First United Methodist Church Westfield

FUMC Connect

Posted by on Sep 6, 2018

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A Note from the Pastor

If it is at possible in you, please sit closer together in worship as we enter back into the Sanctuary this week. Let’s continue to build on the spark provided by our time in the social hall

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FUMC Westfield

Posted by on Sep 5, 2018

All FUMC Connect submissions should be emailed to


Get Connected

August Worship Series: God’s End of Summer Workout Plan

A friend of mine Bruce Hartman sends me daily devotionals to my email. In one recent one, he quotes Charles L Allen, a mid-twentieth-century author and pastor, who describes prayer as follows:

“Fundamental to prayer is a sense of need that we ourselves cannot meet, and faith that God is both able and willing to meet that need.” When we search for something to meet our needs, we search in many places. We search at work, in our relationships, and in our readings. The further we search, the more we seem to just miss what we’re looking for. Searching directly for God through prayer will open us to God’s desires for us and when we are patient and faithful, God will reveal the answer we seek.

Bruce’s devotional reading focused on the importance of losing self in prayer. Recall, the pre-meditation words of last week’s bulletin, our anxiety does not come from thinking about the future, but from wanting to control it. Regardless of our culture heritage, a fabric of humanity is the tendency to be seekers; to search. The question the resurrected Jesus asked Mary (and us), what or who are you looking for. A healthy family? Meaningful relationships? Financial security? Purpose in working? Rejuvenation? It’s too easy, and requires more conversation, to say, search for Jesus, and you will be given the desires of your heart. But consider the last two lines of what Bruce said, “searching directly for God through prayer will open us to God’s desires for us and when we are patient and faithful, God will reveal the answer we seek.” The key theological element is: God’s desire for us. When I was a child, I recall my parent’s frustration when my two sisters and I would repeatedly say, I want, I want, I want. We pray if often, let God’s will be done; for God’s desires in our lives, not our own.

This Sunday, we finish God’s End of Summer Workout Plan by exploring Philippians 4:7

You worked out your prayer muscle last week, your gentleness and love muscles the weeks prior, and your rejoice muscle in our first week. Praise God from whom all blessings flow! My strength and conditioning coach used to make us “feel the burn”. When we thought we were done, we would keep going. You may feel this way now. But, in feeling the burn, we would always experience the benefit once we were in the third period of the wrestling match. September is upon us, and as we develop new and get back to routines, our prayer might be that God’s desires for be, “the peace of God that surpasses all understanding guide our hearts in Christ Jesus.”  ~ Philippians 4:7.  

As we near the end of summer, may your time with God continue to get stronger. As always, I invite you to stay connected to the teachings of the August worship series. View the recorded sermon via our website; borrow and/or purchase a DVD of the worship experience; or click here for a suggested devotion/workout plan for the week.

Together, we are growing an engaged church, and I pray that we are all guided by the will of God.

Let’s read, grow, and stay stronger in the Lord together.

~ Rev. William M. Williams, III


Current Happenings

  1. Our Sympathy to Margaret Campbell and family in the death of her husband, Dick Campbell on August 26, 2018.

A Memorial Service will be held on Sunday, September 9, 2018 at 12:30 p.m. in the Sanctuary.

Notes of Condolence may be sent to his wife, Margaret Campbell at 83 Ridge Road, Rahway, NJ  07065.


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

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


  1. Invitation to Meet Prospective Renters. The Trustees have been actively looking for organizations to rent space in the church. The search has recently been very successful, and resulted in several non-profit 501(c)(3) organizations that are interested to use our building.

On September 4 at 7:00, the Trustees will host a meeting for anyone interested to hear about the organizations to which we may rent space.  Representative of these groups will be present to explain their organization and answer any questions.  We will also describe the building use and how we will mitigate any logistical concerns.

Please come and hear about the organization with whom we may partner and how a shared association will support them and benefit our congregation and church mission.

The following are the organizations which will be discussed. 

  • Give It For Tomorrow (GIFT); contact: Marijo Tizzio
    • “GIFT is a charitable organization that provides assistance to those transitioning toward employment by delivering suitable attire that a donee could wear for an interview. GIFT is a mobile service that brings their ’store’ of donated clothing directly to the client.”  GIFT currently partners with the City of Elizabeth, Integrity House and Family Promise of Union County.
    • Proposed space:  3rd floor main room and offices
  • Joshua’s House; contact: Dawrell Rich
    • Joshua’s House is a program that Empowers youth to reach their fullest potential to create a more just society. Their mission is to “Transfer disadvantaged youth into leaders by establishing an arts and culture incubator and to create work for personal and social transformation.”
    • Proposed space:  Room 304
  • Latvian Lutheran School; contact: Brigita Peters
    • The school provides a learning environment for children to, not only learn how to read, write, and speak Latvian, but also for subjects like history, folk dance, folklore, geography, singing, and religion. The school provides instruction from preschool to 8th grade.
    •  Proposed space:  Wesley Hall classrooms, Social Hall, various other rooms – Saturdays only; Su Iliff’s office full-time


  1. DVD’s from the past 7 years On Rally Day 9-9-18, Randy Greasham on our FUMC Video Recording Team, with Tom White’s help, will be giving away Extra DVD’s of church services from the past years 2011 through 2017. The Give Away will be on a first come first serve basis.  The DVD’s will be in date order on a table in or near the Fellowship Room after church.  The labels on the DVD’s tell a little about that Worship Service.   I hope each of you, if interested, will select some free DVD’s to take home and to enjoy.  If anyone has any questions about this Free DVD Give Away, don’t hesitate contacting me, Gary Brodersen, FUMC Video Recording Team Chairperson,


  1. Parking Lot Striped. The striping of the parking lot will occur on Saturday, September 1. The lot can be used an hour after the striping is complete.


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

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

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

If you are interested in learning more about being a lay servant, you can go to the conference website or talk to Connie Palmer or Reverend Williams.  


  1. Adult Faith Development

Sept. 9 – Rally Day – join us for an overview of the fall adult faith opportunities. Bring any suggestions of things you’d like to experience in your own faith development.

Sept. 16th – Oct. 28th. – 7 week Nehemiah Bible Study – We will be building a model of Jerusalem while discussing the religious and political history of Jerusalem. Our discussion will primarily cover lessons learned in leadership, service, prayer, inspiration, motivation, and teamwork with a focus on how we can apply these lessons to our journey here at FUMC.   Led by Dean Pratt.


  1. Peace Lab – Discover God’s Way of Peace. Join us at the Peace Lab on Wednesday, September 19th!  Open to kids in Kindergarten through 5th Grade, this one day vacation Bible camp will explore how we can be peacemakers.  Campers will arrive at 9AM for a day of games, stories, art, science, music and mission activities; the day will conclude at 3pm.  Cost for the day is $20 per camper; financial need scholarships are available.  

Want to register?  Pick up a form in the office or download one from the church website or our facebook page.  Contact Marcee Rogers for more information.


  1. FUMC Westfield and AmazonSmile. Support our church while you shop! Use and select FUMC Westfield as your organization of choice, and Amazon will donate a percentage of your sale back to FUMC!


  1. Altar Flowers. The 2018 Flower Chart is posted on the wall outside the church office. You are invited to sponsor flower arrangements ($45 per week) for our worship services each Sunday morning. Please sign up, then take an envelope for your payment and to indicate what reading you’d like to appear in the bulletin. Thank you for providing these beautiful tributes for our services. You may take the flowers home, or leave them to be delivered to our homebound members.  Upcoming open dates:   September 30; October 7, 14, 21, 28.


  1. New Faith Resources Page. We’ve gathered some tools to help you to keep connecting with God as you embark on your summer adventures! Check out the new Faith Resources Page on our website!


  1. Youth Group News. It’s Ignite time again! Ignite is a super awesome youth conference that the UMC puts on in Wildwood and will be happening September 28-30! Cost to attend is $65. Check out their website,, and contact Kylie Haskins at for more information or to sign up by September 16th!

Youth Group returns on Sunday, September 9th! See you in the Loft from 5:30-7:30 PM!


  1. Westfield Food Pantry. 

Thanks to all of you who continue to bring much-needed items for the Westfield Food Pantry, especially those who brought the items listed in last week’s communications.  Your contributions were delivered to the food pantry and already provided to the clients.

There is an urgent need for the following:

  • Toothbrushes
  • Toothpaste
  • Shampoo
  • Bar soap
  • Body wash
  • Bandaids


  1. Grocery Gift Card Sale Every Sunday. You can help the church raise money simply by using grocery gift cards to buy your groceries. We have ShopRite cards and Stop & Shop cards in $50 and $25 denominations and Panera Cards in $10 denominations. We accept cash and checks made payable to FUMC. 


Mark Your Calendar

  1. Books and Beyond. Take a look at the fall lineup for “Books and Beyond,” FUMC’s monthly book/plus discussion group.  Come once or regularly, read, watch, then share perspectives. The books/movies are current, evocative, and enlivening.  The discussions are engaging, vigorous, and personally meaningful.  We meet on third Sunday evenings, 7:00 to 8:30 pm, in room 105 at the church unless other notice is given.  Our Books and Beyond leaders this season are Laura Gribbin and Karen Livingston.
  • September 16th, Tattoos on the Heart by Gregory Boyle, Laura Gribbin discussion leader.  Related videos on YouTube:  
  • October 21st, Rough Animals by Rae DelBianco, Dan Bottorff discussion leader.  The “Beyond” for October is to have Rae DelBianco join our discussion. She is Betty Evans granddaughter who lived with Betty in Mountainside for three years while writing this her first novel.  It’s getting great reviews!
  • November 18th, Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng, Karen Livingston discussion leader.  An upcoming TV mini-series starring Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington has yet to be released.


Members and Friends

  1. Coat lost on June 10th. We are currently looking for a short, black Calvin Klein woman’s raincoat that was left on the coat rack outside the Fellowship Room on June 10th.  If you picked it up by mistake, please contact the church office or 908-233-4211 x211.


  1. Like us on FACEBOOK! Please LIKE our Facebook page – FUMC Westfield! Look and see some wonderful pictures of The Pumpkin Patch, the FUMC vegetable garden, worship services and more.


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 about your listing.

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