First United Methodist Church of St. Cloud

November 2022 Newsletter

From the Desk of Pastor Cathy

Dear friends!

We have much to be thankful for! Our Annual Charge Conference was held on Saturday, October 22nd where we celebrated 23 new members including 4 Confirmands and 2 Adult Professions of Faith! We have had 8 baptisms this year! We have started a new Adult Sunday school class, Coffee Hour, a Welcome Center for Worship, renovated the nursery, created a new office for Pastor Jim and Scott; hired 8 new staff members, had 54 children for Food Truck Party Vacation Bible School, have wonderful Wednesday night dinners & activities, have an excellent preschool with 54 students, took the youth to St. Simon’s Island on Retreat, had average worship attendance of 120 in person and 150 online. (Yes! We have more online viewers than in person!) We've served an average of 200 meals per week to those in need in our community through Bags of Love and Elmer’s Kitchen! Packed 10 UMCOR Flood buckets! The bottom line is that we have much to be thankful for.

Colossians 3:15 (NRSV) says, “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful…” Colossians 3:15 (NRSV) What would happen if we were always thankful? I love the Thanksgiving holiday! It is a day we can stop and focus on our blessings and gifts from God. Let’s be thankful! This is the body of Christ at its best!

Our Stewardship series will be part of our series

“The Call: The Life and Message of the Apostle Paul” on October 30th Called to Give and November 6th Called to be Faithful where we will hear stewardship testimonies. Our Commitment Sunday will be November 13th where we will receive our pledges to support the mission and ministries of our church for 2023 and Time and Talent Commitment Sheets. Our Stewardship theme is Build Your Kingdom!” Each person will receive a special gift when you come! Please be in prayer for faithfulness and God’s vision! We have accomplished much but God is calling us to reach more people for Jesus Christ in 2023!

So, I give thanks for all of you, for all you do for The Lord! It is a blessing to serve with such wonderful followers of Jesus Christ! You are a blessing to this community and to the good news of Jesus Christ! I give thanks for our talented and hard-working staff, my husband, family, and friends. Friends, you are amazing, and God is good! It is good to pause and give thanks to God from whom all blessings flow! I hope and pray that your Thanksgiving this year is filled with joy, lots of yummy food and family time! This year, we will be traveling to the eastern shore of Virginia to celebrate Thanksgiving with our daughter, Sara, and her family. 

I am thankful to be your Pastor!


Happy Thanksgiving from the Thackers and the Reiters!

Pastor Appreciation Sunday Month

Dear Friends,

Thank you to all for the many cards, gift cards, and gifts I received from the congregation! I love serving The Lord with the awesome people at First Church St. Cloud! 

Pastor Cathy

Dear Friends in Christ,

I want to thank you for your kindness shared with me during Pastor's Appreciation Month. I was taken by surprise. I enjoy being in ministry with Pastor Cathy and you! God has blessed Jo and I through the life and love of First United Methodist Church, St. Cloud.


Pastor Jim

Did you know?

Photo of the Laying of the Cornerstone Ceremony on January 8, 1911

The church was called the Methodist Episcopal Church South of St. Cloud at that time. You can find more information about the establishment of the church on our website's history page in the About Tab.


In our church we are moving forward looking to the future while remembering the past. For our current history project, we have created a special room where all will be welcome.  It contains memories from pioneer days to the present day. This is a work in progress. We will keep you updated. Our goal is to have an area where we all can share our memories. If you have any items to share, please contact the church.


Ruth Nye, Church Historian

Ruth Nye working with Judy Schmidt and Vicki Mauro on organizing our historical records

Ruth Nye with the 100 Year Celebration Banner from

November 2010

Centenial photos and 1980's pulpit

Ruth with the Diamond Jubilee Banner

1909 - 1984

Our relocated history room with a new conference table

Meet Rob and Janice Morgan

Janice and Rob Morgan are fairly new to our congregation. They joined First Church St. Cloud in January 2022 after attending online during Covid and in person after the church was opened again. They moved to St. Cloud two years ago to live closer to their youngest son, Jared and his family. They enjoy spending time with their two granddaughters, Isabelle and Charlotte who attend church with them most Sundays. They also have another son named Bryan who lives in Maryland.

Prior to moving to St. Cloud, the couple lived in Orlando for about ten years where they were members of St. Luke’s United Methodist Church. They also have lived in the Carolinas and were originally from Ohio. Janice and Rob actually went through school together in Ohio after meeting in the seventh grade. During their senior year of high school, they became sweethearts and the rest is history. They have been happily married for the past 42 years.

The Morgan’s have been involved with the United Methodist Church for many decades in various locations. Janice says that she likes that the United Methodist Church is active in social justice. When they first came to St. Cloud, they immediately sought out FUMC of St. Cloud and have enjoyed getting involved in the ministries at this church. Janice volunteers at Bags of Love on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. Rob being the musician of the family, enjoys being a member of the Handbell Choir and plays Bass Guitar in the Praise Team at the 10:30 Blended Worship Service.

Both Rob and Janice are retired from their careers. Rob was a Computer Technology Specialist and Janice was an elementary school and preschool teacher. Since retirement they have been able to spend more time with their family. They both stay fit by riding their bikes. Rob also enjoys playing tennis and stays well-rehearsed with playing the bass guitar, handbells, and piano; while Janice enjoys jigsaw puzzles and reading.  

Celebrating 93 Years Young

Jean Troxell celebrated her 93rd birthday on Wednesday,

October 19. 

Jean and her daughter Rijean Smith

Jean with Pastor Cathy and Jean's newest reat-grandson, Gatlin McConnell

Jean with her daughter Rijean, Granddaughter Amber, Granddaughter Amanda and Great-grandson Gatlin

Jean with Granddaughter Amanda, Great-grandchildern Brylee, Kynsley, Adelynn, and Gatlin.

Moving to be Close to Family

Yvonne & Dick Allen will be moving to Michigan soon to be near their daughter. A Going Away Reception was held on Sunday, October 23 in the Family Life Center. It was with sadness that we had to say "good-bye" but we wish them well. Yvonne has served as the Financial Secretary and Office Volunteer in the church for over six years. Please pray for them during this transition! 

Thanks and blessings!

Pastor Cathy

Pastor Cathy, Dennise Dunn, Yvonne Allen, and Joyce Perkins

Dick and Yvonne at the October Wednesday Night Dinner 

Yvonne and Dick Allen

Kevin, Caleb, Yvonne and Donna

Wanted: Sunday Morning Nursery Worker

The church is seeking a nursery worker for Sunday mornings from 8 to 11:30 AM. This is a paid position. If you or someone you know is interested please contact the church office or Rijean Smith to learn more about the job requirements.

The renovation of the Nursery Room is almost complete!

Beautification of the Church Grounds

Our New Garden located near the Preschool Rooms

New Welcome Center

The anex of the sanctuary has bee converted into a multipurpose space now called the Welcome Center. 

Serving Others with
Our Mercy Ministries
Bags of Love

We have a large number of people in need who come on Tueday and Thursday mornings for Bags of Love. FUMCSC always accepts food to fill the bags! 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, bottled waters. 

Gently used clothing are also distributed on Tuesday and Thursday when those less-fortunate come for Bags of Love.

As our numbers continue to go up we thank you for helping us serve the community! Volunteers are always needed to prepare a hot meal, fill and distribute bags, and sort clothing. There are many opportunities for those who wish to help out. Please contact the church office if you are interested.

Our Bicycle Ministry provides refurbished bicycles to those in need so they are able to have much needed transportation. If you know someone who has a bike they are not using please contact the church office.

Click on the image above to go to the Bags of Love Store page directly.

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 & St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church

Third Sunday of month: Soul City Church

Fourth Sunday of month: Jehovah Jireh Community Church

Fifth Sunday of month: FUMC of St. Cloud

Volunteers from St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church serving at Elmer's Kitchen

Volunteer Opportunities

There are many opportuities to volunteer at First Church St. Cloud. Donna Regn with the Mercy Ministries is always looking for help. Elmer's Kitchen can also use assistance. 

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We are looking for someone to take over or assist with this monthly newsletter. Contact the church office if you are interested.


Coffee Hour on Sunday Mornings

Join us for "coffee hour" between church services from 9:15 to 10:15 AM located in the Annex off the Sanctuary. Rhys Bibeau and Larry Dykes are your hosts each week. This is a special time to meet your church family for coffee, donuts, cookies, and other treats. Donations and volunteers are welcome! Please call (407) 908-4418 if you are interested in helping.

Monthly Church-Wide Wednesday Night Dinner

Each month we hold a Church-Wide Wednesday night dinner with physical distancing followed by an activiity starting at 5:15 PM. It is a great time to get to know your church family. During the October Wednesday Night Dinner everyone enjoyed a Costa Rican meal prepared by the Mission Team, followed by a presentation by the team who shared about their summer mission trip to Costa Rica.

The next Wednesday Night Dinner will be held on November 9th. Please join us for a delicious turkey dinner and plan to stay afterward to play a game of Bunco.

Michelle, Pat and Friends

Pastor Jim, Ruth Mosher, Lou Murray, & Rusty Thacker

Dwight Oaks, Amber Smith, Rijean Smith and two of her grandkids.

Al, Joyce, Pat, Myrna, & Barbara

Meet Gatlin McConnell. Son of Amanda and Chris McConnell.

Fellowship Circle

The Fellowship Circle (formerly Seasoned Souls) serves God and our church by doing tasks and chores as needed or requested. There also is a social part to their group in that they strive to get to know each other better and thus enrich their lives, support each other and have fun. They meet twice a month on the first and third Mondays of the month through May 15 taking a break during the summer months. Please contact Myrna Lee at to learn more about the Fellowship Circle.

Circle of Light

Another group of women who meet at the church is the Circle of Light led by Renda Collins. They meet on the 2nd Wednesday of the month. Their primary goal is to mail out cards to the homebound (shut-ins) of our congregation. They are looking for other ways to serve our church. You may contact Renda at to learn more about the group. 

Studying God's Word

Here at First Chirch St. Cloud there are several opportunities to study God's word.

Smooth Stone Bible Study recently began a new study on the book of Hebrews. They are so pleased to have some new members and are looking forward to learning more from the Bible and from each other. Smooth Stones Bible Study meets on the second and fourth Mondays of the month. Vivian Kravitz leads this group and can be reached by email at

Every Tuesday evening Pastor Cathy leads an in-depth study of the Sermon series which will be preached on the following Sunday. This study involves much discussion about the topic at hand. Please join her and others from your computer, tablet or smartphone at 7:00 PM.

Passcode 623978

On Sunday mornings the Serendipity Sunday School Class meets at 9:00 AM in the classroom attached to the Sanctuary as a hybred format; some in person and others over the phone led by Kevin Knox.  For more information contact the church office.

The Genesis Sunday School Classs also meets on Sunday morning at 9:15 AM in the FLC. Currently they are studying from the book, More Parables from the Backside by J Ellsworth Kalas. Larry Finch leads this study and can be reached by email at

The Power Hour Prayer Group meets each Monday morning at 8:30 AM for prayer and to lift up the prayer requests from the congregation. You are invited to join this lively group of prayer warriors each week. If you are interested you may contact the church office.

Spiritual Gifts Assessment

Pastor Jim will be continuing to present Network – a Spiritual Gifts Seminar!


Network is a series of assessments, which will lead you to discover your unique blend of spiritual gifts, personal style, and ministry passion. Attendees will look at the biblical nature and purpose of the church as the Body of Christ and your unique importance to the body. Three sessions on November 5th from 9:00 am. To 12:00 pm. Each three-hour session will enlighten and inspire our journey together.


Our Worship Services are held on Sunday Mornings at 8:15 AM (Traditional) and 10:15 AM (Blended.)

Acolyte Mason Ash

William (Bill) and Dorothy (Dot) McIntosh joined First Church in October. Bill and Dot have four children, five grandchildren, and 8 great-grandchildren, and 1 on the way.

 They have been married for 62 years!

by Lou Murray, Music Director

We're happy to have Dennis Tripp back singing with us after a bout with the covid kept him out for several weeks. Also, we welcome Kathy McDevitt to the alto section. Just one trained singer can make a big difference in our sound. Excitement is building in advance of our second annual Christmas concert, which will take place on Sunday, December 18th at 4 pm. You'd better believe we're practicing! We desperately need more male voices. Also, is there someone who can do some hand percussion? Other instruments? Show up for practice in the sanctuary Wednesday nights at 7pm if you'd like to join the fun. I deeply appreciate all our choir members who faithfully sing with such enthusiasm on Sunday mornings.

Thanks for listening!

Chancel Choir at the Traditional Service under the Leadership of

Lou Murray.

Handbell Musicians under the Leadership of Diana Walls

Soloist Dylan Barnes

Praise Team at the Blended Service under the Leadership of

Scott Weyrauch

Mark Your Calendar

Upcoming Events

November 9 - Church-wide Wednesday Night Dinner ~ 5:15 PM

November 13 - Stewardship Sunday

November 24 - Thanksgiving

Regular Meetings


  • Traditional Worship Service ~ 8:15 - 9:15 AM
  • Hybred Serendipity Sunday School Class ~ 9:00 - 10:00 AM
  • Genesis Sunday School Class ~ 9:15 - 10:00 AM (FLC)
  • Coffee Hour (Annex off the Sanctuary) ~ 9:15 - 10:00 AM
  • Blended Worship Service ~ 10:15 - 11:15 AM
  • Newcomer's Luncheon ~ 3rd Sunday Quarterly, 11:30 AM
  • Elmer's Kitchen ~ 2:00 - 3:00 PM (FUMCSC - 5th Sunday)


  • Power Hour Prayer Group ~ 8:30 AM
  • Fellowship Circle (Formerly Seasoned Souls) ~ 1st & 3rd Monday, 10:00 AM (Resumes October 17)
  • Smooth Stones Bible Study ~ 2nd & 4th Monday, 10:00 AM 
  • 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: 623978
  • Cub Scouts ~ 7:00 PM


  • Circle of Light - Women's Group - 2nd Wedesday of each month 10:00 AM
  • Wednesday Night Church-Wide Dinner - 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
  • Handbell Rehearsal ~ 6:00 - 7:00 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.

Check Out 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 is also available. The calendar can be found by clicking the About tab and then the Weekly Schedule line or by clicking this link.


October was a busy month at the preschool and November will be too! This month the children will be learning about being thankful and giving unto others. We will be collecting food items for our Bags of Love Ministry, which feeds those who are homeless or in need. Many thanks to those who donated items for the Hurricane victims.

The children ended the month of October celebrating “harvest” by parading around the campus as their favorite Storybook character. Each child was given a bag full of treats donated by Jim and Eileen Zetwo. The Zetwo’s have adopted our school children and they provide special treats for them for every holiday. We love Jim and Eileen and are very thankful for their donations and love. Photos of this event can be seen next month or on our Facebook page! 😊

School will be closed for Thanksgiving break 11/21 – 11/24. Classes will resume on Monday, 11/28. Have a blessed Thanksgiving with your families!

Follow us on Facebook to see day to day activities and happenings around the school.


Ms. Denise

The children of First Church meet on Sunday mornings during the 10:00 AM Blended Worship Service after the Children's Moment and on Wednesday evenings.


The Children's Wednesday evening program is called the B.E.A.C.H. Club (Be Excited About Celebrating Him.) Each week from 6:00 until 7:00 PM. They enjoy learning about Jesus, making crafts, learning about each other, playing games, and having a delicious snack. If you know of a child who would enjoy our children's program please contact Rijean Smith at

Children's Ministry Hosts Annual Trunk or Treat Event

Vehicles were Creatively Decorated!

Children Came in Amazing Costumes!

Families Enjoyed the Festivities!

Adults Even Joined in on the Fun!

These and other amazing photos can be viewed on our Facebook page.

Our Youth Group also meets each week on Wednesday evenings

from 6:00 to 7:00 PM. 

The youth at our church, led by Amber Smith are very active with many of the events that we host. They also are involved 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 at

Our youth recently worked on making Flood Buckets using the UMCOR guidelines. This was a great way that our church could serve others and reach out to those who were affected by the hurricane. They also participated in the annual Trunk or Treat Event at the chuch by serving dinner and handing out candy. 

Youth Game Night

Prayer Journals

Cosmic Bowling

October Birthdays

Nov. 2 - Sonny Dorsey

Nov. 2 - Pastor Cathy Thacker

Nov. 3 - Steven Kirsch

Nov. 8 - Vincent Kirsch

Nov. 9 – Audrey Fisk

Nov. 9 – Sabrina Brooks

Nov. 12 – Ted Miller

Nov. 15 - Carol Teyssier

Nov. 16 – Diana Walls

Nov. 19 – Ace Morgan

Nov. 20 - Bob Dixon

Nov. 22 - Betty Driskell

Nov. 23 - Chuck Perkins

Nov. 25 – Dianne Schoolfield

Nov. 25 – Sophia Spivey

Nov. 26 - Megan Phelps

Nov. 29 – Brooke Flaherty

November Anniversaries

None available

Note: We are working hard to keep our information accurate and regret if we have missed our birthday or anniversary. If you know of someone whom we have missed in this birthday or anniversary list please notify the Church Office.

The Word of Our Lord

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Your safety is our No. 1 concern!

Practice self evaluation and hygene

for your safety and others.

We are now able to lift most of the Covid restrictions.

Please continue to deposit your Let's Connect 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 regularly.

Staff Members & Email Addresses

Pastor: Cathy C. Thacker -

Assistant Pastor: Jim Kledis -

Office: Joyce Perkins -

Admin. Asst.: James Wise -

Accountant: Chuck McLendon -

Youth Leader: Amber Smith -

Children's Ministry Director: Rijean Smith -

Preschool Director: Denise Dunn -

Sound Technician: Emma Mavell

Music Director: Lou Murray -

Blended Serv. Worship Leader: Scott Weyrauch

Mercy Ministries Coordinator: Donna Regn

Custodian: Al Rivera -

Security: Juan Santiago

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