Worship Schedule

Join us this Sunday...

Sanctuary Service: 8:45 & 10 A.M.
Open Door Service: 11:15 A.M.
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Just a Thought or Two: Holy Ground May Be Closer Than You Think

Worship with us this Sunday

8:45 AM & 10 AM | Classic Worship
in the Sanctuary at First Methodist

11:15 AM | Contemporary Worship
The Open Door at Buskirk-Chumley Theater


Holy Ground May Be Closer Than You Think

Something about being there changes you

In the early hours of the morning, last Friday, a group of more than 25 of us from First Methodist returned from a week in the Holy Land. We returned exhausted but blessed. One of our members said, during an evening devotional time, “This week has deepened my faith and led me to see my journey with Christ in a new way.”

When he welcomed us to Tel Aviv, our guide (an Arab Christian) said, “My goal is that after this week in the Holy Land, you will read the Bible in color.”

There is something about standing by—or sailing on—the Sea of Galilee, that changes you. There is something about visiting the hills in Galilee where Jesus would have taught the crowds and fed the multitudes, that changes you. There is something about walking through the narrow, twisting streets of the Old City that changes you. There is something about standing at Golgotha that changes you.

Breathing the air, standing there, walking the hills and streets, standing in the Garden of Gethsemane, makes it all more real.

Holy ground may be closer than you think

The truth is, you don’t need to get on an airplane and fly for 11 hours to find holy ground, or begin a new chapter with God. It’s possible for you to see your life and see God in new ways without having to travel out of Bloomington. It’s possible for you to live as a disciple of Jesus Christ in new ways without going far away and visiting a place people refer to as “the Holy Land.” There are people I know who are in the middle of a life-changing, new chapter with God and it has happened as the Spirit has moved in their lives here and now. Maybe it was the act of serving or giving, maybe it was a passage of scripture read early in the morning or late in the day, maybe it was a particular song on Pandora, maybe it was the act of singing a hymn or holding in their hand the bread of communion, but something “clicked” in their head and heart…and they’ll never be the same.

Sometimes the new thing begins with a conversation

Sometimes the new thing God will do in your life will begin with a conversation. You’ll assume you are in the middle of an ordinary moment, just talking with someone, and then, God shows up. We’ll discover this as we look at the night-time conversation Nicodemus has with Jesus in John 3 this Sunday. The conversation, as conversations so often do with Jesus, headed in one direction and then suddenly Jesus takes it deeper. These two are talking and suddenly Nicodemus hears an invitation to be “born again from above.”

Join us this Sunday at 8:45, 10 or 11:15 as we sing together, pray together, confess our sins together, and discover what it might look like to be born “From Above.” Every week we have new faces joining us for worship, and I want to thank each of you for the amazing, warm welcome you offer all those who come to us hungry for God and community.

Grace and peace,
Mark Fenstermacher




Families of Hope Needed!

Families of Hope is a new approach to answering the challenge in James 1:27 to “care for the orphans.” With almost 600 children in Monroe County in foster care, we need to respond to the needs of the most vulnerable in our community. We need your help!

You and your family can get involved in 2 important ways:

  1. Beginning March 19th, we will have a 4-week foster parent training here at the church led by DCS trainers. Childcare will be provided, and the group of families who complete training together will be able to support and encourage each other as they provide care for the children entrusted to them. While parents are in training, professionally-led, age-appropriate training will also be provided to your children around important issues like empathy, how to be welcoming, when to tell an adult about issues, and how to say goodbye.
    March 19th – 2:00-3:30 – Orientation – learn about the process, ask questions, and meet other families who are considering foster parent licensure.
    March 26th – 2:00-5:00 – DCS training
    April 2nd – 2:00-5:00 – DCS training
    April 9th – 2:00-5:00 – First Aid/CPR
  2. Join our supportive Families of Hope community! Not everyone can be a foster parent, but everyone can help out. Can you make a meal, shuttle a kid to basketball practice, have a play date, babysit, donate a bed, give clothes, pray? Of course, you can! Towards the end of the foster parent training, we will be asking those of you who are willing to respond to the needs of the families in our congregation who will be fostering to let us know how you can help.

More information can be found at fumcb.org/hope or by contacting Erin Predmore at epredmore@mcum.org. To register for childcare during training, please email Alex Lamb at alamb@fumbc.org.




We look forward to seeing you this Sunday at First Methodist!  Join us for classic worship in the Sanctuary at 8:45 & 10 am or The Open Door contemporary worship at the Buskirk-Chumley at 11:15 am.  We’ll be continuing a sermon series titled Into the Wild, which will explore the mysterious and unpredictable wilderness of life during this Lenten season.  See you Sunday!

First Methodist