Dear Church Family,
What do you take to heart? 

What words, memories, emotions do you pull close and invite into that sacred, tender space? I find we often take to heart the painful stuff: hurtful words, losses, personal failures, people who have done us wrong. For some reason (even when we don’t want to!) those awful things end up in our heart space. In fact, the definition of “take to heart” is “to be deeply affected or hurt by something… ‘He took their criticism (very much) to heart.’”

Psalm 107 uses this phrase in a different way, encouraging us to take to heart the story of God’s work. This Psalm recounts and reminds people of how God hears and answers cries for help, of how lost and sinful people found God still loved them, still helped. This Psalm closes with these words: “Those who are wise will take all this to heart; they will see in our history the faithful love of the Lord.” 

What do you take to heart? What do you pull close? God asks us to take to heart what is good. Not the sin, but God’s forgiveness of you. Not the illness, but God’s presence with you. Not that awful betrayer, but a Savior who endured the world’s worst and wraps his nail-scarred hands around you. Take those amazing things to heart this week.
And if you need some help, here are some ideas of what to take to heart today:
  • Last Sunday was a milestone Sunday for me, Pastor Jon and this whole church family! We received word from the CDC that it’s safe for vaccinated people to be unmasked indoors and outdoors. Masks are now optional for the fully vaccinated at FUMC! It was wonderful to see faces and smiles, finally. For me and Pastor Jon, it felt like yet another “first Sunday” as we saw your faces for the first time. Bear with us- we don’t always recognize you right away. Just cover your face with your hands and we’ll realize who we’re talking to!
  • Last Sunday we honored our graduates. What a joy to celebrated the completion of High School and college for so many of our church and community. In a year when many schools are not having in-person graduations, our church family was honored to provide a space where any graduate could walk across a stage to mark their accomplishment! 
  • Speaking of graduation, we celebrated a preschool graduation last week as well. This is the last week of school for our FUMC Day School. What an amazing, wonderful year this has turned out to be. The school leadership did a fantastic job keeping our kids safe and healthy throughout this unprecedented school year. Here is a picture of Lee Ann leading preschool for our two-year-old classes and all three of our four-year-old classes at their Preschool Graduation! 
  • Susan, Pastor Jon, and I got to visit the Mexican side of the border for the first time since the pandemic. We went with the Mercy Chefs to visit Willie Berman, Manos Juntas, and an orphanage that takes in children who the Mexican government must remove from their home due to violence, abuse or neglect. This is part of our continued partnership with Mercy Chefs to explore sustainable kitchens on both sides of the border. 
  • FUMC is now the home for Boy Scout Troop #76. And as the sponsoring church, we get the joy of celebrating our first Eagle scouts! This honor represents years of hard work, learning, and community leadership. Congratulations are in order for Troop 76's newest Eagle Scouts Andres Barrera has passed his Eagle Scout Board of Review to become Troops 76's 65th Eagle Scout! CONGRATULATIONS Andres on a Mountain Top Achievement, as well as Diego Barrera, he has passed his Eagle Scout Board of Review to become Troops 76's 66th Eagle Scout!!! We are all very proud of your accomplishments.
  • Okay- some financial news. April was a tough month. We’re still good for the year, but even with our deeply reduced expenses, our giving didn’t cover the outflow in April. This happens. Though I pray and hope that every month will be an upward trajectory, sometimes we hit a bump. 
  • I continue to teach once a month with Perkins in a preaching cohort for pastors who want to take their proclamation of God’s word to the next level. And this month, I had the honor of teaching a class in Leadership at Local Pastor Licensing School. These pastors are often taking their first appointment in a local church. Licensing School is their first training in ministry. It was an honor to help them as they answer God’s call.
  • On Mother’s Day, we got to celebrate moms and “church moms” with a small gift and a little video for children’s time. If you missed it, you can find it here. What a blessing to be surrounded by so many women of faith who invest in the lives of the young people in our church family.
  • Here is a picture of Susan sharing the many things we’ve been doing in ministry at the District Strategy Team meeting last weekend with leaders from the United Methodist Churches in our area.
  • Destinee, our Youth Intern, was set to work with our students throughout the summer, but shared with us that God is calling her in another direction. Her last day will be the end of May. We have posted the job and invite your prayers for a candidate who is a perfect fit for this wonderful church family. 
  • Thank you for praying for our church finances. As I shared last month, April was tight and May is continuing that trend. We still have two weeks left in this month, so I remain hopeful. All your staff are doing everything we can to manage expenses. For the past year we’ve not used any reimbursement accounts, paying for needed ministry items out of our pockets. I say this, not so anyone will feel bad for us, but simply so you know how seriously we are all taking this financial pinch and everything we’re doing both to manage and to sacrifice so we can get back on our feet. 
  • These past few weeks, I’ve heard stories of generosity from four members of this church, who gave me permission to share, anonymously, how they are stretching in generosity:
  • From a single dad: God's calling to me recently was, "I need help with my house". That simple message can be interpreted many ways. My interpretation is I can do more toward the new sanctuary. This came at the same time I got a small employment raise. Every penny counts now as a single parent. Every penny also counts for the Church, where, through God, the Message is heard. I will add what I can toward our new sanctuary.
  • From a single woman: Thanks for sending the information about April’s budget shortfall [in the last newsletter]. Because of the check from the government, I was able to send a little something extra to try to help with that. Hopefully others will do the same. God bless you and our church.
  • From a widow: I increased my monthly giving a little bit. It's not a huge amount, so I'm not sure of the impact, but I know over time it will help. I used to just put cash in the plate. But …now I have chosen to be deliberate on where/what I want to support. This church is truly important to me.
  • A new member shared one of the ways she gives God an hour a week. She has been making these sweet Hello Kitty dolls for children at a local food bank. Over the past year, there were several families with children that had nothing for a birthday celebration. Those parents asked the food bank if they could possibly supply cake and frosting. A Girl Scout stepped up, supplying cake and frosting and a small toy for each birthday child. Melinda had made these dolls for a few children in her family and decided to make them for the birthday bags "so a few children will have a doll made with love."
  • Are you looking for a place to invest in God’s kingdom? Consider these:
  • Do you love people? Enjoy checking in on those who are lonely? Do you need something you can do from home on your own schedule? We’d love to have you on our calling team. If you’d like to put that cell to Kingdom use, drop Laurie Micheletti a line at 
  • Do you like to sing? Do you play an instrument? Do you enjoy working with others to lead others in worship? Friends, we need you! Contact Allegra Lamison-Stansberry at She can help with music, sing a duet, and help you find your place in our music ministry.
  • 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
  • Sunday Schools started meeting together in person in May. The timeline is up to each class, so if you’re interested in what yours is doing, reach out to your leader! And if your class wants to meet again in person, be sure to contact pastor Jon so we can get the room open and ready for you! 
  • This summer is going to be fun for kids with Day School camps, music and children camps and even VBS. 
Ah, so many wonderful things to take to heart. If you are reading this, know that you are loved by God, your pastors and this church family. 

Pastor Laura
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