Taylor's Weekly Pastoral Letter
In her weekly letter, Pastor Taylor reminds us of the power of simple gifts and gestures, and invites us to consider our own actions in light of John Wesley's three simple rules. Read this week's message here .
Sunday, April 5
Palm/ Passion Sunday
Preacher: Rev. Taylor Fuerst
Scripture: Matthew 27:32
Sermon: “Carrying”

This Sunday wraps up our Lenten series on the Spiritual Work of Resisting Racism . Pastor Taylor blends together the themes of Jesus' journey to the cross and our journey of resisting racism, both journeys in which we are called to see our lives—indeed, our salvation—deeply intertwined with the lives of others.

While the Lenten series and studies will end this Sunday (Daily Interruptions will continue through Holy Week), our work of resisting racism is only getting started. All are invited to Sunday School with Pastor Cathy and Devon Bailey to discern together our next steps as individuals and as a congregation.
Celebrate Palm Sunday!
The Holiest Week of the year begins this Sunday with Palm Sunday! Get your palms ready to wave during our Live worship time on Sunday at 11:00 a.m. You can cut a branch from a plant in your yard, or print and cut out a stencil. After worship, take the parade outside to your front porch or down your street! On Sunday afternoon from 2:00-4:00 p.m., take your parade into the car and come pick up a Holy Week bag in the church parking lot! 
Children's Sunday School Live on Zoom
Sunday, April 5, 9:00 a.m.
Join Lara Greene, Director of Children's Ministries, for a live 20-minute Sunday School time of song, prayer, and fellowship. 
Zoom Login: https://fumcaustin.zoom.us/j/402211293  Meeting ID: 402 211 293 
Resisting Racism Class on Zoom
Sunday, April 5, 10:00 a.m.
Join Pastor Cathy Stone and Devon Bailey, Director of Youth Ministries, for the final class "Where Do We Go from Here" closing out the series on themes from White Fragility .
Zoom Login: https://fumcaustin.zoom.us/j/541454726  Meeting ID: 541 454 726 
Interactive Time of Prayer on Zoom
Sunday, April 5, 11:00 a.m. (Opens at 10:30 a.m.)
Join 30 Minutes early for Zoom support and to chat with our church family.
Plan to join your church family on Sunday for Music, Greeting time, Announcements, Scripture, and a Time for Prayer.
Zoom Login: https://fumcaustin.zoom.us/j/496666774  Meeting ID: 496 666 774 
Holy Week Bags
Sunday, April 5, 2:00-4:00 p.m.
Church Parking Lot
FUMC Staff has (very carefully and cleanly) prepared some ideas to help our church family observe Holy Week while we are physically apart. We hope these activities will be a blessing—and perhaps a new tradition—for your family. Please note: bags are for all—not just for families with children! In our bags, you will find daily prayers, Scripture readings, and activities to remember Jesus' last Supper, His washing of disciple's feet, His hanging on the cross, and our anticipation of new life at Easter through His Resurrection. You can pick up the Holy Week bags at the FUMC parking lot on Sunday April 5 from 2:00-4:00 p.m. We have 60 bags so please register to reserve your bag and indicate if you can pick up or need delivery. An online version of the bag will be available on Sunday as well. Reserve your bag here .
Expanded Virtual Worship Podcast
After you join us for the live portion of worship, we invite you to continue by listening to this audio worship podcast. Grab a candle and light it, and turn in your Bible. This week includes a greeting and opening prayer, Scripture reading, sermon, and music from Susannah Willms. This component is available at any time—just click the link. Feel free to share with friends and family as you feel led. The sermon link will be emailed Sunday morning and posted on our website , iTunes podcast , and YouTube Channel .
Conversations on Racial Justice
April 5, 4:30 p.m.-6:00 p.m.
Join us as we work to be anti-racists, seeking to undo racism in ourselves and to recognize and understand our participation in systemic racism. This group meets on first Sundays, 4:30-6:00 p.m., to discuss and learn more about racial oppression, issues of whiteness and racism, and other topics through videos, podcasts, and short articles.

On Sunday, April 5, we will continue the conversation using the web series "The Next Question: Imagining How Expansive Racial Justice Can Be," produced and hosted by Austin Channing Brown. We’ll watch and discuss an interview with Andre Henry. As a musician and a writer, Andre has become a leading creative voice for the social justice movement in America. Encouraging us all to remember that “it doesn’t have to be this way,” Andre and the hosts discuss real ways to pursue justice in today’s America. Zoom link provided after registration . Register Here .
FEAST/TOAST for Young Adults
Sundays at 5:00 p.m.
All young adults ages 20-45 are invited to join us weekly to check in, share, and connect on Zoom! We'll treat this time as a virtual happy hour. Bring a drink. Bring a story. Bring a friend. Let's do our best to stay connected while we have to stay apart.
Zoom Login: https://fumcaustin.zoom.us/j/516485253 Meeting ID: 516 485 253
Pastors Bible Study
Begins Thursday, April 2
Join Pastor Taylor for an informal study of the Book of Philippians on Thursdays at 1:30 p.m. beginning on April 2 via Zoom. We'll work our way through the book one chapter at a time, considering the context in which it was first read and the context in which we read it today. Together, we'll listen for God's word in the midst of unusual circumstances.
Meeting ID: 725 456 234
Manna Bags Needed
We are seeking assembled Manna Bags to hand out to our hungry neighbors on the street. Officer Shelly, our officer from the Feed My People Breakfast, is helping distribute the Manna Bags where they are needed the most. Completed manna bags may be dropped off at the Family Life Center. Please email Pastor Cathy at [email protected] with any questions about items to include and for her phone number to coordinate drop-off. She will unlock the FLC front door remotely. Manna Bag items could include: tuna or chicken lunch kit, peanut butter or cheese cracker sandwiches, Nutri Grain fruit bar, raisins, juice box, socks, and an encouraging message such as "God loves you."
Weekday Mornings for Families
Weekdays at 10:30 a.m.
During the week, Monday-Friday at 10:30 a.m. on our Preschool Facebook site, we are offering a time for families to come together for story time, singing, and fellowship. On Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, preschool teachers lead a circle time for children. On Wednesdays, Lara Greene, Director of Children's Ministries, leads a chapel time of story, song, and prayer. Tune in at 10:30 a.m. on weekdays at facebook.com/FUMPATX .
Weekly Prayer & Connection
Wednesdays, 7:30-8:00 p.m.
A simple, low-key time to gather with FUMC family to check in and pray for one another and our world. No frills, no program, just people and the Holy Spirit! We'll gather from each Wednesday night. Zoom Login: https://fumcaustin.zoom.us/j/805144062
Meeting ID: 805 144 062
Book Study: The Water Dancer
Tuesdays, April 14-28, 6:30 p.m.–7:45 p.m.
Join Pastor Cathy Stone as we read and discuss The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates. This is the dramatic story of an atrocity inflicted on generations of women, men, and children—the violent and capricious separation of families—and the war they waged to simply make lives with the people they loved. Written by one of today’s most exciting thinkers and writers, The Water Dancer is a propulsive, transcendent work that restores the humanity of those from whom everything was stolen. Zoom link provided after registration.  Read More .
Unafraid with Dr. Brad King
Mondays, April 20-June 1, 6:00-7:15 p.m.
As if we didn't have enough to deal with in an election year, navigating the Covid-19 pandemic has many of us facing increasing levels of anxiety, uncertainty, and fear. Whether you're craving fellowship or coping strategies or both, this is the book study for you. Beginning the Monday after Easter, join Dr. Brad King for a five-week study and discussion (via Zoom) of Adam Hamilton's Unafraid: Living with Courage and Hope in Uncertain Times. In Unafraid, Hamilton examines the ways that fear, anxiety, and worry punctuate almost every aspect of American life. Along with practical advice for dealing with the fears and stress that mark every aspect of modern life, this book provides a refreshing look at the ways that faith and scripture continue to lift up those who need hope in uncertain times. Zoom links provided after registration. Register Here.
Daily Devotional Resources
Looking for a daily devotional?
The Upper Room offers a daily devotional resource emailed to you each morning. The Upper Room is written by people just like you who share their stories of faith and transformation. Special resources are available for this time at https://www.upperroom.org/covid-19 .
Richard Rohr, a Franciscan priest and founder of the Center for Action and Contemplation, offers a rich daily meditation balancing the dance of action and contemplation. To sign up, visit cac.org/category/daily-meditations/ .
Story Submissions
As we wait to gather again for worship, we can still come together as a church. Be part of the Bolder Than The State of Texas StoryCorps Project! Download the StoryCorps app and record your stories of living faith and your life with FUMC-Austin. You can tell a 5 minute story or a 45 minute story! Upload your stories to our StoryCorps community archive page so we can listen. To learn more about StoryCorps FUMC visit our StoryCorps resource guide .

Spring 2020 Issue
Help us build the next issue of Bolder than the State of Texas ! We are particularly seeking stories about Change and Resurrection for the Spring 2020 issue. We are open to poetry, essays, photography, or art! Be part of the story this church is telling the world. Submissions accepted continually, with a deadline of May 1 for the Spring 2020, Issue 2. Submit your stories online at fumcaustin.org/bolderthantexas . For more information, contact Amy Wink and Caroline Jones at [email protected] .
Help Our Vulnerable in Austin

Use your voice for our vulnerable neighbors! Call or email your City Leaders and demand that more be done to shelter and provide for this vulnerable population. If we do not speak up now, who will?

Support the Feed My People Breakfast by giving online to First UMC or by giving directly to Foundation for the Homeless .

Pray for our neighbors experiencing homelessness, for individuals wanting to make a difference in the midst of these crazy times, for leaders making decisions, for us all. Pray that we can help others know and remember that God is with each of us, that they are not alone. Let us each remember that promise and share that love and hope with others! 
Care for One Another
During this time, we are looking to build a team of volunteers to help us call upon one another or send written care notes. If you are looking for a way to support virtual congregational care during this time, please email Daviss King, Asistant to the Pastors, at [email protected] .
Prayer Requests
If you have a loved one to lift up, send us your prayer concerns and we will add that person(s) to our prayer list. Prayer requests can be submitted to our pastoral staff using our online form or emailed to [email protected] .
Online Giving
Your ongoing gifts are a blessing to the ministry of FUMC Austin. You can make a one-time gift on our giving page or log onto Church Life to schedule a recurring gift. To give to our operating budget, select "Ministry Plan” fund. For more information, see Steps for Online Giving . If you have questions, email Deanna Fairchild, Director of Finance, at [email protected] .
Zoom Video Conferencing
Zoom is our new video conferencing platform which allows for the ability to feature speakers or hosts, share a screen, show participants, chat, go into breakout rooms, and much more. Once you get the hang of Zoom, it is easy. Below are some helpful tips to help ease your transition to Zoom along with some tutorial resources.

Tips for Zoom
  • Set up a Zoom account if you don't already have one at https://zoom.us/.
  • Review our Zoom Tutorial summarizing the process of downloading the Zoom app and basic meeting controls.
  • Review a quick video tutorial on Joining a Meeting.
  • Zoom will look for your microphone and video camera. You may need to allow access. If you don't have a microphone or video camera, you can still participate via chat and dial-in using your phone. 
  • Zoom works great on tablets and smart phones using the meeting url.
  • Zoom Dial-in #s (when not using computer audio) 
  • Any phone number below will work, you will be prompted to input the meeting ID #.
  • +1 669 219 2599 US (San Jose) 
  • +1 971 247 1195 US (Portland) 
  • +1 213 338 8477 US (Los Angeles) 
  • +1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)
  • If you prefer to dial-in by phone to your meeting rather than use the computer audio, please make sure your audio is set to mute so that there is no feedback on the line.
  • Most meetings will likely start with all participants on mute to avoid feedback issues during the sessions. 
  • Chat is the easiest way to communicate during a Zoom meeting. You can message 1) everyone or 2) an individual directly.
Stay Connected

Church Life makes it easy to check in with our church family during this time.

Church Life allows members to review their contact information, access a church directory, schedule onetime or recurring giving, and access the church calendar.

The browser version of Church Life can be accessed at fumcaustin.org/churchlife .

If you haven't done so already, download the Church Life mobile app that provides similar access to church information using your same Church Life login. You can easily search for people in the directory and save to your contacts.

Catch Up on Sermons

An archive of sermons is available on our website , our iTunes Podcast or YouTube Channel.
Prayer Concerns
Submit a prayer request online .
Within our Congregation
Stephanie Benold; Sandy Bowles; Michael Crowe; Marcia Houston; Doise Miers; Mari Perez; Tom Richardson; Debbie Rippetoe; and Dan Wood.

Encouragement for all educators, students and parents moving to distance learning.

Prayers of gratitude for medical care providers, first responders, essential service workers, and our pets.

Prayers of concern for the elderly, small business owners, those out of work, migrants separated from their families, and those experiencing homelessnes.

Condolences to the friends and family of Bruce Brooks on his death.

Beyond our Congregation
Curt Ashmos’ friend, Elissa Marek; Teresa Baker’s cousins, Jackie and Nate Barnes; Grady Basler’s sister, Tonya Basler Stout; Cheryl Bias’ niece, Lauren Stafford; Bob Block’s friend, Tim Sullivan; Fay Brown’s sister, Jo Rene Altenburg; Michael Edge; Teresa Edward's mother, Fern Edwards; George Gaston’s friend, Dr. Robert Wootton; Marijo Hartman’s friend, Cecilia Collins; Marcia Houston’s mother, Frances Lopez’s daughters, Mel and Nikki; Johnnie; Melanie Miller’s and Jen Stuart’s father, Doak Thomas; Sue Norris’ friend, LuAnn; Cindy Reidland’s friends, Carly and Colton Wimberly; Merry Rightmmer's friend, Frank Nutt; Donna Shands’ mother, Eva Reneau; Donna Shand’s friend, Brian Pollard; Alan Stephens’ father-in-law, Robert McBride; David Strong’s aunt, Myrle Raley; Danielle Thoma’s aunt, Lannie Foster; Cindy Wallingford’s brother-in-law, Daniel Peterson and Dick Young’s nephew, Jeff Young. 
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Contact Us
First United Methodist Church
1201 Lavaca St. Austin, TX 78701
(512) 478-5684