Ring Noel and Cookies with Santa are this Saturday!
First Church News & Updates - December 1, 2017
 

Advent is here and it is a busy and joyful time at First Church. Please mark your calendars for the many opportunities to worship and celebrate the season.

Enjoy this First Church news.
This week in worship...
Advent Sermon Series

The Rose: Cultivating Hope
The theme for our Advent sermon series is  The Rose: Cultivating Hope. In light of Hurricane Harvey and horrifying violence, which happened not far from us, we gather to draw on and proclaim hope. We celebrate the often-overlooked, developing, joyous hope we have in Christ. Jesus came to a broken and hurting world on that first Advent and Christ still comes to us today.  People will choose to cultivate lots of things this Advent: fear, anger, revenge, despair, hate. We choose to cultivate hope - a hope that is true and lasting in Jesus Christ!

Sermon Title: " "The Unattractive Stump"

Scripture:   Isaiah 11:1-9

Rev. Dr. Beverly Jones will preach at the 8:30 am worship service. Dr. Will Cotton will preach at the 9:40 and 11 am worship services. 

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).
Two special events tomorrow, Saturday, December 2!
Lo, How a Rose E'er Blooming: Ring Noel 2017...December 2
Ring Noel

It's a Saturday Event! Mark your calendars for December 2!
The very popular annual  Ring Noel  benefit presented by the First Church Handbell Ministry will take place in the church sanctuary at 7 pm the evening of Saturday, December 2. This is the first time this concert has taken place on a Saturday. Please mark your calendars for a magnificent start to your 2017 Advent season! Doors will open at 6 pm. Revelation Ringers Bronze, our high school ringers, begin pre-show music at 6:30 pm. It will be a beautiful evening !

Ring Noel is a fabulous show which combines spoken word with the sounds of handbells, voice, keyboard, strings and wind instruments. This year's concert will feature Mary, mother of Jesus, as she tells of the anticipation and birth of her son Jesus. Her story will be laced with the beautiful sounds of the season. No ticket is needed to attend. However, audience members are encouraged to bring lots of canned goods as this event is always a benefit for the  Round Rock Area Serving Center. A free-will offering will also be taken for this very worthwhile agency.
Cookies with Santa...December 2
Cookies with Santa
Join us for Cookies with Santa, Saturday, December 2
10 am - 1 pm in Payne Cottage
First Church Ministry of Motherhood and Mom Life groups invite you to a special event supporting Brown Santa. Please bring one unwrapped toy or book. Visit and take a picture with Santa (bring your camera). Enjoy cookies and punch before or after seeing Santa.
Words from Will...Giving Matters!
Giving Matters...You, God and Your Money
I am pleased to report that so far we have received 149 commitments for $755,000...not bad for two holiday weekends. Another exciting thing is that more than 20% of the commitments were an increase from giving in 2017. 

This is a great time at First Church, in which we are discerning God's vision for our next chapter as a congregation, growing in our discipleship and knowledge of God's Word, and expanding our local, regional and international outreach. This is happening across all our ages and in every group. Our funding of ministry through our support of the Church budget helps this to develop even further so that we are touching and changing more and more lives in the name of Christ.

If you have not made your commitment yet, you can do it in three different ways: 
  1. Bring it with you on Sunday and drop it in the offering plate 
  2. Mail or bring it to the church office 
  3. Make your commitment online through myFirstChurch on our church website.   

Every commitment large or small is important. It matters to God who is the great giver of all that we are and have...it matters to you as you continue to grow in your walk with God...it matters to our world as we continue to be the hands, feet and voice of Christ together.

 
Sincerely in Christ,
Will Cotton Signature

Dr. Will Cotton
Senior Pastor

Ministry Focus...
Music Ministry
Holiday Recital
Merry Christmas Bells!
Join us on Monday at 6 pm in the sanctuary for our annual Holiday Handbell Recital featuring our Kids of the Kingdom Bells and Revelation Ringers Tins. A cookie reception will follow the event.
Gather Round

Gather 'Round and celebrate the joy of Christmas! 
Sing along with some of your favorites, and, in true CrossRoads style, expect to hear some songs presented in a new way. We cannot wait to worship with you next Sunday! 
Christmas Cantata

Please join us on December 10 at 8:30 and 11 am in the sanctuary as our Choral Union and Orchestra present, The Winter Rose.
From the earliest Christian time, the rose has been a symbol of divine love, echoing through our sanctuaries in the melodies and texts of many beloved carols. It brings to life the beautiful visions of biblical prophets and the hope of early Christian pilgrims. Today, the rose remains an expression of love and peace both inside the church and the outside world. Its appearance in the garden is a treasured harbinger of the coming of spring's abundance. As a gift, its delicate beauty is usually reserved for the most meaningful expressions of the heart. No flower holds our dreams of love more beautifully. It is in the same spirit that this musical work was conceived and written.
Children's Ministry
Nativity Experience
Children's Ministry invites families to join us for a Nativity Experience for Families
This brand new Christmas event will be at 3 pm on December 17 in the Family Life Center.  During the program, families will hear from Mary, Joseph and the Angel.  Families will also have the opportunity to make their own children's nativity to take home, one per family. Paint clothes are recommended.  To reserve your family's spot, and ensure we have plenty of supplies, please click here register .  Share the word with your friends!
J-Team
Calling all 3rd, 4th and 5th graders! 
Our December J-Team meeting will be on Sunday,  December 10 from   2 - 4 pm.  We will meet at Urban Air, located at  15407 Long Vista Dr, Austin, TX 78728 . We have been to Urban Air the last two years and it has been a great time for all!   

Your child will not want to miss it! Cost is $10. Please RSVP to  Tammy@fumc-rr.org .


Student Ministry
Reindeer Games
'Tis the season for Reindeer Games 
at FUSION 
We invite all 6th-12th grade students to join us for Reindeer Games this Sunday at 6 pm in the Family Life Center. Food will be provided! 

Please dress in your favorite Christmas themed outfit and bring friends to earn extra points for your team. 

FUSION is our weekly programming for all students High School and Middle School Grades 6-12 during the school year.
Advent Study
Join us for a Student Advent Study
On Sunday mornings, Middle and High school students will be diving into what the Advent season truly means.
  • High School -  led by Diane Bouchard and Michael Bohmfalk, Bldg. 5-223/224. 
  • Grade 6 - led by Kim Aleman and Karen Kupecki, Bldg. 5- 225
  • Grades 7-8 - led by Jodi Marfell and Evan Perez, Bldg. 5-220
Adult Ministry
JOY Fellowship Luncheon
It's a Victorian Christmas Celebration!
The JOY Senior Fellowship is hosting a Victorian Christmas Celebration on Thursday, December 14 in Bldg. 5-127. They will begin with lunch at 11:30 am ($5 donation). The program features Toni Hill and the Victorian Singers.

Click here to register.

JOY Senior Fellowship hosts monthly luncheons and other special events. For more information, contact Ann Bell, 51.240.5252 or annamaebell@suddenlink.netWe hope to see you there!
Caring Ministry
Caring Angels Stockings
Bring your filled stockings back this Sunday!
Our Caring Angels will soon be delivering 250 Christmas stockings to seniors at The Court and The Legacy. If you are filling a stocking, don't forget to bring it with you this Sunday, December 3. We will collect them in the foyers of the sanctuary and Family Life Center. Questions? Contact Bea Adams,  beaadams1@gmail.com. Thanks for caring!
Mission Focus...
Cookies for the Troops

Cookies for the Troops
First Church is baking cookies to be sent with love to the troops overseas for Christmas! Instructions, boxes and everything you need to package your cookies will be available for pick up on Sundays,
December 3  and 10. Take a box home and bake basic, sturdy and delicious cookies that will last for the trip to the overseas troops.

Nothing too fancy or delicate! Bring the boxes back with cookies packed as instructed on Friday, December 15 (to the church office before 3 pm) or on Sunday, December 17 to the kitchen in the Family Life Center. Please don't bring the boxes back before these dates, and please don't bake your cookies too soon. We want our troops to receive the freshest possible cookies!

The cookies will be delivered on Tuesday, December 19 to two Air Force bases where the transport squadrons will deliver them to these men and women who put their lives on the line for us.  If you have questions or would like to help, please contact Phyllis Young at drpeyoung@sbcglobal.net .

Thank you for sharing your love and baking skills!
Christmas Eve Worship Services
Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve Worship at First Church
We invite you to share in the glory of the season this Christmas Eve. On Sunday, December 24, we begin with One Great Morning Service at 10 am in the Sanctuary. This will be a contemplative, carol-based service in the sanctuary.

In the evening, we will have worship services at 5, 7, 9 and 11 pm. Each is a unique and beautiful service of music and message.
  • 5 pm: A candlelight service centered on children and families, featuring children's and youth choirs, Sanctuary
  • 7 pm: A traditional candlelight service with choir and orchestra, Sanctuary
  • 9 pm: A contemporary candlelight service led by our CrossRoads Band, Family Life Center
  • 11 pm: A contemplative candlelight service featuring handbells and Holy Communion, closing at midnight to usher in Christmas Day, Sanctuary. 

So that families may enjoy Christmas Eve together, we will not have childcare during any of the services on Christmas Eve.

This week at First Church
Saturday, December 2
  • 10:00 am - Cookies with Santa, Bldg. 4/Payne Cottage
  • 7:00 pm - Ring Noel, Sanctuary
Sunday, December 3
  • 8:309:40 and 11 am - Worship Services
  • 8:40 am - LifeGroup-Spiritual Growth, Bldg. 4/Payne Cottage 
  • 11:00 am - LifeGroup-Parents & Families in Transition, Bldg. 5-124
  • 11:00 am - LifeGroup-Putting Your Faith in Action, Bldg. 5-222
  • 11:00 am - LifeGroup-Young Parents, Bldg. 5-148
  • 11:30 am - Alleluia Children's Choir, Bldg. 4/Payne Cottage-Room 2
  • 5:00 pm - Youth Choir, Bldg. 4/Payne Cottage-Room 2
  • 6:00 pm - FUSION, Bldg. 3/FLC, $3 snack supper 
Monday, December 4
  • 1:30 - JOY Fellowship Leadership Team, Bldg. 5-124
  • 4:00 pm - Kids of the Kingdom Bells, Bldg. 3/FLC East Cry Room
  • 5:00 pm - Revelation Ringers, North Suite
  • 6:00 pm - Children & Youth Handbell Recital, Sanctuary
  • 6:30 pm - Communications Team, Bldg. 5-124
  • 7:00 pm - Adult Christian Education, Bldg. 5-122
  • 7:00 pm - Venture Crew, Bldg. 3/East Cry Room
  • 7:00 pm - Boy Scout Troop #157, Bldg. 3/FLC
Tuesday, December 5
  • 8:30 am - UMM Tuesday Breakfast group, Ju├írez Restaurant on South Mays
  • 8:45 am - Ring of Joy Bells rehearsal, North Suite
  • 9:30 am - First Church Crafters, 115 Winsted
  • 9:30 am - Women's Bible Study, Bldg. 5-122
  • 6:00 pm - Stephen Ministry, Bldg. 5-127
  • 7:00 pm - Military First Responders Network, Bldg. 5-124
  • 7:00 pm - Staff-Parish Relations, Bldg. 5-148
Wednesday, December 6
  • 6:15 am - UMM Breakfast, fellowship, devotional - FLC/Bldg. 3
  • 9:30 am - Women's Bible Study, Bldg. 5-232/234
  • 6:30 pm - Women's Bible Study, Bldg. 5-232/234
  • 7:00 pm - Choral Union rehearsal, Sanctuary
  • 8:00 pm - Ignite High School Bible Study, Bldg. 5-220
Thursday, December 7
  • 9:30 am  - Heart to Heart Quilters, 115 Winsted
  • 7:00 pm - Orchestra rehearsal, South Suite
  Friday,  December 8 
  • 8:30 pm - Round Rock Helpers, Bldg. 4/Payne Cottage
  • 9:30 am - MOM Weekly Gathering, Bldg. 5-232/234   
  • 8:00 pm - Narcotics Anonymous-Right Stuff, Bldg. 4
Saturday,  December 9
  • 10:00 am - Cantata Dress 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,


Betty Robertson
Communications
First United Methodist Church Round Rock
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