Loving Jesus, Loving Downtown
I am a downtown church. Some people rather pity
me, for they think I am destined to grow weak and die. But they do not know me or they would know better. I have an honorable history. I was here more than a century ago and I may still be here a century hence. Long after neighborhoods have changed and good neighborhoods have deteriorated, I will still continue to be strong. For I am the heart of the city and my ministry is not for a section of the town, but to the entire city. I reach out in every direction. My ministry touches every neighborhood and it extends to all classes. I am not provincial in my outlook. In me, rich and poor mingle in the fellowship of worship. Through me the poor are enabled and enriched, and the rich are made generous and gentle. I live to serve. I exist for others. This may be the reason why I continue to keep strong through the years. It is sometimes said that I am not convenient to attend. Whoever said that religion is to be a matter of convenience? If pilgrims of Israel could travel the length of Palestine afoot to attend the special Temple services in Jerusalem, surely the twenty minutes it requires to come to the heart of the city is not too much.
I leave my future to you, for my place in the city depends on your loyalty. I believe that I can count on you. - Author Unknown
Arise, shine, for
your light has come, and the glory of the LORD rises upon you. - Isaiah 60:1 Thanks to your generosity, your gifts and your faith, our historic sanctuary shines even brighter. Our stained glass has been updated and restored, and now future generations of worshippers will experience the light and love of Christ as so many worshippers through the years have. Thank you!
When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, â€œI am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.â€? - John 8:12
PHASE 1 We began the renovation program last year to minister more effectively to the wide variety of people who make up First Methodist Downtown, and embody the love of Christ for all. In the next few pages, you will see that the immediate plans include a new ramp on Clay Street, a new LED sign, and a new columbarium and prayer garden on Main Street.
â€œOver the years, the spirit which first formed this congregation back in 1839 has continued as, generation by generation, we have tried to look to the future and do whatever it took to make a difference for Christ in the lives of people in Houston and around the world.â€? - Dr. Steve Wende
From Clay Street, a new, much wider and gentler ramp will allow easy entrance for those with wheelchairs or walkers or moms pushing baby strollers. “All God’s people, in whatever situation, will be able to come through the front door into His house of worship. When you look at the plans for the new entry and relocated Welcome Center, you will see how gracious, secure and beautiful the entrance has become.” - Dr. Steve Wende
CLAY STREET RAMP
A state-of-the-art LED display will rotate images and messages to pedestrian and vehicle traffic on Clay and Travis every five minutes. This sign will allow us to share more events and ministries with a wider audience. LED DISPLAY
the city for god
MAIN STREET PORCH
A columbarium is a place for the respectful and public storage of cinerary urns. The renovation covers the building of this beautiful and perpetuallycared-for final resting place. Dr. Steve Wende has described it well: â€œIt will be a place for prayer and the honoring of those members of the First Methodist family who have gone on before.â€?
PHASE 2 Much has already happened. However, to continue to reach Houston, much remains to be done. The next few pages illustrate the vision we have to reach young families, and let them know that a downtown church is a great place for children. We are also re-imagining and remodeling the entire first floor to make it more open, welcoming and functional, and you will see those designs in this section as well. FIRST FLOOR NURSERY
With a variety of colors and a “cityscape” theme, the nursery and children’s floor will radiate the joy of Christ and the heart of the First Methodist family, and provide the children with a secure, loving and enriching environment.
FIRST FLOOR PLAYSCAPE AND NURSERY
FIRST FLOOR NURSERY ENTRANCE
CHILDREN’S SECOND FLOOR RECEPTION AREA
Bringing People to CHRIST
“We may say children are important to us, but when prospects are looking for a church, they have a ‘Missouri’ mindset: wanting to be shown, not just told.” - Dr. Steve Wende
CHILDREN’S SECOND FLOOR WORSHIP SPACE
I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Jesus Christ. - Philippians 1:3-6
WELCOME CENTER AND COMMONS AREA
How Can I Get Involved? Already Completed
• Stained Glass Restoration • Roof repairs
Phase 1 • Clay Street Ramp • LED Sign • Columbarium • Main Street Prayer Garden
Phase 2 • Nursery Space • Children’s Ministry Space • Chapel • Welcome Center • Commons Area • Bookstore
“Bring to mind your love for this downtown church and your love for our Lord, then prayerfully consider your part in this great and much-needed effort. Not all of us can give the same, but all of us can give our best - and that is what I am requesting. My goal is that every member of the Downtown Campus who can afford to give, would participate financially in this effort.” - Dr. Steve Wende
Commitment Sunday, May 20 During worship you will have the opportunity to support the vision of updating our facilities to more effectively fulfill our mission to make disciples, grow disciples and impact the city for God.
Your two-year financial contribution now will directly impact our ability to share Jesus Christ in downtown Houston today, and for generations to come. You can give by placing your gift in the worship offering, by mailing it to the church or online, noting that it is for the renovations. There will also be presentations in all Sunday School classes on April 29, May 6 and May 13. No gift is too small, and every gift makes a difference.
“When we put first-class facilities together with Christ-focused members, Bible-based ministries, and the blessing of the Holy Spirit, we will have a church that can continue to influence this city and bring hearts to Christ in amazing ways for many, many years to come.” - Dr. Steve Wende
FIRST METHODIST HOUSTON 1320 Main Street Houston, TX 77002 832.668.1800 www.fmhouston.com