Friday, August 31, 2012

Volunteers in Mission HAITI Team dates

Interested in attending a Mission to Haiti in October? 

The FUMC Pasadena is preparing for our October 22-30, 2012, Mission Trip to Haiti with several key training events in September.

The team’s next Prep Session covering Cultural Sensitivity and Traveling Abroad will be held on Wednesday, September 12, at 7pm in the Church Lounge. If you are interested in how we are preparing for our journey, please join us!

On September 23 at 4pm, ANYONE who is interested in being trained to work with UMVIM, United Methodist Volunteers in Mission, is invited to attend a special training with Heather Wilson, our Western Jurisdiction UMVIM Trainer.  

For more information on any of the activities above or how you can interact with UMVIM, please contact Jessica Ardo, the FUMC Pasadena Missions Peace and Justice Committee Chair by email at

Labor of Love was anything but work

How does one summarize a week that felt like a miracle? 

I guess by saying that the FUMC Pasadena “Labor of Love” VBS summer camp this year was a miracle.

Miracles are the things that happen that seem to be acts of God and are “amazing, extraordinary or unexpected.” Yes, that was pretty much what VBS was this year. But, this does not happen without everyone involved having a spirit of full, enthusiastic participation and giving; then it all builds on itself and by the end of the  have a house nearly completed that every child has helped build!

60 children, many from the community and 40+ staff (youth to seniors) came together for our week of joy and constructed a playhouse for Ronald McDonald house in Pasadena, thanks to the incredible design and directing of Karen Hanselman. 

The entire staff was excellent, engaged and enthusiastic.  We sang, prayed, snacked, had recreation and water play, donated offering  money to Habitat and School supplies and backpacks to foster children. Our talented church musicians.  Mark and Holly Goldstein composed songs just for us, and we spent quality conversation time with a family living in a Habitat house. Pasadena Star news came to cover our ‘Construction Zone and put FUMC Pasadena VBS on the front page on Saturday July 14.

This is just a sampling of our incredible week. WE LOVE VBS, and we are so Blessed to share in this Ministry with so many at FUMC Pasadena!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Poe in Pasadena

FUMC's Community Party
Friday, October 12

Pumpkin Tales for Families
7-7:30 pm in the Chapel/Colorado Patio

Poe's Poems and More
Eerie Stories by Classic Authors
7:30-8:30 pm  in the Chapel/Colorado Patio

Suspense-filled Tales Told:  This year's fall intergenerational drama opportunity will be an eclectic evening of suspense tales presented by interested members and friends by well-known American and English authors such as Poe, Irving and others.  The evening performance will be at 7:30 pm on Friday, in the FUMC Pasadena chapel and on the FUMC Colorado Courtyard.

Contact if you would like to join in.

The event is free and open to the public and will be held at
500 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena CA 91101

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

What if?

by Rev. N. Adiel A. DePano,
lead pastor FUMC Pasaden
What if, we Rethink Church?

What if Church was less about Sunday and more about the other days of the week?

What if Church wasn’t just a place we go but something we do, a menu of adventure, an active verb instead of a noun?

What if Church wasn’t just a building but thousands of doors, each of them opening up to a different concept or experience of Church so that whoever knocks might find a journey to call their own?

What if Church was the way Church was in the beginning – outbound, unbound, active; human beings from completely different worlds united by a common purpose, experience, and belief, creating real solutions for their daily lives?

What if Church looked at itself with seekers’ eyes, recognizing that even the smallest step through one of our doors is an act of courage, a moment of vulnerability?

What if we rethink Church not in terms of what it is but what it could be?

And what if we can convince the world to do the same?

These probing questions are from a Rethink Church video produced by United Methodist Communications (you can see the video at the bottom of this page). They are relevant questions for us at First United Methodist Church of Pasadena. In the almost two months I’ve been among you I sense an anxiety over the church’s present and future. There is concern over declining membership and finances. There are questions as to how the church might arrest the decline and return to vitality.

Many of you who call FUMC of Pasadena home have a memory of when the church was vital, stories of exceptional moments of health, excellence, and energy. It is important that stories of vital ministry be told and retold not for the purpose of returning to a bygone era but to get hold of what makes for vital ministry and build on those stories and current capabilities.

rethink church, vital congregation
The questions from the Rethink Church video above are in the spirit of appreciative inquiry (or Ai). Ai is an organizational development method which focuses on increasing what an organization does well rather than on eliminating what it does badly. Through an inquiry which appreciates the positive and engages all levels of an organization, it seeks to renew, develop and build on this.

Could we engage in a process of identifying the best of what is to form the basis of dreaming the possibilities of what could be? Can our conversations around the table, in our small groups, at home and/or at work be about the strengths, passions and life-giving forces that are within our church family which may hold potential for inspired, positive change? What are these good news stories that enhance our cultural identity, spirit, and vision? Can we together be selectively attentive to and affirming of the best and highest qualities of First United Methodist Church of Pasadena (that’s you and me and what we’ve done in mission and ministry throughout the years)?

What will Church look like in 80 years? was the focal question of a new General Board of Discipleship video series titled Dreaming of Vital Congregations. Those interviewed voiced the following thoughts:
  • The model of church will be around networking and  community; discipling people, sending them in mission, and holding them accountable.
  • The challenge before the Church is making a case for why Jesus, why Wesleyan theology, why the Methodist movement?
  • The United Methodist Church of the future will be more about the Wesleyan model of the small group; fewer brick and mortar churches and more house churches; a proliferation of family churches, churches that are not contained to buildings.
  • A vital church has a rich prayer life.
  • The option of not changing because we fear failure is crazy!
  • The vital church of tomorrow is committed to be strong partners with other groups/churches where discipleship is happening in a very powerful way.
These voices engaged in something akin to appreciative inquiry by focusing on a desired future or outcome built on strengths and passions of the past and present.

First United Methodist Church of Pasadena is a living organism, it’s a living body. It is evolving. The question is - is it evolving for the better or worse? The Lord Jesus says,
I am the vine, and you are the branches. If you stay joined to me, and I stay joined to you, then you will produce lots of fruit. But you cannot do anything without me.
-John 15:5, CEV
Can we all try to envision what could be by identifying the best of what is? How might God be calling us to stay joined to Jesus and anticipate producing lots of fruit? How might we be guilty of going at it on our own?

Can we all commit to rethink Church together and be expectantly open to be surprised by God on what FUMC of Pasadena could be 5-10 years from now?

Zumbathon Party in Pink for charity

Do you want to spend an afternoon getting a great workout, having fun, listening to upbeat music, all while supporting a great cause? 

FUMC's second semiannual Zumbathon charity event will be held on Saturday, September 29 from 2:00-4:00 pm in Great Hall.

The theme for this event is "Party in Pink" to raise money for breast cancer awareness. Admission is $10.00 at the door, which includes a ticket to the 2-hour event taught by certified Zumba instructors from the Pasadena area AND entrance into a raffle for awesome prizes. 100% of profits benefit Susan G. Komen for the Cure in supporting breast cancer research.

Invite your friends and family! This event is open to anyone ages 10 and up.  Parent/guardian will need to be present to sign a waiver for minors. Make sure to wear comfortable clothes, athletic shoes, bring water and a towel, and be ready to dance!

Contact Aimee Knight - for more information.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Discussion on the new book Hollywoodland in September

Join First United Methodist Church as we gather to discuss the new book Hollywoodland, by author Mary Mallory on Sunday, September 16th 2012.

Established by real estate developers Tracy E. Shoults and S. H. Woodruff in 1923, Hollywoodland was one of the first hillside developments built in Hollywood. Touting its class and sophistication, the neighborhood promoted a European influence, featuring such unique elements as stone retaining walls and stairways, along with elegant Spanish, Mediterranean, French Normandy, and English Tudor-styled homes thoughtfully placed onto the hillsides. The community contains one of the world's most recognizable landmarks, the Hollywood sign, originally constructed as a giant billboard for the development and reading Hollywoodland. The book illustrates the development of the upper section of Beachwood Canyon known as Hollywoodland with historical photographs from Hollywood Heritage's S. H. Woodruff Collection as well as from other archives, institutions, and individuals.

Mary's book, Hollywoodland, is part of the Images of America series by Arcadia Publishing.

Mallory is a film historian, photograph archivist, and a member of the Cultural Affairs Committee of the Studio City Neighborhood Council. She serves on the Board of Hollywood Heritage, Inc., for which she also acts as a docent at the Hollywood Heritage Museum.

The Arts Committee will gather in a corner of Fellowship Hall to enjoy selected artifacts and a presentation about her newly-published book.  Light lunch provided on a first come, first served basis in the Fellowship Hall following social hour.

Enough, a sermon series about discovering joy

Stress. Anxiety. Fear. These words capture well the state of mind of many of us in America today. We have witnessed dramatic market losses, the collapse of the world’s largest insurance company, and many bankruptcies and mergers. Every day seems to bring another piece of economic uncertainty.

A recent survey found that over three in four Americans are stressed about the economy and their personal finances. Half were worried about providing for their family’s basic needs. Over half of respondents reported feeling angry and irritable, and reported lying awake at night worried about this. The report concludes that, “The declining state of the nation’s economy is taking a physical and emotional toll on people nationwide.”  

Join us at First Church worship each week beginning Sunday, September 9, through Sunday, October 14, for a sermon series entitled Enough: Discovering Joy Through Simplicity and Generosity. Our nation is experiencing what many have described as the “American Nightmare.” Increasing consumer debt, declines in savings, lower income growth, and a volatile stock market are all a part of our economic insecurity. We have lived in a society that tells us “you deserve it now,” whether or not we can afford it or really even need it.

All of us have struggled with these issues at one time or another. They are important issues that we cannot ignore. This is why we will be having a church wide study and worship emphasis called Enough: Discovering Joy Through Simplicity and Generosity. During this time we will explore what the Bible teaches us about financial management through corporate worship and small group study.  We’ll hear expert advice and stories about what others have learned by working through financial challenges. Each week we will provide you with some practical tools you can use to assess your financial situation and develop a financial plan with a biblical foundation.

At the conclusion of the emphasis, we will have the opportunity to make personal commitments of our offerings to God through our church in the coming year. We will consecrate these commitments in the worship service on two consecutive Sundays (see the schedule that follows).

I hope you will join us in the coming weeks as we look at how we can manage our financial resources and truly experience simplicity, generosity, and joy.

Schedule of Events:
September 9      Faith in the Midst of Financial Crisis
                          Small-Group Study Begins

September 16   When Dreams Become Nightmares
September 23   Wisdom and Finance
September 30   Cultivating Contentment
October 7         Defined by Generosity
                         Small-Group Study Ends

October 14       Consecration Sunday 1
October 21       Celebration Sunday

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The August Messenger is here!

The NEW August, 2012, Messenger is available for download. 

You can find the August edition of the church Messenger online now here!

In the August Issue:
Rally Day 2012
What if we Rethink Church
Family Camp
Discovering Joy
VBS Follow-UP
Upcoming Arts Events
And More....