First United Methodist Church

Service Times

9am Contemporary | 11am Traditional

Embracing the Vision: Family Dinner Anyone?

One of the benefits we have as members of FUMCWP is to experience and be part of an intergenerational family. Because of this, we are afforded opportunities to grow in faith with others outside of our own contexts. As we gear up for advent and the launch of our new church vision, our vibrant family is already at work living into this vision of energy, grace, passion, and servitude. 

Family Dinner Anyone?

Our family has many different dynamics and facets. Two of which include Forum and Kinfolk.  

The Forum is a Sunday School class for those who would not otherwise attend Sunday School. The class is most often a led-conversation among its mixed participants on topics encountered in current life which is woven in theological and secular insights. The goals of the class include:

  • Empowering individuals to strengthen their spiritual gifts.
  • Extending care to those in need. 
  • Welcoming and discussing new ideas in a safe setting. 

Kinfolk is our Young Adult Ministry led by Jon Tschanz. Recently Kinfolk shifted from a traditional weekly meeting model to one that fully embraces all aspects of life. This model consists of 3 elements:

  • Large, corporate settings that rotate through events shaped by action: Eat. Worship. Serve. Play.
  • Small, intimate settings that include relational groups and non-traditional meet-ups. For example: Pub Night (Thursday nights).  
  • Leadership development through an innovation lab that encourages members to understand personal calling and individual gifts. Through this development component, members are able to cultivate ministries and creative experiences that use their backgrounds, skills, and gifts to create new ways to engage others within their faith journeys. 

Now, flashback to the night of November 6, 2017. Forum and Kinfolk met together for a time of food, family, and fellowship at Bill and Beth Neidlinger’s for a joint family dinner. “This is the second year we’ve held a joint dinner. There were around 40 people – half from Forum and half from Kinfolk” says Jon. Bill is known for saying ‘Get into the kitchen!’ Dinner and conversation are great ways to build relationships and community. “We challenged the group to eat with someone they didn’t already know from the other group” he continues. A family dinner – it really is as simple as that.  

With Anticipation and Excitement

In Pastor David’s Legacy series, he paved the way for the new church vision the Leadership Team has been developing over the past year. As we anticipate and eagerly wait for this new launch, we are afforded the time to prepare our hearts for embracing this concept of a vibrant family. In Andy Stanley’s book Visioneering, he states, “It is interesting that Nehemiah never prayed for God to rebuild the wall. What he prays for is an opportunity to go rebuild it himself. That is the difference between a dreamer and a visionary. Dreamers dream about things being different. Visionaries envision themselves making a difference. Dreamers think about how nice it would be for something to be done. Visionaries look for an opportunity to do something” (2016, p. 34).  

As we look forward to January and the launch of the new church vision, several of our staff members had to opportunity to attend the Deep & Wide Tour discussing: 

  • Aligning church mission. 
  • Catalysts to faith.
  • Approaching the next generation.

“The conference challenged our definition of discipleship and really pushed me to discern the mission of the church” says Andrea Levreault, Assistant Director for Student Ministries.  

Embracing the Vision: Sharing God’s Word in the Nursery!

Sharing God’s Word in the Nursery!

Children’s ministry is a critical way that we at FUMCWP reach families and the younger generation. You may not have realized that—even before Noah’s Ark and Promiseland begin—our kids are learning of the Bible and God’s work at a young age in the Nursery. “The Nursery too is a learning place, a place where the Word of God is written on the hearts of our little ones through both word and song,” says Dawn Peterson, Nursery/Noah’s Ark Supervisor. 

Foundations of Discipleship

During the Contemporary Service on Sunday mornings, our 2-3 years olds engage with a Bible study that exposes them to the love of God. This Fall our little ones studied David. In particular, they learned of the story of David and how “God can help me.” 

  • God can help me anywhere. 
  • God can help me do anything. 
  • God can help me do hard things.
  • God can help me help others.
  • We can praise God because He helps us.

From a developmental standpoint, starting this type of discipleship at a young age exposes the children to a setting of learning, helps to build a routine within their lives, and prepares them for entering into the Noah’s Ark program. Dawn continues, “We are excited to have lively and hands-on Nursery workers who have a real passion for sharing discipleship with our children.”

Serving Other Ministries

The Nursery is a unique ministry. In addition to the learning the occurs during the Sunday service, the Nursery provides childcare on weeknights and for special events so that our other ministries may thrive. As adults are serving the church through various avenues—whether it’s an adult morning ministry, during Wednesday Night Live, or in leadership classes, etc.,—the nursery allows for focused work in these other initiatives, knowing their children are being lovingly cared for.  

Using Technology to Ease the Transition

As we work to expand the Nursery ministry, one of the recent updates includes an electronic check-in system. Moving away from the physical sign-in sheets, we now offer a security system that allows for mobile check-ins through a phone or iPad. The benefit to our little ones here is the ease of transition into the Nursery setting. No longer are there lines and wait times and this reduces the anxiety these 2-3 year olds have. Logistically speaking, parents are provided a security code through the mobile check-in and a label is placed on the back of the child. “This is just one example of the intentionality we have within the Nursery ministry to provide a safe, loving place to begin sharing the Word of God,” says Dawn.

Embracing the Vision: Fall Is Here!

Fall is here!

 As the leaves begin to turn and the mornings become a bit more crisp we, at First United Methodist Church of Winter Park, are blessed to experience fall across our campuses. 

Our vibrant family hosted a few events where we had to opportunity to connect in community in the midst of autumn. These on-campus events included: The Trinity Christian Academy (TCA) Pumpkin Patch and The Methodist School for Early Education (MSEE) Fall Festival and Silent Auction!  

Did you visit the Pumpkin Patch? 

The front lawn at TCA transformed October 14-31, 2017 to a field of pumpkins and gourds, welcoming the local community to enjoy the outdoor weather and spirit of the season. From bounce houses to baked goods – and of course pumpkins – the proceeds benefit TCA as we strive to provide a safe, Christian caring place for children to learn and grow. Whether you saw the Pumpkin Patch signs that lined South Street, journeyed to TCA because of annual tradition, or visited the TCA Pumpkin Patch for the first time – we appreciate your support as we continue to broaden our children’s ministry. “The Pumpkin Patch is not just a way to raise support for TCA but it is a venue for creating family memories. We are excited to be part of the lives of our families as they stop by to select the pumpkins families decorate their homes with, carve for fall festivities, and use to welcome the season of Thanksgiving. The precious fall experiences made during these years in a child’s live stay with families as memories” says Stacie Wilson, Early Childhood Director at TCA.

Another Fall Festival Success

The annual Fall Festival and Silent Auction took place Saturday October 21, 2017 on the MSEE campus. This year the Fall Festival fell on the same day as the Panua 5K Race in Baldwin Park. “We felt the community of the church as many folks came over after the Panua 5K and carried the fellowship from one ministry to the next” says Rosemary Ubinger, Director of MSEE. All the preparation and 6-months of passionate planning came to fruition with in the warmth from the sun on Saturday afternoon as our campus welcomed visitors and supporters alike. A few of this year’s highlights include: 

  • A performance from Studio 150 and an interactive class in afternoon.  
  • The front lawn showcasing the petting zoo – ducks, goats, donkeys, and more.  

“This festival is a way we are able to welcome the Winter Park community, current families within the school, and our alumni. Through this event, we have an opportunity to reconnect with members of the community who may not be a part of the daily life at MSEE,” says Rosemary.  

Silent Auction in Review

The Silent Auction followed the Fall Festival. In addition to over 300+ traditional auction items such as vacation, entertainment, dining, toys, etc. we benefited from a series of Gifts from the Heart. Some of these unique items that were up for auction: 

  • A Dynamic Storytime with Pastor David.  
  • An Interactive Nativity Experience with Pastor Jayne during the holiday season. 
  • A Creative Dinner from the hands of Randy Parsons, Director of Hospitality.  

One of the advanced features of this year’s auction was the ability for mobile bidding. Those interested in supporting MSEE were no longer limited to being on site during the event. “We were able to engage out-of-state family members and supporters who moved from the Winter Park area. I’m excited to see how this technology will continue to grow the reach of MSEE,” says Rosemary.