April newsletter

Holy Week

This Lent, we’ve been dining at the table with Jesus all season, watching how he spends his time, seeing who else he’s invited to his table, and pushing ourselves to examine our own practices of hospitality, compassion, grace, and forgiveness. In April, as Holy Week arrives, we follow Jesus now to the cross, and then to the joy of the Resurrection that awaits us. Please make every effort to engage as fully as you’re able in Holy Week. The hope of Easter is made even more vibrant when we have walked with Jesus to Calvary.

Palm/Passion Sunday – On Sunday, April 14th, we celebrate Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem, and hear the passion story in dramatic form, at our regular worship times. Come wave a palm and sing “Hosanna.” We’ll also strip the sanctuary, representing the abandonment Jesus experiences in his last days before his death.

Palm Sunday Cantata – (April 14th) Join us for a special Lenten Cantata! The Song Everlasting is a sacred cantata based on early American songs.  We will be joined by a chamber orchestra (6 instruments) and a narrator, and will be accompanied on piano.   We’ll have an ecumenical (area-wide) choir leading us in a musical journey through the passion and resurrection of Jesus. 4pm in the sanctuary.

Maundy Thursday Service (April 18th) – On Maundy Thursday, we’ll remember Jesus’ last meal with his disciples, his night in the Garden praying, and his betrayal and arrest. We will share together in Holy Communion. 7pm in the chapel.

Good Friday Service (April 19th) – Our Good Friday service will be a Tenebrae service, or a service of shadows, as we remember the day Jesus was crucified. Come and join us for this very special time of worship. Service at 7:00pm in the chapel.

Easter Sunrise – On Sunday, April 21st, we’ll meet at 7am on Wally Hurlbut’s property in North Gouverneur to celebrate the Resurrection!

Following the service, join us at North Gouverneur UMC for breakfast.

Easter Worship – Join us for our traditional Easter Worship service at 11am on the 21st. We’ll sing, “Christ the Lord is Risen Today” and celebrate the joy of Jesus, risen!

April Worship Calendar

4/7/19 – Fifth Sunday in Lent – At the Table with Jesus: Zacchaeus, Luke 19:1-10. Worship Breakfast in Fellowship Hall. Sacrament of Holy Communion.

4/14/19 – Holy Week Begins/Palm/Passion Sunday – Luke 19:28-40. Stripping of the Sanctuary.

4/18/19 – Maundy Thursday – Luke 22:14-23. Sacrament of Holy Communion. 7pm/Chapel.

4/19/19 – Good Friday – Selected Readings. Tenebrae Service. 7pm/Chapel.

4/21/19 – Easter Sunday! – Luke 24:1-12. Sacrament of Holy Communion.

4/28/19 – Second Sunday of Easter – John 20:19-31. Rev. Mark Pierce will be our guest preacher.

Worship Breakfast

On Sunday, April 7th, we’ll have a special worship service. We’ll meet in fellowship hall at our regular worship time (11am) and have worship over breakfast! We’ll channel the ancient church as we sing, pray, and praise over a meal together. Want to help out? Please sign up in the office or on the signup sheet at the back of the sanctuary. We looking for folks to: help set up, help clean up, donate some food items, and prepare some breakfast casseroles. 

Star Word Check-In

In our May newsletter, we’re looking to do a check-in on our Star Words. How have you been thinking about your Star Gift word that you received on Epiphany? We are looking for folks to share 2-3 Sentences about their words that we can incorporate into one story next month. Please contact the office or Pastor Beth to share your brief reflection.

Pastor Beth’s Community Hours

Pastor Beth has some “office hours” out in the community each month. Drop by to chat any time, stop in for a word of prayer, or sit and stay for lunch. She’ll be at Oswegatchie Coffee on Wednesday, April 10th from 11am-1:30 pm. Hope to see you there!

Spring Household Sale

As you are doing your spring cleaning, keep the UMW Household Sale in mind. We are looking for donations of items to be sold at our annual sale. Dishes, cookware, art, books, and any items that can be used in a home. Please no clothes or shoes.

Coffee Fellowship

Thank you to everyone who has signed up to host Coffee Fellowship. We have been blessed by a great time to enjoy some time together after worship. We still have a few dates left open in April and May. Consider joining with another family and sign up on the board in Fellowship Hall.

Vacation Bible School

It is time to start thinking about how you can support the ministry of Vacation Bible School .We are looking for volunteers to help once again this year. Many hands make light work and there is LOTS of work to be done. Join us each morning as we gather for singing, stories, crafts, games and more! Our ecumenical VBS will be held July 22nd-26th this year. Please keep this ministry in your prayers. Contact Don Schuessler if you are looking to help.

Scout News

What a joy to have the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts join is in worship service this month. We host the Cub Scout Leaders and the Girl Scout Leaders meetings each month. We are also the meeting place for Daisy Scouts, Brownies, Juniors, Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts.

Camp News

Be a part of preparing Aldersgate Camp & Retreat Center, (Greig, NY) for a season of life-changing ministry by volunteering at a Spring Work Day! We’ll be setting up the waterfront and putting in the docks, cleaning, raking, painting, opening cabins, preparing and setting up program equipment and all-around preparing for an absolutely incredible summer season. Projects large and small will help upgrade facilities and prepare for seasonal programming. We have two times you may join us!  Saturday, May 18 and Saturday, June 1. Bring your family, friends, and a servant’s heart ready to work! An RSVP is encouraged, so we can carpool. Contact Tina in the office.

Camp Scholarships

Have we got a deal for you!  The 2019 summer camping season is fast approaching, and our church will be awarding scholarships to help allow children and families to attend the Methodist Retreat Centers of the Upper New York Conference.  We are part of a system of five camps throughout New York State … the closest of which is Aldersgate.  To help enable participation, our church pays the balance for a child for a week at camp … or for a family attending Family Life Weekend. Families will be responsible for the first $75; the church will pay the rest … as funds allow. Pick up a form from the back of the sanctuary, fellowship hall, or outside the office.  If you would like to help send a child to camp please use the special envelope located to the newsletter or in the back of the sanctuary.

Amazon Smile

A great way to support our church financially from the comfort of your favorite chair. You can select First UMC as your donation recipient at Amazon Smile. You can support First UMC Gouverneur every time you place an order on Amazon. Head to https://smile.amazon.com, and search for First United Methodist Church of Gouverneur. Then, when you shop at Amazon (starting from smile.amazon.com), a small donation will be made to the church.  This will not cost you anything extra and the church will benefit.

Facebook giving

You can also now select First UMC as the recipient for your Facebook fundraisers, a common practice for birthday giving. Visit https://www.facebook.com/fundraisers/ and select First UMC Gouverneur as your charity of choice.

Online Giving

There are a quite a number of our givers who use our online giving program which can be accessed from our website: http://gouverneurumc.org/online-giving/.  Some people give once a month, others weekly, and some by debit or credit card when they are not able to attend worship.  If you have questions how this works, or how to set it up, please contact Vicky Reed and she will give assistance.

Donations Needed

Council of Ministries has a new project that you may be able to help with. We are looking for donations of jelly jars that can be used for making jam. If you have jars, you may drop them off at the church office.

Blessing Box

The Blessings Box is outside the Key Bank church entrance. This box is meant to provide non-perishable food items and toiletries for folks with an immediate need. “Take what you need, give what you can”, and share the word if you know of someone who needs a little boost.  You may add items to the box at any time, if the box is full you may drop off items at the church office to replenish when supplies are low. During the winter months please only place items in the box that will not freeze such as cereal, rice, beans, granola bars, and boxed dinners.

Office Help

The office is open from 9-1 on weekdays. We are looking for volunteers to cover the office on days that Tina, our secretary, is out for vacation.  Your responsibilities would be to answer the phone, get the mail and greet any visitors while she is away. If this sounds like a way you would like to serve, please contact the office.

Easter Clean Up

The church is in need of some spring cleaning. If you have some time, the office has a list. Everything from washing windows to polishing the silver and cleaning a closet or two. If you have a particular skill or project you would like to see done, please call the office to sign up.

Upcoming Events

Cinco de Mayo –Dinner-May 5

Work Day at Aldersgate- May 18

Memorial Day/Office Closed-May 27

Household Sale- June 1

Chicken BBQ-June 1

Work Day at Aldersgate – June 1

Annual Conference June 5-8

Flag Day Parade/Strawberry Shortcake Sale- June 9

Safe Sanctuary Training- June 9 and June 15

Family Life Weekend July 12-14

Camp Aldersgate Week of Camp July 14-19

Vacation Bible School July 22-26

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