Dear Friends of Jesus Christ,

It has been an eventful summer so far!  Your church family has been busy within the community. Shelly Lee, FUMC member, is teaching 8 disadvantaged children how to swim (a big deal as ‘free’ swim lessons at Winchester City and Frederick County public pools are no longer offered). Thirty-five children attended Vacation Bible School for a week this summer. Our community garden, at the Apple Pie Ridge Campus, continues to flourish. These vegetables will be distributed to local needy people through our First Feeds Ministry (Budget Motel), the Winchester Rescue Mission, and the Highland Food Pantry. The United Methodist Men and Women have purchased and delivered an electronic chair to Andy Kiser, FUMC member, who had a life changing stroke.  Our first “Get Rolling” worship service and movie night had children and adults from within the church and the community in attendance. Looking ahead, our “Back to School Offering” this year will be used to help buy recess equipment for the children at Virginia Avenue Elementary and new member Ben Rothermel is forming teams to participate in “Days of Caring” on September 12th.

Also this summer we are making progress toward one of the church’s goals, approved by Council. Namely, we are exploring a contemporary worship option. The three largest worship services currently being offered among the other downtown churches are contemporary. In that regard, and as our choir is on break, we’re offering a “praise set”        -(congregational singing, led by a song leader) at each of our worship services throughout the summer months. Every third Sunday we’re offering a contemporary service.  Generally speaking, we’re adding new worship music that will be helpful both now and  in the future. Some will remember that new hymnals were published in 1983, 1966, and 1935. It took a little while for people to become familiarized and appreciate the new hymns, but new “favorites” emerged in each instance. These days, the trend is to distribute music electronically and new hymnals are published less frequently. Please be assured that the message, theology, and God we serve will remain the same. As new music is added, traditional and favorite hymns will remain in the rotation. If you have questions, please speak to me or a Church Council member.

Help “make known” your church’s efforts within the community. Here’s how--forward our weekly emails to your friends, “like” First United Methodist of Winchester VA on Facebook, write a review of the church (Facebook, Google, and Yelp), and invite new neighbors to worship with you. See page 9 of this newsletter for additional information and suggestions.

I want to thank the volunteers, leaders, and staff who make all of our efforts together possible!  I hope to see you this Sunday at the church where Christ’s work through us   is “made known” in our community!

Rev. White