A Weekly Newsletter
of First United Methodist Church of Madison
Sunday News and Upcoming Events for members and friends
This Sunday
  • This is a week of JOY as we celebrate the second week of Advent! As you prepare for the service, please collect candles (two are enough) and bread and cup to join in communion. Rev. Mark Fowler will preach from Isaiah 40:1-11 with a sermon entitled “We Live in a Wilderness Crying for a Voice”.

  • We will be lighting the Advent wreath each week as we progress together toward Christmas. We urge you to gather candles and light them with us in the growing illumination of your home. It reminds us that “The light shines in the gloom. And, the gloom shall not overcome it!”

  • Bishop Jung has provided for Wisconsin United Methodist Churches to participate in virtual Holy Communion. All viewing and listening are invited to have elements for communing, whether or not bread or grape juice, and to receive as we celebrate this meal together, in a spirit of Joy. 

  • We will also continue our celebration of giving, in the season when we prepare for the Greatest Gift. Your intentions for giving in 2021 will be blessed and consecrated to our mission and ministry during the service.

  • “The Yearning” by Susan Bentall Boersma and Craig Courtney is the Ministry of Music this second Sunday in Advent. "There is a yearning in hearts weighed down by ancient grief and centuries of sorrow.” The Quadrilateral Quartet will sing this prayerful representation of the heart of the believer conveying the urgency and need of the coming Savior. Hymns this week will be #213, #196, and #211.

  • You can join us for virtual worship Sunday at 9:00 a.m. or any time after that by visiting the links below.
For Children and Youth
Children's Sunday School
Laurie's videos are shared to our website and Facebook every Monday, and we are featuring a Children's Moment each week during the video worship. Laurie is also sending zoom invitations for weekly Sunday School classes. If you would like to join Zoom Sunday School, contact Laurie here.

Youth and Young Adults
There are Youth and Young Adult Zoom discussion opportunities! All are welcome! Contact Megan with any questions. The FUMC young adults are gathering on Tuesday evenings at 7 PM. Through Zoom and in person, the group shares and explores a topic together related to spirituality. Contact Megan for more information.
Christian Formation
Sharing our Journeys: The Sharing Our Journeys class meets every Sunday morning at 10:00 AM via zoom. We have a great time of sharing and learning from each other.

This Sunday, December 6, we continue our Advent Study on Incarnation. The discussion will be led by Pastor Maribel.

"This season puts into perspective all our political wrangling. … While our politics have divided us, Advent should bring us together, uniting us around the newborn King and his life, message, ministry, death, and resurrection. …Advent beckons all who consider themselves Christians—regardless of whether they are Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians, or Independents—to come to the stable and there fall on our knees as the shepherds surely did, yielding our allegiance, our hearts, and our will to the newborn King.” —Adam Hamilton, Incarnation

If you have not been attending and would like to do so, please email Rich Oliver or contact Rich by phone, at 573.999.0759. Rich can help you with technology concerns, and will send the information needed for joining the group if you choose to participate.

Exploring the Edges of Theology: Join us this Sunday at 11:15 (note the time change) to discuss Amen, by Gretta Vosper. Email Ann Hamon or Joan Maynard for a zoom invitation.
Looking for our daily video series? The links to both are below. The Daily Devotions are a Pandemic series we started in the spring of 2020. We post a short video each day, from one of our clergy or staff.

The Daily Lectionary Series features members and friends of First Church. Check it out to hear someone you may know reading a Bible passage each weekday.
Stewardship Voices, from Jim Ostrander
What does First Church mean to me during the Covid pandemic?
Rev. David Lyons once remarked that when meeting strangers, one can often tell within a short time that this person is a Methodist. I have never forgotten this because this was a sentiment that I also shared. I know David did not mean that Methodists were in any way superior to others, only that they reflect in their attitudes and manner something that is instilled in them that has its roots in the United Methodist Church.

I always feel comfortable around fellow Methodists because they share similar values and approach to life. I have made so many friends at First Church, many still with us, others who have passed on. Maintaining contact and sharing our COVID frustrations with each other has made the entire experience much more tolerable than it might have been. I cherish these friendships above all else and cannot imagine what life would be without them. Read the rest of the series on our website here.

You can also submit your 2021 Commitment pledge on our website, or by mailing the commitment form you received in the mail to FUMC, PO Box 7578, Madison, WI, 53707.
Sanctuary Beautification
The look of Christmas will be a bit different in 2020, as will the worship service. In past years, people have purchased poinsettias in honor or memory of loved ones. Unfortunately, due to Covid-19 concerns, we can't give members and friends the opportunity to purchase a poinsettia plant to take home.

This year, sponsorship opportunities will be for Christmas 2020 – and beyond! You may wish to contribute as much as previously ($15) or more, but because of the extraordinary expansion of our virtual worship offerings, our needs are changing. Therefore, your contribution may go toward Christmas décor, or it may help First Church meet other worship and Sanctuary needs. In any event, we will publish the list of sponsors and their honorees in the weekly e-newsletter, on social media, and in a special printed piece. We are eager to share this Christmas season with all of you. Sponsor beautification here.
The Annual Church Conference will be Virtual this year
All members and constituent clergy of First Church are invited to attend the annual Church Conference via ZOOM on December 14 at 5:30 pm. Please RSVP by December 11 to info@fumc.org. Please provide an e-mail address. An invitation to the meeting will be sent the morning of December 14.

Scott Carlson, our District Superintendent will preside. The key items of business for the evening will be the adoption of the Lay Leadership nominations report for 2021 and the acknowledgement of committee chairs who are stepping down this year; voting on the pastoral compensation packages; voting on two new candidates for ministry (Lucie Yaba and Justin Nelsen) and continuing Claudia Dorsch. It is an important moment in the leadership of our church and the wider church in the work we will do.
United Methodist Women, Community Opportunities
Christmas Tea
All women of the church are invited to join in our United Methodist Women Christmas Tea, Thursday December 10 from 2-3pm. We will sum up the year 2020 and look ahead to announce learning opportunities in 2021. We will introduce the 2021 United Methodist Reading Program. Contact josiegobel@charter.net for a zoom invitation to this Christmas Tea.
Zoom Book Reading
Everyone is welcome to join in an Audible book reading of Skipping Christmas by John Grisham. This classic tale for modern times, offers a hilarious look at the chaos and frenzy that have become part of our holiday tradition. During this time of covid-19 when Christmas preparations may take on a different look, it may be good to look back and see what we want to do away with and what to keep in our Christmas traditions. This reading will be a 30 minute listening to the audible book from 3:00 until 3:30 each weekday from Dec. 10th to Dec. 23rd. For an invitation to this book reading, contact josiegobel@charter.net or call Josie at 920.988.0705.
Film Screening, December 8 at 5:00 pm
Join the national organization of United Methodist Women for a screening of the film Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools. This documentary film was inspired by Dr. Monique Morris' book of the same name. The screening will be followed by participatory discussion groups, a response panel and a call to action. This webinar is part of the ongoing United Methodist Women series on interrupting the school-to-prison pipeline. Register to view the film here.
Sponsor A Family from Hawthorne School
Many families at Hawthorne Elementary School are in need of warm clothes this winter! As their partner and sponsor, they have asked us at First Church to help with gifts of cozy warm clothes. We are also invited to contribute Hy-Vee gift cards, for Hawthorne families to purchase groceries in their own neighborhood.

Please contact Kathy Carpenter or call Kathy, 608.239.9940, you would like to help.
Come to the Manger, an Advent Giving Opportunity
The United Methodist Women have a long history during the Advent season. They have collected warm clothing, mittens, hats, scarves for those in need at Northcott Neighborhood House. This important mission started in the early 1960’s by United Methodist Women and it remains a vital place in North Milwaukee, serving women and children, offering youth programs and very importantly a job training site for men so they can support their families.

Currently, Northcott is considered essential and they remain open but because of Covid, they are not distributing clothing this year. They are asking for monetary gifts, checks written to Northcott marked Christmas or they are distributing gift cards for stores like Target, Walmart, Kohls, or Walgreens to give to needy families.

Please consider donating online by clicking here, or writing a check to Northcott Neighborhood House, marked Christmas, or purchase gift cards for the stores mentioned and mail to:

Northcott Neighborhood House
2460 N 6th Street
Milwaukee, Wi 53212
Outreach and Opportunities to Help
We are grateful for the support of donations making it possible for us to help individuals and families suffering loss of home who are experiencing crisis during the pandemic.

Would you like to help? We invite you to contribute these greatest need items:
  • Fruit cups
  • Individually wrapped beef sticks
  • Toilet Paper (if possible, box of bulk)
  • Chips
  • Ravioli (pop-top cans)

To make a financial donation, mail a check to First United Methodist Church, PO Box 7578, Madison, WI 53707, or contribute online and select Hope’s Home Ministries as your gift designation.

Please email or call Karen Andro at 608.338.0320 to coordinate receiving items for the food pantry.
Joys and Concerns
Please hold the following in prayer this week: Gary Jordan, Shirley Blank, Jim Reynolds, Dan Woolpert, Rev. Robert Fowler, Roy Prestage, and all members and friends of our congregation who are suffering from the COVID virus or any of its lingering effects, and remembering those incarcerated who also suffer.  

This week we share prayers and condolences with the families of Orpha Bock, Brian McCarthy and Mary Bean, all who died last week, as well as Bob Reever, who died recently.
Recycling Program
TERRACYCLE UPDATETerracycle recycling is back at church! This pilot program is called the T.T.T. Terracycle Drive-up & Drop-off, from 2:00 to 2:30 p.m. every TuesdayFind more details here.
Faith Talks, a United Methodist Women Podcast
United Methodist Women have a wonderful podcast called Faith Talks. They are usually monthly conversations that explore relevant issues facing us today. You can find the podcast here; click the link to register. You will receive an email a few days before the talk with a zoom link to log on and listen.

If you can’t log on on that Thursday, the past audio podcasts are available to listen to on the UMW website under Faith Talks. If you’d like to join our local Talk Back zoom the following Friday morning at 10:00 am, email Josie Gobel for a zoom link to join us on Friday morning after Talk Back.
Pandemic Mail Disrupted
Regular delivery of USPS mail to First Church has suffered due to the pandemic. As a result, our new Post Office Box is the most reliable way to send any mail to FUMC. We welcome your continued communications to the church, but please address them as follows:
First United Methodist Church
PO Box 7578
Madison, WI 53707
Scam Alert - Updates
We have learned that some members and friends of FUMC are once again receiving fraudulent emails from Kelly Walling or Rev. Mark Fowler, asking for help and contributions. These emails appear to come from church staff, but they are from a FALSE Gmail account. 

DO NOT RESPOND to these emails. DO NOT CLICK in the emails - they are a SCAM and are not from First Church or Pastor Fowler. When you receive emails from us, they will be from our Constant Contact mail service (as this one is) or from an address ending in FUMC.ORG.

The staff of First Church would never contact a member via email to solicit donations or funding of any kind. If you are unsure about any email message, please contact the Welcome Center at 608.256.9061 or email at info@fumc.org.

Thank you for not responding to this spam attempt, and be careful what you click.
203 Wisconsin Avenue, Madison, WI 53703

PO Box 7578
Madison WI 53707