March 1, 2019
Continuing Our Mission
 Thank you for your prayers for the delegates and for their significant work at the General Conference in St. Louis that concluded on February 26.  The Council of Bishops called this special session to receive and act on a report from the Commission on a Way Forward regarding human sexuality and the unity of the church.
Although there was wide-ranging debate, I understand that there were no substantive changes to The Book of Discipline in these areas.
To learn more about the recent General Conference, I invite you to attend a Heritage District meeting this Sunday, March 3, at 3:00 p.m. at Wake Forest United Methodist Church in Wake Forest.  A couple of the members of the NC Conference delegation will share about the recent conference.
First United Methodist Church will continue to focus on its important mission to know Christ and to make Christ known.  We will help children, youth and adults live as followers of Jesus Christ in Rocky Mount and beyond - as we have since our beginning in 1856.  In response to God's abundant love for us, we will love God and love and welcome all our neighbors.
We are making significant progress in providing worship that is engaging, biblical and relevant to everyday life, in nurturing students and their families in helpful ways, in substantial involvement in local and overseas missions, and in other areas.  It is a privilege for me to be involved in this life-transforming ministry with you.  Thank you for your partnership in this mission.
~ Jim

 Heritage District Gathering Following GC 2019
March 3
3 p.m.
Wake Forest UMC 
905 S. Main Street
Wake Forest, NC  27587

Please join the Heritage District Gathering following the called General Conference on March 3.  This gathering will last no more than one hour, and anyone is welcome to attend.
Members of the NC Conference delegation will be at this location to review what happened at General Conference and discuss the impact on the NC Conference.

Ash Wednesday Worship Planned
for March 6

A worship service of reflection, repentance and prayer is planned for Ash Wednesday, March 6, at 6:30 p.m. in the fellowship hall.  Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent.  On this day, we confront our own mortality and confess our sin before God within the community of faith.  The name "Ash Wednesday" was given by Pope Urban II in 1099.  It came from the practice of sprinkling ashes on the heads of worshipers.  
The Heart Of The Cross

A One-Woman Passion Play 
with Olivia Woodford

Sunday, April 7 
One Worship Service
10:00-11:30 a.m. 
The Dunn Center @ NC Wesleyan College

Scripture comes to life with this inspiring script and performance.  The play brings to life the spirit of Easter through the love, faith, and triumph of the gospel women as they each experience a personal awakening that brings them closer to Jesus.  Pastor Jim Bell said about the play, "The characters Olivia portrays are so alive!  The variety of emotions they express make them so real.  We were transported back in time by her outstanding writing and acting skills.  She has an undeniable ability to create a place and mood for the audience.  I found myself riveted to the portrayals."

Our worship service will be held at The Dunn Center on April 7 instead of our church.  Child care will be provided as usual. 
Lenten Sermon Series: 
"Practical Christian Living - 
the letter of James for Today"
March 10-April 14, 2019
Frequently during Lent, we focus on spiritual disciplines that can bring us closer to God. This Lenten series focuses on the letter of James and its very practical, down-to-earth message.  This letter is a "how-to-do-it manual" for those who deeply desire to know how we can follow Jesus as Lord day by day.  We will learn how to develop perseverance, how to obtain wisdom, how to express our faith, and how to communicate.  By nurturing an active and vital Christian lifestyle, we grow in our relationship with God and in our relationship with others.
March 10:  "Building Perseverance"
James 1:2-12
When we persevere during trials, our faith in God deepens.
March 17:  "A Dead Faith?"
James 2:8-17
As we trust in Jesus as Lord, we honor him in what we think, say and do.
March 24:  "Conversing Like Jesus"
James 3:1-12
We follow Jesus when our words are true, gracious, respectful, and civil.
March 31: "Wisdom from Above"
James 3:13-4:3, 7-8a
People who maintain their relationship with God demonstrate peace, mercy and fruitfulness.
April 7:  "The Heart of the Cross"
A One-Woman Passion Play
with Olivia Woodford
One worship service - 10:00-11:30 a.m.
The Dunn Center @ NC Wesleyan College
April 14: "Living Your Faith"
Palm Sunday
Confirmation at 11 a.m.
James 1:17-27
We respond to God's generosity as we act on our faith.
Worship themes are prayerfully and carefully selected. 
Make regular worship a priority in your life. 

 Thank you

To our First Church family, 
Becky, our family and I appreciate your cards, prayers and condolences following the loss of my mother.  We are truly grateful to be part of such a caring community.

~Bill Wood
Mid-Week Lenten Worship

You are invited to join us for mid-week Lenten worship services beginning Wednesday, March 13, at 12 noon, followed by a light meal.  This year FUMC will be partnering with Englewood United Methodist Church, Lakeside Baptist Church and St. Andrews Episcopal Church.  Please see the schedule below:

March 13
Host Church:  Englewood UMC
Guest Pastor:  Rev. Matt Seaton
March 20
Host Church:  Saint Andrews Episcopal
Guest Pastor:  Rev. Jim Bell
March 27
Host Church:  First UMC
Guest Pastor:  Rev. George Greer
April 3
Host Church:  Lakeside Baptist Church
Guest Pastor:  Rev. Savanna Becker
April 10
Host Church:  First UMC
Guest Pastor:  Rev. Terry Williams
April 17
Host Church:  Englewood UMC
Guest Pastor:  Rev. Jody Wright

We hope to see you at these services!

Daylight Saving Time Begins
Sunday, March 10
FUMC Preschool Sunday - March 10

FUMC Preschool will celebrate Preschool Sunday during the
 9 a.m. worship service on March 10. 
Reception Welcoming
T. J. Shirley & Family
Sunday, March 10
~10 a.m.
The Hub

(immediately following the 9 a.m. worship service)

Be sure to stop by and say "Hello!" and "Welcome!" 
to T. J., Maggie,  Brooke (7 years old), and Allison (4 months old).

Food Bag Ministry

"I was hungry and you gave me 
something to eat."  ~ Matthew 25:35
We will be distributing food to those in need on Tuesday, March 12
2-3 p.m.   You can help by picking up a bag and filling it or by donating money.  Please write "Food Bags"  on your check, and the money will be used to purchase food.  Thank you for helping those less fortunate.
         Free Family Bowling
March 17
3-5 p.m.
The Bowling Center

Prize for most decorated family. 

Or sign up on the bulletin board outside of the welcome center.
UMCOR Sunday - March 31

We will receive donations to support UMCOR Sunday March 31.  Because you give, the United Methodist Church's compassionate response to human suffering continues.  Your gift allows UMCOR to act as the arms and legs of Christ's church, moving toward the most vulnerable in their darkest days.  Together we are assisting those impacted by crisis or chronic need.  It's your generous giving that allows The United Methodist Church to respond when disaster strikes.  Please prayerfully consider supporting this important ministry. 
Volunteer Opportunities

Your Choice Pregnancy Resource Center is a Christian non-profit organization seeking to assist individuals facing the challenges of an unexpected pregnancy, to minister to the emotional and spiritual needs resulting from an abortion or miscarriage, and to promote sexual abstinence until marriage.  The following are opportunities to volunteer:

Client Advocate at the Center OR on the Mobile Unit
STD Screening Nurse
Learn 2 Earn Instructor
Baby Boutique Organizer
Baby Care/Parenting Instructor
Men's Ministry Fatherhood Instructor

Volunteers are required to complete volunteer basic training.  Training dates are:  

Monday, March 25 - 5:30-9 p.m.
Tuesday, March 26 - 5:30-9 p.m.
Thursday, March 28 - 5:30-9 p.m.

Please call Wendy at 252-446-2273 or email for an application.  Completed applications are requested before March 7, 2019.  An application and interview is required prior to training.

Opportunities not requiring basic volunteer training include:  Special Projects Volunteer, Church Liaison, and Male Security Guard.  For more information:

Stephen Ministers

Please continue to pray for wisdom and discernment for our 
Stephen Ministers in their care-giving relationships.

There have been some busy hands over the past couple of weeks trying to show some neighborly love during the Valentine season.

Our students of The Well started the week of  Valentine's Day by mailing out valentines to homebound friends and cancer-fighting pals. They also spent some time building "sleep friends" during our own version of Build-A-Bear Workshop. We're giving them to our local Emergency Response Teams to gift to kids in times of crisis situations. Our teenagers worked on chap stick gifts for our Monday Morning Community Breakfast brothers and sisters. Many couples spent time
with the Cauley's learning practical ways to live love within our marriages.    
Valentine's Day is over and the Couples' Retreat weekend has passed. Does that mean we stop talking about love? We hope not! Today is a great day to show some neighborly love. Who do you know that needs you to be that neighbor for them? Let the Holy Spirit prompt and empower you today to be just that...

"We love because He first loved us."
1 John 4:19

Confirmation Class

 Classes will be held during the Sunday School hour 
(10 a.m.) in the annex on March 10 and 17.  

The confirmation retreat will be held March 22-24  at Lake Junaluska, NC.  

Are you a football fan?  Are you inspired when God takes what appears to be an impossible situation and performs a miracle for his glory?  If so, then you are going to love this!
Our middle-school and high-school students will continue this study, based on the true story of "Woodlawn," during Sunday school.  The study points to the social and cultural struggles of today and how God's truths can be implemented in all circumstances!
We hope you can join us! 

Sunday, March 10
Rocky Mount Academy
2 p.m.
This will serve as a youth fundraiser, and we will need volunteers.


Sexual Integrity
Starting March 24, the youth group will begin a study on sexual integrity - the primary focus of "love life, love others."  This study will be centered around understanding God's design for sex, and how that there is much more to it than we think.   We want to make parents aware that this topic of discussion is coming up so that you will have plenty of time to ask questions or express any concerns regarding your student. 

Let Us Know...
We would love to come see your student participate!! Whether it be in sports, dance, plays, etc, we want to be there to support them!
Please send us a schedule to help know when!  
Email Daniel at

The Costa Rica mission trip will be here before you know it!
Now is a good time to make sure your PASSPORT is updated!
Further details and payment information to come soon!

Upcoming Schedule
Due to extra youth group events happening in the month of March, 
please notice our schedule alterations.
March 3
5-7 p.m. - Annex
March 10:
3-on-3 Basketball Tournament, starting at 2 p.m. (RMA)
NO normal youth meeting!
March 17:
Family/Youth Bowling - 3-5 p.m.
Rocky Mount Bowling Center
NO normal youth meeting!
March 24
5-7 p.m. - Annex
March 31
5-7 p.m. - Annex

Sunday Afternoons
5-7 p.m.
in the annex

Wednesday Mornings
6:30 a.m. 
at Chick-fil-A

Sunday School
10 a.m.
Rooms 35 & 36

FUMC Kindergarten and Preschool registration for the 2019-2020 school year is underway.  Preschool registration continues through this month for currently enrolled preschoolers and FUMC family as well as the public.  FUMC Preschool and Kindergarten offers:  Mother's Morning Out for babies (aged 2 months-1 year), Mother's Morning Out for toddlers/
preschoolers (aged 1-4 years), pre-school for 2- and 3-year-olds, pre-kindergarten for 
4-year-olds, and a state-certified, half-day kindergarten.  Please see Debbie Ray in the  Preschool/K office for a registration form or  call 977-0475.
FUMC is a happy place for children!!
Altar Flowers

If you are interested in placing flowers in the chapel, fellowship hall, or sanctuary on Sunday mornings during the year, please call the church office to request a date.  Please note the the cost of the arrangements:  chapel - $40; fellowship hall - $40; and sanctuary - $75.  Rosebuds (to celebrate births) are $10.

Williford Elementary School Book Drive
Williford Elementary would like your help in increasing their classroom libraries.  They are asking the community
to support this great initiative to provide books in the classrooms for their students. Reading at grade level is a great predictor of early childhood success.
Send books or monetary donations to:
Williford Elementary School
ATTN: Kimberly Fischer
801 Williford Street
Rocky Mount, NC 27803
by March 1.
Books may be purchased by using the Amazon Wish List.   See below:
Three copies of each book are requested for
Kindergarten and 1st grade!
Four copies of each book for 2nd grade!
A hard copy of the Book List is in the welcome center. 

If you have any questions or need more information,  please contact Kimberly Fischer at  or call 252-937-9030.
Thank you for helping Williford's K-2 classroom libraries  by donating books that increase
students' awareness of diversity  and celebrate cultures!
Military Prayer List

Prayers that God will continue to sustain our military families with courage and assurance.  Our thanks to the families who keep us updated (Velda Williford at 443-3005).  This listing is maintained as a service of the Stephen Ministry.
U.S. Army:   2nd Lieutenant Brooks Parisher, Fort Hood, Texas; Master Sergeant Michael McCumbee, Special Forces, Fort Bragg, NC; Major Gene Pursifull, Headquarters Battalion, 82nd Airborne, Fort Bragg, NC.   U.S.  Marines:   Lt. Col. Brian Davis, Commander-Marine Attack Squadron 542, Cherry Point, NC; Sergeant Andrew W. Sammons, Training Group, Fort Story at Little Creek, VA; RCT Valery Kleinfelt, 1st RtBN Co., Parris Island, SC.

Summer Camp 

Camps Don Lee, near New Bern; Rockfish, southeast of Fayetteville; and Chestnut Ridge, west of Durham, offer many wonderful summer camps for children and youth and also have retreat centers for families.  If you have any questions or would like to get a group together to attend one of these camps/retreats, please check out the links below:

Brochures are also available in The Hub.
Child Care Workers for March

3/3                9:00         Debra Boudreau, Lisa Perry
                     11:00         Heather Freeman, Wendy Wilson
3/10              9:00         Susan Chambless, Kelley Tyndall
                     11:00         Reilly Kerr, Debra West
3/17              9:00         Addie Jones, Katie Harrison
                     11:00         Bridget Rogers, Kitty Turner
3/24              9:00         Amy Luttrell, Lindy Williams
                     11:00         Fran Glover, Addie Jones
3/31             9:00          Mary Lew Benson, Heather Kim
                     11:00         Michelle Batchelor, Debbie Ray

Our Church Family


In Memory of Molly Boseman Bailey ( Property Endowment) by Mr. & Mrs. G. Whitfield McDowell, Dillon Coleman, Jane C. Murray and Mac & Diane Havard.

In Memory of Lillian Robinson Boney ( Food Bag Ministry) by Cassandra G. Weatherford. 


We welcome B radford H. Batchelor and Deneane M. Williams to our fellowship.  Brad is transferring from First Presbyterian Church in Rocky Mount, and Deneane M. Williams is transferring from Mt. Zion UNC in Garner, NC.  Garry and Virginia Ward are their fellowship friends. 
Attention Amazon Shoppers

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Simply bookmark the following link and support us every time you shop! 

Online Giving
Give anytime, anywhere! We welcome your online donation, where you can schedule your recurring donation or your one-time gift. It's fast and easy. Click here to get started or visit our website, .
Worship Services Available

Please be reminded that if you miss a worship service, you still have the opportunity to listen to any of the FUMC sermons via our Facebook page.
Every Day Grace TV
"To Know Christ and to Make Christ Known"
Contact Information
100 S. Church Street
Rocky Mount, NC 27804
252-977-0400 Office
252-977-0475 Preschool
252-977-1748 FAX

Church Office Hours: 
Mondays-Thursdays: 8:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m.
Fridays:  8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.


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