A Weekly Newsletter of First United Methodist Church of Madison
This Sunday in Worship
Services at 9 & 11:15 a.m.

January 6 worship is a Celebration of Epiphany at 9:00 and 11:15 a.m. Music and preaching this week will focus on the Light of Christ among us. Rev. Dr. Mark Fowler will preach on the texts of Isaiah 60:1-6 and Matthew 2:1-12. An anthem titled, "Arise, Shine! Your Light Has Come" will be offered by the Chancel Choir at 9:00 and a soloist at 11:15 and the o rgan service music is "A Suite For Epiphany." Holy Communion will be s hared at both services.

Giving Thanks for Last Sunday

Rev. Dr. Paul Melrose led us through the 1st Sunday after Christmas melding the message of Christmas with an extended music ministry for the morning. The KAT Trio provided delightful classical selections for the prelude, offertory and postlude; plus an extended music ministry that featured many Christmas carols in a beautiful meditative time offering an opportunity to reflect on the Christmas season. At the 11:15 service, 27 euphonium and tuba players provided the ministry of music arranged by Dan Woolpert and conducted by Greg Lang. We heard again the familiar carols of Christmas. Many of these players are part of the Blessed Brass; please thank them when they are here next, for the 4 Sundays of musical offerings shared during December. These are amazing volunteers that support the music and ministry of FUMC.
This Sunday in Christian Formation
Classes at 10:15 a.m.

Coffee Fellowship: 8:15-11:15 a.m. in the Fellowship Hall (treats served at 10 a.m.)

For infants and toddlers - Noah's Ark Nursery (in Octagon), 8:45 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
For young children - Read N' Play Room (LL07) from 9-10 a.m.

Children's Sunday School
Children age 3 and older
Classrooms in the Lower Level
Wee Learn Class in room LL12 at 10:30

Youth Sunday School
Lower Level Youth Rooms

FUMC's Commitment to Racial Equity, in the Chapel
A review of efforts made in 2018 and looking ahead at opportunities in 2019. This is one of our on-going ministry priorities. Please join the conversation to add your input and to recommit yourself to this ministry in our community and nation.

Theology for the 21st Century in LL05
This class reads and discusses books about religion, theology, and past/current events. Join us as we discuss  the new book by Brian McLaren, 2019's Lyons Lecturer, The Great Spiritual Migration: How the World's Largest Religion is Seeking a Better Way to be Christian Drawing from his work as global activist, pastor, and public theologian, McLaren challenges readers to stop worrying, waiting, and indulging in nostalgia, and instead, to embrace the powerful new understandings that are reshaping the church. Books will be available in the classroom.
Preparing for the Special Session of the  General Conference,
February 22-26, 2019

Opportunities for learning, listening and discussion leading up to the General Conference, 2019 will be offered at First UMC on January 12 and 26 from 9-noon in the chapel. Mark Fowler and Bishop Linda Lee will be leading a class for Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary and have arranged for it to be held at our church so that it can be open to our members and others in the Wisconsin area.

The United Methodist Church will hold a special session of the General Conference to look to a "Way Forward." The issues surrounding inclusion of LGBTQA+ persons in the full life and ministry of the church have been before the General Conference going into a third decade. The 2016 General Conference tasked the Council of Bishops to offer a Way Forward and the results of that work will be before the General Conference in St. Louis in February.

As preparation, the January classes will offer a survey of the framework that brings us to this point in denominational history, the authorities and implications at work and a study of the various plans that will be offered for consideration. The Wisconsin delegation to the General Conference will join us on January 26 for a perspective on their work and strategy for the Conference.

Please sign up here so that we will have a good idea of the numbers to expect for the sessions.
-Rev. Dr. Mark Fowler

Racial Equity: Our Learning Continues

Madison's Nehemiah Center for Urban Leadership and Development will be conducting a co urse in the New Year titled, "Black History for a New Day - Allies for a Stronger Madison." Our congregation's emphasis on Racial Equity continues in 2019 with the invitation for members to participate in this course at a 50% reduction in the registration fee. Several spots for members of FUMC have been reserved in the upcoming class. Please consider participating in this nine-week series on Mondays Feb. 4 through April 15 from 7:00-9:00 p.m. Click here for more information and contact Rev. Tina Lang if you would like to be one of the participants from FUMC.

And another opportunity offered by neighbors at Grace Episcopal Church titled, "When the Diagnosis is Racism." The goal of this program is to seat 8 multi-generational individuals at tables to begin the conversation and the steps we must take to build a more just community. These sessions are free, however, there is limited capacity. Please RSVP via email, and please indicate "Diagnosis is Racism," the dates you wish to attend (options are Sundays January 20, February 17, March 17, and April 28 from 11:30am-2:30pm including lunch) and the number of people attending.  
Christmas Community Meal

We served a wonderful Christmas Community Meal last Tuesday with the help of many volunteers. Click here for a nice article about the gathering, and here for a TV news story. Thank you to all who help and support our outreach ministries! 
Joys and Concerns

Please hold the following in prayer this week: Charlotte Holzman, Helen Kuntz, Mary Ann Litwiller, Roy Jacobs, Chuck Waity, Lynn Peterson, and Leigh Roberts .


Mystery Donors
E-Trade and NFS donation received with no name - can you help?

We received a check from E-Trade with only the last four digits of an account number, but no name.  We also received a check from a brokerage company with no name or identifying number for $500. We would love to give credit to the donor and say THANK YOU!  If this is you, please contact Sarah Flanagan , 608-338-1288
Stock or IRA distribution
If you plan to make a stock donation or IRA distribution to First Church, please let Sarah know so she can watch for it. We have found that many companies are not putting a donor name on it, so she needs your name, where it is coming from and approximate amount to make sure she can match it to the donor. THANK YOU!

Embracing Wholeness:  An Earth Perspective for Covenantal Living
This 4 session small group book study starts with the theological and biblical foundations for our covenantal relationship with creation and moves forward into our community, your relationships, and our very selves. The study takes place on these dates, Sunday and Monday afternoons in January and February. Books available from United Methodist Women. For more information, contact: Josie Gobel: 920-988-0705 or Blanch Emerick: 217-766-0821

UMW and A Way Forward
The UMW is hosting an event beginning on Wednesday, January 9th at 11:30 to discuss the Commission on "A Way Forward".   A chili and salad lunch will be served.  There will be a Special Session of General Conference in February 2019, to receive and act upon a report by a group called the Commission on a Way Forward.

The Commission on a Way Forward was proposed by the Council of Bishops and approved by the 2016 General Conference.  The General Conference will examine and possibly revise every paragraph in the Book of Discipline concerning human sexuality. They will explore options to maintain and strengthen the unity of the church. RSVP to Paula Benson or call  608-347-2924.  You may also sign up in the Octagon on December 30th or January 6th.

Church Women United kicks off the new year by celebrating Human Rights Day
The celebration on Friday, January 4, 2019 will be at Wellspring United Methodist Church , 5702 South Hill Drive, Madison. The theme this year is "The Time is Now - Unite to Serve." The gathering will begin with Coffee at 9 a.m. Will and Becky Green from Mentoring Positives will be recognized for their work teaching youth new skills in the Darbo-Worthington Neighborhood. All are invited to attend!

Grocery Bags Needed!
Please drop off any grocery bags you can donate in the narthex, for use by our Hope's Home Ministries and food pantry.

Coffee Sponsorship
Our weekly coffee hour is in need of sponsors! You can help by signing up on the poster near the Welcome Center. There are three sponsor spots for each Sunday, and the donation is $30-35 per spot. Dedications are welcome too, when you support coffee, food, and fellowship! Thank you!

Have an event or announcement you'd like printed here? Email us your submission by 10 a.m. on the Tuesday prior. Please note that all announcements are subject to edit.

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