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Letter From the Pastor

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.” Hebrews 13:8

“For I, the Lord, do not change.” Malachi 3:6

“The grass withers and the flower fades, but the Word of our God will stand forever.” Isaiah 40:8

“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end” Lamentations 3:22

I’m sure many of you have heard the quote attributed to Benjamin Franklin, “There’s nothing certain in life except death and taxes.” And while that may be true, I would add a third certainty to that list: change. Because we all have dealt with many changes over the course of our lives, haven’t we? Even in ancient times, the Bible said, “For everything there is a season.” And as most of you know by now, I am soon to enter a new season of my life – I will be retiring at the end of June. This was not an easy decision, but with much prayer and discernment, I believe this is the right time for John and me to make this change. There will be more to talk about in the next few months, but for now, I’m still your pastor, and I look forward to continuing the good work for God that we have been doing here at John Wesley.  

And, I am excited to know that Rev. René Perez will be your new pastor beginning July 1st. Rev. Perez is currently serving Trinity United Methodist Church in Springfield, MA, and prior to that he was a District Superintendent for the Central Massachusetts District. I know René and am very pleased that he is coming here! He is highly respected among clergy colleagues, and I am confident he will be a good fit here at John Wesley. I also know his wife, Wanda, who, the Bishop announced, will be appointed the new Seacoast District Superintendent beginning July 1st. She is currently pastor of the Faith UMC in Chicopee, MA. She will not be John Wesley’s District Superintendent, as one spouse does not oversee another. The Bishop will determine our new D.S. at a later date. Please keep both Reverend René and Reverend Wanda in prayer as they transition out of their churches and into a new church and a new role.  

Yes, things are changing, but the most important thing we can do during these next few months is to remember why we come to John Wesley in the first place – not because of a person, but because of the Lord. Because we want to love, worship, and serve our God who never changes. We don’t know exactly what the future will hold, but we can trust our future to a God who says to us again and again, ‘I know the plans I have for you. Plans for good and not evil, to give you a future with hope.”  

And so let us journey forward together, listening, trusting, and seeking to fulfill God’s purposes here at John Wesley.  

I love you all,

Pastor Rebecca




Link to SERMONS.


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See what's happening this FEBRUARY

Children and Youth ~ Hannah Stelter

Announcement from Hannah: Oz and I will be on vacation February 17-23!

Upcoming Events:

Cards for Seniors - February 13 during 9:30 Service

On February 13th, our Sunday School classes will spend our usual lesson time decorating cards for the Seniors in our congregation! We hope that your child (Kindergarten - 4th grade) will consider joining us for this special project!

Super Bowl Watch Party - February 13 6:00-8:30pm

Even though our beloved Patriots will not be in the Super Bowl this year, we are still going to have a Watch Party! All Youth (5th-12th grade) are invited to join us in the Fellowship Hall as we enjoy some food, the commercials, and of course, the game! Pick up will be after the halftime show!

Winter Retreat Fundraiser: February 27

In early March, a group of 16 youth and 4 volunteers will be heading to Camp Berea in New Hampshire for a weekend full of fellowship, worship, and connection! We are all so excited for this trip, but we need the help of our congregation to be able to go! On February 27 after the 9:30 service, we will be accepting donations towards our Winter Retreat. The youth are going to participate in the service and if we have coffee hour, they will get everything prepared! We hope that you will consider donating so that all of our youth are able to go!

Inductive Lent Bible Study - starts first week of March

Throughout Lent, all youth (5th-12th grade) are invited to participate in an Inductive Bible Study. Each week, we will focus on specific Scripture passages in the New Testament and together, we will work through three main questions: what does the text say, what does the text mean, and how should this change me. The exact day of the week and more information will be announced soon!

Weekly Activities:

Sunday School

Every Sunday morning during the 9:30 Service, all Kindergarten through 4th grade students are invited to join us for Sunday School! Each week, we have a Bible lesson paired with activities and games. There is NO Sunday School on February 27th because it is a Prayer and Praise Sunday and the kids will enjoy this program!

Youth Group

Every Sunday evening, all youth (5th - 12th grade) are invited to join us for our youth group activities! Middle School meets in the Youth Room at 4:00 for their weekly Bible lesson. At 5:00, all youth enjoy dinner together before playing a mix of high energy and strategy games! After the middle schoolers leave at 6:00, the high schoolers gather in the Youth Room for their Bible lesson. If you would like to make a meal for the youth one Sunday, please click this link to sign up! There is NO Youth Group on February 20th because of the school break!


MLK Day of Service

On January 17th, 14 youth used their day off of school to serve others! Partnering with the Happy Hope Factory, we put together 200 toothbrush kits for kids in need! Thank you so much to Lynn O'Brien, Tim Cline, Josh Cribben, and Oz Stelter for helping to supervise all of the youth! And thank you to all of the youth for their hard work and dedication to serving others!


Worship Ministry Team ~ Diane Huban

Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth.  Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Psalm 100: 1-2


No matter what COVID has thrown at us, we have continued to “worship the Lord with gladness”, maybe not exactly the way we want to - but we have never stopped worshiping! Again, we thank you for your patience and understanding as we continue to inch our way “back to normal”.


The WMT is honored to welcome four new members to our team: Jenn McCarthy, Bruce Mercer, Cynthia Syverson-Mercer and Anne Tupper. Regretfully we will be losing Steve Adams as he takes on other responsibilities. Thanks to our four new members for becoming part of the team and thanks to Steve for having been part of the team!


Aside from being a member of our team, there are many, many ways for you to become more involved in our worship services. You can become a greeter or an usher. You can join the choir or the bells. You can serve communion or become a liturgist or a member of the prayer team. All are very rewarding and meaningful ways to connect with your church family and to “shout for joy to the Lord.” If you’d like to know more about becoming involved in any of these activities, please feel free to contact me at dhuban@comcast.net or 508.457.7034.


The Worship Ministry Team has begun making some preliminary plans for the Lent/Easter season. Plans include the Prayer Wall, a Prayer Vigil, the Holy Week Prayer Walk and services for Ash Wednesday, Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday.  Details will be shared as we draw closer to those events. However, in the meantime, if you have any ideas or suggestions about what we can do to make the Lent/Easter season more meaningful for you, please do not hesitate to reach out to me or anyone else on the Worship Ministry Team. 

Spiritual Growth ~ Sheldon Keller

The second series of “The Chosen” will be offered during Lent. You are invited to join one of three study groups which will be led by Betty Smith on Tuesday mornings, Mel Trott and Kim Black on Sunday mornings, and Pastor Rebecca on Thursday afternoons.

“The Chosen” – in the words of one piece of promotional material – chronicles the life of Jesus Christ through the lens of the ordinary people who connected with him in everyday interactions.


And in the words of our pastor regarding the first series, that was offered last year, I…believe that it represents a realistic, enlightening and thought provoking portrayal of the Gospels.  This is an opportunity to take a look into what life with Jesus probably would have been like.   

Three study groups are presently confirmed, but if more are needed or if the days and times now offered do not fit into your schedule, but you would like to be involved, please email me at parsonkeller@gmail.com or give me a call at 860-608-7961. More specifics will be given as we get closer to Lent.

Meanwhile our Confidential Prayer Chain ministry continues to be active under the leadership of Karen Camp. Be in touch with her if you wish for her group to lift up your concerns in prayer. In addition, there are opportunities after worship to pray with a prayer partner. They will be available on the second and fourth Sunday of the month. And of course, Pastor Rebecca continues leading a time of prayer Wednesday mornings beginning at 11 o’clock in the Fitzgerald Room. This affords people an opportunity for individual and corporate prayer. A brief devotional is also offered.

Church Mouse

I am so exhausted from the last few months I decided to hibernate this month and possibly next. See you all in the spring. 

Church mouse



Renew of wedding vows: On Sunday, February 13th in honor of Valentine’s Day, we will offer the opportunity for couples to renew their wedding vows. After the 9:30 service, around 10:45, couples are invited to the sanctuary where Pastor Rebecca will lead a short celebration with words of encouragement, renewal of vows, and a prayer for God’s continued blessing upon your marriage. This is open to any and all couples who wish to reaffirm their love and commitment to one another. This is not meant to exclude anyone who is not or has not been married, nor is it a judgment on singleness or divorce. It is simply a time to recognize that marriage is a fragile institution, and is an opportunity to support one another in honoring the values of commitment, fidelity and marital love. If you have any questions, please see Pastor Rebecca.

Racial Justice Group

How often have you heard, "Be nice." or "That's not nice." ? Is it important to be nice? Was Jesus nice when confronted with injustice? Does niceness play a role in protecting whiteness and racism in this country? Please join us on February 16 at 5pm as the Racial Justice Group meets to discuss "Nice Racism" by Robin Diangelo. Contact Ali Armitage for more information at alexarmitage72@gmail.com

Thank You

Than you to all for the many prayers and get-well cards I received during my bout with COVID-19. They were greatly appreciated!

Thanks Again,

John Loewen

Dear JWUMC family,

I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for all the prayers, calls, cards, meals, good wishes, and welcome back greetings during my Covid illness.

It meant so much! I know it was the prayers that got me through! It’s so wonderful to have such a great support system in my church!

1 Thessalonians 5:11 So continue encouraging each other and building each other up just like you have been doing already.

John 13:34-35 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.

Love💜, laughs🤣, prayers🙏🏻, & all the best👍🏻,


Message from Aline and Larry Ward

Dear John Wesley family, 

As some of you may know, we have decided to make a major change in our lives. We’ve committed to leave the cold and snow and swap it for year-round sunshine and hopefully no snow.  

This decision was quite sudden, although we have been discussing the idea for a few years. The timing of our decision was certainly influenced by the hot real estate market - which was demonstrated with our home selling in one day! [Thank you, Lisa Asendorf!]  

Overall, this decision has been very difficult for us as we love this church, our church family, Falmouth and our dream home that we built - we are deeply saddened to leave you all. However, please know we will be with you every Sunday morning. The ability to live-stream is truly a blessing.  

So where are we moving to? For the interim we will be in Holly Springs, NC for at least a year. We have decided to rent a townhouse 4 minutes from our Grandson, Henry, who will be 3 in April. We are very excited to be near family. While living in NC we will travel to other parts of NC, SC & Florida to decide where we will buy a home. We are currently on our annual ‘escape winter trip’ traveling in Florida. One thing we’ve learned for sure on this trip is that we’re looking for a “Falmouth feel” community for our next home. 

We are dealing with a slew of emotions ranging from excitement, anxiousness, happiness to sadness. We have loved our time with all of you and both of us are honored to have served in ministry for the church. It has been very rewarding for us both.

We return to Falmouth around March 15th to pack and clear the house and we plan to leave for NC around April 13th. Notwithstanding Covid we hope to see many of you during March and April as we complete this transition.  We will be sure to update Ruth with our address once we receive our “new” keys. And we hope to be in Falmouth several times a year going forward as we travel to visit our lovely Granddaughters in Manchester, NH!

With much love and blessings to all,

Aline & Larry Ward


Hannah will be on vacation Feb 17th to 23rd.

Pastor will be visiting her Mom from Feb 23rd to 26th.

Ruth will be on vacation February 28th to March 4th.

February Meetings and Events at JWUMC

Wednesday 2nd - Strategic Planning Team 7:00 pm

Thursday 3rd - SPRMT Meeting 4:30 pm

Monday 7th - TLT Meeting 6:30 pm

Tuesday 15th - Blood Drive 10 am - 4 pm

Wednesday 16th - Outreach /Missions 6:30 pm

Monday 21st - Office Closed - Presidents Day

Thursday 17th - Finance Ministry Team 4:30 pm

Tuesday 25th - Trustees Meeting 4:00 pm

Weekly Meetings:

Sunday - Middle School Youth Group 4 pm

Sunday - All Youth Free Dinner & Games - 5 pm

Sunday - High School Youth Group 6 pm

Tuesday- Bible Discussion Group with Tim Cline 10 am

Wednesday- Prayer Meeting 11 am

Wednesday- Handbells Rehearsal 5:45 pm

Wednesday- Chancel Choir Rehearsal 7 pm

Birthday Wishes for February 7th ~ Fred Sievert, 8th ~ Marion Warburton,

11th ~ John Mincieli, 14th Larry Ward, 19th ~ Andy Dahl & Penny Dean,

21st ~ Jan Dahl, 27th ~ Tim Cline

Let us celebrate life among our church family. 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.

Punxsutawney Phil - Groundhog Day

Photo by Alan Freed 2-2-21

Photograph of Abraham Lincoln taken by Matthew Brady on January 8, 1864.

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

(508) 548-3050 www.johnwesleyumc.org

Rev. Rebecca Mincieli, Pastor

Hannah Stelter, Dir. of Children & Youth Ministries

Ruth Moulton, Office Administrator

Linda Brouder, Director of Music Ministries Mirela Chisbora, Pianist/Organist

George Cary, Treasurer

John Loewen, Sexton 

February Haikus

During these bleak days

Take time to thank and give praise

To the Lord, always.

I sit down to write.

Winter doldrums have set in.

Where do I begin?

If you care deeply

Do not hesitate to tell

Someone that you love.

Broken hearts can mend

Although it may take awhile.

Just live life and smile.

Let your heart be true

To the one you care about

And she will love you.

To be a good friend

Be faithful, caring and then

Friendship will not end.

Groundhog Day is here.

What if he sees his shadow?

More winter, I fear.

Abe Lincoln was smart.

He was a man of few words

Spoken from the heart.

If a heart of gold

Could be measured in dollars,

What would it be worth?

For Valentine’s Day

He bought his plump friend flowers.

No candy today!

George did not tell lies.

If he were president now,

That’d be a surprise!

Joy Stosz

February 1, 2014

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