Archive Church News

Surf Shack VBS was a huge success!! Over 80 children had the chance to learn about God’s amazing love – Thanks to everyone who helped make it happen!

2016 VBS Night 2016 VBS Night 3 2016 VBS Night 2 2016 VBS Night 1 2016 VBS FLIP FLOPS 2016 VBS SUNDAY 1

We commissioned our Youth and Chaperones for the July 2-9 Team Effort mission trip to Eureka Springs, Arkansas.  22 persons will be attending – let’s keep them in prayer!

2016 Youth Mission Trip Commissioning


We welcomed 8 new members to our church on May 22, 2016.  Congratulations to all the Confirmands!

Our 2016 Confirmation Class

Our 2016 Confirmation Class


And, we honored our 2016 graduates – congratulations!

2016 graduation




2016 fish fry youth 22016 Fish Fry circle of prayer2016 Fish Fry Fish Runner

Our 4th Annual Fish and Tenderloin Fry, Bake Sale and Silent Auction on May 7 was a huge success! Stay tuned for a final recap of the numbers!  THANK YOU everyone for helping!!

Bishop Michael Coyner acknowledged our faithful payment of our apportionments for the year 2015.

2015 Tithe Certificate

Looking good in Orange and Pink - you can still get tee shirts!

Looking good in Orange and Pink – you can still get tee shirts!

Another fun 175th Anniversary History moment during worship services on February 14.  Here is a link to our Facebook 175th Anniversary Photo Album showcasing the history photos.  Thanks to Doug and Cindy for wearing their tee shirts!

Read or print these history inserts from the January and February bulletins.



We had a reflective and meaningful Ash Wednesday service.  Please click February 2016 Ash Wednesday if you would like to meditate on our Ash Wednesday devotion.  Print the devotion and share with a friend, neighbor or co-worker.

We’re offering praise and thanks to God for so many wonderful opportunities to Connect in Community, Grow in Faith and Serve in Love as followers of Jesus Christ.  Here is Pastor Amy’s latest email update FIRST UMC DECATUR Announcements February 2016 for you to read, print and share with others in our Church Family.  If you are not currently receiving Pastor Amy’s email updates and would like to be added to the email list, please let her know or contact the church office.

The Lenten / Easter postcard has been mailed – extra copies are available at the Connection Center – who can you share one with?  Spread the love of Christ this Easter!

2016 Lenten Post Card Stained Glass (2)

2016 Lenten Postcard Text

Love is… Several persons asked for a copy of the scripture Pastor Amy used in Sunday’s (January 31) message “Love is Really All You Need”.  She created an image with the verses and the thought of substituting your name or “I” for the word Love.  You may click this Love is (1)  link to print this for your use throughout your days and weeks, walking in love with Jesus.

Family Lenten/Easter event, “Road to Resurrection” will be held Sunday, March 13 from 5 to 7 pm.  This is an interactive walk through the events of Holy Week for families and persons of ALL AGES!

2016 Road to Resurrection Image

Last year we had ages ranging from babies to 80-plus years old!   Families travel along a path to experience Jesus as they tiptoe into an upper room Jesus has just left, visit Barabbas in his jail cell, and stand on a hillside outside Jerusalem where Jesus has risen from the dead.  We do need about 15 persons willing to serve by telling stories and assisting families at the 5 interactive stations.   It would be SO GREAT if these positions were filled by adults without small children so younger families have the opportunity to participate together.  The adults and youth who helped with this event last year we very blessed and will tell you so – it is an opportunity to serve that will touch you deeply.  Please contact Annette Gower if you are willing to help.

The Lenten study and sermon series for 2016 begins February 14.  We will be studying “The God We Can Know” by Rob Fuquay.  This is a worship and study series on the ” I Am” sayings of Jesus.

Pastor Amy will lead two groups on this – Sunday morning Discipleship Class at 11:15 am and Tuesday afternoons at 2 pm

2016 Lent the god we can know

Confirmation classes for 2016 began January 2016.  We have 6 youth signed up so far.  Classes are on Sunday afternoons at 3:30 pm, followed by the youth meal and fun.  Youth grades 6 through 8 can still sign up for confirmation – please contact Pastor Amy

Pastor Amy and Penny Hinsky are leading the 34-week “Disciple Bible Study” on Monday nights at 6:30 pm.  8 persons are participating.  You are still welcome to join the group

2016 Disciple 1 Bible Study

What a wonderful Children’s Christmas Program, “The Gift”, written by Jolie Lee.  Click here to read the blog post.

Advent is upon us – the church is decorated and ready for Christmas.  Who will you invite to worship with us this season and on Christmas Eve?  Be sure to “like” our Facebook page to stay tuned in to all the JOY of the season.

2015 Nativity (1280x720)


You should have received your Advent and Christmas postcard, detailing the many ways we prepare for and celebrate the birth of Jesus.  Will you share the gift of Jesus with your friends and neighbors?  Invite them to attend a worship service or an event with you.  Look for additional postcards at The Connection Center.

2015 Christmas Postcard Lee Family Nativity Front2015 Christmas Postcard Lee Family Nativity Back

The December newsletter is ready for you to download  FIRST UMC DECATUR DECEMBER 2015 NEWSLETTER  or pick up a paper copy at The Connection Center.  While you are at The Connection Center, pick up a “daily reader Bible” if you don’t have one and begin the New Year 2016 studying the Word of God each day.  We also have free copies of  Henri Nouwen’s  “Unto us a CHILD is BORN” daily advent meditation and prayer guide to use beginning Sunday, November 29.

Daily Advent Meditations and Prayers

Daily Advent Meditations and Prayers

Our new Praise and Worship Celebration and Sunday morning Discipleship Class times will begin with our Advent Season on November 29, 2015.  Click here to read about  Worship Time Change.  The 8:15 am worship time in the Chapel will remain.  New time for Alpha and Omega class will be 9:15 am, Praise and Worship will be at 10:00 am, and Discipleship Classes for all ages will be at 11:15 am.

The November newsletter is ready for you to download FIRST UMC DECATUR NOVEMBER 2015 NEWSLETTER  or pick up a paper copy at The Connection Center.

Fall is here!  We give thanks to those in our Church Family who keep our grounds looking great all year long!


First UMC participated in the first annual Adams County United in Service “Day of Service.”

day of service 2015 bellmont groupday of service 2015 ice cream golden meadows andrews

day of service 2015 bellmont benches

Volunteers served by:

Writing thank you notes to those who serve in our community

Building benches, cleaning up flood damage and pressure washing at Bellmont High and Middles Schools

Painting a computer lab and cleaning up an outdoor science lab at Northwest, playground work at Southeast elementary schools

Laying a new floor in the chapel at Golden Meadows and treating the residents there to an old-fashioned ice cream social

Paying for laundry and praying with persons at a local laundromat

The October newsletter is ready for you to download FIRST UMC DECATUR OCTOBER 2015 NEWSLETTER  or pick up a paper copy at The Connection Center.

The September newsletter is ready for you to download FIRST UMC DECATUR SEPTEMBER 2015 NEWSLETTER or pick up a paper copy at The Connection Center.

G-Force Vacation Bible School was an awesome experience for everyone involved.  The final night was an “oodles of noodles” game night.

Friday Night Fun Night was "Oodles of Noodles" fun!

Friday Night Fun Night was “Oodles of Noodles” fun!


The August newsletter is available. Download FIRST UMC DECATUR AUGUST 2015 NEWSLETTER or pick up a printed copy at The Connection Center at Church.


We celebrate “God’s Love in Action” with our Youth who just returned from a mission trip to South Carolina where they did home repairs including roofing and constructing a new clothesline.

2015 mission trippers 18

2015 mission trippers 8

2015 mission trippers gods love in action


The July newsletter is available. Download FIRST UMC DECATUR JULY 2015 NEWSLETTER or pick up a printed copy at The Connection Center at church.

The June newsletter is available – lots of great news, information and upcoming events.  Download FIRST UMC DECATUR JUNE 2015 NEWSLETTER  or pick up a printed copy at The Connection Center at church.

Our third annual Fish and Tenderloin Fry was a huge success, raising approximately $4,800.  Checks for $1,198 each were presented to The Hope Chest, Kids First Daycare, Fishes and Loaves free community meal, and The Loft Youth.

2015 fish fry check for web


We begin a new discipleship sermon and small group series, SHAPE,  on May 31.  SHAPE will help us discover our unique design (SHAPE) for ministry and USE our God-given gifts and abilities in serving God and others  through our church family.

Discipleship classes wrapped up the Adam Hamilton “Why? series on May 10.  Our next series, “SHAPE” begins on May 31.  Classes will continue to meet the two weeks in between (May 17 and May 24) with some new and fun offerings.  May 17 is “Leader’s Choice” of topics.  This will be a one-week session, no reading, no homework, nothing required except to show up and learn and join some great discussions – an excellent opportunity to try out a discipleship group if you have not yet gotten involved.  May 24 will be our first “Ask the Pastors” discipleship session with brunch.  Pastor Amy will share a message on Pentecost and the Holy Spirit during the praise and worship celebration times, then all discipleship classes will come together as one in the Fellowship Hall for brunch and a time of further learning, questions and discussions.  Everyone is welcome!   If you have not been involved in a class or group, please join in – this is a great opportunity to experience our discipleship classes.  All classes begin at 10:45 am.

Catch up on all our news with the FIRST UMC DECATUR MAY 2015 NEWSLETTER.  Copies are also available at The Connection Center.

Fish Fry a huge success…

The 3rd Annual “All You Can Eat Fish and Tenderloin Fry” was a huge success with a record setting amount of funds raised for Fishes and Loaves Free Community Meal (Wednesday nights, 5 pm in the Fellowship Hall), Hope Chest consignment store, Kids First Day Care, and The Loft Youth.  Thanks to everyone who helped and participated in any way.


Our children are enjoying a good hour of discipleship time each Sunday! They recently learned about Jesus’ ascension into heaven.  Our Youth helped communicate the lesson by wearing “clouds” of whipped cream, a sweet way to help the kids remember the story.  The kids are also using Lego building blocks to learn stories from the Bible.

Four week sermon series and Discipleship Classes are underway!  We’re studying scripture to help answer the really tough questions, using Adam Hamilton’s “WHY?” series.  Everyone welcome to join a group!

Holy Week begins Sunday, March 29 with our Palm Sunday Praise Celebration. HOLY WEEK FIRST UMC 2015

The FIRST UMC DECATUR APRIL 2015 NEWSLETTER  is ready for you to download. Copies are also available at The Connection Center.

The  FIRST UMC DECATUR MARCH 2015 NEWSLETTER March newsletter is ready for you to download.  Copies are also available at The Connection Center.

We are in the season of Lent at First UMC.  We have “taken up” Discipleship Classes as part of our Renegade Gospel/Rebel Jesus Lenten sermon series and group study.  We have combined our two worship services into a Praise and Worship Celebration that begins each Sunday at 9:30 am.  Discipleship groups  for all ages, including children and youth meet at 10:45 am, while the “early riser” group meets at 8:15 am.  Children are receiving a Christ-centered “busy bag” during the Children’s Moment of the Praise and Worship Celebration and are staying in the service with their families.  It’s never too late to join a group study and books are still available.

The February newsletter is ready for you to catch up on all that’s happening  FIRST UMC DECATUR FEBRUARY 2015 NEWSLETTER

relationSLIPS – our new sermon series begins January 18.  relationSLIPS – Avoiding mis-steps in our most important relationships.  The following scriptures will help you prepare for each week:  LOVE ONE ANOTHER 1 Peter 1:22; ENCOURAGE ONE ANOTHER 1 Thessalonians 5:11; RESPECT ONE ANOTHER Romans 12:10; FORGIVE ONE ANOTHER Ephesians 4:32

We recommitted to our baptismal vows on Sunday, January 11.  The Youth Praise Team led us in song, as we stated our beliefs and committed to follow Christ in the new year.  Happy New Year!



We’re in the midst of the “TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS” the time from Christmas Day until the beginning of Epiphany (January 6).  Let’s continue to enjoy and celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!!

We had a blessed Christmas Eve service, complete with a portrayal of The Nativity. The first weekend of Advent, we opened our church to the community with Come to the Manger, a display of nativities. The Hospitality Committee joined Fishes and Loaves in sharing a moving Christmas Program with our community, complete with candlelit table settings, a delicious hot soup meal, an ornament craft for the children, a movie clip of the birth of Christ, beautiful music and the sacrament of Holy Communion. We welcomed the Agape Puppet Ministry as we offered “Three Wisemen and a Baby” to our community.  Our Church Family gave presents to 30 children in need and along with our Loft Youth prepared 10 Christmas Eve boxes for children.  The Hope Chest raised funds for 29 families in need.  We supported Hailey Brune’s ministry as she sold handmade items to send 20 Christmas shoeboxes around the world. As we Connected in Community and Served in Love, we also Grew in Faith through our “When God Came Down” small group Advent study and sermon series, and with our “Disciple’s Path” study.  We give thanks and praise to God for his presence and direction in our Church Family this Christmas!

Our friends at Golden Meadows shared with us a letter of THANKS  for the special Thanksgiving Service we held at the residence.  We are blessed to be the hands and feet of Jesus in our relationship with Golden Meadows as we Connect in Community and Serve in Love.


There are lots of exciting events and happenings in December.  Check out the FIRST UMC DECATUR DECEMBER 2014 NEWSLETTER to learn more!  As we connect, grow and serve to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of Decatur and our world, we have many ways to reach out to our friends and neighbors this month.

Look for our  2014 Christmas Postcard FUMC Decatur Christmas Postcard in the mail soon – it’s a great reminder of how we are connecting in community, growing in our faith and serving in love to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of Decatur and the world.

We celebrated our commitments to Living Generously on Sunday, October 26 by committing to show our love for God in how we use our time, talents and treasures. We also committed to attend church regularly and to pray for our church.  We kicked off our Discipleship Pathway and introduced Life Groups at the soup and sandwich lunch following the worship service.  We are offering the following study and group opportunities for November and December:  A Disciple’s Path (Deepening your relationship with Christ and the church); When God Comes Down (Advent Study); and Lee Strobel’s “Case for Christmas” self guided study .  We plan to offer Disciple One (32 week in-depth Bible study) in the new year.

Don’t miss out on our latest news – read it here! FIRST UMC DECATUR NOVEMBER 2014 NEWSLETTER  Let’s hope for a few more beautiful, warm and sunny fall days.

The leaves are falling and nights are getting chilly.  Catch up on all that ‘s happening in OCTOBER when you read FIRST UMC DECATUR OCTOBER 2014 NEWSLETTER Hope you’re enjoying Living Generously.


The Discipleship Team is looking for input on when/where to offer Discipleship Pathway opportunities each week.

What is a Disciple, Discipleship, and a Discipleship Pathway?

A DISCIPLE is a follower of Jesus who is centering his/her life on loving God and loving others.

DISCIPLESHIP is when our BELIEFS – in our restored relationship with God through the life, death and resurrection of Christ – and ACTIONS – following Jesus, loving God, loving others – COMBINE, resulting in a life TRANSFORMED into the likeness of Christ.

DISCIPLESHIP PATHWAY is how we grow and strengthen our belief in Christ, and follow him more nearly as we act out our love for God and love for others. The disciplines we practice as we study, learn, and do.

If you are interested in stepping onto this path, what times might work best for you on Sunday to attend a class or meet in a group? Other days of the week? Please take a few minutes to complete this  survey  or grab one at church, complete it and leave it at the Connection Center.  Thanks for your input!

From A Disciple’s Path Deepening Your Relationship with Christ and the Church by James A. Harnish and Justin Larosa, Tools and Documents CD-ROM, 2012 Abingdon Press

Catch Up on First UMC News for September!!! Read the  September 2014 Full Newsletter  here.

2014 Peach Festival – So Much Fun!

Back to School!  The “Blessing of the Back Packs” was a tender time of prayer for our students, teachers and everyone involved with our schools and teaching or helping students.

Catch up on the latest news and upcoming events with our FUMC August 2014 Newsletter

Celebrating Holy Baptism, Confirmation and Church Membership – what a wonderful day!

We had an awesome time at God’s Great Workshop of Wonders VBS in July!