God has a dream and purpose for your congregation and in your community. Rev. Dr. Heather Lear, Director of Evangelism Ministries, UMC General Board of Discipleship
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ:
Grace and Peace to you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ!
Over the past six months, the Church Council has continued the work begun at our all-church retreat in February. During that retreat, Rev. Dr. Heather Lear equipped us with tools for evangelism that are theological, contextual and strength-based.
Hence, we have titled this process, Strengthen and Grow.
We have spent time asking ourselves questions: Why do I choose to remain Christian? What is the good that I believe God wants to accomplish? As well as questions about evangelism: If God fully transformed the person you were evangelizing, what would that mean for the person?
During June and July, seven two-person teams were sent out into the community to interview community leaders about the strengths and challenges of the community as well as how can FUMC respond to those challenges.
Over the next few months, FUMC will assimilate our learning so that we might engage in creative practices that manifest God’s kingdom in our community.
This work is guided by Luke 10:1-11. Jesus sent out his disciples to bring peace, blessing and healing. He encouraged his disciples to remain in those houses receiving what the people gave them.
It is an exciting time to be the church of Jesus Christ as we continue to live out Christ’s call on our lives.
The Reverend Joseph A. Johnson
Don’t Miss Final Session on July 29
Join Pastor Joe for the final discussion to examine some of the documents that have been guiding the general church’s conversation on the Unity of the Church and Human Sexuality. Also, the Council of Bishops final recommendation to the 2019 Special Session of General Conference regarding THE WAY FORWARD will be released in July. This will provide additional opportunity for conversation.
Gather in the Aldersgate Room before Worship.
TIME: 8:15-9:15 am
DATES: July 8, 15, 22, & 29.
Join us for a unique telling of the Parables of Loss*.
First Church is pleased to welcome Joe Schram and Mary-Carol Riehs to tell the stories of The Lost Coin, The Lost Sheep, and The Lost Son (the Prodigal Son) during the 9:30 am worship service on July 8.
Thank you to Carolyn Thomas-Davidoff and the GreenMan Theatre Troupe for sharing these accomplished storytellers with us.
Joe Schram has been working with GreenMan Theatre for the last five years: acting in its Spooky Stories presentations; telling folk tales at the Elmhurst Library; and appearing in Nickel and Dimed and The McAddams Family Spring Break. He has also appeared at the Robert Downing Theatre in Black Comedy and with the Epiphany Players in The Church Is Burning!, Oh, What a Tangled Web, and Just a Stage He’s Going Through . Joe is happily retired from teaching English at Immaculate Conception Catholic Prep (just across the parking lot from First Church). There he not only directed and built sets for school plays, he wrote and directed 2 Madrigal Dinners, and appeared on stage in Grease.
Mary-Carol Riehs studied storytelling with Rives Collins at Northwestern from which she earned BA and MA degrees in Theatre. She also studied with Janice Del Negro at Dominican from which she earned an additional master’s in Library Science. In the early 2000s in Los Angeles area, she worked with The Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum as an actor and as the Youth Programs Manager. Since moving to Elmhurst, she’s been active with GreenMan Theatre appearing in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Arabian Nights, and The Matchmaker as well as several Murder Mysteries. By day she is the Access and Public Services Librarian at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. A life-long United Methodist, Mary-Carol is a PK and was born early enough on a Sunday morning that her father was able to welcome her to the world and still conduct the 10 am service!
*These Parables are found in the Gospel of Luke, Chapter 15, Verses 2-32.