Dear Church Family,
I’m one of those kids who “grew up in church.” I was four years old when my mother became a Christian and even as a brand-new Christian, she was an amazing example of faith. Together, we learned how to connect with God. As a child, I learned about worship, prayer, bible study and the growth that comes in having believing friends. In college, I learned about quiet times and retreats. As a young adult, I discovered fasting and contemplative practices like labyrinths and journaling.

All of these spiritual practices shared one thing in common- I set some time apart, went someplace special or quiet, and sought to meet God. I find that believers today are accustomed to leaving society to meet God: church on Sunday with those who believe like us, a quiet prayer time in a secluded corner of our homes, a small group that meets for coffee and Bible Study. To meet God, we carve out time, wake up early, close our doors. 

The early believers counted on God to showing up in rough, lonely places among rough, lonely people. And they were never disappointed. Acts 14:16-17 says, "In the generations gone by God permitted all the nations to go their own ways; and yet God did not leave Himself without witness, in that He did good and gave you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with food and gladness (emphasis mine).”

In the past decades, I’ve learned that God also wants to meet me outside the Church! And this verse reminds me that God has left evidence everywhere: rain, a delicious meal, a day that brims with joy- all these, the Bible says, are witnesses to God right in the middle of everyday life. 

This week, let’s open our eyes and hearts to chances to meet God throughout our days. Let’s train ourselves to see God in these everyday witnesses that God has left throughout the world. When we do, we’ll realize that everywhere we go, God has beaten us there. 
Here are some places I’ve noticed God’s presence in our church family:
  • Customs and Border Patrol officers stopped by the Church Office to thank MFUMC and Mercy Chefs for the meals we provided for 600 agents a few weeks ago! They recognized with appreciation our Church and the continuing relationship we have with them and our community!  
  • Pastor Jon preached the chapel service for Seminario Juan Wesley, en español, por supuesto (in Spanish, of course!). We give thanks that God brought Pastor Jon to our church and for how PJ uses his gifts to encourage upcoming leaders in the church.
  • It’s been rainy lately. In big storms, we always have water come under the doors of the church. We thank our custodians for sandbagging the doors to minimize the water damage. And we give thanks that wildlife like this duck visit us to enjoy the temporary “lakes.”
  • About a month ago, a woman who lives 5 hours away wrote to ask me if she could join MFUMC. In 18 years of ministry, I’ve never had someone want to join the church who didn’t live at least sort of nearby. I expressed my concerns and asked about churches in her area. She shared that she and her family had tried, but she always ended up alone. Ever since she’d starting worshipping with us online, the whole family joined her. They have been online with us, every week, for the past year. This is the first church that her spouse and child will both attend with her, regularly. As we talked, the Holy Spirit spoke to me: they are truly a part of our family of faith! And she dreamed with me about how to make our online community even more robust as a place of welcome, connection, dialogue and formation. This is a picture of Amy, the woman who wrote to me, along with MFUMC staff at our first meeting about what Digital Church can look like. She visited us in person to say hello and start dreaming with us!
  • I hope you got to enjoy the celebration that was Confirmation Sunday. MFUMC welcomed eight students into God’s family and into this church family. These young people have been through classes this Spring to learn about the faith, about our church and about the United Methodist Church. It was such a blessing to hear their professions of faith and pray to invite the Holy Spirit to work in their lives. 
Contemporary Service
2021 Confirmation Class
Traditional Service
  • Fifth Sundays are just the best at MFUMC because our students lead worship and they are so gifted! On Memorial Day weekend, the students took over, leading music, prayer, announcements, offering and even preaching. We all learned how to be pirates for the Lord! To top it off, we got a lovely surprise visit from Robert Schnase, former pastor of MFUMC and Bishop of the Rio Texas Annual Conference. What a great Sunday for him to visit. He told me there was a “great spirit of joy and hope” here. I know many of you loved visiting with him after worship and he enjoyed seeing so many familiar faces.
  • Family Fellowship has resumed at 11am. Two families in our church graciously offered to lead the resumption of a food and fellowship time following the 11am service. This used to be called “Lawn Fellowship” when it was on the church lawn. It’s now in the foyer outside the sanctuary. Come for a time to chat, nibble something delicious, and get to know some wonderful new folks in your church family.
  • Monday, May 17: first in-person staff meeting!
  • Did you know that we’ve had 22 people join our church in the first part of this year! WOW! What’s even more amazing is that 13 of those folks joined by professing their faith in Christ or renewing their vows. These are not folks who transferred from another church, but those who have renewed their faith are believed for the first time. Praise God!
Giving hearts:
  • A couple of our trees were killed by the February freeze. Charlene called a Mr. Gonzalez, who gave the church a deeply reduced rate to remove the trees. We are so thankful! He said God watches over those who bless others. He chose to bless our church because he knows how we work to bless those in the community. What an amazing gift to our church family from a faithful man in our larger community.
  • I was asked a wonderful question this week and thought there might be others who were curious about the same thing. The question was: “What’s the difference between General Giving and Capital Campaign giving? And does any money from the general fund go to the Capital Campaign?” This is a great question! Money from General giving pays for the ministry of the church (programs, ministries, worship, salaries, utilities, streaming, mortgage, etc). When a church has building debt, the church’s “mortgage” payments are part of our General budget until the mortgage is paid off. Right now, we are paying interest only. In 2024, the whole amount, $1.7million, comes due. Whew! We can renegotiate, of course, but the payments will then be principal and interest, a LOT more. So every bit we can pay off before that point is a huge win for McAllen First. Anything given to the Capital Fund goes directly to reducing the principal of the debt, which over time, deeply reduces the monthly payments. One final point of interest, if we have leftover money at the end of the year (and assuming we’ve rebuilt our reserves by then) we’ll apply the extra to the balance of our mortgage to further reduce it. 
Places to serve:
  • Do you like to encourage others? Do you need a ministry you can do at home on your own time? We’d love to have you on our calling team. If you’d like to put that cell to spiritual use, drop Laurie Micheletti a line at 
  • Do you enjoy meeting and welcoming people? We’d love to have your help answering phones and greeting people in the afternoon at the church office. Budget cuts mean that we no longer have a staff person to do these things so your help is very welcome and appreciated. Contact Veronica Dillon for information about getting in the rotation!
Youth update-
  • Destinee’s last Sunday with us will be Student Sunday. She was set to be our intern through the summer, but discerned that God is calling her in another direction. We have posted the job and invite your prayers for a candidate (intern or FT) that will help take our youth program to the next level. 
Things you might have missed, but are amazing:
  • Children’s Church is now at 9:30 and 11am for kids 3years and up following the children’s sermon. Each hour is different, so kids with parents who are here for Sunday School and worship will have new learning throughout. Kids are still asked to wear masks.
  • Our Nursery has reopened and we’ve had children for several weeks now! If you’d like to make a reservation, contact
  • Do you like to sing? We’d love to have duets, quartets, even quintets in worship. If you and your friends are ready to put something together, it would bless us! Contact Pastor Jon or Allegra if you’d like to sing!
  • A couple of our Sunday Schools started meeting together in person in May. I’ve heard only good things from the joy that happened in those reunions. The timeline is up to each class, so if you’re interested in what yours is doing, reach out to your leader! 
  • We’ve begun to plan summer programs including Day School camps, music and children camps and even VBS. Let’s pray that things continue as well as they have been so that we can continue to bring all these online ministries back to in-person as well!
I give thanks to God for being part of such a vibrant, welcoming church family.

With love,
Pastor Laura
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