From the Pastor…

From the Pastor…

New Year’s Prayer

First Church Friends: Martin Luther offered this New Year’s prayer: “Behold, Lord, an empty vessel that needs to be filled. My Lord, fill it. I am weak in the faith; strengthen me. I am cold in love; warm me and make me fervent, that my love may go out to my neighbor. I do not have a strong and firm faith; at times I doubt and am unable to trust You altogether. O Lord, help me. Strengthen my faith and trust in You. In…

Christmas Worship Schedule

First Church Family, Winter officially began Wednesday, and is it ever coming in with a vengeance! There is something special, though, about Christmas being cold! Stay warm, and enjoy the blessed holiday! The following announcements will guide us through the next week: Christmas Eve WorshipOur Sanctuary Christmas Eve service will begin at 5:00PM on Saturday evening. It will include Holy Communion and end in candlelight. Following the Christmas Eve service, Holy Communion will be offered until 7:00PM in the  Sanctuary. Luminaries will adorn the front steps of…
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Honoring Jamie

Monday, December 5, 2022 Dear FUMC Family, Weeks ago, an announcement was made informing you that our Jamie Jones had made the decision to retire from our Director of Music position, effective at the end of this year. Jamie has guided our program for the last seven years and will be sorely missed. She will direct our special Christmas music: “The Festival of Christmas,” at the 11:00am service this coming Sunday, December 11. Following that service, we will honor both…

December News

First Church Family: I pray that you are experiencing a blessed Advent. One of the things I look most forward to during this season is holiday music. And on Sunday, December 11, our Chancel Choir will present its 2022 Christmas offering: Festival of Christmas. Please be there for that presentation, and invite friends and family to join you. One of the Advent traditions of members of our local Latino community is the experience of Las Posadas. That term is Spanish…

Thanksgiving

First Church Family:     It is the day before Thanksgiving, and I have to tell you that my mornings are busy. I rise early and get started on my day – with chores, emails and texts, planning for worship, sermon preparation, and much more.     This morning, I took time to pause to remember the things for which I’m thankful. I finally had to make myself stop, because the task proved to be much lengthier than I had imagined.     There was the…

Bless This meal

First Church Family:     I pray that you are doing well and staying warm after a few cold, wet days. It’s a perfect occasion for a hot bowl of homemade soup, don’t you think?     We have a big weekend ahead of us at First Church, as we feed 150 deserving, impoverished families through our Bless this Meal Thanksgiving project. Thank you for your support of that ministry. Through it we are making a difference in our community, sharing the love of Jesus.     We could…

All Saints’ Sunday

First Church Family,     We have moved over into November, the month which begins our most celebrated holiday season. And the month begins with All Saints’ Day.     I’ve always thought it interesting that All Saints’ Day immediately follows our observance of Halloween. And truly, there is reason for it. Halloween is a celebration observed on the eve of the Western Christian feast of All Hallows’ Day (also All Saints’ Day.)     Actually, in the church there is a three-day period named:…

November News

First Church Family:      What a year it’s been! The way we have reached out to serve our community and world in 2022 has been astonishing!      We raised more than $20,000 dollars last December and January that enabled us to provide fresh water for people who had none, digging and building two wells in Guatemala. This spring we raised more than $25,000 that is enabling us to build a Habitat for Humanity house for a family without a roof…

Not a Fan

First Church Family,     I’m sitting in a coffee shop in Green Bay, Wisconsin… and it’s snowing outside! I’ve been with my son, Christopher, for a long weekend; and we’ve had a wonderful time together!     Like many of you, I’m a huge sports fan. This coming Sunday, we will begin exploring that and about how it translates into thinking about our faith.     Very few people in the entire world are not fans of Jesus. How could you not be a fan?…

God Is Good

First Church Family:     I pray that you are enjoying fall! I had my first fire in my outside fire pit last night. God is good, all the time!     What wonderful in-person worship we experienced on Sunday, and we had good numbers online! There was a great spirit about our place! And there were so many children at the 11:00am children’s sermon, and in the nursery—an answer to prayer and something to build upon.     Continue to pray with me about the future of…

October News

First Church Family,      I write this on the first day of Autumn, the most glorious season of the year here in Lenoir (in my opinion). We’ve just completed a busy summer, and have already jumped into our fall programming.      We had quite a celebration Sunday, September 18. Many thanks to those who provided us with a scrumptious BBQ meal and desserts on “Back to Church Sunday,” and also to those who cleaned, refurbished, and updated our congregation’s beautiful…

Fear Not

First Church Family, We had our first really cool morning this morning, and it brought a smile to my face and warmth to my heart! And my heart needed warming, as perhaps does yours. I write that because we have just remembered the 9/11 attack on our country twenty-one years ago. Sometimes we try to forget tragic, unpleasant things. I know I do. But, this past Sunday, during the children’s sermon, as I was talking to our little ones about…