Don't miss a Sermon in Song this Sunday!
First Church News & Updates - June 22, 2018
Welcome Summer

It is a busy time at First Church...VBS, Mission Trips, and fun summer events. It is also a time when some church groups take a break from the regular routine...Bible studies and groups, handbell teams, regular choir rehearsals, and more. And there are some special summer activities like Summer Choir, as well as family vacations and activities. We hope summer is a fun and restorative time for you.

Enjoy this First Church News.
This week in worship...
Sermon in Song

Dr. Will Cotton  will be preaching (singing) at all three services.   He will do his Sermon in Song at 8:30 and 11 am.

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...
As this issue of e-news hits your inbox, two sacred moments will be happening today. 
Sometime about mid-day, our next associate pastor, Rev. David Johnson will be moving into the parsonage on Summit. Great improvements have been made to the home. Special thanks to the Trustees (Scott Reid and David Riskind), United Methodist Men (Denny Powers and others leading the way), our operations and facilities staff (Cindy, Juan & Shawn), and many other individuals and classes. While David doesn't officially start until July 1, we are pleased to have him in the neighborhood. His e-mail is now active at So, yes, you are now free to blow up his mail box with tons of welcome notes!

Dr. Will Cotton
Dr. Will Cotton
At 1 pm, Tina and I, along with Claude and Rae Frenette, will be present at Randolph Air Force Base Chapel in San Antonio for the retirement ceremony for Col. Dr. S. Patrick McCain, our associate to join us on September 1. One of the parts of the liturgy celebrates his transition from military chaplaincy to local church pastoral ministry, even mentioning our congregation by name. Tina and I will sing "Be Thou My Vision" as part of that section of the service. Pat and Monica's son, Shawn, the rector of the Anglican Church of the Resurrection (known as "the Rez") in South Austin will offer a prayer of commissioning (a truly sacred moment between father and son). I have seen the script for the service and it will be a beautiful and moving ceremony.

This Sunday, I look forward to sharing a sermon-in-song in the 8:30 and 11:00 service. I will be preaching "Hope for the Ages - Singing and Praying the Spirituals." Tina will join me for one of the songs. In "Crossroads" at 9:40 am I will share a testimonial message and save a musical sermon for later - as three sung sermons is just too much for this voice to offer. Lots of sacred moments are scheduled for all three services and the lunch that follows - including a First VBS Celebration, two baptisms, and a much anticipated presentation by Rev. Katie Meek of her missionary ministry in Sierra Leone. This would be a great Sunday to invite someone to be your guest.  See you Sunday! 

Sincerely in Christ,
Will Cotton Signature
Dr. Will Cotton
Senior Pastor

P.S. What a great first week of Vacation Bible School it has been at First Church! Just watching reluctant participants on Monday become fully active and sharing ones by about Wednesday afternoon is wonderful to behold. And the leaders and army of volunteers have been nothing short of amazing.
Welcoming Rev. David Johnson...
Dell Diamond Event

The wait is almost over! 
Rev. David Johnson has moved to Round Rock and will be in worship with us next Sunday, July 1. He will be preaching in all three services on Sunday, July 8. Two welcome events have been planned to introduce David and welcome him to the First Church family:
  • Friday, July 13: Watermelon tailgate and baseball game at Dell Diamond. Meet and greet Rev. David Johnson at a watermelon tailgate at 6 pm in the northwest section of the parking lot. The baseball game begins at 7:05 pm. The Round Rock Express is playing Oklahoma City. Friday night fireworks will follow the game. Tickets are $10 and may be purchased online. They will also be available in the church office on weekdays until July 8 and between services on Sundays, July 1 and 8. Join us for watermelon, baseball. fireworks, fellowship and fun!
  • Sunday, July 15: Welcome reception in the Family Life Center following the 11 am worship service.
Change is coming...
Changes Coming

Reminders during this time of change...
  • Name tags are very helpful for new pastors and staff (and all of us in a large congregation). You may request a name tag at the Welcome Desk in the foyers of the sanctuary and the Family Life Center, or by sending your request to Rae Frenette,
  • Have you registered at myFirstChurch? If not, please register today. You can update your contact info, register for church events, access your giving record, and more.
  • Read your E-News and check the church website often. They are your best sources of information. 
  • If you are not signed up to receive E-News, click here
  • Website tip: There is a search box on the top toolbar. if you are looking for something, just type the term in the search box and it should come up. 
Ministry Focus
Caring Ministry
Stephen Ministry

July 8 is Stephen Ministry Recruitment Sunday!
Have you ever wondered about how you can become a Stephen Minister? On July 8, First Church will be celebrating Stephen Ministry Recruitment Sunday, and during the worship services you will hear about being a Stephen Minister.

If you want more information, please attend a Q & A session on Sunday, July 15 or July 29 in Payne Cottage at 9:30 am. Get your questions answered and hear from current Stephen Ministers more about this amazing program.

And...please support our Stephen Ministry program at the Twin Oaks Cafe during July!
Children's Ministry

Shipwrecked VBS...Vacation Bible School Week 2 starts on Monday
Your prayers are requested for the safety of all the 200 children and approximately 100 adult and youth volunteers that will grace our campus next week.  It will be a fun time of worship and learning that Jesus Rescues us from loneliness,worry, struggle, wrongdoing and  powerlessness!
Student Ministry

HS Summer Mission...H2O in Baton Rouge
Our kids and adults had a great time on our High School Mission Trip. Our days were spent working hard in the Baton Rouge sticky, humid, heat and our evenings were spent having authentic Louisiana food and amazing worship. We had teams roofing, installing flooring, building porches and installing fences. We listened to Cajun music and learned to two-step. We even went out on Wednesday for a swamp tour. On our swamp tour we learned about the legends of the Manchac Swamp and got to hold a baby alligator. Hope Community United Methodist Church hosted an authentic shrimp boil where a surprising number of our students even tried raw oysters. If you would like to check out the full gallery of pictures, click here.
Student Ministry

What's coming up?
Adult Ministry
Disciple Bible Study

Register today for your next (or first) D isciple Bible S tudy!
Disciple I and Disciple  III will begin on August 29. Short term classes this fall include Invitation to John and Invitation to Romans. Click here for all the details and to register. 
PPL Class Study
More from Adult Ministries...  
  • Acting Boldly - New study began June 10 in Bldg. 5-148.
Worship Arts
Summer Choir
February 25, 2018:
"Brightly Sound the Bells", Kids of the Kingdom Bells

Come to Chime Camp this summer and you might be ringing in church soon!
Some of these Kids of the Kingdom ringers started out in Chime Camp. 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. 
CrossRoads CD
An update on Revs. Van and K athy D ickens
Van and Kathy Dickens moved to Iowa this month to be near their children and grandchildren.  Van and Kathy were so helpful during the time we have been short on pastoral staff. Perhaps that was part of the reason that Van began to feel the call into full-time ministry. He reports that he has been appointed as pastor at Monroe United Methodist Church effective July 1. Congratulations and best wishes on your new journey in Iowa.

Katie is in town.
Rev. Katie Meek, missionary in Sierra Leone, is back in Texas for a visit and will be with us on Sunday to share some her experiences. Read about her visit below. Katie stopped by the church office to have lunch with the staff yesterday. Rev. Dr. Beverly Jones was also present. It was so nice to visit with these friends and coworkers!

Jason Ory
New babies...
Taylor Ory and wife Jessica welcomed their new baby, Jason William, on Monday, June 18. Taylor is our Associate Director of Student Ministries.

Chris and Shelley B urton welcomed their new son, James Gabriel om June 14. Chris is our incoming Handbell and AV/Tech Director. He will come on staff on August 1.

Congratulations to these families!
MIssion Focus
Mission Luncheon
Rev. Katie Meek
Last Sunday of June Mission Month...focus on  international  missions!
On deck on June 24...International Missions.  Mission Panama, Children's Ministries, UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief), and Sierra Leone.  Please stop by and find your passion!

Mission Focused Lunch and Program
Rev. Katie Meek will be here to share with us her ministry as missionary to Sierra Leone. Lunch tickets are sold out, but you are welcome to join us after the lunch (at about 1 pm) for Katie's presentation.
School Supply Mission

Spring Cleaning?
Children's Ministry mission for the summer will be donating school supplies! When school is out and your child brings home their backpack and supplies, encourage them to bring any gently used supplies to donate to the Sunday School offering. Right after July 4th, when school supplies go on sale, you can pick up a few extras for Sunday School mission donations. All money donated will also be used to purchase school supplies.
A Finance Snapshot...
Finance Update
  • Year to date Revenue: $1,011,357.04
  • Year to date Expenses: $1,048,105.71
  • 2018 Budget: $2,481,067.63
This week at First Church
Saturday, June 23

Sunday, June 24
  • 8:30, 9:40 and 11 am - Worship services
  • 11:00 am - Youth VBS Training, Bldg.5-127
  • 12:15 pm - Mission Accepted - Sierra Leone Lunch & Program, Bldg.3/FLC
Monday, June 25   
  • 9:00 am - Vacation Bible School, Sanctuary, Bldg. 2, 3, 4, & 5
  • 6:30 pm - Vision Core Team, Bldg.5-136
  • 6:30 pm - Adult Christian Education meeting, Bldg.5-124
  • 7:00 pm - Does It Make Sense to be a Christian?, Bldg 5-127
  • 7:00 pm - Boy Scout Troop #157 meeting, Bldg.3/FLC
Tuesday, June 26
  • 8:30 am - UMM Tuesday Breakfast group, Ju├írez Restaurant on South Mays
  • 9:00 am - Vacation Bible School, Sanctuary, Bldg. 2, 3, 4, & 5
  • 9:30 am - First Church Crafters, 115 Winsted House
  • 12:30 pm - Brown Bag Theologians, Bldg.5-122 
Wednesday, June 27
  • 6:15 am - UMM Breakfast, fellowship, & devotional, FLC/Bldg.3
  • 9:00 am - Vacation Bible School, Sanctuary, Bldg. 2, 3, 4, & 5
  • 7:00 pm - Chancel Choir rehearsal, South Suite
Thursday, June 28
  • 9:00 am - Vacation Bible School, Sanctuary, Bldg. 2, 3, 4, & 5
  • 9:30 am - Heart to Heart Quilters, 115 Winsted
Friday, June 29
  • 8:30 am - Round Rock Helpers, Bldg. 4-2
  • 9:00 am - Vacation Bible School, Sanctuary, Bldg. 2, 3, 4, & 5
  • 8:00 pm - Narcotics Anonymous-Right Stuff, Bldg. 4
Saturday, June 30
  • 3:00 pm - Memorial service for Verdell and Beverly Turner, Sanctuary

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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