First United Methodist Church - Wausau Wisconsin
Monday, May 29, 2017
Live and Share God's Love

Outreach

 

First UMC in the Wausau Community and World

Click on the button below to view a list of our church's outreach and mission opportunities...

FUMC Missions

  

May Mission Offering: Africa ELI

 
In between the media’s breathless coverage of the latest Tweet or protest, you may have been able to hear about the famine threatening millions of lives in war-ravaged South Sudan. Immediate help is needed, from the whole world, but when the current crisis is dealt with, there will be a deeper, long-term need for new leaders for a new age. This is the mission of the Africa Education & Leadership Initiative. The school they support continues trying to train girls and boys for the future, and our mission offerings this month are to help them in their work.
 
 

 

Campbell’s Labels
and
Milk Moola Caps

 
Many of us have been saving labels from Campbell’s cans to be redeemed by Northcott Neighborhood House in Milwaukee. This month, Campbell’s is discontinuing this program, so we will no longer be collecting those at the church.
 
Also, please bring in any “Milk Moola” caps from milk purchased at Kwik Trip stores as soon as possible. The caps will be taken to Mission u in Wisconsin Rapids July 24th.
 

 

 
 

UMW, Making Mission Practical  
 

Fair Trade - Equal Exchange Coffee. This is a small gesture you can make to provide fair wages to coffee, tea, and cocoa producers throughout the world. It can be your personal mission project!
 
Tanzanian Jubilee Coffee and Café’ Salvador are regular drip grind coffeeand are the most popular. Decaf, drip grind, organic whole bean and flavored coffees are available also, as are organic hot cocoa mix and herbal/organic tea. Supplies are in the cupboard next to the fireplace in the parlor.

Regular ground - $8
Whole bean - $8
Ground flavored - $9
All decaf - $9
All teas - $4
Hot Chocolate - $6
Organic very dark Chocolate bars - $3
 
To purchase take your product, place the money (check or cash) in a brown envelope (in the cupboard) and put the envelope in the drop slot near the church office.
 

 

"Point in Time Count" and breakfast for the homeless in Wausau

Point in Time Count Photo 1

 

Vision and Mission for the Future

 
Occasionally, people ask what exactly the Conference does for us. It feels as if we never see anyone from the Conference staff. Believe it or not, this is a positive thing. Of necessity, that staff has to respond first to churches in crisis – and with as many churches as we have in the Wisconsin conference, there are always some. If we saw a lot of the Conference staff, that would mean we needed to. But even stable congregations have times of stress, and transitions count as stress. So, on April 23 Rev. Don Greer of the Conference staff met with a group of our leaders to talk through some of the changes we are facing, and some of the opportunities that come with change.

It was a productive time. Don started off by listening. He asked, “What do you definitely want to see continue in your church?” and was clearly pleased with our answers. Not only did we name a lot of things, but they were mostly about ministry to others. We named the Personal Needs Closet, the Memory Café, our involvement in ecumenical ministries like the Community Meals and our shared worship services, and our community involvement in things like the Point in Time count. Others lifted up their appreciation of the intergenerational minis-tries of the church, especially our Messy Church programs and Family Camps. Don pressed us on these ministries, making sure that they really were ministries of the whole church and not just of a small group. No, this really is who we are.

But we also face challenges here, which we explored in further discussions. For instance, while we have a strong tradition of adult education, we have struggled to find a consistent way to promote that for today. Also, while we are in some ways a regional church, with people commuting to us from as far away as Merrill and Marathon, we are not at all a neighborhood church. Few, if any, of our regulars live nearby. As Mike Zahn put it, “We have a large group of people in our area whom, probably, our programming doesn’t match.” Moreover, while our Four Core Purposes give us a strong sense of what the purpose of any church should be, that’s not the same as knowing what our specific ministry in our context is. We agreed it was time to look more carefully and precisely.
 
On Wednesday, May 31, Don is going to come back and lead us through a comprehensive demographic study. Who are our neighbors? What are the needs of Wausau and Marathon County? Then, after Pastor Jayneann arrives and has a chance to settle in, he’s going to return to help us fill in some of the missing pieces in our ministry. As Don put it, every church that is serious about ministry has four tasks: connect with people outside the church, engage them in the congregation through community and care, equip them to serve, and then send them out to minister. Looking at the ministries that we already have going, Don affirmed that we have equip and serve in hand. Now we just need to go back and find ways to connect with and engage new people.

One word of warning that Don gave us. A time of pastoral transition is necessarily a time of grieving over a changed relationship. Churches and new pastors can spend the first year or more trying to restore that pastor-congregation relationship, but too often this is done at the expense of ministry, turning inward and forgetting the world outside our walls. This is not who we are or who we want to be. And thank you to the Conference for offering their wisdom on how to continue in ministry now, in our own time of transition.
 


Our Church Volunteering Beyond Our Walls

 
And even as people from beyond our church join in the ministry that we began, people from our church are active in ministry far beyond our own projects. John Stange has been to a Volunteers In Mission trip this fall, youth Danielle Del Conte and Jaden Love raked leaves around Wausau on “Make A Difference Day” (along with not-quite youth Mike Zahn and Martie Pahris). Wes Ebert has been on a two-week mission trip to Lithuania to visit churches he helped to establish 15 years ago.

And these are just the ones we know of offhand. It’s not just about us, and what our branch of the church does. It’s about ministry. Everywhere.

Make a Difference Day