Mid-Week Updates
February 17, 2021
From the Pastor - Ash Wednesday
Today is Ash Wednesday. Pastor Jim Bell explains what it means and why we observe it on this first day of the Lenten season.  
Ash Wednesday – Today!
Ash Wednesday begins the 40 days of Lent by reminding us that life is fragile. We are vulnerable creatures in need of a compassionate God. So we remind ourselves that God had compassion on us, and sent us the Son, who took upon himself our own fragility. Through Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection, we have communion with God and with one another.

Today, we will offer an in-person Ash Wednesday service at 6:30 p.m. in the sanctuary with self-imposition of ashes. (To get an accurate account of those planning to worship in person, we will need for each person/youth/child to register individually. You may register here, via our church app above or call the church office.) A copy of the Order of Worship can be found here. This service will be livestreamed and available on YouTube and the church’s website.
You may pick up ashes to use at home during the livestream worship service. 
Ashes will be available under the portico at 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. and 5:30 to 6:15 p.m. Arrive at the church and pull up to the portico to pick up ashes, and a pastor will guide you through the imposition of ashes.  

I look forward to journeying with you, again, through 40 days of Lent.
Pastor Matt
2021 January Congregational Survey Results

The Into the Future Team would like to share with you the results of the survey we conducted last month. We are grateful for the fantastic response! In total, we had 184 people return their surveys, representing 45% of people to whom the surveys were sent. The Into the Future Team looks forward now to diligently interpreting the data we have received from you and using it to continue to discern where the Holy Spirit is leading FUMC - Rocky Mount.

Click here for the survey results.
Women’s Lenten Bible Study:
Savior: What the Bible Says about the Cross
by Magrey deVega
Wednesdays, 10 a.m.-12 noon, via Zoom
February 17-March 24
As Christians, we’re taught that Christ died on the cross to bring us salvation. We know this, but do we understand it? What exactly did Jesus do to save us from our sins? Was the cross really necessary? Could there have been another way?

In Savior: What the Bible Says about the Cross, we'll be introduced to several biblically based ways of understanding Jesus’ death on the cross that may go beyond the explanations we've heard before. By exploring the mystery of salvation through the cross, we will find a deeper love for God and others while strengthening your commitment to follow Jesus.

It's not too late to join this Lenten study facilitated by Jena Katkaveck.

Sign up here
"Confession: from Sorrow to Joy"
February 21, 2021

The theme of our in-person worship service on the first Sunday in Lent, February 21, at 10:00 a.m. is Confession: from Sorrow to Joy. The scripture lessons are I John 1:5-10 and Luke 15:11-24. We will discover how the discipline of confession involves a change in our relationship with God and a change in us. It is a means of healing and transformation. The sermon will include a guided meditation that is an examination of conscience. This sermon is part of a sermon series, Spiritual Disciplines – Pathways to Life. A copy of the Order of Worship can be found here.
We need to be vigilant. Nash County is now in the Red Category – critical community spread of COVID-19. If you do not feel safe in attending worship or if you are experiencing symptoms, please stay home and worship online. 
Please make a reservation for worship through our new church app. You may download the app here. The reservation is in case we need to contact you if a worshiper later tests positive for COVID-19.     
Please note: To get an accurate account of those planning to worship indoors
on February 21, we will need for each person/youth/child to register individually. You may register here, via our church app above or call the church office. 
There are two entrances open at the rear of the sanctuary. To avoid congestion at the Sunset Avenue door, you are invited to utilize the ramp door under the steeple into the narthex (along Church Street). Parking is available in the gravel lot south of the church, adjacent to Bulluck Furniture Company.
The flowers on the Sanctuary altar this Sunday are given to the glory of God and in memory of Cliff and Miriam Reynolds by their daughter,
Polly Reynolds Warner.

Watch via the church website:  fumcrm.org
 In-person Worship Has Returned
All of the protocols remain that were utilized in the fall. Our church is seeking to help keep people safe, to help stop the spread of the virus, and to help our health system from becoming overwhelmed. We seek to love our neighbors as ourselves.
The protocols include:
  • Face coverings are required.
  • Social distancing in the sanctuary. People will be seated in every other pew. 
  • There will be vocal and instrumental music to enjoy. However, we will not sing together as a congregation.
  • You may give online or place your offering in the offering buckets at the rear of the sanctuary.
  • When you exit after the service, we will dismiss pews one at a time with ushers starting with the back rows, exiting to the wall aisles, not the center aisle. 
  • Pews will be cleaned following every service.
For those who are not ready to attend worship in person, we understand. All worship services will be livestreamed at 10:00 a.m. on Sundays.
Horizon/William Whitehead Sunday School Class to Meet

The Horizon/William Whitehead Sunday School class will resume in person in February at 8:45 a.m. in the annex. Sign up here or call the church office at 252-977-0400 to register.
Methodist Home for Children Sunday
February 21, 2021
We will receive donations to support Methodist Home for Children this Sunday, February 21. MHC works to provide safe, stable homes where children can thrive and live to their full, God-given potential. While not always traditional or biological, a MHC home is where child and family are equipped to succeed. Please prayerfully consider supporting this ministry. Your donation is a gift of stability, love and healing with the power to change a child's life.
You may give online via our website, on our church App (see below) or mail your check made payable to FUMC with “MHC” on the memo line to:

100 S. Church Street
Rocky Mount, NC 27804
FUMC Kindergarten and Preschool registration for the 2021-2022 school
year is underway for currently enrolled preschoolers and FUMC family. 
Registration opens to the public March 1. FUMC Preschool and Kindergarten offers: Mother's Morning Out for babies (aged 2 months-1 year), Mother's Morning Out for toddlers/preschoolers (aged 1-4 years), pre-school for 2- and 3-year-olds, pre-kindergarten for 4-year-olds, and a state-certified, half-day kindergarten. Please call Cheryl Stanton in the Preschool/K office for a registration form at 252-977-0475.
FUMC is a happy place for children!!
Sermon Series:
Spiritual Disciplines – Pathways to Life
through March 14, 2021

Spiritual disciplines such as prayer, meditation, study, service and worship help facilitate an enriched spiritual life infused with joy, peace, and a deep understanding of God. Utilizing the disciplines helps set us free from slavery to self-interest and fear. This sermon series will demonstrate how the disciplines allow us to place ourselves before God so that God can transform us.
February 28: “The Lord High and Lifted Up: Worship”
Isaiah 6:1-8
To worship is to experience the resurrected Christ
in the midst of the gathered community.
March 7: “Guidance – Living in Response to God’s Voice”
Acts 15:6-21
Through the power of the Holy Spirit, Jesus guides his people today.
We will celebrate the Sacrament of Holy Communion.
March 14: “The Joy of Celebration”
John 15:7-11
Celebration brings joy into life, and joy makes us strong.
Worship themes are prayerfully and carefully selected.
Make regular worship a priority in your life.
Volunteers Needed

As part of the NC Wesleyan College’s response to the COVID pandemic, students who test positive for COVID are placed into isolation rooms at the Wesleyan Inn. 
Students who are direct contacts are also required to quarantine in their room. In order to limit exposure, meals are delivered daily to these students. To date, this task has been faithfully executed by the residence life and campus security teams, with assistance from other staff members. 

For the spring semester, however, NC Wesleyan College is seeking to establish a pool of contracted individuals to pick up, transport, and deliver the meals daily and have asked for our help. This is an ideal opportunity for retirees, individuals who work part-time, or others who wish to pick up some extra money. Volunteers would have to be available between 12-2:00 p.m., have some availability for weekend days and have a vehicle suitable for transporting meals. Individuals selected will be compensated for their time and the use of their personal vehicle. The delivery process ensures that volunteers would have no contact with the students

If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Jason Modlin, Dean of Students, at jmodlin@ncwc.edu.  
Camp Sunday – February 28  
Camp Sunday is a time to highlight the ministries at Camps Chestnut Ridge, Don Lee and Rockfish as vital partners in faith formation. Camps Chestnut Ridge, west of Durham, Don Lee, near New Bern; and Rockfish, southeast of Fayetteville, offer many wonderful summer camps for children and youth and also have retreat centers for families. Click on the links below to get information on the camps and answer questions on how children, youth, and families may attend one of these camps/retreats:
Camp Chestnut Ridge: campchestnutridge.org

Camp Don Lee: donleecenter.org
Camp Rockfish: camprockfish.org
Church Pew Available

With the handicap-accessible reconfiguration of our sanctuary in 2019, we have one 5-foot pew left. We can provide the name of a master craftsman to create pew ends and legs for you. If you would like this church pew, please email Wendi Beck (wbeck@fumcrm.org).
The Upper Room
The March-April 2021 editions of The Upper Room are now available in the church office. Small daily devotional guides are $1.00; the large size is $1.50. 
We have a limited supply, so please call the church office (252-977-0400)
if you are interested in purchasing a copy.  
Local Missions moving forward during COVID Season
Monday Morning Community Breakfast: With the increase in COVID cases in Nash County, the MMCB Committee has decided to "pause" the Monday Morning Community Breakfast going forward. When the numbers improve and the decision is made to resume MMCB breakfast, an announcement will be made via the FUMC outdoor sign.
Backpack Buddies: We continue to deliver backpacks to Johnson School, Fairview and Swift Creek.
Please pray for leaders of local missions as they continue to find creative ways to meet the needs of Rocky Mount and the surrounding areas.  
Weekday Morning Prayer 
Join Pastor Matt for Morning Prayer! Monday through Friday at 7 a.m. Get your day started with 10 minutes of prayer and scripture readings with Pastor Matt. Morning Prayer has now moved 100% to podcast. Find it wherever you get your podcast. Or click here. You may listen to it on your phone or computer. 
You may send prayer requests to Pastor Matt and the rest of the staff by emailing prayer@fumcrm.org
Online Giving

Did you know that one-third of our congregation gives electronically? And the majority of those who give electronically have chosen to maximize their impact by setting up a recurring donation which automates their gift to give on a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly schedule. We give thanks for your continued support and for sharing the love of Christ to others during this time of great need. 

To set-up your recurring gift, or to give a one-time gift, visit our website at fumcrm.org/give; give via our church app (see below how to download); or by sending your check to: 
First United Methodist Church
100 S. Church Street
Rocky Mount, NC 27804
CDC & NCDHHS Recommendations

For essential practices you can do to reduce the impact of COVID-19, click on the links below: 

Our Church Family

In Memory of Agnes Livingston Newland by William Whitehead Sunday School class.

Prayer Concerns
Please lift up in prayer:
  • Beverly Rackley, surgery today at Duke-Raleigh
  • Heather Butler and her family, in the passing of her father, Ron Cox, on February 15, in Orangeburg, SC
  • J. W. Spencer and his family, in the passing of his wife, Mary Ella Nobles Spencer, on February 11
  • Bob Steele
  • Dan Pulver
  • Melody Bell
  • Dan Cantu
  • Rev. Charles Davis
  • Jim Patton
  • Janet Keyes
  • Marilyn Jenkins
  • Barbara Taylor
  • Milton and Gaye Mann
  • Steve and Sandy Pernell
  • Bob Allen
  • All Hospital/Medical Personnel and First Responders

Text "fumcrmapp" to 1-888-364-4483 or go to get.theapp.co/5jbt.
Contact Info

First United Methodist Church
252-977-0400 Office
252-977-0475 Preschool
252-977-1748 Fax