September 15, 2017
Now What?
Last Sunday we wrapped up a sermon series called "Following Jesus to Alleviate Poverty."  Both Pastor Jim and I spoke about how the good news about Jesus is good news for the poor.  But who are the poor?  Pastor Jim answered that question by teaching us how poverty extends beyond material riches to emotional, spiritual, and relational poverty.  He boldly told us that we are all poor in need of God's redeeming grace, a grace that makes us all rich in God's love.  As such, poverty is a God-sized problem but thanks be to God that we are made able by the Spirit to address such a challenge.  That sounds good, it feels right, but how, literally, on earth can we, the faith community called First United Methodist, address poverty in Rocky Mount? 
First off, pray!  Yes, it's that simple but still a profound act.  Prayer has been the main means to God's people.  Moses didn't go to Egypt to free the people from slavery without first spending time with God.  Jesus didn't go to Calvary without first praying late into the night on the eve of that fate-filled night.  Prayer is the means by which God pours into God's people the Spirit that energizes and moves the faithful.  So pray for Rocky Mount.  Pray for those who deal with material poverty on a daily basis.  Pray that God would work through you on daily basis to help alleviate poverty in Rocky Mount. 
Second, leave your prayer closet and go into the world ready to join the Holy Spirit in alleviating poverty.  I spoke about how God wants to alleviate poverty through relief, rehabilitation, and developmental means.  Relief, as you may remember, is that which takes place in the crisis moment.  It's a temporary fix to a larger problem.  It stops the bleeding but there is still so much more to alleviating poverty.  The other two means of alleviating poverty take more time.  Rehabilitation means recovering that which has been eroded by addiction and immoral behavior.  The developmental stage is about walking with someone as he or she learns or acquires new skills.  A good example of this would be the Jobs for Life program.  In this program, people learn valuable skills to attain gainful and meaningful employment.  While relief aid is necessary at times, it's the other two ways of alleviating poverty that last.
Lastly, remember that alleviating poverty is about us - all of us.  Christ came to alleviate us all from poverty.  As Jim identified in his sermons, alleviating poverty is relational.  When we enter into relationship with the materially poor, we can walk along side each person through rehabilitation and developmental stages.  As we minister alongside of the under-resourced, we recognize, too, that all are in one way or another poor.  Though one may not have a car or a consistent job, he or she may be rich in friends and family or even in faith.  Though one may have a home and two vacation homes, too, he or she may be in poverty in not having deep and meaningful relationships.  Together, both the materially rich and the materially poor, can discover gifts in each other to be shared.
Our mission seems clear - to alleviate poverty in all its forms in Rocky Mount and the surrounding areas.  Let us as a church pray that God would work through us as we journey together in alleviating poverty.  I alone cannot do it and neither can you but together with God all things are possible.  For it is God's Spirit who led Moses to Egypt to release Israel from slavery, so too will God's Spirit lead us, all of us, out of enslavement to poverty and into freedom to serve and love God.  Thanks be to God!
Rev. Matt Seaton
New Sermon Series:  
September 17-October 15
"Faith for Tough Times -
The Message of the Prophet Jeremiah"
We are living in the midst of challenging times.  Uncertainty and conflict are pervasive in our world and in our personal lives.  In this sermon series, we will turn to the book of Jeremiah, which was written in the midst of economic strife, social division, and personal struggles.
September 17:  "A Fire Shut Up in My Bones"
Jeremiah 1:4-9; 20:7-9
Jeremiah was compelled to speak for God because there was a fire burning in his bones.
September 24:  "Cracked Cisterns That Hold No Water"
Jeremiah 2:9-19
When we value and worship idols, we are in a terrible condition.
October 1:  "Return to the Lord"
Jeremiah 7:1-15
Sin has consequences, yet God's mercy is relentless in pursuing us.
October 15:  "Hope for the Hopeless"
Jeremiah 29:1-14
No matter how bleak the situation appears, there is always hope with God.
Worship themes are prayerfully and carefully selected.
Make regular worship a priority in your life.
Third Graders Receive Bibles!
Sunday, September 17 , we will be  gifting our third graders with their very own Bibles.  This is a rich tradition at FUMC, and we invite our third graders and their families to attend either the  9 a.m. or 11 a.m. worship service  this Sunday. 

Third graders receiving Bibles are:  Chase Luke Carter, Brilee Taylor Deal, Katherine Meredith Geanes, Mitchell Kern Hinson, Ethan Jackson Kim, Landon Thomas Ward, and Emily Elizabeth White.    
Hurricane Relief:  How You Can Help

As we watch news coverage of the devastating flooding that Hurricane Irma continues to produce, we want to help.  You may donate by making out a check to FUMC and write Hurricane Relief on the memo line.  100 % of your gifts goes directly to help those in need.  Please continue to pray for those impacted by this storm and for the many workers and volunteers who are offering rescue and care to those in need.
Preschool and Kindergarten Director
Emily Sykes, our new Preschool and Kindergarten Director, has resigned to accept a full-time director position.  Our Preschool and Kindergarten have capable and experienced teachers, and we anticipate a wonderful year of learning and growth ahead.  A subcommittee of the Staff-Parish Relations Committee and the Preschool Board of Directors are working on an interim plan. 
The Search Committee is resuming the search for a permanent director.  If you have suggestions of candidates, please contact the Rev. Jim Bell, Lead Pastor, at
Music for the dedication of Solomon's temple
as described in II Chronicles 5

All the Levites who were musicians - Asaph, Heman, Jeduthun and their sons and relatives - stood on the east side of the altar, dressed in fine linen and playing cymbals, harps and lyres.  They were accompanied by 120 priests sounding trumpets.  The trumpeters and musicians joined in unison to give praise and thanks to the Lord. Accompanied by trumpets, cymbals and other instruments, the singers raised their voices in praise to the Lord and sang...

The numbers are certainly impressive.  When you consider that those assembled to sing and play instruments were priests (but also their relatives), we are reminded that this was an office in the temple of great significance.  It is a calling, a setting aside, and certainly a service to God in the ministry of worship and music.

We're not expecting nearly that many.  But please pray and consider if some form of music ministry could be a calling for you.  There are opportunities for instrumentalists and singers and help with behind-the-scenes support areas like music library.   
Bell Choir:  Tuesdays at 4:30 p.m.
Chancel Choir:  Wednesdays at 7:30 p.m.

Orchestra will convene play in October at times to be announced.  We are also putting together ensembles of traditional and non-traditional instruments as well as singing groups.
Tutoring at Hubbard
FUMC volunteers will be tutoring at Hubbard Elementary again this school year.  We will be helping to improve K-3 literacy rates.  It is very rewarding to the volunteers and very beneficial to the students!  Please consider signing up for once/week 30-40 minutes with a small group of third graders.  Nash Rocky Mount Public Schools requires a short volunteer application and a background check for all volunteers entering the schools.  This application can be completed online at  You may contact Bridget Rogers at 
with questions.
Backpack Buddies
It's time for FUMC's Backpack Buddies program to begin.   Backpack Buddies is our local mission project that combats childhood hunger and provides weekend food bags to children identified by their teachers, guidance counselors, and/or social workers.  If you have an interest in helping with this local mission, contact Bridget Rogers at or 450-0860.
Our Big Night  Church-wide Meal
"Meal time" will be 5:15-6:15 p.m. in the fellowship hall.  To-go plates will also be available. 
The menu will be posted in the welcome center each week.
Please note that reservations and/or cancellations must be made by 12 noon  on the Mondays prior to the meals on Wednesdays.  Invoices will be sent to  those who do not cancel prior to that time or who do not show up for the meal.  Additionally, reservations cannot be taken after the deadline.
Cost of the adult/main-course menu will be $5.00; cost of the kid-friendly menu, $3.00.  Children under 3 years of age will eat free.
Sign-up sheets will be placed in the welcome center.  If you would like to be  on the permanent list, place a " P " by your name when you sign up for the Wednesday night meal.  A permanent list will be created based on the  responses from this first night and will be updated as needed. 
Our Big Night on Wednesdays!

Our Big Night is an opportunity to gather  together as a church on  Wednesday evenings  for fellowship and spiritual growth.  We will begin with a  church-wide meal at 5:15 p.m., followed by  adult 
d iscipleship  opportunities at 6:30 p.m.  Listed below are the studies that are being offered this fall!   Childcare will be provided for infants through preschool.  Kindergarten and older students will also have a place to do homework and have fun.  
It's not too late to join a class!
Christian Cancer Support Group

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 offer a Christian support group for any individuals  (either inside FUMC or outside FUMC) with any type of cancer and their  caregivers/loved ones the second Wednesday of each month   at 6:30-7:30 p.m. at the home of Garry and Virginia Ward, 3320 Cornwallis Drive, Rocky Mount, NC  27804 .  

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.

Facilitators, Virginia and Garry Ward, welcome your  questions! 
(Virginia:   252-903-0353 /Garry:   252-903-2436 )
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.  Rev. Jim Bell will lead this 6-week class.

GriefShare is a friendly, caring group of people who will walk alongside  you through one of life's most difficult experiences.  Don't go through  your grief journey alone.  Melissa Bynum will lead this group beginning at 6 p.m.
Making Neighborhoods Whole

Already with decades of experience speaking  prophetically into the charged racial climate of  the American south, John Perkins began to see  a need for organized thinking and collaborative  imagination about how the church engages 
urban ministry.  And so the  Christian  Community Development Association (CCDA)  was born, with Wayne Gordon, an immediate  and enthusiastic participant.  Nearly thirty  years later, CCDA's eight key  components of  community development still set the bar for  how churches, para-churches and nonprofits  engage cities with the whole gospel.

In Making Neighborhoods Whole, Perkins and  Gordon revisit these eight commitments and how they've played out in  real communities, even as they scan the horizon of urban ministry to set  a new tone.  With profiles of longstanding and emerging community
development ministries, they guide a new conversation and empower  disciples of Jesus to seek the welfare of their cities to the glory of God.   Join Pastor Matt as he leads this study.
24/6 coming in October!

Sounds nice, but how do we find rest in a  24/7 world?  Just as the Hebrews were slaves  in Egypt, we have become slaves to  technology.  Our technological tools allow 24- hour productivity and connectivity, give us  more control, and subtlety enslave us to  busyness itself.  Sabbath is about restraint,  about intentionally not doing everything all  the time just because we can.  Setting aside  a day of rest helps us reconnect with our  Creator and find the peace of God that  passes all understanding.  The Sabbath is  about letting go of the controls one day a  week and letting God be God. So how do we  do it?

In 24/6, Dr. Matthew Sleeth describes our symptoms, clarifies the  signs, diagnoses the illness, and lays out a simple plan for living a  healthier, more God-centered life in a digitally-dazed, always-on world.   Sleeth shares how his own family was dramatically transformed when it  adopted Sabbath practices and helps readers better understand how
their own lives can be transformed - physically, emotionally, relationally  and spiritually - by adopting the 24/6 lifestyle.  This class, led by Rev. Lynn Benson, will begin October 18.
Walk for Life
Saturday, September 16, 2017
8:00 a.m. 
Englewood Park
FUMC would like to reach out to your student and let them know we are praying and thinking of them during their time away from home!
Please send me your child's email address, college address and any other information I may need to get in touch with them throughout the year!!
We will be sending small packages a few times this year , invites to a Christmas brunch, and possibly a cook-out at the end of the year!
Send me your info as soon as you can, first mailing will go out sometime in October!!!!
Thanks so much!
Lori Stanovich -
Stewardship Envelopes

Would you like to receive a preprinted boxed set of weekly stewardship envelopes beginning January 1, 2018?  These envelopes will be dated and have your name imprinted on each envelope. If you wish to participate in this service for 2018, contact Wendi Beck in the church office, or email no later than Monday, September 25.
These envelopes will be available for pickup before the end of the year.
World Communion Sunday, October 1
A special offering will be received  Sunday , October 1, for World Communion Sunday.  Monies collected help provide college scholarships for racial and ethnic students in the United States and for international students as well.  It also equips these students to transform the church and their communities.  Please prayerfully consider supporting this ministry.
Missions Night
Wednesday, October 4
Dinner 5:15-6:00 p.m.
Program 6:15-7:30 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.  Brian Dubberly will be speaking about his ministry in El Salvador. Videos will highlight Ellyn Dubberly's ministry in El Salvador and Wil Bailey's in Costa Rica.  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, plus the Food Bag Distribution. Other ministries will include Backpack Buddies, Meals on Wheels, Gatekeepers, Hubbard Tutoring, La Estrella 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 6
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 Hub.  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).  
Susan Johnson also needs help in the kitchen on that day.  Please call her at 955-7163 if you are willing to assist. 
Saturday, October 7
8 a.m.-12 noon
Litter, graffiti, unkept streets, roads, blocks and parks are far more than just unsightly; these are symptoms of uncaring behavior and a wake-up call for all of us who are concerned about our community's quality of life.  Keep America Beautiful of Nash and Edgecombe Counties needs our help! 

Join the Twin Counties Big Sweep Challenge Saturday, October 7, from 8 a.m. until 12 noon.  Volunteers are asked to meet at the Battle Park boat ramp located at Battle Park Lane in Rocky Mount or Shiloh Landing located at 2233 U.S. Highway 258 North in Tarboro to receive cleanup supplies and assignments.

The Twin Counties Big Sweep offers a tremendous opportunity to learn firsthand about litter and its harmful effects.  It also serves as a reminder that we are all stewards of our environment.  Help make the Twin Counties clean, green, and more livable this fall!
Nursery Workers for September and October

9/17              9:00     Amy Brown & Jenny White
                     11:00     Katie Butler & Sarah Prezioso
9/24              9:00     Debra Boudreau & Kim Cross
                     11:00     Bridget Rogers & Wendy Wilson

10/1              9:00     Heather Kim & Sarah Winters
                     11:00     Gaye Brinn & Melissa Bynum
10/8              9:00     Kim Sieracki & Kelley Tyndall
                     11:00     Kim Cross & Susan Laney
10/15           9:00     Lisa Perry & Denise Russell
                     11:00     Mary Lew Benson & Debbie Ray
10/22           9:00     Katie Harrison & Susan Johnson
                     11:00     Amber Hinson & Debra West
10/29           9:00     Amy Luttrell & Lisa Mand
                     11:00     Hadley Gross & Wendy Hinson
Our Church Family


In Memory of Donald Earl Ball by Ray & Gaye Brinn, Mike & Mary Beth Crawford, Nanette Barringer, FUMC William Whitehead Sunday School Class, and Steve & Sandra Felton & Family.  

In Memory of Lillian Robinson Boney by Cassandra G. Weatherford.   

In Memory of Marie Layton Chadwick ( Chadwick Scholarship ) by Mike & Mary Beth Crawford.

In Memory of Barbara Corbett Craft by Ray & Gaye Brinn; Robert Mitchell; Coffman Charities, William S. Coffman & John H. Coffman; Cathy Sutton; Sherwin Herring; Blarnie & Olivia Tanner; Carlton & Gaynelle Taylor; Faye Brown Sprye; Steve & Sandra Felton & Family; and Bonnie W. Person.    

In Memory of Breda O'Shea "Betty" Frazier  (Bridget Rogers' mother)  by Mike & Mary Beth Crawford.

In Memory of Betsy Rose Gehman Jolley by Gerald & Meilia Cox, and Mike & Mary Beth Crawford.

In Memory of Rebecca Lane (Phil Lane's mother) by Harry & Melissa Bynum and Steve & Sandra Felton & Family.

In Memory of Margaret Allen Parrott  by Gerald & Meilia Cox.


Congratulations to  Douglas and Candice Broad on the birth of their son, Finley "Finn" Alexander Broad, August 25, in Johnson City, Tennessee.  Finn weighed 9 lbs. 13 ounces and was 21 inches long.  Big sister is Zo ë and proud grandparents are Doug and Beverly Broad.


The pastors and staff of FUMC express their sympathy to Phil Lane and his family on the passing of his mother, Rebecca Lane, of Saratoga, NC; to Kim Chandler and her family on the passing of her father, Donald Earl Ball; and to the family of Barbara Corbett Craft on her passing. 
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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
"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
C 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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