Taylor's Weekly Pastoral Letter
Fasting. Service. Giving. Now, worship. At times in this series on the spiritual disciplines, I worry that I am just nagging you, trying to get you to do the things that you "should" do. Perhaps the better approach is that these practices are the windows of your spiritual life. Opening them creates an opportunity for the fresh wind of God's spirit to blow through your life, and opening more than one creates a cross-breeze that can even change the temperature of the house. Read More .
Sunday, May 17
6th Sunday of Easter
Preacher: Rev. Taylor Fuerst
A Strong Spirit in Troubled Times: The Practices that Sustain Us
Scripture: Matthew 5:13-16, Matthew 6:1-6
Sermon: "Secrecy"
Children's Sunday School
Sunday, May 17, 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 

Interactive Time of Worship
Sunday, May 17, 11:00 a.m. (Opens at 10:45 a.m.)
Join your church family for music, a greeting time, announcements, Scripture, and prayer.
Zoom Login: https://fumcaustin.zoom.us/j/496666774  Meeting ID: 496 666 774 

Virtual Worship Podcast
After you join us for the live portion of worship, we invite you to continue by listening to an audio worship podcast. The sermon link will be emailed Sunday morning and posted on our website , iTunes podcast , and YouTube Channel .

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.
Zoom Login: https://fumcaustin.zoom.us/j/516485253 Meeting ID: 516 485 253
Stories from people building community and fulfilling the mission of the church in new ways during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Serving the Word
By Amy Wink
Serving and preparing communion is a deeply profound experience for me. The immediacy of connection, the moment of community, when I see people I love shining with Divine light and offer the word of God made into bread so we might eat together and be transformed together. But now, separated and in solitude, I asked myself through my daily poetry/prayer practice, “how do I serve the Word/now no longer bread?” and I thought of Paul, isolated under house arrest, considering how best to reach the churches he loved through his epistles, his letters. How else does one send word in ancient times, no electronics, no digital media, no phone? How does one reach? I am a scholar of the 19th century, and the diaries and letters of those who had no other way to contact each other except through writing. So I chose my nineteenth-century skill—which is an ancient and hereditary one—and started writing letters to those I knew (which now numbers 115 letters), to those who I hoped would understand how they are remembered each Sunday in communion, and community. My youngest correspondent is 6, my oldest in her 80’s. I wrote to one young friend "I like to write letters because while you are writing, it is like you are sitting with your friend for the time you are writing and when your friend receives the letter, it is like they are sitting with you while they read it." Together, being with each other, reading each other’s words like bread, ink like blood, and sharing time as if it were presence. How do I serve the Word other than sending word as a sign of bread, a sign of our beloved community, and "God always with us."
Taylor Grade Austin is graduating from Bowie High School and will attend University of Oklahoma to study Nursing.
Austin Rees Biegert is graduating with an Associate of Science Degree in Business Administration from Austin Community College and will attend University of Texas at Austin, majoring in Human Dimensions of Organizations.
Tyler Andrew Deithloff
is graduating from Bowie High School and will attend Hendrix College as a student athlete.
Evan Joseph Drazic is graduating from Westlake High School and will attend Texas A&M in College Station to study Architecture.
Jeri Kaye Mills is graduating from Oklahoma City University School of Law with a Juris Doctor Degree and will sit for the Texas Bar Exam in July. She plans to pursue a legal career in real estate or transactional work in the DFW area and will get married next April.
Connor Stone Stephen s is graduating from Westlake High School and will attend Texas A&M University to study Engineering.
Grief Groups Now Forming
We are living in such an unprecedented time that almost everyone is struggling with grief and loss, whether it's the loss of health and safety, the loss of a job, the loss of community, or the loss of normalcy or a daily schedule. Add to that the grief that you may have already been experiencing over the loss of a loved one or a relationship, the loss of a job, divorce, or other life transitions, and it's almost overwhelming. If you find yourself struggling to process and in need of a small group support community, sign up at fumcaustin.org/grief now to be included in groups that are forming. Groups will meet for 8 weeks on Zoom, co-facilitated by trained FUMC church members. Once it is safe to do so, additional groups may form for in-person gatherings. If you have questions, please contact Daviss King at [email protected] .
New Audio-Visual Specialist
We are excited to announce the hire of Case Conner as Audio-Visual Specialist at FUMC. As a recent graduate of the Radio, Television, Film department at UT, Case brings tremendous experience that will be invaluable to our efforts to provide online worship experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. Case joins a familiar face on our staff—his sister, Chloe Conner, is our Assistant Director of Children’s Ministries! Welcome, Case!
Mercy & Justice 5th Sunday Presentation: Gun Violence
Sunday, May 31, 10:00 a.m. 
Zoom Online (link sent after registration)
The prophet Micah casts a hopeful vision of the future where nations will “beat their swords into iron plows, and their spears into pruning hooks.” (Micah 4:3) Gun violence greatly affects individuals, families and communities. The Mercy & Justice Team invites you to a presentation by FUMC Member Melanie Greene, an active volunteer with Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. We’ll discuss facts of gun violence in the United States, what the UMC says about gun violence, and ways to respond to the call upon United Methodists to prayerfully address gun violence. A zoom link will be sent after registration. Register Here .
Family COVID-19 Care Package Week Four
At this point, most of your kids have been out of school for over a month, maybe two. Do you feel you are now qualified to work at the United Nations? Experiencing any sibling-on-sibling crime? To help, we give you How To Have a Scream-Free Home, a brief video that provides parents with tips on how to stop the yelling. Your second resource is CHANGE: How To Help Any Child With Any Problem At Any Age , an e-book that practically helps parents lead their children through transitions. View our Week Four Package here .
Alternative Gifts for Father's Day
Order Deadline June 15
Fathers can be the hardest to shop for when gift time comes around. This Father’s Day we are encouraging gifts to be used by fathers across the globe as an alternative to the usual standby tie or some other gift item you might purchase. An alternative gift is a perfect way to let the men in your life know they are appreciated. Get started now by selecting the gifts you wish to symbolically provide using our online form. Make your online payment from our website by donating toward the Father’s Day Alternatives Fund. A check can be sent to the church office, marked for Father’s Day, if preferred. Order Online .
Your Gifts Keep Us Going
Your gifts are a blessing to the ministry of FUMC. It is your donations that keep the church operating during this unique time. We may not be together in person for some time to receive offerings, but it is important we still pay our bills and staff to support and adapt ongoing ministries. You can give online to the ministry of FUMC through our website or by mailing a check to FUMC at 1201 Lavaca St. Austin, TX 78701. We appreciate your gifts.
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. Submit your stories online at fumcaustin.org/bolderthantexas . For more information, contact Amy Wink and Caroline Jones at [email protected] .
Payroll Protection Program
With gratitude we report that FUMC has received funding for a Payroll Protection Program (PPP) loan through the Small Business Administration. These funds provide 8 weeks of payroll support, which enables us to pay our 48 staff members through this uncertain time, as we plan for an expected loss of income this year in both our preschool and church operations. Our primary concerns are loss of tuition income for the preschool and loss of building use income and non-pledge giving for the church. The bulk of our ministry support comes from pledged giving, which remains strong thanks to your incredible generosity. By leveraging the PPP loan, we are able to stay focused on our mission to build community, invite all people to know God’s love, and join in God’s transformative work in the world. A big thanks to our Finance and Administration staff for all their extra effort to make this possible!
Submit a Prayer Request
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] .
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 each Wednesday night. Zoom Login: https://fumcaustin.zoom.us/j/805144062
Meeting ID: 805 144 062
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."
Catch Up on Sermons

An archive of sermons is available on our website , our iTunes Podcast or YouTube Channel.
Mobile Loaves & Fishes
The Mobile Loaves & Fishes downtown Austin truck (based at FUMC) is still serving meals to the homeless and working poor in our community even during the pandemic and we are needed now more than ever! Last year our MLF truck provided over 26,000 hearty meals with the help of more than 300 dedicated volunteers. That’s 350 runs completed on 310 days! It will cost over $60,000 to fund this ministry during 2020. Please give generously as we try to make a difference for our friends living on the streets. Checks marked “Mobile Loaves and Fishes” may be mailed to the church or donations made online, selecting the Mobile Loaves and Fishes drop-down option. For more information about MLF, contact Scott Wilder at [email protected] or 512-971-1525. Give Now .
Submit a prayer request online .
Within our Congregation
Sandy Bowles; Marcia Houston; Rosine Martiale Kengne; Brad King; Mari Perez; Dick Raycraft and Dan Wood.

Condolences to Sarah Austin on the death of her grandmother, Betty Williams.

Condolences to Rick Austin on the death of his cousin, Deborah Ballantyne.

Condolences to Ellis Pittman on the death of a member of their chosen family, Meghan

Encouragement for all educators, students and parents.

Gratitude for medical care providers, first responders, essential service workers, journalists and our pets.

Concern for the elderly, small business owners, those out of work, migrants separated from their families, for those struggling with mental health issues, and those experiencing homelessness.

Comfort for those who have lost a loved one and are unable to gather to grieve.

Compassion for all those who may be feeling alone or isolated.

Guidance for our Local, State, and Federal leaders and decision makers.

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; Judy Chambers’ mother, Edith Johnson; George Gaston’s friend, Dr. Robert Wootton; Howard Hartman’s brother, Elden Hartman; Judi Hazlett’s grandson, Henry Helwig; Marcia Houston’s mother, Johnnie; Melanie Miller’s and Jen Stuart’s father, Doak Thomas; Cindy Reidland’s friends, Carly and Colton Wimberly; 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