Pastor’s Pen – August 14, 2019

Dear Church family,

Last Sunday we had the privilege of praying for students, teachers, administers and staff as we begin a new school year. Each student received a tag to place on their backpacks that read:

“This backpack has been prayed over and blessed by the church that loves you…First United Methodist Church, Boca Raton.” It also had the scripture, Deuteronomy 31:8: “The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”

Please continue to pray for our students and the adults that teach and support them. We are praying for a year of learning, safety and fun.

This weekend there is a lot happening on both campuses. The worship focus this week is recovery, a reminder that we are all broken people in need of the love and grace of Jesus Christ. This is a good week to invite a family member, friend, co-worker, or neighbor that is struggling and needs the hope of Christ. In the afternoon we have our new membership class, Coffee with Pastors, at 3:00pm on the east campus in the office conference room. Also, there is a Pumpkin Patch  potluck/meeting at 3:30pm on our west campus in the fellowship hall. We have an amazing pumpkin patch on our west campus in October. Lastly, there is a back to school Blast Off party at 4:30pm on the east campus. There will be hamburgers and hot dogs, a BIG water slide, the splash pad, and lots of fun and fellowship to celebrate the beginning of the school year. Join us and invite your friends for these opportunities of worship, fellowship, fun, and service.

Finally, we continue to host Family Promise this week. A big thank you to everyone that has greeted, provided dinner, and/or stayed overnight. This ministry truly transforms the lives of families.

In God’s Amazing Grace,

Pastor Marcus

P.S. Please also be in prayer for our FAU campus ministry, Atlantic Coast Wesley, and the new school year. Pastor Ryan and his leadership team will be making new connections starting this week!

Pastor’s Pen – July 31, 2019

Dear Church family,

It’s hard to believe tomorrow is August 1st. Where has the summer gone? In a few weeks, children will be back in school, college football will be back each Saturday, and the peak of hurricane season will be here. There is so much going on in life and so much noise around us!

Starting August 25th we will begin a 6 week sermon series on prayer. When Jesus was asked by his disciples to teach them to pray, he gave us the powerful words we call the Lord’s prayer. Not only will these sermons focus on prayer, but during this six week period, we will have two opportunities each Wednesday to have conversation and teaching about prayer. Each Wednesday starting August 28th join us during the afternoon on the Glades (west) campus and early evening on the Mizner (east) campus. More details on this series will come soon.

Recently at a memorial service I shared that our current circumstances do not have the final word. We, as Easter people, have hope that no matter what is going on in our personal lives God is greater. Prayer is key to our connection with God. May God help us at FUMC to be more intentional and persistent in prayer.

In God’s Amazing Grace,

Pastor Marcus

Pastor’s Pen – July 17, 2019

Dear Church family,

A good meal changes things. It is no surprise that Jesus did a lot of His ministry around a dinner table and reason too that He used metaphors about physical hunger compared to a spiritual one. At Dinner Church, I am learning a lot about the way that Jesus fills us up in more ways than one. After almost 5 months of Dinner Church, I and my Team have learned a lot. We started this journey on February 24th and will have another Dinner Church again on Sunday night, July 28th. Just like a family meal in your own home, it takes preparation, planning, hospitality and prayer.

Jesus knew this and modeled this throughout the Gospels and now we get to practice a part of this through the Dinner Church ministry of First United Methodist Church. When our Dinner Church Team fixes a meal, it isn’t one thrown together or hastily prepared; it is one that we would serve our family if they were visiting out of town or had gathered for a special occasion. Our meals are ones that have been thought about, planned out and lovingly made (or catered).  The food is hot and fills our Cafetorium with good smells when our guests enter the space. The dessert is always a hit and to-go boxes are filled at the end so our guests can continue to feast on this purposeful meal again throughout the week. And if that wasn’t enough, our Dinner Church always ends with the invitation to the greatest meal of all, The Lord’s Supper. We pray over the bread and grape juice, and children help me serve this symbolic meal to our friends. The night is holy, and loud, and unexpected and every bit different than one would picture when they think of church, but God is there with us.

We took a group picture with some of our guests because a beloved family that has been a part of Dinner Church from the beginning is moving across the country. We will miss them and we will continue to pray for them, but in the five short months that they have been coming to Dinner Church, this community has become their family and they didn’t want to forget us after they leave.

We hope you will continue to pray for us and for the people that God will be sending our way.  In addition, let me challenge you this week to use your meal time with your family, friends, co-workers or strangers alike to practice hospitality, intentional relationship building and God’s grace. Because a good meal changes things and you never know how God might fill you up in more ways than one when you come to the table.

Grace and Peace,

Rev. Rachel DeLaune

Pastor’s Pen – July 10, 2019

Dear Church family,

When someone joins our church we take an opportunity to go over our mission statement, vision, and core values. This is an important part of who we are as First United Methodist Church. Over the next few weeks, we are going to review who are as FUMC. Here is part of the mission and vision document that we drafted in 2015.

The mission of the United Methodist Church is to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.

We live this out by:

Loving God and Loving People (Luke 10:27)

Vision:

To expand the Kingdom of God by fostering a culture that helps people discover and live out the life that God intends for each of us to have.

Core Values:

Loving as God loves

We desire to connect with and extend God’s unconditional love to all people through all we say and do.

Being in Community

We value our relationships with one another, regardless of age, gifts, and views on theology, politics, and social issues, and choose to worship and do life together as the body of Christ.

Deepening relationships with Jesus Christ

We desire to encourage, equip, and empower people, in traditional ways like small groups and mentoring relationships and in fresh expressions throughout the community, wherever we are in our spiritual journey, to become all God created us to be so that we can be a blessing to others.

Partnering with others to carry out God’s work

We can accomplish more with others than we can alone; so we work with the United Methodist Church, global and community organizations, and individuals both inside and outside the church to live into the life that God desires for us.

Engaging the next generation

We want to connect and form mutual relationships with college students and young families in our church and community so that we can each live into God’s plan.

Our Strategic Initiatives:

Growing in Christ:

Everyone has a need to deepen their relationship with Jesus Christ. We want to establish a discipleship path to engage the congregation and community.

Community Collaborations:

  • The creation of a Boca Raton Day Center for the homeless
  • Partner with local schools/or organizations to make a difference in children’s lives.
  • Haiti Initiatives

Next Generation:

In the summer of 2016, to launch a campus presence at Florida Atlantic University with a partnership from the Board of Higher Education and Campus Ministries of the Florida Annual Conference. We also desire to invest in and strengthen families in our church and community.

See you in worship on Sunday!

In God’s Amazing Grace,

Pastor Marcus

Pastor’s Pen – July 3, 2019

Hello Church family,

I wanted to share a social media post from our Bishop Ken Carter. As you enjoy the 4th of July holiday with your families, friends and neighbors, think about these words regarding your spiritual life. See you at worship on Sunday!!

“Teachings Useful for the Spiritual Life

It is more important to know yourself than to please others.  It is more important to live well than to accumulate knowledge. Carefully and patiently take the time to reflect on all things in relation to God.

There is wisdom in letting go of opinions.  Continually seek the counsel of those who are wiser.  When we place the good of others above ourselves,  we attain peace and quietness of heart.

Read the scriptures with humility, simplicity and faith, and not as a source for subtle arguments.  When we do what is in our power to do, God will honor the intention.

If we believe there is good in ourselves, we should also trust that there is more good in others.  Give your heart to those who are themselves vulnerable before God.

We are drawn to our own preferences and we surround ourselves with those who agree with us.  If God is with us, we will at times let go of our opinions for the greater good.  None of us can know everything.

We are happier when we are not so obsessed with the activities of others.  We are not at peace when we intrude into the affairs of others.

Grow spiritually each day, and remove one fault each year. Many of us were in a better place spiritually when we first experienced conversion.  When we focus on our spiritual lives, we experience more peace within ourselves and we bring more joy to others.

(My paraphrase of random sayings in the first twelve chapters of The Imitation of Christ, Thomas a Kempis, 1441; Paraclete Press edition).”

Pastor’s Pen – June 26, 2019

This Sunday we will gather for our next Unified Worship Service. These are great opportunities for all of FUMC to come together for worship and to share a meal/conversation. Please bring your favorite covered dish with enough to share. A special thank you to our Saturday shower ministry (Home) for setting up the tables and Jan Henniger who leads the amazing Hospitality Team. This team with people from both campuses sets up and organizes the food and table decorations.

This week there are 15 children and youth participating at summer camp in Leesburg, Florida. Please keep these students and Wyatt, our Director of Family Ministries, in your prayers.

Finally, words cannot express the service and ministry of Pastor Tom Tift. Tom is a gifted communicator, an avid sports (Braves) fan, and someone who models the teachings of Jesus with his genuine love of people. Tom has been a leader in interfaith ministry and racial reconciliation ministry in Boca Raton. Pastor Tom truly has a pastor’s heart. I encourage you to share notes and cards with Tom this Sunday and generously give to the special love offering in honor of Tom and Jana Tift. The love offering will support a new gardening initiative at our school in Haiti. Please make your check payable to FUMC with “love offering” in the memo line.

See you on Sunday as we worship our amazing God!

Pastor Marcus

Pastor’s Pen – June 19, 2019

Hello Church family,

Welcome to our new weekly Pastor’s Pen. Our hope is to communicate more effectively with the entire congregation on both campuses.

I am excited to announce that the Rev. Kernie Kostrub has been approved by our Leadership Council to serve as our part time preaching and pastoral care pastor for the West Campus. Over the last year he has been actively involved at FUMC by leading prayer groups, participating in the Coral Sunset Initiative and Dinner Church, guest preaching, and participating in ministries/service opportunities like the Men’s Fellowship group, pumpkin patch, and church workdays. Pastor  Kernie will be a great addition to the pastoral team. He will officially begin on July 1st and will be preaching on the west campus beginning on July 7th.

Our weekly Celebrate Recovery worship service will be ending on Tuesday, June 25th. We are thankful for the nearly 12 years of this ministry and the hundreds of lives that have been transformed by the love and grace of Jesus Christ. Our recovery ministry focus will be changing to small groups in the fall. I am thankful that Dyane Bolick will continue to be the volunteer leader for the recovery ministry at FUMC. If you have any questions, please contact Dyane directly.

Please join us on Tuesday, June 25th in the Gathering Place as we celebrate the ministry of CR and look forward to what God has in store for the future of recovery ministry at FUMC.

Finally, we will be celebrating the 22+ year ministry of Pastor Tom on June 30th at the Unified Worship service at 10am in the East Campus Sanctuary. Following worship, we will be able to celebrate with Tom and Jana in the Gathering Place. A special love offering supporting a gardening initiative at our school in Haiti is being collected. There is more information on this special offering in this weekly email. Please plan to join us on this special Sunday to celebrate Pastor Tom and Jana.

In God’s Amazing Grace,

Pastor Marcus