A Weekly Newsletter of The First United Methodist Church
Friday, October 28
Sunday Worship
Reformation Sunday
Message: Rev. Dr. Mark A. Fowler
Text:  Habakkuk 1:1-4, 2:1-4
Music: Chancel Choir, Handbell Choir
Worship: 9 a.m. & 10:30 a.m., Sanctuary
Coffee Fellowship: 8:30 - 10:30 a.m.
... On the Election
Rev. Dr. Mark A. Fowler

In a highly contentious and bruising election cycle it is easy to become ensnared in the rhetoric of division, apocalyptic scenarios and brutal condemnations. Reports of a majority of surveyed citizens finding this election cycle deeply disturbing to their personal psyche and spirit are well over 50%. Tina and I have sought to provide a pastoral space for those who desire a place of conversation and care. Rev. Paul Melrose has agreed to convene the conversation in the Chapel at 11:30 a.m. on Sunday, October 30. We are grateful for his partnership in this ministry.
At the same time, I would invite us to be mindful of the great moment an election presents us.  My sermon on Sunday will be rooted in the dramatic shift in both religious life and political expectations that stem from the Reformation. The idea of the salvation of God "by faith alone through scripture alone" flowered in civil society as self-governance. It can be argued that a government "by the people" is a fruit of the seed of Reformation. Methodism in the United States was formed in 1784, the first denomination of the new country. To this day, embedded in our church's Articles of Religion is a declaration that "The President, the Congress, the General Assemblies, the governors and the councils of state, as the delegates of the people are the rulers of the United States of America according to the division of power made to them by the Constitution..."
In the fragile beginnings of this democracy, the Methodists were foundational supporters of this experiment in self-government. To this day The United Methodist Church has recognized in its Social Principles that "the strength of a political system depends on the full and willing participation of its citizens...determined by exercise of the right to vote guaranteed to all adult citizens."
We are blessed to utilize the freedom we are given by God and exercised in our civil participation!
Election Survival Forum
Sunday, October 30, 11:30 a.m., Chapel

If you are concerned about the divisive tone of the current political climate, this forum will provide a space for sharing your feelings and listening to others who may have similar or different points of view and/or experience. Rev. Paul Melrose will facilitate the discussion and will offer suggestions of ways to cope.

" Leaping Forward "

"Rejoice! Rejoice! And again I say, Rejoice!" We are blessed with an abundant harvest at First Church.

Last G et to Know Mark Gatherings Scheduled
November 6, 7 & 14 (times vary)

These get-togethers are a chance to connect and get acquainted with our new lead pastor, Rev. Mark Fowler, and to share ideas about the church. Mark will lead these discussions held in church members' homes or at the church.
Help Us Reach CROP Walk Goal

We're almost there! Our team has $875 pledged toward our goal of $1,000. Please help families in Dane County by supporting this effort. You can donate online, drop a check in the offering plate on Sunday, or send a check to the church.
Make checks out to "First United Methodist Church" and note "Crop Walk" on the Memo line.  
Leaping Forward Blog

As we move through our stewardship time, Pastor Mark shares in greater detail what is behind our " Leaping Forward" appeal. 
Sunday Morning Specials:
Halloween UNICEF Carnival
Sunday, October 30, Children's Sunday School
Kids, come dressed as a superhero or other friendly character. Fun games and spooky treats! Remember to bring your UNICEF collections this week. Adults, look for the UNICEF pumpkins in the Narthex and Fellowship Hall and add your donations too!

Date Night: Grandparents On Call
Sunday, November 6, 5-8 p.m., Fellowship Hall 
Leave your kid(s) at the church while you recharge. RSVP by Sunday, October 30. 
Look for the signup table in the Octagon.
Youth Power!
Sign up Sunday morning, Octagon
Learn about the variety of helpful, free services our youth can provide.  Contact Seth >  or call 608-338-0158
Newcomer Gathering
Sunday, October 30, 10:30 a.m., Room 201
Join us for an informal gathering to learn more about First Church and its mission and ministries. Please contact Mary Hasheider if you are interested in attending.  Contact Mary >  or call 608-338-0107
Young Adults Hike at Devil's Lake
Sunday, October 30, 10:30 a.m.
Grilling out and hiking together through an autumn afternoon. What could be nicer?  More Details > 
Young Adult Discussion Group: The Visioning Session
Tuesday, November 7, 7 p.m., Room 214
We're moving our discussion to the church this week to discuss the exciting possibilities for this group. Join us with your great ideas! More Info>
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Madison, WI 53703