First UMC Update
May 13, 2020
From the Pastor - Grieving What We Have Lost

May 13, 2020 Update - Grieving What We Have Lost
May 13, 2020

In today's video update, Pastor Jim Bell shares about grieving what we have lost during these weeks that we have been impacted by the coronavirus.    

Sunday Worship - "People Helping People"

The theme of our remote worship service on May 17 is "People Helping People."   The scripture lessons are  Romans 13:8-10 and Matthew 7:7-12.  In our community and all over the world, people are anxious, afraid and struggling because of the coronavirus.  More than ever, it is important for us to love.  We follow the Golden Rule and love other people because God first loved us.

Watch via the church website:

Share Our Church on Facebook
Help us spread the good news!  We'd like to invite you to share on your Facebook page our Sunday services, daily morning prayer, and the inspirational messages we post from FUMC's  Facebook account.  As people are spending more and more time on social media due to social distancing, let us take this opportunity to spread the love of God and the work of FUMC - Rocky Mount! 

Interactive Worship Services
We will continue to offer the opportunity to connect with FUMC staff and other church members on YouTube while viewing our worship service together.  Join us at 10:00 on our  YouTube page to chat as we watch the service live and interact with one another in the comments section.  Hope to "see" you Sunday morning!

Your Help Requested in Sermon Planning

Pastor Jim Bell will be planning sermon themes and sermon series for the upcoming academic year later this month.  You are invited to provide input into this process.

Please list three issues you struggle with in trying to live as a follower of Christ, and/or three topics about which you seek more insight.  Responses will be used in planning sermon and worship themes.

You may also submit your response via email to or via mail to the Rev. Jim Bell, 100 S. Church Street, Rocky Mount, NC 27804.  Please respond by May 27.  Thank you very much for your ideas and responses.

FUMC Financial Update
I thought it would be a good idea to bring the congregation up to date on the financial status of April and for the period of January-April. 
April income (tithes/offerings/other income) was very encouraging.  Our church income exceeded budget by 4%, and our church operating expenses were 20% below budget. Overall, the church incurred a net operating deficit of $-1,000 which is much less than the budget.  Our working cash to pay salaries, benefits and all other expenses remained strong at month end. 
The period of January-April (four months) our church income exceeded budget by 1%, and our church operating expenses were 9% below budget.  Overall, the church incurred a net deficit of $-3,000 which is much less than budget. 
In the last 45 days, the church staff and committee chairs have been very carefully committing to only essential expenses, while successfully continuing ministry outreach within and outside our church.  We have continued to fund the Mission and Service activities, and we are paying 100% of our apportionments.  We have seen much effort expended by the church staff by providing virtual broadcasting of the Sunday worship service, morning prayer, FM Live and Newsletter update webcasts.  What great work!
In the last 45 days, our electronic giving of tithes and offerings has increased from 12% to 35%.  We also want to thank those of you who are faithfully mailing in checks each week. 
Thanks to all of you for your continuing faithful stewardship to our church, during this period of dramatic change for all of us. 
Blessings and peace,
David Johnson
Finance Ministry Chair 

FUMC Continues to Support Local Missions during  COVID-19

Monday Morning Community Breakfast:   We continue to give thanks to Hardee's and Barbara Johnson, a community leader of Monday Morning Breakfast, who delivers gifts cards redeemable for a small breakfast to our MMCB participants during this time when we're not able to convene together. 
Food Bag Ministry:  Our plan is to distribute food bags on  Tuesday, June 9,  
2-3 p.m. at the annex.  We are looking forward to seeing our friends once again!

Backpack Buddies Ministry:  Thanks to our BPB team, we continue to pack and deliver food to help students.  We are grateful for your support as we meet the needs of the students at Fairview, Swift Creek and D. S. Johnson. 

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.  

Morning Prayer 

Morning Prayer will resume May 18.

Online Giving

First UMC launched our new giving platform last month, and we have seen a substantial increase in online giving over the past few weeks.   Many of you have chosen to maximize your impact and set up a recurring donation which would automate your gift 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. 

Give online now at or by check mail to: 
First United Methodist Church
100 S. Church Street
Rocky Mount, NC  27804

Family Ministry Podcast

"An Unfinished Book . . . "
Books are amazing!  But are they all that good if you are not allowed to finish one chapter before being forced to move onto the next?  Somehow, that must be how many of our "seniors" feel when it comes to this stage in life.  That feeling of not gaining closure in one chapter before having to move onto the next.  All the emotions that must amplify!  Have a conversation with us about how we can help make this time more positive when it seems to be swarmed with negativity.   This episode can be heard here.

We welcome you to send questions to if you have something you'd like to hear discussed.
We need your help! 

For the past several weeks, we have been working alongside Wesleyan College in an attempt to best care for many students who are stuck on campus and unable to return home, predominately the international students!   In response to this need, we have put together what we are calling a Community Connections Initiative!

This is essentially an "adopt-a-student-for-the-summer" program.  We are asking 
individuals/families to build relationships, help meet supply needs, and ultimately be the hands and feet of Jesus to students in this very difficult time!  There are currently 30 students on campus.

If you are interested in helping meet this need, please contact Daniel at   You will also need to fill out an application in order for the students' contact information to be released to you.  You can submit these applications to Daniel as well.  Click here for the application.    

Together, we can make a difference! 

CDC & NCDHHS Recommendations

From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and NC health officials, here are  essential practices you can do to reduce the impact of COVID-19:
  • Wear cloth face coverings in public settings. 
  • Wash your hands often and thoroughly.  Use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
  • Disinfect surfaces in your home.
  • Avoid touching your face, and cough into your sleeve or a tissue.
  • Avoid close contact with those who are sick.
  • Stay home if you are not feeling well.
  • Practice social distancing (at least six feet) from friends and others.
  • Individuals who believe they have COVID-19 symptoms (cough, fever over 100.4 degrees, and/or shortness of breath) and/or have been in close contact with a COVID-positive person should self-isolate and call their healthcare provider, the Nash County Health Dept. hotline - (252) 462-2079, or the NC 24/7 hotline - 1-866-462-3821 - where they will receive guidance on next steps, which may include testing or self-monitoring.
  • Governor Cooper signed an executive order on May 5 to modify North Carolina's stay-at-home order and transition to phase 1 of slowly easing certain COVID-19 restrictions beginning May 8.  NC Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen said, "When you leave your home, follow the three Ws: Wear a face covering, wash your hands, and wait six feet apart."
Our Church Family
Prayer Concerns
Please lift up in prayer:
  • Helen Alston, is now a resident of Brekenridge Retirement Center, Room 168.
  • Jean Turnley, health concerns
  • Ginna Bailey, continues to recover at home.
  • Joe and Cheryl Stanton - Joe is doing very well following his liver transplant.
  • Steve Pernell, is recovering from surgery performed at Duke Medical Center.
  • Gaye Mann, is currently at home.
  • Beverly Rackley, is at home.  (655 Raymond Drive, Wendell, NC  27591-9449)
  • All Hospital/Medical Personnel and First Responders
"To Know Christ and to Make Christ Known"
Contact Information
100 S. Church Street
Rocky Mount, NC 27804
252-977-0400 Office
252-977-0475 Preschool
252-977-1748 FAX

Church Office Hours: 
Due to COVID-19, the church office will be closed until further notice. 


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