Category Archives: Announcements

A Prayer of Thanksgiving

Below is one of my favorite prayers of thanksgiving. I wanted to share it with you today.

All things come from you, O God,
and with gratitude we return to you what is yours.
You created all that is, and with love formed us in your image.
When our love failed, your love remained steadfast.
You gave your only Son Jesus Christ to be our Savior.
All that we are, and all that we have, is a trust from you.
And so, in gratitude for all your gifts,
we offer you ourselves, and all that we have,
in union with Christ’s offering for us.
By your Holy Spirit make us one with Christ, one with each other,
and one in ministry to all the world;
through Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen.
— Hoyt L. Hickman [1]


[1] The United Methodist Book of Worship (Nashville, TN: United Methodist Publishing House, 1992), 552.

SPRC Appointive Recommendation

There appears to be some speculation as to what the Staff Parish Relations Committee (SPRC) put down on their Appointive Recommendation for 2022. (The SPRC and the pastor make recommendations, the Bishop makes the final decision.) To clear up any confusion, I’m just going to share it with you. There were four options for the SPRC to choose from. They chose: “Our Mission can be met with our current pastor, but we would also be open to a new pastor who has gifts/skills in the area(s) of _______________.” In the blank the committee wrote “fresh perspective to re-invigorate and help the church to grow.”

I want to be clear that I support and am in complete agreement with this assessment. Even though I think I can still be effective here, I think a new pastor with a fresh perspective would be very helpful as First UMC bounces back from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bible Study Tonight

We’ll begin our new Wednesday Night Bible Study at 5:15 tonight (November 3, 2021). It’s bee a five-part series on Exodus 34:6-7 that looks at the Character of God. We’ll be talking about God’s compassion, grace, slowness to anger, loyal love, and faithfulness. If you plan to join us by Zoom, I would encourage you to watch tonight’s video before hand.

The first video: https://bit.ly/3CGlV6s

The entire series can be found here: https://bit.ly/3q3QZth

Voices: Redefining Success

I need to find a way to be reminded of this on a regular basis.

‘Jesus did not speak English, was never married and had no children, did not own a home, and died an early death, abandoned by his closest friends. In other words, very little about his life measures up to our ideas of success. Maybe, we are the ones who need to redefine success.” — Brady Boyd [1]


[1] Brady Boyd, Twitter post, September 1, 2021, 2:50 p.m., http://twitter.com/gkiely.

Vintage Years

We’re coming up on our annual Vintage Years Celebration. There will be a time of special recognition for those members of our congregation who have reached 90 years or more. Our list of those hitting this milestone for this year’s celebration includes Julius Frey, Joanna Clemence, Kenneth Dawson, Verl Eckman, Louise Frey, Nadine Griffin, Carl Hansen, and Martha Zutavern. Please let us know if there’s someone we’ve missed.

Update: We’ll also be honoring those who turned 90 previously to 2020 and 2021: Joe Clemence, Rose Marie Elliott, Melva Rector, Les and Marie Thornton, Gil Green, Donna Smith, Dorothy Veach, Ray Power, Darlene Sexton, Keith Rogers, Dorothy Snider, Velma Becker, Lois Ledy, Melvin Leckron, Marvin Ledy, Helen Harrold, Virginia Hoffman, Norma Runs, and Evelyn York.