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August 20, 2013


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Weekly Pulse - August 20, 2013 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.


TishGreetings Friends,

I will be traveling back to my childhood home and church (Grace UMC in Lansing) this weekend to help my parents celebrate fifty years of marriage. There´s something special about going home again – the warm welcome, the joy of seeing that certain things are still just as you remember, and the delight at seeing what has changed. I especially know that I´m home when my mother hands me a dish towel and points to the sink full of dishes. Even returning to your own home following a trip comes with its own set of pleasures – your own bed, your own food, your own place.

September 7-8 is Homecoming at First Church and everyone is invited. Has it been a while since you were in church? Come home! Have you missed the sense of community, purpose, and grace? Come home! There´s no reason to stay away! Come home!

We have an exciting Homecoming weekend planned this year. Starting on Saturday, September 7 everyone is invited to roll up their sleeves and make the world a better place. We will be helping to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Habitat for Humanity by helping with a day of deconstruction (think smashing and prying with hammers and crowbars!) There will also be opportunities for yard-work, meal prep and prayer. Then on Sunday, September 8 we will gather for worship as the family of God followed by feasting in Wesley Hall.

It is said that ´Home is where the heart is.´ I can´t think of a better place to call home than First Church and I can´t think of better people to call family. Homecoming is the time of year when family returns to the fold, when separated members are reunited, when we remember where we belong and who we were created to be. Be sure to mark your calendar and join in the activities of Homecoming weekend, from Habitat, to worship, to Church school, to feast. You will be welcomed with open hearts, open minds, open doors, and open arms. I´ll be looking for you!

Pastor Tish

P.S. Sign up by using the Sunday bulletin insert or online at

Sharon SorensonI asked Rev. Tish to share her space with me this week. This message is for those who are over 70-1/2 and want to take advantage of the Charitable IRA Rollover law that was re-instated this year. In the June 2013 issue of Planned Giving Today an article by Shari Fox talks about a gift that went wrong. In the article, Fred wants to purchase a Charitable Gift Annuity for him and his wife. This is great for their chosen charity and will benefit Fred and his wife by providing an income stream. "But, when Fred transfers money from his IRA to fund a {charitable} gift annuity, even with the extension of the Charitable IRA Rollover, he will have an unpleasant outcome. Distributions from an IRA to charity only qualify as tax-free charitable distributions if they are for outright gifts without any benefit to the donor or other noncharitable entities." According to the article, the amount of money Fred contributed to the Charitable Gift Annuity would be taxable to him because it would be treated as a distribution to him; it was not an outright distribution to a charity. Essentially he made a nonqualified transfer of IRA monies to fund his Charitable Gift Annuity. Please consult with your tax advisor before making anything other than an outright distribution to First Church from your IRA.

Many of our retirees have taken advantage of this Charitable IRA Rollover law this year in many different ways: to complete their estimate of giving for 2013; to give to the Tower Campaign; to give to second-mile giving through the Legacy Funds; and some have indicated that they intend to pre-pay their 2014 commitment to First Church. They simply notify me the funds are coming, where they want the funds applied, and the check comes directly to me from their IRA investment manager/bank. The funds do not pass through the donor´s hands. This is considered an outright gift to First Church and qualifies for the Charitable IRA Rollover law. Please contact me if you have any questions relating to this matter.

Sharon Sorensen, Legacy Administrator & Treasurer

Table of Contents


• August 21, 8:00 am  —    Caring Connection
• August 29, 9:00 am  —    Fixin´ ´n´ Fellowship
• August 29, 7:00 pm   —   Confirmation Parent Meeting
• September 4, 6:00 pm   —   Taizé Sung Prayers
• September 5, 9:00 am   —   Prayer Quilters
• September 7   —   Habitat Build Day
• 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
• September 28, 10:30 am - 7:30 pm  —    Lot Party
• September 29, 11:00 am - 1:00 pm  —    Lot Party
• October 2, 6:00 pm   —   Taizé Sung Prayers
• October 3, 9:00 am  —    Prayer Quilters
• October 8, 7:00 pm   —   Infertility Support Group
• October 10, 9:00 am   —   Fixin´ ´n´ Fellowship
• October 20, 4:00 pm   —    James Croom Opera Singer in Concert

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8:30 AM
• Child Care — 0-Grade 2 Room 106

10:00 AM
• 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.)

Fall Sunday Schedule: Children & Youth Schedule

Beginning September 8:
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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HABITAT BUILD DAY: Saturday, September 7

Celebrate the 30th Anniversary of Habitat for Humanity of West Michigan & Homecoming Weekend by volunteering for a day of service from 8:30 am - 4:00 pm. Opportunities include: deconstruction (age 18+), neighborhood cleanup and gardening (age 14+), lunch preparation, prayer support. Sign-up by using the Sunday bulletin insert or on line at

HOMECOMING: Sunday, September 8
Come home to First Church following summer travels and vacations. If you haven´t yet met Pastor Bob & his wife Pigeon, welcome them to their new church home. Invite your friends and neighbors to make First Church their home too!

9:15 & 11:00 am
Homecoming Brunch
10:00 am - 12:30 pm

Church School
• 9:15 am Church School for all ages
Infant (0-2 years), Toddler (2-3 years), Children & Worship (3 years – K), Faith Travelers (K-6th), Junior High Youth (7th-8th), and Senior High Youth (9th- 12th), Adults
• 11:00 am Church School Infant - 2nd grade
Infant (0-2 years), Toddler (2-3 years), One Room Schoolhouse (Age 4 - 2nd grade)
• 5:00 pm Youth Groups
Kids´ Club (3rd – 6th), Junior High Youth (7th -8th), Senior High Youth (9th – 12th)

• Infant Nursery (Rm 107) at 9:15 & 11:00 am
This fall our experienced nursery staff of Sherry Gates and Joyce Bland will care for all infants, birth – 23 months. The nursery is open from 9 am – 12:00 noon every Sunday. Adults may volunteer in the Infant Nursery for the 9:15 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. worship hours while senior high students may volunteer in the Infant Nursery for the 11:00 am worship service. Please sign up to serve three or more Sundays in the fall.
• Toddler Nursery (Rm 106) at 9:15 & 11:00 am
Emily Mol and Renee Willey staff our Toddler Nursery for children aged 2 years - young 3 years. (Please note the room location remains on the first floor.) Adults may assist as helpers during either worship hour. Junior or senior high teens are needed to serve as helpers during the 11:00 am service. Please sign up to serve three or more Sundays in the fall.
• Children & Worship (Rm 204 /201) at 9:15 am
Children who are older 3 year olds and toilet trained – Pre-K are eligible for this class. Traci Beals, Holly Cook, and Michele Vander Berg will return as the teachers at 9:15 am (Please note Children & Worship will only be offered at the 9:15 am hour this year.) Parent helpers are needed for each Sunday at 9:15 am. Please sign up to serve three Sundays during the fall months.
• Faith Travelers (3rd Floor) at 9:15 am
Faith Travelers is our rotation model church school class for Kindergarten-6th grade. Children begin in worship with their families at 9:15 am and then are excused to their Faith Travelers classes. This year our students in fifth and sixth grades will be involved in a new experience called Faith Travelers in Mission. They will dig deeper into what it means to act on faith, putting God´s word into action that will have an impact on others. Contact Annette if you would like to learn more about Faith Travelers and Faith Travelers in Mission!
• Junior High Confirmation (The Vine) at 9:15 am for 7th - 8th graders.
You´re invited to join us for confirmation this fall. Meet us in the sanctuary at 9:15am on Sunday mornings to kick-start our time together, then we´ll move over to The Vine.
• Senior High Church School (The Vine) at 9:15 am for 9th-12th graders
You´re invited to join us in "Becoming a Good Samaritan" this fall. Meet us in the sanctuary at 9:15am on Sunday mornings to kick-start our time together, then we´ll move over to The Vine. After Church School, you´re invited to practice with our youth choir. All invited!
• One Room Schoolhouse (Rm 202) at 11:00 am
4 year olds through 2nd graders attend worship with their families at 11:00 am and then are excused to the One Room Schoolhouse following the Moments with Children. Linnae Smalley and Katie Wezeman will be leading children in the One Room Schoolhouse with Bible stories, activities, and learning.
• Kids´ Club (Wesley Hall) 5:00 – 7:00 pm
Hello 3rd - 6th Graders! Come on down to First Church on Sunday nights to hangout with friends, grow in faith, and have a bunch of fun! Bring $2 for dinner and always dress for indoor/outdoor adventures! The Kids´ Club Director is Emily Mol, assisted by Ken Mol. Parents are encouraged to help on a rotating basis.
• Junior High Youth Group (The Vine) 5:00 – 7:00 pm
7th - 8th graders are invited to "Start" the year off right. Join us as we play games, make new friends, and have fun! We meet Sunday evenings in The Vine. Friends and new faces are always invited!
• Senior High Youth Group (The Vine) 5:00 – 7:00 pm
Are you a high school student who´s looking to make new friends while making a difference in our community and growing in your faith? Then, you´re invited to hang out with our Senior High Youth Group! We typically meet on Sunday evenings in The Vine. Friends and new faces are always invited! Never miss an adventure, find us on facebook or check out
• College Students & Young Adults (ages 18-30)
Are you 20ish, but there is more to you than just your age? Are you looking to be a part of a community where you can make a difference? We´d love for you to connect with the Young Adults @ First. 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 and make a difference. We typically gather on Wednesdays at 6:00 pm in The Vine. 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. Friends and new folks always invited! We hope you´ll join us! Email: to see what´s coming up.

1stFIRST 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.

DINNER FOR EIGHT Are you an adult wanting to get to know others in the church or to make better connections? Dinner for Eight is one of the best ways we know of to help you out! Have a potluck dinner with seven other singles or couples in someone´s home. If you have questions, contact Janet Wood at 447.1667 or Suzy Wood at or 891.9069. Please use the sign-up sheet if you plan to participate and let us know if you can host.

HABITAT BUILD DAY Saturday, September 7 from 8:30 am - 4:00 pm. Because of First Church´s involvement with Habitat throughout the years, we´ve been invited to celebrate with them through a day of service at their 30th Anniversary Build. The build date we´ve chosen is Saturday, September 7. We chose the day before Homecoming Sunday as a meaningful way to kick off the weekend. Opportunities will include: deconstruction (age 18+), neighborhood cleanup and gardening (age 14+). If you would like to join us, please use the sign-up sheet or email

SHARING CHURCH It couldn´t be easier to share FUMC with friends: whether it´s an invitation, a thought-provoking sermon quote, an inspiring devotion, or fun pictures of life at First Church, you can do all this on our Facebook page ( Check it out today and while there, why not share it with at least one friend, too?

FUMC CONFIRMATION: PARENT MEETING Do you have a student entering 7th or 8th grade? This year is Confirmation for our Jr. High. If you would like more information, please plan on attending the parent meeting Thursday, August 29 from 7:00 - 8:00 pm. (Please use sign-up sheet.)

YOUNG ADULTS: SHOES VOLUNTEER PROJECT AT IN THE IMAGE Are you 18-30 and looking to make a difference in the community? Then you´re invited to connect with the Young Adults @ First. We´re heading over to In the Image to help fit children for a new (free) pair of shoes to wear back to school. Meet us at The Vine on Wednesday, August 28 at 5:30pm to carpool.

YOUNG ADULTS: FALL KICKOFF PARTY Are you a college student or young adult (18-30) looking to connect with others and have a little fun? Join us for free food and games in The Vine on Wednesday, September 4 at 6:00 pm. Friends always invited! We love meeting new folks! Questions? Email

STUDENTS, YOU ARE INVITED TO BE A PART OF ARTPRIZE! All students, 3rd-12th grade, are invited to join us for our Luminary Creations Workshop on Sunday, September 15 from 5:00 - 7:00 pm. We´ll gather in Wesley Hall to eat and create. Friends invited!

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!

ARTS ALIVE CAMP: THE GLOBAL VILLAGE This year 61 children sang, danced, drummed, created art, learned about the work of Heifer International, and experienced God through Bible study and creative activity. The children also met a real goat! Ten junior high youth participated in a Week of Giving at mission projects in the downtown area. Over 30 people volunteered. On Thursday we learned more about how children are helped by the gift of an animal at the Howell Nature Center Heifer Project Global Village. The children and youth raised over $250 to purchase two Heifer goats with the gift of a goat being matched by three additional donors for a grand total of FIVE GOATS. Thanks to all who attended and supported Arts Alive Camp through prayer, serving, and providing scholarships. The week was a wonderful learning experience and time to grow in faith for children, youth, and adults!

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Concerns & Prayers for:
• Donna Anton (Trillium Woods)
• Allyson Cave
• Shirley Etcher
• Jim Hoff
• Mildred Kirchenbauer
• Irene Leemhuis (hospice care)
• Norma Mann
• Alan Norton
• Richard Wimmer
• Renee Willey (mission trip to Pine Ridge SD)

Service Personnel
• 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 Ray Tromp and his family on the death of his mother, June Tromp, on August 15th. Her service was held on August 19th.

Thank you all for the cards, well wishes, and prayers sent my way.
Donna Anton (Antonopulos)

Thank you for the beautiful quilt. It is absolutely beautiful. When I see the many colors and different designs that make it up, it is one of a kind. It is just gorgeous. Again many thanks for your thoughtfulness.
Jim Weaver

Thank you all for the cards of sympathy regarding the loss of my mother-in-law.
Shirley Rice

Table of Contents


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


Click the following links to download a PDF.
• "Getting to Know Each Other" Sermon Series
• Current Sunday Sign-Up Sheet: Sign up online at

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

Worship Services
8:30 & 10:00 am

Getting to Know Each Other

Sunday, August 25
"Where Will We Be When We Get Where We´re Going?"
Deuteronomy 30:11-20
Ministry Focus: Adult Education

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ADULT EDUCATION: COMING THIS FALL Look for class sign-ups for A Disciple´s Path or Get Off Your Donkey.


WORK PROGRAM NEEDS The FUMC Work Program creates short-term hourly employment in the central city area. Clients work two hours at one of our agencies in the Heartside neighborhood and earn $15 cash. The Work Program is in need of volunteers Tuesday mornings to help sign up participants and assist in work assignments once or twice per month from 7:00 - 9:00 am. For more information contact Richard Johnson at To volunteer use the Sunday Sign-up Sheet or visit

MANY VOLUNTEERS ARE NEEDED THIS FALL in the Infant Nursery, Toddler Nursery, and Children & Worship rooms. We have created a simple way for you to schedule your volunteer time online at
through Thank you for supporting our children´s ministry by serving as a volunteer! If you have questions, please contact Annette Erbes at 451.2879 (Monday-Wednesday) or All volunteers must be cleared through our child protection policy procedures.


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.


INFERTILITY SUPPORT GROUP All who have experienced infertility issues, including miscarriage and secondary infertility, are invited to attend our next meeting on Tuesday, September 10 at 7:00 pm in The Vine. Please RSVP by using the bulletin sign-up sheet or by calling Marj Timmerman at 901.9224.

EATING DISORDERS Are you noticing your child´s clothes becoming baggy on their shrinking frame? 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.

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Sunday, August 11
Worship 8:30 am........70
Church School........21
Worship 10:00 am........204

Sunday, August 18
Worship 8:30 am........57
Church School........26
Worship 10:00 am........212

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