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Love First Caring, Sharing, Connecting

A WORD FROM PASTOR JEFF January is close upon us. It seems like at least half of the church is headed for warmer climates. (God bless them, I’ll be right behind when my time comes.) The rest of us are left here to fight through the ice, the cold, and the dark of January and February. Here is where we Midwestern Methodists prove our mettle. We hunker down, go to work and go to church, and hold steady. And possibly read Ecclesiastes. Vanity of vanities! All is vanity… There is nothing new under the sun. from Ecclesiastes1:1-9 You already know, Ecclesiastes is one of my favorite books, but it can be very depressing at points. Among other maladies he is plagued with, the writer seems at least chronically bored if not clinically depressed. He has taken up residence in the winter of discontent. In this time of year I relate to him; who doesn’t grow weary? Show me someone who is always enthusiastic and bubbly, and I will show you someone who is either faking it or is psychologically off. On the other hand, show me someone who is always bored, from whose life all interest and enthusiasm have departed, and I will show you someone who has a sickness at the core. For the Ecclesiastes writer, all of life has become void of meaning and joy. There are a few rays of light that shine through occasionally, but generally speaking, he has had it. Boredom like that is not a given part of the human condition and points to a deeper malaise of spirit. That subject is worthy of its own treatment, but is not the subject at hand. I am interested in that other kind of boredom, the kind that is simply part of being human. It might be detected in a remark to the church at Ephesus in the book of Revelation: “I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first.” Now if what John means by that is, “Your love doesn’t have quite the same character it had at the beginning; it doesn’t have the same heightened pulse rate, the same rollicking enthusiasm,” then I have a quarrel with him. You can’t blame people if the character of their love changes over time, nor can you expect

veteran disciples to be emotionally charged up in the same way they were when they were new recruits. That’s not true to life and shouldn’t be expected. There is probably more to John’s remark than just that. It may be that their love has lost not just its emotional manifestations, but also its deeper expressions. He will say in the next verse that they need to get back to the works they used to do. And that is what is expected of us. To ask that we feel exactly the same way about something we have been involved in for a lifetime is not reasonable. To expect that we never experience a level of boredom is to ask us not to be human. But to stay true to our deep commitments and core convictions when the glitz is not there, that is what faith asks. Consider this: to feel boredom does not mean that we have somehow failed or mishandled our lives. Part of what it means to grow up is accepting the fact that we come down from every high, and that walking away after the sheen wears off means we accomplish little or nothing. What it comes down to is this: when the easy engagement that comes with either newness or with a great success - when that wears off and traces of boredom set in, it doesn’t mean we have failed the test of life, it means that we are now facing the test of life. This is not a statement I can prove, but I have a hunch that 99% of the good and useful work being done in the world every day is being done by people who are a little bored. There are necessary parts of their jobs that have become routine, but they keep doing them with great skill and commitment. Most institutions, including the church (and certainly marriage) are held together by people who are bored in the sense that much of their effort has become almost habitual. These are people who, knowing its warts and all,

Inside this issue: A Word from Pastor Jeff


Children’s Ministry Update


St. Nicholas Party Pictures


UMW Unit News


30 Hour Famine Scheduled


UMW Circle Meetings


Salvation Army Angel Tree


Youth News


Learning Opportunities


Worship Schedule


Check it Out!


Christmas at the Community Cafe


UM Trivia


Ben Cassiday Graduates


First UMC Book Club


Helping Hands Pantry


Community Dinner Schedule


First UMC Book Club


November Memorials


Thanks, Charlie


Bon Ami


J.O.Y. Lunch


Coming Events


have decided that this or that thing is somehow worthy of their most loyal support and their deepest devotion. The way I’ve been putting it makes it sound like duty is always pointing in the opposite direction of joy. Happily, that’s not the way it is. Often the paths of duty and delight converge. And even when that convergence is not immediate, the satisfaction at the end of the day is way more profound than any short term high. Pastor Jeff

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Children’s Ministry Update By the time you read this, we will already be into the first days of 2012. But as I am writing, Christmas is only a few days away, and it is difficult to think of little else. The good news is the joy of Christmas is not expected to be contained to just one day; it gets a whole season which lasts through Epiphany and then the Baptism of the Lord on January 9. So let me be one of the last people to wish you a very Merry Christmas 2011. I hope it was filled with joy, and I pray your 2012 will be fruitful and peace-filled. There are a couple of things on which to report from December. First, I received an email from Samaritan’s Purse/Operation Christmas Child that the nearly 40

shoeboxes you so generously filled were delivered to children in the Democratic Republic of Congo (Africa). How wonderful to think of these precious kiddos being blessed from good folks in Anderson! Let us remember to keep praying for their health and safety. Secondly, the St. Nicholas Party on December 11 was a success. About forty children gathered to learn more about the ancient saint who has inspired countless Christians through the centuries with his extravagant generosity and ardent faith. We lit the Advent candles, and discussed how this reminds us of how Jesus overcame darkness and is the Light of the World. We also spent time making crafts, decorating gingerbread houses, and enjoying one another. A special thanks to all the adults who braved this slightly crazy afternoon and

provided much-needed love and assistance to little ones. Fun was had by all! January for me is usually a time for regrouping and planning ahead. This year is no exception. There are several spring events I am already looking forward to, not to mention getting started on summer planning. It will be good to reconvene with the ongoing groups, as well. The JAYs will have regular meetings on January 15 and 29, and Bible Mechanics will meet on January 22. We haven’t met as regularly during the holidays, so we will all be glad to hang out again and catch up on our holiday adventures. Happy New Year! Jennifer

LONGEST NIGHT SERVICE Many people took advantage of the opportunity offered by the Longest Night Service to seek comfort in the arms of Jesus. Christmas is a difficult time for many, and this service reaches out to those who are hurting. An inspiring message by Pastor Donna, reflective music by Michelle Murray, scripture passages of hope read by several pastors, and songs performed by Karin Morris, Jim Strock, Ruth Walker and Becky and John Feasel all helped heal the hurts many experience during the season.

ST. NICHOLAS PARTY—DECEMBER 11 Every one who attended the St. Nicholas Party had a terrific time. Miss Jennifer read us the story of St. Nicholas, and told us some of the traditions which are still in use today. We made several crafts, including chocolate coins with St. Nicholas’ face to give to others, as St. Nicholas did. We had lots of snacks, and even found shoes with our names on them in the chapel! With 40 children in attendance, we had a great time!

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30 HOUR FAMINE The 30 Hour Famine is an overnight event is designed to give people a small taste of what it would be like to live in an impoverished community. We go 30 hours without eating (drinking juice is ok, though), while at the same time we play games, watch videos, and have discussions that help us get a glimpse of what these people go through on a day to day basis. The goal is not only to educate, but We were able to use the UMW Silver Tea set as the centerpiece when the UMW hosted Coffee Hour on December 18.

to make a difference. Part of the 30 hours involves participating in community service, and we collect money in the months leading up to the 30 Hour Famine, which World Vision (the organization coordinating this event nation-wide) will use to help out these needy communities. The event itself will be on Friday, February 24 – Saturday, February 25. We’ll be staying overnight at the church. If you are interested in helping raise money, contact Jake Brooks. Also, you can donate at this website: http:// Stay tuned for more announcements and info in the coming weeks and months!

Alpha Brass led worship on Sunday, December 18. Thank you to all those who participate in this music ministry at First!!

UMW UNIT NEWS United Methodist Women Sunday will be January 15, 2011. During this service the 2012 officers for our local unit will be installed. I would like to encourage all the women in our congregation to come and participate as they are able. 2011 was an exciting year for the UMW. We were able to donate money to the Lucille Raines House for renovation, provide the funding for our local mission team to work in Baldwin, LA, for a week, filled Pastor Donna’s trunk and garage with items for Lucille Raines’ Bathtub ministry, made 37 pillowcase dresses to send to Haiti, and had the most women participating in the UMW Reading program in the district. Whew, and that’s only part of what was accomplished. Imagine what next year will bring! For more information on any of the above issues, or if you are looking for a circle to join, please contact Peg Peter for more information. CONGRATULATIONS, SUE FINGER! Sue will serve as the Conductor of the Indiana All-State Middle School Honor Choir at the Indiana Music Educators Conference on January 18-20. Sue will be conducting approximately 150 middle school students from around the state who were selected to be part of this choir through an audition process.

SALVATION ARMY ANGEL TREE A huge thank you to all who participated in purchasing gifts for the Salvation Army Angel Tree tags located in the Narthex during December. 50+ children in this community were blessed by the generosity of this congregation. Thanks to Jill McDonald for coordinating the program again this year, and to Jill and Kathy Kean for generously donating their office space to collect gifts. Here is a picture of most of the gifts taken over to the Salvation Army on December 14:

UNITED METHODIST WOMEN CIRCLE MEETINGS There will be no circle meetings in January

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YOUTH NEWS / JAKES’S CORNER January is depressing. When I think of January, I think of the coldest, darkest, most tiring month ever. You go from an amazing holiday season where many are decorating houses, there are pretty lights everywhere, people are giving you free things, everyone’s singing songs, you get cards in the mail, and you are constantly eating amazing food, to bitter cold and darkness. Ice and snow covers everything (actually, I love snow, but the ice part is bad) and no one ever wants to venture outside. It’s during this month when I wake up in the morning, stare at myself in the mirror with that glazed-over, halfzombie look, and shiver uncontrollably without any way to get warm (even though the heat is on inside). I’m in a constant state of tiredness during January because it seems like it’s always dark outside. It’s dark when I get up in the morning and it gets dark at like 5:30 in the evening. I have like 40 minutes of time to

myself to enjoy the daylight, which is usually Dusk. That’s how I feel about January. Sorry to make it so depressing. Ironically, my birthday is in January. I also find solace in the NFL playoffs during January – especially last year when the GREEN BAY PACKERS ran the table and won the Super Bowl. It’s looking like they’re going to do it again. Anyway, I digress. We have a few big things coming up in the next couple months. On January 20th we are going to take our annual trip to The Forum in Fishers to go ice skating. This year, though, I’m thinking of ways to make it more epic, which might simply entail going out to eat afterward, but who doesn’t like to eat? We’re also going to have our annual Super Bowl party on February 5th. We’ll be up in the youth room again. I’m not sure what time; the NFL doesn’t release that until the teams who are playing in it are decided. Here’s hoping for a

repeat of last year’s outcome! Our next really big event is the 30 Hour Famine on February 24-25. We’ll meet at the church at 6 P.M. on February 24, play some “survival” games, do some service projects, and NOT EAT! Part of the 30 Hour Famine experience is making a difference, so the youth will be raising money to send to World Vision to help provide food, shelter, and education to people all over the world. In general, I took the last couple weeks of December to focus on finding ways to re-energize everything we do. Not only do I want to make the Fellowship Time on Sunday nights more creative and meaningful, but I’ve also been trying to think of better events we can do that will keep our youth excited and interested and to get them to invite their friends. I think that’s all the update and news I have in me for now. Have a great January! Jake

A NEW YEAR OF LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES Is one of your new year's term (4 week) class will be offered ο Friday morning Beth Moore at resolutions to get closer to God or to in February--topic to be determined. 9:00--January 13, 20 and 27 will stay closer to Him? A great way to complete the Proverbs study beο Tuesday night Disciple 2 at 6:30-do that is by spending time in God's gan last summer. Each topic is The Disciple class will move to the Word. We provide a variety of ways unique and all are encouraged to New Testament study of the books to do that. Watch the bulletin for attend. February 10 the group of Luke and Acts. Pastor Jeff more info about these upcoming will begin Beth’s study entitled facilitates Disciple 2. opportunities! Please let Pastor “A Woman’s Heart—God’s Donna know about topics/classes you ο Wednesday night Quest Bible study Dwelling Place,” which is an would like to see as part of our indepth study of God’s temple at 6:30--Quest will begin on January curriculum. that Israel worshipped at while 11 with 2 video sessions by Rev. Dr. ο Sunday morning education wandering the desert. This is an Adam Hamilton on "Is This the classes at 10:15--We have three 11 week study. End?" These sessions will be the ongoing adult classes and are culmination of our fall study on ο Lenten book study--We will be working on adding a group for Revelation. The group will then reading the book, "Jesus young adults. We plan to offer a begin a study of the gospel of Mark, Freak: Feeding--Healing-class for folks interested in exploring this fast-paced story of Raising the Dead," by Sarah becoming members, and our Jesus' life with video and lecture and Miles. annual Lenten book study will discussion. Pastor Donna facilitates also be offered during the Sunday the Quest class. school hour in March. A short-

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VOLUME 49, ISSUE 1 Fall Worship Schedule September-May

As always, Santa and Mrs. Claus were a big hit!

9:00 a.m. Traditional Worship Downtown 10:15-11:20 a.m. Sunday School Downtown East/West Parlor/Fireplace Room

4:30 p.m. Community Café Free Meal, Brief Devotional Message And Music Fellowship Hall 5:00 p.m. Youth Group Downtown

CHRISTMAS AT COMMUNITY CAFE What a great time the guests at community cafe had on Sunday, December 18, at the Christmas party! Mr. and Mrs. Claus were loved by all, especially some of the children. More than 175 gift bags were distributed to both children and adults, and Gordon Brooks entertained with his gift of music. Louise Melander's family did a great job assisting as elves in gift distribution. Thanks to all who donated to the gift bags, including Anderson Area Children's Choir, Jill McDonald, the packing team of Connie Skeels, Janet McDaniel, Louise Melander, and Alice Baker, and others. J.O.Y. CHRISTMAS LUNCH Louise Melander’s family worked tirelessly giving out gift bags!


All who attended the J.O.Y. Lunch on December 16 had a terrific time. Great food, fellowship and fun!. SteveAnna Bird and Janet Casterline led us singing Christmas Carols and Doug Berky and Ron Halle entertained us while relating the story “The Gift of the Magi.”

United Methodist Trivia: Continuing our questions from last month: Statistics: A. What was the average worship attendance at First United Methodist Church, Anderson, in 2010? _____ Methodist Jargon: Name one corner of the quadrilateral:______________________________ (Extra credit for more than one, guaranteed entrance into heaven for all four, personally welcomed by John Wesley.)

For an amazing account of one U.S. Marine’s experience in Iraq, read Josh Bleill’s book One Step at a Time, from our church library. Josh’s world was changed forever on October 15, 2006, when the Humvee in which he was riding struck a mine and exploded under the seat on which Josh sat. When he eventually came to, his legs hurt terribly. But how could they? Both legs had been torn off just above his knees. This book takes you with Josh for the next two years. You will be beside his bed, in the operating room with Josh, and through months of agonizing rehabilitation. In all these horrible days you will experience Josh’s faith in God, and loyalty to his buddies in the Marine Corps. Josh now is a community communicator with the Indianapolis Colts, and his life is making a difference to hundreds of people. For an inspirational journey from Iraq to Indianapolis, be sure and “Check it Out”!

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HELPING HANDS NON-FOOD PANTRY UPDATE The Helping Hands Non-Food Pantry will be open on January 11 and 25, from 8:30 to 11:00 am, and 3:30 to 5 pm. As always, the need is greater during the winter season of the year. Any contribution you are able to Offering a hand up, make, such as toilet paper, powdered Not a hand out. laundry detergent, tissues, diapers, paper towels, personal hygiene products, dish soap, etc. will be greatly appreciated. Thank you to all in the congregation who take the time and money to support this very valuable ministry to the Anderson Community. Another VERY BIG thank you to all the volunteers who help each month when the pantry is open.


Listed below are the teams scheduled to cook at the Community Café for the month of December. Thank you to all team members for all you do. January 1, 2012—Rick Griner January 8—Cheryl Eiler January 15—Deardra Roesch January 22—Sandy French 2 January 29—Steve Alt February 5—Mark Shaw If you are not volunteering on a team at the moment, there are several teams who are looking for new members, and Bill Roesch is always looking for volunteers who can help out in a pinch. Also remember we offer a mini-food pantry for our Sunday evening guests, and non-perishable food items are always appreciated when you donate them.

The January meeting of the monthly book club will be held on Tuesday, January 3 at 9:30 am, in the church library. The fifth book of the year is entitled Little Princes by Connor Grennan. The book description as it appears on Amazon .com reads: “An astonishing testament to true courage, the transformative power of love, and the ability of one man to make a real difference. In search of adventure, twenty-nine-yearold Conor Grennan embarked on a yearlong journey around the globe, beginning with a three-month stint volunteering at an orphanage in civil war–torn Nepal. But a shocking truth would forever change his life: these rambunctious, resilient children were not orphans at all but had been taken from their families by child traffickers who falsely promised to keep them safe from war before abandoning them in the teeming chaos of Kathmandu. For Conor, what started as a footloose ramble became a dangerous, dedicated mission to unite youngsters he had grown to love with the parents they had been stolen from—a breathtaking adventure, as Conor risked everything in the treacherous Nepalese mountains to bring the children home.” Be sure to join us for an interesting discussion.

Congratulations: Ben Cassiday receives Degree from Asbury Seminary Richard, Ben and Dorinda Cassiday

Ben Cassiday received his Masters of Divinity Degree at Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky, December 9! Our family was so blessed to be able to share this event with Ben and Eva. He carried my father's pocket watch during the ceremony just like he did when he married Eva! Those of you who knew my dad would know how he would have been blessed to see this day as well, so it felt special to have him remembered is this way. Thanks for all your love and support during Ben's journey. In His Love Dorinda

THANKS to the AACC/YC singers and parents for their donations of hot chocolate, coloring books, crayons, soda, and candy bars that were put in take home bags for our guests at the Community Cafe on December 18

Ben and Eva

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MEMORIALS GIVEN IN NOVEMBER 2011 Mary Van Slyke Richard Hines Sue and Max Supica Becky and Scott Hessong Sandy Myers to Margaret Ann Hudson Library Lunch Bunch: Lois Utterback Susie Holsinger Teri Hostetler Marcia Martin Allyson Reed Carol Stookey Ellen Vores Ranaye Busby Gayle Martin

J.O.Y. LUNCHEON The J.O.Y. (Just Older Youth) group will start out the new year with a lunch and program on Friday, January 20, at 11:30 am. Our speaker will be Eleanor Hickman sharing the story of her beautiful quilts. Both men and women will enjoy seeing her artistic creations and hearing about them. Yes, guys, you will be intrigued by this program. Invite a friend and join us. Please call the church office to make your reservation. The suggested donation for lunch and the program is $7.00. J.O.Y. is a monthly fellowship group targeted to adults 65 years and older.

In November, Gary Robinson made a gift to UMCOR in honor of his father, Leslie W. Robinson. Mr. Robinson has volunteered with many UMCOR events throughout the years.

Do you have a song in your heart yearning to get out?

Do you like to sing? Sanctuary Choir will begin rehearsals on Wednesday, January 11. Perhaps you’ve been Martha Douglass to Bereavement Committee sitting and Millie Shepherd thinking “that might be fun.” June Tibbetts Well, come Elizabeth Shearer and join us! Patty Gallagher We rehearse Suzie and James Willard every Wednesday evening from 7-8 pm in the choir room. This Pauline and Bill Hecht to Davis would be a great time to start Park with the choir. Rhonda and Greg Hecht All are welcome!!! Martha Douglass Elizabeth Shearer Dianne and Craig Trees Fran Plummer

Thank You Charlie: Thanks to Charlie Jones for setting up the church’s carillon to play Christmas music during this holiday season. Anderson First United Methodist is a Stephens Ministry Church

BON AMIS SCHEDULE So hard to believe we are on our way into a new year again! Since it is a new year, we thought it was a good time to do some new things with Bon Amis. One of the favorite activities of our Bon Amis trips, no matter where we go, is eating; so we are instituting a restaurant tour this year. At least three times our Bon Amis trip will be going to a good restaurant within an hour or so of Anderson. We need your suggestions as to where you would like to eat--what is a favorite out-oftown restaurant you have you think

others would also enjoy. Give Pastor Donna a call and let her know. Besides the restaurant tours, the group will also take trips to Bear Creek Farm, La Comedia Theater, Dull's Tree Farm, the Air Force Museum at Dayton, and French Lick. A mystery trip or two in the local area is also being planned. Watch the bulletin and future newsletters for specific details. There will not be a trip in January!

Bon Amis is a travel group targeted to individuals 55 years and older. The group takes day trips to areas of interest within our local and regional area. The cost of each trip varies and includes entrance fees, restaurant costs, and the bus cost. Participation is open to the community. Contact Pastor Donna (643-6977) for more information.

First United Methodist Church 1215 Jackson Street Anderson IN 46016 Phone: 765-643-6977 Fax: 765-642-5232 E-mail:

Love First: Caring, Sharing & Connecting

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COMING EVENTS Office Schedule:

December 30—office open 9-noon January 2—office closed all day January 1—9:00 service—Sanctuary January 15—United Methodist Women Sunday January 20—J.O.Y. Lunch—11:30 am—Fellowship Hall January 20—Youth Ice Skating Party @ The Forum in Fishers February 5—Youth Superbowl Party—Youth Area

Non-Profit Organization U.S. Postage PAID Permit No. 909 Anderson, Indiana

United Methodist Trivia Answers Statistics: 266 Methodist Jargon: The Quadrilateral: Reason; Experience, Scripture, Tradition

January 2012 Voice  
January 2012 Voice  

Anderson First UMC News for January 2012