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February 2, 2024 E-Newsletter

This week's note from Rev. Bill

             I mentioned in the sermon last week about a bothersome trend that many pastors have been facing. Russell Moore, the editor of “Christianity Today”, said in a recent interview that American Evangelicalism has taken a worrying turn. 


             Moore cites a growing number of pastors who are reporting that, when they quote the Sermon of the Mount, they are facing skepticism and outright hostility from members of their own congregation, being accused of spreading “liberal talking points”. But what’s even worse is that, when these pastors tell them they are quoting Jesus, those opposed dismiss those ideas as “weak” or “outdated”.


             Do we believe that Jesus is “outdated”?


             Anyone who has studied history knows that Jesus was not just trying to quote some “pie in the sky” ideals, separated from the real world in which we live. First-century Roman rule was harsh, vindictive, and unmerciful. Jesus saw first-hand what the Romans did to anyone who went against them. Rome was not interested in what was right; Rome was interested in what kept them in power. Mercy, humility, and compromise were for the weak. Trying to eliminate anyone who opposed them was Rome’s way.




             Far from being an idealistic dreamer who had no contact with reality, Jesus fully faced the world of His time. He embraced it. Instead of calling for violence or trying to pass laws to force everyone to act like Him, Jesus laid down His life for those who didn’t understand Him. Jesus believed that grace, love, and compassion are what will create real change in this world. 


             I have dedicated my life to following Jesus. Does that make me a loser? Evidently many contemporary “Christians” think so. It is sad that the central doctrines of Jesus’ faith have become relegated to political positions, instead of spiritual mandates. If we truly claim to follow Jesus, that means opening our homes (and borders) to the refugee, giving food and water to anyone who needs it (even if they are standing in line to vote), opposing the proud, seeing everyone as an equal. 


             I don’t like a lot of things that Jesus said, but that does not give me an excuse to ignore it. It means that I have to wrestle with it all the more, to see if maybe Jesus understands the universe better than I do. 


  • Rev. Bill

Service for February 4, 2024

"Now That Things Are Going Well..."

Mark 1:29-39

Link For February 4, 2024 Live Service

On Wednesday Rev. Bill will be

at the church office to guide our scripture study that we use to get a "sneak peek" at the

sermon message for Sunday!

February 7, 2024

Mark 12:28-34

Link for Wednesday Bible Study at 3:00pm



             The worship series for Lent is “We’ve Been Wondering”, and it is taken directly from the questions that you have suggested. 


             We will be setting up our “Prayer Walking Path” also this year – integrating the questions we will be asking along the journey. If you would like to help set up the prayer path, we could certainly use you! We need people to 


  • Move the benches
  • Arrange the walking path (make sure all branches/barriers are out of the way!)
  • Print up and set up the placards for each station
  • Make sure the maps are out each week
  • Keep the pathway clean and debris -free throughout Lent as needed.


Thank you for all of your prayers, suggestions, and support!

All Church Work Day Tomorrow 9am-noon



             We have had a growing number of people ask if they could become members of our church – so let’s get together to make it happen! If you would like to explore becoming a full-time member of this church (or part-time, for Northern residents!), please contact the church office at 239.992.1312 or to let us know!


             We are scheduling a New Member Orientation for Sunday, Feb. 18th at 11:00 in the sanctuary for all that would like to know more. See you there!


We asked for help with our continuing food pantry ministry with Bonita Springs Assistance Office, and you answered! We now have several volunteers who will be delivering the collected items to them!


Now – let’s put them to work! The red bin in the Narthex (entryway) is there every Sunday for your non-perishable donations! When you see a BOGO (Buy One, Get One), that’s a great time to get what you need and donate the extra to the pantry.


The Assistance Office is always in need of the following (please check expiration dates): 


  • Cereals
  • Beans (canned and bagged)
  • Rice
  • Soup
  • Syrup (for pancakes)
  • Personal items
  • Toothpaste
  • Toothbrushes
  • Shampoo
  • Feminine hygiene
  • Kleenex/tissues
  • Baby wipes
  • Size 6 Diapers


Remember that many of the families served have pets, so dog and cat food is always welcome! Thank you!

Click for Bonita Assistance  Website

Hablas Espanol?

The classes are on Tuesdays at 10:00 am and Thursdays at 5:00 pm, both in the church office.

There is an online resource called MANGO that we are using as a resource. It is available from the Lee County or Collier Country Library websites –



Margie Gillette



Coming March 3, 2024

Invite your friends and family!


The places we go and the things we see!

Tom, the community breakfast was pawsitively purr-fect!

The food looked de-lick-cious too! Rev. Bill enjoyed the meal along with 94 others.

Princess, you were not fee-line well last week! We should let everyone know you're feline fine and "whiskers-tastic!" I think maybe, you swallowed a firefly and got a light case of heartburn! Tom, you are Hiss-ter-ical!

UWF Meets, Plans “Souper Bowl” Event

Seventeen women gathered for the UWF meeting January 15 in Fellowship Hall.  On the agenda was planning for the Souper Bowl Party on February 11.  Just at this meeting alone, over a dozen women volunteered to make homemade soups for the event.  All donations from the event will go to the Summer Reserve Fund that was launched with a presentation during worship on Sunday, January 14.  This will be the second year for the event which is extremely popular with NFL fans and non-football fans alike.  Who can resist a hearty bowl of homemade soup and some cookies or brownies for dessert?

The crockpots of soup will be plugged in around fellowship hall.  UWF members will take care of crackers and drinks.  Others who would like to make a soup can sign up on the list on the board inside the kitchen.  And don’t worry if someone else has signed up for the variety you want to make.  Some of the fun is trying different versions of the same soup.

Wearing shirts of your favorite team that day is encouraged, even if your team didn’t make the big game. And, if we’re lucky, Rev. Bill will lead us in the wave during worship that day!

Of course, there were many more items on the UWF agenda that day.  Vice President Jaci Colombo had arranged a program featuring Jill Hockin,  UMCOR volunteer coordinator.  She shared with us the ways volunteers can help with disaster recovery in the three county (Lee, Charlotte, Sarasota) region. She forwarded information to Jaci about ways that women, who may not be construction experts, can help.


Also, the group discussed the possibility of a field trip to visit the ECHO Global Farm in North Fort Myers. Several members of the group toured the facility some years ago. “ ECHO has been equipping and empowering hungry families for over 30 years.”  They have ”impacted millions of lives by teaching small-scale, sustainable farming.”   We will contact the organization and try to schedule a tour sometime in March.  Many of our long-time Bonita UMC family remember that Janet and John Smiedendorf were active volunteers with ECHO.

Numerous mission activities are part of UWF.  We are also collecting vegetable seeds which are sent to Redbird Mission in Kentucky, a project supported by the United Methodist Church.  And, as always, we are ready to help our local schools with any needs they might have.  And, I may be biased, but UWF is a fabulous fun group of women!  Our monthly meetings are the third Monday of each month at 3 p.m. in Fellowship Hall.  We hope even more women will join us for the next meeting, February 19.

-              Susan Atkinson, UWF President

Book Club’s February Selection

The First UMC Book Club met January 3 at the Royal Scoop for a book trade.  Members brought a personal book they had read and enjoyed, and another member was able to take it home to also enjoy.  Of course, lunch and/or ice cream were enjoyed by those attending.  And members were able to also take home a library copy of the book selected for the February 7 meeting of the group.

The book for February is West with Giraffes by Lynda Rutledge.  The book is described as “An emotional, rousing novel inspired by the incredible true story of two giraffes who made headlines and won the hearts of Depression-era America.” The setting is 1938, but “telling” the story is 105-year-old Woodrow Wilson Nickel.  As he finds his life ebbing away, he wants to share the events of the 12-day road trip to deliver two giraffes who survived the 1938 Great New England Atlantic hurricane (one that was only topped by Hurricane Sandy in 2012) to the San Diego Zoo. Inspired by true events, the book weaves real life characters and fictional ones in a novel that is “part adventure, part historical saga, and part coming-of-age love story”.

This is from a book club kit at the Bonita Springs Library.  Books were distributed to members attending January 3.  If you were unable to attend that meeting but would like a book, please see Susan Atkinson at church Sunday or text her at 239-405-9078.  The only requirement to be a part of this book club is to love reading a variety of literature and sharing your insights with fellow bibliophiles.  Happy reading!

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Altar Flowers

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First United Methodist Church of Bonita Springs

Office Hours: Monday - Thursday, 9:30 AM - 12:30 PM

27690 Shriver Avenue, Bonita Springs, FL 34135

Office: 239.992.1312

Rev. Bill Fisackerly, Pastor

(941) 681-0557