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Letter From the Pastor

A Gist

[Gist: /jist/ noun 1. the substance or essence of a speech or text."she noted the gist of each message"]

As we begin this last month of 2022, I’d like to reflect on my first five months at John Wesley. 

However, let me first wish us all a blessed season of Advent and a joyful Christmas. I hope that as we experience this new season, we may all look for ways to draw closer to God and to one another, and find in God’s presence the longing our souls have been searching for.

July brought you a new pastor. I remember going to my first beach service, and attempting to grab some DD coffee on my way there, but realizing, too late, that me and the barista weren't on the same page with the urgency of it. Rushing was not in my plans, but it happened. By the grace of God and with the help of Matt and Diane, it all worked out. Needless to say, “hats off” to the dreamers and doers of the summer beach services who arduously yet gracefully got up early every Sunday morning, served and faithfully attended.

Just a little side note about summer traffic in July: in my very inexperienced yet humble opinion, it wasn’t all that bad. 

The months of August and September were bittersweet. In August, as a church, we honored and celebrated the lives of Louise Bailey, Janice Foden, and Marion Warburton. I heard many good and inspiring stories about their time as members. I know they will be missed. Remembering them lets us know that we all leave a little bit of ourselves everywhere we go. We can all make a difference. I was blessed by the privilege of doing their services. 

The month of August seems to be popular everywhere. We had the tag sale. We hosted the bishop’s day in the district with the help of the invitation and hospitality team. The trustees led the charge in helping participants of the Falmouth Road Race; and we also enjoyed plenty of ice cream during tasty Tuesdays. We did a lot. Personally, in August, we had family visit us. Wanda and I celebrated our daughter Kayla’s 29th birthday; and we also celebrated our 31st wedding anniversary. 

When September came, I did two weddings. One of them was Tom and Jean (Yay!); and the other wedding was of a young couple from Springfield, who I had counseled during my time at Trinity. Those were the sweet parts. Sadly, we also had to say goodbye to Al Croft, unexpectedly. I thank God for the opportunity I had to meet him, share supper with him and Loretta, and also share a few laughs together. Just to add a little note to this: one thing I have discovered is that the people we truly loved, never go away. There is a little bit of God’s grace in that. 

The last two months have been different. Planning the three worship series and the “All Saints Day” Sunday was a joy but it kept us busy. I thank the worship team for the time they spent dreaming the series and working on them. I am particularly thankful for all the work Diane Huban has done. 

There are many other people in church who continue to give so much of themselves, including the many ways Matt O’Connor has been a spiritual pillar for this church during this time, and the ways others, even when no one else sees them, do what is needed. I see people coming in and out of church all the time, doing crafts, putting kits together for those who are homeless, teaching ESL, preparing communion or other parts of worship, volunteering to cook or teach, creating financial reports and coming to meetings. I can go on and on; and needless to say, thank God for Brent, Marylin and their team for making the Christmas Fair such a success. 

I also have a few words of gratitude to teams leaders who end their term this year:

  • Mark Karsner for being an amazing SPRMT chair and leading the pastoral transition with such graceful and welcoming spirit, and a great sense of humor. 
  • Julie Immelt-Whelden for serving as Missions Team leader with so much passion and for her continued commitment to see lives be transformed.  
  • Mel Trott for his love of God, of people and of prayer; and for his pastoral and compassionate heart as he led the Spiritual Growth team. 
  • Diane Huban for being such a superstar and having the love, time, commitment to give her whole self to the work of Christ and of this congregation. 

We are truly blessed as a congregation This church is filled with so many people who give so much for the cause of Christ and of this community. I am blessed by you and by the staff who works so hard on your behalf and for the sake of Christ. 

Pastor René



See what's happening this DECEMBER

Children and Youth ~ Hannah Stelter

Hannah will be on vacation December 9-12 for a friend's wedding and December 26-31 for Christmas break.

Family Christmas Celebration: December 3 | 9:30-11:00am

Join us on December 3rd at 9:30am for our 3rd Annual Family Christmas Celebration! We are so excited to decorate cookies, create ornaments, play games and more! This is a community event for families of all ages so we hope to see you then!

Youth Serve Saturday: December 17th | 9:00am-12:00pm

Youth Serve Saturdays are a special once a month event where the youth gather for donuts and devotions before doing a small service project together. We will meet at 9am for a short devotional and some donuts before starting our service project.

Sunday School: Every Sunday at 9:30am

Sunday School for Kindergarten - 4th Graders takes place during the 9:30 service! We start in the Sanctuary until the children's moment before we go back to the Education Wing. We have two Sunday School classes. This month, we are going to begin our Advent study: The Heart that Grew Three Sizes: Finding Faith in the Story of the Grinch.

There is NO Sunday School on December 18th, December 25th, or January 1st.

Youth Group: Sundays | MS: 4:00-6:00 | HS: 5:00-7:00

Youth Group is back in full swing! The middle schoolers (5th-8th grade) meet for their lesson from 4:00-5:00pm. This month, we are going to begin our Advent study: The Heart that Grew Three Sizes: Finding Faith in the Story of the Grinch. At 5:00, the high schoolers (9th-12th grade) join for dinner and games! The middle schoolers head home at 6:00 when the high school lesson begins. This month, we are going to have an Inductive Bible Study where we answer three questions: what does the Scripture say, What does it mean, and How should it change me. All youth and their friends are welcome to join us each week! 

There is NO Youth Group on December 11th, December 25th or January 1st.

Youth Christmas Party: December 22nd | 5:00-7:00pm

All youth 5th-12th grade are invited to join us for a special Christmas Party on Thursday, December 22nd! We will enjoy pizza for dinner, play Christmas themed games, hear a short lesson and have a white elephant gift exchange! Please bring a wrapped gift valued at no more than $10 to exchange with other youth.

John Wesley Youth Recreation Center: Tuesdays & Thursdays | 2:45-5:00pm

The John Wesley Youth Recreation Center (JWYRC) is up and running! We have had a few different youth visitors and it has been awesome so far! The JWYRC is an after school hang out space for 5th-8th grade youth and their friends! We are open two days a week and we hope that your youth will join us! 

The Youth spent the morning cleaning the Sanctuary pews for their Youth Serve Saturday in November! We are thankful for their efforts!

Hanging of the Greens was awesome!! We are so grateful to everyone who helped out.

Our Big Family Game Night at the beginning of November was tons of fun!! Thanks to everyone who joined us for an evening of fellowship!

Worship ~ Diane Huban

First of all, I would like to thank everyone who participated in Hanging of the Greens. Many hands definitely made light work, the church looks great, the snacks were yummy and we all had a great time! Thank you all!

The Advent season has begun. As we “Prepare the Way For the Lord” we hope this will be a time of deepening faith as we celebrate the hope, love, joy and peace of the Lord.

Plans for our Christmas services are underway. Once again, we will be offering an outdoor sercice at 4:00pm which will include scripture, caroling, a live nativity and luminaries. This service has proven to be a big draw for the community at large as well as our own JWUMC church family. Let’s pray for good weather!

We will also have a more traditional Christmas Eve service at 7pm and a 9:30am service on Christmas Day.  We look forward to celebrating the birth of Jesus with you.

On a personal note, I wanted to let you know that after serving on TLT for the past six years, it is time for me to step down. Serving as the Worship Ministry Team leader these past three years have been extremely meaningful for me. We have been through a lot together! We made it through COVID with livestream, prayer vigils, Hanging of the Ornaments (which are on tree the sanctuary), John Wesley Care Teams, “hymnoling” to our shut ins, Open Sanctuary, Back Yard Church and a slow but steady push toward a return to “normal”. We even brought our church outside for the whole community to experience with our prayer wall, advent wreath and outdoor Christmas Eve service. Together we have welcomed a new Director of Music and a new Pastor. 

Through it all, we have remained focused on what it means to be a family of faith always keeping our love for God front and center.  I know the future will bring even bigger and better things. It has been an honor to serve you! God bless you all.  

Invitation & Hospitality ~ Colleen Karsner

CAROLING! You may recall Pastor Rene inviting you to join us for caroling and we are delighted that some of you have already expressed interest. After further discussion of the idea, we have some additional information for you. First of all, the date will be Sunday December 11. Second, you are welcome even if they can only carry tunes in a bucket! It’s a great way to spend time together. The plan will be to meet at the church at 3pm, divide into teams and head out by car to sing to some of our church family members who are not able to get to church these days.  The more teams we have, the more people we will be able to visit. Song sheets will be provided.  After we have completed our “rounds” we will meet back at the church for an Advent light dinner sponsored by Fellowship and Hospitality. If you would like to join us, please contact Paula King or Pastor Rene.  

Thank you to the Children and Youth Ministries for hosting coffee hour lite during the month of November.

In December Outreach/Missions will host Lite Coffee Hours after Sunday services. If you are able to assist, please contact Bonnie Valade. Your assistance is especially appreciated. Thank you all for helping when you can.



Spiritual Growth ~ Mel Trott

Men’s Breakfast on Saturday, December 17th at 8:30 am in the Fitzgerald Room: Men of all ages are invited to attend an hour of Christian discussion, prayer, and fellowship. A light breakfast with coffee and juice will be provided. Going forward, Men’s Breakfast is planned for the third Saturday of each month. If you have any questions or would like to help, please contact Matt O’Connor at oconnorscapecod@gmail.com.

Advent Studies Began November 27th It is not to late to join in!

Angels of Christmas

Explore the angelic visits surrounding the birth of Jesus! In this 4-week Advent work, Robb considers the interactions of God's messengers with Zechariah, Mary, Joseph, and the shepherds; dives deep into the history of the angel Gabriel in the Old Testament; and discusses God's presence in history - and our lives today.


Jenn Linton and Mel Trott, Sunday Mornings at 8:30

Karen Camp & Amy Clatanoff Brown, Monday evening 6:30 pm

Angels of Christmas with Betty Smith, Tuesday mornings at 10:30 (class is full)

Prepare the Way For The Lord

Who better to ready your heart for the coming of Jesus than his precursor cousin, John the Baptist? Hamilton's Advent study explores four themes in John's message:


Pastor Rene Thursday Afternoon at 3:00pm

Music Ministry ~ Paula King

Have you ever wanted to try out singing in the Choir? Now is your chance. Come and join the Festival Choir for Christmas! Rehearsals Dec. 7, 14 and 21 at 7pm. We we sing at the 7pm Christmas Eve service. Any questions email paula.jwumc@gmail.com

Thank you to Bill Brydon for this photo taken Sunday November 20th, 2022 of our Bell Choir and Music Director. Thank you for the beautiful music!

Outreach/Missions ~ Bonnie Valade

SOCK DRIVE - We are collecting NEW socks for our homeless men and women. We will deliver them to the shelters here in Falmouth. Collection box is located in the narthex. We will be collecting them for the months of December and January.

UPDATE on shelter for the homeless - Two house in Falmouth are now opened in Falmouth for the winter months. One house has eight men and the other has four women with one more open space. Most have jobs right here in Falmouth but are in NEED of transportation back and forth to work. Much needed volunteers are needed and if you are interested you can contact Belonging to each Other volunteers Bonnie and Tim.

IN OFF THE STREETS project has begun. When the temperatures drop to life threatening lows, the homeless are offered shelter in two of our local hotels. However, they are then in NEED of food. Volunteers are needed to prepare a meal for them. If you are interested in being part of our volunteer group, please contact Bonnie.

The bags for the homeless that come into our church are now ready to give out. The bags referred to as Comfort Kits contain personal care products for men and women or fun items for the children. For more information contact Marie Syverson.

We are still collecting for our neighbors in Ukraine. At this time monetary donations are best. For more information, please contact Sally Tracy.

We continue to collect selected food items monthly for the Falmouth Service Center. The items are listed and a box to collect them are for now in the Fellowship Hall. Bonnie and Tim will deliver them to the center.

Marge Dean delivered baked goods for the volunteers working on the homes in Falmouth for Habitat for Humanity. The volunteers were very appreciative. We will continue to deliver snacks on the third Saturday of the month until the weather stops their construction. They will keep us informed.

The Church Mouse

Again, the church was very busy this month with meetings and other people using the church. It is hard to remember all that is going on. People seem so happy to be here. I am so glad to be able to reside in this beautiful church. With all that goes on here, the church is always clean and welcoming to all, even a little mouse like me. Thank you.


Pastor Rene has been here for four months now and he seems to be acclimating himself to the Cape. I know this because I heard someone say so. Just a reminder to the Pastor that I am no bother and I do not make a mess. In fact, I clean up all the little crumbs that I find on the floor. Although, Bonnie and Tim do a great job cleaning up after food is served in the big hall and in the kitchen. Just don’t forget me.


I heard that the multimedia team is still looking for volunteers to help on Sundays. I stay clear of the multimedia station. I do not want to be blamed if some of the wires are frayed. They may think I am gnawing on the wires to that thingamajig in the booth. I stay clear.


One week the church was very, very busy.  People coming and going. One day lots of people came to move furniture around and setup tables all over the church. The only room not used was the Parent Room in the long hall way, I heard it called the Education Wing. Anyway, then some of the same people started pulling out all kinds of things from every nook and cranny to put on the tables. Wreaths, craft items, jewelry, jars of jam, baked items, homemade chocolates, clothes, something called attic treasures, something called “Silent Auction”, hardware, wood carvings, books and games, and of coarse FOOD. The next day people were lined up by the front doors waiting for the doors to open. They all rushed in and started taking the items and handing over what I heard was money. Whatever that is. I heard that the people were purchasing things for money. Anyway, the church was crowded until early evening. Then the next day people came back and purchased more things. Everyone was so happy to be in the church working or purchasing. In the afternoon more people came to help clean up the church including vacuuming the floor. When everyone left two people came out of the Choir room and said it was a good fair. This is a curious thing for a mouse to understand. But, on Sunday a man called Brent announced that the church made $26,000 and everyone was happy and clapped. This same thing happened last year and everyone was happy too. Hmm.


The Falmouth Service Center asked for items to be donated to the center for people who can not purchase enough food to feed their families or animals. In November the parishioners provided cereals, ketchup, mayonnaise, canned dog and cat food, and size 6 diapers. Next month a new list will be provided and I am sure many items will be donated.


Thanksgiving has come and gone. I guess it is a time to give thanks for all that we have. As I have said before I am so happy to have a home here at John Wesley. I hope your day was happy. Next holiday is Christmas. Oh, just remembered. Many people stayed after church one Sunday and hung decorations all over the church. Christmas trees, garland, wreaths, lights and the 4 Advent Candles outside the church near the road. This way the community can see the candles and hopefully remember the “reason for the season”. I heard someone say that, not sure what it means, but I think I will find out before long.

 Merry Christmas,

Your friend The Church Mouse


Bishop Peggy A. Johnson to serve Boston Area

November 16, 2022

The Northeastern Jurisdiction College of Bishops and Committee on the Episcopacy released the following announcement Nov. 16, 2022:

The Council of Bishops has approved the recommendation from the Northeastern Jurisdictional College of Bishops (COB) and The Committee on the Episcopacy (COE) that Retired Bishop Peggy A. Johnson serve as Interim Bishop for the New England Annual Conference (NEAC) beginning January 1, 2023, through August 31, 2024.

Racial Justice Team continues to meet. Please contact Ali Armitage at  alexarmitage72@gmail.com if you are interested in joining us. 

The Mission Field Corner ~ Neighborhood Falmouth

Our Mission Field Corner note this month is about Neighborhood Falmouth, a nonprofit community-based organization whose Mission is to help seniors live independently, safely, and comfortably in their own homes as long as practical. Currently some 207 volunteers provide support, information and services to more than 129 members with a waiting list. The only reason for a waiting list is to make sure we have enough volunteers to cover daily needs.

Mainly those services include transportation to doctors, hair and other personal care appointments, store shopping, and senior and social activities. Other support may include telephone check-ins, short walks, light home maintenance, and even emergency pet support.

For more information about us and how to get involved, talk to one of our Church members who is or has been involved.

Bobye Anderson, Kit O’Connor, Ken Peal, Pat Dinsmore, Bob McIntire or Bud and Sally Tracy.

The big plus for many of us is just hearing great life stories from each member we meet, as well as getting to know who the best doctors and hairdressers are and getting a heartfelt “Thank You”, even for what little we might do.

December Meetings and Events at JWUMC

Weekly Meetings:

Sunday ~ Advent Study 8:30 am

Tuesday ~ Bible Study Group with Tim Cline & Ted Burt 10 am

Tuesday ~ Advent Study 10:30 am

Wednesday ~ Prayer Meeting 11 am

Wednesday ~ Handbell rehearsal 5:45 pm & Chancel Choir at 7 pm as scheduled

Thursday ~ Advent Study 3:00 pm

December Meetings:

Thursday 1st ~ TLT 6:30 pm

Saturday 3rd ~ Family Christmas Celebration 9:30 -11 am

Sunday 4th ~ Fair Meeting 10:30 am

Sunday 4th ~ Falmouth Parade starts at noon

Tuesday 6th ~ Investment Team 3:30 pm

Thursday 8th ~ Church Conference 7:00 pm

Sunday 11th ~ Caroling 3 - 5 pm followed by carolers Advent meal

Saturday 17th ~ Men's Discussion Breakfast 8:30 am

Monday 19th - Blood Drive 10 - 4pm

Wednesday 21st ~ Outreach/Missions 6 pm

Tuesday 27th ~ Trustees Meeting 5 pm

Advent Calendar

December 11th Caroling at 3 pm and Advent meal for carolers

Sunday December 18th Service of Lessons and Carols 9:30 pm

Christmas Eve Services

Outdoor Community Service - 4:00pm

Live nativity, caroling, scripture, luminaries

Everyone Welcome

Traditional Worship - 7:00pm

In-person or livestream on Facebook, Youtube,

or website: www.johnwesleyumc.org

Christmas Day Service

Sunday December 25th 9:30 am in the Chapel

Birthday Wishes for December: 

Let us celebrate life among our church family. 20th - Dick MacKenzie, 26th Jeff Warburton, 29th Hannah Stelter

It's a great thing to have a birthday, a gift from God. Please give your birthday information by recording it on the calendar on the Fellowship bulletin board.

John Wesley United Methodist Church, 270 Gifford Street, Falmouth, MA 02540

(508) 548-3050 


John Loewen, Sexton

George Cary, Treasurer

Ruth Moulton, Church Administrator

Paula King, Director of Music Ministries

Hannah Stelter, Director of Children & Youth Ministries

Rev. René A. Perez, Pastor

Sharing Our Gifts This Christmas

This Christmas may we share our gifts

No matter how great or small;

God will receive them with His love

For His people, one and all.

Each one of us has a talent

Or money or time to spend,

Making Christmas a joyous one

For a stranger or a friend.

God gave Jesus, His Son, to us

On Christmas eve long ago;

So, let us now give back to Him

In the best way that we know…

Doing a good deed for someone,

Praying for friends and family,

Giving treasure, time and talent

To support our own John Wesley.

Joy Stosz

November 13, 2022

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