Holy Week at First Church
First Church News & Updates - April 7, 2017

Scrub-a-Dub Day
Tomorrow is a Scrub-a-dub Day...a day to spruce up the church facilities and grounds before Holy Week begins on Sunday. A variety of jobs are available both inside and outside: cleaning doors, windows and millwork, weeding, trimming, and more. We appreciate all the volunteers and look forward to seeing you Saturday morning. You can register here or just show up in the morning!

Enjoy this First Church news!
Resurrection Celebration is this Sunday!
Resurrection Celebration
Resurrection Celebration...a Holy Week Tradition at First Church
Resurrection Celebration will be held on Palm Sunday, April 9, 9:30-11:30 am. Children, accompanied by parents, will get to experience five events that occurred during Holy Week. There will be volunteers in costume and in character portraying someone who was actually present during Holy Week. They will talk about the importance of each event in terms children can understand. 

Begin your journey on Palm Sunday with Lewis the Donkey, who will be grazing under the Council Oak Tree, near the playground. Children's programming will continue as normal on Palm  Sunday . Resurrection Celebration will run for two hours so your family will have options on when you would like to attend. Please allow 50 minutes to visit all five stations.
This week in worship...Palm Sunday
Sermon Series
Sermon Series: CrossWalk
The central identifying symbol of our Christian faith is the cross.  While we may cherish "the old rugged cross" and what Jesus did for us there, it also represents a calling to live a certain kind of life that puts us in direct conflict with the values and understandings of those around us.  Combined with beautiful and inspiring music, the CrossWalk sermon series will offer an intriguing and moving view of the Passion of Christ that is sure to prepare each of us for a fresh experience of Holy Week and the triumph of Easter.  
Sermon Title: "The Power of Relinquishment"

Scripture:  Luke 23:44-49

Dr. Will Cotton will preach at the 8:30 and 11 am worship services this Sunday. Rev. Katie Meek will preach at the 9:40 am service. 

Please join us in worship this Sunday at  8:30 am (Sanctuary), 9:40 am (FLC), or 11 am (Sanctuary). 
Words from Will...
Holy Week: The Way of the Cross
Thanks for your patience, Sunday, as we hunkered down in restrooms, mechanical rooms, inner hallways, and other places of safety. It was just one day short of the fifth anniversary of the tornado we experienced in Arlington, so what we did here brought back some memories. 

This Palm Sunday we begin Holy Week - the time of the year when we remember the depth and power of God's love and are reminded that we are people of the Cross and Easter people. Part of our Palm Celebration is the Confirmation of 42 of our 7th graders at 5 pm in the sanctuary. Confirmation is not just for youth, or the confirmands and their families. It is where we as the church embrace these youth as they make this life-changing commitment to Christ. Our children will share in a living Resurrection Celebration as they share the message of Holy Week all the way through Easter, since there is no Sunday School on Easter.

Rev. Dr. Will Cotton
Dr. Will Cotton
I am so very blessed to have an amazing worship planning team who have designed services that are both creative and powerful, giving lots of room for the Spirit of God to work. I invite you to all the services of Holy Week. It will be impossible for Easter to have its true power and inspiration without experiencing Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, and this year promises to have new experiences that make them part of each other.

Maundy Thursday at 7 pm in the Family Life Center will be a contemporary re-enactment of the Last Supper in which certain disciples share their impressions of that evening in the Upper Room with our music ministry leading us in responses. The disciples will then serve Holy Communion. The service finishes with a hymn that leads us into Good Friday.

Good Friday at 7 pm outside Payne Cottage (weather-permitting, sanctuary is the backup) will be set up among our majestic oak trees as a reminder of Gethsemane. Chairs will be provided as we are led by the CrossRoads band in a remembrance of the sacrifice of Christ. We will then move to stations where we will remember what happened on that day and have points of reflection and prayer.

Then we will share in four triumphant services on Easter Sunday (8, 9:30 and 11 am  in the Sanctuary and 9:30 am in the FLC). I want to encourage any who can, to attend at 8 am to make room for guests in the other services! Our music ministry has been working hard to lead us in a great celebration of the risen Christ. Don't miss this chance to invite someone to join with you at these services. 

It was my privilege to have my parents here last week and I asked them what their experience was of the staff and people of First Church. My dad said, "One word - Awesome!"  They felt your love and they experienced the powerful presence of God in the facilities and especially in the people.

What a joy it is to experience our first Holy Week with you. I know it will be awesome!

Sincerely in Christ,
Will Cotton Signature

Dr. Will Cotton
Holy Week at First Church
Holy Week

Holy Week at First Church

Palm Sunday, April 9
  • 8:30 am: Blended worship in the Sanctuary
  • 9:40 am: Contemporary CrossRoads worship in the Family Life Center
  • 11 am: Traditional worship in the Sanctuary
  • 9:30 - 11:30: Resurrection Celebration...a walk through Holy Week for children and families. See details above.
  • 5:00 pm: Confirmation service for 43 confirmands in the Sanctuary
Maundy Thursday, A service of Communion,  April 13 at 7 pm

Join us for a dramatic retelling of the Last Supper. We will see Jesus' last meal with his disciples, hear testimony from modern-day and historic people of faith, and share together in communion and song. Childcare will be available in Building 2, Pod C.

Good Friday, A service of Remembrance and Contemplation,  April 14 at 7 pm

Join us as we gather outdoors at the Twin Oaks Deck under the canopy of the oak tree for readings, prayers and music recounting the last hours of Jesus life. Then all will be invited to continue in a spirit of remembrance and contemplation at five stations around the church campus.
  1. Journeying to Jerusalem via the labyrinth prayer walk
  2. Encountering the means of mockery and death
  3. Contemplating Jesus' Seven Last Words
  4. Contemplating the stones that shout out
  5. Contemplating the darkness of Jesus in the tomb.
Childcare will be available in Building 2, Pod C.

Easter Sunday - April 16
  • 8:00 am: Traditional worship in the Sanctuary
  • 9:30 am: Traditional worship in the Sanctuary
  • 9:30 am: Contemporary worship in the Family Life Center
  • 11 am: Traditional worship in the Sanctuary
In order to offer families the opportunity to worship together, there will be no Bible Buddies or Children's Sunday School on Easter Sunday. Childcare for 2 years and younger will be in Building 2, Pod C at the 8:00, 9:30 and 11:00 am services. There will also be no Sunday School for youth and adults. The Twin Oaks Cafe will not be open on Easter Sunday.

Yes...We will have a Flowering Cross!

Everyone is invited to bring fresh, cut flowers on Easter morning to create our Flowering Cross. The cross will be prominently placed outside the church so that flowers can be placed on the mesh frame, as a sign and witness to the joy and beauty of our Easter proclamation, "Christ Is Risen!"

Carpooling for Easter...a good thing to do!
We are pleased to have the additional parking in the new south parking lot this year, but parking will still be at a premium at 9:30 am when there are concurrent worship services in both the Sanctuary and Family Life Center. We ask that families travel together in one car rather than bringing multiple cars on Easter Sunday. Or if you have nearby neighbors who are coming to worship, you might ask them to ride with you. Thanks!
Lenten Podcast Series...What Actually Happened on the Cross?
Lenten Podcast
What Actually Happened on the Cross?
Check out the First Church Podcast for a four-week series on what actually happened on the cross. What did Jesus accomplish with his death? How was God's power shown? How do we relate to sin and evil now that the cross has happened? Did Jesus have to be raised for the cross to be complete? Most people say that Jesus died for my sins. What does that mean? And does that tell the whole story?

The third podcast is up and the fourth podcast should go up soon. You can subscribe through  iTunes  or by following us on  Soundcloud . You can also find information at http://fumc-rr.org/podcasts. Subscribe to the podcasts so you won't miss any.
Welcome Home is coming up on April 23
Welcome Home
Get your POPS tickets this Sunday!
POPS Tickets
Ministry Focus...
Children's Ministry
VBS 2017
VBS needs You!
Vacation Bible School 2017 is recruiting adult volunteers to run the program. The sooner we fill the adult positions, the sooner we can open registration to all children! Currently, only children (or grandchildren) of volunteers can register. We will have two identical weeks of VBS this summer.

Which week best fits your calendar...
June 12-16 or June 19-23 ? To volunteer and register your children, click here. Register yourself first, then participants. The final step is clicking on the grey box to submit $35/child participating. We can't wait for another fabulous summer of Vacation Bible School and we hope you will be a part of it!
Other Children's Ministry Info...
Student Ministry
Youth Summer Missions
Have you signed up for Summer Mission Trips? 
Registration is open. You can download the forms here . High School Mission Trip is  June 4-10  to Las Cruces, NM where we will be building wheelchair ramps for those in need. A $100 deposit and registration form is due in the Student Ministries Office by  May 1.

Middle School is going to Brackettville, TX,  July 9-14. They will be partnering with HOPE Outreach. To hold your spot, turn in a $100 deposit and registration form to our office by  June 1. I

t's going to be a great summer, we can't wait to serve these wonderful communities. Register today!
Other Student Ministry Info...
Adult Ministry
Prayer Study
Paths to Positive Living announces a new study beginning April 23
In his book, Prayer: Does It Make Any Difference?, Philip Yancey  probes the very heartbeat of our relationship with God - Prayer. Yancey explores the idea that prayer can be confusing, frustrating, and even mysterious through tackling such questions as Is God listening? Why do answers to my prayers seem inconsistent? How can I make prayer more meaningful? Join us to rediscover Prayer as a privilege and as the priceless point of contact between humans and the God of the universe! 

Location and Time:  Sundays at  9:40  in Bldg. 5, Rm. 136. For more information, contact Dr. Beverly Jones, beverly@fumc-rr.org,  or Debby Utley, debbyfaeu@gmail.com .

All are welcome. No pre-registration is needed. Just come! 
JOY Senior Fellowship
Joy Senior Fellowship meets April 20
Time: 11:30 am in Bldg. 5-127
Program:  Join us for lunch followed by a wonderful presentation,  Building Bridges, by the Raindrop Foundation, which aims to cultivate friendship and promote understanding of diverse cultures. They work to establish bridges between Turkish and American cultures and communities. Presented by the Raindrop Turkish House Austin.
A $5 donation is  suggestion  for the lunch.
Registration Deadline:  Wednesday, April 19

Other Adult Ministry Info...
Mission Focus...
Great Day of Service
Great Day of Service 2017...What was the impact?
This past Saturday we had more than 140 participants in our annual Great Day of Service. People of all ages served 12 organizations throughout Williamson County. In this one day of service we made a great impact throughout our community!

Projects and Organizations served included: making blankets for Williamson County Children's Advocacy Center; cleaning and maintaining the Backpack Project facilities; serving at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Round Rock; making roadside crosses and cards for Mother's Against Drunk Driving; building a house in Georgetown with Habitat for Humanity; making cat and dog toys for the local animal shelter; serving at the Community Garden in Georgetown; making place mats for Kairos Prision Ministry; creating decorations for Vacation Bible School; making bookmarks for the ABC Literacy Program; serving at The Caring Place in Georgetown; and maintaining the hiking trail at Southwest Williamson County Regional Park.

We want to thank all the participants for being the hands and feet of Christ in our community!
Other Mission & Outreach Info...
Shopping at Amazon? First Church is on Amazon Smiles! 
If you are like many of us, you shop at Amazon or Amazon Prime. If so, you could help First Church by going through Amazon Smiles. Click here and you will select First Church as your non-profit to receive a donation. It is a small percentage (.5%) of the purchase, but if we all remember to do this with each purchase, it could add up. Many of us already support a non-profit through Amazon Smiles. You can choose the non-profit of your choice for each purchase. Give it a try!
Friends of First Church
drops of grace
This week at First Church
Saturday, April 8
  • 9:00 am - Scrub-a-dub Day
Sunday, April 9 - Palm Sunday
  • 8:30, 9:40 and 11 am - Worship Services
  • 9:30 - 11:30 am - Resurrection Celebration, Gazebo and Courtyard
  • 11:30 am - God & Family, Bldg. 5-218
  • 11:30 am - God & Me, Bldg. 5-208
  • 12 noon - Sunday Ladies in Faith, Bldg 5-124
  • 5:00 pm - Confirmation Service, Sanctuary
  • 6:00 pm - FUSION, Bldg. 3/FLC
Monday, April 10
  • 3:45 pm - Kids of the Kingdom Chimes, East Cry Room Bldg. 3/FLC
  • 4:45 pm - Kids of the Kingdom Bells, East Cry Room Bldg. 3/FLC
  • 6:00 pm - Venture Crew, Bldg. 4/Payne Cottage
  • 7:00 pm - Boy Scout Troop #157, Bldg. 3/FLC     
Tuesday, April 11
  • 9:30 am - First Church Crafters, 115 Winsted
  • 9:30 am - Tuesday Women's Bible Study, Bldg. 5-124
  • 12:30 pm - Brown Bag Theologians, Bldg. 5-136
  • 6:00 pm - Greeter Training, Bldg. 5-124
  • 6:30 pm - Community Bible Study, Bldg. 5-220, 223, 224, 225
  • 6:30 pm - Council Oak Bells, North Suite
  • 7:00 pm - LEADFirst, Bldg. 5-127
  • 7:00 pm - Nurture Team, Bldg. 5-122
  • 7:00 pm - UMW Lydia Circle, Bldg. 4-2
  • 7:00 pm - Nar-Anon, Bldg. 4-6
Wednesday, April 12
  • 6:15 am - UMM Breakfast, fellowship, devotional - FLC/Bldg. 3
  • 9:30 am - Wednesday Women's Bible Study, Bldg. 5-232/234
  • 5:00 pm - Revelation Ringers, North Suite and East Cry Rm/FLC
  • 6:00 pm - Life Groups Leadership, Bldg. 5-122
  • 6:30 pm - Choral Union rehearsal, Sanctuary, South Suite 
  • 6:30 pm - Wednesday Women's Bible Study, Bldg. 5-232/234
  • 7:00 pm - Jubilation Bell rehearsal, North Suite 
Thursday, April 13 - Maundy Thursday
  • 9:30 am - Heart to Heart Quilters, 115 Winsted
  • 12 nooon - Mom Life Group, Bldg. 5-122 
  • 7:00 pm - Maundy Thursday Communion, Bldg. 3/FLC
Friday,  April 14 - Good Friday, church office will be closed
  • 8:30 am - Round Rock Helpers, Bldg. 4-2
  • 7:00 pm - Good Friday worship, Bldg. 3/FLC
  • 8:00 pm - Narcotics Anonymous-Right Stuff, Bldg. 4
Saturday, April 15
  • 9:00 am - Easter Choral Union & Orchestra rehearsal, 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! 
Blessings to you and yours during this Holy Week,

Betty Robertson
First United Methodist Church Round Rock

First Church exists to share the love  of God in Jesus Christ.
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