As we leave the Easter season, I often find myself contemplating salvation and God’s unfathomable love. Several years ago, a gentleman who said he had a question for me visited me at home while I was walking our dog. I thought he was selling something as I observed him go from house to house in the cul-de-sac. I tried to encourage our dog to hurry up, but he was uncooperative. So I braced myself for a sales pitch. Instead I was asked the following, “Are you saved?” This is a profound and important question, which we should struggle with. I struggled with my response for many weeks after this visit, and I continue to struggle with this question still today. My struggle is not because I do not know or not place my faith in Jesus. My struggle has to do with the finality of the word saved.
“Saved” sounds like something that happened in the past. There is good reason for this: Jesus’ salvific birth, life, death, and resurrection happened one time for all people throughout time. In this sense, I understand the word “saved,” and yet I am still troubled. I believe my trouble comes from the idea that “saved” might imply that God is done with me as if I have reached some plateau and all is well with the world and me. My experience tells me something very different. So, I prefer to think that Jesus’ sacrifice opened the door for salvation and that I, through God’s grace and my faith, have walked into that house. This, however, is a monumental house. This is not a finish line, but an invitation. God is not done with me yet. This place is a home for growing and changing. This growth and change occurs through relationships with the new family I have found in this home. We pray together, eat together, serve together, and even die to our old ways together. God is here, too. In fact, when we are together, it is God who greets us and leads us.
The gentleman’s question remains, “Are you saved?” My answer is that by the grace of God found through relationship with Him and others I am being saved. Every day is a new opportunity to grow closer to God and those He has called us serve. Every day is a new opportunity to become more like Jesus who by His great love opened a door for all to be saved, if we will only take that step inside. By the grace of God, I hope to see myself growing in love while trusting in Jesus’ love. I pray that I am attentive to the ways God continues to save and transform us. Salvation is not just a one-time event, it is an ongoing transformative relationship with the God who continues to invite all into this new home. We are saved from perpetual separation from God and saved for union with God in His kingdom.
So the question we all should be asking ourselves as we prepare to celebrate the Resurrection is, “Are we responding to the God who longs to save us?”
May we answer God’s salvific call and forever respond to the grace that is transforming the world. Amen.
God is not done with us yet!
Rev. Jimmy Hendricks, firstname.lastname@example.org
On March 13, 24 UMW members and one visitor met and opened their meeting with the group reciting the UMW Purpose and Mission Statement. The devotion “Too Much to Handle?” was led by Connie Fisher. The devotion reminded us that the next time we have too much to handle, all we need to do is call on Jesus: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13) Connie also led us in prayer.
Susan Smithburg recommended two books in our Reading Program that were very interesting: Hope Runs in the Education for Mission category and The Same Sky is in the Nurturing for Community category.
The upcoming Buttercup Festival is April 13, and we have been asked again to have a Sweet Shop. Marcia Woodcock, Farron, Light and Joyce Patton volunteered to lead the Sweet Shop. If anyone would like to bake or contribute individually wrapped items to the bake sale, see one of these ladies.
A fantastic program on hymns was presented by our own choir director, Sandy Murray. Her knowledge and expertise on music is incredible. She taught us many things that most of us did not even know were in our own church hymnals. Did you know Miriam sings the very first hymn in the Bible? Sandy played the keyboard while we sang songs. In unison, we read the closing prayer titled “An Evening Prayer” that was in the Cokesbury Hymnal.
Our hostess, Susan Smithburg, provided a delicious luncheon, and Marcia Woodcock brought a birthday cake to celebrate the 150th anniversary of United Methodist Women.
Our next meeting will be Wednesday, April 10, at 10:30am in the Fellowship Hall with Tressa Tuck and Barbara Belden as hostesses.
Respectfully submitted, Karen Hoffmeister, Secretary
Please join us on April 14 at 9:30am for Second Sunday Breakfast. Bring a favorite breakfast dish to share and come and fellowship between the services with church family from the other service!
The Journey Sunday School Class is responsible for set-up, drinks, and clean-up on April 14. Please remember that the class responsible for Second Sunday Breakfast is also requested to provide cookies, donuts, or other snacks for all other Sundays of the month. In May, the Fellowship Class will host.
Please put all food away after fellowship on ALL Sundays. We are called to be fishers of men, not of mice and ants! This class is also responsible for returning the Fellowship Hall to “Sunday Setting” after breakfast. Diagrams are posted on the kitchen doors.
On Friday, April 26, the Young Hearts will meet at the church at 10am and then will travel to the free Tennessee State Museum. After touring the museum we will lunch at the Germantown Café. If you would like to join us, please contact Carole & John Colebank at 615-776-2340 by Monday, April 22.
Dear Nolensville First United Methodist Church,
The Kroger Co. Family of Stores is committed to bringing hope and help to the local neighborhoods we call home. Our stores are on a mission not to be just part of, but to help create a stronger community. We recognize that every community has unique causes that need support. Thank you for being such an important organization in our community.
From December 2018 through February 2019, eighteen households contributed $68.40 to NFUMC. If you would also like to have Kroger give to the church every time you shop there, visit www.Kroger.com/CommunityRewards and link your Kroger Card with Nolensville First UMC (account number YY167).
~Community Rewards Staff
Our United Methodist Women are serving through giving to GraceWorks Ministries. Each month they are concentrating on a particular need of GraceWorks, and they encourage the entire congregation to help. In April, they are collecting laundry detergent, and every month they are collecting the following items for the Fuel Bag program: peanut butter crackers, fruit snacks, cereal bars, granola bars, fruit cups, and pudding cups. Items can be left in the GraceWorks bin in the breezeway or in the basket in the foyer. Thank you!
Beginning Tai Chi classes meet Tuesdays at 1:30pm. Tai Chi for Arthritis classes meet Fridays at 1pm, except for April 19 and 26. You are welcome to attend the Beginning classes on those weeks. New or returning students please call Joyce Powers at 615-776-8570.
On Friday, April 12, at 6pm, Light Brights (fourth and fifth grades) are invited to the Martins’ house for an exciting egg hunt and potluck dinner. Dress for outdoor play with closed-toe shoes. Bring a flashlight and a favorite dessert or side to share. Main dish and drinks will be provided. Parents are welcome too! RSVP to Christina at email@example.com.
On April 14, join us for blended worship at 8:30am and traditional worship at 10:45am. Palm Sunday commemorates the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem and begins the series of observances that focus on the events of Holy Week. All children are encouraged to participate in our palm parade at the beginning of each worship service.
Watoto, an NGO in Uganda, East Africa, brings you the Watoto Children’s Choir performing their brand new album, “We Will Go,” at Nolensville First UMC on Sunday, April 14, at 6pm. The six-month tour, launching in the USA on the East Coast, presents the story of abandoned African children and vulnerable women, who have been empowered to rise above their circumstances and answer the call to be part of the new Africa — ready to make a difference in the world.
Watoto Children’s Choirs have traveled extensively since 1994, sharing a message of hope for Africa’s most vulnerable children and women. On almost every day of the year, the choir is performing somewhere in the world. Hundreds of thousands of people get to meet some of Africa’s future leaders. People see their smiles and are embraced by their hugs. The children have the distinct privilege of telling people, “It is possible to have joy, to laugh and to have hope, no matter what you are going through.”
Like Africa, the production is vibrant and colorful, taking you on an emotional journey from utter despair to joyous celebration, as the children and women share their personal stories of triumph in story and song. Other than coming to Africa yourself, what better way to learn about all the good things happening in Uganda than through this stirring, musical experience.
Proceeds made from the album will help Watoto provide vulnerable children and women with homes, education, medical care, and most of all the love of a family.
Watoto is a family made up of people from all over the world who are working together to ensure that the forgotten have a place to belong. In a time of civil war, we planted a local church in Kampala, Uganda to speak hope and life to the nation. Since then, we have placed thousands of orphans in families, empowered thousands of vulnerable women to reach their communities, rescued babies and former child soldiers, and sent children’s choirs across six continents.
As we work alongside the most vulnerable in our society, our aim is to rescue individuals and raise each one as a leader in his or her sphere of life so that, in turn, they will rebuild the nation. In over 35 years, the challenges facing Africa have changed, but our vision remains the same. And, in all of this, Watoto is committed to celebrating Christ and caring for community.
Please donate individually wrapped candy or prizes for the children’s egg hunt on April 20. You can leave the donations on Christina’s desk by April 14. Thank you for supporting NFUMC Kids!
On April 18, join us for blended worship with Holy Communion at 7pm. Maundy Thursday occurs during Holy Week to commemorate the last supper Jesus shared with His disciples. When Jesus washed the disciples’ feet, He displayed what it means to be a servant. In response to Jesus’ actions, we are called to love one another in the simple ways He showed. We will worship with songs that stir us to answer the call to serve, to share communion at the Lord’s table, and to recall Jesus’ example of humility.
On April 19, join us for Stations of the Cross in the Fellowship Hall at 6pm, and then a traditional Tenebrae service in the Sanctuary at 7pm. Stations of the cross will also be available after the Tenebrae service in the Fellowship Hall.
On Good Friday, we remember the greatness of God’s love. Stations of the Cross invite participants to reflect and pray as they walk the path of Jesus in the last hours before His crucifixion and burial. This thought provoking form of worship encourages each individual to pray and mediate through the grief and shame that occurred during the crucifixion of Christ. The word tenebrae is Latin for “darkness.” As we worship together, gradual extinguishing of candles and lights following the reading of Scripture passages reminds us of these most holy and darkest of hours. The service focuses on the passion and death of Jesus.
On April 20, join us for a church-wide potluck dinner & children's egg hunt at 6pm and then a Resurrection Celebration featuring the Praise Band at 7pm. All ages are welcome to attend the potluck for fellowship before the Resurrection Celebration. Please bring a covered dish to share (the church will provide drinks) and baskets for children up to third grade. Kids, stop by the glow zone to accessorize before the Resurrection Celebration!
Our Saturday night Resurrection Celebration is an additional Easter worship service. This opportunity to joyously celebrate Easter will feature our NFUMC Praise Band. Our hope is to inspire you to worship in a new and active way! Worshiping on Saturday night, at an hour and place different than we normally do, offers a sense that something unexpected has happened. Where there appeared to be no hope, there is now hope. Where there was death, there is now resurrection!
On April 21 we will have a blended worship celebration with Holy Communion at 8:30am and a traditional worship celebration with Holy Communion at 10:45am.
Easter is the most joyous season of the Christian year!
We celebrate the good news that, in Christ’s death and resurrection, we and all creation are continually being made new by God’s love and saving grace.
Wed - Apr 3 - Youth@Midweek 5-7pm
Sun - Apr 7 - Cake Auction Planning Meeting 12pm
Wed - Apr 10 - Youth@Midweek 5-7pm
Wed - Apr 17 - Youth@Midweek 5-7pm
Wed - Apr 24 - Youth@Midweek 5-7pm
Sun - Apr 28 - Youth@514 5-7pm
Summer Mission Trip: Collide - This summer, we are heading back to Collide in Memphis, Tennessee, for a week-long mission experience. Collide is a unique week for youth and adults to enter into theological discovery, discussion, and reflection. By immersing participants in experiences outside of their everyday context, Collide helps move youth and adults towards a more robust faith and better understanding of God, themselves, and others. All youth that are currently in sixth through twelfth grade are invited. Registration forms and a $50 deposit are due NOW. Students planning to attend MUST attend the Annual NFUMC Youth Cake Auction on May 5.
Cake Auction - Mark your calendars for the Annual NFUMC Youth Cake Auction! This lunch will take place on Sunday, May 5, 12-2pm and money raised will go towards our summer mission trip to Memphis! Stay tuned for more info!
Youth@514 - Sundays 5-7pm - Join us for a time focused on growing together in our faith through food, games, worship, a lesson, and small group discussions.
Youth@Midweek - Wednesdays 5-7pm - Join us for a time of food, fun, and fellowship. This time is laid back and you are welcome to bring homework and friends! We will always begin our time with dinner and end with a short devotion.
Peace, Meggie McDowell, Youth Director, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Dot Arnold Scholarship (DAS) Fund at Nolensville First United Methodist Church was set up to honor Dot Arnold. For many years, Granny Dot, as she is called, served as a member of the choir, as organist, pianist, and choir director at our church. Granny Dot has been involved in the music ministry for more than fifty years. The DAS was originally established more than ten years ago. Since that time, the music ministry at Nolensville First UMC has been greatly expanded, and much of that expansion is based on the solid foundation of music ministry generated by Granny Dot. The DAS is funded through direct donations and through the fundraising efforts of the music ministry program of Nolensville First UMC. We anticipate the ability to fund one or more initial scholarships, and several renewal scholarships, each year in the amount of $500 each. More information and applications for the scholarship are at www.WeLoveWhereWeLive.org/Resources. Applications and supporting documents are due May 15.
4/2 Celia Leech; 4/5 Jackie McGhee; 4/8 Scott Lindsey; 4/9 Ken Cunningham; 4/10 Archie Z; 4/11 Hannah Maynard; 4/12 Morris Skinner, Beckett E, Thorin V; 4/13 Kim Jones; 4/15 Abby H; 4/16 Karen Hoffmeister, Carol Matlock; 4/17 Zannie Martin; 4/19 Steve Milne; 4/20 Jimmy Murphy; 4/21 Kevin Gavin, Laura Shelton; 4/24 Lauren B; 4/26 Nancy D; 4/27 Jan Jones, Jamie Stitt, Dawson Murphy; 4/28 Melissa Thomas, Jeremy W; 4/29 Betty Reaves; 4/30 Carol M
4/16 Mary Beth & Kenneth Moore (36); and a very special congratulations to Barbara & Jason Fohr on their 25th wedding anniversary on April 23, and to Carolyn & Morris Skinner on their 60th wedding anniversary on April 10!
Ed Martin November 5, 1941 - March 24, 2019
Fred Jeffries February 3, 1939 - April 1, 2019
The work of the Church Council of Stewards is to envision, plan, implement, and annually evaluate Nolensville First UMC’s ministry and mission. Please join us on Tuesday, April 23, at 7pm in the Fellowship Hall.
As of April 1, the new ceiling boards are being installed over the old ceiling. The chandeliers have been cleaned and restored. New side lighting is in place and sound fixtures are ready to install. Since the Sanctuary is currently a construction zone, and for your safety, please resist the urge to check in on the progress.
Estimated total cost: $35,000; Received as of March 24: $7,351.73
YTD Income $ 72,945.88
YTD Expense $ 57,709.11
Difference $ 15,236.77
Budgeted YTD Income $ 66,710.77
Budgeted YTD Expense $ 66,168.55
Difference $ 542.22
Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another as God in Christ forgave you. (Ephesians 4:32)
Church Council of Stewards:
April 23, 7pm
June 18, 7pm
August 20, 7pm
October 15, 7pm
December 17, 7pm
Board of Trustees:
April 2, 7pm
May 7, 7pm
June 4, 7pm
July 2, 7pm
August 6, 7pm
September 3, 7pm
October 1, 7pm
November 5, 7pm
December 7, 7pm