December 2, 2022 E-Newsletter

This week's note from Rev. Bill

It is Thursday morning here, but it’s Wednesday night for you! (Or whatever time you read this, add 7 hours and that’s where we’ll be!)
This morning we woke up to sunrise on the Sea of Galilee. We plan on reaffirming our baptisms at the Jordon River, visiting Jesus’ “home office” (Peter’s house) in Capernaum, taking a boat ride on the Galilee itself, and viewing a 2000-year-old boat that has been discovered from Jesus’ time!
It is strange to think that we are ahead of you, time-wise. I called my kids as we woke up, and they were just getting ready for bed. We talked about their plans -everyday, mundane stuff, while Kim and I and the group have these things ahead of us. We’re living in a new day in the old country, and they were ending yesterday!
I suppose this is a little bit like our faith – we constantly live between two worlds. There is the everyday, business-as-usual world of job and family responsibilities and worldly expectations – and then there’s the world of hope and faith and expectation. One can fill us with drudgery; the other lifts up our eyes and our spirits to something more than just what we see. 
The goal, I guess, is to keep both in tension with each other. If we focus too much on this world, we end up in materialism. If we spend too much time pining for heaven, we miss out the joys that God has for us in this world. What we do in this world has eternal significance, and our hope for the future helps us to keep things in perspective. 
We are having a great time here, but our hearts are back home! (Both for this trip, and for our hope in heaven!) May your week be filled with grace!
  • Rev. Bill and Kim

____ SUNRISE ON GALILEE ____________________ JORDAN RIVER_____
Service for December 4, 2022

"Predictable Birth of a Saving Son"

Isaiah 9:1-7

News & Fellowship
Free Concert by The Chorale December 11th at 3:00pm in the Sanctuary. All are welcome!

             Advent is the beginning of the Christian year, so HAPPY NEW YEAR, EVERYBODY!!!
             There are 4 weeks of Advent, and then on Christmas Eve we celebrate the birth of Jesus. And THEN we have the season of Christmas! (12 days, to be exact. Sound familiar?)
             So what would you like to see happen? Peace on earth? Goodwill to men (and women, and children)? Joy to the world? 
             It all depends upon us – if Jesus is going to be the focus of this year’s holiday season, then WE are the ones to let others know! By acts of grace, kindness, hope, and encouragement, we will show others what Christmas is really about. And a great way to get your own bearings is to be involved in your church! 
             4 Sundays, each with a different emphasis upon preparation for the season. A special time of celebration and service with the neighborhood children (Dec. 10th!) Caroling and visiting our homebound. Christmas Eve service, and then a laity-led service on Sunday, Dec. 25th to bring it all together! 
             Thank You, Lord, for coming to be with us!

Neighborhood Christmas Family Celebration

We asked you to “save the date” for the Dec. 10 celebration with children and families in our neighborhood.  Since then, the team has worked on details to make the event fun for all.  And you can be part of the fun.  A flyer announcing the event and activities is being developed and will be distributed soon.  It will invite children and their parents to join our congregation in a craft project, cookie decorating (and eating), singing Christmas songs, playing games, and hearing the story of the original Saint Nicholas.  Each child will take home a stocking filled with surprises. And, we have heard that a jolly man in a red suit plans to stop by for pictures with the children!
Here's where the congregation comes in.  We will prepare Fellowship Hall for the event on Friday, December 9, at 2 p.m.  We need plenty of  “elves” to  get that done.  All are welcome to help. The actual event is scheduled from 10 to noon in Fellowship Hall on Saturday, Dec. 10.  Help will be needed then in supervising activities, making our guests feel welcome, and cleaning up afterward. 
The goal of this event and any that the Formational Leadership Team (FLT) plans are to focus on outreach, mission, and fellowship.  We are blessed with a loving church family; let’s share that love with the children and their parents in our neighborhood.  We have no idea how many will show up, but we know that whoever comes will be greeted with love.  Be a part of the fun! 

Thank you note from Jamail and Diana

The offering envelopes for 2023 will be available this Sunday, December 4th in the Sanctuary.

In Rev. Bill's absence, all emergencies should be directed to Julie Kampmann at 920-946-5967.

We will be collecting for Toys For Tots until December 9.  As has happened in the past these toys will be used here in Bonita.  We do this through the local fire house. Toys, books, games, stocking stuffers and stuffed animals are needed.
There is also a need for gifts for young teens - make-up cases, nail polish, hair dryers etc. for girls.  Footballs, basketballs, headphones, etc. for the boys.
Parents are actually brought to the fire house to shop for their children.  Thank you for your support.

The places we go and the things we see!

Meow meow all around the campus everyone is saying the same thing! Elizabeth (Beth) Pianosi is coming and she is Purr-fect, Purr-fect ,Purr-fect! as the new Office Manager!!!

Tom, who is THAT looking at us? Princess I don't know but she is Purr-fect
  First UMC Book Club
The First UMC Book Club Will meet December 7th Those attending are asked to bring a book of their own. Each person will share a brief description of their book before each will be able to select one of the other books to take home. Remember the book you bring will NOT be going home with you. The book you offer can be fiction or non-fiction.
The book club meets the first Wednesday of each month at the Royal Scoop. Come at 1 pm for lunch and /or ice cream or 1:30 pm for discussion. All are welcome. The only requirements are to love reading and discussing what you’ve read. If you have questions, see Susan Atkinson at church or text her at 239-405-9078. Happy reading!
No Bible Study for
December 7th

Wednesday Bible Study
On Wednesday's Rev. Bill will be at the church to guide our scripture study that we use to get a "sneak peek" at the sermon message for Sunday!

Please come to the office at 3:00 or login online to take part.
We will be meeting on Monday, Dec. 19th at 2:30 in fellowship hall for our annual Christmas social. We will be doing an appetizer and dessert potluck. RSVP to Lu Burkell by Dec. 12th. We will also be having a gift exchange. Gifts should be $10.00 maximum and should be wrapped. Lighthearted or humorous gifts are acceptable. All women are welcome.


will be hosting a Baby Jesus Shower on Sunday, December 11th. It will be held right after church services during the time we normally have coffee hour. We invite our congregation to donate infant baby items such as clothes, bibs, hats, socks, diapers, and wipes, ect. Please bring items to the church by December 4th. These items will be donated to Verity. Verity is a pregnancy & medical resource center providing free medical, educational, and support services to women facing unplanned pregnancies.
UWF will be supplying Christmas cookies and a few finger food appetizers during the shower.
The Upper Room

The Upper Room magazine's mission is to provide a practical way to listen to scripture, connect with believers around the world, and spend time with God each day.
All information and last names will be kept confidential. Our list is updated weekly. If you need us to keep someone on the list, please send their name to
Please help us keep the prayer list current. Names will remain 8 weeks, please update and resubmit.

Come Pray
Wednesday at 6:30 PM
(Zoom only)

Friday at 9:30 AM
In person in the sanctuary and Zoom

Please feel free to join in prayer, click on the link below!
Altar Flowers

If you would like to honor family, friends, or loved ones for an anniversary, birthday, or memorial, contact the church office for details.
Dave G
Joyce, Kenn Kevin
James G



If you have any changes or updates please email:
         On Wednesdays from noon ‘til 4 we host the Meals of Hope food distribution program. This past week we needed some last minute help, because many of the regular volunteers were away!
         If you can come to the church at noon on Wednesdays, we could use the help in getting the bags of food prepared to give to the clients who need them. It is not hard work, but come prepared to get warm! (It is outside, after all! But you will be under a tent!)
         We could also use more help with the Prayer Team that talks with the people who are coming through – just to let them know that we see them as beloved children of God, and that they are welcome here. If you are able to help with either of these tasks, please call the church office to let us know!