Looking for Romeos

  Interested in being a Romeo? No, not a star-crossed Shakespearean character! We are looking for guys who want to join our Retired Old Men Eating Out (ROMEO) small group that meets on Mondays at 11:00 a.m. in the parlor. This lively group spends an hour in study and fellowship before heading out together for lunch at Shoney’s. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to contact Rev. Mark Flynn at mflynn@fumcor.org.

A Service of Lessons and Carols

To celebrate the beginning of Advent, our community and congregation are invited to a Service of Lessons and Carols. This joyful service will take place on Sunday, December 3, at 7:00 p.m. in the Nave. We will alternate between traditional Advent scripture readings and congregational carols, along with Christmas music performed by instrumentalists and vocalists. Join us for a joyful Advent celebration.

🎄 Get Ready for the First Steps Christmas Program! 🎅

Mark your calendars for December 15th at 10:30 a.m., because the First Steps Child Development Center is bringing back a cherished Christmas Tradition! It’s been a while since we last celebrated this joyous event, and we couldn’t be more thrilled!

Join us on this special day as all six classrooms showcase their holiday spirit with a delightful music presentation. Rehearsals have already begun, and we can’t wait to see the little ones’ amazing performances! To secure your spot, make sure to grab a $5 ticket for each family member or friend attending. Hurry, they’re selling fast!

Following the musical extravaganza, we invite you and your little ones to enjoy a delicious lunch together. This long-awaited event promises to be a highlight of the year, filled with laughter and joy!

For more information, please reach out to our director, Julie Martin, at fsdirector@fumcor.org or 865-483-6291. We’re counting down the days with an enthusiasm level of 10 out of 10! Let’s make this Christmas program unforgettable! 🎉🎶

Keeping the Holidays Simple for Those Living with Dementia

The holidays are a joyful time, filled with celebrations and events. With all the gatherings, there can be a disruption in daily routines and added chaos which is difficult for people living with dementia. The following tips may prove helpful to ensure the joy of the season strikes just the right balance.

1. Work together on preparations – open cards, stir the cookie dough, or wrap gifts. It’s always about the process, not the product.

2. Go easy on the décor – blinking lights and large displays can be disorienting. Avoid hazards like lighted candles as well as decorations that could be mistaken for edible treats.

3. Small gatherings on different days are best – steer clear of one large and overwhelming event. Schedule celebrations earlier in the day to avoid exhaustion.

4. Celebrate in familiar environments – the unknown can trigger anxiety.

Labyrinth in Advent and Christmas

Are you ever overwhelmed during the Advent and Christmas season and wish you could find a way to focus and relax? In the interest of providing an activity that has both a spiritual focus and a calming effect, the Labyrinth will be set up in Room 305 during Advent. You can stop by anytime except during worship and the Sunday School hour. Directions will be available.

For those unfamiliar with this spiritual discipline, the labyrinth is an ancient pattern found in many cultures around the world. It has only one path that leads from the outer edge in a circuitous way to the center. There are no tricks or dead ends. Unlike a maze where you can lose your way, the labyrinth is a spiritual tool that can help you find your way. You can walk the path while praying, meditating, or simply opening yourself up to God.

Give yourself a needed break and focus on your spiritual self during this sacred and busy season. Come walk the labyrinth.

The Show Must Go On!

While the church building will be closed from December 25–30, two important ministries that serve the wider community will still take place. On Wednesday, December 27, both the Community Meal and First Recovery will be in operation. First Recovery will have their Speaker Meeting at 7:00 p.m., and the Community Meal will be offered, drive through and sit down, from 5:30 to 6:00 p.m. Thank you to all the volunteers who will be here during the holidays to ensure our community will still be served.

Advent and Christmas Services

December is a busy time for most people as they prepare for parties, family gatherings, and other events. As a body of faithful believers with diverse interests, First Church offers a variety of special services to help enrich the spiritual lives of its congregants. Check the list below to see how you can experience the beauty and message of Christmas this year.

December 3, 7:00 p.m. – Lessons & Carols (Nave)
Hearkening back to 19th-century England, this traditional service features readings and music led primarily by our members.

December 10, 4:00 p.m. – Christmas Concert: Messiah Sing-Along (Nave)
Concertgoers are invited to sit in general seating to listen or may sit in reserved seating according to voice part in order to sing along with the choruses. Either way, come enjoy this timeless classic!

December 17, 7:00 p.m. – Service of Lamentation & Hope (Chapel)
This quiet and reflective service is a time to gather in the quiet and dark of December to remember that though we may grieve or feel alone, there is always warmth and light around us.

December 21, 7:00 p.m. – Early Christmas Eve (Nave)
This somewhat new service is designed for members who will be out of town for Christmas Eve but still wish to worship in their own church with dear friends.

December 24, 11:00 a.m. – ONE MORNING SERVICE ONLY (Nave)

Christmas Eve Services:

  • 4:00 p.m. – Christmas Pageant (Nave)
    Our children tell the story of Christ’s birth in this fun and family-oriented service. Come see children in costumes and sing the carols of Christmas!
  • 7:00 p.m. – Contemporary Christmas Eve (Multi-Purpose Room)
    Hear the nativity story with a contemporary backdrop in this candlelight service as carols and praise music are led by the contemporary band.
  • 11:00 p.m. – Traditional Christmas Eve (Nave)
    Another candlelight service is offered here with choir, organ, and brass leading worship. Right around the stroke of midnight, the lights are raised and we sing “Joy to the World” to proclaim Christmas Day has officially begun.

January 31, 11:00 a.m. – ONE MORNING SERVICE ONLY (Multi-Purpose Room)

Ugly Sweater Sunday!

Get festive and join us on December 10 in all services that day! The youth ministry is excited to invite you to be a part of our Advent fun by wearing your most outrageous, over-the-top ugly Christmas sweater. Let’s bring the joy and laughter of the holiday season to our congregation as we celebrate together. From the whimsical to the tacky, there’s no limit to the creativity and fun we can have with our festive attire. Our youth kids are eagerly looking forward to seeing us all decked out in our holiday garb. So, mark your calendars, dust off those ugly sweaters, and let’s make this Sunday a memorable event! For more information, feel free to contact Pastor Denna at dhornby@fumcor.org.

Christmas Book Study With Rev. Bob Cantrell

Join Rev. Bob Cantrell as we journey together during the Advent season studying a book that his son, Rev. Will Cantrell, wrote with Rev. Paul Seay titled “From Heaven to Earth: Christmas for New Believers, Old Believers, and Nonbelievers.” This class will meet each Sunday from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m., beginning December 3, in the Fellowship classroom. Books may be ordered from marketsquarebooks.com. We also have several copies available in the church office to purchase or borrow.

Group Membership Sunday

Are you interested in joining the church but have been putting it off? Perhaps you feel more comfortable joining with a group rather than joining alone.

If this describes your situation, mark your calendars for the second Sunday in Advent, December 10. We will be having “Group Membership Sunday” in all services. Contact Pastor Denna at dhornby@fumcor.org for more information.

First Church Youth

The purpose of FUMC Youth Ministries is to promote faith formation and spiritual development. We have a lot of fun while learning about Christ and making friends!

Youth meets for Sunday School on Sunday mornings at 10:00 a.m. in the loft. We attend worship together at either 8:45 a.m. or 11:00 a.m. Additionally, we gather on Sunday evenings from 6 to 7:15 p.m. in the loft for a time of sharing and faith development. Senior high school students have the opportunity to relax and hang out together at Starbucks on Mondays after school from 3 to 4 p.m.

In December, we will be serving hot chocolate during the Christmas parade on December 9. On December 10, we invite you to join us in wearing your ugly Christmas sweater to church. That afternoon, from 3 to 4 p.m., we will have our Christmas party in the loft. During the party, we will participate in a Dirty Santa gift exchange with gifts valued at $10 or less.

Looking ahead to 2024, we have several exciting events planned. On January 20, we will attend Resurrection in Sevierville, Tennessee. We are planning to go to Music and Worship Arts Week at Lake Junaluska from June 24–28. Additionally, we are in the early stages of planning a mission trip for the first week of October.

We invite all youth (and their parents) in grades 7–12 to join us as we grow in Christ, make lasting friendships, and have a great time!

5 Questions with Pastor Denna

Every month, I interview someone from our congregation to learn more about them and share their story. This month, I had the pleasure of speaking with Mark Coleman. A big thank you to the FUMC Youth for assisting with the interview!

1. Where are you from?

2. What was a pivotal moment in your childhood?
I was ice skating on a pond in Michigan when I fell through the ice. It was between knee-high and chest-deep. I learned the importance of not skating on thin ice and waiting for thicker ice. It was a bit terrifying!

3. Do you have a favorite Bible verse?
1 Corinthians 13:13: “And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.”

4. What is your favorite food?
Thin-crust pepperoni pizza.

5. What is your favorite Christmas movie?
Love Actually.

FUMCs Sager Brown Mission Team and "Period Packs"

The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) and Church World Services (CWS) recently launched a new joint initiative to provide essential health and dignity products to vulnerable communities across the U.S. The initiative focuses on menstrual hygiene kits and is being implemented through the efforts of volunteers and supporters. UMCOR and CWS programs are responsible for the distribution of the kits. FUMC was an early participant in this program. In the spring, FUMC’s United Women in Faith (UWF) assembled 18 menstrual hygiene kits, which were delivered to UMCOR’s Sager Brown Disaster Relief warehouse in Baldwin, LA by FUMC’s Sager Brown Mission Team. In addition to delivering the UWF kits, the mission team also spent a week working in the warehouse, verifying and assembling kits. Working alongside the United Methodist Church of Cedar Rapids, IA, the FUMC Mission Team verified 3,224 kits and assembled 1,464 kits. Most of these kits will be distributed at the border by CWS. The “Period Packs” include a bar of soap, hand sanitizer, travel wet wipes, travel packs of flushable wipes, laundry detergent packs, 10 tampons, 10 sanitary napkins, and trash bags.

In addition to their warehouse work, the team had the opportunity to visit “Vermilionville Historic Village,” which portrays the lives of Acadians, Creoles, and people of African descent in the 1800s. They also went on a Cajun Swamp Tour and had sightings of over a dozen alligators in the wild, as well as various bird species.

FUMC plans to send its 17th Mission Team to work in the Disaster Relief Supply Depot in the fall of 2024. The trip is scheduled for the first week of November (11/2 through 11/9). We hope to see you in Baldwin, LA.

Help Make Christmas Dreams Come True

Every holiday season, our congregation takes on a significant challenge to make a real difference in the lives of many families in our community. On Sunday, November 19, our Thanksgiving Shoppe served over 50 families by providing food, household supplies, and games to have a wonderful holiday together. And now, it is time to focus on our next opportunity for service: Christmas Shoppe.

Our Christmas Shoppe also aims to assist local families who have been referred to us by the school systems, TORCH, MIST, and other local organizations. Over the past six months, we have been collecting items for distribution on Saturday, December 16. We want to express our gratitude to all who have already contributed underwear, socks, books, mittens, scarves, stuffed animals, and toys.

Currently, the most important need we have is for individuals to visit the front page of our FUMCOR.org website and sign up to sponsor a child (or two). Each sponsor is invited to spend $75-$100 per child and return the unwrapped gifts, clearly marked with the child’s ID number (example 3B), to the church by Sunday, December 10. If you prefer to sponsor a child but feel uncomfortable registering on the website, volunteers will be available to assist you in the Welcome Center on the mornings of Sunday, December 3 and 10.

Additionally, we are pleased to offer a shopping service for those who prefer not to select specific gifts. You can simply drop a check in the collection basket with “Christmas Shoppe” written on the memo line. Alternatively, you can make a donation online by visiting our “Give” page at fumcor.org/give and selecting “Click here to make a donation online.” On that page, you will find an option to donate funds specifically to the Christmas Shoppe. Our team can then shop tax-exempt for unsponsored and last-minute emergency kids and other Shoppe activities.

These gifts truly make a difference in the lives of real people. We want to extend our heartfelt thanks in advance for demonstrating your faith through action.

Church Building to Close After Christmas

To ensure that our staff can spend time with their families after a busy holiday season, our church building will be closed from Monday, December 25, through Friday, December 29.

Spread Holiday Cheer

Every Christmas, a group of dedicated volunteers visits our homebound congregation members. Many of these individuals were actively involved in FUMC for years, making it difficult for them to no longer participate in our worship services and programs. This year, our visitation will take place from December 17 to 19. We understand that this weekend is busy with the Christmas Shoppe, so we’re making some changes to accommodate everyone. We will meet in the Choir Room at 10:00 am and park in the lower lot. Visits can be made and flowers can be picked up at any time during that weekend. Let’s come together and spread some Christmas cheer to those who may be feeling isolated. To participate, please sign up on the website (fumcor.org/visitation) or contact Betty Lou Alspaugh at 310-1672 or alspaughbl@gmail.com, or Jenny Caughman at jcaughman@fumcor.org or 483-4357.

Pies for Christmas Dinner

Dessert is a crucial part of Christmas dinner for many of us, especially our favorite kind of pie. Let’s make this a reality for those we feed through our free Community Meal. On Wednesday, December 20, we will be providing a nice meal and would love to give each family a pie. Please drop off pies, which do not need refrigeration, from December 18 to 20 (no later than 3:00 PM on the 20th). You can bring them to the Main Office or drop them off in the Welcome Center. Thank you for sharing the love of Christmas!

Hanging of the Greens Worship Service

Join us for a special worship service on the first Sunday of Advent, December 3. The “Hanging of the Greens” worship service allows us to embrace the spirit of Advent, a time of anticipation for the arrival of Christ. This service helps us understand the significance of trees and wreaths and prepares us for the coming of Jesus.

On December 2, Pat Wilson will lead a fun greenery-making event for the children and youth. We will create bundles of greenery to hang on the altar rails in preparation for the Hanging of the Greens worship service the following Sunday morning. Children will have the opportunity to participate in the service by carrying in the greenery.

Please RSVP to dhornby@fumcor.org or sfowler@fumcor.org by November 29 if you plan to attend the greenery-making event. We will start at 10:00 in the fellowship hall. After creating the greenery, we will celebrate with hot chocolate and treats!

Let’s come together to usher in the Advent season.

More Marvelous Mondays Ahead

What is the greatest Christmas movie of all time? Is it “A Christmas Story,” “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation,” “Elf,” or even “Die Hard”? While there may be no consensus, everyone would certainly agree that “It’s A Wonderful Life” would make the top five! Join us on Monday, December 4 at 1:00 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall for a screening of this beloved film. Our Adult Ministries Committee will showcase the tale of George and Mary Bailey, Mr. Potter, and Clarence on the big screen.

Speaking of Marvelous Movies, don’t miss our Monday, January 8 at 1 p.m. showing of “Saving Mr. Banks.” This film tells the story of author P.L. Travers, played by Emma Thompson, as she reflects on her childhood after reluctantly meeting with Walt Disney, portrayed by Tom Hanks, who seeks to adapt her Mary Poppins books for the big screen.

The Adult Ministries Committee will provide plenty of snacks for you to enjoy while watching these films on our big screen.

Winter Senior Adult Luncheons Will Warm Hearts

Amidst all our special Advent and Christmas worship services on the weekends, do not forget to set aside time to enjoy the delicious food and excellent programs at our Senior Adult Luncheons. What would your holiday season be without hearing the Oak Ridge High School Madrigal Singers offer beautiful Renaissance melodies with their intricate counterpoint on Wednesday, December 13? The singers’ incredible costumes perfectly complement their 16th century free-style songs. Come and enjoy Judy Dodd Catering’s renowned Champagne Chicken, which will be the highlight of a delightful meal. Reservations are due by December 7.

Because the holidays consume everyone’s attention in the latter half of December, please make your reservations by Thursday, December 21 for our January 3 Senior Adult Luncheon! Mark Diemer, the leader of our Willing Workers ministry, will lead a program titled “Staying In Place.” He will speak about how our congregation is helping care for our homebound members. The New China Palace will provide a beautiful and delectable buffet that day.

As always, you can reserve your spot for these Luncheons by contacting the church office at 865-483-4357. The cost is $15 per person, and don’t forget, we now accept credit cards.

Church Leadership 2024

Church Council
Chair: Dan Ingersoll
Secretary: Harold Hartman
Staff Representatives:
– Jenny Caughman
– Mark Flynn
– Shelby Fowler
– Matt Holder
– Denna Hornby
– Josh Sumter

Church Council Panel of 2024:
– Gerald Boyd
– Jan Melcher
– Mary Ann Hardy

Church Council Panel of 2025:
– Bill Beams
– Dick Barnett
– Alan Owen

Church Council Panel of 2026:
– Fiona Boyd
– Joe Craven
– Daniel Abercrombie

Church Council Ex-Officio Members:
– Enduring Gifts – Sid Garland
– Finance – Jim Hardy
– Lay Leader – Linda Morel
– Lay Members of Annual Conference – Linda Young and Jim Hack
– Missions – Susan Garrott
– Social Concerns – Greg and Becky Smith
– Staff Parish – Chris Lee
– Treasurer – Pam Fleming
– Trustees – Janet Townsend and Ray Pinckert
– United Women In Faith – Janet Cook
– Welcoming and Connecting – Connie Warford

Adult Ministries Team:
– David Fouche, Chair
– Mark Flynn, Staff Liaison

Adult Ministries Panel of 2024:
– Mark Diemer
– Kathy Gillenwaters

Adult Ministries Panel of 2025:
– Ruthie Gordon
– Kari Iwanski

Adult Ministries Panel of 2026:
– Jane Grossbeck
– Janet Stroud

Community Meal Committee:
– Jim Hack, Chair
– Jenny Caughman, Staff Liaison

Community Meal Panel of 2024:
– Ruth Maddigan
– Tere Murchio

Community Meal Panel of 2025:
– Jim Hack
– Cassidy Whalen

Community Meal Panel of 2026:
– George Murchio
– Jan Melcher

Enduring Gifts:
– Sid Garland, Chair
– Mark Flynn, Staff Liaison

Enduring Gifts Panel of 2024:
– Terry Pfeiffer
– Roger Roach

Enduring Gifts Panel of 2025:
– Rose Anne Bell
– Jim Parks

Enduring Gifts Panel of 2026:
– Todd Wilson
– Melanie Fillauer

– Jim Hardy, Chair
– Linda Bowen, Staff Liaison

Finance Panel of 2024:
– Kathleen Cunningham
– Chuck Fritts

Finance Panel of 2025:
– Pam Gibson
– Jim Hardy

Finance Panel of 2026:
– Debbie Buchanan
– Cheryl Beams

– Susan Garrott, Chair
– Denna Hornby, Staff Liaison
– Mark Diemer, Helping Hands Liaison

Mission Committee Panel of 2024:
– Jim Michel
– David Buchanan
– Ryan Asher

Missions Committee Panel of 2025:
– Scott Gillenwaters
– Steve Reddick
– Danny Powell

Missions Committee Panel of 2026:
– TJ Ball
– Debbie Shepherd
– Andie Breeden

Recovery Ministry Committee:
– Susan Ochs, Chair
– Matt Holder, Staff Liaison

Recovery Ministry Panel of 2024:
– Kristi Younkin
– Angie Luby
– Judy Smith

Recovery Ministry Panel of 2025:
– Naomi Asher
– Shawn Roach
– Keith Jeter

Recovery Ministry Panel of 2026:
– Mark Coleman
– Craig Kallio
– Caroline Beidler

Social Concerns Team:
– Greg and Becky Smith, Chair
– Mark Flynn, Staff Liaison

Social Concerns Panel of 2024:
– Betty Lou Alspaugh
– Tom Holler

Social Concerns Panel of 2025:
– Melanie Hutsell
– Andie Breeden
– Debi Colvais

Social Concerns Panel of 2026:
– Ashley Craven
– Virginia Holler
– Leigh Ann Bonesteel

Staff-Parish Relations Committee:
– Chris Lee, Chair
– Mark Flynn, Staff Liaison
– Linda Young, Lay Member to Annual Conference

Staff-Parish Panel of 2024:
– Erin Boyd
– Steve Withrow
– Ella Mower

Staff-Parish Panel of 2025:
– Matt Beidler
– Christy Cheney
– John Prazniak

Staff-Parish Panel of 2026:
– Donna Fairchild
– Myron Iwanski
– Richard Johnson

– Janet Townsend and Ray Pinckert, Co-Chairs
– Mike Corcoran, Staff Liaison

Trustees Panel of 2024:
– Wayne Lawless
– Lee Garrott
– George Smith

Trustees Panel of 2025:
– Joshua Justus
– Wayne Garber
– George Murchio

Trustees Panel of 2026:
– Janet Townsend
– Gielda Reese
– Susan Whitney

Welcome to the First Edition of Our New First Things Monthly Magazine!

Our Church Council and staff are excited to offer this colorful communication tool that provides more information, photographs, and extended articles on people and events happening in the coming month. We are especially thrilled to feature profiles on some of our homebound members. Usually, we have so many events to publicize in our busy congregation, so it’s a wonderful problem to have! However, this often leaves us with limited space to celebrate the amazing people who make First Church such a special place.

December is the perfect month to launch this publication. Our building and people shine brightest during the Advent and Christmas seasons.

So, I invite you to explore the first issue of what we hope will be a valuable addition to our communications efforts.

Blessings and Peace,
Rev. Mark Flynn

Recovery Help is Available this Holiday Season

We live in an anxious, stress-filled world. Along with normal, everyday stressors, many people are facing job loss, social isolation, divisive politics, and wars taking place around the globe. Not surprisingly, mental health experts warn us about the negative physical and psychological effects of such stressors.

It is estimated that one in three American families is impacted by addiction, and those numbers are increasing. There has been an unprecedented increase in drug overdose fatalities in our country, including in East Tennessee, over the last two years.

As we enter this holiday season, those struggling with addiction and substance use disorders need to know that recovery is possible and that behavioral health services, like treatment, can enable them to live healthy and rewarding lives. We, as a church, want to shed light on the resources available in our community. There are opportunities for recovery assessment, screenings, case management, recovery support, and other help.

The Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services provides Lifeline Representatives, who are professionals with lived experience in addiction recovery, to connect individuals and families with resources. In Anderson County, our Lifeline representative is Jennifer Knisley of the Metro Drug Coalition. You may contact her at 865-410-9527 or jknisley@metrodrug.org. Or, as always, you can contact Matt Holder or Cassidy Newman, with First Recovery.

Children's Ministry

Hanging of the Greens Creation, Saturday, December 2, 10:00 a.m.

Families are invited to help create greenery that will be used in our Hanging of the Greens service on Sunday, December 3. We will provide all the materials needed to complete the greenery. We will end our time together with hot chocolate and cookies!

Walk with First Church in the Oak Ridge Christmas Parade!

The Christmas Parade has become an annual event for our Children and Family Ministries to participate in, and we hope you will join us this year! We will have a themed entry and hand out lots of candy to those watching the parade! The parade is Saturday, December 9, from 6:00-8:00 p.m. If you would like to be a part of our entry, email Shelby Fowler at sfowler@fumcor.net.

Family Ministries Christmas Party

Sunday, December 10, from 3:00-4:00 p.m. will be our annual Christmas Party! This event will have games, crafts, snacks, hot chocolate, and more! Come dressed in your most fun Christmas attire and enjoy time together. This event will be in the Fellowship and will end just in time for your family to enjoy our music ministries Christmas concert in the Nave.

Family Christmas Eve Service

The Children and Family Ministry Christmas Eve service will be on Sunday, December 24, at 4:00 p.m. in the Nave. This service is a wonderful opportunity for our students to help tell the Christmas story with a short play, partake in Communion, and participate in a candlelight service.

We will offer two practices for the play. Sunday, December 17, from 10:00-10:45 a.m. in the Nave and Thursday, December 21, from 4:00-5:00 p.m. in the Nave. Most of our roles are non-speaking, and students will be playing characters such as angels, shepherds, animals, etc.

FUMC Christmas Concert

We are pleased to announce that this year’s Christmas Concert at First United Methodist Church will be a “Messiah Sing-Along.” Please mark your calendars for Sunday, December 10, at 4:00 p.m. The Christmas portion of Handel’s Messiah will be presented by the FUMC Christmas Choir, a professional orchestra, and the audience! Concertgoers will have the option to sit in general seating to listen, or may be seated near the front according to voice parts to sing along with the choruses. We will provide sheet music for those interested. We invite you to come and enjoy this timeless classic with us.

Our Snow Policy

Take a moment to familiarize yourself with our snow policy before it becomes necessary. When Oak Ridge schools close due to inclement weather, our church office and building will also be closed. However, Sunday morning worship will never be canceled. Above all, prioritize your safety. If the roads near your home are icy, avoid unnecessary risks. In the event that our operators are unable to make it through the snow, we may not have live stream coverage of worship. Nevertheless, there will always be at least one pastor present to lead us in worship. After all, as Jesus said, “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them!”

Garland Making Event

December 2, Garland Making Event, 10:00, Fellowship Hall

Join us on December 2 at 10:00 a.m. as we make garlands to be used in the Hanging of the Greens worship service on December 3.

This event is appropriate for children in 1st grade through adulthood! Come join the fun as we celebrate the beginning of the Advent season!

Contact Denna Hornby or Shelby Fowler for more information.

First Church 101 in 2024

First Church 101 and Group Membership Sunday

Every quarter, we offer two events for individuals new to our congregation. First Church 101 provides an opportunity to meet, take a tour of our building, and learn about FUMC Oak Ridge or the Methodist church in general. This event offers a chance to ask any questions you have about our church or theology in general. Make sure to wear comfortable shoes, as we have over 40,000 square feet of building to explore!

The dates for First Church 101 in 2024 are as follows: February 18, May 19, August 18, and November 17. We meet at noon in the Welcome Center located by the donut hole.

For those who feel uncomfortable taking membership vows in front of the congregation, we offer Group Membership Sunday. On this special day, individuals join the church during all three services and stand together to take their membership vows. The Group Membership Sundays scheduled for 2024 are as follows: March 3, June 2, September 1, and December 1.

If you would like more information about First Church 101 or Group Membership Sunday, please reach out to Pastor Denna Hornby at dhornby@fumcor.org.