Taylor's Weekly Pastoral Letter
This week, I was reminded of the time when I realized that I would never grow tired of preaching on the biblical text. I was listening to the first sermon I had ever heard by Samuel Wells, a sermon given to a bunch of young people—high schoolers. It was on the theological subject of the incarnation. Honestly, I don’t remember the actual text assigned; I just remember that my mind was blown. I felt as if someone held the Bible open in front of me and revealed that it had a hidden trick that allowed its pages to continue unfolding from the center, revealing connections I had never made between Old and New Testament, uncovering mysteries I had never bothered to wonder about that were now endlessly fascinating.  Read More .
Sunday, May 24
Ascension Sunday
Preacher: Rev. Cathy Stone
A Strong Spirit in Troubled Times: The Practices that Sustain Us
Scripture: Luke 12: 22-32
Sermon: "Frugality/Sacrifice"

Teacher Appreciation Sunday
This Sunday, we recognize our Sunday School teachers who give their time and talents to teach our children and youth. These individuals teach Bible stories and produce insightful discussions that lead to faith formation. Thank you teachers.
Children's Sunday School
Sundays at 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
Sundays at 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.
My Extended Family
By Stacy Prentice

My students and their families are my family. When news of the pandemic started in March, I felt lost and stressed. I knew that if I was having these feelings, then my students and families were most likely feeling out of sorts as well. So I decided to do, what I do best, group time! Holding space for my sweet preschoolers virtually and reading books brought me much needed connection those first few weeks of uncertainty. 
I FaceTimed my students almost daily and witnessed sweet tours of their houses and my students showing me all the things in their room. While I couldn’t change the outside world, I could bring them some normalcy, by connecting with them, even if it was in a new way. 
Bedtime FaceTime read alouds became a part of my day. As someone sheltering in place alone, it was wonderful to feel connected. 
I became a teacher because I love working with children and families and that work didn’t stop when the quarantine started, it just shifted. 
Creating Spirit, Practicing Presence
Saturday, May 30, 1:30-3:00 p.m. on Zoom
Have you considered developing a spiritual practice? What is a spiritual practice? Why even have one? Join us in a series of creative workshops, facilitated by Amy Wink, to explore ways to develop and deepen our relationship with God.  Following our recent sermon series on Christian disciplines, we will begin the series by exploring new ways to strengthen our spirits. Zoom link provided after registration. Contact Amy Wink with questions at [email protected] . Register Here .
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 .
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] .
Family COVID-19 Care Package Week Five
Are you growing tired? Are you making more decisions than an air traffic controller or basketball referee? This week's resources are on wisdom. Parental Proverbs is thirty-one days of blessings for your child, along with a verse from Proverbs. How to Parent with Purpose is a brief video that reminds you in 2 simple steps the why and how of parenting. Last, Scriptures to Pray for Your Kids is a short video to show how to use God's Word to pray for your child. View our Week Five Package here .
Mercy & Justice Book Study: Me and White Supremacy
Tuesdays, June 2-30, 6:30–8:00 p.m. or
Thursdays, June 4-July 2, 1:00–2:30 p.m.
Two Options on Zoom Online
The work of resisting racism continues. Join Pastor Cathy Stone as we work our way through Me and White Supremacy: A 28-Day Challenge to Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor by Layla F. Saad. This book leads readers through a journey of understanding their white privilege and participation in white supremacy, so that they can stop inflicting often unintentional damage on black, indigenous and people of color, and in turn, help other white people do better, too. Following our Lenten series, The Spiritual Work of Resisting Racism, many have asked what they can do to help dismantle white supremacy and where to begin. Layla F. Saad answers, “Begin within. Begin with you and white supremacy.” Together, we will journey through this book with truth, love, and commitment. Zoom link provided after registration. Register Here .
Children's Summer Online Sunday School
This summer children of all ages are encouraged to grow in their faith by joining their online Sunday morning Zoom class.

8:45 a.m. - beginning June 7 , this is a special time for our preschoolers where we will have fun learning about God's love through songs and a short story.
9:00 a.m. - Kindergarten through 5th graders will have a faith lesson, music, and a time to check in with their church friends.
Sprouts Meeting
First and Third Sundays, 9:00 a.m., June and July
From first smiles to first steps, your little one is growing so fast! We want to help celebrate the joys and carry the concerns wrapped up in caring for your child. Sprouts is a private Zoom meeting for parents and guardians of infants and toddlers to casually get together for sharing and support, hosted by our loving children's ministry staff. Meetings are 9:00 a.m. on first and third Sundays during June and July. Email us at [email protected] for the link or for more information.
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 give using our online form. Make your online payment from our website. 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] .
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!
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; Davis Covin; Frances Crockett; Marcia Houston; Rosine Martiale Kengne; Ruth Nicks; Beth Nauert; Mari Perez; Dick Raycraft and Dan Wood.
Encouragement for all graduates, 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; Cindy Gunderson’s friends, Alina Mills and Joseph Prete; 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; Sally Watkins’ friend, Karen Brice; 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