FUMC Westfield

An Inclusive Community of Faith

FUMC Connect

Posted by on Sep 27, 2018

All FUMC Connect submissions should be emailed to communications@fumcwestfield.org


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Group Picture

In response to our We’re all Peacemakers theme, I invite you to be part of an all-church picture at the Sanctuary altar on Sunday, September 30, 2018 at the close of worship as we celebrate our unity in being peacemakers.

Growing an Engaged Church

This Sunday, we end our lesson in Peacemaking and look ahead to the October theme: Addams’ Family Values. The October theme parallel’s Westfield’s October event: AddamsFest. To this end, I want to use Saul as a bridge. Last Sunday, we learned how King Saul’s jealousy and envy of the future King David led to heartache, pain, and ultimately King Saul’s death. But despite his shortcomings as a peacemaker, what we may be able to see in the life of Saul as a parent, is that he created and developed a space in which his children grew into peacemakers. Both daughter Michal and son Jonathan had the confidence, the love, and the boldness to act in ways that put values, justice, and life above all else – even if all else was the shortcomings of a parent.

We get a sense, at times, that we shouldn’t take sides against the family (Michael Corleone in The Godfather). When, in a very real and spiritual sense, our family are those who hear God’s word and put it into practice (Jesus from Luke 8:21).

As a father, my goal is the same as my father’s goal – to teach his children/my children not to be like me but be better than me. I get a sense as a father, Saul said the same thing to Michal and Jonathan. I haven’t met a soul that said, I want jealousy, envy, hatred, selfish ambition, faction (Paul’s fruits of the flesh in 1 Corinthians 5:19-21) to overcome me so that my family and community can be adversely affected. No! But we want for our family and for our community the fruit of the spirit as told in Galatians 5:22-23 (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control), even if we don’t always demonstrate these good fruits.

For me, I get hope in King/parent Saul’s story. He didn’t get it right in the end, but his children got it right. As people who are in responsible for young ones in some form (parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, aunts/uncles, teachers, etc.), we may not always get it right, but as long as we have breath in our bodies, we have a chance to get it right and to help those we are responsible for get it right. Dutch Christian Humanist Desiderius Erasmus Roterodamus is quoted in saying, “[t]he main hope of a nation lies in the proper education of its youth.” Adding to that – the same is true in our church; our families; our community. As we look ahead to October and those values that are important in growing an engaged church by engaging family and community, I encourage you hold to these truths of peacemaking learned this month:

  •           We’re all… in this together
  •           We’re all… valuable
  •           We’re all… called
  •           We’re all… peacemakers

When we do this, our actions and less our words will resoundingly convey:

when people hurt, the peacemakers of FUMC are there to help because FUMC knows and believes we are all valuable.

The house of the Lord is always open. If you need rest and rejuvenation in your journey, come by and spend some time in the house of the LORD. See you soon.

~ Rev. Williams


Current Happenings

  1. Annual Report Submissions now due in the church office. We are currently compiling our annual report for our upcoming Church Conference.  All leaders/officers are asked to submit their group’s report to the church office ASAP.  Our church conference will take place on Saturday, November 17, 2018 at Aldersgate UMC,(568 Ryders Lane, East Brunswick) at 9:00 AM.


  1. Adult Faith Development

Nehemiah Bible StudyCome study Nehemiah with us at 9:00 am on Sundays in the Ku Conference Room (room 105)!  We will be learning the lessons of Nehemiah for his time  in Jerusalem and also for our church today.  Come with us to understand how being servant leaders can help grow our church!  If you can, please read Chapters 4 and 5 in Nehemiah.  Lynn Petrino will be bringing some goodies to eat!


  1. Youth Group News. We’re having a Movie Night for Youth Group this Sunday in the Loft from 5:30-7:30 PM! Join us to watch Evan Almighty and have some yummy snacks! Please bring $3 for dinner.


  1. Trunk or Treat is coming!  Sunday, October 14th, noon – 2:00pm. Join us for this annual event co-sponsored by FUMC and WHOOPS (Wesley Hall Organization of Parents). Volunteers are needed to be part of the fun! Sign up to host a trunk through this sign up genius link:



  1. Starting FUMC Prayer Groups. In response to the sermon by Rev. Williams and the testimony by Diane Silvester on the power of prayer; we must start more prayer groups at FUMC. Do you know how much difference a supportive prayer group can make in your life? Sometimes we don’t think we have time for another commitment, but if we make connecting with others a priority, we get back joy and friendship ten-fold.  We will have a sign-up sheet for prayer groups starting this Sunday.  You can also sign up by clicking here. Share the link with co-workers, friends, neighbors, and anyone.

You will find friends, feel connected, share joy and pain, and build our FUMC community!~ Submitted by a team of FUMC members who want to strengthen the faith of our community and church.


  1. Men’s Prayer Group. We will be starting a Men’s Prayer Group on Tuesday evenings from 8 to 9 pm.  This meeting will be at the church in room 218 and also virtual via web conferencing so you can participate wherever you are!  Come ready to share, help each other and make new friends!  This group will be led initially by Dean Pratt and Brian Mulvey.  


  1. FUMC Holiday Giving Tree – Coordinator(s) Needed! After many years of coordinating the Holiday Giving Tree, I am no longer able to continue.  Many members look forward each year to helping those less fortunate during the holiday season.  I hope the tradition will continue.

Each year FUMC accepts 50 names of men, woman and children and provides gifts to brighten their holiday season.  The Giving Tree is set up in the Narthex over Thanksgiving weekend.  Ornaments are created and hung on the tree with the name, age and gift suggestion for someone in need.

Church members take an ornament or ornaments as they are able and bring back the gifts, unwrapped in shopping bags with the ornament tag and place the gifts under the tree.  The coordinator(s) bag up the gifts and arrange for them to be picked up.

The coordinators also create the ornaments and organize the names list. 

If you are able to help, please contact me for more information at maria6107060@yahoo.com

Thank you, Maria Vitale


8. Family Promise. We shall provide shelter, food and hospitality to families served by Family Promise of Union County the week of October 21-28, 2018. Many volunteer opportunities will be required as we once again serve those less fortunate than ourselves.

You can click here to sign up for the week of October 21-28, 2018. We need volunteers to make dinner, host dinner or stay overnight. Two volunteers will be needed each night from 5:00-9:00 p.m. to serve and share dinner with our guests and to spend time with them in the evening. Two overnight volunteers will be needed from 9:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. Questions?  Contact Laura Gribbin at 908-654-8290 or Susan Gandy at 908-233-2389.



  1. Lay Servants. For the last ten years, Connie Palmer has been a lay servant at FUMC.  It has been an experience that has enabled her to grow in her faith and serve others.  Here is some information about the role of lay servant.  

The Methodist Church is unique in its use of the laity in ministry.  Lay servants in the Methodist Church are those who are called to:  

  • Leading: Lay servants combine words and actions in leadership roles within their churches and communities.
  • Caring: Lay servants share a ministry of caring one-on-one with people in times of need and in times of joy, and show their faith by responding to others with care–giving love and service.
  • Communicating: Lay servants often fill pulpits, lead Bible studies, or speak in youth and children’s groups, healthcare centers, retirement centers, prison ministries, and more.

If you are interested in learning more about being a lay servant, you can go to the conference website https://www.gnjumc.org/for/resources/laity/#section-content or talk to Connie Palmer or Reverend Williams.  


  1. The Counseling Center at Jewish Family Service has expanded its services. The Counseling Center is licensed by the Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services and is staffed by a diverse, licensed clinical staff with varied specialties and extensive training in evidence-based treatment models. Most insurance including Medicaid, is accepted for individual, couples and family therapy.  A variety of support and therapeutic groups are also offered and are always expanding.  Please reach out to our Intake Department at 908-352-8375 for more information.


Mark Your Calendar

  1. The Pumpkins are coming! The FUMC Youth Pumpkin Patch will be open October 13-31 from 10:30 AM-6:30 PM! Please mark your calendars to help unload our pumpkin delivery on Friday, October 12th at 5:30 PM, and please click here to sign up for shifts to help!




  1. Christmas Concert. Save the Date!!! Saturday, December 15, 4 pm. Program planning and song selections are currently underway. If you would like to participate in the concert, please send an email to Carolyn Milhiser at culhaneboys@outlook.com. We need choir singers, bell ringers, instrumentalists, small group performers, program designers, cookie bakers, ushers, etc. There is something for everyone. Also, please reach out to family and friends who would like to participate in the choirs.


  1. New Jersey Festival Orchestra. The New Jersey Festival Orchestra (NJFO) season opens dramatically here at FUMC on Saturday, October 13 at 7pm with a concert that celebrates composers and artists who came to the United States from abroad and were inspired by what they found here.

SPECIAL OFFER FOR FUMC MEMBERS: NJFO would like to extend to FUMC members a special discount offer to buy one ticket and get another ticket of the same value at half price. Use code FUMC. The offer also includes an invitation to attend the pre-concert lecture by musicologist Michael Rosin in the FUMC Fellowship room at 6pm. For tickets call (908) 232-9400 or visit njfestivalorchestra.org and use code FUMC to obtain your discount.

Want to attend the concert for free? NJFO is looking for volunteers to usher during the concert, and all volunteers will get to hear the concert for free! Contact Rebecca Dunkle at 908-232-9400 or rdunkle@njfestivalorchestra.org for more information.


Members and Friends

  1. Inviting you to join the Meal Train for Jack Panosh. Long-time member, Jack Panosh, had recent successful open-heart surgery on to replace a leaky valve. He is recovering well at home.

During his recovery, you can help Jack by providing dinners so he can put his energy into regaining his strength. Jack cannot drive for 6 more weeks, so he also needs transportation to appointments.  A webpage has been set up on mealtrain.com to facilitate the sign up process (for meals AND transportation). 

To jump on Jack’s Meal Train, go to https://mealtrain.com/y38k0y.  A visit to the Meal Train page can help you plan and sign up to help Jack. On the page, you will find his favorite foods, heart-healthy diet restrictions, drop-off instructions, and the meal calendar.  You will also be able to see what other people are planning to make, so Jack won’t end up with meatloaf every night!

In the weeks to come, you can check the Meal Train page to see how Jack’s recovery is progressing.


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 communications@fumcwestfield.org about your listing.