“I am Easter!
I am the anniversary of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
I am celebrated on the first Sunday after the full moon
that occurs on the vernal Equinox
or any of the twenty-eight days thereafter.
I am appropriately celebrated in the morning,
and with spring flowers, brilliant music,
and an exhilarating challenge to faith.
I have held the world in astonishment for two thousand years.
I am a source of dependable knowledge
and confident assurance concerning eternal life.
I take away fear of the grave.
I ease the anguish and bereavement
of those who part with loved ones.
I am a necessary part of the gospel of salvation
by faith in Jesus Christ.
I am the source of assurance that there is no end
to the life that is identified with the living Christ.
I generate a spirit of hope which, more than argumentation,
causes people to believe in immortality.
I challenge the world to know Jesus
and the power of His resurrection!”
– Norman E. Richardson
* * * * * * *
Palm Sunday was wonderful! The Chancel was full of children waving palms at both services. Now: Easter! Identical worship services are at 9:15 and 11:00 a.m.!
Chancel Choir, liturgical dance, and the Hallelujah Chorus will grace both services. The sermon, "He´s Risen! He Told Us So!" reminds us of the scandal of the resurrection. A light brunch is offered in Wesley Hall between worship services.
Invite a friend, family member, co-worker or neighbor to an Easter service. Polls tell us that 80% of non-churched Americans would appreciate a personal invitation to church. So put down this newsletter and pick up the phone! Many of you know someone who would welcome your invitation. They will likely feel complimented that you thought to invite them. There is no more glorious week in the year to introduce someone to your church!
MAUNDY THURSDAY SERVICE All are welcome to this unique Tenebrae service on Thursday, March 28 at 7:00 pm. Child care provided.
FIRST CHURCH GOOD FRIDAY SERVICE Join us Friday, March 29 at 7:00 pm for this contemplative service. Child care provided.
IDENTICAL EASTER SUNDAY SERVICES will be held in the celebration of Easter Sunday, March 31 at 9:15 and 11:00 am. Join us for a continental breakfast in Wesley Hall from 10:00 - 11:00 am.
On EASTER SUNDAY, MARCH 31 9:30 Faith Travelers, Youth, and Adult Classes will not be held on Easter Sunday as we encourage families to attend worship together. Children´s nurseries and classes available on Easter are as follows: 9:15 am and 11:00 am
• Infant Nursery 0 to 2-year olds Room 107
• Toddler Nursery 2-year olds to younger 3-year olds Room 205
• Children & Worship older 3s to kindergarten Room 204/201
• Junior Church grades 1 – 2 Room 202 NO Evening Choristers, Kids´ Club or Youth Groups
• March 28, 7:00 pm — Maundy Thursday Service
• March 29 — Church Building & Offices Closed till 6:00 pm for Good Friday
• March 29, 12:00 pm — Community Good Friday Service (Central Reformed Church)
• March 29, 7:00 pm — Good Friday Service
• March 31, 9:15 and 11:00 am — Easter Sunday
• April 3, 7:00 pm — Taizé Sung Prayers
• April 9, 7:00 pm — Infertility Support Group
• April 10, 12:00 pm — Sweetheart Luncheon
• April 11, 5:30 pm — Moms Group: Pancakes and Pj´s
• April 15, 12:00 pm — 60+ Luncheon
• April 17, 8:00 am — Caring Connection
• April 20, 6:00 pm — Jazz Vespers: The Randy Marsh Trio
• April 20, 9:00 am - 3:00 pm — 2nd Best Sale
• April 21, 10:00 am — Tower Campaign Informational Coffee
• April 21, 3:00 pm — Words of Albert Schweitzer/Music of Bach
• May 1, 7:00 pm — Taizé Sung Prayers
• May 7, 7:00 pm — Infertility Support Group
• May 15, 8:00 am — Caring Connection
• May 18, 6:00 pm — Jazz Vespers: Tyler VanderMaas Sax Quartet
• May 20, 12:00 pm — 60+ Luncheon
• May 26, 8:30 and 10:00 am — Summer Worship Begins
• May 27 — Church and Offices Closed for Holiday
• June 4, 7:00 pm — Infertility Support Group
• June 10, 3:00 - 7:00 pm — Blood Drive
• June 14 -16 — Father/Child Camp
• June 16 — Farewell Sunday for Gary Haller
• June 17, 12:00 pm — 60+ Luncheon
• June 19, 8:00 am — Caring Connection
• July 2, 7:00 pm — Infertility Support Group
• 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 (First Place Bldg)
• Senior High — 9-12th grade The Vine North (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 with the Children, they are dismissed to class. Children of all ages are welcome to remain in worship if their families so desire.)
ANNUAL SWEETHEART LUNCHEON will be held on Wednesday, April 10 at 12:00 pm in Wesley Hall. All women of the church age 65 and over are welcome to attend this event sponsored by the Legacy Ministry. This year´s entertainment is provided by Dale and Gail Ziegler and their "Keyboard Kapers." For reservations, use the Sunday sign-up sheet or contact Sharon Sorensen at 451.2879 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
TWO UPCOMING ROAD TRIPS Join us on Wednesday, June 19 for a Detroit Tigers game at Comerica Park in Detroit! Our tickets are lower baseline box seats so we can watch the Tigers beat the Baltimore Orioles from a great vantage point! Join us in Nashville Tennessee in October! This trip includes a guided bus tour of Nashville, a lunch cruise with entertainment on the General Jackson Showboat, a back stage tour of the Grand Ole Opry, as well as a 7:00 pm performance at the Grand Ole Opry! We should see lots of beautiful fall colors, too. The dates are October 10-12 and a $100 deposit is needed to confirm your reservation. Both itinerary and reservation forms are in the literature rack in the north lobby or online at www.grandrapidsfumc.org/road-trips.
PRAYER QUILTS We will be meeting on Thursday, April 4 from 9:00 am to noon in Wesley Hall. All are welcome. It´s a great opportunity to be a part of this worthy mission, meet new people, and to learn about quilting. No experience is needed. There is a job for everyone. For more information contact Ginnie Edwardson at 261.2602 or email@example.com.
SAVE THE DATE: FAREWELL SUNDAY Join us on Sunday, June 16 as we say farewell to Pastor Gary Haller.
SAVE THE DATE: ARTS ALIVE CAMP Camp dates have been scheduled for August 5-8. Special field trip to Howell Nature Center Global Village, on Thursday, August 8. More details to come.
FATHER/CHILD CAMP Attention dads (grandpas and uncles, too)! A great Michigan summer is nearly upon us, and what better way to kick it off than spending Father´s Day Weekend at one of God´s greatest locations, Lake Michigan United Methodist Camp in Pentwater, Michigan! Picture you and your kids sitting around campfires, running up and down the beach, hiking the many trails, watching beautiful sunsets, even taking a refreshing dip in Lake Michigan! All while spending time with God and some of your church family! Platform tents as well as spots for your own tents and campers are available. Site rental is $28 per night. Food is $20 for Dad and $15 per child with a max amount of $50 per family. Mark the dates of June 14-16 for this awesome experience! Please contact Jason Smith at 262-7151 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Make sure to ask about the buy one, get one night free offer for first timers!
MOMS GROUP: PANCAKES & PJS NIGHT Join us on Thursday, April 11 at 5:30 pm. Put the little ones in their pjs and meet us at church for a dinnertime breakfast! We´ll provide the pancakes and stories. Dads invited, too. Please sign up to bring a topping. Please rsvp to Marj at email@example.com.
NORTH END COMMUNITY MINISTRY ANNUAL DINNER AND AUCTION is Saturday, April 27 at Sunshine Community Church on East Beltline. Silent Auction and Appetizers begin at 5 pm, Dinner at 6 pm. Contact Laura or Linda at NECM, 616-454-1097 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
WORDS OF ALBERT SCHWEITZER AND THE MUSIC OF BACH - A Multimedia Musical Dramatization by Thurston Moore Join us on Sunday, April 21, 2013 – 3:00 pm. The remarkable Albert Schweitzer was a rare and gifted individual with immense creativity. Premiered in 1995, this dramatization has helped to keep the legacy of Schweitzer alive and to preserve the glorious music of Bach. The poignant text, fine choice of repertoire, and beautiful slides will create a beautiful effect along with the fine Möller-Buck organ at First Church. This production brings cultural and spiritual enrichment to all who see it.
NEW MAGNETIC NAME TAGS We are committed to being a welcoming congregation. Name tags are a great way to welcome guests, create community, AND to help our new pastor and his wife, Bob and Pigeon Hundley, get to know us. The church staff has been wearing new magnetic name tags. This type of name tag will be available to all active church members and attendees (including confirmed children) beginning in May. Name tags will also be printed for younger children upon request. Names will be printed as they are listed in the current church directory unless a nickname or abbreviated name is requested. If you cannot wear a magnetic name tag due to health concerns (such as a pace maker) we will provide an alternative name tag. If able, we request a $5 per name tag donation ($20 max per family), however a donation is not required to receive a new name tag. Please use the Sunday bulletin sign-up sheet, church website, or contact Patsy McGillivray at email@example.com, to give us any of the following information: alternative spelling of name, name tags for children, non-magnetic name tag.
GOING ONCE. GOING TWICE. THANK YOU! We would like to thank everyone who came to the Palm Sunday Brunch and Auction. We´d also like to thank everyone who donated items to auction off. With your support, we were able to raise $10,000! Your generosity helps to keep the price for our workcamp trip affordable and also helps to provide scholarships to students who need assistance going to workcamp. You rock! Thank you!!!! Love, Sami Marasigan, First Church Youth and Youth Leaders
90+ APRIL BIRTHDAYS
• Wassy Vail will be 90 on April 1
• Thelma Hunter will be 94 on April 2
• Bob Haile will be 90 on April 12
• Ida Jean VanderPoppen will be 90 on April 24
TOWER COFFEE Join us Sunday, April 21 after 9:15 am worhip in Wesley Hall for the Tower Campaign Informational Coffee.
FUMC GALLERY Showing in our First Church Art Gallery from March 20 – April 30 is an exhibit by local watercolor artist, Barb Thorne. A frequent participant in the FUMC Celebration of the Arts, Barb has most recently exhibited at Schuler Bookstore.
COLLECTIONS Do you realize how many ways you can contribute? The following are some programs through which you can help. Donation bins are located in the north lobby donation drop-off room. Please make sure you properly label all items so they make it to the correct ministry.
• Batteries – In order to keep batteries out of the landfills, we recycle them.
• Box Tops for Education – Clip logo on General Mills products. Money is used for MLK PTA.
• Campbell Product Labels – Clip barcode with logo and point value to earn money for MLK.
• Food Collection – First and third Sundays, food is collected to supply our area food pantry at Westminster Church.
• Glasses and Hearing Aids – A cooperative effort of the Kiwanis and Lions Clubs to make certain that these reconditioned items go to people who are in great need.
• Ink Jet Cartridges – Earn money for youth scholarships.
• In the Image – Leave clean, gently used clothing in bags for In the Image. Martin Luther King, Jr., Leadership Academy (MLK) earns money for scrap clothing and shoes. These items must be bagged separately and labeled "Scrap."
• MLK Donations – School supplies and clothing for MLK students.
• Pop Cans – Deposits are used for Lake Michigan United Methodist Camp scholarships.
• Pop Tabs – Earns money for MLK.
• School Spirit Labels – Clip the UPC and School Spirit logo off the bottom of Aunt Millie´s Bread bags. MLK earns 5 cents for each UPC/logo. Included products are Soft ‘N Good, Sunbeam Giant, Family or Whole Grain White Bread.
• Spartan Product UPC Labels – Earn money for MLK. Clip barcode.
• Travel Size Soap, Shampoo, Toothbrushes, etc. – for MLK students to be used at Camp O´Malley.
• Used Cell Phones – For Safe Haven. ANY ITEMS THAT DON´T FIT INTO THESE CATEGORIES, PLEASE LABEL WITH YOUR NAME AND MINISTRY TO WHICH YOU WANT THEM TO GO.
LET´S GET PERSONAL! During the month of April the Social Concerns Committee will be collecting personal care items to help stock the shelves of Westminster Food Pantry. Many of the things we take for granted are unavailable to low-income families because they are not covered by food stamps. Here´s a way we can help ease the problem. Why not pledge that each time you go to your favorite market, you will pick up one or more of the following items to donate to the pantry: bar bath soap, body wash. Donations may be dropped off in the collection bin in the north lobby office. Your ongoing support of the Westminster Food Pantry is an essential part of helping area families in need.
GOT STUFF? It´s time to de-clutter to support First Church missions. The annual 2nd Best Sale is Saturday, April 20. Ask your friends and neighbors for excess stuff that other people can really use. Clothes on hangers would be appreciated, and other items in good repair. See the sign-up sheet for ways you can help! Drop-offs in the north lobby of the church begin on Sunday, April 14 from 12:00 to 2:30 pm and again from 5:00 - 7:30 pm. Contact Jane Lovett at firstname.lastname@example.org or 458.4504 with questions or if you need help in picking up your larger donations.
ADULT SUNDAY CLASS: PRAYER & DEVOTIONAL LIFE OF UNITED METHODISTS by Steve Harper - This series challenges United Methodists to engage in life-transforming practices. The theme is explained and underscores major emphases within the United Methodist denomination. This adult study will last four weeks. Begins Sunday, April 7 - 28 at 9:30 am.
ADULT SUNDAY CLASS: UNITED METHODIST SOCIAL PRINCIPLES - Begins April 21 for 7 weeks excluding Memorial Day weekend. Led by Dick Youells and Darren McKnight
ADULT SUNDAY CLASS: NOOMA A two- week drop-in series featuring Rob Bell´s Nooma videos. The class will be video- and discussion-based. Classes are Sunday, May 5 and 12 at 9:30 am.
YOUNG ADULTS: DINNER & SPARKS SERVICE What is Sparks? A casual worship service for college students and young professionals (ages 18-30) that sparks faith, conversation, and friendship. Dinner will begin at 6:00 pm and worship will begin at 7:00 pm on Wednesday, April 10. Friends and new folks invited!
LET´S JOIN HANDS AND HELP THE STUDENTS AT MLK ! The MLK Fitness Track must be a coming together of minds, hearts and finances. We need all supporters of our partnership at MLK to reflect on meaningful ways they can lend a hand to raise the funds needed to construct a walking track, fitness stations, and level the grassy field for usable play. Please help us garner support:
• Do you know an individual in the community with a heart for healthy living and exercise? Ask them to donate!
• Do you have connections to a corporation that values fitness? Ask them to make a tax deductible corporate donation!
• Do you work for a business that matches your charitable contributions? Make a donation and let them know you´ve found a worthy cause!
Our goal is to raise $30,000 before the May GRPS Board of Education meeting, where we will request final approval for our project so it will be completed by fall for the new school year. Yes, it´s a large goal, but by joining hands we can do it. Please consider reaching out and inviting others to support the health and fitness of the students at MLK!
PARENTS AND YOUTH Spring sign-ups for serving in children´s church school are ready on Doodle! Go to www.grandrapidsfumc.org/volunteers to sign up to serve in the Infant or Toddler Nurseries and Children & Worship classrooms! Thank you for supporting our church school.
FIRST AID STATION
INFERTILITY SUPPORT GROUP All who have experienced infertility issues, including miscarriage and secondary infertility, are invited to attend our next meeting on Tuesday, April 9 at 7:00 pm in The Vine. Please RSVP by using the bulletin sign-up sheet or by calling Marj Timmerman at 901.9224.