First United Methodist Church of St. Cloud
October 2021 Newsletter
From the Desk of Pastor Cathy

Dear friends!

Pumpkins! Candy Corn! Spiced Pecan Pumpkin Bread! Cooler weather! (Wait for it!) Football games! Fall Festivals! Pumpkin Spice Lattes! Candied apples! Halloween costumes! Trunk or Treat! These are some of our favorite things that indicate fall has arrived! It’s a great time of year! We begin to see our winter residents returning from up north. I always say, “Welcome home!”

Our sermon series this fall is called “The Way of Forgiveness”. Do you find that you have trouble forgiving others? Are you carrying anger and resentment? As Christ followers, we are called to live a forgiven and forgiving life in response to Christ’s call. We pray, “Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.” Matthew 6:12 (NLT) This study will encourage you to grow in the heart and mind of Christ.

  • October 3rd - Rev. Jim Kledis
  • October 10th - Facing and Transforming Our Anger
  • October 17th  - Receiving God’s Forgiveness
  • October 24th - Forgiving Others and Reconciliation
  • October 31st - Becoming the Beloved Community

On Sunday, October 3rd our Mission Team (Larry Finch, Barbara Watson, Althea Lee, Pastor Cathy Thacker, and Bill Mueller) will travel to Fairhope, Alabama and stay at Fairhope UMC to do rebuilding work for those who have had damage from Hurricane Sally on the Florida side of the state line. You may remember Hurricane Sally came ashore near Gulf Shores, Alabama on September 16, 2020, as a Category 2 hurricane with winds 105 mph and moving at 3 mph causing $3 billion dollars in damage. Sally produced widespread wind, storm surge, and freshwater flooding in coastal Alabama and in the western Florida panhandle. There were 6 deaths. Businesses and homes are still in need of help rebuilding. We will be working on a home where the owner (a lady) is living in a shed behind her home. We will be doing dry wall, caulking, painting, and taping. Please keep the team and those we will be working with and helping in your prayers that we will build relationships and be a blessing!

Wednesday, October 27th is our Trunk-or-Treat event for children. We will circle our vehicles around the parking lot behind the Family Life Center. We will dress up in kid-friendly, non-scary costumes, and have lots of candy and treats for all our children. We are happy to have this safe alternative from door-to-door trick or treating for our children and friends. I hope you will join us and bring treats for the children!
On Thursday, September 16th we joined volunteers from all over St. Cloud for lunch at the St. Cloud Food Pantry. On December 31st, the St. Cloud Food Pantry will close its doors and area churches and business partners will take up the mantle for food/gift cards distribution in our community. We are so grateful for Tammi Madison and for her leadership and heart for those in need! As our plans unfold, we will keep you up to date on how you can help with those who have food insecurities in St. Cloud.

It’s a joy to be your Pastor!

Pastor Cathy
Caleb Meyers, Julie Johnston, Pastor Cathy, Larry Dykes
Dennis & Shireen Tripp, Judy Schmidt, Barbara Watson
Lunch at the St. Cloud Food Pantry
{Larry Finch labeled)
Introducing Diana Walls
Diana Walls is a new member to First United Methodist Church of St. Cloud but she has been a Methodist all of here life. As an infant she was baptized in the Methodist Church in Pittsburg, Pa where she lived until she was twelve years old. Her family relocated to Winter Park, FL and she lived there until 1978 when she moved to Kissimmee.

Diana and her husband Ron have a blended family with four children. Three of their children live in Florida (not in Kissimmee or St. Cloud) while the fourth lives in North Carolina. They have seven grandchildren ranging in ages from 8 to 21, three of which are in college. They travel often to visit their children and grandchildren, especially to watch them participate in sports.

Diana and Ron have a vacation home in Tennessee where they go for a couple of weeks each month from April to November. Diana enjoys visits from her grandchildren who live in North Carolina. She says they like to sleep-over at Grandma’s but they take turns. This gives Diana one-on-one time with each of them. She says she enjoys her time with them individually and they enjoy her undivided attention.
Music has been a part of Diana’s life since she was a child. Everyone in her family enjoyed music. She learned to play the violin, organ, and piano when she was young. She has always had an interest in music which she said is her God given gift. She uses the gift of music as her service to the church. It is an expression of praise and is an important part of her personal worship. Diana has accepted the leadership of the hand-bell choir at First Church which plays at the Traditional Worship Service on designated Sunday mornings. She has been playing hand-bells for about 30 years. If you do not attend the Traditional Service at 8:30 am you might want to watch it online after it is posted on Sundays when the hand-bell choir is performing. They do a wonderful job!

Beside visiting her children and grandchildren, Diana loves to travel around the country and abroad. Ron and Diana have visited many beautiful places over the years. They especially enjoy riding together on their Harley Davidson. Another hobby that Diana enjoys is cross-stitch. She has been doing counted cross-stitch for many years. Diana has many interests but mostly loves God and the church. 
Welcome Rev. & Mrs. Jim Kledis
Pastor Jim Kledis and his wife, Jo have recently relocated to the St. Cloud area from Kansas City, Missouri. Jim is a retired United Methodist Pastor who served 30 years in ministry in Wisconsin and Iowa. Jim and Jo met at Morningside University, a United Methodist Institution, and were married on May 15, 1976. They recently celebrated their 45th Wedding Anniversary. They are blessed with two grown children and one granddaughter. Their son, Nicholas is married to Stacey and they have one child, Zora will be six this coming December 24th. They live in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri. Their daughter, Jennifer lives in Chicago, IL. Jo is a retired RN who worked as a Recovery Room nurse in the O.R.
Upcoming Mission Trip
We have a new Mission Team at First Church. Plans are underway for a mission trip to the Mobile Bay area, specifically Fairhope, Alabama. The team will be working on interior rebuilding and finishing of homes and businesses that were damaged by Hurricane Sally in 2020. They will be leaving on Sunday, October 3 and return on October 8.
Please pray for those going on this trip.
Commissioning of the Mission Team
Pictured: Pastor Cathy Thacker, Althea Lee, Barbara Watson, Larry Finch
Not pictured: Bill Mueller, Phil Christian (Pastor Cathy's brother)
Mark Your Calendar
Upcoming Events

  • October 3-8 - Mission trip to Fairhope, Alabama
  • October 13 - Church-wide Dinner (outdoors) ~ 5:15 PM
  • October 17 - Newcomer's Luncheon ~ after blended service
  • October 23 - Boy Scout Rummage Sale ~ FLC Parking Lot
  • October 24 - New Member Sunday
  • October 27 - Trunk-or-Treat for Everyone ~ 6-7:30 PM (Arrive early to get set up if you are participating.)

Regular Meetings
  • Traditional Worship Service ~ 8:30 AM
  • Serendipity Sunday School Class ~ 9:00 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 ~ 1st & 3rd Monday, 10:00 AM
  • Smooth Stones Bible Study ~ 2nd & 4th Monday, 10:00 AM
  • Boy Scouts ~ 7:00 PM
  • Bags of Love ~ 9 to 11 AM (Hot Breakfast to Go)
  • Online Bible Study with Pastor Cathy - 7:00 PM; Please join using your computer, tablet or smartphone. Access Code: 712-997-989 or dial in using your phone. United States: +1 (224) 501-3412
  • Cub Scouts ~ 7:00 PM
  • Church-wide dinner served outdoors (2nd Wednesday) ~ starting at 5:15 PM
  • Youth Group ~ 6:00 - 7:30 PM
  • Children's program ~ 6:00 - 7:30 PM
  • Adult Choir Rehearsal ~ 7:00 PM
Thursday: Bags of Love ~ 9 to 11 AM (Hot Burritos to Go)

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.
by Lou Murray, Music Director

Choir members are returning from their various vacations, so expect a larger singing group at the 8:30 traditional service this fall. We're sad to learn that saxophonist Randy White is leaving us for Maine. Before departing he gifted me with several books of contemporary Christian music, for which I thank him. Our first hand-bell performance after the summer hiatus took place at the traditional service September 12. Thanks to Diana Walls for organizing that. The general plan is for the hand-bell choir to perform on the second Sunday of each month, going forward. I'm always open to comments or suggestions about the music, particularly since it's time to start thinking about what we want for the Christmas season. 

Thanks for listening!
Classes are in full swing and there is a whole lot of learning going on! God has blessed us with 54 students this year. The children participated in a wonderful STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) event. Each student had the opportunity to make a snow cone by using their own body as the power. A large walking wheel, cranks, levers, and pulleys were used, and the result was a snow cone! The children had a great time and learned new things from the experience.

Later this month, the Saint Cloud Fire Department will visit and teach us all about Fire Safety in support of Fire Safety month.

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


Ms. Denise

Using my body to make a snow cone
STEM Activity
Making a Snow Cone
We continue to have Children's Moment and Children's Church each Sunday morning with anywhere from three to nine children in attendance. We began our Wednesday night program on September 8th meeting from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. with an average of five children each week. We are using the Grow Curriculum.
Another Acolyte training is being planned for October; possibly on the 10th or 24th. It will be held right after church for an hour with a pizza lunch. 
Trunk-or-Treat will be on Wednesday, October 27th from 6:00-7:30 p.m. We are looking for people to decorate their trunk and pass out candy or trinkets to the children. We will also need candy donations and volunteers to help. Please spread the word as we want to reach as many families as possible.
I am planning to open the church nursery in January. We have several families that will be needing nursery care.
The children's room is still a work in progress. I plan to add more things to the room for our B.E.A.C.H. theme. The children are excited and so am I. I am trying to get together a team to complete the painting for the last room and the hallway. Thank you for all your support.

Rijean Smith
Making Blessing Mix during Children's Church

Having Fun at our Wednesday Night Children's Program called B.E.A.C.H. Club
Our Children's Ministries will host a community Trunk-or-Treat event on Wednesday, October 27th. Come to the parking lot behind the Family Life Center with your trunk decorated to greet our children at your vehicle by handing out Candy and Treats. Costumes for adults and children should be kid-friendly and non-scary. Volunteers and candy donations are needed. Share this information with your friends, neighbors and family.
We have an amazing youth group at First Church St. Cloud. Currently we are averaging four to six youth each week. Unfortunately, many of our youth are involved in sports or other activities which conflicts with the Wednesday night program. 
The youth room is looking great! The shiplap was installed by Ray Tilley and some of his coworkers. They did an awesome job! I have added some décor with more to come including twinkling lights. The youth love it! 
The youth will be helping out with Trunk-or-Treat on October 27th. They are excited about helping and look forward to the fun. 
We are in the process of planning our year with many fun activities. Some of these activities will include outings on Sundays after church. 
We are planning another Confirmation class after the first of the year and would like to take a trip to St. Simons Island in February with this year’s confirmands along with the last group of confirmands. 
Thank you all for allowing me this opportunity to shepherd our youth. 
Amber Smith
Youth Room Renovation
(Shiplap wall, flooring, couch, lights, paint)
October Birthdays & Anniversaries
Oct. 3 - Jack Lovejoy

Oct. 4 - Ruth Lovejoy
Oct. 5 - Jack Lethenstrom
Oct. 7 - Bonnie Gregory
Oct. 11 - Darlene McCland
Oct. 15 - Rita Miller
Oct. 15 - Kate Walther
Oct. 15 - Amanda McConnell
Oct. 21 - Amy Allison
Oct. 25 - Jill Anderson
Oct. 27 - Beverly Dix
Oct. 30 - Diane Spaulding
October 17 - Dennis and Shireen Tripp

Note: 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
3 Blessed are the poor in spirit,
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are those who mourn,
    for they will be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek,
    for they will inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
    for they will be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful,
    for they will be shown mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart,
    for they will see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers,
    for they will be called children of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of
    righteousness for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Matthew 5:3-10
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 maintain at least six feet of social distance. Family units may sit together.
  • Masks or cloth face coverings are required at all times. 
  • Monitor your symptoms - Stay home if you feel sick.
  • Every other pew will be closed.
  • No congregational singing.
  • No passing of the offering.
  • There will be no meet and greet.
  • Ushers will seat and dismiss you.
  • Deposit your attendance sheet and offering in the basket by the door 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: 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

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