Dear FUMC Alamosa Family,
This past Wednesday (February 26th ) we observed Ash Wednesday—the kick off of our forty day wilderness journey. It’s a rare season in the Church, by those who observe it, where we allow ourselves to sit with the hard stuff—grief, self-denial, shame, guilt, and of course sin. I went to visit some Methodists on Ash Wednesday in my clerical collar and was met with, “I don’t do ashes, I’m not Catholic.” After I brushed off my smile, thinking it was a compliment to be mistaken for a Catholic priest, I said, “Well, neither am I, but these ashes help ground me and remind me of my mortality and the hope we have in Christ.” And then we prayed together.
Rituals seem weird for those outside of their observance and practice. And that’s fine, not all rituals are for everyone, but for those who need them, they’re there as tangible and aesthetic practices and spiritual disciplines to assist us in our walk with Christ. The Lenten season ushers in several rituals of its own: fasting, meditating on Scripture, Confession, and denial. We take our lead from the narrative of Christ entering into the wilderness for forty days.
For those of us who observe, even in part, these rituals and disciplines, have to balance the delicate duality and contradiction that comes along with Lent: mortality and eternity, death and resurrection, self-denial and being made full. Spoken word poet Micah Bournes’ work Dry Bones is my current obsession. (you can find it on youtube here: ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zsXhFoUtWF4 ). In it he talks about the need for our ritual, our confession and prayer to be sincere… “Don’t call yourself speaking the truth if all you do is confess, complain, if your aim is only to get it all out then you’ll finish feeling empty, not relieved.”
Speaking truth and discovering the truth we need in our lives is the heavy work of dealing with grief and guilt and self-denial—removing ourselves from the elevated places we place ourselves over time, feeling good about the good works we do, about the good things we participate in and advocate for, to remember that all of this…will one day go away. And not find despair in the temporary reality, but hope. Finding hope in removing ourselves, denying our denial about what we can do so we can seek and find what God does do and continues to do now and tomorrow in our lives and in the world around us.
Micah continues in his piece with words of hope that I definitely need to carry me through these next forty days: “Resurrection, is our only hope. Not merely souls floating through a golden city in the sky, but corpses rising from the grave, scattered ashes reconvening into human beings and breathing again, hearts beating again, God speaking again, proclaiming it is good, again, and forever.” As we wrestle with wilderness spaces, dry bones, and dusty bodies, may we find forgiveness and pardon. May we seek sincerity and mercy. May we truly seek to be transformed. Christ, in your mercy. And may your self-denial not be a denial of the hope God has set before you to join Christ in a journey of growth and grace to be made more perfect in God’s image.
Happy Lent, friends,
Reverend Amber Mitts
March Calender of Events
3/1 11:30am Church Life Committee Meeting- Library
FOOD BANK DONATION GATHERING——-3/1/20
3/2 5:30pm Nurturing Parents- Kitchen/ FH/Gym
3/4 12pm AA -Memorial Room
6:00pm Bell Choir Rehearsal- Sanctuary
7:00pm Chancel Choir- Sanctuary
3/6 7:30am Church and Society -Efs Restaurant
3/9 12pm Trustees Meeting –Library
5:30pm Nurturing Parents- Kitchen/ FH/Gym
3/10 12pm UMW Meeting (Special Guest Speaker)-Mem Rm
3/11 12pm AA -Memorial Room
6:00pm Bell Choir Rehearsal- Sanctuary
7:00pm Chancel Choir- Sanctuary
3/13 12pm WCC –Memorial Room
3/15 11:30am Ad Council—Library
3/18 1:00pm Finance Meeting– Library
3/22 11:30am Social Principles Forum—Library
Weekly Recurring meetings:
Mondays: Nurturing Parents (5:30 pm) Kitchen / Hallways/ Gym
Wednesdays: Alcoholics Anonymous (12:00pm) Memorial Room
Bell Choir (6:00 pm) Sanctuary
Chancel Choir (7:00 pm) Sanctuary
3rd Nancy Minow
8th Tyler Christensen
16th Chance Padilla
18th Hazel Petty
20th Greg Gillaspie
23rd Mary Morin
28th Donna Fritzsche
30th Inez Oaks
Church & Society March 6th at 7:30am
AD Council March 15th at 11:30am
Trustees March 9th at 12:00pm
Staff Meeting March 30th at 10:00am
Finance March 18th at 1:00pm
New Year…New Mission Statement!
From a past AD council decision and a church vote with those gathered after our called Church conference in January, you’ll notice a change on the front of your bulletins. Coming out of discussions in the adult Sunday School class, a proposal was made to add “grace,” and “love” in our motto/mission statement. Starting this month you’ll start seeing our shift toward …
“Building Christian Community By Sharing Gods Love and Grace “
May this be a comfort and a challenge to us in our witness and ministry here at FUMC Alamosa!
How are we in March already? I really appreciate everyone being kind, and understanding about my absences. I know it’s been kind of crazy with me being gone, but let’s just keep up the good work. I love having your kiddos in class, so please keep bringing them! This month we are moving into spring time, and I have some new activities planned for them. I would really like us to be a more hands on group. I’m thinking of helping more around the church our community, and really spreading our love for Jesus. If you have any ideas please let me know! Also parents please remember to send kids in jackets. Now that it is warmer, I want to try and do some lessons outside. Again thank you for all of your patience and understanding. I’m looking forward to another great month with you all!
LIFE SOMETIMES CAN BE OVERWHELMING
We read or watch on the news and see communities overwhelmed by natural
disaster. We hear about humanitarian crises arising from civil unrest and war. We know that
famine and drought are caused by climate change and see in our own community signs of
food insecurity. And, of course, when we are also in the midst of our own suffering, it is hard
to see beyond our own needs to help someone else. It can seem like too much. How could
we possibly make a difference? How can our limited resources make a dent in the seemingly
never-ending need of the world? We begin to shut out the reminders of suffering. We
become blind. We willfully ignore the great needs of our siblings in Christ. But the reality is
that as followers of Jesus Christ, we are called to respond with extravagant grace. Just as
Jesus invited the disciples into the work saying, “We must do the works of him who sent me.”
Through the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR), we can make a difference in
the lives of communities and individuals whose lives have been upended by storms, wars,
climate change, and displacement. Through UMCOR, we see the impact of extravagant
grace through the generosity of United Methodists. UMCOR lives out signs of Christ’s
extravagant grace in the world by prayerfully working with communities that are
overwhelmed by natural or man-made disasters. UMCOR builds on the strengths of what is
already available in a community and actively involves the people affected in recovery
efforts. One of the wonderful aspects of The United Methodist Church is that we can do so
much more together than we ever could do on our own – and through our connection
UMCOR has been doing this for 80 years. By mobilizing trained volunteers who are already
living in the community, purchasing emergency supplies and food from local merchants and
channeling funds through trusted partners who are already on the ground, UMCOR is
uniquely positioned to respond quickly after a disaster and to remain invested in rebuilding,
even after these needs are no longer in the news. Recovery is a long-process for individuals
and communities. UMCOR also works with communities to train leaders to address
infrastructure concerns, climate change and environmental degradation. The special offering
received on UMCOR Sunday helps support the small but impactful UMCOR staff who are
specialists in disaster response and recovery. Funds also ensure adequate training for
emergency response coordinators, construction volunteers, and case managers who assist
victims of disasters, chain saw gangs and sheetrock installers. Because we join our church’s
offerings with those of United Methodist congregations around the world, UMCOR remains
strong in its day-to-day operations. When needs are immediate, UMCOR can respond
quickly and efficiently with signs of extravagant grace and expert assistance. Let us continue
to minister together. ALL money given through this special offering goes to the people in
need. Please Give Generously!!! UMCOR Sunday will be March 22. There will be special
offering envelops in the worship bulletins. OR MAIL A CHECK TO: GCFA
P.O. Box 340029
Please put the name of the Special Sunday in the note section of the check Nashville, Tennessee 37203
Ongoing Social Principles Study
What are the Social Principles of the United Methodist
Church? “The Social Principles are an expression of the
common ground we share, reflecting our priorities and
helping us learn about and advocate for vulnerable
peoples and a vulnerable world.” The Church and Society
Ministry Team planned a series of study sessions on the
Social Principles. The first was held on October 13 and the
second on Dec. 15 of last year. Our next forum covers the
third section of the Social Principles, The Social Community,
on March 22, 11:30 am in the Memorial Room. This section
deals with rights of individuals and concerns with current
issues in society. We have had two great learning and
sharing sessions and this one will continue in that tradition.
You would be most welcome whether or not you
participated in the first two. A light lunch will be provided.
We will be using a Study Guide, “Social Principles of the
United Methodist Church 20017-2020”.
If you have a copy from the first two forums, please bring it.
If you did not get a copy yet, more copies available. Ask
Neil Rudolph to obtain a copy. It is helpful to read the
section covered before you come to the forum. We are
looking forward to struggling with the principles together.
Wee Care News
I would like to thank the ladies from the Women’s Citizenship Club who have orchestrated a Dr. Seuss celebration for the Wee Care children.
On March 2nd the ladies will be coming in to read books to the children , to donate Dr. Seuss books to the center & give a book to each child to take home! A book is always a great gift, but even greater gift is to read to a child!
Then we will get ready for St. Patrick’s Day by learning about the color green, (which is made by mixing blue and yellow) and the shape of a shamrock, (which is actually three hearts put together). We will even make our own rainbows as part of a science lesson. During the month of March is when we also learn about wind (we have plenty of that) and the shape of a diamond (which is made by putting two triangles together). Most of our learning opportunities are what we call, “Ah ha!” moments. When the children start mixing two colors and see a new color appear they say, “Ah ha!” When you show them how to arrange and glue three hearts on a page and it makes a shamrock, they say Ah, ha! When they fill a baggie with water and hold it up to a window with the sun shinning through and they see a rainbow on the wall, they will certainly say, “Ah, ha!” When we are making kites and give them two or even four triangles to arrange and glue on the paper they say, “Ah, ha”. And we say, “Ah, ha”, you just had a geometry lesson! Learning is best absorbed when it is fun and engaging!
Watch out for Leprechauns
CHURCH LIFE COMMITTEE
Just wanted to update the committee in regards to the next upcoming meeting. Tis the season for Graduation Parties, Baby showers ,Venue Reservations and what not so with much appreciation Kay stopped in to check the calendar dates , Looks like the best date for Church Life meeting will be Sunday, March 1st (After Service) @ 11:30am
(Any Questions or concerns please call the office 719.589.2243 or email at email@example.com)
Alamosa United Methodist Women
Noon in the Memorial Room
United Methodist Women will meet in the Memorial Room at noon on Tuesday, Please join us to share in fellowship and spiritual growth.
All women of the church and their friends are invited to share Love, Faith and Hope in Action
The Western Jurisdiction of United Methodist Women is holding their Quadrennial Event in Tempe, AZ. April 17-19, 2020. The theme is "Calling u 2020" There will be many workshops and activities to suit a variety of interests as well as inspiring worship services and fellowship opportunities. The Keynote Speaker is Professor Katharine Hayhoe, of Texas Tech University, an atmospheric scientist with a Christian perspective on science, particularly related to climate change. Registration and more information is available at www.wjumw.com. Our local UMW has scholarships to help with expenses.
Lent/Holy Week Services and Events
Worship, fasting, prayer, remembrance
Holy Week Services 6-11 April 2020
Monday-Friday 12 pm Midday Service of Word & Reflection
Maundy Thursday 7pm Service of Word and Anointing
Good Friday 7pm Good Friday Service
Holy Saturday 12pm Midday Service of Prayer & Silence
24 March 2020
Lenten Book Study :
Blue Note Preaching in a Post- Soul Word, Otis Moss III
Thursdays in the Library @ 4:30pm
The adult Sunday school class will begin a new book, “The Sins of Scripture” by John Shelby Spong on January 5. Rev. Spong addresses some of the hard texts of the Bible to “uncover the God of love beneath the Bible’s texts of terror”.
We meet at 9 am in the church library and invite anyone interested to join us. Please order your own books. We plan to read chapter 1 and 2 for January 5 and hope to cover 2 or 3 chapters a week (two weeks per section). If you miss some weeks, that is fine; just jump in and we will get the word out on our progress.
PLEASE CONTACT THE OFFICE IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO HAVE A NAME ADDED TO THIS LIST. THE PRAYER CHAIN REQUESTS, WHICH ARE KEPT IN CONFIDENCE, ARE SEPARATE FROM THIS. YOU MAY HAVE YOUR REQUEST ON BOTH!!
Prayers for: Needs: Relationship:
Tricia Schneider Health Issues Wife of David Schneider
Ed Stoermer Health Issues Family of Helen Taylor
Janice Robison Health Issues Mother of Beth Robison
Sue Health Issues Friend of Helen Taylor
Kip Owen Health Issues Friend of Janet Camp
Peter & Jill Cznoski Health Issues Friends of Theresa Rudder
Shandi Hajek Health Issues Family Friend of Helen Taylor & Daughter
Rev. Margaret Gillikin Health Issues FUMC Family
Glen Bunch FUMC Family
Rachel Oliver FUMC Family
Dena Stoermer Health Issues Family of Helen Taylor
Paul Stoermer, Jr. Health Issues Family of Helen Taylor
Aaron Stoermer Life Transfusion Family of Helen Taylor
Holly Felmlee and family FUMC Family
Veronica Starcher and family FUMC Family
Those traveling for the holidays
Johnathan Richards and mom Car accident Neighbor
John and Kristine Taylor
Sarah Lander’s family
THOSE SERVING IN THE MILITARY
Taylor & Landen Nye DonStegman’s Grandchildren
Nathan Cross/Cameron Christensen
Bob & Judy Irvine’s Grandson
Erik & Janine Christensen Son
For the prayer chain, contact the church office 719-589-2243 or email @ firstname.lastname@example.org
|Sunday Worship||10:15 AM|
|Children's Sunday School||10:30 AM|
Chancel Choir & Bell Choir on Wednesdays
UNITED METHODIST WOMEN
Meets the second Tuesday of the month in the Memorial Room at NOON--starting back up September 10th.
We have a variety of groups from across our Conference and the States that we house during the summer for missions/mission work and service here in the valley.
Meets every Monday from 5:30-8:30pm
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS (AA)
Meets every Wednesday at NOON.
"Social Principles" Study Small Group March 22
Adult Sunday School Every Sunday at 9:00am
LENT BOOK STUDY Blue Note Preaching in a Post Soul World, by Otis Moss III Every Thursday at 4:30pm
*Starting March 5th*
Check out their website and our "La Puente" tab for more information.