This Sunday
Sunday, November 24
Preacher: Rev. Junius Dotson
Scripture: Philippians 4:4-8
Sermon: "How to Be Thankful in Tough Times"
November Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Month
National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week is November 16-24, 2019, sponsored by the National Coalition for the Homeless. During November, FUMC is working to raise awareness about the pressing problem of hunger and homelessness with educational and service opportunities. Read More .
Items Needed for Caritas
Help those in need by bringing canned goods and full-size toiletries to church. Contributions will be donated to Caritas of Austin, a local nonprofit working toward preventing and ending homelessness in Austin. Place donations in collection bins located in the foyers of the Murchison Chapel, Sanctuary, and Family Life Center. View Donation List .
Contemplative Worship Service
Sunday, November 24, 9:00 a.m., EDU Murchison Chapel
These services are offered to beginners and experienced practitioners of mindfulness meditation. The format includes an opening, a reading, a period or two of meditative silence, and a closing prayer. The service typically lasts between 30 to 40 minutes.
Intergenerational Advent Party
Sunday, November 24, 10:00-10:45 a.m., Great Hall, Family Life Center
Come share and explore the meaning of Advent with your church family. We will begin with food and conversations and then we will respond together in small groups as we prepare our hearts to listen and wait this Advent. This is a great opportunity to bridge generational lines and connect with people of all ages in new and fun ways. Help us provide food at this potluck party. Sign up to bring breakfast items at
Interfaith Day of Thanks Service & Celebration
Sunday, November 24, 3:00-4:30 p.m., Riverbend Church, 4214 N Capital of TX Hwy  
For the past 34 years, iACT has had the great joy and privilege of bringing this service to the Austin community. This is a unique opportunity for Austinites of all faith backgrounds to come together to give thanks as one community. Free, family friendly, and all are welcome! A reception follows the service. Register Here .
Youth Service Night
Sunday, November 24, 4:30-6:30 p.m.
Rainbow Room, 2113 Wells Branch Parkway, Bldg 4 Suite 150
FUMC Youth are invited to serve at the Rainbow Room. The Rainbow Room is a warehouse where donated supplies are available to case workers serving children around Central Texas. Youth will help in the warehouse. In addition, Our FUMC Youth and Church are collecting donations of unwrapped toys and diapers to take to Partnerships for Children to support kids in the care of CPS and foster care this season. These collections will support Holiday Wishes and the Rainbow Rooms—two programs run by Partnerships for Children. Food will be provided. Register Here .
At a Glance
Click on the links below to learn more.
Children's News
Kids' Day Out , 12/14
VBS Save the Date , 7/19-23

Youth News
Engage , 12/01
Engage , 12/08
Click here to view the full FUMC calendar.
"What Can't Wait" Sermon Series
Begins Sunday, December 1
Advent is a season of waiting, but is idle waiting what God wants of us? In preparation for the coming Messiah, we wonder together—what things can’t wait? What demands our immediate attention? What requires our work and preparation? What is it that God can’t wait for? Is it our praise, reconciliation, and proclamation? Is it the end of suffering, isolation, and fear? This Advent, we invite you to join us in imagining, prioritizing, and preparing. As we wait, what can’t?
Advent Devotional
Sanctuary Foyer
Beginning with December 1, 2019, this daily devotional invites you to read, reflect, pray, and color your way through the end of 2019. Each day in the devotional offers something new, including: poetic prayers, original visuals inspired by scripture, written reflections, prompts for visual meditation, prompts for journaling, colorable pages, and active prompts. This is a great resource for older youth and adults, but parents could also invite children to help them color and embody the weekly active prompts.
Advent Visio Divina Study
Sundays, December 1, 8 & 15
EDU Murchison Chapel
Visio Divina, latin for “divine seeing,” is a method of meditation, reflection, and prayer through a process of intentional seeing. Visio Divina extends the 6th century Benedictine practice of Lectio Divina by the use of visual imagery. Traditionally, Visio Divina was accompanied by Benedictine iconography and illuminations, however, different faith traditions have adapted the process over time, utilizing both secular and nonsecular images. This class, led by Cindy Walter, blends visual meditation with group discussion and Bible study. Register Here .
Cookie and Sock Collection
Sundays in December
Sock Collection - Dec. 1, 8, 15 & 22
Cookie Collection - Dec. 15 & 22
We are collecting chocolate chip cookies (6 per bag, no nuts) and adult white tube socks to provide guests at the Christmas Eve Breakfast. Place donations in the collection bins in the Sanctuary and FLC Foyers. Read More .
Book Study: Just Mercy
Tuesdays, December 3, 10, 17, 6:30-7:45pm
FLC Room 103
Before the movie is released in January, let’s read/re-read Just Mercy ! Bryan Stevenson’s book provides an opportunity to explore justice issues of race, poverty, and mass incarceration. This accessible book shares true stories of the potential for mercy to redeem us as well as a clarion call to fix our broken system of justice. There’s even a version for young adults. So grab a copy and join us! We have two options: 1. Join us in December to discuss as you read or 2. Read over the holidays and join us on January 19 for a Sunday morning conversation. You can even do both! Read More .
Christmas Choir Opportunity
Wednesdays, December 4 and 11
7:00-8:30 p.m. FUMC Choir Room, Colorado 3 Street Entrance
Have you thought about singing with our FUMC Choir but were not sure how to get started? Join us for our Christmas music program. Come to rehearsals on Wednesdays, December 4 and 11, and then sing at our 9:00 and 11:00 a.m. services on Sunday, December 15. To participate in this music program, you must attend both rehearsals and sing at both services.
Decorating and Holiday Stroll
Saturday, December 7, 4:00-9:00 p.m.
SAN Wesley Hall
Kick off your holiday by decorating spaces around the church and then offering hospitality to Austinites of all ages heading to and coming from the Holiday Stroll. We begin with decorating the Sanctuary, Murchison Chapel, Family Life Center, and outdoor spaces. Afterward, volunteers share a meal and then welcome guests on the front steps with hot chocolate and cookies and a welcome family-friendly pit stop. For parents/guardians who are volunteering during the decorating from 4:00-6:00 p.m., childcare for Infants-Preschool is available and fun activities are planned for elementary-aged children (Kinder – 5th grades). Sign up for our decorating team, hospitality team, and childcare at .
Calling All Women
Sunday, December 8, 2019, 12:15 p.m.
FLC Garrison Chapel
Join the United Methodist Women of First Church for a Holiday Round-Up informational meeting. Not an “official” United Methodist Woman? No worries! We’ll introduce ourselves and share an overview of who we are and what we do, so you can find a circle that fits—or maybe even create your own. The UMW has been advocating for women and children for 150 years—you can help make the next 150 even better. We’ll have a light lunch; children (and men) welcome!
Christmas Poinsettia Sale
Order by Sunday, December 8
Poinsettias on the communion rails, around the trees, in the foyers...a great way to celebrate someone you love or who is now in God's hands. Cost is $12 per plant. Plants are florist quality and great for replanting. Plants can be picked up after worship on Sunday, December 22 and Christmas Eve, December 24.  Order Online .
Kids' Day Out
Saturday, December 14, 10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
EDU Room 102
While parents enjoy a morning out, children play, eat pizza, make holiday crafts, decorate gingerbread houses, and watch a movie with our trained childcare staff. We accept infants through fourth graders. The cost is $25 for the first child and $10 for siblings. Register Now .
FUMC Choir Presentation
Sunday, December 15, 9:00 & 11:00 a.m., Sanctuary
Come sing praise to God and celebrate through the gifts of others with a special musical offering by our FUMC choir during worship.
Children's Choir Presentation: Carriers of the Light
Sunday, December 15, 10:15 a.m.
The Children’s choir presents their Christmas musical, “Carriers of the Light”, on Sunday, December 15th at 10:00 am. This creative Christmas musical is inspired by scriptural passages focusing on Jesus as the Light of Salvation. Through traditional carols and original music, it celebrates the passing of God's light from Mary to Joseph to the animals in the manger; from the shepherds in the countryside to the Wise Men in the East. We hope you can join us!
Civil Rights Pilgrimage Meeting
Sunday, December 15, 12:15 p.m. EDU Murchison Chapel
Our Civil Rights Pilgrimage is set for March 15-21, 2020. This seven-day trip for adults, youth, and families will take us through Jackson, Selma, Montgomery, Birmingham, and Memphis. Those interested in participating should attend this meeting to hear final details and participate in logistics. Register for the trip at . A $250 deposit per person is due January 1. For more information, Pastor Cathy Stone at [email protected] .
Sunday, December 15, 7:00-8:30 p.m.
FLC Garrison Chapel
FEAST is a monthly dinner gathering for young adults (roughly ages 20–45) to build community and dig into the more difficult side of faith together. Come join us for a special HOLIDAY FEAST and dive into a discussion of your favorite Christmas myths and traditions. We'll have some great conversation with a side of ham and mashed potatoes. Crazy holiday attire is encouraged! Register Here .
Blue Christmas Service
Thursday, December 19, 7:00 p.m.
EDU Murchison Chapel
How come I don’t feel it? In the midst of the wonder and expectation of Advent, many of us might feel out of step with the joy and excitement of Christmas. Some of us have lost loved ones or face the “happy” holidays feeling blue with grief or depression. Senior Pastor Taylor Fuerst leads this special worship service on the longest night to acknowledge our grief and longing for hope.
Wait! That's Not the Christmas Story
Sunday, December 22, 10:00 a.m.
SAN Wesley Hall
Join Dr. Brad King for a deep dive into the Christmas story that we all know and love. While the popular versions of this story are, in Brad's words, "a mess of mixed up myths," he also insists that a more accurate version of the story is just as beautiful and even more relevant to Christian life and love. In addition to riveting conversation, we’ll have plenty of hot cocoa and cookies to keep everyone’s spirits high! Register Here .
Feed My People Christmas Eve Breakfast
Tuesday, December 24
6:30 a.m., FLC Great Hall
Breakfast will be held from 6:30-8:30 a.m. Our guests enjoy coffee and Christmas music beginning at 6:30 a.m., breakfast will be served at 7:00 a.m. Volunteers are also needed to prepare food and decorate on Monday, December 23. Many in our congregation have made these volunteer opportunities a significant part of their Christmas season. Spaces fill fast. Sign Up Now .
Christmas Eve Noon Service
12:00 p.m., Murchison Chapel
This traditional service features carols, Scripture reading, and Holy Communion and is ideal for those who wish to celebrate early and for those whose plans make it impossible to participate in our later services.

Christmas Eve Family Service
4:00 p.m.*, Sanctuary
Experience the traditions of Christmas carols, the Nativity story, Holy Communion, and a candlelit "Silent Night" in this 45-minute worship service especially designed for families with young children.

Christmas Eve Candlelight & Communion
6:00*, 8:00* & 11:00 p.m., Sanctuary
These traditional services feature carols, Scripture, Holy Communion, and candle lighting to celebrate Christ’s birth.

*Childcare is provided during the 4:00 p.m. Family Service and 6:00 and 8:00 p.m. Candlelight Services.
Service Project Sunday
Sunday, December 29, 10:00 a.m. SAN Wesley Hall
Let’s end the year caring for our neighbors! All ages and stages are invited to gather for conversation and projects that will make a difference in the world. All Sunday School classes are invited to participate. There will be no regular Sunday School for children or youth. 
Becoming a Better LGBTQ+ Ally
Saturday, January 11, 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
SAN Wesley Hall
Ally training provides a basic framework of understanding lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning (LGBTQ+) persons and the unique challenges they often face. This training is designed to create dialogue regarding what it means to be an effective ally. Participants are encouraged to explore their own biases, build their knowledge and understanding and develop empathy. Whether you already consider yourself an ally, or want to become one, this training can help each of us learn how to be a better neighbor to those within the FUMC-Austin community and beyond. A $15 donation at registration is requested. Please register at .  
VBS 2020 Save the Date
Attention families and volunteers! Winter is coming to next year’s VBS with Knights of the North Castle. Mark Monday-Thursday, July 20-23, on your calendars now so you can join the fun! Our kick-off party will be Sunday, July 19. Registration and volunteer sign up will be available in January.
November Mission Emphasis
Feed My People Christmas Eve Breakfast
For 21 years, FUMC has sponsored a Christmas Breakfast in the Family Life Center. Each year, we provide a hot breakfast served restaurant style with hosts and smiling waitstaff. After breakfast, guests receive caps, gloves, socks, lip balm, a one-day bus pass, and homemade cookies. Many thanks to the over 100 volunteers who help make this breakfast an event that provides our neighbors who are homeless or the working poor with a vivid reminder that they are loved. Your generous donations ensure that enough food, drinks, caps, gloves, and other toiletry items can be purchased. Give Now .
Prayer Concerns
Submit a prayer request online .
Within our Congregation
Stephanie Benold, Betty Berkey, Sandy Bowles, Kathy Morales, Sue Norris, Mari Perez, Dan Wood.

Condolences to the family and friends of Sharon Cooper on her death.

Congratulations to Robin and Caroline Kelner on the birth of their son, Brooks Thomas, and to Andy and Becky Weary on the  birth of their grandson, Miles Robert McCarron. 

Beyond our Congregation
Curt Ashmos’ friend, Elissa Marek; Grady Basler’s sister, Tonya Basler Stout; Marilyn Bettis’ friends, Whitney and Brandon; Cheryl Bias’ niece, Lauren Stafford; Bob Block’s friend, Tim Sullivan; Fay Brown’s sister, Jo Rene Altenburg; Janet Camps’ sister, Nancy Willet; Janet Camp’s nephew, John Osterhaus; Herb Canada’s son, Mark Canada; Pamela Craig’s cousin, Patrick Kennedy; George Gaston’s friend, Dr. Robert Wootton; Keri Hicks’ sister, Kim Rogers; Melanie Miller’s friend, Brady Reardon; Melanie Miller’s and Jen Stuart’s father, Doak Thomas; Kelly Mills’ mother, Sandra Mills; Andrew Pyle’s cousin, Lindsey Pyle; Cindy Reidland’s friends, Carly and Colton; Barbara Ruth’s sister, Judy Davis; Cindy Walter’s friend, Sharon Sanders; Dick Young’s nephew, Jeff Young.
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First United Methodist Church
1201 Lavaca St. Austin, TX 78701
(512) 478-5684