First United Methodist Church of Longview
The Voice
February 14, 2018
Join us for Ash Wednesday
I remember as a little girl going with my family to church on a random Tuesday night to eat pancakes. Throughout the next day I'd see people at school, teachers, principals, and other students, with ashes in the shape of a cross on their foreheads. That Wednesday night we'd go back to church for a special service and it would be our turn to get ashes on our head. But I didn't know why we were doing it. And I didn't understand why my dad couldn't eat ice cream in the days leading up to Easter- although I knew that was a real sacrifice for him :) As a kid, I didn't understand what was going on during Lent. But as an adult it has become my favorite liturgical season.

Lent is the time in the life of the church where we intentionally prepare ourselves for Easter Sunday. It encompasses the 40 days from Ash Wednesday leading up to Holy Week, which includes Palm Sunday, Holy or Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday, and concludes on Easter Sunday. (If you are trying to do the math and realize that that equals more than 40 days- Sundays do not count because every Sunday is an "Easter".) Famously it is a time of sacrifice and fasting where Christians intentionally forgo certain physical privileges and pleasures in order to remind themselves of their spiritual need of Christ. So if you are fasting, the idea would be that when you are hungry it should remind you to hunger for God above all, or any time you miss the thing you are abstaining from during Lent, it should serve as a reminder to focus on Christ. It's a time of intentional spiritual pruning.

Who among us doesn't need an intentional 40 days of
spiritual focus and renewal?

And that's why I love Lent. Because in the midst of my busy schedule and constantly running brain I am called to an intentional time of less and stillness. And every year, I find that God does something amazing in that space. When I let God prune me back I find that I grow in new and ever deeper ways. And that is my prayer for our congregation in this season of Lent.

It's not our intention for Lent to be a sad and depressing time! Rather this season should be one of faithful devotion where we commit ourselves first and foremost to being disciples of Christ. Maybe that means giving something up but it definitely means taking something on. Where will you grow in God this season? What fruit will God bear in you? As we begin a new worship series, Growing in the Fruits of the Spirit , I hope you will take time to challenge yourself to commit to growing in a new way in Lent.

Don't waste this season of faithful pruning and growing. It's a gift.

In Christ's Love,
Pastor Becca
Lent 2018
How will you grow?
Lent is often a time in our Christian year when we think about "giving something up". And to be sure, sacrificing and fasting are faithful spiritual disciplines. But the goal of giving something up is to give God room to grow in you! So our challenge for 2018 is- how will you grow?

We want to challenge you, instead of, or in addition to, giving something up for Lent take on one or more of these challenges and commit to growing in your faith!

You can commit to:
  • being in worship every Sunday throughout Lent (February 17- March 25)
  • joining a small group or Sunday school class
  • joining a committee or volunteering in a ministry area
You can turn in your Lent Commitment Card the next three Sundays leading up to Ash Wednesday (the start of Lent) or you can go online here to log your commitment!

Be in prayer this week about how you want to commit yourself to growing in God this year!
Where are you connected?
Wednesday Night Supper
Caesar Salad to start, dressings on the side, White Lasagna (alfredo sauce, sausage, and cheeses), Herbed Italian Green Beans, Garlic Toast and Cherry Pie.
Kids menu: the same with pink lemonade to drink

Special Concert
Click links above to watch artists videos!
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.  
Life Together at FUMC Longview
New Members

Joan and Don Mercer joined our church family in 2017 and we managed to grab a minute with them this Sunday to take their picture! You've probably seen them around the church already but go ahead and give them another big welcome!

On Saturday, February 10 the Dr. Charley and Melissa Grooter and family became our newest members! And Charley and all five kiddos- Andrew (who will be confirmed on April 8), Bradley, Will, Anna, and Weston were all baptized with their family, friends, and members of their Sunday school class in attendance. What a blessing!

Katy and John Nustad, new members of FUMC, got a new member of their own family! Talon Connor was born on February 7! What a cutie!
School for Little Children Registration will open to First United Methodist Church families TOMORROW Thursday, February 15, at 12:30 p.m. in the School Office. Church members may continue to register on a first come, first served basis prior to the opening of public registration at 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, February 20, and until classes are filled.

Registration will be open to the public from 5:00 pm-6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, February 20, in Room 223.

Call the School Office at 903-753-3121, or email Dallas Lemmon, Director, or Sherel Conklin, Nursery Director, at if you have questions or would like a tour of the school.  
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 5- Contagious Calm
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.
For Your Calendar
February 14
Ash Wednesday
5 p.m. Dinner
6 p.m. Service
7 p.m. Studies

February 18
Mission Committee Meeting
4 p.m.
Heritage Room

February 22
Adult Education Meeting
5:30 p.m.
Conference Room

February 24
School For Little Children Carnival

February 25
Plumb/We are Messengers Concert
7 p.m.
Faith Center

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