Dear Friends,

I trust you all have had a good October. It was nice to have a break in the high temperatures early in the month. We certainly had a busy October at First Church, busy and good! Our Weekday School held an open house in the beginning of October. Beckie Humphrey, our director, takes great pride in the school and it shows during events like the open house. The kids had made decorations for the rooms and walkways, which gave everything a festive atmosphere. There were also some very tasty cookies (and that is my expert opinion). The teachers and aides were on hand to welcome parents and grandparents.

Our District Superintendent, Neil Leftwich, came mid-month to preside at our Church Conference. This is an annual event where we elect officers and committee members. Our United Methodist policy limits terms on some committees to three years. This ensures new people coming onto the Staff/Parish Relations Committee, Trustees and Leadership/Nominations Committee. We also vote on pastors’ salaries, look to the future, and hear reports on the year to date.

Robin Spencer, our parish nurse, put together another season of SWAG (Second Wednesday Adult Group). She arranges for very interesting speakers. The kick-off was on how to avoid being a victim of scams. After the program, the attendees enjoyed a nice catered lunch. This one was catered by Pei Wei. Robin also began a Grief Recovery group this month. Many participants have told me how helpful these sessions are.

As if that were not enough, Robin put together a women’s retreat that more than 55 in attendance. Dr. Katy Fielder and her partner, Dr. Laura Huser, were the facilitators, and they gave the participants very practical advice in ways to “Be Still and Know.”

Marie Garber, our Lay Leader, Tom Rice, our Staff/Parish Relations Committee chair, and Doug Dunipace, put together a wonderful laity Sunday. We have an unbelievably talented church. The worship service featured the following members: Tom Rice, Doug Dunipace, Marie Garber, Patricia Rodriguez, Lydia Milowski, Mikayla Rogers, Kim Siebel, Sam Thumma, Paul Palmer, and Lyn Warder. Between services that Sunday Dr. Tom Wolf, president of Iliff Seminary in Denver, spoke to a sizeable group of adults with his observations on the state of theological education in the United States and United Methodism. His connection to First UMC is through Pastor Scott, who graduated from Iliff in 2016.

The month ended on a fun note with our annual Trunk-or-Treat. Our church parking lots were turned into a fun festival for kids. There were tons of games, bounce houses, a dunk tank hosted by our senior high youth, and there were free snow cones for all. This event was organized by Pastor Scott. Kimberly was able to get a lot of help from the junior youth as well.

Mike Pearson