First United Methodist Church, Topeka
Wednesday, April 23, 2014






January 29, 2014








Sermon Series:

Hold Fast!


Sermon Title:

Hold Fast to

 God's Grace



Hebrew 12:16-17



Dr. Bruce L. Emmert








Looking Ahead

February 2

Equal Exchange on Sale

Souper Bowl Sunday Take Out -- Youth Fundraiser

Church Night (Noon)


February 6

Donut Time at Baker's Dozen (8:30 am)


February 9

Youth Sunday 


February 16

Game Night (4-6 pm)


Please click HERE for more complete calendar information on our Web site. 




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Church Night is This Sunday, February 2nd

We know the thought of having nothing to do while waiting around for the Super Bowl to start is no way to spend an afternoon, so we are here to fill that void with Church Night, or in this case Church Afternoon. Yep, that's right we're still meeting!  And in the spirit  of the day we are going casual, so wear your favorite team colors or a church shirt and after you enjoy a wonderful worship service of your choice join us for homemade soup, fellowship, and learn what our church has planned for you.  Questions are always welcome and even encouraged.  Your input  is important to us. 


  • Pick up chili or soup and a cinnamon roll in the Celebration Room for $5.00, courtesy of the youth's Souper Bowl Sunday Fundraiser, if you're staying for lunch.
  • Committees will meet from 12:15-12:45 and will eat during their meeting
  • 12:45-1:30 committees will gather in Fellowship Hall to share reports with the congregation
  • 1:30 Leadership council will meet




Special Viewing of "Life Is Love" Tomorrow 

You are invited to the viewing of "Life Is Love" tomorrow at 10:00 am in the Chapel. Heroes lead with their heart and that is what is found in this highly uplifting film about a group of inspirational women who have triumphed over severe adversity to transform their world. Somaly Mam, a survivor of human trafficking is featured in this film as she works with young girls/women in the movement to free and transform girls from the ravages of human trafficking.  "Life Is Love" gives a voice to the young girls around the globe with whom Somaly is working with to further help and heal. The director and producer of the film is Kathleen Powell who is the daughter of Dr. Bill Powell and we thank him for sharing this movie with us.


Viewing time is approximately an hour and fifteen minutes. Any questions may be directed to Tiwana.

Life Is Love Trailer

Life Is Love Trailer





Confirmation Student: Ryan Zielsdorf


Matt and Kim Zielsdorf


Favorite thing about our church?

Friendly people


What do you wish the church had that it doesn't?

A gym



If you could rename the church what would it be?

God's church


What about this church makes you feel special?

I have friends


If we could have something other than bread and juice for communion what would you suggest? 

Gluten-Free Pizza



Questions about confirmation?




Doorstep Ministry Update

The Doorstep staff, volunteer and Board of Directors greatly appreciated our donation of $3,000 in December. They shared that it was with the ongoing support, kindness and generosity of their donors that allows Doorstep to continue to provide for families and individuals throughout the year. First church also donated 2,708 lbs of food to their food bank in 2013. Way to go!


Baskets for Operation Soup Line

The 11th Annual Operation Soup Line to benefit Doorstep is Wednesday, February 26th. You will not only enjoy several varieties of soup but also get to listen to local entertainment and have the chance to bid on a large selection of silent auction baskets.  First Church will donate two baskets for the auction with the themes, "Girls Night Out" and "Movie Night". We are asking for donations for these and they may be placed in the basket next to the Doorstep Cart. Items should be turned in by Friday, February 7th. The money raised from Operation Soup Line will go to ensure that those in need can continued to be served. 




Third Graders Dominating Their Challenge 

On January 12, 2014, Pastor Bruce issued a challenge to the seven 3rd Graders in our congregation: Read the book of John by Easter.  The 3rd Graders received CEB children's bibles and prayers from the congregation to start them on their journey reading the Word of God.  Chapter by chapter, our 3rd graders are digging into the scriptures with the help of their families. DeAnna Guzman, mother of Jacob Guzman, shares the process of tackling this challenge with her son: 

We started the journey of reading the Book of John, the afternoon that Pastor Bruce gave us the challenge. The whole family was ready and willing to "dig in" and read the word. I"m sorry to say, that failed in no time flat.  It's not as easy as it sounds.  It was hard to keep everyone's attention during reading time. So instead of the Family Reading together, it's just the two of us.  It's not easy. There are some strange verses, and understanding what we read, is tough.  Even, I as a parent, have problems understanding what is said. I am impressed with the Bible the church gave Jacob.  It has little notes along the way to help explain some of the tougher parts of the scripture.  Our favorite miracle so far is the 2 fish and loaves of bread. How in the world was Jesus able to take so little and give so much?  It doesn't work like that at our house!

I can't think of a better way to set an example for my kids than to take the time to read the Bible with them.  The best part is sharing favorite Bible Verses, while learning new ones along the way.  






BOOKS FOR BUSES - Thank you to the many who donated books for the Books for Buses drive.  We loaded 10 boxes FULL of books, many with popular titles, colorful illustrations and bi-lingual text.  What valuable treasures for the students at State Street to explore while riding the bus!


WAFFLE - WAFFLE kicked-off the semester with 89 students participating, despite a steady stream of absences in school due to illness. With 4 new WAFFLE volunteers having completed their Safe Gatherings training, we hope to add more students to the program. The impact of WAFFLE on Oakland children and families is notable. See just a few of the confirmations from January:

  • Ayanna, a 5th grade girl in Justin McFarland's group, said she would pay anything to be in WAFFLE this semester.  She was delighted to hear that it was free.
  • Madison, a Kindergartener in Martha Spacek's group, told her family that WAFFLE is her favorite part of school, and she continually asks when she can go to WAFFLE again.
  • Trinity, a 4th grade girl in Randall Hodgkinson's group, said she looks forward to WAFFLE even more than her gifted classes.
  • The 5th Grade boys in Dennis Tietze's group participate in hands-on science lessons that build over the semester. 
  • Dorothy Illiff who serves at the school regularly shared that every time she's there, students ask, "Is it WAFFLE week?" 
  • Connor, a 3rd grade boy in Bruce Emmert's group, arrived late one week. While walking to his classroom, he commented, "Thank goodness I made it.  I bet our teacher missed us."







We still have room in the van for Winter Jam, this Friday Jan 31st.  We will be leaving the church parking lot at 4:45, email Ruth if you would like to attend.



9:00 am -- Souper bowl sales start in the Celebration Room. Come support our youth by getting Take-out soup or chili.  All soups are homemade by youth families and youth supporters.  All the funds raised from this event benefit youth that will attend the Oklahoma Tornado Relief Mission Trip this summer and those who will go to Camp Chippewa or Institute.  There are currently 27 signed up for the Oklahoma Mission Trip.

9:30 am -- Sunday school and confirmation

10:30 am -- Praise Team singer practice



Save the date:

Feb 9th is Youth Sunday, you don't want to miss it!





First Church is a loving community of faith,

centered in Christ, making God's love known.