“Give ear, O my people, to my teaching; incline your ears to the words of my mouth. I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark sayings from of old, things that we have heard and known, that our ancestors have told us. We will not hide them from their children; we will tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the Lord, and his might, and the wonders that he has done.” Psalm 78:1-4
One of my favorite things about First Church is hearing various stories of our history at the church and how we have made a difference in the lives of so many people in Watertown. I love to hear how the church was built to be used by the community for various events such as graduations, concerts, and basketball games. I love to hear how the founders decided they needed a bigger church and built the beautiful structure that we worship in today. And I love to hear stories of generations of family members being baptized, confirmed, married, and having families of their own who continue to participate in the life of the church. It was so much fun this past winter to celebrate our church being highlighted in the fictional book Mystery at the Old Church. Susan Geyerman and I had a blast exploring all the nooks and crannies of the church mentioned in the book with the young girls in First Kids and experience a glimpse of what church was like in the past. To me, hearing these stories of our past isn’t just learning about our history though. It is learning about how our church has continued to make disciples of Jesus Christ to transform the world in our community. And I think it is a testimony to the living and dynamic strong faith and strong call to make a difference in our community that we have as this congregation of United Methodist at Watertown First UMC.
And with our history under Pastor Sara’s leadership we have many stories to tell about Easter Eggstravaganza’s, Free Sales, Food Giveaways, School Supply Giveaways, Backpack Blessings, Summer Parties, Diaper Ministries and so much more. I am sure that even now there will be stories told in the future about our current situation. How we transitioned pastors in the middle of a pandemic. How we practiced social distancing while we worshiped in-person and online. Can you imagine it too? Listening to stories that our children will tell their children about how they went to school and church and VBS virtually. How they learned about Jesus and grew in their faith even through these circumstances as well. They will tell stories about how our church continued to help feed people in our community with food giveaways, and provided school supplies, and reached out through VBS in new and different ways because this is what we needed to continue to do to be about the work of making disciples for Jesus. Even today, we are continuing to write the history of First Church making disciples of Jesus Christ to transform the world.
But I also know that God is not done with our story. That more of God’s power and glory will continue to be revealed at First Church. That we will continue to do bold and new things at First Church, both in the coming years with Pastor Jen and way into the future with other pastors that we haven’t even met yet. So, as we welcome Pastor Jen to First Church soon, I hope you will introduce yourself and share a few stories about First Church with her as well. Remember to bring Pastor Jen a photo of your family and while you give it to her, maybe share a story about how your family came to be a part of First Church. Share with her a story that you would like told to the coming generations of the glorious deeds and wonders the Lord has done through First Church. And then offer Pastor Jen your prayers of support for leading the church to write the story that is yet to be written in the coming years and shared by the future generations of disciples at First Church.
Children’s Ministry Coordinator
THIS WEEK’S ANNOUNCEMENTS:
Save the Date. Welcome Parade for Pastor Jen Tyler on July 2nd
Pastor Jen will begin her ministry with us on July 1st. Given COVID 19’s continued presence in our community, our welcome for Pastor Jen will need to be modified. Our Leadership Team is holding a Welcome Parade on Thursday, July 2nd from 6:00 – 7:00 pm. In order to help Pastor Jen get to know us, we encourage you all to bring a card and include a picture of you and your family with your name on it.
We will continue to hold in-person worship service on Saturday at 5pm and Sunday at 10am. We will continue streaming ONLINE worship services on Saturday night at 5pm and Sunday morning at 10am. To participate in any of the ONLINE worship services, please go to the Church Facebook Page at: www.facebook.com/watertownfirstumc or the Church Website at: www.watertownfirst.church/watch.
Coverage during Pastoral Transition: Between Pastor Sara’s departure and Pastor Jen’s arrival, Pastor Marilyn Spurrell will be providing coverage. You may contact her through the church office. Please call 605-886-4427 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Church Building: The church will be available for scheduled small group gatherings and appointments. For now the church will be closed during unscheduled times. Appointments/gatherings can be scheduled by calling the church office at 605-886-4427 or emailing the Church Office at: email@example.com.
Church Office and Pastors Continue to be Available: Our office manager is in the office to answer phone calls during normal office hours Monday-Thursday and a pastor is available in case of a pastoral emergency 24-7.
Church Finances: We’ve had a number of questions about how COVID-19 will affect the financial health of the church. The church’s financial health will be dependent on its members and friends making an intentional effort to continue to give. There are several methods available for giving. You can mail your tithe and offerings to the church at: First United Methodist Church, PO Box 1416, Watertown, SD 57201 or give online at: www.watertownfirst.church/giving-back.