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September 24, 2013


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Weekly Pulse - September 24, 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 love fall with the cool crisp air, the changing colors, and the anticipation that comes with a new program year in the church. Things have really begun to rev up at First Church; spiritual development classes are underway, youth are gathering and finding ways to reach out into the community, choirs are singing God´s praises, and disciples are planning ways to serve.

I´m especially glad to see so many returning friends in worship. While summer tends to find us spread out across the state finding rest and delight in God´s creation, fall draws us back home. I hope you are enjoying our current sermon series, "Lord, Teach us to Pray" as much as I am. This past Sunday´s sermon struck a chord with so many of us. We all need help in this life and we all have times when we just can´t do it on our own. Isn´t it good to be reminded that we can call on the One who will never leave us nor forsake us? If you missed this Sunday, remember that you can view the service online at our website or pick up a printed copy in the north lobby. Please, also be sure to stop by one of our prayer stations (north lobby and Barclay Street entrance) to write a brief prayer to be included in our worship banners! Don´t miss this Sunday. We will be looking at the various ways our creativity can be a means of prayer.

Speaking of creativity, have you had a chance to get downtown for ArtPrize yet? This year´s entries are amazing! As usual, they range from the silly (like a super-size child´s play toy) to the sublime (you´ll have to decide which piece qualifies) and everything in between. Of course, First Church has been right in the center of it all. This past weekend we housed a luminary worship in which about forty people from the community gathered to create art of their own. This weekend is our annual Lot Party. Saturday begins with a cup of coffee and our Urban Playground and Creation Stations. Bring your children and your neighbor´s children down for some creative and playful fun. At 1:00 pm we will host another luminary-making workshop that will culminate in our group joining the Luminary Procession and street celebration at 7:30 pm. Starting at 4:00 pm, the band RevelAsians will begin to play and at 6:00 pm, Impact Band (an ArtPrize entry) will take the stage. Saturday is going to be an amazing day for families to get out and enjoy our city!

The celebration continues on Sunday with worship in the sanctuary followed by a Dixieland-style band, picnic, and more Urban Playground and Creation Stations in the Lot. Did I mention there would be karaoke also?! I wonder who will amaze us with their "soon to be famous" rendition of…well, who knows what! Surprise is all part of the fun of ArtPrize!

See you this weekend! Pastor Tish

P.S. By the way, there is still time to volunteer to help out at our Lot Party on Saturday. Call Sami at the church to get connected! (I understand there is a free t-shirt for every volunteer – you won´t want to miss out on this fashion "must-have." All the cool kids are wearing them this fall!)

P.P.S. Are you new (or newish) to our church? Would you like to know more about who we are and what we are all about? Well, good news! We will be offering a Membership Exploration Classes on Sunday evenings, October 6, 13, 20 from 5:00 to 7:00 pm. They will be held in the parlor and child care will be provided. We will share a light meal (because it´s always nicer with food!) and then learn about the history, ministry, and vision of First Church, as well as about the United Methodist Church and the vows of membership. Please use the sign-up sheet on Sunday or call the church office to let us know that you plan to join us. If you have questions, contact Patsy McGillivray, Pastor Tish, or Pastor Bob.

P.P.P.S We will be receiving new members into the church on Sunday, October 27. What a great day that will be!

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• 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 9, 2:00 pm  —    Pastoral Care at Clark
• October 10, 9:00 am   —   Fixin´ ‘n´ Fellowship
• October 13, 10:00 am - 1:00 pm  —    Flu Shot Clinic
• October 16, 8:00 am  —    Caring Connection
• October 17, 2:00 pm  —    Pastoral Care at Porter Hills
• 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 21, 12:00 pm  —    60+ Luncheon
• October 27   —   Consecration Sunday
• October 27, 10:00 am - 12:30 pm  —    Fellowship Brunch
• November 6, 6:00 pm  —    Taizé Sung Prayers
• November 7, 9:00 am  —    Prayer Quilters
• November 12, 7:00 pm  —    Infertility Support Group
• November 16, 6:00 pm  —    Jazz Vespers: Wonderland Jazz Ensemble
• November 18, 12:00 pm  —    60+ Luncheon
• November 20, 8:00 am  —    Caring Connection

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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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COLORADO FLOODING Prayers and funds are needed in Colorado. United Methodists in Colorado are asking for prayers and monetary donations in the wake of ongoing floods that have ripped up roads, cut off communities, and taken lives. Volunteers are not needed during this early response to the flooding. Offer your prayers and send your dollars through the United Methodist Committee on Relief. Checks can be made to First Church with UMCOR Domestic Disaster Response in the memo line or donate online 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. Printed copies are also available in the north lobby rack.

TAIZÉ SERVICE Wednesday, October 2 at 6:00 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.

PORTER HILLS FRIENDS Please mark your calendar to meet with your Pastoral Care team on Thursday, October 17 at Porter Hills. We will meet in the 2nd floor library area at 2:00 pm for fellowship and snacks. Please join us! – Pastor Bob, Pastor Tish and Parish Nurse Marj

CLARK FRIENDS Plan to join us on Wednesday, October 9 at 2:00 pm for our Pastoral Care gathering! We will meet in the Games Room at Clark for fellowship time and snacks. We hope to see you there! – Pastor Tish, Pastor Bob and Parish Nurse Marj

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 6TH Children and youth in kindergarten and above are invited to attend worship with their families as we celebrate Worldwide Communion Sunday together. We will welcome drummer Carolyn Koebel from Arts Alive Camp to our worship on this Sunday. Children and youth in Grades 3 and up are invited to be part of First Singers with Carolyn Koebel at 8:30 am that morning to be part of the drumming circle and sing for worship at 9:15 am! Faith Travelers, youth, and adult classes will NOT be held on this special Sunday so that families may worship together. Please note that the Infant and Toddler Nurseries (9:15 and 11:00 am), Children and Worship (9:15 am), and One Room Schoolhouse (11:00 am) classes will be held as usual.

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!

DON´T FORGET YOUR SWEATER Outdoor temperatures are fluctuating like mad! How are we supposed to dress? The outdoor temperature has a direct effect on how the church building feels inside. When the temperature is going back and forth, church can be very warm or very cool. During this time of temperature uncertainty, please wear layers. In this huge building, it´s difficult to get the temperature favorable for all, so please come to church prepared!

ARTPRIZE LOT PARTY 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!

FACEBOOK FRIENDS! Vote for Martin Luther King Leadership Academy! Each vote = $1 donation to MLK. Search facebook for "Give With Target" then type Martin L. King Leadership Academy in the "find a school" spot. Vote and share with your Facebook friends! Not on Facebook? Go to

MIGRATING VIGIL FOR IMMIGRATION REFORM On Saturday, October 5, be part of migrating prayer vigil, moving from church to church downtown, in support of Comprehensive Immigration Reform. They are planning 7 to 8 sites in the downtown area which will feature a short prayer from local pastors or church leaders. First UMC will be one of the stops. We will gather in front of First Place sometime between 3:00 - 3:30 pm. Those who want to move with the group may continue on to the Catholic Diocese Offices for the next prayer. For a complete map visit us at Please help us make a good Methodist showing!

PHOTOGRAPHS 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. Thank you!

STEPHEN MINISTRY MEET AND GREET Meet and greet your Stephen Ministers after both worship services on Sunday, October 13 in Wesley Hall. Learn about Stephen Ministry, what the ministry is, whom we care for, and how you might become one! Look for the people in the blue shirts.

ADOPTION MINISTRY Join us on Sunday, October 6 at 5:00 pm! We will discuss our upcoming Ministry Focus, Christmas Ministry Fair, and more. Everyone who is passionate about adoption is welcome and encouraged to attend! Questions? Please contact Marj Timmerman at or 901.9224.

THE IMPACT BAND will present their ArtPrize entry at FUMC on Saturday, September 28 at 6:00 pm at the Lot Party and again, with the full multimedia on Friday, October 4 at 7:00 pm in the sanctuary. "Unto Us" is a collection of songs, art, and video that collectively tell the story of Matthew 1 and 2, Christ´s birth, and the surrounding events. Originally conceived and performed at Impact Church in Lowell by The Impact Band, it has been recorded as a full studio album and has been perfected as a performance art piece. All songs are accompanied by video and images that create a storytelling experience like no other. Free event.

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

SHOWING IN OUR FIRST CHURCH ART GALLERY is an exhibit by our own Barbara Groat. A native of Grand Haven, Barb holds art and design degrees from MSU and Aquinas. She has served on our Celebration of the Arts committee as well as winning 4th Place in our 2012 show. Barbara shares that through her work she "celebrates life." Let´s take this opportunity to celebrate with her as we enjoy her art.

FACEBOOK CONNECT Make sure to visit our Facebook page ( for fun things to do.

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Concerns & Prayers for:
• Lee Andrews
• Donna Anton (Trillium Woods)
• Art Beals (Blodgett)
• Jim Hoff
• Lois Moseley
• Alan Norton
• Robert Newell
• Bob Reed
• Rachel Reed (outpatient surgery 9/30)
• Sue Rowe

Service Personnel
• Chris Bolhouse
• Scott Grifhorst
• Stephan Mathos
• Jesse Mounts
• Trevor Norton
• Shawn Seher
• Peter Taylor, Jr

Congratulations to Adrian and Martin Copeland on the birth of a daughter, Morgan Renee Copeland, on September 9th.

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Saturday, September 21
Jazz Vespers 6:00 pm........63

Sunday, September 22
Worship 9:15 am........172
Church School........146
Worship 10:00 am........224
Evening Activities........65

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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 29
"Created in the Image"
Rev. Letisha Bowman
Genesis 1:26-31
Art Prize Lot Party
Ministry Focus: Mission Offering

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MEMBERSHIP EXPLORATION CLASS We will be offering a Membership Exploration Class on Sunday evenings, October 6, 13 and 20 from 5:00 - 7:00 pm. These classes will be held in the parlor and child care will be provided. We will share a light meal and then learn about the history, ministry and vision of First Church as well as the United Methodist Church and the vows of membership. Sign up using the Sunday bulletin. If you have any questions, please contact Patsy McGillivray, Pastor Tish or Pastor Bob.

• 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 (5:00 - 6:30 pm) in room 3109. It will meet from Oct 27 - Dec 1. Books are $10 and can be picked up at the north lobby reception desk.


FIRST RESPONSE 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 (especially during the 9:15 am service), please contact me, Marj Timmerman, RN, Parish Nurse at or 901.9224.

ACCESS COUNTY-WIDE FOOD DRIVE Access of West Michigan has facilitated the County-Wide Food Drive for many years and in that time has collected up to 100 tons of food annually for over 60 Kent County food pantries. Every month, these pantries provide over 20,000 food services to individuals who find themselves with no other place to turn for help. Here are some ways members of First Church can get involved in this year´s food drive:
1. Paper bags will be distributed on Sunday, September 29. Take a bag home, fill it up with food and personal care items, and bring it back on Sunday, October 6. Suggested items include: cereal, soup, rice, canned fruits and vegetables, canned meats, pasta and sauce, peanut butter, soap (dish, laundry, bar), toilet paper, diapers, shampoo and conditioner, toothbrushes and toothpaste. All FUMC donations will go to Westminster Food Pantry, our neighborhood pantry.
2. Volunteer on Saturday, October 12 at Cascade D & W to help us collect food. Shifts are from 9 – 11 am, 11 am – 1 pm, 1 pm – 3 pm. Sign up through the bulletin sign-up sheet, on-line, or contact
3. Pray for the volunteers as well as those receiving food through the pantries in Kent County.

LEARN ABOUT THE WORK PROGRAM, an outreach ministry of FUMC that works in collaboration with several Heartside Neighborhood agencies to provide temporary employment for people who are homeless or living in extreme poverty. Striving to be an agent of Christ´s love, we are committed to helping the needy achieve hope, pride, dignity, and grace, and learn to become self-sufficient. Each Tuesday morning at 7:00 am, volunteers greet participants and help them select two-hour jobs for the week. The Work Program volunteers welcome anyone who would like to have a better understanding of the program operation to come and observe. You´ll be glad you did. RSVP to Richard Johnson at 451.2879 or richardj@

• Navigating the Medicare Maze If you are new to Medicare (at or near age 65), please join us November 3 for details, answers to your questions, and other useful information. For those who are over 65 and need to enroll for 2014, join us November 10. Classes will be led by Bob Callery, the Regional Coordinator with the Area Agency on Aging in West Michigan. Meets Sunday 9:30 - 10:30 am in room 3107.


• 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. Books are available for $10 in the north lobby (there are only twenty copies, pick up yours today) or purchase your ebook online.

JFON VOLUNTEER TRAINING JFON will be hosting a volunteer training "refresher" on Thursday, October 10 at 5:00 pm in room 3107 for those who have been away. This is also good for new volunteers who completed online training. Training will be followed by a open house to welcome back Liz Balck, JFON attorney. Contact Laura Rampersad at with questions.


INFERTILITY SUPPORT GROUP All who have experienced infertility issues, including miscarriage and secondary infertility, are invited to attend our next meeting on Tuesday, October 8 at 7:00 pm in The Vine. Please RSVP by using the bulletin sign-up sheet or by calling Marj Timmerman at 901.9224.

MOVING ON I lost someone close to me recently, and I just cannot get my life back on track without him. We can help you with grief. 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.