Kathleen McMurray to Preach

Dear Friends,more...

FUMC Music Ministry Invited to Carnegie Hall

Distinguished Concerts International New York City (DCINY) announced that FUMC’s Music Ministry has been invited to participate in a performance of Mark Hayes’ Spirit Suite 1 and 2 as well as the Carnegie Hall Premiere of his newest piece, Spirit Suite 3, on the DCINY Concert Series in New York City. This performance is planned to take place on Sunday, June 17, 2018 in Isaac Stern Auditorium at Carnegie Hall. FUMC musicians will join with other choristers to form the Distinguished Concerts Singers International, a choir of distinction. DCINY Guest Conductors, Kevin McBeth and Andy Waggoner will serve as conductors of the performance and clinicians for the residency.

Dr. Jonathan Griffith, Artistic Director and Principal Conductor for DCINY states: “The Choir Program at FUMC-Little Rock received this invitation because of the quality and high level of musicianship demonstrated by the singers and the personal recommendation of Kevin McBeth, who we’ve worked with in the past at DCINY. It is quite an honor just to be invited to perform in New York. These wonderful musicians not only represent a high quality of music and education, but they also become ambassadors for the entire community. This is an event of extreme pride for everybody and deserving of the community’s recognition and support.”

Our choirs will spend 5 days and 4 nights in New York City in preparation for their concert. “The singers will spend approximately 9-10 hours in rehearsals over the 5 day residency.” says Griffith. “Not all of the time is spent in rehearsals, since there is so much history and culture to see in New York City. However, the performance is the primary purpose for their visit to the city.”  In the coming months, First Church will be asked to support this wonderful opportunity.  If you would like more information or if you are interested in joining the music ministry, contact Kyle Linson (klinson@fumclr.org).

more...

Road Map Information Series

On Pentecost Sunday, we launched our new Road Map Vision Plan which will lead us in living out God’s vision of “being good neighbors to make Little Rock a place where children THRIVE.” During that time, we were only able to share a summary of the Road Map. If you would like to hear more details, you’re invited to attend an information session. These sessions will review the Road Map with more information, such as the theology behind the vision, proposed strategies for meeting our milestones, and the organizational structure and cultural changes we will need to make to follow this map. These sessions will take place in the Chapel on Sunday, July 23rd at 10:00 and Sunday, August 6th at 10:00 am. Choose the date that works best for you and join us. Following this map into God’s bold vision for our church will take a full commitment from all of us.more...

5 Week Grief Series - Starts June 15th

Life After Loss is a 5 week series that deals with the realities of grief following death.  The grief of losing a loved one touches numerous areas of our lives, physically, emotionally and spiritually. There are common experiences that most grieving people share, yet grief is a very personal experience.  

In the midst of a grief experience are a couple of important questions - “How?” - How can I move gracefully through the ache of loss?  How do I cope when life presses painfully against my happiness? “Who?” - Who will be with me in this process? - because I know that I cannot go through this alone.  
 
In response to these questions, First Church is offering a five-week Grief Support Group Series beginning June 15 - July 13.  The group will meet on Thursday evenings from 6:00 - 8:00 pm at the church.  During this series, we will explore life after loss focusing on the realities of grief following the death of a loved one.   Group participants will share together the pain of loss as well as gain strength from the loving support of others who are grieving.
 
The group will meet Thursday evenings from 6 - 8 pm beginning June 15.  Contact Rev. Mary Jane Cole (mjcole@arumc.org or 501-960-7731) to register or for more information.more...

FUMC is a Supporting Congregation for Lucie's Place

Lucie’s Place provides homeless lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender young adults in Central Arkansas with safe living environments, job training and counseling services in order to ensure lifelong stability and success, and works to promote equality and acceptance for LGBT young adults.

The First Church Board of Stewards recently voted to accept the Serve the World Committee’s recommendation that First Church become a Supporting Congregation for Lucie’s Place. That means we are one of 12 local congregations providing $600 for one month’s rent on the organization’s downtown office where non-residential services are provided.

Only 5-10% of the general population identify as LGBT, however 20-40% of the homeless population share this identity. Once homeless, these young adults cannot receive services at many local shelters due to their sexual orientation or gender identity. Lucie’s Place provides services to help these young adults thrive, seek employment and become valued members of the community.

Currently Lucie’s Place manages one long-term transitional shelter in a residential neighborhood specifically for LGBT young adults 18-25 along with a downtown office providing job training and counseling services. The organization plans to open a second long-term transitional shelter in Little Rock within the next year.more...

Memorial Day Weekend

In Memory of Many, In Honor of All We thank you for your service and sacrifice. more...

Pentecost is going to be BIG!

Are you ready to get your red on? Come to the amazing worship services on Sunday, June 4th. The 11 am service will feature special music from the combined choirs, bell choir, children's choir. After the service at noon, we will all go to the Faulkner Gymnasium for a wonderful Pentecost Potluck. The church will provide the main dish, so we need you to bring the sides and desserts! If your last name starts with A-P please bring a side item. If your last name begins with Q-Z, please bring a dessert! ALL are welcome. The only requirement is that you wear some red and bring on the Holy Spirit! Click HERE to register for the potluck - we need to plan!more...

A THRIVE Moment

Babies are born ready to learn.  At the moment of birth an infant's brain makes 700 neural connections (synapses) throughout its brain, and every second thereafter.  Amazing, huh?  These connections allow baby to bond with caring parents and discover its world as it develops synapses/connections moment to moment, day to day, year to year.  See The Center on the Developing Child, Harvard University: http://developingchild.harvard.edu/.  Think what an impact our staff is having at our own CDC advancing the brain development of the children.  Consider the impact you could make by volunteering to read stories to our youngest 'citizens,' the future leaders of our city and state.  It truly offers life-changing opportunities for the children at CDC.  Contact Darlene Kurtz (darlenejkurtz@sbcglobal.net) for more information.more...

Holy Week and Easter

Holy Week is almost here, and we’re preparing for several powerful worship experiences to walk those final steps of Jesus to the cross and experience the glory of the resurrection. Highlights include a Palm Sunday procession that will begin in the parking lot across from the sanctuary. Everyone is invited to gather there and join the procession into the sanctuary (where the rest of the service will take place, a Maundy Thursday service with Holy Communion and stripping the altar, and a Good Friday Tenebrae (service of shadows) at noon, and of course, our glorious Easter celebrations.

An exciting new element to our Holy Week experience this year is how we’re reaching out as good neighbors to worship with our friends and neighbors of Second Baptist Church. Members of Second Baptist will worship with us at our Maundy Thursday service in the sanctuary at First Church. Then they’ve invited us to worship on Good Friday at the service they are holding at Lake Nixon. This is a great way to practice “neighboring” and join with other Christians in this holy time. I’m confident we will be overly hospitable to our friends from Second Baptist on Thursday, and I hope a great number of you will come out for worship at Lake Nixon on Good Friday. Finally, in order to have more seating for our guests, we invite you to our first Easter worship service in the Chapel at 8:30 am.  

Following is a complete Holy Week Schedule:  



Holy Week Schedule

Palm Sunday, April 9
8:30 Communion and Prayer in the Chapel
9:00 First Word in The Cokesbury Center
11:00 First Tradition in the Sanctuary (meet in the parking lot to start the Palm Procession)

Maundy Thursday, April 13
7:00 Worship with 2nd Baptist at First Church (Sanctuary)

Good Friday, April 14
12:00 Tenebrae Service at First Church (Sanctuary)
6:00 Worship with 2nd Baptist at Lake Nixon (18500 Cooper Orbit Rd.)

Saturday, April 15th
Easter Hootenanny, 10:30 (Easter Egg Hunt, Fellowship, Bounce House, Food & Music)
Terry House, 411 East 7th Street - Downtown Little Rock
In Conjunction with Canvas Community, Wesley Chapel, Quapaw Quarter UMC

Easter Sunday, April 16
8:30 First Light in the Chapel
9:00 First Word in The Cokesbury Center
11:00 First Tradition in the Sanctuarymore...

Celebration for 30 Years of LIFT - April 30

On Sunday, April 30, First Church will celebrate the LIFT ministry, which served its final clients last fall after thirty years of ministry! After recognition during morning services, supporters and volunteers will be honored at a luncheon in Fellowship Hall.

In 1987, the leadership of First Church engaged in a discussion of how our unique downtown congregation could better meet community needs. A common thread emerged: there was no reliable way for needy people to reach medical facilities to take advantage of health and social services.

On August 4, 1987, LIFT (Laity Involved in Free Transportation) served its first clients. The church leadership had gathered a pool of 70 volunteers, who served in pairs. During its first fifteen months, LIFT carried more than 1,000 passengers to nine destinations. In 1989, a second car was put into service and a third weekday added to the schedule.

LIFT garnered much recognition for the church, including a feature presentation at a conference on infant mortality, a feature in the Arkansas Gazette, and recognition by Guideposts magazine as “Church of the Month” for its “particularly innovative and helpful community outreach program.”
In the intervening thirty years, other services emerged to meet the needs of our clients. Proving how visionary this program has been, by last fall First Church had successfully fulfilled a community need and moved on to embrace other opportunities through our THRIVE vision.

The celebration committee is working diligently to reconstruct a list of all volunteers and supporters over the life of the ministry. We do not want to overlook anyone. If you have ridden, driven, or supported the program monetarily or with in-kind gifts, please contact Anthony Falkowski at 372-2256 or afalkowski@fumclr.org. (For a history of LIFT’s early years, see A Church Afire: First United Methodist Church in Ministry 1980-2000 by Nancy Britton.)

more...

Kathleen McMurray to Preach

Dear Friends,more...

FUMC Music Ministry Invited to Carnegie Hall

Distinguished Concerts International New York City (DCINY) announced that FUMC’s Music Ministry has been invited to participate in a performance of Mark Hayes’ Spirit Suite 1 and 2 as well as the Carnegie Hall Premiere of his newest piece, Spirit Suite 3, on the DCINY Concert Series in New York City. This performance is planned to take place on Sunday, June 17, 2018 in Isaac Stern Auditorium at Carnegie Hall. FUMC musicians will join with other choristers to form the Distinguished Concerts Singers International, a choir of distinction. DCINY Guest Conductors, Kevin McBeth and Andy Waggoner will serve as conductors of the performance and clinicians for the residency.

Dr. Jonathan Griffith, Artistic Director and Principal Conductor for DCINY states: “The Choir Program at FUMC-Little Rock received this invitation because of the quality and high level of musicianship demonstrated by the singers and the personal recommendation of Kevin McBeth, who we’ve worked with in the past at DCINY. It is quite an honor just to be invited to perform in New York. These wonderful musicians not only represent a high quality of music and education, but they also become ambassadors for the entire community. This is an event of extreme pride for everybody and deserving of the community’s recognition and support.”

Our choirs will spend 5 days and 4 nights in New York City in preparation for their concert. “The singers will spend approximately 9-10 hours in rehearsals over the 5 day residency.” says Griffith. “Not all of the time is spent in rehearsals, since there is so much history and culture to see in New York City. However, the performance is the primary purpose for their visit to the city.”  In the coming months, First Church will be asked to support this wonderful opportunity.  If you would like more information or if you are interested in joining the music ministry, contact Kyle Linson (klinson@fumclr.org).

more...

Road Map Information Series

On Pentecost Sunday, we launched our new Road Map Vision Plan which will lead us in living out God’s vision of “being good neighbors to make Little Rock a place where children THRIVE.” During that time, we were only able to share a summary of the Road Map. If you would like to hear more details, you’re invited to attend an information session. These sessions will review the Road Map with more information, such as the theology behind the vision, proposed strategies for meeting our milestones, and the organizational structure and cultural changes we will need to make to follow this map. These sessions will take place in the Chapel on Sunday, July 23rd at 10:00 and Sunday, August 6th at 10:00 am. Choose the date that works best for you and join us. Following this map into God’s bold vision for our church will take a full commitment from all of us.more...

5 Week Grief Series - Starts June 15th

Life After Loss is a 5 week series that deals with the realities of grief following death.  The grief of losing a loved one touches numerous areas of our lives, physically, emotionally and spiritually. There are common experiences that most grieving people share, yet grief is a very personal experience.  

In the midst of a grief experience are a couple of important questions - “How?” - How can I move gracefully through the ache of loss?  How do I cope when life presses painfully against my happiness? “Who?” - Who will be with me in this process? - because I know that I cannot go through this alone.  
 
In response to these questions, First Church is offering a five-week Grief Support Group Series beginning June 15 - July 13.  The group will meet on Thursday evenings from 6:00 - 8:00 pm at the church.  During this series, we will explore life after loss focusing on the realities of grief following the death of a loved one.   Group participants will share together the pain of loss as well as gain strength from the loving support of others who are grieving.
 
The group will meet Thursday evenings from 6 - 8 pm beginning June 15.  Contact Rev. Mary Jane Cole (mjcole@arumc.org or 501-960-7731) to register or for more information.more...

FUMC is a Supporting Congregation for Lucie's Place

Lucie’s Place provides homeless lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender young adults in Central Arkansas with safe living environments, job training and counseling services in order to ensure lifelong stability and success, and works to promote equality and acceptance for LGBT young adults.

The First Church Board of Stewards recently voted to accept the Serve the World Committee’s recommendation that First Church become a Supporting Congregation for Lucie’s Place. That means we are one of 12 local congregations providing $600 for one month’s rent on the organization’s downtown office where non-residential services are provided.

Only 5-10% of the general population identify as LGBT, however 20-40% of the homeless population share this identity. Once homeless, these young adults cannot receive services at many local shelters due to their sexual orientation or gender identity. Lucie’s Place provides services to help these young adults thrive, seek employment and become valued members of the community.

Currently Lucie’s Place manages one long-term transitional shelter in a residential neighborhood specifically for LGBT young adults 18-25 along with a downtown office providing job training and counseling services. The organization plans to open a second long-term transitional shelter in Little Rock within the next year.more...

Memorial Day Weekend

In Memory of Many, In Honor of All We thank you for your service and sacrifice. more...

Pentecost is going to be BIG!

Are you ready to get your red on? Come to the amazing worship services on Sunday, June 4th. The 11 am service will feature special music from the combined choirs, bell choir, children's choir. After the service at noon, we will all go to the Faulkner Gymnasium for a wonderful Pentecost Potluck. The church will provide the main dish, so we need you to bring the sides and desserts! If your last name starts with A-P please bring a side item. If your last name begins with Q-Z, please bring a dessert! ALL are welcome. The only requirement is that you wear some red and bring on the Holy Spirit! Click HERE to register for the potluck - we need to plan!more...

A THRIVE Moment

Babies are born ready to learn.  At the moment of birth an infant's brain makes 700 neural connections (synapses) throughout its brain, and every second thereafter.  Amazing, huh?  These connections allow baby to bond with caring parents and discover its world as it develops synapses/connections moment to moment, day to day, year to year.  See The Center on the Developing Child, Harvard University: http://developingchild.harvard.edu/.  Think what an impact our staff is having at our own CDC advancing the brain development of the children.  Consider the impact you could make by volunteering to read stories to our youngest 'citizens,' the future leaders of our city and state.  It truly offers life-changing opportunities for the children at CDC.  Contact Darlene Kurtz (darlenejkurtz@sbcglobal.net) for more information.more...

Holy Week and Easter

Holy Week is almost here, and we’re preparing for several powerful worship experiences to walk those final steps of Jesus to the cross and experience the glory of the resurrection. Highlights include a Palm Sunday procession that will begin in the parking lot across from the sanctuary. Everyone is invited to gather there and join the procession into the sanctuary (where the rest of the service will take place, a Maundy Thursday service with Holy Communion and stripping the altar, and a Good Friday Tenebrae (service of shadows) at noon, and of course, our glorious Easter celebrations.

An exciting new element to our Holy Week experience this year is how we’re reaching out as good neighbors to worship with our friends and neighbors of Second Baptist Church. Members of Second Baptist will worship with us at our Maundy Thursday service in the sanctuary at First Church. Then they’ve invited us to worship on Good Friday at the service they are holding at Lake Nixon. This is a great way to practice “neighboring” and join with other Christians in this holy time. I’m confident we will be overly hospitable to our friends from Second Baptist on Thursday, and I hope a great number of you will come out for worship at Lake Nixon on Good Friday. Finally, in order to have more seating for our guests, we invite you to our first Easter worship service in the Chapel at 8:30 am.  

Following is a complete Holy Week Schedule:  



Holy Week Schedule

Palm Sunday, April 9
8:30 Communion and Prayer in the Chapel
9:00 First Word in The Cokesbury Center
11:00 First Tradition in the Sanctuary (meet in the parking lot to start the Palm Procession)

Maundy Thursday, April 13
7:00 Worship with 2nd Baptist at First Church (Sanctuary)

Good Friday, April 14
12:00 Tenebrae Service at First Church (Sanctuary)
6:00 Worship with 2nd Baptist at Lake Nixon (18500 Cooper Orbit Rd.)

Saturday, April 15th
Easter Hootenanny, 10:30 (Easter Egg Hunt, Fellowship, Bounce House, Food & Music)
Terry House, 411 East 7th Street - Downtown Little Rock
In Conjunction with Canvas Community, Wesley Chapel, Quapaw Quarter UMC

Easter Sunday, April 16
8:30 First Light in the Chapel
9:00 First Word in The Cokesbury Center
11:00 First Tradition in the Sanctuarymore...

Celebration for 30 Years of LIFT - April 30

On Sunday, April 30, First Church will celebrate the LIFT ministry, which served its final clients last fall after thirty years of ministry! After recognition during morning services, supporters and volunteers will be honored at a luncheon in Fellowship Hall.

In 1987, the leadership of First Church engaged in a discussion of how our unique downtown congregation could better meet community needs. A common thread emerged: there was no reliable way for needy people to reach medical facilities to take advantage of health and social services.

On August 4, 1987, LIFT (Laity Involved in Free Transportation) served its first clients. The church leadership had gathered a pool of 70 volunteers, who served in pairs. During its first fifteen months, LIFT carried more than 1,000 passengers to nine destinations. In 1989, a second car was put into service and a third weekday added to the schedule.

LIFT garnered much recognition for the church, including a feature presentation at a conference on infant mortality, a feature in the Arkansas Gazette, and recognition by Guideposts magazine as “Church of the Month” for its “particularly innovative and helpful community outreach program.”
In the intervening thirty years, other services emerged to meet the needs of our clients. Proving how visionary this program has been, by last fall First Church had successfully fulfilled a community need and moved on to embrace other opportunities through our THRIVE vision.

The celebration committee is working diligently to reconstruct a list of all volunteers and supporters over the life of the ministry. We do not want to overlook anyone. If you have ridden, driven, or supported the program monetarily or with in-kind gifts, please contact Anthony Falkowski at 372-2256 or afalkowski@fumclr.org. (For a history of LIFT’s early years, see A Church Afire: First United Methodist Church in Ministry 1980-2000 by Nancy Britton.)

more...