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Sturgis First United Methodist Church
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This page is where you can find out things about our church. It may be something that we are doing, or someone we want to showcase. We hope you check this page out often.
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The 2019 Flower Chart and Radio Chart are now on the wall outside the office. Please sign your name on the date you wish to sponsor. Flowers are $25.00 and the Radio broadcast is $70.00.
Prayer List Updates
In an effort to keep our prayer list current, we will remove names after three weeks unless you call the office (651-5990) with an update on a person's situation and ask to keep their name on the list. 

Also: Please call the office if you know any of the people on our military list. We need to know if they are still in the military. We want to continue to pray for those who need it and would love to celebrate those who have completed their service.
Greeting Ministry
For the next several months I am going to look at different areas of the church at how we might improve and enhance our worship experience. If there is an area that you would like to be involved, please let me know.

On any given week of the year, millions of guests step foot into a church. How they are greeted plays a huge role in determining if they come back. Greeting ministry should be one of the easiest things to pull off each week for a church, but over and over again I see churches that are doing a horrible job at it. I will admit I think we do a pretty good job of it, but keep reading.

Some churches make the mistake of not even having a greeter ministry, which is like inviting guests over and saying “just let yourself in.” Others make an even bigger mistake of having the wrong people serve as greeters. I can’t tell you how many stories I’ve heard from guests who have been turned off before they ever walk through the church doors. All it takes is a wrong look or a poor choice of words for a first-time guest to become a last-time guest.

So, how can we make sure that doesn’t happen? 
How can we have a greeter ministry that gives a great first impression?

1.Greeters should be people who smile. I know this sounds obvious, but you’d be amazed at how many sour-faced greeters there are in churches all over the country. 

2.Greeters should open the door. New Spring Church in South Carolina has a policy that says no guest should ever have to open a door. They place volunteers at every entrance of their church to open the doors for their guests. We should do the same. 
It’s a simple way to serve our guests and a great first impression of our church.  

3.Greeters should be good at remembering names. One of the most valuable tools in ministry is a good memory, especially when it comes to remembering names. Greeting guests with a smile and handshake makes a good first impression. Remembering their name when they come back a second time makes a great second impression. By remembering a person’s name, you’re placing value on them, which makes an enormous impact on people. Something I need to get better doing.

4.Greeters should reflect who our church is trying to reach. People of all ages.
If our greeting ministry reflects these four simple ideas, we will automatically see more guests come back to our church.

What are some other ways we can make the church more welcoming to guests?

Clipart ©DJ Inkers
Lost and Found

The lost and found is now outside the office. If you have lost anything or if you have found anything, please check in the office. 
We have a new monitor that the choir and pastors can see from the front of the church!
I would like to encourage and remind anyone who might wish to contribute to our Shared Space section of the church newsletter. Deadline is the 15th of each month. 

Shared Space…..
I invite you to share times where people from our congregation have made a difference for you or your life. I welcome you to provide your own experience of where our church has made a difference…persons, activities, memories, events, etc. It doesn’t have to be long or detailed, and if you need help writing or sending it electronically, just let me know (659-4688). Submissions can be sent to leroque@charter.net and to the church, fumcsturgis@gmail.com 

Thank you!!

Jessica Walsworth

We have been able to mail the monthly newsletter during 2017 thanks to the many families that have sponsored the postage cost. We are beginning a new year now and are asking anyone who is willing to sponsor a month to please sign up on the board outside the sanctuary.  Unfortunately, the cost has gone up – the new monthly rate is approximately $80 per month. Thank you for considering this much needed and appreciated offering. 

   I would like to start by saying thank you to Carol Sybesma who was Trustee chair for the past 2 years. Carol managed to keep the church and Parsonage up to date and made many improvements without breaking the budget. She will make it a tough act to follow.

  We wish Carol the best in the next chapter of her life.

  We have a good group of Trustees this year, but I like to think that every member of the church is a trustee of it. If you see a light on and room is not being used, turn it out. If you see trash on floor, pick it up. If you are the last to leave, be sure the door locks behind you. If you see something that needs repaired tell a trustee or leave a note in the office. If you use the kitchen, leave it cleaner then you found it.

In February we have a Trustee Meeting scheduled for February 7 in addition to our safety information meeting set for February 4 at PM in the Parlor.

John Blanchard

2017 Completed Projects 

 New water softener, power washed and sealed parsonage deck, cleaned up flooded basement and reworked the drain so it should not happen again 

Outdoor church projects:
Sealed and striped the parking lots, Memorial Garden on South side of church, weekly church yard duties

Church building:
Scraped, sealed, and painted the Gathering room, installed an A E D machine and had a training class, replaced church organ fan motor.

Adopt-A-Highway program participation

The many routine maintenance projects that pop up throughout the year

Bishop David A. Bard, Episcopal leader of the Michigan Conference, has appointed our pastor, Jeanne Garza, to serve as pastor of Dixboro U.M.C., in the Heritage District effective July 1, 2019. 

In the days and weeks ahead the Pastor Parish Relations Committee will be working with our District Superintendent, Rev. Dwayne Bagley to provide information concerning the pastoral leadership in the future. Please be in prayer for the cabinet and the Pastor Parish Relations Committee as they move ahead in this process. Any additional information that is received by the Staff Parish Committee will be passed on immediately to keep everyone informed. 

We wish Pastor Jeanne well in her new assignment. 

Dan Evert
Staff Parish Committee 

Dear Friends in Christ in The United Methodist Church in Michigan,

The much-anticipated special called session of the General Conference has come to an end. The days leading up to the General Conference were filled with hope and prayer. Not all of the hopes were realized, as people had differing hopes. Not all the prayers were answered in the way people hoped, because people were praying for different outcomes.

The United Methodist Church will maintain its stance on human sexuality. In addition, enhanced enforcement provisions were approved as a way to encourage pastors, bishops, and churches to follow Disciplinary requirements. The plan encourages those who disagree with these positions to consider leaving to form another Methodist organization. It is not yet clear which of these provisions will be ruled constitutional or how they may be implemented.

What is clear is that many LGBTQ persons find this language hurtful and feel it leaves them on the margins of our church life. We need to acknowledge that hurt and pain and sadness, which is shared by their family members. People who were hoping for more space for LGBTQ persons are deeply disappointed. I invite us to remember that our Book of Discipline acknowledges that all people are of sacred worth, and that remains fundamental. The plan approved will likely mean additional conversation and perhaps voting at our Annual Conference, but, again, much remains to be sorted out.

We need to acknowledge the entire range of feelings people are experiencing, and the varying reactions people are having. I would invite us to recognize the responses without becoming “reactive.” Part of being human is to know what it is like to experience a gut-level “flight or fight” response. I invite us to move through that to a fuller human response that engages our feelings, our thinking, our pondering and our praying. If you feel you need to take some action about your place within the UMC, I invite you to wait. Nothing need be done right now.

Many unanswered questions need to be answered. I will communicate more in the coming days and weeks, providing additional information about what happened and possible next steps.

In inviting us to a more fully human response, I am encouraging us to reach deep into our hearts and souls to embody Christian virtues of a humble mind, a tender heart, and mutual affection. St. Irenaeus once wrote that the glory of God is a human person fully formed, fully alive. In this challenging moment, may we give glory to God by, in God’s grace, calling forth our best and deepest selves.

Grace and Peace,

David Alan Bard
Michigan Conference

On Sunday, St. Patrick’s Day, ten ladies had a lovely Sunday dinner at the Strike Zone restaurant. We had good food and a great time as usual. We even ran into one of our formers attendees, Grace Kasdorf, who was with some of her grandkids. She’s ready to join us again. It’s funny how God works, because I was just thinking of her the other day while I was praying for Carol Sybesma, who used to pick Grace up. I hope you have been awakened as to how God works in mysterious ways in your life as well. Next month on Tuesday, April 23rd, the Dining Divas will be going to Fat Cam’s restaurant across from Garber Lake near Edwardsburg. This is one of the Diva’s favorites! Do come join us and see why!

Just a reminder that the Honoring Women’s banquet will be held in May. At this time we are looking at Tuesday, May 14th. We will be having a cuisine from around the world. Our menu includes Cornish game hen (1/2), couscous, asparagus, Oriental salad, and crème brulee. Last year we were blessed by 50 + women from this church and community. Let’s keep it going, ladies! 
On another note I’m trying very hard to work through the fact that out of 60+ pink papers for 14 Days and 14 Ways of Loving our Neighbor as Ourselves, we only had 5 papers turned in on either of the Sundays we asked for them. I know in my heart that many of you must have done some of the choices and merely forgot to bring them. Just know that Jesus wants us, as Christians, to continue to do these kind acts often, and as much as we can. Please keep passing God’s love along. I want to take this time to thank Leonard and Rosalie Eishen for helping with this project. Their help was immense!

God’s Peace Be with You
Mimi Klinger and the Outreach Committee