Join us at the Blaine Center (150 Denny Way) on Wednesday, August 27
Come for cooking dinner at 5:30 pm and celebration and fellowship at 6:30 pm.
Tell It to Your Children
by Patrick Ferguson, Director of the First Inspirations Children’s Choir
As a First Church member, I love the variety of music that resonates in our sanctuary walls. Sunday after Sunday, week after week, our musical story is rich in history.
I think it’s fair to say that music shapes an individual’s entire spiritual life. For this reason, I’m so excited that we embrace this early with the First Church children with our youth choir.
I often hear of choristers who have gone on to sing in adult choirs or are active in worship or in their various congregations. In fact, a predominant number of seminary students, clergy and other church workers come out of children’s choirs. They know scripture, because they have sung it for so many years. Indeed, it’s important ministry for young people because it is a memory they’ll always carry with them.
The children and youth not only add zest to our services, but also give them a safe place to connect with each other, to be creative, and to contribute to the church community. It’s these very relationships among the kids that keep them coming back providing opportunities to share their music with you in service.
But don’t take my word for it … think back to YOUR own experiences. Did YOU grow up in an environment where children ministries offered some type of program for you to participate? Perhaps it was a children’s choir, or a youth group, camp, or Sunday Children’s Time. In these programs, did YOU experience something bigger than yourself that helped shaped your worship habits for years to come?
While I’m taking the scripture out of context, Joel 1:3 tells us to: “Tell it to your children, and let your children tell it to their children, and their children to the next generation.” If YOU’VE had a joyful choir or other children’s ministries story, would you consider taking a few minutes and sharing it with the First Inspirations Choir at one of our rehearsals (we meet during the sermon time, at the 10:30 a.m. service from September through June)? Or if you’d rather, you can put your story into words and email it to me, and I’ll share your experience with our kids on your behalf. Either way, I’d love to hear from you.
One of the greatest challenges we face in the U.S. today is the economic chasm between the wealthy and the poor. I know increasing numbers of people who have a hard time just making ends meet. We know that the number of middle class Americans has dramatically decreased, but most starkly, the numbers of inordinately wealthy has increased manifold times. There seems to be little or no sense that “enough is enough.” And more and more people have to work 1, 2, or 3 jobs just to support themselves and their families, and still fall below the poverty line.
On September 7, we are going to acknowledge these challenges along with the situation of workers and the working poor in worship. Our Communion will celebrate workers–very fitting for Labor Day Sunday. The story of Lazarus from Luke 16 and the description of the Early Post-Easter Community from Acts 2 will guide our reflections for that day. And we’ll reflect on Jesus’ words of lament that “the poor we will always have with us.” I believe that poverty isn’t inevitable. It’s the result of the choices we make, the ways we live, and our value and care for others, as well as the ways we truly love ourselves.
Come be a part of praising God for the privilege of having work to do, and praying for those who don’t have work, or have too much work to live a full and abundant and balanced life. The Sermon for that Sunday will focus on how Our Lives Depend on Those Who Labor.
Sundays following September 7, we will continue to explore Work in relation to Worth, Wealth, Integrity, Abundance, and Privilege.
Rev. Sharon Moe
Interested in singing with the Sanctuary Choir?
The Sanctuary Choir and Glenn Gregg would like to extend a special invitation to join open choir on Sunday, August 24. This is the last opportunity to give choir a try before the regular season!
This is a great way for those who can’t commit to the regular choir schedule to participate in the music ministry, and a great way to give choir a try if you are thinking about joining us.
Email email@example.com for more details.
Jane Hines requests prayers for herself as she needs someone to talk one-on-one with.
Claudia La Rose and Wendy Tureaud request prayers for love and peace on Earth.
Janet Crawley requests prayers of healing for Kris Love who has had complications from ankle surgery last fall.
Wendy Mustacci requests prayers for Alix Salomon.
Kathryn Hagan (Kat) requests prayers of support for her housing as she and her son await an opening unit
Marlene Barnes requests prayers for Peace in Israel!!
Paul McCutcheon requests prayers of support and healing for Connie McCutcheon’s foot, which was injured when a heavy bread-board fell on it.
Prayers are requested for Alice Strombeck, who fell Saturday night at Bayview while getting off elevator and sustained undetermined hip injury, and was transported to hospital.
Continuing prayers are requested for
By Laurel Arenivar
Thousands of children, ranging in age from 3 to 17, are crossing the Southwest border of the United States without guardians. These young immigrants travel from countries in Central America on “a dangerous, long and expensive trip,” said Rev. Juan Guerrero, United Methodist superintendent of Honduras. “The kids go because their parents live in the U.S., and they leave Honduras because there are no opportunities, no dignity. They leave because here there is hunger, violence and poverty.” (source)
The United Methodist Committee on Relief “has responded by supporting the conferences most affected with grant funds for hospitality, material supplies where needed, and collaboration with our ecumenical and governmental partners. . . . UMCOR has been in continuing conversation with FEMA, ICE, DHS, HHS, and the White House Office for Faith-based initiatives to get greater access and insights to the processing of arriving immigrants to be able to provide needed services,” said Denise Honeycutt, Deputy General Secretary of the United Methodist Committee on Relief. (source)
Joint base Lewis-McChord in Tacoma, WA may be one of the locations chosen to temporarily house immigrant children detained at the US border.
First Church members who would like more information and updates on the situation can contact Lyda Pierce, the Hispanic/Latino Ministry Development Director at the PNW conference: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Pacific Northwest Conference webpage at pnwumc.org/immigration offers information via discussion starters, newsfeeds, and helpful links.
Continue to offer prayers for these children and their families, for the wisdom of the government officials involved in working out solutions to this crisis, and for an end to gang violence, hunger, and poverty in the countries these children and their families have fled.
Andrew Thomas requests prayers to give us strength as we work through food issues this last week of the month; Kat Hagan requests prayers for legal issues to be resolved; Christine Luke requests prayers for united, love, and peace; George and Elizabeth Pratt request prayers of Thanksgiving for the 100th Birthday of Phil Abbenhouse-1st Church Member and resident of Wesley Gardens; Kevin Filocamo requests prayers of support as he is facing transitioning out of his job and is uncertain what’s next; also help and support as he faces this transition and discerns what is next; David C Campbell requests prayers for his granddaughter (23) for gaining employment; Jane Hines requests prayers of support as she is going through hard times; Marlene Barnes requests prayers of “Have Thy own Way, O Lord!”; Prayers of thanksgiving are requested for the safe return of both Jackie Putt and Barbara Moreland; for Jackie, who has returned to her former job and First Church; and Barbara, who will be returning to China for another year after her visit with church family and friends.
Continuing prayers are requested for:
Bill Sherertz- after recent knee replacement surgery
Last week mission team members Sophie Averill, Bruce Berglund, Elizabeth Blanton, Sonya Davis, Gwynne Dodge, Joyce and Joe Frost, Michael Glauner, Kris Henn, Kris John, Connie McCutcheon, Jack McDonald, Sue Porter, Eleanor and Keith Schubert, Kari Wilson, and Diane White-Shaw traveled to Guatemala to work with the Salud y Paz mission.
“Salud y Paz” translates to mean “Health and Peace.” As a mission program of the United Methodist Church it partners with congregations in the U.S. and with the indigenous Methodist church of Guatemala. Salud y Paz volunteers provide medical and dental services, as well as preschool, kindergarten, and first grade.
In 2010 the Church Council at First Church voted to allocate 10% of the funds from our Capital Campaign to Salud y Paz, with the goal of doing more with our campaign than simply repay our mortgage, and to make an impact somewhere in the world for people in genuine need.
Last week, the First Church mission team saw first-hand the impact of the funds from First Church. Salud y Paz Executive Director Wayne Wiley shared that before the pledge from First Church, the mission wasn’t sure where the funds to keep Salud y Paz going into the next year would come from.
First Church’s pledge in 2010 helped to keep the Salud y Paz mission going, kick-started other donations, and today provides a portion of the salaries for several of the Salud y Paz doctors and medication for the clinic. Because of donations from churches and organizations like First Church, the work of Project Salud y Paz not only continues but is expanding.
To read more about Salud y Paz, visit their website at saludypaz.org.
The First Church mission team’s primary responsibility during their trip was to help with the construction of the Regional Surgery Center, in progress because “every [surgery] team turns away patients because there isn’t enough room in the schedule. Some patients receive surgery in makeshift operating rooms set up in our dental or doctor’s office, a space that’s safe for the patient but difficult for the surgeons. The Surgery program is continuously growing – beyond the capacity of our physical structure. . . . The new clinic will have space for 3 exams room, an increase from our current clinic which only has one. It will also have an additional dental space to accommodate visiting dentists and students. New patient bathrooms will be located next to our expanded lab. In addition, plans include a centrally located pharmacy, patient waiting space, offices, multipurpose room, and a new kitchen. Housing the surgery center in a separate building will allow us to keep the clinic open regular hours, even when surgery teams are serving in Camanchaj.”
It was exciting for the team to be part of the booming construction project that will have a life-changing impact on the people the mission serves.
In addition to work on the surgery center, team members filled their days working on projects like organizing supplies for the school, counting pills for the pharmacy, and updating the playground equipment.
The mission team looks forward to sharing more about their trip at a dinner on Saturday, September 6 at 6 pm in the First Church Fellowship Hall. They will cook a traditional Guatemalan meal and share stories and photos from their week at Salud y Paz. The cost of tickets will help to raise money to further support our partnership with Project Salud y Paz.
The suggested ticket donation is $25/adult and $15/child. To sign up please email email@example.com, call 206-622-7278, or find a mission team member before or after a Sunday worship service.
First Church member Barbara Moreland recently returned from working as a visiting professor at Liaocheng University in city of Liaocheng, in Shandong Province, China. She will be returning to Liaocheng for the 2014-2015 school year, which begins on September 1.
Join Barbara for our August First Sunday Lunch at 11:30 on Sunday, August 3 in the First Church Fellowship Hall to hear about her year in China.
It has been a year of adjustments, frustrations, challenges, and hard work, and a year filled with joy, friendship, generosity, and adventure. I’ll try to paint a picture of my life in China by describing a “typical” school day, and I’ll share stories and pictures of the special people I lived with, some exceptional students, and the many, many lessons I learned.
Capturing even the highlights of my year in China in only a few minutes simply isn’t possible, but I want to make this time meaningful for you, my First Church family. If you have a specific question you would like for me to answer, please send me a note and I’ll try to answer either in my talk to the group or in conversation with you.
The Book Group will meet on September 7 at 10:00 to discuss the book, Christianity After Religion: The End of Church and the Birth of a New Spiritual Awakening by Diana Butler Bass. Bass, the visionary author of A People’s History of Christianity, continues the conversation began in books like Brian D. McLaren’s A New Kind of Christianity and Harvey Cox’s The Future of Faith, examining the connections—and the divisions—between theology, practice, and community that Christians experience today. Bass’s clearly worded, powerful, and probing Christianity After Religion is required reading for anyone invested in the future of Christianity.
The Book Group is an informal group that meets monthly to discuss books of interest. If you are interested in this one, please read it and join us in the education classroom in September.
Interested in singing with the Choir?
Our Sanctuary Choir members and Music Director, Glenn Gregg, would like to invite anyone interested to participate in Summer Open Choir during the month of August. Here’s how it works: Glenn will email you a PDF file of the sheet music, along with an audio practice file so you can sing along and learn your part at home. Then, simply arrive 30 minutes before the 10:30 service on Sunday for a brief warm-up and rehearsal. It’s a great way to give choir singing a try without the commitment of a mid-week rehearsal, and it’s a lot of fun! Talk to Glenn, or email firstname.lastname@example.org to participate.
Invite your family & friends to cheer on the Mariners with us on August 29 at 7:10pm as they take on the Washington Nationals.
All-ages are welcome and encouraged to attend. Plan to stay for the post-game fireworks show!
Tickets are only $16/person.
RSVP by 8/15 to email@example.com or 206-622-7278.
Kathryn Hagan requests prayers for her son Klayton, who is now living with her.
Prayers of care and comfort are requested for Bill Sherertz, who is recuperating well at home after his left knee replacement surgery on Monday July 14th.
David C. Campbell requests prayers for his 23 year old granddaughter, Amanda, to find King County employment in the Seattle area.
Josh Patton requests prayers for pushing past procrastination and breaking through Mariah’s walls.
Vangie Rand requests prayers of support for her transition into her new appointment.
Jim Schone requests prayers for his mother, Gwen Schone, who passed away on Wednesday, July 9th, in Portland, Maine, as well as for her family and friends who mourn her passing.
Prayers of support are requested for Jeanne Aston, who continues with Swedish Wound Clinic for her very slow healing leg wounds resulting from cellulitis.
Continuing prayers are requested for
It was a joy to be with you in worship on Sunday. Thank you for your warm welcome. Over the past week I’ve been experiencing the joys of this beautiful Church building, the skillful and dedicated Church Staff, and a lively and loving Congregation. It’s Wednesday as I write and the boxes of books in my office are yet to be unpacked. I’m finishing making arrangements for a new home close to the Church and getting ready to move from Tacoma to Seattle. And now I’m done with the work of the Tacoma District and have closed up the Tacoma District Office.
And through it all I’m learning about both the ministry and the challenges of First Church. I’m seeing how engaged you are with the many fine and compassionate ministries you’ve developed, for the congregation and the larger community. My hope this summer is to visit and participate with the many groups of the congregation, so to begin to get to know many more of you. And I’m beginning to understand a bit of the challenges of supporting and managing those ministries.
The transition continues, and will for a while, but it is a gift to be here with you; to take up the mantle of ministry in the neighborhood and in the city, with you. I’m looking forward to hearing your hopes and visions for the ministry ahead of us, and your understanding of what it is God is calling us to be and to do at this time, in this place. And I invite you to share with me your stories of how you came to locate at Seattle First, and what your life in this community of United Methodist Christians means to you.
I believe we are called to be the incarnation of Christ for the well-being of the city and for the transformation of the world. And as I continue to make my way among you and with you, that is the understanding by which I will be guided.
Blessings to you, and to our ministry together,
Our parking garage is a tremendous asset for First Church. It not only allows the congregation and visitors to park free on Sundays and during other church activities, it also brings in revenue from people who pay a monthly fee to park in the garage and from the many one-time visitors who come to Seattle Center or attend events downtown.
In recent weeks there have been several instances of vandalism in which cars in the garage have been broken into. In some cases no valuables were taken, but windows were broken. The Board of Trustees takes the situation very seriously, and we would like to let the congregation know what we are doing about this problem and what you can do to help.
- We have enlisted security patrols to check the garage throughout the day; there are additional costs to the church involved in this step.
- We are looking into adjusting the hours of the garage to reduce access to vehicles at night.
- There was a problem with one of the doors not closing properly, and that has been repaired.
While we expect these efforts to help, it’s also important that all of us do our part to make our vehicles unappealing to vandals and thieves, in the First Church garage or anywhere. We recommend that you:
- Keep the inside of your car as empty as possible.
- Remove any valuables and put all bags, jackets, and other items in the trunk before you come into the church building.
- Lock all doors and set the car alarm if you have one.
If your car has a window broken or is vandalized in any way while parked in the church garage, it’s very important that you contact IPM, our parking management company. They track this information and look for patterns, so that we can adjust our patrols or take other action to prevent this from happening again. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with the type of car, date and time when the crime occurred, and exactly what damage was done and what, if anything, was taken.
First Church takes safety seriously. We don’t want anyone to be afraid to park in our garage, and we will continue to look for a rapid and workable solution to the problem. If you have questions or suggestions, please feel free to talk to anyone on the Board of Trustees.