First United Methodist Church of St. Cloud
May 2022 Newsletter
From the Desk of Pastor Cathy
Dear friends,

I love the month of May! In our family, we have Caleb our grandson’s birthday on May 8th (he will be 8 years old) and Rusty and I celebrate a wedding Anniversary on May 10th. Then we add to the mix Mother’s Day honoring and remembering our moms, graduations, end of school parties, Confirmation and much more!

I give thanks for my mother this day and for her love and care all my life. She watched us “like a hawk” and instilled in me a love and concern for my own children. I was blessed to have a mother like my mom. I am sure you give thanks for the encouragement and influence and love of your moms, whether still here on earth or in heaven with The Lord. This Mother’s Day we will recognize our mother’s with some chocolates, flowers and our picture frames so you can take a photo with your Mother, siblings, anyone you love! The Bible says, “Her children rise up and call her happy; her husband too, and he praises her; Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all. Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” Proverbs 31:28-30 (NRSV). Thank you, moms, for all your hard work, wonderful examples in our lives and for your unconditional love!

This sermon series is called “The Difficult Words of Jesus” based on the book by Amy Jill-Levine. Jesus provided disciples teachings for how to follow Torah, God’s Word; he told them parables to help them discern questions of ethics and of human nature; he offered them Beatitudes for comfort and encouragement; but sometimes He taught words that then and now followers have found difficult. Join us for this new series! We are continuing our Bible study classes on Tuesday nights at 7:00 PM by Zoom. Here’s the link:

Passcode 623978

We had wonderful Easter services with 263 people in attendance at three services on Easter Sunday morning! I have to say that I am so proud of our worship team, musicians, ushers, sound technician, PowerPoint technician, Coffee Hour servants, Children & Youth Directors, office staff, and volunteers for all you did to make the Easter season so special! Christ is risen and we are testimonies that His love and mission continues through His faithful followers! For our online worship services for Holy Week, we had 92 views for Maundy Thursday; 209 views for Good Friday’s service; and 150 views for Easter Sunday for a total of 451 online views. This is amazing to continue to connect to those who are watching and worshiping online!
God bless you!

I am blessed to be your Pastor!
Me, Mom (Ginny), Opal, and Sadie in 2017
My sister Karen, Ashling & me 2019
Pastor Cathy Thacker Reappointed to FUMCSC for Another Year
On April 24, 2022, Dianne Schoolfield, Chairman of the Staff Parish Relations Committee (SPRC) announced that Pastor Cathy Thacker has been reappointed to be the Senior Pastor at FUMC of St. Cloud for another year. Everyone present expressed great pleasure with energetic applause.
Introducing Olivia Siegel and Jessica Clement
Olivia Siegel and her mom, Kathryn
Jessica Clement and her mom, Robin
This month two of our amazing youth, Olivia Siegel and Jessica Clement are featured in this section. Since Mother’s Day is coming soon, they were also asked about their relationship with their mothers. 

Olivia and Jessica have known each other since they both were in Kindergarten at First United Methodist School in Kissimmee. They have been good friends ever since. They are both in the eighth grade getting ready to move on to high school. When asked what keeps their friendship strong even though they are not going to the same middle school they both said that they hang out together a lot. This is credit to their mothers who are also good friends. Jessica added that they communicate well together.

Olivia attends middle school at OCSA (Osceola County School for the Arts) where her focus is on visual arts. She has decided to attend St. Cloud High School next year and become a Bulldog. Jessica will be attending Harmony High School where she has been accepted on their Varsity Longhorn Cheerleading Squad.

Beside enjoying cheerleading, Jessica says that she also enjoys hanging out with her friends in her spare time but that is limited since cheerleading and schoolwork take up most of her time. Olivia on the other hand enjoys drawing as well as spending time with her friends, one of which is Jessica. She also likes going shopping and to the beach with her friends and family. Olivia and her family usually go to Melbourne or Cocoa Beach for relax time. Like Jessica, Olivia says that schoolwork takes up much of her spare time. Both of these amazing girls are good students in school and work hard to get good grades.

When asked what they like best about their mothers, Olivia said, “My mom always goes out of her way to do things for me. She is loving and caring and really funny.” When talking about her mom, Jessica said, “My mom is fun to be with. She is a built-in best friend.” Olivia said that she likes to go out to dinner and watch movies with her mom while Jessica said that she and her mom like to go out to dinner at Cheesecake Factory for special occasions.

Both of the girls were asked what they would tell other teens about having a good relationship with their mom. Olivia said, “to talk to each other and make conversation every day, to become friends and do things together.” Jessica said, “Don’t get mad at your mom because she has good reasons for what she says and does” Both of these girls have amazing moms who are very proud of them.

Lastly, both of the girls were asked what they like about the FUMCSC youth program and what keeps them coming on Sunday morning and Wednesday nights. Both of them expressed that they get to be with their friends, some of whom also were at FUMS with them in elementary school. But mostly they enjoy learning about God who they feel brought them together here at the church. 
Kloud Charles Gusching
Kloud Gusching, the five month old son of Andy and Karla Gusching was baptised on April 24, 2022. Also in attendance were his big sister Kaleigh Gusching, Grandma Maria Ruiz, and Grandpa Carlos Martinez.
Serving Others with
Our Mercy Ministries
Bags of Love
FUMCSC is always in need of food to fill the bags! We are serving record breaking numbers of hot breakfasts to-go on Tuesdays and Thursdays to the underserved of our community when they come to receive a bag filled with nonparishables. You may help supply the need of the Bags of Love lunches by bringing any of these items to the FUMC office; Vienna sausages, canned tuna or chicken, Beanie-Weanies, bags of chips, cookies, peanut butter or cheese crackers, fruit cups, pudding snacks, applesauce, or bottled water. As our numbers continue to go up we thank you for helping us serve the community!
Delicious hot breakfast served
Sous Chef Janice Morgan
Click on the image above to go to the Bags of Love Store Page directly.
Garage Sale Held for Bags of Love
Bags of Love yard sale was held on April 22 at the home of Dave and Ellen Daniel. Proceeds from the sale went to the Bags of Love Ministries. Thanks to David and Ellen for having the sale in their yard. A big thank you to all of the volunteers who helped setup, sell and clean up.
Elmer's Kitchen
FUMC of St Cloud serves as the host site of Elmer’s Meal Kitchen, partnering with the St. Cloud Ministerial Association. Each Sunday at 2:00 PM in the Family Life Center, a free nutritious meal is served to the unemployed or underemployed by a different church or local group.
First Sunday of month: First Presbyterian Church of St. Cloud
Second Sunday of month: Boy Scouts
Third Sunday of month: Soul City Church
Fourth Sunday of month: Christ the Savior Church
Fifth Sunday of month: FUMC of St. Cloud
We are very thankful for all of the churches who participate in this ministry.
St. Cloud Middle School Partnership
The women in the Beth Moore Bible Study, Smooth Stones Bible Study, and Seasoned Souls worked together to provide a pizza lunch for the 140 teachers and staff members at St. Cloud Middle School.
Julie Johnston and Jaynee Yocum delivered the pizza, water, and cookies
Julie and Jaynee with Jennifer Chapel, a staff member of the school
Teachers and staff enjoying their lunch
New Refrigerator
First Church St. Cloud received a new refrigerator for the Family Life Center kitchen. The purchase was made with the funds from the Kissimmee Elks Lodge Grant. We'd like to thank the Kissimmee Elks Lodge 1873 again for their generous donation.
Teacher Appreciation Blessings
The six women of the Beth Moore Bible Study worked on several service projects during their eight week study. Their final project will be showing appreciation to the FUMC Preschool teachers and aids with a week of gifts. The group asked for assistance from the congregation and funds were collected to be able to give the teachers four days of goodies. Each day they will receive a new surpise. On the last day of the study the Bible study women assembled goodie bags for the teachers. Teacher appreciation week is May 2nd through May 5th and we are so thankful for the opportinity to show our appeceiation to the eight amazing teachers, aids and their director, Denise Dunn of our preschool.
Julie Johnston, Ruth Nye,
& Rosemary Logan
Julie Johnston, Ruth Nye, & Jaynee Yocum
Others in the Beth Moore Study not pictured: Dianne Schoolfield and Pastor Cathy
Food, Fellowship, & Fun
Each month we hold a Church-Wide Wednesday night dinner with physical distancing followed by an activiity. It is a great time to get to know your church family. During the April dinner we enjoyed a delicious German themed meal prepared by Larry Finch. The tables were decorated with lighthouses. After the meal Sheran Rasmus led with a how-to video instructing everyone as they painted a lighthouse masterpiece. Join us at the next Church-Wide dinner on Wednesday, May 11 for a delicious meal and a lively game of Bunco.
Coffee Hour on Sunday Mornings
"Coffee Hour" is offered between church services from 9:15 to 10:00 AM either in the FLC or out on the covered walkway (weather permiting). Please join your church family for Coffee, Donuts, Cookies, and other treats. This is a wonderful opportunity to get to know others from our church and have some good old-fashioned Fellowship! Rhys Bibeau, Larry Dyke, and Don White are your hosts each week.
Your Hosts: Rhys Bibeau and Larry Dykes
Don White
Announcing a New Sunday School Class!
You are invited to attend a new Sunday school class study on Sunday mornings at an in person setting at FUMC St. Cloud. We will study various books by Christian writers and authors like Ellsworth Kalas, Amy Levine, Max Lucado, Adam Hamilton, James W. Moore and others. We will enjoy great fellowship and friendship! If you are interested please call the church office and let Joyce or James know which time you prefer; either 8:30 to 9:30 AM or 10:15 to 11:15 AM. The time slot with the most interest will be selected when this study is scheduled.
Coming Soon: New Women's Circles
There are some exciting things happening for the women of the church. Seasoned Soals will be changing their name when they start back up in the fall. It will be called a Fellowship Circle. Also the planning stages are underway for another new women's circle which will be starting up soon. Renda Carter has a vision for this new group which will meet on Wednesday mornings at 10:00 AM in the Family Life Center.
by Lou Murray, Music Director

Growth has happened in our choir. Our latest additions, Pamella and Bobby Hall are adding to a richer sound on Sunday mornings. Our Easter Sunday music, with choir and praise band combined, got a great response from the congregation, with attendance breaking all recent records. Handbell leader Diana Walls is recovering from surgery, but will bring the handbell choir back in the fall. We look forward to that. Although summer is usually a slack time for church music, with many people going on vacation, your choir will continue to sing throughout the summer months. We have some special music in the planning stages. I'm always open to comments or suggestions about the music, and thanks for listening.

Thanks for listening!
Traditional Service Chancel Choir
Acolyte, Lucy Knowles at Blended Service
Holy Week
Maundy Thursday
Stations of the Cross on Good Friday
Easter Sunday
Pastor Cathy and Rusty at the Sunrise Service, St. Cloud Lakefront
The Sanctuary was adorned with beautiful Easter Lillies,Tulips and other spring flowers donated by local funeral homes (Porta Coeli Funeral Home, Osceola Memory Gardens, and Fisk Funeral Home)
The music at both services was beautifully performed by our combined chorus and handbells.
Mens Trio Chuck McLendon, Wesley Parlier and Scott Weyrauch
Lou Murray at the keyboard
Soloist Lucy Knowles
Soloist Elise Pettitt
At the Cross
Flowers were added to the cross in front of the sanctuary to remind us of the resurection.
Pastor Cathy Thacker
Kimmie (Althea's sister-in-law),
Althea Lee and Gloria Taylor
Olivia and Kathryn Siegel
Lucy Knowles and Baily Rojas
Jaynee Yocum, Rijean Smith, and Trish Cottam
The Smith and McConnell Families
New Members Luncheon
Pastor Cathy hosted a luncheon for new members on April 24. Mark & Terry Wiggins and Pamella & Bobby Hall were in attendance. Lunch was served by Myrna Lee, Darleen McLand, and Angie White. The group was shown a Power Point Presentation explaining the history of Methodism and what it means to be a member of FUMCSC.
Mark and Terry Wiggins
Pastor Cathy with Pamella and Bobby Hall
Myrna, Darleen, and Angie
Pamella Hall
Bobby Hall
Terry Wiggins
Maark Wiggins
Mark Your Calendar
Upcoming Events
May 1 - Deadline for youth to apply for summer camp at Warren Willis
May 2 - Trustees Meeting ~ 7:00 PM
May 8 - Mother's Day
May 9 - Staff Meeting ~ 7:00 PM
May 11 - Church-wide Dinner ~ 5:15 PM
May 12 - SPRC ~ 7:00 PM
May 19 - Finance Meeting ~ 7:00 PM
May 26 - Church Council ~ 7:00 PM
June 9-11 - Florida Annual Conference at Florida Southern Colllege
June 12 - Confirmation Sunday

Regular Meetings
  • Traditional Worship Service ~ 8:30 AM
  • Serendipity Sunday School Class ~ 9:00 AM
  • Coffee Hour (FLC or walkway) ~ 9:15 - 10:00 AM
  • Blended Worship Service ~ 10:00 AM
  • Newcomer's Luncheon ~ 3rd Sunday Quarterly, 11:00 AM
  • Elmer's Kitchen ~ 2:00 - 3:00 PM (FUMCSC - 5th Sunday)
  • Power Hour Prayer Group ~ 8:30 AM
  • Seasoned Souls will be on summer break until the fall
  • Smooth Stones Bible Study will be on summer break until the fall
  • Boy Scouts ~ 7:00 PM
  • Bags of Love ~ 9 - 11 AM (Hot Breakfast to Go)
  • Online Bible Study with Pastor Cathy - 7:00 PM; Please join using your computer, tablet or smartphone. use passcode: 62397
  • Cub Scouts ~ 7:00 PM
  • Church-wide dinner FLC (2nd Wednesday) ~ starting at 5:15 PM
  • Youth Group ~ 6:00 - 7:00 PM
  • Children's program ~ 6:00 - 7:00 PM
  • Adult Choir Rehearsal ~ 7:00 - 8:00 PM
  • Bags of Love ~ 9:00 - 11:00 AM
  • Beth Moore Video Bible Study (8 Week Study) ~ 1:00 - 3:00 PM

Please Note: Our Church Services can be viewed on
FACEBOOK LIVE on our FB page or later on our YouTube
Channel. Click on the links at the bottom of this newsletter to
find these videos.
Visit our Website!
Office Administrator, James Wise has been working hard to update the church website. Past newsletters are available by clicking on the Resources tab and our Monthly Overview Calendar which is continually updated by James. The calendar can be found by clicking the About tab and then the Weekly Schedule line. Go to to find these great resources or click on the button labeled "Visit our Church Website" at the bottom of this newsletter.

Our students celebrated Christ’s resurrection with a special Easter Chapel. All the classes gathered out on the sanctuary front steps to hear the finale of the Resurrection story; Jesus is Alive! Each child was then given a special box to open. Each box contained a Painted Lady butterfly that was released. Much like the caterpillar seals himself in a chrysalis and then emerges as a butterfly, Jesus was placed in a tomb but then he emerged gloriously. The excitement of 79 butterflies emerging all at once was an amazing and memorable experience for all of them. To view the event, visit our Facebook page at You do not need to have a Facebook account to view the video. The children also participated in Easter Egg hunts on the playground. Many thanks to our special angels, Jim and Eileen Zetwo, who donated 200+ filled eggs for the children. 

This month, the children will be learning about Zacchaeus in Chapel. They will be exploring bugs including worms! They will be planting and analyzing plants and how they grow. Graduation ceremonies will be held on Monday, May 16 for Preschool and Wednesday, May 18 for VPK Pre-K.

Enrollment is now open for the 2022-2023 school year. We offer a Preschool class for children who are age 3 by September 1st and completely potty trained. Our VPK Pre-K class is offered for children who are age 4 by September 1st and is free with the Certificate of Eligibility. Additional information regarding our programs can be found on our website at


Ms. Denise
The children of First Church meet on Sunday mornings during the Blended Service after the Children's moment and on Wednesday night for their "B.E.A.C.H. Club" program from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
The Children Enjoyed a Fun Morning!

The children's ministry provided a Pancake Breakfast with the Easter Bunny and Easter Egg Hunt on April 9th. They had lots of fun with the Easter Story, Games, Crafts, and Photos.
Daisy & Brady
Connor, Mason & Olivia
McConnell Family
Listening to the Easter Story
Bailey & Grace
Layne and his parents
Reese Butler in Disguise
Facepainter is talented
Chef Andy Smith
Facepainting was fun
Larry Finch & Arya
Annabelle & Mommy
Jackson found lots of eggs
Children's Church on Easter Sunday
Each Sunday while mom and dad are in church during the 10:00 AM Blended Service their children are learning about Jesus and doing fun activities. On Easter Sunday they had an Easter Celebration with cupcakes and crafts while learning about the Resurection of Jesus. This year some of the youth helped out with the activities.
Vacation Bible School Planning Underway!

Summer is right around the corner and FUMC of St. Cloud will once again host VBS for the Children and Youth of our community. This year it will be held on June 20-24. Volunteers are needed so if you are interested please email Rijean Smith at
Children & Youth Camp

You can give a child the opportunity to make precious memories that will last a lifetime at the UMC Warren Willis Summer Camp. Donations are being accepted to provide Summer Camp Scholarships.

Students who have completed 3rd through 12th grade can attend the Warren Willis Summer Camp in Leesburg. This year our church has selected the week of June 27th through July 2nd. The appplication deadline is May 1st. For more information contact Rijean Smith at
Our Youth Group also meets each week on Wednesday evenings
from 6:00 to 7:00 PM.

The youth at our church are very active with many of the events that we host. They also are invoved with the Children's Ministry and help out where needed. If you know of a teen who would like to get involved in our church's youth program please contact Amber Smith.

Our youth once again showed their artistic talent by drawing beautiful Easter chalk art on the sidewalk in front of the Sanctuary on the Saturday before Easter.
May Birthdays
May 4 - Chris McConnell
May 7 - Lyn De Maria
May 8 - Larry Finch
May 10 - Amber Smith
May 14 - Phil Christian
May 16 - Kevin Knox
May 17 – Charlotte Morgan
May 21 - David Cloud
May 21 - Dick Powell
May 28 - Vern Dorsey
May 29 - Janice Kirsch
May Anniversaries
May 10 - Rusty & Cathy Thacker
May 15 – Jim & Jo Kledis
May 18 - Ken & Joyce Smith
May 24 - Alfred & Vicki Mauro

Note: We don't want to miss anyone! If you know of someone who isn't listed in this birthday or anniversary list please notify the Church Office.

The Word of Our Lord
My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. 
James 1:19-20
Your safety is our No. 1 concern!
We will continue to monitor the latest guidance from the CDC and new COVID cases. We will re-evaluate in-person worship should anything change. For now, we ask that you continue to practice these essential guidelines:
  • Please monitor your symptoms and if you feel sick, please stay home.
  • Masks or cloth face coverings are optional indoors and outdoors at this time. 
  • Please maintain at least six feet of social distance when possible.
  • You may now sit anywhere in the sanctuary
  • No passing of the offering. Please deposit your attendance card and offering in the box or basket at the back of the church when you leave.
  • Please dispose of your bulletin as you leave or take it with you to reference upcoming events.
  • The Sanctuary is sanitized after every worship service.
Staff Members & Email Addresses

Pastor: Cathy C. Thacker -
Music Director: Lou Murray -
Office Manager: Joyce Perkins -
Admin. Asst.: James Wise -
Youth Leader: Amber Smith -
Children's Ministry Director: Rijean Smith -
Preschool Director: Denise Dunn -
Lay Leader & Sound Engineer: Bob Nye
Blended Serv. Worship Leader: Scott Weyrauch
Mercy Ministries Director: Donna Regn -
Accountant: Chuck McLendon -

First United Methodist Church of St. Cloud
1000 Ohio Ave., St. Cloud, FL 34769