Get your Super Bowl Chili and Tamales on Sunday!
First Church News & Updates - February 2, 2018

Happy Groundhog Day!. It is hard to believe it is February already. Start your day off with some beautiful music from our HeartSong Choir.

1-21-18 Almighty - Heartsong
"Almighty" sung by HeartSong Choir on January 21, 2018

Lots of news this week. Enjoy!
This week in worship...
Sermon Series

Winter Sermon Series: The Biblical Guide to Relationships
If you think that the Bible will give you examples of perfectly developed relationships with proper priorities, you will be severely disappointed. Instead, the Bible testifies to relationships that look a whole lot like ours: love and competitiveness, joy and brokenness, grief and new beginnings, loss and reconciliation. Our need to claim the grace of God for our relationships is described from cover to cover in scripture. 

Sermon:  "God at Work"
Scripture:    Psalm 90:10, 12-17

Dr. Will Cotton will preach at the 9:40 and 11 am worship services.  Rev. Dr. Beverly Jones  will preach at the 8:30 am worship service.

The Source, our weekly devotional guide, is available on the church website.

Please join us in worship this weekend...Sunday at 8:30 am (Sanctuary), 9:40 am (Family Life Center) or 11 am (Sanctuary).

Immediately after the 11 am service,  the UMM will mount a plaque in memory of Carl Schomburg near the BBQ pit area adjacent to the FLC. Carl was a long time UMM member and one of their chief cooks for their breakfasts, barbecues and chili preparations. We invite you to join us as we honor the memory of Carl Schomburg.
Introducing the Church Leadership Structure for 2018
Organizational Structure

The above structure was adopted by Church Council in September of 2017 to take effect in February of 2018, per the motion of LEADFirst. It follows the trend of most very large churches that creates a more streamlined structure at the top that facilitates:
  1. The multiplication of leadership and ministries throughout the church according to our congregational vision
  2. A partnership between the congregation and church staff in ministry implementation. 
So the answer to the question,  "Who runs the church, laity or staff?" is  "They partner together." The role of the Church Council is:
  1. To communicate and facilitate our vision, 
  2. To make sure our ministries are developing to their greatest impact through strong partnership with congregation and staff, 
  3. To resource our ministries with information and funding and 
  4. To guide the church in meeting major opportunities or challenges. 
While this structure is more streamlined, it is designed to spread out with higher impact and flexibility, even able to add new positions as needed.
In very large congregations, effective ministry is best facilitated with a staff liaison relationship for the various ministries. As liaisons, they do not chair or sit in on all the committees and task forces, but rather are there for resourcing. For instance, the Outreach Arena of ministry consists of three villages that are developing rapidly: Greater Round Rock Village, You, the Body Village (including regional efforts and "Friends of First Church") and our International Village (Panama, Sierra Leone and others to come). Each of these villages will sponsor efforts that will require teams to develop to meet that missional need with designated leaders. New leadership for substantial efforts are developed and deployed. The staff liaison (Associate Pastor) could not possibly be at all the meetings but would be available for resourcing and guidance as well as provide a conduit to Church Council.
Another example would be Trustees (a committee with 9 persons). The First Match Campaign was led by a short-term team to allow for effective promotion and connection with knowledgeable people in the areas of concern: Trees, HVAC Maintenance, and Security. Following the campaign, there now is an Emergency Preparedness Team of 8 persons (including laypersons and staff) with its chair that reports to Trustees that is handling the security aspects from the monies raised (bringing specific expertise for medical, weather, and safety concerns). Then there is a Critical Incident Team of 4 persons (led by some of our Law Enforcement folks) with its chair that reports to the Emergency Preparedness Team to lead us toward the best strategies for preventing and dealing with the threat of violence (including training of our Ushers, Greeters, Andrew Ministry and Parking Posse). The primary staff liaison for Trustees is Cindy Thompson. 

It doesn't take long to consider what this kind of effort could mean for the crucially important Communications Arena: a Website Team, a Publicity/Advertisement Team, a Live Stream Team, a Troubleshooting Team, a Video Team, a Social Media team, etc. We know these talents are already at First Church, but not anywhere near fully deployed. Betty Robertson is the liaison and facilitator of this ministry.

This multiplication of teams allows people to serve where they are most gifted for the short term and long term. Churches of our size have discovered that this more streamlined structure allows for a greater proliferation of ministries and the development and  deployment of many more leaders in the congregation.  

Note the following: The other administrative bodies (Board of Trustees, Finance Committee, Staff-Parish Relations Committee, LEADFirst, and Annual Conference delegates) all remain the same as before. The budget will not be approved by the more streamlined Council, but rather go through a process in which there is a budget team that builds the budget in response to our other administrative committees and ministries, presents it to Finance, and then approval is made in a Church Conference gathering.
Stay week, the slate of officers for Church Council and our Administrative Committees will be shared.
Spotlight on...Jennifer Harvill
Jennifer Harvill
Congratulations to Jennifer Harvill, Children's Choir Director
Our own Jennifer Harvill has published a series of devotionals (p.19-23) in the latest edition of  The ChoristerIt's a wonderful insight into her approach in enriching these children with not only music, but discussion of biblical stories, scripture, and prayer.

Jennifer directs our Alleluia Chorus Children's Choir. Click here to read more about Jennifer's background and accomplishments. 

Jennifer, we are blessed to have you on our Music Ministry team.
Super Bowl Chili and Tamales on this Sunday
Super Bowl Chili

United Methodist up some Super Bowl Chili and Tamales
The UMM will be selling their famous Super Bowl Chili and Tamales on Sunday, February 4, so stop by and purchase some on your way out of church. A 28 oz container of chili is $10. Six tamales are $6. The special is two  chilis and 12 tamales for $30. All proceeds will benefit First Church missions and ministries.
Ministry Focus
Children's Ministry
Children's Volunteer Needs
Student Ministry
Pancake Supper

Support our Student Ministries Mission Team by joining us at our Pancake Supper on Wednesday, February14 from 5:30 pm-7:00 pm in the Family Life Center!  We will be serving heart shaped pancakes, bacon, pancake fixings and a selection of drinks. All donations received will go to our students attending Mission Trips this summer. 
D-Now 2018: February 23 - 25 
All 6th-12th grade students are invited to join us for D-Now - a  weekend that is full of worship, spiritual growth, community service, and fun! We will be led in worship by Tyler Murphy. Our speakers are Keta and Edward from Somebody Cares Ministry in Malawi, Africa. On Saturday the students will participate in mission recreation with their host home groups. Click for all the details and registration information...
Adult Ministry
The Challenge of Paul
New Bible Study: The Challenge of Paul
Begins Sunday, February 4, at 9:40 am in 
Bldg. 5- 148. This 10-12 week study is based on a new video series featuring New Testament scholar and Early Church Historian, Dr. Dom Crossan. Dr. Crossan shares his lifelong search for the Paul of history and offers fresh perspectives on Paul that shed light on why he is as relevant today as ever. The study includes videos, teacher facilitated information, discussion and dialogue among the participants. Click here for more information and to register.
Women's Book Club
We're Reading Holy Ghost Girl: A Memoir by Donna Johnson
First Church Women's Book club meets the first Tuesday of the month at 11:30 am in Bldg. 5 - 127.
The next meeting is February 6. This month's book, Holy Ghost Girl: A Memoir by Donna Johnson, is a compassionate and humorous memoir of faith, betrayal, and coming of age on the evangelical sawdust trail. 

The March selection is  A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles. Count Rostov is placed under permanent house arrest by the Bolsheviks in 1922. The spellbinding narrative brims with humor as it details how his reduced circumstances offer personal enrichment. We hope you will join us!  
More in Adult Ministry...
MIssion Focus
Heifer Project

Women's Mission Trip to Conroe - February 19 - 22
The Heifer Project empowers families to turn hunger and poverty into hope and prosperity - but the approach is more than giving a handout. The animals given to families provide both food and reliable income: agricultural products such as milk, eggs and honey that can be traded or sold at market. Families' lives are restored when they can become self-supporting again. Most importantly, families receive the gift of hope and they can share their hope by passing on the gift. Each family who is a recipient of livestock from Heifer International enjoys the dignity of becoming a donor by passing on the gift of one or more of its animal's offspring to a neighbor in need. 

Elementary Sunday School classes all selected an animal as their goal to purchase during this mission. The children are very excited about their goals and have been working steadily towards them. During the four Sundays in January, children brought $313.37, which is 50% more than the average offering in two months! Along with the competition, families will be given calendars for Lent that have daily opportunities to learn about Heifer International and the kinds of help they give to families in the U.S. and abroad. There is also a daily challenge to give a small amount based on what is in a family's own refrigerator or pantry.

Please watch the bulletin insert and slides or visit the Walk of Faith hallway to keep up with how the children are progressing on their goals for this mission. Of course, congregation members not affiliated with the children's ministry program, are welcome to make a donation by tagging their gift to Children's Ministry Heifer Project.
Other Mission Opportunities...
Pictorial Directories are here!
Church Directory
New Pictorial Directories are available for pickup
If you had your photo made last fall for the First Church Pictorial Directory, you may pick up your copy this Sunday in the foyer of Payne Cottage (or outside if the weather is nice). We will distribute the directories for four weeks to those who had their photos made. Directories may also be picked up in the church office on weekdays.

We will probably have a few extra directories. If you did not have your photo made but would like to have a copy of the directory, the extras will be available for a small fee in late February. We will provide more information about that at a later date.
Council Oak Preschool registration for 2018-19
Preschool Registration

On Monday, February 12, Council Oak Preschool will begin open registration for the 2018-2019
school year. COP offers part-time preschool programs from 18 months-5 years. Available spots will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Please call 512.255.9568 for more info or to schedule a tour.
Friends of First Church...Footprints Children's Grief Ministry
Footprints Children's Grief Ministry
New Footprints Children's Grief Ministry Class will begin February 22
Footprints Children's Grief Ministry classes for parents and children affected by divorce or death in the family will begin February 22. Classes are offered for ages 6 to 18 years and will be 1 hour, 1 day per week for 10 weeks. 

The class will be at the YMCA/Chasco, 1812 North Mays, Round Rock. Click here for registration forms and more information,or call 512.705.5194.

This week at First Church
Saturday, February 3
  • 9:00 am - Leadership Retreat, Bldg. 3/FLC
Sunday, February 4 - Super Bowl Chili & Tamale Sale!
  • 8:30, 9:40 and 11 am - Worship Services 
  • 11:30 am - Alleluia Chorus Children's Choir, Bldg. 4-2
  • 12 noon - UMM Dedication of BBQ Pit project to Carl Schomburg
  • 12:15 pm - Chasing Paul in Reverse, Bldg. 5-127
  • 5:00 pm - Youth Choir Rehearsal, Bldg. 4-2
Monday, February 5
  • 1:30 pm - JOY Leadership planning meeting, Bldg. 5-124
  • 4:00 pm - Kids of the Kingdom Bells, Rehearsal, Bldg. 3/FLC
  • 6:00 pm - Boy Scout Troop #157 Court of Honor, Bldg. 3/FLC
Tuesday, February 6
  • 8:30 am - UMM Tuesday Breakfast group, Ju├írez Restaurant on South Mays
  • 8:45 am - Ring of Joy bell rehearsal, North Suite 
  • 9:30 am - Women's Bible Study, Bldg. 5-122
  • 9:30 am - First Church Crafters, 115 Winsted
  • 11:30 am - Women's Book Club, Bldg. 5-127
  • 12:30 pm - Brown Bag Theologians, Bldg. 5-124
  • 6:00 pm - Outreach Team, Bldg. 5-136
  • 6:30 pm - Invitation to Psalms, Bldg.5-122
  • 6:30 pm - Stephen Ministry Supervision, Bldg. 5-123, 126, 127
  • 7:00 pm - Community Bible Study, Bldg. 5-223/224
  • 7:00 pm - Military/First Responders Network meeting, Bldg. 5-124
Wednesday, February 7
  • 6:15 am - UMM Breakfast, fellowship, & devotional, FLC/Bldg.3
  • 9:30 am - Women's Bible Study, Bldg. 5-232/234
  • 5:00 pm - Revelation Ringers Tins, FLC-East Cry Room
  • 5:00 pm - Revelation Ringers Bronze, North Suite
  • 6:00 pm - HeartSong Choir rehearsal, South Suite
  • 6:30 pm - Women's Bible Study, Bldg. 5-232/234
  • 7:00 pm - Jubilation Bells rehearsal, North Suite
  • 7:15 pm - Chancel Choir rehearsal, South Suite
  • 8:00 pm - Ignite, Bldg. 5-220
Thursday, February 8
  • 9:30 am - Heart to Heart Quilters, 115 Winsted
  • 7:00 pm - Council Oak Bells rehearsal, North Suite
  • 7:00 pm - Orchestra rehearsal, South Suite
Friday, February 9
  • 8:30 am - Round Rock Helpers, Bldg. 4/Payne Cottage, Rm 2
  • 9:30 am - Ministry Of Motherhood (MOM) gathering, Bldg. 5-232/234
  • 11:00 am - Round Rock Woman's Club Soup & Bread Luncheon, Bldg. 3/FLC
  • 8:00 pm - Narcotics Anonymous-Right Stuff, Bldg. 4
Saturday, February 10

There is always a lot going on at First Church. Visit the website, find us on Facebook or Twitter, and check the  Church Calendar so you don't miss out! 
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