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Letter From the Pastor

October 2023

I love what I do. I am not saying that just to score a few brownie points with you, but it wouldn’t hurt. 😬 I do find a lot of fulfillment in the day to day aspects of ministry, the conversations with those of you who stop by, the pastoral visitations I make once in a while, the team meetings, the emails, the phone calls, creating Sunday bulletins, preparing sermons and, of course, worship. Regardless of how busy this may seem, I enjoy what I do. I think that’s the beauty of doing something you love. We enjoy it. 

Like most of you, I also love spending time with my family. That is one of my greatest joys. A couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to visit my youngest son in Ithaca, NY. It was a long drive, but I was so excited to see him that I got there and, even though I drove about 7 hours to get there, I still had energy to take him out to dinner, do a Target run and spend time talking. It was great! I had not seen him in a while, so I took advantage of every minute. I love my kids! 

I see how they’ve grown up, how proud I am of them, and I know that I would do anything for them. (Almost anything, at least. Hahaha!) Then it hits me and I realize that as much as I loved them and I want to see them succeed, God loves them even more. A thousand times more. But not just them, all of us. God loves all of us so deeply and immensely that God would do everything possible to help us succeed and enjoy life. 

As we begin this new year with so many plans to move the church forward, including a new worship service, new staff, and a “challenge to be met” stewardship campaign that is really challenging many of us some, I am praying and trusting that God will help us succeed and also find joy while doing it. I am convinced that God is faithful. 

There was a prayer hidden in the Old Testament 1 Book of Chronicles that became popular years ago that recently came to my mind. It is known as the prayer of Jabez: Jabez prayed to the God of Israel, “Bless me, God, and enlarge my territory. Be with me and keep me from anything evil that might cause me pain.” And God gave him what he prayed for. God is faithful. I want to encourage us to pray that same prayer and trust that God will give us what we pray for. 

I also love the Fall season. Enjoy it! 

Pastor René



See what's happening this October

Children and Youth

Sunday School: Every Sunday at 9:30am for Kindergarten-4th grade

We're Using Simply Loved Curriculum. Our lessons in September will be learning about some of the Parables Jesus taught us. On the first day of Sunday School; we will meet Mary and Martha.


Our children stay with their loved ones in Church at the start of the service; after the Children's Moment we will move to the Education Wing. Parents and Grandparents pick up their children after the benediction. A fully staffed Nursery is also available during the 9:30 service for children under 4


Just as the teacher in Ecclesiastes wrote words of wisdom for future generations; we invite you to share your wisdom and love of Jesus with our Children. if interested please contact Amy @ 508.274.1904 or email Amy 

Pier270 Student Ministries: 

We have had a great start to the 2023-24 school year. We’ve had some amazing food, plenty of laughs trying to diagnose our made-up disorders, and even flung some frozen french fries. No idea what any of that means? Then you should come check us out!

Youth Group: Sundays | Grades 7-12 | 5:30-7pm

Come join us on Sunday evenings from 5:30-7pm for our weekly youth fellowship. Whether you attend JWUMC regularly or not at all, you are always welcome to join us on Sunday evenings for fun, food, friends, laughter, games, and experiencing the wide-open spacious life God intends for you!

At Pier270, our purpose is to provide a safe and welcoming environment for ALL youth to experience the wide-open, spacious life that God intends for them. (2 Corinthians 6:11-13 Message translation)

For more info about upcoming youth events, check out our new webpage at pier270.com!

This month, we begin our series based on “Dear Evan Hansen.” Evan is an anxious, isolated high-school student who's aching for understanding and belonging amid the chaos and cruelty of the social media age. He soon embarks on a journey of self-discovery when a letter he wrote for a writing exercise falls into the hands of a grieving couple whose son took his own life.

This series gives us the opportunity to look at how we fit into a world where it doesn’t always seem like there is a place for us, how the need for belonging affects our decisions and choices, how quickly a false narrative can be spread in today’s world, and how we can make a positive difference to someone who needs it the most. Join us as we journey through Evan’s struggles and examine how God’s word fits into all of life’s adventures and trials.  

At Pier270, our purpose is to provide a safe and welcoming environment for ALL youth to experience the wide-open, spacious life that God intends for them. (2 Corinthians 6:11-13 Message translation)

For more info about upcoming youth events, check out our new webpage at pier270.com!

Tailgatorz Coming Soon:

Our first Tailgatorz event will be on Saturday, October 14th at Falmouth High School. We will meet in the stadium parking lot for some food and tailgate games. Those who wish to stay for the game can head in together after our tailgate festivities. More details to follow!

Help feed the starving teenagers!

If you are interested in making dinner for the youth group, please see or email Bill Dorfner at youth.jwumc@gmail.com.

Trunk or Treat is Back!

This year’s Trunk or Treat will be held on Sunday, October 29th from 4-5:30pm. We are looking forward to another great turnout of decorated cars, trick or treaters, and of course, CANDY!

Trustees - Steve Adams



You may have noticed that some of our beautiful plants in the Narthex/lobby and the Chapel seem neglected and lost lately. That’s because their primary care givers have moved on. Thanks to Diane Huban and Judy Harbison, our indoor plants have thrived over the years. Now the plants need a new “someone” to offer them love, water and a little fertilizer throughout the weeks of the year.  If you’re that “someone” please contact Steve Adams to volunteer your time. If you don’t have much plant experience but would like to learn, Steve will happily teach you how to care for these wonderful accents to our indoor spaces. steve.greenpond@gmail.com

Worship ~ Betty Smith

In the September newsletter, I outlined the “Readers’ Digest version” of some of the ways to serve during Sunday worship. Scheduling this has been one of the many things that I have been doing as Worship Ministry Team Leader, despite Pastor René’s encouragement to ask others to share the responsibilities. Here are the people that have agreed to help enlist and schedule volunteers:

  • Karen Camp - Greeters
  • Julie Immelt Whelden - Ushers, Liturgist/Readers, and “second team” Communion Servers
  • Lorretta Croft - Altar Service

Each has been given a sample schedule, names of current volunteers, and a more complete list of responsibilities to share with you. Please prayerfully consider “joining the team” if you are asked. Approach them if you would like to serve! Training will be arranged for new volunteers and current volunteers that want to “brush up” on what to do.

Myles Lowery is still looking for assistance in the Media Booth (especially with a new service at 11:00 in addition to the 9:30 service) and Paula King and Bill Dorfner are in search of musicians.


Speaking of the 11:00 AM service, the Worship Ministry Team is excited to announce that our new Contemporary Worship service starts on October 15! This is an outreach to folks in our surrounding community who are seeking a different style of worship and music or just want to try something new. An ad will appear in the program books at Falmouth Chorale concerts during the 2023 – 2024 season. A press release has been prepared and flyers will be posted around town. The sign in front of our church will display the new worship times. Remember that “word of mouth” is a positive way to promote celebrations. You may be the one to invite someone to John Wesley Church for the first time.

Staff Parish Relations ~ Rob Blomberg

Welcome Elie Harmon - Treasurer JWUMC

As of September 1, Elie is fully ensconced as JWUMC’s new Treasurer replacing our long time Staff member George Cary who has decided to retire. Elie, a graduate of Wheaton College, has been a Cape Codder for years, holding part time financial positions at several Cape businesses as well as charitable and tax-exempt organizations. Her latest position besides JW is as the Financial Administrator for St. David’s Episcopal Church in Yarmouth. With that church’s financial accounting background and other broad bookkeeping experience she is ideally suited for our growing needs.

Elie, her husband and two sons live in Sandwich, but comes to John Wesley at least every Monday to carry out her responsibilities here. Her office is in the Parents Room down the school wing, so stop by to meet and get to know her more. She has already met most of our Leadership teams and is anxious to get to know more about us and our objectives. That will become apparent as we are now beginning preparations for our financial planning for 2024 and beyond. 

Stewardship Spotlight ~ Kate Finemore


Heartfelt thanks to everyone for your generous response to the ongoing 2024 Stewardship Campaign! The Stewardship Team very much appreciates everyone’s prayerful consideration of how each of us can best use our time, talents and treasures.

As always, our generous spirit of Christian love shines through!

John Wesley is truly committed to “Love God, Love Others and Serve the World”!


Speaking of loving others, this month’s Stewardship Spotlight features Amy Clatanoff Brown. When asked what motivates her to provide fun, impactful and interesting Sunday School lessons and Children’s moments, Amy warmly and sincerely states she wants all children to know they are welcomed and loved.


Such a simple statement! 


Amy enthusiastically speaks of the importance of meeting children where they are, that one can find God anywhere, and her vision of sharing God’s love with them. Although feeling the challenge of lessening Sunday school involvement, she remains motivated to step out in faith and she is genuinely concerned about the pressures children face in society today.


Amy, like so many of our church members, has served in multiple ways over her 29 years here. She has chaired the holiday fair, she has played piano for the chapel and beach services, she is a member of the bell choir, she has been a counter, a confirmation mentor, and a liturgist. When asked, she steps up. She is always active in our beloved church. Amy is an important member of the John Wesley family. We are lucky to have her, and all of the loving folks that prioritize and minister to our precious children.


Teaching Sunday School, providing children’s sermons, teaching and supporting VBS, working with the various youth group activities, supporting trunk or treat, providing child friendly Christmas services, volunteering at Easter egg hunts are all ways that we outwardly prioritize and value our precious children. Our young members are our future and they deserve the best we can offer them! They are definitely worth the very best of our time, talents and treasure!

Holiday Fair Committee

Apple Pie Workshop October 20th starting at 8:30am or whenever you would like to join us! Meet us in the kitchen at church. Once again, Karen Dean agreed lead this workshop to create the frozen pies that sell out each year at the fair!

The JWUMC Christmas Fair is approaching and all of the teams that makes the great event happen are busy preparing for another successful event. The Fair is scheduled for Friday November 10th from 1:30-6:30 and Saturday November 11th from 9:00-2:00. Lynn Brown is asking for jewelry donations and any small jewelry gift boxes. Christine and Maryellen are preparing for the silent auction. Gift Certificates are always welcomed!!! If you frequent any restaurants, salons or other establishments please consider asking for a donation. We will give you tax exempt forms to give to donors. Tax exempt forms will be available in the church lobby or office. If you have any treasures that might be an appropriate item for the silent auction please consider donating it. Lastly Penny Dean will need bakers to support the bake sale. Please be on the look out for baking requests as we get closer to the Fair. If interested in volunteering or helping in any way please contact Marilyn Sharp, 508-254-1557 or Brent Finemore, 508-641-6077. There are many volunteers opportunities and we look forward to your support!

Calling All Makers of Jams, Jellies, Preserves & More! Are you an experienced maker of jams, jellies, relishes, pickles, salsa, dilly beans, dried soup ingredients, or something along these lines? If so, please consider making a contribution of your creations to the Jams & More table at the 2023 JW Christmas Fair this November. Even if you can only contribute a dozen jars of your favorite concoction, that’s great! We’ll take it! If you’d like to contribute, help, or even just learn the basics of creating such wonderful things, please contact Matt O’Connor at oconnorscapecod@gmail.com.


  Prayer Teams If you are interested on being on the prayer teams at church (after the service) or on the prayer chain (via email), please contact Karen Camp at 508-737-1636 or nerakpmac13@gmail.com.

  Just a reminder that the prayer teams will be in church after the service for the second and fourth weeks in October!

    “What does worship mean to you?" Karen Camp is working on a project to display on the worship team bulletin board. “What does worship mean to you? What makes worship meaningful for you?” 

   If you have a thought that you would like to share, text or email her at 508-737-1636 or nerakpmac13@gmail.com

Happy birthday! Sign up on the calendar on the bulletin board so we have John Wesley know your birthday!

Card Ministry: If you know of someone who is ill or has lost a loved one, or could just use a pick me up, please let Karen Camp know so she can send a card representing our John Wesley United Methodist Church family. 508-737-1636 or nerakpmac13@gmail.com

To my wonderful church family.

I thank you all for the out pouring of love, support and prayers that you have given me, it has meant so much to me but most of all it has helped me get through this devesting time for me and my family.

All the prayers, cards, calls, texts, flowers, dinners and goodies that you have given me was overwhelming. I truly appreciated your kindness and thoughtfulness; it did help me get through some really tough days.

I love you all and God Bless.

Love, Linda Duane

Men's Breakfast ~ Matt O'Connor

Men’s Breakfast: Men of John Wesley, please join us for an hour of food, fellowship, and discussion. Saturday, October 21st, at 8:45 am in the Fitzgerald Room. Ted Burt will be leading us in a discussion on aging. Please consider joining us for this conversation that everyone can relate to. If you have questions or would like to help, contact Matt O’Connor at oconnorscapecod@gmail.com.

Upper Cape Chaplaincy Fundraiser

Outreach/Missions ~ Bonnie Valade

A group of us from Outreach/Missions had a wonderful opportunity to attend a Benefit Dinner and Auction in honor of Dr. Bella Doumbia. Her ministry work involves working in a safe house in West Africa for young girls caught in human trafficking. Many of these girls are under the age of fourteen. She brings the light and love of Jesus Christ to them, helping and saving them back to life.

The dinner and auction was held at the Long Plain UMC located in Acushnet, a very small but very powerful church. 

It was a very fun night for all of us and we were honored to be able to meet Dr. Bella in person. They raised in that one evening $14,000.00 for her and her Mission, again, a small but very powerful church.

Outreach/Missions along with Betty Smith and a few others supported this monthly donation of fruit and baked goods for the volunteer's morning snack for the last two years. They were extremely grateful for the snacks that we were able to provide them.

They are a precious group of volunteers who gave many many hours to build homes for lower income families. Giving these families an opportunity to purchase a home that they would never be able to afford to buy. So again THANKYOU!!!!!!


Thank you,



The Church Mouse

I heard people talking that Fall is here and that the Summer went by too fast. Not sure that they mean but I feel a difference in the weather. It is a little cooler at night and I am sleeping better in my comfy secret room here at JW.


Meetings continue and the church is always busy with people coming and going. Groups in the morning, afternoon, and evenings. It is a busy place. There is always something to investigate.


The people in the media box (heard someone call it the media box) are doing a good job showing all the words on the screen each Sunday. Wish I could read but I think it helps everyone know that is going on in the service. One Sunday they showed a video of the kids during Vacation Bible School this past summer. I remember how much fun it was for the kids and I enjoyed the music and singing. I am beginning to get some rhythm in my little body as I listen to the music. Good job Bill, Myles, and Deb.


One Sunday everyone wore those red shirts again. It was the beginning of church activities for the fall. Sunday School began, the choir sang, and the bell choir rang the bells. The big hall was decorated with fall decoration including orange table cloths. Lots of people made all kinds of salads and desserts. Someone purchased sandwiches of all kinds. It was a time of fellowship and eating. That is one of the things I like about this church, food is always served. They cleaned up good as I found only a few crumbs on the floor.   


The ESL program began again. I remember from last year. People who are new to this country come to the church evenings and members from our church teach them the English language. I heard that this is another outreach program that John Wesley supports in the community. There are so many different programs that John Wesley supports.


The blood drive is held one a month at John Wesley. I am not sure that this is but so many people come to support this program. I stay clear of the big hall on that day because I see blood in bags and I get a little dizzy.


The Falmouth Choral started rehearing for their upcoming concerts. I enjoy listening to the different voices and hear the piano. The Falmouth Orchestra also started rehearing. For their concerts. Sometimes I go into my little hideaway and listen to the different instruments. It is very soothing.   


I am hearing a lot about a Christmas Fair. I think I remember this from last year. I will keep my ears open and report to you exactly what is going on.

Thats all for now.

Happy FALL!!!

Your friend the Church Mouse

October Meetings and Events at JWUMC

Weekly Meetings:

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

Tuesday ~ Bible Study Group with Betty Smith- 10:30 am in the Fitzgerald Room

Wednesday ~ Prayer Meeting 11 am in the Chapel

Wednesday ~ Handbell Rehearsal 5:45pm and Choir Rehearsal at 7pm

October Meetings:

Tuesday 3rd ~ Stewardship Committee 11am

Wednesday 4th ~ Alternative Gift Market 3pm

Thursday 5th ~ The Leadership Team 6:30pm

Wednesday 11th ~ Staff Meeting 9:30am

Tuesday 17th ~ Finance Committee Mtg. 4pm

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

Wednesday 18th~ Outreach/Missions Mtg. 6pm

Thursday 19th ~ Worship Ministry Mtg. 1pm

Tuesday 26th ~ Trustees Meeting 5pm

Thursday 26th~Staff Parish Relations Team 5pm

Other dates of note:

Monday October 9th - Columbus Day ~ The office will be closed

Tuesday October 10th at 10am- Memorial Service for Nancy Mars

Sunday 15th ~ 11am Contemporary Worship Services begins!

Friday 20th ~ 8:30am Apple Pie Workshop

Birthday Wishes for October: 

Let us celebrate life among our church family. 2nd ~ Phyllis Clough, 6th ~ Dick Sherman, 10th ~ Rob Blomberg, 17th ~ Cathy Opaluch, 20th ~ Bob Dinsmore, 27th ~ Marie Syverson

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

Eloise Harmon, Treasurer

Bill Dorfner, Director of Children, Youth and Adult Ministries

Ruth Moulton, Church Administrator

Paula King, Director of Music Ministries

Myles Lowery, Audio Visual

Rev. René A. Perez, Pastor

What Is God Calling Me to Do?

God is calling me to be kind;

To be thoughtful and caring, too;

To love my neighbor as myself;

To be patient in all I do.

Not to get upset with others,

Or worry or have needless fear;

To give all my troubles to Him;

To know that He will always hear.

To thank Him for Nature’s bounty,

To enjoy each and every day;

No matter what problems I face,

I trust in God…they’ll go away.

To be grateful for all I have,

My dwelling here beside Great Bay,

For my daily walks each morning

At the start of every new day.

To love my children and cat, Will;

To have them I am truly blessed;

To enjoy my church family,

A blessing to me…they’re the best.

I am called to pray every day;

To have faith that God hears each prayer;

To put everything in His hands,

It’s comforting to know He’s there.

Joy Stosz

November 19, 2023

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