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Lent 2017

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This Lent we will explore what it means to be in the “Dark Woods” moments of our lives. We are not just going to talk about how to get out of it, as if life is good only when we are not there. We are going to explore what it might mean for our lives to recognize the gifts of being in the Dark Woods. What if times of uncertainty, failure, or emptiness are actually opportunities for spiritual awakening?

Together we will take a journey in this season of Lent. Our worship series, “Gifts of the Dark Wood,” is about “seeing life through new eyes.” When we allow ourselves to accept the personal journey we can experience within the Dark Woods, the Holy Spirit tends to nudge us, awaken us, to a fuller life. Life is messy. Life is uncertain. Rather than a problem to be solved, what if we saw uncertainty, failure, emptiness, and loss as gifts? What if we saw how these uncomfortable times can actually help us let go of all we cannot know so that we can live more wholeheartedly? Let us begin the journey . . .

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Sunday Worship

2017 Lenten Sermon Series by Dr. Tim Bruster

Traditional Worship | 9:30* & 11:00 am | Sanctuary

Sunday, March 5

“The Gift of Uncertainty”
*9:40 am | Chapel | 11:00 am | Sanctuary

Children First
9:45 am | Sanctuary | Mister Mark Burrows

Sunday, March 12

“The Gift of Emptiness”

Sunday, March 19

“The Gift of Feeling Lost”

Sunday, March 26

“The Gift of Temptation”

Sunday, April 2

“The Gift of Being Awe-struck”

Palm Sunday, April 9

“The Gift of Misfits”

Other Sunday Offerings


7:15 am | Community Breakfast | Wesley Hall
8:30 am | Worship | Chapel
9:30 am | Discussion | Foundation Building

The Gathering

9:30 am | Wesley Hall | Rev. Lance Marshall
11:00 am* | Justin Youth Building
*On Easter Sunday, April 16, The Gathering will meet only at 9:30 am 

Chapel Communion

10:35 am | Chapel | Dr. Len Delony

eleven:eleven celebration

11:11 am | Wesley Hall | Rev. Tom McDermott


10:30 – 11:00 am & noon – 12:30 pm | Garden & Wesley Hall

Programs & Events

Ash Wednesday Services

Wednesday, March 1
Noon & 7:00 pm | Sanctuary | Rev. Linda McDermott
“Where We Find Ourselves”

Ash Wednesday sets the tone for the entire season of Lent, especially this year as we explore the spiritual blessings of the “dark woods” experiences of life. In this sacred service, Rev. Linda McDermott will reflect on the story of Peter’s sinking failure (Matthew 14), discovering a more profound spiritual awakening in the process.

The message will be followed by the imposition of ashes, symbolizing the ending of our life’s journey, remembering that death does not have the last word. Come at noon or in the evening to take the first steps into a deeper understanding of the ways in which our darkest and most worrisome moments can be sacred times, awakening the soul to hidden blessings. Special music will be provided during both services. Robert Stovall will sing “Be Thou My Vision” at the noon service, and Adoramus will also perform an arrangement of “Be Thou My Vision” at the 7:00 pm service with Organist Peggy Graff.

Family Ash Wednesday Dinner & Service

Wednesday, March 1
5:30 pm | Dinner | Room 350
6:15 pm | Worship | Wesley Hall | Mister Mark Burrows

We will gather for dinner (donations are accepted but not required) followed by a special family-friendly worship service in which we will sing songs, participate in many different forms of prayer, and receive the imposition of ashes as we learn about Ash Wednesday and its significance.

Choral Union Holy Week Concert

Sunday, April 9
7:00 pm | Sanctuary

FUMCFW presents Choral Union in concert on Palm Sunday. Choral Union will perform Dan Forrest’s “Requiem for the Living” in conjunction with the First Church Orchestra. A Requiem, at its core, is a prayer for rest — traditionally, for the deceased. The five movements of Dan Forrest’s “Requiem for the Living” (2013), however, form a narrative just as much for the living, and their own struggle with pain and sorrow, as for the dead. The opening movement sets the traditional Introit and Kyrie texts — pleas for rest and mercy — using ever-increasing elaborations on a simple three-note descending motive. The second movement sets scriptural texts that speak of the turmoil and sorrow which face humanity. The Agnus Dei is performed next as a plea for deliverance and peace; the Sanctus, following it, becomes a response to this redemption. The Lux Aeterna that closes the work portrays light, peace, and rest — for both the deceased and the living.

Family Maundy Thursday Dinner & Service

Thursday, April 13
5:30 pm | Dinner | Room 350
6:15 pm | Worship | Chapel | Mister Mark Burrows

In this unique Maundy Thursday service, participants will experience a foot-washing ritual, receive Communion, and hear the Bible story as we walk with Jesus on his final night. Donations for dinner are accepted but not required.

Maundy Thursday Service

Thursday, April 13
7:00 pm | Sanctuary | Rev. Linda McDermott
“The Gift of Disappearing”

This service of worship will move us through remembering the evening on which Jesus gathered with his disciples for their final meal together, a time of deep anguish for Jesus as he faced betrayal and execution.  We will begin with a beautiful service of worship in the Sanctuary, proceed to a moving experiential service of Holy Communion in Wesley Hall, and conclude with an inspirational gathering in the Garden. Special music will feature Susan Bruster, soprano; Dace Sultanov, cellist; and Sara Davis and Hans Grim, pianists.

Good Friday Services

Friday, April 14
Noon | Chapel | Rev. Lance Marshall
7:00 pm | Sanctuary | A meditative service of word and music

At noon, the Chapel sets the tone for this beautiful and meditative time of worship. Hymns, prayers, and a brief meditation will guide us through experiencing this deeply moving day in the Christian year.

At 7:00 pm, renew your spirit as you prepare for the glory of Easter through this beautiful and moving Good Friday service in the Sanctuary. Adoramus Chamber Choir will perform special music featuring “Missa Lucis” composed by our very own Justin Binek. The jazz genre is alive and well in this unique work. Using text from the mass, Justin has created a work that allows us as listeners the opportunity to experience Holy Week in a different, but effective, manner. Scripture and other readings will add interest and meaning to this Good Friday service.

Family Good Friday Dinner & Service

Friday, April 14
5:30 pm | Dinner | Room 350
6:15 pm | Worship | Wesley Hall | Mister Mark Burrows

In this very thoughtful Good Friday service, we encourage families to experience together one of the most important, yet challenging, stories of our faith. Offering this story in child-appropriate ways, through scripture and shadow theatre, this service presents the story of Jesus’ final day. Everyone will receive prayer cords, and families will sing and pray together in this powerful yet peaceful evening service. Donations for dinner are accepted but not required.

Easter Egg Hunt

Saturday, April 15
10:00 am – 1:00 pm | Lyle Lodge
7179 Peden Road | Azle, Texas 76020

Enjoy pony rides, a petting zoo, face painting, a butterfly release — and more! Plus, each person will be given one meal ticket for a complimentary lunch from Easy Slider, Salsa Limón, or Gepetto’s Pizza Food Trucks. In case of inclement weather, please check for more information.

Contact: Heather Teems | | 817-339-5096

Activities | 10:00 am – 1:00 pm
Pony Rides, Sandbox Station, Petting Zoo, Sidewalk Chalk, Face Painting, Bubble Station, Volleyball, Cookie Decorating, Basketball, Sack Races

Egg Hunts
10:45 am | 2 years & under
11:00 am | 3 & 4 years
11:15 am | 5, 6 & 7 years
11:30 am | 8 years & older

Butterfly Release | 11:40 am

Easter Sunday Traditional Worship

Sunday, April 16
8:00, 9:30 & 11:00 am | Sanctuary | Dr. Tim Bruster
“Where Do We Go From Here?”

On this glorious Sunday morning, Dr. Bruster will culminate his “Gifts of the Dark Wood” series with his message on new life and new hope through the resurrection, even in the midst of the most challenging times of life. This exuberant worship experience includes choral and instrumental presentations by Choral Union, First Church Brass, Timpani, and Organist Peggy Graff as they perform “To the Lamb on the Throne” and “The Hallelujah Chorus” from “Messiah” under the direction of Robert Stovall. Congregational hymns characterizing Easter will also inspire and stir the soul, accompanied by organ, brass, and timpani.

Lenten Studies

Contact: Gayle Ammerman | | 817-339-5091
Child care: Paula Wagstaff | |  817-546-4414

Luther & Wesley: Before & After

March 5 – April 2
Sundays | 9:30 – 10:30 am | Room 332
Led by Dr. Lamar Smith

Throughout the history of the early church, the Lenten season was a time to learn about Christianity and prepare for membership. Keeping with tradition, Dr. Lamar Smith will lead a Lenten study about the important parts John Wesley and Martin Luther played in the reformations of the church. Luther started the conversation that launched the Protestant Reformation in the 16th century, and Wesley led the movement that founded Methodism in the 18th century. While Luther and Wesley both shared a faithful love for the church, each paved the way for its reformation. Join Dr. Smith for this fascinating study of the developing church. It will be for church members and persons contemplating membership. You just may come to a new understanding of why the church of Jesus Christ needs you and you need the church.

Sunday Lenten Study: “Gifts of the Dark Wood”

March 5 – April 2
Sundays | 11:00 am – noon | Room 331
Led by Rev. Chuck Graff | Registration required | Book available for $12

Rev. Chuck Graff will lead a five-week Lenten study on the intriguing book, “Gifts of the Dark Wood: Seven Blessings for Soulful Skeptics (and Other Wanderers)” by Eric Elnes. The book and our discussions will center around the unexpected gifts that we might receive when going through times of uncertainty and the unknown, getting lost in our faith, when thunderstruck and needing to discover new direction in life. It is the perfect resource and discussion for Lent. Please join us for a Lenten journey with companions who are willing to discover together new gifts to help us on our Christian walk.

Monday Musers Lenten Study Group

March 6 – April 10
Mondays | 1:00 – 2:30 pm
Foundation Building, Room 271
Led by Dr. Mike Marshall

Come join Dr. Mike Marshall and others in our church community for six weeks of “musing!” Every Monday afternoon we will “engage in thoughtful reflection” as we join together for study and community-building. We will talk about the meaning and significance of Lent, as well as study Adam Hamilton’s most recent book, “Creed.”

Our goal will be to create a community that values rich conversation, attention to the presence of God, and care for one another. Please make it a point to become a “Monday Muser” during this season of Lent.

Wednesday Lenten Study: “Gifts of the Dark Wood”

March 8 – April 12
Wednesdays | Noon – 1:00 pm | Room 154
Led by Rev. Linda McDermott
Registration required | Book available for $12

Please join us on our Lenten journey together as we read and discuss Eric Elnes’ amazing book, “Gifts of the Dark Wood: Seven Blessings for Soulful Skeptics (and Other Wanderers).” The dynamic topics in his book will also be our Lenten theme for worship and several other ministry areas. We will discuss allowing our life experiences and responses to become sources to move us toward our next life revelation and opportunity to become fully free, yet wholeheartedly engaged and alive, during Lent and beyond.

Pastor’s Lenten Study

March 8 – April 12
Wednesdays | 6:00 – 7:00 pm | Room 231
Led by Dr. Tim Bruster

Senior Pastor Dr. Tim Bruster will lead a Lenten study based on his sermon series, “Gifts of the Dark Wood.”

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