First United Methodist Church of Longview
The Voice
February 21, 2018
Lent 2018
How will you grow?
So many people have responded to our Lent challenge! We are so excited to see how God will work in each of us and our church family as a whole through this special season! We are praying for each of you as you intentionally seek ways to let God work and grow in you through the next few weeks.
Palm Sunday
March 25
Easter Cantata 8:30 and 10:45 a.m. in the Sanctuary
Contemporary Worship 8:30 and 10:45 a.m. in the Faith Center
Palm Sunday Luncheon Noon in the Faith Center
Eggstravaganza at 1:30 on the North Lawn

Holy Thursday
March 29
Worship 7 p.m.

Good Friday
March 30
Worship 7 p.m.

April 1
Sunrises Services 6:45 a.m. on the North Lawn
Traditional Worship 8:30 and 10:45 a.m. in the Sanctuary
Contemporary Worship 8:30 and 10:45 a.m. in the Faith Center
Welcome, Wanted, and Loved
"Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love...Beloved, since God loved us so much, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God lives in us, and his love is perfected in us."
1 John 4: 7-8; 12

Throughout Lent and into Easter we are talking about the fruit of the Spirit and how God works to grow these fruits in us. This past Sunday we talked about love. Why start with Love? Because love is the core of God's nature. The kind of love that pursues us and welcomes us. A love that is radically hospitable and extravagantly generous. And when God abides in us that love becomes a part of who we are as well! We become a people who are known by our love (yes, they'll know we are Christians by our love).

When Pastor Jay and I first arrived back in July we had the privilege of meeting many FUMC members and asking them- "what is it you love about this church?" And we heard two things over and over again. First, it feels like our family and we've always been wanted and welcome here. And second, we love the way missions is at the forefront of what we do as a church family. It seems that love is the core of our church too!

One of the missions our church has been involved in for quite a while is the Longview Interfaith Hospitality Network or LIHN. This is a mission program aimed at giving families without homes a hand up by providing temporary shelter in our churches, food, and the transportation needed for school and work. This program literally changes the lives of those who participate- both our guests and those who help make it happen. It is a beautiful example of who the church is called to be- a beacon of hope and place of welcome and safety for the most vulnerable of God's children.

Our church has faithfully participated in this program for a long time but, because it has become one of the many wonderful things we do, it has also become one of the things that we forget to talk about as often as we should! This important ministry needs us to make sure that it continues to care for those in our community who need it most. We need people to drive vans, make meals, and be hosts for our guests as they stay overnight in the church.

Maybe you have never heard of LIHN or maybe you've never thought about volunteering to help with it. But maybe this is just the place for you! Do you love God and want to love other's? Great! That's the only requirement! (Ok yes there's some training and such but we can hook you up with that- don't you worry!) If you've got just a few hours or even if all you can do is a load of laundry (yep we need that too!) then you CAN HELP! And this matters; loving our brothers and sisters matters.

I look forward to serving with you!
Pastor Becca

Where are you connected?
LIHN Volunteer Training
First Christian Church,
March 4th @1 p.m.
Interested persons please contact Martha Nichols @ 903-234-8343 to make a reservation, or email her:
Wednesday Night Supper
On the menu: Garden salad to start, Smothered Chicken thighs/legs with onions and gravy, herbed and buttered noodles, sugar snap peas, rolls, and homemade rice pudding for dessert.
Kids menu:  Baked Chicken legs, buttered noodles, corn, apple juice

Special Concert
Sunday, February 25 7:00 p.m.

The God Help Me Tour, featuring Christian singer Plumb is scheduled in our Fellowship Hall for Sunday, February 25 at 7:00 p.m. Admission to this concert is $15 at the door on a first come, first served basis. Doors will open at 6:15 p.m.  
Click on the picture for the link
The Children's Ministry has special Lenten devotionals that they are making available to our families! We know it can be tricky or even difficult to find ways to talk about Lent and Easter with our youngest Christians. How do you explain why we put ashes on our heads on Ash Wednesday? How do you explain Palm Sunday AND Good Friday? And most importantly, how can we make important faith talks a part of our everyday family life? These devotionals are a great opportunity for you to talk about Lent with your kiddos and help them to be ready for Easter!
10 Minute Lent Challenge
The youth are challenging themselves to lean into God during Lent.
The 10 minute “GodTime” Challenge an intentional time to spend with God
5 minutes reading scripture that Youth Director, Janice Crane, provides each morning, 3 minutes of prayer with God, and 2 minutes silent meditation.
Although we always talk about taking something away at Lent we sometimes look at it like a game. Our hope is that with our adding our challenge we will learn to lean into God more during Lent and throughout the year.

Youth volunteer reminder :
  Our February service is helping The School for Little Children carnival.
Please report to the Faith center on Saturday, February 24 for either the 11am-1:30 pm or 1:30pm-4 pm shifts at the volunteer desk.
Please make sure to sign in the FUMC Youth volunteer sheet.

Follow along with everything the youth are up to on their social media links below!
A Week of Prayer
Since the 2016 General Conference, the United Methodist Church has been engaged in a process of discernment proposed by the Council of Bishops and approved by the General Conference through “The Commission on a Way Forward.” I know that is a mouthful in a single sentence and more complicated than you can imagine. Put simply, we are a church struggling to find a common basis of understanding and practice on certain issues regarding our faith, sexuality, and inclusivity. This is a highly charged area of exploration. Strong perspectives within our denomination span the entire spectrum of paths forward, many of which will be difficult for others to accept. The Commission has been working steadfastly to develop possible ways forward to offer to the Council of Bishops in May for a decision on a path forward at the called General Conference in February of 2019.
We need to be in prayer for this process and the future path forward for our church. Next week our Annual Conference is asked to be in prayer for the entire week as part of a 75-week focused rotational prayer process across our denomination that began on January 1, 2017. We will be communicating daily next week with prayers and links to videos to assist us in this effort.

As your Senior Pastor, I ask you to dedicate yourselves to prayer and discernment individually and for us as a body together to embrace God’s will for our path forward. I am committed to assist in any way as we faithfully discern and embrace God’s will for our way forward together. Our entire pastoral staff is here to help you and FUMC as we navigate this challenging course ahead. May God’s grace guide us in a faithful path forward.
                                                                                                                 Grace and Peace,
                                                                                                                             Pastor Jay
Life Together at FUMC Longview
It's SFLC Family Carnival Time
Come One, Come all Saturday, February 24

School For Little Children's annual Spring Family Carnival is on Saturday, February 24 from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. in the FUMC Faith Center. Bring your family and friends for a day filled with fun! There will be two bouncy/obstacle courses, balloon animals, photo booth, face paint, games, the ever-popular cake walk, and delicious food. Our Silent Auction will be held in the Heritage Room and will conclude at 2 p.m.

Wristbands can be purchased on the day of the carnival for $15 cash or check. Come have fun and support School for Little Children. For additional information please call the school office at 903-753-3121.
Donations for Asbury House
Each month Asbury House is collecting one type of item to help stock their shelves! In February they are collecting toilet paper. You can bring your donation items to the church office during the week or drop them off at the Welcome Center on Sunday mornings in the Asbury House boxes!
Our TV ministry is looking for volunteers!

If you would like to be a part of the team that makes our tv ministry happen each week please contact our A/V and Media Specialist- Brandon Cernetisch by email or by calling 903-753-4463.
Adult Education Next Meeting
February 22 5:30pm in the Conference Room
What is happening in Adult Education?

Come and join us to find out more! We will have a selection of resources for each Sunday School to consider.  Bring your ideas for new classes for adults for late Spring and Summer as we will also share new opportunities for spiritual growth. We will be looking at future studies.  Please send a representative for each Sunday School class that can report back to the class.  Also, we will be discussing future adult studies offered at the church!  This meeting is your opportunity to have input in the adult offerings at our church!  
See you there!! 
Michelle Crum, James Cox and Mary Collier
Anxious for Nothing
Small Group Study
Wednesdays at Noon
Thursdays at 9:30 a.m.

This Week: Chapter 6
Ready to take on a new study for Lent?
The Visible Image:
A study of Jesus in the Gospel of John
Jerrod Allen
Wednesday Evenings 6:30-7:30 p.m.
New Beginnings Classroom
February 21-April 25

92% of the Gospel of John is unique to John and not found in Matthew, Mark, and Luke. Pretty cool. John focuses on who Jesus is. I don’t have all the answers on how to study the Bible. I have a way that I do it, and I think it is really fun – especially with a group of people that like to have a good me. I am inviting you to come and walk with me in this study of Jesus – the visible image of the invisible God. I am inviting you to experience the deal in a new way. My goal is for you to understand John’s Gospel and for you to get to know Jesus deeply. Please come and be a part. 
For Your Calendar
February 22
Adult Education Meeting
5:30 p.m.
Conference Room

February 24
School For Little Children Carnival

February 25
Confirmation Class
2 p.m.

Plumb/We are Messengers Concert
7 p.m.
Faith Center

March 8
11 a.m.
Faith Center

March 18
Missions Meeting
4 p.m.

First United Methodist Church of Longview
400 N. Fredonia St. Longview, Texas 75601
Tel-(903) 753.4463
Fax-(903) 236.7608