Tuesday, November 5, 2013


Called to be Faithful
"It is required of stewards that they be found trustworthy." (1 Corinthians 4:2 NRSV)

Living as disciples of Jesus involves being transformed into Christ's image and having our orientation transformed from that of a consumer to that of a steward (see Romans 12:1-2). Being a trustee of God's gifts in our lives doesn't come naturally. It requires intentionality and training.
The most valuable thing that we as human beings possess is trust or faithfulness between persons. This is also our most fragile possession. The NIV rendering of the verse above is "Those who have been given a trust must prove faithful." We might define faithfulness as "love that lasts," that can survive tests and difficulties.
We talk more about love than about faithfulness, but what is love without faithfulness? What is God's love for us without faithfulness? What is our love of one another without faithfulness? What is our love of God without faithfulness?
We are surrounded by instances of apparent human failures to be trustworthy: broken contracts, unpaid bills, failed marriages, broken political promises. Sometimes we have promised too soon or too easily. Sometimes unforeseen circumstances—illness, job loss, a bad investment—are the cause for failures to keep a promise or trust. But sometimes there is no excuse. We simply have failed to be what we can be.
Reclaiming a proper understanding that we are called to faithfulness by Jesus reminds us that, just as God has been faithful toward us, we, who are created in God's image, can be more faithful in our dealings with God and with one another.
Reflection on these questions:
                    When have I promised more than I should have?
                    When have I broken promises that I could have kept?
                    What promises have I made to God?
Reflecting on these question and recommitting too faithfully follow the ways of Jesus will lead us to the transformational life our true hearts desirer. 

First Church Basketball Academy for 5th/6th grades starts Monday, November 4.  Please be an unpaid servant of God by signing up to drive the van, see Joel Johnson for details.  Also, please sign up to set up for snack time with Bonnie Crook or Merna Furney.   This mission cannot be accomplished without these two important and required components.


The F.U.N. committee with God’s help will be heading up First Church’s effort in handing out Thanksgiving Baskets to those in need in the community.  Last year through the generosity of the members of our Church we were able to help several Marion County residents at a cost of around $25 per basket. We hope that God would move you to give what you can afford to provide for one family or more.  For organizational purposes we need to raise the funds in the next 3 weeks so we can know how many families we can provide for and order supplies. We could also use volunteers to assist in the organizing and distributing the food baskets. Please let Heather know.  Helping Hands is our partner in this mission.  If you know of anyone or a family that might be in need of a Thanksgiving basket please let Heather know so we can add them to our list. 

Marion County gets to keep 90% of the funds raised by the Marion
County Salvation Army Bell Ringers to assist those in need.   Last year over $44,000 was raised but those funds are now completely depleted.  The need is now greater than ever.  The bell ringers will begin ringing during Living Windows in Knoxville November 21st and will continue throughout the Christmas season. There is one less week this year between the Thanksgiving and the Christmas season so it is VERY IMPORTANT that we make sure ALL time slots and locations are filled.  You can help again this year in two ways:   1) There are signup sheets and schedules in the Narthex to share your gift of time for those in need this Christmas Season or you may contact Merna Furney at 641-842-3072 or 641-218-8026.   She keeps the master list and will gladly add your name to the list.   2)  Give generously.  Every penny adds up.

Proceeds from the ham ball dinner this year will be divided between Montgomery Street Preschool and Linda Petersen O’Dell.  A feature of this year’s dinner will be “Pies for Linda”, an opportunity to take home a homemade pie with a $15 or more donation going to help pay Linda’s medical bills.  The Fellowship Uniting Neighbors (F.U.N.) encourage our members as well as the community to support this event!

Bean and chicken noodle soups, pantry grain pancakes, fruited rice,
sand art brownies, and new this year, cranberry poppy seed biscuit will be selling after church during the month of November, $5 per jar, for PEO local scholarships, see Kay Jensen.

This year we will be using devotional booklets provided by the Society of St. Andrews entitled “Miracle in the Manger” for our Advent devotions for the advent season Dec. 1 – Dec. 25.  Make room in your heart and in your busy days throughout the month for a few minutes each day reading scripture, reflecting on a brief meditation, and praying, in preparation for the Savior who is to come.  The theme this year is “Miracle in the Manger” – a most unlikely place, yet the very place God chose for God’s son to be born.  Writers were invited to think about these words:  “The word became flesh, and living among us.   We saw his glory, such glory as of the one and only Son of the Father, full of grace and truth.”  (John 1:14, WEB).  For reflection, as you live through these days of Advent, waiting for the one who is to come:  As you prepare to welcome the miracle that God sent to live among us, think about a Christ-centered miracle that has touched you in a personal way.  Each day you’ll find a Scripture reference, a few paragraphs for reflection, and a prayer.  We invite you to journey toward Bethlehem with us each day, as we wait for a “Miracle in the Manger.” Booklets will be available at the church office window ledge.

A community wide Thanksgiving Service will be held on Sunday,
November 24th at 7:00 p.m. at New Covenant Church.

Save the date for Sunday, December 15!  The annual FUMC Children's Christmas Program will take place during service on December 15.  Attention parents- If your child would like to be part of the Christmas Program on December 15, they will need to attend at least one of the following rehearsals.  All rehearsals will be held from 10:30 to 11:00 immediately following church service. Rehearsal dates will be Sunday, December 1 and Sunday, December 8.


MSPS will be participating in Living Windows on Thursday, November 21.  Come look for us in the Chamber of Commerce window on Main Street.
MSPS will be participating in the Festival of Trees at the Marion County Park on Saturday and Sunday, November 23 and 24.  Remember to vote for your favorite tree while you attend the festival.

Save the Date - The MSPS Christmas Program will be held Thursday, December 19th at 9 am.  Our church family is encouraged to come watch and meet our MSPS families for this special morning!

Youth Group Meeting Dates: 
·                    Nov. 3rd @ 4-6 pm
·                    Nov. 10th @ 4-6 pm
·                    Nov. 17th @ 4-6 pm
·                    Dec. 1st  @ 4-6 pm
·                    Dec. 8th @ 4-6 pm
·                    Dec. 15th @ 4-6 pm

Youth Save the Date -Friday, March 28, 2014 is Winter Jam in Des Moines!!  More information to come in the next couple of months.

An open house/card shower will be held for Rita Hayes’ 90th birthday on Saturday, November 9th at 612 W Main from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 pm.  Let your presence be your gift. 

Congratulations to Terry and Cindy Fenoglio on
the birth of their first great grandchild!  Lia Ann Fenoglio was born September 28th to Bret and Larissa Fenoglio at Fort Sill in Lawton, OK. 

Congratulations to Nathan and Teri DeHeer on the birth of their twin daughters.  

Congratulations to Alex Purvis on receiving his Eagle Scout award!

Congratulations to Trey Purvis who received the Cross and Flame Award that recognizes adult leaders who have given exceptional service in the use and promotion of the Scouting Program for young people, one who has served children and youth through the United Methodist Church. 

Condolences to the family of Charlene Kirkwood on her passing.

Condolences to Robin Butler and family on the loss of her father.

Condolences to the family of Charles “Chuck” Beadles on his passing.

Condolences to the family of Doris Dykstra on her passing. 

Thank you for the visits by Pastor Lane and the prayers by the church
family while I am going through this problem.  Norm Norton

We would like to thank you all for your concern, cards, and prayers during Jack’s illness.  We have finished the first phase and he feels well.  We are now waiting for his surgery in early November.  Please continue your thoughts and prayers.  We are deeply appreciative.  Jack and Bev Sterling

A big thank you to all for the prayers, cards and notes of encouragement sent during my long hospitalization.  A special thanks to Pastor Lane and Pastor Brent for their many visits and prayers.  It’s great to be home!  Ron Simpson

Thanks to all of our church family for the cards, words of encouragement, and visits as John is healing from his two knee replacements.  Thanks to Pastor Lane and Pastor Brent for your visits and calls.  God is the great healer and we are blessed!  John and Pat Haning 

Thanks to Pastor Lane and Pastor Brent for their concern and prayers for me when I had my complete shoulder replacement.  I have finally got healed enough that I have started my physical therapy so now I’ll be well before long.  I thank all of my church family for their prayers, concerns, and cards.  I really appreciated everything.  It all helped me get through the 9 weeks of healing.  I was lucky Dick was such a good trooper and took such good care of me, and kept encouraging me.  Thanks again to everyone.  Lily Sterling

A huge thank you to everyone that purchased hoagies this year!  Your support of our program is greatly appreciated!

$525 was received in July with an additional $726.38 received in August for a grand total of $1,251.38.  This gift helps to reach the goal to eradicate malaria, a disease which kills one child every 30 seconds. 

For those of you who winter in a different location other than your usual residence, please contact the church office at 641-842-3712 or fumchurch@iowatelecom.net  and let us know your winter address so we can continue to send you the monthly “Link”.

The church office will be closed November 28th and 29th for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Will be December 7-8

Poinsettias will be available for $9.00 this year and the deadline for ordering is November 29. 

Please mark one of the options below and attach your check or cash to this form. 

____ I/We wish to donate
____ (designate how many) poinsettia(s) at $9.00 each to share in the worship service. 
(memory of) ______________________
(honor of) _________________________
Given by:  _________________________

Please Mark One of the Following:
____ Deliver the poinsettia(s) to a homebound member by the committee
____  I/We will pick up the poinsettia(s) & deliver to:  ____________
____ I/We will pick up the poinsettia(s)
Your name:   ________________
***Please complete the form and drop it off along with your payment at the church office.***

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