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Letter From the Pastor

The Rule of 7, somehow


The Rule of 7 says that someone needs to hear or be exposed to a message at least 7 times before they’ll take action. Maybe that is why #7 is God’s favorite number. Actually, I don't really know if 7 is God’s favorite number, but the idea of this rule is for people to be exposed enough times to a particular message that they will believe is significant and meaningful enough to engage it somehow.


I could not tell you if this is the reason why the writers of the four gospels chose “seven” as Jesus’ last words from the cross, but I can tell you that, over the last two millennia and even now, the church continues to proclaim the message from the cross and the resurrection as of one of the most life-transforming stories that the world has ever heard and witnessed.


Lent is that season when we take time to expose ourselves enough to that ancient story of life transformation so that we will come to understand its meaningfulness and engage it somehow for it to transform us. As a church, we are already underway engaging this Lenten season.


Starting this Friday at noon, and continuing every Friday through holy week, we will begin our “Soup of the Soul '' series, when we will have an opportunity to share a meal together, participate in worship and hear stories of lives being transformed by the love and power of Jesus Christ.


Sundays, except for this coming Sunday, we will continue our series, based on Jesus’ last seven words. Also, if you have not signed up for a small study group, there is still time. We have classes on Sunday mornings at 8:30am, Monday evenings at 6:30pm, Tuesday mornings at 10:30am, Wednesday evenings (via zoom) at 6:30pm, and Thursdays at 2:00pm. Plenty of options and opportunities, and I hope you will set a little bit of time aside to join one of the groups.


Holy Week will be as meaningful. My prayer is that as we all enter this season of lent, we will expose ourselves to the life-transforming power of the cross, by participating somehow in the events we have planned, so that we can be transformed ourselves.


“There is a real dichotomy in my soul that it is hard to explain. The more I think about it, the more convinced I become that I am facing a question that feels more like a paradox. It has to do with what my soul longs for. My soul longs for what feels real and yet it longs for what I cannot understand.”

Pastor René



See what's happening this March

Children and Youth ~ Hannah Stelter

Note from Hannah:

I will be away March 14-18 to visit my family.

I just wanted to thank the congregation for all of the encouragement and support you have given me following the announcement that I will be stepping down as the Children & Youth Director of John Wesley. I am so grateful for all of you and I am so excited for the next two months together!

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 recap some of our past lessons and learn about how heroes relate to Lent. A fully staffed Nursery is also available during the 9:30 service for children under 4.

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 how superheroes relate to Lent. 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 participate in an Inductive Bible Study, focusing on the last 7 words of Jesus. If you are interested in making dinner for the youth group, please click here for the 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 March 5 because of the Winter Retreat.

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

The JWYRC will be open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2:45-5:00 pm and is for 5th-8th graders. This is a safe space for the middle schoolers of our community to hang out in after school. Youth are welcome to walk over from Morse Pond and Lawrence schools or they may be dropped off.

Starting next week, we will have a special featured activity each day that we meet! Click here for the calendar of events for February and March. We hope to see your youth then!

The Confirmation Youth have been preparing for Confirmation Sunday, April 30th!

For our February Youth Serve Saturday, our youth made 5 tie-blankets for those in need in under 2 hours! We are so grateful for their willingness to serve others!

We watched the first half of the Super Bowl in the Fellowship Hall and had a blast! We played Football Bingo and enjoyed each other's company!

Worship ~ Betty Smith

A HUGE Thank You to the youth and adults who helped assemble and install our Community Prayer Wall on Sunday, February 19th. The Prayer Wall gives members of John Wesley and the surrounding community an opportunity to write a prayer on a tag and attach it to the wall during Lent. Water resistant tags and Sharpie pens are in the blue toolbox on the bench by the wall. Prayers will be removed on Good Friday and placed on the altar on Easter Sunday. Take a moment to stop by and add a prayer. Invite friends who don’t come to JW to leave a prayer, too.

On March 5th we welcome Rev. Sheldon Keller back to the pulpit as our guest preacher. Rev. Keller is a retired Baptist minister who many of us know from his time here at JW. You won’t want to miss his message! Pastor René will be with our youth on their Winter Retreat.

We will celebrate Communion on March 12th, when Pastor René is back from the retreat.

Don’t forget Soup for the Soul! Every Friday this month at noon we will have a short service in the chapel featuring a story of transformation by a guest speaker followed by a light lunch of soup in the fellowship hall. The stories and fellowship will warm your heart and soul, the soup will warm your tummy. That’s a blessing we can all appreciate!

We began our observation of Lent with two worship services on Ash Wednesday. The noon service was held in the chapel while the 7:00 PM service was in the sanctuary. Both services included music, a message from Pastor René based on the “Parable of the Lost Son”, and the imposition of ashes.

In closing, I would like to say that it is my hope that you are participating in the Lenten studies offered by the Spiritual Growth Ministry Team. It is tempting to avoid Lent and Good Friday. After all, Palm Sunday and Easter are so uplifting! Susan Robb, the author of the book, writes, “It is the difference between eating only dessert from meal to meal compared to consuming multiple courses of an expertly prepared gourmet dinner. The first may leave you with a bit of a sugar high, but it can also leave you malnourished. The second not only is nourishing but also leaves your soul deeply satisfied.”

As you read, pray, and reflect during this period of Lent I say to you, “Bon Appetit and God bless!”

Lent Offerings Calendar:


  • Lenten Bible Studies Sunday at 8:30am, we are starting our Lenten studies based on the book “Seven Words: Listening to Christ from the Cross” by Susan Robb. You can sign up for any of the times they are being offered: Sunday morning (8:30am), Monday Evening (6:30pm), Tuesday morning (10:30am), Wednesday at 1:00pm, and Wednesday at 6:30pm (zoom). You can sign up on Sunday morning or by contacting the office during the week. The office has copies of the book available for $10.

  • Lent Preaching Series. During Lent, Pastor René will be doing a sermon series based on the same book by Susan Robb “Seven Words: Listening to Christ from the Cross.” Each Sunday will be dedicated to one of the last seven words of Jesus on the cross, and each will bring us closer to understanding God’s love and salvation for the world.

  • Soup for the Soul – Join us for a time to feed the body and feed the soul. Come and listen to personal stories of struggle and transformation, accompanied by prayer and music. To top it all off, stay for some delicious soup, salad, sweets and fellowship. Every Friday in Lent, starting March 3 at noon.

A direct and compelling headline

Prayer Wall "Is prayer your steering wheel or your spare tire?" (Corrie ten Boom) Our prayer wall is up in front of the church. We are inviting our church community and our Falmouth community to pray. Write down your prayers, sit on the bench to contemplate and pray, or let others know about the power of prayer.

Rummage Sale

April 22, Saturday 8:30 -3

Set Up Friday April 21st

Items included in the sale:

  • Linen & Clothing $5 a bag
  • jewelry clearance
  • attic treasurers
  • books


  • people to set up on Friday
  • people to help during the sale
  • people to help clean up on Saturday afternoon

In the Mission Field

The John Wesley Mission Field Corner

Falmouth’s Hand in Hand Thrift Shop located on Sandwich Road is our Mission Field Corner highlight this month. Hand in Hand takes in donations of clothing, housewares, linens, toys and games, electronics, even art and much more. Items are sorted for display in their large showroom for purchase with all proceeds going to the Falmouth Service Center. Volunteers assist in the warehouse, accepting donations, sorting, pricing and selling in the retail shop. Last year they were able to provide $1 million dollars to help support the Falmouth Service Center.

If you would like to know what kinds of articles may be available, or how you might volunteer in this great community effort, you can check with one of our Church members who are actively involved: Wendy and Rob Blomberg, Kit and Matt O’Connor, and Bruce and Cynthia Syverson-Mercer.

Hospitality, Invitation & Fellowship ~ Colleen Karsner

Thank you to those who helped with coffee hour in February. For March, the Trustees will host coffee hour. Colleen

Spiritual Growth ~ Jennifer Linton

Men’s Breakfast on Saturday, March 18th at 8:45 am! Please plan to join us in the Fellowship Hall for an hour of food and discussion 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 Monday Morning Crafters will begin again on Monday March 6th 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.

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!

JWUMC Strategic Plan ~ Matt O'Connor

JWUMC Strategic Plan Informational Session: The 2023 JWUMC Strategic Plan is now available on the JW website!! If you go to our website and click on the “About US” tab, and then scroll down to “2023 Strategic Plan,” click on it and you’ll find a copy of the strategic plan along with both the multiple-choice and free-response portions of the congregational survey that was administered last spring. On Sunday, March 19th, following the 9:30 am worship service, we will hold an informational session in the Fellowship Hall to give you the opportunity to learn more about the strategic plan, ask questions about how it might be implemented, and to make suggestions for what we might do to fulfill the plan in the coming years. So please make plans to attend on Sunday, March 19th, to learn more about JWUMC’s plans for the future!

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 March - apple juice (64oz), white or brown rice, canned chicken, pasta sauce, ketchup, canned fruit mix 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. Donations for March will be sent to UMCOR for their support of the survivors of the earthquakes in Turkey and Syria.

Habitat Build - 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 March 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

March Meetings and Events at JWUMC

Weekly Meetings:

Sunday ~ Lenten Study 8:30am

Monday ~ Crafters 10:30am

Monday ~ Lenten Study 6:30pm

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

Tuesday ~ Lenten Study 10:30am

Wednesday ~ Prayer Meeting 11 am in the Chapel

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

Wednesday ~ Lenten Study 6:30 via zoom

Thursday ~ Lenten Study 2:00pm

Friday ~ Soup for the Soul 10:00 noon

March Meetings:

Thursday March 2 ~ TLT 6:30

Friday & Saturday 3rd & 4th ~ Youth Retreat

Wednesday 15th ~ Staff Meeting 9:30

Wednesday 15th ~ Outreach/Missions 6pm

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

Monday 20th - Blood Drive 10 - 4pm

Tuesday 28th ~ Trustees 5pm

Birthday Wishes for March: 

Let us celebrate life among our church family. 1st ~ Sally Tracy, 11th ~ Diane Huban 14th ~ Gus Clough, 17th ~ Pat Dinsmore, 18th ~ Lee Philips, 20th~ Sue Sievert, 26th~Lisa Asendorf, 31st ~ Bob McIntire. 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

March on Cape Cod

Buds on the trees are bursting forth;

All Nature is coming alive.

Sun, wind and showers do their part

In the spring time to help them thrive.

Birds are busily building nests;

The grass grows greener every day;

How pleasant it is each morning

To take my two-mile walk and pray.

Cormorants and red-winged blackbirds

Are making their journey back here;

Where they will stay until the fall,

Then return the following year.

Thank You, God, for many blessings

We enjoy each year in the spring;

For the beauty of living here,

For the peace and good will You bring.

Joy Stosz

February 10, 2023

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