The Torch Be Yours Concert is this Sunday!
First Church News & Updates - April 27, 2018

Rev. Dr. Beverly Jones
Rev. Dr. Beverly Jones
It was so nice to see Rev. Dr. Beverly Jones in the church office for a little while on Thursday. She also visited with the Heart to Heart Quilters who presented her with a beautiful quilt in appreciation of her ministry here at First Church. Beverly says she is well rested and feeling much better. A few weeks lakeside can always make things better!

A reminder for this weekend...the City of Round Rock has announced road closures in order to facilitate the move of the historic Stagecoach Inn to a new location. The majority of the move will take place Sunday, when the building will cross RM 620 and follow Chisholm Trail to its new location at the future Bathing Beach Park along historic Chisholm Trail. Starting at approximately 8 am, the intersection of RM 620 and Chisholm Trail will be completely closed to traffic, and will remain closed until the building crosses the intersection, which is expected to last an estimated 15-30 minutes. The traffic signals at the intersection be removed during this process to allow the building to clear the intersection, and traffic at the intersection will be managed by officers for another 1 to 2.5 hours while the signals are re-installed. Motorists are advised to find alternate routes Sunday morning in order to avoid delays.  Click here for complete details...

Enjoy this First Church News!
This week in worship...
Sermon Series

Sermon Title: " Grace Upon Grace"
Scripture:  John 15:5-11, Galatians 5:22-23

Dr. Will Cotton will preach at the 8:30, 9:40 and 11 am worship services. Liturgists include Rev. Van Dickens at 8:30 am and Rev. Barb Hart at 11 am. The Mission Moment will highlight Vacation Bible School.

The Alleluia Chorus Children's Choir will sing at the sanctuary services.

The Source , our weekly devotional guide, is available on the church website . Please join us in worship this weekend...Sunday at 8:30 am (Sanctuary), 9:40 am (Family Life Center) or 11 am (Sanctuary).
This Sunday... The Torch Be Yours Concert
Torch Be Yours Concert
This Sunday, April 29. We expect a full house. Come early...doors open at 4:30 pm!
During this concert, the combined voices of the Round Rock Community Choir and First United Methodist Church will take the audience back in time to the songs of World Wars I & II, with a musical salute to our soldiers, celebrating the patriotism that swelled in our hearts, and expressing devastating grief when many did not return home. From the intrepid battlefields of Europe and the Pacific, Vietnam, the Persian Gulf, and Iraq, we will remember the sacrifice of all those who protected our dreams and our realities.
Listeners will delight to the swinging rhythms of favorites from the fabulous 40's and reflect on the deeper truths woven into well-known spirituals and folk songs from the past century. The spirit of this music will evoke feelings of hope and the promise of better tomorrows.

Don't miss this opportunity to hear the concert we will perform in June as musical ambassadors to the D-Day Commemoration Ceremonies in Normandy and Paris, France.
Words from Will...
There are some opportunities that come our way only once. Soon members of the First Church Choral Union and Round Rock Community Choir will join together to be the feature choir for the 73rd anniversary celebration of D-Day in France. They will participate in a parade in Normandy, sing in concert at two cemeteries, and sing in a cathedral in Paris. That is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!

It may be that we go on a dream vacation or share in the accomplishment of a loved one or complete one
Dr. Will Cotton
Dr. Will Cotton
of the items on our bucket list. Once-in-a lifetime. I could mention that there are some that are more than once but just as powerful...the birth of a child or grandchild, sharing life-transforming love.

It's easy to forget that as a church we are part of lots of once-in-a-lifetime experiences that leave us or someone else forever changed. During the last two Sunday evenings, we celebrated baptism and confirmation of our youth. Their baptism, in which they celebrated that love which cleanses and redeems them, happens once in a lifetime. In confirmation, when they say their "yes" to following Christ, it is powerful once-in-a-lifetime decision that usually needs one or more booster decisions (follow-up yeses to keep us spiritually alive and growing). We celebrate those holy moments in nearly every worship service...and for some it can be a once-in-a-lifetime experience in which they experience the presence of God as never before. The same can happen on a mission trip or at a weekend event like Walk to Emmaus or Kairos. I never grow tired of seeing people have once-in-a-lifetime experiences with God. I hope the same is true for you. I do know this, if we are spiritually alert, we will see more of them than we will otherwise.

For me, that is what is at stake in our giving. We don't just pay electric bills, underwrite our staff salaries, maintain our facilities and do lots of great activities...we set the stage for life-transforming encounters with God. Tina and I have written our April tithe check, which includes an extra gift for our Spring Forward effort. Rather than counting it a burden, we count it a privilege, for this is the time of year when lives are touched and shaped in a powerful way...a way that for some will make a once-in-a-lifetime difference. We are making good progress. Let's bring this challenge to a great finish. Every gift matters, just as every person matters, including the ones we will touch through this effort.

Thank you for your generosity in the name of Christ. What a great congregation to serve!

Sincerely in Christ,
Will Cotton Signature
Dr. Will Cotton
Senior Pastor
Spotlight on...First Church Crafters "Spring Fling"
Craft Sale
Save the date for the First Church Crafters Spring Fling Craft Sale on May 6
First Church Crafters invite you to join us for our annual Spring Fling on Sunday, May 6, from 8:30 am to 12:30 pm in Bldg. 4/Payne Cottage. From beautiful jewelry to gorgeous crosses to colorful posies, we have something for everyone. Each and every creation has been crafted by loving and caring hands from recycled and repurposed items just for you. Since all proceeds from our sale go to local, national and worldwide missions, we know that you will want to take a few minutes to browse and shop with us. We hope to see you there!
Ministry Focus
Worship Arts Ministry
POPS Concert

Children's Ministry
We need you to be a VBS Crew Leader!
If you have already volunteered and registered for Shipwrecked VBS in June 2018,  thank you! If you are able to volunteer this summer but have not registered, please register today. In addition to being a fun week in the summer, VBS is a mission! We have opened registration for Kindergarten-4th Grade and the 5th Grade Mission program. Only preschool age children are required to have a volunteer. However, the more adult volunteers we have, the more children we can serve. We would love to have 200 children both weeks! Can you help make this goal a reality? Click here for more information and to volunteer!
More from Children's Ministry...
Sunday, May 6: Kids for Christ Council, 11:15 am in Bldg. 5-122.
Sunday, May 6: J-Team Splish Splash Party, 2 pm, off campus.
Student Ministry
Welcome Party

Calling all 5th - 8th graders...Welcome Party May 11-12
The end of the school year is quickly approaching, and that means that it is almost time to welcome our new middle school students! All of our current Middle School students as well as current 5th graders are invited to this fun night of celebration to officially welcome the 5th graders into Student Ministries. The overnight party starts in the Family Life Center at 9:30 pm. After worship, games, fellowship and fun, the students will head over to Spare Time (transportation provided by RRISD buses) for a night full of pizza, soda, laser tag, mini golf, bowling, video games and sleep deprived fun. We will return back to the church for Round Rock donuts, just in time for you to pick up your students at 6:00 am. Additionally, parents of 5th graders...there is a parent meeting on Sunday, April 29 at 11 am in Bldg. 5-223/224 to give you more information about Student Ministries. Click here for more info and to register for the Welcome Party.
Summer Mission Trips

Summer Mission Trips are coming up.
High School students will be travelling to Baton Rouge, LA, June 10 - 16, and partnering with  Revive 225 to provide assistance to those that were impacted by the Red River flooding. Deposits are due by May 1.

Middle School students will be going to Houston, July 8 - 13, to continue our church's Hurricane Harvey response. Depots are due June 1.  Click here for all the details and to sign up.
More from Student Ministries...  
Adult Ministry
Women's Book Club
Women's Book Club meets next Tuesday, May 1
Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates by Brian Kilmeade and Don Yaeger. Per General Stanley McChrystal, "Reads like a fast-paced thriller but is actually a thoughtful account of America's first foray into what has become a complex part of the world." This book brings history to life, and there are applications to the present. June selection: The Last Painting of Sara De Vos: A Novel by Dominic Smith.
Love Wins Book Study
New study begins May 13
In his book, Love Wins, Rob Bell addresses one of the most controversial issues of faith - the afterlife, arguing, would a loving God send people to eternal torment forever? Bell puts hell on trial and his message is decidedly hopeful - eternal life doesn't start when we die; it starts right now. Join our discussions, longings, desires, and insights as we explore questions about "who God is and what God is like and how Jesus fits into any of it." 
Where/When: Sundays at 9:40 am, Bldg. 5-136. Contact Debby Utley ( for information. All are welcome. No registration needed. Just come! 
More from Adult Ministries...  
Caring Ministry
Church Mouse
What is the Church Mouse Program?
The Church Mouse Program is a program in which families in the church adopt college students. They cover them in prayer, send encouraging notes and little gifts. Currently, our college kids are starting to prep for finals and the Church Mouse Program wants to make sure that each student receives a gift card. A great way to participate in the encouragement and blessing of these students is to contribute to funding these gift cards. Click here to participate.
Compassion Fatigue
Compassion: The Good, the Bad & the Ugly
Our Stephen Ministry, in partnership with the Friends and Seekers Sunday School Class, will host this session on Sunday, May 6, at 9:40 am in Bldg. 5-232.

Conrad Sloat, First Church member and Licensed Counselor will be leading this one-time class for those feeling the fatigue of compassionate caregiving. It is also for those feeling overwhelmed by recent natural disasters and current diagnoses of family and friends. All are welcome. 
MIssion Focus
Heifer Project

Children's Ministry Mission for Spring is the Heifer Project
For the entire spring semester, all children's Sunday School offerings are going toward the purchase of livestock for needy families. Each class selected a certain animal as their goal to purchase. Heifer International puts faith into action with its time proven principle of passing on the gift. Every family who receives livestock agrees to pass on one or more of its animal's offspring to another neighbor in need.
Heifer Update
4.22.2018 Update:  The fifth graders achieved their $500 goal to purchase a heifer. They set a new goal to purchase bees and met that goal in the same day. Congratulations fifth graders!  Second graders are now only $35.64 away from their goal of $300 for three schools of fish! 
A Finance Snapshot...
Spring Forward
  • Year to date Revenue: $679,001.65
  • Year to date Expenses: $713,828.26
  • 2018 Budget: $2,481,067.63
Don't forget about the $pring Forward Challenge. If you can give a little extra in April to keep the momemtum going, it would be greatly appreciated!
This week at First Church
Saturday, April 28

Sunday, April 29
  • 8:30, 9:40 and 11 am - Worship services
  • 8:45 am - LifeGroup-Be Awesome, Bldg. 4- Rm 2
  • 11:00 am - Life Groups, Bldg. 5-124, 148, & 222
  • 11:00 am - 5th Grade Parents meeting, Bldg. 5-223/224
  • 3:00 pm - Eagle Scout Court of Honor, Bldg. 5-232/234
  • 5:00 pm - The Torch Be Yours Concert, Sanctuary
  • 6-8 pm - Fusion , Bldg. 3/FLC 
Monday, April 30
  • 4:00 pm - Kids of the Kingdom Bells rehearsal, Bldg. 3/FLC
  • 6:30 pm - Vision Core Team, Bldg. 5-127
  • 7:00 pm - Boy Scout Troop #157, Bldg. 3/FLC
Tuesday, May 1
  • 8:30 am - UMM Tuesday Breakfast group, Ju├írez Restaurant on South Mays
  • 9:30 am - Women's Bible Study, Bldg. 5-122
  • 9:30 am - First Church Crafters, 115 Winsted
  • 11:30 am - Women's Book Club, Bldg. 5-127
  • 12:30 pm - Brown Bag Theologians, Bldg. 5-124
  • 6:00 pm - Outreach Team, Bldg. 5-136
  • 6:30 pm - Stephen Ministry Supervision, Bldg. 5-123,126, 127
  • 7:00 pm - Military First Responders Network, Bldg. 5-124
  • 7:00 pm - Council Oak Bells, Bldg. 3/FLC
Wednesday, May 2
  • 6:15 am - UMM Breakfast, fellowship, & devotional, FLC/Bldg.3
  • 9:30 am - Disciple Bible Studies, Bldg. 5
  • 9:30 am - Women's Bible Study, Bldg. 5-232/234
  • 10:00 am - Round Rock Helpers, Bldg. 4-2
  • 5:00 pm - Revelation Ringers Tins, FLC-East Cry Room
  • 5:00 pm - Revelation Ringers Bronze, North Suite
  • 6:00 pm - HeartSong Choir rehearsal, South Suite
  • 6:30 pm - Disciple Bible Studies, Bldg. 5
  • 6:30 pm - Women's Bible Study, Bldg. 5-232/234
  • 7:00 pm - Jubilation Bell rehearsal, North Suite
  • 7:15 pm - Chancel Choir rehearsal, South Suite
Thursday, May 3
  • 9:30 am - Heart to Heart Quilters, 115 Winsted
Friday, May 4
  • 8:30 am - Round Rock Helpers, Bldg. 4-2
  • 9:30 am - Ministry of Motherhood (MOM), Playground area
  • 8:00 pm - Narcotics Anonymous-Right Stuff, Bldg. 4
Saturday, May 5
  • 5:30 pm - What a Feeling! POPS 2018 Concert, Bldg. 3/FLC

There is always a lot going on at First Church. Visit the website, find us on Facebook or Twitter, and check the  Church Calendar so you don't miss out! 
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