April 19, 2019
April 19 - Good Friday
The Stations of the Cross, 10 a.m. to 12 noon, is an individual, meditative prayer experience in the sanctuary based on the Via Dolorosa, "the way of the cross," the route that Jesus took through the streets of Jerusalem between his condemnation by the Roman governor, Pontius Pilate, and his crucifixion and burial.
At 7:30 p.m., an informal service of Tenebrae or "shadows" is held in the fellowship hall.  
The suffering of Christ is recounted in 18 passages from the Gospels--from Jesus' betrayal by Judas to his burial--as candles are extinguished and the shadows lengthen.  "What wondrous love is this?"  (Child care will be available.)
April 21- Easter Sunday 
We rejoice in Christ's resurrection at 8:30, 9:00 and 11:00 a.m.  The message,  "The Last Laugh,"  celebrates the victory of Jesus over sin, evil and death.   We will catch a glimpse of the great joy Jesus' resurrection brings us.   The barren cross is transformed into a resurrection cross with beautiful flowers.  
Please remember to bring flowers (spring, garden-type, etc.) to place on the cross Easter Sunday.  During the singing of the first hymn at all three services, the congregation will have an opportunity to come to the altar and place flowers on the cross.
Please note the church office will be closed Easter Monday, April 22.

Music for Easter, April 21

Brass and string ensembles with winds, percussion, organ, and soloists Mary Beth Cameron and Bennett Gundacker will present music including Alleluia by Mozart and Hallelujah by Beethoven.  Also included will be Hymn of Promise as arranged by John Ferguson, Now Glad of Heart by K. Lee Scott, as well as congregational hymns for the day.
The Chancel Choir is meeting at a new time:  Wednesdays at 7 p.m.  Come and sing with us as we continue our spring season!

Happy Easter

The world will never be the same.  Those words have been applied to many events throughout my short lifetime.  Most often, they are used about tragic events, such as 9/11 or the Oklahoma City bombing or any number of the school shootings.  (Lord in your mercy...)  I agree that those events have changed our world, our American world - though with impact across the globe in other countries.  See Iraq and Afghanistan for evidence of that.  But no single event in the history of the world has had the global effect as the resurrection of Jesus.  On that day nearly 2,000 years ago, the world would change and never be the same.
The crucifixion of Jesus, the most tragic of events, marked the world forever.  Not before, nor since, would those in power and those without wrongly put to death God enfleshed.  Innocent.  Without sin.  Capable of casting a stone but choosing not to.  Crucified by rich and poor.  Sin at work did all it could to put an end to him.  Death had its laugh as the final breath left his bleeding body.  Sin and Death had won.  The future was determined and left to their hands, making tomorrow a repeat of today.  If evil can reign over heaven, then hope, faith, and love have lost.
It's Friday.  Good Friday.
But...that's not the end of the story.
Death does not win; sin does not triumph.
            Sunday is coming.
When up from the grave he arose, Jesus defeated both death and sin.  Now in Christ's hands are the keys to death and Hades.  The conquered becomes the conqueror.  Not through violence and death, like the ways of old, but by God's life-giving power.  On that day, the world changed and has never been the same.
Yes, there have been significant days of tragedy since, but none with the power to change the world like Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection.  Wars have been started over the fear of death.  Sin has coaxed and prodded the world into anarchy and chaos.  God, in Jesus Christ, has begun to put the world back together.  Our response to what God has done for us in Jesus will either proclaim the reign of love in Christ or continue the reign of the old world.  May we faithfully respond to God's work in Jesus by proclaiming, in both word and deed, release to the captives and freedom to the oppressed.  Let us announce with joy the year of our Lord.  Do so by forgiving one another.  Do so by saying words of kindness and love.  Do so by trusting in the love of God to restore all things. Live in hope... For Christ our Lord has risen!  He is risen!

2019 Confirmation Class

Our youth confirmation class professed their faith in Jesus Christ and became members of our church on Palm Sunday, April 14.
Left to right, front row:  Gracie Rich, Paige Miller, Cooper Epps, Stone Ramey; back row: Carter Ingram, Kyle Rich, Bryceson Croft.  Not shown:  Carson Cross

Special Easter Offering Received for Stephanie Ronan
A special Easter offering will be received during the next month for Stephanie Ronan and her children.  Contributions will fund ongoing mortgage and utilities payments while Stephanie recuperates from life-threatening injuries incurred in a head-on collision with an intoxicated driver last September.
Please designate "Stephanie Ronan" on your electronic gift or check.  Since these contributions are designated for a specific individual, they are identified as a love offering by IRS guidelines and are not tax deductible.
A member of our church, Stephanie was hospitalized for months following the wreck.  She has had numerous operations and anticipates additional surgery.  She now has outpatient physical and occupational therapy three times a week as she works to regain the ability to walk.  She is still seeking approval of her application for disability.  Stephanie has made remarkable progress and is deeply grateful for all of the assistance that numerous church friends have provided.
Please lift up Stephanie and her children, Noah and Jenna, in your prayers and prayerfully consider a generous gift for this courageous family.

Spencer Batchelor and Emmy White Honored

At the first annual James Bellamy Community Awards held Friday, April 5, at Truth Tabernacle Ministries, Spencer Batchelor and Emmy White were recognized as "Unsung Heroes" with their work with First United Methodist Church's Monday Morning Community Breakfast.  Spencer was one of five adult recipients, and Emmy was one of three youth recipients.  Emmy, a fourth-grade student at RMA, is the daughter of Ken and Jenny White.  Congratulations to both Spencer and Emmy for their participation in and dedication to the MMCB program here at FUMC. 
Preschool and Kindergarten Director Position Is Available
First United Methodist Church is seeking to employ a Director of Preschool and Kindergarten.  This is a 10-month position.  The daily work schedule is Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.  An undergraduate degree in Early Childhood/Elementary Education or in a related field is desired.  Experience preferred.  Business/Finance background is a plus.  Resumes will be received until the position is filled.  Resumes will be reviewed, beginning May 15.  Please submit letter of interest and resume with three references to the Rev. Jim Bell, Lead Pastor,  jbell@fumcrm.org .  
The Search Team for this position includes Co-Chairs Brenning Daughtridge and Sylvia Harriss, Debra Boudreau, Sharon Dees, Sterling Grimes, Alex Langley, and Tim Wilson.  If you would like to recommend a particular candidate, please contact one of the team members.
Sanctuary and Chapel Improvements Completed
Several enhancements to our sanctuary and chapel have recently been completed.  New wood flooring was installed in the area immediately in front of the sanctuary chancel. This area was also enlarged to enhance weddings, funerals and services such as confirmation by removing the front pews.  New carpet was installed in the chapel and the sanctuary.
Pews were shortened in several areas in the sanctuary to provide accessible and more comfortable seating for members and friends who have physical challenges.  There is now room for persons with wheelchairs or walkers to be seated in several locations in the sanctuary.  If you have family members, friends or neighbors who have physical challenges, please help us get the word out about this new accessible seating in our sanctuary.
A big thank you goes to the Board of Trustees for coordinating these significant improvements and to the donors whose designated contributions funded these enhancements.    
United Methodist Foundation Good-Kile Scholarship
The United Methodist Foundation (UMF) announces that the Good-Kile Scholarship is available to students in the Conference.
Interested students should be graduating from high school or currently enrolled in an accredited 4-year university or college.
The application is available on the UMF website for qualified students to apply. 

Please complete the Good-Kile Scholarship Application and return it to UMF, Kim Smith at info@umfnc.org or mail to UMF, 700 Waterfield Ridge Place, Garner, NC 27529.
Scholarship applications should be completed and returned to UMF by April 30, 2019 for consideration.
The United Methodist Foundation is trustee for the Robert Good, Jr. and Deloris Kile Scholarship.
Gold Valley Scholarship

The Heritage District Committee on Superintendency is pleased to offer scholarship opportunities to young persons in the Heritage District.


Completed applications should be emailed to Jin Lee at jlee@nccumc.org  by Wednesday, May  15.

The recipient s of the Gold Valley Scholarship will be announced on Saturday, June 15.

If you have any questions, please contact Pastor Jim Bell at 252-977-0400.
New Easter Sermon Series:  
"Christ's Joy in Us" 
April 21-May 12

Just before his death and resurrection, Jesus told his disciples, "Now is your time of  grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy."   (John 16:22)  Jesus' resurrection changes things permanently, bringing a joy that the world cannot remove.  In our lives filled with troubles and distractions, we frequently miss this joy.  Yet, "joy is the gigantic secret of the Christian," wrote G. K. Chesterton. 

This Easter series from John's gospel focuses on the joy that is at the heart of the Christian life.  This joy expressed itself in a powerful way through Jesus' victory on Easter.  In the centuries following, it has flourished in many areas where the gospel has been proclaimed.  As we sit at Jesus' feet, as we listen to his heart, as we gaze into his smile and hear his laughter, we become joyful and confident in his victory for our lives. 

April 21, Easter Sunday:  "The Last Laugh"
 John 20:1-18
Easter is the joyful certainty of new life. 

April 28:  "Complete Joy"
John 20:19-31
When we are in relationship with the living Christ, we experience joy.

May 5:  "Fishing with Jesus"
John 21:1-14
As we turn our eyes upon Jesus, we are liberated into his joy. 

May 12, Mother's Day:  "Christ's Joy Is for Us"
John 15:9-17
When we abide in Christ and love one another, we experience joy. 

Worship themes are prayerfully and carefully selected. 
Make regular worship a priority in your life. 
Free One-Day Workshop - "Moving Out of Poverty"
Rocky Mount Peacemakers is conducting a free workshop Saturday, April 27, 9 a.m. to 
3 p.m.   Lunch is included.  The workshop is designed to answer the question:  "Why are the materially poor not moving out of poverty?"  With all the food and clothes that have been given away, the poverty needle is still stuck.  This workshop will provide a framework for how Christians who really want to make a difference in their community can move forward.

Children's Ministry

Our Children's Ministry is having a "Missional May."  We'll spend each week of Sunday School working on ways to love our neighbors.  You can join us!  Here are some things that we are collecting:

New bedding for "Sleep in Heavenly Peace" 
(twin sheet sets, twin comforters,  twin pillows)

Gently-used books for "Down East Partnership"

Baby gifts for "Your Choice Resource Center" 
(diapers, wipes, bottles, etc.)

Please drop off items in the welcome center, labeled "Children's Ministry."

"Reading the Bible Aloud"
We will be "Reading the Bible Aloud" on Wednesday, May 1 , the day before the National Day of Prayer (May 2).  This will be the sixth year of this effort in Rocky Mount.  There will be approximately 20 sites in Rocky Mount reading different portions of scripture, so the entire Bible is read aloud in 12 hours.
This will be the second year that FUMC will be a reading site!  We will have 24 30-minute reading opportunities with readings from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.   Be sure to contact Richard or Susan Laney if you would like to sign up.  A sign-up sheet will be in The Hub as well.
'Women in Mission' offers  $1,000 Scholarship
Women in Mission (WIM) is pleased to offer a scholarship opportunity for the 2019-2020 school year.  The $1,000 scholarship is part of the women's commitment to support youth and other students as they pursue undergraduate and graduate studies at select schools.
Applicants must be members of FUMC and must be enrolled in a degree program at an accredited Methodist college or university.  Other criteria  include academic performance and "faithfulness" to the church through "prayers, presence, gifts, service and witness."  Traditional-aged and non-traditional-aged students may apply.
Complete information, including eligibility,  instructions for application, and forms, is included in Guidelines for Women in Mission Scholarship  Program.  Packets are available from WIM by  contacting Jena Katkaveck at 903-7598.
Applications must be submitted by 12 noon,  May 3 .
Saturday, May 4
First UMC-Rocky Mount, NC
100 S. Church Street
Rocky Mount, NC  27804

The following courses will be offered: 
Basic Course:  Introduction to Lay Ministry
- led by Wayne Lamm
Advanced:  Living Our United Methodist Beliefs (Heritage)
- led by Rev. Belton Joyner
Advanced:  Leading Worship
- led by Ken Ripley

Check-in begins at 8:30 a.m., with classes beginning at 9:00 a.m.

A registration fee of $25 includes lunch but does NOT include the required text, which should be purchased and read prior to class time.

You will receive information to order your book(s) in your confirmation email.
Registration closes Sunday, April 28, at 11:00 p.m.
Please call or email the District Office with any questions about registration:
districts@nccumc.org or 919-779-9435/1-888-661-4941.
If you have any questions about the course, you are invited to contact:
District Co-Directors of Lay Servant Ministries, Lynn Ward (LWard@suddenlink.net

Native American Ministries Sunday
May 5, 2019
A special offering will be received  May 5  for Native American Ministries Sunday.  This is  one of six special Sunday offerings of the United  Methodist Church.  Your gifts help educate  Native American seminarians, plant Native American churches, and cultivate Native  American outreach.  Please prayerfully  consider supporting this ministry.
Mother's Day-Father's Day
Honor Thy Father and Thy Mother
Exodus 20:12
The Local Mission Ministry team is offering you the opportunity to honor your mother, father, and/or person who has had a special influence upon your life by making a minimum $10/name contribution in their honor or memory.  All proceeds will benefit the local missions of our church and community.  Persons named will be recognized within a special brochure, and a floral tribute in honor and memory of those named will be placed in the sanctuary  on Mother's Day and Father's Day.  The option  of having a card sent to the honoree will also be offered to you.  Forms are available in The Hub and the welcome center.

Deadlines are:
Mother's Day:  Monday, May 6
Father's Day:  Monday, June 10
UM Retirement Homes, Inc.
Mother's Day Offering
Since 1955, the Mother's Day Offering has been  a sanctioned offering for United Methodist Churches in the North Carolina Conference.  Funds raised support residents in The United Methodist Retirement Homes communities:  Croasdaile Village in Durham, Cypress Glen in Greenville, and Wesley Pines in Lumberton.  These residents typically have outlived their resources, have no other means of support and often no family.  This offering supports their care and provides a continued quality of life for them.
The Mother's Day offering gives us an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of these residents.  It takes $100 to subsidize one day  of care for benevolent residents. Residents  who benefit from these funds are still living  independently and are not yet eligible for any government support.  Please carefully consider supporting this Benevolent Care with the Mother's Day Offering on May 12 .

Your Choice Resource Center
Baby Bottle Blessings
Help fund the life-saving, life-changing ministry of the Your Choice Resource  Center  by filling a bottle with a check, cash or silver.  Bottles will be available in The Hub
Mother's Day, Sunday, May 12
and should be returned 
Father's Day, June 16!
What a special way to say Happy Mother's & Father's Day!
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,  May 14
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.

Supper & Song
Wednesday, May 15
6 p.m.
FUMC Fellowship Hall
"Open mic night!"
Contact Bill Wood through the office (977-0400) or  bwood@fumcrm.org .

FUMC Blood Drive
The Blood Drive will take  place Thursday, May 16 ,  2-6 p.m. in the fellowship hall.  We are seeking volunteers to greet, register, escort donors, and serve  refreshments.  Please contact the church office at 
977-0400 for more information or if you can assist in any way.

Attention 2019 Graduates!
Graduation Sunday -  May 19
As a church family, we want to praise and acknowledge your  educational  accomplishments  and encourage you into your next stage of life.   We hope to celebrate students graduating from high school, college, and graduate studies. 
If you are getting ready to don a cap and gown and receive a diploma, let us know.  Please email by May 5 graduates' full names, parents' names, schools graduating from, schools 
planning to attend or career paths entering, and a small photo to Wendi Beck at 
wbeck@fumcrm.org.  A booklet will be created to share with our church family May 19, so we may continue lifting you up in prayer and love! 

Graduation Sunday - May 19

We will have one blended worship service at 10 a.m. in the sanctuary on Graduation Sunday, May 19.  Sunday school classes will begin at 9 a.m.  This will be the last Sunday school class for children and youth.  A Sunday Brunch will be held in the fellowship hall for graduating seniors and their families (see below).  Following the worship service, church members are encouraged to view the graduating seniors' tables in the fellowship hall.   
Brunch Honoring High School Seniors
On  Sunday, May 19 , a brunch will be held in the fellowship hall at 
9 a.m. for FUMC high school seniors and their families.  Seniors will be recognized in the 10 a.m. blended worship service, and the Chadwick Scholarship will be awarded.  Seniors are to wear their caps and gowns during the service.
One Worship Service - May 26

We will have one worship service on Sunday, May 26, at 
10 a.m. in the fellowship hall.  Adult Sunday school classes will meet at 9 a.m. at the discretion of the teachers. 

Church Office Closed 

The church office will be closed on
Memorial Day, Monday, May 27

Fall Family Retreat  
Camp Willow Springs
September 20-22
Be sure to mark your calendar now and make plans to attend the FUMC Fall Family Retreat  September 20-22.  The retreat begins at 6 p.m. Friday evening and concludes Sunday morning at 11 a.m.  This "Recharge-themed" event will be held at Camp Willow Springs, 102 Camp Willow Springs Drive, Littleton, NC  27850.  The cost is $50 per person.  Registration is now open and closes on August 25.  Please contact Stephanie Geanes at s tephanie@fumcrm.org with questions or for more information.

Thank You

FUMC Family, 

Thank you for all the prayers, cards, flowers, food and encouraging words during my recent illness and treatment.  Phil and I are blessed to have such a wonderful church family, and we are so very thankful for your kindness and support.

Joy and Phil Lane

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.

The following dates are available:   July 28; August 18; September 15 & 22; and December 29. 

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 April and May

4/21              9:00          Kim Sieracki, Jenny White
                     11:00          Emily Ballance, Reilly Kerr
4/28              9:00          Annette Allen, Susan Johnson
                      11:00         Michelle Batchelor, Heather Freeman

5/5                 9:00          Amy Brown, Amanda Edgar
                      11:00          Debra West, Wendy Wilson
5/12               9:00          Susan Chambless, Lisa Perry
                      11:00          Bridget Rogers, Sarah Prezioso
5/19            10:00           Addie Jones, Kitty Turner
5/26           10:00          Michelle Batchelor, Fran Glover
Our Church Family

Honorariums and Memorials

In Honor of Rev. Matt Seaton ( Williford Elementary School) by David and Cameron Robey.

In Memory of R. L. Chick, Jr. ( Food Bag Ministry) by Dee Chick & Family.


We welcome our 2019 Confirmands:
Bryceson Payton Craft, Carson Micah Cross, Cooper James Epps, Carter John Ingram, Paige Lillian Miller, Stone Ellis Ramey, Gracie Lee Rich, and John Kyle Rich.
Attention Amazon Shoppers

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Simply bookmark the following link http://smile.amazon.com/ch/56-0597085 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, fumcrm.org .
Live Worship Services Available

You may join in our services live at 9 a.m. each Sunday.  Past worship services are also available via our You Tube channel.  Be sure to "subscribe" to our channel to ensure you receive updated content.

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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