A Weekly Newsletter
of First United Methodist Church of Madison
News and Upcoming Events for members and friends
The Easter Triduum
The three days of Easter (count them as sundown to sundown) begin with Holy Thursday and end with Easter sunrise.

We will observe these holiest of days in the Christian calendar online and face-to-face.
  • Maundy Thursday will be posted through our websiteFacebook page and YouTube channel beginning at 5pm Thursday evening. Rev. Maribel Celiz will preach the sermon Humbleness Equals Power based on John 13:1-17, 31b-35. Rev. Tina Lang Deacon Emerita will join Rev. Mark Fowler and Bob Wink to dedicate the installation of the pitcher, basin and towel given as an honorific for Tina’s twenty years of service at First Church and observing her being the first person ordained a Deacon in full connection in the Wisconsin Annual Conference. We will also celebrate the Last Supper. Please gather bread and cup to join the Great Thanksgiving.

  • Music for Holy Thursday reflects the many facets of this day. We reflect on Palm Sunday - We Sang Our Glad Hosannas #2111. Through the symbolism of foot washing, we are called to love and serve each other - Jesu, Jesu #432. We remember the Last Supper -For the Bread Which You Have Broken #614 and we sing Musical Setting C of the communion liturgy. Quadrilateral shares an anthem, The Cup of Sorrow by Cindy Berry, reminding us of Jesus' anguish in the Garden of Gethsemane.
Good Friday
  • Good Friday Stations of the Cross will be posted beginning at noon on Friday. Rev. Mark Fowler and Ross Cowing have assembled and in some cases created original texts and music for this service. Mark has developed the traditional fourteen stations as contemporary reflections drawn from the experience of living through this year of pandemic. As we walk the Way of Sorrows with Jesus on Good Friday, we will stop to hear these reflections accompanied by familiar music as well as original work by Ross Cowing. Twenty-six people from the congregation have joined in the leadership of the day.

  • A short musical meditation is part of each station of the cross. Our Quadrilateral Quartet members each contributed a solo and combine for a quartet piece. Four members of our Blessed Brass played eight meditations on Lenten hymns.
Easter Sunday
  • Our Easter Sunrise Service will be held in person outdoors in the church parking lot beginning at sunrise (6:34) on Sunday morning. The eternal flame will be kindled and the Paschal Candle to signify the light dispelling the bleakness of our world and its experience. Justin Nelsen, a candidate for ministry at our church, will lead the reflection of the morning. Rev. Maribel Celiz has assembled others to lead us in this brief celebration of the Resurrection. Join us!

  • Easter Celebration is a time of Alleluia! The service will be posted on our website, YouTube and Facebook beginning at 9am. Rev. Mark Fowler will preach the Easter message Fully Bloomed: Terror & Amazement, based on Mark 16:1-8.

  • We proclaim “Risen Indeed” in the anthem that the Quadrilateral Quartet shares this Sunday! The prelude and postlude will feature our Virtual Easter Brass Ensemble. First Church Virtual Choir and congregation members will lead the opening hymn Christ the Lord Is Risen Today #302. Other congregational hymns are Because He Lives #364 and Sing With All the Saints in Glory #702.
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. Check out some coloring pages HERE! Laurie is also sending zoom invitations for weekly Sunday School classes. These Garden of Gethsemane dioramas are a fun example of some of the crafts we've done! 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 have a new name-The Table-where all are welcome, and our diverse spiritual journeys are celebrated. The Table meets virtually on Sundays at 4 PM. Our Lent study is titled Listen to Him: 40 Steps on the Road to Resurrection.
Christian Formation
Sharing our Journeys: The Sharing Our Journeys class meets every Sunday morning at 10:00 am via zoom.

At the Sharing our Journeys Class this Sunday, April 4, we will be observing Easter. We will be using the theme, Why Easter Matters in 2021. Mel and Linda Vance will lead the discussion.

Mel and Linda are both retired pastors with many years of experience in various aspects of ministry. They have been instrumental in the Come As You Are Worship ministry which was held at First Church on Wednesday mornings before Covid.

Mel and Linda will begin the class discussion by presenting some of the meaning of the doctrine of the resurrection of Christ based on their experiences as pastors, teachers and preachers. This will hopefully lead to a class discussion of the impact which the resurrection of Christ has on our lives and witness. You are invited to come and share in the joy of Easter.

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, this class is on hiatus for the Easter holiday. Email Ann Hamon or Joan Maynard for a zoom invitation to the next discussion series. Our next book for discussion will be Good Without God.
Local Mission Partner Offering for Lent and Eastertide, Part 1
First Church is so very blessed to have members and friends who support the church and all the work that happens within! Your generosity has not only given us life, but the ability to thrive. Thank you!
Beyond our doors though, there are numerous agencies that tend to the vital needs of multitudes of people, and they need our help. We have selected some as our “Local Mission” partners, agencies we assist as they offer physical, emotional, and spiritual support, address homelessness, and work towards greater justice for all. 
FUMC has supported some agencies for several years. Here is a list of those organizations with links to their websites so you may learn the latest information about their work:
During Lent and the 50 days of Eastertide, please consider giving to these agencies and their crucial work by clicking here, clicking the Give Now button.

Watch future issues of @First to learn about the local mission partners that are new this year!
Join Our Online Member Directory
We are developing an online member directory project, beginning now! Currently, the only entries are from our testers, but we would love to include as many of our members as possible. The directory will be hosted on our website, and will be password protected. If you are willing to be included in this online directory, please click here to complete the form. This is an opt-in form, so that you can decide if you want your information included. As you complete the form, you can indicate specifically which contact information you would like to have shared within our First Church family. Thank you in advance for making our directory a useful resource!
Spring Election, Tuesday April 6
The Education subgroup of the Racial Equity and Justice Ministry would like to remind the congregation that the Spring election is an important one for the Wisconsin school system! Voters are encouraged to act now if they wish to vote absentee for the Tuesday, April 6 Spring Election. Polls will be open for those who need them on Election Day, but many voters will vote absentee for this election. For that to happen, you should request an absentee ballot as soon as possible, or consider In-Person Absentee Voting. If you plan to vote on Election Day, please check MyVote.wi.gov on Election Day to verify your polling place, as locations may change for this election.

How to Request an Absentee Ballot
There are several ways registered voters can request absentee ballots. The easiest way is to sign up at MyVote.wi.gov.

Just look for the “Vote Absentee” button near the top of the page. On a mobile phone, use the menu button in the upper right corner of the website. There is a three-step process that starts with entering your name and date of birth, followed by requesting your ballot. If you don’t already have a photo ID on file with the City Clerk’s Office, you can upload a copy. Mobile phone users can take a picture and upload it to MyVote.wi.gov. Absentee ballot requests submitted this way go directly to the City Clerk’s Office, and you can track your ballot by returning to the website.

The deadline for registered voters to request an absentee ballot be mailed to you is the Thursday before the election (today, April 1). Your absentee ballot must be received in the City Clerk’s Office or at your polling place by 8:00 p.m. on Election Day, April 6.
Adopt-A-School Update from Hawthorne Elementary
Although we are not able to be in the schools tutoring or volunteering yet, the students are in the process of the phased return to in-person school. School district parents had to register their returning preference (continued virtual or in-person) by March 20 and now in-person school is underway for the youngest students. Check out the MMSD reopening plan at https://www.madison.k12.wi.us/reopening-plan for more information. Also, if you are interested in helping with summer school, make sure you have completed your Volunteer Tracker application on the MMSD website. 

Hawthorne Elementary's wonderful social worker, Tang, sent out word of a parent in need. The parent is due in May and needs items to welcome her baby girl. If anyone is ready to donate the following (new or used):
  • Pack and Play bassinet
  • baby girl clothing size newborn on up
  • other baby items
If you are able to help with any donation, please contact Kathy Carpenter
An Update from the First Church Racial Equity and Justice Initiative
One of the most successful outcomes for the First United Methodist Church’s Racial Equity and Justice initiative is our work with the Nehemiah Center for Urban Leadership Development.  The Community Partnerships section of our initiative targeted the Nehemiah Center as an entity well worth both our sponsorship and involvement. Currently, thirty-one individuals associated with FUMC are enrolled in the African American History Course taught in collaboration with history professors from the University of Wisconsin in Madison. Each of the class sessions starts with a personal story told by Dr. Alex Gee, lead pastor of Fountain of Life Covenant Church and founder of the Nehemiah Center, that sets the stage for the lecture that we watch on-line. Then on each Thursday evening the class members meet via Zoom in small groups to discuss the lecture materials for that week.

We have now completed eight weeks of this nine-week course and all participants agree that our knowledge of the African American experience has grown in ways that personally help us to become the white allies that our African American brothers and sisters need if we hope to build a better Madison and a better world. If you would like more information about how you can get involved in the Nehemiah Center, here is a link to their web page.
Update on Solar Project
Since the last church-wide update on the solar project at First Church, the Solar Project Work Group continued to evaluate alternative configurations for a solar array on the church’s roof. This effort led to the work group selecting a design involving solar + batteries and applying in late January for a major grant administered by the Office of Energy Independence (OEI), a unit in the Public Service Commission (PSC). This grant is necessary for the solar project to be financially viable.
The PSC is scheduled to select recipients for these grants at its meeting today, April 1. The work group anticipates that grant recipients will be reported in local newspapers.
It is important for church members to know that, if the PSC selects First Church for a grant, that does not mean that the solar project is automatically going forward. The Church Council will still need to decide whether to accept the grant and that decision will be based on a number of factors, including alignment with our church’s mission and values, whether our roof can safely support the array, and how the portion of the project cost not paid for by the OEI and other grants will be funded.
The work group has kept the Church Council appraised of progress on the solar project, including this grant application, and the Church Council has engaged appropriate committees in the church, including the Trustees and the Finance Committee, for assistance in this review. The Church Council has also requested that the congregation be engaged in this review process. If the church gets the OEI grant, both remote and in person town hall type meetings are being considered for later this Spring to provide information on the project and receive members’ input on it.
Submitted by John Stolzenberg, Coordinator, FUMC Solar Project work Group
Hope's Home Ministries Serving in Community
Stay connected with us by signing up to receive our NEW newsletter. You will receive email communications about our Mobile Food Pantry, community outreach, volunteer opportunities, and get to know our community partners and guests.

Thank you for helping us with our
Greatest Needed Items:
  • Fuel Cards
  • Tuna Salad Pouches
  • Chicken Salad Pouches
  • Pop-Top Ravioli & Meals
  • Protein Bars
  • Toilet Paper
  • Mustard & Mayonnaise Packets
  • Single Hand Wipes (i.e. wet ones)

We greatly appreciate you contacting Karen for Drop-off of donations - 608.338.0320 or email Karen.

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: Shirley Blank, Dan Woolpert, Roy Prestage, Iris Petersen, Jim Reynolds, 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, and we pray for all of our friends, colleagues, family of Asian and Pacific Island descent, as they confront the brutal reality of racism toward them, hidden for so long and now seen in brutality, gun violence, even murder. We also remember along with the victims of the Atlanta shooting, those killed in Boulder and here In Madison, all victims of gun violence. We pray for their family, friends and our nation where violence erupts so often.
Mission Action Day, April 10
Mission Action Day: April 10 from 9:00 a.m. to noon
Dr. Kathy Hartke will address Racial Equity in the Wisconsin Health Care System and Marti Gobel will discuss Racial Equity. Suggested donation is $10.00. Registration form is available here. Men and women are invited to this United Methodist Women event. For more information – email josiegobel@charter.net or call Josie, 920.988.0705.
Church Library DVDs
There are many wonderful DVDs that are available for ‘check out’ from our church library. Click here for a list of available titles.

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. 
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.
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