We are Easter people!
First Church News & Updates - April 6, 2018

It was a glorious Easter Sunday! In case you were unable to join with us in worship, you can watch the entire sanctuary service on video.

Easter Worship 2018 at First United Methodist Church, Round Rock, TX
Easter Worship 2018 at First United Methodist Church, Round Rock, TX

Enjoy this First Church News!
This week in worship...
Rev. Brad Brittain

We welcome  Rev. Brad Brittain to the pulpit this Sunday. Rev. Brittain is the District Superintendent of the South District of the Central Texas Conference. Brad was born in Baton Rouge, LA and grew up in the DFW area. His father was a chaplain at Buckner Children's Home in Dallas and later became a United Methodist pastor in the Central Texas Conference.  He and his wife Alisha have two sons, Ben and Andrew. Alisha has taught school for many years and currently educates third graders at Lorena Elementary School. The Brittain family enjoys sports, the outdoors, exercise, church activities, travel and spending time with friends.

Scripture:  John 21:1-14

Rev. Brittain will preach at the 8:30, 9:40 and 11 am worship services. Liturgists include Rev. Dr. Van Dickens at 8:30 am, Taylor Ory at 9:40 am and Dr. John Clifford at 11 am.

The Source, our weekly devotional guide, is available on the church website. Please join us in worship this weekend...Sunday at 8:30 am (Sanctuary), 9:40 am (Family Life Center) or 11 am (Sanctuary).
Words from Will...
Easter Continues at First Church
Wasn't Sunday a beautiful celebration of the risen Christ? When people hear about our four services at 9:00 and 11:00, they ask, "How did you pull that off?" I told them the sermon was a little shorter than usual! But there was much more to it. A special shout out to our Worship Planning Team who pushed me in this direction. They saw it as an arrangement we could grow with - especially when our clergy team is complete. That meant that planning was meticulous, but the goal was that the services would feel relaxed as well as triumphant. 

Then there was the amazing leadership of our Music Ministry team that even topped what they did last year. Add to that all those who helped traffic to flow smoothly. The contemporary services let out of the FLC at 9:50/11:50, so that some of the departure could happen before the traditional service let out about 15 minutes later. I was amazed to see the parking lot pretty well let out by 12:20, the best we could have hoped for. 

Dr. Will Cotton
Dr. Will Cotton
We were facilitated mightily in that effort by law enforcement (who provided both security and traffic direction) and our Parking Posse, as well as some of our Emergency Preparedness Task Force members (they do more than emergencies!). Add to that the work of our tech crew, along with Cindy, Juan and Shawn and a host of others. And did you notice the stunning cross both outside and inside the sanctuary? Thanks to Tricia Gossett for her vision. It took all of us. Thanks for an Easter Sunday I will always remember.

But Easter is not a holiday. It's a rhythm and a way of life. 
Death and despair meet more than their match in resurrection hope and eternal life. You may need to remind yourself and others of that in the coming weeks. First Church continues to celebrate who we are as Easter people . In upcoming weeks and months, we will:
  • Baptize and celebrate confirmation with our students on April 15 and 22. 
  • Send our First Church Choir and musicians to France in partnership with Round Rock Community Choir for the 73rd D-Day celebration, May 21-June 7. 
  • Send more than 150 senior high and middle school students and sponsors on mission trips and summer retreat at Camp Eagle. 
  • Celebrate two weeks of Vacation Bible School in June with more than 400 attendees. 
The rest of the summer opens up all the more with our next mission trip to Panama. Through all these events, lives will be touched and changed forever...the risen Christ still active in and through you and me.

This Sunday, Rev. Brad Brittain will be sharing the word with us in all three services. He is one of the finest preachers in our Conference and you will want to be here and bring someone with you. We are indeed the Easter people. Don't keep that a secret!

Sincerely in Christ,
Will Cotton Signature
Dr. Will Cotton
Senior Pastor

P.S. Please continue to prayerfully consider what you might give toward our Spring Forward effort during the month of April. Every gift makes a difference and enables crucial life-changing ministry to be fully funded. Thanks for your financial partnership in the gospel.
What's coming up at First Church? POPS!
POPS
What a Feeling! POPS Handbell Concert - Saturday, May 5
Join us for this handbell concert, benefiting Boys to Men of God & Daughters of the King. The musical menu includes old Hollywood, current and 70's pop, classical and original works! Ticket distribution begins on Sunday, April 15. Click for all the details...
An Easter reflection...
Once again Easter has passed. So let me tell you a story! 
by Dr. John Clifford, Retired clergy-in-residence
Years ago, when Daylight Saving time began at a more proper date, Easter fell on that day. The
Christ is risen.
community I served had a tradition of Easter Sunrise services, but that year the Baptist preacher and I feared few would be able to spring forward and celebrate properly. Instead, we planned an Easter Sunset Service.

As I prepared for this, I realized how much sense that made. The gospel accounts of the Resurrection go on all day. On the evening of that day, Jesus appears to the disciples, who had been trying to make sense of all the reports the women had shared. They were still unsure...until they heard the Lord himself.  We proclaim "Christ is Risen!" at dawn, but it takes longer to begin to understand.

So Easter has passed. The challenge we still face today is that we, like the disciples, return to our homes and forget what we sang in the morning. We don't ponder what it might mean to know that Jesus really is our living Lord. It might just change our whole lives.

Christ is Risen indeed! Hallelujah!
Ministry Focus
Children's Ministry
Registration is open for children of volunteers
If you have already volunteered and registered for Shipwrecked VBS in June 2018, thank you!  If you are able to volunteer this summer but have not registered, please register today. In addition to being a fun week in the summer, VBS is a mission!  We want to open it to children in our church and community, whose parents may not have the flexibility in their schedule to volunteer. As soon as we have a minmum number of adult volunteers, we can offer all children an opportunity to register.  Can you help make this goal a reality? Click here for more information and to volunteer!
More from Children's Ministries...  
  • April 15: 2 pm. J-Team will be bowling at the Bass Pro Shop.
Student Ministry
FUSION is back this Sunday
Join us Sunday, April 8, for dinner, games, worship and small groups. We meet at 6 pm for pizza ($3), followed by games and worship. This week we are going to be hearing a message from one of our students, Ryan McCord. Ryan will be discussing Matthew 8:1-4. Following worship we meet with our small groups for discussion in Building 5.  

Come and bring a friend!

More from Student Ministries...  
Adult Ministry
Adult Christian Education
Do You Lead a Bible Study, Sunday School Class or Other Adult  Educational Opportunity? 
Join us on April 15 at 4:30 pm.  The Adult Christian Education Council invites all small group leaders to an  ACE Council Information Exchange on  Sunday, April 15, at 4:30 pm in Bldg.5-127. There are lots of creative things happening in our adult programs! ACE Council is hosting this forum to exchange ideas and discuss what works and what doesn't in facilitating lifelong Christian education. Join us for cookies, coffee and discussion.
Book Study
New Sunday school study begins April 8
Half Truths...God Helps Those Who Help Themselves and Other Things the Bible Doesn't Say , by Adam Hamilton.  Everything happens for a reason. God helps those who help themselves. God won't give you more than you can handle. All true? Not so fast! These statements capture some element of truth, yet miss the point in important ways. In  this study , we will compare common Christian clichés to the message and ministry of Jesus. Join us on   Sundays, 9:40 am, Bldg. 5- 136. Contact Debby Utley,  debbyfaeu@gmail.com for information.  All are welcome.
JOY Senior Fellowship

JOY Senior Fellowship Day Trip to the San Antonio Botanical Gardens
  • Date: April 16, 2018
  • Time: 8:00 am - 4:30 pm
  • Cost: $5 for bus; $10 entrance fee
  • Lunch: Lunch on your own at Tomatillos Café Y Cantina
There are still a few seats left. Registration is due by Thursday, April 12, 2018. Click here to registerFor more information, contact Ann Bell, annamaebell@suddenlink.net, or 512-240-5252 (H), 512-876-6986(M).
New Book Study
New study begins April 22
Discovering Life-Truths Analogies from Nature Scenes  begins April 22, 9:40 am in Bldg. 5-148. The study will be led by First Church member and acclaimed photographer, Ted Keller. It will be based on his devotional book,  Fifty Feisty Photos for Daily Encouragement. 

Ted says, "As a nature photographer with a 'glass-half-full' outlook, I began to recognize visual analogies of motivational life-truths in my images as I recalled relevant Bible verses. Since the level of optimism in our attitudes and self-concepts affects our ability to cope, heal, grow, and excel in life, these energizing reminders can empower and strengthen us in all situations." 

All are welcome. No registration needed.

Caring Ministry
Compassion Fatigue
Are you the caregiver for someone who is in physical or emotional crisis?  
The stress of being a caregiver may result in Compassion Fatigue. Join us for an informational session on Compassion Fatigue: how to recognize it and how to deal with it. 

Our Stephen Ministry, in partnership with the Friends and Seekers Sunday School Class, will host this session on Sunday, May 6, at 9:40 am in Bldg. 5-232.
MIssion Focus
Backpack Ministry

Remember the Game On Food Drive Challenge? Now it is time to pack some backpacks!
The  UMW Lydia Circle  will be packing backpacks during their monthly meeting this Tuesday, April 10. They will gather at 6:30 pm in Payne Cottage/Bldg. 2f or dessert and sharing of joys and concerns. At 7 pm, they will carpool to the Backpack Coalition location at Round Rock High School to assist with the First Church Backpack Project . As they pack backpacks, they will probably be utilizing some of the 10K+ items collected in February during the student-led First Church Food Drive Challenge. This is an important, ongoing project and the UMW Lydia Circle a proud supporter of this mission.

The UMW Lydia Circle meets monthly for a program and/or mission. All women of the church are invited to join in this fellowship opportunity. For more information contact Patti Ruth at pjruth1@gmail.com .
Heifer Project

Children's Ministry Mission for Spring is the Heifer Project
For the entire spring semester, all children's Sunday School offerings are going toward the purchase of livestock for needy families. Each class selected a certain animal as their goal to purchase. Heifer International puts faith into action with its time proven principle of passing on the gift. Every family who receives livestock agrees to pass on one or more of its animal's offspring to another neighbor in need.
Heifer Update
Several classes have reached their initial goal and set a new goal! Each class has high expectations to reach the goal of purchasing their chosen animal by May 20. We are celebrating with the children! In twelve weeks, they have brought in $1237.02!
This week at First Church
Saturday, April 7

Sunday, April 8
  • 8:30, 9:40 and 11 am - Worship services
  • 8:30 am - LifeGroup-Spiritual Growth, Bldg. 4- Rm 2
  • 11:00 am - Life Groups, Bldg. 5-124, 148, & 222
  • 11:00 am - Youth Leadership Team, Bldg.. 5-223
  • 11:30 am - Alleluia Chorus Children's Choir, Bldg. 4-Rm 2
  • 12:15 pm - Sunday Ladies of Faith, Bldg. 5-124
  • 5:00 pm - Youth Choir rehearsal, South Suite
  • 6-8 pm - Fusion , Bldg. 3/FLC 
Monday, April 9
  • 1:30 pm - JOY Senior Fellowship Leadership meeting, Bldg. 5-124
  • 4:00 pm - Kids of the Kingdom Bells rehearsal, Bldg. 3/FLC
  • 7:00 pm - Boy Scout Troop #157, Bldg. 3/FLC
Tuesday, A
pril 10

 

  • 8:30 am - UMM Tuesday Breakfast group, Juárez Restaurant on South Mays
  • 8:45 am - Ring of Joy rehearsal, North Suite
  • 9:30 am - Women's Bible Study, Bldg. 5-122
  • 9:30 am - First Church Crafters, 115 Winsted
  • 12:30 pm - Brown Bag Theologians, Bldg. 5-124
  • 7:00 pm - LEADFirst, Bldg. 5-124
Wednesday, April 11
  • 6:15 am - UMM Breakfast, fellowship, & devotional, FLC/Bldg.3
  • 9:30 am - Disciple Bible Studies, Bldg. 5
  • 9:30 am - Women's Bible Study, Bldg. 5-232/234
  • 5:00 pm - Revelation Ringers Tins, FLC-East Cry Room
  • 5:00 pm - Revelation Ringers Bronze, North Suite 
  • 6:00 pm - HeartSong Choir rehearsal, South Suite
  • 6:30 pm - Disciple Bible Studies, Bldg. 5
  • 6:30 pm - Women's Bible Study, Bldg. 5-232/234
  • 7:00 pm - Jubilation Bell rehearsal, North Suite
  • 7:15 pm - Chancel Choir rehearsal, South Suite
Thursday, April 12
  • 9:30 am - Heart to Heart Quilters, 115 Winsted
  • 12 noon - Mom Life, Bldg. 5-122
  • 7:00 pm - Council Oak Bells rehearsal, North Suite
  • 7:00 pm - Orchestra rehearsal, South Suite
Friday, April 13
  • 8:30 am - Round Rock Helpers, Bldg. 4-2
  • 9:30 am - Ministry of Motherhood (MOM), Bldg. 5-232/234
  • 6:30 pm - Journey in Faith Social, Bldg. 3/FLC
  • 8:00 pm - Narcotics Anonymous-Right Stuff, Bldg. 4
Saturday, April 14
  • 3:00 pm - Memorial service for Linda Simmering, Sanctuary

There is always a lot going on at First Church. Visit the website, find us on Facebook or Twitter, and check the  Church Calendar so you don't miss out! 
First United Methodist Church | Round Rock 
512.255.3336 | newsletter@fumc-rr.org | http:// fumc-rr.org
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