We had another amazing Thanksgiving Food Drive this year! Thank you to everyone who donated food – we delivered more than 200 meals to Reeves Terrace and Winter Park High School so that families in need can have a Thanksgiving turkey with all the fixins!
Last Sunday in worship our Finance Committee Vice-chairman, Rusty Payne, spoke to us about our 2020 Stewardship Initiative. Below is part of his speech.
What does your church mean to you?
I can honestly say I believe the church is the body of Christ in the world today. Its mission is to make Disciples of Christ. I’m a member of First United Methodist Church of Winter Park and I have been attending here for 10 years.
I’m blessed to have two daughters and a lovely wife. This church provides leadership opportunities based upon your spiritual strengths. My wife, Melissa, serves as the chair of Leadership Council and I am the Vice-Chair of the Finance Committee. I also have the opportunity to provide mentorship to youth as a small group leader in Elevate. My Connect Group is the Cornerstone Sunday School Class, which provides opportunities for relationship building through study and prayer. I see my oldest daughter, Caroline, developing knowledge about Christ through her involvement with the Impact Singers, Acolytes, Bodybuilders and Elevate. My youngest daughter, Emily, enjoys learning stories of the Bible in Promiseland. As a family, we attend the 11 o’clock service and sponsor a member of Inua.
As you can see, this church enriches our lives and I can see how we are developing in our walk with Christ. We pledge because this is so important to us. Today, this is what the church means to me. One thing that I have learned is the church is > ME. There are so many more ministries that the church has to offer. As a family, we have submitted our pledge to the church so plans can be made for the ministries in the coming year.
On the night of October 4th, FUMCWP’s Diversity Committee and Cinnabar, a film series program and young millennium ministry, co-hosted 25 Central Floridians at the Cornell Fine Arts Museum for an evening of documentary and storytelling. The Vibrant Family pillar’s mission promotes discipleship, learning, and multigenerational connections. Diversity Committee’s mission is to listen deeply to all points of view and develop relationships towards candor and authenticity. The documentary film, Shelter, featured a series of gripping stories of homeless youth in New Orleans. A panel discussion was also held with directors from Covenant House and Foundry’s ministry partner, Foundation for Foster Children, as well as Serenity, a 23-year-old transgender woman, who experienced homelessness. These speakers all shared transformational stories from those who are often invisible to us.
“You have no idea what it’s like to look around and know everyone is getting paid to be there.” – Raquel
Raquel shared this powerful quote from one of her beloved foster young people. She noted that it’s challenging for abandoned children to trust again, especially when their families of origin were unable to show up and model unconditional love. Youth, who were traumatized, often fall prey to short-sighted “survivor” mindsets. That’s why it’s so important to encourage young people to find what they’re most passionate about in order to ignite their “spark of fulfillment.” These are important steps to healing and wellbeing. Looking at our own interior lives, we may want to ask ourselves how our life passions might compel us to walk alongside vulnerable youth in hopes of empowering them. What are the roads to recovery for us all?
Cinnabar’s next event will be a narrative film screening and circle-up discussion on the night of November 13th (6:30-9:30pm). For more information, send David Witwer an email at [email protected]. We would love to have you!
In the past month, we have had two amazing retreats for our middle and high schoolers! It is always amazing to watch our students set aside time to grow closer to God and to each other. We are so blessed to be able to go on this journey with them!
“The high school retreat is not only tons of fun and laughs, but it’s a chance for connection with God and each other.” – Meredith R.
“I LOVE the mystery retreat! I struggle with anxiety a ton and the first time I went on the retreat I was super nervous. One of my favorite LeBlanc quotes is “participate don’t anticipate” and I think that is a great ideal to live by. The four great times I’ve been on this retreat have immensely help me cope with my anxiety by teaching me to not worry about the future because it doesn’t matter that you don’t know where you’re going, God knows where you’ll end up.” – Lucy B.
“The high school retreat was a great experience. I grew in my faith and made memories with my friends.” – Griffin A.