September 2, 2016
The Power of Grace                                      
Grace is the unmerited love of God for us.  We can't earn it.  We don't deserve it.  God gives us grace.  We make the decision whether or not to receive it.  We can say, "No thanks," or we can accept God's grace and embrace it.
God's grace is like a present.  A gift in the best sense of the word is given freely.  It is given with no strings attached.  A gift is given with good will and best wishes for the recipient. 
Grace is so important!  It is at the heart of our relationship with God and our relationship with people.  Grace is also the foundation of United Methodist theology and practice.  It is what we are all about as United Methodists.
Grace is what everyone needs, what no one deserves, and what God alone can give.  (I invite you to read that sentence again.  It is significant.)
We read in Ephesians 2:8-9:  "By grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God - not the result of works, so that no one may boast."  Our response to God's wonderful grace is faith.  We are not saved by grace through intelligence.  Some of us would not be smart enough.  We are not saved by grace through beauty.  Some of us would be too plain.  We are not saved by grace through education.  Some of us would not have enough degrees.  We are not saved by grace through money.  Some of us would be too poor.  All that is necessary for us to respond to God's grace is faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
I recently had the privilege of helping to conduct Charlie Thorne's funeral.  Charlie was a positive, encouraging, grace-filled person.  I believe that Charlie learned about God's grace for him at an early age.  Charlie remembered how he would walk with his grandmother when he was four years old from their home on Marigold Street to First Methodist Church on Sunday mornings.  I believe that God's love sunk deep into Charlie's heart at a young age.  He responded in faith, and God's grace blessed him throughout his life. 
May you recognize and embrace God's grace for you - and be blessed!
  New Sermon Series:  
Living in God's Grace
Grace--God's unmerited love for us--is the foundation of United Methodist theology and practice. Grace shows us who God is, who we are, and who we can become. Grace is at the heart of our relationship with God, and our relationships with people. This vital sermon series will illumine John Wesley's concept of grace. The series will help the ideas of prevenient grace, justifying grace, and sanctifying grace come alive. We will discover how grace enriches and empowers our everyday lives as disciples of Christ.
September 4:  Prevenient Grace - God Seeks Us
Luke 19:1-10
God yearns to be in a relationship with us and searches for us tirelessly.
September 11:  Justifying Grace - Receiving the Gift of Friendship
Romans 5:1-11
When we say "yes" to God's invitation to a relationship, we are made right with God.
September 19:  Sanctifying Grace - Living Our "Thank You" to God
John 14:12-17
The Holy Spirit empowers us to grow in love and holiness 
as we live in response to God's grace.
Worship themes are prayerfully and carefully selected. Make regular worship a priority in your life.

Special Offering to Construct Church on September 11
Pastor Donnie Atkinson is the founding minister of New Mount Olive Primitive Baptist Church, located on Bynum Farm Road in Pinetops.  Pastor Atkinson recently visited me and shared his vision of constructing a church that would reach young people and adults of all ages in that community.  The church will be strategically placed between three modular home parks and a housing development where many unchurched people reside.
When Pastor Atkinson receives $20,000 for materials, a Baptist Men's Association group, directed by Billy Tarlton of Grifton, will frame the building.  Other volunteers will provide electrical and plumbing work. 
Pastor Atkinson shared his dream of ministry in that neighborhood and showed me the drawings for the building.  After prayerful consideration, I feel led to contribute financially to this mission of spreading the gospel in that community.  I thought that you may wish to help in this significant effort also.  On Sunday, September 11, we will receive a special offering to assist in the purchase of materials for this church building.  All gifts will be sent to New Mt. Olive Primitive Baptist Church.  To give to this mission, you may make a check payable to FUMC and mark "New Mt. Olive Church" on the memo. 
~Pastor Jim Bell   

Did You Know?
            Do you know who your heirs will be?  Is your church included in your will?  Without a will, state laws will determine who receives your estate, and no charity will receive a gift from your estate.  Be sure your estate planning is up-to-date and expresses your wishes.

Church Office News!

The church office will be closed Monday, September 5in observance of Labor Day!

Beginning Friday, September 9, the church office will close at 
1:30 p.m. on Fridays.

Welcome to The Hub!

If you were to google the word "Hub," you would find the following definitions; 
  1. the central part of a wheel, rotating on or with the axle, and from which the spokes radiate.
  2. the effective center of an activity, region, or network.
At FUMC, we are going to add to that definition:

3.  the central place for information, sign-ups, and coffee.  

For those who have been out for a few weeks or even months, The Hub, previously called in informal circles "the pit," has been transformed over the last few months and with that transformation comes new purpose.  It's a place where people from all Sunday morning services may go to find out more information about upcoming events, small groups, youth and children activities, as well as sign-ups for various missions opportunities and events.  

Sunday School for Children and Youth 
Begins September 11!

All children and youth Sunday school classes will begin on Sunday, September 11, upstairs at approximately 10 a.m. (or after the 
9 a.m. worship service).  Our curriculum is amazing, touching on God's word in easy-to-understand activities and videos.  We are excited about what God has in store for us this year!
Please make note of the following room  rearrangements :
K-1st grade - Room 32
2nd-3rd grade - Room 33
4th-5th grade - Room 34
Middle School - Room 35
High School - Room 36
Alysun and Kim's office - Room 37

We hope to see you in Sunday school!

REAL Life Adult Sunday School Class

The Real Life Sunday school class will begin meeting again on Sunday, September 11, in our regular location, room 43.   We have missed you and hope that you can attend on the 11th!  Bring a friend and/or invite a church member. 
We will be beginning a new book entitled "Enemies of the Heart (breaking free from four emotions that control you)" by Andy Stanley.   Although, it is not mandatory that you read the book to be a part of the class, we encourage you to buy the book and read along (or ahead) as we go.  We have ordered some books and will order more as requested.

Our Big Night begins September 14

Have you wanted to become a member of FUMC?  Or have you ever wondered about how to help people without enabling or hurting them?  Have you desired to learn about how to take the next step in your faith?  Many of these big questions and others will be addressed in the variety of adult discipleship classes offered this fall during Our Big Night at FUMC.  For more information stop by The Hub or visit  

Our Big Night Bible Studies:
FUMC Connect:  This is a class for anyone interested in learning more about what it means to be a Christian, what United Methodists believe and practice, and how they can become involved and use their gifts in the many exciting ministries of FUMC.  Participants will become excited about joining in FUMC's mission to make disciples who know Christ and make Christ known.  Jim Bell will lead this  6-week class , beginning  September 14
at 6 p.m.

When Helping Hurts:  This study  encourages us to see the dignity in everyone, to empower the materially poor, and to know that we are all uniquely needy--and that God in the gospel is reconciling all things to himself.  It  provides proven strategies for effective poverty alleviation, catalyzing the idea that sustainable change comes not from the outside in, but from the inside out.  This wonderful study, led by Pastor Matt Seaton, begins September 14 at 6 p.m. 

Just Walk Across the Room:  T his is an engaging five-session  DVD study, utilizing a book by Bill Hybels.   Some of the topics to be covered include:   developing friendships, listening to people's  stories with acceptance and without condemnation, staying attuned to the Holy Spirit, sharing a key  concept of our story (in 45 seconds), and sharing  God's Good News in simple ways that relate to  people.  The study begins September 14 at 6 p.m.
The Family God Uses:  This Bible study shows parents how to discover where God is at work around their family and to learn how to join Him in that work.  It is for families looking to pray, grow, and serve together and includes ideas for family prayer time and devotions as well as how to identify and use teachable moments, how to demonstrate dependence on God, and where to find ministry opportunities in the community.   The Family God Uses will help keep your family God-centered, teach your children their role in His kingdom and will begin September 14 at 6 p.m.

Please note that there will be no Family Talk.  Parents are encouraged to attend The Family God Uses.

Sign-up sheets will be available at the information desk in The Hub.

Christian Cancer Support Group
Begins September 14

Hearing you, or a loved one, has cancer changes everything.  Suddenly life is no  longer the same; it is not "normal" anymore.  It becomes more stressful and  uncertain than perhaps any other time.
And support, during times of uncertainty, becomes  increasingly important.  Coping with the emotional, physical and spiritual challenges is not something best handled in isolation.
FUMC will begin offering a Christian support group for any individuals (either inside FUMC or outside FUMC) with any type of cancer and their caregivers/loved ones starting September 14 at 6:00-7:30 p.m.  We will meet the second Wednesday of each month following the Our Big Night meal.
This group will primarily focus on Jesus and the  certainty of His Word and how He impacts our uncertain futures.
The group will also seek to provide:
  •  connection among its participants,
  •  practical help for navigating the journey,
  •  speakers/information on topics relevant to what participants are experiencing.
The Reverend Doctor Marty Cauley will speak about  his book Dying to Go on Vacation at the September 14 meeting.
Facilitators will be Virginia and Garry Ward and we  welcome your questions! 
(Virginia:  252-903-0353/Garry:  252-903-2436)
TM4Y News!
Tennis Ministry for Youth will begin at our first  Our Big Night  
Wednesday,  September 14 .   After dinner all youth (6th-12th graders) are invited to travel to Sunset  Park to play tennis from 6:15 p.m. to 7:15 p.m.  This year we are excited to have several NC Wesleyan College tennis players join us each week!  They will provide some basic tennis instruction and we look forward to challenging them in a few games of Around the World!
Please sign up for TM4Y by emailing or texting Alysun at   or 399-9129.
 It's time for  HOLY MOLY on Wednesdays!
Holy Moly is a fun program on Wednesday evenings, beginning September 14, where we learn Bible lessons, sing, play and fellowship from 5:45 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.  Children from age 3 through 5th grade are invited!!  A nursery is provided, too!  There is fun for Middle School and High School during this time frame as well!   Parents are encouraged to attend a Life Group while the kids are instructed!

Please sign up at The Hub in the lobby area!

Women's Fall Bible Study Begins September 14!

Join us Wednesday mornings as we study The Armor of God by Priscilla Shirer.  This 7-week study beginning September 14 at 10 a.m. will conclude October 26.   A devoted, devilish enemy seeks to wreak havoc on everything that matters to you:  your heart, your mind, your marriage, your children, your relationships, your dreams, your destiny.  But his battle plan depends on catching you unaware and unarmed.  If you're tired of being pushed around and caught with your guard down, then this study is for you.  Leaders will be Debbie Ray and Jena Katkaveck. 

School Supplies for Hubbard Elementary

The FUMC Youth are collecting school supplies for Hubbard Elementary this Sunday, September 4. Please bring 
pencils,  highlighters,  pens,   glue sticks,   and  crayons  
and place in the blue bucket in the welcome center.  Thank you!! 

FUMC Youth  are invited to join local churches for this  end-of-summer celebration Saturday, September 10, from 5-8 p.m. at Sunset Park.   Last year the group had a good time playing volleyball and tennis  and  enjoyed food from the grill! 
Please sign up with Alysun by emailing .

Youth Group is Back!!

We can hardly wait!!  Our first Youth Group will be on Sunday, September 11, in the annex, 5-7 p.m.  All youth (6th-12th grade) are invited to join us for dinner ($3), games, and time with your small group!  If you have any questions, please contact Alysun. 


Since ancient times, bells have called people to worship and served as community signals of celebration, mourning, or danger/distress.  For centuries, in addition to the above uses, bells in the English cathedral towers were played in complex ringing patterns known as change ringing.  The modern handbells that we use today have a direct link to the use of bells in the medieval cathedrals.  They were developed so players could practice the patterns without disturbing the entire city!
Would you enjoy being a part of history?  And the praise of God through ringing bells?
Bell Ringers meet on Tuesdays at 5:30 p.m. in the Bell Room (near choir room), beginning September 6.   It is a fun group and it is fun to ring.  Consider being a part of this group.
Contact Bill Wood through the church office or .
Join us as we start back for the fall season of Chancel Choir.  We currently rehearse on Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. and when  Our Big Night begins September 14, we will practice at 7:30 p.m.   This is a fun and supportive group.   We learn together.  We sing a variety of music from chant to Renaissance to 21st century and from many lands and traditions.  Chancel Choir sings mostly for the 11:00 service. 
Contact Bill Wood or a choir member and let us know you're interested or would like more information.

Food Bag Ministry
      "I was hungry and you gave me something to eat." Matthew 25:35
We will be distributing food to those  in need on Tuesday, September 13, from  2-3 p.m. in the annex. You can help  by picking up a bag and filling it or by donating money. Please write "Food Bags" on your check, and the money will be used to purchase food. Thank you for helping those less fortunate. 
Walk for Life

STOP!  Mark your calendar!  Saturday,  September 17 , 9:15 a.m., Your Choice Resource Center will sponsor Walk for Life at Englewood Park (Stone Park).  Show that WE CARE!!  This Walk will help minister to those in crisis pregnancies and present abstinence to our teens by raising funds for Your Choice Resource Center, a local Christian ministry which provides life-affirming alternatives to abortion, emotional support, and practical assistance to those experiencing unplanned pregnancies. 

Let's put action behind our words!  If you would like to walk, simply call Jena Katkaveck (252-451-2547) for Walk information and pledge forms.

FUMC IRA Seminar
The Apostle James tells us that, "Every good gift and every perfect gift
is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights."  Sunday, September 25, 2016, at 10:00 a.m. there will be a special seminar that will highlight financial planning techniques that can help in your stewardship and planned giving strategy.  The seminar will be led by two members of our church who are experts in financial planning:  Steve Felton, Financial Advisor, and Keith Beck, Certified Public Accountant.  The financial guidance that Steve and Keith will discuss can empower you and others to share gifts that will bless others.  Please make plans to attend and learn how to be a better steward and to be more blessed by doing more, giving more and paying less taxes.  Join us as we help others explore ways to financially transform your tithing to help you keep more!

Missions Night
Wednesday, October 5
Dinner 5:00 - 5:45 p.m.
Program 6:00-7:30 p.m.
Fellowship Hall
During the week leading up to the fish fry, the Missions and Service Committee would like to host a Missions Night.  This program will be presented in place of our Adult Bible studies.  Wil Bailey and Brian Dubberly will be speaking about their respective ministries in Costa Rica and El Salvador.  A video will also highlight Ellyn Dubberly's ministry in El Salvador.  In addition, other individuals will speak on local missions.
We are planning on having informational tables set up.  These ministries will include Agape Village, Monday Morning Community Breakfast, the Children's Summer Lunch Program, plus the Food Bag Distribution.  Other ministries will include Backpack Buddies, Meals on Wheels, Gatekeepers, Hubbard Tutoring and Jobs for Life.  Please make plans to attend and learn more about our Missions outreach here at FUMC. 
Contact Frank Katkaveck (252-904-4829) with any questions.

FUMC Fish Fry
Friday, October 7
Lunch 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Dinner 5 - 7 p.m.
Fellowship Hall
Our annual fish fry is coming up very soon.  This event supports our local, national and international mission teams.  Tickets are being sold for $8 each and will be available in the lobby outside the fellowship hall over the next five Sundays.  Todd Hinson and his team are contacting businesses and Ray Boyette is coordinating congregational sales. Volunteers are needed for the following:
            --Cook for the bake sale; Sell the treats on the day of the fish fry
            --Assist in set up on Thursday the day before
            --Cook the fish and hush puppies on Friday
            --Help in the kitchen packaging the plates
            --Deliver the plates to various businesses
Please contact Larry Dempsey (252-450-9949) or Frank Katkaveck (252-904-4829) if you are interested in helping out. 

North Carolina, Stand Up and Be Counted!

The Decision America Tour 2016 with Franklin Graham is coming to Raleigh Thursday, October 13, at the Capitol South Side, from 12 to 1 p.m.   Come out and be counted among those who are praying and taking a stand for God's truth and righteousness.

As our nation's moral foundation continues to crumble, Jesus Christ is the only hope.  At Decision America Tour stops in each of the 50 states, Franklin Graham will challenge Christians to live out their faith at home, in public, and at the ballot box-and he will share the Gospel.

Plan now to bring your friends, family, and church.  Let's stand together and pray for America. 

Tutoring at Hubbard Elementary School
Volunteers are again needed at Hubbard Elementary School!  Last year,  FUMC church members enjoyed weekly visits to Hubbard Elementary for a special time (40 minutes) that was set aside exclusively for reading activities with 2nd graders.  They worked with 3-4 children in a small-group reading activity directed by the teacher while the teacher in the classroom worked with a different group of children.  Bishop Hope Morgan Ward has identified "helping with the improvement of K-3 Literacy Rates" as a focus area for United Methodists across our state and has challenged us to get into the classrooms to be a part of this Congregations 4 Children initiative. 
Nash Rocky Mount Schools requires a background check and a short volunteer application to be completed by anyone volunteering in the schools.  These forms are available online at the NRMS website (  In addition, more information is available about C4C on the NC Conference of the United Methodist Church's website ( Click here).  

Please contact Bridget Rogers at 450-0860  or  with questions.
Nursery Workers for September

9/4             9:00  Amy Brown & Kim Matthews
                  11:00  Jill Everett & Heather Freeman
9/11          9:00   Beth Joseph & Amy Luttrell
                  11:00  Hadley Gross & Ashley Ward
9/14          OBN   Melissa Bynum
9/18          9:00   Debra Boudreau & Kelley Tyndall
                  11:00  Susan Johnson & Debbie Ray
9/21          OBN   Melissa Bynum
9/25          9:00   Mary Lew Benson & Debra West
                  11:00  Debbie Bonner & Jenny White
9/28          OBN   Melissa Bynum
Stephen Ministry
Stephen Ministry care is available to members of our congregation, as well as our community--for difficulties in immediate situations or those that are on-going.  The church office can confidentially direct questions about this ministry.
Military Prayer List
We are keeping all new inductees in our prayers as they enter their military orientation and training.   Our thanks to the families who keep us updated (Velda Williford at 443-3005). This listing is maintained as a service of the Stephen Ministry.
U.S. Navy : Brandon Cherry, Norfolk, VA. U.S.; Nick Davis, Great Lakes, IL. Army: Lt. Col. Edward Lee Bryan, Jr., Stuttgart, Germany; Master Sergeant Michael McCumbee, Special Forces, Fort Bragg, NC; Major Gene Pursifull, Special Forces, Germany; Major Erick Sweet, Fort Drum, NY. U.S. Marines: Major Brian Davis, Pentagon/Quantico, VA; Sergeant Andrew W. Sammons, Training Group, Fort Story at Little Creek, VA. U.S. Navy Reserve: Cliff Pulver, Raleigh, NC.
Our Church Family


In Memory of Brenda Kapper ( Food Bag Ministry ) by Richard & Susan Laney.

In Memory of Tassie Ree Langley by David & Kathy Barnes.

In Memory of Charles Ellington Thorne (Building Fund) by Tony & Nancy Knight; High Tech Communication; Marion & Katherine Barnes; Barbara Drake; James R. Dickens; William H. & Jeanette S. Dove; Rebecca S. Gupton; John B. Stilley & Nancy S. Lambert; Joseph T. & Patsy W. Gurganus; Ed & Betsy Jolley; Carlton & Gaynelle Taylor; R. L. & Dee Chick; Fair View Nursery, Inc.; Peggy K. Weatherford; Paula W. & Joe Campbell; Greg & Cat Weatherford; Barbara Craft & Brad Craft; Lee S. Gliarmis; and Bill & Marty Kincheloe.  

With Sympathy 

The pastors and staff of FUMC express their sympathy to the family of  Charles E. Thorne, Sr., on his passing and to Brian Dubberly and his family on the passing of his father,  Pat Dubberly, in Georgia.

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Sermon Podcasts

Please be reminded that if you miss a worship service, you still have the opportunity to listen to any of the FUMC sermons via our website.
Every Day Grace TV
Scheduling Meetings/Events
Please schedule meetings/events through the church office (977-0400).
First United Methodist Church
"To Know Christ and to Make Christ Known"
Contact Information
100 S. Church Street
Rocky Mount, NC 27804
252-977-0400 Office
252-977-0475 Preschool
252-977-1748 FAX
hurch Office Hours: 
Mondays-Thursdays: 8:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m.
Fridays: 8:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.

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