The Outreach team and Westborough Veterans Advisory Board are sponsoring a community drive to provide care packages to a battalion of infantry troops primarily from Massachusetts that are stationed in the Middle East. Boxes with instruction sheets are now available in the church foyer. Please stop in anytime to take one. All filled boxes are due back at the church by Sunday, 2/25. Thank you for your support of our troops. Click here to see the list of items suggested to pack in the boxes.
*New* Pastor John's Audio sermons Click here
Click here to read the latest news about our current building campaign.
For more happenings in our faith community, see our newsletter, the Messenger by clicking here.
Click here to See amazing photos and events on Facebook!
For information on our ASP Mission, please click here.
For more information on the practicing the christian faith in the United Methodist tradition, please click here.
To download the church directory, please click here.
To visit the website of the Methodist Preschool, located in our building, please click here.
Interested in learning more about our small group ministries? Please click here.
Dear Friends, February 2018
Grace and peace. February 14th is Ash Wednesday- the beginning of the season of Lent- and it is also St. Valentines Day and also the day the the First UMC Mission team to Africa will depart. I think it is appropriate that this date is one to remember the great gift of love. Saint Valentine was an Italian priest who was killed on February 14th, 369 because he would not renounce his faith. He was arrested and imprisoned upon being caught marrying Christian couples and otherwise aiding Christians who were at the time being persecuted by Claudius in Rome. Helping Christians at this time was considered a crime. Lent is a holy season- 40 days not including Sundays- from Ash Wednesday to Easter where people of faith are encouraged to renew their faith through spiritual disciplines such as fasting, prayer, worship and service to others. Some show their devotion by giving up something for Lent. I would encourage people to do this or to take on something for Lent. 40 days of daily prayer and devotion will transform your life. Love is the focus of our Christian faith and Jesus literally embodies the love of God for the world. John 3:16- the Gospel in a nutshell- says “For God so loved the world that He gave his only son…” While the Africa Mission team of 15 people will be at Logan Airport awaiting departure First UMC will be having an Ash Wednesday Service at 7:30pm. People will be invited to come forward to repent of their sins and believe in the Good News (the Gospel) of Jesus Christ. People will receive the disposition of ashes on their foreheads or on the back of their right hand as a sign of their repentance. Please make a plan to begin the season of Lent by attending the Ash Wednesday Service. Part of the ashes that will be used will be from palms burned from last year’s Palm Sunday Service.
When we sin we turn away from God and when we repent we turn back to God and receive the free gift of love and forgiveness through Jesus Christ. He was given to us as the gift of grace/love. This is the foundation that the church has been built on. When I preach on February 18th at the Miti Church in the Congo there will be people there that will have walked over 8 miles one way to hear the Word of God- the Good News of Jesus and His saving love. SEMA NYDIO KWA JESU is what I preached the last time I was there and it is what I will preach this time. It is Swahili for SAY YES TO JESUS. It is very profound to think of the great message of Jesus and his love reaching people in every country of the world. That every person is desperately hungry to hear that God loves them and they are not alone. That is why it is so important to travel to Africa to share this Good News. We have to say YES to Jesus and accept his love to be saved. We have to keep saying yes to the love of Jesus every day as a statement of faith. When you say yes to Jesus you are set free from the weight of sin, heartache, and despair.
Please keep the African mission team to Rwanda and the Congo in your prayers. We will return home late Sunday February 25th. While in Africa we will be connecting with a number of churches and ministries delivering medical and school supplies and we will be receiving spiritual blessings to bring home. Your support, love and prayers are vital for the mission. We will continue to strengthen our ties to our brothers and sisters in Rwanda and the Congo, especially the school and church in the village of Miti in the Congo.
Thank you for your love and prayers for Stephen and Christina Qualey. On January 7th- while worshipping at First UMC they received a text from a neighbor that read- ‘Your house is on fire!’. They rushed home to N. Grafton to see their beloved home engulfed in flames. All 4 of their animal family members perished in the blaze; 3 cats and a dog were overcome by the smoke. Makayla (dog) Nutmeg, Pepper, and Guiness. Our hearts break for our brother and sister as they face the task of rebuilding- physically and spiritually. Stephen and Christina have shared how blessed they are to be part of the First UMC family and give great thanks to all who have given to the Pastor’s Discretionary Fund and also to the Go Fund Me page. Continue to pray for the Qualeys as they believe that God is with them and from the ashes a resurrection will come. They are inspiring all of us with their courage and strength.
On another note- all are excited that we have welcomed a new staff person to First UMC. Lloyd Dugger has been hired as our Crossroads Service worship leader. Many of you have already been blessed through Lloyd’s singing and worship leadership. We welcome his wife Shannon, and children Aiden, Jasper, and Ella Gwen. Please look in this newsletter to read Lloyd’s biography. We are very blessed that God has brought Lloyd and family to First UMC.
The love we celebrate each Sunday is the agape love that is expressed in 1 Corinthians 13. Agape a Greek word for love that is different than philia and eros. Agape is a love that is holy, Godly, grace-filled, unconditional, selfless, sacrificial, and a love given by choice not emotion. Jesus embodies this agape love for you. It is freely given- you just have to freely receive it into your heart. As we travel the Lenten journey together to Easter- April 1- may you spend time with God in prayer and reflect on this life saving agape love. Reflect on how you can experience this love and share this love. Amen.
In Christian Love (agape), Pastor John
P.S. Please join us for Sonshine Sunday on February 11th. Wear bright colors to church and plan to stay after the 10:30 service for lunch to celebrate the light of our ’Son’.
Sunday Worship Schedule
Join us for a traditional worship service @ 9:00am with age appropiate Sunday School classes for kids ages pre-k through high school. Our 10:30am service is a bit more relaxed with a contemporary flair.
Come early and join us for a hymn sing at 8:45 am.
Refreshments and fellowship time at 10 am.