Midweek News - February 7, 2024

In today's issue:

  • Worship News and Sunday Sermon
  • Bishop's Gathering, February 8th at 6 p.m. at Central UMC
  • Create & Discover, February 8th at 7:15 p.m.
  • Ash Wednesday, February 14th, noon and 6 p.m.
  • Lenten Series to begin Thursday, February 22nd at The United Church
  • Needed Volunteers to make soup and bring bread.
  • Needed Volunteers for church maintenance.
  • Volunteer Opportunity Teaching Computer Skills

A Note from Pastor John

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:

As you may have heard, there is a really big football game this Sunday between the San Francisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs. I don't know who will win, but If nothing else happens, I really hope that we at least find our who Chiefs' tight end Travis Kelce is dating. Now that’s a joke, because unless you live under a rock or pay absolutely no attention to social news (and sometimes that’s a good place to be) then you know that Kelce is dating Taylor Swift, who is by far the most popular recording artist in the world at the moment.


But, what has become an issue for some people is the fact that when Taylor Swift is watching a game in person, the cameras will cut to her many times, which some dislike. Some blame her for this happening. Or they blame the NFL. But, it’s the networks covering the games that make editorial decisions about when to show her and how often. And there is a very good reason why they are doing so: She brings people in. And not only does she bring people in, but they are not the normal target audience for NFL games.


There are many things that drive people to watch, or not watch, a particular game. And while viewership of the NFL has been up this season across the board, it has skyrocketed in games in which Taylor Swift was in attendance. The Chiefs/Bills playoff game, which was a good matchup anyway, brought in a staggering 50 million viewers. And the Chiefs/Ravens championship game was up 17% over prior years. Female viewership of the NFL is the highest since they began tracking it in 2000. And what is especially stark is the huge increase in younger females now watching, or paying attention to the game, who never did before. I can say this is true in my household.

Samantha, who turned 18 yesterday, could care less about football, but is a huge Swiftie. This year she started paying attention to the NFL and would even sit down and watch games with me. Not college, just the NFL. And it was more than just that she knew Kansas City was playing, but she also would know whom they were playing against and game time. Her fandom crossed over, and I, for one, was happy for that change. I don’t know if it will last, but for at least one season I got to watch some football with my daughter, which fills me with joy.


And so it makes complete sense that the NFL, and the networks, would embrace this as much as they can. They would actually be negligent if they didn’t do so. And all those who are opposed to it, and think that she is “ruining the game”, really have no idea what they are talking about. They certainly don’t really have the best interest of the NFL in mind which wants to grow their audience and Swifties, for the most part, represent a hugely untapped audience.

Trying to keep football limited to only those who are into it now, or to keep the audience the same, is not a good short-term or long-term strategy for the future of the sport. The median viewer of the NFL is male and 52. It doesn’t take long for that group to age out the sport. Honestly, I wish that we had a similar thing happen to make church popular as well.

If Taylor Swift started attending a United Methodist Church and promoting it, I would definitely want to try and harness that attraction for as much as I could. And yet, I know that we would not get just as much resistance as the NFL is getting, but maybe even more, because it might actually require the church to have to change. All too often we say we want new people to come worship with us, or to become Christians, but what we actually want is them to become just like us. But it’s just not the way the world works.


Someone told me about a church they knew of that had an influx of a new immigrants that began coming to the church. But, not only didn’t they look like the congregation, which was white, but English wasn’t their first language either. The minister embraced this change because of what is represented for the church and the faith. But, the “old timers” resisted because the newcomers were changing “their church.” Except its not their church, and its not my church, its God’s church and we are called to reach out to bring in new people.


Maybe Taylor Swift might actually change the NFL, and there are definitely things that could use to be changed. But the NFL is right to be open to change, to embrace this moment and try and broaden their audience and bring in new fans with whom they never stood a chance before. I can say that it’s happened in my home. And those reacting against don’t own the sport and can’t really stop it.


The Apostle Paul famously said “I became all things to all people” to proclaim the gospel. How would he respond to Swifties suddenly swarming to attend or watch church? I think he would love it and welcome it, and we should as well. I don’t know what our Taylor Swift moment may be, but whether big or small, when it happens, we need to embrace it, welcome everyone and tell them “Welcome home! We’ve been waiting for you, sit right here next to us and let’s journey together.”



ps: Just as a reminder you are invited to wear a jersey, shirt, sweatshirt, whatever, to support your favorite team, college, group, whomever you are a fan of.

What I am currently reading:

  • King David: The Real Life of the Man Who Ruled Israel by Jonathan Kirsch
  • The Meaning of Jesus by N.T. Wright and Marcus Borg
  • The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal and the Real Count of Monte Cristo by Tom Reiss

Worship News

Sunday, February 11, 2024

Scripture Readings: The scripture readings for Sunday, February 11, are Jeremiah 18:1-11; Psalm 1; 1 Corinthians 12:12-31 and Luke 14:25-33. Sunday will conclude our series Toy Box Leadership, and the message "Little Green Army Men: Knowing Your Role" will be on the passages from 1 Corinthians and Luke. Sunday is a contemporary service.


Questions to help you prepare: The Army Men all have specific roles. What does that mean for us as Christians? What role do you play in the body of Christ? Have you ever been upset by someone else's role or gifts? Why or why not? Why are we to understand the cost of discipleship? Can we ever truly know those costs? Why or why not?

Prayer for the week:

Source of life and blessing, of garden, orchard, field, root us in obedience to you and nourish us by your ever-flowing Spirit, that, perceiving only the good we might do, our lives may be fruitful, our labor productive, and our service useful, in communion with Jesus, our brother. Amen.

10 a.m. Worship

streamed online at Facebook.com/FirstInYourHeart,

our website at FirstInYourHeart.org



Toy Box Leadership

"Weebles Wobble But They Don't Fall Down" Rev. John W. Nash

Sunday, February 4th, 2024

Did you miss Sunday's sermon or perhaps want to share it with a friend? You can find other sermons in this series on our website.

Church and Community News

Create & Discover Thursday, February 8th

We invite you to join us for our program at Geniece Courtright's, 202 Loma del Escolar, on Barranca Mesa in Los Alamos, 505-662-9216. Kathy Siebe will bring dessert. Hope to see you there.

Ash Wednesday Services Wednesday, Feb. 14th


Imposition of Ashes

6 p.m.

Worship and Imposition of Ashes

In our sanctuary.

Ecumenical Lenten Series

Thursdays, February 22 - March 21 6 p.m. - 8 p.m.

Weekly Schedule

6 p.m. Soup Supper

6:30 p.m. Announcements

6:40 p.m. Classes

7:30 p.m. Worship

Host Church: The United Church, 2525 Canyon Road Los Alamos.

We need a volunteers to make soup and bring bread for February 22nd. First United Methodist Church will be providing dinner on February 22nd, and our praise band, First Light, will be providing the music. Pastor John will be leading worship on Thursday, February 29th. We hope you will mark your calendars and attend the Ecumenical Lenten Series.

Sign up to bring soup or bread

Nursery, Children & Youth, and Adult classes will be offered.

Gathering with Bishop Schnase

Thursday, February 8th, at 7p.m.

Central UMC in Albuquerque

Everyone's invited! Bishop Schnase will host a gathering in Albuquerque on Thursday, February 8th at 6 pm MT at Central UMC-ABQ and another on Saturday, February 10th at 10:00 am MT at Western Hills UMC-El Paso. Coffee and refreshments will be available at 9 am at Western Hills. Childcare will also be provided.


The purpose of these gatherings is to talk about what is likely to be taken up at General Conference in April and the decisions that may be made at Jurisdictional Conference in July. Prior to the presentation, questions will be gathered for Bishop Schnase to address. The events will be recorded and posted afterwards. Click on the video above to learn more.

PS - This presentation will be available as a video after the event.

Help Needed

  • We need a volunteer to take some metal strips to the Eco station this week. If you have a truck or trailer please give Julie a call. 505-662-6277.
  • We have some acoustical ceiling tiles throughout the building that need to be replaced and we need some extra hands. If you are available to take a few hours and help replace these tiles, please contact Julie in the church office at 505-662-6277 or [email protected].

New Book Selected for All Booked Up

Entering the Passion of Jesus: A Beginner's Guide to Holy Week, by Amy-Jill Levine

In Entering the Passion of Jesus: A Beginner’s Guide to Holy Week, author, professor, and biblical scholar Amy-Jill Levine explores the biblical texts surrounding the Passion story. From her Jewish perspective, she shows us how the text raises ethical and spiritual questions for the reader, and how we all face risk in our Christian experience. Jesus’ final days were full of risk. Every move he made was filled with anticipation, danger, and the potential for great loss or great reward. Jesus risked his reputation when he entered Jerusalem in a victory parade. He risked his life when he dared to teach in the Temple. His followers risked everything when they left behind their homes, or anointed him with costly perfume. We take risks as we read and re-read these stories, finding new meanings and new challenges.

Missions News

New Volunteer Opportunity


The Los Alamos County library system and LA First United Methodist Church collaborated to begin a computer assistance program at the public library in Los Alamos and White Rock. Tentatively beginning in March, volunteers will assist library patrons with basic technology skills. Training will be provided to volunteers. Skills may include using a mouse, 2-factor verification, resetting passwords, and negotiating websites. The computer assistance program will happen in the White Rock Branch Library on Tuesdays 1-3 PM, and at the Mesa Public Library on Thursdays 4-6 PM.

Community Food Pantry

Thank you for your contributions to our community food pantry! Our pantry has been used receiving a lot of use. If you would like to make donations to the pantry we invited you to put them inside the bear proof box. Please consider purchasing easy pop top cans.

  • Snack crackers and protein bars.
  • Vienna sausages, tuna packet, sardines, etc.
  • Peanut butter, crackers,
  • Soups and fruits


Available in apple store and google play!

There are several ways you can make your

tithe and offering payments.

  1. Go to our website then click on "Give Securely Online" at the top right-hand column. Set up a one time or a reoccurring gift.
  2. "Text any dollar amount to 84321 to give."
  3. In-person drop off your check
  4. You can mail your checks to the church office:

715 Diamond Drive, Los Alamos, NM 87544

We thank you for your faithfulness!

Steps to setup Online Giving

Prayer Concerns

Praise and Thanksgiving:

  • Praise for Pastor John and our church leadership.

New and Ongoing Prayers:

  • Prayers for June Vasey, Valarie Prestwood's mother, who is declining in health and recovering from a mild stroke.
  • Prayers for Lynn Kluegel who broke her pinky finger.
  • Prayers for Carl as he continues to recover from a stroke.
  • Prayers for Jim Little at Sombrillo receiving physical therapy to gain strength in his legs.
  • Prayers for Carol Pyburn who is recovering from RSV and settling in her new
  • residence, Legacy in Santa Fe.
  • Prayers for Deana Carnes parents. Her father is bedridden and her mom is his
  • caregiver.
  • Prayers for Christine Garza with a recurrence of bladder cancer.
  • Prayers for clarity and focus for Justin Foster.
  • Prayers for Jon Sollid as he goes through treatments for an aggressive form of
  • bladder cancer.
  • Prayers for Japan in the aftermath the earthquakes.
  • Prayers for the situation in the Middle East.
  • Prayers for Eric Multer as he continues his fight against leukemia.
  • Prayers for healing for Margot, Ryder Armes, Terry Barnes, Amy Cross, Ashley Johnston, Sandra Jo Rudloff, and Lee Weinland.  

 **If you have a prayer request or praise that you would like to share please call, 505-662-6277 or email, [email protected], the church office. If you would like your prayer to be confidential just let us know.

Up coming Events

Wednesday, February 7th

3 p.m. Sr. High Youth Bible Study

6:30 p.m. Bell Choir Practice in Sanctuary

7 p.m. Troop 2 in Fellowship Hall

7 p.m. STARS NA meeting in Library

7:15 p.m. Choir Practice in Sanctuary

Thursday, February 8th

6 p.m. Bishop's Gatherings at Central UMC

 201 University Blvd NE, Albuquerque, NM 87106

7 p.m. Troop 122 in Fellowship Hall

7:15 Create & Discover at Geniece Courtright's home 202 Loma del Escolar Street (Barranca Mesa)

Sunday, February 11th

9 a.m. Bible History Class Hybrid (Friendship Center and Zoom)

10 a.m. Traditional Worship (Communion)

In-person and Online

11:30 a.m. Inquirer's Class Friendship on Zoom

4 p.m. Programing Night (with Super Bowl watching)

6 p.m. Youth

Monday, February 12th

1:30 p.m. Clubhouse Knitters at Ridge Park Clubhouse

505 Oppenheimer Dr.

Wednesday, February 14th

12 p.m. Imposition of Ashes in Sanctuary

3 p.m. Sr. High Youth Bible Study

6 p.m. Ash Wednesday Service in Sanctuary

7 p.m. Troop 2 in Fellowship Hall

7 p.m. STARS NA meeting in Library

7:15 p.m. Choir in Sanctuary

Church Celebrations


Feb. 1                   Doris Blackstock

Feb. 5:                  Amy Milnes

Feb. 5:                  Erlene Seay

Feb. 6:                  Samantha Nash

Feb. 10:                Isla Kaufeld

Feb. 21:                Tommy Morris

Feb. 24:               Emma Justus

Feb. 24:                Alex Justus

Feb. 25:                Nalani Varela

Feb. 28:                Kai Tremblay


Feb. 25:               Tommy and Shelley Morris

If you see your name missing or the date needs corrected
please email church office at [email protected].

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9 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.

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