1st United Methodist Church Weekly Update - July 16, 2021
Youth Mission Trip Update
The youth had a very productive day working in a garden. Tom and Jan Graham invited them all for dinner at their home in Wisconsin to enjoy a relaxing meal and s'mores.

Please continue to pray for the mission team as they return home from their 9 day service to the residents of Kenosha, Wisconsin. 
Renewal Leave for Pastor Mike
Following 2 weeks of vacation, Pastor Mike will be taking a 4-week Renewal Leave. Pastors in the United Methodist Church are encouraged to take renewal leave for the purpose of refreshing and renewing themselves, physically, spiritually, and emotionally. This has been approved by the Steering Team, and the Staff-Parish Relations Team of 1st Church, along with the approval of the SouthWest District Superintendent.

In addition to leading us in worship, Pastor Bob will be available for pastoral needs. Administrative issues can be addressed by Kathy Butgereit.

Mike will be unavailable by phone or email until he returns to the office on September 7th. Thank you for honoring this time for Mike to rest and renew.
Well Wishes...
As many of you may know Christa Villarose has not been on campus for the last three months due to personal reasons. She will not be returning to our church staff and we wish her well and want to thank her for her many years of service to 1st Church. If you would like to send Christa a card wishing her well, please send it to the church office and we will make sure that she gets it. If you have a media request, please contact Kathy Butgereit in the church office at 941-639-3842 or [email protected].
Our Website has a NEW Look
The NEW 1st Church website has been launched! We are still in the progress of updating current information, so patience while it is under construction is very much appreciated.

Be sure to check it out!
Today Matters
Just a reminder that Today Matters Mental Health Ministry is not meeting in July. Please join us back on August 21.
United Christian Women
Dear Church FAMILY,

Words cannot express the outpouring of support we, the United Christian Women, have received from out Church FAMILY for our June Bakeless Bake Sale. The over $1,650 in donations brought joy to our hearts. This level of generosity contributed to support of many of the charitable organizations we have helped in the past, which include Crossroads, Jesus Loves You, Young Life, Meals on Wheels, Homeless Coalition, Center for Abuse (C.A.R.E.), just to name a few.

Just think of the number of calories, burnt fingers and time we have saved you so that you may help others!

Y’all are Awesome! May you be Blessed, as you have Blessed others.

2 Corinthians 9:11, NIV: “You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.”…And when we take your gifts to those who need them, they will thank God.”

With Heartfelt Appreciation,
United Christian Women
Collecting Donations
We are collecting donations for the tragedy at Surfside for the families and those who have been displaced from their homes.

If you would like to make a donation, please send a check to the church and indicate "Surfside" in the memo line and we will make sure all donations get to the Conference for the Surfside Disaster Fund
Food Pantry coming to 1st Church
Bountiful Blessings of Charlotte County Food Pantry will be partnering with 1st Church each Friday beginning July 16th from 11:00 am-1:00 pm to hand out food in our parking lot. They currently feed about 100 families each week and they are excited to be able to use our church parking lot to reach more families. All of the food is provided by the Harry Chapin Food Bank. Please help us spread the word to those that may have a need. 
Children's Ministry Update
This Sunday! Our Big Event (Bring Your Own Backpack) at 9 am for Blessings of the Backpacks, Bounce House, Crafts, Reading of The Kissing Hand, and free school supplies to fill up your backpack.

The 1st Church Connect Program on Sunday nights from 4-6 pm will not be meeting during the month of July.
We will have Sunday school at 9:15 am every Sunday morning in July. Newborns to Pre-K students are welcome to have fun in the nursery during the 9:15 and 11 am services. Other kiddos in kindergarten through 5th grade should join us upstairs for Sunday school at 9:15 (morning snack provided).
Jordan Flick
Director of Children's Ministries
Kiwanis Shoes For Kids
We are excited to serve this summer as a collection site for the Kiwanis Shoes for Kids project! The Sunrise Kiwanis Shoes for Kids project collects new tennis shoes for children (pre-K, elementary, middle, and high) in the Charlotte County Public School System. The need for the 2021-2022 school year is 4500 new pairs of sneakers. So please consider helping this worthwhile project!

The collection boxes are located in Lenox Hall. The shoe drive will run from June 20 to July 25. Let's fill those collection boxes with new shoes for Charlotte County students!!

Monetary donations can be mailed to: 
Sunrise Kiwanis of Port Charlotte, 1489 Market Circle Unit #308, Port Charlotte, FL 33953

More information about Shoes for Kids can be found HERE.
Bargain Boutique, July Vacation
The Bargain Boutique will be closed for the month of July. Summer activities abound for our volunteers at the Bargain Boutique. We are ready to go on long awaited family reunions, catching up with old friends back home, that trip we had to cancel is just around the corner. Tickets are purchased, bags are packed and the Bargain Boutique is going on vacation! We will re-open August 2 and begin accepting donations July 26.
Pray until...
It was an amazing 24/10 prayer time at 1st Church. The blessings from the time with God moved so many people who were fortunate to get a slot for praying. We will now continue our prayer room with "Pray until..."  We are extending the opportunity for this prayer room experience, to watch God do amazing things.

A Word from Worship
Greetings 1st Church friends and family,

The quiet times of summer are upon us, and we seem busy as ever. Pastor Mike led a New Member's class last week and we will welcome several new members at each of our worship services this Sunday.  We are blessed! Also, our Children's Ministry has a big event this Sunday (7/18) during the Children's time at the 9:15 service. Please pray that the Blessing of the Backpacks event will be a wonderful blessing for these kiddos and their families. Thank you for your prayers to support these ministries. 

As I listen to the familiar rumble of thunder, I should remind the 8 o'clock members to always listen for inclement weather warnings. We now have the option to move that Park service inside to the sanctuary if weather situations require cancellation. Please remember that the Today Matters Mental Health Ministry is not meeting in July and will resume on August 21.

As I spent a few hours sitting in uncomfortable waiting room chairs while Don had his second Cataract surgery today, I had plenty of time to pray and reflect on life situations that cause stress on many levels. I looked up one of my favorite devotions that helped me understand that when challenges come at us from all sides, we should consider it an opportunity. I'm still struggling to quit wasting energy wishing things weren't the way they are and regretting the fact that I can't go back to yesterday. But I now know that the confident trust I have in the Lord is bigger than all my fears and difficulties. With God holding my hand, I know that together we can handle any situation. I also realize that there's no quick fix, but with perseverance and prayers, God is also teaching me patience. 
James 1:2 "Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides." And Roman's 12:12 says, "Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer." 

I'm praying for you!

Rosie Young
Worship Coordinator
The Eighth Note – Music Ministry in a Minute!
Greetings Everyone,

Mark your calendars!!! The Chancel Choir will resume rehearsals this fall starting on Thursday, September 9, 2021, at 6:30 PM. Our first Sunday back singing at the 11:00 AM service will be on September 12 in our new robes.  

Some of you might be wondering what has changed to allow the return of the Chancel Choir. The CDC has recently updated its guidance saying that it is safe for fully vaccinated people to sing in an indoor chorus. As we chart our course back to the normal rhythms of life don’t forget to be kind, patient, and respectful with those who might be feeling anxious about plunging back into activities. When we return to choir things might be different, but I am confident and hopeful for the future music ministry of First United Methodist Church and you should be too. Grace and peace to you all. 

Important Dates
September 8, 2021 – 6:30 PM Chancel Ringers rehearsals resume in Life Center
September 9, 2021 – 6:30 PM Chancel Choir rehearsals resume in Sanctuary
September 12, 2021 – 11:00 AM First Sunday Chancel Choir is back singing

Soli Deo Gloria!
David Bellows
Director of Music Ministries
This Sunday’s Music: July 18, 2021 - 11:00AM Service
Prelude: Grazioso – H. Smart 
Opening Hymn: 314 In The Garden
Offertory: People Need The Lord – T. Fettke; Kay Keller and Larry Keller, Soloists
Closing Hymn: 561 Jesus, United By Thy Grace
Postlude: March – S. Scotson Clarke
Worship Service Information
Join us for Worship this Sunday!
If you are planning on attending our services please remember the following:

  • Masks are now optional for those that are fully vaccinated.
  • Social distancing is still encouraged. Families may sit together, but please leave three seats between you and others not in your family.
  • If you are feverish or not feeling well, we ask that you stay home and join us online on our Facebook and YouTube channels.

At this time, you may only enter the Life Center through the main entrance facing the Fellowship Hall courtyard. All other exterior doors will be locked. We'll see you Sunday!
Praise in the Park
Join us this Sunday at 8 am for Praise in the Park! Open to everyone, this is your opportunity to join us for "in person" worship as we enjoy God's scenery from the lawn of the beautiful Gilchrist Park Pavilion, weather permitting of course. Rainy season is here! If it is, or has been raining, Praise in the Park will relocate to our historic Sanctuary. Time may not always be sufficient to get the word out, so in case of inclement weather, please proceed to the Sanctuary.

Please plan to bring your lawn chairs and/or blankets, and, yes, we will be asking you to practice social distancing. Don't forget to join our "Praise in the Park" group on our Church App! As a reminder, our outside services are always subject to change due to the weather. Please make sure you are connected with us through the app, our email list or social media to receive our updates concerning schedule changes. See you Sunday for Praise in the Park!
Online Worship Hosts Needed
Do you have a smart phone or computer?
We are in need of volunteers to serve as hosts during our online Sunday Worship Services. Hosts are responsible to greet our viewers, answer questions and provide information about our church app, online giving and prayer team in the chat area -- both on our Facebook broadcast and YouTube channel. Training will be provided. If you are interested, please call Gail at 941-639-3842.
2021 Bible Reading Schedules
We want to encourage you to join us as we once again read through the Bible. Reading calendars are available for download and printing on our website, whatis1st.com/bible2021, and hard copies are available in the Life Center. Start your new year off right by committing to read God's Word!
Office Hours: Monday - Thursday, 9am - 4pm
(941) 639-3842 | www.whatis1st.com