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Letter From the Pastor

Dear Church,


It’s around 9:00pm. As I write this to you, I am attending a small gathering of United Methodist pastors in Contoocook, NH; and although I am writing this letter and preparing for Sunday, my mind keeps taking me back to a side conversation I had with a couple of pastors during dinner, yet I believe this nagging thought is the Holy Spirit tugging at my heart.


If you are keeping up with United Methodist news lately, it should be no surprise to you that as we prepare for next week’s Annual Conference, what is first and foremost in the minds of the delegates is the church disaffiliation resolutions that will be before us. The delegates, both lay and clergy, will need to decide whether or not the churches seeking disaffiliation will be allowed to leave the denomination.


Even as most of us are trying to keep a positive attitude in the midst of all this chaos, we can feel a cloud of angst and sadness overshadowing whatever hope we have for the future. Something of us is leaving and, if we want to honor the work they have done in meeting the disaffiliation requirements, there is little to nothing we can do about it. No one is celebrating their departure. We are grieving our loss.


Over the years, I have also come to grieve the loss of focus and passion of the United Methodist Church. Even though we have tried to recover them by writing mission and vision statements, if we count the disaffiliating churches, we will have closed almost 5,000 churches since 2019. Only 100 years ago, we were opening 2 churches per day. If my math is right, now we are closing 2.7 churches per day.


But I am not trying to discourage you. I am writing because my conversation with my colleagues was filled with hope and urgency. It was hopeful because, that is not the future I see for John Wesley Church. Like the prophet Jeremiah (29:11), I see a future with hope. I see growth and possibilities. But I also know that moving towards hope requires urgency. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. called it the “fierce urgency of now.”


Yet, the answer to our challenges is simple: We need more people to say yes to God’s calling. That’s what my colleagues and I were discussing. How we have lost our focus of calling people to Christ, or calling people to accept God’s call to pastoral and missionary ministry. With so many churches without pastors and on the verge of disappearing, there is an urgency for the church to recover its passion to offer Christ to the world.


There is no doubt that John Wesley is an active, vibrant, loving and mission-minded community of faith. We know it. Everyone who visits feels it; but what is next? How is God calling you and me to draw closer to God, to get more involved, to pray more, or to offer our full selves to the work of Christ? Yet, even as we continue to ponder these questions, let us also celebrate the exciting things happening at John Wesley.


God is on the move at John Wesley.


Pastor René


PS – This Sunday we will have a low-key version of a full contemporary worship service. Invite your friends and family. ALSO, Celebration Sunday is coming the last Sunday of June. 



See what's happening this June

Children and Youth

Sunday School: Every Sunday at 9:30am

We are so excited that Amy Clatanoff-Brown will continue to lead the Sunday School class for the rest of the school year! 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 one Sunday School class.

A fully staffed Nursery is available during the 9:30 service for children under 4.

Youth Group: June 4 - 4:00-6:00pm

All youth (5th-12th grade) are invited to join us for an evening of fellowship and connection! We will begin at 4:00 in the Youth Room to share about our week. Afterwards, a special guest speaker from our congregation will come and share what God is doing in their life and how John Wesley has impacted their faith journey. At 5:00 we will enjoy a free dinner together before playing some games (including gaga ball!) We hope to see you then!

Children's music group practice, May 21, June 4, June11 in the Sanctuary after coffee hour. We will be singing/ringing for Celebration Sunday, June 25th. All children in grades k-5 are welcome to ring or sing!

STELLAR Vacation Bible School – Vacation Bible school will be here in no time. Like other years, we need people who are able to serve. The dates are August 14-18. If you are willing or interested in serving, please see Jenn Linton.

Stellar VBS will launch kids on a cosmic quest as they have a blast learning how to shine Jesus’ light everywhere!  It will be an out-of-this-world adventure filled with light years of faith-building fun. We’ll help Jesus’ light shine in and through the heart of every child at Stellar VBS!

Stellar VBS is for all kids entering Kindergarten through 5th grade. Each day, kids will connect with God through music, dancing, imagination, Bible adventures, games and more!

Vacation Bible School

Worship ~ Betty Smith

June Already?!? So much will be happening in the next few months! It is an exciting time filled with opportunities to “Love God, Love Others. And Serve the World!”

We start by celebrating our three Youth Group Members that are graduating high school and heading off into their next adventure. Congratulations to Sonjia Armitage, Moriah Leonard, and Karlee Meissner. The love and prayers of your John Wesley family are with you in whatever you do. May you continue to grow in faith and be strengthened by the presence of the Holy Spirit everywhere you go.

Our annual Celebration Sunday will be held June 25th. Special music will be provided by our handbell choir, chancel choir, and children’s choir. Celebration Sunday winds down one part of our year and leads us into Summer and…

Worship on Surf Drive Beach! Start date is July 2nd, end date is September 3rd. This worship opportunity is at 7:30 AM, volunteers are asked to be there at 7:00 to set up mics, speakers, and keyboard as well as greet folks that come to worship. We also need folks to pick up equipment on Saturday and bring it to the beach by 7:00 AM on Sundays. Let me know how you are willing to help! Paula King also needs keyboard players and guitarists to play at the service so that one person alone is not responsible every week. Remember that there is no beach worship on July 9 (Falmouth Triathlon) and August 20 (Road Race).

Coming in September, a new Contemporary Worship Service at John Wesley. Fear not, this will NOT replace our Traditional Worship Service. Bill Dorfner has been introducing Contemporary Worship songs in our traditional worship service to give us an exposure to this way of worshiping. The actual service will, of course, require a committed group of volunteers to participate as musicians, greet/usher, work in the media booth, provide nursery/childcare, and PRAY for the people who join us in worship. Bill had this to say in a recent e-mail, “Our goal is not to take members away from one service, but to reach others with the love of God, and to add to John Wesley UMC as a whole, by offering an additional option for those who are looking for a church home. People in our current congregation will come and go from each service, but BOTH services will grow if everyone keeps this goal in mind.”

Be on the lookout for a poll listing options for worship times and please respond when you see it.

“The best of all is, God is with us.” – John Wesley, March 2, 1791

AMEN! See you in church!  

Welcome to John Wesley!

The choir singing "Sweet, Sweet Spirit".

The Children's Moment Celebrating the Birthday of the Christian Church ~ bringing the light to the world.

Dick MacKenzie was honored with an acorn for the Tree of Life for starting and supporting the plant sale 35 years ago. Dick ran the sale until 8 years ago and has been a valued volunteer since then.

Music Ministry ~ Paula King

Hi all,

This Summer is your time to bring your light to others through sharing your special musical gifts! Help bring some beautiful music to the 7:30am Beach Service or the 9:30 am Service. Start your day on Surf Drive Beach rejoicing with God's creation or share your talents in our lovely church setting.

If you play guitar, sing or play piano please help the congregation sing-along, or share some Special Music that you would like to offer as a prayer. If needed, I can also help you select a song, rehearse with you, or teach you a few chords on the guitar or piano.

A sign up sheet will be in the church hall on the Music bulletin board or you can email me at paula.jwumc@gmail.com and let me know on which week you would like to sign up.

A big "thank you" goes out to all who helped make our Music Ministry have a successful year. Thanks to the Chancel choir, Bell Choir, and children's music group, who have all been able to enrich our worship experience!


"speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ."

Ephesians 5:19-20 

Stewardship Ministry Team ~ Tom Hoke

Stewardship Spotlight


Stewardship is so much more than how much money we drop in the collection plate every Sunday. Although money is essential to any functional ministry, the real work of the church is done by the many ways each of us shares our time, talents and treasures in Christian love to each other, to our community, and to our world.


JWUMC is blessed with many examples of Christian love and stewardship in action. We often take for granted the many moving parts of our dynamic church family. When we reflect and really “see” the goodness of God all around us, we can’t help but be grateful, connected, and compelled to stewardship ourselves.

Our church and its awesome ministries are worth our investment!


To that end, these monthly Stewardship Spotlight articles will highlight and tell some personal stories of God’s work being done in our church…in little ways and big ways. As we all know, service always benefits the receiver and the giver. The intent is simply to highlight and tell some stories, not to put anyone up on a pedestal. There is no way we could highlight all the amazing things that happen at JWUMC, but by focusing on a few, we can appreciate our individual gifts and how they are used in powerful ministry. The real goal is to move each of us to reflect and take action on how we may best use our time, talents and resources as we invest in all that JWUMC is now and could be in the future!


So stay tuned for more!

Plant Sale Recap ~ Tom Hoke

Thank you to the 35 volunteers who worked the sale. We set up the tents and tables on Thursday, May 25. Others unloaded the plants from trucks, inventoried them and arranged them on tables. The plants were beautiful and some of the best we have ever received. The sale was Friday and Saturday, May 26 and 27. We had beautiful sunny weather although a little chilly and windy. There was a steady stream of happy customers. By the end of the day, we knew that we were dealing with record sales. 

The customers kept coming on Saturday. Our inventory of plants was very nicely distributed throughout all varieties. We had 410 transactions. That’s transaction, not people. Some come alone, some in couples and some with the whole family for an estimate of 600+ people experiencing the spirit of John Wesley UMC.

At the Sunday worship service, we honored the founder of the Plant Sale, Dick MacKenzie. Dick founded the sale in 1988 and ran it until 2016 when he turned it over to Tom Hoke. But he continued to work at the sale since then, logging a full 35 years of service. Dick, was honored with an acorn for our Tree of Life in the Narthex. It is inscribed: “In honor of Richard MacKenzie, a superb gardener who founded the JWUMC Plant Sale in 1988.

Thanks to Kappy’s, Teaticket Market and the Falmouth Service Center for providing us with cardboard trays which our customers used to carry their plants home.

Thank you,

Tom Hoke

Rummage Sale ~ July 14 & 15

SAVE THE DATE! We will be having a Rummage Sale on Friday, July 14 and Saturday, July 15. If you will be able to help for any amount of time please let Linda Duane know 508-457-4407.

Help is needed for -


  • Wednesday, July 12 from 5 to 6 pm to bring items from the basement and garage to the parish hall and setting up tables. 
  • Thursday, July 13 from 9 am - ? putting out items for sale. 
  • Friday, July 14 from 1 - 6 pm selling during the sale. 
  • Saturday, July 15 8:30 am - 2 pm selling during the sale. Clean up! 2:30 pm



Hospitality, Invitation & Fellowship ~ Colleen Karsner

Fellowship Hall is ready for coffee hour! The Staff Parish Ministry Team is hosting coffee hour for the month of June. We thank the Worship ministry team for their efforts to reimagine coffee hour without the use of the kitchen or fellowship hall.

Thanks, Colleen

Men's Breakfast ~ Matt O'Connor

Men’s Breakfast on Saturday, June 17th, at 8:45 am in the Fitzgerald Room: Men of John Wesley, please plan to join us for an hour of food, fellowship, and discussion on this Saturday morning. The discussion topic is still in the works. Details regarding the topic will appear in upcoming Thursday updates.  If you have any questions or would like to help in any way with the breakfast, please contact Matt O'Connor at oconnorscapecod@gmail.com.

Trustees ~ Steve Adams

New Fellowship Hall Floor Is Finished


The new floor in Fellowship Hall was finished on Tuesday, and we’re doing our final walkthrough on Thursday morning. IT’S BEAUTIFUL! I’m sure you will all agree that this improvement will be cherished for years to come, and we will be proud to utilize it and to show it off to our community users. In addition to the Umber luxury vinyl you can see, we have also fixed many underlying problems that will ensure that our new floor is both comfortable and beautiful for future generations of John Wesleyans. So please enjoy and take care of this wonderful new asset. The Trustees would like to thank you for your patience during the deconstruction and re-construction. It’s only been three months! 

Spreading the new cement floor.

During the first day the crew went over the floor with this machine at least three times to create a smooth even base.

The floor is almost done here and this is a better representation of the beautiful color than the "finished" image.

The flooring is done! New cove baseboards are in. Now comes the cleanup to reopen our hall. It looks like the clean up will happen next week.

Spiritual Growth ~ Jennifer Linton

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.

Bible Studies: Are you interested in studying a specific part of the Bible with other people, for several weeks starting the first week of June? Email Jenn Linton and you can help choose the meeting time and what to study.

Monday Morning Crafters

The Monday Morning Crafters meet at 10:00 in the Fitzgerald Room. We would love to have some new people join us along with new ideas. We are a small group but a mighty one, as we make and sell our wares at the Holiday Fair in November.

Do you knit, crochet, sew, quilt, Cross stitch, needlepoint, woodworking, etc., we would love to have you stop by some Monday. You do not have to join us every Monday. You can work at home and if you need some supplies, we just might have what you are looking for in our stash.

If you have any questions about our group, please see the following ladies: Marge Dean, Sally Tracy, Eileen Burt, Cynthia Smith or Linda Duane.

The Church Mouse

Well, I left the church because of all the banging in the big hall and the big hole that was getting bigger every day. I decided it was a good time to visit my relatives. I just came back and heard that the whole floor in the big hall was to be replaced. I heard that NO ONE was allowed into the kitchen or the hall, but I am so little that I can sneak in without anyone seeing me, so that is what I did. I stayed in the kitchen. WOW. The whole floor is gone all I can see is gray stuff. I overheard that it is cement and it will seal the floor so the termites can not come in. Like I said before I do not know what termites are but by the way everyone is talking it is not good.   I heard banging in the big hall the other day. When I investigated, I saw a new floor and it looks really nice but I think will wait until the Trustees say it is alright to go into the hall.


I came back just in time for Easter Sunday service. It was a wonderful service full of music and all the colorful flowers on and around the altar. Everyone looked happy. On Saturday three women from the Altar Guild placed all the flowers around the Sanctuary. I heard that the Altar Guild is looking for new members. They prepare the Altar area and the Sanctuary for all church activities including weddings and funerals. Wish I could help but I am too small.


The church is very busy with all kinds of meetings. Some meetings are held in the Sanctuary and the Chapel because the big hall cannot be used. I like the Chapel it is so quiet and I feel like I am outside but safe inside with the plants and running water.   


I have not seen Hannah since I came back but I have seen her husband Oz. I miss Hannah’s children’s talk on Sunday’s but I am enjoying Amy’s children’s stories each Sunday. I heard that Amy is a Sunday School teacher and is doing the stories until a new leader is hired. I hope Hannah has a nice time in Florida in her new job. Everyone is helping until a new Youth Leader is hired. I also heard that the church needs teachers to help with Sunday School. I hope someone comes forward to help.


I heard that Pastor Rene was away for two weeks. He and his wife Wanda visited his family in El Salvador for a week. Then Pastor Rene visited some place called Africa. It takes a long time to get there and he had to fly. Something to do with the Conference. Not sure what the Conference is but I heard that it was a good meeting. Pastor Wanda preached one Sunday and another guest minister Pastor Edward Farrell-Starbuck preached the second Sunday. Both sermons were good messages. I even understood some of what they said, as much as a mouse can understand.


Last weekend the church held a Plant Sale. I remember the same thing last year. Many people helped set up tables in the front of the church and someone delivered all kinds of flowering plants. Some plants were called vegetables and herbs. The next day many people pick up the plants and put them in their cars after the cashier’s check them out. I overheard that someone called Tom was the organizer. Tom, he sings in the choir and has a deep voice, made a presentation of an Acorn to a man called Richard MacKenzie who started this plant sale 35 years ago. I think that is a very long time. Tom took over running the sale 8 years ago and this year the sale made $8,000. Again, everyone clapped. Guess it is a good thing if they have done the sale for 35 years. The Acorn will be placed on the Tree of Life wall outside the sanctuary. Mr. MacKenzie was very happy and it was a surprise to him.


There is so much going on in the church it is hard to remember all that is happening. If I could write I would keep track on paper but I can not write.

Oh one more thing! I just heard the workers leave the Fellowship Hall and I heard people saying that once the cleaning crew comes in and gets rid of the dust, we will be able to use Fellowship Hall!

Happy Summer,

The Church Mouse

Outreach/Missions ~ Bonnie Valade

Habitat Build - This is a church-wide effort so even if you are not on the Mission Outreach Team, please consider bringing some coffee break treats for the Habitat volunteers. Habitat is working on the last four homes and should be completed in July. We support this amazing group of volunteers by delivering baked goods and fresh fruit every third Saturday of the month. PLEASE bring the goodies to the church Friday June 16th by 3pm. They are a great team of volunteers that give a lot of their time always with great big smiles and very big hearts. If you would like to join us when we bring the snacks I think you will also find the prayers during the break very moving. The next date is June 17th.

Falmouth Service Center - Items needed for distribution at the service center for June have not been announced yet but will be posed at the collection bin in the narthex.

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

Bonnie Valade - bvaladecc@comcast.com

Annual Falmouth Walk The Outreach Ministry Team is sponsoring the 32nd Annual Falmouth Walk which takes place Saturday August 19th. Last year the Falmouth Walk distributed $50,000.00 to 10 Falmouth Charities. They had over 970 registered participants and are looking to go over 1000 walkers this year. We encourage JW congregation to visit the Falmouth Walk Web site at “falmouthwalk.org” and sign up for the walk. It would be great for JWUMC to have a sea of Red Shirts walking the 5k course. We will also be asking volunteers to support the Falmouth Walk on August 19th. If you have any questions please reach out to Brent Finemore, Falmouth Walk Committee Member.


Pastor Rene will be at the Annual Conference from the 7th to 11th of June. Following the conference, Pastor Rene will be on vacation for two weeks. He will return to the pulpit on June 25th for Celebration Sunday.

Altar Flowers: The are openings for altar flowers for June 11,18 & 25th. This is a good opportunity to honor someone or memorialize someone during this busy month of June.

Racial Justice Committee will meet on June 6 at 5 pm in the library. We will participate in a lectio divina published by General Commission on Race Relations (GCORR) from the UMC. Please join us. 

Alison Video: On June 11 after the 930 service we will show a video Alison made of herself talking about her life in the Middle East. Please come and learn more about Alison's work and life.

If you know of a church member who is not feeling well and could use a card from the church, please call or email Karen Camp 508-737-1636 or nerakpmac13@gmail.com.

On Saturday June 24th, there will be a memorial service for Dr. Malcolm Macdonald. The family welcomes you to join them in remembering Dr. Macdonald.

June Meetings and Events at JWUMC

Weekly Meetings:

Monday ~ Crafters 10:00am

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

June Meetings:

Thursday 1st ~"Half-Truths" Study 2 pm

Thursday 1st ~ The Leadership Team 6:30 pm

Tuesday 6th ~ Racial Justice Group 5:00 pm

Tuesday 13th ~ Stewardship MT 11 am

Saturday 16th ~ Men's Breakfast 8:45 am

Tuesday 20th ~ Finance Ministry 4 pm

Wednesday 21st ~ Alternative Gift Market 3pm

Wednesday 21st ~ Outreach Missions 6 pm

Thursday 22nd ~ SPRMT 5 pm

Tuesday 27th ~ Stewardship 11 am

Tuesday 27th ~ Trustees 5 pm

Birthday Wishes for June: 

Let us celebrate life among our church family. 1st ~ Tom Hoke, 2nd ~ Marilyn Sharp, 4th ~ Dorothy Linton, 6th ~ Kim Black, 9th ~ Mel Trott, 15th ~ Judy Harbison,

23rd ~ Kate Finemore & Allison Deyo, 25th ~ Jean Dawson.

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

Rev. René A. Perez, Pastor


We are blessed to have sunshine;

It warms one’s soul and the earth;

Helping in every season

To give living things new birth.

All of Nature thrives on it;

Leaves on trees in spring appear;

Cormorants come from the south

To enjoy the summer here.

My cat, Will, loves to go out

On a bright, sunshiny day

To enjoy the warm weather

And salty air of Great Bay.

Rain is also much needed

To help nourish everything.

So, thanks, God, for rain and sun

And for the benefits they bring.

Joy Stosz

April 30, 2023

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