December 11, 2019 Prayer for Reflection:

December 11, 2019 Prayer for Reflection:

O God, teach us how to pray. We pray as your Son taught us to pray: Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread. Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. And lead us not into temptation In Christ’s name, we pray. Amen.

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Nov. 20 Prayer for Reflection

Almighty and loving God, we confess we are people who will sometimes lose sight of you in the middle of all we do to celebrate the birth of your son, Jesus. We are thankful for you, for your love and grace, and we pray we may find refuge and strength in you in the days and weeks to come. Amen.

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November 14, 2019 Prayer for Reflection

Father of all creation, creator of every human being, re-create in our souls a desire to seek justice. Drive us to love all humans as you command us to. Help us to be people of action in transforming our communities, nation, and world for Jesus Christ. Amen.

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“Oh the weather outside is frightful, but the CHURCH is so delightful!” 

The weather outside HAS indeed been frightful these past couple of weekends, but Auburn First UMC remains as warm and inviting as ever!  And we are now in the midst of the Advent season, as we await the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

As you may know, Advent marks the beginning of a new church year.  That’s why last Sunday (December 2nd, the first Sunday of Advent) we began our worship service with a brief “year in review” presentation…an overview of all the ministry that the disciples at Auburn FUMC have been engaged in over the last year.  We called this presentation “Auburn By The Numbers”–read on to see how we’ve been busy transforming the world for Jesus Christ in 2018.


That’s how much we raised on Easter Sunday to benefit local missions like Project Response and the Giving Hope Cancer Fund of Nemaha County.


That’s the number of UMCOR health kits we purchased and packed for Annual Conference in June.


That’s the number of youth we sent on a mission trip to Heifer Ranch in Arkansas to learn about global poverty.


That’s how much this congregation raised for UMCOR during Iris’ baby shower!


That’s the number of young people in our congregation who either attended or worked at Camp Fontanelle (which is our local United Methodist summer camp) in the last year.


That’s how much our congregation helped raise in October for the “Out of the Darkness” suicide prevention fundraiser


That’s the number of prayer walks we did with Auburn Presbyterian this summer, as we covered our whole community in prayer.


That’s the number of backpacks full of school supplies that we, in collaboration with the Presbyterians, donated to Auburn Middle School in August.


That’s the number of Nemaha County preschoolers who attended Preschool Pumpkin Day at Lord’s Acre.


That’s the number of college students we’re sending care packages to this year.


That’s how much money was raised for UMW at this year’s soup supper.


That’s how much was raised for local and global hunger projects through pumpkin sales this fall.


That’s the number of days each year where the people of Auburn First United Methodist Church share God’s love with the town, the county, and the world.


It’s been a wonderful year, Auburn FUMC!  Let’s bring it to a wonderful close later this month as we celebrate Christmas Eve on December 24th.  Our worship service will be at 4:00 pm, and will feature Holy Communion, special music, a children’s story, and candlelight singing. (And our special Christmas offering this year will go to benefit Camp Fontanelle and the Auburn Backpack Program–two fabulous ministries that are dedicated to changing children’s lives for the better!)

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August 10th–Emily’s Musings

Happy Friday, church!

It’s hard to believe that summer is almost over, isn’t it?  Our oldest daughter starts preschool in just over a week (how did that happen?!?), and we’re just about a month away from the season of harvest, apples, and pumpkin spice everything!

We’ve had a great summer here at Auburn First United Methodist Church: we’ve done some fabulous mission projects (we packed a few dozen hygiene kits for UMCOR, and we partnered with Auburn Presbyterian Church to fill 30 backpacks full of school supplies for low-income students at Auburn Middle School), we had a beautiful worship service/picnic in the park, and we even had a pool party!  And once September arrives, we’ll have lots of activities going on at the church, including Chancel Choir and Sunday School/Children’s Church and UMW!  There’s even talk of starting another lunch hour Bible study…stay tuned for more information on that!

We’re also starting up a new fall sermon series, based on the compelling and thought-provoking book “Short Stories By Jesus: The Enigmatic Parables of a Controversial Rabbi”, written by Dr. Amy-Jill Levine.  In this book, Dr. Levine (a renowned New Testament scholar who is also a practicing Jew) takes a new look at the parables of Jesus, discusses the ways that they would have challenged and provoked their original listeners, and encourages us to allow ourselves to be challenged by them as well.  It should be an interesting worship series–I hope that it leaves all of us feeling inspired and perhaps a little bit uncomfortable! 😉

8/12: The Lost Son
8/19: The Good Samaritan
8/26: The Kingdom is Like Yeast
9/2: The Pearl of Great Price
9/9: The Pharisee and the Tax Collector
9/16: The Laborers in the Vineyard
9/23: The Widow and the Judge
9/30: The Rich Man and Lazarus
10/7: The Mustard Seed

See you in church!  (And as your summer vacations wrap up, remember: if you’re out of town, you can always join us in worship via our Facebook livestream.  Find us at )

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June 22–Emily’s Musings

Happy Friday, church family!

Yesterday (June 21st) was the first official day of summer–but with the temperatures we’ve been experiencing this month, it feels like summer has been around for a while!  It’s also been a busy season here at Auburn FUMC: here’s a glimpse of what we’ve been doing over the last few weeks:

  • At the end of May, our youth group took a trip to Heifer Ranch in Perryville, Arkansas. While they were there, they completed the “Global Challenge” poverty simulation, and experienced first-hand the struggles that many people around the world face in developing countries.  Our kids built fires, slept on dirt floors, learned the true meaning of scarcity and hunger, and they came home fired up to make a difference in the world!

  • Stephen and I attended the Great Plains Annual Conference session in Wichita—you can read more about the Conference proceedings here.  (The highlight of the Conference for us was the opening worship service, where our little Iris was baptized!)


  • We’ve started incorporating mission work into our worship here at Auburn FUMC! The Sunday before Annual Conference, our congregation packed hygiene kits for UMCOR.  It was a really fun intergenerational activity, and many hands made light work: we packaged 34 kits in a matter of minutes!  Big thanks to Ginny Pippert and Kathy Grant for making this event happen, and thanks to everyone who donated and participated in this mission effort!  (Our hygiene kits were loaded onto the Great Plains UMCOR truck at Annual Conference, along with almost 4,000 others from all around Kansas and Nebraska!)

  • A new sermon series is about to begin! In our new “Storybook Bible” worship series, we’ll dive into some of your favorite childhood Bible stories, and we’ll discover the timeless truths that they contain.  Join us as we explore the wisdom hidden in our Sunday School favorites—this journey will be a joy for both children and children at heart!

June 24th: Joseph’s Dreamcoat

July 1st: David and the Giant

July 8th: In the Lion’s Den

July 15th: Fish Tales

July 22nd: My Father’s House

See you in church!




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April 6th–Emily’s Musings

Good morning, friends of Auburn FUMC!

It’s been a while since I’ve been able to share an Emily’s Musings update—I was out of the office for 10 weeks of maternity leave, and as soon as I got back to work it was time for Holy Week and Easter!

I’m so thankful to Nyla Witzel for leading worship during my leave, and it’s been a joy to be back to doing ministry with this wonderful congregation.  Holy Week was beautiful, as always: we had an energetic “palm parade” on Palm Sunday, we joined our Presbyterian friends for a quiet and contemplative Maundy Thursday service, we hosted a reflective Good Friday worship, and then we had a noisy and joyous Easter Sunday! Even though Mother Nature pulled a mean April Fool’s joke by dumping several inches of snow on us, we didn’t let that dampen our spirits…we held our traditional children’s Easter Egg hunt in the fellowship hall, and we celebrated the miracle of the empty tomb in our warm, flower-filled sanctuary!

Getting ready for the egg hunt!


And now that we are making our way into the rest of the Easter season, I’d like to introduce our upcoming sermon series: The Gospel According to Disney.  This is a series that I’ve been wanting to do for quite some time—I love looking for religious and spiritual meaning on the silver screen, and there are a number of Disney films that provide substantial “food for thought.”  Here are the movies that we’ll be exploring over the course of this series:

  • 4/8– The Lion King: Remember Who You Are
  • 4/15– Frozen: An Act of True Love
  • 4/22– Moana: Called and Chosen
  • 4/29– The Hunchback of Notre Dame: Finding a Sanctuary
  • 5/6– UP: The God Who Won’t Stop Knocking

See you in worship!  Be blessed!


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November 29–Emily’s Musings

As we prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, and as we look back on all the ministry that our congregation has done in 2017, I am awed at how God is using Auburn First UMC to make disciples and transform the world! It’s been a busy year, full of worship, fellowship, and mission opportunities.  Here’s just a brief overview of some of the amazing projects we’ve participated in during 2017:

  • We had over 35 children from our community attend Vacation Bible School, and they kicked off our annual school supply drive—which, by the end of the summer, provided full sets of school supplies for 21 low-income students at Auburn Middle School.
  • Seven children and youth from our congregation attended United Methodist summer camps this year; more than half of them were assisted by our church’s camping scholarship fund.
  • We purchased and filled 20 buckets of flood relief supplies for UMCOR’s Hurricane Harvey disaster response.
  • We hosted yet another memorable “Preschool Pumpkin Day” at Lord’s Acre, and this year’s pumpkin sales brought in over $3,000 for local hunger projects!
  • Our youth group raised a whopping $5,700 for Heifer International—and because we hit our fundraising goal a month early, we were able to take advantage of Heifer’s “Cyber Monday Match” program. This means that our gift’s impact was doubled, and that our kids actually contributed $11,400 to fight global poverty!

This is just a tiny sampling of the ministry that has happened at Auburn FUMC this year.  We have experienced meaningful worship and small group ministry, we have grown in faith and in relationships, and our members have shown Christ’s love to countless people in daily interactions with friends, family, and loved ones.  We have been blessed to be a blessing, and I am excited to see what God has in store for this congregation as we enter a brand-new year.

Please join us in worship throughout this Advent season as we anticipate the Good News of Christ’s birth.  We will continue our series on “The Five Senses of Christmas”, and on Sunday the 24th we will be hosting two worship services: one at 10:00 am, one at 7:00 pm.  Both will feature special music, Holy Communion, and an opportunity to contribute to our special Christmas mission offering (more information on that will be coming out next week!)

Have a blessed Advent—let’s continue to make 2017 a fantastic year of faith and service!

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