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September 10, 2013


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Weekly Pulse - September 10, 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.


TishOur Homecoming Sunday was terrific. There were 500 who attended worship… nearly 250 were served at our brunch… the choir was back… Faith Travelers (the term used to describe our younger disciples – K-6th grade) had nearly 50 young people. Pastor Tish is also teaching Confirmation Class – and it is appearing that 10 to 12 young people will be participating in this journey as well. We began the 9:15 am worship with everyone joining for 15 minutes of music, scripture, and prayer in the sanctuary before heading off to spiritual formation classes… and that, too, was successful. We will continue to spend time tweaking and developing our 15 minutes together – but the feedback was overwhelmingly positive. IF you were not able to be with us last Sunday – not only did we miss you… but you also missed a wonderful Sunday at First Church. We look forward to welcoming you this coming Sunday as we move into our second week of our series on "Lord, Teach Us to Pray." We are going to receive our Coffee Can Offering… there will be a baptism at each of our services… and the Martin Luther King Leadership Academy will be our ministry focus for the month of September. A BIG thank you is extended to all those who worked hard to make our ´Home-Coming Sunday´ a success. We still have a need for volunteers – particularly with our children´s ministry during the 9:15 am educational hour. Please prayerfully consider how you might assist in this important ministry.

This past Saturday, we also had 17 volunteers who worked on a Habitat for Humanity build here in Grand Rapids. Our volunteers ranged in age from 17 to 70-something. I have a soft spot in my heart for the work of Habitat for Humanity. A couple of years ago, Pigeon and I were extended an invitation to attend a special weekend in Atlanta, Americus, and Plains, Georgia as one of 50 religious leaders from across the country to learn about the work of Habitat. We ate lunch with President and Mrs. Carter at the Carter historic farm and attended the Sunday school class that Mr. Carter teaches each Sunday morning. I am a supporter of the mission of Habitat to make a way for people to live in affordable housing. It is proven that families do better… young people do better in school… and the community is blessed by welcoming a family into a safe residential area. I am proud of our participation in this life-changing ministry.

Finally – I am also learning about the Worship Support Teams AND First Responders. There is actually a thank you luncheon scheduled for Sunday, September 15 after the 11:00 am worship hour. The Support Teams include ushers and greeters – but that is not all. We also have a hospitality vision for Visitor Assistants – who will help our guests to find their way around our building. We also are looking for parking lot aids at the north lobby entrance who can simply be attentive to those who park in the handicap spaces. We need parking lot attendants who can guide people to parking spaces on Sunday morning when the lots begin to fill up. There is also the First Response Team (folks who are CPR- and AED-trained) in the event that we have a guest in some kind of health crisis. This kind of ministry is crucial as we welcome each guest on Sunday morning. The hospitality focus of this ministry is so very important as we extend a personal touch to each guest who comes to worship with us. If you can help in any way, please join the team for lunch. If you are unable to make it this Sunday, contact Patsy McGillivray or Marj Timmerman – or simply check your interest on the sign-up sheet this coming Sunday.

Thank you for your support and participation in making First Church the kind of church that compels folks to drive by many other churches to be part of our faith community.

I look forward to welcoming you in worship this Sunday.

Pastor Bob

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• September 10, 7:00 pm   —   Infertility Support Group
• September 12, 9:00 am   —   Fixin´ ´n´ Fellowship
• September 15, 12:00 pm   —   Worship Support Team/First Responder Team Lunch
• September 16, 12:00 pm   —   60+ Luncheon
• September 18, 8:00 am   —   Caring Connection
• September 21, 8:30 am   —    Feeding America Distribution
• September 21   —   Scrapbooking
• September 21, 6:00 pm   —   Jazz Vespers: Max Colley III Quartet
• September 22, 12:30 pm   —   Luminary Workshop
• 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 13, 10:00 am - 1:00 pm   —   Flu Shot Clinic
• October 14, 12:00 pm   —   60+ Luncheon
• October 16, 8:00 am   —   Caring Connection
• October 19, 8:30 am   —    Feeding America Distribution
• October 19, 6:00 pm   —   Jazz Vespers: Fred Knapp Trio
• October 20, 4:00 pm   —   James Croom Opera Singer in Concert
• October 27   —   Consecration Sunday
• October 27, 10:00 am - 12:30 pm  —    Fellowship Brunch

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Sunday Schedule: Children & Youth

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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• 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.

OPEN MINDS. OPEN HEARTS. OPEN PARKING LOTS??? This September 28 and 29, we´re renting another tent and transforming our parking lot into a space to build community. A few things going on this year are: coffee hour, urban playground, creation stations, music, and a picnic. We hope you´ll join us! Find out more or volunteer online at

THIRD GRADE BIBLES Parents, do you have a third grade child this year? If so, we want to make you aware that Bibles will be presented to third graders on Sunday, September 22 during both worship services. If you would like your third grader to receive a Bible, please notify Annette Erbes, Director of Children´s Ministry, at annettee@grand or 616.451.2879, as to which worship service your child will be attending that day and the preferred listing of your child´s name for the nameplate. We look forward with your child to this opportunity for faith learning and growth!

UPCOMING BAPTISM DATES are available: September 15, November 24, and January 12. Please call Mary Molhoek at 451.2879 to schedule a baptism.

CALLING ALL 5TH AND 6TH GRADERS: Come join the new Faith Travelers program created specifically for you, "Mission in Action Faith Travelers." Do you like to share your faith by helping others? Do you want to learn about organizations that are changing the world? Would you like to join your friends and be part of making a positive change? We will explore the Bible and God´s teachings by learning ways to be involved with mission work that our church supports! The best part is every couple weeks we´ll have a new mission focus and you will help decide what we do. Mission in Action is unique because we can build a team that shows our faith through our actions! Come join us to learn more and to start building our team of Mission in Action Faith Travelers.

YOUNG ADULTS: ARTPRIZE OPEN HOUSE Are you a college student or young adult (18-30) looking to connect with others while welcoming the community to ArtPrize? Then you´re invited to join us on Wednesday, September 18 at 5:30 pm for an evening of cotton candy-making and fun. Please meet in The Vine and dress for outdoors. Questions? Email

COFFEE CAN OFFERING This month will benefit the Kenya Widows Garden. This ministry provides resources necessary for women to grow their own food, as well as providing a source of income and produce for the consumption of the surrounding community. This ministry is supported by First United Methodist Church through missionaries Dr. Marty and Hollee Graber who make multiple trips to Kenya each year.

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.

FLU SHOT CLINIC Mark your calendar! Spectrum Health Visiting Nurses will provide flu shots from 10:00 am - 1:00 pm on Sunday, October 13 in the parlor. Medicare and many insurances billed directly for you. No reservations needed!

LUMINARY WORKSHOP As part of our ArtPrize experience, we are offering a workshop on Sunday, September 22 at 12:30 pm to build your own luminary to carry in a grand procession on the evening of Saturday, September 28, which will leave at 7:30 pm from our ArtPrize Lot Party and join up with a large crowd at Rosa Parks Circle at 8:00 pm. Be a part of this fun ArtPrize entry.

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!

LIBRARY In conjunction with Pastor Bob´s sermon series this fall, we will have a "library" set up in the narthex. Books on prayer will be available for church members to check-out.

60+ LUNCHEON will be held on Monday, September 16 at noon. The featured presentation will be "Lighthouses" with Tom Buettner. Please call Elaine Youngs at 735.5506 or Luci Baer at 457.7797 if you would like to make a reservation.

CHILDREN´S PHOTOS During the course of the year, photographs of children are taken during children´s ministry activities. These photos may be used occasionally for church publicity. If you prefer that your child´s photos not be used publicly, please contact Annette Erbes, Director of Children´s Ministry at or Monday through Wednesday at 451-2879.

FALL LAY SERVANT MINISTRY CLASS TRAINING will take place at Rockford UMC (159 Maple St). Basic Class will be offered on Thursdays, Oct. 3, 10, 17, and 24 from 6:30 - 8:30 pm. 2 Advanced Classes will be offered on Thursdays, Oct. 3, 10, and 17 from 6:30 - 8:30 pm. The classes are: Preaching (co-leaders, Jody Pratt/Dick Riley) and Prayer (led by Craig Adams). The class fee is $25 per person (includes all printed class materials). Contact Jody Pratt at or call 269.792.0481 to register.

HAVE A "MOVEABLE CRAFT?" Come join us on Saturday, September 21 in Wesley Hall. For more information see Patsy or email her at

SUBSCRIBE! Missed church? Never go sermon-less again. Our pastors´ sermons are now available on YouTube. Simply search for GRFUMC and click the subscribe button.

BLOOD DRIVE Our next Blood Drive will be Monday, September 23 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.

CARING CONNECTION The next meeting is on Wednesday, September 18 at 8:00 am at New Beginnings Restaurant (1455 Michigan St NE). We welcome anyone who would like to participate in caring for our homebound with phone calls, note-writing, and visits.

WORSHIP SUPPORT TEAM/FIRST RESPONDER TEAM LUNCH Anyone interested in joining the team and all current team members are invited to join us on Sunday, September 15 following the 11:00 am worship.

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Concerns & Prayers for:
• Donna Anton (Trillium Woods)
• Art Beals (Blodgett)
• Don Chisnall (outpatient surgery 9/12)
• Jim Hoff
• Robert Newell
• Alan Norton
• Lea Tobar
• Thora White
• Richard Wimmer

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 Amy and Adam Hinman and family on the death of Amy´s grandfather, Russ Ward, on September 5th; to Christine Killingsworth and family on the death of Christine´s mother, Marcile Garrod, on August 7th; and to the family and friends of Jackie Ripley, who died on September 8th.

Miles KrillCongratulations to Pam and Ben Krill on the birth of a son, Miles Benjamin, on September 4th. Proud big brother is Charlie!

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Sunday, September 8
Worship 9:15 am........249
Church School........128
Worship 10:00 am........301
Evening Activities........44

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Link to Facebook Page


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


Click the following links to download a PDF.
• "Lord, Teach Us to Pray" 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
9:15 & 11:00 am

Lord, Teach Us to Pray!

Sunday, September 15 "Planting and Reaping"
Dr. Bob Hundley
Luke 8:4-8, 11-15
Hebrews 11:6
Ministry Focus:
MLK Leadership Academy
Coffee Can Offering

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As the school year kicks off, we want to remind you about Pathways. Jesus says, "Follow me." John Wesley took Jesus´ call literally and it changed the world. We encourage you to grow in your discipleship through Pathways. Visit the church website to learn more or begin by taking the class "A Disciples Path" beginning October 27. Or look for the symbols to create your own unique journey. The symbols are:
1stHearing the CallA Disciple´s Path
1stSetting Out
Journeying Along
1stClimbing Higher


• A Disciple´s Path You are invited to take this six-week class based on the Wesleyan understanding of our growth in God´s love and grace. Learn the practices of spiritual disciplines outlined in our membership vows to uphold the church with our presence, prayers, gifts, service, and witness. Meet Sunday evenings in room 3109. It will meet from Oct 27 - Dec 1. Books are $10.


SOAP SUNDAYS IN SEPTEMBER Throughout the month of September the Social Concerns Committee will be collecting laundry detergent and dish soap for the Westminister Food Pantry. These items are frequently needed and are provided to clients when they are in stock. Donations may be dropped off in the collection room located in the north lobby.

WORK PROGRAM The FUMC Work Program creates short-term hourly employment in the central city area. Clients work two hours at one of the agencies in the Heartside neighborhood and earn $15 cash. If you would like to try volunteering once just to see what happens with the Work Program, contact Richard Johnson at richardj@


• Get Off Your Donkey Led by Jess DeBoni. Jesus had little patience with institutional religion that cared for its own needs while neglecting the plight of ordinary people. In one of his most famous parables, he sets up as a model of Christian behavior a man who, unlike some religious folks, actually gets down off his donkey and helps a person in dire need. Join this class as we discuss what Jesus taught about helping others in need. Meets Sunday mornings (9:30 - 10:30 am) in room 3109. Held from Sept 8 - Oct 13. Books are $10.
• Mere Christianity Led by Pete Muszkiewicz. In 1941 England, when all hope was threatened by the inhumanity of war, C. S. Lewis was invited to give a series of radio lectures addressing the central issues of Christianity. More than half a century later, these talks continue to retain their poignancy. First heard as informal radio broadcasts on the BBC, the lectures were published as three books and subsequently combined as Mere Christianity. Join this class discussion based on the book. Meet Sunday evenings (5:00 - 6:30 pm) in 3107. It will meet from Sept 22 - Oct 27. Books are $10. Child care provided.
 Coming Soon: Immigration & the Bible Led by Laura Rampersad. The Bible was written by, for, and about migrants, immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers. It gives directions for responding to sisters and brothers from around the world who come to a land seeking safety, sanctuary and sustenance. Join this class to learn what the Bible teaches us about immigration. Meet Sunday mornings (9:30 - 10:30 am) in room 3109. It will meet from Oct 27 - Nov 17. Books are $7.
• Coming Soon: If Christians Were Really Christian Led by Dr. Bob Hundley. In the world today churches and church members are often diverted from their central mission of loving others and interpreting life through the vision of Jesus Christ. If Christians Were Really Christian shows that with the message we have been given and the spirit of God to lead us we should have led everyone to the kingdom of God. Meet Sunday evenings Nov 3 - 24 in room 3107. Child care provided.

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.

FUMC~MLK TUTORING NEWS! With the start of the school year, we are looking forward to our 22nd year of tutoring at MLK! Jer Hon-Hawkins and Leah Muir will again coordinate the program assisted part time by a tutor, Maryann Warren. If you are aware of anyone interested in joining our program this year, we are always in need of more volunteers to work with our students! We work predominately on reading with Kdg-2nd graders. Please feel free to pass our information along. Tutors must be at least 18 years old and pass the GR Public Schools background check. Volunteers from all walks of life enrich our program greatly. A teaching degree is not necessary. Please contact Leah today if you are interested in participating by using the sign-up sheet, email Leah at MLKTutoring, or call 616.819.1745.

Important Dates:
• Sept. 16 Volunteers will receive an email with the schedule of classes that will come to our center for the year. Plan to respond with your preference of day (M-Th), time (10:30-11:45 or 12:30-1:45), grade level (K-2) or students you´d like to tutor a second year. Spots are also available as classroom aides and substitute tutors, if you can´t commit to the entire year.
• Sept. 16-18 Testing of all 1st and 2nd grade students from 8:30-11:40 am. We need as many volunteers as possible to help! No experience is necessary. We will train each morning at 8 am and provide step-by-step materials used to determine the reading level for each child. Contact Leah immediately and indicate if you can help all or part of that time.
• Sept. 20th Deadline to respond to the email sent on the 16th, indicating your preference for volunteering so we can create a schedule.
• Sept. 23-25 Volunteer training sessions Monday 12-2, Tuesday 12-2, Wednesday 9-11 & 12-2. New volunteers must attend one of the 2 hour sessions. Returning volunteers are encouraged to attend as a refresher.
• Sept. 27 You will receive an email indicating what day and time you are assigned, based on your preferences.
• Oct. 7 Tutoring begins this week!


DISCIPLE I Classes will be led by Rev. Tish Bowman, Dave & Sue Rowe, Rev. Dick Youells, George Bob, and Laure Mieskowski. Have you ever wanted to take Disciple I but couldn´t commit to 34 weeks? Or have you taken it but would like to revisit a portion of the study? We will divide the year up into 6 sections ranging in length from 5-7 weeks each and invite students to participate as much or as little as able. The schedule will be as follows: Session 1 Sept 11 - Oct 23: In the Beginning: Torah, Session 2 Oct 30 – Nov 27: History: Judges and Prophets, Session 3 Dec 4 – Jan 15: Poetry, Session 4 Jan 22 – Feb 26: The Gospel, Session 5 Mar 12 – Apr 9: The Church and The Epistles, Session 6 Apr 16 – May 24: Order & A Future.

CARING CIRCLES We now have 15 of our homebound friends paired up with Caring Circles visitors who visit them monthly. I am looking for visitors for 2 of our homebound women who live on the SW side of town. If you are willing to be a regular visitor to one of them, please let Marj Timmerman know at 901.9224 or



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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Weekly Pulse is published by First United Methodist Church of Grand Rapids. To subscribe to this newsletter, click on this link: subscribe.