Sunday, August 2
9th Sunday after Pentecost
Preacher: Rev. Taylor Fuerst
Scripture: Genesis 12:1-4a
Sermon: "You are Blessed with Gifts"

"...To Be a Blessing" Worship Series
You recognize a blessing when you see it—when what you have been given is beyond what you deserve or have earned. But what is it for, and what should you do with it? In Genesis, God promised Abraham, "I will bless that you will be a blessing." God’s intention is that we use whatever we have, whatever we’ve been given, in order to be a blessing to others. Join us for this 3-week series in which we explore the ways we are called and equipped to bless others in our day-in, day-out lives.
Video Worship Service
We go live with a video worship service in the Sanctuary at 11:00 a.m. on Sundays accessible through our Zoom worship time, our YouTube Channel and on Facebook page . This traditional worship service lasts about 50 minutes.
Interactive Worship
Sundays at 11:00 a.m. (opens at 10:50 a.m.)
Our Interactive Worship includes opportunities to connect with one another, share prayer concerns, and view our worship service. Check your Sunday morning email for Zoom link.
Conversations on Racial Justice
August 2, 4:30-6:00 p.m.
Zoom Online
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 through videos, podcasts, and short articles - no prep needed, just show up ready to listen, discuss, and learn together. The August conversation will focus on racial justice and housing, including ways the Austin housing landscape has been shaped with race in mind. Please contact Pastor Cathy Stone at [email protected] for additional information. Zoom links provided after registration.  Register Here .
First Word from Pastor Taylor - Black Lives Matter to God and to Us
Last week, we hung a banner on the Family Life Center that reads, "Black Lives Matter to God and to us." The banner hangs at a time when fewer people are driving by our building than ever before, thanks to the Coronavirus. So why hang it? Read More .
UMW Circle Up Receives Grant Funding
Circle Up, a subgroup of United Methodist Women at First United Methodist Church Austin, has received a Just and Resilient Communities Grant offered through the General Board of Church and Society of the United Methodist Church. Circle Up was formed in 2018 to focus specifically on the UMW priority area of Maternal and Child Health and to advance the objectives of decreasing maternal mortality and developing a network of women’s health advocates.

Currently comprised of 19 members, Circle Up is committed to service, social justice, and supporting healthy motherhood. The circle will use these funds to facilitate a robust effort at developing a statewide interfaith coalition of laypersons, equipped to effectively advocate for maternal health improvements. As part of this effort, this November they will host an interfaith summit on maternal health in Texas.

The goals of the summit are to 1) increase awareness of maternal health outcomes in Texas, 2) build skills in the legislative advocacy process, and 3) form an interfaith coalition of lay persons whose members are equipped to engage in the advocacy needed during the 2021 Texas Legislative session. Congratulations to Circle Up!
Table for 8
Register before July 31
FUMC's Table for 8 ministry has been a great way for people to connect with members of the church community they might not normally see. Singles, couples, and families of all ages have participated in this fellowship ministry by geographical area. Unfortunately, many of this year's groups were cut short by stay-at-home orders amidst the pandemic. Others found ways to meet on Zoom or through social distancing. For those seeking connection at this time of real disconnection, registration is now open for new groups to begin online/socially distanced gatherings starting in September. This year, we are also allowing existing groups to stay intact for another cycle, if they choose. Either way, registration will be open online through July 31. If you have any questions, please email Emily Buchanan, Director of Discipleship, at [email protected] . Register Here .
The Joy Circle Welcomes You!
Thursdays at 10:30 a.m., Zoom
Our United Methodist Women (UMW) Joy Circle invites all interested women to join us as we discuss the UMW Mission Study, Finding Peace in An Anxious World , beginning this week. Contact Elizabeth Lerner at [email protected] or at (512) 589-6305 for more information or with questions.
Mercy & Justice Book Study: Redefining Realness
Tuesday, August 4-18, 6:30–8:00 p.m. or Thursday, August 6-20, 1:00–2:30 p.m.
Zoom Online
Join Pastor Cathy Stone as we read and discuss Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More . With unflinching honesty and moving prose, Janet Mock relays her experiences of growing up young, multiracial, poor, and trans in America, offering readers accessible language while imparting vital insight about the unique challenges and vulnerabilities of a marginalized and misunderstood population. Redefining Realness is one woman's quest to understand her unique self. This unapologetic memoir offers a powerful vision of possibility and self-realization, self-acceptance, and explores what it means to be authentic. Please register below and a Zoom invitation will be sent. Contact Pastor Cathy at [email protected] for additional information.
Tuesday, August 4-18, 6:30–8:00 p.m., Register Here .
Thursday, August 6-20, 1:00–2:30 p.m., Register Here .
Pride Week this August
Pride Week in Austin is coming up August 9-15. The Pride Parade and Festival have all been postponed until 2021. However, we can still celebrate the spirit of pride from our homes! One way to show your support for the LGBTQ+ community is by placing a pride flag in your yard, your windows, and social media during Pride Week. We found lots of options at . Join us for worship on August 9 and we’ll celebrate pride together! 
Weekly Prayer & Connection
Wednesdays through August 12
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 each Wednesday night.
Zoom Login: 
Meeting ID: 805 144 062
Password: welcome
Dial-in by Phone: 1-312-626-6799 
Cheers Ministry Virtual Potluck
Thursday, August 20, 7:00-8:00 p.m.
Zoom Online
The Cheers Ministry is a community for those young-at-heart who are recently retired, semi-retired, or thinking about setting a date to retire. Join for an evening of virtual fun! For more information, contact Dick Young at [email protected] . Zoom link is sent after registration. Register Online .
Going back to school will look different this year, but we know that God is present through all of it! Here are the ways you can help bless the work of education in our community.

Help us identify our teachers and school staff!
Do you work in a school? Do you know someone at FUMC who is a teacher? We want to bless our educators more than ever during this challenging time, and we want to be sure we don’t miss anyone! Help us identify all those educators in our congregation by filling out the form on this page .

Prayers for Schools—we need your help!
Our schools are a major lifeblood of our community and the students, teachers, staff, and administration of those schools need our prayers as they face uncertainty in the coming school year! So, we are asking FUMC to pray for the schools near you. FUMC members are spread throughout the Austin area, from Elgin to Horseshoe Bay, and from Buda to Burnet—together, that’s a lot of schools! Between now and August 16, take time to walk or drive to your neighborhood schools to say a prayer for the students, faculty, staff, and administration of that school. Use the prayer we’ve provided, or say your own prayer. Then take a selfie in front of the school’s sign so that we can show all the different schools our church is praying for! Send your picture to [email protected] by August 16 to help us keep track and share our prayers with the community! Not sure what to pray for? Here's a suggested prayer from Pastor Taylor!

Back-to-School Blessing
Sunday, August 23, 11:00 a.m. During Worship
Join us for worship on August 23 as we bless everyone involved in our education community. The blessing will happen in our worship service at 11:00 a.m., available on Zoom, Facebook, and YouTube.
Mercy & Justice 5th Sunday Presentation
Sunday, August 30, 9:45-10:45 a.m. 
Zoom Online
Our August presentation is sponsored by our United Methodist Women. We are planning for a conversation on the intersection of racial justice and public education. Zoom link is sent after registration. Register Online .
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."
English as a Second Language
English as a Second Language (ESL) classes are offered at no cost on Mondays and Thursdays. Guests can practice their English conversation skills and develop friendships to support them outside the classroom. In Austin, 32 percent of the population lives in a home in which English is not the primary language. Student spouses, those brought to Austin to work in high-tech firms, people arriving under political asylum, family members of those brought for jobs, all these arrive in Austin with the common need to learn to speak English. Contributions during the month of August go to support this quiet but powerful ministry. You may give online or mail your contribution to the church office. Make checks payable to FUMC and include a note stating that your contribution is for "ESL."
Submit a prayer request online .
Within our Congregation
Bob and Clo Bains, Sandy Bowles, Mari Perez, Dick Raycraft, Cathy Stone, Pam Tackett, Victoria Tijerina, Kevin Waggoner, and Dan Wood.

Condolences to Ivan Marks on the death of his brother, Raymond Marks.

Beyond our Congregation
Curt Ashmos’ friend, Elissa Marek; Teresa Baker’s friend, Liz Webb; 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 neighbor, Rachel Stewart; Cheryl and Mike Etie’s sister-in-law, Pam Etie; Randie Fraser’s friend, Travis Sansom; Judy Funke’s mother, Josie Luckenbaugh; George Gaston’s friend, Dr. Robert Wootton; Marilyn Good’s friend, Leslie Boerger and her family; Marcia Houston’s mother, Johnnie; Mary Heckmann’s friend, Esmeralda Gonzalez; Charlyn Loera’s sister-in-law, Joulin; Kathy Morales’ step father, Jim Hockensmith; Cindy Reidland’s friends, Carly and Colton Wimberly; Beth Ann Rider’s son, Wes Johnston and his family; Rick Russell’s neighbor, Kerri Apolzon; Victoria Tijerina's uncle, Ruben Lopez; and Dick Young’s nephew, Jeff Young.
Condolences to the friends and family of Cheryl Archer, and to Judy Kostura’s friend Michael Smith and his wife on the death of their daughter, Alyson.
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First United Methodist Church
1201 Lavaca St. Austin, TX 78701
(512) 478-5684