58th Annual Turkey Dinner

 Help support the student ministry by donating items to the silent auction and country store.

Items needed are:

  • Theme Baskets (movie night, candles, pet care, kids stuff etc)
  • Gift Cards
  • New Household Items
  • New Electronics
  • Gently Used Items
  • Event Tickets
  • Unique and hard to find items

Please have all items delivered to the church by October 25.  Questions? Contact Pam Knuth

.(Turkey Dinner is Sunday, November 5, 2017 | 2 serving times 10:30 - 1 pm & 4 - 6:30 pm.  Adults: $10/Children 4-11 $6 children 3 and under free)

UMCOR Responds to Hurricane Harvey

By now, we have all seen the horrific images of Hurricane Harvey’s destructive path through Houston, Southeast Texas, and Southwest Louisiana, producing record-shattering rains and flooding in some communities.

Before Harvey made landfall, UMCOR was working with United Methodist Church conferences to ready resources and volunteers for the relief and recovery efforts.
UMC volunteers from these conferences are UMCOR’s feet on the ground, and they are actively responding to this ongoing and developing disaster.

A catastrophe of this size and magnitude will require UMCOR to be there for the long-term as UMC conferences address the urgent needs of those affected. UMCOR will be with them every step of the way.

Please pray for the millions of people affected by this disaster.  And make a gift so we can provide the help they need to rebuild their lives.

CHURCH MEMBER LOANS FOR BELIEVING IN THE FUTURE PROJECT

Some church members have expressed interest in loaning the church funds to help with our bridge and construction loan to lower our interest costs as we complete the Believing in the Future project.  Our Charge Conference approved for our church to borrow up to $800,000 if needed to complete the construction over the next 6-8 months and we are going ahead with a bank loan.  As we have stated we do have the funds in our 3-year pledge campaign to cover all the costs of the project.   Here are the parameters of these loans:

  •  Minimum loan amount is $25,000
  • 3-year term
  • Between 0 to 4% fixed interest rate
  •  Our church may accept or reject any offers, and preference will be given to lower interest rate requirements. 
  • For other term details please contact Tom Stritecky, Jennifer Larsen or Pastor Bob if you are interested in assisting the church in this manner.

Blessing Bag Ministry to begin

Blessing Bags provide some basic necessities to those in need, whether they’re homeless or for any reason. More than providing necessities, the bags “bless” their recipients with dignity offered to them by loving hearts and without judgment.

“Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.” -Matthew 25:40

Why are we doing this?

Since we began the MCCI process, we have asked our congregation to be in continual breakthrough prayer...that God would provide new ways to move beyond the walls of our building; that we would move from a church that sits on the sidelines, to a church that gets in the game.  And we need to start with the game that is being played right outside our neighborhood

One thing we are noticing is folks in our neighborhood are food and housing insecure.  They may have jobs, food, and a place to live, but it's not enough.  They live at or below the poverty line, and they lack basic clothing and hygiene items.  I contrast, the people we meet at the downtown events seem to have their basic needs met and then some.  Two very different groups, found in the area surrounding our church.  How can we begin a meaningful relationship with both?

The Blessing Bag ministry will encourage and empower persons outside our church to be the change inour community.  By working toghether we cam create a stronger community where the Holy Spirit can begin to work in the hearts and lives of those we impact.

How can you help?

  • Donate: bottled water, basic toiletry items and shelf stable snacks.
  • Write notes of encouragement for the recipients
  • Assemble the Blessing Packs

Join the Prayer Community for the United Methodist Church

Praying our way forward!

This prayer movement is a response to the Council of Bishops initiative called Praying Our Way Forward. We are called to a posture of prayer, praying for God’s leadership to guide us effectively in fulfilling the mission of the church. We invite you – clergy and laity, conferences and congregations – across the denomination to pray for God’s guidance.

Learn More

UMCOR School Kits

The school sales have begun, so now is a perfect time to pick up the supplies needed for the UMCOR School Kits.  This list is different from the Sioux Falls School list, so please use this list when getting supplies.  We will collect school supplies for these kits during July, August and early September.  We need to have all supplies for all of the kits by September 22nd so we can have everything packed before Mission Café and Bakery on September 30th. 

School Kit Materials

  • 1 pair blunt scissors
    • Rounded tip only
    • No plastic scissors
  • 3 pads of paper
    • Spiral- or top-bound pads
    • 100-150 sheets of loose-leaf paper can be substituted for 1 pad
    • No composition books
    • No 3 or 5 subject notebooks
  • 1 hand-held pencil sharpener
    • Must be at least 1 inch long
  • 1 30-centimeter ruler
    • Hard or flexible
    • Cartoon characters are acceptable
    • No advertisements 
  • 6 unsharpened pencils
    • No advertisements, religious, patriotic, military, or camouflage symbols
    • Cartoon characters are acceptable
  • 1 2-inch or larger-size eraser
    • No advertisements, religious, patriotic, military, or camouflage symbols
    • Cartoon characters are acceptable
  • 1 24-count box of crayons
    • Only 24-count boxes
  • 1 14x16 inch cloth bag

Frances Blessing Wagner is turning 100

There will be a Family & Friends Pary on Tuesday, August 15th from 2 - 4 pm in the North Dining Room at Touchmark at All Saints. - 111 W 17th St.  Sioux Falls, SD 57104.  As an extended celebration, she would thoroughly enjoy cards!  Send to: Frances Wagner 111 W 17th St. Apt 423, Sioux Falls, SD  57104.  Visits are welcome anytime!

Nightwatch Update

The Nightwatch is making a huge difference in Sioux Falls.  We are feeding between 1 and 2 hundred people each Sunday evening with the other area Methodist churches.  Each and every Sunday you (First Church family) are serving 50 men, women and children here in our parking lot.

Not only to we satisfy the immediate need of food but we offer a friendly ear and conversation.  We invite everyone to worship with us, many take us up on it.  Thank you for making everyone feel welcome.  

On several occations we distribut clothing, blankets, and devotional booklets.  The key to being able to distribute more then just food is YOU.  We need you to join our team and help set up and distribute these items.  It would also be great if you could coordinate the collectuon of these items.  If you would like to learn more about this opportinity please contact me Tami Prostrollo

Remember we serve breakfast every Sunday .  Our next opportunity to serve dinner is July 16 join us!

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VBS Donations needed

This year we are doing a neighborhood Vacation Bible School.  We are expecting a huge crowd.  We need your help in donating items so we can keep this a free event for everyone.

Current needs are:

  • gummy worms
  • chocolate, butterscotch or vanilla pudding cups
  • graham crackers
  • bite-sized Hersey chocolate bars
  • Golden Grahams cereal
  • mini-marshmallows
  • chocolate chips
  • celery
  • raisins
  • peanut butter
  • apples
  • string cheese

Downtown Sioux Falls

Throughout the summer, First UMC will be spreading hope, love and encouragement at downtown events and festivals.  This is a great opportunity but we need you to help staff our booth!  Duties are simple: be friendly, hand out information, play games with kids or just visit.  Email Lynne Jones if you have any questions.

Dates are:

  • June 2 - Downtown Block Party
  • June 17 - Festival of Cultures
  • July 7 - Downtown Block Party
  • August 4 - Downtown Block Party
  • September 1 - Downtown Block Party

Abbi's Angels

 

On Friday, August 7, 2015, we received great news that Abbi did NOT have a heart defect!  We were so relieved!  On Monday, August 10, 2015, I went in for an ultra sound.  I had to have more than normal because of the increased fluid due to Abbi’s duodenal atresia.  This is a blockage in her intestine which did not allow the fluids she took in to leave.  Thinking everything was fine, I sat waiting for the doctor to come in after looking at the ultra sound.  The longer it took, the deeper the sinking feeling in my heart grew.  The doctor finally returned and said that I needed to be admitted immediately!  The excess fluid had caused the sac to pull away from the uterine wall, it was a global membrane separation.  He explained that if I wasn’t put on bed rest immediately there was a good chance that we could lose our girl.  The plan was 2-3 weeks of bed rest in the hospital.  Ugh!  

I was blessed with visitors during my stay, both pastors from the church as well as family and friends.  The plan of 2-3 weeks lasted a week.  My water broke on Friday night, however they wanted me to get to 34 weeks for Abbi’s sake.  So I had to wait another 5 days!  I was under constant supervision, ultra sounds twice a day to make sure that there was enough fluid for Abbi to continue to survive.  During small contractions her hear rate would drop, so the medical team caring for me wasn’t sure which way to go, C-section or normal delivery.  I made it to 34 weeks and was induced.  A C-section was scheduled, as a just in case but the doctors felt I should try to delivery normally.  Abbi was a trooper!  She never dropped her heart rate and was delivered without a C-section!  

Abbi weighed 4 lbs. 5 oz. and was over 16 inches long at birth, which we thought was pretty good for a 6-week premature baby.  After delivery, I was able to hold her momentarily, and then she was rushed to the NICU. She was not on oxygen and holding her own, we couldn’t believe it!  On day two of life, they sent her to surgery to fix the blockage in her intestine.  She came back on oxygen but they told us that was pretty normal.  After 24 hours they tried taking her off the oxygen but she would drop her oxygen level often enough that they put her back on room temperature oxygen.  This was the least amount of support one could have.   Her doctor and nurse told us that she probably had used all of her energy to make it through surgery and she just needed some support.  They tried to get an IV in several times, however Abbi’s blood was so thick that it would clot before they could.  They ended up putting two IV’s in her head.  However, they were fearful that they would infiltrate and they wouldn’t be good for very long so they wanted to put in a PIC line.  They had a lot of difficulty with this as well but on the fourth try they were able to get it in! 

To get Abbi to drink from a bottle a challenge.  Abbi also stayed on the oxygen way longer than we would have hoped.  She would drop her oxygen level and at times drop her heart rate.  Some days we seemed to take a small step forward and the next it was a giant step backward.  Abbi started drinking from her bottle more regularly and drinking her full feeding.  The feeding tube was able to come out!  One of the NICU nurses reassured us that she was doing great because most babies with Down Syndrome leave the NICU with a g-tube for feeding. That was something we really hoped would not have to happen. As time got closer for the potential of her release, her doctor told us that he highly recommended her being around minimal people/kids at daycare.  His ideal situation would be 1-2 other kids’ tops!  Our heads spun!  How were we going to find that perfect situation?  We looked to the church for help and ideas.  The staff was thinking outside the box and praying, just as we were that we would find a suitable solution.  We did!

Abbi was in the NICU for 7 weeks!  Abbi left the hospital on oxygen and an apnea monitor.  Through it all there was someone there from the church every day! We would pray over Abbi for her health and strength and for ours as her family.  It was very comforting to know that someone from the church would be coming to visit and something that I began to look forward to.  Staff would ask my parents at church on Sundays for updates on Abbi as we would spend our days with her in the hospital or at home not wanting to expose her to anything.  The weeks in the NICU were the longest 7 weeks of our lives.  We could have not made it through like we did without the love and support of family, friends, and our church family.  It meant so much to have members of the staff there to visit and check on Abbi’s progress.  I truly believe that she got her strength from all of the prayers and support that everyone gave.  There truly are not enough words to let you know how grateful we are to everyone!

We waited to have her baptized until we knew that Abbi was strong enough and the flu season for the most part would be done.  It was only right that Pastor Bob have the honor to baptize Abbi.  Everyone that had prayed so much for Abbi, finally got to "meet" her.  That was a special day and one we will never forget! 
 
Abbi has made great strides and continues to amaze us on a daily basis.  She is now 13 months old!  She has learned to sit up by herself.  She is not crawling yet, but can roll faster than I knew possible.  We are still waiting for teeth but she is eating table food and just learned how to drink out of a straw!  Abbi will face many more challenges in life, but it is reassuring to know that she has her own special team of angels in her corner to help her through whatever life throws her way! 

June Mission of the Month is REACH Literacy

Mission:  To provide individualized reading, writing and life skills tutoring that empowers adults in the Sioux Empire to reach their potential.

Vision:  For all adults to have the literacy skills they desire.                                                                

One to One Tutoring:  Volunteer tutors provide a critical link that adult learners with limited literacy skills need.  They receive training, ongoing support, and work to ensure each learner meets their goals.

No Fees:  We do not charge for our services.  REACH is a community-based agency funded by Sioux Empire United Way, grants, events and private donations.

Resources:  REACH provides program materials, training, online information and successful community partnerships that allow both the tutor and learner to thrive and learn.

Adults with strong literacy skills will:

  • raise children who are good readers
  • be good employees
  • keep themselves and their families healthy
  • be active in their communities
  • advocate for themselves
  • avoid crime.