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Letter From the Pastor

It’s February already! Wow!


Like all Februarys, there are a lot of things going on. I imagine some of you have your own projects to complete and other home, school or work-related responsibilities as well. February is a month with some important dates. For starters, February is Black History Month. During Black History month, we get to honor and remember the contributions of Black people in the global community who offered their lives to make our world a better place to live. 


As United Methodists, we can certainly join that celebration as we remember those who have contributed significantly to helping us live a more faithful discipleship. People like Rev. Dr. Albert Tindley, a Black Methodist preacher who wrote several hymns that you can find in our UM hymnal; Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune, founder of Bethune-Cookman University and advisor to US presidents; and Rev. Richard Allen, who, in 1787, started a movement which became the African American Methodist Episcopal church, after the Old St. George’s church, where he and others were a part of, built a gallery to separate Blacks during worship.


February is also the “love month.” Yes! (St.) Valentine’s Day is here! At least for one of the days, February 14, we get to do something special and thank God for people we love. I really don’t know how a 3rd century Catholic Priest became the central figure for such a celebration, but I think celebrating love is always a good thing. So, I hope we get to set aside some time this month to celebrate, cherish and take time for those in our lives whom we love or love us. Make it the whole month if you can. 


Interestingly enough, in the third week of February, we also get to celebrate Presidents’ Day, and many of us get to have an extra day off. Yay! Presidents’ Day was created to celebrate the first American President, George Washington; but now it celebrates all presidents. I imagine that is also a good thing. There are definitely presidents you and I might want to celebrate, and thank God for. 


Lastly, and maybe as important for us Christians, it’s the beginning of Lent; and it all starts with Ash Wednesday, February 22. Just to give you heads up, we are planning a noon and 7:00 pm Ash Wednesday Services with an imposition of ashes. Then, during Lent, we are also planning to start our “Soup for the Soul” Life-Transformation series every Friday, starting March 3. This will include a short Lent service, followed with a soup and bread meal afterwards. There is also a Lent Bible study, which I hope we can give you more information about soon.


That sums it up, I think. I look forward to our time together in the next month. 


Pastor René



See what's happening this February

Children and Youth ~ Hannah Stelter

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 continue to talk about some of the Kings in the Old Testament.

The 1st Sunday of the month is the Kid's Service! Instead of a usual Sunday School lesson, we participate in worship (VBS Style) and a service project together. In February, we will be making Valentine's Day cards for some of our church members!

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 talk about the Fruits of the Spirit. 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 talk about what the Bible says about Bullying, Promises, and Entitlement. If you are interested in making dinner for the youth group, please click here for the new sign up for Spring 2023 or see Hannah! All youth and their friends are welcome to join us each week! 

There is NO Youth Group on February 19 because of school vacation.

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! 

Super Bowl Sub Sandwich Fundraiser

Please support the JWUMC Youth Group as we seek to raise funds for our Annual Winter Retreat to Christian Camp Berea by purchasing a 10” Sub for pick-up on Super Bowl Sunday, February 12th for $10 after the 9:30 Worship Service! Click here to print out the order form which is due with pre-payment by Sunday, February 5th.

Our confirmation youth had a great retreat in January! We went to Camp Aldersgate and spent our time getting to know one another and growing closer to God!

Ms. Amy and our Sunday School kids had a wonderful lesson all about jumping for JOY!!

For our MLK Day of Service, we partnered with the Happy Hope Factory to put together "hope" kits for kids at Falmouth and Cape Cod Hospitals. We packed over 20 kits and had a great time together!

Leadership ~ Matt O'Connor

January 29, 2023

Dear Brothers and Sisters of John Wesley,

May the peace and grace of God be with each of you. We greet you excited about the many ways we have been blessed by God as a congregation, yet need to share with you some not-so-exciting but important news.

JWUMC finds itself in unprecedented times with a challenging economic environment and the recent loss of several very generous members of our congregation. Unfortunately, the combination of these factors has resulted in a significant decline in projected pledge revenues for 2023, which coupled with a modest increase in operating expenses, has resulted in a significant budget deficit for 2023.

As we mentioned, this deficit is the result of a revenue problem due to loss of pledges, not an expense problem due to “run-away” expenses. We realize that there are efforts that can be made immediately to increase pledge income as well as income from other sources. Another way to close the deficit would be to cut spending. But with 85% of our budget consisting of salaries and non-discretionary items, we feel that significant spending cuts, at this time, would seriously hinder our ability to thrive and grow as a congregation.

So, to fund our 2023 deficit, the Leadership Team has voted to use some of the invested assets that have been so generously given to the church over the years for the purpose of helping the church through difficult times such as these. (Our invested assets are currently valued at approximately $1.5 million, with 75% being “restricted” funds.) We have decided to draw down on those invested assets only to the extent we need to throughout 2023. If revenues improve, we may not need to draw on our investments for the full amount that we are projecting today.


Please know that the Leadership Team will be careful to use our invested assets only as allowed under the guidelines of each fund. Regardless of how 2023 plays out, we don't advise counting on our invested assets to fund church operations to nearly the same extent in 2024. But this proposed one-year draw-down will give us a year to plan for and adapt to new fiscal realities.

If you have further questions about our church finances or have ideas regarding ways we might improve our finances, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Pastor René, Matt O’Connor (interim chairperson of Finance), or any member of The Leadership Team. In the meantime, please keep the Leadership and Finance Team in your prayers as we navigate these unprecedented times.


                                                           The Leadership Team of John Wesley

Worship ~ Betty Smith

Gracias! Merci! Grazie! Obrigado! Tak sa mycket! In other words, THANK YOU! To everyone who pitched in to “unhang the greens” after church on Epiphany Sunday. The place was hopping and slightly chaotic, but so much FUN and we got the job done!

Our AV tech, Myles Lowrey, is working hard to get up to speed and make improvements to everything from livestream, Facebook streaming, YouTube, and streaming on the JW website. Great things are in our future thanks to Myles and the volunteers in the media booth!

The Worship Ministry Team had to say farewell to a few of our members: Rebecca Dickens; Bruce Mercer; and Cynthia Syverson-Mercer as they felt their time and talents lay in other places within our church and the Falmouth community. Their ministry continues and will be a blessing in new places. Jenn McCarthy also needs a bit of time off, but will be back on the team when it is possible for her.

The sheet,” Ushering Basics”, is nearly complete. It will be distributed to ushers soon as input from the current ushers is received and incorporated. This should make it easier for folks who agree to serve as an usher in the future. Similar sheets will be produced for Altar Servers (formerly Altar Guild), Greeters, Acolyte Coordinator (a “new”/”old” position), and Communion Servers.

And now, what we’ve all been waiting for – LENT! Ash Wednesday is February 22nd. Two services are being planned. A shorter, noontime service will be held in the chapel. The evening service will be in the sanctuary. Both services will include the imposition of ashes.

Coming in March: the return of “Soup for the Soul”. Tentatively planned for Fridays in March at noon, the theme will be “Stories of Transformation”. There will be a short service including music, prayer, scripture, and stories shared about lives transformed. After the service, a light meal will be shared in the Fellowship Hall. The Spiritual Growth Team led by Jennifer Linton, and Bonnie Valade (soup planner extraordinaire), and Colleen Karsner are sharing in the planning of this series with the WMT.

See you in church!


In Honor of Black History Month

“Journey of Hope and Love”

In honor of Black History Month, a "Potluck" dinner will be held where information will be presented on a mission called “Journey of Hope and Love”. Dr. Bella Doumba is the leader of the mission to bring Hope and Love to women and children of sex trafficking in the Western Part of Africa. The non-profit religious organization she is working through is called SIMUSA based in NC. If you care to read about the organization the website is SIMUSA.org.

It’s been a long 3 years since COVID 19 began to spread throughout our country and the world, shutting down gathering such as Meeting, Church on Sunday, indoor fairs and Potluck Suppers. Well, the time has come to bring back the Potluck supper. 


Our Outreach and Mission Team is sponsoring a Potluck Supper on February 18th and you all are invited. If you do not remember the details of a potluck supper, we prepare a favorite dish and come to the church to share with other people who also prepare a dish. We never know what we will find – all salads or all casseroles – all meat dishes or all fruit dishes - or my favorite all desserts. The Mission Team will setup the tables and provide coffee, tea and cold drinks. We ask that you bring your plate and utensils, but if you forget we will have paper plates available. A free will donation can be made which will go towards the "Changing Our World" collection in February for Dr. Bella's journey.


I personally know Dr. Bella through the Emmaus Community. She is a kind and spirit filled person who is always smiling. She is a native of Africa but is an American citizen. She has been called by God to serve women and children thru trauma healing. The Mission Team has selected “Journey of Hope and Love” as the Changing our World charity for February. 

Please make your calendars for the Potluck Supper at JW on February 18th @5:30.  

Donna Fish     

Hospitality, Invitation & Fellowship ~ Colleen Karsner

Thank you to those who helped with coffee hour in January. For February, the Investment Ministry Team will host coffee hour. Colleen

Spiritual Growth ~ Jennifer Linton

Men’s Breakfast will be held Saturday, Feb. 18st at 8:45 am in the Fellowship Hall! Please plan to join us in the Fellowship Hall for an hour of discussion, learning and fellowship with your brothers at JW. If you have questions or would like to help with the breakfast, please contact Matt O’Connor at oconnorscapecod@gmail.com

Wednesday Prayer group: 11 am weekly we meet in the Chapel. We pray for our church, for others as well as our country and world situations. Please join us. Take some time from your week to be with God and share your prayers.

Church Mouse

I was away visiting family and missed a lot during the holiday season here at JW. But I am back now and HAPPY NEW YEAR!! That is what I heard all this month from people coming into the church. Not sure what that means but everyone seems happy.


When I came back, I noticed a man sitting in the Chapel each Sunday starting at 9:30 and heard his name is Gary. This time is called Chapel Communion. Some members come into the Chapel to receive Communion and have a time of reflection.    


I saw a new person in the media booth when I came back. I heard his name is Myles. The media team does a great job when the computer is working (that’s what I heard). Thank you for doing the sound and the screen pictures.


The Falmouth Service Center is asking for items to be donated to the center for people who can not purchase enough food to feed their families or animals. Next month the parishioners are asked to provided ketchup, 64oz jar of apple sauce, canned chicken, pancake mix, juice boxed, baby wipes and diapers (1 & 6). Many members bring in these item and I saw people called Bonnie and Tim pick them up to deliver them to the Falmouth Service Center.


I was around the Youth Center in the basement of the church and the kids are having a good time. Also, I enjoy Hannah’s children’s story each Sunday. I heard Hannah and her husband OZ were at a wedding somewhere warm. Someone called Mrs. Amy gave the story for a few Sundays this month. She does a good job too. This lady also plays the bells with other people. I enjoy the bells.


I overheard that an organization called Belonging to Each Other has two rental homes to house people who are homeless. Also, on very cold nights the Police pick up people on the streets and take them to two motels to stay. Bonnie and Tim cook food and deliver the food to the motel for these people. I overheard they are looking for more people to do the cooking. I am so fortunate to have a warm home here at John Wesley. Thank you.

I awoke one day and my secret area was a little chilly, so I investigated. I overheard Ruth talking to Gabe about no heat in the church. Then I heard him making noise in the boiler room area. I remember Gabe when he installed the furnace in one part of the church.  Later I could feel heat and I was glad. Thanks Gabe for keeping the church warm. 

On Sunday Hannah talked about the Youth preparing subs for Supper Bowl Sunday. This is a fundraiser for their annual retreat to Christian Camp Berea. The orders need to be in and paid for by February 5th. Not sure what Super Bowl is, but the cost is $10 and the youth will use the kitchen to make the subs. I sure hope I can find a few crumbs on the floor after they are finished. I could use a snack before I go to sleep

This is a short letter because I am so tired from all my travels that I am hibernating for a few weeks or maybe a month. It is so nice and warm in my secret place that I may sleep for two months. Thank you, Trustee’s, for a warm and comfortable church. I will give you a hint about my secret place, it’s not in the sanctuary so I will not be disturbed by the music.


Happy New Year,

Your friend, The Church Mouse

Music Ministry ~ Paula King

Come and sing/ring with the Choir or Bell Choir. Ages teen through adult.

Bell Choir rehearsals - Wednesday evenings at 5:45-6:45.

Choir rehearsals Wednesday evenings from 7-8:30.

Just a reminder! There will be a Children's Music rehearsal after church this Sunday at 11am. If you have not contacted Paula yet, please feel free to join in. Contact Paula.jwumc@gmail.com

Thank you from Paula King for the Staff Appreciation gift. Your generosity is greatly appreciated!

Staff Parish Relations ~ Rob Blomberg

"SPRMT would like to thank all those who donated to another highly successful Staff Appreciation Fund in 2022. Our hard working staff was thrilled with the generosity shown to them." 

Outreach/Missions ~ Bonnie Valade

Falmouth Service Center - we will continue to collect selected items for the center - each month the items in most demand will be posted, and the collection box is in the narthex. Items requested for the month of February - spaghetti, milk or almond milk (shelf stable - non refrigerated), juice boxes, chicken noodle soup, saltine crackers, and laundry detergent 48oz or less. There is a collection bin in the Narthex.

Changing our World There are white envelopes in the pews marked "Changing our World". These are for donations of bills in place of change if you would like.

We continue to prepare snacks and fruit for Habitat volunteers. The construction will continue through the winter weather permitting. If you would like to contribute, please have the snacks and/or fruit in the kitchen by 3pm on Friday the day before delivery. We deliver every month and is always delivered the third Saturday of the month. The next date of delivery is February 18th. It is very helpful if you slice breads or cakes. Thank you all for this outreach. The volunteers are very grateful.

The program " In from the Streets" are looking for volunteers that may be interested in cooking meals for our homeless neighbors that are sheltering in Falmouth hotels for the winter. If interested, please email me.

If your desire is to help people in your community or abroad - join our great team.

Bonnie Valade - bvaladecc@comcast.com

February Meetings and Events at JWUMC

Weekly Meetings:

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

Wednesday ~ Prayer Meeting 11 am in the Chapel

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

February Meetings:

Saturday 4th ~ TLT 9am

Wednesday 15th ~ Staff Meeting 9:30

Wednesday 15th ~ Outreach/Missions 6pm

Saturday 18th ~ Men's Breakfast Discussion 8:45am

Saturday 18th ~ Outreach/Missions Pot Luck

Wednesday 22nd ~ Ash Wednesday

Monday 27th - Blood Drive 10 - 4pm

Tuesday 28th ~ Lenten Study 10:30am

Tuesday 28th ~ Trustees 5pm

Birthday Wishes for February: 

Let us celebrate life among our church family. 7th ~ Fred Sievert, 11th ~ John Mincieli, 13th ~ Ann Tupper, 14th ~ Larry Ward, 19th~ Penny Dean, Andy Dahl, 21st~ Jan Dahl, Tim Cline. 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

Myles Lowery, Audio Visual

Hannah Stelter, Director of Children & Youth Ministries

Rev. René A. Perez, Pastor

Photo by Susn Matthiessen on Unsplash

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.

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?

George did not tell lies.

If he were president now,

That’d be a surprise!

Joy Stosz

February 1, 2014

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