One of the phrases that I used to describe the difference between serving as a parish pastor and being a District Superintendent was that the ´rhythm´ of life and ministry was vastly different between the two. For a Superintendent, from mid-June to early August – it is a relaxed time. There were very few meetings and not many appointments. Reading, resting, planning, praying and thinking are more of the ´norm´ during summertime. But about mid-August, supervisory conversations begin and preparation for the Church Conference season occurs. There is no break from mid-August until Christmas. Then in January, appointment work begins and goes until Easter time. For a Superintendent, the holidays of Christmas and Easter are ´down-times!´ Some of my colleagues enjoyed the ´rhythm´ of superintendency, but it took me a while to be comfortable with that particular work ´rhythm.´
Now – I am adjusting to another new ´rhythm.´ Every congregation has a ´rhythm.´ The ´rhythm´ of First Church is different from any congregation that I have served. Probably the ´rhythm´ of any vibrant downtown church in an eclectic city, is different from the ´rhythm´ in most congregations. Here, there is something happening all the time … and I am told … that the ´rhythm´ increases in its speed and intensity right after Labor Day, too.
There is also a ´rhythm´ in life. We all develop and fall into a recurring pattern of how we spend our time. There is a pulse and a heartbeat that gives a ´rhythm´ to our physical bodies. The ´rhythm´ of the body needs to change once in a while to be healthy. It is important to get the blood flowing during exercise, and then resting appropriately when we are sleeping.
During the summer months, we generally try to take a break from the normative rhythms that are ours. We vacation … take days off … go to the beach … read novels as we sit and soak up sunshine … have cookouts … go for a walk … visit with friends or family … and all of it, alters our ´rhythm.´ It is good to have variety in the rhythms of life.
When you attend a concert, notice how varied the ´rhythms´ are within the music chosen for the program. It would be tediously boring if all of the music we listened to had the same ´rhythm.´
It is also true in worship. There is a ´rhythm´ … a flow if you will … to music tempos, responsive readings, prayer, scripture and sermon. Worship parallels our lives. What happens within a community of faith is a reflection of the ebb and flow of life. All of us need to slow down, revive, and restore the soul – in order to be healthy enough to reinvest ourselves in our daily routines.
Please take time to be away and restore and renew by changing your rhythm. But I also encourage you to maintain a value for spiritual renewal through worship. Worship is a very important way to be renewed and restored.
I have noticed over the last few days that the staff rhythm is changing, too. We are a month away from ´Homecoming Sunday.´ So the planning is beginning to shift into a different gear as we move toward implementation. With every prayer and plan, we have our congregation and its outreach ministry in mind. But the prayerful planning needs participants. We need YOU!
As is typical in most congregations … when the ´rhythm´ of summer occurs, the giving pattern changes, too. But the expenses of the church continue. We have fallen behind financially and we need your help to enter the fall strong. Please make August a catch-up month with your tithes and offerings. Every gift makes a difference.
I look forward to welcoming you in worship this Sunday.
May God´s Grace and Peace be with you all.
• August 5 - 8 — Arts Alive Camp: the Global Village
• August 5 - 8 — Junior High: Week of Giving
• August 13, 7:00 pm — Infertility Support Group
• August 15, 9:00 am — Fixin´ ´n´ Fellowship
• August 15, 10:00 am — Moms´ Group at Boulder Ridge Animal Park
• August 17, 8:30 am — Feeding America Distribution
• August 21, 8:00 am — Caring Connection
• August 29, 9:00 am — Fixin´ ´n´ Fellowship
• September 4, 6:00 pm — Taizé Sung Prayers
• September 5, 9:00 am — Prayer Quilters
• September 8, 9:15 & 11:00 am — Homecoming Sunday: Fall Worship Hours
• September 10, 7:00 pm — Infertility Support Group
• September 12, 9:00 am — Fixin´ ´n´ Fellowship
• September 16, 12:00 pm — 60+ Luncheon
• September 18, 8:00 am — Caring Connection
• September 21, 8:30 am — Feeding America Distribution
• September 21, 6:00 pm — Jazz Vespers: Max Colley III Quartet
• September 23, 3:00 - 7:00 pm — Blood Drive
• September 26, 9:00 am — Fixin´ ´n´ Fellowship
• October 2, 6:00 pm — Taizé Sung Prayers
• October 3, 9:00 am — Prayer Quilters
• October 8, 7:00 pm — Infertility Support Group
• Infant Nursery — 0-23 months Room 107
• Toddler Nursery — age 2-young 3 Room 106
• One Room Schoolhouse — age 4-Grade 2 Room 202 (Dismissed from worship following Moments with the Children.)
Please contact Annette Erbes at 451.2879 or email@example.com with any questions.
FIRST CHURCH TOWER PAINTING Get your limited edition print of our Mathias Alten painting of the First Church Tower for $35. Purchase your print at the north lobby desk after church, during the week, or contact Peg Terkeurst at 451.2879.
DÉGAGÉ MINISTRIES FRESH FRUITS AND VEGETABLES Thank you for supporting Dégagé last summer! Your donations of fresh fruits and vegetables provided healthy options for our patrons. Would you please consider joining us again?
• Consider buying extra fruits and vegetables when you shop for your family.
• Tithe from your own garden.
• Drop off your items in the north lobby on Sunday and Dégagé will pick them up Monday through the growing season.
INKJET CARTRIDGE RECYCLING Drop off your used inkjet cartridges for recycling and help support the Senior High Youth. Cartridges can be deposited in the collection bin located in the north lobby drop-off room. Place your old cartridge in a plastic sandwich bag and deposit it in the bin. We do not accept any cartridges larger than 2-1/2 x 3-1/2 inches.
ALL-CHURCH CAMP WEEKEND will be held August 16 - 18 at Lake Michigan UM Camp in Pentwater. Cost is $28 per night. For all new campers, buy one night - get one free. Bring your own tent, trailer, or use the campground´s platform canvas tent with six beds. Payment needs to be made to reserve your spot. Contact Peg Terkeurst at 451.2879 or pegt@grand rapidsfumc.org to make your reservation.
MOMS´ GROUP: BOULDER RIDGE WILD ANIMAL PARK PICNIC We´re trying something new this summer! Meet us in Alto on Thursday, August 15 at 10:00 am at Boulder Ridge for a day of fun. Please pack a lunch and bring $8/person (ages 2 & under are free). Husbands, friends, and grandparents invited. (We need at least 25 to qualify for the group rate.) Info and directions at: www.boulderridgewap.com. Please RSVP by the day before to Marj or Sami at 451.2879 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
SUMMER MISSION OFFERING You may still contribute to our summer mission offering benefiting JFON of West Michigan and Habitat for Humanity. Remember that 100% of our giving to JFON will be matched through a national grant. Checks may be sent to the church office and marked July Mission Offering.
DINNER FOR EIGHT Meet new and old friends as you fellowship with other FUMC people over dinner three times a year. Each participant provides a potluck item and is matched with seven others to form a dinner party of eight in another participants home. If you have questions, contact Janet Wood at 447.1667 or Suzy Wood at email@example.com or 891.9069. Please use the sign-up sheet and let us know if you can host.
COFFEE CAN OFFERING BENEFITS HEIFER PROJECT INTERNATIONAL Join our Arts Alive campers by giving to Heifer Project International through our August 11 Coffee Can Offering. Our first - sixth grade Arts Alive campers collected money to purchase a goat during the week of camp, August 5 – 8. The gift of a dairy goat represents a lasting, meaningful way to help a family on the other side of the world. A dairy goat can supply several quarts of nutritious milk a day – a ton of milk a year. Extra milk can be sold or used to make cheese, butter or yogurt. Families learn to use goat manure to fertilize gardens. Goats often have two or three kids a year making it easy for Heifer recipients to pass on the gift of a goat to another family in need. This great investment allows our partners to lift themselves out of poverty by starting small dairies that earn money for food, health care, and education.
TOWER UPDATE The Tower Project continues on course. This week we are about 30-35 feet down from the top with about 25 feet to go. The removal of the tower should be complete by August 15. During the week of August 12, we will see the change from removal of stone to the start of the rebuilding of the new tower. According to Pioneer Construction, we are about a week behind our schedule. We are still on track to have the Tower complete by October 1st. In October, we will start on the renovations of the main church organ.
THE TOWER CAMPAIGN FUND is coming along. As of July 31st our numbers are:
• Number Pledges: 178
• Total Pledged: $728,147
• Pledges Received to date: $340,983
• Other Contributions: $93,522
• Total Budget $1,150,000
We are still short $328,331 at this point. Trustees, Finance and Leadership Council are looking for ways to raise the difference on this project.
SHARING CHURCH It couldn´t be easier to share your church with friends: whether it´s an event invitation, a thought-provoking sermon quote, an inspiring reflection from a daily devotion, or fun pictures of life at First Church, you can do all this on our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/grandrapidsfumc). Check it out today to see the latest Arts Alive Camp photos, too. While there, why not share it with at least one friend, too?
HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS Join us this fall as we grow in our faith, create new friendships, and make a difference in our community. We hope you will join us on Sundays at 9:30 am and 5:00 pm in The Vine (the side by the basketball hoop). Friends aren´t just invited, they are encouraged! To see the current schedule, visit www.grandrapidsfumc.org/youth or find Sami Marasigan on Facebook.
BACK TO SCHOOL SAVINGS Our Tutoring Center at MLK, 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. Donations may be left in the collection room off the north lobby. All supplies are needed: pencils, pens, inexpensive solid colored folders with pockets and tabs, spiral bound notebooks, glue and glue sticks, children´s scissors, erasers, rulers, binders, tab dividers, highlighters, Crayola brand 24 crayons or larger sized primary crayons, markers, colored pencils, pencil boxes… Thank you!
COLLEGE STUDENTS & YOUNG ADULTS (ages 18-30) – Are you 20ish, but there is more to you than just your age? Looking to be a part of a community and make a difference in the community? If so, then we´d love for you to connect with the Young Adults @ First. Yes, we may be 20ish, but don´t put a stereotype on us. Some of us are single. Some are married. Some are still in school. Others have found a dream job. Some of us feel like we´ve got it together. Many of us feel like we have no clue what´s next. And...that´s ok. What we have in common is that we´re on a faith journey together. We want to know God better. We want to make a difference. Want to connect? We typically gather on Wednesdays at 6:00 pm, somewhere. It varies depending on what we´re doing this week. Some weeks we´re out in the community volunteering, sharing in a meal, having a worship service, doing a study, playing games, or hanging out. Open to anyone 18-30. Friends and new folks always invited! We hope you´ll join us! Email: samim@grandrapids fumc.org to see what´s coming up.
Concerns & Prayers for:
• Donna Anton (Trillium Woods)
• Beth Colvin
• Bob Creaser (outpatient surgery 8/6)
• Shirley Etcher
• Jim Hoff
• Mildred Kirchenbauer
• Irene Leemhuis (hospice care)
• Norma Mann
• Alan Norton
• Thora White
• Richard Wimmer
• Laura Wright (Metro)
• Renee Willey (mission trip to Pine Ridge SD)
• Chris Bolhouse
• Scott Grifhorst
• Stephan Mathos
• Jesse Mounts
• Trevor Norton
• Shawn Seher
• Peter Taylor, Jr
Congratulations to Emily and Ken Mol on the birth of a daughter, Emma Elizabeth,on July 31st. Proud grandparents are Joyce & Thom Bland and Brenda & Tom Voisin. Congratulations to Hilary and Ben Lane on the birth of a son, Graham Ethan, on August 2nd. Proud big brother is Charlie! And congratulations to Kristina and Bobby Sisk on the birth of a son, Luca David, on August 3rd. Proud grandparents are Susan and David Bloss.
Thank you so much for the support of prayer and sympathy cards as they have been a source of strength through this time of Dad´s passing and dealing with mom´s cancer and radiation treatments. A special thank you, Marj Timmerman, for your special prayer before visitation which gave me strength. Christ´s love is alive in his church. Thank you.
AUGUST IS SOAP AND SHAMPOO MONTH Most of us don´t have to worry about choosing between buying a can of soup or a bar of soap, but a growing number of individuals are in that exact position. During the month of August, the Social Concerns Commission will collect bar bath soap and shampoo for Westminister Pantry so our neighbors no longer have to make that hard choice. Donations may be dropped off in the collection bins in the north lobby office.
MOVING NEEDS Our friends Elia, Jacqueline, Bonito, Francine, Evelyne, and Simione moved on Friday, August 2, from a small apartment into their first home. This rental property is located on the near northeast side of Grand Rapids. They are in need of the following new or gently used items: clothes dryer, vacuum cleaner, lawn mower, 2 small dressers, desk, and desk chair. Funds are also needed to upgrade plumbing and electrical for the washer and dryer. Please contact Laure Mieskowski at firstname.lastname@example.org or 451.2879 if you have items to donate or if you would like to contribute funds for these items.
THE 29ERS is a mission outreach ministry of the United Methodist Church. The 29ers are a group of retirees that travel to different areas of the country to do repairs and building projects. New members are always welcome. The dates are set for a fall project in Clymer, New York at Camp Findley. Work will begin on Monday, September 23 and end after breakfast on Friday, October 4. You may choose to work for one or two weeks. RV sites with full hook ups are available, or rooms with 2 twin beds and shared bath. Food is provided. Cost is $75 for one week, $100 for two weeks. To learn more about the 29ers, talk to First Church members Nel Kastner or Rev. Keith Bovee. Register by September 5 by contacting Bonnie Fryeat email@example.com or 269.345.2275.
FIRST RESPONSE TEAM Did you know that our First Response Team responded to 8 medical issues on Sundays in the past 8 months? Four of the people were taken by ambulance to a local emergency department (two of them were admitted), one went to ER by car, and three were cared for by our team. I am so grateful we have a team in place on Sundays to respond to the occasional medical problems that may arise. If you are current in your CPR/AED/First Aid training and would like to be part of the team, please contact me, Marj Timmerman RN, Parish Nurse at firstname.lastname@example.org or 901.9224.
MIDWEST MISSION DISTRIBUTION CENTER IN CHATHAM, ILLINOIS First Church and Genesis UMC will participate in a joint trip to the Midwest Mission Distribution Center on August 23 – 25, 2013. We will learn more about MMDC and volunteer in the UMCOR distribution center. Cost is $50 per person. Scholarship money is available. We will stay in a dorm and prepare our own meals. Dorm space is limited. RV hookup is available if you prefer that option. This trip is open to adults and families (children must be age 11 or older). For more information, or to register for this trip, contact Laure Mieskowski, 451-2879 or email@example.com. You may also indicate your interest by signing up via the Sunday bulletin insert.
CARING CIRCLES Have you been looking for something meaningful to do? Perhaps visiting one of our homebound members is the answer! We are looking for people who can be paired with a homebound person in their area and will visit once a month. Please use the sign-up sheet if you´re interested or have questions.
FIRST AID STATION
STRESSED OUT? Are you unable to enjoy a day at the beach with your family because you are stressed about things that need to be done or Monday´s work at the office? 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 2 one-hour sessions with a counselor at no charge to you.