2 Ways 2 Connect

Normally, I save all the big news until Fridays for your weekend reading pleasure, but today we have two pieces of news that are so big they just can't wait! Today, I'm delighted to invite you to check out (1) our new spring small groups, and (2) our church's new website at fumcrestview.com !

First, our small groups: Tonight at 6PM marks the triumphant return of our usual Wednesday Night Activities - we have groups for kids, youth, choir and adults.  Many of our groups are continuing studies from the winter, but two of group leaders have told me tonight is the perfect time for you to jump in! No books to buy, just show up and enjoy!

Susan and David Hill are leading a class on Andy Stanley's DVD study: Christian: It's Not What You Think. This study tackles big questions like: 

- What one word should be descriptive of every Christian 

- How Jesus’ followers should treat those who are outside the faith 

- Why people love Jesus but can’t stand his followers 

Or, you can check out Paul Hinton's in-depth Bible Study on the book of Daniel. Few books are as deep, provocative and just plain action-packed as the book of Daniel. In this guided study, you can learn from the vision and the action of one of the Old Testament's great prophetic voices.  

But that's not all! On April 22, Cathy Thigpen is launching a new women's study by Jessica Lagrone. Jessica LaGrone is one of the most gifted women's teachers around today, and in Namesake she looks at what it means to be named and claimed by God. Every name tells a story. Names in Scripture were often given to tell the story of a person’s identity, upbringing, or character. When God transforms lives, He often brings more than we bargained for: new identities, new journeys, even new names.

Namesake is a six-week Bible study that explores the transformational power of God through the stories of biblical characters who met God and whose lives and names were changed forever. As you meet Abraham and Sarah, Jacob, Naomi, Daniel, Peter, and the unnamed woman, you will discover that God wants to be just as intimately involved in your story, offering an identity that shines with the purpose for which you were created. Make plans now and look for your chance to sign up for Namesake before it begins on April 22. 

And, now for something completely different 

fumcrestview.com is the new online home of First United Methodist Church!  This new website is designed to be your one-stop-shop for the everything that's going on at FUMC.  It is still a work-in-progress, especially when it comes to photos, but we are launching today because we have several new features that you will want to start using today, and maybe every day.  Here are the four things I'm most excited about: 

1) A live calendar of events: When you click the "calendar" tab, you will see the exact same calendar that our staff uses for scheduling the facilities and ministries of our church. The moment we put an event on the schedule, it goes on the calendar.  

2) News and Sermons: Got an announcement for the whole church? Send it to us and we can have it on the church's news blog in no time at all. The front page of the website will always feature the 8 most recent announcements, and when you click "News and Sermons" you can look back as far as you want to make sure you haven't missed anything.  This is also where we will post manuscripts of each week's sermon. Somewhere down the road, we hope to add video (and if someone can help us do that soon, we'd love your expertise). 

3) Church Directory: many of you have signed up for inFellowship, our online church directory.  Now, there is a permanent link on our site so you can not only sign up, but also sign in to look for that friend you just made at church.  Our church directory doesn't just list individuals, though.  You can also search it for all the groups of our church. Looking to connect? You can find a group for your age, or schedule, or topic of interest.  

4) Search: If you don't know where to find what you're looking for, let the website do your searching!  Our homepage has a search bar front and center, just type in a few keywords, and if we have it the site will find it.  *One note, the search function can't search within the calendar, so if you want to know when and where the choir meets, for instance, you'll have to go look at the calendar yourself. 

To make all this even easier, our old web address - welcomehome2crestview.com - is still active and will take you to the new site. You have time to learn the new place to go. 

I hope you will make full and frequent use of our new website, and let us know how we can make it better! Whether it's online or in person, today is a great day to get connected at FUMC.