The Circuit Rider



The Circuit Rider

November 2015

The newsletter of First United Methodist Church, Lancaster, Ohio


For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which

is Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 3:11NIV)

When I was around 10 years old, my family moved from the suburbs

where we had always lived, to the country. My parents had bought a

piece of land on which to build a home. It was exciting to go every week

and see the house take shape, walk around the framed space that would

one day be my room. But I admit to being a bit disappointed, at first. The

first day we visited the site, there was nothing but the foundation. Just an

outline of concrete in the ground. Only seeing the foundation created an optical illusion that the

home was much smaller than it was. The entire experience was, to be honest, a bit


Underwhelming, but absolutely essential. What I didn’t understand at the time was just how

important the foundation was to the home. Without the proper foundation, the home, no matter

how nice it was, would collapse. A strong foundation insured a strong home, not only for us at that

point, but still today. Many years later, the home still stands on its foundation.

Paul reminds us how important foundations are in the Scripture at the top of the page. We have

only one foundation for our faith. It’s Jesus. And if the foundation of your life isn’t Jesus, then you

are on tenuous ground indeed. At Lancaster First, we are dedicated to the truth, we have only one

true foundation, Jesus.

By the time you read this, you will have heard a lot about Foundations on Sunday Morning. We

are entering into a series looking at the Foundations of stewardship. We believe that our faith in

Jesus is lived out in our commitment to be good stewards of all that God gives us. The church is

built on the foundation of our time, our gifts, and our money.

Look at all God has done through this church in the past year, built on the foundation of your

stewardship. While other local ministries struggle with funding to feed the hungry, we continue to

feed over 70 people a day, several times a week. That foundation of your gifts has allowed us to

do ministry in the lives of 24 young people exploring their faith as they come to make their

confession of Jesus as their savior and become members. Second Saturday thrives; lives are

touched because you have made an investment in the future of our church’s foundation. And these

are only a few examples of greater ministry.

On Nov. 22 nd we’ll invite you to make an estimate of your giving to the foundation of the church,

financially, in your gifts and prayers. Join us as we not only celebrate all God has done, but look

forward to what God will build on this foundation in the coming year.

In Christ,

Rev. Dr. Brian Jones <

Annual Church Conference Meeting

On Nov 9 th at 7:00 PM the Rev. Kathy Brown, District Superintendent of the Capital Area South

District will preside over our annual Church Conference. This is an important meeting for our church

as we will set our ministry leaders for the upcoming year, vote on Clergy Salary and celebrate God’s

vision for our church. All Lancaster First members are highly encouraged to attend.


Crossroads Fundraiser at the Fall Election

On Tuesday, November 3, the church will be hosting a Soup

& Sandwich sale at Crossroads, the sale will run from 11 a.m.

– 7:30 p.m. We will be serving a tasty meal for not only those

coming to vote but anyone who drops by. There will be

several varieties of soups, sandwiches, beverages & desserts

to enjoy there or to take home & eat later! All the net

proceeds made from this sale will go directly to help pay off

Crossroad’s Mortgage. Your help & support is needed!!! If

you would like to help by giving your time or make a donation toward this fundraiser, please contact

Jill Warner at the church office or look for sign-up sheets in the parlor. Crossroads will be the place

to eat on Election Day!

Express Your Gratitude through Generosity

November and Thanksgiving bring reflection on how God

has blessed our lives. This reflection often spurns a

feeling to share those blessings with others. Our Local

Relief Fund is a great place to pass it on. First UMC has

a rich tradition of caring for those in need in our

community, and lately need has exceeded our

resources. Please consider sharing your gratitude for

God's blessings in your life through our Local Relief

Fund. Contributions can be made through the offering

plate or by sending them to the church with attention to

the Business Office, noting Local Relief Fund on your

check or envelope. Thank you.

All they asked was that we should continue to remember

the poor, the very thing I had been eager to do all

along. Galatians 2:10 New International Version (NIV)

2015 Thanksgiving Offering

During this season of Thanksgiving, we are

invited to offer our gifts in support of several

vital mission projects through the United

Methodist Church.

Our Lithuania Partner Church

Africa Hunger & Development

Good Works Outreach, Athens, Ohio

Connectional Giving

Enclosed in this newsletter is a special Thanksgiving offering envelope. Checks may be made

payable to First UMC with “Thanksgiving Offering” on the memo.

As we thank God for our many blessings, let’s offer our best gifts to these important mission projects

that are transforming and saving lives.

Your Global Missions Team


Joseph Palmer: 740-653-3320 Ext. 104

Youth Director:

8th Grade Confirmation: Current 8th

Graders meet during the 1st service on Sunday

mornings for Confirmation class. Contact Joseph

Palmer at 740-652-5015 with any questions.

Senior High Life Groups: Life Groups

are small groups that provide a safe space for

teenagers to engage others in conversation, grow

in their faith journey, and prepare to be disciples

of Jesus Christ in our world. They meet Sunday

Evenings at Crossroads, 6:30-9pm.

Junior High Life Groups: On Sunday

evenings at Crossroads, students in 6th-8th

grades will meet to have some fellowship & fun.


Midweek GiveBack: Every Wednesday,

youth grades 6-12 will give back to our church

during Fellowship Dinners at Crossroads. Dinner

will provided for the youth each week.

Celly Texting Program

We have a new texting communication program.

Celly is a platform for social networks that is

accessible via iPhone, Android, and SMS text.

There are currently two groups. RIOTYouth is

set up for all of the youth (and parents who want

to keep up-to-date with communications being

sent to their children). RIOTParents is a group

created for the parents alone, if I might need to

communicate to them directly.

To sign up, text the message @RIOTYouth (or

@RIOTParents) to 23559. Then respond to the

message with your first and last name. Note: if

your name already exists in the Celly world as

someone else, just respond and add a number

after it (ex: JohnSmith9)

Please see your weekly bulletin for Youth

Sunday School times.

Dear Church Family:

Thank you all for the support and expressions of Faith during our son, J. Scott (Scooter) Smith’s

courageous battle with kidney cancer. He joined his Savior on September 11th. Married here at First

United Methodist Church 12 years ago, he will be missed by the love of his life, wife Susan (Lively)

Smith, family, and many friends. Your prayers, visits, phone calls, and cards are greatly appreciated.

Linda & Daniel Bolger

Dear Second Saturday Volunteers:

Thank you so very much for the delicious cookies and fruit. They were so very much appreciated.

Also, a special Thank You to Mark, for his many visits at Homestead to visit. I look forward to his

weekly visits.

With a grateful heart,

Neil Reed


Looking Ahead –

Christmas Eve-Eve & Christmas Eve


Like last year, we will be offering a

Christmas “Eve-Eve” service in addition to our

Christmas Eve services. We had a great

turn-out for our Christmas Eve-Eve service,

which included the lighting of candles, the

singing of Christmas carols, and a Christmas

message. Invite your friends to join us for one

of our services!

Christmas “Eve-Eve” Candlelight Service –

7:30 pm, Wednesday, December 23rd

Christmas Eve Candlelight Services –

5:30 pm, 8:00 pm, & 11:00 pm

Thursday, December 24th

Celebrate Volunteers In Mission

One has many opportunities to serve the Lord. For some the calling is to serve the Lord on a

Volunteer In Mission trip. Officially organized in 1976 United Methodist Volunteers In Mission

(UMVIM) is organized by United Methodist jurisdictions, Ohio being part of the North Central

Jurisdiction. The United Methodist Church offers guidance, training and even insurance for persons

answering the call to serve on short term mission trips. Estimates are more than 125,000 United

Methodists serve each year as Volunteers In Mission.

Yearly, our youth serve on mission trips with our fearless adult leaders. Last year Youth Works

published 5 reasons every teenager should go on a mission trip:

1. Mission Trips Bring Youth Groups Together.

2. Mission Trips Broaden Perspectives.

3. Mission Trips Challenge Comfort Zones.

4. Mission Trips Empower Students.

5. Mission Trips Create Sacred Space.

Ask our youth about their mission experience and you hear words like “awesome”, 'fantastic”, and a

few are even a little choked up telling you about their experience. Mission trips change our youth.

Our adult teams have served here in the USA and abroad. We've sent teams to Europe and the

Bahamas. Our teams have served in New Mexico and Athens, Ohio. And there are individuals in our

church that have served on other teams and organizations in Haiti, Honduras and Africa.

Often, trips are commissioned by someone sensing a call to serve somewhere. Being called to go

somewhere doesn't mean you have to organize and lead a team. We have people who can do those

things. It is your passion and calling that a team needs.

Will YOU answer the call? Where are WE headed next?

“You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

–Acts 1:8


Financial Snapshot

September 2015

Beginning operating fund balance $171,412.50

add income $ 85,071.16 813,720.74

less expenses 85,482.65 930,433.39

Ending operating fund balance $ 54,699.85

September 2015

Beginning mortgage fund balance $ 71,244.39

add income $20,157.35 $335,465.99

less expenses 31,238.42 365,967.10

Ending mortgage fund balance $ 40,743.28

You will be enriched in every

way so that you can be generous

on every occasion, and through

us your generosity will result

in thanksgiving to God.

2 Corinthians 9:11

Principle Balance as of September 30, 2015, is $437,958.41. This includes both September and

October’s payments. An additional $5,000 principal payment was made as a result of bequest

received by the church. We’ve paid off nearly 1/4 of our last lap in first 5 months of this year’s lap!

Contact the Business Office to find out how you can participate in the final lap of our Faith Forward

to the Finish Line campaign to eliminate our Crossroads debt.

The Permanent Endowment contains funds from legacy gifts invested for ongoing support of the

ministry of First United Methodist Church.

August 2015

Beginning Permanent Endowment $2,260,246.23 $2,640,653.66

Ending fund balance $2,202,233.92 $2,202,233.92

Last month, our designated legacy gifts purchased a new pager system for our nursery and tents for

the Boy Scout Troop we sponsor. Please contact the Business Office if you would like additional

information or to find out how to make gifts through your will or other financial instruments for

charitable contributions to the Permanent Endowment.

Dear Church Family,

As we continue in our fifth and final lap for our Faith Forward to

the Finish Line campaign, there is one thing we can say with

certainty. God is a good and faithful God. Let me say that again.

God is a good and faithful God. He continues to bless our church

in so many ways. And He has used the love and generosity of this

church to prove his faithfulness.

God has used you to help us reach this point. We truly believe

that if we are faithful, maybe even risk takers for Christ, God will provide and allow us to make the

final payments and pay off the Crossroads facility loan. This is the time!

Why do we feel this is the time? Let me give you three quick answers. First, the Bible is clear that

we are to be good stewards of all He has given us. By paying off the debt now, even though it may

mean sacrifices on our part, it will keep us from incurring a larger debt over the years. As our

church begins to grow, we don’t wish to saddle future generations with our responsibility.

Secondly, we believe the time is now because God is calling us to bigger and greater things. I

have been amazed at all God does through our church. But can you imagine what He can do if we

are able to take all the resources currently used to pay off the loan and use those to further the

kingdom in ministry? What a blessing it will be. The time is now!

Finally, we believe the time is now because we have a big God who does big things. If we make

every effort to finish the final lap now, God will provide. He is simply that big and that faithful. If you

have questions about how you can help, please let us know. Let’s take our final lap and cross the

finish line together. Our God is big, the time is now!

Poinsettias for the Chancel

Once again the Altar Guild is offering the opportunity for members of the

congregation to provide poinsettias in honor or memory of important

persons in their lives. Checks may be written out to FUMC – Altar Guild

and marked Poinsettia. Please use this form and submit it, along with your

check or cash, to the church by November 16. The poinsettias will be

available for persons to take home or to others following 11:00 p.m.

worship on Christmas Eve. More forms for additional poinsettias are available in the parlor.

Poinsettia Order Form – Deadline

Friday, November 16

In Honor of

In Memory of




Poinsettia given by

Circle one:

4.5” Red - $2.75 8” Red - $11.00

6.5” Red - $6.00 10” Red - $18.00

4.5” White - $2.75 8” White - $11.00

6.5” White - $6.00 10” White - $18.00

Enclose payment & return this form to the church office.

1 form per Poinsettia

Poinsettia Order Form – Deadline

Friday, November 16

In Honor of

In Memory of




Poinsettia given by

Circle one:

4.5” Red - $3.00 8” Red - $11.00

6.5” Red - $6.00 10” Red - $18.00

4.5” White - $2.75 8” White - $11.00

6.5” White - $6.00 10” White - $18.00

Enclose payment & return this form to the church office.

1 form per Poinsettia

The Altar Guild's

Flower Committee

is looking for

individuals that would

be willing to be in a

rotating schedule to

arrange the altar

flowers for Sunday

mornings and special

services. If you like

to arrange flowers or

are willing to learn

how, please call or

text Jodie Poor @ 740-407-6588.

Angel Tree: Local Missions

will be sponsoring the Angel

Tree again this year. This

project helps provide

Christmas gifts to those in

need. The applications for

inclusion on this year’s tree

are available in the parlor at the receptionist

desk. If you know of a family who could use

some help, please pick up an application,

complete it, and return it to the Church no later

than November 8th. Thank you in advance

for your extravagant generosity!


November 4 at noon in the Fellowship Hall, the UMW will

have a special program on the World Thank Offering, and

we will elect new officers for 2016. Please get your reservation to Nancy

Streets at 740-653-2863.


(List of items needed on wooden box in the Parlor)

Our PECAN SALE is ongoing. Place your order in the Parlor after morning

worship! It is Holiday Baking Time!

West Ohio Conference Annual Celebration is at Powell United Methodist Church on

NOVEMBER 14 from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. $12 registration (includes lunch) Call Shelia Brown for

more information (740-503-1559)

Did you know...

If you don't have a copy

the Congregational Bicentennial

Book and DVD, and

you would like to see it,

there is a copy you may sign

out in the church library.

Got Old Electronics? We Can Turn Them into Cash!

We are holding a Used Electronics Drive at Crossroads on Saturday, Nov. 14, to collect old

computer equipment, cell phones, household appliances, etc. Those items that don't work anymore

will be taken for recycling (keeping them out of landfills) and we'll get some scrap money for them to

apply to our Crossroads debt! Please bring your recyclables to Crossroads (2095 W. Fair Ave) on

Saturday, Nov. 14, from 8:30 am to noon. For more information about what we can take, visit this

website: or call Deb Silvia at 740.653.3330 x214. Old TV's (the

ones that are not flat screens) cost to have removed--$1/inch. Please include a donation to have

your old TV recycled.

Saturday, November 14, 8:30am at


November and December create a lot of opportunities for

community service. We will be in high gear with the wood ministry

picking up and distributing wood to those in need. The cookie and fruit deliveries have really

increased in number. We didn't realize how important these visits mean to shut-ins. Our challenge

has been getting enough cookies for the bags. If you can bake any time during the month and

freeze them, that works great! We will be starting Angel Tree preparations this month so look for

that information soon! Come join us the Second Saturday of every month at 8:30am at Crossroads

and EVERY ONE is welcome and appreciated!


Creative Ministries News

THANK YOU to everyone who helped with the Puppetry Festival and Halloween Carnival in

October! And a special thank you to United Vending for making children’s books possible as

Halloween Carnival prizes!

If you would like to help with decorating the church and Rising House for the holidays please

contact John Coen.

The Holiday Parade takes place on November 21st at 10 a.m. Contact John Coen to be part

of our float.

Nativity Display setup will take place on November 20-22. It takes lots of hands to create this

incredible display. Tentative times are Nov. 20- 6-9 p.m. , Nov. 21- 2-9 p.m., Nov. 22-2-9 p.m.

Please show up whenever you can! Power screwdrivers are helpful!

Virtuous Reality purchased two “Doodle-Ooo” puppets through a memorial

gift in memory of George & Lillian Ruck, grandparents of Thom & Kate

Ogilvie who are longtime puppeteers on our team. Pictured is one of the

two puppets.

Meet one of our clowns: Binky is a member of the Good

News Clown Crew. He loves to bring a smile to young &

old alike by performing astounding illusions (which sometimes work!)

To become involved with Virtuous Reality, The Good News Clown Crew, The Magic of Believe or

our Video Ministry, contact John Coen or 740-653-3320 ext 103


Everybody can be a part of

on November 14!

We’re having a Food Drive to help supply

the food pantry at St. Mark Church


We’re having an Electronics Recycling Drive to benefit the

Crossroads Mortgage Fund and our Earth!

Bring your non-perishable food items or old electronics to

Crossroads, 2095 W. Fair Ave.

Saturday, November 14 from 9 am to 12 pm.

For more information, contact Dan Kemp at

or call First UMC at 740-653-3330.

For electronic recycling visit for a list of acceptable items.

Guide Book & Directory:

Advertising Opportunity: We are in the process of updating our annual Guide Book &

Directory for the Church. This book will be the Who, What, Where, When, Why and How of our

Congregation. The book is being provided at no cost to our Church, including the mailing to each

family, and again is being subsidized by local businesses that advertise in it. If you own or manage a

business and would like to find out about advertising in our book, please call the Church Office.

Recent survey results by Guide Book Publishing show that 92.1% of families would rather patronize

a Guide Book & Directory advertiser over a non-advertiser. It “will pay” to advertise in our new Guide

Book & Directory. Call the church for more information.

Update Membership Information: It is time for us to update our database with any changes,

additions or deletions that may have occurred in YOUR family. Have you changed your phone

number? Have you moved? Are you preparing to move soon? Are all of your children still at home

and are they all included in your membership record? Do you want your record published? We want

your information in the Guide Book & Directory to be correct. Please call the office with your

changes at 740-653-3330 or email

Direct Mailing of Directory: Guide Book Publishing handles the printing, binding and

preparing the bulk mailing of our Guide Book & Directory. They are then sent to Lafayette Industries.

Lafayette Industries is a sheltered workshop that employs people with disabilities who bring a variety

of production skills to the work environment. They place the books in the envelopes, seal the

envelopes and then prepare the mailing for delivery to the Post Office. There is no cost to the church

for the mailing of the printed books to your home.


Interested in Baptism?

If you are interested in baptism,

please contact Sandy Roberts at the

church office, (740) 653-3330 or

On October 4, 2015

We express our sincere

sympathy to the families of those

who have lost loved ones:

Jo Williams

Betty Lucas

Larry Rausch

Jean Finley

Carl Palmer

Dorothy Willis

Jack Lee Davis

Son of Samuel & Erin Davis

Local Missions

Do you have a calling to

assist those in need? The

Local Missions team is

looking for new members

to assist with planning and

serving during these

activities. Such activities

include: Second Saturday, Angel Tree, and

serving dinner at the Foundation and Lutheran

Social Services. We meet on the Monday

evening before the second Saturday of each

month @ 6:30 in Spirit Hall in the main church

building. For more information contact Dan

Kemp at or


Children’s Sing and Praise

Meets on Sunday mornings at 10 am in the

Celebration Room! Sing & Praise is a

children's singing group for children age 4

through 5th grade. We meet weekly, and we

sing several times a year for the

congregation. Children are welcome to join

us as we have fun singing and playing

instruments in praise to God!

Do you have a college student that we could contact, to let them know we are thinking

of them & praying for them? Please email us their name, their email address, and college

attending, and please share any additional information you wish. Please also include your contact

phone #.

Our email address is:

2015-2016 Family Special Events Team schedule

December 13


March 19

April 10

Second Sunday/ Caroling to the shut-ins noon- 2:00pm.

Jolly Hoppers (TBD)

Eggstravaganza at Crossroads

Skate Party 3:30-5:30 pm


Wednesday Night Dinners

We welcome and encourage everyone to

come and enjoy a home-cooked meal at our

Wednesday Night Fellowship Dinners.

Reservations can be made by contacting

the church receptionist at 740-653-3330

before 4:00 on MONDAY AFTERNOON. If

you have any questions or concerns, please

feel free to contact Dan Kemp at or

740-653-3330. We thank you for your

continued support.

Buffet style

Serving from 5:00 p.m. to 6:15 p.m.

Main Room at Crossroads.

Desired donation:

$9.00 for adults; Kids (10 & under) eat

free when accompanied by an adult!

We hope to see you soon!

Specials in the

Spirit Cafe

This Month

Toasted Marshmallow Latte

Cupcake Frappe

Pumpkin Spice Latte

Spirit Café is located in the Parlor

& open on Sunday mornings.

Nov. 4

Nov. 11

Nov. 18

Dinner Menus:

Ham Loaf w/Sweet & Sour Sauce

Potato Puff

Buttered Cabbage

Blushing Applesauce

Pumpkin Cake

Spaghetti & Italian Meatballs

Buttered Corn

Garlic Bread

Cinnamon Chunky Applesauce

Texas Cake

Turkey and Dressing

Mashed Potatoes and Gravy

Candied Sweet Potatoes

Green Beans

Cranberry Gelatin Salad

Pumpkin Pie

All Meals include a Fresh Garden Salad,

Homemade Rolls, and Beverages

Fellowship Dinner Volunteers:

We are looking for volunteers who can help with

preparing, serving, and cleanup after our

Wednesday Night Dinners. Times needed vary.

See sign-up sheet on the table in the parlor, or for

more information, contact Judy Tucker at

740-653-3330 or

Fellowship Hour Volunteers:

The Lord calls us to serve one another. Would

you like to help with serving refreshments during

fellowship hour, but feel a bit apprehensive?


Contact Dan Kemp or Judy Tucker @

740-653-3330. You can serve as often as

your schedule allows.

Time Change! Don’t

forget to set your clocks

back on Sunday,

November 1!



Christ calls us to serve in many ways: tending to the sick, comforting the grieving,

feeding the hungry and clothing the poor, and even washing the feet of the apostles.

Just as a person prepares for a career, lay servants should equip themselves with

knowledge, insight and skills that prepare each to serve the local church and


The following equipping courses are being offered in our district/surrounding


Basic Course 10/31 Warrensburg UMC $35

Living in UM Connection 11/14 Albany UMC $35

Registration and more information for each of these courses can be found at , or in the EQUIP magazine, a West Ohio Conference publication with all

training opportunities in the seven districts of West Ohio. (You may want to check out page 19 of

EQUIP to read Joe Palmer’s story about the Young Justice Advocates movement, including his

picture and one of one of our youth, Megan Schenck!)

If you are interested in Lay Servant Ministries, please contact Judy Hug at 740.653.0892 or .

2015-2016 Sunday School Schedule:













Pastor’s Bible Study Every Wednesday

at Our Crossroads Facility

Every Wednesday, 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm before

Fellowship Dinners at our Crossroads facility,

Rev. Dr. Brian Jones leads a Bible study based

on the upcoming Sunday scripture readings. The

study is held in the Conference Room (the room

by the kitchen). We read the scripture lessons,

share information about their historical context,

and share insights on how they guide and shape

our faith today. All are welcome!




Fall New Member Class

Our next new member classes/lunches will be held Sundays, November 1 and November 8, 11:45

am to 2 pm, with receiving into membership on November 15. The sessions will cover topics such

as United Methodist history, theology and practice, how to get involved, and the vision and goals of

the church.

To register, contact Sandy Roberts at 740-653-3330 or



Nov. 4, 11, 18: Fellowship Dinners-Crossroads

Nov. 14: Second Saturday Outreach

Nov. 1 & 8: Fall New Member Classes

Nov. 3: Election Day Soup & Sandwich Sale!

Nov. 21: Holiday Parade!

Nov. 20-22: Nativity Display Setup

Nov. 29: Nativity Festival

Dec. 6: Virtuous Reality Christmas Show

It’s easier than ever before to find out, and see, all the great things

happening at Lancaster First. In addition to our Facebook page, we

now have a twitter account as well as an Instagram account. Not only

will you be kept up-to-date with our ministries, but we’ll include

devotions, thoughts for the day, pictures, music, and a few surprises

along the way. Follow us at:

Facebook: Lancaster First United Methodist Church

Twitter: church@lanfumc

Instagram: Lanfumc

Articles for the

December/January issue of the Circuit Rider

are due by November 6 to

The Circuit Rider

is the monthly newsletter of

First United Methodist Church

163 E. Wheeling St.

Lancaster, OH 43130


9:00 am – Worship Celebration

10:30 am – Praise Worship


6:00 pm – The Gathering (at Crossroads)

Crossroads Family Ministry Center

2095 W. Fair Ave.

Lancaster, OH 43130

We welcome you to worship with us

and to experience the joy of having fellowship

with other people who believe

in the love of God and the teachings of


Senior Pastor – Rev. Dr. Brian Jones

Associate Pastor – Rev. Cheryl Foulk

Telephone – 740-653-3330

Email –

Website –

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