August 30, 2020
Hard Times: Hope from the Prophets
Embracing the Wideness
9:30 am Connexion
Facebook Live

Rev. Bud Reeves
“Came to My Rescue”
“Did You Feel the Mountains Tremble?”
“This Is Amazing Grace”
“O Come To The Altar”
11:00 am Sanctuary
Facebook Live and FM 96.7

Rev. Bud Reeves
Anthem: “Jonah” Rollo Dilworth
Anthem: “Lord, I Stretch My Hands to You”   
Jay Althouse  
Participants: Keely Sattazahn, Gaye Mings, Breck Cogswell, Soloists
Nancy W. Vernon, Organist
Church 2.0-simply put-is about finding a way to be a follower of Jesus every day, wherever we are, without being restricted to a church building on Sunday or Wednesday.
· Find a way to PRAY
· Find a way to WORSHIP
· Find a way to be in a SMALL GROUP
· Find a way to SERVE
This is the ancient way of discipleship, and it’s the way that leads to LIFE!
We have now been living in COVID-world for almost six months. The pandemic has caused economic hardship and intensified the struggle with injustice and created even more political turmoil than we already had. We have not had a fun time! The pandemic, from the tragic loss of life to minor inconveniences like wearing masks, has forced many changes.

The church is changing in the midst of this disruption as well. So far, our church has remained remarkably steadfast and vital. Despite the difficulties, we’ve had incredible support of our services and activities and outreach . The changes that we see happening were coming anyway, but they probably would have phased incrementally over a decade or so. Instead, we have had to make rapid shifts in the last five months to accommodate new situations. The times have been interesting, to say the least. I am convinced that a positive response to the new reality will be good for the church and for us as followers of Jesus. But the path ahead is going to be different.

We already trumpeted the new paradigm with a church T-shirt that said, “The church has left the building.” That makes it official, right? Here are some of the changes that I see coming in the next chapter of our ministry.
  • Of course, we will be doing much more online. We were forced to when we couldn’t meet together, but we will continue this mode of ministry because we are now used to it, and we like it!
  • Small groups are going to be more and more important as the backbone of our ministry. If you’re not in one, you need to find one or start one ASAP!
  • More of our discipleship development will be done at home and in family groups. Parents especially will have to take more responsibility for the Christian formation of their children and youth.
  • FUMC will be less staff-driven. Given the complexity and diversity of how we will have to do things moving forward, the staff simply cannot provide all the leadership. (They never have.) Lots more lay people will have to step up to host groups, teach studies, and volunteer with young people.
  • Personal connection will still be critical. Small group leaders, staff and everybody else will have to make an intentional effort to stay connected, especially with those who have needs.

In the midst of these seismic shifts in ministry, we had to come up with a fall program. Initially we hoped we would be “back to normal” by now, but that won’t happen for a while and in some ways never will happen again. But we have an amazing, creative staff, and we are determined to have a meaningful program of ministry for the church this fall. Our mission is still to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.

So the overall theme of our program ministries this fall will be “Church 2.0--Unity in Spirit, Diversity in Ministry.” “Church 2.0” will include re-invigorating our existing small groups (like Sunday School classes), initiating new small groups, providing opportunities for children, youth, adults, and doing some music, too. Elsewhere in this newsletter, various staff will give you details about their areas. This plan will be simpler and more focused, but I believe it will be effective in keeping the church going through this time and launching us into a new future. Read carefully and be deciding how you can plug in to “Church 2.0.”

Changing the way we do church is necessary for our vitality--and even our survival! But we have a choice. The worst choice we can make is to decide to sit it out and wait until things get back to normal. Normal is not coming back. We cannot drift aimlessly and expect to make progress.
Church right now is like canoeing whitewater (one of my favorite analogies, I know). You cannot enter rapids expecting to ride them out. You have to paddle through them, moving just a little faster than the current in order to maintain control. Otherwise the river will be in control, and the canoe will end up wrapped around a rock. Navigating the rapids is harder and riskier, but it’s more exciting than anything. It’s what canoeists live for.

As I think about the massive changes and huge opportunities that lie ahead of us, I feel like I have been waiting for this all my life. During the craziest time I have ever experienced, I believe God is at work to bring great Kingdom fruit out of it. What a great time to be God’s people and part of the Body of Christ! Let’s do this!  
Rev. Bud Reeves
Senior Pastor
It is time for some lovin' from the oven!
We will deliver cookies to
Please bring your cookies on Monday, August 31, between 8:30am - 12:30pm or 1:30pm - 4:30pm
You may bring them to the church office, or call Gail Oakes in the church office (782-5068) and she will meet you outside and get your cookies from your car.
You may also bring them Tuesday, September 1 by noon.
Please let Gail Oakes know if you can help.
It's a great opportunity to get out!
Meet Garrett and Katy Glidewell Carriger and their baby James Andrew, whom we baptized Saturday, August 22. Maternal grandparents are Jamie and Michelle Glidewell.
Children’s Choir is in the process of designing some Zoom Children’s Choir rehearsals that are interactive and lively. These sessions will involve learning a song and the scripture bases for it. Hopefully, we will have it memorized by the time we get to sing together in worship! We may also include craft sessions and games!

Chancel Choir will have some opportunities to connect and learn this fall. We are currently getting organized on Zoom. Hopefully, we can rehearse together soon. We must wait and see how our local Covid 19 numbers are before we return. Miss everyone!
Nancy Vernon
Director of Music Ministries
In 1997, I moved to a new town, wandered into a new church and was soon invited to join a home Bible study group. In my spiritual autobiography, saying “yes” to that invitation and committing fully to a small group was the pivotal moment in my faith journey. Today, I offer you the same invitation to a life of deeper faith! 

I hope that you have just read Bud’s newsletter article and could glean how excited we are as a staff to introduce Church 2.0! We realized in planning for fall that we are at the crossroads of a totally new path of following Jesus. We realized that if we want to continue making disciples of Christ and living as God’s people, it is going to take a major change from our current version of what church is. In fact the metaphor is that we really need not just a minor software update to fix a few “bugs,” but that we need a total software upgrade to a version that is a significant change in how we do everything. If we are to remain faithful to our mission, it’s time to convert to Church 2.0!

The irony of our time is that Church 2.0 is really an imitation of the way first century believers followed Jesus and lived out their faith. One of the key components of faith was and still is meeting together in small groups of fellow believers to read scripture, to pray, to care for one another and to help those in need (Check out Acts 2:42-47). Every single one of us needs to be part of an active small group if we want to grow in our faith and experience the life-changing nature of Christian community. When God’s people gather, the Holy Spirit is present and miraculous things happen!
So, consider this a call to action. Very soon we will be providing some small group resources as a framework for you to use. If you are already part of a small group, would you ask your people if they are ready to rev it up? If you aren’t part of a small group, it’s time to join one or start one. Here are the steps:
  • Gather a few friends or family members (3-10). Your small group might be an existing Sunday school class or group that wants to try something new or in addition to what you are doing now, a work group, a family group (even the people living under the same roof), an interest group, an age group or a gender group.
  • Set a day, time and place to meet. We encourage you to meet weekly, but the place and time you meet is up to you. As long as you maintain social distancing you can meet in homes, at the church, at the coffee shop, in a parking lot, under a Bradford Pear tree in your yard, or via an online method. 
  • Register your group by emailing me ( or Elizabeth Thames (

Then, we will send you details, instructions and options for hosting a small group. You do not need previous leadership experience or Biblical knowledge whatsoever to host a group; the idea is that we are learning together. The possibilities are really endless; that is what is so exciting about Church 2.0! We can gather together at any time, or place, and we can invite people we might never have thought to invite before!

God is in the world, and God wants to use us as witnesses to the Good News outside the walls of the church building. I am 100% certain that the Holy Spirit is working overtime to do a new thing in the disciples who call FSFUMC their homebase. Are you ready to reimagine what it looks like to follow Jesus? Let’s do this!
Rev. Roy Beth Kelley
Executive Associate Pastor
Great reminder from:
Lily Ann & Cash
Greetings, Church!

This current season of youth ministry feels like the new frontier. We have so many new opportunities, various new challenges, and all sorts of new creativity on display! The great thing about this time we find ourselves in is that we can rethink how we’re living and how we’re doing church. Throughout the summer we’ve been intentional about reevaluating our strategies, researching current trends, and building a model for vibrant discipleship for our teenagers in this rapidly changing culture. My hope is that God would use this time to create a deeper, more resilient faith for our youth and our church!

We have now transitioned from virtual ministry to in-person small group ministry. Our small groups meet masked, socially distant, and outdoors at host family’s homes. Many youth families have already opened their doors and their hearts to our youth in this new time of ministry. Each week we continue to build our community through intentional fellowship, devotion, prayer, worship, and reflection.
Simply put, we want to do 5 things well in our small groups. 
  1. We want to experience God together in our small groups. God isn’t so far off that he doesn’t care about us and what’s going on in our world. The truth is that God is near, God does care about us, and God has a plan for us. We want to experience God firsthand in the time that we share. 
  2. Our small groups are a place for us to explore the faith and all of life’s biggest questions. We want our youth to feel safe to bring their questions, their doubts, and their struggles to their small group. In all things, we want to remain open-minded, because our youth and leaders alike have something to learn from one another. 
  3. Our small groups are a place where we build healthy friendships in a positive environment. We want this to be a place where people can come and be encouraged, and loved for who they are. Our goal is to be able to call one another higher and bring out the best in each other, rather than bringing others down. Sometimes that means we tell the truth to one another in love, always doing our best to offer the utmost compassion. 
  4. We’re going to talk about the hard stuff. Vaping, drugs, alcohol, sex, pornography, digital health, all of it! We need wisdom to know when to say yes and when to say no so that we can live our best life, the life we were created for. Our small groups are a time to talk through these issues. 
  5. We want to find guidance and direction for life. These are crazy times we’re living in, and it can be so easy to get lost. There are so many different opinions out there and so many loud voices, sometimes we just want to throw up our hands and ask, “Who can I even trust?” We need help to navigate through these times together, and I fully trust we can find the help that we need in Christ. 
That’s our mission! Please join me in praying for our youth, their families, and all of our hosts and leaders! Prayer is the engine that propels us forwards. May God bless us with His grace, strengthen us in His power, and fill us by His Spirit. Amen! 

Michael Mings
Director of Youth Ministries
Kelly DeSoto
Interim Children's Director
I hope that you had the chance to read Bud and Roy Beth’s newsletter articles introducing you to Church 2.0! We could not be more excited to introduce you to this exciting new component of church. SERVICE is going to be a vital component of Church 2.0. The Bible calls us to, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:39.) By serving others, we attempt to demonstrate to God the love we have for Him. Through our service to others we are given so many opportunities to deepen relationships with God and with members of our community and congregation. Uniting with others for a purpose brings such joy not only to those you are serving but to ourselves! Who isn’t ready for more joy?

These last few months of service have definitely looked different, but we at FUMC have continued to press on! We have helped so many people through our numerous ministries including Red Shield Diner, our school supply drive, teacher encouragement bags, and the cookie ministry. While this is all so wonderful, we could do so much more! There are many needs in our community, but there are also many of us who could serve. As part of Church 2.0 one component of each small group will be to practice loving our neighbor. This Fall our mission theme will be “Feed the Fort”. Food insecurity is a huge issue in our area, and with COVID it has become an even greater problem. We would like for your small group to commit to a project to alleviate food insecurity and to join the fight against hunger. Service will look different for each group based on your group’s abilities, passion and skills. When you register your small group, you will receive details and information about how to Feed the Fort!

We received the greatest compliment on Facebook last week when a local school principal messaged me on Facebook and said that she was not Methodist and not a member of our congregation but that our ministry was just amazing and it made her want to be part of our church. What a compliment to the church! We want to be known for our service to others. We want to be known as the church that loves ALL of our neighbors. We can be that church.
Elizabeth Thames
Director of Adult Discipleship
The FSFUMC Social Justice Book Club continues to meet via Zoom on the last Tuesday of each month. Please join us September 29 at 6 p.m. Our September book is Outspoken: The Olly Neal Story written by  Arkansan Olly Neal. Judge Neal is a civil rights activist who grew up in east Arkansas; he became the first black district prosecuting attorney in Arkansas, and then served as a circuit court judge and on the Arkansas Court of Appeals. Neal's "road to success was not a smooth one, and Neal tells his unique story with humor, candor, and hard-earned wisdom, explaining his rocky journey from hardscrabble beginnings in rural Lee County to the role of prosecutor to the judicial bench." Please search for our Facebook page or email Pastor Roy Beth Kelley to receive the zoom link. The book may be ordered from the University of Arkansas Press
Loss of Loved Ones and Friends:
  • Cheryl Hopper - brother of John (Rose Mary) Ayers and aunt of John Ayers, Jr.
  • Davis Spears Jr. - father of Jim (Dixie) Spears.
  • Susie McOlvin - mother of Mike (Lori) McOlvin, Cindy (Kevin) Poynter, Becky (Greg) Gosnell and sister of Jeanne (Charles) Ledbetter and Jimmie (Larry) Shephard.
  • Mildred Kropp - Friends and family
  • Dan Vaught (one of our security officers)
Sunday, August 30
8:30 am Taking Breakfast to the Streets
8:30 am Cornerstone and Roundtable Class, Zoom
9:30 am Believers Sunday School Class, 2720 Lela Street
9:30 am Connexion Worship, Facebook Live
11:00 am Sanctuary Worship, Facebook Live and FM 96.7
Monday, August 31
2:00 pm Staff Meeting, Zoom
5:00 pm FUMC Foundation Board, Zoom
Wednesday, September 1
5:30 pm Evening Prayer, Facebook Live
6:00 pm Chapel Class, Zoom
You are invited to join Highland Valley UMC, Little Rock on Thursdays at 7 p.m. beginning September 3, 2020. The cost is $30 for purchase of the participant workbook and 90-day access to the video instruction by Suzanne Stabile (see link below). Participants will watch videos on their own time and gather via Zoom once per week for one hour of instruction and small group discussion facilitated by Rev. David Fleming. A graduate of Suzanne Stabile's apprentice program, David serves as pastor of Grand Avenue UMC in Hot Springs, Ar.
Order the book and video link here:
Please watch the first video before the first class if you are able.
For more information and to register, you may use the Event Brite link on the church Facebook page or email
You can access a PDF copy of The Upper Room at This is made available through our church’s subscription. You are free to share the PDF you download with whomever you wish.
In Memory of:
  • Don Foree by Bancorp South Staff, Connie Stevenson, Charles & Barbara Floyd, Marlin & Janet Fretheim, Bob & Janice Powell, Joe & Sandra Barron, Jamie & Michelle Glidewell, Deland & Sylvia Burks, Patricia Beard, David & Leanne McClanahan, Chris & Hollie Greer
  • Karen Davis by Marlin & Janet Fretheim, Jerry & Judi Norton
  • Lewis Chesser by Dane & Jill Womack, Jack & Louanna Green
  • Annette Phillips by Tommy & Blanche Donoho, Jack & JoAnn Gedosh, Bob & Nadine Miller
  • Mary Worley by Rex & Nancy Cochran
  • Brittany Huggins by Taylor & Mary Prewitt
In Honor of:
  • Ted and Ginger Taylor by Tommy and Blanche Donoho
  • Jack Green by Hayden Green

M-F 8:30 AM-4:30 PM: (479) 782-5068

Weekends and Evenings: (479) 459-5060

When there is a hospitalization, a death in the family, or any other time you may need urgent pastoral care, we encourage you to use these numbers. The pastors rotate on-call responsibilities to assure that one of them is always accessible.
200 N. 15th St.  Fort Smith, AR 72901
(479) 782-5068 |
Pastor on Call (479) 459-5060
Office Hours: Monday-Friday 
Closed for lunch 12:30PM-1:30PM
  • 8:30AM Cornerstone and Roundtable Sunday School Class, Zoom
  • 9:30AM Believers Sunday School Class, 2720 Lela Street
  • 9:30AM Connexion, Facebook Live
  • 11:00AM Sanctuary, Radio broadcast on 96.7 FM and Facebook Live

  • 5:30PM Evening Prayer, Facebook Live
  • 6:00PM Chapel Class, Zoom
FIRST UNITED METHODIST NEWS published weekly except the last week of the year by First United Methodist Church 200 North 15th Street, Fort Smith, Arkansas 72901.