May 4, 2012

Posted on 06/04/12 No Comments

First UMC | eRevelations
May 4, 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 3”
Over the last two weeks I have been laying out a new vision for our church which I first presented to the Admin Board at our last meeting. These are four different areas of ministry that I firmly believe we should invest more resources into so that our church will further grow in effective, fruitful ministry and in numbers of fellow disciples. So far, we’ve looked at investing in technology and staff. Now I’d like to look at investing into ministry program.
Every church I know of wants to see more families come through their doors. Multi-generational churches of grandparents, parents, and children are healthy churches. So how does a church attract and keep families, specifically families who have children and youth? What are these families looking for in a church?
The answer is pretty obvious: if my family was looking for a church, we would settle on one that has excellent programs for our children. Do they have well-resourced and well-taught Sunday School classes? Are there other activities and opportunities for my kids? Does this church have a solid youth group program—a weekly youth group, Bible studies for youth, youth activities and mission opportunities? Does this church have a safe, well-staffed nursery? In general, does this church value the presence and contribution of my kids?
These are the questions we need to ask of ourselves as we evaluate and look to further invest in our children’s and youth programs. It’s not enough to say we have Sunday School classes, a few kids’ activities, and a youth group. We need to look deeper and honestly ask ourselves, “Are these ministries being done with excellence?” How eager are we to invite other peoples’ children and youth to these ministries?
This is a proven fact that you can easily spot in any growing, effective church: effective churches pump a lot of resources into children and youth ministry. This means that they aren’t cutting back their budgets on these ministries. They are allocating more program dollars and staff hours into ministries for children and youth.
We are blessed to have several things in place already. We do indeed have Sunday School classes for every age bracket. We have an awesome VBS program and a few activities per year for children. We have a youth group who meets every week, has activities, and goes on at least two retreats a year.
Still, I can see several ways that we can do much more for our children and youth… if we are willing to invest in ministry with them. Here are a few ideas:
• Provide regular training opportunities for Sunday School teachers. This will give them ideas, resources, and better teaching techniques to use with their students.
• Increase youth program budget to give more dollars towards materials, equipment, volunteer and staff training, fellowship, study, and mission activities.
• Increase the hours and compensation for the Director of Youth. During the last two years, I have heard people advocating for making our Youth Director a volunteer. I believe that is a bad step backwards for a growing church claiming to value our young people. A qualified, well resourced Director of Youth is a huge part of a successful, growing youth ministry.
• Invest in more regular children’s programs throughout the year.
• Create more midweek ministry opportunities for whole families to participate in together.

Another often overlooked ministry opportunity is with people who have special needs and their families. If my family were looking for a church to join, we would specifically look for a church who would fully value, accommodate, and include our son Jacob who has Down syndrome. We have heard too many heartbreaking stories of people with special needs who have been made to feel unwelcomed or even rejected by churches. I have heard from several families who have children with autism and other cognitive disabilities who cannot find a church who can accept and work with their child’s unique behavior and needs.

We’ve made positive steps towards this ministry by having a paid Coordinator of Special Needs and the beginnings of ministry with people who have special needs. Yet we can do even more. With more adequate program and staff resourcing in place, we can design and implement more ministry opportunities, accommodations for peoples’ special needs, education, and support ministries. When word gets out that we are a church who values and focuses on people with special needs, we will see a whole new area of growth among a population of people that the church largely neglects.

Friends, all these things are tried and true, common sense ministry investments. Churches who intentionally invest in children, youth, and people with special needs are growing churches. They are growing with families, and in the case of people with special needs, they are growing with a much overlooked and neglected population of people. We do well, but we can certainly do even better. Let’s keep our focus and deepen it, too!
Yours in Christ’s Love and Service,
Pastor Chris

Worship News
Sunday, May 6, 2012
Our message this Sunday will be “Joseph Smith and the New Israel: Mormonism” and the scripture is from Galatians 1:6-12
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 9th

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: Norma Rowe, Nekenge Poindexter, Bernice & James Gladney (Gale Gladney-Anderson’s Parents), David Onyabe, John Edward Miller (Gale Gladney-Anderson’s Uncle), Linda Webster Wright, Tarren, Ricky Keatley (Peggy Sweitzer’s brother), Jim & Harriet Holmes, Greg Sweitzer
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

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,
Lois Hamilton, 301-498-9736
Barb Miller, or
Shari Kornak, Office Administrator, 301-725-3093 or

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.

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
Saturday, 5/5/12 – Youth Group Talent/No Talent Show & Spaghetti Dinner – 10am – set-up and all-day rehearsal; Dinner at 5pm and show at 6:30pm; ice cream together afterwards at the Double Dipper
Sunday, 5/6/12 – No Meeting
Saturday, 5/12/12 – Participating in the Main Street Festival Parade – Meet in the church parking lot at 8am; parade starts at 9am
Sunday, 5/13/12 – No Meeting – Happy Mother’s Day
Saturday, 5/20/12 – Game Night/Bring A Friend Night – 6:30pm-8pm
Sunday, 5/27/12 – No Evening Meeting – Memorial Day

30 Hour Famine Lock-In

Every day, as many as 11,000 kids younger than 5-years-old die from hunger and related causes. Some starve. Some get sick and waste away. The immune systems of others are weakened by malnutrition, leaving the door wide-open for deadly diseases. In total, more than 22,000 kids die every day. Every night, 925 million people go to bed hungry. That’s roughly 3 times the population of the United States.

From 12 pm on April 27 until 6 pm on April 28, seven youth of First United Methodist Church as well as Blairlee Owens participated in World Vision’s 30 Hour Famine Lock-in. Most of the youth gave up food entirely and drank only juice and water during those 30 hours. For those who needed to eat for medical reasons, they ate meals and then skipped snacks. The whole group also fasted from Facebook, Twitter, and cellphones during the 30 hours. As part of the 30 Hour Famine, fasting helped the youth break free from the clutter of the world and focus on what matters to God. It also helped them to identify with those who have little or nothing to eat – the kids they helped by doing the fast.

Last Friday, we stopped eating after lunch on and gathered at church at 6pm. We spent the night at church and spent the whole day together on Saturday. We broke our fast on Saturday at 6pm by celebrating Holy Communion with Pastor Chris and our families followed by a meal lovingly prepared by Ann Marie Miller. During our time at church, we played games, watched movies, watched the “Journey to Jamaa” – a World Vision Experience, played Extreme Makeover 30 Hour Famine Edition, and played a First UMC 30 Hour Famine Scavenger Hunt that asked questions like “how many stairs are there inside the church building?” and “what year did an article about Mr. Jim Welsh appear in the Laurel Leader?” On Saturday, we walked along the Riverwalk and collected trash and wrote letters to our troops.

Overall, our youth raised over $1,400. Every $30 raised helps to feed and care for a child for a month which means that 46 children will be helped with the money raised. We are greatly thankful for all who donated, supported, and prayed for us!


Youth Group Spaghetti Dinner
Talent/No Talent Show

Saturday, May 5th

5:00 pm Dinner

6:30 pm Talent/No Talent Show

Ministry News

Our special thanks to all the Nurses and Health Care providers in our congregation
National Nurses Week – May 6-12
Nurses’ Hands
Blessed be these hands that have touched life.
Blessed be these hands that have felt pain.
Blessed be these hands that have embraced with compassion.
Blessed be these hands that have been clinched with anger or withdrawn in fear.
Blessed be these hands that have drawn blood and administered medicine.
Blessed be these hands that have cleaned beds and disposed of wastes.
Blessed be these hands that have anointed the sick and offered blessings.
Blessed be these hands that grow stiff with age.
Blessed be these hands that have comforted the dying and held the dead.
Blessed be these hands, we hold the future in these hands.
Blessed be our hands for they are the work of Your hands, O Holy One.

This Blessing of the Hands is from In Praise of Hands, Diann Neu, Waterwheel, Winter 1989. Adapted by Corlette Pierson, Pastoral Care Resident at Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Medical Center, Chicago, IL
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
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 for reservations

How Cardiovascular Disease and Vascular Dementia Affects the African-American Community
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

Outreach Ministry News
Greetings in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior, to our brothers and sisters in Christ at First Church in Laurel, MD.
Words could never express the kindness, the generosity, the love and the passion for serving our Risen Savior that you have shown to us at the Rev. Nancy L. Ward Memorial Mission Outreach, Inc. It is all so overwhelming. I believe that God places certain people in your life for a reason and God placed you in my life when we all had suffered a terrible loss, and you will be in my life until we all meet again, when we all get to Heaven! I want you to know that we in Paw, Paw, WV will be eternally grateful and thankful for every day God gives us is a blessing and when he stops giving them to us we get to be with Him, the greatest gift of all.

This is just some of what God has allowed us to do with your love and service:
School supplies 2010 – over 190 students received school supplies.
School supplies 2011 – 159 students received school supplies, including college students.
Christmas – 58 families had a Christmas with a reminder that Jesus is the Reason for the Season.
Complete food baskets were given to 8 large families. Fruit baskets were given to 14 of our shut-ins and other community members.
Coats, hats, gloves, scarves, boots and shoes were given out to more than 30 families.
15 boxes were sent out for Samaritans Purse.
Over 900 gifts were wrapped from Santa’s workshop.

This does not include our continuing clothing giveaway, food pantry, cleaning supplies, paying electric bills, water bills, fuel bills, buying loads of wood, buying prescriptions for those without insurance, continuing to pray for all those who do not know Jesus Christ as their own Lord and Savior.

We look forward to seeing you soon and continuing our friendships and our love for Jesus Christ by loving and serving our neighbors as God so commanded.

You are always appreciated and always loved and prayers for you and yours forever.

Again I extend a sincere thank you and all our love. Isn’t God Awesome?! Isn’t it wonderful to have Him in our lives! Glory be to the Father!!!!!

See you soon. May God continue to bless you.

In His Name,
Donna Twigg, Director of Rev. Nancy L. Ward
Memorial Mission Outreach, Inc.

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: Just sign in at the entry indicated below:
Maryland Correctional Institution – Hagerstown Men’s Kairos Inside #16 17-20 May 2012 (EDT:GMT-4)

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)

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
Thursday, May 10th – 7:00 pm Trustees Committee Meeting

Thursday, May 17th – 7:00 pm Finance Committee Meeting

Thursday, May 24th – 7:00 pm Lay Leadership Development

New Chairs for Fellowship Hall!!
(Although our current chairs are still in pretty good shape they are uncomfortably low for eating or working at the tables and are difficult for less agile people to get up from.)
BOGO (Buy One Get One) Sale
Cost per chair is $30 and
for every chair you purchase………
the Bazaar Committee will pay for the second!! (up to approx. 80 chairs)

**There are 2 sample chairs in Fellowship Hall. Feel free to try them out!!**

The deadline to donate is
Sunday, May 20th
(Checks can be made out to the church with “fellowship chairs” written in the memo section) and can be placed in the offering plate or given to Shari in the office.

We need approximately 150 chairs total and the Bazaar Committee thanks you for helping us out!

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