First Church News & Updates - May 12, 2017
On this Mother's Day weekend, we are pleased to announce the birth of new babies in two of our First Church staff families. Lane Isaac Marfell was born on April 20, the son of Student Ministries Director, Jodi Marfell and husband, Tim. Then on Sunday, April 30, Evan Noble Batch was welcomed by our Praise Worship Leader, Brian Batch and wife, Kate. Congratulations!
In the late 1860s, before there was an official Mother's Day holiday in the US, a Methodist mom organized Mothers' Friendship Day, at which mothers gathered with former Union and Confederate soldiers to promote reconciliation. Harriett Olson, the current head of United Methodist Women, and Donna Miller, archivist at Historic St. George's United Methodist Church, tell us more about the women behind the holiday.
Happy Mother's Day!
Have you ever wondered why people say some of the things they do in difficult times? Some are helpful, but many are not! "Everything happens for a reason." "You must not have been praying right." "You must have some unforgiven sin that caused this." So how do we cope during difficult times and how can we be truly helpful to others when those things happen to them? Surprisingly, one of the best places to get wisdom for those times comes from the sacred story of Job. So during the month of May, the pastors are sharing Adults Say the Darndest Things based on the book of Job. Watch for unique use of music and drama along with intriguing angles of preaching. This is a series you will want to invite friends to, as it deals directly with some of life's peskiest questions.
Sermon Title: "With Friends Like These..."
Scripture: Job 4:1-5, 7:1-10, 8:1-7
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. The Alleluia Ensemble will be singing at the sanctuary services.
, our weekly devotional guide, is available on the
Please join us in worship this Sunday at 8:30 am (Sanctuary), 9:40 am (FLC), or 11 am (Sanctuary).
Mother's Day has always been a special day in the Cotton tradition.
As a kid, I remember Dad splurging on gifts for mom, usually clothes she would never wear. One day, I would learn that it was best to let mom pick out her own clothes. My church did some of the old traditions in Mother's Day recognitions: oldest mom, newest mom, mom with the most children. Those were always a little clumsy - the oldest one winning each year unless some out-of-town mom attended and messed it up, or making winners of bigger families over smaller ones, etc. We will take time to recognize the ministry of mothers in each of our worship services through prayers, video and special music. We hope every mom present will feel affirmed and appreciated. We also note that for some Mother's Day may be a
time that has some pain: grief, conflict or the inability to have children. That's why, secondarily Mother's Day has also been a celebration of the Christian home, in all its variety.
For Tina and me, this will be a very memorable Mother's Day. In the 11 am service, I will baptize our granddaughter, Riley Mae Cotton. I baptized both our sons in Odessa, TX in 1989 and 1992. We promised to raise them up in the Christian faith so that one day they could claim that faith as their own. We have watched with pride and a great sense of privilege as they have grown up to do just that. Now Kristen (a first-time mom) and our son, Tyler, make their commitment to raise Riley in the Christian faith. Oh, the things Riley is going to teach them about their faith, just as they taught their parents as they grew up. Our son, Reece, and Kristen's family will be here as well. I expect to have a voice that gets a bit wobbly and I should probably do the vows more by memory, since I may have trouble reading them through moist eyes.
One of the great things we get to do as a pastoral family is share our journey with you. Thank you for being part of it in a special way this Sunday morning. By the way, don't forget to bring mom or grandma with you to Church.
Sincerely in Christ,
Fir$t Match...the Spring 2017 Capital Matching Campaign
First Church has been presented with a challenge in the form of a $20K donation!
In light of this generous donation, three areas of need have been identified:
Security, Trees, and AC
. This week we will take a more
look at our security needs.
Our campus regularly hosts a variety of church and community related events, seven days a week, during both daytime and evening hours. Periodically, we also host some events that occur overnight. It is far too easy for unauthorized persons to enter our buildings. With several different buildings, including a preschool, on campus with many entrances, we must provide a safe
and secure campus for our congregation, volunteers, children, visitors and staff.
What does that entail?
Our staff and trustees are working with a group of professionals with expertise in emergency preparations, security, and church operations to evaluate our security needs. Indoor and outdoor surveillance cameras, programmable access cards for building entry, security management software, and notification systems for security breaches are some of the things being considered. Additional exterior lighting, signage, and fencing are also being explored.
In week one, we have raised $9445.55...almost halfway to
the $20K match. When we meet the match, the $40K will be a tremendous win for First Church, but the total needed for security, trees and AC exceeds that amount, totaling $106,700. How big of a bite can we take out of the total need of $106,700?
So let's give! If you have not picked up an envelope for giving, they will be available this Sunday.
All you need to do is simply choose your amount, take an envelope, fill it and return the envelope!
The envelopes are not the only way to give.
- Give online: You can give online at myFirstChurch. Choose First Match as the fund to which you want to give. If you want to specify that your gift go to a particular area, just write Trees, AC or Security in the Optional Description box.
- Text to Give: Text FUMCRR FirstMatch (specify amount) to 73256. If you want to specify your text gift go to a particular area, please send those instructions by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for joining us on this journey!
||"Sabre Dance" by Aram Khachaturian
Another amazing POPS Handbell Concert last Saturday!
The First Church Handbell Ministry presented Pops 2017,
Reach for the Stars
on Saturday, May 6. It was a wonderful evening of fellowship, music and laughter as ringers entertained the 300+ audience members. The event was a benefit for the
First Church Backpack Project
. Almost $5500 has been raised for this worthwhile non-profit organization which provides food for weekend meals and snacks to students in need at Wells Branch Elementary and Bluebonnet Elementary. Donations will remain open through
Monday, May 15
Donations may be made today by check (FUMC with memo of Backpack Project or Pops 2017)
You can also
(choose POPS Fund) or by text FUMC RR to 73256 (you will be prompted to enter the amount).
VBS Registration closes this Sunday, May 14!
Your child, ages 5-10, will not want to miss Maker Fun Factory VBS! They can attend either June 12-16 or June 19-23. Children can even invite their friends to register!
If you are unable to participate, but still want to help, you can make an online donation to Vacation Bible School. Donations will be used to purchase supplies and provide scholarships for children who may not be able to attend otherwise.
Camp Triumph is back!
Camp Triumph will also hold a morning sports camp on our campus July 24-28, 9 am to 12 pm!
Building Circles of Grace
Join First Church member and author, Catherine Bird, this summer for a special study in the Girls of Grace Bible study series,
Building Circles of Grace. For eight weeks, Catherine will encourage moms and daughters (tweens entering grades 5 - 7) as they explore what it means to build and sustain Christ-centered relationships with
circles of grace...the relationships that we develop beyond our relationship with God. Some of the toughest experiences we encounter as young girls (and moms, too) are a result of the people we choose as friends.
This study will not be available in bookstores until August 2017, so moms and tween girls are in for a special treat with this early preview. Catherine has a few surprises along the way, including a copy of the new book when it is hot off the presses! Moms and tween girls will also have an opportunity to participate in exclusive launch activities leading up to the new book release. Space is limited, so register soon.
The classes will meet at 6:30 pm
beginning June 6.
The cost is $25 and registration is open.
Moms should register themselves first. Information about your tween will follow.
Click here to register.
No Fusion this Week: Mother's Day
This week there will be no Fusion due to the Mother's Day celebration.
We want to wish all mothers a Happy Mother's Day and we hope you and your family enjoy the day together.
Fusion will return on
Sunday, May 21
in the FLC.
Leadership Team Applications are available
As we wind down the school year, we are beginning to look ahead to the 2017-2018 school year. As we prepare, that means we are looking to add new students to our leadership team for next school year.
We are looking for committee members for each of our teams:
- Outreach Team
- Communications Team
- Hospitality Team
- Worship Team
You can find applications and descriptions of what will be asked of you online on our website. All applications are due by
June 1, 2017 in the Student Ministries Office.
Other Student Ministry Info...
Join us on Thursday, May 18, for our next senior fellowship!
Time: 11:30 am in Bldg. 5-127
Program: Our presentation will be a radio theater performance of
The Bad Girls of the Bible. Jezebel, Delilah, Potiphar's wife and others have an important story to tell.
Cost: $5 donation is suggestion for the lunch.
Wednesday, May 17.
First Church is a Stephen Ministry Congregation - A Caring Congregation.
God calls us to love others by serving and blessing them. Perhaps God is calling you to make a difference in someone's life by being there during a difficult time. Are you seeking a new place of Ministry? Would your gifts and talents be put to good use as a Stephen Minister?
On May 21, stop by the FLC or outside the Sanctuary and talk to a Stephen Minister about the blessings of sharing God's love with others. Picking up an informational packet does not commit you to anything...it's just an opportunity to learn and prayerfully consider your place in this Ministry. Learn about the training sessions to begin in the Fall...training that prepares you for a variety of situations. Following training, Stephen Ministers become part of a caring team that will provide encouragement, support, and resources. Our care-giving remains confidential, so the best way to gain insight into the way God works in the lives of our Care Receivers and Stephen Ministers is to chat with a Stephen Minister. Seek out any of our Stephen Ministers wearing a blue and red stole and hear the impact this Ministry is having on them and members of our congregation and community!
Other Mission & Outreach Info...
This week at First Church
- 7:00 am - Middle School Welcome Party ends, Bldg. 3/FLC
Sunday, May 14 - Happy Mother's Day!
- 8:30, 9:40 and 11 am - Worship Services
- 11:00 am - God and Family, Bldg. 5-208
Monday, May 15
- 9:00 am - VBS Workday, Bldg. 5
- 6:00 pm - Venture Crew, Bldg. 4/Payne Cottage
- 6:30 pm - Communications Team, Bldg. 5-124
- 7:00 pm - Boy Scout Troop #157, Bldg. 3/FLC
- 8:30 am - UMM Breakfast, Egg and I Restaurant, La Frontera
- 9:30 am - UMW Deborah Circle, Bldg. 5-232/234
- 12:30 pm - Brown Bag Theologians, Bldg. 5-136
- 6:30 pm - Outreach Team, Bldg. 5-122
- 7:00 pm - Stephen Ministry Supervision, Bldg. 5-123, 126, 127
- 7:00 pm - Finance Committee, Bldg. 5-124
- 7:00 pm - Nar-Anon, Bldg. 4-6
Wednesday, May 17
- 6:15 am - UMM Breakfast, fellowship, devotional - FLC/Bldg. 3
- 5:45 pm - Heartsong Choir rehearsal, South Suite
- 6:30 pm - Wednesday Women's Bible Study, Bldg. 5-232/234
- 7:15 pm - Chancel Choir rehearsal, South Suite
Thursday, May 18
8:30 am - Round Rock Helpers, Bldg. 4-2
9:30 am - Ministry of Motherhood (MOM), Bldg. 5-232/234
5:30 pm - Olivia's Play Date, Bldg. 3/FLC and Playground
8:00 pm - Narcotics Anonymous-Right Stuff, Bldg. 4
Saturday, May 20
- 7:00 pm - Bridge Club, Bldg. 5-127
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