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Dear God, bless us with a spirit of boldness and extravagant hope. Make us hungry for what is worth pursuing, and starve us from that which decays our souls. Let prayer and compassion be two things we can’t do without. Let every trouble, shortcoming, and shortfall we face, be recompensed with laughter, deeper trust and a grateful heart. Let this new year bring peace and reconciliation to the conflicts of our world and to the chaos which fills us and surrounds us. May your love be the hallmark of who we are, to one another, and to those who ask us for the reason of our faith; and may we live knowing that beyond the graying of our days, in you, there is eternal salvation and joy. God, this is our prayer. Make it so. Amen. (Pastor René)

Letter From the Pastor

Dear John Wesley family,


As we begin a new year. I wanted to express my deepest gratitude for your love, kindness, welcoming spirit and generosity over the last 6 months. It has been a blessing for Wanda, Isaias and I to be a part of this congregation, and I thank God for allowing me to serve as your pastor. 


I also want to thank every one of you for all the Christmas cookies, chocolates, gifts cards, hugs, cards, Christmas tree ornaments, presence, Rum cake, words of encouragement and the extremely generous staff Christmas gift that staff received. Although Christmas is usually a busy time for churches and pastors, none of what happened here in church would have happened without each one of you. Thank you.


As we look forward to 2023, I know we have much to do. It is both an exciting time and it is a challenging time. One of the things which continues to be in my heart is what feels like an overwhelming issue with homelessness. 


Some of you may or may not know that, three people including me, wanting to be in solidarity with homeless people, slept outside the church on December 21, after the candlelight service which remembered the 73 homeless people who died in Cape Cod in 2022. All I can say is that it was a noble idea that will never compare to what it really feels like to be a homeless person. However, the experience opened my eyes to the greater hardship of homelessness that people face. Let us be in prayer about where God may lead us with this need. 


Also, I have discovered that this congregation has a big heart. As we begin 2023, I will depend on your grace, your willing spirit, your resilience and your love for God, as we begin to think creatively as to where God may also be leading us in other ministry and mission areas. I really don't know if this entails any changes at all, but I feel that God may be calling us to commit ourselves to the vision and strategy that this church started working on before I arrived, including the possibility of starting a new worship service that will reach new and younger people in our community. 


Again, in some way, I feel the work is already cut out for us, and we just need to be opened to the leading of the Holy Spirit. I hope we can be in conversation about this soon. Thank you to each of you for what you already do. I pray God will continue to bless us as we journey together in the years to come. 


Because of Jesus, 

Pastor René



See what's happening this January

Children and Youth ~ Hannah Stelter

Hannah will be on vacation January 6-8 to visit family in Florida.

Youth Serve Monday!: January 16 | 9:00am-12:00pm

At John Wesley, it is a tradition to spend the morning serving our community on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. We will meet at the church at 9:00am for donuts and devotions before beginning our service projects. Pick up will be at 12:00pm.

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 talk about some of the Kings in the Old Testament.

There is NO Sunday School on 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 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 January 1st or 8th.

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! 

We had SO much fun at our Family Christmas Celebration last month where we made crafts, played games, and decorated tons of cookies!!

At the beginning of Advent, our Sunday School class went on a JOYFUL walk around the playground, announcing the birth of Jesus to the community!

The youth group had an awesome Christmas party where we ate pizza, played tons of Christmas games, made gingerbread houses, and exchanged gifts!

Worship ~ Betty Smith

Happy New Year!

You never know what God has in mind until He calls on you. When I learned that Diane was stepping down, I felt “a tug”, then I received a call from Pastor Rene and met with him. After much prayer and consulting with my husband and a few trusted friends the decision was made to say, “yes”. Please keep me, the Worship Ministry Team, Pastor Rene, and ALL team leaders and teams in your prayers. We need your support and participation in serving God. I want to thank Diane once again for all she did as Worship Ministry Team leader and for her help to me during this transition.

We welcome Myles Lowery as our new A/V tech. Myles will be in the A/V booth on Sunday to control the microphones, as well as the cameras we use for livestream and the slides we project on our screens to lead us in music. Welcome Myles!

What went up must come down. On January 8th we celebrate Epiphany. After worship, please plan on helping to take our Christmas decorations down and storing them for next year. It would be helpful if you could work in the same area where you put decorations up, but anything you do is most appreciated. Enjoy the fellowship of working together and the satisfaction of a job well done. “Together each accomplishes more”!

Ash Wednesday is February 22nd and we will be entering the season of Lent. The WMT will soon be meeting and making plans for Lent and Easter.

See you in church!

The Chapel was prepared for the Homelessness Candlelight Vigil to remember the 72 people who died homeless on Cape Cod in 2022. The beautiful Camellia trees were in bloom on each side of the chapel garden. Pastor Rene and two others spend the night sleeping outside to honor those who died.

The Altar guild received over 50 beautiful poinsettias to put in sleeves and decorate the sanctuary and chapel.

The results created a joyful space for our worship. I know the weather on Christmas Eve was frightful so some of you may not have gotten a chance to see the how beautiful your donations of poinsettias made the worship space. Thank you to all who donated in memory or in honor of a loved one. The sanctuary was made ready for the Christmas Eve service.

Invitation & Hospitality ~ Colleen Karsner


Thank you to our Missions/Outreach Ministry Team for the December coffee hour!

The Invitation and Fellowship Ministry Team will host coffee hour for January.


Spiritual Growth ~ Jennifer Linton

We are thankful for Jen for stepping forward to lead the Spiritual Growth Ministry team. We are also thankful to Mel Trott who stepped up to lead the team through the end of 2022 when his term expired.

Men’s Breakfast will be held Saturday, Jan. 21st at 8:45 am in the Fellowship Hall! That’s right, Men’s Breakfast has been moved to Saturday morning to accommodate those who can’t make it during the week. We have also moved the start time back to 8:45 am to allow those same people (and the rest of us as well) to sleep in a bit on Saturday mornings. 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.

The Racial Justice Team is reading Becoming Brave by Brenda Salter McNeil. We'll discuss the first half of the book at our January meeting, 5-6 p.m. in the Library on Tuesday January 3. The book is available in hard copy, ebook, or audiobook. Visit 

 https://www.saltermcneil.com/becoming-brave or contact alexarmitage72@gmail.com for more information. 

Jenn Linton

Music Ministry ~ Paula King

A Note from the Choir Director:

A big thanks to all who shared their musical talents to get us in the Christmas spirit! The Choir did a wonderful job leading everyone in song, the Bell Choir added their festive sounds, Danna Dimock shared some contemporary songs with us, Becky and Ruby Abbott and Chris Lafleur graced us with their flute trio, Katie King and Catrie Morris added their beautiful voices to the choir! God has provided us with a joyful noise! What a great gift! Thank you,

Paula King

From the Archives ~ Ken Peal

 From the Archives #27

Remembering our Pastors

           The trustees of John Wesley have recently unveiled a plaque honoring the pastors of our church so this is a good time to reflect on their service.

           Some of us remember the celebration back in 2008 of 200 years of Methodism in Falmouth. Yes, we can trace our roots back to 1808. In fact, there is a list of pastors (not the one on the plaque) that covers that whole time period. Unfortunately, we don’t know how carefully that list was researched or who wrote it down. But using that list by my count Rene Perez is the 101st Methodist pastor to serve in Falmouth and the 13th to serve John Wesley.

   A name you don’t see on the plaque is Albert Jackson. He served from 1949 to 1954 at the Falmouth Methodist Church on Main Street, the predecessor to John Wesley. But he is really the father of John Wesley – he had the foresight to start discussions in 1953 about the need to move out of the old church. This foresight led to the eventual construction of John Wesley Church. He left to go to a new charge in 1954 and unfortunately died in 1958 so he never saw the new building. There is a plaque in his honor on a front pew of the church, inscribed: “In memory of Rev. Albert W. Jackson, Given by Friends”. It is undated.

           Campbell B. Carmichel replaced Albert Jackson in 1955. He continued acquisition of the land and construction of the new church. Carmichel was joined by J. Kenneth Pearson who was specifically selected to merge Falmouth’s three Methodist churches (Main Street/John Wesley, Woods Hole and West Falmouth).

In 1960 our next pastor was Franklin M. Bass who was chosen based on his success at previous charges. From his obituary we learn that when he moved to John Wesley “he inherited a most difficult problem”. What he faced was indebtedness, law suits, loss of congregation and loss of staff. He made significant progress on all these fronts, continuing his reputation: “churches under his leadership move forward and upward”. He served until 1967. We are indebted to him.

Orville Crain who was called back from retirement in 1959, served along with Franklin Bass at John Wesley. Born in 1886, Orville Crain had earlier been a circuit rider and a district superintendent, part of a long and distinguished career. Unfortunately he died in 1964 while serving our church. I was told that formerly there was a plaque in his honor displayed near our Garden Chapel; does anybody else remember that?

Few current parishioners remember any of these pastors from more than 55 years ago. What follows are some thoughts collected from church members about the more recent pastors, starting from Richard Maxwell whose tenure started in 1967 through to Rebecca Mincieli who retired in June 2022. These are all incidental, personal recollections; some are fun, others are more serious. They do not begin to reflect the memorable and important work that each pastor carried out at our church.

1967-1978, Richard Maxwell. Dick was a robust man with many talents. He would occasionally break out in song as part of his sermon. He had a great voice.

1978-1984, Carlton Daley. Carl would often say “God loves you and so do I”. And, here is a tip he shared: "The trick to remembering someone's name when being introduced is to not think about what you are going to say. Listen to them." He was good with names.

1984-1985, Simon Peter Montgomery. He was our first black pastor. He memorably said "If you don't feel close to Jesus, guess who moved!"

1985-1990, Jeanette M. Burton. She was our first lady pastor. She often said “Don’t let your worries get you down, bring them to Jesus”. And "You are either a missionary or a mission field".

1990-1995, Mark Goad. Replying to a parishioner who was too busy to attend a church event Mark was heard to say “OK, you don’t have to come, it’s only your immortal soul we are talking about”.

1995-2007, Charles A. Bark. Charlie was noted for making last-minute changes during worship services. He would say "You've got to leave room for the Spirit to work!" Another quote from Charlie: "Jesus was a party animal".

2007-2014, David V. Calhoun. We all loved his annual "joke sermon" based on Prairie Home Companion’s Garrison Keillor. And he usually ended his worship services with this: "Go out and spread the Gospel, and you might even have to use words".

2014-2022, Rebecca Mincieli. We all appreciated "let us breathe in and breathe out" to settle our minds and focus on worship. And more than one person has said that looking at Rebecca during communion was like “looking into the eyes of Jesus”.


 December 2022

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 January - APPLE JUICE (64 OZ.) -CANNED CHICKEN - PANCAKE MIX - JUICE BOXES-KETCHUP - BABY WIPES - DIAPERS (SIZE 6&1). 

Thank you to all who donated food items to Falmouth Service Center and toiletries for our homeless neighbors.

The sock drive has ended. We collected over 100 pairs of brand-new socks and delivered them to the homeless women and men in our shelters here in Falmouth. They were very much appreciated. THANK YOU ALL!!!!!!!!!!

Changing our World for the month of January will be for funds to supply the comfort bags we have on hand to distribute to those in need. They contain many of the essentials for hygiene as well as socks, gloves, a hat and other items.

If anyone would like to join our team, we would love to have you. Our meetings are held once a month at 6pm.


New Leadership Team Members: We welcome:

Rob Blomberg as Staff Parish Relations Ministry Team Leader

Betty Smith as Worship Ministry Team Leader

Jen Linton as Spiritual Growth Ministry Team Leader

We thank:

Mark Karsner for his service as leader of Staff Parish Relations Ministry Team.

Diane Huban for her service as Leader of Worship Ministry Team

Mel Trott for his service as Leader of Spiritual Growth Ministry Team

Heather Smith for her service as member at-large to the Leadership Team

Thank you from Joy Stosz: Thank you to everyone who bought my most recent poetry book. I sold 20 copies and the $200 collected was donated to the church. All of the money from sales of my poetry books goes to the church which now totals $6,140.

Thank you from Pat Luders: I'd like to share this with the wonderful carolers who graced me with joyful music a few weeks ago. Thank you for sharing the Joy of the season with great music and thank you for letting me chime in!

Thank you from Ruth Moulton: The John Wesley is a kind, generous, inspiring, sharing, and faithful group of people I am truly graced to know. It is always my pleasure to work here but I am especially grateful for the kind gift, and the exceptional staff appreciation gift. With best wishes for the New Year,


Thank you from John Loewen for the generous staff appreciation gift.

JANUARY 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

January Meetings:

Thursday 3rd ~ TLT 6:30 pm

Tuesday 17th - Blood Drive 10 - 4pm

Wednesday 18th - Outreach/Missions 6pm

Saturday 21st ~ Men's Discussion Breakfast 8:45 am

Tuesday 24th ~ Trustees 5pm

Birthday Wishes for January: 

Let us celebrate life among our church family. 1st ~ Loretta Croft & Rebecca Mincieli, 4th ~ Eileen Burt, 12th ~ Joy Stosz, 15th~ Denise Sievert, 20th ~ Marilyn Mugno, 31th Louise Clark. 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.

A special birthday January 31st!

Louise Clark will celebrate her 100th birthday. Let us help her celebrate. If you need her address, please contact Ruth. Louise was active in our church right up until COVID made attending unsafe. We thank her for the many way she supports John Wesley and wish her good health in the years to come.

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

Trees in Winter

Magnificent trees in winter

Baring their souls to all,

Not covered by their raiment,

So radiant in fall.

With spreading limbs they’re reaching out

To touch another’s arm,

Supporting and secure they stand,

Protecting from all harm.

When cold winds blow, they stand their ground,

Stronger than when they’re dressed

In leafy robes that weigh them down…

When bare, they’re truly blessed.

If we could also stand as tall

And be secure as these,

Not hide behind external frills,

We’d be as strong as trees.

Joy Stosz

February 21, 2012

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