“All Things New”

As we roll out the changes to our ministries at FUMC that are the result of the Reorganization Plan we adopted in July, it’s important that we all know what’s going on. I’m using this space to share news about several new ministries and some new versions of existing ministries. Please take the time to read these notes so that you can help share the news of All Things New!

SUNDAY MORNINGS AT FIRST UMC!

Beginning September 1, Sunday mornings will have an entirely new look. Here’s what you can expect to see when you arrive each week ….

8:30 AM—The doors will be open and you’ll find coffee in the Pecan Street Foyer and a warm welcome

8:45 AM—Children’s Gathering will begin in the Music Room (a.k.a the Choir Room)

9:00 AM—Sunday School begins for all ages

10:00 AM—Sunday Worship begins in the Sanctuary

As I have shared in worship, we will continue to celebrate “5th Sundays” with a covered dish brunch and Service Sunday mission activities, so that the entire congregation has the chance to spend time together.

Remember that moving from three worship hours to one means that “your” seat may be someone else’s seat, too! Please be kind & gracious as you find a place, especially for the first few weeks. This may be the perfect time for you to shake things up and—gasp!—even sit on the other side of the room!

THE TABLE: A Community Meal & Spiritual Life Experience

If you were involved in helping the Reorganization Task Force craft the proposal that became our ministry plan in July, you know that one of the most important parts was the creation of an alternative worship opportunity. Though the plan identified that new venture as happening in an evening time slot, we had many details to be determined. Would it be held at FUMC or an off-site venue? What evening would it be?

As I have shared in worship and in church-wide emails over the past couple of weeks, most of those details have now been set and I’m pleased to share with you that this new worship experience, The Table, begins on Sunday, September 15! Each Sunday, we will gather at the Gainesville campus of North Central Texas College at 6:00 PM for a meal, followed by 30 minutes of shared music and 30 minutes of discussion about the scriptures. It really won’t be like any kind of church experience you’ve had before—the congregation will help create worship every week, selecting music, offering testimony, and sharing thoughts and questions about the Bible and theology.

The Table will be open to anyone, but we are looking for members of our congregation who might be willing to commit to regular attendance for the next several months. If you’d like to be one of our pioneers, please contact me by email (john@fumcgainesville.org) or phone (214-384-1139) as soon as possible.

WEEKLY BIBLE STUDIES BEGIN THIS MONTH!

The fundamental question behind our Reorganization Plan was: “How can we continue to grow our own spiritual life as we create relationships between our congregation and those in the community who do not have a church home?” Bible Study is a cornerstone of the Christian life, and I’m pleased to say we will be offering two NEW opportunities for encountering the scriptures this fall.

“Bible Journey,” a Spirit-led opportunity to engage the scriptures, will begin Wednesday, September 4, and will be held each week from 6-7 PM in Room 113. FUMC member and STAR Partner, Jim Thompson, will facilitate the discussion each week.

Instead of leading the former Pastor’s Bible Study, I will be starting a new group, “Bible Discovery,” that is designed for those who may never have spent time studying the scriptures. I’m hoping to build on the great foundation that Pastor Kathy Nations helped lay for us during her time with us, by gathering this group at Second Time Around Resale. We will also be meeting weekly from 6-7 PM, and I’ve been working with the Partners at STAR to invite some of our Neighbors—that’s what we like to call our customers at STAR.

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Friends, as we enter this new age in the story of our congregation, it’s my hope that every one of us might find some new way to intentionally encounter God and love our neighbors. We really can’t say we’re the church without doing just that.

Grace and peace, Pastor John