First United Methodist Church Westfield

Minister’s Message


May 2018

If it’s true that April showers bring May flowers, then we can look forward to a colorful and glorious May. Of course, my yard has already seen its share of groundhogs and dandelions, but spring is a time to be outdoors and to greet signs of life after a long winter.

May also brings its share of activities: school plays and musical performances, sporting events and banquets, recitals, end-of-semester crunch for many students, spring house cleaning, lots of yard work, and maybe renewed commitments to get a little more exercise. In my house, May will bring a lot of packing as Nancy and I continue our preparations for our move back to Princeton.

This Saturday, May 5, the conference is holding a “Transition Workshop” for churches that will be seeing a change in pastors this year. Representatives from FUMC will be there, as will I and FUMC’s incoming pastor William Williams.

Sunday, May 6, is Communion Sunday, and I encourage you to bring items for the Westfield Food Pantry. We also will receive new members this Sunday. Jeff and Joy Kalata, expected to join the church with the most recent new member class but because of one of our winter storms, Jeff was called away to help with utility repairs. We are pleased they will join this Sunday. Dean and Elaine Pratt will join, as well. Dean and Elaine were active members of FUMC and still know many current members of the church. We are pleased to welcome them back into membership.

May 13 is Mothers Day, and in appreciation for the women in our lives who have meant and continue to mean so much to us, we will have a carnation for every adult woman in church on Mothers Day.

May 20 is Tithe Sunday, so the Finance Committee and Church Council are asking everyone to make an extra gift this Sunday that would be on top of your regular pledge/offering, and would be 10% of one week’s income. A tithe, of course, is the biblical injunction to return our “first fruits” to the Lord. For example, if your income is $50,000 a year, one week’s salary (using 50 weeks per year) would be $1,000. One tenth of that would be an extra contribution
to the church of $100.

May 20-22 is Annual Conference. Your representative is Peter Pantalena, so feel free to talk to Peter if you want to learn more about issues facing Annual Conference this year. I ask you to keep Peter and all members of AC in your
prayers during this year’s session.

One more note: In November, the Church Council approved moving ahead with a fundraising campaign to restore our church organ. We received a very generous donation to jumpstart our “Adopt-a-Pipe” campaign. You will be receiving more information on this in the weeks and months ahead. Feel free to talk to members of the Organ Restoration Committee: Jonathan Evers, Vinny Culhane (Chair), Janet Poland, Alison Power, Jack Panosh, and for now, myself.

With every good wish for

Grace and peace,