Welcome Home is this Sunday!
First Church News & Updates - October 13, 2017
Mission Accepted T-shirt
Have you seen the new Mission Accepted t-shirts? These were designed in response to Hurricane Harvey but intended to be a shirt to be worn in many different mission efforts. As part of our send-off for Rev. Katie Meek on October 22, you are invited to wear your Mission Accepted t-shirt to church. If don't have one, the t-shirts will be available for sale this Sunday. Quantities are limited. The cost is $12.

Katie has said Mission Accepted in a big way! Let's wear our Mission Accepted t-shirts on October 22 to show our support for Missionary Katie!

Enjoy this First Church news.
This week in worship...
Sermon series

Credo...Keeping your faith in unbelievable times.
Ours is a time when people are struggling for faith. People are struggling with what they believe in and how to keep believing. We hear it in our young adults. They want to believe in a God who makes a difference. They know the God that they don't believe in-a God of easy answers, a God tied to a particular political point of view. But they struggle with what kind of God they do believe in.

Sermon Title:  "Brother, Sister...Are You Saved?"
Scripture:  Acts 16:25-34 Philippians 1:3-6

Dr. Beverly Jones will preach at the 8:30 am service. Dr. Will Cotton will preach at the 9:40 and 11 am worship services.  The Source , our weekly devotional guide, is available on the church website

Our Youth Choir and Allelulia Chorus Children's Choir will both be singing in both sanctuary services.

Please join us in worship this Sunday at  8:30 am (Sanctuary), 9:40 am (FLC), or 11 am (Sanctuary).
Everybody loves Katie!

Rev. Katie Meek is a newly commissioned Missionary of the United Methodist Church
Rev. Katie Meek will be traveling to Sierra Leone in November as a missionary of the United Methodist Church. We will celebrate Katie's last Sunday with us on Sunday, October 22. It is bittersweet for us because we will miss Katie's special gifts here at First Church, but we celebrate with her as she embarks on her journey. 

We are collecting funds for a gift from the congregation. 
The funds will be allocated as follows:
  1. Retire Katie's student loan debt.
  2. Provide supplemental income for Katie during November as she transitions to Sierra Leone.
  3. Provide missionary support going forward.
There are collections boxes in the foyers of the Sanctuary and Family Life Center if you would like to make a contribution. You may also You may also give online at  myFirstChurch, ( select the Katie Meek Fund), send a check to the church office or put a check in the offering with Katie Meek fund in the memo line.

We are planning two celebration events to say thanks and farewell to Katie. 
We hope you can join us for one or both of these events:
  • Friday, October 20, Come and Go Reception5:30 to 7:30 pm in the Family Life Center. There will be a special presentation at 6:30 pm.
  • Sunday, October 22, Cookies and Punch Reception, 12 noon in the Family Life Center. 
How can you help?
For both events, we will need food and beverage donations as well as people to help set up and keep the tables full. Click one of these links to volunteer:
Please note that each of these signups has 3 tabs at the top: set up/ clean up, donations of food/beverages, and helping at the actual event.

Do you have some good Katie pics?
We will be producing a video presentation for the events and a memory book for Katie. If you have some photos you would like to share, please send them to Myra Schomburg,  

Words from Will...
Preying or Praying
My aunt sent me a Halloween card that had on the front of it a kindly-looking vampire with his hands folded saying, "Let us prey!" Since we are nearing our Fall Festival time, I thought about the daily choice we make to prey or pray, especially with those who disagree with us. When we use labels ("Dems,""Reps,""Libtards,""Cons,") that reduce people to categories and no longer treat them as people, we are using the language of preying. Preyer (misspelling intentional) is the more natural way for us all.  We accord motivations, attitudes and actions that may not be true of them at all. Daily, on radio, TV and virtual media, different groups are taking the opportunity to find a new excuse to prey on people - entertainers, athletes, people in our community and leaders of our state and nation. Preying is in style in a big way! It is not wrong for us to disagree. What the Bible stands strongly against is turning each other into prey.

Dr. Will Cotton
Dr. Will Cotton
Our Core Vision Team is doing work on some of our key values as a congregation. Your prayer and sharing with us in person, e-mails, and in Sunday School discussions has been an important part of that. We expect to discover from the surveys that there is great diversity of opinion on what is important and where we should head in ministry together. An exercise the Core Vision Team did was to find a particular Bible story or incident that described where we are as a church at this time. The 15 members of that team came up with 15 different stories! The staff and several Sunday School classes have done a similar exercise. The variety continues to grow. It would be easy to just separate into different camps according to our particular desires. That would be the work of preying...the very way our society is presently behaving.
But we are to model the kingdom of God in this world, to be an alternative society. A praying church will find a place of unity and power that is not in her uniformity but in her all-out worship of Almighty God, her authentic care for each other, her burden for a broken world and her desire to reach to people as never before for the sake of the gospel. Ken Medema, a sight-impaired gifted musician wrote a wonderful song entitled, "Lord, Listen to Your Children Prayin'".  Something happens when we pray for people with whom we differ. Our own heart softens to genuinely see, hear and care for people and we are able to hear the Spirit of God speak in new ways to us.

Sometimes that's why we would rather prey. Then we can just stay the same and justify ourselves in the process. We already have it figured out! But our troubled world must find a different way. Otherwise hate, violence, terrorism and mistrust win...on our watch as the 21st century Body of Christ. In a world where the natural way is to be vampires, sucking the life out of each other out of our own fears, let us do something supernatural... Let us pray!

Sincerely in Christ,
Will Cotton Signature


Dr. Will Cotton

P.S.  The inspiration for this column was Acts 4:31-33. How does that passage speak to you? 
Welcome Home is coming up on Sunday, October 15.
Welcome Home
Save the date...
Fall Festival
On October 29 we are hosting our annual  Trunk or Treat and Fall Festival . This is an afternoon for children of the congregation and community.They can come trick or treat at the decorated trunks and also participate in our Fall Festival activities. To make this event a success, we are going to need your help. 

How can you help?
  • Donate Candy: We rely on candy donations to pass out to children during the trunk or treat so we are asking for you to help donate candy. You can bring the candy to the Student Ministry Office or on Sunday Mornings there will be a bin in the Sanctuary Foyer.
  • Sign Up to provide a Trunk: Trunk or Treat relies on people signing up to bring their trunk and help pass out candy to children as they come through. You will come with your car, decorate your trunk and then pass out candy, this is crucial to the success of the event. To sign up your trunk follow this link: Trunk or Treat Sign Up
  •  Volunteer for the Festival: There are also opportunities to sign up and volunteer for the festival portion of the event and this will be a huge need as well. This is a great way for youth earn service hours that they might need and its fun to help put on a great event for children!  We will need volunteers to set up, work the booths and clean up!
We look forward to this event every year and hope that you will help us in making it a success yet again.

Thank you all so much!
Ministry Focus...
Children's Ministry
Lego Fun at the next J-Team 
Hope you can join us for the next fun event on October 22 at 2 pm. We will be Bldg. 5-232/234 with Bricks 4 Kidz Lego fun! Bricks 4 Kidz was with us for a  J-Team event last year that was very popular. The cost for the event is $5.00. Invite a friend and come for the fun!

J-Team provides an opportunity for 3rd-5th graders to develop relationships in a fun, social environment.  It prepares older elementary children for the later transition into our Youth program. Click for details...
Thanksgiving Bags
Children's Ministry Fall Mission 
We are excited to announce we are participating in the church wide Thanksgiving bag mission again this year!  It is   just a mission for elementary age children. Everyone from preschoolers to adults cane bring food items to help needy families in our own community!   We are going to do our part in Children's Sunday School. The grades are having a friendly competition to see which grade can bring the most items!
  • PK & Kinder: Cans of  fruit (1 lb+) or  cans of cranberry sauce 
  • 1st Grade: Cans of  corn, green beans, or sweet potatoes
  • 2nd Grade: Stuffing mix (14 -16 oz. bag) or  6 oz. boxes
  • 3rd Grade: Boxes of Jiffy cornbread mix 
  • 4th Grade: Large boxes of instant potatoes
  • 5th Grade: Brownie mix or other boxed  dessert mix
Beginning October 8, each time a child brings a food item, or donates money in the Sunday School offering, they will have the opportunity to write their name on a link that we will use to make a paper chain in the Walk of Faith hallway!   To date, FIRST GRADERS have brought the most food items, followed closely by THIRD GRADE!    Who will be winning after this Sunday?
Student Ministry
Fall Mission
Fall Mission Trip: November 11 - 12
Who: Students in grades 6-12
When: November 11-12, 2017
Where: Houston Area: Hurricane Harvey Relief
How We Will Be Serving: We will be partnering with the Disaster Recovery Network to provide assistance to those recovering from Hurricane Harvey. As they continue to organize the relief efforts we will have more details on the work we will be doing, along with the church that will be hosting us.
How to register:
  • Early Bird Registration deadline is Oct. 22: $30
  • Registrations Received Oct. 23-Nov. 5: $40

Visit the website for more information.

Fields of Faith
Wednesday, October 18, 7 pm
All students are invited to join us and more than a thousand other students from the community in worship for the annual Fields of Faith hosted by Fellowship of Christian Athletes. This night of worship will be at Kelley Reeves Stadium , meet at the stadium. Worship begins at 7 pm, doors open at 6:30 pm. If you are a participant in Impact, our Middle School Mentor program, we will carpool from the church. For more information contact Jodi Marfell,  jodi@fumc-rr.org.
Other Student Ministry Info...
Adult Ministry
Grief Support
New Grief Group Forming
Losing a loved one is never easy. Coping with grief and loss is arguably one of the hardest things you will ever have to endure in life. Sadness, loneliness and fear are only a few of the experiences we may feel when we lose someone we love.  First Church will be offering a 6-8 week curriculum based Grief Support Group this fall/winter. This group is designed to be a place of support through sharing, learning and caring. 

If you, or someone you know, is grieving the death of a loved one, we hope you will consider being a part of this group.  For more information contact Dr.  Beverly Jones, Associate Pastor,  beverly@fumc-rr.org  or  512-255-3336 .  
UMM Project Workday is coming up!
The United Methodist Men have scheduled a workday on Saturday, October 21, to continue work on the newly relocated barbecue pit. They will meet near the Family Life Center at  8 am.
The project for this workday is adding the metal roof to barbecue pit. All are welcome to join us! Please b ring gloves, ladders and cordless drills. 

If you would like more information, please contact  Denny Powers  512.293.1304. 
Other Adult Ministry Info...
Mission Focus...
Backpack Project

Join us in this ministry to local children!
We hope you will join us in this ministry to local children. The First Church Backpack Project works to provide food for seven weekend meals plus snacks to students in need at Wells Branch Elementary, and also supports the efforts at Bluebonnet Elementary. Both schools are Title 1 and among the neediest in the school district. $25 per month supports a child.... and we serve roughly 100 each week in both schools. This affords every child in our schools the opportunity to learn and succeed. The First Church Backpack Project is a partner of the Backpack Coalition, a local non-profit 501(c)3 organization.

How can you help?
Donate financially, donate your time. Come, volunteer, give. More details on the church website...

For more information or to adopt a child for the 2017-2018 school year, please contact Terri Bowden at terri.l.bowden@gmail.com or 512.964.5411.
Holiday Extravaganza

Save the date for the First Church Crafters Holiday Extravaganza on November 12
First Church Crafters invite you to join us on Sunday, November 12, for our annual holiday craft sale. This Holiday Extravaganza will be held from 8:30 am - 12:30 pm at the church gazebo. From Christmas decorations to gorgeous jewelry, we know that you will find the perfect gift for that special someone! Since our creations are handmade and hand crafted from recycled and repurposed items, we believe that you will definitely find unique and exquisite gifts for all. As always, proceeds from the sale will go to missions so please take a few minutes and browse our treasures on November 12. We know that you won't be disappointed.
Other Mission & Outreach Info...
  • Disaster Relief: Donations are still being accepted for hurricane relief.
  • The Villages: read more about our strategic vision for church-wide Outreach and Mission-local, regional, and global.
  • Student Ministry is staffing the Twin Oaks Cafe in October.
  • Plastic Bag Recycling: Donate your plastic bags for use at the Round Rock Area Serving Center. Leave them in the white barrel in Payne Cottage. They are picked up weekly.
  • Drive-A-Senior Needs More Drivers: Visit  their website, or call 512-310-1060 to learn more about this community service to our elderly neighbors.
  • Round Rock Area Serving Center:  Volunteers are needed for a variety of jobs! New volunteer orientation is on the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays at 4 pm at 1099 E. Main St., 2nd floor conference room.  Call 512-244-2431.
Sprucing up for the holidays...
Fall Cleanup

Save these dates for upcoming holiday events!
Halloween, Thanksgiving, Advent, Christmas...just around the corner
In order to help you plan your calendar, we want to share some church-wide and community events:
  • October 29: Fall Festival/Trunk or Treat, 4 - 6 pm
  • November 12: Christmas Angel Tree in Sanctuary foyer
  • November 12: First Church Crafters Holiday Extravaganza, 8:30 am - 12:30 pm, Gazebo
  • November 14: Thanksgiving Basket delivery, 6 - 8 pm
  • December 2: Ring Noel, Sanctuary
  • December 4: Children and Youth Bells Advent Recital, 6 pm, Sanctuary
  • December 10: Christmas Cantata, 8:30 and 11 am worship services
  • December 10: CrossRoads Christmas, 9:40 am, Family Life Center
  • December 15: Round Rock Community Choir Holiday Concert, 7 pm, Sanctuary
  • December 17: Senior Access Christmas Choral Concert, 6:30 pm, Sanctuary

We will add additional events and dates as information becomes available.                             

This week at First Church
Saturday, October 14

Sunday, October 15
  • 8:30, 9:40 and 11 am - Worship Services
  • 8:40 am - LifeGroup - Spiritual Growth, Bldg. 4/Payne Cottage
  • 11:00 am - LifeGroup - Parents & Families in Transition, Bldg. 5-124 
  • 11:00 am - LifeGroup - Young Parents, Bldg. 5-148
  • 11:00 am - LifeGroup - Putting Your Faith into Action Bldg 5-136
  • 11:00 am - Youth Leadership Team, Bldg. 5-223
  • 12 noon - Welcome Home, Bldg, 3/FLC
  • 6:00 pm - FUSION, Bldg. 3/FLC
Monday, October 16
  • 4:00 pm - Kids of the Kingdom Bells, Bldg. 3/FLC, East Cry Room
  • 6:00 pm - Venture Crew, Bldg. 3/FLC East Cry Room
  • 6:30 pm - Communications Team, Bldg. 5-124
  • 7:00 pm - ERT Meeting, Bldg. 5-122
  • 7:00 pm - Boy Scout Troop #157, Bldg.3/FLC
Tuesday, October 17
  • 8:30 am - UMM Tuesday Breakfast group, Ju├írez Restaurant on South Mays
  • 8:45 am - Ring of Joy rehearsal, North Suite
  • 9:30 am - UMW Deborah Circle, Bldg. 5-232/234
  • 9:30 am - Tuesday Women's Bible Study, Bldg. 5-122
  • 12:30 pm - Brown Bag Theologians, Bldg. 5-122
  • 6:30 pm - Outreach Team, Bldg. 5-122
  • 7:00 pm - Stephen Ministry Supervision, Bldg. 4-1213,126,127
  • 7:00 pm - Community Bible Study, Bldg. 5-223/224, 220 & 225
  • 7:00 pm - Finance Committee, Bldg, 5-124
Wednesday, October 18
  • 6:15 am - UMM Breakfast, fellowship, devotional - FLC/Bldg. 3
  • 9:30 am - Disciple Bible Studies, Bldg. 5-124, 127, 136 
  • 9:30 am - Wednesday Women's Bible Study, Bldg. 5-232/234
  • 5:00 pm - Revelation Ringers Tins rehearsal, East Cry Room/FLC
  • 5:00 pm - Revelation Ringers Bronze rehearsal, North Suite
  • 6:00 pm - Heartsong rehearsal, South Suite 
  • 6:30 pm - Wednesday Women's Bible Study, Bdlg 5-232/234  
  • 6:30 pm - Disciple Bible Studies, Bldg. 5-122, 124, 136
  • 6:30 pm - Financial Peace University, Bldg. 5-127
  • 7:00 pm - Jubilation bell rehearsal, North Suite
  • 7:00 pm - Fields of Faith, Kelly Reeves Stadium 
  • 7:15 pm - Chancel Choir rehearsal, South Suite
Thursday, October 19
  • 8:30 am - JOY Fellowship Day Trip
  • 9:30 am - Heart to Heart Quilters, 115 Winsted
  • 12 noon - Mom Live, Bldg. 5-122
  • 7:00 pm - Council Oak Bells rehearsal, North Suite
  • 7:00 pm - Orchestra rehearsal, South Suite
Friday,  October 20
  • 8:00 am - Round Rock Helpers, Bldg 4/Payne Cottage
  • 9:30 am - MOM weekly gathering, Bldg. 5-232/234
  • 8:00 pm - Narcotics Anonymous-Right Stuff, Bldg. 4
Saturday, October 22
  • 9 am - UMM Workday, west parking lot

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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