from this link. -

~ God’s Servant To Our Community ~
Riverview First United Methodist Church
Inside This Issue:
Happy New Year Greetings To One and All in the Wonderful and Powerful Name of Jesus
Christ our Savior and Lord.
Pastor Merritt’s Message
……………………………...Page 1
Welcome Friends; Prayer Tree
Information; Bible Study Classes
……………………………..Page 2
Restore News; Pastor Rick Phillips Article “ Deja New”
……………………..………Page 3
I Was Thinking About: “ Article
By Dee Lindsey & “Another
Thought” By: Harmon Robinson
…………………..………….Page 4
Church Staff; Using Your Gifts
and Talents Here at Riverview
First United Methodist Church &
Remembering Our Homebound
………………...……………..Page 5
Birthday’s & Anniversary’s and
A Happy New Year Poem
……….….…………………..Page 6
I hope and pray that each one of you had the merriest and “bestest” Christmas ever! It is so difficult to embrace the fact that we are entering a brand New Year - 2015 - but I plan to do everything that I
can, with God’s help, to make it the best and most productive year possible. I hope that this New Year
will bring Wonderful blessings to you, your families, our Church, and our Community.
In 2015, I am going to prayerfully challenge each one of us to truly act upon our “inheritance” and
mandate to be the “Ambassadors of Christ Jesus” that I believe He desires us to be. Let us take “the
bull by the horns” this year and deepen our faith, extend our impact and influence, and strengthen our
ability to be a “People of Hope and Grace!”
None of the above is going to be easy - it will indeed take effort, time, and perseverance - but
Scripture does say that I can do All things through Christ who gives me strength! Let us trust Him together in this New Year to embrace the strength and grace that God lovingly blesses us with, and be strong
and capable Ambassadors. As Ambassadors, we represent Jesus in this world as “salt and light!” We
take the opportunity, when led by the Holy Spirit, to enhance and preserve the “things” of Christ in our
world, and we show people the path of light that the Good News offers to a dark, decaying, deteriorating,
and dying world!
As Ambassadors of God’s Amazing Grace and Good News we can proclaim to all who will listen
that God wants to “release His dream” in them, as well as in us. A faithful and fruitful Community of Christ
-Followers creates opportunities for people to connect, or to re-connect, with God, form relationships with
Jesus Christ, and release God’s people - you and me - to make the realities of Heaven the realities of
Earth! Now, who doesn’t want to do that in 2015?
Vital faith and grace is the hope and dream of God for every church in every place. God has
blessed us as a Church family, and He has given us all that we need to be Ambassadors that are vital:
the Holy Spirit with His gifts and fruits - and ordinary people to be instruments of transformation in our
Church, Community, and beyond. Wow, Now if that isn’t exciting and inspiring, I really don’t know what
is! Yes, indeed, we are living in “such a time as this” to make an impact and difference for Christ - Awesome!
Before closing, allow me to lift up “Grace” just a little bit. The Gospel of John begins with a picture of God entering our world and making Himself known it the person of Jesus. John’s description of
the “Beautiful One” opens with a sentence that may be at the same time one of the simplest and yet,
most profound, ever written: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word
was God.”
“The Word, “of course is Jesus, and John tells us more about Jesus’ coming into the world later
in his prologue: “The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the
glory of the one and only son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1: 14). When
John describes the beautiful life of Jesus, he says that Jesus came with both grace and truth!
Grace is Compassion for people. Grace is being better to people than their actions deserve. It’s
trying to understand their struggles, caring for their Needs, and Sharing their burdens. We see this grace
in the Ministry of Jesus over and over again through-out the Gospels.
And, there you have it - As Ambassadors of Jesus Christ, We must be Ambassadors of Grace.
Now go and have a Jesus - Filled 2015!
In His Love & Service, Pastor Merritt
Page 2
Welcome to First United Methodist Church of
Riverview, RUMC for short.
We are a congregation with deep roots in Florida
history and United Methodism. Our church began in
1846 not far from where it is located, today. For 168
years our congregation has been worshipping God
and serving the Riverview community.
Our mission statement reads, “Making Disciples of
Jesus Christ for the Transformation of Riverview
and Beyond” That means we are focused on encouraging one another to serve Jesus Christ in personal and unique ways. At RUMC we have groups
and ministries for all ages:
Worship is the central and most important act of a
Christian. On Sunday mornings we offer three distinct worship services:
10:00 AM Worship Celebration
1st & 3rd Sunday’s: Traditional / Choir-led
2nd & 4th Sunday’s: Contemporary /Praise Band
For all those needing God’s Love and
healing. If you or a loved one needs
Prayer or comfort
You may contact:
Bev Plett: 813-349-9000
Email: [email protected]
-ORYou may call Riverview United Methodist
Church Office: 813.677.5995
5th Sunday’s: Youth Praise Team
Noon Hispanic Worship Service
*Children’s Church is offered @ Both Services
The Celebration of the Lord’s Supper is observed the First Sunday of each month.
It Takes All God’s People To Do God’s Work!
Won’t You Join Us
We have a room for a few more members
and this might be just what you have been
looking for! Bring a friend and come check
it out! Room #6, 11:30 a.m. until 1:00 p.m.
every Monday. For inquiries please call
Diana Williams: 813.677.3261
“Journey” Bible study class/ discussion
group, invites you to attend! The class facilitator: Connie Mosley. Classes will meet in
Room #8 at 9:00.
Please email all Bulletin and Bell Newsletter
information to this email:
[email protected]
Follow Riverview First
United Methodist Church on the Church
We also have Restore Food Pantry and Thrift Shop, Website:
which is an equal opportunity employer and is open
to the public: Mon., Tues., and Thurs., from 10:00
a.m. until 12:00 Noon. Non-perishable donations
are always welcome.
Ladies, The Monday 11:30 Women’s
Prayer and Bible Study Group will take a
break from December 15th thru January
12th, 2015. Then, please join us as we
begin a new study “Flying Closer to the
Flame, A Passion for the Holy Spirit.”
All Submitted Bulletin information (Bulletin
information, must be Church related) and
Pastor’s Bible Study on Wednesday
must be in the Church Office No Later Than night’s at 6:45 PM
Wednesday of each week.
There are classes for all ages, cradle to walker. In
addition to our Faith Groups, we have a women’s
Bible study group that meet every Monday, at 11:30
The Bell Newsletter information must be in
until 12:30 and on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. Pastor’s
the Church Office no later than the 15th of
Bible Study Group on Wednesday evenings at 6:45
each month.
p.m. Our Hispanic Bible Study also meets at 6:45
Prior to these groups we have “Wonderful
Wednesday's” fellowship supper, bring your favorite
dish and join in. Other groups include: The Youth
group, who also meet on Wednesday evenings at
6:45, We also have Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts;
United Methodist Women and United Methodist
Men; Riverview Ringers (bells); and a Chancel
Choir. Hispanic Worship Practice is on Friday evenings at 7:00 p.m.
Join Us for our Bible Study Classes!
The Gleaners Class under the tutelage of
Earl Lennard meet each Sunday in the
church library. Our current studies are
Tradition and Wisdom and how these
things apply to our daily living.
We use the Adult Bible Studies from the
Uniform Series International Bible Studies
for Christian Living.
There is a lot of discussion and finding every ones opinion on the given lesson and
sharing our thoughts with each other.
Page 3
Restore is a USDA Food Pantry and “This Institution is an Equal Opportunity Provider”
Restore Is Open To The Public ; Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday of each week at 10:00 a.m. until 12:00 noon.
RESTORE Annual Christmas Toy Store: In Bill Crichton Hall from Monday, Dec. 15th thru Friday, Dec. 19th, 2014
Deja New
Have you ever felt a strong dose of
Deja Vu on New Year’s Eve? It is as if
we have been here before, saying the
exact same words and making the exact
same resolutions.
It all seems so familiar, only the number
of the calendar year has changed. We
all want to make each New Year better
than the year before, and we start by
vowing to make some positive changes
in our lives.
fulfill on our own, and so we need a cosigner on this contract, someone who
will help us, and inspire us to live up to
the terms we have promised to ourselves.
When we ask Jesus to partner with us
on this new venture, not only do we draw
upon the unlimited resources of the Holy
Spirit, but when we are tempted to give
up, we are not alone in our struggle, we
have Christ to help us find the fortitude
to continue on.
Many of the promises we make to ourselves are the same ones we have
made so many times before with only
temporary success, but in our hearts we
truly feel that somehow this year will be
When we have times where we stumble
or fall, it would be easy just to say: “Oh
well, there’s always next year!” But, this
year can be different, this year we have
Jesus to help us back to our feet, and
back to the path we were on.
This New Year will be the year we stick it
out and break through. As the clock ticks
past midnight and the thunder of fireworks wakes up the ones who didn’t
quite stay awake until the magic hour,
we are reminded of the disciples of Jesus, who could not stay awake in the
garden as Jesus prayed.
We don’t have to wait for next New
Year’s Day to have a clean slate and a
brand new start. Jesus can give that to
us any day of the year; if we will just
pray to Him and ask for the forgiveness
only He can give us. Change is hard. It
is also inevitable. It is going to happen to
us whether we like it or not.
Their spirit was willing, but the flesh was
weak. And so, we whisper a midnight
prayer as we make our “new” resolutions: “I can do all things through Christ
who strengthens me”. With Christ,
through the power of prayer, we have a
real chance this year of living out our
promises to ourselves.
Our only hope for positive change is to
try to align ourselves with the will of
Christ for our lives. Jesus is the light of
the world, and if we want to live in the
light, we have to move closer to Him,
and the only way to move closer to Him
is to change.
What we need, and what we have always needed, on this contract with ourselves to live our lives differently, is
God’s help. Our resolutions are a bigger
commitment than we can ever hope to
We are sinners by birth; we are saved by
our choice to accept Christ and attempt
to change into His likeness.
We first have to accept the humbling fact
that we cannot do this without His help.
Like the eye of a hurricane, the closer
we get to the heart of Christ, the harder
the winds of resistance will blow against
us, but when we refuse to quit, we will
reach the peace and serenity of walking
with Christ while the storms of life continue to rage all around us.
We can make this New Year different,
one day and one step at a time. Trust
Jesus to lead you, and He will make all
things new!
Happy New Year, Pastor Rick
Page 4
About: Passages
Now we are faced with powerful
We belong to our Father God and
people who would take this faith away from trust his Son our Lord. Have faith, be
There are many passages we go
us. There are those around the world who strong, and take the high road with our
through in our lifetime. We start with birth
murder Christians as their right. Our gov- Lord. Remember who we are.
and childhood, and those teen years leadernment wants us to accept this as not part
ing to young adulthood. College changes
of a religion that condones it.
He’ll never forsake us as long as
us some ways. We become what we
we believe. The Lord is our Savior. He
think is the way to be. We form families
Our churches have become politi- has always been mine.
and have children of our own and through
cally correct and don’t go against the govall these years, we face many challenges.
ernment. Now we face a new passage re- Dee Lindsey
Church? Hopefully. Maybe.
minding us of past religious wars and
must make a choice.
The Lord is all around us if we
choose to find Him. Those who do are
It’s time to follow our Lord all the
blessed. God calls on us to praise Him, to
way with Him. Stand up for our Lord,
pray to Him, and believe. He sent his
praise God our Father, and face whatever
only Son to show us the way to live.
is to come. This passage is vital to our
peace and salvation. Let us take it with
Those of us who become true
the same strength shown by great men of
believers, serve our Lord freely and
are the happiest and most fulfilled people , no matter how many trials or tribulations we face.
Another thought……
tell us it was the way Christians were supposed to act. Today
both parents are working and don't have time to communicate
Have you ever wondered if you're being watched by the these kind of things to them. These youngsters are missing out
on the things we had to work out for ourselves. Today they are
public? You better take a look at how you appear to everyone
solved with all this electronic information that is at their finger
that sees you. Your actions speak louder than louder than
tips. Then there's all this advertising to lure them away from the
words will ever be able to communicate.
church where they're supposed to sit quiet for and hour or so.
To those that don't attend a church they look at everyThey have their musical concerts and sports attractions that is
thing you say or do. I understand that is one of the most reported more to their fancy. It's a shame we are the ones that didn't teach
that they observe. So you need to watch for everything you do
them the way our parents did us.
whether you like it or not. If you don't stop at a stop street or a red
I'm sorry to get up on my soap box, but from what I read about
light, they may say that you don't do what God teaches us. When
churches I'm just trying to communicate why almost all the
we don't help the homeless, they think that's not being a good
churches are struggling. Attendance is down in a lot of our
Christian and want nothing to do with church. So we are being
churches because There is a more attractive place to be that are
after every hard earned dollar it can get. We and they support
I am afraid that all the sales we have at our church may these professional sports and musicians, and have little time to
lead them to believe all we need is their money.When we do in- sit still and listen for God to speak to us. We just don't have the
vite them to our church, I think we should tell them about all the multi million dollars for advertising to lure them into church so we
activities we sponsor. That may give them a clue we need their
need to project a more Christian attitude to everyone ALL the
help to work with us and not just need their money. I'm amazed time. Think about it and let me know if you differ with me. I'm anxat all the things we are involved with that we are able to do with ious to see if I'm the only that feels this way.
the little money we have coming in.
Still a friend,
I know young people are not schooled the way we were
when we were their age. That was the way we were brought upHarmon
to obey our parents with no questions. Our parents never failed to
Page 5
Church Staff
Senior Pastor
Rev. Merritt A. Waters
[email protected]
Hispanic Lay Pastor
Norma Encarnacion
[email protected]
Administrative Assistant
Betty Pace
8002 US Hwy 301 So.
Riverview, FL 33578
Office: 813.677.5995
Fax: 813.671.3871
E-Mail: [email protected]
Pastor Rick Phillips
813. 677.1885 Home
[email protected]
R.U.S.H. (Youth Ministry)
Sunday School Superintendent
Dee Macchio
[email protected]
Children’s Ministry
Rolinda Smoak
Music Director
Kim Floyd
[email protected]
Pianist / Accompanist
Danette Garcia
[email protected]
RUMC Nursery
Susan Bonner
Restore Food Pantry & Thrift Store
Karen Moore
Joe Cornell
[email protected]
How Can I Best Use My Gifts and Talents to Help Our Church
Family Grow?
We have the following opportunities for Ministry available:
Tellers / Counters - Sunday’s Only (After Church Service, see
Jetty Miller)
Wednesday Night Children’s Coordinators
Youth Leader Help
Communications Resources Coordinator
Scripture Readers for Sunday Morning Worship Service
People who would like to Offer Our Sunday Morning Worship
Service Prayer
Volunteers to help with Children’s Moments
Pressure Washers and Painters
Landscapers (See Dee Macchio or Pastor Merritt)
Sunday School and Nursery Room Cleaning
And Organization
Signage and a number of other things
Need to be replaced
Please contact Pastor Merritt or Gemma Armstrong
For ideas, guidance, and help.
Anything you can do would be greatly appreciated!!
Remember……This is YOUR Church!
Please Remember Our Home
Please take the time to send a card, make a phone
call, or better yet, make a visit! A little thought goes a
long way! Please
continue to keep the homebound and their caregivers in your
Rudy Rattman (Is Home Now)
6509 Reed Dr.
Riverview, FL 33578
Verlin & Ida O’Neal
11715 Lynmoor Dr. Riverview, FL 33579
Melanie Jones
Johnny Jones: 13220 Balm Boyette Rd.,
Riverview, FL 33578
813. 689. 7604
Mary Crichton: 10904 Hackney Dr., Riverview, FL
33578 813.677.5860
Sandra Sprang: 12406 Tocci Ln., Riverview, FL 33579
813. 310. 4130
Lois Gorbe:
253 Aldo Drive
Toms River, N.J. 08753-2461
Margaret McNeal
Shady Glen Assisted Living
451 East Orange St.
Tarpon Springs, FL 34689
Page 6
Happy New Year
Author: Catherine Pulsifer
H appiness depends upon your outlook on life. - Find
* Please Note: If you do not see Your Birthday
Or Anniversary listed, please let us know, we may
not have you in our Church Office Database.
Also, please let us know if you need to Up-date your
personal information, which can include removing
old information Thank You,
Administrative Assistant
the good in all situations
A ttitude is just as important as ability.- Keep your attitude positive
P assion find yours this year! - Do what you love and
you will never work
P ositive thoughts make everything easier.- Stay focused
and stay positive
Y ou are unique, with special gifts, use them. - Never
forget you have talent
N ew beginnings with a new year.
E nthusiasm a true secret of success.
W ishes may they turn into goals.
Y ears go by to quickly, enjoy them.- Wisdom from
your elders, listen
E nergy may you have lots of it. - Take care of yourself
A ppreciation of life, don't take it for granted. - Live
each day
R elax take the time to relax in this coming year.- Keep
a balance in your life
Somtochi Dike
Connie Mosley
Gayle Gordon
Dee Lindsey
Margie Phillips
Margaret McNeal
Kim Moran
Dan Yost
Thelma Webber
Carol Hendrix
Tom Hendrix
John Floyd
John Nelson
Les Sprang
Brandi Ford
Abner & Elizabeth Vega
Kenneth & Susan Bonner
Mike & Bev Plett
Living The United
Methodist Way
Radical Hospitality
Passionate Worship
Intentional Discipline
Designer, & Publisher:
Betty Pace
Salty Service
Extravagant Generosity