Olivia's Play Date...fun, food, and music for the whole family!
First Church News & Updates - May 19, 2017

What a busy weekend we have in store at First Church. This evening the United Methodist Men are sponsoring Olivia's Play Date, a  benefit for the Dell Children's Hospital Pediatric Oncology Unit.  It honors a sweet little girl, named Olivia, who recently lost her battle against terminal cancer, just shy of her 2nd birthday. There will be food, music and fun for all ages. Join us from 5:30 - 7:30 this evening.  

This Sunday we have just a few things going on: 
  • honoring our graduating seniors in worship and a luncheon 
  • recognizing Stephen Ministry 
  • selling UMM Chicken and Cobblers
  • celebrating the end of the school year in children's choir and youth Fusion
  • VBS Crew Leader training
  • Mission Panama meeting
And of course, dynamic worship at 8:30, 9:40 and 11 am. Come and be a part of all that is First Church!
This week in worship...
Sermon Series

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: "Target Practice - Are You the Target?"
Scripture: Job 16:1-12  
Dr. Will Cotton will preach at the 9:40 and 11 am worship services this Sunday. Rev. Katie Meek will preach at the 8:30 am service. The Revelation Ringer Ensemble will be ringing 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...
Commencement for all ages 
One of the reasons I love the month of May (or sometimes early June) is the celebration of all the graduations. At the end of the 11 am worship service this Sunday, we will recognize our graduating seniors and then host a banquet for them and their families in the Family Life Center. What a great moment, a celebratory one for the seniors and a bittersweet one for the parents (where did all those years go?) Some will begin their vocations while others will do more schooling, but new beginnings are most certainly happening, and no one knows where those beginnings will lead.

Rev. Dr. Will Cotton
Dr. Will Cotton
Over the past two weeks, I have noticed a lot of university graduations happening in our congregation.  What pride and relief I see on the parents' faces. On these young adult faces I see a mix of excitement and a little fear as they contemplate what their future may hold. This I know...in the hands of God, the future for all of them can be magnificent - not always easy or safe and certainly not predictable - but still a future full of the work of God in and through them.

I also like commencement because it is a reminder that it is never too late to begin a new chapter with God - to celebrate what has been, take what you have learned, and launch into a Spirit-led future.  My last scholastic commencement was my doctorate in 1996 at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, right next to the University of Texas. But there have been many God-directed commencements since then. In fact, I think I had one in 2016 as I began a new chapter of ministry with you as your senior pastor. A year ago next week, we purchased our home in Paloma Lake. We went to Annual Conference in Waco in June and met the Choral Union from First UMC, Round Rock and saw them fill the loft at the ordination service. It felt like commencement for us. I am so deeply honored to serve as senior pastor of this great Church. I am watching the seeds of amazing things ahead for us in ministry with each other and more importantly, in ministry with our surrounding area of Williamson County and north Austin. Those seeds may indeed become a commencement, a new beginning for us as a congregation.

See you Sunday, along with that friend, relative or neighbor that needs the love of our great faith community and a word of lasting hope.

Sincerely in Christ,
Will Cotton Signature
Dr. Will Cotton
Senior Pastor
Fir$t Match...the Spring 2017 Capital Matching Campaign
First Match Campaign

Campaign Update: We met the Match!
First Church enthusiastically accepted a challenge in the form of a $20K donation and quickly met that challenge in just two weeks by generously donating a total of $21,209.05. Kudos to everyone who has already contributed to the First Match Campaign. Let's keep the momentum going! How big of a bite can we take out of the total $106,700 need to address three critical areas: security, air conditioning, and care and preservation of our trees?  Last week we took an in-depth look at campus security and now we will turn our focus to tree care and preservation.

Care and Preservation of our Trees
Council Oak Tree
First Church is blessed with many historic oak, pecan, cottonwood and other trees on our campus. The centerpiece of our campus is the historic Council Oak tree. Did you know:
  • The Council Oak tree is several hundred years old. Estimates range from 400 - 800 years.
  • It is one of several Council Oaks (the Treaty Oak in Austin is another) where Tonkawa Indians were said to have held council.
It is important to care for our trees aesthetically and from a safety perspective. Just in the last year a large limb fell from our Council Oak tree and and strong winds felled an elm tree in the south parking lot. 

What do we need to do to care for our historic trees?
  • Remove dead, diseased, and broken branches to improve tree health and appearance while reducing the risk of branch failure. 
  • Thin the crowns of trees to reduce the risk of branch stem and/or root failure. 
  • Raise lower branches to improve clearance over play and grassy areas, buildings, and courtyard deck. 
  • Install supplemental support cables in the two large cottonwood trees located in the south parking lots. 
  • Excavate soil from the lower stem of four pecan trees to expose the root collar to reduce the risk of insect and disease infestations and promote tree health. 
With your generous support, we can continue to care for our majestic trees.

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 finance@fumc-rr.org.
Thank you for joining us on this journey!
Ministry Focus...
Worship Arts
"Rhythmic Rip" by John Behnke

Thank you! Your generosity at the 2017 POPS concert enabled us to donate $5508.15 to the First Church Backpack Project. 
Children's Ministry
Building Circles of Grace
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  on Tuesdays 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.   
Registration is open for Camp Triumph
Camp Triumph is returning to our campus this summer for a sports camp.  There will be three sessions:
  • June 12 - 16: 12 - 4 pm after VBS
  • June 19- 23: 12 - 4 pm after VBS
  • June 24 - 27: 8:30-11:30 am
Early bird pricing ends  May 31 , so don't wait to register your child. Your child does not have to be in VBS to attend Camp Triumph! Click here for more information about Camp Triumph.

Questions? Contact Jennifer Hall , jennifer@fumc-rr.org.
Student Ministry
Final Fusion of the School Year
This Sunday will be the Final Fusion of the school year from  6-8 pm  in the Family Life Center. There will be snack supper, worship and then we will have a game night, playing a bunch of active big group games. All 5th grade students who are getting ready to be in 6th grade are invited to join us as well.

It's been a great year and can't wait to finish with some fun. See you all  Sunday!

Youth Leadership Team
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...
Adult Ministry
Class Series
New 5-week Adult Sunday School Series begins June 4
Matt Rawle sees Christ all around him and shares what he sees in his book, Hollywood Jesus. Sometimes movies tell a story of salvation, even if the context is not the Gospel story of Jesus. This study examines Jesus figures  in films such as Cool Hand Luke, The Lion King, The Truman Show, and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. Join this exploration of what happens when pop culture encounters the King of kings and the Lord of lords! 

Location and Time:  Sundays at 9:40 am in Bldg. 5-136. For more information, contact Rev. Dr. Beverly Jones ( beverly@fumc-rr.org ) or Debby Utley ( debbyfaeu@gmail.com ).  All are welcome. 
No pre-registration is needed. Just come! 
Bible Study
Why Did God Do It? Study begins June 12
Come explore the question, "Why Did God Do It?" in a six week Bible Study. We will look at how science is confirming God's creation of the universe, the intricacies of created life, and how they point to God's love for us. Source book is "The Creator and The Cosmos" by Dr. Hugh Ross. Sessions will begin on Monday,  June 12, at 7 pm in Bldg. 5-127. It will  go through  July 31  with no session on  July 3

To enroll, register online  or contact James Lehrmann at  jameslehrmann@sbcglobal.net .
Other Adult Ministry Info...
Caring Ministry...
Stephen Ministry
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!
Mission Focus...
Chicken & Cobblers
The United Methodist Men are cooking!
They will have their delicious Chicken and Cobblers available for sale this Sunday. Just follow the delicious aroma as you come to worship.
  • Chicken: $10  
  • Cobbler: $10
  • Special: 2 for $20. What a deal!
All proceeds go to UMM mission projects.  
Other Mission & Outreach Info...
This week at First Church
Saturday, May 20
  • 7:00 pm - Bridge Club, Bldg. 5-127
Sunday, May 21
  • 8:30, 9:40 and 11 am - Worship Services
  • 11:00 am - God and Family, Bldg. 5-208
  • 11:40 am - Alleluia Chorus End of School Party, Bldg. 5-127
  • 12 noon - Sunday Ladies in Faith, Bldg. 5-124
  • 12 noon - 2017 Senior Banquet, Bldg. 3/FLC
  • 12:15 pm - VBS Crew Leader Training, Bldg. 5-232/234
  • 4:00 pm - Mission Panama Team Meeting, Bldg. 5-122
  • 6:00 pm - FUSION, Game Night, Bldg. 3/FLC
Monday, May 22
  • 6:00 pm - Venture Crew, Bldg. 4/Payne Cottage
  • 7:00 pm - Adult Christian Education meeting, Bldg. 5-122
  • 7:00 pm - Boy Scout Troop #157, Bldg. 3/FLC
Tuesday, May 23
  • 8:30 am - UMM Breakfast, Egg and I Restaurant, La Frontera
  • 9:30 am - First Church Crafters, 115 Winsted
  • 12:30 pm - Brown Bag Theologians, Bldg. 5-136
  • 7:00 pm - Church Council, Bldg. 5-127
  • 7:00 pm - First Church Care Caller Team. 5-122
  • 7:00 pm - Nar-Anon, Bldg. 4-6
Wednesday, May 24
  • 6:15 am - UMM Breakfast, fellowship, devotional - FLC/Bldg. 3
  • 9:30 am - Council Oak Preschool Graduation, Sanctuary
  • 6:00 pm - Parent Meeting for Sr. High Mission Trip, Bldg. 5-127
  • 7:00 pm - VBS Crew Leader Training, Gldg. 5-232/234
  • 7:00 pm - Heartsong and Chancel Choir rehearsal, South Suite
  • 7:15 pm - Youth Mission Trip Leader meeting, Bldg. 5-127 
Thursday, May 25
  • 9:30 am - Heart to Heart Quilters, 115 Winsted
  • 9:30 am - Council Oak Preschool Graduation, Sanctuary 

  • 12 noon - Mom Life Group, Bldg. 5-122

Friday,  May 26
  • 8:30 am - Round Rock Helpers, Bldg. 4-2
  • 8:00 pm - Narcotics Anonymous-Right Stuff, Bldg. 4
Saturday, May 27
  • 9:40 am - Handbell Rookie Training Camp, North Suite
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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