Tax Facts

paper work

Thank you for your support of First Church and its ministries. As year-end and tax time approach, here is some information that may be helpful to you when you are finalizing your year-end giving:

Year-End Contributions

To claim a charitable contribution for 2014 tax filing, checks and cash need to be delivered to the church office or postmarked no later than December 31. Checks placed in the offering plate January 4, 2015 will not qualify as a 2014 gift regardless of the check date. To ensure the deductibility of your church donations, please do not file your 2014 income tax return until you have received your year-end statement of giving. If you have questions, please contact Eric Liljegren, our church Business Administrator, at 206-622-7278 ext. 102 or by email, eric@firstchurchseattle.org.

Securities

If you are planning on making a gift of Securities please do so before December 15 or earlier. We recommend you initiate a Security transfer prior to December 12th and coordinate with the church bookkeeper, Dan Rounds, well before your transfer is scheduled. Dan may be reached at 206-622-7278 ext. 101, or by email, dan@firstchurchseattle.org.

Thank you for your cooperation during this very busy season.

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12 Days of Christmas Parties

happyChristmastideAfter the gifts have been opened and the holiday songs disappear from the airwaves, the celebration of Christmas truly begins.

Traditionally, Christians celebrate the 12 days between Christmas and Epiphany – noting the arrival of the three Magi – as a time of joy and fellowship.

First Church congregation has a long history of honoring this time by opening their homes to each other in the spirit of celebration. In recent years we have had youth gatherings, fondue or country themed parties, holiday desserts, and potlucks all over the greater Seattle area.

You are invited to participate in this annual event as a host and/or a guest.

As a host, you may determine the day (12/26/14 – 1/3/15), the time, format (potluck, appetizer, tea, dessert, or other meal format) and number of guests you can comfortably accommodate in your home. Some parties designed as youth or children and family friendly and others are not. You will receive a list of guests and will be responsible for contacting your guests.

As a guest, you may sign up for one or more of these neighborhood parities. The host family will contact you regarding directions and offer more specifics about what you can bring to the table.

If you decide to host an event, or are requesting more information about this seasonal event, please notify Elizabeth Blanton (elizabethb@firstchurchseattle.org), Ann Bristow (bristow@indiana.edu) or Candy Bonham (candy@firstchurchseattle.org). Party sign-ups will begin after Thanksgiving, so if you would like to be a host, please contact one of the three organizers before November 30th, with the date, time, party format and number of expected guests.

Watch for more information in future Chimes and/or bulletins.

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Advent Spiral Service

IMG_3683Date: First Sunday of Advent, November 30
Time: 7 pm

The Advent Spiral Service is a meditative service that gives us the opportunity to take a break from the stress of the season and focus on the true meaning of Christmas. As we take turns walking the spiral and lighting our candles from the Christ candle at the center, we focus on the spiritual aspects of the season.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Prayers 10/26 and 11/2

Biblical Prayer Worship BackgroundsPrayers from 10/26 and 11/2

Prayers of sympathy for the DeGabriele family. Albert DeGabriele passed away on Saturday, November 1. The Celebration of Life service for Al DeGabriele will be held at First Church on Saturday, November 15 at 1 pm. Reception to follow.

Paul and Connie McCutcheon: For Connie’s brother in New Mexico, on hospice suffering from COPD and heart condition; Jane Hines: Prayers for friend with cancer and for myself, going through a difficult time; Don Drury: Peace in international strife. Healing in Marysville-Pilchuck community.

Continuing prayers are requested for
Jean Wiswell, Millie Kugler, June Whitson, Roger Whitson, Chester Morgan, Marge Dickey

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Stewardship Emphasis

SharonMoe_cropDear Friends,
It’s that time of year when things change: the time (November 2), the weather (windy, rainy and cooler), winter clothes, Church program and activities, annual Church Conference AND…Annual Stewardship time. Last Sunday we began a 6-week Stewardship Emphasis in worship, which will continue through our Pledge and Celebration Sunday, on Thanksgiving Sunday, November 23.  The theme and focus for this year’s Stewardship Drive is “ENOUGH! Discovering Joy Through Simplicity and Generosity.” In the next six weeks we are going to consider and reflect on the financial challenges facing us as a nation and examine our own spending, saving, and giving habits. We’ll look at biblical principles that speak to how we use our money and consider John Wesley’s teachings on money. All of this is to prepare ourselves to experience the joy that comes through simplicity and generosity. At the end of the emphasis, we will have the opportunity to make personal and family commitments of giving for the coming year. We will consecrate our commitments to First Church on Sunday, November 23.

The 2014 Stewardship Team includes Sally Deneen and Robert McClure (Co-chairpersons), Gary Parker, Judy Waring, David Ham, Jackie Putt, and Jim McClaine, First Church Finance Chairperson. In addition, the staff persons who will offer support to the team are Eric Liljegren, Elizabeth Blanton, and Rev. Moe.

Over the next 5 weeks you’ll see bulletin reminders, Chimes and eChimes articles, and email from your Pastor.  In addition, you will receive 2 mailings with help ideas for discerning your 2015 commitment, as well as discerning the priorities of your own life and faith. And we invite you to consider, reflect on, and make part of your daily devotions Wesley’s admonishment to “Earn all you can; Save all you can; Give all you can.” With gladness of heart and generosity of spirit.

Blessings,
SharonMoeSignature

 

 

 

Learn more about the Stewardship Emphasis.

 

 

 

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I-594 Rally

Come together with the Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility at First United Methodist Church on Saturday, November 1, 2014 at 2pm! This is the last weekend before election day and we want to come together to make sure we are helping voters in our communities raise their voices in support of I-594 by sending in their ballot.

Join us, bring a friend, invite your neighbor–together we can make sure we have a common sense background check law in Washington state on November 4th.

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Christmas Pageant Rehearsal Schedule

Christmas Pageant announcement

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Why We Give

Why We Give

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First Church November Book Group

The First Church Book Group will next read Proverbs of Ashes by Rita Nakashima Brock and Rebecca Parker. Does Christianity sanction violence? It is described as a full and powerful critique of the theology of atonement. We will discuss it Sunday. Nov 2 at 10:15 in room 302.

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All Saints’ Day

MP900432988Sunday, November 2

At this service we will remember members of our community who have passed away during the year and have an opportunity to lift up other departed loved ones who are on our hearts. All Saints’ Day is a Christian tradition celebrated in both the western and eastern church. United Methodists call people “saints” because they exemplified christian discipleship and love. In this sense, every Christian can be considered a saint.

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Socks for Shared Breakfast

sockBring socks to church for our Shared Breakfast guests. Socks are one of the greatest needs of our neighbors who spend their days walking around the city without shelter. You can help!

We’ll be collecting socks beginning Sunday, October 12. Drop new pairs of socks off at the church office or place them in the bin in the narthex marked “Socks for Shared Breakfast.”

Volunteers will hand out the warm, dry socks we’ve collected to our Shared Breakfast guests on December 21.

Please contact Sharon Swadener if you have any questions: zenmomtofour@gmail.com.

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Shared Breakfast Volunteer Coordinator

Pen Save the Date Calendar picjumbo.com_IMG_5992

Fancy helping with Shared Breakfast, but not a morning person? The Shared Breakfast team is looking for a Volunteer Coordinator. The Volunteer Coordinator is a largely electronic role that requires about an hour per week.

The Volunteer Coordinator:

  • Updates the Shared Breakfast listings on Volunteer Match (www.volunteermatch.org)
  • Replies to emails from volunteers interested in Shared Breakfast
  • Provides a list of the people who have signed up to Jean Ferguson each week
  • Sends out a monthly email update to volunteers

Training will be provided. For more information, contact Sonya Davis (sonyadavis0610@gmail.com). We would love to welcome you to the Shared Breakfast team!

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October Book Group

The book group will meet on October 12 from 10:15 -11:15 in Room 302 to discuss Learning to Walk in the Dark by Barbara Brown Taylor.  “New York Times bestselling author Barbara Brown Taylor once again writes with wisdom, grace, and beauty as she seeks to rehabilitate what we have learned to fear — the dark. Here she reflects on how our lives do not work only when everything is fully lit. We can’t always see the light. It waxes and wanes and can go out altogether. What we need is a spirituality that works in the nighttime.”

The Book Group is an informal group that meets monthly to discuss books of interest.  If you are interested in this book, please read it and join us in the Adult Education Classroom (Room 301) in October.

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Spirited Stirrings

SpiritedStirrings

Friends,

Before I came to First Church in July, I was very glad to see that you have been actively supporting the I-594 initiative for Gun Responsibility.  It’s one of those critical social issues that I believe the Church needs to speak about and lend its support to being passed in November’s election.  I am continuing to meet with the local Faith Leaders and organizations to plan events and demonstrations leading up to the November election.  First Church will soon be the location where people can pick up signs to encourage people to vote for this initiative ($5.00 each).  And at a Rally, March and Demonstration for I-594 on October 19, all of us will be invited, and encouraged, to join in to demonstrate our support of the initiative.  More information will be available soon about this event.  But plan now to attend and participate in it.  October 19 is also the date for our Annual Church Conference, which will take place immediately following the 10:30 am worship.  It will be possible to attend the Church Conference and then join the rally and march.  The hope is that all along the march route, individuals and congregations will join in–like streams flowing into a river–until the crowd really demonstrates the overwhelming support of people of faith for background checks when purchasing guns.  The image that comes to mind is from the prophet Amos and Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King:  “But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an overflowing stream.”

The increasing levels of violence in our world and in this country–in our homes, in our streets, in our school and shopping malls, and in the ever newly emerging battlefields of our world–demand our response of prayer and action.  And they demand our witness as people of faith in this Seattle community.

Blessings,

SharonMoeSignature

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October First Sunday Luncheon

At our First Sunday Luncheon at First Church on Sunday, October 5th, Kiantha Duncan, the Program Manager at the Blaine Center Men’s Shelter, will join us to speak about the Blaine Center and it’s role in helping the homeless in Seattle.

The Blaine Center is a 60-bed men’s shelter nestled beneath the First Church parking garage on Warren and Denny. The shelter is run in partnership with Compass Housing Alliance.

Join us in the Fellowship Hall after the 10:30 service.

Please bring a salad or dessert to share!

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Church Conference

cross_and_flame_color
On Sunday, October 19 we will have our annual Church Conference with our Seattle District Superintendent, Rev. Patricia Simpson. The conference will be immediately after the 10:30 service in the sanctuary. Discussion will include First Church’s ministry future.

Everyone is encouraged to attend.

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Vintage Adults Fall Outing

Japanese Garden home-bannerJoin the Vintage Adult Fall Outing “Asia Experience” on Tuesday 10/21/2014! We will visit the Japanese Garden at the Arboretum to enjoy autumn leaves and gather around the No Host Chinese lunch near the church afterwards.  Meet at First Church at 10 a.m., rain or shine.

RSVP to Gwynne Dodge by Sunday 10/12/14.

The pay-ahead fee of $5 required to reserve a spot. Accessible path available at the Japanese Garden. No age restriction. Everyone welcome!

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Welcome New Members

New Members

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Congratulations Corner

CongratulationsCorner

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Memorial Service: James Ross

Saturday, September 27, 1 p.m.
Fauntleroy Community Church-United Church of Christ
Fellowship Hall (9140 California Ave. SW)

First Church member James Ross passed away on January 1, 2014. The funeral and burial service were held in Waterloo, Iowa on January 23.

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