First United Methodist Church

Service Times

9am Contemporary | 11am Traditional

Our Lent Experiment

Beginning Sunday, February 12, we will be selling books and handing out free “How to Guides” to help prepare us for our church wide Lenten experiment beginning March 5.  As a community we will be reading The 7 Experiment: an experimental mutiny against excess by Jen Hatmaker. In addition, there will be a weekly fast focusing on seven different forms of excess (food, clothes, possessions, media, waste, spending, and stress.)  The “How to Guides” will lead us through the fast and provide discussion questions each week to help us reflect on our experience. It is our hope that this Lenten Experiment will help us draw closer to God as we reflect on our weekly experience of fasting.

A free “How to Guide” will be available starting February 12 to help explain the Lenten fast and provide discussion questions for weekly group discussion. We are encouraging everyone who is practicing the Lenten fast to find a group to meet with weekly to discuss your experience and what you have learned.  Below are some ideas and opportunities to help you find a group to journey with on this weekly fast. 


Each week discuss possible ways your family might fast together.  Be careful to not make the fast too challenging for your kids.  The idea is not to overwhelm them with the task, but rather recognize our struggle together with each week’s focus on excess.  At the end of the week, use the discussion questions to talk about your experience, why it was challenging and what did you learn from the experience.


Invite one or two friends to join you on this Lenten fast.  Meet up once a week to talk about how you will approach the new fast each week and use the discussion questions to talk about your experience of fasting.

Groups for Everyone:

Sundays- 10:45-11:15am with “How About You” Groups

Sundays -10:45-11:45am with Annette Sneaker

Sundays – 12:00-1pm with Emmy Zumwalt and Joffa Braymer

Wednesdays- 5:30-7pm with Randy Parsons (dinner and discussion of fast)

Women’s Groups:

Mondays- 11:30-1pm with Laura-Grace Anderson

Tuesdays – 8:30am with Erin Gottschalk and Sheri Mazariegos

Wednesdays- 9:45-11:15 (Christian Yoga followed by discussion of fast)

Thursdays – 7-8am with Jayne Rideout

Thursdays- 9:30-11:30am with Sandy Franks and Kelli Martin

Men’s Groups:

Thursdays- 7-8am with Ben Howell

Young Adults:

Mondays- 6:30-8pm with Jon Tschanz (dinner and discussion of fast)


Sundays- 10:45-11:15am with “How About You” for Students

Tuesdays- 6:30-8pm with high school groups for girls and guys

Finding Direction in a Post Election USA

Rev. Gary Mason

Sunday, March 5

All three services (8:00, 9:30 and 11:00)

Who is Rev. Gary Mason?

Rev. Dr. Gary Mason is a Methodist minister and directs a conflict transformation organisation based in Belfast called “Rethinking Conflict.” Prior to this, he spent 27 years as a Methodist clergy person in parish ministry in Belfast and has played an integral role in the Northern Irish peace process. He had a key role in establishing the Skainos project which is a world class urban centre developed in a post conflict society as a model of co-existence and shared space. It is acknowledged as the largest faith-based redevelopment project in Western Europe. Mason is a close advisor to Protestant ex-combatants on the civilianisation efforts of paramilitaries. He was instrumental in facilitating negotiations with paramilitaries and government officials in Northern Ireland, and in 2007 his contribution was formally recognised by the Queen.

In 2009, Mason’s church was the stage from which Loyalist paramilitaries announced their weapons decommissioning. Mason has lectured in political and academic forums throughout Europe, South Africa, the Middle East and the U.S.A. on lessons from the Irish peace process. He has been interviewed on CNN, BBC, ITV and various radio programs. He holds a PhD in Psychology from the University of Ulster, completed his theological studies at Queens University and has a Bachelor’s in Business Studies from the University of Ulster. Gary is a Research Fellow at the Kennedy Institute for Conflict Intervention at Maynooth University in Ireland. He is an Adjunct Professor at the Candler School of Theology at Emory University in Atlanta, lecturing on reconciliation, peace building and the history of the Northern Ireland conflict, racism, sectarianism and conflict transformation.

Who Is Your Neighbor? How Do You Connect with Them?

Join Tom Bandy on February 25, 2017

8:45am – 12:30pm
8:30am – Gathering with light refreshments

Register Here

The East Central District presents a morning with Tom Bandy. This is truly a unique opportunity–one that pastors and anyone involved with evangelism, missions or worship  won’t want to miss. Tom is the author of the 71 Lifestyle segment descriptions in Missioninsite’s Mosaic Application Guide. He will demonstrate how you use that information in your church’s local mission field. MissionInsite can be a wonderful ministry tool; come and learn how to use it. This information is for clergy and lay. Tom will have a Q & A session at the end of his presentation.

Tom is an internationally recognized consultant, conference speaker, and leadership coach for Christian organizations and faith-based non-profits.  He is the president of Thriving Church Consulting, LLC.


Thomas G. Bandy

Tom Bandy is an internationally recognized consultant, conference speaker, and leadership coach for Christian organizations and faith-based non-profits. He is the president of Thriving Church Consulting, LLC and can be found in his virtual office at Tom is widely respected for his unique ability to understand diverse cultures, traditions, and denominational polities; and his grasp of systemic change and congregational mission. Denominational, congregational, and non-profit leaders appreciate his ability to discern truth, clarify options, and guide leaders for spiritual growth and mission impact. Tom listens, teaches, and empowers leaders to follow Christ faithfully in a world of change.

Tom’s spiritual journey in companionship with Christ began at an early age through an experience of healing. He was called to ministry and licensed to preach by the Methodist Church in High School. Ever since then he has mentored pilgrims, guided small groups, preached to seekers and disciples, and grown churches. He has been a pastor in three denominations in the United States and Canada; provided national leadership for the United Church of Canada in evangelism and congregational mission; and worked tirelessly as a church transformer and clergy coach.

For over ten years, Tom has traveled widely consulting with churches, training clergy and lay leaders, and speaking to Christian conferences small and large. He is a frequent traveler working with churches across the denominational and theological spectrum. He works with Anglo, African-American, Hispanic, and Asian churches in urban, exurban, suburban, rural, and even remote contexts. His books and articles have been translated into Spanish, Korean, and Afrikaans.

In the course of his spiritual journey, Tom has also been involved in academic theological teaching. He received his master’s degree from Princeton Seminary, and his academic doctorate in philosophical theology from the University of Toronto and Toronto School of Theology. He regularly participates in the American Academy of Religion and several societies related to the theology of culture and philosophy of religion. He is a favored guest lecturer and teacher for church development, practical theology, and postmodern Christian witness.

Tom has published over 16 books and numerous articles, and produced a variety of DVD’s. has a complete list of his writing.

Tom was born in Cleveland, Ohio; raised in many regions of the United States; and currently lives with his wife, Lynne, near Toronto, Ontario. Lynne is a pastor with over 30 years of experience, currently leading a growing church. They have been married for all that time and rejoice with two gifted children.

The mission of Thriving Church Consulting is to guide Christian leaders for ancient mission in the contemporary world. Tom’s personal mission is to help people experience the transforming power of God and walk daily with Jesus Christ. He is ready to help you follow Christ faithfully in a changing, challenging world.

Panua Celebrates Selection Sunday


Thank you to all our members who have stepped out in faith and committed to partnering with one of our 200 Panua youth for the next 3 years. We even had some creative partnerships begin. Lee and Art Cross connected with Kayla Anderson to write letters and financially support Nandia in the Kihoto neighborhood. There are still 22 youth in need of Prayer Partners. If you are interested in supporting the Panua Program through a Prayer Partner, please contact Jensie Gobel,