Last Sunday, our Green Team had a table in the courtyard to celebrate Earth Day. To follow up, this ministry will be sharing Green Tips so that we can all be better stewards of the environment.
Eco-Friendly Green Tip for Gardeners
Using pesticides and weed killers may be the easiest and most obvious way to keep your garden under control, however, these harsh chemicals can cause substantial damage to the environment. In addition, these chemicals pose a danger to our wildlife and insects such as butterflies, hummingbirds and bees. Here are a few alternatives to the harsh chemicals:
- Apply natural fertilizers, such as your own garden compost, to help your plants grow vigorously and therefore more resistant to pests and parasites. Winter Park offers free backyard composters for residents.
- Use plants that have been specifically bred to be resistant to common diseases and problems.
- Remove weeds by hand rather than dousing them with weed killers.
- Plant your garden densely, which makes it harder for weeds to get a foothold in your soil.
Living into the Vision: A Dinner Event
Last Sunday, our church family gathered together off-sight for our Living into the Vision: A Dinner Event. It was a time of fellowship and community focused on dialogue regarding key opportunities for our church in the coming year.
Pastor David shared with our church family that, “Last year, I met with several hundred church members in home groups, 15 to 20 at a time. During those gatherings, I shared some of the challenges I believed we were facing as a church. And I listened to feedback.” Read more of his remarks from this impactful event regarding the four key opportunities our church is facing this year.
During the event, our time focused on the importance of unity within our vibrant family. Let us continue to direct our hearts towards unity by sharing a common prayer together:
We are grateful for this community with such a diversity of gifts and stories that make us who we are.
Keep our focus on the mission to make disciples of all people. Guide our hearts as we worship together, strengthen our relationships, and fortify our devotion to Christ-like service as a church family.
Allow us to embody unity as we move together to participate in God’s kingdom.
Remind us, God, that we are each a needed member of this church family and that we have an individual responsibility to respond to the calling you have placed in our lives.
Let us sense your grace and presence as we face the future together as a vibrant family.
Opportunities Ahead of our Vibrant Family
Further, the event continued to direct our hearts and minds towards our vision of being a vibrant family built on God’s grace, who share a passion for the Word of God, living and serving in the image of Jesus the Christ. Each of our pillars is facing specific opportunities this year. Learn more about each below:
- Christ-like Servants: We pray to strengthen our tangible example of and commitment to Christ-like service. Through the Foundry Orlando, help us live into the kingdom of God in the Orlando community.
- Click here for more information on The Foundry Orlando.
- Gracious Hosts: We pray to grow in community together and strengthen our family ministry as we support the spiritual, educational, physical and emotional growth of our whole church family.
- Click here for our Family Director update.
- Passionate Seekers: We pray to be encouraged as we seek a mature faith. Guide our church family’s movement into intentional connect groups to enrich discipleship.
- Click here to learn more about Connect Groups.
- Vibrant Family: We pray for guidance as we include, equip, care for, and support all members of our vibrant family. We pray for unity and peace for the future of our local 42,000+ congregations within our global denomination.
- Click here information on our response to The Way Forward.
As we continue to live into our new vision launched this January, we understand that strengthened communication and collaboration across our church family is critical. Our new structure with the pillars and long-range planning goals are helping us achieve those goals.
Over the past several months, we have made several shifts and enhancements to our communication as a church family. Many of these changes involved behind-the-scenes processes, parameters, guidelines, etc. However, we want to share a few of the more visible updates:
- Our Thursday at Three newsletter continues to be a tool for our church family to learn of the work that God is doing here at FUMCWP. This newsletter shares updates from pillars and ministries – but also sheds light into some of the strategic shifts and movements of our church family. Make sure to subscribe here.
- We have developed a Marketing and Communications lay team that is actively involved in the communications needs of each of our ministries. With over 30 ministries and administrative teams, empowering our lay leaders to use the communications talents and gifts that God has given them is just one of the ways we are strengthening the communications work of this church. If you are interested in becoming a Communications Ambassador and joining our lay team, please email Sarah Skidmore, Director of Marketing and Communications, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- You may have noticed the screen in the gym lobby. We are putting more of those screens up around our campus to keep everyone up to date on church happenings and relevant information. Look for more screens to be on campus this summer!
We have several more exciting communications updates coming this summer and fall through the work of the Marketing and Communications Lay Team (aka The Coalition for Marketing and Communications). Our efforts are strategically directed towards living into our vision and aiding all our ministries, leadership, and laity in embracing this new vision for our church.
RESOLVING CONFLICT RESOURCE GUIDE
Our Church Family:
- Share your prayer concerns at fumcwp.org/prayer.
- Join the prayer group Gathered In His Name. This group meets the 1st and 3rd Thursdays of the month in the Marcy Chapel at 8:15am.
- Join a Connect Group to grow in greater community and relationship with people in our church family! Click here to get connected.
RESOLVING CONFLICT SERMON NOTES
Week 1: Understanding Shalom and Peace
- Jesus welcomes us and our stories in all of our mess and brokenness so that we may look at others as valued human beings whom God loves. In this truth we find a heart of peace.
- What are some ways in which you have treated someone as an object (an issue, an agenda, a particular viewpoint, sin, etc.)? How can you move to be a peacemaker by welcoming them in the fullness of their story? What does it look like to move from trying to be right to becoming a peacemaker in your life?
Week 2: Recognizing a Heart of War
- When we choose to see others as objects, conflict rises in our own hearts. A heart of war is created. We bring our own agenda to the situation, which makes it easy to move from misidentifying another’s issues to justifying our assumptions of them.
- How do you change the context of the conversation from accusatory to supportive? How do you recognize when you are either vilifying or honoring others?
Week 3: Moving to a Heart of Peace
- When we have conflicts in our relationships, defensive reactions come to the surface that act as barriers to moving us forward. This creates in us an immediate response of a heart at war. This is the way of the world. As Christians, we are called to another response in our relationships – a heart of peace, that allows the flow of God’s grace in surprising ways to bring understanding and unity.
- Is my motivation Christ-like in bringing understanding or is my motivation to be right? How can I step away from the conflict and view it in a different, more Godly light?
Week 4: Becoming an Agent of Peace
- We perpetuate conflict when we look at external circumstances, instead of naming our own inner turmoil. We all have passions, beliefs and needs. They can be a uniting force, by encouraging us to look for our similarities instead of letting them divide us.
- How do I choose to love my neighbor as myself? How do I embrace unity, and not uniformity?
Again, we celebrated this past Sunday as we confirmed nearly 50 students in faith! Some were in high school, some were new to our church, and some were sixth graders who were baptized and raised in this church.
This service was a culminating worship service, in celebration of the work God has done in the lives of these confirmands since our program started in January. Student and adult mentors gave up time and received from their investment valuable stories of lives changed and pointed towards Christ.
These groups served together and had fun together. In serving together, they saw what it means to walk in the life of Christian discipleship they claimed for their own on confirmation Sunday.
This Confirmation Sunday is another mile marker of the church’s fulfillment of the baptismal vows we made as a church. We walk with these students through their childhood up to this point. We, as a church family, support them as they color in the lines of their faith, making it their own. In confirmation, we now see what these young men and women will do with this faith. In hearing their stories and seeing their devotion to Jesus, we are blessed for what is to come!
Please continue to pray for our confirmands.
Celebrating the Risen Lord
We recognize that we are a vibrant family built on God’s grace here at First UMC of Winter Park. As gracious hosts, we understand that we are to pursue intentional relationships with all people, knowing that everyone is at a different point in their faith journey.
Earlier this month we celebrated the Risen Lord throughout our Holy Week services. In addition to the Holy Thursday and Good Friday services, our campus held 5 Easter morning services. Pastor David and Pastor Jayne led our congregations Easter about the Powerless & Victorious nature of our Savior. Listen to both Pastor David and Pastor Jayne’s sermons here as a reminder that He is Risen!
With over 2500 worshippers in attendance Easter Sunday, we are grateful for the hospitality of our church family. We know it takes the service of many workers to prepare our campus for Holy Week. Thank you to all who provided flowers and served in a variety of capacities!
Family Ministry: Important Announcement
We are excited to announce a new approach to the discipling of the Children of First UMC Winter park, called Family Ministry. Family Ministry is a church-wide strategic plan to help families launch their children into a lifetime of Christian Discipleship. This plan includes the spiritual, educational, physical, and emotional growth and engagement of children, youth, and their parents. We will provide this support through the following areas:
- Provide support to children, youth and their families as they transition through both development and spiritual milestones of preschool, elementary, middle and high school students.
- Develop strategies for each ministry to welcome and support new families to the Family Ministry by partnering with our weekday preschool, new membership, and new parents through activities and communication.
- Connect families to the greater church body through intergenerational worship, youth, and young adult ministries.
- Create opportunities for the enrichment of parents as the spiritual leaders of their homes through serving events, parenting classes and seminars, and connections at spiritual milestones.
To accomplish these tasks, we are launching a search for the Director of Family Ministry. Please be praying that we find the right person to lead us in this new exciting direction. Click here for more information about this position.
We thank you for your prayers and support.
– Rev. Jayne Rideout