Category Archives: Announcements

Silence in the Face of Evil

Here’s the quote I shared in my sermon this morning.

“Silence in the face of evil is itself evil. God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.” — Author Unknown [1]


[1] As I mentioned this morning, this quote is often attributed to Dietrich Bonhoeffer and I think he would have heartily agreed with it, but it appears that he didn’t actually say it (no citation can be found). What ultimately matters is not who first said it, but that it rings true.

Blessing of the Backpacks – Update

In response to my previous post about the blessing of the backpacks for children and youth this coming Sunday (August 13, 2017), I received the following via email:

It would be cool to have school personnel bring their work bag or something they use at work and bless them as well.  They need our prayers, too.

I think that’s a great idea! I would like to encourage school personnel to bring their work bags to worship, but even if you don’t we’ll be praying for you.

It’s Fair Sunday

All week long I’ve been trying to think of ways to observe fair Sunday today (July 30, 2017). And all week long, I’ve been forgetting that we normally just encourage people to wear their western wear to church. My apologies for the (very) late notice.

VBS Announcement and Update!

For VBS (Vacation Bible School) Volunteers: There will be a training and orientation for VBS volunteers today, Sunday, July 16, 2017, from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

For VBS Attendees and Their Parents: This year our joint VBS (Vacation Bible School) with Trinity Lutheran Church will be held at their place (302 North Cedar) from Monday, July 17 through Wednesday, July 19 from 6:00-8:30 p.m. with supper being served from 6:00-6:30 p.m. On Thursday, July 20, from 7:00-9:00 p.m., there will be a VBS cookout and pool party at Eisenhower Park. VBS is open to kids three years old and up through fifth grade. Registration forms are available in the Church Office

Church Directory Update

To those of you who have submitted your photos and contact information for the new church directory, thank you!  However, we have still not received photos or directory contact information from very many people. To give you an idea of how many haven’t turned in a photo, our last directory included 175 family photos. To date, we have received a total of only 83 family photos. In order to be fair, only those of you who have (or will) turn in photos will receive a photo directory. But there’s no need to panic! There are three easy ways for you to still submit a photo for the directory. One, you can still make an appointment for a free photo session with Keller Photography (and he will send us a digital copy of your photo—no purchase required). Two, you can send us a photo of you or your family. (Just make sure that if it is professionally taken you also send written permission from the photographer to publish it.) Or three, we can take a picture of you with our phones here at the church at any time. We will be the first to tell you they will not be of the same quality as the Keller photos, but it’s easy! We want you included so that we can have a good representation of everyone who is a part of First UMC!  

Additionally, due to privacy concerns, we will not print your personal contact information unless you submit it to us specifically for this church directory.  That means even though we already have your phone numbers and addresses on file here in our database system at the church, we will not publish them in the directory unless you submit them again specifically for publication in the directory. To give you an idea of how many have not submitted their contact information, in our last directory we listed the contact information for over 350 families.  To date, only 85 have submitted this information. So we have a very long way to go! Again, as with the photo section of the directory, only those who turn in contact information will be given the section with phone numbers and addresses. There are three easy ways to submit this information.  One, simply fill out the Church Directory Information form on the backside of the attendance slip included in the church bulletin on Sundays labeled “Church Directory Info.” Two, stop by the office and fill out a Church Directory Information form. Or three, email your contact information to Julie in the church office at julie@abilenefirstumc.org.  If you choose to email the information to Julie, please consider including the following information:

  • Name(s):  As you wish them published (This is pretty much a requirement.)
  • Address (including City, State, and Zip Code)
  • Home Phone Number
  • Cell Phone Number(s):  For however many people you wish, just be sure to indicate which cell number belongs to which person.
  • Email Address(es):  For whomever you wish, as before, indicate which address belongs to which person.

It is up to you how much, or how little you submit, just remember, we will not include anything that is not specifically given to us for this directory.  Thank you so much for your help!

Spiritual Renewal Leave

This year, Jenny and John will be following The Book of Discipline and taking a week of Spiritual Renewal Leave. Jenny will take her’s during the first full week of July and John will take his the week following. The staggering of the weeks one after another means that they will be able to cover for one another and there will always be a pastor available.

I’m Not Angry, I’m 45

This Sunday during announcements, I had a slide that read: “I don’t use periods in text messages because I’m angry.  I use them because I’m 45.” Speaking in very broad terms, it turns out that older people (raised in a time when the most common form of written communication was a letter) tend to end their texts with periods while younger people don’t (and this practice is defensible according to experts). Furthermore, to younger people, a period in a text is often seen as an expression of anger. I can’t seem to break myself of using periods, but a period doesn’t mean I’m angry, it just means that I’m 45 and my English teachers succeeded in getting their point across.

If you’re interested in reading more:
New York Timeshttps://goo.gl/6zVwdy
The Washington Posthttps://goo.gl/dGcwE9
Business Insiderhttps://goo.gl/ww3YwZ
National Public Radio: https://goo.gl/oR7qNL

Vacation Bible School 2017

This year our joint VBS (Vacation Bible School) with Trinity Lutheran Church will be held at their place (302 North Cedar) from Monday, July 17 through Thursday, July 20. This will be an evening VBS from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. with supper being served from 6:00 to 6:30. VBS is open to kids three years old and up through fifth grade. Both registration forms and a list of items you can donate should be available in the Narthex beginning this Sunday.