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930nor t h A P u b l i c at i o n


First United Methodist Church

In this Issue:

» Discover the benefits of Life Mentoring....................6 »Learn about the impact FUMC has made in Cambodia............................9 » Meet families whose lives have been changed by a new Community................10 » Celebrate the friendships created in small groups...16 Making Disciples


Three Centuries

February 2014 for the

T r a n s f o r m at i o n

of the


Junior High All-Nighter

The Feast of Carols in December

Knitting the Thread’s of God’s Love

Youth Ski Trip to Monarch Mountain, Colorado

Our life together Junior High All-Nighter

85 flashlights were donated for Epiphany to the One Stop Center

Hanging of the Greens

Making cards for the homebound at The Gathering


February 2014

Table of Contents The Meeting Place........................................................5


Life Mentoring by Kathy Booker...............................................................6 How to Communicate with FUMC........................7 Stories from Cambodia by Esther Gitobu..............................................................9


Two Families, One Service by Heidi Towns & Kim McGee.................................10 Making Scripture Come Alive! by Ron Garay..................................................................12


Financial Review by Brady Whitton..........................................................14 Sunday School & Journey Groups by Nancy Ginn, Kenissa McKay & Gwen Redding...........................................................16 Congregational News...............................................18


Pastor’s Column


A P u b l i c at i o n o f First United Methodist Church 9 3 0 N o rt h B o u l e va r d B a t o n R o u g e , LA 7 0 8 0 2 225-383-4777

Senior Pastor Rev. Brady Whitton Associate Pastors Rev. Brad Franklin Rev. Katie McKay Simpson Rev. Susie Thomas Rev. Ann Trousdale Editors/Graphic Designers Caroline Tyler Lanie White Photographers Judy Foust Esther Gitobu Robin Reed Todd Rossnagel Caroline Tyler To request to be added to our 930 North Magazine mailing list, join our photography or reporting team, or to have information included in a future edition of this publication, please call 383-4777. About the Cover

Reed Alexander McIlwain, son of Emily and Logan McIlwain, holds his great grandfather, Ken Barnette’s hand. photo credit / Robin Reed


930 North Magazine | February 2014

Past & Present: There is nothing new under the sun Brothers & Sisters in Christ, The writer of Ecclesiastes once opened, “There is nothing new under the sun” Rev. Brady Whitton (Ecc. 1:9) and this is true in so many Senior Pastor ways. As much as we like to see ourselves as re-inventing the wheel or coming up with the latest and greatest, in many ways we are more often than not simply resurfacing something that’s already made a few trips around the sun. If you’ve been to a movie recently you likely noticed that the soon-to-be-released blockbusters are often remakes of great stories already told. The latest fashion trends are often throwbacks to a previous era. But this doesn’t mean life has to get lost on the dusty shelves of the past. There is something creative and life-giving about taking something we love about the past and remaking it for a new day. I really enjoyed the latest Superman movie, Man of Steel, although I’m still partial to the Christopher Reeves version from the 80’s. I used to enjoy watching shows like Extreme Makeover Home Edition (a show where a family’s home is remodeled or even rebuilt because of a pressing need). One of the most touching moments on the show was when a designer took something meaningful from the family’s past – a picture, a memento, an heirloom – and worked it into a new space or design. You could sense the feeling of rightness that came when the new met the groundedness and meaning of the past.

This, in some ways, is one of the things Jesus did for the Jewish faith into which he was born. In Matthew 5:17, Jesus says, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets; I have come not to abolish but to fulfill.” Jesus didn’t ask people to throw the baby out with the bath water. He gave new and fresh meaning to something they already knew and loved. I believe the Church can learn something from this approach as we strive to fulfill our mission in the world today. We cannot afford to stay stuck in the past. But neither can we afford to throw out everything we’ve come to love and cherish through the years. What would it look like for us to lovingly and creatively take what we love about the past and remake it for a new day? What does it look like when we take the things we love about church – worship, community, tradition, children, youth, missions, etc. – and work it into a new design or space? In this edition of 930 North you’ll see some of the ways our church is doing just that. You will see a feature on Journey Groups, which is a refreshing take on Christian Education, in addition to Sunday School Classes already established. You will also see testimonies of two families that have found a church home because of our renewed committment to outreach. I hope you’ll see that while it’s true, “There is nothing new under the sun”, that doesn’t mean we can’t respectfully use the cherished gifts of the past to do creative, life-giving things today. Yours In Christ,

The Meeting Place

Meet our new Media Strategist Natalie Smith is the newest member to the First United Methodist Church staff. She has a diverse background working in graphic design, and is moving to Baton Rouge from New Zealand! She will be our new Media Strategist, working with the website and future editions of 930 North Magazine.

Where are you from?

Shelby, Alabama.

Where did you go to school and what did you study I attended Auburn University and later transferred to the University of Alabama at Birmingham to pursue my Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design. Birmingham had a lot of good opportunities to work with professionals in my field and to learn a lot in and out of the classroom. What’s your favorite movie? Shawshank Redemption.

Natalie Smith

If you could travel anywhere, where would you go? I still want to see the rest of the world. I’ve traveled to Fiji, Australia, Mexico, and I’ve lived the past 3 years in New Zealand. I hope to see more of the USA and I try to see a new country every year; so far so good. I taly or Spain is probably next on the hit list. Do you have any hobbies? Reading, learning new things, playing board games, hammock swinging, exploring, typography, and traveling. Do you have a special talent?

I can balance a spoon on my nose and cook Minute Rice in 59 seconds.

February 2014 | 930 North Magazine


Life Mentoring By: Kathy Bookter

The Mentoring Ministry at FUMC is designed for Christian friendship and support in the midst of daily life. Over 175 people in our congregation have participated in this vital ministry as it continues to serve our congregation. For more information, please visit our website,,

select the Adult Formation Education page, and go to Mentoring Ministry For more information, you may also contact Cherri Johnson, Director of Spiritual Formation and Education, at


930 North Magazine | February 2014

We're Within Your Reach How to communicate with your church when a pastoral need occurs

If you have a concern, sadness, or other pastoral need and wish to share with the Church, just call us at (225) 383-4777. Your concern or sadness may be a death, divorce, loss of a job, illness or hospitalization of a family member, or just a need for spiritual comfort. In the life of the Church, we also wish to acknowledge and celebrate your joys – a new baby, new grandparent, engagement, wedding, or other celebration. You may also just drop by or email the Church or share your concern with a member of the Congregational Care Staff – Rev. Brady Whitton; Rev. Brad Franklin; Rev. Katie McKay Simpson; Rev. Suzie Thomas; Sandra King, our Director of Congregational Care; or Paula Mercer, RN, our Congregational Nurse. One of our ministers is always on call for weekend or other emergencies. Just call our Church at (225) 383-4777 and you will be prompted with “If this is a pastoral care emergency, please press 4 now”. You will then be directly connected to the pastor on call at the moment. If you request, information regarding any concern or joy will be sent to the Care Team – a group of lay members and staff who meet regularly and send cards so you will remember, the Church is always here for you.

If you have a pastoral need, contact the church in one of the following ways: Call Rev. Brad Franklin, (225) 383-4777, ext. 211 You may leave a message with the secretary or ask to speak with him directly. Email Rev. Brad Franklin, at If you have an emergency, and it is either the weekend or after normal business hours, please call the church office at (225) 383-4777; you will hear “if this is a pastoral emergency, please press 4 now.” You will then be directly connected to the pastor on call at the moment. FUMC Contact Information 930 North Boulevard Baton Rouge, LA 70802 (225) 383 - 4777

February 2014 | 930 North Magazine


stories from

by esther gitobu, united methodist mis

Kong Saran is a 59-year old widow with four children, living in Daun Lep village in Svay Rieng province. A few years ago, Kong got very sick and was sent to the hospital for treatment. There she learned about Jesus Christ from a church group who had come to pray with and for patients like her. With their prayers, she suddenly felt better – and she became a follower of Christ on the spot! Unfortunately, when she returned home, her family refused to continue assisting her and now ignores her completely because of her faith. Her community was worse: they shunned and ridiculed her for both her poverty and faith, and what little she had of her own, they stole. About eight months ago, Cambodian Methodist Women (CMW) to her p ran next e a L S n g u n o o K e in Da assisted Kong in her effort to buy and raise chickens. In January, a t her hom a n e p n e chick CMW team traveled to Daoun Lep, and was pleased to see Kong at peace, enthusiastic about Christ, deaf to her neighbors’ criticism and insults, and optimistic that she will continue to be successful in raising chickens. Every week, she places in the offering plate what she has to give: one handful of rice. She has now been voted to be president in her church because of her continued faithfulness!

did you know?

FUMC supports a total of 88 students in Cambodia! High School 25 College 47 Graduate School 6 Total 88

Several of the students FUMC financially supports attend high school and university classes


930 North Magazine | February 2014

m cambodiA

missionary currently working in cambodia Kim Savy is a gifted entrepreneur whose passion is raising pigs. After successfully starting her own business in Svey Reig, she decided to enlarge her piggery to help the poor in her church who couldn’t feed themselves. Cambodian Methodist Women has assisted Kim since 2010, and now she is growing her business with a steady profit she receives from selling her pigs at market. She would like to share her skills with others so they can benefit as well. Kim Sav Kim Savy is a perfect example of how y and her pigs, in S vey Reig hard work and experience can be shared for the benefit of all. CMW looks forward to working with Kim Savy at training sessions where she can teach other women how to give pig vaccinations, deliver piglets, practice good hygiene in piggeries, and how the women can start businesses of their own. Scarves, handbags and other items made by the Cambodian Women, are sold on Mission Sundays by the UMW Ladies of FUMC



Grand Total






















February 2014 | 930 North Magazine



930 North Magazine | February 2014

February 2014 | 930 North Magazine



930 North Magazine | February 2014

“Make the scripture come alive by relating the particular ‘story’ to the congregation in a manner that is very much like you would relate a personal story to a friend in a dinner conversation.” Loren Kleinpeter February 2014 | 930 North Magazine


Financial Review February 16, 2014 Brothers & Sister in Christ, One of the things that came out of the Transforming Church Index (TCI) survey we did in 2013 was that our congregation wanted more information and clearer communication about the church’s finances. For some, a spreadsheet would do the job (and if you’d like a spreadsheet you are welcome to contact Beth Fraser, our church’s Business Administrator, at For those who aren’t “spreadsheet people” though, I offer the following report on our church finances for 2013. Our church’s proposed operating budget for 2013 was $3,829,851. This includes staff, ministry, missions, maintenance, etc. but does not include capital building expenditures or the Early Learning Center. (Capital building expenditures are covered by our church’s endowment, and the ELC is paid for by student tuition.) $534,864 of that $3,829,851 goes to what we call Missions and Outreach. Things like Hope Ministries, Volunteers in Public Schools, Connections for Life, the One Stop, etc. That’s around 14% of our budget that we give away. Our actual expenses in 2013 were $3,817,058. We spent less than we planned by a little ($12,793). On the income side there are two numbers that are important. First, is what we call “Pledges.” This is the amount of money people indicated they planned to give to the church during the year. Our expected Pledges for 2013 were $2,565,818. And once piece of good news is we actually received $2,615,826 ($50,008 more than we expected). The other important income number is what we call “Non-Pledges.” These are people who give to the church but have not turned in a pledge card. This year we brought in $505,000 in non-pledges. With those two amounts and other income (Sunday school offerings, building rentals, etc.) our total income for 2013 was $3,395,910. It doesn’t take a genius to see a problem. With expenses of $3,817,058 and income of $3,395,910 we ended the year $421,148 (12%) short. Another piece of good news when we adopted the 2013 budget we expected to be $443,968 short. We did better than we planned.


930 North Magazine | February 2014

To put this shortfall in perspective, if your household expenses were $75,000 a year and you were 12% you need to find an additional $9,000 in income, cut $9,000 from your expenses, or a little bit of both. Certainly not ideal, but not insurmountable. Another thing to note is that we gave away more money to Missions and Outreach (14%) than we were short (12%). Now, we can afford this deficit right now because we are in no way destitute as a church. We have a healthy endowment, healthy restricted funds, and healthy cash reserves. What we do not want to do, however, is continue to spend more than we bring in. So here’s our plan. First, every household and every church can find creative places to spend less. We are on the lookout for ways to reduce expenses without impacting our ministry. (Our goal for 2014 is to reduce our deficit spending by 50%). Second, we will find ways to inspire our congregation (you) to increase their investment in the ministry and mission of the church. (We’ll be talking to you about the mission, vision, and plan for the church in February. Our goal is to have a balanced budget by 2015. That’s all the financial information that’s fit to print. I want to close with this thought however. We have an embarrassment of riches at First United Methodist Church. On the operating side of things we can be smarter and I pledge to you that we will be. At the same time, the truth is most of us can afford to be more generous with the church and I want to encourage you to do so. When smarter spending and generous giving meet we will find that God has given us everything we need to do the ministry to which we have been called. I am confident in God’s provision. We will be fine. Yours in Christ,

February 2014 | 930 North Magazine



930 North Magazine | February 2014

February 2014 | 930 North Magazine


Congregational News Celebrating the Birth of...

Welcome New Members!

Reed Alexander, son of Emily & Logan McIlwain Landry Marie, daughter of Kim & Stuart Gilly Tatum May, daughter of Kristin & Will Green William Lance, son of Carol & Lance Osborne

Justin Thomas and Cardiss Mumphrey

Matt Smith

Confirmands 2013-2014

Julia Steele, daughter of Amelia & Jack Hunt Margot Mitchell, granddaughter of Peggy & Charlie Smith

Receiving the Sacrament of Baptism...

Warren, Heather and Maddie Kimball

Alan, Jennifer, Sophie and Sadie Maltbie

December 8, 2013

Jules Bess, daughter of Amanda & Tim Messa

December 22, 2013

Parker Joseph, son of Lauren & Sam Speer

January 12, 2014

Colin Paul Ducote Lindy Adele Hataway Jacob Thomas Ragsdale David Brendan Winstead

Follow us on Twitter: @FUMCYouthBR

Sympathy to the Families of...

Van Baron Calhoun Jr. Dot Dessell Oscar Huh

Betty Kerr

Chris Harrison

Like us on Facebook: FUMC Youth BR

Carson Abney Madison Bauder Jake Davenport Colin Ducote William Duke Lindy Hataway Sutter Kramer Victoria Labarre Hannah Loupe Greta McBride Charles McKenzie David Melton Brooke Nettles Jacob Ragsdale Audrey Randolph Casey Rigby Madeline Robison Margaret Segar Reid Segar Olivia Vance Caroline Warren David Winstead Henry Worrell

Come join the fight against breast cancer and join the best team in Baton Rouge. To register, go online to (click join an existing team, team name is “FUMC Team�)! Together we will make a difference for those who are affected by breast cancer. Questions? Contact Sandra King at 383-4777.

Weekly Attendance


Week of Sunday, December 1

Week of Sunday, December 8

Worship Sunday School Total

Worship Sunday School Total

998 439 1,437

930 North Magazine | February 2014

1,179 481 1,660

Week of Sunday, December 15 Worship Sunday School Total

2,364 432 2,796

Week of Sunday, December 22 Worship Sunday School Total

4,688 295 4,983

Calendar of Events February Sunday, February 2 9:40 AM Newcomer’s Coffee 5:00 PM Youth and HIGH Five Monday, February 3 9:45 AM Prayer Ministry Tuesday, February 4 9:00 AM Men’s Coffee Knitting 9:30 AM Fit @ First 11:45 AM Centering Prayer Wednesday, February 5 9:30 AM Bible for Every Day 10:00 AM Sisters in Christ 12:10 AM Aldrich Chapel Worship 5:00 PM The Gathering Thursday, February 6 9:00 AM Thursday Group Friday, February 7 10:00 AM Baby Bouncers Group Saturday, February 8 7:30 AM Emmaus Sunday, February 9 5:00 PM Youth and HIGH Five Monday, February 10 9:45 AM Prayer Ministry Tuesday, February 11 9:00 AM Men’s Coffee Knitting 9:30 AM Fit @ First Wednesday, February 12 9:30 AM Bible for Every Day 10:00 AM Sisters in Christ 5:00 PM The Gathering 7:00 PM Chancel Choir Thursday, February 13 9:00 AM Thursday Group 7:00 PM Vision Home Meeting at the home of Randy and Celeste Pierce (14375 Bluff Pass Dr.) Friday, February 14 10:00 AM Baby Bouncers Group Saturday, February 15 7:30 AM Emmaus Sunday, February 16 5:00 PM Youth and HIGH Five

For more dates and events, visit our web site at

Monday, February 17 9:45 AM Prayer Ministry 7:00 PM Vision Home Meeting at the home of Alan and Colleen Brock (6006 Esplanade Ave.) Tuesday, February 18 9:00 AM Men’s Coffee Knitting 9:30 AM Fit @ First 11:45 AM Centering Prayer 7:00 PM Vision Home Meeting at the home of Sheri and Stephen Loy (6124 Hope Estate Dr.) Wednesday, February 19 9:30 AM Bible for Every Day 10:00 AM Sisters in Christ 5:00 PM The Gathering 7:00 PM Chancel Choir Thursday, February 20 9:00 AM Thursday Group 7:00 PM Vision Home Meeting at the home of Gwen Redding (714 Woodgate Blvd.) Friday, February 21 10:00 AM Baby Bouncers Group Sunday, February 23 5:00 PM Youth and HIGH Five 5:45 PM Folk Choir Monday, February 24 9:45 AM Prayer Ministry Tuesday, February 25 9:00 AM Men’s Coffee Knitting 9:30 AM Fit @ First Wednesday, February 26 8:00 AM Senior Adult Trip 9:30 AM Bible for Every Day 10:00 AM Sisters in Christ 5:00 PM The Gathering 7:00 PM Chancel Choir Thursday, February 27 9:00 AM Thursday Group Friday, February 28 10:00 AM Baby Bouncers Group

Books of Life Books of Life will meet next on Wednesday, March 5 at 6:30 p.m. in the McKenzie Library. If you plan to attend or want more information, please contact Mary Jacob - 753-4226 or The book for March is The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri. About the book: Born just fifteen months apart, Subhash and Udayan Mitra are inseparable brothers, one often mistaken for the other in the Calcutta neighborhood where they grow up. But they are also opposites, with gravely different futures ahead. It is the 1960s, and Udayan—charismatic and impulsive—finds himself drawn to the Naxalite movement, a rebellion waged to eradicate inequity and poverty; he will give everything, risk all, for what he believes. Subhash, the dutiful son, does not share his brother’s political passion; he leaves home to pursue a life of scientific research in a quiet, coastal corner of America. But when Subhash learns what happened to his brother in the lowland outside their family’s home, he goes back to India, hoping to pick up the pieces of a shattered family, and to heal the wounds Udayan left behind—including those seared in the heart of his brother’s wife.

Monthly Lectionary Texts

The lectionary is a series of Scripture readings for specific days of the year. The United Methodist Church uses a lectionary based on The Revised Common Lectionary, a three-year lectionary. They include four Bible readings for every Sunday, plus readings for special Holy Days.

February 2

February 16

Micah 6:1-8 1 Corinthians 1:18-31 Psalms 15 Matthew 5:1-12

Deuteronomy 30:15-20 1 Corinthians 3:1-9 Psalms 119:1-8 Matthew 5:21-37

February 9

February 23

Isaiah 58:1-12 1 Corinthians 2:1-16 Psalms 112:1-10 Matthew 5:13-20

Leviticus 19:1-2, 9-18 1 Corinthians 3:10-11, 16-23 Psalms 119:33-40 Matthew 5:38-48

February 2014 | 930 North Magazine


First United Methodist Church


930 North Blvd. Baton Rouge, LA 70802 Change Service Requested


J oin

us for

W orship ! Sundays

8:30 a.m. Sanctuary Worship 9:40 a.m. Sunday School for all Ages 11 a.m. Sanctuary and America Street Worship 6:30 p.m. Ory Parish Hall Worship


12:10 p.m. Aldrich Chapel Worship & Holy Communion 5:45 p.m. Worship @ Gathering

Nursery Care is available from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Sunday mornings and from 5:007:30 p.m. Wednesday evenings for children ages 8 weeks to kindergarten



for more information



930 North Magazine | February 2014

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