Vacation Bible School

Start your summer off with a ROAR!

Join FUMC Boca Raton for our 2019 Vacation Bible School (June 10-14, 9:00am-12:00pm). Potty trained 3 year olds through rising 4th graders can attend!

Adult and Youth volunteers are needed! Youth volunteers must be rising 6th-12th grader. Youth may receive service hours! All volunteers must attend a mandatory volunteer meeting and all adults must pass a background check. Volunteer Hours 8:30 am -12:30 pm

June 10th -14th 

9:00 A.M.- 12:00 P.M.

Ages 3 years (potty-trained) – 4th Grade (2019/2020 school year)

$35 per child, registration ends May 15th… $5 per child if an Adult volunteers All 5 days of VBS.

To Register a Child and/or Volunteer please click…


Summer Camp at Warren Willis 2019

About Warren Willis Camp

This beautiful camp on Lake Griffin provides an amazing place for transformation to take place. Camp is divided up into separate, age specific camps: Children (rising 4 th & 5th graders), Middle School (rising 6 th -8 th graders) and High School (rising 9 th -12th graders). Campers enjoy a fun-filled week that includes worship, small groups, praise time, ropes course, archery, swimming, arts and crafts, and many other fun, exciting opportunities. The camp is accredited by the American Camping Association and staffed with a team of trained, background checked, certified college students who serve as the primary camp counselors for the week. In addition, a dynamic worship leader teaches each night in Chapel. For many years, summer camp in Leesburg has proven to be an amazing place for students seeking a deeper relationship with Christ.

When Our Church is Attending

The Staff of First Boca are attending and providing transportation to Warren Willis Summer Camp the week of June 24- June 29. We will be providing transportation via chartered bus for that week of camp (contact Wyatt for the fees). Campers can choose to go without our church group, as the summer camp program runs in one-week, consecutive sessions from June 10-July 27. Campers can choose to attend as many weeks as they want, but must provide their own funding and transportation if they choose to do so.

Leadership Council Meeting Summary (January 21, 2019)

Pastor Marcus opened the meeting with prayer. I introduced the two new members on the Council: George Liebel and Darlene Kostrub. New committee chairmen were also identified. The minutes of the November 2018 meeting were approved. Sharon Saige gave her Business Administrator report.

Pastor Marcus led discussion on several agenda items. The ad hoc committee appointed to investigate the offer of the Montessori school to purchase the West Campus will have its first meeting on January 23. Chuck Reeder is the chairman of that committee.
The United Methodist Church will have a special session of the General Conference February 24-27 in St. Louis, Missouri. The single subject at this meeting will concern human sexuality and the current policy of the United Methodist Church as written in the Book of Discipline. Our church will be sponsoring a study session on the East Campus on February 6, 13, and 20 to discuss this issue using the book, Making Sense of the Bible, by Adam Hamilton. These meetings are open to all who would like to attend.

Joe Mannino, chairman of the Staff Parish Committee, reported that a job description has been created for Arlene Sparks, recently appointed as director of all music ministries on both campuses. Arlene will be in charge of music at all worship services including special events. She will also develop a budget and supervise the individuals in charge of each service as well as the musicians. It was emphasized that any expense in the music program must to be approved by Arlene and paid directly by the church. Personal reimbursement is not allowed. Wyatt Robinson’s 90-day review is due February 1, 2019. The committee is updating the “Organizational Chart”.

Joe Rakestraw, chairman of the Finance Committee gave the finance report. Due to the staff and church members’ efforts there was a significant reduction in last year’s expenses. The 2019 proposed budget is significantly less than last year. Deficit spending is expected to continue to decrease. The number of people pledging has decreased for 2019 but the level of giving has increased with the current pledges. Overall, there is a definite improvement in our finances. A number of action items were approved by the Council. These included a transfer of funds, a request that the Trustees investigate a contract with a valet service to provide parking during large Mizner Park amphitheater events (to raise money), and a proposal to delay our apportionment payments to the Florida Conference until the end of the year. (The apportionment will be paid in full but the money will accumulate in an interest-bearing account). Finally, the 2019 budget was approved unanimously.

Bruce Wetmore, chairman of the Trustees gave his report. A number of projects were completed and several are ongoing. Over the Christmas holidays, the church received a proposal of a car wash being built adjacent to the east side of the West Campus. There was concern expressed about security and noise pollution. The Trustees along with Mike Woolsey will be investigating this issue and making sure that the church is represented at any public hearings. We will also coordinate our efforts with the Montessori school. The Council approved the cost of an attorney if that becomes necessary.
Pastor Rachel gave her report on the progress of the Fresh Expressions Ministry, the “Dinner Church.” A team of volunteers has been established to support this ministry. The first Dinner Church is scheduled for February 24. Overall the preparation of this ministry is moving along smoothly.

Pastor Ryan was not present, but congratulations were extended by the Council on his successful completion of his Elder’s Interview. His ordination will occur on June 8 at the Florida Conference in Lakeland. All are invited.

Wyatt Robinson gave a comprehensive report of his progress since being hired as Director of Family Ministry. The youth ministry program appears to be moving forward well and several of our programs that had been placed on hold have been re-established.

Jill Haire gave her report on the Connections Ministry. Discussion was made about some of the new language in the updated Connect Card. The end-of-the-year membership audit and reports are underway, and she continues to work on the “greeter program” at all of the services.
Our Lay Leader, Suzanne Reeves, and Young Adult Leader, Mallory Albeck, did not have anything to report. The meeting was closed in prayer by Pastor Rachel.

Once again, I offer you the caveat that the above remarks are my interpretation of the events and discussions held at the Leadership Council meeting, and any opinions expressed are strictly my own.

Respectfully submitted,
Charlie Tate

Leadership Council Meeting Summary (August – November, 2018)

The summer is long gone and Christmas is just around the corner. I would like to try and summarize the activities of your Leadership Council in the past five months. This will be a year end summary as well, since no business will be conducted at the December Leadership Council meeting. Once again, I offer this disclaimer; these are a summary of my recollections, notes,  and review of the minutes from the past meetings. If an opinion is offered, it is mine alone. It is my desire to keep everyone informed about their church’s leadership activities. Everyone on leadership wants to be open about our church activities. We are all readily available to discuss any issue or concern. This will be a somewhat lengthy report.

At the August 20 meeting, concern was expressed about a Facebook public post entitled “West Boca Methodist Community Share”. Since 2008, there has been no such entity as is the “West Boca Methodist Church/Community”. There was agreement that all matters relating to the church should be posted on the FUMC Facebook site.

The staff parish committee reported considerable difficulty in finding individuals who were trained, experienced, or interested in assuming both children and youth ministry. The finance committee continued to evaluate possible solutions to our budget deficit. Fran Bertoti and I spoke with district superintendent Dr. Cynthia Weem, and both were convinced that the superintendent believed the sale of church parsonages was not in the best interest of the church and therefore would not approve any such action. That matter was closed. Pastor Marcus indicated that the Strategic Planning and Ministries Assessment Task Forces will be giving their report at the October meeting. Pastor Rachel presented her proposal for the Fresh Expressions Ministry, including the budget. After some discussion and debate, the motion to approve the  ministry and the budget expenditure($48,000) were approved.

I did not attend the September meeting which was chaired by Joe Manino. The staff parish committee made a motion to offer Wyatt Robinson the position as Director of Youth Ministry. The motion passed unanimously. The finance committee continue to express concerns about the financial shortfall of the church and to warn of the possibility of significant cuts to the 2019 budget. The trustees recommended moving funds from the previous West campus bathroom upgrade to repairing the roof on the chapel at the West campus. This motion was passed unanimously. Pastor Marcus distributed a letter from Emerging Minds Montessori Academy, the school we currently lease space on the West campus. They indicated an interest in purchasing the West campus property. They indicated that they would be willing and happy to create an arrangement in which the West Campus Ministry would continue. There was general interest by the council members about looking into this possibility further. No Action Was Proposed to Sell the West Campus.

The Leadership Council Meeting of October 15th, lasted four hours. Owners of the Emerging Minds Montessori Academy made a presentation to the Council. They indicated their desire to purchase the West campus property in order to expand the school and create equity in the enterprise. They indicated their purpose was missional in scope (and not entrepreneurial). It is their desire to educate and help children whose families are financially compromised. They intend to seek  federal funding and nonprofit status as a part of this goal. In addition, they have enjoyed the relationship with our church and want to continue that. They would continue to allow church worship at the West campus, while owning and maintaining the facilities. The Council was impressed with their sincerity, their missional goals, and their genuine interest in preserving the West campus church operations. A motion was made and unanimously carried to create a subcommittee to investigate the possibility of such an arrangement. The church nominating committee will select the committee members with final approval by the leadership Council. It is anticipated that these discussions and recommendations will take 4 to 6 months to complete. As a result, the school asked for a one-year extension on their lease and that extension was approved by the Council. The committee will report back to the Council throughout the process. No decision has been made to sell the West campus at this time. I believe this may be a wonderful opportunity to solve significant financial issues, and at the same time maintain our West campus ministry.

Pastor Marcus presented the recommendations of the Ministries Reassessment Team and Strategic Planning Team. THOSE RECOMMENDATIONS ARE AVAILABLE from the church office . The Leadership Council endorsed all of the recommendations of the Strategic Planning Team, and all of the recommendations of the Ministries Reassessment Team, except recommendation number 4 under the category of Worship. That recommendation was referred back to the team for further consideration.

Wyatt Robinson, our new Director of Student Ministries, introduced himself and discussed his plans for the student ministry. Jill Haire, submitted a comprehensive written report on our Connections Ministry. The “Connections Fair”, held at our combined worship service on September 30 was a great success and very informative. Pastor Marcus reported that the church nominations committee would be meeting within the next week and presenting its report at the Charge Conference to be held Sunday, November 4 at Christ United Methodist Church in Fort Lauderdale.

Two motions were proposed by the Staff Parish Committee later in the month of October. Both motions were distributed and voted on using email. Staff Parish believed there was some urgency and the Council should not wait to act until the November 19 meeting. Firstly, a per diem pianist and organist was being employed Sundays on the East campus following the retirement of Craig Ames. A permanent replacement was found and will be a $3000 savings from the original budgeted salary. The motion to employ this individual was passed. Secondly, Wyatt Robinson expressed interest in the Children’s Ministry in addition to being Director of Student Ministries. Staff parish recommended a salary adjustment and the hiring of Wyatt as our Director of Family Ministry, in charge of both the children’s and youth programs. (This had been our original goal back in July.) This motion was passed.

The South East District Charge Conference Was Held on November 4th, and the FUMC Report, including programs, nominations, and clergy compensation, were all approved.

At the Council meeting of November 19th, pastor Marcus presented an update on several items. The Montessori Proposal Team should be in place by mid-December. He presented updates and implementation of the Ministries Reassessment and Strategic Planning Teams Recommendations.

The Staff Parish committee presented a detailed report in writing on their analysis of the church office staff and the church music program. I encourage you to obtain a copy of that report. It is quite enlightening. The committee interviewed all of the staff and were impressed with their loyalty and devotion to the church. None of the employees had received a pay raise in four years. One of the employees had not received a pay raise in 10 years, and as a result, that individual was given a 3% raise in 2018. Since the retirement of our music minister, Bob Sheffey, the music on the East Campus has been directed by a different person at each of the traditional and contemporary services. This has not worked out as well as expected. As a result the Staff Parish committee made a motion for Arlene Sparks to be made director of all music ministries at FUMC. A salary adjustment was recommended for the significant increase in time this position would require. The motion passed.

The finance committee gave a comprehensive report, including graphic analysis of church attendance and giving in 2018. Both are trending down. The church pledge drive for 2019 has started and the initial results are promising. 30 new people have turned in pledge cards so far. The pledge drive will continue through December. The finance committee made a motion to continue church funding through February 2019, at the same levels as 2018. Staff salaries would also continue at the 2018 level. The motion was passed. The pumpkin patch project was very successful and everyone was thanked for their hard work. The results of the financial survey are being reviewed. There was a fairly good response of 178 members. A detailed analysis will be forthcoming. Some preliminary results indicate that Youth and Children are the number one priority of church members voting. Number two is Pastoral Care and Leadership, followed closely by Music and Worship. It was my opinion that written responses expressed very diverse opinions.

The trustees committee provided a comprehensive report of their priorities for 2019. They also provided a list of recent projects completed on the east and west campuses, and on both parsonages.

I hope this summary has been helpful. We have an excellent Leadership Council, and each member is working diligently to make FUMC the ministry we believe God wants it to be. We are eager to answer any concerns you have.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Respectfully submitted,

Charlie Tate

Chair, Leadership Council, FUMC, BR

Christian Progressive Book Group

FUMC’s Christian Progressives Book Group gathers once a month to discuss a book by one of the leading Progressive theologians at work today. Christian Progressivism occurs along a spectrum from liberal to moderate, and our book selections touch on all parts of the spectrum in an effort to create engaging conversation and strengthen our faith as individuals. If you’re already a Progressive or simply want to know more about what that means, we are a friendly, informal group and would love to welcome you.

For more information contact Claire Vande Polder at 561.757.5331.

Leadership Council Meeting Summary (July 16, 2018)

Pastor Marcus open the meeting with a prayer. The minutes from the June meeting were approved.

The ad hoc committee on the leadership Council composition and policy report was given by Charlie Tate. Following discussion, the following recommendations for changes were unanimously approved:

  1. On page 2 the third paragraph now reads “The senior pastor, associate pastor, and church business administrator shall also serve as voting members of the leadership Council.”
  2. On page 2 the last sentence of the first paragraph will now read “All persons with vote shall be members of the local church.”
  3. On page 3, in the first paragraph describing the Leadership Council Chair, a second sentence was added stating “The leadership Council chair shall vote only in the case of a tie.”
  4. It was agreed that in the future there would be no appointment of an alternate voting member. Currently, Joe Rakestraw serves as an alternate member of the Council in the absence of Merv Timberlake. Joe will continue to serve in Merv’s absence through December 2018.

Sharon Saige gave the church business administrator report. Increased pledging has increased slightly from last month, now totaling about $50,000. However, we continue to experience a significant shortfall in our budget. In 2017, as of June 30, our budget deficit was $63,000. This year our budget deficit stands at $140,000 (as of June 30). Our attendance on both campuses continues to decrease when compared with 2017.

Chuck Reeder gave the staff parish report. Our Children’s Director for the past 10 years, Melissa Walls, had an exit interview with the committee and provided valuable information and recommendations for a new director of family ministry. That job description has been completed and there are currently three resumes to be considered and appointments made for interviews.

Sharon Beede gave the finance subcommittee report. A motion was made and carried that Jim Lauri will now be a signatory on the Merrill Lynch account. The music budget continues to be a concern and will be further scrutinized. Arlene Sparks, Director of our Music Ministry, will be working in consultation with pastor Marcus regarding these concerns. The continued presence of a significant budget deficit is of great concern. However, budget planning for 2019 remains limited until the reports of the Ministry Assessment and Strategic Planning Taskforces present their recommendations. Those recommendations are expected at the October Leadership Council meeting. Our yearly scheduled Charge Conference (with our District Superintendent) will occur later in the fall, at which time the budget will be finalized for 2019.

Fran Bertotti presented the trustees report. Maintenance issues are ongoing. In our efforts to look at all aspects of church finance and property, the sale of one or both of the parsonages has been mentioned. Before any additional consideration, Fran and Charlie Tate will speak with our District Superintendent regarding what is involved at the conference level and what is the general trend in South Florida Methodist churches.

Our senior pastor gave his report, including the glorious baptism of a family of four into our fellowship and the send-off of 35 of our children to summer camp in Leesburg, Florida. He concentrated however, on the preliminary discussions of the strategic planning and ministries reassessment task forces. He challenged each of the council members to consider what they believed to be “The Story” of Our Church (that is, “Who do we feel God is calling us to be”).

Pastor Rachel attended her first meeting since maternity leave. She will be providing a detailed overview of implementing our “Fresh Expressions Ministry” this fall, prior to the August Leadership Council Meeting. The Council will be voting in August about proceeding with implementation, including the funding of this new ministry from New Vision Designated Funds. Pastor Ryan did not have a report. He was in the process of returning from Leesburg where he had dropped off our summer campers.

Jill Haire was not present at the meeting but provided an excellent summary of the “Connections Program” and an update on our volunteers, greeters, and ushers.

Suzanne Reeves presented the Lay Leader Report and Mallory Albeck presented her report on our “Young Adult” meeting.

I handed out our nice new leadership Council name badges. All of our council members will be wearing their badges to enhance identification and to attempt to improve dialogue with all of our church attendees. Special thanks to Becky Clark and Sharon Saige for their efforts. I also reported that we will be moving forward with a new church directory. The Lifetouch company will again be producing the directory. Photography dates are being scheduled for mid and late January, 2019. We wanted to offer all of our families a chance to participate, including our winter residents. Lisa Coles has volunteered to head up this endeavor, and she is going to need a lot of help. Please consider volunteering to be a part of that.

We had a number of guests attend the meeting. Doris Clark reminded us of an upcoming pumpkin patch committee meeting. Pastor Rachel closed the meeting with prayer.

Respectfully submitted,

Charlie Tate

Chair, Leadership Council, FUMC, BR

Leadership Council Meeting Summary (June 18, 2018)

It is important for each church member to be aware of the hard work and long hours performed by the members of the Leadership Council since the church conference in April. The desire of each member of the Council is to make the right decisions that will lead our church to a successful future in growing God’s kingdom in Boca Raton. While we may not agree on the process, we all agree on the desired outcome. The meeting Monday night took three hours, illustrating the efforts of the Council in our goal. The following is my recollection of the meeting and my expressed personal views.

Pastor Marcus opened the meeting with a prayer and a devotional.

Ron Allen, president of Morgan Taylor Company, a longstanding member of our church, gave a formal presentation on the condition of our facilities on both campuses. His presentation was impressive with details and overview, covering the condition of the roofs, air-conditioners, buildings, and walkways. It was my opinion that his presentation indicated that overall, the facilities are in decent to good condition with a few exceptions. Roof cleaning was recommended on the East campus along with low-cost maintenance on the air conditioning units (line insulation). The West campus needs some roof work and parking lot repair. Pastor Tom asked Ron to review a leak in the Chapel. Ron and his company have been involved in the repair or replacement of our facilities dating back to 2002. Please contact him directly or speak with Fran Bertotti if you have a concern. Overall, I thought his report was quite encouraging.

Joe Manino gave a presentation on how the current governing body of our church, The Leadership Council, came into being in 2012. Revised in 2016, the document describing the composition and policies of the Council was distributed to each member. In the future, new members on the Council will be given this document in January and will be asked to participate in a brief leadership training at the start of their tenure. There are several concerns regarding current composition and policy. These include which members should have the privilege of voting, alternate committee members, and attendance requirements for Council members. Pastor Tom, and in his absence pastor Marcus, will chair a committee of Charlie Tate, Joe Rakestraw, and Merv Timberlake, to make recommendations at the July meeting. All policy must be consistent with The Book of Discipline. Charlie Tate reminded the Council that this document represented the “Constitution” of our governing body, and must be closely adhered to.

Sharon Saige gave the business administrator report. Those documents are available for review. In brief, we continue to run a budget deficit, and our attendance continues to drop on both campuses. This is the summer, when attendance and giving are historically low. On the bright side, the increase in pledging has now totaled about $44,000. However, this remains well below the goal established at the April church conference of 20%. Please continue to pray about your financial commitment to the kingdom of God.

Fran Bertotti gave the trustees subcommittee report. The list of minor repairs is available for your review. Fran did express concern about the West Campus parking lot and the need for repair prior to our Pumpkin Patch Outreach in October. Particularly encouraging was the report of volunteers supplying labor and in some cases materials to improve our facilities on West and East campuses. Volunteerism is the heart and soul of any church. Please do your part.

Chuck Reeder gave the Staff Parish report. There have been rather dramatic changes in our staff this summer. As reported last month, our West Campus children’s director and Sunday school teacher has resigned. This month, Melissa Walls, after 10 years of faithful service, has resigned as Director of Children’s Ministry. These resignations leave a tremendous gap in our ministry to our children and youth. The committee proposed a bold plan to develop a new position of Director of Family Ministry. This individual would be in charge of the children and youth ministries on both campuses. For this to work, in addition to his or her direct ministry, this individual would need to have significant people skills in order to produce the volunteers (parents and other church members) necessary for each of the programs. Budgeted funds are available for this position and there may be an opportunity for some budget savings with the consolidation. The plan was unanimously approved by the Council and the search for the director will begin this summer.

Sharon Beede gave the finance committee report. Her report is available for review. In summary, the committee continues to express concern about the financial well-being of our church. We continue to run a budget deficit and the long-term implications of this is onerous. The committee continues to work diligently to find areas in the budget that can be modified to reduce costs. Some of these areas may include reduction of the music ministry expenses on the East campus, the financial consequences of selling one or both of the parish homes, and an overall reduction in the Staff Parish budget. On the positive side, we have reduced cost for our custodial services, and we have increased income through new rental agreements with MECE on the East Campus and the Montessori school on the West Campus. In addition, there may be additional savings as noted earlier in the establishment of a Director of Family Ministry. A motion was approved to move $100,000 from our foundation fund into a Merrill Lynch liquid account. A second motion encouraging a budget reduction of 15%, with 10% coming from Staff Parish was defeated. It would be my opinion that Leadership Council has two schools of thought on the budget issue. Some Council members feel that the budget should be reduced and the deficit eliminated. Other Council members, including myself, feel that our church ministry must be revamped and updated, if we are to succeed in the future. This will likely require deficit spending in the near future. All members of our Council want our church to succeed on both campuses. As members, your input is necessary—not only your thoughts, but your time, energy, and giving.

Pastor Marcus briefly discussed the first meetings of the Strategic Planning Task Force and the Ministries Reassessment Task Force. These two teams were established at our April church conference and will be evaluating all aspects of worship at our church currently and our strategic planning for the future. They will be working all summer to bring a report to the Leadership Council in September.

Pastor Tom gave his final report as a full-time pastor. He will be spending three weeks starting July 7 in Atlanta to complete his study at the Emory University School of Theology. He shared his sense of blessing at being a full-time pastor at our church and left the Council with a most appropriate Bible verse to live by: Ephesians 4:32. Look it up, it’s worth remembering. Charlie Tate concluded Pastor Tom’s remarks by expressing a deep appreciation and love for Pastor Tom and all that he has done to further the ministry of our church. We are so very grateful that he will continue to be with us on a part-time basis.

Pastors Rachel and Ryan continue to be on maternity leave. They will be returning to work on July 1. Our prayers of joy continue for young Charlie.

Suzanne Reeves gave the Lay Leader report. Suzanne is serving on both planning teams as a facilitator with Pastor Marcus. If you take a minute to review the Leadership Council composition and policy document discussed earlier, you will find the responsibilities of the Lay Leader. Suzi is the living, breathing, walking and talking example of what the Leader of Laity is supposed to be. We are so blessed to have her.

Our new Young Adult Representative, Mallory Albeck, did not present a report at this meeting.  The purpose of the Young Adult Representative is to insure that the Leadership Council discussions and votes include the perspective of the next generation.

Jill Haire, our Connections Ministry Director, filed a written report. She continues to work on a plan of action this summer for increasing number of greeters and ushers for our services starting in the fall.

Joe Rakestraw, one of our Council members, is working with Mike Woolsey to establish a new outreach ministry with the motorcycle enthusiasts in our community. He asked for the council’s endorsement. Council members recommended George Liebel as an additional convener of this “motorcycle gang” and unanimously supported this outreach. Please be careful, boys!!!

Doris Clark gave an exciting and enthusiastic report of the first meeting of the Pumpkin Patch Committee. There are four co-chairpersons. Minutes and summary of that meeting are available for review. The level of volunteerism this year is very exciting and all profits from this activity will be used to support the operating budget of our church. Please plan to participate in this wonderful and very successful community outreach ministry.

Pastor Tom ended a lengthy but successful meeting with prayer.

Respectfully submitted,

Charles F Tate III, MD

Chair, Leadership Council, FUMC, BR