First United Methodist Church Westfield

FUMC Connect

Posted by on Dec 13, 2018

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

 

Get Connected

Growing an Engaged Church

I celebrated six months of ministry with you earlier this month. I praise God for the opportunity to worship and serve alongside of you in this servant leader position. Thank you for your prayers. Part of the pastoral transition process for the Greater New Jersey Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church includes “checking-in” conversations with the pastor and SPRC. There are more than a dozen evaluative areas on the report we send back to the conference once a quarter for the next 18 months. I want to share a copy of the report with you (click here). I would love your feedback on any of the evaluative areas. I haven’t mentioned it in a while, but you’re always invited to schedule a meeting with me. Just e-mail williamscalendarfumc@gmail.com, a link to my calendar will be sent to you via automatic reply. You’re also invited to share conversation with the 2019 SPRC team: Traci Basaman, Peter Pantalena, Randy Greasham, Joann Couture, Cheryl Klimek, Mark Froehlich, Ben Lohmann, Joann Huber, Joy Kalata, and Ray Barber. As we grow an engaged church, my greater expectations for our ministry together is to have consistent communication.

 

Worship

Praise God! Average worship attendance is up year over year. If you aren’t a regular attendee to weekly worship, I ask that you reconsider. The vitality of our church depends on all of us.

The season of Advent serves as the beginning of the Christian calendar, remembers the actions leading up to the birth of Jesus, and reminds us to live as those who are prepared for the second coming of Jesus. It’s through these meanings of the season that we find relevance for us today, and if we allow it, greater expectations for our lives.

During the month of December, we are often lured into higher acts of consumerism, to believe that our relationships are validated through indulgence, and onto faux pathways that promise a better you. We don’t always realize the greater expectations until we’ve already given into the lure of society’s great expectations.Greater Expectations is about realizing God’s plan for living your life. As we enter a new Christian year and end a calendar year, I invite you to reflect on these questions that will shed light on God’s plan for living your life:

  • Sunday, December 16th: Can you take small steps in the midst of life changing decisions? Why or why not? Click here to view the video for this Sunday’s worship theme.
  • Sunday, December 23rd: How can you give gifts that keep on giving?
  • Monday, December 24th: Where is your treasurer?
  • Sunday, December 30th: What really matters the most?

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

Advent: Greater Expectations – God’s Plan For Your Living

  • Step 1 – Get Motivated for Change (Dec. 2nd)
  • Step 2 – Get Outside Your Comfort Zone (Dec. 9th)
  • Step 3 – Always Be In Awe (Dec. 16th) In preparation, listen to the lyrics of this video.
  • Step 4 – Impact Others (Dec 23rd)
  • Step 5 – Enjoy The Moment (Dec. 24th
  • Step 6 – Remember What Really Matters (Dec. 30th)

Holy Communion each Sunday

 

Upcoming Worship Series

January: From Expectations to Reality.

 

Christmas in Westfield

The website www.ChristmasInWestield.com is live. Visit and share.

 

Christmas Season Experiences

  • Christmas Carols each Sunday beginning 10 minutes before worship.
  • 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 6:30 pm
  • December 21st –   Blue Christmas Worship Service (candle lighting available at 4:00 pm, service 6:30-7:00)
  • December 22nd – Brass & Carols Outside Worship Service at PNC Plaza (across from the church) 11:00 am
  • 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 is available through our specialized Community Christmas websiteChristmasInWestfield. However, tickets will also be available at the door, after worship on Sundays 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

 

Current Happenings

  1. Advent Chain.  For the past two Sundays members and visitors have participated in a devotional activity for Advent by completing sentences on paper strips that have been connected together in a prayer chain expressing hopes for our families, neighbors, church and the world and lifting up our gratitude for the acts of love we show and see in our daily walk of life.  The devotional activity is open to all each week and will be in place through Christmas Eve.  The prayer chain is growing and will be on display in the sanctuary through Epiphany Sunday on January 6th.  

This week, the prayer chain sentence to complete focuses upon JOY – “I find joy in …”

 

  1. Your Hands Are Needed. Last Sunday, we blessed the prayer shawl hats that were knitted by the prayer shawl team. FUMC will give these hats to Blue Christmas worshippers on Friday, December 21, 2018 at the 6:30 pm service. Thank you for participating in the blessing of the hats via liturgy and personal prayers. Now, we ask that you touch the hats with an added blessing. Healing touches are a critical act of our faith. These hats will be stationed in the lobby and fellowship room on this upcoming Sunday. Please touch the hats. No large grandiose act is needed, just a small simple touch and a desire in your heart that this small act of faith will heal someone else. Praise God & thank you!

 

  1. Blue Christmas Service.  The Blue Christmas – A Service of Remembrance and Hope (December 21) is a recognition that the holiday season is not always bright and merry for all.  Memories of grief, loss, and separation can overwhelm us.  As such, we invite all who are able to join us for worship – those who are in need of support and those who are able to give support – to come and remember what we have lost in the context of hope for renewal and faith in Jesus Christ.  

This is a ministry for our whole community.  In worship on the 9th, we blessed hats made by the prayer shawl group to give to those who attend Blue Christmas service and in worship on the 16th we will make and bless luminary for use at the service and on Christmas Eve.  A call has been issued for drivers to assist fellow congregants in need of transportation to attend the service; contact Margo Bradley to help.

There are a few additional helping hands needed the day of the service as prayer partners during the open prayer time (4-6pm), as ushers before, during and after the service (6-8pm).  Opportunities to help range from 30 minute to 60 minute time commitments. If you are able to support the Blue Christmas worship ministry on December 21, please sign up at this link: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/9040C4AA5AC2CA75-blue

 

  1. Blue Christmas Service – Do you need a ride? – Can you give a ride?  There will be a Blue Christmas worship service – a service of Remembrance and Hope, on Friday, December 21 at 6:30 PM.  We want everyone who is interested to be able to attend.  Do you need a ride? or Can you drive a fellow parishioner to the service?  Please contact Margo Bradley at 706-587-2194 (I also have text) or at mbradley246@comcast.net.  Thank You!

 

  1. Our Journey to the Strategic Plan Continues – Commitment Sunday is January 6, 2019

On Sunday, January 6, 2019, I invite you to make a commitment to joining one or two of the new strategic teams:

  • Fun Team
  • Kitchen/Hospitality Team
  • Outreach Team
  • Nurturing Team
  • Social Justice Team
  • Welcome Team
  • Worship, Music, and Arts Team

By itself, these teams only provide a little towards the church’s overall growth. But we believe, when these teams are linked, build on each other, and create entry and exit pathways for church and community members to get involved, then a beautiful mosaic of church life is developed, and FUMC is a place where people want to be.

These teams are just words in an e-mail without you bringing life, creativity, and faithfulness to them; growing them into vital and productive teams. Beginning 2019, please consider committing to a team.

whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. ~ 2 Corinthians 9:6 (NIV)

We will be blessed by your thoughtfulness. Consider the next verse of the aforementioned 2 Corinthians chapter 9 bible passage. Read The Message version of verse 7,

I want each of you to take plenty of time to think it over, and make up your own mind what you will give. That will protect you against sob stories and arm-twisting. God loves it when the giver delights in the giving.

During this season, please discern your role in implementing our Strategic Plan (3 options):

  1. Lead a team
  2. Serve on a team
  3. Make yourself available to help with a project when called upon by a team, but not be an official member of the team?

We don’t want to “sell” you on this plan but want you to earnestly believe in your heart that your gifts and talents are a necessary piece to our puzzle.

It will take all of us to sow generously seeds of prayers, time, witness, and finances for FUMC to reach these ambitious but achievable goals in our strategic plan.

We invite you to prayerfully consider joining one of our teams at FUMC Westfield. Click here to view the team descriptions, and click here fill out your commitment card electronically. Or pick up a green commitment card in church – placed in various locations around the church.

We appreciate your dedication to our church!

~ Strategic Planning Team: Dean, Elaine, Joann, Kirk, Kylie, Marcee, Rodney, and William

 

  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. She has written our Advent devotionals on the back of each Sunday’s bulletin.

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. Adult Faith Development 

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 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 is our last Youth Group of 2018! Join us in the Loft from 5:30-7:30 PM for our Christmas Party! Christmas attire is greatly encouraged, please bring $3 for dinner.

For our summer mission trip, we will be serving with The Philadelphia Project June 23rd-29th! Click here to view the notes from our meeting on Sunday, and please contact Kylie Haskins at kyliewhaskins@gmail.com if you have any questions about the trip or are interested in signing up!

 

  1. Rahway Prison Donation Needs.  We will be collecting paperback religious/spirituality books (paperback only!!), Christmas cards for the men to send and any blank cards or birthday cards with envelopes. They do NOT need any calendars this year. 

    There will be a bin next to the elevator. No Christmas cards past 12/16 please. Contact Connie Palmer with questions.

 

  1. Just For Your Information: Rev. Williams is a Neighborhood Co-Captain in region 4 of Ward 1.  

 

  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. Christmas Caroling to FUMC HomeboundCome join in spreading the Christmas Spirit by caroling to our FUMC Homebound on Saturday, December 15. We will leave the Church at 12:30PM and return in plenty of time for the 3:00PM rehearsal for those participating in the Christmas Show to be held at 4PM.  All are welcome…adults, children, singers and non-singers.   Please let Gloria Brodersen (908-322-2038)know if you are planning to participate so we can make transportation arrangements.  Don’t miss out on the fun!

 

  1. Community Christmas Show at FUMC. Renew YOUR Holiday Spirit at the FUMC Community Christmas Show on Saturday, December 15th  at 4 PM in the Sanctuary.  Free Admission.

 

  1. Heifer Project International Market – December 15, 16 & 23.Can’t think of ideas for Christmas presents?  Everybody have everything they need?  If that’s the case, think about buying an animal from Heifer Project International.  Share the gift of hope for hungry families across the globe.  Perfect gifts for secretaries, bosses, aunts with too much money, for holiday hostesses and even your kids to show them how much you care about families around the world! Bonny Chopey and friends will be there to help you gift animals on Sundays, December 16 and 23  before and after worship, December 15th during the Christmas Concert in the waiting area outside the church office.

 

  1. Annual Cookie Walk—December 16. Our Annual Cookie Walk will take place on Sunday, December 16th in the Fellowship Room.  Shoppers will purchase a  container and have the opportunity to fill it with home-baked goodies.  This is a great way to get a variety of cookies for the holiday!  For more information or to donate cookies call Sue Gandy at 908-233-2389 or Mary-Lou Jackson  at 908-233-4678. Proceeds from this year’s Cookie Walk will benefit Family Promise.

 

  1. Sanctuary Holiday Decorations. We look forward to the Holiday Season when we can worship and enjoy the special beauty of our decorated Sanctuary. We especially enjoy the traditional and colorful Poinsettias in the Altar area, which will be distributed to our shut-ins after December 25th.  If you would like the opportunity to honor or remember loved ones with the purchase of Altar decorations and Poinsettias, please complete the form below and bring or mail it to our Church office enclosed with your donation by December 16th.  (Checks may be made out to “FUMC, Holiday Decorations”).  Plans are to list the names of those being honored or remembered in the Christmas Bulletin.  Thank you.
 
 

Holiday Sanctuary Decorations Form

(For accuracy, please clearly print the following information)

 

In Honor of(Name):_____________________________________________

In Memory of (Deceased Name):__________________________________

Donation from:________________________________________________

Amount Enclosed $_________

 

 
 

 

Mark Your Calendar

  1. FUMC trip to a NJ Devils game! Are you looking for a gift for a hockey fan? Then 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. lyco97@aol.com or 908-962-0186 (feel free to text!). Tickets will be on sale until January 13th. 

 

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.

Read More

FUMC Connect

Posted by on Dec 6, 2018

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

 

Get Connected

 

Christmas in Westfield

The website www.ChristmasInWestfield.com is live. Visit and share!

 

Christmas Season Experiences

  • Christmas Carols each Sunday beginning 10 minutes before worship.
  • 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)
    •  *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 www.ChristmasInWestfield.com. However, tickets will also be available at the door, after worship on Sundays 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

 

Current Happenings

  1. Advent Chain.  Each Sunday in Advent and on Christmas Eve we invite you to participate in our church-wide Advent Prayer Chain Devotional.  We will provide you with strips of paper on which to complete a sentence that expresses your gratitude for God’s presence, your commitment to God’s calling, or asks prayers of petition.  Each Sunday will have a specific sentence starter inspired by the advent words of Hope, Love, Joy, and Peace in preparation for Christmas Eve.  For questions or to help with this devotional program by constructing and displaying the chain, contact Marcee Rogers.

 

  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. Looking for Drivers for the Evening of Friday, December 21.  There will be a Blue Christmas worship service – a service of Remembrance and Hope, on Friday, December 21 at 6:30 PM.  We want everyone who is interested to be able to attend.  Can you drive a fellow parishioner to the service?  If you can, please contact Margo Bradley at 706-587-2194 (I also have text) or at mbradley246@comcast.net.  Your help will be greatly appreciated!  Thank You!

 

  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. Adult Faith Development 

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 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. We’ll be having a mission trip interest meeting this Sunday, December 9th at 5:00 PM before Youth Group. Please join us if you’re interested in serving with us at The Philadelphia Project this summer!  

 This Sunday at Youth Group we’re making desserts for the Free Meals Program and playing Grog! Join us in the Loft from 5:30-7:30 PM, and please bring $3 for dinner.

 

  1. Rahway Prison Donation Needs.  We will be collecting paperback religious/spirituality books (paperback only!!), Christmas cards for the men to send and any blank cards or birthday cards with envelopes. They do NOT need any calendars this year. 

    There will be a bin next to the elevator. No Christmas cards past 12/16 please. Contact Connie Palmer with questions.

 

  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 is 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. Sanctuary Holiday Decorations. We look forward to the Holiday Season when we can worship and enjoy the special beauty of our decorated Sanctuary. We especially enjoy the traditional and colorful Poinsettias in the Altar area, which will be distributed to our shut-ins after December 25th.  If you would like the opportunity to honor or remember loved ones with the purchase of Altar decorations and Poinsettias, please complete the form below and bring or mail it to our Church office enclosed with your donation by December 16th.  (Checks may be made out to “FUMC, Holiday Decorations”).  Plans are to list the names of those being honored or remembered in the Christmas Bulletin.  Thank you.
 
 

Holiday Sanctuary Decorations Form

(For accuracy, please clearly print the following information)

 

In Honor of(Name):_____________________________________________

In Memory of (Deceased Name):__________________________________

Donation from:________________________________________________

Amount Enclosed $_________

 

 
 

 

Mark Your Calendar

  1. Christmas Caroling to FUMC Homebound.  Come join in spreading the Christmas Spirit by caroling to our FUMC Homebound on Saturday, December 15. We will leave the Church at 12:30PM and return in plenty of time for the 3:00PM rehearsal for those participating in the Christmas Show to be held at 4PM.  All are welcome…adults, children, singers and non-singers.   Please let Gloria Brodersen (908-322-2038)know if you are planning to participate so we can make transportation arrangements.  Don’t miss out on the fun!

 

  1. FUMC trip to a NJ Devils game! Are you looking for a gift for a hockey fan? Then 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. lyco97@aol.com or 908-962-0186 (feel free to text!). Tickets will be on sale until January 13th. 

 

  1. Santa Breakfast – December 15.  Join us for our annual Santa Claus breakfast on Saturday, December 15th from 10 a.m. until 12 noon in the Fellowship Room. There will be a light breakfast, crafts, music, stories and a visit with a very special guest fit for the season!!  The cost is $8.00 per person (Children 1 and under are free). Please sign up by December 11th outside the church office.  Don’t forget to bring your camera!  If you have any other questions, please contact Kathleen Bruns-Meyers or call the church office at 908-233-4211. 

 

  1. Community Christmas Show at FUMC. Renew YOUR Holiday Spirit at the FUMC Community Christmas Show on Saturday, December 15th  at 4 PM in the Sanctuary.  Free Admission.

 

  1. Refreshments needed for Christmas Show!  We are looking for donations of cookies, fruit or snacks for a Fellowship Time after our Christmas show. Please contact Carolyn Milhiser milhiser@outlook.com, if you can donate.  Thank you!

 

  1. Annual Cookie Walk—December 16.  Our Annual Cookie Walk will take place on Sunday, December 16th in the Fellowship Room.  Bakers needed and shoppers welcome!  On December 16, shoppers will purchase a  container and have the opportunity to fill it with home-baked goodies.  This is a great way to get a variety of cookies for the holiday!  For more information or to donate cookies call Sue Gandy at 908-233-2389 or Mary-Lou Jackson  at 908-233-4678. Proceeds from this year’s Cookie Walk will benefit Family Promise.

 

  1. Heifer Project International Market – December 15, 16 & 23Can’t think of ideas for Christmas presents?  Everybody have everything they need?  If that’s the case, think about buying an animal from Heifer Project International.  Share the gift of hope for hungry families across the globe.  Perfect gifts for secretaries, bosses, aunts with too much money, for holiday hostesses and even your kids to show them how much you care about families around the world! Bonny Chopey and friends will be there to help you gift animals on Sundays, December 16 and 23  before and after worship, December 15th during the Christmas Concert in the waiting area outside the church office.

 

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.

Read More

FUMC Connect

Posted by on Nov 29, 2018

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

 

Get Connected

Our Journey to the Strategic Plan

On this past Monday, Church Council unanimously voted on FUMC’s strategic plan. Let’s take time to celebrate (queue song: Celebration by Kool & The Gang).

Outside of excitement and hope, some of the feedback included:

  1. FUMC needs a consistent plan to help see themselves as part of the teams
  2. The plan is an ambitious plan that requires some quick wins
  3. The plan requires some prioritization of goals

There are 7 teams to either be created and/or strengthened that will make decisions in love from the outgrowth of our core values of Service, Openness, and Welcome:

Here are the teams

  • Fun Team
  • Kitchen/Hospitality Team
  • Outreach Team
  • Nurturing Team
  • Social Justice Team
  • Welcome Team 
  • Worship, Music, and Arts Team

I will extrapolate more during Sunday’s Lunch and Learn; for now, I’d like to cast this scriptural vision:

whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. ~ 2 Corinthians 9:6,

It will take all of use to generously sow seeds of prayers, time, witness, and finances for FUMC to reach these ambitious but achievable goals. Please begin to consider 1 – 2 areas in which you will serve.

I shared last week these goals with some additional commentary.

Goal 1. Have a mission-minded mindset by Thanksgiving 2019

This means going on an international mission trip by 2020, developing strong local mission projects (e.g. habitat for humanity, etc.), and translating the annual #GivingTuesday post thanksgiving celebration into hands-on missions in Westfield.

Goal 2.  Immediately live into our vision: Do Justice. Love Mercy. Walk Humbly with God

This means developing a social justice team who holds quarterly training seminars on several issues of justice within our region, including in year 1 educating the congregation on what it means to be a reconciling ministries congregation, so that by year 2 (2020) FUMC officially begins the  reconciling ministries discernment process with the goal of becoming a reconciling congregation by 2021.

Goal 3. Rethink what it means to worship God

This means growing our current worship service while additionally getting a group of congregants to commit to attending (e.g. planting) an alternative worship service that is fully operational by 2020. And further exploring worship services utilizing jazz, organ, and “contemporary” bands, and so much more. We must REINVIGORATE! The Music, Worship, & Arts team. All of our worship services for 52 weeks will be creative and inspiring.

 

 

Growing an Engaged Church

Thank you for your presence on this past Sunday. We were blessed by Lay Servant Connie Palmer who finalized our sermon series Stories That Make Us Better People. On behalf of Gregory, Dan, and Connie as well as the Adult Faith Development Team, we pray that you were touched with stories that gave you reason to grow in your faith. Growing an Engaged Church means we are committed to going deeper in our faith.

The season of Advent serves as the beginning of the Christian calendar, remembers the actions leading up to the birth of Jesus, and reminds us to live as those who are prepared for the second coming of Jesus. It’s through these meanings of the season that we find relevance for us today, and if we allow it, greater expectations for our lives.

During the month of December, we are often lured into higher acts of consumerism, to believe that our relationships are validated through indulgence, and onto faux pathways that promise a better you. We don’t always realize the greater expectations until we’ve already given into the lure of society’s great expectations.Greater Expectations is about realizing God’s plan for living your life. As we enter a new Christian year and end a calendar year, I invite you to reflect on these questions that will shed light on God’s plan for living your life:

Sunday, December 2nd: What motivates you? Click here to view the video for the this Sunday’s sermon.

Sunday, December 9th: What or where is your comfort zone?

Sunday, December 16th: Can you take small steps in the midst of life changing decisions? Why or why not?

Sunday, December 23rd: How can you give gifts that keep on giving?

Sunday, December 30th: What really matters the most?

 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

Advent: Greater Expectations with Holy Communion each Sunday

 

Upcoming Worship Series

From Expectations to Reality

 

Christmas in Westfield

The website www.ChristmasInWestfield.com is live. Visit and share.

 

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)
  • 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

 

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 is available through www.ChristmasInWestfield.com.  However, tickets will also be available at the door,after worship on Sundays in December, and in the office for pickup.

 

Current Happenings

  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. Advent Chain.  Each Sunday in Advent and on Christmas Eve we invite you to participate in our church-wide Advent Prayer Chain Devotional.  We will provide you with strips of paper on which to complete a sentence that expresses your gratitude for God’s presence, your commitment to God’s calling, or asks prayers of petition.  Each Sunday will have a specific sentence starter inspired by the advent words of Hope, Love, Joy, and Peace in preparation for Christmas Eve.  For questions or to help with this devotional program by constructing and displaying the chain, contact Marcee Rogers.

 

  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. Looking for Drivers for the Evening of Friday, December 21.  There will be a Blue Christmas worship service – a service of Remembrance and Hope, on Friday, December 21 at 6:30 PM.  We want everyone who is interested to be able to attend.  Can you drive a fellow parishioner to the service?  If you can, please contact Margo Bradley at 706-587-2194 (I also have text) or at mbradley246@comcast.net.  Your help will be greatly appreciated!  Thank You!

 

  1. Just For Your Information: Rev. Williams is a Neighborhood Co-Captain in region 4 of Ward 1.  

 

  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. Adult Faith Development 

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 MarioKart Tournament! Join us in the Loft from 5:30-7:30 PM, and please bring $3 for dinner.

We’ll be having a mission trip interest meeting on Sunday, December 9th at 5:00 PM before Youth Group. Please join us if you’re interested in serving with us at The Philadelphia Project this summer!

 

  1. Rahway Prison Donation Needs.  We will be collecting paperback religious/spirituality books (paperback only!!), Christmas cards for the men to send and any blank cards or birthday cards with envelopes. They do NOT need any calendars this year. 

    There will be a bin next to the elevator. No Christmas cards past 12/16 please. Contact Connie Palmer with questions.

 

  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 is 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. Sanctuary Holiday Decorations. We look forward to the Holiday Season when we can worship and enjoy the special beauty of our decorated Sanctuary. We especially enjoy the traditional and colorful Poinsettias in the Altar area, which will be distributed to our shut-ins after December 25th.  If you would like the opportunity to honor or remember loved ones with the purchase of Altar decorations and Poinsettias, please complete the form below and bring or mail it to our Church office enclosed with your donation by December 16th.  (Checks may be made out to “FUMC, Holiday Decorations”).  Plans are to list the names of those being honored or remembered in the Christmas Bulletin.  Thank you.
 
 

Holiday Sanctuary Decorations Form

(For accuracy, please clearly print the following information)

 

In Honor of(Name):_____________________________________________

In Memory of (Deceased Name):__________________________________

Donation from:________________________________________________

Amount Enclosed $_________

 

 
 

 

Mark Your Calendar

  1. Christmas Caroling to FUMC Homebound.  Come join in spreading the Christmas Spirit by caroling to our FUMC Homebound on Saturday, December 15. We will leave the Church at 12:30PM and return in plenty of time for the 3:00PM rehearsal for those participating in the Christmas Show to be held at 4PM.  All are welcome…adults, children, singers and non-singers.   Please let Gloria Brodersen (908-322-2038)know if you are planning to participate so we can make transportation arrangements.  Don’t miss out on the fun!

 

  1. FUMC trip to a NJ Devils game! Are you looking for a gift for a hockey fan? Then 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. lyco97@aol.com or 908-962-0186 (feel free to text!). Tickets will be on sale until January 13th. 

 

  1. Santa Breakfast – December 15.  Join us for our annual Santa Claus breakfast on Saturday, December 15th from 10 a.m. until 12 noon in the Fellowship Room. There will be a light breakfast, crafts, music, stories and a visit with a very special guest fit for the season!!  The cost is $8.00 per person (Children 1 and under are free). Please sign up by December 11th outside the church office.  Don’t forget to bring your camera!  If you have any other questions, please call Kathleen Bruns-Meyers at 908-558-8988. 

 

  1. Community Christmas Show at FUMC. 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. Refreshments needed for Christmas Show!  We are looking for donations of cookies, fruit or snacks for a Fellowship Time after our Christmas show. Please contact Carolyn Milhiser milhiser@outlook.com, if you can donate.  Thank you!

 

  1. Annual Cookie Walk—December 16.  Our Annual Cookie Walk will take place on Sunday, December 16th in the Fellowship Room.  Bakers needed and shoppers welcome!  On December 16, shoppers will purchase a  container and have the opportunity to fill it with home-baked goodies.  This is a great way to get a variety of cookies for the holiday!  For more information or to donate cookies call Sue Gandy at 908-233-2389 or Mary-Lou Jackson  at 908-233-4678. Proceeds from this year’s Cookie Walk will benefit Family Promise.

 

  1. Heifer Project International Market – December 15, 16 & 23Can’t think of ideas for Christmas presents?  Everybody have everything they need?  If that’s the case, think about buying an animal from Heifer Project International.  Share the gift of hope for hungry families across the globe.  Perfect gifts for secretaries, bosses, aunts with too much money, for holiday hostesses and even your kids to show them how much you care about families around the world! Bonny Chopey and friends will be there to help you gift animals on Sundays, December 16 and 23  before and after worship, December 15th during the Christmas Concert in the waiting area outside the church office.

 

Members and Friends

  1. File Cabinet anyone?  There are 14, 2-drawer metal file cabinets left in the church by Imagine when they moved out. If anyone is interested to take one or more, please contact Kirk Huber (908-654-3987), before December 5.  After that date, the cabinets will be discarded as scrap metal.

 

  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.

Read More

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.

Read More

FUMC Connect

Posted by on Nov 12, 2018

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

 

Get Connected

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.

 

Growing an Engaged Church

This month we will hear stories that inspire us to reflect or will give us reason to pause or still yet will prompt us to move. Either way, I believe in all these ways, the stories we hear will encourage us to learn, grow, and become better people because we will find ourselves in many of these stories.

FUMC member Greg Wilson will deliver the sermon this Veteran’s Day Sunday. In our worship of God and in the utilization of Luke 9: 23 – 25, Brother Wilson will unfold the stories of our FUMC members who died during World War I:

  • Nelson S. Archbold
  • George E. Brown
  • Ernest F. Dunham
  • Edward Hyslip

As you prepare for worship in the reading of the above scripture, I invite you to consider the fullness of Luke chapter 9.

Jesus calls the Twelve disciples together, gives them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, and sends them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. (vs. 1-7)

When the apostles return, Jesus says to them, “You give them something to eat, and they answer, “We have only five loaves of bread and two fish—and with their gifts, Jesus fed over five thousand people. (vs. 10 – 16)

After this miracle feeding, we read of the transfiguration of Christ on the mountaintop, about a little boy who was healed, and the cost of discipleship (vs. 28-62)

The Gospel writer’s story moves us from the witnessing the granting of privilege to the reality that is summed up in the phrase, to whom much is given, much will be required. And, even if we believe what we have is very little (five loaves and two fish), we are reminded that in the right hands, our little can change the lives of many.  

As we remember the Veterans of war and what they gave, let us also remember the simplicity of who we are: dust and bones (Genesis 2), but through the breath of the Divine and the power and authority given to us to be stewards of life (Genesis 1:28), we, as dust and bones, have the privilege to do more than we can imagine.

I invite you to worship this Sunday as we hear stories that inspire the essence of our lives. As always, the house of the Lord is open if you need rest and rejuvenation in the journey. See you soon.

~ Rev. Williams

 

Current Sermon Series

November: Stories that make us better people

Upcoming Sermon Series

Advent: Greater Expectations with Holy Communion each Sunday

 

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. 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. 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. 11 – Recognizing (We will meet in Room 105 this week.)
  • Nov. 18 – Questioning 
  • Nov. 25 – Transforming 

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

 

  1. Youth News. There is no Youth Group this week! See you Sunday, November 18th for our Stick Horse Rodeo!

 

5. Social Media

  • We’re looking to get to 200 likes on the church Facebook page! Share our posts or events  within the Facebook groups that you are part of. We’re gearing up for Advent/Christmas and want to reach as many people as possible! 
  • What Facebook groups or pages do you think the church should be a part of? Send your suggestions to communications@fumcwestfield.org!

 

  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 clicking here. What a great time.

 

  1. Annual United Methodist Women Fund-Raiser Pie Sale. It’s once again time to order your delicious Thanksgiving pie from the UMW!!  We are taking orders for the pies on Sundays at our table in the Narthex after church. 

The following 9-inch pies will be available at a cost of $15 each:

Apple Crumb, Cranberry Crumb, Kentucky Derby, Pecan, Pumpkin and a No Sugar Added Apple pie. 

We would appreciate cash or checks when you order your pie.  Thanks in advance for your order!  The pies will be available for pick-up on Sunday, November 18, right after church.

 

  1. Veterans Day – Services marking the celebration of Veterans Day will take place at 11 AM on Monday, November 12th, on the plaza across from the church. For decades, the Town of Westfield in cooperation with the local American Legion post, have joined to honor the heroes and war dead from the various wars and conflicts which have become imbedded in the fabric of our national, local and church history. On this special day, we urge you to make some time to stand or sit on our grassy hill. During the ceremony there will be special music, words from the Mayor of Westfield, presentation of wreaths and testimony from survivors who witnessed conflict on foreign soil. At the end, the church bell will slowly toll eleven times-in commemoration of those service men and women who have given their lives for freedom, for us and for our country.

At the conclusion of the worship service on Veterans Day, Sunday, November 11th, there will be a brief period where the tower bell will be tolled 11 times in honor of those who have given their lives for us and for their country. Please plan to remain in place in an attitude of prayer during this solemn 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 Pratt and 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. 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. Church Conference – November 17, 9 AM – 12 PM at Aldersgate United Methodist Church (East Brunswick)  Thank you to everyone for getting your reports in on time.

 

  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 Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng.   An upcoming TV mini-series starring Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington has yet to be released.

 

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

 

  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.
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