FUMC Westfield

An Inclusive Community of Faith

FUMC Connect

Posted by on Nov 15, 2018

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


Get Connected

Stories-Part III, Shaping Leadership, Annual Charge Conference, & Growing an Engaged Church

On this Sunday, using Hebrews 11:1-3, Dan Bottorff will share stories that speak to our times of struggle with doubt; about an unseen reality beyond what is “real” and “visible.”  In Part III of our Stories that Make is Better People Series, you’re invited to understand what it means to Live by the Unseen.

Not only are we in for a powerful sermon, but we will experience a powerful moment. Our 3rd grade children will receive the ultimate story book: The Bible. For those of us who depend on this document of faith to come alive during times of joy and times of trials, we know that these young children are receiving a powerful gift. Won’t you be on hand to provide them joyous support?

We will also have the opportunity on Sunday to support three youth group members who are being recognized as leaders within the group. Congregations of the churches shape the leaders of our future churches. Your presence on Sunday will affirm and shape their spiritual leadership development.

Lastly, Church Conference, sometimes called Charge Conference, is our annual meeting with church members and our presiding elder to review the business and mission of the local church. I encourage you to attend as we will present a draft of the 2019-2021 strategic plan. Here are the details:

  • Saturday, November 17, 2018
  • Aldersgate UMC: 568 Ryders Lane East Brunswick, NJ 08816
  • Schedule:
    • 8:45 am – 9:00 am      Gathering & Refreshments Aldersgate UMC
    • 9:00 am – 9:45 am      FUMC Church Conference
    • 10:00 am – 11: 45 am       Worship & Plenary Session with Olu Brown at Calvary Korean (next door).
  • Rev. Olu Brown
    • Click here to learn more about him;
    • Click here  to hear a podcast;
    • Click here to visit his church’s website;

Please send me a quick e-mail if you plan on attending, so that I can plan accordingly.

Every time I’m in the house of the Lord, I become filled with excitement and possibilities. I hope you do too. The space that is created at FUMC to struggle, to be nurtured, to be shaped, and to strategize are all elements of growing an engaged church. I invite you to take part in these special moments.

As always, the house of the Lord is open daily if you need inspiration and rejuvenation in the journey. See you soon.

~Rev. Williams


Current Sermon Series

November: Stories that make us better people

Upcoming Worship Series

Advent: Greater Expectations with Holy Communion each Sunday


Christmas Season Experiences

Christmas Carols each Sunday beginning 10 minutes before worship.

December 2nd –    Strategic Plan Lunch & Learn (after church)

December 9th –     Blessing of the Prayer Shawl’s knitted hats for Blue Christmas (in worship)

December 15th –   Community Christmas Show (4:00 pm)

December 16th –   Christmas Pageant (in worship) along with creation of luminaries for Blue Christmas

December 16th –   Rev. Williams will preach at the UECF Worship Service at 4:45 pm

December 21st –   Blue Christmas Worship Service (candle lighting available at 4:00 pm, service 6:30-7:00)

Christmas Eve Services (free advance tickets suggested, more information to come***):

          *New* 10:00 am – Contemporary with Holy Communion *New*

                    5:00 pm – Family services with Birthday Cake for Jesus

                    7:00 pm – Traditional with Holy Communion & Candlelight Service

                    11:00 pm – Traditional with Candle Light Service

***Even though it’s free, why do I need advanced tickets?

True. We are trying something new. We want to ensure there is enough seats for everyone to enjoy Christmas Eve worship as a family. We would appreciate you taking advantage of the Eventbrite option, which will be made available through our specialized Community Christmas website. However, tickets will also be available at the door, after worship on Sundays beginning in December, and in the office for pickup.

December 30th – Blessing of the Gifts. Adult and children alike, bring a gift you received from Christmas into worship as a sign of God’s blessings upon all of God’s gifts. Our 5th Sunday children’s worship team will lead worship on this day

January: From Expectations to Reality


Current Happenings

  1. Memorial Service for Judy Corrello.  There will be a Memorial Service for Judy Corrello on Sunday, November 18th at 2:30 PM. 


  1. Noontimers – November 16.  On Friday, November 16th, from noon till 2:00 PM, Connie Palmer will share how Imagine, a Center for Coping with Loss, will be offering grief support groups in Newark in early 2019.  Joining her will be Malik Latimore, a Newark Community Street Team member, and Elizabeth Ruebman, Vice President of Amplify, Inc. who works with the NCST.

To prepare for the presentation watch:  https://youtu.be/1i6zjbAPR0A

Imagine is also a part of “Promise Neighborhood Grant” a federal grant for the South Ward of Newark.

Come learn about:

  • the impact of grief and trauma on the youth of Newark;
  • the connection between grief, violence and incarceration;
  • the impact of grief support on attendance, improved
  • grades and graduation from high school.

Bring your lunch. Coffee, tea, and dessert are provided.


  1. FUMC Christmas Giving Tree.  The holidays are upon us and the Christmas Giving Tree is bursting with need!  The St. Joseph Social Service Center has asked for our generosity again this year.  We have accepted 50 names of people that are hoping for some warm clothing this holiday season.  The tree is set up in the Narthex (many thanks to the Men’s Prayer Group for setting up the tree!) and decorated (many thanks to the Junior Youth Group!) Each ornament lists the name, age, gender and size for the person listed.  As you are able, please select an ornament, purchase the clothing and return it unwrapped. Please return the clothing in a gift bag with tissue paper and staple the ornament to the outside of the bag by Sunday, December 9, 2018.  If you have any large Christmas bags or tissue paper the Center is asking for those as well. Please contact Barbara Heifetz at barbara.heifetz@lcc.culturalcare.com  or 908-397-9658 with any questions. If you prefer to make a cash donation you can contact Barbara and she will purchase the clothing. Thank you for your generosity.


  1. FUMC’s newest Lay Servant

Elaine Pratt recently completed her Lay Servant courses. With my blessing, she is now FUMC’s newest Lay Servant. What is a Lay Servant? Click here For more information. After reading, if you too are interested in helping lead FUMC as a Lay Servant, please e-mail me.


  1. Christmas in Westfield

Self-disclosure: According to David Kolb’s learning style model, I am one who try’s something out by actively experimenting with a new approach; thus making my learning style trial-and-error.

To that end, I invite you to prayerfully discern this article called, 11 STRATEGIES TO HELP YOU LEVERAGE CHRISTMAS TO REACH THE UNCHURCHED 

Our church staff and nearly half a dozen committed laity have begun developing plans to implement several of these ideas, include ideas 8 – 10. Let me know your thoughts. Are you willing to be part of the team that actively experiments with a new approach? Join us.


  1. Christmas in Westfield Website –  We’re getting ready to launch ChristmasInWestfield.com, but we need your help! Please send any info you have about holiday events happening in town to Kylie Haskins at kyliewhaskins@gmail.com!


  1. Adult Faith Development 

How do you open doors?  How do we strengthen our asset of being a welcoming congregation? What does being a diverse congregation really mean? 

Join us in the Fellowship room Sundays in November at 9 am for this 4 part Adult Faith Development series to share and learn how each other’s stories make us better people.  Come to be a part of the discussion and planning of truly making FUMC an open and diverse place. We will use videos and other interactive materials to spark stories and conversation.  

Nov. 25 – Transforming 

Reach out with questions to Rodney Ross, Dale Flowers or Traci Basaman (tbasaman@gmail.com). 


Coming in December. . .

Are you ready for Advent?  Are you in anticipation of the birth and rebirth of Jesus Christ in our lives?  Let’s gather Sunday morning at 9 am to discuss the following Advent themes:

Sunday, December 2 (Advent Week 1) – Motivated for Change                      

Sunday, December 9 (Advent Week 2) – Get Outside Your Comfort Zone       

Sunday December 16 (Advent Week 3) – Always Be in Awe

Sunday December 23 (Advent Week 4) – Impact Others                                  

Sponsored by the Adult Faith Development Team – Traci Basaman, Lynn Petrino, Bob Anderson, and Dean Pratt


  1. Youth News.   This Sunday at Youth Group is our Stick Horse Rodeo! Join us in the Loft from 5:30-7:30 PM, and please bring $3 for dinner!


  1. Books and Beyond.  Please join us for FUMC’s monthly book/plus discussion group, “Books and Beyond” on November 18, 2018 at 7 PM in room 105. Karen Livingston will be leading our discussion of Rough Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng.   An upcoming TV mini-series starring Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington has yet to be released.


  1. Group Picture. Thank you for taking part in the group picture. We are working on ways to display and promote the picture. For now, look at it by clickinghere. What a great time.


  1. UMCOR Flood Buckets.New Dover UMC in Edison is now the approved UMCOR Central New Jersey Hub for Hurricane Flood Bucket collection. Completed buckets or supplies can be dropped off at the church mornings, Monday through Friday. Please call the church office at 732-381-9478, or Rev. Chuck Coblentz at 609-937-4565, to ensure someone is available to receive the buckets/supplies, or to schedule a drop-off during off-hours. Click here


  1. Men’s Prayer Group. Our Men’s Prayer Group meets on Tuesday evenings from 7:30 pm to 9 pm in room 218 at the church 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 Prattand Brian Mulvey.  


  1. Free Meals Program Request. The Free Meals Program has been busy serving meals to our guests at Covenant United Methodist Church in Plainfield.  However, we have discovered that we do not have enough forks to provide to each of our guests.  How can you eat a meal of Meatloaf and Scalloped Potatoes without a fork????  Not easy!  We are hoping to replenish the supply of dinner forks by asking the members of FUMC for donations of any stainless forks you may not need (or would like to purchase) so that our hungry neighbors can enjoy eating a meal with the proper utensil.  There will be a box in the Lobby where you can place your items, but please note that we need only forks and only stainless.  Silver or silver plate doesn’t survive the dishwasher which we are required by law to use.  Thank you in advance for your generosity.  If you have any questions, please call Pat Curtis at 908-232-3139.


Mark Your Calendar

  1. Church Council.  The next church council meeting will be on Monday, November 26th at 7:30 in the Fellowship Room.


  1. Hanging of the Greens.  The Hanging of the Greens at FUMC will take place on Saturday, December 1 at 9:30AM.  All are invited, especially men,  to help decorate the Sanctuary and other areas of FUMC in preparation for the Advent Season which begins the next day.  What a great way to usher in this festive time of the year!  It would be helpful if you would let Gloria Brodersen (908-322-2038) know if you can help.  We really need you!


  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.


Members and Friends

  1. Support the Meixner Family.  Jeannie Dillon Meixner passed away on September 28, 2018 after a long, hard fight with cancer. A GoFundMe page has been set up in her honor, so please  consider giving in support of the Meixner family. You can click here to go to the page.


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.