August 17, 2018
On Patience
It's funny the things that we retain in our memories from our childhoods.  Like I can remember my 3rd grade teacher's name, Mrs. Rouesaler, but not my 4th grade teacher's name.  I can remember deep sea fishing with my Dad but not our family camping trip to the Rockies - though they were only a few years apart.  I remember once my mother singing to me a song she had made up about patience.  It's something along the lines of, "Have patience.  Have patience. And you'll get what you hope for.  Have patience."  This song or some variation was often sung when I couldn't wait for Christmas to arrive or for my order of ice cream from the burger stand to arrive.  At the time, I don't think it worked.  I don't think it caused me to have more patience; in fact, I loathed the song.  And yet, this sing song sort of teaching lodged itself into my brain and has stuck with me for years.  Some 30 years later and I'll sing it to myself as I have to wait.
I've been waiting now for some time to foster children and adopt - for over 10 years or so in fact.  I'm ready.  I've placed my order, and now I want my children.  Now.  Please.  I've done the classes, I've filled out the paperwork, my wife and I cobbled together various sorts of furniture and necessary items for their rooms.  We're ready.  I'm ready.  And yet, I'm still waiting.  So I sing to myself, "Have patience.  Have patience.  Have patience and surely you'll get what you hope for.  Have patience."
And you know what?  It turns out I still hate that song.  I hate it because it doesn't seem to make happen what I want to have happen.  It makes me realize that having patience means acknowledging that I don't have control over the situation.  I'm powerless to speed up the delivery of my non-dairy ice cream.  Patience.  What makes it so blasted hard is that it requires giving up the illusion of having control over the situation.  Having given up the illusion, though, means having to trust.  You have to trust that God is at work.  You have to trust that God will provide what you need when you need it.
Often patience, in the Bible, refers to God's patience towards us.  Rather than take control of the situation, as only God could, God rather waits on us.  God waits for us to respond to God's love.  God waits to restore all things at his Son's second coming.  God waits for you. God's waiting, however, is not passive.  God actively waits for us to respond to God's love by showing us in a myriad of ways how much God loves us.  God waited thousands of years between the time of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and the coming of his Son Jesus Christ, the best gift worth waiting for!  God does what God wants in God's time and it's for our best.
When patience applies to us in the Bible, often it's Paul writing to a church telling them to be patient in afflictions or that patience is a sign of a Christian.  Patience marks the lives of Christians because Christians know that they can relinquish control because they serve a God who was crucified on their behalf, accomplishing something they could not, but something they could not live without.  In sending us Jesus, God showed that God would not withhold anything so as to bring us into relationship with God and one another.  We believe that this God could be trusted because this God made good upon God's promise. We have a God we can trust; and because of that trust, we can wait.  So Paul tells us. Apparently Paul has never waited for non-dairy ice cream, because it's not that easy.  Or is it?  Perhaps to have patience means to simply remember who it is we worship.  And because of God, we can have patience.  Have patience.  And surely you'll receive what you hope for.  Have patience.

Rev. Matt Seaton

Sunday's Sermon 

August 19:  "Together"
Genesis 2:18-24
At the heart of Christian marriage is a radical commitment 
to love. 
Make regular worship a priority in your life. 

FUMC Welcomes Holy Land Christians 

On  August 19 , FUMC will host Christians from the Holy Land.  During each service, they will have an opportunity to talk about the plight of the Holy Land Christians.  After all services, a display of handmade olive wood religious carvings from Bethlehem and Jerusalem will be available for purchase in The Hub.  Proceeds from the sale of these items will go to support Christian artisans from Bethlehem.    

These carvings are made by Christian families in Bethlehem and include olive wood nativity sets, crosses, Christmas ornaments, candle holders, angels and many other religious crafts that make wonderful gifts.  For more than ten years Bethlehem Christians have been enduring many hardships as tourism has plummeted and access to other sources of income has been sharply restricted due to the ongoing conflict.  Many Christians left their homeland, reducing the Christian population of the Holy Land by almost 30 percent.

George Ghanem, an indigenous Christian from Bethlehem, will be standing by the carvings following each worship service.   

New Sermon Series:  
"Called to Be the Body of Christ"
August 26-September 30, 2018
Our church is diligently working to strengthen a model for ministry that helps people begin a  relationship with Jesus Christ and grow in their faith.  This sermon series highlights the essential aspects of this model.  The Orange strategy is the crucial partnership between parents and grandparents and our church in helping students grow as followers of Christ.  People come to faith in Christ and grow in their relationship with the Lord and other Christians through a caring welcome, worship, small groups and hands-on mission involvement.
August 26:  "Extravagant Hospitality"
Hebrews 13:1-8
When we extend generous hospitality, we are expressing the welcome of a loving God.
September 2:  "Glorious Worship"
Revelation 7:9-17
Jesus gives us eternal life, so we worship him - on Sunday mornings and 
Monday mornings.
September 9:  "How to Grow Deeper"
Matthew 4:13-22
To follow Jesus is to become like Jesus.
September 16:  "How Orange Works"
Deuteronomy 6:1-11
We empower parents and grandparents to develop their faith, and we equip unpaid servants,  so that students will grow in faith and character.
September 23:  "Living in Community"
Colossians 3:12-17
Small groups enable people to become like Jesus and to grow in faith and love.
September 30:  Missions Sunday
Wil Bailey and Brian Dubberly are preaching.
Worship themes are prayerfully and carefully selected.
Make regular worship a priority in your life.

Community Night of Worship
Wesleyan College Beyond Division

Local Churches and Students Unite

August 23
7 p.m.
The Dunn Center @ NC Wesleyan College

Host Churches:
  Church on the Rise, The Way Church, Word Tabernacle

Wesleyan College Clubs:
  NU GAMMA PHI Sisterhood, Refuge, Covenant Campus Ministries, Voices of Triumph

Special MC:
  Kyle Johnson
Music Ministry

You are invited to our
Saturday, August 25
The Dunn Center - 9:30 a.m. through lunch

Singing workshop, music reading exercises, start on fall and Advent/Christmas music

12:30 Lunch provided!

Spouses are welcome and included for lunch.

Please RSVP by Monday, August 23, 12 noon,  to the church office 977-0400 or Bill Wood .
New ringers are welcome!

Bell Choir "Beginner Mode" - 
August 28 and September 4 at 4:30 p.m.
Regular bell practice is on Tuesdays at 4:30 p.m. 

We will hold workshops for new (or rusty) ringers.  If you would like to try ringing, this is a great opportunity.
New singers are welcome!

The Chancel Choir will resume evening rehearsals on Wednesday, August 22, at 7 p.m. until Our Big Night activities begin September 12. The choir will then meet at 7:30 p.m.

This is a good time to start choir as we will be starting on music for the fall and Christmas seasons.

Disciple Bible Outreach Ministries' Special Sunday Offering - August 26
I was in prison and you came to me.   (Matthew 25:36)
The DBOM Special Sunday offering will be received Sunday, August 26 .  Disciple Bible  Outreach supports Bible study in North Carolina prisons, training for all NC lay and clergy persons, and Bible ministry for at-risk youth and local church youth.
DBOM grew from a call in 1995 to take Disciple Bible Study to people in prison.  Today, thousands of inmates have engaged in Disciple Bible Study in North Carolina prisons with hundreds of local church volunteers.  In addition, hundreds of juvenile offenders have participated in the RINGS OF FELLOWSHIP program.
Please prayerfully consider donating to this important ministry.  Envelopes will be provided for your convenience in the August 26 Sunday bulletin.
Ice Cream Social and Welcome Reception
On Sunday, August 26 , from 4 to 5:30 p.m., we will have an ice cream social and  welcome reception in the fellowship hall for our new staff members:  Minister of Next Generation Discipleship Stephanie Geanes, Youth Pastor Daniel Mullens, and Office Assistant/Bookkeeper Sybil Ward.  If you are willing to share your own special brand of homemade ice cream or provide toppings, please call the church office at 977-0400 or sign up in The Hub.  Bowls, spoons, napkins, etc. will be provided.
Safe Sanctuary Training
In order to serve as a leader in any of our Family Ministry capacities, all volunteers (adult and youth) must have had Safe Sanctuary training.  This includes the chaperoning of any trips!  Please make plans to attend this second session if you were unable to attend the first one:
Thursday, August 30, at 5:30 p.m. in the annex
If this session does not work for you, please email Stephanie Geanes ( 
We appreciate those of you who have worked so hard to develop our policy here at FUMC, whether you were on the original crew or the revision team.  To have something in place that holds us accountable to keeping safety on all levels one of our top priorities is a gift.  Thank you in advance for understanding the importance of this training and for making plans to join us one evening.  See you there!
Stephanie B. Geanes
Minister of Next Generation Discipleship

Dunn Preschool Fund
In a few weeks our preschool will begin a new school year.  First Church will resonate with the  sound of children both in their classrooms and on the playground.  Thanks to Charles Dunn  some children who may not have been able to afford to attend will be able to take advantage of  our preschool program.  Some of those children now are entering adulthood.
The Dunn Preschool Fund was established by Charles W. Dunn to honor his parents, Mary and  Aubrey Dunn, almost twenty years ago.  The income from the Dunn Preschool Fund is used to  provide financial assistance to needy children in the preschool program and to maintain the  safety of the children's playground.
Early childhood education is vital to a child's development.  It can be a great equalizer for
disadvantaged children.  We have a wonderful preschool ministry.  Please consider helping  children who otherwise could not attend by contributing to The Dunn Preschool Fund.  You will  be helping children this school year and for many school years to come.

Road to Discipleship
Does your family ever have a family meeting?  My mom used to call for one every now and then.  My sisters and I would typically moan and groan the whole way as we headed to the living room and piled ourselves on the couch.  We secretly loved them though, because it meant that the whole family was going to be part of whatever was going on at the time.  We just groaned because it interrupted what we were doing.  

You might think that what I'm about to share with you feels like I'm calling you to a family meeting, because it will interrupt what we're all used to doing on a Sunday.  I hope that you're secretly (no, I hope that you'll be openly) excited because it's going to be a chance for our whole church family to be together and part of what's going on.  We want you to be here Sunday, September 9, and you aren't going to want to miss this!  So please, allow me to be the first to invite you and your entire family to....
Family Day, September 9:  Road to Discipleship
"Choosing Your Path"
10 a.m. Crossroads Worship Service
"Where traditional meets contemporary, in the Sanctuary"
11:30 a.m. (or following worship) "Appetizers in the Annex"
Come get a "taste" of all the opportunities to be involved in this fall!
12 noon Family Feast in the Fellowship Hall
Lunch is on us, stay and eat!
In order for us to best prepare for lunch, please sign up in the welcome center or call the church office and tell us that you and your family plan to be here.  I can't wait for us to all spend this time in worship and fellowship together!  
Stephanie B. Geanes
Minister of Next Generation Discipleship
First United Methodist Church, Rocky Mount
Coming September 12!

Deep Blue
Infants - 5th graders
Wednesdays as part of Our Big Night
Details to follow...

Our Big Night  Returns September 12!
Our Big Night is an opportunity to gather together as a church on Wednesday evenings for fellowship and spiritual growth.  
A buffet-style meal will be offered 5:15 - 6:15 p.m. in the fellowship hall.
Children's programming begins at 6 p.m.
Adult studies begin at 6:30 p.m.  
(Note:  Covenant class begins at 6 p.m.)
Covenant Bible Study - Module 2: Living

Living within the covenant translates into action--into how we  behave in our everyday lives.  The second module, Living the  Covenant, focuses on how the community lives out the covenant in faithful love--how it is applied to actual relationships in daily life.
The scripture readings included in these episodes examine the practical challenges of faithful covenant life.  Participants explore leadership challenges among tribal chieftains, kings and prophets, and spiritual and political crises.  They look for practical wisdom and guidance in the teachings of Israel's sages, the letters of Paul, and more.  By
demonstrating  how people of vastly different cultures came together in a common purpose, the study shows how faithful love is the root of the covenant life.  Rev. Lynn Benson will lead this study, beginning September 12, at 6 p.m.
FUMC Connect

This is a class for anyone interested in learning more about what  it means to be a Christian, what United Methodists believe and  practice, and how they can become involved and use their gifts in the many exciting ministries of FUMC.  Participants will become excited about joining in FUMC's mission to make disciples who know Christ and make Christ known .  Rev. Jim Bell will lead this 6-week class,  beginning September 12 at 6:30 p.m.

GriefShare is a friendly, caring group of people who will walk alongside you through one of life's most difficult  experiences.  
Don't go through your grief journey alone.  Melissa Bynum will lead this group on Sundaysbeginning September 9, 4-6 p.m.
Unafraid and Unashamed: Facing the Future of United Methodism

Nothing is needed more in the contentious dialogue surrounding  human sexuality that threatens the unity of the United Methodist Church than a resource created to nurture the souls of all United Methodists.  Through an unflinching look at the challenges facing United Methodism, Unafraid & Unashamed by Wil Cantrell, cultivates faith, respect for disparate opinions, appreciation for the Wesleyan means of grace and commitment to the church. 

Unafraid & Unashamed has been developed to aid local pastors in effectively
communicating the issues facing the denomination in a manner that strengthens the church.  It is a great resource for any United Methodist seeking a clear understanding of the challenges and opportunities before us.  Rev. Matt  Seaton will lead this class, beginning September 12, at 6:30 p.m.
Sign-up sheets are available in The Hub.
Can You Pick Up An Extra...?

Our partnership with our neighbors at Williford Elementary School will continue this school year.  As we know, teachers are in need of "extra" supplies for their classrooms that often they must pay for.  We are trying to ease this burden on them.  
This year's Teacher Wish List includes:  Clorox Wipes, Construction Paper, Erasers (pink block erasers and/or snap-on erasers), Glue Sticks, Hand Sanitizer, Kleenex, Pencils, Notebook Paper(wide-ruled), 2-pocket folders without prongs and zip-lock bags (snack, sandwich, quart, and gallon sizes).  So, if possible, please pick up an "extra" as you shop.  We will collect and deliver these supplies throughout the school year.  The "extras" can be dropped off in the back of the fellowship hall in the bin designated for Williford Elementary School Donations. Thank You!

Books For Our Neighbors

As many of you know by now, when school begins soon, Williford Elementary School will be a Pre-K through 2nd grade school.  The school's focus will be to get these young students to become readers by the end of 1st grade.  That means there could be as many as 126 Pre-kindergarten students at Williford.  Williford' s Media Center has a great need for books on all of these grade levels, but especially Pre-K as so many new students are on this level.  

As we continue to help our neighbors at Williford, we hope to make a positive difference in the library by donating money for the purchase of library books.  Please consider donating any amount so that the librarian can place an order for durable books from their sources.  Checks can be made out to FUMC and designate "Williford books" in the memo line.  For questions, please contact Susan Johnson at 210-2892 or Bridget Rogers at 450-0860.

Do you have time?

Do you have time to spend 30 minutes once/week with a PreK-2nd grade Williford student?  This would be meaningful time spent with a young child one-on-one practicing reading or listening to a story or doing reading activities.  So many of these children benefit immeasurably by just some extra attention and encouragement. 

If you have this time and want to make a difference in a child's life, easy instructions are available in the welcome center to get your Approval to Volunteer in NRMS.  For more information or if you have questions, please contact Susan Johnson (210-2892) or Bridget Rogers (450-0860).

Our Agape Family

Every time we visit the children at Agape Orphanage, we are amazed about how much they have grown and changed.  We love to see and hear about how they are doing, and thought you might, too. These three, Espina, David and Innocent, have flourished since coming to Agape, thanks to your faithful prayers for Agape Village and the children who live there.  We thank you, thank you, thank you for always keeping Agape Village in your prayers.  We are so very grateful for all of the support you offer to our Agape family in Zambia, Africa.

These three siblings came to Agape in December of 2015, when Espina was 7, David was 6 and Innocent was 3.  They had watched their mother die from AIDS almost a year before.  She had tried to undergo treatment, but her immune system was just too weak. Their father had left the family before Innocent was born.  The three children were left in the care of their grandparents who tried to take care of them, but eventually a neighbor brought the children to the orphanage.  The grandparents, too sick and weak to make the trip, sent word that they could not feed the children and were afraid they would die.  This photo was taken after they had settled into Agape, and their grandfather walked to Agape Village Orphanage to check on them.

Espina, David and Innocent  TODAY !

Innocent is the "baby brother" of the orphanage, 
Espina is quiet and thoughtful, and David is quick to smile and always up for a game outside. All three continue to thrive.

(Innocent, David, Espina)

Thank you for all of your support, and please continue praying for our Agape Village Children!
Mickey and Jackie Bailey                                                                               

Children's Books Needed 

Children's books  are needed for the new Agape Village School .  The only books available to the children in the rural area in Zambia are those that have been shipped there in barrels.  More books are needed so that, hopefully, the children can develop the joy of reading which will help them so much with their education.  Please place any new or gently-used children's books that you are willing to donate in the first white bin in the fellowship hall labeled "Agape Village School Donations."  Another barrel will be packed soon for shipment.

Church Office Hours
Beginning Friday, 
September 7,
 the office will close at 1:00 p.m. on Fridays.


Villa Place Community Festival
Bringing People Together
September 8, 2018
1-5 p.m.
224 S. Franklin Street
Rocky Mount, NC  27804

Bringing Communities together, empowering people and building relationships.

For more information, contact Barbara Johnson @ 252-977-3257.
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 Tuesday, September 11, from 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.
Walk for Life

Saturday, September 15 
8 a.m. - Registration
9 a.m. - Walk
Your Choice Pregnancy Resource Center's Walk for Life will be held at Englewood Park (Stone Park).  This Walk will help minister to those in crisis pregnancies and present abstinence to our teens by raising funds for Your Choice Pregnancy Resource Center.  Let's put action behind our words!  If you would like to walk, simply call Jena Katkaveck at 252-451-2547 for Walk information and pledge forms or visit the website at   Please share Walk information with friends from other churches.  

Your Choice Pregnancy Resource Center is a local Christian ministry which provides life-affirming alternatives to abortion, emotional support, and practical assistance to those experiencing unplanned pregnancies.  

Lay Servant Ministry Session 
Saturday, September 29

Hosted by Englewood UMC 
(300 S. Circle Drive, Rocky Mount, NC  27804) 

9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m
(check-in begins at 8:30 a.m.) 

Registration fee of $25 does NOT include the required text 
which should be purchased and read prior to class time. 

**Participants are responsible for the purchase and preview of course book prior to training date which will count as 2 hours toward required 10 hours of training.  Facilitators will be in contact with participants prior to class so please provide active email address. 

Course offered: 
Basic Course, Adv: Leading Worship, and 
Adv: Lay Servant as Christian Transformational Leaders 

Registration closes Friday, September 21, at 11:00 pm.

Please call or email the District Office with any questions about registration: or 919-779-9435 / 1-888-661-4941. 

If you have any questions about the course, you are invited contact Lynn Ward, District Co-Director of Lay Servant Ministries @ 252-813-6846 or OR 
Ken Ripley, District Co-Director of Lay Servant Ministries @ 252-314-5731 or .

Missions Night
Wednesday, October 3
Dinner:  5:15-6:00 p.m.
Program:  6:15-7:30 p.m.
Fellowship Hall
During the week leading up to the fish fry, the Missions and Service Committee would like to host a Missions Night.  This program will be presented in place of our Adult Bible studies.  Brian Dubberly will be speaking about his ministry in El Salvador.  Videos will highlight various missions.  In addition, other individuals will speak on local missions.
We are planning on having informational tables set up.  These ministries will include Agape Village, Monday Morning Community Breakfast, plus the Food Bag Distribution. Other ministries will include Backpack Buddies, Meals on Wheels, Gatekeepers, Williford Elementary School Tutoring, and La Estrella.  Please make plans to attend and learn more about our Missions outreach here at FUMC. 
Contact Susan Johnson (252-210-2892) with any questions.
FUMC Fish Fry
and Bake Sale 

Friday, October 5
Lunch 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Dinner 5 - 7 p.m.
Fellowship Hall
Our annual fish fry is coming up very soon.  This event supports our local, national and international mission teams.  Tickets are being sold for  $8  each and will be available in The Hub beginning September 2.  Todd Hinson and his team are contacting businesses and Ray Boyette is coordinating congregational sales.  Volunteers are needed for the following:
            --Cook for the bake sale; Sell the treats on the day of the fish fry
            --Assist in set up on Thursday the day before
            --Cook the fish and hush puppies on Friday
            --Help in the kitchen packaging the plates
            --Deliver the plates to various businesses
Please contact Larry Dempsey (252-450-9949) or Susan Johnson (252-210-2892).

Nursery Workers for August 

8/19              9:00        Debra Boudreau, Kim Sieracki
                     11:00        Fran Glover, Hadley Gross
8/26              9:00        Kinnie Pruden, Jenny White
                     11:00        Amber Hinson, Ashley Ward
Our Church Family


The pastors and staff of FUMC express their sympathy to Bill Wood and his family on the passing of Ernest Richmond, the father of Bill's sister-in-law.

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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

"Summer" 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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