Dear Friends in Christ,
 
Thank you so much for your generosity during 2016!  We appreciate your gifts very much as those gifts ensure Mason Church's ability to continue to offer worship, mission, and ministry.  This year your gifts helped to support organizations such as the Tacoma Community House, Associated Ministries, FISH Food Bank, and more.  Furthermore, together we paid one hundred percent of our denominational apportionments -- over $45,000 -- which supports seven general United Methodist funds:
 
  •  The World Service Fund is the essential core of our global outreach ministry, underwriting Christian mission around the world. By giving to World Service we empower United Methodist evangelistic efforts...stimulate Bible study and spiritual commitment...encourage church growth and discipleship...and help God's children everywhere.
  •  Ministerial Education Fund.  Men and women choose the ministry because God calls them. The Ministerial Education Fund is our way of helping them answer that divine call. Our United Methodist seminaries lead the effort to proclaim God's word in a world desperately in need of that message.
  •  Episcopal Fund.  Bishops have always had a very special role in our church...elected and consecrated to speak to the church...and from the church. The apostle Paul called it "a noble task," but it is practical, too, since our bishops oversee and promote the church's spiritual and temporal interests as well.
  •  Black College Fund.  The 11 U.S. historically Black colleges and universities supported by The United Methodist Church have played a unique role in U.S. higher education. Their graduates-teachers and doctors, ministers and bishops, judges, artists and entrepreneurs-are leaders in the African-American community and in a rapidly changing, more diverse United States.
  •  Interdenominational Cooperation Fund.  We United Methodists acknowledge that we are but a small part of the worldwide Christian church-the living body of Jesus Christ. Our unity with other Christian communions is affirmed as we witness to a common Christian faith, meet human suffering and advocate for peace and justice all over the world.
  •  Africa University Fund.  This vital fund supports the only United Methodist-related, degree-granting university on the continent of Africa-serving students from 21 countries, all across the continent of Africa. Africa University provides higher education of excellent quality, enriched with Christian values, for both men and women, developing visionary leaders of tomorrow.
  •  General Administration Fund.  This fund underwrites and finances general church activities that are administrative in nature, rather than program-related-like General Conference, the legislative branch of the church. General Council on Finance and Administration coordinates and administers the finances of the church, receives, disburses and accounts for the church's general funds, safeguards the denomination's legal interests and rights, compiles and publishes denominational statistics and maintains the church's records.
Plus, we have added new controls to the boiler so that we are better able to regulate the temperature of the building, bought new chairs for the parlor, painted a significant portion of the interior, begun the process of transitioning the Food Bank out of our kitchen and into a better space, updated two of our water fountains, did significant landscaping, updated the parlor and the conference room with televisions that we utilize in Sunday school and small groups, and more. 
 
We could not have done all of this without you!  Thank you so much!
 
Looking forward to 2017, there is one significant challenge that we will face.  One of our tenants, The Tacoma Waldorf School, will be leaving at the end of June, and their current rent is $48,000 per year.  As you can imagine, this will be a financial strain.  However, the Christian Education wing will be freed up for Mason Church mission and ministry for the first time in over six years!  We will have space for children and adult Sunday school classes, weekday meetings, weeknight meetings, an office for our Facilities Maintenance Manager, and more.  Utilizing our space for mission and ministry will create excitement and will greatly expand our possibilities.  We appreciate your prayers for this new challenge as we move forward.
 
Again, thank you for your financial gifts to Mason Church.  You have made a difference for the Kingdom of God.
 
May the peace of Christ be with you,
 
 
Rev. Stephanie Roberts White


Pastor Stephanie Needs Your Help!

Pastor Stephanie's current class at Wesley Seminary is asking her to lead a group in a type of Bible study called "Bibliodrama."  It's an interesting way to look at a Scripture passage because it allows the participants to enter into the story as characters in the story.  Pastor Stephanie would love to lead a group on January 31 and February 7 (Tuesday evenings) at 6:30 PM.  You are welcome to attend one or both times. 
(This study will utilize moments of quiet and stillness, so it is best suited for older youth and adults.  Childcare is available.  If you need childcare, please let Pastor Stephanie know.)

February Meetings and Events

Every Sunday:
10 AM -- Worship
11 AM -- Hospitality Time
11:15 AM -- Sunday School for All Ages
Every Wednesday:
10 AM -- Disciple Fast Track -- New Testament

Every Thursday:
7 PM -- Chancel Choir Rehearsal

January 31st and February 7th:
6:30 PM -- Bibliodrama Bible Study

February 1st: 6:30 PM -- Salish Sea Music Festival Concert -- more info here

February 11th: 2 PM -- All Church Sweetheart Gathering (see below)

February 13th: 7 PM -- Monday Covenant Discipleship Group

February 14th: St. Valentines Day & 6:30 PM -- UMW Meeting

February 19th: 5 PM -- Youth Group Meeting

February 20th: Office Closed in observance of President's Day

February 28th: 9:30 AM -- Calling Ministry &
6 PM -- Shrove Tuesday Pancake Dinner
Love Is In The Air!
Do you want to spend the Pre-Valentine Saturday with your special someone?  Come to the church on Saturday, February 11th from 2 to 4 PM
Don't have a special someone?  Then come down and enjoy a couple of hours of fun, food, and entertainment.  We look forward to seeing you!
 
The Church Library Welcomes 2017 With New Books

UMW Reading Program Books:
 
Called to the Fire -- amazing!  John Wesley's name appears in this book about a Nazarene pastor who made a difference.

Falling In Place: A Memoir of Overcome -- A member of the Nez Perce tribe becomes a noted TV journalist on network evening news and works her way through a personal situation.

Just Mercy -- an amazing story of justice and redemption.  Desmond Tutu's praise for this book says: "Bryan Stevenson (author) is America's young Nelson Mandela, a brilliant lawyer fighting with courage and conviction to guarantee justice for all."

Not Safe for Church -- a compelling read with ten challenging covenants to provide meaningful ministry with post-civil rights generations.

RAD American Women A-Z -- a quick read of page sketches of noteworthy American women.

The Reason How I Discovered A Life Worth Living -- A teenage girl's story of how she discovered God and saved herself.

All of these books are one the UMW Reading Program's shelf, along with other titles which may be a read as part of the program.  Women, men, and children are invited to read program books.

Brochures for the 2017 program will be arriving soon.  In the meantime, keep a list of the titles you read this year. 

Reminder:  Reading the "Response" and "World Outlook" magazines is part of the program.  They can be found behind the library door and may be checked out.

New books on the library shelves in the hallway off the foyer show a lot of Christian fiction writings.  Richard Paul Evans, Karen Kingsbury, Tracey Peterson are some of the authors.  One of the new titles, Heaven Is For Real: Living Every Day With Eternity in Mind, has a worthwhile quote: "We all have stories of what God has done in our lives, and by sharing that story we can inspire and encourage others who may be stuck in a crisis or heartbreaking part of their story."  When mentioned to Pastor Stephanie, she said, "Sounds like a sermon!"

Please remember to sign the book card when checking the book out.  Don't forget to put the card in the red container.

When  you are on the lower level of the church, turn on the showcase light and read the beautiful art piece by an Arizona artist, Pat Stacey.  Also notice the book titles in the showcase.  They say it all.

Can you help us?  Missing from the hall shelves: When God Winks and Proof of Heaven.  If you see them, please return to the library.

Library Hours:
Monday and Wednesday Mornings 9:00 AM to Noon
Sunday Mornings

Over $100 was raised during Advent for the Associated Ministries Change Offering.  Way to go, Mason UMC!!

This month's Youth Group Meeting will be held on Sunday, February 19th from 5 PM to 8 PM (at the church).
 
Be there or be square!
Rest in Peace

Leta Margaret Hewson Freauff, age 91, passed away peacefully with family at her side on December 5th, 2016.

Leta was born in Valentine, NE in 1925 to Louis R. and Margaret R. (Copeland) Allen, the 10th of 12 children.  She spent the first sixteen  years of her life on a farm in Nebraska.  In 1941, she moved with her family to the lower Yakima Valley.  Following graduation from Sunnyside High School, Leta began working as a secretary at the Morning Milk Plant.

 She married Sam Hewson in 1945 and lived on a farm on Cherry Hill near Granger, WA.  In addition to growing grapes and apples, they also owned and operated an insurance agency in Granger.  She is survived by their children: Richard (Bobbie) Hewson, Glenda (Tim) Kimsey, Ken (Robbie) Hewson, and Carol (Jerry) Bryant; one step-daughter, Nancy Burnett, and sister-in-law, Vernal Allen.  She was the proud grandmother of 11 grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren.  She also leaves behind numerous nieces and nephews.

She graduated from Central Washington College in 1971 and began her teaching career at Roosevelt Elementary in Granger, WA.  She enjoyed teaching elementary school for 18 years and while doing so, earned her Master's Degree from Heritage College.

Leta married Walter Freauff in 1985 in Sunnyside, WA where they were active in the United Methodist Church and the Lower Valley Square Dance Club.  After their retirement, they enjoyed traveling and spending time with family.  After Walt's passing in 2003, Leta moved to Tacoma to be near her daughters.

Leta was a devoted and generous mother, grandmother, sister, and aunt.  Her greatest joy was her family to whom she passed on her love of learning and tremendous work ethic.  She remained close to her brothers and sisters throughout her life and will be greatly missed by all who knew her.

She was preceded in death by her sisters and brothers: Clyde (Edna) Allen, Gladys (Jack) Martin, Hazel (Earl) Heeb, Ada (Carroll) Meeker, Ruby (Harold) Fredrickson, Lena (Andy) Foreman, Violet (Frank), Louis Allen, Fern (Steve) Johnson, Mayme and Betty Allen.

A memorial service will be held later in the spring, with internment at the Lower Valley Memorial Gardens in Sunnyside.  The family would appreciate memorials in her honor to be sent to Group Health Hospice at 950 Pacific Avenue, Tacoma, WA, 98402.

Guestbook at www.newtacoma.com 

Building Bridges of Interfaith Unity
Interfaith Women's Conference
Saturday March 4, 2017 8:30a.m.-4:30p.m

Compassion. Hope. Commitment.
Join us March 4, 2017 for the inaugural Interfaith Women's Conference, an event for women of all faiths throughout the entire Puget Sound region. Together, we'll experience the power of unity and discover new ways to strengthen our communities.  As we learn from and grow with one another at the Interfaith Women's Conference, we will explore ways we can work together to assist more people in need.

This one-day conference was designed for women who are interested in exploring the potential and power of interfaith collaboration, renewing their personal spiritual life, and engaging with their community to spur positive change. In an often-divisive world, the Interfaith Women's Conference will emphasize that which unites us-compassion and understanding. 
    
"Compassion becomes real when we recognize our shared humanity." ~Pema Chodron

Understanding. Respect. Cooperation.
We are passionate about engaging all women-those who are affiliated with a particular religious tradition as well as those of no specific faith. This includes those who are spiritual but not religious. The Interfaith Women's Conference is not only for women who attend churches, temples, and mosques. It is also for non-affiliated women who are spiritually curious and who support religious pluralism, respectful dialogue, and engaged social action that benefits communities.


Conference Overview
The conference will offer a keynote presentation, three workshop periods with 24 workshops to choose from, lunch, a closing ceremony, spiritual practice rooms, wake-up yoga and contemplative practice, as well as booths for sponsors, vendors, nonprofits, and communities of faith.  Attendees will choose among multiple workshop sessions each period with themes such as sacred acts in everyday life; women's faith journeys; empowering ourselves, serving our communities; strength in adversity; and spiritual arts.  Workshops will explore key topical areas including faith; community and family; and service. Vendors will include women-owned businesses and services/products of interest to women. 
The Interfaith Women's Conference, presented by Associated Ministries (AM), will be held at Curtis Senior High School in University Place, WA on March 4, 2017, 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.  Community volunteers from numerous faith traditions will coordinate and carry out the conference alongside AM staff.
We hope you can join us for this special event that will change lives, communities, and you.

If you would like to attend the event, but it is a financial burden, please contact Pastor Stephanie

Thank You!!

Thank you to all the people who supported the Heifer Project during Advent.  Our totals are amazing and will spread God's Light to a needy world.   We purchased 6 rabbits, 6 flocks of chickens and 4 flocks of ducks and geese.  We will spread the love with a fish pond ( 3 schools of fish), 1 1/2 pigs, 1 sheep and 1 water buffalo.  We also helped purchase 1/3 goat, 1/2 llama, 1/ 10th of a heifer and 1/6th of a group of tree seedlings.   Thank-you again and mark your calendars so we can do it again in 2017.

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