How can it be August already?
First Church News & Updates - August 3, 2018

In case you missed it last Sunday, Nancy Alvarez rang two amazing handbell solos in honor of Carla David, retiring Director of Handbell Ministry. Enjoy Faith Trilogy...

"Faith Trilogy" arr. Sueda Lutrell

Enjoy this First Church News.
This week in worship...
Sermon Series
This is the fourth Sunday in the Play Ball sermon series. This is a fun, intriguing and inspiring series - a great opportunity for you to invite someone to join you and experience the good news of God's love in a fresh and life-changing way. Expect some surprises and fun music! Feel free to wear your baseball jerseys or t-shirts.

Sermon title:  "Run Home "
Scripture:  Luke 15:11-24

Dr. Will Cotton will be preaching at 8:30 and 9:40 am . Rev. David Johnson will be preaching at the 11 am service. Holy Communion will be served at all services. We will be introducing and welcome Dr. Chris Burton, new Director of Handbell Ministry.

Please join us in worship this weekend...Sunday at 8:30 am (Sanctuary), 9:40 am (Family Life Center) or 11 am (Sanctuary).
Words from Will...
My Baseball Back Story - Way back, Way Back...
Do I have some magnificent baseball history that you don't know? Actually, no. I was the kid in the pick-up games who was chosen nearly last - "Hey Cotton", I guess we'll take you"
Dr. Will Cotton
Dr. Will Cotton

I played right field in baseball & softball (the place often reserved for the one least likely to succeed) and I prayed fervently when a left-handed batter came to the plate that the ball wouldn't come in my direction. My teammates joined me in that prayer. I have one home run to my credit (on the youth church softball team in 9th grade), which was really a double with two errors. I donated two front teeth to the game in 4th grade. In contrast, my brother could hit and run like the wind and my little sister could hit the ball a country mile. My grandmother planted the love for baseball/softball in us and I know from her heavenly box seat (Hebrews 12:1), she would be enjoying all this.

So, the series and the fresh hearing of the Word continues. As famed commentator Bob Prince used to say, "How sweet it is!" See you Sunday.

Sincerely in Christ,

Will Cotton Signature

Dr. Will Cotton
Senior Pastor
MIssion Focus
Mission Panama

First Church's Mission Panama 2018 team is gearing up for our 4th mission trip!
This year's team is our largest group yet with 24 members; 2 doctors, 1 nurse practitioner, 6 nurses, and a pharmacist along with a pastor, 4 translators, 1 missionary and 8 lay people. We will be working in clinics near Santa Catalina, serving the local community in the name of international service.

Over 400 Panamanian men, women, families and school children will receive care from our team in remote areas where doctors are scarce and medicine is expensive or unavailable. To do this we need your help!

Our mission team raises funds to purchase common antibiotics and medicines to take with us for the doctors and nurses to use in clinic. Each team member will also take one extra suitcase filled with over-the-counter items such as:
  • Tylenol liquid
  • Ibuprofen liquid
  • Benadryl liquid
  • Claritin liquid
  • Zyrtec liquid
  • Hydrocortisone cream
  • Lotrimin (generic) cream
  • Adult multivitamins
  • Artificial tears
  • Toothbrushes
  • Toothpaste
If you are able to donate any of these over-the-counter items, please bring them to the sanctuary and Family Life Center foyers or to the church office any time between now and Sunday, August 19th. We also need a few more suitcases. If you have a large, wheeled suitcase that you'd like to donate, please contact Rae Frenette,512.255.3336 or

Aside from physical donations, we also need your prayers for a safe and effective journey. We will have our prayer bracelets available again in the foyers before each service on Sunday, August 12 and 19. Make a donation and choose a bracelet that you can wear to remind you to pray for us!

Mission Panama 2018 team thanks you for your support.
Ministry Focus
Children's Ministry
Family Game Night

Friends & Family Game Night, August 7, 6 pm
Our last summer fun event is next Tuesday.  Bring the family for Friends & Family Game Night! See our First Kids Facebook events for details. We will have pizza at 6:00 pm for a free will donation. We will provide games but please bring your family's favorite to share.  Invite your neighbors! Over 30 children had  so much fun "cooling off" at our Water Fun Day on July 30. 
Promotion Sunday

August 19 is Preschool Promotion Sunday!
On Sunday, August 19, children currently in 3 and 4 year old Sunday School classes will promote.  Placement is determined by a child's age on September 1, 2018. Three year olds will meet in Pod B, Room 2. Four year olds will meet in Pod A, room1.  Children starting kindergarten will meet in Pod A, Room 2 or 3 (determined by alphabet).

All children will need a new registration form for the 2018-19 school year. If you have an older child, you should have already filled one out. Registration forms are one per family, but we do require a separate media release for each child.
Student Ministry

Camp changing!
Adult Ministry
Senior Fellowship

JOY Fellowship Planning Retreat - Wednesday, August 15, 2018, 
10 am - 12 noon in Bldg. 5-127
Please join us on August 15 for a planning retreat to outline the program, meals, day trips, and ministry for the JOY Fellowship Senior Adult Ministries for 2018-2019. We need your input. 

Rev. John Clifford will be meeting with us to guide our discussions to better meet the senior adults of First Church. Breakfast snacks will be provided.

Please register by Tuesday, August 14.
The Wesleyan Way

Paths to Positive Living SS Class announces next class study beginning August 12
The faith of Wesley makes a difference. It is real and relevant in today's world. In The Wesleyan Way: A Faith That Matters, Scott Jones invites us into a deeper and more active commitment to Christ. Each week, a different presenter, including Adam Hamilton and Rob Fuquay, shares personal faith experiences. Join us as we become part of God's work in transforming the world!

Location/Time: Sundays, 9:40 am, Bldg. 5-136. Contact Debby Utley,, for information. All are welcome. No registration needed. Just come!
drops of grace

UMW Lydia Circle meets on August 14, 6:30 pm, Payne Cottage
Come and hear about the Malawi Mission trip. Our guest speaker will be Diane Bouchard sharing information on her recent trip to Africa with  drops of grace®.  Their mission statement is drops of grace® shall exist to hear and act on God's call to partner with communities around the world to provide safe water, sanitation, health, education and shelter.

We hope you will join us for this informative program plus a devotional, refreshments and sharing of joys and concerns. All women of the church are always invited to join us. For more information contact Patti Ruth at
Dinner Groups

New Dinner Groups are forming!
If you are new to Round Rock or to First Church, you may want to join a First Church Dinner Group. The groups meet monthly and share a meal. The host rotates within the group and sets the main course and the other members provide the accompanying dishes. The date varies with the group mutually deciding the night with the other participants for the following month. This is a great way to become part of our church fellowship and maybe make lifelong friends. To get involved, please contact Patti Ruth, 512-944-5339 or
More from Adult Ministry...
Worship Arts
Children's Choir

It's time to sign up for Alleluia Chorus Children's Choir!
In the Alleluia Chorus our elementary students learn the skills of singing and music reading while they sing anthems of their own as well as join with the Choral Union in joint choral presentations. These early experiences create wonderful memories of joyful musical events linked with the worship of God-thus building the foundation for a walk with Christ.

Rehearsals: Sunday morning during the 11 am service. Children will join their parents in worship until just before the sermon (around 11:40 am) and then go to Bldg. 5-234 for rehearsal until 12:15 pm.

Contact director Jennifer Harvill for more information:
Kids of the Kingdom
Sign up today! Kids of the Kingdom Chimes is for children entering 3rd-5th grades who would like to ring hand chimes. Students will learn rhythm, reading, and ringing. Playing hand chimes is a wonderful opportunity for your child to learn to read music and ring. No experience is necessary. We will play in church 1-2 times per semester and a recital at the end of each semester. 
Click for more information and to register online. Q uestions? Contact Shari Sloane, , or 512.914.7957.
Chime Camp
Last chance to register for the August Chime Camp. It starts next Tuesday!
These wonderful 3-day camps are offered to all children entering 3rd-5th grades in the fall of 2018. Children learn the basics of ringing chimes from experienced teachers. 
Caring Ministry
Stephen Ministry
Church Mouse

College's time to sign up for a Church Mouse
A ministry called Campus Renewal reports the 70% of Christian teens are choosing to no longer follow Jesus after their first year of college. That is a pretty scary statistic. So often, these teens are leaving the church that they grew up in without making any connection with a new church. Here at First Church, we have a program called the Church Mouse program. Through this program, members of the congregation get the opportunity to be a small connection between a college student and their home church. Through prayer, cards and the occasional care package, adopted students get a reminder that someone here at First Church is thinking of them. It is a great way to do our part in combating this crazy statistic and loving on our young adults. 

If you have a college student that would like to participate, click here and fill out the form by August 7, 2018. If you would like to adopt a college student, be on the look out! Adoption day is August 26, 2018.
A Finance Snapshot...
Finance Update
  • Year to date Revenue: $1,214,407.13
  • Year to date Expenses: $1,289,240.26
  • 2018 Budget: $2,481,067.63
This week at First Church
Saturday, August 4

Sunday, August 5
  • 8:30 am - Life Group - Be Awesome, Bldg. 4-2
  • 8:30, 9:40 and 11 am - Worship services
Monday,  August 6
  • 1:30 pm - JOY Leadership meeting, Bldg. 5-124
  • 6:00 pm - Trustees meeting, Bldg. 5-124 
Tuesday, August 7
  • 8:30 am - UMM Tuesday Breakfast group, Juárez Restaurant on South Mays
  • 9:00 am - Children's Chime Camp, North Suite
  • 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.5-122
  • 6:00 pm - Family Game Night, Bldg. 5-232/234
  • 6:00 pm - Outreach Team, Bldg. 5-124
  • 6:00 pm - Paths to Positivity Movie, Bldg. 5-127 
  • 6:30 pm - Stephen Ministry Supervision, Bldg. 5-123, 126, 127
Wednesday, August 8
  • 6:15 am - UMM Breakfast, fellowship, & devotional, FLC/Bldg.3
  • 9:00 am - Children's Chime Camp, North Suite
Thursday, August 9
  • 9:00 am - Children's Chime Camp, North Suite
  • 9:30 am - Heart to Heart Quilters, 115 Winsted
  • 10:00 am - A Matter of Balance, Bldg. 5-127
Friday, August 10
  • 8:30 am - Round Rock Helpers, Bldg. 4-2
  • 8:00 pm - Narcotics Anonymous-Right Stuff, Bldg. 4
Saturday, August 11
  • 3:00 pm - Eagle Court of Honor, Bldg. 5-232/234
  • 5:30 pm - Journey in Faith Social, Bldg. 5-127
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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