Thursday, December 24
Christmas Eve
Preacher: Rev. Taylor Fuerst
Scripture: Isaiah 9:2-7, Luke 2:1-20
Sermon: "I Believe in God"

We all have an idea about how Christmas Eve should go, and for many of us, it evokes images of our Sanctuary filled with candlelight, the domed roof stretching upward, pressed by the power of all those voices bellowing, "Yea, Lord, we greet thee!" 

With worship being a virtual-only event, we may be tempted to just set it aside, knowing it will be nothing like it usually is. But Christmas is actually about a night in which nothing went according to plan--not Caesar's plan, not Joseph or Mary's plan, not the Shepherds' plan. And yet God brought the Holy right into the midst of it.

We need to hear the story told, and to sing the song of faith, knowing that the city and the world are filled with others lighting their candles and lifting their voices. Join us for worship today, and may God come and be God-with-us, wherever you are tonight.
Family Service Online
4:00 p.m., on YouTube and Facebook
Join us live or whenever is convenient for your family, for an engaging time of carol singing and a unique re-telling of the Christmas Story. We will have special appearances from some of our own families and will end with the children’s choir leading us in Silent Night. This service will be pre-recorded and will be available at 4:00 p.m. on YouTube and our private FUMC Family Facebook group.

Candlelight Worship Online
6:00 p.m. on YouTube and Facebook
We’ll celebrate the birth of our savior in a special video worship service featuring special music from FUMC Choirs and Handbells. Grab a candle to light during this virtual worship experience as we sing "Silent Night" together all over the world. The service will air live at 6:00 p.m. on our YouTube and Facebook pages.

8:00 p.m. Zoom Worship
For those who wish to be in community on this holy night, watch the service together with your church family on Zoom at 8:00 p.m.

Meeting ID: 496666774
Password: welcome 
Phone: 1-312-626-6799 
THIS SUNDAY
Worship Service
Sunday, December 27
1st Sunday After Christmas
Preacher: Rev. John McMullen
Scripture: Luke 2:22-40
Sermon: "I Believe in Christmas"

Sunday Worship
Our video worship service is at 11:00 a.m. accessible through our Zoom worship time, YouTube Channel and Facebook page. Zoom link is in the Sunday morning email.

Sunday School
Both Children and Youth Sunday School are currently on break until January 10. 
Discussion: Love is the Way
Sunday, December 27
4:30-6:00 p.m., Zoom Online
This December, walk the path of love with one of the warmest, most beloved spiritual leaders of our time, and learn how to put faith into action. Zoom link provided with registration. Register Online.
NEWS & EVENTS
Stay up-to-date on events at fumcaustin.org/events.
Walking the Labyrinth
If you find yourself yearning for a space and a few minutes of time set apart to recenter yourself, our labyrinth is available to walk in Murchison Chapel through December 29. We are being careful to ensure the safety of each person who comes to walk the labyrinth in the Chapel. Sign Up Online.
Christmas Prayer & Connection
Wednesday, December 30
7:30-8:30 p.m.
A simple, low-key time to share a little light together during this holiday season. It’s a place to connect, check in, and pray for one another and our world. Join one of the pastors any or each Wednesday in December. 
Meeting ID: 953 2564 7802
Passcode: Advent
End-of-Year Giving Reminder
Our church office will be open on December 31 from 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. to accept year-end gifts. IRS regulations require contributions for 2020 be mailed and postmarked no later than December 31, 2020. Contributions received after January 1 will be considered 2021 gifts.
Magi-cal Mystery Tour
Sunday, January 10, 4:30-6:00 p.m.
Begin in Church Parking Lot
Join us on a “Magi-cal” Mystery Tour as we participate in a photo Scavenger Hunt around downtown Austin in search of the Magi! We’ll each have some riddles to solve to try and find our Magi in different locations around town. Think you are up for the quest!? We’ll grab our clues in the church parking lot between 4:30-5:00 p.m. and then see how many riddles and locations you can find in an hour! Bring the whole family! Bring your whole self! Register Online.
Book Study: Just Faith
Two Options
Just Faith: Reclaiming Progressive Christianity by author Guthrie Graves-Fitzsimmons is a call to action for progressive Christians to reclaim our place in our national discussion of faith and politics. Please register and a Zoom invitation will be sent. Questions? Contact Pastor Cathy at cathy@fumcaustin.org.
Tuesdays, January 12-26, 6:30-8:00 p.m., Register Here.
Thursdays, January 14-28, 1:00 – 2:30 p.m., Register Here.
Breathe: 2021 UMW Virtual Legislative Event
Saturday-Tuesday, January 23-26, 2021
United Methodist Women’s Legislative Event will be online January 23-26. This annual event will still include keynote speakers, presentations from leading policy advocates, worship and opportunities for fellowship with United Methodist Women across Texasbut this year, you can enjoy it from the comfort of your home or office! All sessions will be recorded and available to registered participants for replay. Register at https://texasimpact.org/umw2021central/.
Manna Bags Needed
We are collecting assembled manna bags for our hungry neighbors experiencing homelessness to be distributed by the Homeless Outreach Street Team and the Downtown Austin Community Court. Manna Bag items can 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." Email Pastor Cathy at cathy@fumcaustin.org to coordinate drop-off. 
2021 Pledge Commitment
First Church thanks you for your commitment to live generous lives. Your pledges and contributions are a critical part of how we make a difference in our church, our community, and our world in 2021.
DECEMBER MISSION EMPHASIS
Christmas Offering - Huston-Tillotson University
Each Christmas, we remember that Christ’s coming is an act of self-giving by God—God has given, and continues to give, God’s very self for our sake. Drawing on our core value of Bridge-building, and with hopes of extending our commitment to racial justice, we are exploring possibilities for long-term partnership with Huston-Tillotson University in East Austin. Huston-Tillotson University (HT) has Methodist roots and continues to be affiliated with the United Methodist Church, as well as the United Church of Christ. A Historically Black University, HT has stood in East Austin since 1878, with a mission to nurture a legacy of leadership and excellence in education, connecting knowledge, power, passion, and values. Our mission with this year’s Christmas Offering is to form the bridge for as many HT students as possible to continue their education during the pandemic. We aim to make up for tuition they have been unable to pay this fall—often due to pandemic loss of income or inability to continue working—in order to allow and encourage them to register for spring classes. Our gifts today open the doors for future steps that allow these students to flourish. It could literally change their lives. You may give online or mail a check to the church marked “Christmas Offering.”
PRAYER CONCERNS
Submit a prayer request online.
Within our Congregation
Sandy Bowles, Kathy Morales, Mari Perez, Sallie Novinger, Dick Raycraft, Pam Tackett, and Dan Wood.

Condolences to Duane Cripe and the Cripe family on the death of his mother, Lois Cripe.

Beyond our Congregation
Curt Ashmos’ friend, Elissa Marek; 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; Molly Drazic’s cousin, Dorothy Heacock Butler; Pastor Taylor's friend, Beth Walmus; George Gaston’s friend, Dr. Robert Wootton; Marcia Houston’s mother, Johnnie; Don Mayfield’s stepdaughter, Robin Michelle Clark; Cindy Reidland’s friends, Carly and Colton Wimberly; Pat Rives friends, Sandi and Don Parks; Alan Stephens’ father-in-law, Bob McBride, and uncle, George Frear; David Strong’s friend, Luciana P. Fellini; 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