Spring forward this Sunday!
First Church News & Updates - March 10, 2017

Daylight Savings Time
It is that time of the year...Daylight Savings Time begins this Sunday. Set your clocks forward one hour or you will be late for church! 

We are also entering Spring Break week for many of our students. Many of our regularly scheduled events will not be held this week, so check the church calendar.

See you Sunday!
This week in worship...February Sermon Series
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: "Fake News"

Scripture:    Luke 23:1-­12

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. Cara Walkup and Dr. Saida Kafarova will be providing special music on flute and piano at the Sanctuary services. The Source , our weekly devotional guide, is available on the church website

Please join us in worship this Sunday at  8:30 am (Sanctuary), 9:40 am (FLC), or 11 am (Sanctuary). 
Words from Will...
All About Fran...
Building the Relationships
If you read the first two articles, you know that F.R.A.N. stands for Friends, Relatives, Acquaintances and Neighbors. You also know from the last article that 79% of those who make the courageous step of visiting a church for the first time do so because someone they know and trust invited them. Here's the challenge, however. Over time, our friendships in the church become our main circle of friends. Many people report to me that they have no non-Christian friends. Birds of a feather....  But the Great Commission to "Go and make disciples of all nations..." is still in force. What that means is Christian birds are meant to associate with birds of other flocks, especially those who are not yet flying in Christian formation. 

The truth is that less than 35% of the US population are involved in a church. Under 40, that number decreases to less than 20%. That doesn't mean they aren't Christian, but it does mean they are not in a community that is encourages their growth in worship, fellowship, learning and mission. We used to think that the best way to reach those outside was to create amazing youth, music and children's programs inside or to create a drive-in movie church (the Crystal Cathedral sold out to the Roman Catholics). Now we know that those methods mainly draw Christians from other churches and makes little impact on the 65% of individuals and families above 40 and the 80% below 40.
The better strategy is to build authentic friendships with people who are not involved in a church on the other days of the week - in the neighborhood, at the gym, at the convenience store where you buy coffee, at Kohl's, or on the playing field with other parents and coaches, etc. I recommend frequenting the same places so you really get to know folks by their names, and eventually who their families are and what is fun or difficult for them. Soon you will start seeing and befriending people you didn't know you were crossing paths with. Please, this is not about building a relationship with someone so they will come to our church. This is about building authentic relationships where at the right time you will have the opportunity to share faith, but you build the relationship whether that happens or not, because you care for them!

Making disciples of Jesus Christ is the #1 thing we do, but we can be patient and authentic about it.  And who knows when you might get to share the secret to life itself as your greatest act of authentic friendship!

Rev. Dr. Will Cotton
Sincerely in Christ,

Will Cotton Signature

Dr. Will Cotton
Senior Pastor
Coming up at First Church...
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 stations of 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.
Scrub-a-dub Days

In preparation for our upcoming Easter celebration, we are sprucing up the church grounds and facilities. A variety of jobs are available both inside and outside: cleaning doors, windows, and millwork, weeding, trimming, and more. Click here for more information and to sign up. 
POPS Handbell Concert
Ministry Focus...
Children's Ministry
Pray Classes
God and Family & God and Me Classes
Children's Ministry will be offering religious recognition programs beginning  April 9 . God and Me is a four week course, open to all boys and girls in grades 1,2 and 3 to attend with a parent.  God and Family is a six week class, open to all boys and girls in grades 4,5 and 6 to attend with a parent.  Both classes are opportunities for young people and families to explore faith together. 

God and Me is designed to help young children become best friends with Jesus. God and Family focuses on the importance of family and God's role in a healthy family. Both classes meet scouting requirements, but scout membership is not a prerequisite to take the classes.  Both classes will begin at  11:30  on  April 9  (following Resurrection Celebration). Subsequent classes will meet at  11 am , excluding Easter  Sunday . Click here to register...
Other Children's Ministry Info...
Student Ministry
Spring Break
It's Spring Break...No Fusion this Sunday
We want to wish everyone a fun and safe Spring Break vacation with your family.
Fusion will return on Sunday, March 19 with
 a cookout plus some kickball and outdoor fun.
We will meet at Fern Bluff Park, 17829 Park Valley Drive,  from  5-7 pm  for hamburgers and kickball. The event is free of charge but we ask that everyone bring a side or dessert to share. It is going to be a lot of fun and a great night of fellowship so we hope you will join us!
Adult Ministry
Mediterranean Cruise
Q & A Session coming up on March 26
Does the Mediterranean Cruise in October 2017 sound like something you would like to do? The Adult Christian Education Council will host a question and answer session on  Sunday, March 26, at 5 pm in Bldg. 5-127 to answer questions about the upcoming Paul's 4th Missionary Journey Cruise.

The cruise is sponsored by the Central Texas Conference of the United Methodist Church as part of the Azamara Club Cruises.  Rich Thompson has been on other such cruises and will be a host on this one. Come out, have some refreshments, and let Rich answer any questions you may have about the experience. Brochures on the cruise are available in the church office, sanctuary and FLC. Click for more information...
JOY Senior Fellowship
JOY Fellowship Lunch next Thursday, March 16
All senior adults are invited to join us at our monthly fellowship lunch at 11:30 am in Bldg. 5-127. Our theme is Music and the Mind A St. Patrick's Day luncheon in room 127 will be followed by an award-winning movie in the Church Theater Alive Inside.
This 2014 Sundance Film Festival documentary winner explores the ability of music to revitalize our souls and combat mental loss.  $5 is the suggested donation for the lunch. Everyone age 60 and older is welcome! Click here to register. For more info, contact Ann Bell, annamaebell@suddenlink.net, or 512-240-5252. Please register by March 15.
Baseball Game
Take me out to the ball game...
The United Methodist Men are inviting 10 men in our church to join them at the Round Rock Express season opener on Thursday, April 6 at 7:05 pm. The UMM will pay for your reserved seating ticket and parking for this game. 

Why? It is a men's fellowship opportunity for those who are interested in learning more or getting involved in UMM or other Men's Ministries at First Church, meeting some other great men in our church and enjoying a good baseball game. 

If you are interested in a memorable Spring evening at Dell Diamond, please contact Richard Soslow,  512.626.8860  or rasoslow@gmail.com   to reserve your ticket.
Other Adult Ministry Info...
Mission Focus...
UMCOR Training

UMCOR Early Response Team Training for new ERTs
  • Saturday, March 25 at First United Methodist Church, Round Rock
  • Cost: $30 includes class materials, lunch and T-Shirt

Click here to register  


What is an Early Response Team?
The mission of an Early Response Team (ERT) is  to provide a caring Christian presence in the  aftermath of a disaster, under very specific  guidelines that enable a team to be productive  and caring while causing no further harm or being  a burden to the affected community.  Early Response Teams respond after emergency  personnel to disasters such as fires, hurricanes,  tornadoes, and flooding to help families with clean  -up, prevention of more damage to homes, and  clean out of homes. A one day training must be  completed to participate in this type of response.  Classes are taught by authorized UMCOR trainers  from our conference, and team members are  given picture ID badges as evidence of training  and required in disaster zones. Click for more information...
Great Day of Service

Save the date! Our annual Great Day of Service...a church wide event for participants of all ages, including children, will be on Saturday, April 1. We will have opportunities to work in many different organizations in Round Rock and surrounding communities. We will kick off the event in the Family Life Center at 8:00 am. You can sign up to work 8:30 am-12 noon, or 12:30-4:00 pm or all day from 8:30 am-4:00 pm.  Here are some of the organizations we will be partnering with during our Great Day of Service:
  • Williamson County Advocacy Center
  • Mothers Against Drunk Driving
  • Learn to Fish at Southwest Williamson Park
  • The Caring Place in Georgetown
  • Kairos Prison Ministry
  • Miracle League Baseball
  • Community Garden of Georgetown
  • Habitat For Humanity
  • Vacation Bible School Preparation
Put your faith into action
This is one day that you can get outside the walls of the church and reach out to many others in need. The cost is only $10 per person and $40 family max. The registration deadline is Wednesday, March 26.

Backpack Project

Thank you...the Spring Break packing event was amazing!
There is so much there and so much going on that it is always barely controlled chaos, but it is also a beautiful thing to behold. 2,000 packs of food (2 for every kid) were assembled in an hour, while others counted and staged 1,000 boxes of cereal and 1,000 packages of tortillas. It took longer to set up and clean up than to do the work! I haven't totaled up all the volunteer sign in sheets yet, but I think there were more participants than we have ever had at one of our events, on probably the worst weather day we've ever had. The last count I heard was 250.

Thank you to everyone in the Round Rock community, but particularly, in my village at First United Methodist Church for always making this massive undertaking a success. We estimate we will distribute close to 6 1/2 tons of food this next week - and then there's the leftovers. Talk about your loaves and fishes! I looked around and didn't see what looked like a awful lot, but when we got the trailer unloaded at the BP House, there is in excess of another ton of food, covering every surface I could find. We'll be doing inventory and figuring out how much the Success High Pantry can use and then sharing our largesse with the Round Rock Serving Center.

We are so blessed!
Kathy Ford, Backpack Coalition Director and First Church member
Other Mission & Outreach Info...
We will publish our 2017 Guide Book and Directory soon.

2017 Guide Book & Directory is coming soon.
We are in the process of updating our annual Guide Book & Directory for the church. This book will contain everything pertinent to our church: the various ministries, organizations, committees, activities, functions and events plus a complete directory of all members. This book is being provided and direct-mailed to each family at no cost to our church, and it is again being subsidized by local businesses that advertise.

More information is on the church website, including
  • How to update your membership information
  • How to opt out if you prefer that your information not be published
  • How to advertise in the directory.
This week at First Church
Sunday, March 12
  • 8:30, 9:40 and 11 am - Worship Services
  • 12 noon - Sunday Ladies in Faith, Bldg. 5-124
Monday, March 13

Tuesday, March 14
  • 9:30 am - First Church Crafters, 115 Winsted
  • 12:30 pm - Brown Bag Theologians, Bldg. 5-136
  • 6:30 pm - Community Bible Study, Bldg. 5-220, 223, 224, 225
  • 7:00 pm - Nar-Anon, Bldg. 4-6
Wednesday, March 15
  • 6:15 am - UMM Breakfast, fellowship, devotional - FLC/Bldg. 3
  • 5:45 pm - Heartsong Choir rehearsal, South Suite
  • 6:00 pm - Life Groups Leadership, Bldg. 5-122
Thursday, March 16
  • 9:30 am - Heart to Heart Quilters, 115 Winsted 
  • 11:30 am - JOY Fellowship Lunch, Bldg. 5-127
Friday,  March 17
  • 8:30 am - Round Rock Helpers, Bldg. 4-2
  • 8:00 pm - Narcotics Anonymous-Right Stuff, Bldg. 4


Saturday, March 18
  • 8:00 am - Williamson County Genealogical Society, Bldg. 3/FLC
  • 7:00 pm - Bridge Club, Bldg. 5-127


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! 

Betty Robertson
First United Methodist Church Round Rock

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