The Outreach team and Westborough Veterans Advisory Board are sponsoring a community drive to provide care packages to a battalion of infantry troops primarily from Massachusetts that are stationed in the Middle East. Boxes with instruction sheets are now available in the church foyer. Please stop in anytime to take one. Thank you for your support of our troops. Click here to see the list of items suggested to pack in the boxes.
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For more happenings in our faith community, see our newsletter, the Messenger by clicking here.
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For information on our ASP Mission, please click here.
For more information on the practicing the christian faith in the United Methodist tradition, please click here.
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To visit the website of the Methodist Preschool, located in our building, please click here.
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Dear Friends, March 2018
Grace and peace. The First UMC Mission Team to Africa returned home on February 25th. It was an amazing week filled with many miracles. Wow! is the word to say for the awesome things God did through this mission. We give praise to God for us delivering over 1500 pounds of much needed medical and school supplies to Rwanda and the DRC (The Congo). We also hand delivered donations to support the Miti School and Church in the Congo. The school in the Miti village began with a $140 dollar donation 5 years ago. Just before Pastor Lwabimba crossed back over the border into the Congo the Holy Spirit moved me to give him whatever was in my pocket- it was $140. Pastor Lwambimba believed this money was a special gift from God and took it to the church leaders in Miti- brought it to the altar and prayed over it- trusting that God would bless it and direct them in spending it. After much prayer the Lord directed them to begin a school for all the children in the village- many of them orphans. Today the school has over 270 students that are eager to learn. We met them all this week and witnessed their smiling faces. Originally the school was called the John Taylor Tarp School- because it was literally orange tarps nailed to trees- but now it is appropriately named The AMY School- after Amy Neil; who is affectionately called Mama Amy by all the children at the school. Through your donations First UMC has been able to sustain this school and pay the teachers- many who have volunteered for months. It is truly a miracle. We will be sharing more and more about the mission because your support is vitally important. Many have sponsored a child in the lower grades for just $30 for a whole year- which includes some meals. For just $100 you can sponsor a child in the higher grades for a year. It was a joy for the 14 who represented First UMC in delivering the much needed supplies- and also TOYS! You will see in the photos at Miti the joy of all the kids receiving toys- all of them for the very first time in their lives! I preached on February 18th at the Miti Church the sermon- SEMA NYDIO KWA JESUS- in Swahili this means SAY YES TO JESUS. Say YES to receiving the greatest gift ever- the gift of Jesus and his saving grace.
We celebrate that we have received so much more than we have given- spiritual riches to share with all of you. We even visited and helped a pygmy village in the Congo where pastor Lwambimba introduced the Christian faith a few years ago. Now there is a pastor and a small church! So I say... thank you, thank you, thank you, for your generosity, love, prayers and support as so many lives have been transformed. There are so many beautiful photos about the First UMC mission to look at. You can see them by visiting our Africa Mission facebook at https://www.facebook.com/fumcinafrica/ or on pages 15/16 of this newsletter.
We will be sharing in more detail at church on March 18th and during an evening gathering on March 19 @ 7:00pm. Please know that every dollar you have given or will give goes directly to supporting our various missions in Rwanda and the Congo. 100% direct to those in need. Hand delivered. Thank you, thank you, thank you! Please share with others about this exciting mission and how they can be part of the miracle.
March is an exciting month- sort of like a bridge to Spring- with Holy Week beginning with Palm Sunday on March 25 and Easter being April 1st. Please plan to participate in all the Holy Week Services so your Easter celebration will be more meaningful. We will be having our annual Easter Sunrise Service at Tufts/Cummings School on RT 30 at the border of Westborough and Grafton at 6:30am. It is wonderful tradition as we stand in a field and worship our risen Lord who conquers death and sin. Easter being on April 1st- April Fools Day- is appropriate because the American Atheist Association always gathers on Easter to have their convention. Psalm 14:1 says…’The fool says in his heart, "There is no God." We also read from 1 Corinthians 1:18 ..For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. And we cannot forget the words of Jesus from Matthew 7:26 saying But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. So I invite you to not be a fool and trust in the power of the resurrection each and every day.
Being connected to other churches is vitally important to our faith community- for love and encouragement. Whether it is with the Jesus Life Center in Worcester or with the Miti Church and School in the Congo we help each other believe in the Good News of Jesus. While the mission team was in Africa the terrible school shooting in Parkland Florida happened. Our young people are facing a crisis that only faith and stricter gun laws can change. How can we live in a world where this happens? What are the root problems that lead to such hatred and violence. Let us continue to be people of faith and love and unite with other believers to transform the world. Each day let us say yes to Jesus our Risen Lord. I am always moved by the eternal Spring of Rwanda and the Congo where you can plant and grow year round and see such lush vegetation. It is in stark contrast to the seasons of New England I enjoy so much. When Spring and Easter come we see the land come alive and it is a reminder of the power of the resurrection in the lives of people who believe. In Rwanda this April they will remember the 24th anniversary of the genocide. Rwanda is a miracle country because of their focus on faith, unity and reconciliation. They will not forget what happened but they will celebrate that God has led them to a place of forgiveness, love, healing and new life. Let us share with others that we have an awesome God who brings life from the grave. Alleluia!
In Christian Love,
P.S. I think it is important to note that First UMC will be serving the families of the IHN homeless shelter in Worcester during Holy Week. Many thanks to all who have signed up to prepare and serve meals or be the over night host!
Sunday Worship Schedule
Join us for a traditional worship service @ 9:00am with age appropiate Sunday School classes for kids ages pre-k through high school. Our 10:30am service is a bit more relaxed with a contemporary flair.
Come early and join us for a hymn sing at 8:45 am.
Refreshments and fellowship time at 10 am.