A Weekly Newsletter
of First United Methodist Church of Madison
News and Upcoming Events for members and friends
This Sunday
  • This week, we welcome Bishop Hee-Soo Jung as our guest. He will be preaching on the text of Mark 1: 4-11, "Radical Acceptance for All." When we claim the new life that we embrace at our baptism, we live the transformed life in Christ. This would be God’s unconditional love and radical acceptance for all. Let us remember our baptism and be glad in it. Invitation to discipleship must be PRACTICE FOR ACCEPTING OTHERS as beloved without reservation.

  • During worship we will together renew our baptismal vows.  Please have near you a small container of water that you may use as we have a time for each of us whether we take water and place it on our foreheads or simply place our fingers in the water have a chance to participate together in this act of corporate renewal.

  • This week we pause after the Christmas rush to reflect on the gift given to us as we claim the grace of Jesus Christ through our baptism. Ashleigh Kent will share “Like the Murmur of the Dove’s Song” as we reflect on a line from the reading for the day, Jesus saw “the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on Him.” As we accept the gift of grace we are urged to heal division with ceaseless prayer. We witness to the power of love bringing “peace beyond compare.” Our hymns for the day are #605 Wash, O God, Our Sons and Daughters; and #3165 Take Me to the Water.

  • You can join us for virtual worship on Sunday 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 6:30 pmContact 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, January 10, the topic for the day is The Environmental Impacts of Road Salt, focusing on Madison’s lakes and drinking water. This session will provide timely information on this worsening problem and what homeowners, condo associations, apartment owners and dwellers and retirement centers can do to minimize their salt usage on driveways, sidewalks and parking lots and reduce these impacts.
Our speaker will be Linnea Rock.  Linnea is a Master’s student at the University of Wisconsin Center for Limnology through the Department of Integrative Biology. Her research focuses on chloride loading in the Upper Yahara River Watershed.

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.

Emergent Theology: Sunday at 11:15 we continue our discussion of Days of Awe and Wonder, by Marcus Borg. Email Ann Hamon or Joan Maynard for a zoom invitation.
Emergency Contact Information
Pastor Mark Fowler is away on bereavement leave, following the death of his father. Mark will be back on January 14. The First Church staff are taking a well-deserved break from December 28 - 31. In the meantime, for pastoral emergencies, please contact Rev. Maribel Celiz or Rev. Paul Melrose on the following schedule:

  • January 2 - 8, contact Paul; email or call 608.515.5892.
  • January 9 - 14, contact Maribel; email or call 608.289.6308.
Town Hall Meeting with Pastor Maribel, TONIGHT, January 7 at 6pm
Covid-19 has prevented us from meeting in person, so I have set aside two virtual town hall gatherings to virtually meet you, to begin to have a conversation about our children’s ministry, youth, young adults, and young family gatherings. We want to give you an opportunity to share your ideas, ask questions, share new ways on how we can continue to grow at First Church.
Questions to reflect upon:
How can I/we begin to plan for safety gatherings?
What can I/we do to work towards a vibrant children’s, youth, young adult, young family ministry?
What are some of my /our ideas? Hopes for these ministries?
Bring your own question!
Our remaining Zoom meeting is on January 7, at 6:00pm. Click here for the January 7 Zoom link.
Racial Inclusiveness and Justice Group Event THIS SUNDAY
As part of their ongoing efforts, the Racial Justice Wednesday night group is inviting all members of the congregation to participate in this online seminar.

We are excited to join First Baptist Church of Madison, WI in hosting Dr. Christy Clark-Pujara of UW Madison for a virtual talk on January 10, 2021 at 2:00 pm, Central. The topic of her talk will be on the history of race-based slavery in America and the complicity of its core institutions - including the church.

There will be time for questions following the talk. You can find information about First Baptist Church-Madison, WI’s Racial Justice work at this link, and more information about the talk, including Dr. Clark-Pujara’s bio and information about co-sponsors, at this link.

To register, please click here or email racialjustice@firstbaptistmadison.org.
Sanctuary Flower Sponsorships
Thank you to everyone who sponsored a lovely bouquet of Sunday flowers for the Sanctuary in 2020! We appreciate your support in making every Sunday special.

Flower sponsorships are open for all of 2021. Sign up here to reserve your spot!
Hope's Home Ministries Serving in Community
Emergency Food and Outreach
We continue to deliver Emergency Food and survival needs to individuals experiencing homelessness.

Developing trusting relationships are integral to building bridges to care, services, and housing.

We team up with community partners during the week for emergency food delivery and outreach. In addition, Karen Andro helps lead a Street Safety team on Saturday nights and during extreme weather. The Street Safety Team is an extension of a Safety Team for the Homeless developed in 2015 by Karen during her tenure as Chair of our local Continuum of Care (CoC) the Homeless Services Consortium (HSC).

During the Christmas and New Year holidays, a difficult time for individuals experiencing homelessness, the team went out frequently late nights. On Saturday, December 27, 2020; Karen, Jessie (street medic), and “Shep” helped an elderly gentleman to safety who may have otherwise died from exposure. It was after midnight. They found him inside a bus shelter several miles from downtown inadequately dressed for the bitter cold in his wheelchair (double-amputee). While awaiting transportation to safety, they shared conversation and discovered he sang in his church choir. Discussion led to favorite hymns, and there in the bus shelter that bitter cold night Frank was serenaded by Shep who sang her favorite hymn; “Let Us Be Bread”.

We are grateful for the support of donations making it possible for us to help individuals and families experiencing homelessness.
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)
  • 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.
2021 Lyons Lecture At Home, January 30
Tickets are available now for the 2021 Lyons Lecture at home! The Lyons Lecture Committee is pleased to welcome Dr. David Galston.

The event includes two virtual lectures and two live Zoom question and answer sessions. This virtual event starts at 10:00 a.m. with the first lecture, and the second lecture begins at 1:30 p.m. Learn more, and purchase tickets here.
First Church is Building Bridges
As you experience the racial tension and divide in our community and beyond, do you ever feel the need to do something, but you do not know where to start? For the last several months, this awareness has brought 40 or more people from our church together every Wednesday evening. We have read and discussed several books and resources and then divided into action groups in hopes of finding ways to reach out and build bridges across our community.

One of our efforts at bridge building is connecting with Nehemiah Center for Urban Leadership located in Madison. This group is led by Dr. Alex Gee. Nehemiah is offering a 9-week class, Black History for a New Day, beginning on February 1. Because our church intends to partner with Nehemiah, individuals will be able to take the class at a reduced rate of $225. This amount can be further reduced to $150 for the first 12 persons requesting scholarship support from the church. If you are interested in attending the class but could use further financial assistance, please let us know (email Josie).

There will be more specific details on registration here next week. At that time, we will let you know where the registration fee is to be sent. If you are interested, please join us. If you would like to join the Wednesday night group, email Rich.

Learn more, and sign up for this class HERE.
-Josie Gobel and Emily Ford 
Joys and Concerns
Please hold the following in prayer this week: Jim Reynolds, Shirley Blank, Dan Woolpert, Roy Prestage, Nancy Spencer, and all members and friends of our congregation who are suffering from the COVID virus or any of its aftermath. We hold in prayer those in congregate living facilities and in jails and prisons, where the rate of spread continues in dangerous numbers.

We offer our prayers and sympathy to Keith Schroerlucke and his family on the death of his father, Gilbert Schroerlucke.

We offer prayers and sympathy to Patti Kurtz on the death of her brother Jim. This follows on the recent death of her mother, Helen.

We offer prayers and sympathy to Pat Pankhurst on the death of her grandson Wil.

We offer our prayers to Diane Glodoski and her family on the death of her brother, Brian Newell, who died on January 3 after a battle with cancer.
Adopt-A School Update
December was a month of generous reaching out to the families at Hawthorne Elementary. It was heartwarming to see how many people donated to the Holiday Helpers program. 13 FUMC households donated $2000 in gifts to help many families have a warmer, happier Christmas in the midst of a challenging year. In fact, we were able to reach out to 41 family members from 10 families! We started out with 2 families and just kept giving. The school is so grateful for the generosity of their Adopt-a-School partner. 

We are waiting to hear how tutoring at the school will look in 2021. Until then, you will receive notice of opportunities to help in other ways as they present themselves. If you have ideas of ways to help, don't hesitate to contact Kathy Carpenter.
Church Library DVDs
There are many wonderful DVDs that are available for ‘check out’ from our church library.

If you are interested in any of these, please contact Josie Gobel or call her at: 920-988-0705 and Josie will have the DVD’s for you to pick up on Tuesdays between 2:00 to 2:30 – or she will make arrangements to meet you at the church parking lot at a time convenient for you. Click here for a list of available titles.
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.
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