April 20,
The little palm crosses that our worshipers wore on Palm Sunday have been a part of my Palm Sunday worship experience for years, but this was the first year we have used them here. I felt like I had reconnected to an old friend when mine was handed to me a couple of Sundays ago.
I remember several years ago wearing the palm cross to a restaurant after worship and the cross was the topic of discussion for several people. A lady asked what it was and I responded, "It's a palm cross. We wore them in worship this morning." "Oh," she said. "Is it supposed to bring good luck or something like that?"
I honestly didn't know how to answer that. Good luck? Hardly! Some hucksters and television evangelists might have us believe that our faith is little more than a good luck symbol. Some teach that by expressions of faith, by prayer and denial, we can manipulate the will of God; that by temporary obedience we can effect healing and the dispensation of great wealth. Some teach that the discipline of faith is merely a means to an end, and usually a selfish one. And those people proclaim a shallow God, do they not?
Jesus said many things about the cross but he never said it would bring us good luck. He said, in fact, that it would probably get us in trouble. He said that adherence to the way of the cross would bring about conflict, sometimes with those closest to us. He said that such adherence might well cost us some friendships, some wealth, and perhaps our homes. It might well get some stones cast in our direction. But good luck? Hardly.
But the cross compels people to action. The cross outlasts our good luck symbols and the charlatans who do business in its name. It endures because it promises the love of God, regeneration of the spirit, and eternal life. It can give purpose where there is none and
redemption when none seems possible. But be careful with it. It can raise some interesting questions and it can get us into some trouble.
We talk about the cross here each week and there is a place for you.
      And I'll see you this Sunday.


Restore to Glory! At present, our outstanding debt on Restore to Glory!, our major renovation project, is $28,000. Our hope is to have the debt completely erased by the end of this mot. Please check to see if your pledged commitment is up to date, and please consider an extra gift to RTG!

Worship Services Live Streaming. For those unable to join us on Sunday mornings, our 9 a.m. and 11:15 a.m. worship services will be live streamed each week.  On any electronic device-computer, tablet, or smart phone-simply go to our church website: 
Upcoming service opportunities:
  • Global Day of Service. Saturday, April 29, 9 a.m. to noon. MFUMC will pack meals for communities in Zambia through Stop Hunger Now. Find out more at www.mariettafumc.org/servetheworld.  
  • Habitat build. Saturdays April 29, May 13, May 20 and June 3 are this year's build dates. You can help by building or providing food. Sign up to help at www.mariettafumc.org/buildit.
Marietta FUMC is heading to the Braves game on Wednesday evening, May 24. The cost is $20, and we will depart from the Polk Street lot at 5:30 p.m. (Rev. Lori Ethridge, ext. 7835).

A Choral Evensong, presented by our Chancel and Youth choirs, will be on Sunday, May 7 at 7 p.m. in the Sanctuary. Music will include The Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis by Ralph Vaughan Williams. No cost or reservation required. (Jim Bohart, ext. 7815)
Graduation Sunday is May 7. All high school seniors are invited to participate in the service and attend a luncheon at 12:15 p.m. Contact Jonathan Sanders at youthintern@mariettafumc.org  by April 25 for more information and to RSVP. 
It's time to register for Vacation Bible School and summer camps! There are programs for nursery, preschool and elementary ages. For more details and to register, visit www.mariettafumc.org/summer. (Kelly Duncan, ext. 7812)
Mid-High Mission Trip
 (July 14-17) 
Registration is now open! Join us as we adventure from the beaches to the mountains. Sign up now at www.mariettafumc.org/midhightrip. (Jessica Ferguson, ext. 7822)
The United Methodist Men will be providing
coffee from Ethiopia throughout the month of April on Sunday mornings. Coffee stations are located in the discipleship building, on the third floor of the Family Life Center and in the Hospitality Room (room 220). Proceeds will benefit the community care center in Ethiopia visited by the recent MFUMC mission trip. (Forrest Cate, ext. 7806)
The MFUMC Sporting Clay Tournament will be Friday, May 12 at Garland Mountain. More details to come! (Forrest Cate, ex t. 7806)
Hero Central VBS 2017 is June 26-29 from 6- 8:30 p.m. for completed 3K thru 5 th grade. Come learn about the Heroes of the Bible and make new friends. Registration at www.mariettafumc.org is open for participants and volunteers. (Karen Baudet, ext. 7805)
The Senior Adults are engaged and active with many educational and entertaining programs as well as regular day trips.  Join us for our next outing to the Gainesville campus of the Atlanta Botanical Gardens on Thursday, May 11. We will depart at 10 a.m. and the cost is $10 plus lunch. RSVP to Rev. Lori Ethridge, ext. 7835.
All Men of the Church are invited to breakfast on Friday, May 19 at 6:30 a.m. in the Family Life Hall to learn more about our ministry for men and to meet other men of the church. (Forrest Cate, ext. 7806)
The Annual Youth Kickoff Retreat will be August 11-13. This is THE EVENT for ALL 6th-12th graders. Early Bird cost is $125. Registration begins in May. (Jessica Ferguson, ext. 7822)
Parents' Night Out is Friday, May 12 from 6-9 p.m. Cost is $10/child with a $30 family cap. The evening includes pizza, crafts, games and a movie for 3 years old - 5th grade, plus nursery care for younger children. (Kelly Duncan, ext. 7812)
Membership Sunday is April 30.  If you would like to make Marietta First United Methodist your church home, consider joining the church with others on Membership Sunday.  Visit www.mariettafumc.org/membership or contact Rev. Brian Smith at briansmith@mariettafumc.org or ext. 7840.
Congregational Care volunteers needed! Are you willing to visit a homebound member of our congregation once a month? We provide flowers and you provide friendly conversation. Our list of members needing care keeps growing. Join us in this important ministry. (Rev. Elaine Wilder, ext. 7826)
Cornerstone, a gathering of Young Adults in their mid-20s to mid-30s, meets Sundays at 10:10 a.m. in room 255 in the Discipleship Building. (Rev. Brian Smith, ext. 7840)

Support Groups are available here at the church for a variety of concerns: grief, caring for a loved one with dementia, addiction, or other needs. Visit www.mariettafumc.org/support for meeting times and details. (Rev. Elaine Wilder, ext. 7826) 
We invite you to serve with our Parking Ministry on Sunday mornings in half-hour and one-hour shifts from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Help members who have difficulty walking to and from worship and Sunday School. Training is provided. (Forrest Cate, ext. 7806) 
The Hospitality Ministry is looking for friendly, creative and energetic volunteers to help greet on Sundays, provide special event setup and décor and be helpers at Church Family Supper on Wednesdays. (Beth Dawson, ext. 7829)

Restore to Glory!
Want more information about Restore To Glory! and its progress?
Visit its Web site , which includes the latest news about projects with photos to show our progress. There, you will also find information about  how to donate or make your pledge.
This Week at MFUMC
Our Early Response Team is hosting a tool drive this Sunday, April 23. on the Bridge. Donate new or used tools and get information about joining our team. Find out more at  http://www.signupgenius.com/go/5080b4aaea92ba02-erttool.



Connect Through Table Fellowship

Church Family Supper
Wednesdays at
5:15 p.m.
in the Family Life Hall 
$6 (adults) and $4 (children from 3 to 11)
with a $20 family cap
April 26
Country fried steak or baked chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy, vegetables, salad bar, rolls and desserts
Kids- Chicken tenders, mashed potatoes, green beans, salad bar, rolls and desserts

Save the Date

For more information about events
at First United Methodist Church of Marietta,
visit www.mariettafumc.org/events.

Early Response Team Tool Drive
Sunday, April 23
The Bridge
8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Forrest Cate, ext. 7806
Children's Power 45
Sunday, April 23
4 p.m.
Family Life Hall
Kelly Duncan, ext. 7812

Chorister Choir Musical
Wednesday, April 26
6 p.m.
Family Life Hall
Brian Parks, ext. 7809

Global Day of Service
Saturday, April 29
9 a.m. to noon
Family Life Hall
Forrest Cate, ext. 7806

Membership Sunday & Brunch
Sunday, April 30
9 a.m. and 11:15 a.m. Worship Services
Brunch at 10 a.m.
Family Life Hall
Rev. Brian Smith, ext. 7840


First United Methodist Church of Marietta
56 Whitlock Avenue, N.W. Marietta, GA 30064

770-429-7800 |   info@mariettafumc.org
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