Friday, December 30, 2011


Does something deep inside your heart long to break free from the status quo? Are you hungry for an authentic faith that addresses the problems of our world with tangible, even radical, solutions? God is calling you to a passionate love relationship with Himself. Because the answer to religious complacency isn't working harder at a list of do's and don'ts — it's falling in love with God. And once you encounter His love, as Francis Chan describes it, you will never be the same. Because when you're wildly in love with someone, it changes everything.

The God of the universe is crazy about you! His love is the most powerful thing in the world and He wants to give it to you, so you can live for Him. If you have made a commitment to follow Christ, then read Crazy Love to be reminded and challenged in your walk. Sharing from his own life struggles and sacrifices, author Francis Chan issues a call for selfless, Christ-like living. Let the love you have received from God impact your life like never before.

Our next Sermon Series begins on January 22 and extends through the Lent season; it is based on the book Crazy Love by Francis Chan. To assist you in your journey to grow closer in your relationships with God and others, we will be encouraging small group to form for support and discussion around a reading schedule for the book, Crazy Love. A limited number of discounted books are available for $11 in the church office.

Grace & Peace,
Pastor Lane

P.S. As you read the book, hear the sermons and discuss with family, friends, and small group, share with me also your thoughts about what of the book are you resonating with. Shoot me an email at; I want to hear from you.


Your gifts to Human Relations Day provide avenues to restored relationships through ministries like Youth Offender Rehabilitation, Community Developers self-improvement programs and United Methodist Voluntary Services community advocacy programs. It’s time to think and support justice, to become radical in changing lives and changing the world. Please give generously.

Second Session Basketball Academy for 3rd/4th Grade
We are now taking registration forms for First Church Basketball Academy, Second Session, 3rd/4th Grade boys & girls. Boys will practice from 3:30—5:00 on Mondays & Wednesdays and the Girls will be the same time on Tuesdays & Thursdays beginning January 16 through March 14. To register or find out more information visit and click on “Sports Ministries” or email Joel Johnson at You can access the registration on the web page or stop by the church office to receive one. Information and registration forms were given to each 3rd/4th grader at North Elementary. Registration forms can be mailed or dropped by the church office at 313 East Montgomery. All participants and parents are encouraged to attend an orientation meeting Sunday, January 8 at 5:30 p.m. in the basement of First United Methodist Church.

5th/6th Grade Basketball Academy Celebration/Appreciation Day
Sunday, January 15, 10:45 a.m. service time. All 5th/6th grade participants and their families are invited to join our congregation in a “Celebration” of the completion of our first annual academy. Participants will be introduced and they will introduce their families, we will sing songs of praise, and a special video summary will be presented. It will also be an expression of “appreciation” to all those unpaid servants who helped make it possible AND to give glory to God for His guidance and love.

Kitchen cleaning and inventory will take place at FUMC on January 9th and 16th from 9:00 a.m. to noon. I need your help. Thank you! Dorothy Danner

The annual Columbia Methodist soup supper will be held on Saturday, January 28th from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. at the Columbia Community Center. A free will offering will be taken.

Winter Jam will be held at Wells Fargo Arena on Friday, January 20. If any Youth are interested in attending let Katie and Brian know. Tickets are $10 at the door. Some of the artists included this year are Toby Mac and Third Day.

Youth Group will be meeting on January 8 and January 22 from 4:00 to 6:00 pm at the church.


Condolences to Lana Rankin, Lori Rankin, Lynette Rankin, Lauretta Utterback, and family on the passing of their brother, Loren, and Lily Sterling, Lucretia Spaur, and Roberta Orr on the passing of their nephew.

Condolences to the family of Nancy Park on her passing.


Thank you to all the volunteers who delivered poinsettias to our shut-ins. Sharon Young

Thank you to the church for the beautiful poinsettia we received last week. Merry Christmas. Don and Louise Starr

Thanks to all who served coffee and furnished cookies for the first service. The Hospitality Committee

Thank you to everyone at the Methodist Church for their prayers and support when our brother, Loren Jay Rankin, passed away on December 3. Lori, Lynette, and Lana Rankin and Lauretta Utterback

To My Church Family: Thank you so much for the cards and phone calls I received at the time of Connie Wagner Walsh’s tragic passing. Each message was truly appreciated. In Christ’s love, Rita Hayes

We would like to thank everyone for the support and prayers our family has felt following the loss of our sweet Benjamin. Brian, Bre and Brynlee Brooks

Can you imagine 97 beautifully wrapped gifts lined up on tables, ready to be sorted and delivered? Thanks to your generosity, we are making Christmas a whole lot brighter for 11 needy families this year. A special thanks to Anna Mae Vickroy, Folmer, and Heather for all their help in making my project a lot easier. I LOVE THIS JOB. Bev Sterling

Thank you to the ladies of UMW for their generous support of our preschool program! Also, thank you to Bonnie and Merna for helping serve cookies and punch at our Christmas program. Your help was greatly appreciated!! Katie, Nancy, Carrie, Jennifer, and all the MSPS students and families.

Thank you to the Youth Group for directing the Children’s Christmas Program! You all did a great job putting on a wonderful show!

Christmas Dinner this year was a Birthday celebration for JESUS. We tend to forget what Christmas is about. The weather was much more pleasant this year with sunshine instead of snow and ice. Thanks to those who generously donated, be it your time, food or money, without your help this mission would not be possible. Thank you to Hormel and Hy-Vee for food donated. SPECIAL THANK YOU to everyone who helped prepare the meal, serve our guests, and clean up. You are the ones who make this a joyous mission. Sam and I are blessed to be part of this Church Family. May the Grace and Blessings of our Lord be with you all. Sam & Coramarie Rathmel


Through the tithing of the Christmas Eve & Christmas Day offerings, we are able to give an additional $918.00 to Neighbor Helping Neighbor. Thank you to all who contribute now and throughout the year to help in our shared mission of helping struggling families in our neighborhoods.

A combined service will be held on Sunday, January 1 at 8:30 a.m.

The church office will be closed Monday, January 2 for the New Year holiday.

FYI:  With the end of the year fast approaching, please remember to have any year end donations in the office by January 1, 2012.   Checks that are mailed must be postmarked on or before December 31st.  Please note…a gift is deductible in the year in which it was made.  Thank you.  Sharon

The Iowa United Methodist Foundation offers a number of scholarship opportunities to college-bound Iowa Methodists.   Methodist scholarships exist to assist members of the faith in attending college and achieving their educational goals.  Applications and criteria are currently available at  Applications and all required material must be postmarked no later than March 15, 2012 to be eligible.

I would like to invite you to give a gift through the church to the needs in the Zomba Circuit.   I am hoping that we can collect enough money to purchase a small motorcycle for the minister, Ephraim.  Currently Ephraim’s only transportation is a bicycle and his circuit is at least as large as Marion County.  Malawi has mountains and very few hard surfaced roads so it takes him about 2 hours via bicycle to get to the closest point outside of the city of Zomba.   If you feel the Spirit’s nudge to help with this needful effort, please make a check payable or place cash in a giving envelope marked Malawi motorcycle.  To date we have raised $2145 of the $3500 needed.  

In addition, I will be presenting a presentation during Cinnamon Roll Sunday at 9:45 a.m. on January 8, 2012 on my personal Malawi experience.   Hope to see you there!

Pastor Lane

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