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FIRSTConnections First United Methodist Church Richardson

Volume 7, Issue 21

February/March 2011

Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, serving as overseers - not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be. 1 Peter 5:2 NIV


Join Us for Worship Sundays Service of Communion & Prayer Chapel, 8:15 a.m. & noon Traditional 8:45, 9:45, 11:00 Dr. Clayton Oliphint, preaching 5:00 p.m. access A Contemporary Worship Experience Dr. Clayton Oliphint, preaching Tune in! WRR 101.1 7:00 a.m. Worship at FUMCR

503 N. Central Expressway P.O.Box 830877 Richardson, TX 75080-5315 972.235.8385 Senior Pastor Dr. Clayton Oliphint Director of Communications & Worship Gloria Scott Editor/Graphic Designer Elizabeth Gonzalez

Welcome Guests As a newcomer and guest of First United Methodist Church Richardson, we invite you to make yourself at home! Whether you are here for a weekday program, an evening event, a support group, an educational seminar or a Sunday worship service, we extend our hand to you in friendship.

Be Our Guest We are delighted to have you as our guest! Let us know you are worshipping with us and participating in activities on campus so we can get to know you.

Grow In Friendship You are invited to learn more about Christian Discipleship and participate in church life. We want to share the vision and mission of FUMCR with you so that you can make informed decisions about your presence, participation and commitment to this faith community. Elizabeth Wilson, Director Inviting & Involving 972.996.0134




Kristen Ceaser, Inviting & Involving Associate 972.996.0154

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Communications Associate Kevin Burns Web Manager Francy Collins Contributors Leroy Howe Dawn Kahle Holly Lee Rich Rindfuss Julie Williams FIRST Connections (USPS 022-024) is published 6 times a year, bi-monthly by the First United Methodist Church of Richardson, 503 N. Central Exp., Richardson, Texas 75080. Periodicals postage paid at Richardson, Texas and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to First Connections, PO Box 830877, Richardson, TX 75080-5315.

FIRST Connections deadline for April/May 2011 issue: March 1, 2011. Submissions

2011 is a year full of possibilities for First United Methodist Church Richardson! With all of the ministry opportunities God has given us, and all of the challenges we face both individually and as a church, there is one simple thing that should never be overlooked: Caring about one another. This is so basic to who we are as Christians, yet so easy to let slip in the midst of all of our demands. Maybe it Dr. Clayton Oliphint, should be one of our goals for the year—simply to take time to care about each Senior Pastor other: members, guests of our church, and strangers we encounter in the world. One of my first District Superintendents, Rev. Pete Robertson, told me, “People don’t care what you know, until they know that you care.” Good advice for all of us, not only in terms of how we treat one another in church, but also in how we live our lives in the world. In this issue of FIRST Connections you will learn more about our Caring Ministries here at FUMCR In the wake of Rev. Ken Shamblin’s death, we have reorganized this area of ministry. Rev. April Bristow leads this department and Rev. Rich Rindfuss has joined our staff to help in this area, as well as to work in Discipleship. All of the clergy are involved in Pastoral Care, and we also believe strongly that our job is to help equip you to be involved in this ministry. After reading about all that we are doing, you may be inspired to get involved. This is one of the ways you can really make a difference in helping us share the love of Christ with others. For the season of Lent we have a series called “24 Hours That Changed The World,” based on a book written by my friend and colleague, Adam Hamilton. Adam was my seminary classmate at Perkins School of Theology and is pastor of Church of the Resurrection in the Kansas City area, which is the largest United Methodist Church in our denomination. We are encouraging every member to join us in this study in worship, Sunday School, small groups, and personal study. It will make our celebration of Easter that much more meaningful to understand what happened this last day in Jesus’ earthly life. Join us for worship every Sunday morning at 8:45, 9:45, or 11:00 a.m., or on Sunday afternoon for access at 5:00p.m. We are a caring church because we serve a God who cares! In Christ, Clayton Oliphint

Dr. Earl Bledsoe to Lead FUMCR’s Holy Week Lunch Series W RITING



FUMCR is pleased to announce that Bishop Earl Bledsoe is scheduled as the featured speaker for the Holy Week lunch series Monday, April 18 through Thursday, April 21. The Holy Week luncheon series is one of the great traditions at FUMCR,” says Senior Pastor Clayton Oliphint. “We are fortunate to welcome Bishop Earl Bledsoe, the spiritual leader for the United Methodist Church in the North Texas area. Bishop Bledsoe is an outstanding person of faith, who has a deep desire for United Methodist Christians to live their faith in a way that will make a difference in the world.” Bishop Bledsoe hopes the Holy Week lunch series will inspire FUMCR church members to open their hearts, minds and doors in the mission of making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. “I see the laity as an asset and the hope of our church,” Bledsoe said. “When laity are inspired by the hope of the Gospel, things happen in our church … That’s been my experience as a pastor and as a superintendent.” Bishop Bledsoe has a strong connection to FUMCR’s Senior Pastor Clayton Oliphint. He traveled with Clayton and Clayton’s sister, Mary Brooke Casad, on a mission trip to Africa University for the dedication of the health clinic and scholarships. “On our trip to Africa University, I saw first-hand our bishop’s passion for sharing the love of Christ with people, as well as ministering to the physical needs of people. He truly lives what he preaches,” Dr. Oliphint said. Bledsoe holds a master’s of divinity degree from Perkins School of Theology, where he was a Benjamin E. Mays Scholar in Hebrew and Greek, and a doctorate from Drew University.

Dr. Bledsoe has been a district superintendent for the Bryan/West District in the Texas Conference. He has served as pastor for Spring Woods UMC in Houston, Cypress UMC and Bear Creek UMC in Houston. From 1990-93, he was director of teaching ministries for the Texas Conference. He was an assistant pastor at St. Andrews UMC in Fort Worth, and a part-time local pastor for Wyatt Memorial UMC in Amarillo and the Anahuac Circuit. Dr. Bledsoe is a jurisdictional member of the Connectional Table and was elected a General Conference delegate from 1992-2008. He chairs his conference’s Board of Ordained Ministry and is president of the Council on Finance and Administration. He also chairs the Texas Methodist Foundation Board and Houston Board of Missions Revitalization Committee. He and his wife, Leslie, have six children and eleven grandchildren.

Mark Your Calendar! Holy Week Lunch Series Monday - Thursday, April 18-21



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Meet our New Pastor – Rich Rindfuss


id you know that we have a new pastor at FUMCR as of the first week of January? Reverend Rich Rindfuss joins us from Lake Highlands United Methodist Church and will focus on Discipleship and Caring Ministries. Rich has been married to Heather for fourteen years. They have a daughter, Samantha, who is a second grader and started¡ at Arapaho Classical Magnet in January. (If anyone has a child at the Magnet school, please reach out to the family—I know Samantha would love to have a friend as she starts this new school!) Rich grew up in Ohio and received his Bachelor of Computer Science and Engineering degree from the University of Toledo in 1994. He worked as a database programmer until 1998, when through prayer, conversations with other Christians, and Heather’s support, he discerned a call to ministry. He and Heather then quit their jobs, packed everything into a Penske truck, and moved to Texas for him to attend seminary at Perkins School of Theology at SMU, where he received a Masters of Divinity from Perkins in 2002. Heather grew up in various places around the country. She received a Bachelor in Religious Studies degree from UCLA in 1993. After graduation, Heather served as a U.S. 2 missionary for the United Methodist Church for two years. She was sent to Ohio to work out of a local United Methodist Church offering after-school programming to inner-city children. Rich and Heather met while she was serving there. Before marrying, Heather returned to college and received a Masters in Religious Studies from UC Santa Barbara.




Rich loves reading, with science and science fiction high on his list. A selfprescribed “nerd”, he’s been known to sit down to read a computer technical manual and describe the experience using words like “relaxing” and “fun.” On his iPhone you’ll find Ohio State’s Introduction to Astronomy lectures, the Greek New Testament and Metallic’s Black album but not the ESPN app. He loves walking outdoors, whether it’s a day hike in the Ozarks or just walking around the neighborhood. He doesn’t often get the opportunity, but he also loves SCUBA diving. When I asked Rich if there was anything else that he’d like for me to know, he said that Heather, Samantha, and he are excited about being a part of the FUMCR and Richardson communities and look forward to the days ahead. Well, I can tell you that the feeling is mutual. How lucky we are to welcome this vibrant family to our church. I get the feeling that we will learn a lot from Rich—and really enjoy doing so. He’s obviously a smart one, and that sense of humor that came out during our conversation will add a cool flavor to his ministry here at FUMCR.


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Meet your

Caring Ministries Team!

From Left: Kay Schafer, Mary Collins, Rich Rindfuss, April Johnson Bristow, Marilyn Dickson, Jimmie Mobley

April Johnson Bristow How long have you been on staff: 9 years Job title: Director of Caring Ministries Job description/duties/functions: I provide leadership, support and coordination of all Caring Ministries functions. 6


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Personal fact(s) about you: • • • • •

16 years in ministry/11 years in North Texas conference Clinical Pastoral Education (Hospital Chaplain) and Assistant Chaplain at SMU Served as Interim Pastor for First Congregational Church, Plano Originally from New York Bachelors of Science in Marketing

• •

Will complete a certificate program in April 2011 to be a spiritual director Gifts: teacher and trainer Love walking, experimenting with cooking styles, “designing on a dime” restyling a room with little or no money Traveling to Durban, South Africa this year for World Methodist Conference 9 year old son, Bryce

What is it that you most enjoy about working in Caring Ministries: Since I have been a teenager, I have visited the homebound and been a listening ear to those hurt, broken or in crisis. My responsibilities allow me to work from my “strong suit” as I visit, pray with and hear the joys and the struggles of our members. I LOVE MY MINISTRY HERE!

To be fair, most of these ministries were led by and implemented by the wonderful lay members of our congregation. I just provided some occasional direction and support.

Personal fact(s) about you: •

How long have you been on staff: I’m the newest

How long have you been on staff: 6 1/2 years Job title and description: •

We’re still working out my exact duties. However, I can tell you that I’ll be serving in discipleship and caring ministries, and as part of the Care Team, I’ll be making weekly hospital visits. At my former appointment, Lake Highlands UMC, I served as the staff leader for pastoral care ministries for 6 years, which included things like: • •

Visiting homebound and hospitalized members Taking communion to homebound and hospitalized members Calling members on their birthday

Associate Pastor for Caring Ministries Staff support for Stephen Ministry team Grief Recovery coordinator for persons experiencing significant life changes One-on-one spiritual and pastoral counseling conversations

sharing God’s story so that the harder questions about who God is, how God works and how we intentionally work with God to become who we can be, begins to take shape in the way we live our lives. I enjoy working together with both volunteers and staff to have a small part in being a kingdom builder here on earth.

Jimmie Mobley How long have you been on staff: 14 1/2 years. Job title and description: Associate Pastor in charge of Nursing Homes. At the present time there are 62 members or relatives in nursing homes. The job includes visiting the homes and going to the hospital when one of the nursing home clients became ill and assisting them when ever possible.

What is it that you most enjoy about working in Caring Ministries:

Personal fact(s) about you:

It is rewarding to work in Caring Ministries. Working with persons in the last years of their life is exciting, challenging and rewarding.

Personal fact(s) about you:

member of the Care Team.

Job title and description:

Married to Heather for fourteen years. We have a daughter, Samantha, who is in second grade See article on page 5 for more on Rich!

Marilyn Dickson

Rich Rindfuss

Prayer blankets

Married to Ron with four children and eleven grandchildren, avid quilter, love sudoku and suspense novels Adjunct faculty at Perkins School of Theology

What is it that you most enjoy about working in Caring Ministries: I particularly enjoy hearing other people’s faith stories and having the privilege of being with them, praying, talking and sharing with them during trying times in their lives. I love teaching/ facilitating small groups and

• • • •

Appointed to the inter-city of Oak Cliff at 4 churches from 1969-89. 1989-1997 at Lakewood UMC In 1997 I retired to join First Richardson as Associate. Married to Mary Frances since June 29, 1952. Our family includes three children, three outlaws, six grand children, four grand outlaws(so far) and five great grand children(so far).

Meet Your Caring Ministries Team, continued on page 17


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Caring Ministries Needs You! Congregational care at FUMCR facilitates wholeness of body, mind, spirit and relationships of all persons committed to our care. Bereavement Care: Offers meal or reception provisions for families at the time of memorial services held at our church campus. Volunteers bake cookies, prepare a dish, and/or serve at receptions. Jan Casner at 972.661.5928 or Divorce Recovery: Offered twice a year for those experiencing separation or divorce. Rev. April Johnson Bristow at 972.996.0139 or Grief Recovery and Grief Support: The 4-session seminar, Help for Hurting Hearts, is offered three times a year for those experiencing grief. Groups are open to the public. Rev. Marilyn Dickson at 972.996.0111. Lay Visitors: Hospital visitation ministry. Laity visit hospitalized members on Tuesdays, Thursdays or Saturdays. Jane Aitchison at 972.231.1242 or janea52@ Nursing Home Volunteers: regularly visit one or more church members residing in assisted living or nursing homes. We provide friendship and care. Melinda Bogoslavsky at 972.234.0975 or

Homebound Members: Due to illness, infirmity or transportation issues, some members are primarily homebound and unable to attend church regularly. Visitors are assigned to telephone or visit one or more homebound members regularly. Marie Madden at 972.679.6338 or

Prayer Blanket Ministry: Each Sunday, church members tie knots in the blanket fringe and say a prayer for blanket recipients. Joan Huddleston, 972.235.7378, or Prayer Group: Each Tuesday, cards with prayer requests are placed on the Chapel altar. Volunteers pray for each request on a come-and-go basis between 10:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Tuesdays. Contact the church at 972.235.8385 for details. Questions about volunteering in any of these areas? Please contact Caring Ministries chair, Marvilou Walters at 972.276.2608 or

Get the Support You Need: Support Groups at FUMCR Grief Recovery: Help for Hurting Hearts, is offered regularly for those experiencing grief. Offers practical information about the grief journey, including coping techniques, theories on grief and opportunity to share about your loved one. Contact Rev. Marilyn Dickson at 972.996.0111 or

Career Jump-Start:

Cancer/Caregiver Support Group: Have you or a loved

helpful and supportive programs on a monthly basis that suggest additional resources for dealing with what life deals you as a single parent. Meets the third Monday of each month at 6:00 p.m. Bartula Family Life Center. Contact Sue Hardin at 972.562.8128 or

one been touched by cancer? Caring for someone with cancer? If so, join us on the 4th Monday of each month at 7:00 p.m. in room 204. We share our life journeys in a warm, supportive and positive environment. Contact Brenda Duckett 972.235.9414 or

Divorce Recovery: offered twice a year for those experiencing separation or divorce. Contact Rev. April Johnson Bristow at 972.996.0139 or

Employment Transition Ministry (ETM): offers support, resources, fellowship and guidance to those experiencing joblessness or the desire to return to the workforce after unemployment. ETM’s goal is to reduce the anxiety and stress of a job loss and speed up the placement by providing a spirit filled support group offering skills training, networking, encouragement and hope, along with spiritual and emotional support. Sundays at 11:00 a.m. in Room 209. Contact Todd Watson at



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Tuesday evenings, 6:30 to 8:00 p.m., in Ogden Fellowship Hall or Room 2A. Guides job seekers through the job search process, offering informative, motivational speakers; providing networking opportunities. Contact the church office at 972.235.8385.

Single Parents Action Network (SPAN): provides

Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPs): is a national program that helps moms support moms. Meet other Christian woman and grow as a mother. MOPs meets twice a month on Mondays from 9:15 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. in the Bartula Family Life Center. Childcare is first-come, firstserve. Dues are $65 per semester. Contact Allyson George at ageorge@ or 972.996.0121. Stephen Ministers:

are lay caregivers trained to provide confidential, distinctively Christian one-to-one care to those in need, both in our congregation and community. Contact Contact Rev. Marilyn Dickson at 972.996.0111 or

Stephen Ministry 15 Years of Care giving to Members of FUMCR


tephen Ministry is a caring ministry provided by the laity of FUMCR, who has completed fifty hours of training in Christian Care giving. These lay ministers provide confidential, weekly, hour-long sessions for those among us, who have experienced loss, traumatic events in life, changes in circumstances, or other challenging situations. They can be recognized in our midst by their blue nametags.




Stephen Ministers, in addition to meeting weekly with their care receivers, meet every two weeks as a group for peer supervision. Connie Cross says the reason she has remained an active Stephen Minister for twelve years is because, “Stephen Ministry feeds my soul week after week, year after year.” Individual contributions and the FUMCR support make it possible to send Stephen Ministers for leadership training. This frequent replenishing of leadership has contributed to this being one of the most successful ongoing Stephen Ministers in Methodism. Active members of the Leadership Team of Stephen Ministry are: Jim McConnell, Team Leader, along with Bob Macy, Connie Cross, Kay Schafer, Bob Campbell, Judy Crain, Susan Thompson, Jane Rooker, Jean Van Hoffmann, Ellen Stevenson, and Leroy Howe. Bill Connell is eager to return to the team soon following his recovery from a stroke. Rev. Marilyn Dickson, a Caring Ministry pastor on staff, is the staff liaison and spiritual guide for Stephen Ministry.

“We need to grow more Stephen Ministers as our church grows, so we can be there whenever someone is in crisis.”

In 1993, Marilyn Evans was the first to feel the call and capture the vision of Stephen Ministry as a part of the caring ministry at FUMCR. She was inspired by a Stephen Minister, whom she met at the hospital bedside of her mother, Hilda May Bedford, during the final days of her life. Marilyn says that, “The love and care of my mother’s Stephen Minister was the contact that kept my mother’s last days close to her church and her lord.”

When Marilyn learned that the mission of a Stephen Minister was to extend comfort to those in need by their listening, prayer, and presence, she envisioned how this program could be of use in helping to meet the many needs of members of FUMCR. She, with Nancy and Leroy Howe, met with the senior pastor, David Shawver, who gave the program his blessing. In 1995, they, with Julie Halstead and Harold Rucker, ministers of pastoral care at FUMCR, and Bob Macy went to the week long Stephen Ministry leadership training. In 1996, nineteen Stephen Ministers were then trained and commissioned by FUMCR.

Bob Campbell, a Stephen Minister for twelve years, envisions it’s future this way, “My dream is that members of FUMCR will search their hearts and take this outstanding training program. We need to grow more Stephen Ministers as our church grows, so we can be there whenever someone is in crisis.”

It is difficult to fully describe the impact of those in this ministry. However, Bob Macy, who has been active in Stephen Ministry for the entire fifteen years, expresses it this way, “Being involved in any way with Stephen Ministry is a life changing event.” One hundred fifty Stephen Ministers have been trained and commissioned by FUMCR over the past fifteen years, each making the commitment to two years of service. Thirty to forty Stephen Ministers have provided up to 2,000 hours of Christian care giving every year. One care receiver describes her experience this way; “My Stephen Minister nourished my soul, helped me recognize and cope with my grief, and drew me back to my faith through the constancy of her love and prayers.”

Stephen Ministry training participants Homa Lewis, Bob Diggs, Frances Long, Bob Tiner, Shirley Alexander, and Don Hood.


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34 Babies Born including

18 “member” babies 16 grandparents

Clergy travel approximately

1,200 miles a month.

Approximately 750 prayer requests 10


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Helpful Caring Ministry Tips:

218 deaths 55 funeral/

memorial services (16 o-site)

9 inurnments 676

Congregational Care Calls


of notes written

If you are going in for surgery, contact us BEFORE you go into the hospital with date of surgery, hospital location, check-in and surgery time. Tell us your GIVEN name, that you will be registered under in the hospital. When planning a service for loved one, please contact the church for pastoral support BEFORE you make arrangements with the funeral home to ensure availability of a pastor. Sunday is a busy day for clergy. Little slips of paper or whispering a reminder after service can easily be lost or unintentionally forgotten. If you have a prayer concern or hospitalization that requires clergy follow-up, please stop by the Shawver Welcome Center Desk to have the information written up. A call to the church office, 972.235.8385 on Monday morning will also be helpful.


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Covered with Prayers FUMCR Prayer Blanket Ministry


ur church’s prayer blanket ministry is turning six years old this spring, thanks to inspiration from church member Jolynne Harvey and the hard work of a whole team of volunteers. The ministry provides blankets as comfort to members who are facing illness or crisis in their lives. Jolynne said she got the idea from another church: “We sometimes go to First Methodist Maybank down at Cedar Creek Lake, and they have this ministry there. They adapted it from a church in California that does a ministry with quilts called ‘Prayers & Squares.’”






prepared blankets. “I talk with them about their interests and pick out a blanket that suits them best. I also pin on a name tag and a short description about the person.” Joan delivers the tagged blankets to church each Sunday morning. The church family is then asked to pray over them and add knots in the fringe to show the recipient their prayers. “It’s very meaningful,” said Joan. “I feel like I do so little, but the reports and the cards and the letters I get back in response are overwhelming. They can feel those knots and know that someone has said a prayer for them.”

“I brought the idea to a group here at our church, and then presented it to the Tuesday prayer group and then to the church staff,” said Jolynne. “It’s just grown from there.”

Joan said the group delivers an average of 300 blankets each year, with additional blankets being sent to military personnel (75 sent in 2010 alone).

Among the supporters of the fledgling ministry was Joan Huddleston, who continues to serve as coordinator for the program today. She receives all the requests from church members and stores the

Another supporter from the beginning was Susie Straus. “Susie did all the embroidery on the blankets the first year,” said Jolynne. “She has also done all of the military blankets.” As the ministry grew and more requests came in, the team expanded to include more and more people to cut and embroider the material. According to Jolynne, the church has responded positively to the growing ministry. New volunteers have stepped forward whenever other team members move or need to step down. “We can always use more volunteers, so we encourage anyone who would like to help to contact us,” Jolynne said. Jolynne said she personally felt the power of this ministry a few years ago when she had to have kidney surgery. She said she received a prayer blanket and had it with her that day in the hospital as she awaited her operation. “It took a longer time than expected for them to finally start the IV, and my family said I would’ve been on the ceiling if it hadn’t been for that blanket. You know people are praying for you, and that gives you comfort and strength and healing.” Jolynne said she’s happy to see the blanket ministry expanding to other churches as well. “Arapaho United Methodist Church is doing it now, too. I know it’s brought a lot of comfort to so many people.” There is great comfort and peace being “covered with prayers.”



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hen the Strategic Visioning Committee first met in the Spring of 2010, our focus was and still remains to be Respectful of the Past, Recognizing Today, and Relevant for the Future. In order to do this, we realized that we needed to pray for God’s guidance to provide us direction, and also needed guidance from you, the members of our congregation. As part of this journey, we facilitated 10 meetings in a focus group format that allowed us to hear from the congregation, staff, stakeholders, our community, our peers, and outside interests to give us a 360 degree perspective of our church inside and out. Not only did this information gathering validate what we thought was important to our church and our community, it also shared new insights that we had not considered as a group.

A M ESSAGE FROM C ATHERINE B URDETTE AND M ICHAEL M ASSEY , MEMBERS OF THE S TRATEGIC V ISIONING C OMMITTEE Council perspective into the document, we will return in March for the Council’s final approval. We are very excited about the future of FUMCR and what God has in store for us to grow His kingdom, and thank you very much for all of your prayers, feedback, and continued support. We ask you to continue to share your thoughts, ideas, and recommendations, as it is up to each and every one of us to determine how we Welcome People for Christ, Grow People in Christ, and Serve People with Christ.

A FIRST Inspiration Concert

Developing a strategy for any organization is a complex and iterative process. As a group, the Strategic Visioning Committee understands it is our responsibility to consider a variety of perspectives and inputs in our visioning process. As individuals, the two of us felt privileged to have the responsibility of engaging with many of you and hearing your hopes, dreams, and desires for FUMCR. We were able to incorporate those thoughts into the broader process of strategy development. And while the end product from our committee won’t be able to deal with every issue raised during the focus group meetings, we trust that the work of the Visioning group will be both recognizable to those of you that came to visit with us, and inspiring to the entire congregation.

What is Next

Based on all of this feedback, we now feel confident that the components of our strategy provide the direction that we need to meet the goals of our congregation and our broader parish both today and into the future. On February 12th, the initial draft of the strategy will be discussed with the Church Council and we will gain the Council’s reaction to the initial strategy document. Then, after incorporating the

“There’s no more gratifying sound than that of children singing. And there’s no more polished ensemble of children’s voices than the Vienna Boys Choir.” Fort Worth Star-Telegram

February 21, 7:00 p.m. W


cherished past. bright future.


Tickets $15


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Family life ministries

Fit For Life Exercise Class Fit For Life - Yoga Stretch

Tuesdays/Thursdays 9-10 a.m. (Gym) Tuesdays/Thursdays 10-10:30 a.m. (Gym)

Upward Basketball Award Celebration

Tuesday, March 8 6:30pm (@FUMCR)

Ongoing Registration for Upward Soccer Early registration ends March 1 Practices start March 28 Girls Get Fit Baby Boot Camp Stroller Fitness Class

Wednesdays 6-7 p.m. Tuesdays/Thursdays 9-10 a.m. (Ogden Fellowship Hall)

Restore The Core Post-Natal Fitness Class Yoga (All Levels)

Tuesdays/Thursdays 6:30-7:30 p.m. (Rm 2A)

Wednesdays 7-8 p.m. (Rm 202)

For more information and online registration: go to or contact Kevin McGill at:Kevin McGill,, 972.996.0112



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Mighty Mom’s Secrets for Raising Super Kids Allyson George and Beth Smith, Facilitators Book discussion for moms of elementary to middle school age children.

Author Gwen Diaz says, “...motherhood is meant to be a blast...being able to enjoy and find fulfillment in motherhood is all a matter of understanding and accepting our true priorities and refocusing our efforts with a proper perspective.” Discover practical tips, unique insights and sensible, easy-to-apply advice that will leave you both entertained and inspired. Learn, grow, develop friendships and search for God’s intent for us as mothers in this interactive class. Thursday mornings, 9:30 - 11 a.m. February 17 – April 21 (No class March 17) Monday evenings, 7 - 8:30 p.m. Februrary 28 – May 2 (No class 3/14 or 4/25)

$60 $60

Childcare by reservation only on a first-come, first-served basis. Please call 972.996.0120.

“Yes, it was a book group!...Not just a Mighty Mom’s book group, but a wonderful time meeting and getting to know some very special mighty moms. We looked forward to gathering every week to learn from each other’s experiences and to compare notes on what we read the previous week... if we aren’t careful, we will miss out on the butterfly catching, kite flying, and star counting moments in our children’s lives.” ~ Betsy “Mighty Mom’s has been such a great experience…coming together with other Mom’s to focus on raising our kids with a Christian focus, has been so worth my time!” ~ Ann

The Seven Habits of Happy Kids

Beth Smith, Facilitator A family book discussion for families of preK4 through elementary age children. Children, as well as moms and dads, will learn how to implement timeless principles through the use of The Seven Habits of Happy Kids story book by Sean Covey. Certified facilitator of Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Beth Smith uses her experience to bring you a book discussion that is good for the whole family! Each session parents will first meet separately from the children. Then kids will join parents for story-time and discussion about how to put the habits into practice in their everyday lives. *Please note that this book discussion is not a certified Franklin Covey course.

Sundays, 3:00 – 5:00 p.m. February 27, March 6, March 27 and April 3 $80


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Walk with Jesus on his final day. Sit beside him at the Last Supper. Pray with him in Gethsemane. Follow him to the cross. Desert him. Deny him. Experience the Resurrection.


oming March 13: a 6-week sermon series designed to lead us step-by-step through the 24 hours of Jesus’ life from the Last Supper through the crucifixion. Each week you’ll experience and understand the significance of Jesus’ suffering and death in a whole new way, whether you are a long-time Christian or simply curious about the story of Christ’s crucifixion. You’ll join with the disciples as Jesus transforms a Passover Seder into the Lord’s Supper. You’ll follow Jesus into the Garden of Gethsemane and listen with Peter, James, and John as they overhear Jesus’ last prayer before his arrest. From the Garden you’ll follow along as Jesus’ accusers bring him to trial, condemn him, and crucify him. And you’ll marvel with his followers on Easter at the news of the empty tomb.

D il D Daily Devotionals ti l (available February 27th) Pick up your family’s free copy of the 24 Hours That Changed the World: 40 Days of Reflection daily devotional guide. In 5-10 minutes each day you’ll learn about the history, geography, and meaning of the events related in the week’s sermon, consider how it all applies to your life, and pray a prayer to guide your day. One copy available per family on Sundays in the Shawver Welcome Center and during the week in the church office. *Donations to cover the $5.50 cost accepted but not necessary.

Group Study Take your experience of 24 Hours That Changed the World deeper through group discussion and video segments filmed on-site in and around Jerusalem with commentary by Adam Hamilton, the author of the book upon which the sermon series and study is based. All Sunday school classes – children, youth and adult – will offer the study. Weekday small groups will also be offered. Find a group and register today... on-line at or call 972.235.8385. 24 Hours that Changed the World by Adam Hamilton Limited quantities of the book upon which this series is based will be available for purchase in the Shawver Welcome Center.



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Meet Your Caring Ministries Team, continued from page 7 Mary Collins How long have you been on staff: since 1997. Job title and description: Administrative Assistant to the Caring Ministries Team. •

Maintains and produces lists for Caring Ministries including Joys & Concerns, Hospital reports, All Saints’ names & photos, and prayer list.

Personal fact(s) about you:

Mary Flo Ridley Saturday, February 26, 7:00 p.m. Author of Simple Truths with Mary Flo Ridley, a book and video series developed to give parents a plan for shaping their child’s sexual character by giving them simple conversations at an early age. Sponsored by MOPs and the Children’s Council.

• • •

Worked in Children’s Ministry office for 2 years; Produced church bulletins until May 2010 Love to spend time with my grandchildren, read, and go to movies Married to Jerry; have a daughter, Sandra; and have two grandchildren, Hanna & Nathan

What is it that you most enjoy about working in Caring Ministries: The best part is working with the great staff and wonderful volunteers in Caring Ministries.

Kay Schafer How long have you been on staff: 3 years and 3 months.

Job title and description: Pastoral Care Assistant. •

Coordinate with clergy, follow-up for people having surgery, hospitalizations, deaths, crisis, serious illness. Work with Congregational Care Callers, Cancer Support Network, & Stephen Ministry.

Personal fact(s) about you: •

Dr. William K. McElvaney

Wednesday, March 23, 7:00 p.m., Mays Hall

Join us for as Dr. McElvaney highlights practical know how strategies from his ministry and experiences of addressing justice issues in a variety of settings.

Member since 1962. Active in many areas over the years(VBS, Youth Ministry, Adult Work Camps, Stephen Ministry). Married to Max. Family: Cinde & Mark Manoel, Michael & Max; Susan & Nicole Schafer; Mary Russum – all members of FUMCR. Hobbies are cooking, reading, and travel

What is it that you most enjoy about working in Caring Ministries: It is a wonderful opportunity to care for members of our church family. I get to see God at work in the lives of many different people. I help people connect to their sources of strength & hope. I love my job. I feel that it is a gift to me from God.


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I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and New Year! I want to take a moment to thank all of you for your year-end gifts to cover our shortfall! We are so grateful!! We fulfilled our 2010 Operating Budget!!

2010 Income Summary: Actual YTD Income Budgeted YTD Income Overage

$4,461,200 4,460,000 $1,200

For 2011, we are hoping to step-up our ministry and increase the budget from $4,460,000 to $4,750,000. Most of this increase is getting back to our previous budget (we cut the budget in 2008 by 5%). We need your support in order to do this. If you haven’t had a chance to turn in a pledge card for 2011, we would greatly appreciate you turning one in. Pledges help us estimate our budgeted income for the coming year. You may pledge online at, email your pledge to or pledge cards are available in the pews each Sunday morning and can be placed in the offering plate. Blessings for a New Year! Dianne Weideman Director of Finance

onation to the Music Suite Fund from Precious Metals Trio (Bonnie Bell, Diane Grandey, Frankie Houchin, Betty Sue Hall). In honor of Mike & Mary Lightfoot from Rick Holt & Wanda Wilson, Glen & Flossie McMahon. In honor of Valerie & Don Tarrant from Frieda Wyatt. In honor of his brother by Charles McCasland. In memory of June Young from Norman Young. In memory of Jim Nickell from Stacey & Melinda Lawrence, Ken & Dorothy Cheairs. In memory of Ken Shamblin from Ken & Dorothy Cheairs, Marilyn Rose. In memory of Nancy Henderson & John Peck from Charles & Mildred McClenny. In memory of Patricia Stewart from Tom & Judi Hampton, Eugene B. Smith & Company, Inc. In memory of Jim M. Henderson from Joan Huddleston. In memory of R. Daniel Smith, Jr. by Roy & Joanie Smith. In memory of Violet Morrison from Richard & Carolyn Weed.


Correction: A gift was incorrectly listed in the previous issue of FIRST Connections. The correct listing is: In honor of Barbie & Gary Coleman from Barrett Coleman. 18


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1. Sandra Alvarez renews her profession of faith. She is a teacher with Frisco ISD and has 2 grown children. 2. Mike and Sherry Annett join by transfer from another denomination. Mike is with Seabrook Wallcoverings and Sherry is with Stan Graff. They have 3 grown children. 3. John Avitabile joins by transfer from another United Methodist church. He is an engineer with Verizon. 4. Steven Ballance joins by profession of faith. His wife Brooke joins by transfer from another United Methodist church. Steven is a mechanical engineer with Texas Instruments and Brooke is an auditor with KPMG. 5. Colleen Beachem joins by profession of faith. She is a recruiter for Murray Hill Center. She has two sons, Jayden (6) and Jeremiah (3). 6. Salim Dill joins by transfer from another denomination. He is married to Shahida and has 2 grown children. 7. Brett and Barbara Epperson both join by profession of faith. They are both teachers with Garland ISD, and have one child, daughter Miller Elise (8 months). 8. John and Barbara Jolly are former members who return by transfer from another United Methodist church. Their children are grown, and they are both retired. 9. Kevin and Monica Kuhlman join by profession of faith. Kevin is with Crescent Processing and Monica is an accountant with Susan G. Komen. They have a 22 month old son, Lincoln. 10. Heather Rindfuss joins by transfer from another United Methodist church. Her husband Rich Rindfuss is our new associate pastor! Heather is a teacher at the Museum of Nature & Science. They have one daughter Samantha, who is in 2nd grade. 11. Jeff and Sharon Robinson join by transfer from another United Methodist church. Jeff is with FiServe and Sharon is retired. They have 3 grown children. 12. Eric Harris grew up at FUMCR and was confirmed here, but renews his profession of faith. His wife Sara joins by profession of faith. Eric is with Tracy Locke and Sara is a speech therapist at Shelton School. They have a 10 month old daughter, Stella. 13. Philip Shondell joins by transfer from another United Methodist church. He is a professional horticulturist. 14. Brit and Amanda Smart join by transfer from another denomination. Brit is with Elliston Systems. Amanda is a teacher at Episcopal School of Dallas. They have two children, Tate (6) & Emerson (4).

*New members as of 1/9/2011



503 N. Central Expressway P.O. Box 830877 Richardson, TX 75080-5315 972.235.8385

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Bi-monthly magazine of First United Methodist Church Richardson