Vacation Bible School

 

Due to the challenges and restrictions presented by COVID-19, unfortunately we will not be offering our traditional in-person Vacation Bible School this year. As a church, we take seriously the command from Jesus to “love our neighbor as ourselves.” In order to do this, it means that we must change the way that we do some of our favorite things to protect others from the virus during this season. But, Anchored VBS is NOT canceled, it’s coming home to you!

This summer, we will be creating a special Anchored At Home: Weekend VBS experience. On the weekend of Friday, July 31 – Sunday, August 2 children from 3 years old to rising 5th graders will be able to participate in all of the fun of our traditional VBS experience from the safety and comfort of your own home. Each child will receive an Anchored At Home, Box of Awesome, with information to help you access videos online with songs and lessons for each day, materials and instructions for crafts to do at home to help your children dive deeper into the lesson for the day, and a game that your whole family can play to fill your home with VBS fun! We will even have different boxes for pre-school/early elementary children and older elementary aged children so that the fun will be appropriate for all ages.

The best part is, all of the videos and instructions will be given to you with easy online access that you can use at any time you want. So your kids can participate in Anchored At Home at their own pace, as many times as they would like, at the time that works best for your family’s schedule. In order to get your Box of Awesome, all you need to do is drive by and pick it up from First UMC’s East Campus (625 NE Mizner Blvd). The Anchored At Home, Box of Awesome pickup date is Thursday, July 30 between 5:00-6:30 pm by MECE Preschool. This pickup experience will be an event you don’t want to miss. But if you cannot come to pickup your box at that time, you can also stop by our Church Office on the East Campus anytime between 9:00 am-5:00 pm, Monday, July 27 – Thursday, July 30 to pick it up. With Anchored At Home, even in these unusual times we’re living in, your kids can still embark on an undersea adventure at home this summer, diving deeper in their faith and discovering the unwavering love of God.

Register NOW!  Registration Deadline: Friday, July 17, at 3:00 pm

Pastor’s Pen – December 18, 2019

Hello Church Family,

Here is a devotional thought from Christian author and leadership guru, John Maxwell.

“At her death on March 30, 1975, most people assumed Bertha Adams was poor. An autopsy revealed she had severe malnutrition and evidences of poverty were abundant in her disheveled apartment. Lack of heat, lack of food, lack of the basic necessities of life – there could only be one conclusion. Bertha Adams was an obvious example of one who was missed by the national safety net of social spending.

But then, while taking inventory of her personal effects, authorities found two keys. Trusting a hunch, they took the keys to a neighborhood bank and found her safety deposit box stuffed with $799,000 in cash. Also, crammed into that box were hundreds of valuable and negotiable stock certificates, bonds and other securities.

Bertha Adams had a stewardship problem.

She viewed possessions as something to be hoarded. She did not understand that the blessings of life were given to her to be used and invested rather than to keep. Bertha Adams did not understand that the purpose of life was to manage her resources, not selfishly to hold on to them.

God has given us things in this life not to hoard, but to manage for His glory.

One of the titles of the Christian in the New Testament is the term “steward.” The Greek word oikonomos (steward) is a compound word derived from the term for house (oikos) and the verb to arrange (nemo). The word oikonomos was a servant designated as the manager of a household, estate or other affairs of his master.

Each Christian is a steward of all the resources God has given us, including time, talent and treasure.

A good steward manages his or her time, talent and treasure for the glory of God.

But like Bertha Adams, there are many Christians who have misunderstood stewardship and are poor managers of the resources of God under our control.

If we are confused and frustrated in our stewardship of financial resources, it may be because we see them primarily as permanent personal assets that someone—the tax collector, the bill collector, the greedy, or even those who solicit donations for worthy causes—is trying to take away from us.”

Stewardship is the management of God’s resources.

I encourage you to think how you can help us balance our budget by the end of 2019. FUMC is making a difference in our local community. You can help us to financially end 2019 on a strong note.

Thanks for your continued support!

In Christ,

Pastor Marcus

 

Pastor’s Pen – December 11, 2019

Hello Church Family,

It’s hard to believe that it is only two weeks until Christmas Eve. In the midst of the holiday rush, we were blessed with our annual Christmas concert last weekend. Our Director of Music, Arlene Sparks, created and conducted a beautiful reminder of the hope, peace, joy and love of the Advent season. A big thank you to Arlene, Carina, Wyatt, the choir, the orchestra, the audio and visual tech, and everyone else on the team that participated in the magnificent Christmas concert.

I was recently asked at a United Methodist Christmas party, what is my favorite Christmas song/hymn? O Holy Night has been my favorite Christmas song for many years. Here are the lyrics:

O holy night the stars are brightly shining
It is the night of our dear Savior’s birth
Long lay the world in sin and error pining
Till He appeared and the soul felt its worth

A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices
For yonder breaks a new glorious morn
Fall on your knees
O hear the angels’ voices
O night divine
O night when Christ was born
O night divine o night
O night divine

A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices
For yonder breaks a new glorious morn
Fall on your knees
O hear the angels’ voices
O night divine
O night when Christ was born
O night divine o night
O night divine

Here is one of my favorite renditions by Josh Groban:

 

Finally, during this Christmas season I would like to encourage you to give an end of the year financial gift to the church (by clicking here). We are hoping to end the year on a strong financial note so we can dream some BIG dreams in 2020. Thank you for your faithful support of the operations and ministries of FUMC. Thanks to your giving, we have 2 campuses and 5 weekly worship services.

In God’s Amazing Grace,

Pastor Marcus

P.S. Please remember to invite your family and friends to join us for one of our 5 Christmas Eve worship services.

Pastor’s Pen – December 4, 2019

Hello Church Family,

Thank you for your extra generosity as we begin the season of Advent. Twenty -five (25) gift tags have been claimed for the Spirit of Giving Gift drive, over 50 ornament tags were claimed to support foster children with Christmas gifts through 4Kids, and we learned about the “re-gifting” needs for the AACY Christmas Shop later this month. Please bring all items for these collections to any worship service at FUMC this Sunday.

Christmas Concert

Friday, Dec. 6th and Sunday, Dec 8th at 7:00 PM in the East Campus Sanctuary – Check out our “Facebook event” and please share to invite your friends and neighbors!

This week is our annual Christmas concert! We are blessed by the amazing musical talent in our community. This year’s Christmas concert under the leadership of our Director of Music, Arlene Sparks, will be this Friday and Sunday at 7:00 PM in the East campus Sanctuary. Please invite your family and friends to experience the joy of the Advent/Christmas season. There is no charge for the concert, but a love offering will be collected so we can continue to offer special music opportunities for the community. Childcare will be available both nights.

This Sunday is the second Sunday of Advent and the theme is “Peace.” On the East Campus, I will be focusing on how we experience inner peace as we surrender more of our lives to God. Our Biblical example is Joseph and his encounter with the angel in Matthew 1:18-25.

Hope to see you Friday night at the Christmas concert!

In God’s Amazing Grace,

Pastor Marcus

 

Pastor’s Pen – November 20, 2019

Hello Church Family,

November has been a great month at FUMC. We experienced a powerful All Saints Sunday and Commitment Sunday on both of our campuses. As of today, 126 individuals/families have made a commitment to God through FUMC for 2020. If you would like to make a commitment for 2020 please print off a commitment card and place it in the offering plate on Sunday.

Last Sunday we experienced a powerful confirmation worship service. I am thankful to Wyatt Robinson and Pastor Rachel for their leadership with the confirmation students. May God continue to guide and bless these teenagers.

This week around 30 servants are participating in a Family Promise hosting week. We continue to find ways to partner with others to help alleviate suffering in our community.

This Sunday we will experience another opportunity to make a tangible difference in the lives of children in Palm Beach County. Tom Lukasik from 4Kids will be speaking at all three worship services on the East Campus. 4Kids’ vision is for every child to have a home. I encourage you to join us on Sunday and invite someone who is interested in making a difference in the lives of local children.

Finally, on behalf of the Pastors and Staff, I wanted to take this opportunity to wish each of you and your families a blessed Thanksgiving. Everyday may we grow in the grace of Christ and find new ways to share His love.

 

 

In Christ,

Pastor Marcus

 

Pastor’s Pen – November 13, 2019

Last night as I was driving to a Mission/Outreach Team meeting, I was in awe of the towering steeple and cross on the East campus.

It was a powerful reminder of the greatness of God. We are called to reflect the love of Jesus in all the relationships in our lives. During the next 6 weeks there will be numerous opportunities for us to be a generous church. We will have opportunities to support:

Thank you in advance for making a difference in the greater Boca community and throughout the world!

This past Sunday we celebrated Commitment Sunday. I am happy to share that over 115 commitment cards for 2020 were collected. Here is a video that highlights our stewardship:

Commitment cards for 2020 are available online and can be turned in to the church office. Thank you for generously supporting the operating budget of FUMC. You help make ministry happen!

This Sunday we will celebrate 4 youth being confirmed at the 11:00 AM service on the East campus. Please join me in praying for these teenagers as they grow in the love and grace of Jesus Christ.

In God’s Amazing Grace,

Pastor Marcus

 

 

Pastor’s Pen – October 30, 2019

Hello Church Family,

Thank you for all the cards and notes for Pastor’s Appreciation Month. It is a blessing to serve God at First United Methodist Church. I am thankful to be one of your pastors.

EMMA Proposal

On Monday night at our Leadership Council meeting, a report from the Emerging Minds Montessori Academy (EMMA) task force was shared. As you may recall, the EMMA task force was approved by Leadership Council in the spring. Its role is to evaluate EMMA’s offer to purchase our West Campus with conditions that would allow the church to continue operations.

An outline of proposed deal terms was agreed to last Friday. On Monday morning, however, EMMA requested changes to those terms. The request made it impossible for the Leadership Council to vote as anticipated on Monday night. As a result, a special called Leadership Council meeting has been scheduled for Sunday, November 10th, at 7:00pm on the west campus. The only topic for the night will be to receive final recommendations from the task force and to vote on whether or not to move this proposal to a congregational vote.

There are only a few remaining areas of concern in the current draft of terms, and the task force is already working on the next steps. This includes discussing some options with legal counsel and having a meeting with the leadership of EMMA. This partnership has good potential, and the task force is working hard to ensure that FUMC is legally covered for the term of the proposal.

A few people have asked, “What can we do?” I am encouraging everyone to pray about this long-term partnership with EMMA. Pray specifically that God will help us discern his will for this relationship. Please also pray for our EMMA task force, the Leadership Council, the church staff, and your pastors.

We are reminded in Ephesians 4:29 ESV “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” Please pray for this attitude in our church as we seek to expand the kingdom of God.

Annual Charge Conference:

Our annual Charge Conference is scheduled for Sunday, November 3rd, at 2pm at Christ UMC in Ft. Lauderdale. Our annual Charge Conference approves the leadership slate and pastors’ compensation for the upcoming year.

In God’s Amazing Grace,

Pastor Marcus

Pastor’s Pen – October 23, 2019

Dear First United Methodist Church Family,

Two weeks ago I shared a quote from a 2008 book, Thanks! How Practicing Gratitude Can Make You Happier. Robert A. Emmons, who spent years studying gratitude, wrote that:

The parable of the ten lepers (Luke 17) reminds us that grateful people are thankful people. This is lived out by acknowledging the greatest gift in the entire world, a relationship with Christ. This relationship calls us to intentionally love God and love all people.  As we begin talking about stewardship and giving God our prayers, presence, gifts, service, and witness, may we seek to be grateful followers of Christ. Let’s strive to be a church that’s not defined by human labels but is defined by our gratitude toward God and all people!

Leadership Council Meeting:

Our next Leadership Council meeting is this Monday, October 28th, at 6:30pm in the West Campus Fellowship Hall. We will receive an update and report from the Montessori task force about a potential long-term partnership on our West Campus with the Emerging Minds Montessori Academy. Everyone is invited to join us for this meeting. I am very thankful for the time, prayer, and leadership of the Montessori task force.

 FUMC Prayer Partners:

At our last unified worship, we asked people to sign up as prayer partners for our church. A prayer partner agrees to pray regularly over the next 3 months for these four things:

  1. The pastors and staff
  2. The ministries and mission/outreach opportunities
  3. The vision and core values of FUMC
  4. Our local community

Over 30 people committed to regularly pray for the church and our community! If you are interested in being part of this team please email Pastor Rachel.

 Annual Charge Conference:

Our annual Charge Conference is scheduled for Sunday, November 3rd, at 2pm at Christ UMC in Ft. Lauderdale. Our annual Charge Conference approves the leadership slate and pastors’ compensation for the upcoming year.

I am thankful to be one of your pastors.

In God’s Amazing Grace,

Pastor Marcus

Pastor’s Pen – October 9, 2019

Dear First United Methodist Church Family,

Today we are meeting with representatives from our partner church in Cuba. We are spending time with Rev. Yordani Jimenez Breffe, the District Superintendent of Pinar del Rio in Cuba, as he travels the SE District connecting with partner churches. We have been a partner church for many years and provide pastoral salary assistance through our mission’s team.

We are excited to hear about the growth of the Church in Cuba.  There are over 100 missions in his District, with 44 established churches.

We give thanks for his leadership and pray that God might continue to deepen the ties that bind us, through this partnership across the ocean’s divide.

Annual Charge Conference:

Our annual Charge Conference is scheduled for Sunday, November 3rd at 2:00 pm at Christ UMC in Ft. Lauderdale. This conference approves the leadership slate and pastors’ compensation for the upcoming year.

Pumpkin Patch:

There is a great opportunity to serve by helping unload pumpkins this Saturday at 9:00 am on our West (Glades) Campus. Over 1000 elementary and preschool children visit the patch every year. Hope to see you on Saturday at 9:00 am!

In God’s Amazing Grace,

Pastor Marcus

Pastor’s Pen – October 2, 2019

Dear First United Methodist Church Family,

What an amazing day of worship and sharing this past Sunday. If you were not able to attend, please click here to see the insert shared about the outreach and mission over the last year at FUMC. God is doing great things through His Church.

FUMC Prayer Partners:

This past Sunday we asked people to sign up as prayer partners for our church. A prayer partner agrees to pray regularly over the next 3 months for these four things:

  1. The Pastors and Staff
  2. The ministries and mission/outreach opportunities
  3. The vision and core values of FUMC
  4. Our local community

Last Sunday over 30 people signed up to be prayer partners. If you are interested in being part of this team please email Pastor Rachel.

Montessori Partnership Update:

As we have previously announced, FUMC received a letter in September 2018 from the Emerging Minds Montessori Academy (EMMA) expressing an interest in a long term partnership in which they would purchase the West Campus facilities to expand their school and FUMC would continue to worship and use the West Campus in much the same way as we have during their 12 year tenure as a tenant. As you can imagine, evaluating this offer is a complex process, and I want to give you an update on where we are and where we are headed.
In October 2018 the Leadership Council agreed to form a task force to explore a potential partnership. The task force is made up of FUMC members from both campuses, and their objective is to evaluate the general terms and implications of the offer so that Leadership Council and the congregation can fully understand it.
As a result of the task force’s efforts with EMMA, a little over three weeks ago we received an official offer. There are lots of details still to be discussed, but in essence, the proposal is for FUMC to sell the church property to the Montessori school and enter into an agreement that allows us to continue to worship weekly and have activities at the West Campus for the next 15 to 20 years. The task force is working with EMMA to establish a workable framework for this partnership, and an update will be shared with the Leadership Council at the October 21st meeting. Just to be clear, even if a sale/partnership is approved by the Leadership Council, the FUMC membership will have the final say whether we move forward or not. The Leadership Council will also organize multiple opportunities for in-depth meetings and conversations with the congregation. We know you have questions, and we want to hear from you.
For clarity, note that UMC rules require a congregational vote to sell church property. Neither your pastors nor the Leadership Council has the power to sell our West Campus: this decision will be made by the membership of FUMC.
Please pray for discernment about our future and how this partnership might help advance our church’s mission.

Annual Charge Conference:

Our annual Charge Conference is scheduled for Sunday, November 3rd at 2pm at Christ UMC in Ft. Lauderdale. Our annual charge conference approves the leadership slate and pastor’s compensation for the upcoming year.

I am thankful to be one of your pastors.

In God’s Amazing Grace,

Pastor Marcus