We will soon be entering the season of Lent. Lent is a special season in the life of the Church in which we prepare for Easter. It has become a time of reflection and evaluation in our Methodist tradition, and so I have been thinking deeply about what this life of discipleship to Jesus Christ means. I cannot help it. It happens to me every year. I engage in deep reflection upon my life and our lives together. I think about the ways I have failed to live into my discipleship and reflect upon how I might become more devoted.
Sounds like fun doesn’t it! No? Well, maybe not the way I do it, but Lent is not just about us as individuals. Lent is about us, the Church, and about our neighbors. We begin Lent each year with Ash Wednesday services. This traditional worship service calls us to begin preparing ourselves for Easter, and we are symbolically marked with ashes as symbol of our mourning. We are mourning how our sin leads directly to the cross and what Jesus endured for the world. The Good News is that this mourning ends in laughter and joy on Easter morning, as we remember that God has conquered death. The funny thing about Ash Wednesday is that I have always participated in this service at night. Secretly, I believe it is so our ashes will be gone by morning and we will not stand out in a crowd.
A friend of mine who works with the homeless population in Nashville learned a valuable lesson about these ashes. She was working at a shelter on a Wednesday morning in February, and a mother and daughter came through the food line. My friend, who has a large heart and feels deeply for the suffering of others, noticed how dirty the little girls face was and she bent down with a wet rag to wipe her face. This little girl stopped her and explained that what she saw as dirt was in fact the mark of the cross in ashes that she had received earlier that day at church. My friend was so embarrassed because she had completely forgotten that it was Ash Wednesday. Her service was not until later that night. Seeing her embarrassment, this little girl reached up and wiped some of the smudge from her forehead and marked my friend.
In this embarrassing story, I believe we find the hope of the world. We should stand out in a crowd. We should stand out as the people who consider how we live and how it affects others. We should stand out as the people who will not stand by and watch injustice. We should stand out as the people who respond to the suffering of others. We should stand out as the people who love.
This year, Ash Wednesday falls on February 14, which you might recognize as Valentine’s Day. Perhaps this year is a unique time to consider love. This year, we will celebrate Ash Wednesday at night as usual, but I will also be in the Sanctuary the morning of February 14 for the imposition of ashes. The ashes are of course symbolic, but love is not. I pray that we all might stand out this year, even if it means we are embarrassed, because Easter is coming and love will conquer death.
Full of embarrassing hope,
Rev. Jimmy Hendricks
The United Methodist Men (UMM) will host the annual Chili Cook-Off on Saturday, February 3, 5:30-7pm in the Fellowship Hall. $5 per person allows you to taste and judge the chili. Prizes will be awarded for the Best All-Around Chili, Hottest Chili, Best Vegetarian Chili, and Best Decorated Table. Contact Wayne Dickey if you plan on bringing chili.
United Methodist Men
The mission of United Methodist Men (UMM) is to help men grow In Christ, so others may know Christ. We have about twelve men currently active in the Nolensville First UMC UMM. In 2017, the UMM raised over $3,800 from the Buttercup Festival, Chili Cook-Off, and Shrimp Boil. During the Buttercup Festival, the UMM had a bouncy area for kids to play free of charge. Of the money raised, we have spent $950 for LED lights for the parking lot. We spent over $300 to pressure wash, caulk, and paint the exterior walls in the parking lot. We donate drinks, snacks and fruit for the Nolensville Running Club’s annual race in June. We donated $500 to help sponsor Nolensville First UMC youth to go to summer camp. We have conducted various work days at the church to help fix minor repairs. Many of the UMM helped serve at the Ladies’ Christmas Tea in December. The UMM meets the second Saturday of every month at 8am for breakfast, study, and service. Please join us this month on February 10.
Second Sunday Breakfast
Please join us on February 11 at 9:30am for Second Sunday Breakfast. Bring a favorite breakfast dish to share and come fellowship between the services with church family from the other service!
The Good News Sunday School Class is responsible for set-up, drinks, and clean up on February 11. 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.
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.
United Methodist Women
Anyone interested in the Nolensville First UMW group is warmly welcomed. We meet in the Fellowship Hall every second Wednesday of the month at 10:30am. The next meeting will be February 14. Please join us!
Linguini & Love
It's back! Join us Sunday, February 18, at 5pm for a favorite NFUMC tradition — Linguini & Love Family Night. Cheer for your favorite couples as they compete in the newly (and not so newly) wed game. Enjoy a pasta dinner. Bring wedding pictures to share on our display table. You do not want to miss the great night of fun! $5 per person for pasta dinner ($20 max per family).
O Lord, my heart is not lifted up, my eyes are not raised too high; I do not occupy myself with things too great and too marvelous for me. But I have calmed and quieted my soul. (Psalm 131: 1-2a)
On Wednesday, February 14, Pastor Jimmy will be available in the Sanctuary between 6:30-8am to offer imposition of ashes and a short prayer in preparation for the season of Lent. In the evening at 7pm, there will be a worship service with prayer, singing, and imposition of ashes as we prepare for the season of Lent.
Children’s Praise will occur weekly before Sunday School for all kids K-5th grade. Our purpose is to teach scripture through music and songs! Parents, if your children are in the Fellowship Hall we will begin lining up at 9:40am to walk to the Sanctuary. Children’s Praise will be from 9:45-10am, and then we will travel to together to our grade level Sunday School classes.
There are numerous ways to plug into worship and music at Nolensville First UMC. Adults and youth who are interested in singing in the choir during the Lenten/Easter season are invited to come rehearse and fellowship with us on Wednesday evenings at 6:30pm in the choir room.
Instrumentalists are also invited! We are gearing up for a meaningful Holy Week filled with music to depict the stories of Jesus and His love for us. Contact Sandy if you would like to be a part of worship at Nolensville First UMC!
Sunday School Opportunity
The Journey Sunday School class will start the study “Enjoying Jesus,” which studies various practices and how they can bring us closer to Jesus. The practices that will be covered include confession, meditation, prayer, Sabbath, silence, service, and worship. Any adult is welcome to join us for this study during Lent. The Journey class meets in the first room on the left as you come in the back door to the Sanctuary.
Youth Events in February
Sun - Feb 4 - Parent Meeting (12pm)
Confirmation 8th grade & Up (3-4:30pm)
Tue - Feb 6 - Confirmation 6th & 7th grades (5-6:30pm)
Wed - Feb 7 - Youth@Midweek (5-7pm)
Fri-Sun - Feb 9-11 - Warmth in Winter
Tue - Feb 13 - Confirmation 6th & 7th grades (5-6:30pm)
Wed - Feb 14 - Youth@Midweek (5-7pm)
Ash Wednesday Service (7pm)
Sun - Feb 18 - Confirmation 8th grade & Up (3-4:30pm)
Linguini & Love Family Night (5pm)
Tue - Feb 20 - Confirmation 6th & 7th grades (5-6:30pm)
Wed - Feb 21 - Youth@Midweek (5-7PM)
Sun - Feb 25 - Confirmation 8th grade & Up (3-4:30pm)
Tue - Feb 27 - Confirmation 6th & 7th grades (5-6:30pm)
Wed - Feb 28 - Youth@Midweek (5-7pm)
YOUTH PARENT MEETING — ALL youth parents are encouraged to attend a brief parent meeting at 12pm on Sunday, February 4, in the Youth Area. We will go over the spring calendar and discuss summer mission trips!
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.
Ladies, please join us on February 9-10 for the IF:Gathering in Nolensville. We will gather in the Fellowship Hall with women from many other churches in our area to watch the live webcast of the IF:Gathering from Austin. The gathering is for women of all ages and you are welcome to come for any portion to which you are able throughout the weekend. We will study 2 Timothy, worship, and get to know other women who seek God. On Friday night, we will gather 5:30pm for a potluck dinner. Breakfast and lunch are provided on Saturday (8am-5pm). Please RSVP here. If you have any questions, contact Mary Beth Hagan, Nikki Ringenberg, Ginger Milne, Christina Clark, or Laurie Bostelman. We would love to talk with you about how this has impacted our faith walks.
From the SPPRC
We are pleased to announce that Christina Clark has been selected as our new Children’s Director. Christina and her family have been members of NFUMC for a little more than two years. Christina has been an educator and has a great deal of experience with children and young adults. We are excited to see how God uses Christina for His glory with our children. If you are interested in serving on the Children’s Council, an advisory team for Children’s Ministry, please talk to Christina. Join us in welcoming Christina in this role.
Church Council of Stewards
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, February 13, at 7pm in the Fellowship Hall to hear and discuss the ministries of our church in 2018.
Contribution statements for 2017 were emailed on January 25 to all households with a valid email address on file. If you have any questions, please contact Sharon at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jacob’s Ladder Board:
February 5, 6:30pm
May 7, 6:30pm
August 6, 6:30pm
November 5, 6:30pm
Board of Trustees:
February 6, 7pm
March 6, 7pm
April 3, 7pm
May 1, 7pm
June 5, 7pm
July 3, 7pm
August 7, 7pm
September 4, 7pm
October 2, 7pm
November 6, 7pm
December 4, 7pm
Budgeted 2017 Income $ 333,548.96
Budgeted 2017 Expense $ 395,819.08
Difference ($ 62,270.12)
Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another as God in Christ forgave you. (Ephesians 4:32)
2/2 Madeline T; 2/3 Fred Jeffries, Kathryn Kresse; 2/5 Jimmy Hendricks; 2/6 Dawn Reed; 2/9 Farron Light, Nancy Bedingfield, Mary Beth Moore; 2/12 Julia J; 2/14 Cindy McGarvey; 2/15 Diane Wisniewski; 2/18 Barbara Jeffries; 2/19 Lisa Thompson, Tonia Bush; 2/22 Matthew Overton, Jack M; 2/26 Susan McMillan; 2/27 Tom Baker, Matt Thompson, Matt C; 2/28 Don Hoffmeister; 2/29 Cate C
2/2 Chris & David Clore (38), Lisa & Wayne Dickey (27); 2/11 Kelley & Jordan Hunter (1)