February 15, 2019

Over the last 6 weeks, I've been reminded again and again of the importance of presence as one of the United Methodist membership vows.  When you become a member of a United Methodist Church, you pledge yourself to support the local and global United Methodist Church by your prayers, presence, gifts, service, and witness.  I certainly experience all five weekly in our church, but presence often goes unnoticed until you receive the gift of someone else's presence.
My new family has recently experienced the gift of your presence in a variety of ways.  Many of you have made mention to me that you have kept us in your prayers.  Your prayers are a way of making God's presence available to us.  I can't think of a greater way to express presence than by asking God to be with someone in their time of need.  Certainly, God has been with us in our time of need as we transition to a family of five (yikes!).
Presence has been experienced in other ways, too.  The first day of school, as Lacey and I drove the boys to their new schools, Winstead Avenue and Englewood, I received a text message from a member of our church.  Radios these days have the ability to read aloud to you your text messages while you drive.  Not knowing exactly who sent the text or the content, I pressed "read text aloud."  It said, "I can't wait to see Preston and Tony at school today."  Preston and Tony were thrilled.  Having someone already at school that knew them and would be a friendly face helped to reassure them as they experienced going to a new school.
Presence is when numerous people bring food to your home for the first few weeks of acclamation.  The boys feasted on spaghetti, burgers, chicken, meatloaf, and many other delicious foods and desserts.  The food was good, but the lingering presence of the chefs and delivery persons made the meals all the better.  It allowed the boys to be introduced to their ever-growing family.  It reassured us that our family was here to support us.
Presence is when two people claim the boys for their own and spend countless hours helping to decorate and design a welcoming bedroom for the boys.  It's inviting the boys over to learn how to bake cookies and afterwards have a bit of communion composed of cookies and milk.  Presence is when friends make it point to let you know they're walking by your house with their dog and invite the boys to come along.
The loving presence of God is made manifest in countless ways when we live into our membership commitments.  I've seen the presence of God through ways in which you have gone out of your way to make room for my growing family.  For which, Lacey and I are ever so grateful.  Given the presence of God through your service, prayers, and gifts surely the world shall see a community giving witness to God's great love for us in Jesus Christ. Thanks be to God!

Sermon Series:   "Life in the Spirit"
February 17- March 3

Many Christians have questions today about the nature, purpose and activity of the Holy Spirit.  Who is the Holy Spirit?  How is the Spirit related to God the Father, and his Son, Jesus Christ?  What does the Holy Spirit do?  How does the Holy Spirit communicate, minister and witness?  What does the Spirit teach us?  How can you experience the Holy Spirit's power in your life day by day?

In this series, we will learn how God is Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  This is the traditional teaching of the Scriptures and the essence of Christian experience.  We will also discover how the Holy Spirit guides and empowers us today. 

February 17:  "Holy Spirit Power for Today"
I Corinthians 12:1-11
The Holy Spirit empowers us to live as followers of Jesus Christ. 

February 24:  "The Activity of the Holy Spirit"
Romans 8:9-11
The Holy Spirit dwells in us, giving us life and directing us. 

March 3:  "The Witness of the Spirit"
Romans 8:12-17
The Holy Spirit convinces us that we are God's children. 

Worship themes are prayerfully and carefully selected. 
Make regular worship a priority in your life. 


FUMC Kindergarten and Preschool registration for the 2019-2020 school year is underway.  Preschool registration continues 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!!

Parents Night Out
Friday, February 15 
5:30-8:30 p.m.
Registered participants are reminded to bring your kids to the church for an evening of fun with the youth 
while you enjoy a 
"date night" with your spouse.   

Couples Connection

Saturday, February 16 
5:30-9:30 p.m.
Registered participants are reminded of an evening of fine dining and an opportunity to reconnect with the love of your life.  

 Marty and Danelle Cauley will facilitate a guided journey 
to celebrate your marriage  and your partner.  
(Child care provided.) 
Methodist Home for Children Sunday
February 17, 2019

Every child deserves a chance.  Children come to us from empty homes, failing in school, looking for acceptance in all the wrong places.  Often they are neglected, abused, and traumatized.  We, however, see hope in each one of them.  On Methodist Home for Children Sunday, your gifts will help vulnerable children and families reach their full, God-given potential.  Please prayerfully consider supporting this special Sunday with your donations. 
Camp Sunday - February 24

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.
Celebrate Life Banquet
February 28, 2019
Englewood Baptist Church
Doors Open at 6:30 p.m./Banquet 7-9 p.m.
The guest speaker will be Mike Sharrow, C12 President.  C12 is the nation's largest network of Christian CEO's, business owners, and executives.  Reservations will be confirmed upon receipt of monies received by February 20.  The cost is $20/person.  Make and mail check to:  Your Choice Resource Center, 400 Sunset Avenue, Rocky Mount, NC 27804. (www.friendsofycrc.org)
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
knfischer@nrms.k12.nc.us  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!
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."
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. 

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. 

Sign up on the bulletin board outside of the welcome center.
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!

 "Could It Be You?"

If you've been in worship with us over the last six months, then you've likely heard me say to our children, "oh my goodness, it's so good to see you.  I just LOVE it when we're all together."  Bless their sweet hearts, they hear me say that most any time we're all together.  It's true though!  Whether it's during a worship service for Children's Sermon, gathering in The Well on Sunday or Wednesday night, or coming together outside of our church walls... I do LOVE it when we're all together, and it's been a pretty amazing six months of growing together!
I should tell you that in our growing in Spirit, we are also growing in number.  You may have read that somewhere else before.  We are though!  We've literally doubled on Wednesday nights from last year to this year.  Our Sunday school classes are growing each week it seems like.  It has our current leaders getting creative on how to make our time have the most impact on our students while still doing it with the same number of volunteers.  It has us praying that God will raise up the needed leaders for the new year (starting in September) as it will take more hands to keep our ministry running effectively. A need for more volunteers--what an exciting problem to have!  Isn't this exactly what our church has been praying for?
Could it be you that we're praying for, and we just don't know it yet?  Now, I know that some of you are running a million reasons through your mind for why you aren't the one we're praying for.  I hope that you will take some time to silence those excuses and prayerfully consider serving within our Children's Ministry.  It's such a crucial time in the lives of some of our youngest members.  We're laying a foundation that sets their view of our church forever!
I am praying for you as you discern whether Children's Ministry is the place for you or not.   If you are already intrigued or excited about the possibility of pouring into these students, then please let me know by    


Confirmation Class

 Classes are held on  Sunday afternoons, 3:30-4:30 p.m .,
 in the  annex .   On February 22, the confirmation class 
 will visit Bayt Shalom,  a Jewish Synagogue in Greenville, NC.  
The confirmation retreat will be March 22-24.  

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! 

Youth Providing Child Care!
Friday, February 15 
5:30-8:30 p.m.
Saturday, February 16 
5:30-9:30 p.m.
Kids Ages:  Infant - 5th Grade
(includes dinner for participants and youth helping)
This Fundraiser is to aid in the "BigStuf" trip.

Sunday, March 10
Rocky Mount Academy
2 p.m.
Participants must be 6th grade & up.  
Teams can be co-ed but number of players is limited to 4 people per team.
Cost to enter team is $75 per team
(This will serve as a youth fundraiser, and we will need volunteers.)

Winter Jam
Saturday, February 23 
We will be leaving FUMC at 11:30 a.m.
Cost:  FREE!

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

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.

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 wendy@yourchoicenc.org 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:  www.friendsofycrc.org

Child Care Workers for February and March
2/17               9:00         Susan Johnson, Jenny White
                      11:00         Emily Ballance, Beth Pearsall
2/24               9:00         Annette Allen, Amanda Edgar
                      11:00         Melissa Bynum, Reilly Kerr

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


In Memory of Molly Boseman Bailey ( Property Endowment) by Bob & Annette Allen, Jim & Karen Bailey, Phil & Sarah Bailey, and Milton P. & Lea H. Fields.

In Memory of Phyllis Bradley Ray ( Chadwick Scholarship) by Bob & Annette Allen.  


The pastors and staff of FUMC express their sympathy to Bill Wood and his family in the passing of his mother, Elizabeth Severance, in Burlington, NC; and to Beverly Broad and her family in the passing of her mother, Margaret Hogshire.  
Attention Amazon Shoppers

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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, fumcrm.org .
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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