Welcome to Decatur First UMC website!

We're glad you've come to our web site where you can explore who we are and what we stand for.

We are open to all of God's children. You'll be warmly welcomed wherever you are on your faith journey and no matter where you've been or what you've been up to.

We invite and encourage you to worship any Sunday at any of our three services. You can also arrange a coffee, lunch, or office visit with one of our pastors by calling the church office at 404.378-4541 or clicking here to email their administrative assistant.

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Children's Morning Out

Christian atmosphere in which children can have group play, while giving parents a block of free time. More info

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Weekday Children's Ministries Preschool, PreK, and Kindergarten Classes. Click here for more information.

It's Directory Time! Picture taking begins on July 22

It happened to you. You know it did. You read that a church member was in the hospital or recovering from surgery. So you went to the directory to find a picture so you could put a face with the name. Curses! No picture in the directory. You're clueless. So you call a friend. "Yes, yes. She's the one who sits five rows from the back on the right hand side. Short brown hair." You're still clueless. So you Google the name, but after three pages of pictures that would make sailors blush (without any offense intended to sailors, of course), you give up.

Don't be that person! Don't be the one family that isn't pictured in the directory. It's not just for you, after all. I mean, sure. Who doesn't want a free picture with the option to purchase more (but, according to our guarantee from the company, there will be no pressure at all whatsoever)? But the directory is more than that. It's a snapshot of our church. And you are part of our church. So come in. Have your picture made. Members as well as frequent visitors are encouraged to have their photos taken. If nothing else, it may one day save someone from the embarrassment of seeing the hooligans on Google who share your name!

There is no cost to our church, and each participating family will receive a complimentary 8x10 portrait and directory and have the opportunity to purchase additional professionl portraits to share with family & friends. Sunday morning signup sheets will be available on July 13 and July 20. Picture will begin being taken July 22. WE NEED YOU!

Volunteers are also needed to help make our new directory a success! Sally Winter is coordinating volunteers for our new directory. If you are interested in helping during our photography sign-ups on Sunday morning or serving as a host or hostess during the photography sessions, contact Sally Winter at 404-378-4541 ext. 107 or swinter@decaturfirst.org

Click here to sign up now!

Youth ASP Spaghetti Thank You Dinner August 6

Our annual Youth ASP Spaghetti Thank You Dinner will be August 6, 2014 at 5pm in the Fellowship Hall. Please join us for an evening of dinner and a presentation about our serving God and the people of McCreary County, KY.

Children's Choir Round-up is on August 10!

Be sure to save the date and come join in the FUN!

The 2014-15 children's choir year kicks off with Choir Round-Up Day on August 10, so save the date! There are choirs for ages 3 and 4 with a parent/caregiver, grades K-2, and grades 3-5. It's easy to join a choir! Just come to Choir Round-Up Day after the 11 o'clock service in the Fellowship Hall. There crafts and yummy goodies, too.

The new choir year will feature, the children singing on Children's Sunday, performing a musical for Café Decatur, sharing their gift of song with senior residents in assisted living homes, the children's special Advent presentation in December, the Celebration of Emmanuel Concert, participation in a Children's Choir Festival, plus an Epiphany party and an End of the Year Celebration.

You do not have to be a church member to join our children's choirs. Rehearsals are held throughout the school year from August 13 –April 26.

For more information you can visit the Children's Choir page at: www.decaturfirst.org.

If you have any questions, contact Michele Wright at MWright@decaturfirst.org or 404-378-4541 ext. 305.

Do You Want it or Need it? Changing Our Minds, Saving Lives

A few months back I sat in a Mexican restaurant with my family. As I looked at what each of us had ordered (there are six of us total) I realized that if I had made the same meal at home it would have run around $23. Then the bill came! Six dinners, two cheese dips, four drinks and tip came out to $77. That following Sunday I discovered I had eaten through my money for that week and had nothing to give to the church.

Honesty compels me to tell you that I was saddened at my decisions on spending money. As a United Methodist I made a vow to support the church with my prayers, presence, gifts, service, and witness. As a Church Administrator it pains me to not give in true faith. I took that opportunity to back track my spending over the prior two months. I realized that between meals eaten out and the family buying things we wanted but didn't need, we were spending a lot of money. Since that time our family has been able to almost double what we had been giving to the church. This has shocked me. I think since that time God has blessed my family more than ever before. I see no coincidence –only God's blessings!

Money seems to be that white elephant in the church but it is important that we discuss it openly and with love. The Bible refers to money more than 800 times. I feel my job as your Church Administrator is to work hand in hand with the laity, pastoral staff, and support staff in the church mission and vision, execution of that vision, and stewardship of the resources. You have every right to know where your giving goes. Through the decisions of your church leaders, Decatur First gives to more than thirty organizations for ministry support. This includes the ministries in the yearly apportionments we pay. Imagine how many people on whom we have an impact with our giving!

I write this article in hope that as a church family we will consider the church just a little more in the forefront of what we spend our money on. Obviously, I do not know each family situation or where your money goes to and in no way am I writing this to pass judgment (Mr. Mexican bill here!), but I do know a few sobering statistics I should share in full disclosure:

- The average United Methodist in the United States gives just 2.7% of their money to charity: 2.3% goes to the church and the other .4% to other choices.

There are approximately 520 giving units in the church. If we changed just one thing each week and gave it to the church, the ministry we could do would be amazing. Here are some examples of what we could do in just one month's time:

- Giving up one cup a week of Starbucks coffee and giving the money to the church for ministry means an additional $10,400 a month (520 cups x $5 cup x 4 weeks in a month).
- Giving up one family meal out a week for two people and giving that money to the church for ministry means $41,600 [520 meals out at $20 ($10/person) x 4 weeks in a month].

We cannot support the ministries we agreed to through our budget without meeting our financial budget. The other key for this church to sustain ongoing ministry is the need for the giving to be consistent. We suffer greatly in certain months compared to others. This makes being able to pay out to support these ministries and pay our bills and payroll difficult at times. We have taken several steps internally to be better stewards of your giving including renegotiating our property and medical insurance plans and our utility rates, reducing our janitorial pay out by 10% while increasing the manpower available to us, cutting our Internet rates by 40% while increasing our speed from 3mg to 100mg, putting the staff on a spending freeze through the summer, and more.

Starting in July, the bulletin board next to the Adult Library (room 207) will be our spot to track how we are doing. Here is what I am asking everyone to do. First, reminder key chain tags will be available, so grab one. Second, each time you decide not to spend money on something and wish to give it to the church, please write a check right then, mail it in and put in the memo "I thought about it." For each check we get in with "I thought about it" noted in the memo line, a smiley face will go up on the bulletin board. The goal is to fill up the board with hundreds of smiley faces. There will also be a line item on our online giving page on our website www.decaturfirst.org with "I thought about it" if you wish to give that way. This money is a second mile offering in addition to what we have pledged.

If we all change one simple thing a week we will see our giving and ability to do ministry grow rapidly. We are reminded of what the United Methodist Book of Discipline states, "The mission of the church is to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world." That starts right here at home within our church.

"Lord, help me be grateful for what I have, to remember that I don't need most of what I want and that joy is found in simplicity and generosity." – Rev. Adam Hamilton