12/23/2014 by Marj Timmerman
If there was a way for you to save someone’s life by giving up an hour of your time, would you do it? Our blood donors do! Please read their reflections and think about how you might be called to be involved in an upcoming blood drive.
Pam Carrier - “I started donating blood because I saw too many lives being destroyed on the ...
12/23/2014 by Chris Hawkins
Occasionally someone will ask me if I ever worry that we will not raise enough money to support the annual budget here at First Church. After all, our budget for 2015 will be pretty close to $1.5 million! That’s a lot of dough!
While the question of stewardship and giving is always a challenge, it is not a burdensome question. I would ...
12/23/2014 by Patsy McGillivray
Many times I have written that we struggle with reaching new downtown residents. There is one tool we know that works – social media, but we need your help. Often members of our congregation – YOU – go home after church and make a comment about what you heard during worship on your Facebook account. If you don&...
12/23/2014 by Laure Mieskowski
1955. Can you imagine being the youngest child of 14 siblings born in a ‘ti kay’ (small house) on a mountainside in Haiti? In our locality, we had no school, no health care, no roads, no clean water, and no economic opportunity.
In 1963 and 1966, the community was devastated by two terrifying hurricanes. The stress of our ...
12/23/2014 by Eric Strand
Jesus, the Light of the World
What came into being through the Word was life,
and the life was the light for all people.
The light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness doesn’t extinguish the light.
- John 1:3a-5
The celebration of Christmas and Epiphany is a celebration of light: A light ...
12/23/2014 by Sami Marasigan
Ooo, Ooo, What’s faith got to do with it? Got to do with it?
(Did you just hear Tina Turner’s “What’s love got to do with it?”)
I love being a part of a church family that weaves faith into all areas of life. Last Sunday when my daughter, Rhea (age 10), came home from Kids’ Club (it’s our youth...
12/23/2014 by Rev. Dr. Bob Hundley
For years, I have carried a card around in my planner that has quotes about vision.
Some people see things as they are and say “why.” I dream things that never were and say “why not.” George Bernard Shaw
Nothing in the world is as powerful as an idea whose time has come. ...
11/25/2014 by Richard Johnson
I begin Tuesday morning at 6:15 am at Meijer Heart Center with a man who is undergoing major surgery. His family joins me in holding hands and circling his stretcher while I pray. It’s going to be a very long day for all of them. From the pre-op area, I go to cardiac ICU to peek in on the grandfather of one of our members who had heart ...
11/25/2014 by Sharon Sorensen
Year-end gifts to the church keep me very busy. Please keep in mind that year-end checks mailed to the church must be postmarked by December 31, 2014. Please indicate in the memo section of the check what the check is for: General Fund 2014, Tower Fund, pre-pay for General Fund 2015, etc.
If you are planning a year-end stock gift, ...
11/25/2014 by Laure Mieskowski
The volunteers, supporters, and community leaders at First United Methodist Church have made an incredible impact for children and their families facing homelessness in Grand Rapids. While the spiritual impact of First Church’s compassion and hospitality is priceless; the dollar value of First’s service to its urban neighbors is ...
11/25/2014 by Rev. Letisha Bowman
First Church has a long history of discussing and carefully working through challenging issues. Based on the current political and religious contention that seems to exist on human sexuality, we believe it is time to study, discuss and prepare to take a stand regarding the civil rights of marriage equality as well as full inclusion of ...
11/25/2014 by Eric Strand
Music surrounds us at this time of year. The 24/7 “Christmas” music on radios and in stores bombards us. It seems to come earlier and earlier each year, often on the heels of Halloween. Forget Thanksgiving and Advent (“what’s that?); they are not part of this picture. It seems that the rhythm of “church” is ...
11/25/2014 by Patsy McGillivray
When I learned that was the theme for this Advent season, my mind immediately went to two thoughts:
Hebrews 13:2 – “Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it.”
Mother Teresa – “Everyone you meet is Jesus in disguise.”
I have talked about ...
11/25/2014 by Rev. Dr. Bob Hundley
Can anyone believe that it is nearly December? We are a few weeks away from Christmas… and then, a few days later, we will be entering 2015. It hardly seems possible to me that time is moving so swiftly.
Of course, December means lots of activities are on the schedule of First Church. Advent is the ...
10/28/2014 by Marj Timmerman
When I joined the church in 1998, it was the compassion our church showed in its outreach programs that attracted me most. I quickly joined the Social Concerns Committee and have been actively reaching out to others through our ministries ever since.
Over the past two years I have been able to experience that compassion first hand. In May ...
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