First United Methodist Church of St. Cloud
September 2021 Newsletter
From the Desk of Pastor Cathy

Dear friends!

September means that we are back from trips (vacations, beach, mountains, etc.), we are Back-to-School and are looking forward to our Fall activities and new learning opportunities. Hopefully, we are looking forward to some cooler temperatures!

Our new sermon series is called Revival: Faith as Wesley Lived It by Rev. Adam Hamilton. Rev. Hamilton has traveled to England to visit the historic places of our Methodist heritage. Each week we will learn the genius and passion of John Wesley and the impact and difference Methodists made in England. We will particularly focus on small groups and the growth and blessings that come from them. I believe you will enjoy this series! John Wesley was a master at organizing small groups. I hope you will be a part of one of our small groups to grow and learn! Hebrews 10:24 says, “Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another…” Hebrews 10:24(NIV)

We had the BEST Back to School Bash and First Day Back for our Preschool children! These wonderful events remind us that we continue to share the love and gospel of Jesus Christ with the next generation. We had 18 youth and children and 13 adults for our Back-to-School Bash. I am so thankful for Rijean and Amber Smith for making that event happen!

We welcomed back 52 preschool children on Wednesday, August 18th. We are so blessed to have our wonderful Director, Denise Dunn, and the teachers and assistants in our First Church Preschool. The day before, Barbara Watson and Judy Schmidt, two of our Preschool Committee members, stuffed “A Prayer for Back to School” and Hershey kisses in a bag for our parents! Please keep our children and Preschool staff in your prayers for a safe and joy filled year!

We are thrilled to let you know that our Youth and Children will be meeting on Wednesdays from 6:00-7:30PM every week starting September 8th. ALSO, once a month, on the second Wednesday, we will have a church-wide dinner outside on the grounds. With the increase in COVID cases, the desire to come together for fellowship and food, we chose this plan. The meals (hamburgers, hot dogs) will be cooked, served in TO-GO containers and we will eat and fellowship outside. We hope to add activities and studies for our adults, too!

I am like you, ready to go, reach out and grow but there is the concern about health and staying safe, so we will continue to monitor the new cases and update our guidelines as necessary. 

I am blessed to be your Pastor!

Back to School Bash
Working on Welcome Bags
Barbara Walters, Denise Dunn, and Judy Schmidt
Enjoying Treats from the Kona Ice Food Truck
First Day Back to Preschool
New Members
First United Methodist Church of St. Cloud has recently been blessed by several families joining the church.
Ron and Diana Walls
Wayne and Dianne Schoolfield
Alan and Ann Leavens
Introducing Caleb Meyer
Have you ever wondered about that nice young man who is always helping others? Wonder no more! His name is Caleb Meyer. He has been lending a helping hand at First Church St. Cloud for over ten years. 

Caleb grew up in St. Cloud in a loving family with 18 siblings. Yes, there were 19 children who were all adopted by his devoted and loving parents. Caleb was born in North Carolina but his family moved to New Jersey shortly after his birth. His family then relocated to St. Cloud, Florida when he was very young. Caleb still resides with his parents in St. Cloud.

Caleb is a role model for all of us as he volunteers his time in various capacities. Not only does he volunteer as the “head” usher at First Church, but he also enjoys working at the St. Cloud Food Pantry and can be found there most days. He even assists weekly with preparing and serving meals for the homeless and less fortunate at our church on Sunday afternoons along with the other Elmer’s Kitchen volunteers. He said that he is devoted to helping this ministry and even volunteers when it isn’t even our church’s turn. Another ministry that he supports and helps regularly is A Place for Grace Ministries which has the Thrift Store on Florida Avenue. 

When Caleb isn’t volunteering, you can find him at Crabby Bills at the lakefront in St. Cloud where he has been working for the past nine years. Some of his responsibilities include opening the restaurant, setting up, and bussing tables.

When asked what he likes most about First United Methodist Church of St. Cloud he said, “Everything!” As you can see Caleb is an amazing young man. Next time you see him, let him know how much he is appreciated for all that he does for our church and community.
On August 29 Pat Rudd celebrated her 100th birthday at a reception honoring her hosted by her grandchildren at the St. Cloud Community Center. Pat was present at the 10:00 Blended Service where she was recognized with a birthday song and given a beautiful orchid.
Pat Rudd with Pastor Cathy when she was given an orchid plant from the church
Red roses given to Pat by her
great grandchildren
Upcoming Mission Trip
A new Mission Team at First Church is being formed. Plans are underway for a mission trip to the Mobile Bay area. The team will be working on interior rebuilding and finishing of homes and businesses that were damaged in prior hurricanes. They will be leaving on Sunday, October 3 and return on October 8. If you are interested in joining this active team of volunteers please contact Larry Finch at 407-466-8103.
Mark Your Calendar
Upcoming Events

  • September 2 - Trustee's Meeting ~ 7:00 PM (Virtual)
  • September 6 - Labor Day - Church office Closed
  • September 8 - Church-wide Dinner (outdoors) ~ 5:15 PM
  • September 9 - Finance Committee Meeting ~ 7:00 PM
  • September 16 - Church Council Meeting ~ 7:00 PM (Virtual)
  • September 22 - First Day of Autumn
  • October 3 - 8 - Mission trip to the Mobile Bay area

Regular Meetings
  • Traditional Worship Service ~ 8:30 AM
  • Serendipity Sunday School Class ~ 9:00 AM
  • Blended Worship Service ~ 10:00 AM
  • Elmer's Kitchen ~ 2:00 - 3:00 PM (FUMCSC - 5th Sunday)
  • Power Hour Prayer Group ~ 8:30 AM
  • Seasoned Souls ~ 1st & 3rd Monday, 10:00 AM
  • Smooth Stones Bible Study ~ 2nd & 4th Monday, 10:00 AM
  • Boy Scouts ~ 7:00 PM
  • Bags of Love ~ 9 to 11 AM (Hot Breakfast to Go)
  • Online Bible Study with Pastor Cathy - 7:00 PM; Please join using your computer, tablet or smartphone. with passcode 623978
  • Cub Scouts ~ 7:00 PM
  • Church-wide dinner served outdoors (2nd Wednesday) ~ starting at 5:15 PM
  • Youth Group ~ 6:00 - 7:30 PM
  • Children's program ~ 6:00 - 7:30 PM
  • Adult Choir Rehearsal ~ 7:00 PM
Thursday: Bags of Love ~ 9 to 11 AM (Hot Burritos to Go)

Please Note: Our Church Services can be viewed on
FACEBOOK LIVE on our FB page or later on our YouTube
Channel. Click on the links at the bottom of this newsletter to
find these videos.
Please note: The above copy of the calendar does not include the Thursday Church Meetings for the month. See above under upcoming events for corrections if you are on any of these committees.
Children's Choir to Pause
by Lou Murray, Music Director

First the bad news: with a sharp spike in coronavirus cases, and the beginning of a new school year for children, we must pause our Children's Choir for the time being. Just as it seemed the pandemic was winding down, here came a fresh threat. So, unless we can think of a way to perform safely, Children's Choir will not meet until the pandemic is past.

But, here's some good news: our hand-bell choir, led by Diana Walls will be back this fall, and you can all look forward to a performance once a month. I'm always open to comments or suggestions about the music.

Thanks for listening!

School is now in session! Our first day of classes was a tremendous success as we welcomed 52 children for another great school year. God has truly blessed us with awesome children and families! Parents and students were greeted by Pastor Cathy. Our Preschool Committee met the day before classes to put together Welcome Bags for the parents on the first day. The bags consisted of a Back-to-School Prayer and some Hershey’s Hugs & Kisses. The bags were given to the parents upon exiting by Ms. Barbara. Committee members include Martha Anderson, Judy Schmidt, Barbara Watson, and Pastor Cathy. Many thanks to our volunteers!

Our Preschool (3 years old) program is currently full. We have just a few openings left in our VPK Pre-K class which is offered for children who are age 4 by September 1st. This class is free with the VPK Certificate of Eligibility. Additional information regarding our programs can be found on our website at For more pictures, visit our Facebook page at


Ms. Denise

Creating with Ms. Edith
Temperature Checks
Learning with Ms. Sue
Outdoor Play
Exploring with Ms. Judi
Indoor Play
Back to School Bash!
The children and youth of our church celebrated the beginning of the new school year with a Back-to-School Bash on Sunday, August 15 after the 10:00 AM service. There was food, a water slide, a snow cone food truck, and lots of fun!
Bible Presentation
We are so excited that our children and youth ministries are growing. On Sunday, August 29, 2021 we presented eight students with their own Bible. Traditionally Bibles are presented to children who are in the third grade but several of our students had not received a Bible so we included all children third and up who had not received a Bible from the church. Elementary school aged students were presented with the Deep Blue Bible while the older students received the Teen Study Bible.

Joelle and Jahkeema King received their Bibles at the Traditional 8:30 Service.
(Picture includes their parents and younger sibling.)
At the Blended 10:00 Service Pastor Cathy is pictured with Blake Scarlett, Mackenzie Deatherage, Layla Revels, Mason Ash, Lucy Knowles, and Jessica Clement after they were presented with their Bibles.
Children and Youth Meeting on Wednesdays
Starting on September 8th our children's ministries and youth group will be meeting upstairs of the Family Life Center in the newly renovated children's and youth rooms starting at 6:00 until 7:30 each week. If you know of any children or youth who would like to join these activities please contact the church office to learn more.
Your safety is our No. 1 concern!
We will continue to monitor the latest guidance from the CDC and new COVID cases. We will re-evaluate in-person worship should anything change. For now, we ask that you continue to practice these essential guidelines:
  • Please maintain at least six feet of social distance. Family units may sit together.
  • Masks or cloth face coverings are required at all times. 
  • Monitor your symptoms - Stay home if you feel sick.
  • Every other pew will be closed.
  • No congregational singing.
  • No passing of the offering.
  • There will be no meet and greet.
  • Ushers will seat and dismiss you.
  • Deposit your attendance sheet and offering in the basket by the door when you leave.
  • Please dispose of your bulletin as you leave or take it with you to reference upcoming events.
  • The Sanctuary is sanitized after every worship service.
September Birthdays & Anniversaries
Sept. 3 - Joyce Perkins
Sept. 10 - Anne Hughes
Sept. 11 - Dona O'Berry
Sept.16 - Jean Leonardy
Sept. 17 - Ruth Upthegrove
Sept. 17 - John Fry
Sept. 23 - Brooke Walther
Sept. 25 - Jessica Clement
Sept. 26 - Samantha Kirsch
Sept. 29 - Annie Farley
September 25 - Rob and Katie Dixon

Note: If you know of someone whom we have missed in this birthday or anniversary list please notify the Church Office.

The Word of Our Lord
Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
Ephesians 4:31-32
Staff Members & Email Addresses

Pastor: Cathy C. Thacker -
Music Director: Lou Murray -
Office: Joyce Perkins -
Admin. Asst.: James Wise -
Youth Pastors: Joe & Amy Allison -
Youth Leader: Amber Smith -
Children's Ministry Director: Rijean Smith -
Preschool Director: Denise Dunn -
Lay Leader & Sound Engineer: Bob Nye -
Blended Service Worship Leader: Scott Weyrauch -

First United Methodist Church of St. Cloud
1000 Ohio Ave., St. Cloud, FL 34769