First United Methodist Church FOCUS ON FIRST. Become Part of God's Family at First UMC RALLY SUNDAY

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1 First United Methodist Church FOCUS ON FIRST Praise Service 9:00 a.m. Church School 9:55 a.m. Adoration Worship 10:45 a.m. Become Part of God's Family at First UMC Rev. Peggy Garrison, Pastor Marcia Weygant, Director of Music 9:00 and 10:45 Worship 9:55 Sunday School One Room Children s class Teen s & Tween s Class RALLY SUNDAY We ve got Spirit, yes we do! We ve got Spirit, how bout you? (The Holy Spirit that is!) Come to Worship and Sunday School on Rally Sunday, Sept. 11th and get re-energized with the Spirit! A special treat will be in store for you both spiritually and tastefully. Fellowship Adult Class studying 1st Corinthians Slater Room Adult Bible class studying Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and Matthew Adventures in Faith Adult class studying Why? by Adam Hamilton BRING A FRIEND! Loving First into the Future: The Next Steps Potluck Tuesday night Sept. 27 th September 2011 Volume 5, Issue 9 Inside this issue: Pastor s Page 2 Good Eggs 3 Prayer Concerns 4 Community Lunch 8 Salad Lunch 9 Church Happenings Special points of interest: Rally Sunday Pork & Sauerkraut Dinner Nut Sale Listening For God s Leading The Third Option Craft Fair News From The Kitchen New Bible Study Dinner 5:30 Program 6:30 Come hear about the Resource Development Plan and help plan how to use it.

2 Pastor s Page Dear Friends, Fall - what a beautiful season when we get colorful leaves and cooler temperatures. I am sure we are all waiting for those cooler temperatures. I hope that you are not waiting for cooler temperatures to come back to church. By now, I think you all have heard that we had the air conditioner stolen that cools the sanctuary. We have an insurance settlement and as soon as we get our final bids, we will work to get a new secure air conditioner installed. However, once we get the contract it takes about 4 weeks to get the equipment. Realistically we are probably talking the middle to late October. The good news is that we have been meeting in Fellowship Hall with plenty of air to keep us cool. We will return to the Sanctuary as soon as it is possible. But that is not what we want you to focus on at First. The Fall always means a renewing time in the church. Sunday School classes start up again. You will see announcements about this in this newsletter. We will share with you the plans for our Resource Development Plan at the potluck on Tuesday, September 27. Yes, I promised Dan Werst that I will have my pork and sauerkraut at the potluck. It is important that you will be there as we look at how to raise the money we need, so that we no longer need to talk about money all the time. We have set aside September 11 as our Rally Sunday. I am sure you have seen the cheerleader in this newsletter. She is there to remind us that the spirit is what lifts us up and gets us going. The place where we experience that Spirit, God s Holy Spirit, is in worship. We hope you will attend. September 11 is also the 10 th anniversary of the attacks on 9/11. There will be a time of remembrance and prayer in our service. There will also be an ecumenical community event that day. The details are still in the planning, but as soon as we know them we will share them with you. We continue to serve meals on Saturdays. This week Jacksonburg agreed to do two 5 th Saturday meals, so that our congregation is down to only serving two meals a month. There are other congregations from other denominations that are in the planning to also help. What does all this say? We are striving to faithfully follow God s Spirit at First. When we do, we experience great reward. Our spirit feels as if we are standing on Holy ground. Isn t this what you want your spirit to feel? Come and join us and it will. Grace, love and peace, Rev. Peggy Items To Save For Church Save your pop tabs for the kids. We take them to the Ronald McDonald House by Children s Hospital in Cincinnati. Bring in your used cartridges and laser printers. Those we send in for cash for the youth. There are drop-off containers at the side door entrance. Boxtops for Education and Campbell s labels. We use those for Henderson Settlement or Red Bird Mission. Both help to provide education, health care and necessities to families deep in the eastern Kentucky mountains. Thanks for your help! Page 2 FOCUS ON FIRST

3 Resource Development Plan Tuesday, September 27th our monthly Pot Luck Dinners will begin again! It s important that everyone attend because A) We have great cooks in our congregation and B) The Resource Development Plan will be discussed. The what? The Resource Development Plan (RDP). In February 2011, church leaders met with Mindy Finnerty from Community Development Professionals. A Resource Development Plan was completed by her that outlined how approximately $1.1 million could be raised by First UMC in the next four years. The Plan includes grants, individual donor and business related income as well as fundraisers like the Kroger Cards, Organ Concerts, Dessert Auction, Office Rentals, Weddings, and etcetera. The last part of the plan is to now find individuals who are willing to co-ordinate and/or help with the various elements of the Resource Development Plan. All this will become clearer at the Pot Luck where several elements of the RDP will be discussed. So you see why it is so important that everyone attend the Pot Luck. We need your creative input, ideas and energy. See you there! MARK YOUR CALENDAR! Sauerkraut Dinner Friday evening Oct. 14th Good Eggs It is time to give thanks for those who are making things happen at church. First, thanks to everyone who helped so that I had a peaceful vacation. This included Bob Jewett who took pastoral calls, Mark Finfrock, Kathy Conrad, Lori Ott and Bob Jewett who preached on the Sundays I was gone. Teri Trent and Leslie Jewett finished grant proposals that went to the District. Scott Fuhrman did extra hours for the church and stained the deck while we did not have dogs leave footprints where they should not be. Most importantly, thanks to Vicki who kept things under control and tried to make sure people did not call when they did not need to. Do you know what a blessing it is to have Vicki Wheeler on our staff? Thanks to Rick Huff who has gotten us quotes on the air conditioning. Thanks to Ruth Stanton for following up with insurance and a dozen other questions we have for her from trustees. Thanks to Council for meeting without me and giving more direction to the Resource Development Plan. Thanks to those who do things quietly and don t get mentioned because no one knows what you have done for us as a congregation. Thanks to each and every one of you who pray regularly for the church. I know it is a part of your responsibilities as a Christian, but I appreciate it. Thanks to everyone who makes a financial contribution to the congregation. The summer is always lean, but we will make it to September with our staff paid and no major obligations. Volume 5, Issue 9 Page 3

4 Nut Sale The annual UMW nut sale has begun. You can get your order form in your bulletin the next two weeks and you ll find an order form in this newsletter. Feel free to make copies of order forms and give them to your friends and neighbors. Nut orders are due by Oct. 10th. Nuts will be delivered before the holiday baking season. Monies raised will be used in local mission projects, church projects and global mission projects. Get nutty with us!! Prayer Concerns Charles & Elizabeth Jones Mildred Harper Alan Haid Billie Shiflett Carolyn Jones George & Nell Bassitt Family Linda Getz Ilena Cornelius Travis Kinch Surgeries: Rev. Peggy will have orthoscopic surgery on her knee, September 14. She will still be available by phone and back in the office on Monday. Ongoing Prayer Concerns: Community Lunch This ministry happens every Saturday of the month. Missionaries, Peace Corp workers, and those who work for international peace. Military families and national leaders Those still grieving from the 9/11 attacks Those who live with war and social unrest Those who continue to be without a job in Hamilton Un-named prayer requests for health and well-being of ourselves and family members. Do you have someone you would like to add to this list? Please call or the office LOVE (8653) or Did You Notice? The floor in Fellowship Hall has been refinished and it shines beautifully. Thanks to Scott Fuhrman for getting the rented scrubber, doing the work, borrowing the buffer from Trinity and making the area much nicer. While I am at it, Scott gets mentioned because he does the big jobs, but John Holloway does lots of work around the church as our other part-time custodian. He should be appreciated for his continuous work that keeps the building clean and inviting. Page 4 FOCUS ON FIRST

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6 The Third Option The John Engle Counseling Center often recommended couples to the Third Option. This program is not only for those who are having problems in their marriage, but might like to improve their communication skills in a faith-based program. As one attendee witnessed In The Third Option, we learned communication and relationship skills that we had never developed before. We ve learned that a good marriage takes commitment and work, and we re finding the joy together that had all been forgotten. Third Option is run by Judy White and Rick Mapes on Tuesday evenings 7-9 p.m. from September 13 - December 13, 2011 at the Princeton Pike Church of God, 6101 Princeton Glendale Rd., Hamilton. Can You Help? Do you have a small canister vacuum that you are no longer using? The church could use it for the cleaning of the ladies lounge area. If you can help, please contact the office. HHS Craft Fair Is Coming! FUMC will once again have a booth at the Hamilton High School Craft Fair. The event this year is Nov. 12th and will be at the newly remodeled high school. So all you crochet ladies pick up those hooks! We need to build up our inventory of necklaces. If anyone would like to learn to make the necklaces, we can teach you in a flash. If anyone has other crafts they would like to donate to the booth, you re more than welcome! Put this on your calendar and save the date to attend the show, or work the booth, and support our booth. Bring a friend along! For any information or to volunteer, contact Kathy Conrad or Teri Trent. Community Lunch Our ministry of the Saturday lunch continues. We are continuing to have new churches join us to help with the meals. As mentioned, Jacksonburg has agreed to do the fifth Saturday in October and December. We are averaging 220 meals a week. We certainly appreciate all the help and support that we receive. You have been wonderful. But, you might say, I have not helped because I cannot come and stand that long or I am not sure I know how to be around the people who come. Here are a couple of suggestions. First, there are some sit-down jobs. Ask Pauline about greeting at the door. The person who gets the drinks can sit most of the time. The people who come are very similar to us. They are starting to form a community and greet one another or ask if someone is missing. They talk about their children and grandchildren. One of the most exciting reports I have received is a woman who tells me how much her grandchildren love to come to church on Saturday. It is great to see. We also have a worship service between 11:30 and noon. During that time we could use some singers to help with the songs. We usually have between 30 and 40 people in worship on any given Saturday. There is one need anyone can do. We always need cookies. Cookies do not need to be homemade. They can be purchased, taken home and put into bags (2 to a bag) and dropped off at the church during office hours. Please mark them if they have nuts. Page 6 FOCUS ON FIRST

7 Listening For God s Leading by Donald E. Zimmer So often I hear the argument from members of church governing boards that they don t have time to practice spiritual disciplines, especially corporate discernment. They believe they can t make room to listen to God together because the financial, facility, program, and personnel issues facing the congregation (or other church organization) take precedence. The business aspects of church life are important, but are they the most important concerns for governing boards? Boards whose members feel they don t have time for anything as open ended as listening to God typically spend most of their quality time together on the day-to-day business of the church and putting out organizational fires. In their book First Things First, Stephen Covey, one the most successful and influential leadership consultants in contemporary North America, and coauthors A. Roger Merrill and Rebecca Merrill offer a simple four-part matrix that arranges the tasks organizations must deal with according to their urgency and importance. The authors report that a typical organization spends about 25 percent of its time on issues that are both urgent and important and 1 percent on issues that are neither. The remaining time is spent on work that is either important and not urgent or urgent but not important. Organizations differ dramatically in the time they devote to these two categories. High performance organizations spend between 65 and 80 percent of their time on important but not time-urgent tasks, while others spend 50 to 60 percent of their time on work that appears urgent but is less important. The authors point is that leadership needs to focus on the important and generally non-time-urgent tasks of assessing circumstances and opportunities and gaining and communicating a clear sense of purpose and direction, rather than reacting to less important routine activities and agendas of others. Allocating time to the important, non-time-urgent work that these authors advocate is clearly essential for congregations, but there is more. Over the years, I have encountered a number of savvy church governing boards that devote considerable time to assessing circumstances and opportunities as well as gaining and communicating a clear sense of purpose and direction, but many do so without ever engaging in any form of corporate discernment. Are there specific corporate discernment practices that every board should follow? No, but effective church governing boards also need the emotional, relational, and spiritual space that corporate discernment offers so that they can move beyond existing attachments and perspectives and listen together in openness and obedience for God s leadings. The good business practices that Covey, Merrill, and Merrill advocate are steps toward becoming a more high-performing organization, but church governing boards are called to be more than high performing. They are called to listen and obey. In directing their full attention to listening to God together, the biggest obstacle church governing boards face seems to be an inability to envision and describe a credible alternative that people who value a more businessoriented governing board and people who value a more spiritually oriented board can relate to. My conversations and research suggest that such credible alternatives exist. The challenge is to articulate an alternative that speaks to both. Any journey into the arena of church governance must begin in the Scriptures, for the Scriptures are our common heritage and the foundation of our life together. The Scriptures tell us who God is, how God is at work in our world, and what God desires of us. They talk at great length about purpose, values, and relationships, but what they say about governance has been a matter of debate. David Bartlett, dean and professor at Yale Divinity School, believes the New Testament offers two contrasting approaches for Christian communities. One is organic and open, the second more formal and hierarchical. In his book Ministry in the New Testament, Bartlett suggests that Paul emphasized the more organic and open approach to Volume 5, Issue 9 Page 7

8 the church s organization (Rom. 12:4 8; 1 Cor. 12:12 30; Eph. 4:11 16; Col. 2:19) because of the potential he saw in that model for being open to the Spirit s movement, while the authors of the more formal, hierarchical models of the pastoral letters (1 Tim. 3:1 13; 4:13 14; Titus 1:5 16) were more influenced by the need to maintain order. Bartlett concludes that it is not one or the other, but what serves the gospel in a specific context that must be followed. Over time, church governing boards appear to have been more influenced by the perceived need to maintain order, and they have consistently opted for a more formal and hierarchical approach. I believe the Scriptures can offer us seven distinct themes that serve to invite the church to look toward the more organic model: We the church are called to be servants. We are blessed by difference. We are the image of Christ in our world. We are uniquely gifted by the Spirit. We are saved by grace through faith for... good works! We need sabbath for rest, renewal, and regeneration. We are a part of a highly interrelated world. Moving an organization toward an embodiment of the themes listed above is challenging, because the themes run counter to the way most contemporary organizations work. Because of that, a different approach to introducing them is necessary. The approach needs to be more organic and to come from within; it cannot be imposed. I suggest pausing to look at Deuteronomy 6:4 9. This passage has long been one of my favorites. It speaks to the absolute centrality of God, a truth conveyed in God s commandment to love God with our whole being and to carry that love in our heart and our work wherever we go. Perhaps that is why I return to those verses here. We don t need to worry about change yet; that will come. We simply need to begin to make these seven themes the topic of our everyday conversations so that we talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up, and at least symbolically, Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates. My wise friend and mentor Charles Tollett often challenges groups he consults with to ask, In what ways might we... If the themes I have listed seem like desirable goals, then we need to ask ourselves, In what ways might we incorporate them into our personal life and the life of our governing boards? Asking a nonthreatening question such as, In what ways might we... opens us to the Spirit s wisdom and creates the opportunity for people to share their insights in a spirit of learning versus deciding. To learn more about the themes discussed in this article, please consider reading Donald Zimmer s new book, Leadership and Listening, where he explores spiritual and biblical foundations for effective congregational discernment and governance. Comments welcome on the Alban Roundtable blog Adapted from Leadership and Listening: Spiritual Foundations for Church Governance by Donald E. Zimmer, copyright 2011 by the Alban Institute. All rights reserved. Page 8 FOCUS ON FIRST

9 12 th ANNUAL SALAD LUNCH Prepared by United Methodist Women & friends It s that time again!!! What time, you say? Well, it s SALAD LUNCHEON TIME!!! Mark your calendars today and remember to come to Fellowship Hall on September 16, between 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. It s down a flight of steps, although you can also ride down in the elevator. Call your friends now and join in on the food and fellowship. Purpose The organized unit of United Methodist Women shall be a community of women whose purpose is to know God and to experience freedom as whole persons through Jesus Christ; to develop a creative, supportive fellowship; and to expand concepts of mission through participation in the global ministries of the church. All your favorite salads homemade and fresh will again be on the buffet table. Pasta salads, potato salads, taco salad, broccoli salad, Waldorf salad, jello salads, and that all-time favorite CHICKEN SALAD, along with others, will give you that lunch (feast?) you won t soon forget. Take-out orders will be available. Tuesday September 20, :00 a.m. 1:00 p.m. Purchase tickets in advance from UMW members or at the door $7.00 Includes a trip through the salad buffet & beverage A sign up poster will be on an easel in Fellowship Hall. It will be taken up to the Narthex on Sundays for the second service (Traditional Service), should we move back to the Sanctuary. Do you have a key to the church? We are in the process of updating our list of who has keys to the church. Please call or the church and let us know if you have a key. If you and your spouse both have a key, be sure to mention that you have two. Having this updated list will help us better maintain the security of the building. Volume 5, Issue 9 Page 9

10 What s Happening in September at First Church Game Night Friday, September 16, :00 Harper s The fun and fellowship continues for any and all fun-loving adults. Join this merry group for lots of laughter, pizza, games and loving fellowship. Just bring $5 for dinner, your own beverage and a favorite board game. Coming Next Month! Pocket Change Sunday September 18, 2011 During worship services a special collection of pocket change (dollars, too) will be taken as an offering for Mending Hearts to help with the purchase of pizza. UMW Circle Meetings Naomi Circle Meeting September 6:30 p.m., Kerry Bossert s, 1390 Southern Hills Blvd., Hamilton Dorcas Circle and Wesleyan Circle No meeting due to Salad Luncheon Mark your calendar for October 19, at 10:00 a.m. in the Fellowship Hall for a JOINT Dorcas & Wesleyan Circle meting. All women of the church are invited to attend. October 14 is our Pork and Sauerkraut Dinner. Put it on your calendar, invite your friends, and come to enjoy this wonderful meal. (Trinity Episcopal will do the Saturday lunch on the 15th). Banner Group We have our scissors handy and are starting to make new banners to brighten up our worship spaces. In September we want to do several banners for Thanksgiving and general use. We are still placing all our welcome words for the big banner over the doors into the basement. You really don t have to be creative, only like good company, a time of fellowship, be able to cut along the lines and maybe iron. Join us as we praise God through banner making at our next meeting, Monday, September 26 at 1:30 p.m. We meet in the basement, so it is cool, a good place to get away from the heat. The 4 F s (We love Faith, Fun, Fellowship & Food) Do you like to eat? Do you enjoy good company? Do you enjoy sharing with people of faith? If you answer is yes to any of these, then you are a candidate for 4F s. We have made plans until the end of the year. Put them on your calendar now. September 22 Walt s Use your coupon from your peal and save. October 20 December 8 Houston s in Mason 4026 S Us Route 42, Mason The White House (November & December lunch) 4940 Muhlhauser Rd. Hamilton Focus on First - ISSN Published Monthly, Issue No. 9 Issue Date: September 2011 First United Methodist Church, 225 Ludlow St. Hamilton, OH OCTOBER NEWSLETTER DEADLINE: September 20 For newsletter submissions, contact Stacey Morefield, newsletter editor, at Volume 5, Issue 9 Page 10

11 Books First What do you know about the Amish community? Would you believe that a young Amish woman is charged with murder of her own infant? How would you like to have to live in an Amish family until the defendant comes to trial? If you want to know the answers to these questions read The Plain Truth by Jodi Picoult. It is an engaging read, one you will not want to put down. Why not join us for the discussion on this book at BOOKS FIRST? Note we have changed the date. We are moving Books First to the FOURTH Wednesday of each month. In case you want to read ahead, here are the books we have chosen. September 28 The Plain Truth by Jodi Picoult This story of a big time lawyer coming to defend an Amish woman of murder leads to a clash of two cultures. October 26 Heaven s Real by Todd Burpo. The story of a 10 year old s trip to heaven. November 30 Friendship Cake by Lynn Hinton. No book in December. Maybe try an Advent Devotional instead. Do you like to read? Do you have suggestions for us about really good books? Come and join us as we meet at The Book Keeper, 516 Main Street at 7 pm. New Bible Studies As we start our fall season, we begin new Bible Studies. Note the s. We have an s because the morning and evening Bible Study will be different this quarter. At 10 a.m. Thursdays, we will be using Adam Hamilton s Christianity and World Religions: Wrestling with Questions People Ask. As we rapidly approach the 10 th anniversary of 9/11, we will be reminded of our feelings about others who do not hold the U.S. in high esteem. What is it that other faiths believe? Is the hate we saw that day central to other religions or similar to Christianity a fringe element? What makes us unique as Christians, particularly from other decedents of Abraham? The evening Bible Study, most often will be at 6:00 p.m. on Thursdays. You will need to check the calendar, because due to other prescheduled events (a dinner at Park Avenue) we do move the start time back. The evening class is also working with material from Adam Hamilton Confronting the Controversies: Biblical Perspectives on Tough Issues. This will be a Cooperative Bible study as members from Park Avenue will join us. Both studies have DVDs that accompany the material. You will get to see and hear Adam Hamilton as he shares how he came to his conclusions in the studies. You are welcome at either or both of the studies. News From The Kitchen How do we say thank you enough to Nancy Ellington and Steve Young. They each put in about a week's worth of painting of the cabinets in the kitchen. They look wonderful. We were able to use a good paint that will take a clear coat on the surfaces, so that pots and pans will not scratch up the surfaces as they have before. Steve Hensley came in and put up a new board on the door to the outside. The place is starting to have a newer and fresher look. When Ken Truman gets finished with his current job and can paint both the walls and ceiling (anyone else can volunteer the paint is waiting), it should hopefully give those who work in the kitchen a more cheerful place to work. Thank you so much for all your time in this project. Page 11 Volume 5, Issue 9 Page 11

12 September Birthdays 9/1 Bryan Fuhrman 9/4 Amy Smith 9/7 Peggy Ketron Georgetta Spurlock 9/10 Sam Downs Sean Jones Donald Shiflet 9/11 Marjorie Quick 9/12 Anthony Jenkins 9/13 John Hacker 9/14 Carolyn Jones Emily Fuhrman 9/15 Derek Morner 9/19 Steve Hensley 9/20 Marian Norris Marjorie Norris 9/23 Jo Anne Morner 9/29 Cynthia Huff Georgia Kinch Lydia Trent September Anniversaries 9/3 Larry & Alta Hamblin 9/4 Robert & Patsy Bernhardt Tom & Kathy Thompson 9/10 John & Mae Hacker Derek & Lindsey Morner 9/14 David & Novella Brownfield 9/17 Richard & Leslie Haid Jason & Stephanie Schubert September Worship Leaders 9 a.m. - Praise Service 9/4 - Alice Stephenson 9/11 - Jim Sebastian 9/18 - Kerry Bossert 9/25 - Larry Bell September Worship Leaders 10:45 - Adoration Service 9/4 - Ruth Stanton 9/11 - Jennifer Pflanzer 9/18 - Linda DiBenedetto 9/25 - Mary Alice Hensley Page 12 FOCUS ON FIRST


14 First United Methodist Church 225 Ludlow Street Hamilton, OH Phone: Non. Profit Org. U.S. POSTAGE PAID Permit NO. 43 Hamilton, Ohio Address Service Requested Kid s Klips Focus on First is produced monthly by the First United Methodist Church. The deadline for submission of articles for publication is 5:00 on the 15th of every month for the following month s publication. Articles may be edited to fit available space.