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Gratitude is defined as the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness (Dictionary.com).
I am full of gratitude because of the level of commitment and support given by this congregation since my appointment to First United Methodist Church Westfield beginning July 1, 2018. You continue to amaze me, and I thank God for your generosity of love.
On last Sunday, FUMC’s strategic plan received 75 commitment cards with a large handful of congregants committing to multiple teams. As a church, we are committed to growing an engaged church. In your own time, please thank God for such committed sisters and brothers in Christ. There is still time to make your commitment. Click here fill out your commitment card electronically.
Also, on this past Tuesday, our finance team mailed a check to the Greater New Jersey Annual Conference for the full amount of our Shared Ministry obligation. Moreover, we did not have to use money from the endowment, but because you were faithful in your pledges and sacrificial in your above and beyond giving, we were able to fully participate in the United Methodist connectional system of mission and ministry as well as come within $2,000 of breaking even for the 2018 budget.
Lastly, our average worship attendance grew nearly 6.5% from 2018 to 2019 (109 to 116 per week). Click here to see attendance by week. Average weekly attendance is not the only barometer of growing an engaged church. To that end, continue to share stories about FUMC’s engagement. How are we journeying alongside of each other? How are we spreading the love of Jesus? How are we impacting lives?
I believe in having a healthy level of pride, and I am proud to serve as a servant-leader at FUMC.
Thank you for sharing the vision of growing an engaged church,
- Growing an Engaged Church – Installation and Blessing of Strategic Teams! Team leaders have been identified for each one of the seven teams created for implementing our ambitious church-wide goals. The teams have been formed from much discernment by the congregation through talks with Pastor Williams, the congregational survey and the strategic planning retreat. Each Sunday in January and February one of the teams will be installed and receive a blessing for their work during the worship service.
We invite you to join us in blessing each of these ministry teams:
Team Installation and Blessing Sunday
Worship-Music-Arts January 13, 2019
Outreach-Mission January 20, 2019
Fun January 27, 2019
Welcome February 3, 2019
Social Justice February 10, 2019
Nurture February 17, 2019
Kitchen-Hospitality February 24, 2019
Administrative March 3, 2019
Church Council, SPRC, Nominations, Trustees, & Finance
It is not too late to join a team! Throughout the season of Epiphany, commitment cards can be found on a table in the side Narthex. Following prayerful consideration, fill out your card and turn it in during worship following the weekly installation litany. Your information will be forwarded to the leaders of the team you select.
- District Superintendent Rev. Drew Dyson appointed to new extension ministry. Drew A. Dyson has been appointed to an extension ministry as Executive Director of the Princeton Senior Resource Center effective March 19, 2019.
- Sang Won Doh has been appointed to Raritan Valley District Superintendent. Sang Won Doh is senior pastor at Calvary Korean UMC. He is currently serving Calvary Korean UMC in East Brunswick where his grew the congregation from 500 to 950 in worship. Previously, he served Monmouth Grace UMC in Eatontown where attendance grew from 110 to 300. As a result, he became the recipient of Denman Evangelism award in 2003. Sang Won Doh served as a member of Board of Ordain Ministry from 2000-2012 and Order of Elder Co-Chair from 2004-2008. He is currently serving the Chair of the Connectional Table Chair for GNJ. He is a turnaround spiritual leader.
- Adult Faith Development
Join us Sunday mornings in January at 9 am in the Fellowship Room where we will go deeper into practical ways of being a welcoming and hospitable congregation. Come learn how to create a more just world where everyone can thrive. See you there.
- Jan. 13th – A deeper look into creating a welcoming culture
- Jan. 20th – Dean Pratt – Understanding Other Faiths – A look at Judaism & Islam
- Jan. 27th – Special guest: Rev Dr Amy Jones – Family Promise and Hospitality. Who are some of our most vulnerable neighbors and how can we show them grace and hospitality? Come hear an update on the state of homelessness in Union County and the opportunities and challenges in serving families experiencing homelessness, as well as the social justice issues confronting us as we work to find solutions to family homelessness. Family Promise is a nonprofit agency serving families experiencing homelessness. FUMC is a host congregation for Family Promise-Union County’s emergency shelter program, providing a safe place for families to sleep.
- Current Sermon Series & Mission Project
January: From Expectations to Reality.
Collecting Diapers in January (click here to read more): United Methodist churches throughout New Jersey recently partnered to collect more than 87,000 diapers (goal was 10,000) for low-income families with infants in the capital city. In New Jersey, one in three mothers struggle to provide enough diapers for her children. The diapers will be distributed at community birthday parties in 2019. The parties will celebrate one year olds and their families. Every child in diapers who attends will receive diapers. These ‘First Birthday Parties’ will be sponsored by the Maker’s Place, a new United Methodist initiative in Trenton, in partnership with the Children’s Home Society of New Jersey, along with other congregations and community partners. While celebrating important milestones for children, the parties will also provide resources to reduce Trenton’s high infant mortality rate. The first party will be on March 2, 2019, at Turning Point United Methodist Church, located at 15 South Broad Street, Trenton.
Upcoming Worship Series
February: Love in Action
- Youth News. This Sunday at Youth Group we’ll be playing Grog and making desserts for the Free Meals Program! Join us in the Loft from 5:30-7:30 PM, and please bring $3 for dinner.
For our summer mission trip, we will be serving with The Philadelphia Project June 23rd-29th! Please contact Kylie Haskins at email@example.com if you have any questions about the trip or are interested in signing up!
- FUMC trip to a NJ Devils game! Come join us on February 9th @1PM as the NJ Devils play the Minnesota Wild at the Prudential Center! Tickets are $50 each. Contact Lauren Kolaya after services or via email/phone. firstname.lastname@example.org or 908-962-0186 (feel free to text!). Tickets will be on sale until January 13th.
Mark Your Calendar
- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Interfaith Service. Join us on Monday, January 21, 2019 at 1 PM at the First Congregational Church, (125 Elmer Street, Westfield) for a Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Interfaith Service. We will march from the MLK Monument on the South Circle to the church before the service. Gather at the Monument at 12:15 PM. Bring a non-perishable food donation for the Westfield Food Pantry.
Members and Friends
- 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 email@example.com about your listing.