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

This Sunday, Steve Schooler will preach on the text of Jeremiah 31: 15-17, focusing on Rachel weeping for her children. This story inspired Steve, and through his witness, we will receive great inspiration. The Chancel Choir will sing Balm in Gilead at 9. At 11:15 the children will be experiencing the areas of our building where we serve those who find themselves homeless or hungry.
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

General Conference Preparation I n the Chapel, Pastor Fowler offers a brief review of the 3-hour Jan. 26 class on the special General Conference called to determine issues of inclusion of LGBTQA+ persons in the full life and ministry of the church. The review includes 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 at the conference.

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.
Professional Time Away for
Rev. Tina Lang - in case you missed it

On January 14, the Staff-Parish Relations Committee received and granted Tina Lang's request for a Professional Time Away leave for three months, beginning January 21 through April 12, 2019. SPRC is deeply appreciative of Tina's commitment to the ongoing ministry of First Church and the many years she has served without having the professional benefit of time away for rest, reflection and renewal. Lead Pastor Mark Fowler has shared, "We will miss Tina in these weeks. Her leadership and collegiality are a vital and cherished part of our ministry. We all wish her well in this essential time of renewal and look forward to her return to celebrate Easter!" Plans are underway to cover the essential tasks needed during this three-month period.
Ann Herrold-Peterson,  SPRC Chair
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 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
Emergency Warming Center

Due to severe weather,  On Friday, January 25, 2019, we will be opening as an Emergency Day Warming Center for families and single women experiencing homelessness (8:00 AM to 4:30 PM). We are grateful to The Beacon, The Salvation Army & Porchlight for their partnership in helping our neighbors in need.

School Partnership

After a very encouraging start, our partnership with Hawthorne Elementary and the Adopt-a-School program continues to grow. As part of our racial equity work at FUMC, this is the hands-on segment where we get to be actively involved. In January and February donations of socks, sweats, and undies for ages 4-11 will be accepted. Accidents do happen, you know! Please place them in the bin by the display board in the narthex. We are also seeking volunteers to work with the students or help the teachers. You can go onto the MMSD website and complete the Volunteer Application to get started or contact Kathy Carpenter .
Thea's Table

Thea's Table Weekend Food Program works with the social workers at Madison schools to provide shelf-stable food to children and their families who are homeless or in extreme need. We have increased our weekly capacity to 50 families, usually providing food for 6 meals and 2 snacks to 230-245 people. We also provide emergency food bags to the Transitional Education Program, which distributes them to social workers as needed.  Thea's Table is part of the Food for Thought Initiative (Food4TI). In addition to weekend food, Food4TI has established and operates food pantries in 4 Madison schools, and is currently planning a fifth.

We are grateful to First United Methodist Church and Hope's Home Ministries for nurturing Thea's Table, providing storage and packing space and procuring bread for our families each week.
Foods most needed include:
  • 28-oz. peanut butter
  • Individual fruit cups
  • Microwave macaroni and cheese cups
  • Canned meals (spaghetti & meatballs, beef stew, etc).
  • Microwave meals
  • Beef sticks (available at Costco-good for families living in cars)
  • Graham crackers
  • Squeezable yogurt
  • Canned tuna and chicken, especially with pop tops
  • High protein snack bars
Joys and Concerns

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


Flower & Coffee Fellowship Sponsorships
Thank you everyone who sponsored beautiful flowers for the Chancel and coffee and treats enjoyed during our Sunday fellowship time in 2018! These sponsorships truly make our Sundays more special and your generosity helped make that happen. We are now on to 2019 and the online sign up is available by clicking here. The physical sign up signs will be up soon in the Narthex. If you would like to get a jump on claiming dates for 2019, please feel free to email or call the Welcome Center at 608.256.9061. Thank you for another great year!

Spouses Now Alone
Now that the holidays are behind us, we will resume our monthly Spouses Now Alone lunches.  The first lunch of 2019 will be  Tuesday, January 29 th  at Imperial Garden at 12:00 noon .  If you plan to attend (and I hope you do) please let me (Jim) know for reservations purposes, either by emailor by calling 338-0268 and leaving a message. See you there.

Financial News
2019 weekly and monthly giving envelopes will be available to pick up in the Welcome Center this Sunday. If you would like a box, please stop by, we have extras.  2018 Giving statements which summarize your donations for 2018, will be available this Sunday in the narthex.  If you did not complete a Commitment for 2019 giving, there are extra forms available in the Welcome Center. Thank you to all for your continued support of the programs of First Church!

Lost and Found
Do you have the sense that you're missing something? Can't find that thing you thought you had? Come visit the Welcome Center's Lost and Found! We have quite a collection of items gathered over the last few months - coats, eyeglasses, coffee mugs, etc. Stop on by Sunday thru Thursday and check it out or call us at 608-256-9061 or email.

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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