Welcome to Fall!

Welcome to our September edition of Salt and Light! Our line-up of Adult Faith Formation options are awesome this fall, even though we are still in the midst of the corona pandemic. Learn about a great Black theologian in the Howard Thurman study led by Amy Kennedy, experience the camaraderie of Brown Bag Bible study, or worship with others at the Rise and Shine and Vespers services. Our Sunday morning sessions at 11 am continue to offer pertinent and lively conversations for participants. You can find your home in FUMC Adult Faith Formation! 

We are still holding all sessions on Zoom, in line with both our church and the state's guidelines, and Zoom links are included with all offerings below. Although I miss meeting with our FUMC family in person, I am so thankful for those of you who have learned to use this technology -- we are still the body of Christ, no matter how we meet.  See you this fall! 

Adult Faith Formation Sessions 

Sunday mornings - September begins a return to our Sunday morning Adult Faith Formation line up below. All are on Sunday mornings, 11-12:15 pm
First Sunday - Centering Practices - first meeting this fall will be on 
    Sunday, October 4   "Creating a book of laments and reminders of hope."
Amy Kennedy has updated an ancient practice of the Psalmist that she would like to share. She has begun using a three-ring binder to create a book of laments and reminders of hope. This process helps tend to her soul as she processes the news. Each person will be invited to think of something happening in the world or in his/her life, then to write down a few words or to draw a simple picture. Coloring is allowed and encouraged! Just the process of putting things down on paper can help to savor a moment of grace or take a weight off our shoulders. If participants want to continue the practice and start their own binders, it may help when they look back and try to tell the story of what life was like in this unusual time. Bring some paper and pens, crayons or markers. Amy hopes this practice will be a healing practice, not a source of anxiety. No one will be judged or required to display the simple joys and big concerns that their paper (and God) holds.
Zoom link: 
Password:  941490
Second Sunday - Conversations about Religion and Science, September 13
 "Discussing some fundamental questions of religious evolution."
Our theme this year will be "Universal Values in Evolving Religion and Science - Part 2." For our opening session, we have identified three provocative questions listed below that we would like to discuss to help set up a forum for open discussion to carry forward for our future meetings. We have an ever increasing knowledge about how the universe works, how our brains function and our potential to affect our world. At the same time there are likely universal values that are commonly held and promote a peaceful coexistence necessary for the survival of civilization as we currently understand it. Brian Fowlkes and Paul Carson, both U of M Professors of Radiology and Biomedical Engineering, will lead our discussion of your thoughts on these three questions as we kick off this new year of exploration and development of our scientific and religious understanding. Please join this important conversation! 
1) What would you consider the top three values that should be central for religious consideration in the context of the modern world?
2) What needs to change about our current religious view of the world?
3) How do we broaden the vision of God and Jesus to appeal to those in search of relevant spiritual guidance?
Third Sunday - Vital Conversations about Race and Racism, September 20
The Global Issues, Racial Justice, and Vital Conversations groups will be hosting a meeting with the Ann Arbor Police Chief Michael Cox. 
All are welcome! Join us as we ask: Who are the Ann Arbor police? How is community policing implemented especially with respect to communities of color, those with mental health issues, and other vulnerable populations? As well as many other questions. 
Contact shonagh@fumc-a2.org for the Zoom link.
Fourth Sunday - Disability Awareness Talks, September 27
Celebration of 30 years for the American with Disabilities Act
This July marked the 30th anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) after a long struggle for civil rights for the disabled. Like the changes achieved by the non-violent Civil Rights movement and the Women's Suffrage movement, the passage of the ADA did not happen without passionate leaders. Join us to hear the story from Judith Heumann, an activist who participated in the struggle and is still working and speaking out today to improve equality for disabled people here in the USA and around the world.
Please join us for any or all of the above sessions - they are welcoming to all!
New Disciple 1 Fast Track class is full!

If you are thinking about joining the Disciple 1 Fast Track class, you will be disappointed to learn to it is completely full now. Since Pastor Nancy Lynn and Carol Hulbert need to use Zoom to hold this class, they felt a need to limit the class size in order to be a more effective group. It is with great pain that we must turn away those who are continuing to express interest! But do not let this deter your study of the Bible -- Brown Bag Bible study is another great class and there are two opportunities to join it! See the announcement below. 
Howard Thurman Study
Tuesdays, 6:30 - 8:00 pm, beginning September 22

What is the word that the religion of Jesus has to say to the man with his back to the wall?
This is the question asked by Howard Thurman in his classic book, Jesus and the Disinherited. We don't often hear Thurman's name, but he was a mentor of Martin Luther King Jr and a moral anchor to many in the Civil Rights movement. Thurman's book gives insight into how the American black church grew to understand Jesus as someone who understands firsthand what it means to have your back to the wall.
This popular book is often on back order. We encourage you to order your book early. Local booksellers carrying this book include Nicola's (662-0600) and Literati (literatibookstore.com).
Amy Kennedy will facilitate six discussions on Zoom. We will start by discussing portions of "Backs Against the Wall: The Howard Thurman Story." You can view the entire documentary here: https://watch.opb.org/video/backs-against-the-wall-the-howard-thurman-story-cgv9gi/

You can learn more about what Howard Thurman's vision of Christianity and Racial Justice here: http://journeyfilms.com/ed-crj/.  Also, check out the podcast links below for more about Howard Thurman.
Zoom link:
Meeting ID: 839 3421 9463
Password: 268791
Brown Bag and Brown Bag Redux

This fall the Brown Bag Bible study will look at the book of Isaiah, one of the most familiar prophets in the Old Testament. Join us for a lively weekly discussion of the scripture - this is a very friendly and open group!
Brown Bag on Tuesdays, 12-1 pm beginning September 8
Password:  342375

New for the fall:
Brown Bag Redux on Thursday evenings, 7:30-8:30 pm beginning September 10
We will repeat the lesson given on Tuesdays. 
Password:  045379
Mindfulness Practice
Thursday mornings, 8-9 am beginning September 10

When can we catch our breath and just "be" in these crazy COVID times? If you are interested in learning simple techniques of mindfulness, then drop into the Spiritual Practice "Practice" session every Thursday morning, 8-9 am. 
Zoom link: 
Password: 503222
Looking for Adult Small Group Leaders!

Why become an Adult Small Group leader at FUMC?
1. You like to hang around with other people!
2. You want some support during this pandemic time.
3. You are looking for a way to jump-start your own faith journey.
Leading an Adult Small Group can satisfy all these needs, plus give you a caring and loving group to connect with every week!

Contact Debbie Houghton at debbie@fumc-a2.org or 
Beth Pascoe at beth@fumc-a2.org for more information!
Fall Studies offered by the Wesley Foundation

Tim Kobler, U of M Wesley Foundation chaplain, is offering two classes this fall for the Wesley community. FUMC folks are very welcome to join! Both classes will be on Zoom - once you have registered below, the Zoom link will be sent to you.

1. Between the World and Me, by Ta-Nehisi Coates. Tuesdays at 7:00 pm,
    beginning September 8. Info and registration at 
2. Watershed Discipleship, Ched Myers, editor. Wednesdays at 7:00 pm,
    beginning October 7. Info and registration      
On Wednesdays, 7:30-8 am starting September 9th
Start your day offering gratitude with your neighbors
Start time 7:30 am - On your way by 8 am
Join us to celebrate new light and love every morning ...
No sermon - just psalms, songs and prayers in community.
All are welcome!

We gather on Zoom. You can join on your computer or by phone.
Zoom link:

Meeting ID: 847 2317 2162
Password: 690090

If you are joining via phone: Call this number +1-646-558-8656,  Enter the meeting ID provided, and then press "#" key.
Wednesday Evening Vespers
Looking for a quiet center to the week? Tune in to our Wednesday evening Vesper services. You can spend 20-25 minutes in worship, listening to Scripture, joining in prayer and song, and enjoying a moment in the presence of God.

You can find our Vespers Services on the FUMC YouTube page:
Check out "The Latest News" for FUMC Announcements

Make sure to check the FUMC Website for all current announcements. Go to the FUMC website and you'll find a tab at the opening page titled "The Latest News." Click on "The Latest News" to check out current news for FUMC.  You can find all the latest information in one place: "The Latest News"!
Just as a reminder, FUMC is using the ZOOM platform to hold meetings. 
If you need help signing on, look for the directions to use Zoom at the end of 
this email.
Additional Resources

Here are some sites online that may be of interest to you as we look for new ways to continue fostering the spiritual journey of our faith development:

The Upper Room
"The Upper Room magazine's mission is to provide a practical way to listen to scripture, connect with believers around the world, and spend time with God each day."

Podcasts about Howard Thurman
A podcast of a sermon that Howard Thurman gave at the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine in 1977.

A clip taken from a podcast called the Inner Journey -- a brief introduction to Howard Thurman's theology. 

This short pod cast from Luther Smith, Professor of Church and Community from Emory's Chandler School of Theology, gives us all hope of fulfilling our callings.

Center for Action and Contemplation - Richard Rohr's daily meditations:
Zoom Directions:


For Participants

  1. If you have not done so already, download Zoom onto your computer, tablet or phone before accessing the link/meeting ID provided.  
  2. Access the meeting with the link provided by your meeting host OR open the Zoom software/app and then join using the provided meeting ID
"for today's meeting at ____    use this link OR join using this meeting ID ______"
  1. If you want to be able to see everyone in the meeting best, I recommend using a computer since the screen is larger.
  2. When you join the meeting, please try to get the following features set up
    1. Join With Computer Audio (it may be helpful to Test Speaker and Microphone!)  
    2. Make sure the volume on your computer/phone is turned on/up (so you can hear others)
    3. Practice using "Mute/Unmute" and "Start Video/Stop Video" (bottom of screen)
    4. Turn on Chat (bottom of screen)
    5. Use Gallery view (upper right of screen)
    6. Make sure the name you want to use is showing in your "square".  Use the "blue ..." when your mouse is hovering on your "square" to change this if needed
    7. Turn on Participants list (optional) 
  3. I have found it helpful to have "Show my meeting duration" turned on. This can be found in your personal Settings (gray gear icon in upper right hand corner) when logged into the Zoom software
If you are joining via phone...
  1. Call this number   +1-646-558-8656
  2. Enter the meeting ID provided, followed by the #. There is no need to enter a participant ID
First United Methodist Church of Ann Arbor | 734.662.4536 | www.fumc-a2.org