Vernon L. Larson, passed away yesterday, Wednesday, February 26, 2020. A service of Death and Resurrection will be held Monday, March 2, 2020 at 10:30 in the Sanctuary. Burial will follow at Abilene Cemetery. There will be a funeral dinner. Please contact Cecilia Clemence if you can provide a salad, side-dish, or desert.
Any donation made to the First United Methodist Church Endowed Fund at the Dickinson County Community Foundation will be matched on Friday, March 20, 2020. You can make your donation from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in person at The Elk’s Club or online at http://www.donatedickinson.com. If you want to give, but can’t make it to the Elks on Friday, March 20, feel free to put your check in the offering plate, or bring it by the office.
Any donation made to the First United Methodist Church Endowed Fund at the Dickinson County Community Foundation will be matched on Friday, March 20, 2020. You can make your donation from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in person at The Elk’s Club or online at http://www.donatedickinson.com. If you want to give, but can’t make it to the Elks on Friday, March 20, feel free to put your check in the offering plate, or bring it by the office before then.
“It is time to be loudly kind, to be obnoxiously compassionate, to be irritatingly loving. To say no to the corrosive power of contempt and to answer hatred with the strength of love. To stand up for each other. To refuse to return evil for evil and to say why that is. To have good courage and to proclaim that often. To be the strongly flavored salt we are and the beautifully bright light we are, not only on Sundays when we are all together, but even more importantly in all of those other quiet, normal times and places in our lives during the week. For being salt and light is not just what we are called to do. It is who we are. So let us live fully and loudly and publicly as who we are, for God will use our witness. And our world will change. We will be changed. That is our promise. That is our truth. Amen.” — Shannon J. Kershner 
 Kershner, Shannon J. “Adding and Shining.” Fourth Presbyterian Church, February 9, 2020. https://www.fourthchurch.org.
The deadline to apply for First United Methodist Church Scholarships for the 2020-2021 Academic Year is April 8, 2020. Applications can be found at abilenefirstumc.org/downloads/.
Received from Joan Anderson, USD 435 Board Clerk:
“Thank you so much for the hats, gloves, socks, and underwear that were donated to our district for our students. I never would have thought of socks and underwear, but they were the first things to go. Your kindness and generosity is greatly appreciated. On behalf of the USD 435 Board of Education, staff, and students, THANK YOU!”
Mary Jones has died. On Thursday, February 20, 2020, there will be a visitation in the narthex at 9:30 a.m. and a Service of Death and Resurrection in the sanctuary at 10:00 a.m. Interment will follow at Abilene Cemetery. Many of you have fond memories of Mary, and I would love to read about them. Drop me a line at email@example.com.
The Staff Parish Relations Committee (SPRC) is looking to hire a Parish Visitor as Pastor Jenny Collins moves to become a District Superintendent. This will be a paid position of fewer than eight hours per week directly under the pastor’s supervision. You may submit your name (and, if you want, a brief statement of interest) to John Collins or Stacy Gonzales by Wednesday, February 26, 2020. The SPRC will consider applicants at their regular meeting on Monday, March 2, 2020.
The Board of Trustees encourages able-bodied members to park further away from the church on Sunday mornings. This way those who have difficulty getting around will be able to park in the front row.
Update: This also has the effect of leaving a space close to the building for first-time visitors and guests.
I received a notice of copyright infringement from a cable company this morning. Luckily it was for the previous church (where my email has somehow gotten stuck on the account). But it got me thinking about the possibility that the church here in Abilene could get one because of the way we offer free public WiFi. I would like to avoid that possibility. The expensive way to do it is through better equipment, the free way to do it is to stop offering public WiFi. Therefore, my question for the congregation: do you use the church’s public WiFi? If you’re reading this on the blog, you can drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org; if you’re reading this on facebook and twitter, you and comment below; or if you’re reading this in an email you can simply hit reply.
February is one of the months when we need volunteers to provide snacks (usually cookies) and prepare coffee and juice for the fellowship time after the 10:30 worship services. Volunteer(s) are still needed for this coming Sunday, (February 9, 2020). Drop me a line if you’re willing to volunteer.
Last night Jenny and I sent this letter out to every email address in the contacts directory and to everyone signed up for our “TinyLetter” email updates.
January 28, 2020
Dear Members and Friends of Abilene First UMC,
We are writing to tell you about a partial pastoral change. First off we want to let you know that we will both still be living here in Abilene, and that John will remain as your pastor here at Abilene First. The part that is changing is that Jenny has received a call to be the District Superintendent for the Flint Hills and Topeka Districts. (See map below for the geographical area of the districts.) She will commute from the parsonage here to wherever she needs to be any given day. With Liz graduating this year, Jenny requested to move from half time to full-time ministry, but we also longed to remain here in Abilene. This appointment allows both of those things to happen. If you have any questions, please let us know.
Grace and Peace,
Jenny and John Collins