Mission Trip

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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 missions@firstchurchseattle.org, call 206-622-7278, or find a mission team member before or after a Sunday worship service.

View team photos on facebook…more photos to come!

 

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A Year in China with Barbara Moreland

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.

Barbara
bamwords@msn.com

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First Church Book Group

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.

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Congratulations Corner

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Open Choir in August

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 glenn@firstchurchseattle.org to participate.

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Join us at the ball park!

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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 carina@firstchurchseattle.org or 206-622-7278.

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Prayers This Week

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
Millie Kugler
Chester Morgan
Jean Wiswell
Marge Dickey
Jean Wiswell

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From the Pastor…

SharonMoe_cropFriends,

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,

Sharon

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Parking Garage News

parking garage 3Our 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 coparking garage 2mpany. 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 sara@ipmseattle.com 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.

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Sunday School Update

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What Does Pride Mean to Me?

by Jonathyn Kraig, Pride + Faith Community Group Leader

Over the past few years around the time of Pride, I’ve asked myself what it means to me. Historically I’ve viewed Pride as a time to gather with other members of the LGBTQ community and to have a wild time celebrating. This year as Pride Sunday approached, I began feeling the energy and excitement within the congregation, in preparation for the big day. I found myself wondering why my heterosexual brothers and sisters in Christ were so excited about Pride. Then it hit me! Pride 2011 was the first time I visited First Church. I was met with warmth, love, and acceptance that day and, as a result, I kept coming back. Yes, all the way up from Tacoma! At First Church, we fulfill our mission to love, grow, and serve with intensity and passion, this is what I felt leading up to Pride Sunday. My greatest hope for my LGBTQ brothers and sisters, who have been hurt by the church in the past, is that they are able to see and feel the warmth, love, and acceptance we offer at First Church. Spreading this message to others is what gave my Pride weekend special meaning.

View photos from Pride Sunday at First Church.

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Congratulations Corner

Congratulations

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Prayers This Week

Gary Howard requests prayers of support for his son to find work.

Marlene Barnes requests prayers for peace to all!

Josh Patton requests prayers of praise for his graduation and strength for job hunting.

Jane Hines requests prayers for Donald, and for herself going through a hard time.

Cathy Clemente requests prayers for Maria, who is healing but will be in Swedish for awhile.

Sean White request prayers for support of Nicole to quit drugs and fin happiness.

Continuing prayers are requested for
Millie Kugler
June Whitson
Chester Morgan
Dot Coon

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Congratulations Graduates!

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Congratulations First Inspirations Choir Graduates!

FIOlderKids3The First Inspirations Children’s Choir began five years ago with a small core group of dedicated singers – several of whom will be graduating out of the program this month.  Over these years, Caroline and Jefferson Ashby, Sarah Gail, Aaliyah Soukup-Stone and Jacob Sullenszino have grown tremendously – not only as singers, but also more importantly in their faith, and as ambassadors for this church. Each has brought something different to the experience, building upon what has become our own First Church Community Group, and I could not be more proud of them collectively and individually.

In addition, my partner from the group’s inception, Julie Sullenszino, will no longer be a Co-Director with the choir next season.  Julie’s professional skills as a child psychologist and social worker made working with her an extraordinary experience.  Her insights are amazing, as her ability to communicate with the kids is brilliant, and her musical energy and talents have made for a great pairing. Seeing her in action with the children is simply awe-inspiring.  On a more personal note, she’s become one of my dearest friends through this ministry and I’m ever grateful for the gifts she has given to the program and to me. What a blessing she is to the program, our church and to me.

All these individuals have inspired a vital ministry program for our congregation.  Collectively and individually they leave unique gifts that shaped (and will continue to embody) the makeup of the choir for years to come.  I’m so grateful for their contributions!

Next season, starting in September, the First Inspirations will consist of the WONDERFUL remaining pre-K through grade five singers (newbies are always welcome to join us).  We will continue to provide a positive learning environment where growth in love, self-esteem, responsibility, and commitment are enhanced through music.  We look forward to singing for you next season.

Patrick Ferguson
First Inspirations Children’s Choir

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Ice Cream Social to Welcome Rev. Moe!

photoOn July 6 we welcome the Rev. Sharon Moe as our new pastor at First Church.

Please join us for worship with Rev. Moe at 9 or 10:30 AM.

After the 10:30 AM service we will enjoy an ice cream social in the church Fellowship Hall. Please bring your favorite ice cream topping to share.

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Prayers This Week

Connie and Paul McCutcheon request prayers for Connie’s brother Dick Wood continuing to struggle with COPD, Heart Disease and poor blood condition, still at home with aid 3 times a week.

Tom and Janet Meshek request prayers for our nation to follow the path of Christ.

Bradley and Ann Scharf request prayers of comfort for friend Ann Brown as she watches over her husband who is in a coma.

Jane C. Hines requests prayers of support, feeling worthless due to family; and prayers for her niece who had a baby.

Josh Patton requests prayers for guidance, healing and strength for Mariah and her friend Jasmine.

Jeanne Aston requests prayers of support as she continues her long struggle with wound care and visits to Swedish Wound Care Clinic.

Ron Barnum requests prayers of travel mercies for roughly 130 members and friends of the Seattle Men’s Chorus as they embark on a concert tour throughout Germany.

Continuing prayers are requested for
Jean Wiswell
Chester Morgan
June Whitson
Dot Coon
Marge Dickey
Millie Kugler
Doris Hollister

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Prayers This Week

Andrew Thomas and Dave Eastlack request prayers for strength through shortness of breath.

Jane Hines requests prayers for her friend who had a baby and for herself, going through a stressful time.

Ray Rickey requests prayers for Kari Coe.

Josh Patton requests prayers for himself and Mariah.

George and Elizabeth Pratt request prayers for all going through transitions, and for pastors, graduating seniors, and losses.

Fran Lucas offers thanksgiving  for prayers offered for her daughter Elizabeth Rugaber, who suffers from Bronchiolitis Obliterans, a life threatening side-effect of her bone marrow transplant, and requests continuing prayers for Elizabeth, whom doctors are working with to relieve her condition that has no actual cure.

Continuing prayers of support and care are requested for
Millie Kugler
Chester Morgan
Jean Wiswell
Doris Hollister
June Whitson
Dot Coon and family
Marge Dickey

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Methodism 101 Class

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Methodism 101 class is underway, but it’s not too late to jump in!

What does it mean to be United Methodist? Get in touch with historical Wesleyan roots and learn how United Methodists “do” church. Get answers to the most frequently asked questions about the United Methodist denomination, including introductions to history, beliefs, structure and current challenges. Whether First Church is your first experience in a United Methodist congregation or you’ve been here awhile, this class is a great way to dig deeper into the denomination.

Methodism 101 is meets Tuesday nights at 7 pm with leader Dana Birkby in Room 304. Join us if you’re interested!

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Softball

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Would you like to play summer softball with First Church?

  • Games will begin Sunday, June 29 at Montlake Park or Field and go through August.
  • Games will be at 2-3:30pm and/or 3:30-5pm each Sunday afternoon.
  • Contact Julie at the church office if you’re interested: office@firstchurchseattle.org; 206-622-7278.

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Use the link above to shop on Amazon through First Church and a portion of your purchase will be directed to our Homelessness Fund!