Summer is a different and wonderful season. Families have children out of school, take vacation trips, spend extended time at beloved cottages and summer homes, entertain guests, and sometimes even occasionally pop into church. It´s a relaxed and less urgent season, a sort of extended sabbath which is good for all of us. It can feel like a lazy time, can´t it?
But things don´t stand still at church! In the midst of staff vacations and altered schedules, great planning is going on for the fall and good work is being done. A significant piece of "good work” has taken place in the hiring of Annette Erbes as our new Children´s Ministry Director and Emily Uebbing as our new Director of Junior High Ministry.
Although not from our church, many people already know Annette. Annette has served as the Director of Christian Education at several churches in our West Michigan Annual Conference. Her husband Mark is pastor of Lake Harbor UMC in Muskegon. For four years Annette worked as the Grand Rapids District Lay Leader working closely with Laurie Haller during her time as District Superintendent. She also served on the District Leadership Council and the Grand Rapids District Superintendency Committee. Annette also grew up here in Grand Rapids spending her formative years at Trinity UMC. She is the daughter of Dr. Larry and Blanche Taylor – her dad was the Senior Pastor of Trinity UMC for a good part of the 1970s. Blanche now lives at Clark Retirement Community. Annette is a gifted individual, with a deep and mature faith, who has a great love of children. You´ll see! We are delighted that she is willing to lead and love the children of our church.
As a deeply involved and faithful member of First Church, Emily Uebbing is also well known to us. Emily already has worked with our Junior High youth as a volunteer for five years. She serves as an at-large member of our Leadership Council and also is a part of our Visioning Team. She serves in a number of volunteer capacities including as a First Place Receptionist and as a Wedding Coordinator (she will be our lead wedding coordinator come January). If you don´t know Emily in any of those roles, you might know her from performing with her flute in worship just last Sunday. Some lucky people bid high enough at the last youth mission auction to get her "Dessert-A-Month-For-A-Year.” Emily will bring great competency and joy to her ministry with our Junior High youth!
First United Methodist Church is deeply committed to the spiritual formation and care of our children and youth. With the addition of Annette and Emily, and with Sami Marasigan completing ten years here as our Director of Senior High Youth and Young Adults, we will be better aligned than ever to focus on these significant age-groupings. No doubt Annette, Emily and Sami will cross your path as summer ends and autumn begins. I trust you will make a special effort to welcome them, encourage them, and (perhaps) offer to help them in some way!
God´s Blessings upon you as you continue your summer sabbath! – Gary
PS – All Church Camp at our Lake Michigan UMC Camp is this coming weekend. How wonderful that, in addition to our "stalwarts,” ten families will be camping there for the very first time!
• August 17-19 — All-Church Camping Weekend at Lake Michigan
• August 20 — Fall Office Hours Begin
• August 30, 9:00 am — Fixin´ ‘n´ Fellowship
• September 5, 7:00 pm — Taizé Sung Prayers
• September 9, 9:15 and 11:00 am — Fall Worship Schedule Begins
• September 9 — Homecoming Sunday
• September 11, 7:00 pm — Infertility Support Group
• September 15, 6:00 pm — Jazz Vespers: Max Colley III Quartet
• September 24, 3:00 - 7:00 pm — Blood Drive
• September 28, 1:00 - 9:00 pm — ArtPrize Lot Party
• September 29, 12:00 - 4:00 pm — ArtPrize Lot Party
• October 3, 7:00 pm — Taizé Sung Prayers
• October 5, 7:30 pm — Film & Lecture: Soul Tenders
• October 6, 7:30 pm — Anne Hills – Contemporary Folk Musician
• October 9, 7:00 pm — Infertility Support Group
• October 10, 6:00 pm — Sparks Service
SUMMER CHILDREN´S EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITES ON SUNDAY MORNING: Summer Sunday Worship Schedule through September 2 8:30 AM
• Childcare: 0 years old-2nd grade Room 106 10:00 AM
• Infant Nursery: 0-2 years old Room 107
• Toddler Classroom: 2-3 years old Room 205
• One Room Schoolhouse: 4 years old-2nd grade Room 202
FALL 2012 SUNDAY MORNING CHILDREN´S CLASS SCHEDULE 9:15 AM
• Infant Nursery — 0-2 years Room 107
• Toddler Nursery — 2-3 years Room 205
• Children & Worship — 3 years (potty trained) – K Room 204/201
• Faith Travelers — 1-6th grade 3rd floor Church bldg (Faith Travelers begin in worship with their parents. Following the Children´s Moments, they are dismissed to class. Children of all ages are welcome to remain in worship if their families so desire.)
• 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.) 11:00 AM
• Infant Nursery — 0-2 years Room 107
• Toddler Nursery — 2-3 years Room 205
• Children & Worship — 3 years (potty trained) – K Room 203/201
• Junior Church — 1-2nd grade Room 201 (Children in Junior Church begin in worship with their parents. Following the Children´s Moments, 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.**
DÉGAGÉ MINISTRIES Going hungry is not a problem for Heartside residents but getting proper nutrition is a growing problem. Help us to provide our patrons with fresh fruit and vegetables by buying extra fruits and vegetables when you shop for your family or tithe from your own garden. Bring your produce to church on Sunday and Dégagé will pick it up Monday. Begins July 9 and goes through the growing season.
SENIOR HIGH YOUTH GROUP Are you a high school student who´s looking to make new friends, grow in faith, and make an impact in our community? Then you´re invited to connect with our Senior High Youth Group! We will typically meet on Sunday evenings from 5:00 - 7:00 pm however, we will stray from that schedule when we have the opportunity to make a difference beyond our walls. For a complete schedule visit: www.grandrapidsfumc.org/youth or email SamiM@grandrapidsfumc.org.
FIXIN´ ‘N´ FELLOWSHIP Thursday, August 16 and 30 at 9:00 am - meet in room 105. We will start the day with fellowship over coffee and baked goods, then tackle minor repairs needed throughout the church buildings.
COFFEE CAN OFFERING Don´t forget to mark your calendar for the next coffee can offering on Sunday, August 19.
YOUNG ADULTS TEAM BUILDING & WELCOME PARTY Are you a college student, young professional, or young adult (age 18-30) who´d like to connect with other young adults? Then please join us on Wednesday, September 5 at 6:00 pm! Friends and new faces are always invited!
YOUNG ADULTS VOLUNTEERING AT IN THE IMAGE S.H.O.E.S. EVENT If you´re 18-30, then you´re invited to join our Young Adult Group as we volunteer at In the Image on Wednesday, August 22. We´re helping to fit kids for new shoes for school. Please sign up on Facebook or in the sign-up sheet. We´ll meet at In the Image at 4:45 pm.
IT´S INCREDIBLE BACK TO SCHOOL SAVINGS TIME AGAIN! Our Tutoring Center at Martin Luther King, Jr. Leadership Academy is ramping up for another wonderful school year. We provide over 500 students/teachers with supplies throughout the year and now is the time to stock up. Whenever you are out and spot a bargain, rest assured we can use the materials! Donations may be left in the collection room off the north lobby. All supplies are needed: children´s scissors, pencils, pens, notebook paper – loose leaf and spiral bound, glue & glue sticks, children´s scissors, erasers, rulers, binders, children´s scissors, tab dividers, highlighters, Crayola brand 24 crayons or primary fatter crayons, markers, colored pencils, pencil boxes…and can you tell our greatest need is children´s scissors? New or gently used 3-ring binders are always in demand, so if your office is cleaning out, we can find a home for them! Thank you for your continued support!
WOMEN OF FIRST It´s not too late to join the fun this summer - every other Wednesday for fellowship, learning, and growing together in Christ. The next lunch is Wednesday, August 22 at 11:45 am in Wesley Hall. We have had a wonderful cross-generational turnout with deeply engaging discussions as we have explored the question: "Is God good for Women?” What does the widow/barren woman have to teach us? What fruit is born at "ground-zero?” Contact Tish at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Child care provided.
FIRST PLACE AND CHURCH BUILDING HOURS CHANGE Sunday, August 19 Church Building Hours
• Sunday: 7:45 am - 11:30 am
• Monday: 9:00 am - 9:00 pm
• Tuesday: 9:00 am - 9:00 pm
• Wednesday: 9:00 am - 9:00 pm
• Thursday: 9:00 am - 9:00 pm
• Friday: 9:00 am - 4:00 pm First Place Hours
• Sunday: Closed
• Monday: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
• Tuesday: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
• Wednesday: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
• Thursday: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
• Friday: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
YOUNG ADULTS SPARKS SERVICE A casual worship service for college students and young professionals that sparks faith, conversation, and friendship. Have you been looking for a different way to worship? We have. This service is based on memories of times around a campfire where worship seemed so natural. Where a sermon isn´t something that is only heard, but discussed. A service where bread is passed between friends looking to connect to something bigger. We´ll begin with dinner at 6:00 pm and transisition to worship at 7:00 pm. All in The Vine (207 Fulton St E). Friends invited!
LAY SERVANT MINISTRIES (formerly Lay Speaking) classes will be offered this fall in October. Don Williams will teach a Basic Class that will meet on Tuesday evenings, October 9, 16, 23, 30 at Georgetown UMC from 6:30 - 8:30 pm. Jody Pratt (GR District Lay Servant Ministries Director) will teach the advanced class titled Spiritual Gifts on October 9 and 16 only at Georgetown UMC from 6:30 - 8:30 pm. The cost for these classes is $25 per person, but folks must pre-register as the class materials need to be ordered. Registrations should be made with Jody Pratt via email at email@example.com
THE PRAYER QUILTERS will not meet in September, our next meeting is October, 4 in Wesley Hall from 9:00 am - 12:00 pm. We have had some time off and now it´s time to get back to work. Why not come and join us? It´s a great way to make new church friends, learn about quilting, and be a party of this wonderful project. No skill is required. We have a job for everyone. Come when you can and stay as long as you´re able. We also would welcome any donations of 100 % cotton material, which can be dropped off at the desk at the north entrance. For more information contact Ginnie Edwardson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2012/2013 DINNER FOR EIGHT It´s time to sign up for 2012-2013 Dinner for Eight! If you´re an adult looking to get to know others in church, this is a good way to connect. Three times a year participants are invited to have dinner with a variety of people in different homes, and everyone contributes food and good conversation. Hosting is an important part of Dinner for Eight and it´s fun, too. Please use the sign-up sheet if you would like to be involved. If you have questions, call Janet Wood at 447.1667 or Mary Molhoek at 451.2879 or email@example.com.
WHO CARES? Ever wonder "who cares” about you and your life? We do and we´ll listen! Call your Church Assistance Program (CAP) for help. Just dial 455-6210 and make a CAP appointment today. As a member or friend of First Church, you will receive two one-hour sessions with a counselor at no charge to you. Confidential and safe, call CAP!
MEALS NEEDED! We have a family in our congregation with health challenges who would greatly benefit from some meals. You can view the schedule and detailed information online. Chuck and Anne Zimmerman live on the SE side of Grand Rapids and would appreciate meals on Mondays and Wednesdays. Click here to sign up online.Meals do not need to be fancy! Thank you so much!
STEPHEN MINISTRY Do you have the gifts of listening and caring? Then Stephen Ministry may be for you! We are looking to start a new training class this fall. Talk with Marj at 616.901.9224 or use the Sunday sign-up sheet for more information.
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 are 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 Gary or Pastor Tish at 451.2879.
LAST CHANCE TO SIGN UP FOR THE ILLINOIS ROAD TRIP! Join us for an autumn road trip to Springfield, Illinois! We´ll leave Thursday, October 4, and travel by deluxe motor coach. We´ll visit the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, the Lincoln home, the Old State Capitol, and Lincoln´s tomb. Click here for detailed itineraries and reservation forms or pick one up in the north lobby, or by emailing Marj at firstname.lastname@example.org.
TAIZÉ SERVICE Wednesday, September 5 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.
FIRST CHURCH FAMILY CONCERNS Concerns & Prayers for:
• Lynne Beals
• John Coder
• Ginny Groat (hospice care)
• Ardis Merrill (hospice care)
• Lois Moseley (Blodgett Hospital)
• Sue Reinhard (Butterworth Hospital)
• Dorothy Wimmer (Blodgett Hospital)
• Janet Wood
• Chuck Zimmerman
• Chris Bolhouse
• Neesa Broussard
• Scott Grifhorst
• Stephan Mathos
• Jacob Mol
• Jesse Mounts
• Trevor Norton
• Shawn Seher
The love and prayers of the congregation are extended to Anjie and Tim Gleisner and family on the death of Anjie´s grandmother, Laura Adams, on July 25; to Dorothy Blakey and family on the death of Dorothy´s sister Maxine on August 7, and to Gary and Laurie Haller and family on the death of Gary´s cousin, Robin Gifford, on August 10.
Congratulations to Doug Wright and Ashlee Batron who were united in marriage on July 26th.
We would like to express heartfelt thanks for the colorful prayer quilt and all the prayers offered on our behalf. Marj Timmerman helped me in many ways and the visits of our Pastors and loving friends are deeply appreciated. The outreach of our church family is amazing and every card and message touched us deeply. We also hold all of you in our thoughts and prayers.
Dorothy and Richard Wimmer
Thanks to all my friends at First Church who prayed for me & sent cards when I had my left knee replaced. The prayers and thoughts helped so much as the incision healed quickly & my physical therapist tells me that I am way ahead in my rehab program. The surgeon released me last Friday, and now it´s a matter of exercising to regain my strength.
God Bless You All. Rachel Reed
Dear Church Family,
Thank you for all the cards, love and prayers that are coming my way for my hip replacement surgery. I certainly felt them...and the visits and prayers with Pastors Tish & Gary certainly made my short stay extra special. Recovery is going very well. You are a Special Congregation.
We Are Blessed, Sally & Don Groters
Thank you so much for the beautiful stole! I will wear it often and always with the people of First UMC in mind. Thank you also for the lovely reception and all your warm wishes as I embark on this new ministry. May God guide you and be with you as you continue to be alive in the city and embracing the world!
Much love, Kim DeLong