♫"Deep and wide, deep and wide, there´s a fountain flowing deep and wide."♫
As a child growing up at Grace United Methodist Church in Lansing, I loved to sing songs in Sunday school. One of my favorites was ‘Deep and Wide.´ It was a simple little song, but what made it really fun for me was that with each round you had to remember to drop words and just hum until by the very end we were simply humming. Even though the words were buried in our hearts, the music and the joy couldn´t help but spill out.
I was thinking about this living water that wells up within us here at First Church, this fountain that flows both deep and wide. It spurs us to deepen our relationship with God and widen our reach toward all people. Because of our deep love of God, because we follow Jesus, because we listen to the Spirit, we feel a strong call to share the blessings we have received.
This church has had a long history of supporting mission work, through mission trips to places of great need or through UMCOR when we can´t go ourselves. On Sunday, January 20th our church will have the opportunity to once again reach deep and help those in need. Following the devastation left in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, UMCOR has distributed more than 16,000 cleaning bucket kits in five states from Maryland to New York, depleting their supply. In times of disaster UMCOR is able to respond not only with compassion but also with amazing speed. The reason they are able to do this is that we have already given them the supplies they will need - in advance! These buckets fill two purposes, they physically help in the clean-up of overwhelming disaster and they are a tangible reminder that God has not abandoned those afflicted. Deep cleaning – wide loving!
With that in mind we will be hosting a cleaning bucket assembly party! Each bucket (valued at about $55) contains everything from scouring pads and sponges to air fresheners and clothes pins (see the complete list inside the newsletter or online). Please look over the list and see what you can contribute (money is okay if you can´t get out to shop), let us know what you will be bringing (one-stop sign-up sheet on Sunday, or online, or contact Laurie Mieskowski), and come help assemble those buckets (Sunday, January 20 from 9:00 am – 1:00 pm in our church parlor).
This church also has a long history of supporting the Arts. Celebration of the Arts began in 1972 and is a 13-day festival. In its 40th year, Celebration has grown to represent one of the largest juried sacred art shows in the country. It features artists from throughout the region in a variety of mediums including oils, acrylic, watercolor, sculpture, fiber, photography, and more. During the 13-day festival there are many individual events including concerts, drama, and art activities.
Of course, to make something this incredible possible, many helping hands are needed. The Celebration committee is looking for art hosts (to welcome visitors and direct them to the art), art drop-off/pick-up assistants (to assist artists with checking their art in and out), reception workers (to serve punch and cookies), set-up workers (to either put up room dividers or help hang the art), and cookie bakers! Sign up online or in the one-stop sign-up sheet on Sunday. Let´s make this 40th year the best year yet as we reach wide and extend a warm welcome to all.
• January 13, 12:15 pm — "Which Way Home" Documentary
• January 16, 8:00 am — Caring Connection
• January 19, 6:00 pm — Jazz Vespers: The Jim Cooper Quartet
• January 20, 12:15 pm — Chili Cook-Off
• January 21, 3:00 - 7:00 pm — Blood Drive
• January 28, 6:30 pm — Children´s Council Meeting
• February 1 - 13 — Celebration of the Arts
• February 1, 7:00 pm — Artists´ Reception
• February 2, 3:00 pm — James Croom in Concert
• February 3, 9:30 am — Gallery Walk-through
• February 6, 12:00 pm — Gallery Walk-through
• February 6, 7:00 pm — Taizé Sung Prayer Service
• February 10, 4:00 pm — The Hildegard Singers with Early Music Michigan
• February 13, 7:00 pm — Ash Wednesday Service
• February 24, 6:00 pm — "Trade of Innocents" movie
THE NEW JIM CROW: SUNDAYS 9:30 AM – through February 24 The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander is a New York Times bestseller from 2010 that addresses the fact that the prison population has gone from 300,000 in the 1970´s to over 2 million today, in no small part through our declared War on Drugs, and how this has had the effect of "decimating communities of color." Called "Devastating" by Forbes Magazine, and "The bible of a social movement" by the San Francisco Chronicle, this book is a "must-read for all people of conscience" and a "call to action." The class will study this book with the help of a study guide that incorporates references to African American history and culture, biblical reference, and faithful action. Led by Gary Rich.
A DISCIPLE´S PATH: SUNDAYS 5:00 PM – through February 10 from 5:00-6:30 pm. Drop-ins Welcome! If you missed one of the following classes, please drop in to make it up. Upcoming sessions are listed below:
January 13: Prayers - Prayer and Scripture Meditation
January 20: Presence - Corporate Worship and Small-group Community
January 27: Gifts - Financial Generosity
February 3: Service - Spiritual Gifts and Gifts-based Service
February 10: Witness - Invitational Evangelism
CHILDREN´S PROGRAMMING Please contact Annette Erbes, Director of Children's Ministry, at 451.2879 (Monday-Wednesday) or email@example.com with questions.
SUNDAY MORNING CHILDREN AND YOUTH CLASS SCHEDULE 9:15 AM
• Infant Nursery — 0-23 months — Room 107
• Toddler Nursery — age 2-young 3 — Room 205
• Children & Worship — older 3s (potty trained) – K — Room 204/201
• Faith Travelers — 1-6th grade — 3rd floor Church bldg (Faith Travelers begin in worship with their parents. Following Moments with the Children, they are dismissed to class. Children of all ages are welcome to remain in worship if their families so desire.) 9:30 AM
• Junior High — 7-8th grade — The Vine South (1st floor of First Place bldg.)
• Senior High — 9-12th grade — The Vine North (1st floor of First Place bldg.) 10:25 AM
• Faith Travelers´ Choir — 1-6th grade 3rd floor Church bldg 11:00 AM
• Infant Nursery — 0-23 months — Room 107
• Toddler Nursery — age 2-young 3 — Room 205
• Children & Worship — older 3s (potty trained) – K — Room 204/201
• Junior Church — 1-2nd grade — Room 202 (Children in Junior Church begin in worship with their parents. Following Moments withthe Children, they are dismissed to class. Children of all ages are welcome to remain in worship if their families so desire.)
**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.**
THANK YOU TO OUR FAITH TRAVELERS and to everyone who donated baby items on Sunday, December 23 for the Faith Travelers´ Baby Shower for Jesus. We were able to donate approximately a dozen bags filled with diapers, wipes, baby food, formula, outfits, and socks to young families through the Westminster Food Pantry. We received this thank you from Stephen Pastoor of the WPC Pantry: "May God´s grace and love in Jesus Christ be with you throughout the New Year, as you and the children of FUMC have shown God´s grace to the families who are part of Westminster´s Food Pantry. Your work in our community is greatly appreciated." May we continue to be a blessing to our neighbors in 2013.
TWO EVENTS TO SUPPORT JUSTICE FOR OUR NEIGHBORS Join us Tuesday, January 22 at 12:00 pm (St. Francis de Sales - Holland) or 6:30 pm (Keystone Community Church - Ada) for a screening of Jasmine´s Story, a documentary short film produced by United Methodist´s Communication for ReThink Church campaign. The story based in Ypsilanti, Michigan, explores the path of a congregation´s rally to support 17-year old Jasmine after witnessing ICE enter her family home and deport her Guatemalan parents and leaving her alone in the US to support herself and younger sister. This story personalizes an often-dehumanized issue and the need for people of faith to respond. Click here to download the event flyer. RSVP or find more information online at www.jfonwestmichigan.org.
WHICH WAY HOME You´re invited to join us on Sunday, January 13 at 12:15 pm for lunch and "Which Way Home." "Which Way Home" is a documentary film that follows the hazardous journey of four immigrant children on the train from Central America, through Mexico to the US border, hoping to find a way across into the USA. It portrays the difficult financial and family circumstances that prompts the journey as well as the trials and dangers encountered along the way. Event sponsored by JFON and the Immigrant Welcoming Committee. Please bring a $5 donation for lunch and RSVP by January 9 to Norm Kohns at firstname.lastname@example.org or use the Sunday sign-up sheet. Free childcare will be available; please RSVP for childcare, too.
NEW FREE FUMC APP First Church is excited to announce the release of our new app. The FUMC app has been designed with a simple and fresh look. It contains all of the information necessary to connect you with all the ministries, events, and programs going on at First Church and more. It is our hope that the new app will assist in creating online opportunities for people to connect and access information necessary to live out our mission. The app also offers the opportunity to donate, submit photos, sign up to volunteer, or sign up to receive the online Weekly Pulse newsletter. Download this new app from iTunes or Android at www.grandrapidsfumc.org/app.
MOMS´ GROUP: FAMILY NIGHT Join us at the GR Children´s Museum on Thursday, January 10 at 5:30 pm for a family night out! Please eat before you arrive and look for us on the lower level. Friends and dads are invited! Admission is only $1.50. Please RSVP Marj Timmerman at 451.2879 or email@example.com.
COLLEGE STUDENTS, did your address change this semester? If yes, please contact the church office at 616.451.2879 or firstname.lastname@example.org with your new address.
IT´S TIME TO PREPARE FOR LENT! While we have just completed Advent, the season of Lent is approaching quickly and we need your help. As in past years, we are planning to provide a booklet of Lenten devotionals, written by members of our First Church family. We need a devotional for every day of Lent (47 in all!). We especially encourge writers to share their personal walks with Christ and experiences of being called to service and ministry in unexpected and surprising ways. Entries are due by January 27. Each entry is limited to 450 words. If you are interested in writing a devotional, or would like more information, please contact Steve Walker by phone at 453-4486 or by e-mail at email@example.com. You may also sign up by using the Sunday bulletin insert or online at www.grandrapidsfumc.org/sign-up-sheet.
FEEDING AMERICA FOOD DISTRIBUTION event will be Saturday, January 19 at Cesar Chavez Elementary (1205 Grandville St. SW 49503). FUMC is sponsoring this distribution and FUMC volunteers are needed and welcome. Future dates are February 23 & March 16. The truck arrives at 8:30 am for set-up. Distribution begins at 9:00 am. This is a great service event for the entire family. For more information or to volunteer contact Darren McKnight at firstname.lastname@example.org or sign up using the Sunday bulletin or online at www.grandrapidsfumc.org/sign-up-sheet.
CLEANING BUCKETS FOR HURRICANE SANDY RELIEF More than 16,000 UMCOR cleaning buckets have been distributed to sites in five states from Maryland to New York in response to super-storm Sandy. UMCOR´s supply of cleaning buckets is depleted. First Church will assemble cleaning buckets for UMCOR on Sunday, January 20. Each bucket contains: 5 scouring pads (not steel wool), 7 sponges (foam, not cellulose due to mold problem), 18 reusable cleaning wipe towels (like handi-wipe brand), liquid laundry detergent (two 25 oz or one 50 oz bottle), household cleaner (12 - 16 oz bottle that can be mixed in water/no spray bottles), dish soap (16 - 28 oz bottle), clothes line (two 50 ft or one 100 ft), 5 disposable dust masks (sealed in a bag), 2 pair disposable waterproof gloves (rubber or latex), 1 pair leather palm work gloves, 24-bag roll heavy-duty trash bags (33 – 45 gal), insect repellent spray (6 - 14 oz aerosol or pump spray), can air freshener (aerosol or pump), and 50 clothes pins ($55 value). ALL items must be new. All cleaning agents must be liquid and in plastic bottles. No powders. To sign up, use the Sunday bulletin insert or online at www.grandrapidsfumc.org/sign-up-sheet. Volunteers are also needed to help pack buckets and transport buckets to distribution center in Chatham, Illinois.
SCRAPBOOKING Our next scrapbooking event will be Saturday, January 19 from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm. It´s a great way to get some projects done and be in fellowship at the same time. Glean ideas from each other and share supplies. Have a work space table all to yourself. We´d love to have you join us! If you are a scrapbooker, please email Patsy McGillivray at email@example.com to be included on the scrapbook emailings.
SIX ALARM CHILI COOKOFF Join us Sunday, January 20 at 12:15 pm for a cookoff to find the best chili at First Church. Cost is $5.00 and will be donated to the ministry groups that prepare the chili. Don´t miss your chance to sample and vote for the Best FUMC Chili.
CHRISTMAS GIFT OF GIVING THANK YOU! Once again FUMC and friends responded generously to the needs at Martin Luther King Leadership Academy for our Gift of Giving project. We served 92 families, 287 children. We also received numerous winter coats, which went to school for additional children. Cash donations will be used to purchase over 100 pair of boots in January. Most parents visited our "Gently Used Room" to select clothing, bedding, toys…..Parents were able to choose a present from our "Moms Gift Table." For some, it was the only gift the adults expected to receive this year! Thank you.
With the help of scores of volunteers, we were able to run the gift distribution and wrapping sessions and transportation when needed. I am so thankful for the amazing support this huge project receives. No single person could ever manage such an undertaking without others carrying a portion of the burden. Thank you.
The church giving tree supplied 22 MLK teachers with numerous supplies, games, balls, jump ropes, books, clothing and hygiene needs. The boxes of supplies were delivered to the school. Thank you.
Many years ago FUMC wisely embarked upon a local mission project: MLK Academy. The depth of support to the education of the students and families is far-reaching. It has enabled all of us to come together in a meaningful way. Many tutors and volunteers are excited to be invited to help. Thank you.
In the north lobby you will find thank you notes and photos of the parents. Collectively, they worked over 850 volunteer hours at MLK or in the community to earn their gifts! The impact of The Gift of Giving is far reaching. Thank you.
Many of our children reside in homes where their future is uncertain. One thing is certain: someone somewhere loved them enough to provide a cheery Christmas. Thank you again and again!
Church and School Coordinator
Martin Luther King, Jr. Leadership Academy and First United Methodist Church
BLOOD DRIVE Our next Blood Drive will be Monday, January 21 from 3:00 - 7:00 pm in Wesley Hall. Please use the Sunday sign-up sheet or call the office to reserve a time to donate blood. If you can´t donate blood, cookies and caffeinated beverages are also needed! Be a part of this important mission to save lives.
NOW SHOWING in our First Church Art Gallery from January 2 - 28 and February 14 - 31 is an exhibit by local pastel artist, Julie Moore. A daughter of First Church member, Marilyn Moore, Julie is especially interested in landscape art, both realistic and traditional.
TAIZÉ SERVICE Wednesday, January 9 at 7:00 pm. Taizé is a meditative service of choruses, accompanied by instruments and vocal solos. Communion, prayers for healing, and the lighting of candles are also offered. It´s a wonderful way to connect with God in the midst of a busy week.
JAZZ VESPERS, featuring The Jim Cooper Quartet, on Saturday, January 19 at 6:00 pm, weaves scripture, a pastoral message and prayer into a celebration of faith, hope, and the love of God.
CELEBRATION OF THE ARTS 40TH ANNUAL JURIED SPRITUAL ART COMPETION, Art Exhibit Hours: 10:00 am to 6:00 pm daily through February 12 and 10:00 am to 4:00 pm February 13, Ash Wednesday. For more information visit www.theCelebrationoftheArts.com
Special Events: Artists´ Reception, Friday, February 1 from 7:00 - 9:00 pm in Wesley Hall. Presentation of awards, jazz, and special desserts! Open to the public.
Celebration of the Arts Gala Opening: James Croom in Concert, Saturday, February 2 at 3:00 pm in the sanctuary. Join us for an afternoon of song with tenor, James Croom. Croom´s powerful and expressive voice coupled with his abundant warmth makes for an afternoon to remember. Our own Eric Strand will accompany him at the piano.
Gallery Walk-through Celebration of the Arts, Sunday, February 3 at 9:30 am and Wednesday, February 6 at 12:00 pm in Wesley Hall. Experience this year´s show through the special insight of Nancy Clouse, artist and faculty member from Grand Rapids Community College.
The Hildegard Singers with Early Music Michigan, Sunday, February 10 at 4:00 pm in the sanctuary. Based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, The Hildegard Singers, Linn Maxwell, Barbara McCargar, Diane Penning, and Lisa Walhout, each have outstanding solo careers and have come together to celebrate the hauntingly beautiful music of Hildegard of Bingen. Early Music Michigan is dedicated to the lively and historically informed performance of music of an earlier age. Artistic Director, Eric Strand, leads the ensemble in early Spanish music of Pilgrimage.
FIRST CHURCH FAMILY CONCERNS Concerns & Prayers for:
• Lee Andrews (Butterworth Hospital)
• Pat Boyle
• Abby Greer
• Rick Kase
• Corky Kastner
• Norma Mann
• Nancy Parrish (St Mary´s Hospital)
• Corinne Terkeurst
• Richard Wimmer
• Chris Bolhouse
• Scott Grifhorst
• Stephan Mathos
• Jesse Mounts
• Trevor Norton
• Shawn Seher
• Peter Taylor, Jr
The love and prayers of the congregation are extended to German and Sami Marasigan and family on the death of German´s mother, Cecilia Marasigan, on January 2nd.
Congratulations to Liz Lott and John James who were united in marriage on December 29th in our sanctuary!
Congratulations to Cherie and Jeff Williams on the birth of a son, London Lloyd Williams, on December 18th; and congratulations to Nicole and Odessa Smedley on the birth of a daughter, Arabella Veronica Marie Smedley,on December 28th. Proud big brother is Octavious; and congratulations to Holly and Brad Cook on the birth of a daughter, Charlotte June Cook, on January 7th. Proud big brother is Alex and proud grandparents are Kathy and Lee Berg!