Jan 212015

Service of Prayer and Healing

Join us on Friday, January 30th at 5:30 PM in the Sanctuary.

At this very special service, we will  petition the Lord for healing for His children within our community.  All are welcome!

And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven.” James 5:15
Click here to view location on map and get directions.

Christmas is Coming – Advent Season Events 2014

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Nov 232014
Christmas Cantata ~ Sunday, December 7 at 7:00 p.m. in the SanctuaryChristmas Cantata

“Let Earth Receive Her King” as told through the eyes of the Wise Men, will be performed by the Chancel Choir on Sunday December 7 at 7:00PM.  Led by William Arthur, our Chancel Choir always delivers a moving performance that awakens our spirits to the deeper meaning of the Advent Season.


Forest Hills Learning Academy Christmas Party ~ Sunday, December 14 ~ 2:00 to 4:00 p.m.FHLA Christmas Party

Join us in Fellowship Hall to celebrate Christmas and share our gifts with the children.  Refreshments will be served.


Figgy Pudding
Night Like No Other ~ Wednesday, December 17 at 6:00 p.m. in Fellowship HallSanta Claus

After our Wednesday night dinner, join us to share in the singing of carols, telling of the Christmas story, and of course, Figgy Pudding.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Unspeakable Joy - A Celebration of God's Greatest Gift

“Christmas: Gods call to Action” ~ Sunday, December 21 at 9:15 a.m. in Fellowship Hall

SONlight Praise Band & Singers will perform during our contemporary worship service the Sunday before Christmas.   This promises to be a very special time of praise and worship.


 Live Nativity ~ Saturday, December 21 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m

Our youth will again re-enact the nativity scene on the church lawn at the corner of Linebaugh Ave & North Boulevard.  Our Handbell Choir will perform and refreshments will be served.    

…… Live Nativity     


Monday, December 22 from 3:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m ~ Members are serving the community by volunteering at Metropolitan Ministries.  Contact the church office for details.


                                 Christmas Eve

A Very Special Christmas Eve Service will be held
7:00 p.m. in the Sanctuary
Bring your family, friends, and neighbors as we celebrate the reason for the season, the birth of our Lord.

Checking, Decking and Dashing

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Nov 212014

Checking, Decking and Dashing

Every Sunday, November 30 – December 21 at 9:15 am in Fellowship Hall  and 11:00 am in the Sanctuary.

Christmas Eve at 7:00 pm in the Sanctuary.

checking decking and dashing
Our new worship series begins on November 30! This is the first Sunday in the season of Advent (the season directly before Christmas). Advent is a season of waiting, a season of yearning and expectation. We’ll consider what it means to wait together in community. We’ll listen for the voice of God. We’ll pray together that we might encounter the Holy in a new way this year. Sunday morning worship begins at 9:15 or 11:00 am. Christmas Eve worship begins at 7pm.

Join us!

Week 1 –November 30
Title: “Checking to Find Peace”
Scripture: Psalm 80:1-7; 17-19

Week 2 – December 7
Title: “Decking with Love”
Scripture: Mark 1:1-8

Week 3 – December 14
Title: “Dashing to Spread Joy”
Scripture: 1 Thessalonians 5:16-24/Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11

Week 4 – December 21
Title: “Dashing to Others with Hope”
Scripture: Luke 1:47-55

Christmas Eve December 24 at 7:00 PM
Title: “Finding the True Meaning of Christmas”
Scripture: Luke 2:1-20

Sep 022014
To all who knew Marguerite,
My apologies for not getting back to you sooner.  There have been many details to work through and we wanted to be sure to honor her properly. From the time of my grandfather’s retirement up until our gathered Thanksgiving last year, Forest Hills has been a solid, comforting presence in all of our lives.   I am sure you have written many memorials for the website and she would be pleased with your kind words on her behalf.  I hope the picture I attached will work for you. 
I wanted to give you the final details of my grandmother’s memorial.  It will be held on Sunday, November 2, 2014 at 11:00 am. The location is Mary’s Chapel at Spanish Point in Osprey, FL. We are asking that those wishing to attend should arrive before 10:30 as some walking is involved to get to the chapel.  There will be a luncheon provided on the grounds afterward but we are asking if you are intending to stay for the luncheon, please RSVP by October 17th, as we need to give a final count to the caterer.  Thank you for passing along this information and thank you for honoring her memory.  God bless you all!

Marguerite BartlettMarguerite’s family reached out to us as she faced her final days last month, and wanted us to know how much she was uplifted by the cards and letters that were sent by many of you.  Her family expressed their gratefulness for the outpouring of love, and wanted us to be reminded of her love for Forest Hills UMC and her church family.

Our dear friend, Marguerite, went home to the Father on August 21, 2014.  Marguerite had been a member of Forest Hills UMC for over forty years. She attended faithfully and was a generous supporter. We shall miss her beautiful smile!

A Simple Plan for Reading Scripture in 2014

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Jan 012014

Download the handy Chapter a Week Bookmark

Originally posted by Bishop Ken Carter on December 31, 2013 on http://www.floridaconferenceconnection.info

According to the Book of Discipline (2012), “The role of the bishop is to faithfully practice, model and lead the spiritual disciplines of our faith and to call and inspire the clergy and laity within the Church to practice the Christian disciplines in their individual lives through the tradition of personal holiness“(403.a).

 As we enter into a new calendar year, I invite you to join me in this particular spiritual practice.
1.        We will read a chapter of Luke, and then Acts, through the 2014 year, one chapter per week.  There are 24 chapters in Luke and 28 chapters in Acts; this will take us through 52 weeks of the year.   This will also allow us to spend more time, and to go in greater depth, with the scriptures.  In the fall our cabinet met with Luke Timothy Johnson, a noted biblical scholar at Emory University.  He remarked that the books of Luke and Acts were never intended to be read separately.  He further stated that the life of Jesus and the life of the church cannot be understood apart from each other.   While many in our culture wish to separate Jesus from the church (“They like Jesus, but not the church!”),  this is not an option for those who take the Bible seriously.  Luke faithfully reported on the life and ministry of Jesus, and how this life and ministry continued in the early church.  We can read Luke and Acts within the framework of how the life and ministry of Jesus is among us to this day, and as a blueprint for what it means to make disciples for the transformation of the world. 
If you undertake this spiritual practice, I invite you to begin with Luke 1 on January 5, Luke 2 on January 12, Luke 3 on January 19, and onward.  We will note on our conference website the chapter being read each week.  You might invite your persons attending worship on January 5 to consider this new beginning. 
2.    I want to  ask you to invite one person to experience this spiritual practice with you.  This person might be someone in your church or a friend in your community.  We have talked a great deal about relationships across the generations and across racial divisions; you might seek out someone who has a different life experience than yours.   If you read the scripture with another person, you might meet every week, or every other week, to talk about what God is saying to you through this exercise.  Some of us are in covenant groups, Sunday School classes, life groups, or ongoing Bible Studies.  You may certainly use this plan in those existing relationships.  Some of you already have a spiritual plan for the coming year, and if so that is wonderful.  This is intended for those who are seeking a more disciplined method (we are called “Methodists”) for growing in our relationships with Christ and each other.  And if this sparks your imagination in some way, feel free to adapt it as the Holy Spirit leads you.
Note:  I will likely read the chapter each week in the NRSV, the Message and the CEB.  Many churches also use the NIV and the NLT, and all of these translations are wonderful.  There are a number of commentaries on Luke and Acts and I will leave those resources to you, if you wish a deeper background.   I plan to journal once or twice a week.  Additional resources will be placed on the conference website, and the annual conference themes will be taken from Luke and Acts.
I am trying to keep this simple.  The renewal of the church has always arisen from a fresh and disciplined engagement with the scriptures.   I pray that God will use our devotional lives in 2014  to bless the church, each other and the communities of Florida.

Holey Tapestry

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Dec 302013

Holey Tapestry,  Author Unknown

As I faced my Maker at the last judgment, I knelt before the Lord along with all the other souls.

Before each of us laid our lives like the squares of a quilt in many piles; an angel sat before each of us sewing our quilt squares together into a tapestry that is our life.

But as my angel took each piece of cloth off the pile, I noticed how ragged and empty each of my squares was.  They were filled with giant holes.  Each square was labeled with a part of my life that had been difficult, the challenges and temptations I was faced with in every day life.  I saw hardships that I endured, which were the largest holes of all.

I glanced around me.  Nobody else had such squares.  Other than a tiny hole here and there, the other tapestries were filled with rich color and the bright hues of worldly fortune.  I gazed upon my own life and was disheartened.

My angel was sewing the ragged pieces of cloth together, threadbare and empty, like binding air.

Finally the time came when each life was to be displayed, held up to the light, the scrutiny of truth.  The others rose; each in turn, holding up their tapestries.  So filled their lives had been.  My angel looked upon me, and nodded for me to rise.

My gaze dropped to the ground in shame.  I hadn’t had all the earthly fortunes.  I had love in my life, and laughter.  But there had also been trials of illness, and wealth, and false accusations that took from me my world, as I knew it.  I had to start over many times.  I often struggled with the temptation to quit, only to somehow muster the strength to pick up and begin again. 

I spent many nights on my knees in prayer, asking for help and guidance in my life.  I had often been held up to ridicule, which I endured painfully, each time offering it up to the Father in hopes that I would not melt within my skin beneath the judgmental gaze of those who unfairly judged me. 

And now, I had to face the truth.  My life was what it was, and I had to accept it for what it was.  I rose and slowly lifted the combined squares of my life to the light.  An awe-filled gasp filled the air.  I gazed around at the others who stared at me with wide eyes.

Then, I looked upon the tapestry before me.  Light flooded the many holes, creating an image, the face of Christ.  Then our Lord stood before me, with warmth and love in His eyes.  He said, ‘Every time you gave over your life to Me, it became My life, My hardships, and My struggles.

Each point of light in your life is when you stepped aside and let Me shine through, until there was more of Me than there was of you.’

May all our quilts be threadbare and worn, allowing Christ to shine through!