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Back to School Newsletter 2022

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The Westlake UMC Newsletter A Church That Cares CONTINUING THE LEGACY OF CARE AT WESTLAKE UMC In the early 1970 s 79 courageous followers of Jesus answered the call to start a church in this community and they came together to officially charter Westlake United Methodist Church on June 3 1973 When you think about all of the people over the years that helped build this church community that cares both for one another and for those in the greatest amount of need it is inspiring Forty nine years later Westlake UMC continues to grow in this legacy Through the crises and storms whether personal family cultural or literal this church has stepped up to meet these moments of need with thoughtfulness and compassionate action Amidst the hurt harm and pain all around us some of which has been done in the name of God we do not define ourselves by who and what we are not but rather by who and what we are This is who we are We are a church that cares We answer the call to love one another as Christ loves us Join us each Sunday in September as we reconnect with our calling to be and continually become a church that cares September 4 This is who we are We are a church that cares September 11 We care about you and your spiritual formation at every age and stage of life September 18 We care about inclusivity and belonging September 25 We care about serving each other and those with the greatest needs What you ll find throughout this newsletter is a living testimony of the many ways that Westlake UMC cares We invite you to read be inspired and reconnect with our legacy as we continue to live it It is such a joy to care together with all of you Pastor Tracey Pastor Curt Back to School 2022

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We Care About Adult Opportunities We Care About Small Groups An Essential Part of our Church Community The Adult Ministry groups at Westlake UMC welcome you to find a caring place to share your faith journey and build relationships with others We care about you at every stage of life and have opportunities for you to find a group that can help you live out your faith in Christian community with people who care about inclusivity and serving others Participating in a small group can be a catalyst of change in people s lives and provide a caring place to learn and grow Small groups are an essential part of our church community make them an essential part of your life There are many Sunday morning offerings as well as weekday options All groups are open to guests newcomers and members Whether you regularly attend a small group or have yet to check one out please know you are invited you are welcome you are wanted and we care about you Sunday Morning Opportunities 10 00 11 00 FAMILY FOUNDATIONS Come join a class that blends a scripture study with issues of cultural awareness for parents with younger children Taylor Building Room 404 2nd floor FELLOWSHIP CLASS This teacher led video discussion class blends scripture history and practical application of Christian principals We are beginning a new series with Amy Jill Levine on the Sermon on the Mount in August This is a friendly caring and welcoming group who regularly donates their time service and treasure to others We enjoy picnics and an annual Christmas party Fellowship is an appropriate name for our class Hope you will join us Church Library and via Zoom JOURNEYS Join this teacher led discussion on a variety of social justice issues the view that everyone deserves equal economic political and social rights and opportunities Wyatt Hall Room 202 203 and via zoom PARENTING TWEENS AND TEENS Does your tween or teen sometimes seem like an alien Like a super hero Or flip flopping from one to the other on the same day Then come join us to support each other and our kids through their challenging and wonderful preteen and teenage years This class is for parents and grandparents of tweens and teens and includes discussion special study series and scripture readings to help discern God s love and guidance for us and our kids We meet the 2nd and 4th Sundays of every month in the Taylor Building Room 407 2nd floor and via Zoom PERSPECTIVES CLASS Come join this discussion of topics pulled from the week s news stories We relate current events to scripture to create thought provoking stimulating discussions We welcome all including new visitors and people who can t attend regularly or just want to drop in on a particular Sunday Taylor Building Room 402 1st floor PRESTON WYATT BIBLE STUDIES Come join this lively small group discussion of short scripture topics using Methodist study materials with a contemporary perspective Taylor Building Room 403 1st floor and via Zoom

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Weekday Group Options THE BAND OF BROTHERS AND SISTERS BOBS All are welcome to join this group every Tuesday morning from 8 00 9 00 am in the WUMC Library and via Zoom We study the Bible using a short video and have a discussion of current topics Come start your Tuesday with us HEART TO HEART WOMEN S BIBLE STUDY Come join this study and fellowship group for women that uses a variety of materials for thought provoking spiritual discussions Thursdays at 1 30 pm via Zoom WUMC MEN S EMMAUS GROUP This men s reunion group meets every Thursday from 8 00 9 00 am in the WUMC Library and via Zoom For specific Zoom connection details please consult the church website The Table 2022 About ten years ago WUMC had a program called Tables of Eight Most of these gatherings occurred in homes and participants brought friends children significant others to share the fellowship of a potluck meal As time went by some groups disbanded due to relocations and the growing pains of different seasons or stages of life I attended several WUMC Tables of Eight with couples and families in homes and at local restaurants These intimate groups allowed me to get to know other people outside of the church doors The global pandemic made it more difficult to be together in person and we recognize how important it is to have face to face encounters with one another especially while breaking bread That is why we are inviting you to come to The Table 2022 to help connect us with one another We will share a potluck lunch with all of you on Sunday October 23 at 12 15 PM in the WUMC Gym Please consider bringing coworkers neighbors friends and family to this event Melanie Walters Everyone is invited and while we are gathered you will have an opportunity to sign up to meet again in a small group and share another meal if you like Your Table Group can meet in homes at restaurants or even at the church FAQs for THE TABLE What is this An opportunity to gather in small groups and engage with new people from all seasons of life This is not a Bible Study its about fellowship Is this a couples or family thing Absolutely not all are invited to come to The Table Why would I want to be involved I d like to invite my co workers and neighbors to a meal to get to know them better I d like to meet other people in the church Do I have to sign up to meet again No please come to The Table on October 23 no strings attached How often would the subsequent Table Groups meet This is up to your group We ll provide email addresses for everyone to set their own schedules I d love to answer any questions you might have about this event Email me at melanie walters austinisd org

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WUMC Children s Ministry New Sunday school Curriculum Children s ministry is hugely excited to launch a new Sunday school curriculum this fall The program we have chosen is called Grow and it comes with extraordinary resources for teachers kids and parents As we grow and learn about Jesus and the Bible together the lessons and activities focus on four primary discipleship practices spending time with others spending time with God using your gifts and sharing your story We are excited to see how everyone will grow in their faith using the Grow Curriculum LAR REGU Y A SUND SSES L CLA O O H SC OFF KICK 21 ST AUGU Backpack Blessing 8 14 Back to School Bash 8 20 Sunday School Kickoff 8 21 Children First 9 4 September Event Christmas in October Ornament crafting 9 25 October Fall Festival 10 30 November Early December Event Nailed It Cookie Decorating Service Project Children s Ministry Needs Westlake United Methodist Church Children s ministry is a vital starting point to help children learn about their faith in God We are a church that cares about nurturing children s faith to do that we need your help There are numerous ways you can serve in the children s ministry of Westlake Some roles are behind the scenes if you do not like the spotlight teaching and leading children There is a spot for adults youth and everyone in between Please reach out to Kellie Brewer kbrewer westlake umc org or Josh Day jday westlake umc org when you are ready to help How you can help Puppet Script Writers Card Writer Sunday School Teachers Busy Board Stuffer Puppeteer Event volunteers Christmas in October Advent Workshop Christmas Eve Costumes Summer Camp Decorators Set Builders Costumers

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Westlake UMC Youth Sunday School A space for youth to connect learn and grow Josh Day Dir of Family Ministires jday westlake umc org Kellie Brewer Children s Ministry Coordinator kbrewer westlake umc org Ashley Mangold Youth Ministry Coordinator youth westlake umc org Westlake UMC family ministry cares about creating a space for youth to connect learn and grow Sunday School is a place created to cultivate connection learning and growth We are shaping Sunday School to look different than it was in the past for the youth We will be going out to have breakfast together Each week we will have a predetermined location that will rotate each week Gathering each week allows youth a time to take a break from the busyness of their lives and to spend time with other young people Confirmation Confirmation is back back back again Students 7th graders and up are invited to go through a process of learning serving and preparing to make public confirmation of their faith to the church community There will be 8 Sunday afternoon retreats here at the church campus led by Pastor Tracey Beadle Pastor Curt Davis Ashley Mangold and Josh Day Beginning in January and continuing on 2 Sundays a month until April each retreat will follow the 11 15am worship service and will include lunch and snacks Meeting in the gym will give us the chance to spread out and move around We will also have opportunities to learn from and serve with other communities of faith from different religious backgrounds during this time as well We also intend for each confirmand to have their own mentor again this year so that those of all ages in our church population are able to grow their intergenerational connections 6th Grade Youth Welcome Party Laser Tag Bumper boats mini golf and so much more You will not want to miss our celebration of new 6th grade students into youth group on September 10th when we go to Austin Parks n Pizza This will be a completely free event for the youth and will include unlimited attractions and buffet We cannot wait to celebrate the incoming sixth graders as they connect and have a blast with our current youth Be sure to invite your friends for this awesome event Traveling Turkeys Holy Land Trip Stuffing Pie Mashed Potatoes Gravy for days Experiencing the bible where it happened You won t want to miss our Traveling Turkeys event This is a progressive Thanksgiving dinner put on by families from our church We will meet at the church on Nov 13th and travel from house to house for turkey sides appetizers and return to Westlake UMC for dessert This year will feature a meaningful service project as part of the evening All youth and friends in 6 12 grade are welcome for this night of fun Next Summer 6 5 6 13 we re taking a group of students to experience the Bible IRL on a trip to the Holy Land We ll visit Mount Carmel Nazareth Galilee Jordan River Jerusalem and the Dead Sea The trip is led by Educational Opportunities tours all their tour guides are required to receive a master s degree to be tour guides Prior to our trip we will gather to learn about the places we will be visiting If your youth is interested in this trip reach out to Ashley Mangold or Josh Day

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Community Engagement Church Fellowship Summer Camp Recap We had such a wonderful time at Summer Camp We had a wonderful group of around 35 children and almost 30 youth and adult helpers rotating through the week Each day was a special time to learn about another aspect of our world and how we are all siblings created and loved by God We had great memorable camp songs high quality personal crafts energetic team building games and daily small group and story time where students had the opportunity to connect with loving leaders and share questions and meaningful discussion We are thankful we had such a great turnout from both the community and the church and can t wait for next year 4th of July Parade We care about representing who we are and what we believe in the community We had a blast participating in this year s City of Westlake Hills 4th of July Parade We had the privilege to represent our church together at this special community event while getting to know more of our neighbors and local businesses Our witness as A Church that Cares about Serving Inclusivity and You at Every Age and Stage of Life as displayed on our banners was a powerful testimony and reflection of our call to love one another as Christ loves us Many thanks to those who came out to represent Westlake UMC

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Saturday August 20 from 4 6pm Back to School Water Bash We care about helping kids and their families start the school year on a high note We are so excited to partner again with our friends from Stroll Lost Creek formerly known as Lost Creek Living Magazine to gather together with folks from the community and the church for this year s Back to School Water Bash on Saturday August 20 from 4 6pm at Boulder Trail Park in Lost Creek This is fun for all ages We ll have water rides a balloon artist and food from iFratelli s Pizza here in Westlake Sign up to attend on the Events page of our website at westlake umc org events Saturday August 20 from 11 30am 1 00pm Austin Pride Festival We are teaming up with fellow UMC churches and other LGBTQIA affirming churches in the Austin area to have a presence at the Austin Pride Festival from 11 00am 6 00pm at Fiesta Gardens which is located at 2101 Jesse E Segovia Street Our church is signed up for a time slot from 11 30am 1 00pm If you have any interest in participating please contact Pastor Curt at cdavis westlake umc org Sunday September 11 after 11 15 worship The Chill Off is Back We are so excited to bring back the one and only WUMC Ice Cream ChillOff Dust off your homemade ice cream recipes and join the friendly competition for our traveling trophy Or just come to sample all of the scrumptious entries and vote for your favorite This will take place immediately after the 11 15 service on September 11th and pizza will be provided so you can make it a meal Sunday October 30 from 4 6pm Fall Festival We care about having fun Our annual Fall Festival is such a blast and we re excited to bring it back on Sunday October 30 from 4 6pm We ll have a petting zoo inflatable fun games prizes photo booth frozen treats and pizza This is a party for people of all ages We could use your help to make it special as well If you re interested in planning setting up making chili supervising games or some other aspect please let us know by contacting Curt Davis at cdavis westlake umc org You can RSVP or sign up to volunteer at westlake umc org fallfest We can t wait to see you there Sunday November 13 after 11 15 worship Baked Potato Lunch By November we will all be ready to share some warm comfort food How about loaded baked potatoes At our traditional Baked Potato Bar we will have a wide array of traditional fixings for you to create your own warm and satisfying masterpiece for lunch on Sunday November 13th Saturday morning December 10 Cookies with Santa Once again Santa Claus will be in town for Cookies With Santa Bring the kids to have a photo taken on Santa s lap and decorate a cookie on Saturday morning December 10th at Hat Creek Burger Company at Bee Cave Rd 360

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How Service is impacting You You shared your stories about service through WUMC Casa Marianella set up a house for asylum seekers having figured out the ins and outs of the set up during our RST We are blessed to share what we are privileged to give to those in need regardless of their faith or nationality all God s children Involving my grandchildren Ann Finch One of the most meaningful outcomes of my volunteer work with setting up the apartments for the Afghan refugees was that I was able to involve my grandchildren They helped me shop sort load and unload and they even helped us set up a couple of the apartments It was so meaningful to me to watch them work and to even bring some of their own toys to donate to children who they did not know I think volunteer efforts like this are a very real way to teach the next generation what it means to love thy neighbor even when we do not know who our neighbor might be Welcoming the Stranger Kay Trostle One of the most meaningful outcomes We welcomed the stranger by setting up apartments with everything from beds to a fully stocked kitchen to bathrooms with towels toothpaste and TP and the occasional stuffed toy for families numbering from 3 to 12 that made the arduous journey from Afghanistan I got to return to some of those apartments in December and meet the families and gift them large baskets of fruit More recently we helped Volunteering opened my heart Melissa Olen Working with the wonderful group of refugee volunteers from WUMC and several other churches around the Austin area we were able to fill up several empty apartments with furnishings food essentials and messages love for families who desperately needed it It was big sometimes chaotic fast paced work that always had a huge tangible outcome at the end of the day You always went home with a smile imagining the family walking into their new home the next day Helping facilitate the making of placemats for the Kairos prison ministries was a smaller and quieter project Providing the supplies and the opportunity for our church members to send messages of support and love to incarcerated women felt like prayer A quiet intentional way of sending love through our universe to women who might need it As is often the case with volunteer work I received more than I gave I connected with so many WUMC members I had never met Fun caring people who make WUMC feel even more like home Volunteering opened up my heart and mind further toward our community and brought a much needed breath of fresh air and gratitude to a Covid fatigued mom I m so thankful to call WUMC home

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I m all in Tom Rioux Because I had worked with Ann Finch on border issues and found her to be thoughtful and caring for other people when she told me that she was working with Refugee Services of Texas to settle Afghan refugees mostly the families of interpreters I was all in I was involved mostly with the heavy lifting toting and furniture assembly and occasionally pulling the WUMC ERT trailer My gift was not to decide what color pillow needed to be positioned on a couch chair bed or how the kitchen items were to be arranged I felt that I was doing something concrete that would directly benefit a family and make them feel welcome in the USA and thank them for their service to our military My only regret was not meeting most of the families and getting to see their happy smiles when they saw their new home I was amazed at how Ann was able to bring people from other faith traditions together to work for a common cause Making Music at WUMC Many hands hearts and voices come together to create inspired dynamic and uplifting Worship experiences at WUMC Whether working behind the scenes with the Worship Team to help plan and execute Communion or Worship Planning engaging with Liturgy or participating in one of our many amazing ensembles WUMC Worship and Music ministries have a place for you to serve Love thy neighbor moments Jim Judi Burke Having seen the impact on people who lose everything when a hurricane destroys a community it is a love thy neighbor moment to help Many times these families have to move somewhere else and start over even if it will only be temporary Afghan Families are in the same situation They have lost everything moved to a new country into a new community and need to start over even if it is a temporary location They have also moved to a location where they don t know the language or the culture They need a place they can call home and start over But they need love thy neighbor people to help them adjust That is why Judi and I got involved Chancel Choir regular Wednesday evening rehearsals resume August 10 from 7 8 30 PM we sing in the 11 15 AM Traditional Service each Sunday morning Children and Youth Choir regular rehearsals resume August 21 right after Children s Time in the 9 AM Contemporary Service until 10 AM Sanctuary Handbells regular rehearsals resume Wednesday September 7 from 5 45 6 45 PM Children s Handbells regular rehearsals resume Wednesday September 7 from 3 45 4 45 PM Worship Team we meet monthly to plan right after the Traditional Worship Service date TBD Foundation Band rehearses Tuesday evenings Seasonal Musicians are always welcome for Advent Christmas Lent Easter Nina Revering Director of Music and Worship nrevering westlake umc org Frank Webster Director of Foundation Band jfrankwebster westlake umc org Kellie Brewer Associate Director of Music kbrewer westlake umc org Lydia Hewett Worship Team Coordinator lydiahewett sbcglobal net

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Laura Clemens WUMC Preschool Preschool Director lclemens westlake umc org Over the past year the preschool has seen many changes We have been fortunate to receive a large grant from the federal Child Care Relief Fund to help us emerge from the pandemic stronger than ever The money is allowing us to freeze tuition rates to 2019 levels so that we can provide financial relief to our families We also have been able to increase wages to staff who have been so dedicated throughout the changes we ve had to make to the program due to COVID We have been able to upgrade our playground adding a new stage area an updated mud kitchen new digging areas and a new musical instrument Let us know if you have a child between 6 months and 5 years old and are interested in enrolling in the preschool In addition to our regular half day schedule we offer early dropoff and extended care options Contact the office at 512 327 1337 or email Laura Clemens Staff Parish Relations Terri Cravey In May we were re evaluated by the Texas Rising Star program Once again we were awarded 4 Stars which is the highest possible rating We are evaluated on Staff Qualifications and Training Program Management Indoor and Outdoor Learning Environments and Teacher Child Interactions SPRC Chair We care about our Staff here at WUMC We were thrilled to support the Spiritual Renewal Leave for Pastor Tracey this summer This spring we added a new position to bring families even closer together and hired our new Director of Family Ministries Josh Day We are excited about the possibilities and new opportunities for ministry with children youth young adults and families in the midst of the life of the whole church The Staff Parish Relations Committee is grateful for the gifts heart and contributions of the entire staff here at WUMC Ken Turlington Permanent Endowment Fund Permanent Endowment Fund The Permanent Endowment Fund PEF is a terrific way to make enduring gifts to WUMC serving others both inside and outside the church for years to come Currently the Fund value is approximately 350 000 and continues to grow thanks to generous donations solid investments and prudent oversight In 2021 the PEF Committee voted to grant approximately 10 000 from Fund earnings to many well deserving recipients Fortunately thanks to growth in the Fund donations will be even larger this year As the Fund continues to increase in value over the years so too will the grants and gifts to others Here are some PEF grants that benefited our local community in 2021 and YTD 2022 College Scholarships for WUMC students 7 000 WUMC A V equipment for the sanctuary 4 900 Charities outside WUMC 1 000 grief counseling 1 000 mobility for the disabled 1 000 children with rare diseases If you re interested in requesting support from the PEF this year please visit the church website and look for the give endowment drop down on the top menu Also if you re interested in learning more about the PEF or considering a gift feel free to contact me our pastors or anyone on the PEF Committee

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Congregational Care Marylou Batlan Congregational Care So many caring hearts With appreciation to more than 3 dozen dedicated volunteers serving in the care ministries of our church including care from birth to death We appreciate those willing to meet one on one with those who are hurting from life challenges and meet in confidential Christian support with one of our 9 highly trained Stephen Ministers We are grateful for the 12 volunteers taking a one month turn to write approximately 60 90 cards per month connecting our prayers to those who are sharing their joys of weddings new births special accomplishments or the concerns of illness surgeries health declines or suffered loss of loved ones and more We share the care of grief ministry through year round prayers cards a Grief Support Seminar the annual All Saints Sunday Hope Healing Seminar to be Nov 6 2022 as well as memorials and receptions for our families Memorial receptions usually engage at least 15 volunteers per occasion Year round thanks to our Flower Ministry volunteers who share flowers from our worship with our Unwillingly Absent A big thanks for all the ways we support our tiniest church friends new babies and their families with meals rosebuds embroidered gifts and connection Our Prayer Team gathers every Wednesday afternoon by zoom currently to hold the prayer needs in our voices and hearts as shared by our church family Due to these many hands and hearts more people than ever continue to feel the prayerful support of WUMC We recently have shared condolence letters with the families of the 10 victims in the Buffalo NY grocery store shooting the 21 families of victims in the Uvalde TX school shooting the 4 families of victims in Tulsa OK hospital shooting We also shared cards of thanksgiving and prayers of safety for 39 healthcare workers on our prayer list And we share cards multiple times per year for our veterans and those currently in the armed forces recent graduates college freshmen We are Prayer Partners to those on Mission teams Please find your way to be part of the Caring Ministry of WUMC Cara Fox Stewardshpip Chair During a time when many churches have seen a steep decline in attendance and giving Stewardship Committee is grateful that our faithful WUMC community has remained as generous as ever We have weathered the pandemic over the past few years with giving levels and church member participation rates remaining steady Your generous giving makes every ministry here possible You re not just writing a check your dollars are transforming lives and building followers of Christ as you help make our church s outreach and mission dreams a reality In addition to programming and Stewardship people to help lead it your gifts this year paid for critical technology upgrades to improve our online experience You have helped make God s Word and our church community more accessible to anyone seeking God As you re reading about all we ve done and our plans as a church for the coming year we hope that you feel your heart swelling with love and gratitude That s God telling you Job well done Thank you for stewarding the treasure I ve blessed you with Where your treasure is there will your heart be also Matthew 6 21

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Westlake United Methodist Church 1460 Redbud Trail Austin TX 78746 If you have seen our renovated gym you may have wondered What s up with all those extra lines on the floor Well those extra lines represent three pickleball courts Two of our members Jim Bylander and Barry Gray took initiative to start Pick up Pickleball games here at the church It started with a couple of training sessions led by professional trainers and then it led to open play on Wednesday nights from 6 8pm here in the WUMC Gym We had a lot of people take advantage of the training and even more utilize this opportunity to enjoy Pickleball in the air conditioning in the midst of a very hot summer If you re interested in playing you can sign up to play on the Events page of our website www westlake umc org events Sign up come out and have some fun 512 327 1335 www westlake umc org