April 20, 2012

Posted on 04/20/12 No Comments

First UMC | eRevelations
April 20, 2012
First United Methodist Church—Our Purpose: As believers in Jesus Christ as the Son of God, and the Bible as the inspired word of God, we 1) glorify God through worship, 2) build strong relationships in the church family, 3) grow in the knowledge of the truth as revealed through Jesus Christ, 4) serve people as a reflection of the love of Jesus Christ, and 5) spread the Good News of the Gospel so that others may come to salvation through grace.
In This Issue:
? Thoughts From Your Pastor
? Worship News
? Fellowship News
? Discipleship News
? Ministry News
? Outreach Ministry News
? Church Meetings
Thoughts from Your Pastor
“My New Vision for First UMC: Ministry Investments, Part 1”
This past Wednesday night at our Administrative Board, I presented a new vision for expanding First UMC’s ministry. I’m calling it ministry investments. These are big, bold ideas that have been the fruit of months of personal thinking, prayer, observation, and learning.
At this point, before I go any further, it is extremely important that you read and understand some important groundwork to what I’m presenting.
First, none of these items are yet approved or acted upon. Any decisions regarding whether or not to proceed with these ideas, the timeframe for implementation and how they will be paid for and resourced is solely up to you. This is not my church. This is Christ’s church, and his church is you. The Administrative Board, which is the governing body of First UMC, will decide whether or not to act on this vision. They represent the whole body and act on their behalf. But there may be times, as there have been in the past, for taking a proposal to the entire congregation for approval.
Second, I love you and I am on your side. The things I propose are ministry investments which I know will add fruitfulness and vitality to our church, help our church grow, reach new and emerging generations of people, and keep us going into the future. These are not pet projects of mine for my sake. This isn’t about me, and I’m well aware that these projects may very well outlast me. I advocate for this vision because I believe in you, and I want the very best for you for a long time to come. I want you to grow and thrive for generations to come. You have worked so hard, some of you over a lifetime, to make First UMC what it is by the leading and power of the Holy Spirit. I’m working hard to build on that work, assuring First UMC’s life and fruitfulness well into the future. The things I advocate for are things I trust God will use to get us there.
Third, some of the things in this vision may seem strange and unnecessary to some of us, but they are based on the best practices of churches who are fruitful and growing. I remember the first time someone suggested putting “anti-virus software” on my computer. That seemed pointless and costly. “I’m smart enough to keep away from suspicious things that would harm my computer,” I reasoned. But people kept insisting, so I reluctantly I did. Let me tell you, looking back, I’m glad I went along with their advice! That software has spared by computer a lot of grief and ended up saving me a lot of time and money, too.
I’m going to do my best to explain the benefits and necessity for the things in this vision. Again, these are ministry investments based on practical experience and data, not just theory. I’ll do my very best to answer your questions and address your concerns. I’ll strive to be gracious and I’ll keep loving you and encouraging you when we disagree. No matter what, I’ll work hard to make sure we get to where we’re going together.
This ministry investment vision has four main components: multimedia and technology investments, staff investments, ministry program investments, and facility investments. For this week’s article, I’ll lay out multimedia and technology investments.
In 2012, so much of our lives rides on technology, and technology is always expanding into the ways we communicate, learn, work, and play. We can rightfully bemoan the ways technology has taken away from the quality of our health and relationships. Yet, some areas of technology cannot be avoided, and there are areas of technology at our church that we really need to invest in if we expect to be fully viable and effectively growing.
First, our sanctuary sound system has not seen any significant upgrades in twelve years. That is a long time for equipment that wears out and becomes outdated well before twelve years. Also, the way we use our sound system has changed quite a bit in the last two years with our reformatted 11 AM service. So at minimum, we need to look at replacing microphones, cables, and some connections. We have some funds on hand that will take care of a chunk of this expense, but we’ll need more. The Technology Committee is currently investigating this area and coming up with recommendations for our Administrative Board to consider.
Second, we need to upgrade our church’s internet access to include something called WiFi. WiFi is a wireless connection that will allow many computers and mobile devices (cell phones, iPads, tablets, etc.) to access the internet without having to have a hard-wired connection. Several Sunday School teachers and our office staff have been advocating for this because it will greatly add to their ability to teach, access teaching tools through the internet, and make work much easier and effective, too. The Technology Committee is also investigating this, pricing it out, and making sure that whatever we put into place is also secure to protect valuable and confidential church information stored in our office network.
Thirdly, we need to seriously address placing permanent multimedia in our sanctuary. This would be a series of screens or projections that we could use to show announcements, visual sermon aids, words to songs and hymns (especially at our 11 AM service), video clips, VBS songs, and even more. More and more people, especially younger people, are visual learners. They connect with and retain what they can see. Think of how much time we spend in front of a television or computer screen, and other visually based tools. Right now, you’re looking at one! Clearly, we have to do more to engage people visually in worship, using the technology they know and use.
A number of people have expressed strong interest in this, and there are an equal number of people who fear how a multimedia set-up like this will affect the aesthetics and historical nature of our sanctuary. The latter is a very valid concern. Technology is highly flexible and can be very unobtrusive, too. It all depends on what will work best in the sanctuary balanced with cost considerations. I’ve also been impressed by how flexible people have been with this concern in the past. I’m sure that when the current sound system was installed, there were concerns about how the speakers would look and whether or not they would detract from the beauty of the sanctuary. Still, the church found a way to place and color speakers that would be minimally obtrusive. Now, most everyone forgets they’re there! I think over time, the same will happen with the very necessary tool of multimedia.
Next week, I’ll share about staff investments. Until then, keep praying, be at peace, and trust that God will work through our church’s leadership, Administrative Board, and all of you to discern exactly what must be done and to provide for what must be done. God is so much bigger than any challenge we face. Be excited and encouraged! The best is still ahead of us because Jesus Christ is there.

Yours in Christ’s Love and Service,
Pastor Chris

Worship News
Sunday, April 22, 2012
Our message this Sunday will be “Roman Catholicism: One Holy God and Church” and the scripture is from Matthew 16:13-20
Music Ministry
Regular Practice Schedule
Chancel Choir – Wednesday Rehearsals 7:30 pm
Praise Team – Wednesday Rehearsals 6:15 pm
Worship Players – 2nd & 4th Saturday 9:00 am
The King’s Kids – Wednesday Rehearsals 6:30 pm next practice May 2nd

Fellowship News

Discipleship News
Our church holds prayer meetings every Wednesday evening at 6:30 pm in the Sanctuary. We need supporters for this valuable mission so if at all possible, please join us.
Prayer concerns this week: Don Kemmel, Tyler Bogner, Phil Wright, Linda Webster Wright, Helen Shephern, Duke Clements & Family (friend of Dave Self), Terri Elmore (neighbor of Tom & Essie Jarrell), Harriet & Jim Holmes


Taste and see that the LORD is good;
blessed is the one who takes refuge in him. (Psalm 34:8)
Favorite Recipes Cookbook
First United Methodist Church
Members & Friends
$10.00/per copy
(make checks payable to United Methodist Women)
If you would like to purchase a cookbook please contact one of the following people:
Wilma Foster, 301-725-0897
Ingrid Loukota, iloukota@verizon.net
Lois Hamilton, 301-498-9736
Barb Miller, bamiller4@verizon.net or
Shari Kornak, Office Administrator, 301-725-3093 or office@fumcl.org

Mark your calendars!!
Friday, May 11, 2012
6:00 pm
For planning purposes – Please sign up in the Narthex…….Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased at the door or you can contact Ann Messina, Mary Hoffman or by calling Shari in the church office any time at 301-725-3093.

Deadline for ticket sales is Sunday, May 3rd
Make checks payable to UMW
(United Methodist Women)
Each table sits 8 people so if you know that you will have that many please be sure to let us know ahead of time so we can reserve an entire table.
The cost will be: Ages 5 & under – Free
Ages 6-12 – $6.00
Ages 13 & over – $12.00
All ladies are invited!!

Meeting Schedule

Sunday, 4/22/12 – Regular Meeting – 6:30pm-8pm – Discussing 30 Hour Famine Lock-In Details

Sunday, 4/27/12-4/28/12 – World Vision 30 Hour Famine Lock-In

Sunday, 4/29/12 – Youth Sunday – Both Services – 8:15 am & 11 am; No Evening Meeting

Calling All First UMC Youth Grades 6-12

Do you have a talent?

We need you!!!

May 5th is the Youth Group Talent/No Talent Show & Spaghetti Dinner
Come and share your talent with the rest of our church.

We will meet on May 5 beginning at 10am to spend the day rehearsing, setting up and hanging out. Lunch will be provided. Dinner is at 5pm and the show is at 6:30pm. After the show we will go to the Double Dipper in Laurel for ice cream. Please let Blairlee Owens know if you plan on participating and what talent you will be sharing. She can be reached at home at (301) 725-6722, on her cell phone at (410) 693-9744 or by e-mail at blairleeowens@comcast.net. Let’s make this year’s talent show the best one ever!
Ministry News
Anyone wishing to join us today, Sunday, April 22nd for our Nursing Home Visits can meet us at Patuxent River Rehab on Van Dusen Road (across from Laurel Hospital) at 2:00 pm and then we will go over to Morningside for a 3:00 pm service. We would love to have you!!!

Outreach Ministry News

The BARRACUDA’s are the church’s team for RELAY FOR LIFE for the American Cancer Society. Our church created a team in order to have an active role in the fight against cancer. The RELAY FOR LIFE of Laurel is a group of teams that raise money and awareness about the fight against cancer on June 9, 2012 at McCullough Field.

We are selling mulch
$7 a bag
with the profit benefiting the
Relay for Life
Please see Bev, Cherilyn or Mary Hoffman to get your bag of Mulch this Sunday……..or…….
you can buy a bag and donate it to the church property!!!

If you are interested in joining the BARRACUDAS team – please contact Bev Raynor at (301)604-0909 or email at: bevanray@juno.com.

Please visit the RELAY FOR LIFE of Laurel’s website for more information. www.relayforlifelaurel.org If you would like to make a donation, please click on the BARRACUDAs team name or see Bev Raynor for more details.
2nd Annual……”No Mom Alone”
Community Baby Shower &
Health and Wellness Fair
(completely free & lunch is provided for all in attendance)
Saturday, April 28, 2012
8:30 am – 1:30 pm
First Baptist Church of Laurel
15000 First Baptist Lane, Laurel, MD 20707
Sponsored by the First Baptist Laurel Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS) Group and many other major healthcare providers in the Greater Baltimore-Washington Region

We are inviting moms in need in the Laurel area to a baby shower. At the shower, we hope to give away diapers and wipes to all families of children who attend. You will also be able to pick up gently-used baby/toddler items. Free childcare will be provided for children newborn through kindergarten, and limited transportation is available to those in need.

If you would like to help
(donations should be taken directly to First Baptist Church):
? Your prayers for the event and those who will be in attendance
? Donations of diapers/wipes in all sizes
? Donations of gently used baby/toddler items
? Monetary donations which will be used toward the purchase of diapers/wipes (please make checks payable to “First Baptist Church of Laurel” with “DES544” in the memo line)

If you know of a mom in need or have any questions, please contact: Melissa Jones, FBCL MOPS Service/Outreach Team Leader at 301-725-1688 to register for the event.
Free Seminar:
Diagnosis: Dementia
What Now?
With Toni Benton

Tuesday, May 8th from 2:00 pm to 3:30 pm at

Arden Courts of Silver Spring
2505 Musgrove Road
Silver Spring, MD 20904

Seating is limited, call 301-847-3051 or email
silverspring@arden-courts.com for reservations

Church Meetings
Monday, April 23rd – 6:00 pm Tech Committee Meeting

Thursday, April 26th – 7:00 pm Lay Leadership Development

Thursday, May 3rd – 7:00 pm Worship Committee Meeting

Thursday, May 3rd – 7:30 pm Staff Parish Committee Meeting
(please note the change of date)

About eRevelations
eRevelations, an informal e-mail communication of First United Methodist Church of Laurel, is published most Fridays. If you have announcements or other information you wish to include, contact the church office (301-725-3093 or office@fumcl.org).