Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Welcome to Bishop Minerva Garza Carcano

Minerva G. CarcaƱo, UMC bishop,
Join us at FUMC Pasadena in welcoming Bishop Minerva Garza Carcano who has been assigned to Los Angeles Episcopal Area.

An event to formally welcome Bishop Carcano will be held on Sunday, September 23, 2012 at First United Methodist Church Pasadena in the afternoon, with more details to follow.

About Bishop Carcano -

In 2004, Bishop Minerva Carcano became the first Hispanic woman to be elected to the episcopacy of The United Methodist Church, the second-largest Protestant denomination in the U.S. Today, she is one of 69 active bishops leading more than twelve million members of her denomination worldwide. She currently serves as Bishop of the Phoenix Episcopal Area, Desert Southwest Conference of the United Methodist Church, and is the official spokesperson for the Council of Bishops on the issue of immigration. Bishop Carcano is a 1975 graduate of the University of Texas Pan American in Edinburg, Texas, and received a Masters of Theology from Perkins School of Theology of Southern Methodist University in 1979.

Previous appointments have included Emmanuel UMC in Lubbock, Texas, and La Trinidad UMC in San Jose, California, in 1979. She then served positions in Crystal City, Carrizo Springs UMCs, as well as in Hebbronville, McAllen in the early '80s. In 1986 she became the first Hispanic woman to be appointed a United Methodist district superintendent, serving in that capacity until 1992 in West Texas and New Mexico and later in Portland, Oregon.

Bishop Carcano next spent four years (1992-1996) as the organizing pastor, South Albuquerque Cooperative Ministry. She moved next to a position as director of the Mexican American Program of Hispanic Studies Program at Perkins School of Theology until her call to serve in the Oregon-Idaho Conference.
A native of Edinburg, Texas, Bishop Carcano spent her early years aspiring to make a difference in the lives of persons who faced poverty and discrimination. Not forgetting her roots and early hopes, her ministry has always involved work with the poor, with farm workers, immigrants, and refugees, even as she encourages congregations to work ecumenically and to be active in community organizing. Of her tireless work, she has said, "The road of ministry has not always been easy, but it has always been an incredible blessing, and it has always been home."

Friday, July 20, 2012

Change the World: Our Call to Serve Speaker Series

First United Methodist Church Pasadena Spiritseekrs invites you to attend their Fall speaker series - Change the World: Our Call to Serve.

The series is a five week program sponsored by the FUMC Adult Ministry beginning Sunday, October 14, and running each Sunday evening through November 11, 2012.  The program begins at 5:30 PM in the Church lounge. 

This timely series will focus on our Christian call to serve one another in our church, in our community, in our world.  Dr. Marjorie Suchocki, professor emerita from Claremont School of Theology and co-director of the Center for Process Studies, will speak on October 14.  In subsequent weeks, panels will show how others are answering God's call.  Dr. Helene Slessarev-Jamir, professor of Ethics, Politics and Society at Claremont School of Theology and author of "Prophetic Activism:  Progressive Religious Justice Movements in Contemporary America," will close the series on November 11.

Each session starts with an old-fashioned Methodist potluck, followed by a speaker or panel, and ending with evocative discussion.

For more information, please contact the church office at 626-796-0157.

FUMC Pasadena is located at 500 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena CA 91101

The Way of Forgiveness

Pasadena bible study, adult fellowship, christian education, small group ministry
FUMC Pasadena announces a fall adult education study program utilizing the Marjorie Thompson's Companions in Christ: The Way of Forgiveness 

Course begins Thursdays, September 13 and runs through November 15, 2012.

The Way of Forgiveness uses meditations on scripture, and other spiritual practices, to guide students through an eight-week exploration of the forgiven and forgiving life.

A unique feature in The Way of Forgiveness participant’s book is the reproduction of Rembrandt’s Return of the Prodigal Son which becomes a focal point for reflection and discovery.

Thompson's work keeps God's grace and our blessedness before us.  Together, we will examine themes on Living in God's Blessing, Releasing Shame and Guilt, Facing Our Anger, Transforming Anger, Receiving God's Forgiveness, Forgiving Others, Seeking Reconciliation and Becoming the Beloved Community.

Learning materials include Participants book $12, confidential scholarships are available.

When: Begins Thursdays, September 13, continuing through November 15
7:00-9:00 PM in the Adult Lounge, upstairs.
First United Methodist Church Pasadena
500 E. Colorado Blvd.,
Pasadena CA 91101

Please RSVP to the church office at 626-796-0157 or sign up during fellowship hour following worship.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Christian Believer class in Pasadena

fellowship group, bible study, worship study
The Adult Education ministry is rolling out some great programs for the coming fall/winter season.  This is an excellent opportunity to get involved and explore your faith within a community of like minded people of faith.  We invite you to fellowship in faith with us to be Disciples of Christ together.

Beginning September 13th and running through May of 2013
Christian Believer

Christian Believer is a 30-week class that gathers a group of people together to investigate what lies behind our Christian faith. We may know what we believe - but sometimes we may not be sure why we have those beliefs. Christian Believer focuses on a wide variety of doctrines and subjects, ranging from understanding more about Jesus Christ and to seeing God in a new light. In this course we will also explore why we worship the way we do, why we take our sacraments and what idea of "everlasting life" really means. 

This course will make a real difference in the way you live your life.

Study texts are taken from both the Old and New Testaments, contemporary literature and from the founders of our faith. Each week, participants will read selected readings along with several scripture readings. Consider giving yourself the spiritual gift of this 30 week class which will change your life.

Study materials fee $40; scholarship assistance available.
Thursdays, September 13- May, 2013;
7:00-9:00 PM in the Church Lounge.
FUMC Pasadena Church
500 E. Colorado Blvd.,
Pasadena CA 91101

Spiritseekers seek to find their Rhythm

FUMC Pasadena Spiritseekers Adult Sunday school continues their 11 week study of Rob Bell’s NOOMA series this week with Rhythm which strives to discover if our lives are in tune with God's plan for the world.

When: 9:00 AM Sunday Morning
Where: In the church lounge at FUMC Pasadena
500 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena CA 91101

Summer 2012, Spiritseekers hosts a 12-week DVD and discussion series produced by NOOMA and featuring Rob Bell.  Founder of the Mars Hill Bible Church in Grandville, Michigan, Bell has gained rock star status, particularly among young Christians.  Last year, Time Magazine listed him among the 100 most influential people in the world.  Bell has been labeled “evangelical,” but his most recent book Love Wins drew fire from conservative church leaders.  Although Rob Bell’s theology defies easy labels, most agree that he challenges Christians to delve more deeply into their faith.  He asks the questions many of us are afraid to ask and does not offer easy answers.

More in the NOOMA Series Film Schedule
June 24          Dust
July 1             Breathe
July 8             Store
July 15           Matthew
July 22           Rhythm
July 29           Tomato
August 5        You
August 12      Lump
August 19      Noise
August 26      Bullhorn
September 2  She
September 9  Today

California Pacific Annual Conference 2012 Update

The following is a post conference update to the congregation about the 2012 California Pacific Annual Conference, submitted by JP Harris.

     Once again, the University of Redlands was the scene for this annual gathering of United Methodists from throughout the Cal-Pac Annual Conference. Held June 14 through 17, eight members of our congregation attended in various capacities. They were Paul Audley, Barbara Gorton, JP Harris, Garry Hart, Marilynne Kennedy, Melanie McCann, Michael Moore, Wanda Gae Stefansson along with all of our clergy. Annual Conference is a time for renewal, reconnecting with friends, raising your voice loudly in song with other United Methodists, and charting the course for our churches for the next year and beyond. There are 378 churches in our Annual Conference and virtually all were represented in the over 1,200 attendees.
     This Annual Conference was the last to recognize the 7 California Districts. Effective July 1, the Annual Conference is re-aligned into 4 California Districts, the Hawaii District remaining unchanged. We have gone from 8 Districts (7 California plus Hawaii) to 5. First Church is now part of the new North District and our District Superintendent is Rev. Dr. Cedrick Bridgeforth, whom many of you met when he gave our Consecration Sunday sermon two years ago. The North District office has been moved to Chatsworth from its former location at Sierra Madre UMC. (By the way, Sierra Madre UMC is in the new East District.)
     The District Re-alignment, in general, has parts of Pasadena and all of Santa Barbara District rolling into the new North District, the Los Angeles, Long Beach and parts of Santa Ana Districts becoming the West District, parts of Pasadena and all of Riverside District becomes the East District and parts of Santa Ana, Riverside and San Diego districts become the South District. The last time the Districts were re-aligned was in 1984, and this current re-alignment closely follows where we were in 1951.
     The realignment will cause us to re-examine how we as local churches relate to one another. To foster a greater reaching out to other churches, and the communities in which we live, churches are now grouped into Mission Areas. The Mission Areas will push us out of our silos and cause greater collaboration with our neighboring congregations, bringing our strengths to a common table where everyone will benefit. It is hoped it will act as a force multiplier, giving us greater strength, flexibility and availability to shared resources and aid us all in meeting the mission of the church, “To Make Disciples of Jesus Christ for the Transformation of the World.”
     The Pasadena Mission Area consists of 7 UMC congregations: Altadena, Pasadena First, Holliston, Saint James, Scott, South Pasadena, and Immanuel (Highland Park). Our calling has always been to serve the world around us, in partnership with one another. Mission Areas will re-emphasize what has always been our core function.
     Worship is an integral part of Annual Conference. There were numerous worship services held over the 4 day event and on Sunday we all joined for our traditional Sunday Worship Service. Although all the services were moving and gave you a chance to sing loudly with other like-minded Methodists, to me the most moving worship services were the Memorial and Communion Service  and the Ordination Service.
     The Memorial and Communion Service gave us a chance to pay tribute and remember those members of our clergy and their spouses that are “Absent from the body, Present with the Lord.” We learned a lot of church history and other interesting facts. I learned that Rev. David Sharp, the founder and owner of Sharp Seating, the company that provides virtually all of the seating for the Rose Parade, including the seating directly in front of our church, AND who assisted us greatly last year with ticket sales for our New Year’s morning Pancake Breakfast fund raiser, was a former Nazarene and United Methodist minister, serving in Pomona, Northridge, Honolulu and Tustin. He passed away on October 4, 2011 at age 89.
     We also learned that Rev. Don Shelby, who passed away on April 4th of this year at age 81 and is the father of Darla Dyson, was truly a pillar of our church and widely respected by the entire Annual Conference, having spent 45 years in Southern California as a United Methodist pastor and mentor to many of our clergy. His presence will be sorely missed.
     The Ordination Service was equally moving as we watched persons who had formerly been in service to our congregation being granted provisional and full connection status. Rev. Bob Rhodes, formerly our Youth Pastor here at First Church, became a Provisional Elder, on loan to the Nebraska Annual Conference in service as an Associate Pastor at Trinity UMC in Grand Island, Nebraska. Additionally, Rev. Colleen Windham-Hughes, who also previously served our church, became a Deacon in Full Connection, on appointment as a professor at California Lutheran College.
     A large part of each Annual Conference is the consideration of legislation that governs the churches within our Annual Conference. This year was no different and there were many resolutions that were acted upon. Budget is never a small part of the proceedings, and this year it was even larger as the Annual Conference continues to struggle with reduced apportionment monies from local churches. Additionally, a new accounting system was introduced which further complicated the process as existing functions were re-categorized within the five Essential Ministry Teams. After two separate sessions prioritizing where the Annual Conference would spend its resources, the apportioned budget (the only portion voted upon by the Annual Conference) was approved at over $12 million within a Total Conference Budget for 2013 of over $26.8 million. The entire budgetary process re-emphasizes the importance of paying our apportionment so the important work of the Annual Conference can be carried out within our many and varied ministries.
     Starting in 2000, the Cal-Pac Annual Conference has passed, and at each subsequent Annual Conference re-affirmed, our commitment to being specifically inclusive of all persons. As many are aware, every 4 years United Methodists from around the world hold a General Conference. At the 2012 General Conference, a resolution passed stating that homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching. In response to that resolution, the California-Pacific Annual Conference renounced that statement, declared the statement itself was incompatible with the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. Additionally, the Annual Conference affirmed the sacred worth of all persons, including members of the LGBTQ community; committed to continuing to build inclusive Christian communities in our churches, where LGBTQ lay persons and clergy are loved and welcomed; and we invited churches and individuals to adopt this statement, and join in living out its principles.
     Another resolution was passed which was deeply troubling in that it dealt with the discontinuance of St. Mark’s UMC in Anaheim. Last year, Crescent Heights UMC in West Hollywood was also discontinued. Although new ministries are starting within our Annual Conference, a resolution to discontinue reminds all of us that we cannot take for granted the continued existence of any church. We must be energetic in renewing our churches. We must strive to be welcoming to all persons that today are unknown to us. We must be a church that truly lives the mission statement “Open hearts, Open minds, Open doors.” This coming year Pasadena First must renew our commitment to live out our own mission: “Christ is Calling! Come. Worship. Serve.”
     At the conclusion of the conference on Sunday, a celebratory luncheon was held in honor of Bishop Mary Ann Swenson and her husband, Jeff, and her 39 years of ministry as they begin a new chapter in their lives, retirement. Although we are all wondering who will be appointed the new Bishop, we will all just have to wait and see!
     If you want more information, go to www.cal-pac.org and click on the 2012 Annual Conference button within Directories on the left. A complete list of the agenda and all documents associated with all of the various topics discussed and voted on are found there.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

July Print Messenger

The July Messenger is here!

While the print version is hot on the press now, you can view the July Messenger online here.

In this edition, you will read about:
  • A followup on the 2012 Cal-Pac Conference
  • The Summer Musical
  • UMC Dodger Night
  • Missionary Biographies
  • Adult Ministries Fall Education program
  • The 2012 ACAC Project
  • Harvest Festival
  • Stewardship Gem's
  • and the Fall Drama

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Mission to Haiti

From Rev. Allison Mark -

Hello all interested Missioners to Haiti! If you're interested and ready to learn more about the relief work we will be doing in Haiti this Fall, we are gearing up up for our UMVIM Haiti Training Sessions, and this post is for you!

The next mandatory meeting for all interested Missioners will be held on 7/22 at 4:00 pm in the Church Lounge at FUMC and will be an UMVIM Certification Training with Heather Wilson. All those who are considering coming on the trip to Haiti in October must attend.

Please email Allison or Jessica if you want to go to Haiti but are unable to attend the 7/22 Training.

Also - remember to heck your passports now and  make sure they are not expired.  If you don't have one NOW is the time to apply for one!

Finally, here is a list of our following training sessions in
August, September, and October:
  • Fundraising (Sunday, 8/5)
  • History and Geography of Haiti (Wednesday, 8/22)
  • Cultural Sensitivity & Traveling Abroad (Wednesday, 9/12)
  • Mission Work 101: Do's and Don'ts and our Spiritual Calling (Wednesday, 9/19
  • Health Preparedness (Sunday, 9/23)
  • Optional Fundraising CHECK-IN Meeting (Sunday, 9/30)
  • Our Work: Construction 101, VBS teams (Sunday, 10/7)
  • Team Building & Spiritual Disciplines (Sunday, 10/14)
 Once we roll into August, the dates we are looking at alternating Sunday evenings from 4-6pm and Wednesday sessions from 7-9pm to give some flexibility with different schedules. We would like EVERYONE to fully participate in being a part of the UMVIM Team that we are building.

We'd like to have some team leadership for these trainings so if you feel called to help lead (or lead yourself) please let Allison or Jessica know. Whether it is leading a session or helping to plan for our Worship/Devotional Times, we need your help!

Please contact Rev. Allison Mark or Missions, Peace & Justice Chair, Jessica Ardo if you are interested and would like to be an official UMVIM Team Member. Let us know if you are also interested in fundraising, working towards a fellowship-grant, or will raise your own funds for the Trip.

Start letting folks know what you're doing and if they are interested, forward this email to them for more information!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Drowsy Chaperone comes to Pasadena

Mark your calendars now to come see the summer musical, THE DROWSY CHAPERONE!  Performances are Wednesday, July 25 through Saturday July 28 at 7:30 p.m.  Featuring our very own FUMC Pasadena Youth, the show is a wonderful tribute to the golden age of musical theater.

The play is free but if you want the best seats in the house, come join us before the show for a delicious dinner served in our tranquil cloister and receive priority theater seating.  Dinner is served at 6:00 p.m. and the cost is $12 per person.

Tickets for “Dinner in the Cloister” are now on sale every Sunday after church during coffee hour.  They can also be purchased through the church office (626-796-0157) or contact Andrea Lussier () or Claudia Bailey.

Also, please bring donations of canned tuna, canned chili, peanut butter, disposable razors and deodorant to donate to our social service office.

Invite your family and friends now and come enjoy, THE DROWSY CHAPERONE!