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The latest from First United Methodist Church

Stay up to date with the happenings of First United Methodist Church by visiting our blog. You'll find information such as announcements, sermon notes and thoughts from our pastor to encourage and challenge your walk with the Lord.


Well Done, Good and Faithful Servant

by: FUMC Communications

06/27/2019

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As I was running errands this morning, I was reflecting on what seems like so many good people I know who have passed recently. They had strong faith, were devoted servants, and were just good people. While I was thinking about these amazing people and how I aspire to be more like them, a song - "Well Done" by the Afters - came on the radio that really hit home. Some of the lyrics go like this:

What will it be like when my pain is gone
And all the worries of this world just fade away?
What will it be like when… read more

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As I was running errands this morning, I was reflecting on what seems like so many good people I know who have passed recently. They had strong faith, were devoted servants, and were just good people. While I was thinking about these amazing people and how I aspire to be more like them, a song - "Well Done" by the Afters - came on the radio that really hit home. Some of the lyrics go like this:

What will it be like when my pain is gone
And all the worries of this world just fade away?
What will it be like when You call my name
And that moment when I see You face to face?

I'm waiting my whole life to hear You say

Well done, well done
My good and faithful one
Welcome to the place where you belong
Well done, well done
My beloved child
You have run the race and now you're home
Welcome to the place where you belong

I smiled as I listened to those words and imagined Jesus saying that to those good and faithful servants. What a reward for following Jesus and being the best person they could be.

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To Mars and Beyond

by: FUMC Communications

06/14/2019

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Every year we hold a week of kid-centered activities to help our children learn about God's love and His amazing creations. This year, our Vacation Bible School has an interstellar theme and will be held July 14-18 from 5:30PM - 8PM each evening.

After a high-energy Opening Assembly time, Voyagers make their way to the Bible Story Station. Interactive Bible lessons reveal Power Launcher (key learnings) to equip them for an active life with God. Your Voyagers will also discover our Vector Verse (Bible memory verse), Ephesians 3:20 - Glory to God, who is able to do far beyond all that… read more

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Every year we hold a week of kid-centered activities to help our children learn about God's love and His amazing creations. This year, our Vacation Bible School has an interstellar theme and will be held July 14-18 from 5:30PM - 8PM each evening.

After a high-energy Opening Assembly time, Voyagers make their way to the Bible Story Station. Interactive Bible lessons reveal Power Launcher (key learnings) to equip them for an active life with God. Your Voyagers will also discover our Vector Verse (Bible memory verse), Ephesians 3:20 - Glory to God, who is able to do far beyond all that we could ask or imagine by his power at work within us! Students will expand on their discoveries by making their own art projects at the Craft Station, singing new songs at the Music Station, exploring the wonders of creation at the Science Station, playing games at the Recreation Station, and enjoying tasty treats at the Snack Station. Along the way, the Voyagers will hear about our mission project and respond to a call for action!

Blast Off on this Epic Adventure with Us!

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Children's Church Activities

by: FUMC Communications

05/12/2019

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In Children’s Church our activities after Easter have focused on what Jesus asks of us, as we celebrate His Resurrection, understand that Jesus is the light, and learn how we can let His light shine through us.

Today we thanked our moms for helping to shine the light of Jesus in our lives! Each child created an acrostic of his or her mom’s name and special qualities about each mom that show the light of Jesus. They were amazingly creative! They shared their favorite words to describe their moms, and we helped them to find words with those meanings that… read more

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In Children’s Church our activities after Easter have focused on what Jesus asks of us, as we celebrate His Resurrection, understand that Jesus is the light, and learn how we can let His light shine through us.

Today we thanked our moms for helping to shine the light of Jesus in our lives! Each child created an acrostic of his or her mom’s name and special qualities about each mom that show the light of Jesus. They were amazingly creative! They shared their favorite words to describe their moms, and we helped them to find words with those meanings that began with letters from each individual mom’s name. The children also decorated sun hats for their moms!

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Pregnancy Care Center

by: FUMC Communications

04/26/2019

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The Pregnancy Care Center Baby Bottle Campaign runs from Mother’s Day to Father’s Day each year. FUMC was one of the biggest contributors last year—and I was extremely proud to say I belonged to this church. Thank you!

Your donations support the lives of babies and families, and will be used not only to save the lives of babies but to make a positive impact on mothers and fathers. The Center has several classes for mothers and now also just for the fathers!

The money is used to purchase numerous items for the boutique such as clothes, blankets,… read more

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The Pregnancy Care Center Baby Bottle Campaign runs from Mother’s Day to Father’s Day each year. FUMC was one of the biggest contributors last year—and I was extremely proud to say I belonged to this church. Thank you!

Your donations support the lives of babies and families, and will be used not only to save the lives of babies but to make a positive impact on mothers and fathers. The Center has several classes for mothers and now also just for the fathers!

The money is used to purchase numerous items for the boutique such as clothes, blankets, diapers, etc, for our clients, and class materials. Our clients take classes to earn “Baby Bucks” which they can use in the boutique. Each client also receives a Bible (English or Spanish) for home and/or for use in the Bible studies available for both parents. They also earn “Baby Bucks” for taking these classes.

Thank you, Audrey Montella

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Church Picnic

by: FUMC Communications

04/05/2019

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Last Sunday, many gathered at Aldermans Ford Park to enjoy the fantastic weather, wonderful fellowship, and tasty food.

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Last Sunday, many gathered at Aldermans Ford Park to enjoy the fantastic weather, wonderful fellowship, and tasty food.

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Will You Accept the Invitation?

by: FUMC Communications

02/01/2019

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“Then the master said to the slave, ‘Go out into the roads and lanes,

and compel people to come in, so that my house may be filled.”

Luke 14:23

Jesus often used the image of a feast or a banquet to represent the Kingdom of God. In this parable in Luke, Jesus is telling us that God wants his house to be filled. Jesus also makes it clear that those who are well-off, preoccupied, self-satisfied and in love with this world too often make excuses and miss out on something wonderful. The master of the house tells his servants to go… read more

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“Then the master said to the slave, ‘Go out into the roads and lanes,

and compel people to come in, so that my house may be filled.”

Luke 14:23

Jesus often used the image of a feast or a banquet to represent the Kingdom of God. In this parable in Luke, Jesus is telling us that God wants his house to be filled. Jesus also makes it clear that those who are well-off, preoccupied, self-satisfied and in love with this world too often make excuses and miss out on something wonderful. The master of the house tells his servants to go out and “bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind, and the lame.” After this is done, the party still has room for more people. The servants are sent out again because God wants his house to be filled. There is always plenty of room in God’s house. Don’t ignore your invitation.

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Our Sister Churches in Cuba

by: FUMC Communications

08/04/2018

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Pastors Stephen and Julio will be traveling to and visiting our two sister churches in Belic, Cuba, August 23rd-28th. This will be Pastor Stephen’s first time meeting our Cuban brothers and sisters.

Due to limited space and weight, the pastors will be taking ONLY the following items that have been specifically requested:

Small flash lights for batteries AA & AAA

Batteries AA & AAA

Rain ponchos—all sizes

Women’s & Children’s lightweight canvas shoes

Underwear for men & boys

Underwear & bras for women & girls

Please be in prayer for them as they prepare for this important trip.

read more
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Pastors Stephen and Julio will be traveling to and visiting our two sister churches in Belic, Cuba, August 23rd-28th. This will be Pastor Stephen’s first time meeting our Cuban brothers and sisters.

Due to limited space and weight, the pastors will be taking ONLY the following items that have been specifically requested:

Small flash lights for batteries AA & AAA

Batteries AA & AAA

Rain ponchos—all sizes

Women’s & Children’s lightweight canvas shoes

Underwear for men & boys

Underwear & bras for women & girls

Please be in prayer for them as they prepare for this important trip.

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He is Risen! He is Risen, Indeed!

by: Laurie Stephens

07/11/2018

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"He is risen!"

"He is risen, indeed!"

That exchange was heard over and over again yesterday as we celebrated Easter Sunday. What a wonderful day it was. Easter is special in every Christian's heart, and that was no exception at First Church.

Our celebration of Jesus' resurrection delighted all of the senses. Breakfast was served before both services (we have amazing cooks!). The Wesley Centre and the Sanctuary were amassed with pinks, blues and white from the hydrangea and Easter lily plants. Pastor Stephen's message was thought-provoking and the music...

Methodists love their church food, but they love worshiping through music just as much.… read more

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"He is risen!"

"He is risen, indeed!"

That exchange was heard over and over again yesterday as we celebrated Easter Sunday. What a wonderful day it was. Easter is special in every Christian's heart, and that was no exception at First Church.

Our celebration of Jesus' resurrection delighted all of the senses. Breakfast was served before both services (we have amazing cooks!). The Wesley Centre and the Sanctuary were amassed with pinks, blues and white from the hydrangea and Easter lily plants. Pastor Stephen's message was thought-provoking and the music...

Methodists love their church food, but they love worshiping through music just as much. Yesterday we pulled out all of the stops! The Praise Team was in fine form as we sang songs that were fitting for such a celebration, such as Victory Chant. The handbell choir played at the 11:00 service - always a treat - and the chancel choir set the tone with I Know That My Redeemer Lives.

All in all, it was a wonderful celebration befitting a King... and a Savior. He is risen, indeed!


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The Story Isn't Over

by: Laurie Stephens

07/11/2018

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You are witnesses of these things. And see, I am sending upon you what my Father promised; so stay here in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high. Luke 24:48-49

The Sunday after Easter is typically a low Sunday. The energy of Easter is gone. Many of our northern visitors have started to head back for the summer months.

In the scripture lesson for this week, even the disciples of Jesus are hiding out and laying low. They are terrified and unsure of what is going on around them. Jesus appears in their midst and reminds them… read more

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You are witnesses of these things. And see, I am sending upon you what my Father promised; so stay here in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high. Luke 24:48-49

The Sunday after Easter is typically a low Sunday. The energy of Easter is gone. Many of our northern visitors have started to head back for the summer months.

In the scripture lesson for this week, even the disciples of Jesus are hiding out and laying low. They are terrified and unsure of what is going on around them. Jesus appears in their midst and reminds them again that his resurrection is real. He invites them to touch his wounds. He asks for something to eat. Jesus is indeed resurrected. Jesus tells the frightened disciples do not be afraid. He tells them that their work is just beginning. Jesus will give them what they need to go and spread the good news and make disciples. This is our work too as followers of a risen Savior.

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God's Abundance

by: Laurie Stephens

07/11/2018

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“Jesus said, ‘They need not go away; you give them something to eat.’

They said to him, ‘We have only five loaves here and two fish.’”

Matthew 14:16-17

This is the story of Jesus feeding the 5,000. This scripture tell us that Jesus had compassion on them and healed the sick. After a long day, the disciples want to send the people away, but Jesus tells to them to feed the people. The disciples complain that they only have five loaves of bread and two fish. It’s not enough. Jesus blesses the food and everyone eats until they are satisfied. After the leftovers… read more

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“Jesus said, ‘They need not go away; you give them something to eat.’

They said to him, ‘We have only five loaves here and two fish.’”

Matthew 14:16-17

This is the story of Jesus feeding the 5,000. This scripture tell us that Jesus had compassion on them and healed the sick. After a long day, the disciples want to send the people away, but Jesus tells to them to feed the people. The disciples complain that they only have five loaves of bread and two fish. It’s not enough. Jesus blesses the food and everyone eats until they are satisfied. After the leftovers are collected, twelve baskets of food are left. This is more than just a miracle. It is Jesus expressing the amazing grace of God’s love. In the Kingdom of God there is never scarcity or want or not enough. The Psalms shout of a God whose “love is everlasting”. For Jesus there is always abundance. That is good news that we need to take to our hurting and frightened world.

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Satan is a Liar

by: Laurie Stephens

07/11/2018

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Zach Williams has a new song out called "Fear is a Liar".
Here are some of the lyrics:

When he told you you're not good enough
When he told you you're not right
When he told you you're not strong enough
To put up a good fight
When he told you you're not worthy
When he told you you're not loved
When he told you you're not beautiful
That you'll never be enough

Fear, he is a liar
He will take your breath
Stop you in your steps
Fear he is a liar
He will rob your rest
Steal your happiness
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Zach Williams has a new song out called "Fear is a Liar".
Here are some of the lyrics:

When he told you you're not good enough
When he told you you're not right
When he told you you're not strong enough
To put up a good fight
When he told you you're not worthy
When he told you you're not loved
When he told you you're not beautiful
That you'll never be enough

Fear, he is a liar
He will take your breath
Stop you in your steps
Fear he is a liar
He will rob your rest
Steal your happiness
Cast your fear in the fire
'Cause fear he is a liar

How often do we fall into the trap of believing the lies that Satan whispers in our ears? He capitalizes on our doubts and worries to keep us from truly believing that we ARE loved and we ARE enough in God's eyes. Don't believe his lies. Cast your fear in the fire.

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Summer Camp

by: Laurie Stephens

07/11/2018

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This week, 19 of our youth and children attended camp at Warren W. Willis United Methodist Camp. In the midst of swimming, sailing, four square, creating tie-die shirts, and all of the other typical camp activities, these 19 grew deeper in their relationship with Jesus Christ. They will come back changed. And those who see their transformation will be changed as well.

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This week, 19 of our youth and children attended camp at Warren W. Willis United Methodist Camp. In the midst of swimming, sailing, four square, creating tie-die shirts, and all of the other typical camp activities, these 19 grew deeper in their relationship with Jesus Christ. They will come back changed. And those who see their transformation will be changed as well.

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A Home of Their Own

by: Laurie Stephens

07/11/2018

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Four times a year, we are hosts to guests from Family Promise of Hillsborough County. This is an amazing ministry that provides temporary housing, meals, and services to families who are homeless. Our church provides the temporary housing and meals for a week at a time. This is a labor of love that involves a number of volunteers responsible for everything from laundering the bedding to setting up and taking down the bedrooms to being overnights hosts. In the evening, the families gather together for a wholesome meal provided by one of our small groups. This is my favorite time… read more

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Four times a year, we are hosts to guests from Family Promise of Hillsborough County. This is an amazing ministry that provides temporary housing, meals, and services to families who are homeless. Our church provides the temporary housing and meals for a week at a time. This is a labor of love that involves a number of volunteers responsible for everything from laundering the bedding to setting up and taking down the bedrooms to being overnights hosts. In the evening, the families gather together for a wholesome meal provided by one of our small groups. This is my favorite time of the week because we get to know the families a little bit as we talk and laugh and enjoy the meal.

In May and June, we hosted a delightful family of six. The four daughters were so cute and well-behaved and it was evident that they are loved by both Mom and Dad. While we were caring for their comfort needs, Family Promise of Hillsborough County was working with them to become independent again. We were so pleased when they graduated from the program this past Friday. It takes a village to raise a family and so we all feel such pride in their accomplishment!

Here are some photos from their graduation.


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