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NOVEMBER 2017 / Volume 51 / Issue 11

Our church staff is here to help each of us live as a disciple of Jesus Christ who transforms the world. Feel free to contact them.


PASTORAL STAFF Dr. Roger Grimmett | Lead Pastor Rev. Mike Whitaker | Pastor Rev. Nicole Cox | Pastor

MINISTRY STAFF Brennan Pappas | Director of Technical Arts Carli Burton | Director of Senior Ministries Chase Carlisle | Director of Contemporary Music Ministries Elyssa Carlisle | Director of Children's & Youth Choirs Lana Salomonson | Executive Director Matt Cleveland | Director of StudentLife Dr. See Tsai Chan | Director of New Life Choir & Handbells Ministries Stacy Kuhlmann | Director of Children's Ministry

ADMINISTRATIVE STAFF Aaron Havard | Information Technology Dennie Canny | Facilities Manager Jenny Hutcherson | Financial & Admin. Assistant

I’m really no good at it, but I love to surf. Whenever I’m at a beach, I rent a board and try not to upset the locals as this farm boy from the prairie does his best to ride a wave, avoid making a fool of himself, and … well … not die. I was surfing in San Diego a few years ago when I learned a new surfing term, “Maytag.” The young surf shop operator who rented me my board gave me the wave report. “Dude, bro, the surf is pretty weak sauce today, so you’re not gonna get Maytagged.” “I’m not gonna get what?” I asked. He explained, “Dude, bro, Maytag … ya know, like the washing machine? It’s like … when you wipe out, and wave after wave rolls you around under water like you’re in the spin cycle of a washing machine.” “Great … cuz … uh … I already did laundry this week.” “Righteous! Hang loose, bro!” Unsure what any of that meant, I hit the beach. The surf was sufficient for this flatlander, and I did not, as he predicted, get Maytagged. Sometimes we get “Maytagged” by life. Wave after wave of difficult things come at us, and it can feel like we’re drowning, unable to catch our breath, struggling for the surface. But here’s the incredible thing about the God we believe in … the waves of His grace pursue us even more relentlessly than the surf of negativity life throws at us. God’s grace is working in our lives before we ever even recognize it. It is present in the moment we realize He has been there all along. And it pushes us and motivates us to become more and more like Christ as we swim through the tides of life. Grace pursues us relentlessly. It is unyielding. And all we need to do is accept it and let it wash over us, wave after wave.

Kristi Osmond | Admin. Assistant

For 3 weeks in November, we’ll dive into God’s grace in our worship series, “Relentless.” So, dust off your surf board and be in worship.

Molly Bettis | Accountant

Who knows? Maybe you’ll get Maytagged by grace, dude.

Rachel Dempsey | Print Shop Sharon Sweeney | Executive Assistant

custodial STAFF Renoldo Gayton | Lead Custodian

STAFF emails: First initial and Last

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- Mike



NEXT STEPS Questions? Contact Pastor Mike Whitaker at

Sunday, November 19, at 11:45am-12:45pm Atrium 3 Have you been attending worship but want to know more about getting connected into this community of faith? Attend Starting Point! This is your opportunity to meet the pastors and lay leaders, ask questions, and learn about opportunities to get more out of your experience. It is also a chance for us to get to know you in a laid-back setting. We will chat while we enjoy some pizza and salad for lunch. No reservations needed.


Sunday, October 29, at 11:45-1:15pm Atrium 1 If you have completed the G6 Class and would like to take the next step in your journey with this faith family, plan to attend this class to learn what membership means at Springfield First. Lunch will be provided. NOVEMBER 2017 3

(REVERSE) Weekend Commitment November 4 & 5 During the weekend of November 4 & 5, all of us will be asked to turn in our “Unfinished” commitment cards. This is the time when we will take a step of faith together and see what God can do when we yield our lives and resources to Him.


We encourage you to pray and realize that we are all unfinished, but God is at work in us.

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Here are some answers to questions that have been asked about making a commitment toward Unfinished: How is Unfinished different from previous generosity initiatives? We are more focused on everyone at Springfield First seeing their giving as an integral part of the discipleship process and then being challenged by God to take a next step. This is our first priority — 100% participation in the process. Whether we are new to the church or Christ-centered in our relationship with God, and whether we’re just starting in our giving journey or we’re very committed givers, we all have a next step to take and room to grow in this area.

What about Special Offerings? We will still be collecting Special Offerings for missions on 5th Sundays, Christmas Eve, and Easter. These are not included in your One Fund pledge on your commitment card. What is the time frame for this commitment? Unfinished is a two-year commitment which begins on December 1, 2017, and concludes on November 30, 2019.

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What is a One Fund? In the past, you may have contributed to the Springfield First “Building Fund” or the “Operating Fund.” With our Unfinished initiative, we are doing things much differently. We will celebrate total giving to the church in one single fund – a One Fund! Every gift given to Springfield First during this two-year Unfinished initiative will go into a single fund that includes:

• Unfinished People – operating expenses that help our community to grow in faith, through expanded children and teen programming and our music ministry, among other things • Unfinished Church – paying down the debt of our building, so we can go into the next 200 years debt-free • Unfinished Mission – serving more people in Springfield and around the world 4 G o o d T i d i n g s / NOVEMBER 2017

What if I have not fulfilled my pledge to Generosity 2017? Previous pledges went from January to December each year, but Unfinished starts in December 2017. If you have not completed your pledge for Generosity 2017, you may either complete your pledge by November 30, or add the remaining amount to your pledge for Unfinished when you fill out your commitment card. As of December 1, the church will stop tracking gifts toward Generosity 2017, and every dollar given will be counted toward your new Unfinished commitment. If you have any questions about your pledge or financial gift, please feel free to contact Jenny Hutcherson at or 793-9760 x235.

First Fruits Offering . December 2 & 3 Mark your calendar for December 2 & 3 when we receive our First Fruits Offering. We will announce our Unfinished commitment total on that weekend and celebrate what God has done in each of our lives to that point. This is also when each of us will be challenged to take a step forward in initiating our commitment. Many who are committing stored resources gifts or savings are encouraged to give those that day in order to accelerate the vision God has for Springfield First. Others may choose to accelerate current giving by offering more than usual on this weekend to help us jump-start our initiative in a big way. We encourage everyone to participate in our First Fruits Offering so, together, we can begin to make a tremendous impact on God’s kingdom through our generosity.



Mark your calendar for the ReVision Conference at Springfield First United Methodist Church on Thursday, November 9 and Friday, November 10. The evening of November 9 is FREE and includes pre-conference sessions at 5:45-6:45pm, and Haydn Shaw will speak at 7:00-8:30pm. To attend on Friday at 9:00am to 4:30pm, register online at Cost is $30 for volunteers, $40 for Springfield First attendees, or $50 for all others. This includes the cost for the conference and lunch. The keynote speaker will be Haydn Shaw, a leading expert on multiple generations, change management, personal productivity, and trust. He is the author of Generational IQ  and Sticking Points: How to Get 4 Generations Working Together in the 12 Places They Come Apart. Haydn will share practical approaches to creating a culture where all the generations can find ways to work together. The conference will be full of inspiration, information, practical next steps, and great networking. Together we can learn to work better with our staff, volunteers, congregations, and guests.

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Christmas Cantata Singers Wanted The New Life Adult Choir, Handbell Choir, PreK-6th grade children’s choirs, and OneVoice Youth Choir will present the Christmas Cantata, accompanied by a full orchestra, on December 10 at the 9:00am traditional service. The musical reenactment of the gospel will make your heart overflow with joy and thankfulness. We will be singing beautiful and exciting music from various styles, including selections from Vivaldi’s “Gloria”; Michael W. Smith’s “Christmastime”; exciting spirituals in contemporary style; and favorite carols and hymn arrangements in symphonic style. There will be a lot of congregational singing, and we need a big choir to lead the worship! If you are interested in taking part in the Christmas Cantata, rehearsals will take place in Room 22 at 7:00-7:45pm every Thursday. No auditions required. For more information, contact See Tsai Chan at


SPRINGFIELD FIRST IS PROUD TO PARTNER WITH CHRISTIAN RADIO STATION WCIC IN HOSTING INDIE-ROCK CHRISTIAN BAND, CARROLLTON, ON DECEMBER 1ST! Come and celebrate the new Christmas season with Carrollton as they perform a blend of original music and Christmas classics! This concert will take place at Springfield First on Friday, December 1, at 7:00pm; doors open at 6:15pm. Carrollton has a passion to spread the love of Christ through their music. They are most known for hits such as, "Let Love Win," "Tell Me," and "Holding on to You".  Tickets are $5 per person and are available for purchase through the WCIC website (, or contact Matt Cleveland ( to purchase tickets at the church. Tickets will also be available at the door. NOVEMBER 2017 7


christmas decorations Do you love to decorate for Christmas? Or are you good at organizing? We need your help to make Springfield First look festive for the Christmas season. Thursday, November 16, 9:00am-12:00pm: We will work to pull out our decorations and organize them. Lunch will be provided. Sunday, November 26, 5:00-9:00pm: It is time to deck the halls! Come and help out for as long as you can! Contact Chase Carlisle at for more information.


Hospital Sisters Mission Outreach We will be serving at the Hospital Sisters Mission Outreach on Saturday, November 11th. There are two shifts: 8:30am-12:00pm and 1:00-3:30pm. There are 10 spots on each shift, so sign up soon at Connection Point or online!

OPERATION Christmas Child The boxes are out around the church! Please take a pamphlet with each box. The cost of shipping is $9.00 this year. Each display area has a list of items that are great to put in the boxes. Please - no candy or toothpaste! Children will be filling boxes for Operation Christmas Child in their classrooms on November 11/12. You can bring items to be packed by the children on this day! Drop off boxes and/or items to the display tables, and they will be taken down to the KidLife area. Please bring filled boxes to the church by November 13. Any questions, contact Stacy Kuhlmann at 8 G o o d T i d i n g s / NOVEMBER 2017


To help you in your planning, here is the schedule for our services and events in December. Carrollton Live in Concert: Friday, December 1 (Please refer to page 7 for more information.) Christmas Cantata: Sunday, December 10, at the 9:00am traditional service Children’s Christmas Musical: Sunday, December 17, at 4:00pm in the Community Life Center Eve Before You Leave: Wednesday, December 20, at 7:00pm A traditional/contemporary blend with Communion and candlelight (for those who have other commitments on Christmas Eve) Christmas Eve Weekend (4th Sunday of Advent): December 23/24 • Saturday, 5:30pm – regular service • Sunday, 10:00am – ONE combined service Christmas Eve Services: Sunday, December 24 • 3:00pm – A traditional/contemporary blend with Communion and candlelight • 5:00pm & 7:00pm – Contemporary music and candlelight • 9:00pm – Traditional carols and candlelight Childcare for infants through kindergarten will be provided at all services. A special children’s Christmas celebration will take place during the 3:00pm and 5:00pm services. New Year’s Weekend: December 30/31 • Saturday, 5:30pm – regular service • Sunday, 10:00am – ONE combined service We look forward to celebrating this Christmas season with you!



Watch for posted curriculum information:

FAITH IS A LIFELONG JOURNEY! If you would like to be a part of helping children on their faith journey, contact Stacy Kuhlmann at 793-9760 x227 or


Parents, contact Stacy Kuhlmann at or 217-793-9760 x227 with any questions. Follow us on Facebook at and

WHY CHILDREN’S MINISTRY? The children’s ministry is designed for children to grow in the faith by experiencing God’s Word at an age-appropriate level. We invite all children, birth to 5th grade, to come and check out the area of church designed just for them!

(Birth to 5 Years)

Nursery & Toddlers are learning through songs, pictures, and activities about all that God made. The lessons taught start God’s youngest believers on their journey of faith that will continue for the rest of their lives. Preschool children will continue their understanding of God with lessons on Adam and Eve, Noah’s Ark, and Abraham. They will learn why God forgives, that He is our judge,| SPRINGFIELD, and how He guides us. SPRINGFIELD FIRST IL

(Kindergarten3rd grade) Elementary children will be engaged in a series of Psalms as they learn about praising God with a thankful heart, putting their hope in God in troubled times, and having victory in the name of Jesus. This will be an exciting month of understanding and thankfulness.

(4th-5th grade) Preteens will be exploring Psalms and digging deeper into their experiences and knowledge. They will be taking real-life situations and discussing how the big points of the lessons can help them.


Generosity Update:




Each classroom has During the Unfinished series, the a small container for children- had their own commitment COLORS PRIMARY IMAGERY SAMPLES our children’s mighty celebration in which they gave a C0 M0 Y0 K100 mission offerings. portion R0 of their “tickets” toward G0 B0 All that we collect will giving a small toy to our collection go to providing clean for Operation Christmas Child. They COLORS SECONDARY water for children in also filled out their own commitment card to show will give to children Liberia! C0 M0they Y0 K0 C88 M47Children Y52 K23 are R255 G255 B255 R27 G96 B101 that they who have next to nothing. We are understanding so very proud of all the children! can make a difference C44 M71 Y83 K56 C38 M94 Y81 K60 even through spare change! R84 G49


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CONNECT WITH STUDENTLIFE: Facebook: StudentLife FUMC Twitter: @FUSION_SM Instagram: STUDNT_LFE PARENTS: If you are new or would like to receive periodic parent email updates, please go to, and under the ‘Youth’ tab sign up for our email list! You can also email StudentLife Director Matt Cleveland at

November FUSION Teaching Series: We often overlook people that we don’t think are that interesting, cool, or much like us. But when we take the time to stop and listen, we are reminded of how powerful someone’s story can be. We see that our preconceived notions and judgments weren’t just wrong, they were harmful – and not just to the person we have left out, but to us as well. When we judge and label, we miss out. But when we sit and open our ears to the deep message of someone else’s life, we open ourselves up to seeing what God has done and to learning something new about them and about ourselves.

UPCOMING DATES TO REMEMBER: November 12, 6:00-8:00pm: Operation Christmas Child Serve Night! We’ll have dinner, then break up into teams and head to Meijer for students to fill shoeboxes for children around the world! Students need to bring $5 to contribute to their team’s Operation Christmas Child box! November 26, 6:00-8:00pm: Thanksgiving Dinner and Christmas Decor night! Each year, the United Methodist Women prepare an amazing Thanksgiving dinner for our students and volunteers! We will then join with other volunteers throughout the church to help decorate for Christmas! NOTE: The OneVoice Youth Choir will rehearse at 5:00pm on both of these dates. Here’s our typical Sunday schedule:

5:00-6:00pm - FUSION: Middle & High School Small Groups 6:00-6:30pm - Dinner for all ages! 6:30-7:30pm - FUSION: High & Middle School Small Groups NOVEMBER 2017 11

Senior Ministries For information regarding Senior Ministries’ events or trips, or if you or a loved one are moving to a care facility, please contact Carli Burton at or 793-9760 x121.


Date: Thursday, November 9 Time: 9:30am-12:30pm Where: Rooms 5/6 Why: Fellowship, food, fun (numerous card games, board games, and dominoes – you are welcome to bring one of your favorite games) Hostesses: Barb Zuspann and Helen Winberg Sweet treats and coffee will be ready when you arrive, and a hot delicious meal will be served at 11:45am. Suggested donation is $7.00 for all you can eat or until it’s gone. Senior Ministries trip to Busch Stadium – Cubs and Cardinals fans in Christian fellowship. The weather was beautiful, seats were great, and the Cubs stole one from the Cardinals in 12 innings.

Christmas in Branson Monday, November 6, to Thursday, November 9

We will depart at 9:00am on Monday, November 6, from the church parking lot. If you have not received a letter with our itinerary, insurance forms, and tips for travel, please contact Carli Burton at or 793-9760 x121.

Christmas in the Chapel at Lincoln Christian University Saturday, December 2 Day trip to Lincoln Christian University to their Christmas in the Chapel presentation. We will depart at 1:00pm from our parking lot for a 2:30pm showing. Following, we will dine at Bonanza Steakhouse (from menu or food bar) and arrive back home around 6:30pm. Cost for travel and Christmas pageant is $37.00. Please sign up in the Atrium and deposit your check made out to FUMC in the black box. Contact: or 793-9760x121. 12 G o o d T i d i n g s / NOVEMBER 2017


Do you have a loved one laid to rest at Camp Butler? Or would you be willing to say thank you to a veteran by purchasing a wreath to be placed on a grave on December 16 at Camp Butler? The cost is $15 per wreath. Make check out to Wreaths Across America. Please see Carli if interested.

Sponsored by

LIFE LINE SCREENING AND SPRINGFIELD FIRST CHURCH: Attention: Life Line Screening ~ Early detection is the key to prevention of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Non-invasive screening will be held in the Community Life Center. You may choose individual screenings or a package. Register now before it is opened to the public. WHEN: WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 15 To register and receive your appointment time, contact Cheryl at 800-897-9177 or The first five members of FUMC to register will get a free screening of their choice (valued at $70). The Complete Wellness Package (which is recommended for anyone over 50, or age 40+ with the following risk factors: smoking, obesity, hypertension or family history of stroke, diabetes or heart disease) includes the following for a discounted price of $139 (prices listed below are if you choose individual screenings only). • Stroke/Carotid Artery Screening - $70 • Peripheral Arterial Disease Screening - $60 • Heart Rhythm Screening - $70 • Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Screening - $70        • Osteoporosis Risk Assessment – regularly $60, now free when the package option is selected.  

United Methodist Women . Welcome This is a good time to get involved with the United Methodist Women; you will find a warm group of women in many activities. Contact Crystal Russell, UMW President, at 801-2573 with any questions you might have. We welcome you.

LYDIA AND RACHEL CIRCLES Rachel Circle meets on the 3rd Wednesday of each month at 7:00pm. Lydia Circle meets on the 3rd Friday at 9:30am. 21st ANNUAL UMW CELEBRATION The 21st annual meeting of the Illinois Great Rivers Conference UMW met at Springfield First on October 7. The theme was, “The Word is on Your Lips and in Your Heart!” Bishop Frank J. Beard was our speaker, and he used the Great Commission from Matthew 28 as his text. His sermon was called, “God’s Favorite Word,” and the favorite word was “GO.” We gave four quilts to the Cunningham Children’s Home, two at this meeting and two at the Sangamon District Fall Gathering on October 18. There were also donations of diapers for the Lessie Bates Davis Neighborhood House. We had speakers at both meetings from Cunningham Children’s Home and Lessie Bates Davis Neighborhood House. LUNCHEON – NOVEMBER 3 Pastor Nicole Cox will be our speaker. She will focus her message on missions, a topic close to the UMW’s heart. Everyone is welcome. Bring a friend or neighbor and call Crystal for a reservation at 801-2573. Suggested donation for lunch is $7.00; first-time guests are treated to lunch. UMW NUT SALES – NOVEMBER 11 & 12 The UMW will be selling pecans, mixed nuts, cashews, walnuts, etc. If you would like to pre-order nuts, please see one of the UMW members. WORLD THANK OFFERING – NOVEMBER 17 & 18 The UMW will collect a World Thank Offering from our church. This is an annual donation and helps the missions of our church.

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS Friday, November 3 UMW Board Meeting/Luncheon 10:00am/Noon Room 14/Community Life Center Wednesday, November 15 Rachel Circle 7:00pm Room 1 Friday, November 17 Lydia Circle 9:30am Rooms 5/6 Friday, December 1 UMW Board Meeting/Luncheon 10:00am/Noon Room 14/Community Life Center Wednesday, December 6 Atrium 2/3 UMW Christmas cookies for shut-ins

QUILTING/SEWING/KNITTING/CROCHETING GROUP The quilting group is encouraging anyone with any type of project (sewing, quilting, crocheting, knitting, etc.) to join them for a fun day full of activity. It’s the 3rd Thursday in the month at 10:15am to 2:30pm. Bring your lunch and meet in Rooms 5/6. NOVEMBER 2017 13


Thank you to all who made our 2017

Senior Gala a rousing and inspiring success. It took many hands, including our dedicated and hardworking Senior Ministry Council, cooks and their kitchen crew, decorating crew, set-up and clean-up crew, technical support, custodian, photographer, and especially the Swickard family who gave an outstanding performance where we all felt the sweet spirit of our Lord. You are all great and very much appreciated!


Blessings to you, Carli Burton


to all the volunteers who worked so hard throughout Midweek Connect! From the kitchen crew, to children’s teachers and helpers, to adult group leaders, to set-up and clean-up teams – we could not have done this without you! So many people benefit from the opportunities offered during Connect – we grow in our faith and in connections with each other. Through your joyful service, you are impacting people and making a difference!


Thank you to everyone who came and served to help make this fall festival event a great success! 14 G o o d T i d i n g s /



Welcome to God's family:

Ethan Eric Andrew



Learn about Springfield First's membership, leadership, and finances. Please RSVP to Sharon Sweeney

Please hold in prayer the families of:

at or 793-9760 x131 if you plan to attend. Dinner is provided.

Faye Badger Dorothy Clem


Alberta Keltner Laverne Leathers

Our time in this world doesn’t last forever,

Jim Swinburne Annabelle Williams Stan Zielinski

but our influence can. As you plan for the future, prayerfully consider tithing 10% of your estate to the church for which Jesus gave his life.

november REAL Scriptures J O H N

Please continue to refer to the “Unfinished” study guide for daily devotions through early November. November 11 – John 17:6-19 November 12 – John 17:20-26 November 13 – John 18:1-11 November 14 – John 18:12-18 November 15 – John 18:19-27 November 16 – John 18:28-35 November 17 – John 18:36-40 November 18 – John 19:1-10 November 19 – John 19:11-16 November 20 – John 19:17-27

November 21 – John 19:28-37 November 22 – John 19:38-42 November 23 – John 20:1-9 November 24 – John 20:10-18 November 25 – John 20:19-23 November 26 – John 20:24-30 November 27 – John 21:1-6 November 28 – John 21:7-14 November 29 – John 21:15-19 November 30 – John 21:20-25 NOVEMBER 2017 15

Non-Profit Org. U.S. Postage


FIRST UNITED METHODIST CHURCH 2941 South Koke Mill Road · Springfield, IL 62711

Springfield, IL Permit No. 578


To receive Tidings via mail OR email, contact the main office at 217-793-9760. Connect with us online at for more resources.

Upcoming Events


4/5 – 9 & 10 –

Commitment Weekend ReVision Conference


Charge Conference (6:00pm)


Starting Point (11:45am)


Building Closed • Happy Thanksgiving!


Building Closed


Carrollton Live in Concert (7:00pm)


Christmas Cantata (9:00am)


Children’s Christmas Musical (4:00pm)


Eve Before You Leave Service (7:00pm)


Combined Morning Service (10:00am)


Christmas Eve Services (3:00, 5:00, 7:00, 9:00pm)


Building Closed • Merry Christmas!


Combined Morning Service (10:00am)


WEEKEND WORSHIP EXPERIENCES Saturday / 5:30PM Sunday / 9:00 & 10:30AM Facebook SpringfieldFUMC Instagram springfieldfumc Twitter SpringfieldFUMC

Stay up on ALL future events of Springfield First · visit our website

November 2017