May 25, 2012

Posted on 06/04/12 No Comments

First UMC | eRevelations
May 25, 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
“Since We Have Victory in Jesus…”
This week we lost Jim Holmes, one of our longtime members. His funeral was yesterday (Thursday), and it was a wonderful celebration of his life, full of faith, music, memories, and a strong affirmation in Jim’s resurrection through the resurrection of Jesus our Lord. To cap things off, we sang that old hymn “Victory in Jesus”.
Most of you know the refrain: “O victory in Jesus, my Savior forever. He bought me and sought me with his redeeming blood. He loved me ere I knew him, and all my love is due him. He plunged me to victory beneath the cleansing flood.” That’s one uplifting, powerfully affirming hymn, especially in the shadow of death.
So here’s my question of all of us: do we live in Jesus’ victory now? Think about that.
Too often, I hear defeatist attitudes from some of us. It’s the bemoaning of things gone wrong or not as planned. Sometimes it’s hopelessness. Sometimes it’s a stoic, “Oh well, I guess it is what it is” attitude. Sometimes it’s a meager, unsure, “Well, I hope so…” attitude.
Let’s face it. Life is hard. Life is very hard. Things rarely happen exactly as we plan or predict. “The best laid plans of mice and men…” is a cliché for a reason. Sometimes I feel like I live in a perpetual state of Plan B, anticipating any moment that I’ll have to quickly invent a Plan C!
However, it’s not a question of what life throws our way. Rather, it’s our attitude towards what we face. In other words, life boils down to a few things, one of them being the way we choose to understand and evaluate what we face.
That is where our faith steps in. One of my all-time favorite Bible verses is Romans 8:28. It says, And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. God is actively at work in the midst of every activity, working for our good as God’s beloved children. That does not necessarily mean that God actively plans everything that happens. Rather, God works in the midst of all things, using them, bending them and forming us through them for our good and for the greater good of the world.
Let me say that again, just in case you glossed over that last paragraph. Think of the things that are happening to you right now, good and bad. God is right there in thick of it all, working for our good. Our good is nothing short of abundant, eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. So, life is never stacked against us. On the contrary, God is stacking all things for our good! How awesome is that?
My friends, it’s knowledge and faith like that which shapes our attitudes and the way we choose to see our lives. We can be cynical fatalists, or we can bury our heads in the sand. That’s what many choose to do. Or, through the lens of Christ, we can slowly but surely trust and see God’s hand at work in every aspect of our lives—not for punishment and condemnation—but to make us holy, faithful, whole, joyful children of God’s who know how to live.
Now that’s victory in Jesus…

Yours in Christ’s Love and Service,
Pastor Chris
Worship News
Sunday, May 27, 2012
Our message this Sunday will be “With God, a Little Goes a Long Way” and the scripture is from Mark 6:30-44
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

Our Choir needs your help!
Do you love your country?
Are you willing to reach out
to your community?

On Wednesday, July 4, 2012, the choir would like to present our patriotic cantata, Land of the Free, and invite the community to come
and enjoy lunch and the music…… However, we can’t do it alone!
Do you like to sing, but can’t commit to singing with the choir all the time. If that describes you, this is your opportunity. Come to two rehearsals, June 20 and June 27, and then sing with us on July 4! It’s as easy as that. A lot of the music is familiar – “America, The Beautiful”, “My Country ‘Tis of Thee”, “The Battle Hymn of the Republic”. How
much better can it get?
More of a “behind the scenes” person? We need help with setting up and cleaning up, decorating, preparing the food and serving the food.

We also need people to get out and invite the community to attend. Invite your friends and your neighbors! How about the person who repairs your shoes, or does your dry cleaning? Get out and spread the word! Invite folks to come and enjoy a good meal, good fellowship and good music!

Sign up sheets are in the narthex for all of the positions mentioned above.
Show your patriotism!
Lend a helping hand!
Join with your church family and the community
for an all-star afternoon of fellowship and music!
Fellowship News

Monday, May 28th, 2012
Memorial Day Picnic
Gude Park in Laurel
12:00 pm
See you there!

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: Faliesha & Michael Corporal, Kelly Davis (Sue Davis’ daughter), Keith Kilby, young college student with financial problems, Erin Teske, Charlotte & family (Becky & Dale Boeckman’s niece)

Kathryn Eye Circle Meeting – Monday, June 4th at 1:00 pm
Martha Circle Meeting – Monday, June 11th at 6:00 pm (Meeting at Olive Garden)
Edith Miles Circle Meeting – Monday, June 11th at 7:00 pm
Meeting Schedule
Sunday, 5/27/12 – No Evening Meeting – Memorial Day
Sunday, 6/3/12 – Regular Meeting 6:30pm-8pm
Saturday, 6/9/12 @ 5pm – Sunday, 6/10/12 @6am – Relay forLife –Team Barracudas – McCullough Field
Sunday, 6/10/12 – No Evening Meetng
Sunday, 6/17/12 – No Regular Meeting – Father’s Day
Sunday, 6/24/12 – Game Night/Bring A Friend Night – 6:30pm-8pm

Ministry News

Dear Fellow FUMCL Congregants

For the past eight (8) consecutive years here at First UMC, the Missions and Masterworks Concert series has established itself as an outstanding venue featuring excellence in music and benevolence in generating and giving to deserving charitable organizations. During this period of time, charitable organizations and projects such as Laurel, Mississippi Hurricane Katrina Relief, Appalachia Service Project (ASP), Laurel Pregnancy Center (LPC), Laurel Advocacy and Referral Services (LARS), Fish of Laurel (Elizabeth House), National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Nothing But Nets, and Side by Side (outreach program to local public schools), Price House, Talbot House and Reality House have been recipients of donations and resources totaling in excess of $35,000.
This year’s concert is scheduled for Friday, June 15, 2012 at 7:30 p.m. and once again will feature some outstanding musical literature. We have been made aware that there is significant need for help for the Paw Paw Nancy Ward Mission House (a FUMCL supported mission) and we have adopted this as the primary mission cause for this year’s program. With your help, we are looking forward to making this beneficial and meaningful for the Paw Paw Mission. In the coming weeks, additional information will be forthcoming about the concert and schedule for that evening’s activities. In the meantime, we want to begin now in soliciting your help and carry this momentum straight up to June 15th. Donation checks may be made out to “First United Methodist Church” with “Missions and Masterworks” in the memo line. We thank the pastor and congregation of First United Methodist Church and the Laurel community for your generous support.
Dr. Mack Statham
Somerford Place-Annapolis invites you to a free educational forum, Dementia…Now What? Presented by Mary Fridley, RN, BSN, BC. Mary will discuss the “soup to nuts” of dementia care. Bring your questions and concerns for this interactive discussion.

Please contact Somerford Place directly to register to make arrangements for free, on-site caregiving during the presentation.

Wednesday, May 30th
6:30-8:00 pm
2717 Riva Road, Annapolis
Home Instead Senior Care offers on-line training for families dealing with Alzheimer’s Disease. You can find more information at:

National Family Caregiver Support Program Department of Aging & Disabilities
2666 Riva Road Suite 440
Annapolis, MD 21401
410 222-4346 fax

Check out the Department of Aging & Disabilities on Facebook & receive all the latest information on department- wide events and news!
The Kunta Kinte-Alex Haley Foundation
Announces The 2012 Intergenerational
Genealogy Conference for
Grandparents and Their Grandchildren
Passing It Forward
Conference Highlights Include:
DNA testing in genealogy research
Uncovering family medical histories to shape medical futures
Exploring genealogy software
Other genealogy topics

Friday, June 29 and Saturday, June 30, 2012
Entire conference
Grandparent plus Grandchild = $100
Friday Only = $40
Saturday Only = $65
Sojourner Douglass College
Edgewater, Maryland
Check or
email for additional information
Outreach Ministry News
Welcome to Summer! That means VBS must be right around the corner.
Its July 8th – 12th, 6:30 to 9 PM. The registration form is available online for the first time this year, please print out a few copies and share them with neighbors, friends, and family! We are looking forward to seeing many new faces!
We need lots of help, so please reply to or sign up on the sign up sheets in the Narthex to let us know what you might be able to do. Please prayerfully consider this outreach ministry to the children of our community. Here’s where we stand:
ORIENTATION & CHILD SAFETY SEMINAR: Orientation meeting will be on Sunday, July 8th at 5:30 PM; followed by the First Day of VBS!! Please note, everyone who works at VBS must have attended First Church for at least six months and have taken or retaken the child safety seminar once in the past three years. The date and time for the Child Safety seminar this year will be announced soon. Please let us know if you will be attending the seminar. This seminar also applies to Sunday school teachers and anyone who works with children in any way so you get a double benefit. Amy Miller can let you know if you are due for renewal.
VOLUNTEERS: There will be a sign up sheet in the Narthex! Please put your sign your name by the station at which you would most like to help. If you would like to be a guide, indicate the grade you prefer.
GUIDES: This is the fun part – you get to hang with the kids all week and get to know them very well and participate in their activities. Please let me know which grade you would like to work with:
3 & 4 Year Olds 15 Max.
5 Year Olds 20 Max.
Kindergarten 25 Max.
1st Grade 25 Max.
2nd & 3rd Grade 25 Max.
4th – 6th Gr. 25 Max.
As you can see each age group is limited so be sure to have your friends sign up early or they will have to be moved to an older or younger class where size permits. I assume all first church children who attended last year will attend this year and I will go ahead and put them in the class (although a confirmation e-mail with yes or no would be nice;
CRIBBERY or 2 YEAR OLDS: If at least two people volunteer, we will keep children of workers (not a babysitting open to all). We also have materials for teaching the lessons to this age group (2’s), and crafts, snacks, games, music, etc.
Looking forward to lots of volunteers by return e-mails or sign ups in the narthex. Please also feel free to call us if you have any questions 301-854-9826.
Thank you. Jenna Ryan


I am so blessed (and awed) to witness the Holy Spirit work in the hearts of those 46 residents (inmates) of MCI-H who participated in KAIROS #16. These men’s hearts of stone were replaced with hearts of flesh. What a transformation from cold, hard, faces and attitudes to that of a warm and embracing character.
The weekend consists of frank talks, table discussions, and most important, worship. The talks address various aspects of one’s life that caused one to be where they are and presents the gospel (good news). There are ceremonies of self-accountability, forgiveness, caring and sharing. I could see these tears run down these men’s faces as they share the hurts they’ve experienced both by their actions and those of others. I saw the embracing of men as they accept each other as brothers in Christian love promising to uphold, care for, and hold accountable each other in their Christian walk.
During the retreat, there are servants consisting of inmates who’ve participated in previous KAIROS weekends. They serve their new brothers out of love administering to their every need. They pray before, during, and after each talk. They participate in all the worship services. I spent the majority of my time with them and I am so awed by how God had changed these men from hardened criminals who’ve committed atrocities and serving life-time sentences to caring individuals who would lay down their life to protect another. These men know the bible throughout. They can cite scripture from memory and explain passages like you wouldn’t believe. The bibles they carry around are the ones presented to them during their KAIROS weekend. They’re worn from use and well marked up with notes throughout the pages. These men will help the new Christians sustain their faith long after the KAIROS weekend is past. FUMCL provided for 15 bibles through their $375 donation.

Another team member and I shared the responsibility of coordinating the AGAPE-expressions of God’s love. We collected and posted posters on the walls and put place mats on the tables where the inmates sat. We also were responsible to coordinate the prayer vigil that ran the 72 hours of the retreat. I’m proud to announce that FUMCL and our sister church (CUMC-Virginia Beach) covered over 30% of the prayer vigil timeslots. Sheets representing the ½ hour increments of the prayer vigil were draped around the walls of the room taking up over half of the perimeter of the room. How blessed I was to recognize the names of those faithful ones who signed up to pray. Believe me, your prayers were felt. The agape posters filled the walls of the room. Again, I was so blessed to see the posters that our own Sunday school classes made and the congregation signed. These guys continually went to these posters for encouragement that others cared for them. At the end of the weekend, the participants are allowed to take up to two posters to be posted on their cell wall for which they took advantage.

During the closing ceremony Sunday afternoon I heard many testimonies of these men. Those most striking to me follow:
• “When I went to prison, I was told that no one will remember me, that I would be forgotten and that I would rot in seclusion. These lies were dispelled by the truth presented to me this weekend. God has not forgotten me. He still loves me. And now I have a new family – my KAIROS brothers.”
• “In the 6 years of my prison life, I have received no letters. Yesterday, I received 36 letters of love from those who care about me.”
• “Prison is a hard, cold place. You learn to trust no one. You talk to no one. You don’t know who or when someone will strike you. You are made feel worthless. You feel that the world has rejected you. But praise God, I don’t have these feelings anymore. Instead of seeing these prison bars I see the glory of God. I have brothers who care for me and watch out for me and correct me when I do wrong.”
• “When my time here is completed, I will go back to my home in Mexico and start a KAIROS program in the prisons there as well.”

As I looked around, I saw the room filled with graduates from previous KAIROS. There must have been over a hundred. These men are key to teach and hold accountable these new Christians.

Thank you for your loving support to these men and helping them to find their way to Christ.


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:

Please visit the RELAY FOR LIFE of Laurel’s website for more information. If you would like to make a donation, please click on the BARRACUDAs team name or see Bev Raynor for more details.

Church Meetings
Monday, May 28th – Church Office will be closed
Thursday, June 7th – 7:00 pm Administrative Board Meeting

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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