April 2017
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Pastor Bob’s Ponderings
In the April 3, 2012 edition of The Christian Century, then editor Dr. John Buchanan had just retired after serving 30 years at Chicago’s 4th Presbyterian Church.  For the first time in 50 years he did not have to prepare and deliver a sermon.   He wrote that no one asked him to preach on Easter Sunday.  So, he decided to preach his Easter sermon in his opening column of the post Easter edition of The Christian Century.  Here’s what he wrote:
“What does it mean to live in a world in which a resurrection happened? For one thing, we live with the proclamation that goodness and truth are not ultimately overwhelmed by evil and untruth, regardless of what is transpiring at any particular historical moment… When Jesus died on Good Friday, his followers lost that faith. Until Jesus' death, they had begun to think that what he was saying and doing was good and true; that contrary to conventional wisdom, peacemakers, the meek and the seekers after goodness were the blessed and truly happy ones. They had begun to believe that it is better to give than to receive, that forgiveness is always better than retaliation, that in order to live fully one has to find ways to give of one's life, and that including the outcast and marginalized is better than excluding them—all of that was shattered when the powers of the world decided that Jesus should be crucified… Political and religious authority demonstrated the world's reality—that Jesus was unrealistic, dangerous and should be eliminated for the good of all. But then came a resurrection! For the disciples, this meant that his ideas were true, that working for their realization would always be holy work, work worth living and dying for. Everything is different because we now live in a world where death did not have the final word, where truth and goodness and love are the final realities, and where a resurrection happened.” 
We are reminded of this new reality every time we gather on Sunday.  Every Sunday’s resurrection day!
God Loves you and so do I,
Pastor Bob

Post Easter Sermon Series and Lift

Exhausted. Overwhelmed. Overscheduled. Sound familiar? Today’s velocity of life can consume and control us . . . until our breakneck pace begins to feel normal and expected. That’s where the danger lies: When we spend our lives doing things that keep us busy but don’t really matter, we sacrifice the things that do.

What if your life could be different?  What if you could be certain you were living the life God called you to live – and building a legacy for those you love?  Join us in the Sundays after Easter Sunday, and four Wednesday evenings, as we will explore SIMPLIFY: ten practices to unclutter your soul, based upon the best selling book by the same title authored by Bill Hybels.


Sunday, April 23rd -- “Who Do You Want to Become? Or Who Have You Become?”  based upon Jesus’ encounter with Mary and Martha in Luke 10:38-42


Wednesday, April 26 – 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. – Light dinner – Topic: Streamline Your Schedule


Sunday, April 30th --  “From Overwhelmed to In Control” – Luke 19:1-10


Wednesday, May 3 – 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. – Light dinner – Topic: Spend Wisely. 


Sunday, May 7 – “From Wounded to Whole” – John 8:1-11


Wednesday, May 10 – 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. – Light dinner – Topic: Making Room for Forgiveness


Sunday, May 14 – “Claiming God’s Call  on You Life” – I Corinthians 15:58


Wednesday, May 17 – 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. – Light dinner – Topic: From Stuck to Moving Forward
Have you thought about a Lenten discipline for this year? Some people “give something up”.  Others add an activity or spiritual practice.  Sometimes a particular area of focus needs prayer.  This year, our Lenten preaching series is, “24-Hours that Changed the World”, and will look at the events of the passion of Christ and explore their meaning for us.
Along with our sermon series, Wednesday Morning Prayer, Wednesday Night Lift, and a special Bible Study, we are inviting you to invest in the mission of making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.  During Lent we are inviting you to join the Lenten EXTRA MILE Challenge by planning to make an extra mile gift to the church for the purpose of fulfilling our partnership in the mission of the United Methodist Church here in the USA and around the world.  Our goal is to raise $8,000 over the seven weeks of Lent and will help support World Service, Ministerial Education, Black College Fund, Missional Priorities and Africa University.  Your gift will help transform the world.
How is God calling you to respond to this Challenge?  Would you consider make an extra mile gift of (remember these are only ideas to help guide you):
                  $800 or $114.29 per week during the season of Lent.
                  $600 or $  85.71 per week during the season of Lent.
                  $400 or $  57.14 per week during the season of Lent.
                  $300 or $  42.86 per week during the season of Lent.
                  $225 or $  32.14 per week during the season of Lent.
                  $200 or $  28.57 per week during the season of Lent.
                  $175 or $  25.00 per week during the season of Lent.
                  $125 or $  17.85 per week during the season of Lent.
                  $  80 or $  11.43 per week during the season of Lent.
                  $  75 or $  10.71 per week during the season of Lent.

Holy Week at WHUMC

Palm Sunday, April 9 -10 am Combined Service,
                         followed by Easter Bake Sale during Coffee Hour
Maundy Thursday -  April 13 at 7 pm
Good Friday Service of Tenebrae - April 14 at 7 pm
Easter Egg Hunt - Saturday, April 15 at 10 am
Sunday, April 16 - Easter Services
           6:45 am Sunrise Service in Memorial Garden 
           9 am   Traditional Easter Service
           11 am  Morning Joy Easter Service
Don't forget that there will be a combined service at 10:00 on Palm Sunday.



In 33 A.D. a Roman Tribune in Judea is tasked to find the missing body of an executed Jew rumored to have risen from the dead.  See what happens when the search leads him to the Upper Room and a meeting with the Disciples of Jesus who were huddled listening to (guess who). 


A special children’s movie will be offered at the same time.


Fellowship Hall, Sunday, April 23rd @ 4 p.m. – Pizza and snacks will be served.  Free will donation welcome. 

Office volunteer needed in April
Karen will be on vacation from April 17 through May 1, and Pastor Bob could use a little help in the office 2 or 3 days each week while she’s away. 

Please let Karen or Pastor Bob know if you're available, and to arrange for training.
Saturday April 8h from 9:00am to until the job is done
Please plan on spending Saturday morning April 8th with us as we work on making our church grounds beautiful for the spring season.  Any time you can give would be a blessing – come for the morning or just an hour or two – any amount of time is appreciated!  We will provide plenty of coffee and donuts to keep you energized!
We will be cleaning up sticks and limbs, clearing leaves, and cleaning up the memorial garden and the stone gardens.   So bring your pruners, trimmers, garden and lawn rakes, flat shovels, snow shovels leaf blowers, work gloves and wheel barrows. 
If you are able to help, we are trying to get a headcount.  Please contact April Parsons 860 778-3528 or and let her know your availability.
This is a big job and we need your help – many hands make light work!
On Sunday, May 7th, members of West Hartford United Methodist Church and others from the community will be walking!  Why? For the same reason we have done this for over 15 years, to raise money to combat hunger in our community.  Approximately 80% of what WHUMC Team members raise will go to the Friendship Service Center of New Britain where I am blessed to work (yes, where my ministry and heart are!), 5% will go to End Hunger CT and 15% will support Foodshare, the food bank from which we get much of our food.  Did you know that 1 out of every 8 people in our county and in our state do not know from where their meal is coming tonight?  And, many, many of those are hungry children!  That is way over 100,000 people, many of whom I know personally.  Nationwide, the numbers are even more staggering. This is truly an injustice!
            The Book of Principles of the United Methodist Church 2016 states:  The United Methodist Church believes God's love for the world is an active and engaged love, a love seeking justice and liberty.  We cannot just be observers.  So we care enough about people's lives to risk interpreting God's love, to take a stand, to call each of us into a response, no matter how controversial or complex. The church helps us think and act out a faith perspective, not just responding to all the other 'mind-makers-up that exist in our society.’’
           The WHUMC Walk Team takes a stand that says no one should go hungry.  Will you join us?  Please pray for our efforts.  Please consider walking with us.  AND to make a donation, you can follow this link to locate a WHUMC Team member to support: http://site.foodshareorg/site/TR/Walk/General?pg=team&fr_id=1341&team_id=14486    Or, you can bring a check to church and give it to one of the Walkers between now and May 7th.  There will be a table in the Fellowship Hall within the next few weeks.
           Together, we CAN stand up in love for justice and liberty seeking to end hunger in our community!  Let’s go out and be active and engaging together, seeking justice and liberty for all God’s precious children!
Rev. B. Suzy Rivera


The scrapbooking group will meet in Fellowship Hall, on Saturday, April  8th at  9:00 AM. All are welcome. Bring your pictures. Materials, tools and ideas are available if you need them. If you prefer, you may make cards. If you need further information, please call Judy Morris (860) 747-6228. 

Christian Education News
During the month of March we have been discussing the season of Lent and what it means.  Activities have included the number 40 in the Bible.  The number 40 is used so many times and is also the number of days in Lent.  Check and see if they can remember any of the stories we have discussed with the number 40 in them.  During the first two weeks of April we will focus on Holy Week and what happened on that first Holy Week. 
March 19th was a great coffee hour again hosted by the children.  They LOVE to do this. If you have not attended one of the coffee hours hosted by the children, you will have another opportunity on April 23rd
Our Gifts to God have been going well.  We do it formally on the second Sunday of the month but their monetary gifts can come in at any time.
During Lent we have been talking about all the gifts we can give to God through service. 
Our Birthday Bag mission will need donations. 
The following is a list of items:
Brown bags with handles (so we can decorate the bag)
Small cake mixes
Small tins for baking the cake
We will be making decorations to include in the bag as well
Small non-gender specific toys such as crayons, colored pencils, books, or anything else that you think of
Amy Meredith
Director of Christian Education

Nursery School Notes


In March, the Nursery School children participated in the "Birthday Bags" mission for the Friendship Service Center.  Amy Meredith visited our classrooms, talked about the mission with the children, and then each child made a special birthday card to be added to the bags.

The importance of giving and compassion is a lesson that we believe should start when a child is young.  By participating in missions like the Birthday Bags and Operation Christmas Child, the children learn that they too can make the difference in the life of another child.  Our hope is that they take these lessons and values and apply them throughout their life!

During the month of April our children will participate in a special celebration called “the week of the young child” an event sponsored by NAEYC. Our Nursery School is accredited by NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children). Entry into this association is a rigorous process and membership demonstrates a commitment to excellence in early childhood education. Our Nursery School will be participating during the week of April 24-28. Special activities are planned for each day in our classrooms focusing on the importance of music, fitness, nutrition, building, art and family.

Lisa Brown, Director
West Hartford Methodist Nursery School
7 Berkshire Road West Hartford, CT 06110 (860)521-8063

Date Event Notes Contact
9/21/2017 (Thu.) Belle’s Luncheon UMW Catering Event Nancy Janusauskas
9/28/2017 (Thu.) 1st Pumpkin Unloading Serve dinner for helpers Nancy Janusauskas
10/16/2017 (Thu.) 2nd Pumpkin Unloading Serve dinner for helpers Nancy Janusauskas
10/21/2017 (Sat.)
9:00am – 2:00pm
Harvest Fair Set-up starts on Sun 10/14 – Thu 10/20 anytime you can help ,and Friday 9:00 am Joy Ferguson
10/27/2017 (Fri.) 7-9pm
10/28/2017(Sat.) 8-1pm
Rummage Sale Set-up starts on Sun 10/23 Doris Shuskus
11/26/2017 (Sun.)
4:00pm – 6:00pm
Tree Lighting and Carol Sing Dinner More info to follow April Parsons
12/2/2017 (Sat.)
12:00pm – 3:00pm
Holiday Luncheon More info to follow Nancy Janusauskas
12/3/2017(Sun.) Christmas Tea More info to follow Judy Morris
UMW Officers 2017-2018 UMW Contact Info:
Nancy Janusauskas, President & Financial Secretary
April Parsons, Vice President
Mary Suter, Treasurer
Cheryl Sansone, Secretary
April Parsons                        860 778-3528
Doris Shuskus                       860 561-2752
Joy Ferguson                         860 523-8017
Judy Morris                           860 747-6228
Karen Powers                        860 665-0786
Nancy Janusauskas               860 521-1166
Thank You
Dear Church family,
Al and I want to offer our heartfelt thanks for all the love and support you have shown, and continue to show us through Al’s illness. We so appreciate your phone calls, cards, prayers, and words of encouragement.  We are blessed.
With deep gratitude,
Nancy Jay

April Birthdays
April 2   Kathy Barnowski
             Matt DeLeon
             JoAnn Palmer
April 3   Edward Darko
April 4   Ray Fairchild
             Gabrielle Cappellucci
April 5   Sumay Das
April 7   Marianne Black
April 8   Betty Anderson
April 9   Patrick Norris
April 11  Smyan Das
April 15  Gabriel Cortes
              Sam Darko, Jr
              Liz Michelson
April 16  Alberto Cortes
April 17  Robyn Weiss
              Kristen Wilder
April 24  Karen Ellsworth
              Peter Michelson
April 25  Ken Styron
April 27  Trisha Ann Norris
April 28  Abigail Styron

May Birthdays
May 3    Maximus Edward-Ricks
              Kent Sinram
May 5    Leah Pocklington
May 7    Jeremy Shuskus
              Elijah Sasser
May 9    Len Gaulin
May 10  Maya Delaire,
              Tyler Delaire
              Barrett Linskey
              Jacob Ricketts
May 11   Mitchell Weiss
May 14   Doris Shuskus
May 15   Karen Loveland
May 16   Lucy Sansone
May 19   Liana Kinsella
May 21   Marcia Forbes
May 22   Jordan Rivera
May 27   Debbie Muntz
               Jessica Nix
May 28   Diane Leja
May 29   Jake Barnowski                  
               Evan Roy
May 31   Nicholas Meredith

May Anniversaries

May 2      Athina & Eric Loveland
May 14    Kristen & Larry Wilder
May 16    Linda & Bill Weber
May 26    Lisa & Robert Hazzard
May 31    Gini & Jim Armstrong
                Kim & Peter White
Please contact Karen Loveland at
860-521-7766 or
to have your birthday or anniversary added.
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Our mailing address is:
1358 New Britain Ave., West Hartford, CT 06110

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West Hartford United Methodist Church · 1358 New Britain Avenue · West Hartford, CT 06110 · USA

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