April 27, 2012

Posted on 05/03/12 No Comments

First UMC | eRevelations
April 27, 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 2”
In last week’s article, I began to lay out for you my vision for First UMC, something I’m calling Ministry Investments. My efforts here are to explain the different parts of the vision and why they are important. It’s been said that nobody likes change, but everyone likes for things to get better. The “changes” that people often dread and shun are either things they don’t understand or things that they do understand but clash with their core values.
This vision I have discerned from months of prayer, thinking, and conversation attempts to honor the best of First UMC while laying out a path that will help you grow and be here for another generation. It’s also my hope that when you encounter parts of this vision that strike you as an unwanted, unnecessary, or even an impossible “change”, we can all take a moment to listen and learn from one another. We’re all in this together, and as I said last week—I love you, believe in you, and am on your side. The things I advocate for are for your effectiveness, health, growth, and prosperity.
Last week, I explained the multimedia and technology investments part of the vision. This week, let’s take a look at the staff investments I believe we need.
I think all of us would agree that we have an incredibly devoted, talented, hard-working, excellent church staff. In addition to myself, our staff is Becky Boeckman, our Director of Pastoral Care; Shari Kornak, our Office Administrator; Marlene Carr, our Financial Secretary; Judy Law, our Director of Music; Dr. Mack Statham, our Organist and Accompanist; Blairlee Owens, our Director of Youth and Coordinator of Special Needs Ministry; Diana Sansosti, Jennifer Lokouta and Laura Ryan, our Nursery Staff; and Joe Sansosti, our Custodian. Looking at that list, it’s easy to see how richly God has blessed First UMC.
There are some facts here to consider as well. I am the only full-time staff person with First UMC. Every other position is part time. Most all are half-time or much less. Even then, no one punches a clock around here. Every one of our staff works as long as it takes to accomplish their ministry tasks, often beyond their designated hours.
There are also some other harder facts to face. Because these harsh economic times have impacted tithes and offerings, driving down our giving, First UMC has had to hold and cut a lot of spending. So, since 2008, none of our staff has received any merit or cost of living increases. Several positions, including the Senior Pastor, Director of Pastoral Care, Organist, Director of Youth, and Special Needs Coordinator have had cuts to their salaries, some more significant than others. These have been very difficult, highly emotional decisions for our Finance Committee, Staff Parish Relations Committee, and Administrative Board to make. At the same time, our staff has worked with no less dedication and commitment.
However, I think we can do a much, much better job of compensating and caring for our staff. No, we can’t afford to pay them what their worth. That is an often made point often that I agree with. But we can tangibly express our thanks and gratitude for our staff by better compensating them while making their salaries more competitive.
So, for our current staff, I am proposing an immediate cost of living increase for each staff person. In the last four years, salaries have been frozen while everyone’s cost have living has gone up. We can do better than that for our staff. For staff persons whose salaries have been cut in recent years, I propose that our SPRC evaluate each case and then work with our Committee on Finance and our Administrative Board to give merit increases where appropriate.
Bottom line: a well-compensated, fully appreciated staff keeps up their morale, lets them know in more than words that they are appreciated, and of course keeps our ministry going strong.
The second aspect of staff investments is the addition of two new part-time staff positions: a Coordinator of Communications Ministries and a Sound Engineer. Let’s start with the Sound Engineer…
We have had a solid core of dedicated volunteers to run our sound system on Sunday mornings and for special services. We would continue to turn to them for help. However, our sound system needs have only gotten more involved and complicated in recent years, especially with the reformatting of our 11 AM service to Contemporary/Modern worship. A sound system our size that handles multiple demands requires a professional who can set up our sound, maintain the system, and train our volunteers. You may have met and seen Nate Nelson, a newer guy who has been coming to our church. He’s a sound engineer who has dedicated hours of volunteer time to improve our sound and to tweak what we have to make it better. It would make for a much higher quality worship service and other events to compensate someone like him on a permanent basis. Whatever we invest into our worship ministry yields the fruit of new people who keep coming back.
I also propose that we hire a part-time Coordinator of Communications Ministries to do several things. This person could assist Dorothy Tiffany, our webmaster, in up-keeping and fully maximizing our church’s website. The Coordinator would also design and reproduce church brochures, advertisements, and any other media that spreads the word about First UMC. And, if we install multimedia in the sanctuary, this Coordinator would design what we would see on the screens or monitors. Since information, information technology, and visuals are so important to connecting with people, a Coordinator of Communications Ministries would be a very smart, strategic investment for First UMC to make.
More next week… In the meantime, keep on praying, hoping, and going forward with an open heart and mind for God’s will!
Yours in Christ’s Love and Service,
Pastor Chris

Worship News
Sunday, April 29, 2012
Our message this Sunday will be “Holy Anticipation of Christ’s Coming: Seventh Day Adventism” and the scripture is from 1 Thessalonians 5:16-24
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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
NOTICE!!! PRAYER MEETINGS
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: Jesse Easton, Linda & Family (friends of Germaine Acampora), Germaine Acampora, Duke Clements & Family (friend of Dave Self), Mr. Teri Johnson, Russ Geis, Greg Sweitzer, June Shortall, John Wagner & Family (Cousin of Kathy Hersey), Kenny, Leslie & Jordan Bice, Norma Rowe

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UMW
Kathryn Eye Circle Meeting – Monday, May 7th at 1:00 pm
Martha Circle Meeting – Monday, May 14th at 7:00 pm
Edith Miles Circle Meeting – Monday, May 14th at 7:00 pm
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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
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Ladies…………
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 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!!

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UMYF
Meeting Schedule
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
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Youth Group Spaghetti Dinner
Talent/No Talent Show

Saturday, May 5th

5:00 pm Dinner

6:30 pm Talent/No Talent Show

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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
Free Seminars:

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

Diagnosis: Dementia, What Now?
Guest Speaker Ayim Djamson, MD

Wednesday, May 23rd from 11:00 am to 12:00 pm at

The People’s Baptist Church
31 Norwood Road
Silver Spring, MD 20904

RSVP for the event by calling 301-847-3051 or emailing silverspring@arden-courts.com

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Outreach Ministry News

Matthew 25:36 “. . . I was in prison and you came to visit me.”
Kairos Prison Ministry
Kairos means God’s special time; and, in the lives of the men we touch, we know it will be God’s special time with them.
From May 17th- 20th, forty-two Christian men, including myself (Dale Boeckman), will go into the Maryland Correctional Institute in Hagerstown, Maryland. During that time, we will share God’s love and grace with approximately forty incarcerated men.
I need your help. First, I am asking for your prayers as we go inside. Second, I am asking you to financially share in this weekend of God’s love. You can help encourage men in prison who are isolated and alone as we present Christ to them in tangible and real ways. Through our Lord, we will challenge their hearts and minds, and they will discover that Christ is counting on them to serve others. Your prayers and gift will allow them to experience the transforming power of the Good News.
Prayer is key to the success of transforming souls as Spirit of God battles the spirits of darkness in the souls of these men. Every minute of the weekend retreat is covered with prayer. Your prayers are needed to participate in this umbrella of support. You can register your 30 minute time slot by entering your support at the following website: http://www.3dayol.org/Vigil/GetComm.phtml Just sign in at the entry indicated below:
Maryland Correctional Institution – Hagerstown Men’s Kairos Inside #16 17-20 May 2012 (EDT:GMT-4)
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Finally, please take a few minutes TODAY to remember these men, who “but by the Grace of God, go I”, and prayerfully consider a contribution. Donations of any amount are appreciated! Each team member pays $200.00 to be a part of this ministry. The money is used to purchase such things as: new Bibles and crosses for each prisoner so they can openly display their changed lives, cookies (over 300 dozen) for the men during the weekend, food which is prepared by volunteer ladies for the team members, hotel rooms, and materials that are brought into the prison for use by the inside brothers during the weekend. So, as you can see, any size donation is a blessing.
Thank you for your help and prayers as we share the goodness and love of God with these men.
God’s peace and blessings,
Checks should be made payable to Kairos in Maryland and mailed to:
Kairos (MCIH 16)
P.O. Box 401
Burtonsville, MD 20866

(or you can give me your donation and I can send it into Kairos)