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FirstNews a monthly publication of First United Methodist Church, Dallas

February 2014

““NNoo w i s t h e t i me t o se s e i z e t h e d aay! y! ” by Lisa Kresl, Variations Fundraiser Chair You are invited to join Variations youth choir to watch them perform “Seize the Day” from “Newsies” as well as other Disney tunes on Sunday, Feb. 23, at 5 p.m., as they present their annual musical variety show under the direction of Dana Effler, Director of Music and Arts. Since January, the choir, aided by their parents, have been soliciting donations to raise money in support of their summer tour to Orlando. The variety show will be a tribute to the generosity of their donors. Dana, along with Tim Effler, Associate Director of Music/ Organist, has planned a musical program that will appeal to all generations. The show, “The Magical Music of Disney!” features a choral medley that includes “Hakuna Matata” from “The Lion King”, “Cruella De Vil” from “101 Dalmations” and “Topsy Turvy” from “The Hunchback of Notre Dame.” You will also hear such classics as “Zip-a-dee-doo-dah” and “Bibbidi-bobbidiboo” from “Cinderella” and “Chim Chim Cher-ee” from “Mary Poppins.” Expect beautiful princesses and an appearance by the Counterpoint choir. Variations tour and fundraiser are a FirstChurch tradition. “Variations tour and fundraiser is something I look forward to each year,” says Variations senior Alex Sobotka. “The high energy performances and exciting places we travel to are some of the best parts about being in choir. My most memorable fundraiser has to be the year we visited Kentucky. The theme for the show was ‘Shrek, Seussical, and Spamalot’, and it promised to be a crazy fundraiser. Everyone found joy in performing the upbeat songs from these humorous musicals and at the very end of the show, I had the honor of waving the over-sized ‘freak flag’ — an exciting part that I will never forget.” Matthew Brown, president of Variations and a senior, says one of his favorite tour memories is singing on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. “Being able to perform ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ at such a historic site and with such a big audience was the most fulfilling performance I’ve had with the Variations. I’m really looking forward to both the show (cont. on page 2)

(cont.) and tour this year because we get to sing some of our favorite songs from all of the classic Disney movies. I’m also looking forward to getting closer to my friends during the long bus ride all the way to Florida, and enjoying our time at Disney!” Throughout the year, Variations youth choir sing in worship services. Their Disney variety show in February is an opportunity for them to show their appreciation to their supporters and their church. This year Variations travels to perform two concerts at the First United Methodist Church in Slidell, Louisiana, and at the Village Retirement Community in Gainesville, Florida, as well as for worship at University United Methodist Church in Baton Rouge. As they would say in Newsies, “Answer the call and don’t delay!” Donations can be made to students and parents on Sundays at Connection Points at Harwood, Ross and San Jacinto or click here for online donations.

In Light of Easter: A Journey with the Letters of Paul through Lent Mark your calendars now for this year’s church-wide Lenten study! Our very own Dr. Andy Stoker has written a daily devotional for the Lenten season, focusing on Paul’s journey through the book of Acts. The study will also incorporate readings of Paul’s undisputed letters (1 Thessalonians, Galatians, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Romans, Philippians, and Philemon), looking deeply at Paul’s theological reflection on the cross and Resurrection. In Light of Easter is a journey you, a faithful reader, will have with Paul through his letters and alongside the early church. You will have the opportunity to participate in this study as an individual or as a Sunday morning class. Dr. Stoker will lead the first session on March 9 in the Atrium from 10:00-10:45 a.m. Everyone is encouraged to attend! The following five weeks will include a study companion with questions for classes to consider together in response to the daily scripture and theological themes – as we journey together to live our lives In Light of Easter: life to life, love to love, hope to hope. This downloadable e-Book will be available in March. Paper copies will also be available at cost. Contact Joyce Macalik to reserve your copy today. Class Leaders: If your class plans to participate, please e-mail Joyce Macalik with the number of copies you will need.

in this issue







Lenten Study

Taco Lunch

Goodrich Gallery

Education News

New Members

Being Church in the City by Dr. Andy Stoker, Senior Minister I did an image search for “First UMC photos” last week in preparation for a meeting. I found more pictures of the outside of our building set in front of, or in the midst of the downtown skyline. Now, I am not one who believes that the Internet has all the answers, but it was a telling experience to see our church set in its context. Many of us, who know and love FirstChurch, think of our historic sanctuary and chapel, our Sunday School classroom and/or the new Fiedler Atrium. But we are a church set in the city. Every week, we welcome people with this line: “Welcome to First United Methodist Church of Dallas in the heart of downtown Dallas.” Embedded in this welcome places us squarely at the center of the city, with the opportunities of the city and the challenges of the city all in one. Do we live into our identity as a Church in the City? How are we engaging our neighbors and investors around us? Who we are. We are a 168 year old church adjacent to a vibrant Arts District and just north of a resurging Business District. We host a ministry for neighbor engagement at Crossroads Community Services, as a pantry and a food distribution site. We are home to a celebrated preschool for children of parents who work downtown. We have a dream to connect with more people. Where we are going. FirstChurch seeks to live into its identity as a downtown faith community through worship, partnership and fellowship. Weekly, we look to reflect God’s beauty and love through acts of worship. Daily, we seek new partnerships to engage our neighbors in Uptown, Downtown and throughout the Metroplex. Moment-by-moment, we long for fellowship with the Divine and our neighbor to see and sense God’s Love. How we work together. Over the next several weeks, I would like for you to invite a friend or neighbor to our church in the city. As we live into our identity, let us work together to change our city through transformational ministries. I am glad to be your Senior Minister here in the city…let’s grow together. In God’s Love,

Sunday Worship Sunday, Feb. 2 Upside-Down Matthew 5:1-12 Communion Sunday Sunday, Feb. 9 A Savory Brightness Matthew 5:13-20 Sunday, Feb. 16 Coming to Terms Matthew 5:21-37 Sunday, Feb. 23 Chasing Perfection Matthew 5:38-48

Sunday worship: 8:45 & 11 a.m. Sunday school: 9:45 a.m. Missed a sermon? Click here.


2013 Infants Recognized

A special Infant Recognition service was held Sunday, Jan. 26 welcoming all FirstChurch infants born in 2013 to our FirstChurch family of faith. Infants: Calvin Jackson York, Hannah Lynn Klinge, Emerson Faye Whalen, Elouise Caroline Jacobsen, Quinn Campbell Roby, Hopkins Meyer Black, Bowen Ford Santa Maria, Aaron Nicholas Brandt, Maddox Charles Howell, Cora Elizabeth Hansen, Trevor Easton Holm, Harrison Jacob Sides, Owen Daniel Jones, Levi Jack Harris, Graysen Alexander House, Caroline Lily Stanton, Elliott Jane Whitney, Camille Reese Nichols, Jack Rhodes Andersen, Hunter Stone Andersen, Jackson Lee Hall, Marie Adeline Hall, Marvelous Ntando Simbabure, Hadley Rose Longino, Isla Joan Holmes, Leddy Beatrice Owens, Case Daniel Tolin, Blake Feille Cannon, Matilda Ann Maley, Ava Tyler Fisher, Olivia Grace Cordell, Shepard Wayne Becker, Eleanor Grace Gaudet, Violet Claire Massey, Colton Dean Wilson, James Callahan Lee, Cameron Hallie Oxford, Audrey Karen Stephens, William Braxton Drennan, Kayden Diane Spears, Rachel Alice Borrelli and Stella Monroe Salzman. 4


Sunday, February 9 All Church Taco Lunch Supporting the Methodist Children’s Home of Costa Rica

The Road to COSTA RICA is Paved with Possibilities!

Be a part of something BIG on February 9. Enjoy a delicious taco lunch in the Fielder Atrium and be a part of changing the lives for orphans in Costa Rica. Your donation will help us reach our fundraising goal of $5,000. These funds will pay for building materials for the second home scheduled to open on April 10.

Paul’s Journeys to Turkey and Greece Oct. 31 - Nov. 10 with Lecturer/Preacher Dr. Andy Stoker

Over 60 people have registered for the tour of Paul’s journey through Greece and Turkey. Join the group – it’s not too late to sign up! Dr. Andy Stoker will lecture and preach on this wonderful Educational Opportunities tour and cruise. Click here for more information on trip details, or contact Rev. Linda Roby.


The Goodrich Gallery February Exhibit Gallery Hours 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday-Friday 9 a.m. - Noon Saturday 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Sunday

Abstract Convergence Art by Quincy Conwell The Goodrich Gallery’s exhibit for the month of February features the artwork of Quincy Conwell. The exhibit will be on display Sunday, February 2 through Sunday, February 23. You are invited to meet the artist at a reception on Sunday, February 9, 12:00 - 2:00 p.m. in the gallery. Quincy Conwell has always had an interest in drawing and painting since his youth. As a child, he naturally had curiosity of geometric shapes and vibrant colors. At that time, he began educating himself with the principles of the masters of art and architectural design from several books and visits to galleries and museums. As a self-taught artist, Conwell developed a unique style of his artistic expression, which influenced design in his paintings. Conwell uses a combination of art and architectural concepts to construct images, which portray beauty, harmony and composition.

Some of his paintings have been exhibited at several galleries, in addition to his nationwide solo and group art exhibitions. A number of his paintings have been commissioned, which has allowed him to creatively express several painting techniques, forming diverse styles. He has received several honors and awards for his artistic performances throughout his career. Some of these recognitions were from city councils, civic centers, the local mayor, theaters, the Dallas Meyerson Symphony, a corporation’s grand opening, the Jesuit Art Museum of Dallas, music and food festivals, restaurants and businesses, Neiman Marcus, Border’s and Barnes & Noble. Corporations and private businesses have also utilized his artistic illustration skills in several forms and mediums for their company’s marketing strategies. He has also been recognized as the “featured artist” in several art exhibitions across the United States, including being named the “Artist of the Year” at the Art in the Square Arts Festival in Southlake, Texas. Design

Media recognitions of Conwell’s artwork are included in published articles of nationwide newspapers, magazines and television commercials. Notable collectors, which include private businesses, the Jesuit Art Museum of Dallas, several national celebrities, and many individual collectors across the United States, Europe, Canada, Mexico, and Nassau, Bahamas, have also enjoyed and appreciated his paintings over several years. His evolving artwork may be seen at a number art shows and exhibitions each year throughout the United States. Currently his home studio is located within the Dallas/Fort Worth Metropolitan area, where he resides.

New York


New Church & Society Committee Bringing education, advocacy, and action on peace and justice issues to light in 2014!

After an overwhelming response to a “Church & Society” class offered during our fall session of FirstChurch University, a small group of individuals have continued to meet and explore what it means for FirstChurch to engage in ministries of peace and justice on a broader scale. We already have small groups committed to working on human trafficking, environmental stewardship, and partnering in the North Texas Conference Zip Code Project (an initiative to eradicate extreme asset poverty in the poorest urban and rural zip codes in our Conference). It only makes sense to have a group working together to keep these, and other important issues, at the forefront of our ministry to “make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.” At our 2013 Charge Conference held on Dec. 3, the new Church and Society Committee was officially instated for the purposes of providing educational events and advocacy opportunities for our congregation, as well as the wider community. We’ll be co-hosting our first event with the North Texas Conference Boards of Church & Society and Global Ministries – a film screening and panel discussion on the documentary “A Place at the Table” on Friday, February 28 in the Fiedler Atrium. Click here for more information and to register to attend this FREE event! For more information or to join the Church and Society Committee, contact Rev. Becky Walker.

“A Place at the Table” Film Screening and Panel Discussion Friday, Feb. 28 from 7:00 - 9:30 p.m. in the Fiedler Atrium Hosted by North Texas Conference Board of Church and Society and Board of Global Ministry Bishop McKee has invited United Methodists across the North Texas Conference to fast for at least one meal a week throughout Lent, and give the money you would have spent on those meals to a United Methodist ministry working to alleviate poverty and hunger in our Zip Code Project communities. In an effort to education congregations on the current realities of hunger in the U.S., United Methodists (and friends!) throughout the Conference are invited to attend this FREE movie screening and panel discussion. A love offering will be collected to support Crossroads Community Services and Dallas Bethlehem Center. Click here to register.


Aldersgate Project The Aldersgate Project, a program originally established by the Aldersgate Class over 25 years ago, supplies ushers from the church for events at SMU’s McFarlin Auditorium. The funds earned are used to support mission projects. Over the years, this program has generated over $500,000 in funds to support programs that otherwise would not have been supported by the church. This year we are providing funds to The Dallas Bethlehem Center, Wesley Rankin, Project Transformation, New Friends New Life, Lydia Patterson, and several other charities. The intent is to provide funds to groups who are providing life changing services to their clients. A schedule of events is provided to the participants each month and they can choose the ones that fit their schedules. It is a great way to serve as well as to meet new friends. The ushers are allowed to watch the programs once everyone has been seated. For more information contact Tom Martin.

Above: Tom Martin and Rev. Linda Roby delivering a check to Eric Lindh and Kristin Kelley of Project Transformation.

Senior Issues Forum Feb. 22 FirstSeniors will present a special edition of our yearly Senior Issues Forum entitled “Understanding and Living with Alzheimer’s.” FirstSeniors will offer a FREE Senior Issues Forum, Saturday, February 22 from 9 a.m. - Noon in the Fiedler Atrium Our panel, led by Dr. Cindy Marshall, M.D. of the Baylor Neuroscience Memory Center, will share what they believe to be the most important issues for patients, family and friends dealing with Alzheimer’s. Dr. Marshall will speak on diagnosis and treatment and representatives from the Dallas Alzheimer’s Association, The Senior Source, and Arbor House Memory Care will talk about available community resources, professional caregivers, and day to day issues for family and friends affected by the disease. After the panel presentations, panel members will be available to answer questions from attendees. ADMISSION IS FREE! So if you or someone you know is dealing with this frightening illness, come and find out what you need to know to better cope with it in your life. This session is FREE and open to all members and friends of FirstChurch. To register call Nancy Woolbright at 214-220-2727, ext. 210 or click here.


Bible Blast 2014!

Friday, Feb. 14, 6:30 p.m. to Saturday, Feb. 15, 8:30 a.m. Experience the fun! Live the truth!

Do YOU know the last word in the Old Testament? NO ??? All Third Grade FirstKids are in for a BLAST of a time with the Bible Blast 2014 ! This is our FirstKids jampacked overnight retreat to not just read the Bible, but to really experience it! Friday evening begins with hands-on fun in discovering “why we have the Bible?” and “who does it belong to?” Kathy Mallick will lead the FirstKids into the Old and New Testament, making God’s word unforgettable. Reservations are necessary, and there is a $10 charge. Call Joyce Macalik at 214-220-2727, ext. 224 or click here for reservations.

“The Pastor” DVD Now Available The Media Department in cooperation with History and Archives has produced a multiple DVD set of over 30 episodes of “The Pastor” FirstChurch’s ground breaking TV series from the 1950 and 60s starring Dr. Bob Goodrich with writing, production and participation of many folks prominent in the life of our church even today. Come to the information desk at The Fiedler Atrium entrance and order your set.

If you won one of these sets at the Senior Celebration in September, bring your empty DVD cover to the Reception Desk on Sunday and pick up your full set.


Crossroads Community Services can help fulfill your New Year’s resolution to serve others, get involved in the community, spend time with friends and get more exercise! Join us for New Volunteer Orientation to learn how to make a difference in Dallas. Tuesday, Feb. 4 2 - 3 p.m. at 1822 Young Street, 2nd Floor Contact Karen at kkeeter@ Winter Coats Needed Baby, it’s cold outside! If you have an extra coat taking up closet space, please share it with a neighbor who truly needs it. Hats, gloves and scarves are also appreciated. You can bring cold weather items to Crossroads Community Services or leave them behind the security desk at FirstChurch. For more information contact Griselda at

2014 Urban Engagement Book Review Hosted by CitySquare on Third Thursdays at Noon in Crossroads Center FREE event! Review presented by Randy Mayeux. (Not necessary to read book prior to review).

Bring your own lunch or purchase lunch for $5

Thursday, Feb. 20 in Crossroads Center: “America Apartheid: Segregation and the Making of the Underclass,” by Douglas Massey & Nancy Denton RSVP to Keilah at

Care & Concern BIRTHS: Congratulations on the births of: Tanner Alan Buker, son of Keith & Judy Buker

Join Us for Church Council

Stella Monroe Salzman, daughter of Kyle and Kristen Salzman

All FirstChurch members invited.

Hayden Bailey Bates, daughter of Jason & Emily Bates Hampton Joseph Woods, son of Michelle and Wayne Woods DEATHS: Sincere sympathy to the families of: Ken Fuller, husband of Judy Fuller Creighton Gary, husband of Betty Lou Gary Bob Hazlewood, father of Mike Hazlewood Maria Wentzel, mother of Marcela Wentzel Gilbert Packer, father of Greg Packer


Tuesday, Feb. 25 Light dinner served at 6:00 p.m. Meetings begin at 6:30 p.m. in Crossroads Center. Click here to RSVP to Sherrye Bass by Feb. 20.

FirstChurch Chili Cookoff Thanks to all who participated and tasted at the Chili Cook-off Sunday, Jan. 26. The FirstChurch Media Ministry appreciates your support! Photos: Kat Kaden & Rob Ray


Meet Our Newest Members NEW MEMBERS FROM NOV. 17




Gaylenne & Gwyenth Lonergan

Jeff Arnold with fiancée Michelle Hunt

Caroline Lily Stanton with her parents James & Britta, & siblings

Rhonda Bradford





Courtney & Sarah Mitchell

Keith & Judy Buker

Thomas & Terri Smith

James “Mike” Hazlewood





Michael Parker

Sharon Grigsby

Mindy Sutton

Robert Pilgrim & his partner, Luis Acuña




Sunday, February 16 Unit Meeting 12:00 pm UrbanLife Center

Jason & Emily Guynes


Jack Rhodes & Hunter Stone Andersen with their parents Jeff & Michelle

Andrew Hamilton


First United Methodist Church of Dallas monthly newspaper. February 2014.

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