Join us on Tuesday and Thursday evenings at 7:00pm for a Lenten prayer chain. Participants can call in and listen to devotionals, and offer prayer requests. The number to dial to join the conference call is: 605-562-0400. When prompted to input an access code, dial: 6506260. If you are interest in leading a session, please leave your name and number on the sign-up sheet or contact Pastor Barbara. This is a great way to enhance your Lenten study. We look forward to having you join our line!
We had a very productive brainstorming meeting today after church about how we can utilize the land we purchased to help serve the community. Below are some of the ideas we came up with. Please feel free to comment with any of your suggestions. We look forward to implementing these ideas over the next year and are hopeful that you will join us on our property on Tuttle Road in Middletown!
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First UMC Middletown had a very special worship celebration this Sunday, as our guest Rev. Ken Kieffer, our outgoing NYAC CT District Superintendent, offered a powerful sermon on Jesus' conversation with a Samaritan woman at the well (John 4:1-42) which Rev. Ken titled "Trauma Queen." His sermon was a remarkable testimony to the experiences of his own life that invite us to put our own lives' traumas into perspective through faith. A beautiful themed altarscape graced our worship space, and wonderful music and witnesses to grace completed a vibrant morning of faith. Rev. Ken got a sense of what worship is like at "that church at the Elks Club," and he was duly impressed!
After worship, we hopped over to our parsonage for our annual Church Conference chaired by Rev. Ken, which celebrated the life of the church as we conducted our annual business. We lifted up our successful ministries, new ministries being led by Sharon Riley, Jill Bennett, and Rossana Barnaby, our new members, our improved fiscal outlook, and our progress towards purchasing land for a new worship center. We also discussed new global mission projects that we can support that offer God's hope around the world. We have much to be grateful for as we enter the new year, having crossed through the "desert" of transition from our old worship space, and as we prepare to cross the Jordan into a new promised land of growing faith in Middletown. May our horns blow loud and clear at the city's walls! We wish Rev. Ken all the best in his new upcoming assignment, and we thank him for his heartfelt support.
Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Why do you cry out to me? Tell the Israelites to go forward.' ~ Exodus 14:15
First United Methodist Church Middletown has taken another major step towards constructing a new building for worship and ministries in Middletown, Connecticut. At our Church Conference this afternoon, our members voted to fund the purchase of a parcel of land at a price that has been negotiated by our Board of Trustees. The agreement to purchase this land is subject to some specific conditions, including environmental testing and city zoning approvals. The Church Conference also voted unanimously for Bill Collins to become a new Trustee, and to accept the bequest of the beloved and late Muriel Byrne as a memorial fund for the church.
Just as the Israelites followed Moses across a sea that God had parted, this major decision is a commitment to move forward in faith. We will have many challenges ahead, but we are excited that we are indeed moving forward together, through our thoughtful and prayerful commitment, towards a land that we pray will flow with the "milk and honey" of faith's fulfilling and sure gifts. We will provide further details to you as this process progresses.
As First United Methodist Church Middletown enters the next phase of our relocation efforts, we are recruiting actively for both church members and others in the Middletown area community who would be interested in serving on a Building Committee to begin to consider how to turn our developing plans for a new worship and meeting facility into a physical reality.
People with experience and know-how in building site development and construction will be particularly appreciated, but other skills will be appreciated also. This committee will report to our Board of Trustees, but you do not have to become a trustee to serve on it or lead it.
If you are a FUMCM church member or friend, or know someone in the area who would be interested in participating in such a project on a volunteer basis, please contact Pastor Barbara Marks via the church office.
First UMC Middletown's Board of Directors have been moving along on our Church Council commitment to proceed on bidding on land for the construction of a new church building. To learn more about what has been prepared for the next steps in this process, and what the process will look like from here forward, we urge you to attend our Church Council meeting this Sunday, 12 June, immediately following worship and fellowship. You will be invited to ask questions at the meeting, but if you have specific concerns that will require the meeting's attention, please do not hesitate to contact Pastor Barbara Marks or Church Council Chairperson John Parent ahead of time. We look forward to providing you with more information at the meeting!
Thoughtful and careful work by our Board of Trustees on options for purchasing land for a new church building was presented before an all-invited Church Council meeting this Sunday at our parsonage/office. Three potential properties for purchase were presented, along with a discussion of additional rental options.
After a discussion of their potential value for our mission, the Church Council voted unanimously to pursue one particular parcel that looks to be quite promising as a new location. The vote authorized the Board of Trustees to present an offer for purchase, pending reports on the feasibility of construction from an engineer, and from other experts and authorities.
We will not disclose the location publicly while we are evaluating it for potential purchase, but members are encouraged to be in touch with John Parent, Church Council Chairperson, Debbie Camp, our Lay Leader, or Pastor Barbara Marks for further information on the Church Council meeting that voted for this action. The Board of Trustees will take the lead in this effort to move our congregation forward towards new growth and service. Our faith train is moving!
For God, all things are possible. - Mark 10:27
This Sunday, January 31st, after worship and fellowship, you have the opportunity to begin to shape the future of First United Methodist Church, Middletown. Your voice and your efforts will matter and make all the difference!
This first in a series of all-church meetings will begin to explore how to take concrete steps towards implementing the mission and the means to fulfill God's plan for United Methodism in Middletown. John Parent, our Church Council Chairperson, will chair the meeting, and we will be able to shift to acting as a voting Church Council quickly as required to make important decisions. Our new Lay Leader Debbie Camp and Pastor Barbara Marks will also be helping to lead the meeting, listening to your voices and helping to lead us towards the promising future that God has prepared for us. Seminarian Associate John Blossom will provide presentation materials to help frame and moderate the discussion. All voices will be heard without dominance and with respect and good moderation, so that we can begin the work of discerning the way forward through the exciting opportunities that lay before us.
Our mission is the key focus of this first meeting, but we will also be discerning how to move in a deliberate and committed way to defining the mission fields and the means to fulfill our mission. Bring yourself, your ideas, your hopes, your dreams, open hearts, and open minds. May God help us to do the rest, for in God, all things are possible, indeed!
You're welcome to join us 9.30 Monday mornings in our parsonage at 221 Ridge Road in Middletown for fellowship and reflection on Sunday's worship message, church activities, community concerns, prayers and devotions. If you're a neighbor not familiar with us, stop by and get to know us in a friendly, informal setting. People tend to bring their own refreshments, and you're welcome to bring a special treat for others. See you there!