First United Methodist Church Westfield

FUMC Connect

Posted by on Feb 8, 2018

Current Happenings

  1. A “Souper” Bowl Thank You.  We, the kids of Junior Youth Fellowship, want to thank the FUMC community for supporting our mission project. From those who made soups for the contest and brought desserts and breads, to those who helped us with set up and clean up and showed up to enjoy the food and fellowship – we know that we could not have had such a successful project without all of you. Many folks asked about the recipes of the soups; we are collecting and compiling those and will create a booklet that will be available for purchase to further support the Westfield Food Pantry. In addition to the funds raised at the luncheon, a huge number of items were donated to help stock the Westfield Food Pantry shelves. 
    We are grateful to be part of such a loving and generous community.
    – Lynn Basaman, Grace Burke, Sarina Incorvaia, Dahlia Pantalena, Suzanna Rogers, Sarah Ward


  1. Adult Faith Development

Sunday Morning Bible Study.  Join Rev. Mertz and Rev. Iliff at 9:00 AM THIS SUNDAY (Feb. 11) in the Fellowship Room.  Please read Mark 1:4-5, 9-11 in preparation for the Bible study discussion.

“Everyone Has A Story” February 18 through March 25 – During the six-week season of Lent (including Palm/Passion Sunday) we will offer a Lenten series “Everyone Has A Story.”  This series will be shared by six different individuals who will share from their personal story of their faith journey.  Our speakers’ stories may be connected to Lent/Easter but may simply reflect the story of their faith journey.  Questions?  – Contact Rev. Su Iliff.


  1. Youth Group News. This week at Youth Group is Fat Sunday! All youth and their families are invited for an unlimited pancake dinner to splurge before Lent! We hope you’ll join us in the loft from 5:30-7:30 PM! Please bring a canned food donation for each family member.

    Registration is open for our summer mission trip with Next Step Ministries in Long Island! The deadline to register is March 1st, so contact Kylie Haskins at for more information or to sign up!


  1. Free Meals Program.  Our next time to host Free Meals at Covenant UMC in Plainfield will be February 12, 2018.  We prepare meals the 2nd Monday of each month September thru June.  Although we have a faithful crew, we welcome anyone who would like to come and join us! 


  1. Ash Wednesday, February 14, 2018.
  • 6:00 PM        Children and Family Service, Sanctuary
  • 6:30 PM        Simple Soup Supper, Fellowship Room
  • 7:30 PM        Traditional Ash Wednesday Service, Sanctuary


  1. UMCOR Hygiene Kit Donations Needed.  We are collecting items and monetary contributions for United Methodist Commission on Relief (UMCOR) Hygiene Kits until Sunday, February 18th.  A UMCOR Relief Kit collection bin is available in the FUMC lobby area. IMPORTANT:  All items must be new.  Do not wash any items as they will be considered used.  Questions?  Contact Rev. Su Iliff (908-436-8708)

Specific items needed for relief kits are listed below.  Bring one item or bring several items.  Monetary contributions toward the costs of shipping the hygiene kits are also welcomed. Checks should be made out to Westfield FUMC noting that the check is for UMCOR Hygiene kits.

  • Hand towel (NEW), 15 x 25 inches to 17 x 27 inches (Kitchen, cleaning, and microfiber towels not acceptable)
  • Washcloth (NEW)
  • Toothbrush (Adult size only)  Do not remove from original packaging
  • Bath size soap, 3 oz. and larger sizes only (No Ivory or Jergens soap due to moisture content) Do not remove from original packaging
  • Comb – Comb needs to be sturdy and longer than 6 inches long (No pocket combs or picks, no rattail combs and combs without handle are acceptable with a minimum of 6 inches of teeth)
  • Metal nail file or nail clippers (No emery boards)
  • $1.00 to purchase toothpaste


  1. New Altar flower chart!  The 2018 Flower Chart is posted on the wall outside the church office.  You are invited to sponsor flower arrangements ($45 per week) for our worship services each Sunday morning. Please sign up, then take an envelope for your payment and to indicate what reading you’d like to appear in the bulletin. Thank you for providing these beautiful tributes for our services.   You may take the flowers home, or leave them to be delivered to our homebound members.  Upcoming open dates:  February 18 & March 25.


  1. Westfield Food Pantry.   

Thanks to all of you who continue to bring much-needed items for the Westfield Food Pantry, especially those who brought the items listed in last week’s communications.  Your contributions were delivered to the food pantry and already provided to the clients.There is an urgent need for the following:

  • Toothbrushes
  • Toothpaste
  • Shampoo
  • Bar soap
  • Body wash
  • Bandaids


  1. Grocery Gift Card Sale Every Sunday. You can help the church raise money simply by using grocery gift cards to buy your groceries.  We have ShopRite cards and Stop & Shop cards in $50 and $25 denominations and Panera Cards in $10 denominations.  We accept cash and checks made payable to FUMC. 


Mark Your Calendar

  1. New Member Class.  Are you interested in exploring membership at FUMC Westfield?  If so, you are invited to join the upcoming class that will be lead by Rev. Mertz.  We will meet together Sunday, February 25th from 4:30 – 6:00 PM.   New Members will join on March 11, 2018 during worship.   If you think you might be interested in participating, it would help us prepare if you would let Susan Granski know at either 908-233-4211,  email: or speak to Rev. Mertz.  But even if you cannot respond ahead of time or are not sure if you want to join right now, you are still most welcome to participate.  If you need child care, please let us know ahead of time so we can make arrangements.


  1. Midweek Worship.  Once a month, on the THIRD Wednesday, we gather in the Fellowship Room at 6:30 PM for Midweek Worship.  It is a less formal and shorter service than our traditional Sunday worship and is designed for individuals and families who can gather to reconnect midweek.  Mark them on your calendar and join us on February 21March 21April 18May 16, and June 20.


  1. FUMC Retreat.  We invite you to take part in our Lenten Retreat on Saturday, February 24th from 9 AM – 3 PM at Mount St. Mary’s House of Prayer in Watchung! During the retreat, we will:
  • Rest amidst the busyness of life, and explore new ways of renewing our souls.
  • Reconnect with God and with our community of believers, and maybe even get to know someone new!
  • Respond to God’s call through service and worship.

The cost for the retreat is $25. Contact Rev. Su Iliff, Kylie Haskins, Laura Gribbin, or Connie Palmer to sign up! We would love for you to join us for some fellowship and fun!


  1. Noontimers – February 16, 2018 (noon to 2:00 PM).  Creations and creativity, art and artistry, movement and motion, parts and patterns, colors and coloration, sight and vision. . . the list of artistic opportunities and practicalities can go on and on. Katie Truk, artist and art instructor, will join us to engage our creative spirits for a stimulating experience together at our next Noontimers. I met Katie at the Visual Art Center in Summit, where she teaches a variety of artistic modalities while activating her students’ personal creativity. Her current personal artistic specialty is sculpting with panty hose.  Yes REALLY panty hose!  You will be amazed.    Dan Bottorff
  1. Books and Beyond – February 18, 2018.  Please join us for Books and Beyond on  February 18th from 7:00 – 8:30 PM.   Joanne Sheffield will be leading our discussion of The Sense of An Ending by Julian Barnes.

This book is considered Literary Fiction and was published in 2011. It won the Man Booker Prize that same year, and was nominated in the Best Novel Category at the 2011 Costa Book Awards. The Head Man Booker Judge, Stella Rimington, described the novel as “exquisitely written, subtly plotted and reveals new depths with each reading. We thought it was a book that spoke to the humankind in the 21th Century.” 

From Lit Lovers –  

Tony Webster and his clique first met Adrian Finn at school. Sex-hungry and book-hungry, they navigated the girl drought of gawky adolescence together, trading in affectations, in-jokes, rumor and wit. Maybe Adrian was a little more serious than the others, certainly more intelligent, but they swore to stay friends forever. Until Adrian’s life took a turn into tragedy, and all of them, especially Tony, moved on and did their best to forget.

Now Tony is in middle age. He’s had a career and a marriage, a calm divorce. He gets along nicely, he thinks, with his one child, a daughter, and even with his ex-wife. He’s certainly never tried to hurt anybody. Memory, though, is imperfect. It can always throw up surprises, as a lawyer’s letter is about to prove. The unexpected bequest conveyed by that letter leads Tony on a dogged search through a past suddenly turned murky. And how do you carry on, contentedly, when events conspire to upset all your vaunted truths? 

This book was also made into a movie in 2017, although it was not as well received as the book. The movie is available on-demand through FIOS, Netflix, and Amazon streaming for about a $4.99 fee; it is also available to rent via Redbox. The book is only about 170 pages and is a pretty quick read. The book is available at the Westfield and Scotch Plains Library; the Westfield Library also has the eAudiobook and the eBook.


Members and Friends

  1. Communications Coordinator.  FUMC is looking for a part-time Communications Coordinator. The Coordinator would be expected to work approximately 20 hours/week and would be responsible for the majority of communication for the church, including web-based and social media sources to promote the mission and ministry of FUMC to both internal and external audiences.

The Coordinator will be an integral part of the church staff, and will report to the Senior Pastor. The successful applicant will have strong verbal, written and technological skills, will be self-motivated, organized, creative, and be able to work with church members as well as members of the broader community. For a full job description please contact, Traci Basaman, Chair of the Staff Parish Relations Committee at


  1. Like us on FACEBOOK! Please LIKE our Facebook page – FUMC Westfield!  Look and see some wonderful pictures of The Pumpkin Patch, the FUMC vegetable garden, worship services and more.


Members & Friends is intended to communicate particular requests or needs of FUMC members or FUMC friends (e.g.  transportation needs for medical appointments, worship, etc., wheelchair available for donation, need for a live-in caregiver, etc.).  These postings should be concise and list a contact person. Please contact the church office 908-233-4211 or email Susan Granski about your listing.