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Weekly Update

January 6, 2023

The Week Ahead


Dear Church Family,

Transition, flux, and conflict seem to be the words of the day, from a political party struggling to elect a speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives to challenges in our backyard. Our present-day challenge is the great debate about how to do ministry with the LGBTQ+ community.
Over the last year, our Leadership Team has talked, debated, prayed, and sometimes even argued about where we should go. To get your needed insight on Sunday, December 11, 2022, we took a very brief and unscientific survey of our congregation. We wanted to know if you would like our church to remain United Methodist or if you would rather connect with another Wesleyan denomination, such as the Global Methodist Church. We also wanted to know if you would prayerfully consider staying at this church regardless of the name on the door. Maybe you just told us you need more information.

On December 11, 2022, 129 surveys were turned in. (3 surveys came in later that week). The results are as follows:     
65 - would like Howell First United Methodist Church to remain United Methodist and be comfortable with the inclusion of all people, regardless of sexual orientation, to be disciples of Jesus Christ, including gay marriages conducted by our clergy and the ordination of practicing homosexual people.

34 - would like Howell First United Methodist Church to become a part of a new denomination that has been created called the Global Methodist Church. The Global Methodist Church affirms the traditional language of our current Book of Discipline that states that homosexual practice is incompatible with scripture. The Global U.M.C. will not ordain or appoint to churches practicing homosexuals nor allow their clergy to perform homosexual unions.

11- would like Howell First United Methodist Church to become an independent church not affiliated with any other denomination.

17 - didn’t have enough information to choose at this time.

66 - would prayerfully remain an active part of the Howell Church family even if the church does not move in their preferred direction.

30 - responded that they would leave Howell FUMC if the vote were not their preference.

15 - would leave if we did not disaffiliate from UMC. 

15 - would leave if we disaffiliated.

 Learning opportunities ahead:
< >Wednesday Weekly, January 18, and 25th at 6:30 pm we will have a Question-and-answer time with Jeff Dhaenens in our parlor. Sunday, January 22, following our 10:30 service, we will serve pizza and hear from Mr. Bob Hegel from the Global Methodist Church.Sunday, January 29, we will serve pizza and have a presentation from Reverend Luanne Rourk, our district superintendent. You can call me anytime and invite me to your group or circle. Pastor Scott can be reached at (616) 307-9765.  

Update you on children’s ministry: 
Children’s and youth ministry are moving forward in our transition time as we seek a new educational staff person. Carrie Otis is leading Faith Factory on Sunday mornings during our worship services, and I am leading Blast on Wednesday nights and youth on Sunday nights. Rest assured, Children and youth are very important to us and will remain a priority for years to come. Please pray for the right person to join our staff to serve our young people.
Be blessed, 
Pastor Scott

Wednesday Weekly RETURNS!

4:00 PM - Bible Study in Room #10 w/ Sue - ISRAEL

5:30 PM - Dinner & Devotions

6:00 PM - BELLS Rehearsal
6:30 PM - BLAST w/ Pastor Scott

6:30 PM - Q&A w/ Jeff D. in the Parlor

7:15 PM - Choir Rehearsal
 The 4 p.m. Bible Study class will resume meeting on Wednesday, January 11, in room 10.  We will begin by studying "Israel: its history, biblical significance, and culture."  You might like to bring your Bible.   Future topics planned as our focus from now until Easter will be shared.  Everyone is welcome.  Call me (517-223-8276)  if you have questions.  Hope to see you on the 11th! 
Sue R.
Before you read below:
Someone at the church told me they liked this little ditty and asked why I did it.  This person wanted to know why I was able and willing to be vulnerable and open sometimes and why I share. So I will answer. I started this hoping you all will learn a bit about who I am and, in doing so, make myself accountable for my work and actions. Possibly, something could be passed on to you, and it makes me think about my reactions.
It also was meant to inspire others to submit for their groups like you once did for the BellRinger.  I miss receiving your submissions! I miss adding items! SEND YOUR STUFF!
This week, we were given information that made me think about how I approach people. Jamie and I also had one of our favorite visitors (one of 500 of you!), and his reaction to a specific greeting made us talk about this.  
Sometimes, when we say things like "Merry Christmas, Happy New Year!" or ask a person, no matter their age, "how was your holiday?" we do not always know what is happening in their life.  They may have had a recent or not-so-recent tragedy, and holidays are very difficult. A person may live alone, and their families live far away if they even have a family. FUMC folks may very well be their family. This person's family may have been ill and could not celebrate how they wanted or traditionally have.
It wasn't that long ago, we were all isolated, but we felt much more connected! How did we lose sight of the connection and compassion?  
After this week's events and discussions, I have decided I will consciously change how I greet someone, whether it is near a holiday or not. Instead, I will do my very best to greet with phrases like "Hello, it is so great to see you!" possibly "I have really missed your smile!" and even, "I am thankful God has blessed me with you today!" 
This morning I told someone I am trying hard not to be negative. God isn't done with me. He is working hard to make me who He wants me to be. I will make an effort not to complain; just explain. We have enough negativity, and I dislike when I do it more than when others do. However, sometimes, my explanations are taken as complaints, so here is my apology in advance if I complain or explain in a complaining manner.

May His Blessing be with you.
Watch out for deer!
 January 15, 2023

Thanks to Bells from Preschool

Thank you so much to the Bellringers for the wonderful time spent with our Pre-K class! Taking the time to play Christmas carols and sing with us, introduce some classical songs, show them the different size bells and how soundwaves work, and even letting them play the bells was a fantastic way to explore music with our young learners. We appreciate your support and time spent with our class!
~ Ms. Jenn & Ms. Kim 
(Preschool Teachers)

This Sunday



New Year Tea
01/08 | 1:00 pm


Wednesday Weekly
January 11 |
Soup & Bread
Thank You,
Faithfully Fit!

Human Relations Day - Special Giving Sunday
01/15 - UMC

Wednesday Weekly
01/08 | 1:00 pm
January 18 | PotLuck


January 25 |
Potato Bar
Thank You,
Health Team!

Red Cross Blood Drive

02/6 | 11 am set-up
Event 12-6

Melissa Lawson, a member of Howell FUMC, is a single mom currently putting herself through Dental Hygiene school in Lansing.  She was one of the recipients of the FUMC Memorial Scholarships in 2022.

Melissa is ready to start seeing patients on Wednesday afternoons & Friday mornings in Lansing to help meet her graduation requirements.  The cost is $40 for adults and $20 for children (no insurance accepted or required). Please call or text her direct (517) 798-6470. 


Beginning January 19, 2023, the Family Wellness Center is hosting a Community men's Bible Study on the Gospel of John taught by Evangelical Pastor and author Tony Evans. Scan the QR Code, call the impact center (517) 223-4428, or email to register.  Find forms on the bulletin board outside the office as well.
Good afternoon and God's Blessings! My name is Jennifer Bigelow. I am the Executive Director of Second Chance Support Network here in Livingston County. We work with men and women coming out of jail and prison. We do a mentoring program, which has been proven to reduce recidivism, and a jobs preparation class. We are a Christian Non-profit Organization and all of our mentors are Christian. We are always in need of mentors and would appreciate it if you could share with the congregation, or if wanted, I could come in and talk to your congregation about our organizations and our needs. 
We are supported through our resale store (Second Chance Resale, 4986 S. Old US-23 Hwy., Brighton), donations and our various fundraisers. Our upcoming fundraisers include a Euchre night (January 19th) at Ginopolis Bar-BQ in Brighton and a Murder Mystery Dinner (Good Cop, Bad Cop) on May 6th at the American Legion Hall in Howell. 
I have attached the Euchre Night flyer to this email and hope you would be willing to share it with your congregation. Please feel free to contact me with any questions (810-923-3828).
Blessings to you and yours,
Jennifer Bigelow
Executive Director
Second Chance Support Network
Cell: 810-923-3828
I am the Executive Director of VINA Community Dental Center, a non-profit dental clinic serving low-income, uninsured adults in Livingston County. We provide our patients with low-cost dental care, only costing $25 or $10 for each appointment to provide this underserved population with the affordable care they need. We also have two partnerships that provide completely free dental care to low-income veterans. I know VINA has worked with many of the churches in Livingston County over the years, and we wanted to reach out in the new year to remind the community that we are here to help those in need of affordable dental care.
Thank you so much for all you do in our community. Please let me know if you had any questions!
Samantha Jorgens
 Executive Director
VINA Community Dental Center
810-844-0240 (office)
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