"Where do we stand?" "What were the results?" "How did we do?" Such are the questions I heard throughout the day on Monday, the day following our "Raise the Tower" Commitment Sunday.
The answer is: we did well! We received $602,000 in pledges and cash gifts. I can tell you that this far exceeded my expectations for the first Sunday of this campaign. In addition to the money, people have contributed to the campaign prior to Sunday, we now have a total of over $710,000 toward the building of a new tower.
"Is this a good start?" I personally think it´s a tremendous start. There are many people yet to make a commitment. Many people were out of town on Mother´s Day. And there are several people with whom we need to make personal contact. So, as mentioned on Sunday, this is only the beginning. The total will grow much higher.
"What is included in the project?" The removal of the old tower and the building of the new tower will cost just under one million dollars, including contingencies and architectural fees. The remaining two hundred thousand will cover a major cleaning of the sanctuary organ, removal and reinstallation of the balcony antiphonal organ to prevent damage, and a much-needed and long-overdue upgrade in the electronic components of the organ. In addition, this part of the project includes new signage on the Fulton St. side of the church and tower illumination.
"What can we expect next?"Good question!
1. When you are next in the sanctuary, you´ll notice a large new wall has gone up closing off the second balcony. The wall is already in place today (Monday).
2. Temporary construction fencing is going up along with No Parking signs on Barclay Street so that trees may be removed. Barclay St. will become one-way, going north from Fulton toward the parking lots, sometime this week.
3. Parking lots will all be open during construction!
4. Scaffolding around the tower will be erected beginning next Tuesday, May 21st. The expectation is that the scaffolding will be down by September 1st.
5. The southwest stairwell, near Barclay and Fulton, will be designated the "Construction Stairwell." During the week, this stairwell will be closed to our members and used extensively by the construction crews. This stairwell will be open on Sundays.
So we´re definitely off and running! We have a very low interest rate on a line of credit at our bank. Work has already begun inside the building. Most of the work will be done in the summertime. And, good news, our air conditioning won´t be affected so you´ll remain comfortable all summer! If you haven´t made an up-front contribution or three-year commitment, please do so. Each and every gift is needed!
Are you eager to support mission causes? I´m delighted to tell you that the Finance Committee has approved a new "Mid-Summer Missions Offering." It will be received in mid-July. This means we will now have four major mission offerings. The primary recipient will be our Justice for Our Neighbors ministry. Our Missions Commission will name additional recipients. While the new tower is being built, the mission of the church will also be supported.
Anything else going on? Absolutely.
This Saturday, May 18th, at 6:00 p.m. is our final Jazz Vespers of the year. Our own Tyler Vander Maas and his Sax Quartet will be the featured performers. It´s an excellent time to try this upbeat, informal worship experience.
Then on Sunday, May 19th, we have our Recognition of Graduating Seniors at 11:00 a.m. and it´s also our Education Appreciation Sunday. A special plus for us this weekend is the Fellowship Breakfast in Wesley Hall between services.
One final note: Did you catch who our organist was during the Offertory last Sunday? It was Christopher Herweyer, one of our graduating seniors! Chris will be attending Albion College in the fall. Chris has been taking lessons from our Director of Music and the Arts, Eric Strand. Congratulations, Chris – you were outstanding!
• May 14, 7:00 pm — Infertility Support Group
• May 15, 8:00 am — Caring Connection
• May 18, 6:00 pm — Jazz Vespers: Tyler VanderMaas Sax Quartet
• May 19 — Education Appreciation Sunday
• May 20, 12:00 pm — 60+ Luncheon
• May 26, 8:30 and 10:00 am — Summer Worship Begins
• May 27 — Church and Offices Closed for Holiday
• June 2, 9:00 am — Faith Travelers Teachers/Shepherds Meeting
• June 9-15 — IHN/Family Promise Week
• June 10, 3:00 - 7:00 pm — Blood Drive
• June 11, 7:00 pm — Infertility Support Group
• June 14 -16 — Father/Child Camp
• June 15, 2:00 pm — International Trumpet Guild: Festival of Trumpets
• June 16 — Farewell Sunday for Gary Haller
• June 17 — Church Building and Office Summer Hours Start
• June 17, 12:00 pm — 60+ Luncheon
• June 19 — Road Trip: Detroit Tigers
• June 19, 8:00 am — Caring Connection
• June 23, 11:00 am - 12:30 pm — Child Care Staff Brunch
• June 24-28 — Office Reorganization Week
• July 4 — Church and Offices Closed for Holiday
• July 11, 7:00 pm — Infertility Support Group
• July 13, 12:00 pm — Methodist Connection Picnic @ Johnson Park
• July 17, 8:00 am — Caring Connection
• July 21, 11:15 am — Summer Picnic/Rev. Bob Hundley Welcome
• August 5 - 8 — Arts Alive Camp: the Global Village
• Infant Nursery — 0-23 months Room 107
• Toddler Nursery — age 2-young 3 Room 205
• Children & Worship — older 3s (potty trained) – K Room 204/201
• Faith Travelers — 1-6th grade 3rd floor Church Bldg (Faith Travelers begin in worship with their parents. Following Moments with the Children, they are dismissed to class. Children of all ages are welcome to remain in worship if their families so desire.) 9:30 AM
• Junior High — 7-8th grade The Vine South (First Place Bldg)
• Senior High — 9-12th grade The Vine North (First Place Bldg) 10:25 AM
• Faith Travelers´ Choir — 1-6th grade 3rd floor Church Bldg 11:00 AM
• Infant Nursery — 0-23 months Room 107
• Toddler Nursery — age 2-young 3 Room 205
• Children & Worship — older 3s (potty trained) – K Room 204/201
• Junior Church — 1-2nd grade Room 202 (Children in Junior Church begin in worship with their parents. Following Moments with the Children, they are dismissed to class. Children of all ages are welcome to remain in worship if their families so desire.)
FATHER´S DAY HONOR ROLL This year, Father´s Day will be celebrated on Sunday, June 16. Please join the United Methodist Women as we honor fathers by supporting the annual Father´s Day Honor Roll. 100% of donated monies will be given locally, 50% to United Methodist Community House and 50% to Martin Luther King Leadership Academy Fitness Track Build. United Methodist Community House, based in southeast Grand Rapids, exists to increase the ability of children, youth, adults, and families to succeed in a diverse community. The new fitness track at MLK School will help create a safe environment for children and their families to develop healthy lifestyles. If you would like to pay tribute to a father, living or deceased, send donation form and check to the church office by June 10, 2013 or email information to firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also make a donation without requesting a tribute. Please make checks payable to FUMC (note Father´s Day Honor Roll on memo line). Thank you for helping the United Methodist Women care for children in Grand Rapids. Those being honored will be listed in the bulletin on Father´s Day – Sunday, June 16.
NASHVILLE ROAD TRIP Join us in Nashville, Tennessee in October! This trip includes a guided bus tour of Nashville, a lunch cruise with entertainment on the General Jackson Showboat, a back stage tour of the Grand Ole Opry, as well as a 7:00 pm performance at the Grand Ole Opry! We should see lots of beautiful fall colors, too. The dates are October 10-12. A $100 deposit is needed to confirm your reservation. All itinerary and reservation forms are in the literature rack in the north lobby or online at www.grandrapidsfumc.org/road-trips.
SUMMER WORSHIP HOURS BEGIN, MAY 26 Don´t forget to mark your calendar! Sunday Worship: 8:30 and 10:00 AM, no 9:30 am Church School.
SUMMER OFFICE HOURS BEGIN, JUNE 17 Don´t forget to mark your calendar! Church Building Hours
Monday: 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Tuesday: 9:00 am - 9:00 pm
Wednesday: 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Thursday: 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Friday: 9:00 am - 4:00 pm First Place Hours
Monday: 8:00 am - 4:00 pm
Tuesday: 8:00 am - 4:00 pm
Wednesday: 8:00 am - 4:00 pm
Thursday: 8:00 am - 4:00 pm
Friday: 8:00 am - 12:00 pm
FELLOWSHIP BREAKFAST Join the Fellowship Committee in Wesley Hall on Sunday, May 19 from 9:45 - 11:00 am for breakfast. Don´t miss this opportunity to be in fellowship with your First Church family.
OFFICE REORGANIZATION WEEK will take place June 24 - 28. During that time the First Place office will be closed to the public; there will be a receptionist at the north lobby desk from 9:00 am - 4:00 pm Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday and 9:00 am - 9:00 pm Tuesday.
MOMS´ GROUP: MOMS´ NIGHT AT JESSICA MALINOWSKI´S HOME Join us Monday, May 20 at 5:30 pm at 860 Bellewood Dr. SE, Kentwood. If possible, please leave the kiddos at home so we can have girl talk. We´ll make dinner and a pot of chocolate fondue. Please sign up to bring something to dip by contacting Marj at 451.2879 or email@example.com.
UPCOMING BAPTISM DATES for 2013 are: May 26, June 2, or June 16. Please call Mary Molhoek in the church office at 451.2879 to schedule a baptism.
FIRST CHURCH AND FIRST PLACE will be closed Monday, May 27 in observance of Memorial Day.
WEEK OF GIVING Are you entering 7th, 8th or 9th grade? Are you willing to give one week this summer? How can you give? Join the Jr. High youth this summer for a Week of Giving! What does that mean? During Arts Alive Camp, the Jr. High youth will team up to do mission work around the city. We will be working with Westminster Food Pantry, Kids´ Food Basket, and Arts Alive Camp. We will also tag along on a day trip to Heifer International in Howell, to learn more about their program. The cost for this Week of Giving is $75. For more information or to sign up use the Sunday bulletin sheet or visit www.grandrapidsfumc.org/JH-Week-of-giving. Reserve your spot by June 15, 2013. Scholarship assistance is available. Contact Emily Uebbing at 855-6247 or firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.
60+ LUNCHEON The next 60+ Luncheon will be held on Monday, May 20 at noon. The program will be by Guiding Light Mission. Please call Elaine Youngs at 735.5506 or Luci Baer at 457.7797 if you would like to make a reservation.
ARTS ALIVE CAMP: THE GLOBAL VILLAGEAugust 5 – 8 from 9:00 am – 3:00 pmDoes your child have dancing feet? Does he love to move? Register now for Arts Alive Camp. Camp is for children entering 1st – 6th grade in the fall of 2013. Early Bird Rate: $45 if registered by July 8; $55 after July 8. Fee provides lunch and snacks each day, t-shirt, reusable water bottle, entrance fee & transportation to Howell Nature Center. Additional costs are underwritten by First United Methodist Church. For more information or scholarship information contact Camp Registrar, Laure Mieskowski at 616.451.2879 or email@example.com. Send registration forms to the church office or register at www.grandrapidsfumc.org/arts-alive-camp.
NEW NAME TAGS will be available in Wesley Hall throughout the month of June beginning on Sunday, June 2. If able, we request a $5 per name tag donation ($20 max per family), however a donation is not required to receive a new name tag. Name tags may be stored on the new name tag boards located near the north lobby, Barclay entrance, or the east narthex entrance. If there is an error on your name tag or if you do not have a name tag, please contact the church office and we will have a new name tag made for you by the Sunday following your request.
THE FITNESS PATH On Wednesday, May 8 approximately 100 MLK students ran in the Fifth Third Junior River Bank Run!! Although that number is great and we are extremely proud of those that ran, the number is 60 students less than last year! Why? Due to safety issues in their neighborhoods and lack of training space, it has become more difficult for the children to prepare. When they become discouraged, it is less motivating to participate. We can help to raise those numbers for next year by acting now to help build the Fitness Track to allow safe and ample space for our kids to train! If 240 people gave only $50 each in the next few weeks, we would have enough money to begin construction on the path this summer. Of course larger donations will speed us toward the goal much quicker! Please make checks to FUMC with MLK Fitness Track in the memo.
HELLO FRIENDS! We´re looking for summer prayer partners for our students who are going to workcamp and summer camp. We´d love for you to sign up for a student or two to pray for while they are away and send them a letter of encouragement during their week at camp. If you´re interested or would like more details, please use the sign up sheet, sign up on Facebook, or email SamiM@grandrapidsfumc.org.
INSPIRATION SATURDAY/JUNE 1ST Do you see the amazing potential of our church? Are you ready to work toward results driven ministry? Then Inspiration Saturday on June 1 is the event for you! Join us at Annual Conference at the Calvin College Fine Arts Center in Grand Rapids for a powerful day of learning, worship and fellowship. The day will be led by one of United Methodism´s visionary voices, Rev. Dr. Lovett H. Weems, Jr., author of Bearing Fruit, Ministry with Real Results and Director of the Lewis Center for Church Leadership at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, DC. The day begins at 10:00 am with a leadership seminar, followed by a fellowship lunch and then powerful worship with thousands of United Methodists from across Michigan. There is also the opportunity to meet our new Bishop Deborah Leider-Kiesey. Use the Sunday sign-up sheet (no later than May 28) to let us know you are attending. The cost for the entire day, including lunch, is just $15.
THE UMW FLOWER SALE is being held the entire month of May. Pick up coupon sheets in the narthex and north lobby. Use coupons for buying gift plants, hanging baskets, garden plants, and supplies at Romence Gardens (265 Lakeside Dr NE). UMW will receive 10% of your purchase total and that will go to mission support.
THE ARDATH WILTSE MUSIC SCHOLARSHIP is available for those who wish to enhance their music training by attending a summer music camp or plan to focus on a college major or minor in music. Please contact Sharon Sorensen at firstname.lastname@example.org or 451-2879, ext. 124 to obtain an application. Applications will be accepted through June 15.
Concerns & Prayers for:
• Lynne Beals
• Shirley Dunder
• Don Far
• John McKibben
• Tom Weessies
• Chris Bolhouse
• Scott Grifhorst
• Stephan Mathos
• Jesse Mounts
• Trevor Norton
• Shawn Seher
• Peter Taylor, Jr
Congratulations to Stephanie Cole and Alonzo Williams who were united in marriage on May 11th in our sanctuary.
The cards and prayers of our church family were so meaningful and supportive to Corky Kastner, who died April 15 following her battle with cancer. The support of a Stephen Minister helped immensely. Visits by our Pastors Gary and Tish and parish nurse, Marj, were so much appreciated. For your love and caring during this difficult time, we are truly grateful.
The Kastner Family
Thank you to the staff and congregation of FUMC for your prayers, cards and calls after the loss of my brother. All your thoughts & prayers have carried us through this difficult time and shown us the power of His love.
James and Helen Williams and Family
BLOOD DRIVE Our next Blood Drive will be Monday, June 10 from 3:00 - 7:00 pm in Wesley Hall. Please use the Sunday sign-up sheet or call the office to reserve a time to donate blood. If you can´t donate blood, cookies and caffeinated beverages are also needed! Be a part of this important mission to save lives.
FOOD PANTRY NEEDS Did you know that Westminster Food Pantry stocks more than just food items? Yes, the clients who frequent the pantry also need household items. During the month of May the Social Concerns Committee will be collecting dish soap and laundry detergent to help fill the pantry shelves. Items may be dropped off in the north lobby collection area.
FIXIN´ ‘N´ FELLOWSHIP Thursday, May 23 at 9:00 am - meet at the church in room 105. We will start the day with fellowship over coffee and baked goods, then tackle minor repairs needed throughout the church buildings.
YOUNG ADULTS: HABITAT FOR HUMANITY VOLUNTEER DAY College students and young professionals, ages 18-30, You´re invited to join us Tuesday, May 21 from 8:30 am - 4:00 pm to volunteer with Habitat for Humanity for the day. We´ll be volunteering at a house in GR area. Please use the sign-up sheet or email email@example.com to save your place.
YOUNG ADULTS: VOLUNTEER NIGHT AT KIDS FOOD BASKET If you´re a young adult (18-30), then you´re invited to join us in helping out at the Kids Food Basket. We´re meeting at The Vine on Wednesday, May 22 at 5:30 pm to carpool. Use sign-up sheet or email firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up.
WOMEN OF FIRST: NAMESAKE is a six-week Bible study that explores the transformational power of God through the stories of biblical characters who met God and whose lives and names were changed forever. Join us in Wesley Hall on Tuesdays from 7:00 - 8:30 pm. Books are available for pick-up in the north lobby for $10.00 each. Come to the first session with chapter one complete.
• June 11 – Abraham & Sarah
• June 25 – Jacob
• July 9 – Naomi
• July 23 – Daniel
• August 6 – Peter
• August 20 - Unnamed
HELPERS NEEDED FOR ARTS ALIVE: THE GLOBAL VILLAGE Many hands are needed to make Arts Alive Camp an enriching experience for our elementary students this summer. If you are a student completing ninth grade or above or an adult and can offer to assist all week or even for half a day the week of August 5-8, it would be greatly appreciated! See the sign-up sheet for opportunities to serve or www.grand rapidsfumc.org/sign-up-sheet. Contact Annette Erbes at 451-2879 or email@example.com with any questions.
EDUCATION APPRECIATION SUNDAY is coming on May 19. We are blooming with appreciation for those who share their gifts in our education ministry! The Children´s Council and Adult Council invite workers in education (for children, youth, and adults) and the congregation to a reception in Wesley Hall from 10:15-11:00 am. Members of the congregation are invited to greet and thank our education volunteers. Education workers are invited to pick up special recognition items in the narthex prior to worship and to be our guests at the morning´s Fellowship Breakfast. We look forward to seeing everyone on May 19th!
FIRST AID STATION
CAP There is a difference between drinking, problem drinking, and addiction. But how do you know what those differences are?! Call your Church Assistance Program (CAP) hotline at 455-6210 and trained personnel will set you up with a one-hour appointment to talk with a counselor or therapist about the differences. Remember to tell them you are a member or friend of First Church and you can have 2 one-hour sessions at no charge to you! CAP is totally confidential and available 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Call now!