music & Worship Arts. There are just two rehearsals scheduled for this event: Wednesday, June 8, from 8:00 – 9:00 pm and Wednesday, June 15, from 8:00 – 9:00 pm (located in the Choir Room on the second floor of the Main Building). Come one, come all! For more information, contact Peggy Graff, Organist and Associate Director of Music & Worship Arts (firstname.lastname@example.org). See you on June 8 for our first rehearsal!
June 27 – July 1
Branson, MO | Registration closed
This year Cornerstone Youth Choir is going to Branson, Missouri. Why tour? Touring is so much more than the music we make and the places we sing. Of course, music is a large part of it. It ties all of us together, and it is the launching pad for our tour. However . . .
- Nothing builds community and transforms lives better than traveling together!
- God works in us and through us in such different ways on tour.
- It’s an incredible opportunity to see a new city and how God is working in it.
- It’s also a chance for us to make our mark in the mission field and learn to be selfless.
- We have a blast together . . . and we make lifelong friends!
- There are a million other surprises waiting for us.
For more information about Cornerstone Youth Choir, contact Elaine Johnson (email@example.com) at 817/339-2406.
Monday, June 27 – Wednesday, June 29
Monday | 5:00 pm | Meet at Justin Building
Wednesday | 9:00 am | Pickup time
$75 | Click here to register online
Come join us for our first-ever Rising 7th-Grader Summer Mission Blitz. This is your time to own the Justin, serve our community, build friendships, and create INCREDIBLE memories! There will be worship, mission projects, and Hurricane Harbor — not to mention you get to sleep over! Contact Andrew Mochrie (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Brenda Kegans (email@example.com) for more information.
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.
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!
“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
Children’s Ministries in Honor of:
Amelia Daley & Lane Daley by Linda & Michael Bourland
Kid’s Hope USA in Honor of:
Gay Ingram by Kathy Spicer
General Fund in Honor of:
Dr. Bill Longsworth by Thomas Davis
MacKenzie McClung’s Graduation by Brett & Nancy McClung
Rev. Phyllis Barren by Marianne Brants
First Street Methodist Mission in Memory of:
Faires Kuykendall by Frank Johnson
Rev. Tim Boeglin by Mary Weathers
General Fund in Memory of:
Barbara McWhirter by Jane Christner & Dot Abbott
Robert Snodgrass by Kay Watkins
eleven:eleven celebration in Memory of:
Barbara McWhirter by Cathie & Bronson Davis