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May 13, 2014

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Weekly Pulse - May 13, 2014 The official eNewsletter of First United Methodist Church of Grand Rapids. If you are not seeing graphics in this email, click here to view it in your browser.


PastorDear Friends,

First - I want to remind you that the next few weeks in worship will have several different emphases.

1) This Sunday, May 18, we will honor our graduates and welcome new members.
2) On Sunday, May 25 (Memorial Day weekend), we are shifting to a summer schedule of ONE worship service at 10 am.
3) June 1 (at 10 am) will be the recognition of our teachers and staff of our Christian Education ministry along with our farewell to Annette Erbes, who will be moving in June to Holt. Mark and Annette will assume the pastoral leadership role of the Holt United Methodist Church on July 1.
4) June 8, Pentecost Sunday, will be Confirmation Sunday and recognizing Pastor Tish as she prepares for her ordination as an Elder in the United Methodist Church. The Ordination Service at Annual Conference is held at Calvin College at 1:30 pm on Saturday, June 14. Members of our congregation are invited to attend.

So - what does ‘ordination as an Elder in the United Methodist Church´ mean?

The process of becoming an Elder is lengthy, rather complex, and often difficult. In our United Methodist tradition, when a person senses a call to ordained ministry, that call must be affirmed by their local pastor AND congregation. The people who know them best must carefully discern and affirm a potential candidate´s gifts and graces for ministry in order for the person to proceed to an interview with a District Superintendent and District Committee on Ministry. Once those steps are taken and the call of God is preliminarily tested, the candidate enters a process of formal education. In the United Methodist Church, that is achieved by receiving a Master of Divinity degree from an accredited United Methodist seminary.

Supervisory accountability is maintained throughout the process of education. Once the degree is in hand, the candidate is eligible to be considered as a ‘provisional Elder´ - which is a testing process to see if the person is ready to receive an appointment. When the Board of Ordained Ministry (a group of 40 clergy and lay persons) affirms the person and they are voted on by the clergy of the Annual Conference, a candidate is ‘commissioned as a provisional Elder.´ Candidates remain in that status for approximately 3 years (minimum) while demonstrating their ‘effectiveness´ in ministry. Throughout the process, a provisional Elder is examined regularly and shepherded to become an Elder in Full Connection and member of the Annual Conference.

As a critique, having served as a Superintendent, our United Methodist process is cumbersome and needs to be overhauled. But that is for another article sometime.

What it means is an Elder is affirmed by the church and set aside for servant ministry to preach and teach the Word of God, administer the sacraments of baptism and Holy Communion, and to order (or administer) the life of the Church for service in mission and ministry. We are to lead the people of God in worship and prayer, educate and develop persons to grow in their faith, to teach the doctrines of the church and help people to understand the unique Wesleyan heritage of both faith and practice, to exercise pastoral leadership and supervision within the congregation, and to lead the Church in mission and service.

Practically speaking - an Elder is committed to our United Methodist doctrine and church government and is in covenant relationship to go where sent by the Bishop. There is a consultation process - but the Bishop has the authority to deploy clergy where needed. We go where we are sent. It is similar to achieving tenure as an educator. Currently, Elders are ‘guaranteed´ an appointment as long as we are fruitful and go where needed. When we care for the church through our pastoral leadership, then the church cares for us via retirement benefits.

I could write much more on this subject ... but that gives you the overview of what Tish´s ordination as Elder means. I believe it is important for our congregation to understand the role and responsibility of clergy as well as our covenant responsibilities within the United Methodist Church. Next week, Tish will write about her journey through the process, and hopefully - all of us will be better informed. Ours is not a perfect system - but what system is? Yet - it is the United Methodist way for providing pastoral leadership to every United Methodist congregation. For the most part, it has been and is effective.

Grace and Peace to you and hope to see you Sunday.

Pastor Bob

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Click the following links to download a PDF.
• Current Sunday Sign-Up Sheet: Sign up online at

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• May 13, 5:30 pm   —   Moms´ Group: Mom and Me Yoga
• May 17, 9:00 am  —    Feeding America Distribution at Cesar Chavez Elementary School
• May 17, 5:00 pm - 10:30 am  —    5-6 Faith Travelers End-of-Year Overnight Celebration
• May 17, 6:00 pm   —    Jazz Vespers: The Randy Marsh Group
• May 18  —    Graduation Recognition
• May 18   —   Fellowship Brunch
• May 19, 12:00 pm  —    60+ Luncheon
• May 19, 3:00 - 7:00 pm   —   Blood Drive
• May 21, 9:00 am   —   Caring Connection
• May 25, 10:00 am  —    Summer Worship Schedule Begins
• May 26   —   Church and Offices Closed for Holiday
• June 1   —   Teacher Appreciation Sunday
• June 8   —   Baptism Sunday
• June 8, 10:00 am  —    Confirmation Sunday
• June 8, 11:00 am  —    Stephen Ministry Info Gathering
• June 13-15  —    Father/Child Camp
• June 14   —   Habitat Build Day
• June 16   —   Church Building and Office Summer Hours Start
• June 16, 12:00 pm   —   60+ Luncheon
• June 18   —   Detroit Tigers Road Trip
• June 18, 9:00 am  —    Caring Connection
• June 19   —   Habitat Build Day
• June 23-27  —    Office Reorganization Week
• July 16, 9:00 am   —   Caring Connection

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Sunday Schedule: Children & Youth

9:15 AM
• Infant Nursery — 0-23 months Room 107
• Toddler Nursery — 2 yr. olds - young 3´s Room 106
• Children & Worship (toilet trained) — Older 3´s – Pre K Room 204/201

9:15 AM: Faith Travelers, Junior High, and Senior High begin in worship with their families and are then dismissed to their classes. (Children of all ages are welcome to remain in worship if their families so desire.)

• Faith Travelers — K-6th grade Church 3rd Floor
• Junior High — 7-8th grade The Vine South
• Senior High — 9-12th grade The Vine North

11:00 AM
• Infant Nursery — 0-23 months Room 107
• Toddler Nursery — 2-3 years Room 106
• One Room Schoolhouse — 4 years-Grade 2 Room 202
(One Room Schoolhouse children begin in worship with their parents. Following the Children´s Moments, they are dismissed to class.)

**Worship bags and Children´s Pages are available in the narthex with activities that allow for children to participate in worship at their own level.**

Please contact Annette Erbes at 451.2879 or with any questions.

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SUMMER WORSHIP HOURS BEGIN MAY 25 Don´t forget to mark your calendar! Sunday Worship: 10:00 AM SERVICE ONLY, no 9:30 am Church School

FIRST CHURCH AND FIRST PLACE will be closed Monday, May 26 in observance of Memorial Day.

SUMMER OFFICE HOURS BEGIN, JUNE 16 Don´t forget to mark your calendar!
Church Building Hours
• Monday: 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
• Tuesday: 9:00 am - 9:00 pm
• Wednesday: 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
• Thursday: 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
• Friday: 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
First Place Hours
• Monday: 8:00 am - 4:00 pm
• Tuesday: 8:00 am - 4:00 pm
• Wednesday: 8:00 am - 4:00 pm
• Thursday: 8:00 am - 4:00 pm
• Friday: 8:00 am - 12:00 pm

OFFICE REORGANIZATION WEEK will take place June 23 - 27. During that time the First Place office will be closed to the public; there will be a receptionist at the north lobby desk from 9:00 am - 4:00 pm Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday and 9:00 am - 9:00 pm Tuesday.

SAVE THE DATE! Sunday, June 1 is Education Appreciation Sunday! The Children´s and Adult Councils invite you to Wesley Hall following the 10:00 am worship service to greet and thank those who regularly serve in our children´s, youth, and adult ministries for being a vital piece of our Christian education experience this year. Join us for a piece of pie as we share in fellowship and celebration together.

K-6 FAITH TRAVELERS will be singing for the 9:15 a.m. worship service on Sunday, May 18th! Please have your student arrive at 9:00 a.m. that morning for a last practice time. Come and join us!

FAITH TRAVELERS The last Sunday for our K-6 grade church school program, Faith Travelers, will be held on Sunday, May 18th. Students will be dismissed from the 9:15 a.m. service. We will recognize May and summer birthdays, see a video created by the Grades 5-6 Mission in Action Faith Travelers about Imagine No Malaria, receive registration materials for Arts Alive Camp, share in fun and games with Mr. Ken, and have a special treat. Join us as we celebrate this church school year!

CLARK FRIENDS Join Pastor Bob and Parish Nurse Marj on Tuesday, May 20 at 2:00 pm in the Games Room at Clark for a time of fellowship and refreshments. We hope to see you there!

60+ LUNCHEON will be held on Monday, May 19 at noon. The program will be on safety for elders. Please call Elaine Youngs at 735.5506 or Luci Baer at 457.7797 if you would like to make a reservation.

ARTS ALIVE CAMP: THE GLOBAL VILLAGE, August 4 – 7, 9 am – 3 pm. Does your child have dancing feet? Does he love to move? Camp is for children entering 1st – 6th grade in the fall of 2014. Early Bird Rate: $45 if registered by July 3; $60 after July 3. Fee provides lunch and snacks each day, t-shirt, reusable water bottle, entrance fee for Thursday field trip to Meijer Gardens. Additional costs are underwritten by First United Methodist Church. For more information or scholarship information contact Laure Mieskowski at 616.451.2879 or laurem@grandrapids Register online at

AMAZING GRACE AND SHOPPING IN CHICAGO The musical Amazing Grace is coming to Chicago for less than a month this fall and we are planning a road trip to see it on Wednesday, October 22! You will have the choice of shopping the Magnificent Mile or visiting the Field Museum for about 3 1/2 hours before the 2:00 pm showing of Amazing Grace. The musical is the story of John Newton who was a slave trader before becoming a Christian and writing perhaps the world´s most beloved hymn. The tickets are very limited and we need to have a commitment quickly! Use the Sunday sign-up sheet, sign up at, or look for the itinerary and reservation form in the north lobby rack. We need your $49 deposit by May 15. Please join us!

DETROIT TIGER FANS Please note we were able to change our tickets to Sections 112 and 113, the same area we were in last year! So be sure to join us for the game on June 18 and cheer the Tigers on to another win! Get your reservation form online at, in the north lobby, or contact Marj Timmerman at 901-9224.

JAZZ VESPERS, featuring The Randy Marsh Group, on Saturday, May 17 at 6:00 pm weaves scripture, a pastoral message and prayer into a celebration of faith, hope, and the love of God.

WE NEED TO GET "SOCIAL" on our Facebook page! Our Facebook page is what our community and the world see of First Church and is a way they can connect and get to know First Church. One of the ways this happens is YOU! If you have yet to "Like" our fan page, and share it on your timeline, would you consider doing that this week and tell someone you know about your church? "Like" us at

YOUNG ADULTS: HABITAT BUILD DAY College Students & Young Adults, are you home for summer break or looking to take a day off of work to make a difference? If so, you´re invited to join us Tuesday, May 13 from 8:30 am - 4:00 pm for a day of construction with Habitat for Humanity! Hope you can join us! I´ll provide lunch. Come dressed to work. To sign up email Sami at

LANDSCAPING UPDATE We are working to install sod along Barclay Ave and working on the landscaping for the front of the church once our new sign is installed. Contact Emil Jensen at with any questions or comments.

CARING CONNECTION Wednesday, May 21 at 9:00 am at New Beginnings Restaurant (1455 Michigan St NE). We welcome anyone who would like to participate in caring for our homebound with phone calls, note-writing, and visits.

ADIRONDACK ADVENTURE CAMP Christian hiking camp for adults in the beautiful mountains of New York (you thought church camp was just for kids, didn´t you?) This summer´s sessions are July 27 - August 2, 2014 and August 3 - 9, 2014, you pick the one that´s best for you. Cost is only $300/person. Check our facebook page - Adirondack Adventure Camp or contact the deans, Ken & Barb Jeltema for more info., or (616) 363-6480. Orientation is at Northlawn UMC in Grand Rapids on Sunday, June 8, 2014, You´re invited to attend and register for camp there.

FELLOWSHIP BREAKFAST Join the Fellowship Committee in Wesley Hall on Sunday, May 18 from 10:00 - 11:00 am for breakfast. Don´t miss this opportunity to be in fellowship with your First Church family.

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Concerns & Prayers for:
• Lynne Beals
• Ruth Chisnall
• Mary Kay Gooder
• Pat Hiler
• Jenna Kelley (outpatient surgery 5/16)
• Julie Obrecht
• Mike Obrecht
• Laurie VanHouten (outpatient surgery 5/12)
• Liz and Henry Kingma who leave for Hong Kong 5/13 to bring their son, Raymond, home

Service Personnel
• Chris Bolhouse
• Scott Grifhorst
• Xavier Kenmoe
• Stephan Mathos
• Jesse Mounts
• Trevor Norton
• Shawn Seher
• Peter Taylor, Jr

The love and prayers of the congregation are extended to Harlene and Doug Jackson and family on the death of Harlene´s father and long time First Church member, Roy Hart, on May 9th. Visitation will be held on Friday May 16th from 2 to 4 pm and 6 to 8 pm at Memorial Alternatives on Fuller Avenue NE. There is no service currently planned.

Dear First Church friends,
It is hard to believe I have been employed by FUMC for 10 years now, as it seems half that long! Every day as the Church and School Coordinator at MLK School brings a variety of experiences and conversations with interesting people that keeps the job fresh. Thank you for the lovely recognition of my time there and I so appreciate the gift card and beautiful Willow Tree angel. The angel will be treasured for many years and remind me of all the wonderful people who support the work that we do, those who are so vital to the children and their future.

May God bless each of you as you have blessed me,
Jer Hon-Hawkins

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 Pastor´s Message
• Weekly Pulse Downloads
• Mark Your Calendar
• Sunday Schedule: Children and Youth
• Finance Update
• Pathways: Growing In Grace
• News and Events
• Worship Service
• First Church Family Concerns
• Attendance

WEEKLY PULSE: Click the link to download a PDF version of the Weekly Pulse.

Worship Services
9:15 and 11:00 am


Sunday, May 18
"The Character of a Leader"
Dr. Bob Hundley
Graduation Recognition
New Member Reception

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Here is a top level summary of the First Church financial statement through April…

As you can see, we are about $14,900 behind where we are budgeted to be for the year so far. The two biggest reasons are: 1) utilities are $18,000 over budget due to the harsh winter, and 2) we have not yet received $10,000 from the church Legacy Fund that will cover part of expenses for this period.

The staff continues to do a marvelous job at managing expenses, with every major budget category except utilities being under budget. And, thankfully, our church family continues to follow through faithfully on our giving commitments…giving 96% of planned amounts so far!! Thank you!!

We are working hard to minimize the planned deficit this year, but we can use your help. There are two sides to addressing a budget - and cutting expenses is only one. The other is to look at raising additional revenues. It is not too late to increase giving for the balance of this year. If God is leading you to such a decision, please let the church office know today.

As you ponder increasing your giving this year, consider that Jesus teaches us much about faith and generosity - including this wonderfully humbling challenge…

"And He looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the treasury, and He saw also a certain poor widow putting in two mites. So He said, "Truly I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all; for all these out of their abundance have put in offerings for God, but she out of her poverty put in all the livelihood that she had." Luke 21:1-4

Chris Hawkins, Finance Committee

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WESTMINSTER FOOD PANTRY COLLECTION The Social Concerns Committee is continuing to collect specific items needed to stock the shelves of Westminster Food Pantry. We are currently asking for donations of laundry detergent, dish soap and pasta sauce. Your donation may be dropped off in the collection bin located in the north lobby. Thank you for continuing to help keep the pantry shelved stocked.

RISK-TAKING MISSION First Church is joining other UM Churches in the "Grand Rapids District Habitat Build." This is a wonderful opportunity to join with Habitat Kent County in a project that will forever change the life of a hard-working, low-income family in need of affordable housing. We invite you to pray for the project and the family who will live in this home at 934 Caulfield Ave SW. Consider being part of a First Church building team on one or more of the following days: Saturday, June 14, Thursday, June 19, Wednesday, July 16, and Saturday, August 2. We will be framing on each of these days. Volunteers must be age 16 or older. You may volunteer by contacting Laure Mieskowski at or Sami Marasigan at Sign up online.

1stBLOOD DRIVE Our next blood drive will be held on Monday, May 19 from 3:00 - 7:00 pm in Wesley Hall. Attempt to donate and you could win four 4th row infield tickets to the Detroit Tigers vs Minnesota Twins game at Comerica Park on June 14! Sign up for a time slot by using the Sunday sign-up sheet or by emailing Marj Timmerman at Be somebody extraordinary - save a life! Sign up online.


VOLUNTEERING AT KIDS´ FOOD BASKET Young Adults (age 18-30), you´re invited to help us fight hunger in GR on Wednesday, May 28. Please meet at The Vine at 5:30 pm for a quick bite and to carpool over to Kids´ Food Basket.

STEPHEN MINISTRY So what is Stephen Ministry really all about? Do you have what it takes to join the Stephen Ministry Team? Are you looking for a Christ-like way to care for another during a difficult time in their life? Find the answers to these and other questions on Sunday, June 8 when you can meet with the Stephen Ministry Team in the parlor at 11:00 am for refreshments and a short video. We will be holding a Stephen Minister training class this fall. Are you ready?

1stADULT EDUCATION SUMMER CLASS In Adam Hamilton´s book, "Love to Stay," class members will explore how, with God´s help, we can make love last. He uses surveys from singles and couples, interviews with marriage and relationship therapists, the latest research, and wisdom from the Bible to look at what it takes to create and sustain a healthy, meaningful romantic relationship across the course of a lifetime. Classes will run on Tuesdays from June 24 - July 29, from 6:30-8:00 pm and will meet in First Place room 3109. Books will be available for $10 in the north lobby starting June 15. Or you may purchase your copy of an eBook online. Sign up online.

1stWOMEN AT FIRST Join us for a summer lunch series. Using "The Christ-Centered Woman," by Kimberly Dunnam Reisman, we will find balance for every age and stage of life with Christ at the center. Women at First will explore what the Bible teaches about Christ-centered living using Ephesians 3 as a guide. Starting Thursday, June 12, we will meet every other week from 12:00 - 1:30 pm through August 21. Lunch may be purchased (a soup/salad) or you may bring your own. Workbooks will be available for $10 in the north lobby beginning June 1.
Sign up online.


ANGER ISSUES "My child seems angry all the time and can´t get along with their siblings." Call your Church Assistance Program (CAP) at 455.6210. They will answer 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and will set you up to meet with a trained counselor. The first two one-hour sessions will be at no charge to you by telling them you are a member or friend of First Church!

HOSPITALIZATIONS Are you or a family member hospitalized or having surgery? Due to strict hospital privacy rules, we won´t know unless you tell us! Each day of the week, pastoral care is covered by our parish nurse or one of our pastors who is happy to visit and pray with you before your surgery or during your hospital stay. If you don´t want your name mentioned in the Weekly Pulse or in Sunday services, please let us know. However, we would still like to visit and support you, even if it´s an outpatient procedure. Please contact Parish Nurse Marj Timmerman, Pastor Bob or Pastor Tish at 451.2879.

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Wednesday, May 7
Taizé Sung Prayers ........18

Sunday, May 11
Worship 9:15 am ........150
Worship 11:00 am ........282
Church School ........105
Evening Activities ........7

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Weekly Pulse is published by First United Methodist Church of Grand Rapids. To subscribe to this newsletter, click on this link: subscribe.