August 23rd–Emily’s Musings


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August 23rd–Emily’s Musings

The month of August is flying by, the kids are back in school, and fall is just around the corner!  We’ve had an amazing summer here at Auburn First UMC—here are just a few of the things that have been happening around here over the last few months:

  • We brought in five fabulous interns from the Great Plains Annual Conference, and they helped us host a great week of Vacation Bible School for 35+ children in our community.
  • Seven children and youth from Auburn FUMC attended summer camp at Camp Fontanelle—and four of them had all or part of their tuition paid by our congregation’s camp scholarship fund (which is supported by your generosity!)
  • The UMC/Presbyterian youth group hosted two fundraisers for their Heifer International “Ark”; they have raised almost $3,500 so far this year!
  • We’ve enjoyed hearing from local painters, musicians, dancers, and other artists as part of our “Beautiful Things” sermon series. What a joy to worship God by celebrating the variety of artistic gifts in our community!
  • We had our biggest school supply drive yet! We worked with APS administration, and our congregation provided 21 full sets of school supplies to 6th-8th grade students in need (plus, we provided pocket folders for the entire 6th grade class!) I am still blown away by this outpouring of generosity from the people of Auburn FUMC, and I’m thrilled that our congregation is able to support our local schools in this way!

In short, it’s been a whirlwind summer full of music, joy, laughter, and ministry…and there is even more of that coming our way as we kick off fall and the Sunday School season at Auburn FUMC!  Here’s a quick preview of what’s coming up in September:

A new sermon series!

            On October 1st, a few of our youth will be taking the United Methodist membership vows and becoming full adult members of the congregation.  In preparation for Confirmation Sunday, we will spend the month of September looking at the five promises that we all make when we join the UMC—to serve God with our prayers, presence, gifts, service, and witness.  Join us in September as we explore what it means to be an active United Methodist, and as we learn how to serve God more fully!

Sunday School for all ages!

            Sunday School Kickoff is on Sunday, September 10th. There will be four Sunday School classes this year—an adult class, a youth class, and an elementary class will begin meeting at 9:00, and a toddler/preschool/kindergarten class will meet after Young Disciple’s Time (during the second half of the church service.)  Contact Sarah Hanika for more information.

Choir returns!

            Choir begins rehearsing again on Wednesday, September 6th at 6:30 pm.  All adults and all youth aged 6th grade and up are welcome to participate—no auditions needed!  Contact the church office or choir director Carol Ehmke for more information.

Weekly youth group meetings!

            Our youth have stayed active all summer, and now that school is back in session, we are back to our regular weekly meeting schedule.  We’ve got lots of great meetings planned—game nights with the residents at Long’s Creek, movie nights, Bible study nights, game nights, etc.  All youth between 6th-12th grade are welcome to join us! (And we always have snacks!) Contact Pastor Emily or Kim Beger for more information.


Thanks for a great summer, church—here’s to a fantastic autumn!

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August 9th–Emily’s Musings

Anyone who has ever gone shopping for school supplies knows that the cost of all those notebooks and calculators and glue-sticks can add up pretty quickly…especially when you’re buying supplies for multiple children.  For many families in our county, the annual school supply bill presents a significant financial hardship.  Fortunately, there are a number of generous organizations and individuals in our community who work together to ensure that all our students have the supplies they need to succeed–and this year, I am pleased to report that Auburn FUMC played a big role in that effort!

This is the third time since I arrived in Auburn that our church has hosted a school supply drive, but this year the need AND the response were bigger than ever!  I worked with the wonderful Nancy Fuller, and she and the middle school guidance counselors were able to identify seven children per grade who would need assistance this year.  For those of you doing the math at home, that means that AMS needed at least 21 full sets of school supplies!

21 sets of supplies might sound like an overwhelming number, but God and the people of Auburn FUMC made it happen.  The VBS children and their families provided supplies for the 6th grade backpacks, and the rest of the congregation purchased supplies for the 7th and 8th graders.  I was totally blown away by the generous outpouring of support–the monetary and supply donations this year were huge, and we were able to fill the 21 backpacks AND have a couple big boxes of supplies left over for the school!  (It sort of reminds me of the Biblical story of the Feeding of the 5000: at first it seemed like an insurmountable need, but thanks to God’s grace there was more than enough to go around!)

The 21 backpacks are now filled up with your donations, and they will be distributed to students later this week.  I am so humbled by the response we got to this school supply drive, and I’m so pleased with our congregation’s commitment to serving our neighbors.  The United Methodist Book of Discipline affirms that “all children have the right to quality education”, and as a denomination we support “the development of school systems and innovative methods of education designed to assist every child toward complete fulfillment as an individual person of worth.”  This school supply drive was a way for our church to put those words into action, and it has given us an opportunity to be the hands and feet of Christ in our community.

Thank you so much for this display of love for our children!


The 21 fully loaded backpacks–seven for each grade at Auburn Middle School!

  Two tables and a shopping cart, all overflowing with donations!


A close-up of some of the supplies!

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