Dear Friends,

I’d like to believe that fall is in the air and cool weather is on the way. I suppose one might say, “Hope falls eternal,” but there are sure signs of fall at First United Methodist Church. For the past four years, a team from First Church has spent part of a Saturday morning at the Phoenix Zoo, walking to raise money for the United Methodist Outreach Ministries (UMOM), whose ministry is directed to homeless families in Phoenix. Rev. Kimberly Scott has involved our youth in lots of mission projects and the Zoo Walk is one of them. We had a ton of kids there and lots of adults. This is something my wife, Bethyl, and I look forward to each year.

Another sure sign of fall is our congregation’s annual trip to Salt Lake City to pack disaster relief supplies at the United Methodist Committee on Relief ’s warehouse. This year the work was particularly poignant as the cleaning supplies and health kits were going out the door to hurricane relief. Robin Spencer, our parish nurse, led this year’s team, which included 13 others.

Another annual event is our youths’ Fall Fiesta. This is a gathering of all of our youth, parents, and counselors for a Mexican food potluck. The food, as usual, was fantastic as was the fun. They play a game each year that pits the parents against the kids in a trivia contest. Rev. Todd Rogers and Rev. Kimberly Scott give great leadership to our youth ministry. September is also about new things starting at the church. Let me share two. We are now hosting a very large Boy Scout Troop on Wednesday evenings. Many of our church families are either connected to the troop or have been. It is great that our Asbury Hall is large enough to accommodate them.

Finally, let me share about a new afternoon knitting group that knits baby blankets. As you may know, we give a blanket to each baby that is baptized at First Church. But these new knitters have taken on another group to gift. They delivered nine blankets a couple weeks back to our infants in the Weekday School nursery. A special ‘Thank you’ to Carol Ayraud, Coral Ayraud, and Elizabeth Vick for getting this new group started.

Mike Pearson