The October Tower Chimes

Website Edition

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-What Gift Can We Bring - John Sheaffer

-Masks in Worship- Susan Bresser

-Forming Faith

-Celebrating Holy Communion on Sunday, October 3

-Environmental Stewardship from the Church and Society Committee

-Waukesha Unlocked

-Waukesha Area Symphonic Band Concert

-FUMC Worship and Communication Survey

-Job Position: Worship Technology Leader

-UMW-Fall Rummage Sale and Cookie Walk Cancelled

-Download FUMC's App Today!

-FUMC Office Hours

-Sign Ups and Links

-Attention Upper Room Readers!

What Gift Can We Bring - John Sheaffer

It has been another challenging year for all of us, but we’ve arrived at the start of another church year with a sense of expectation and excitement. We are reinventing our shared experience and implementing new ways of being the church in our community. With fall comes an opportunity to consider the stewardship of our lives and resources as those who believe we are created in God’s image; that God dwells in us and is always at work restoring us to that image. “What Gift Can We Bring” (p.87 in red hymnal) is our theme hymn and speaks to our response to God’s work in us.

In preparation for this year’s campaign, Pastor Susan and several of us on the Stewardship Committee are reading essays on stewardship compiled by Adam Copeland called “Beyond the Offering Plate.” It encourages a holistic approach to stewardship and asks us to think about how we use and honor God in our bodies, our time, and our money. Below are three quotes from the book that resonated with me as I consider the stewardship of my life. I hope you find them helpful.

On Stewardship of Time

“It’s absolutely essential, I believe, to be intentional about how we live our days – how much activity we’re willing to pack into our lives; whether we are attentive to the people around us, or perpetually distracted by buzzes and dings and our own monkey-mind…. The faithful stewardship of time rests on the knowledge that God is eternal; we are beautifully and painfully not.” (MaryAnn McKibben Dane)

Stewardship of Body

“People often talk about balance in life, but I believe wholeheartedness is better. Life is too fluid, chaotic even, for balance. Instead, I am seeking to be present…There is a time for every purpose under heaven. Our primary work, then, is always to discern what time it is.”

(MaryAnn McKibben Dane)

Stewardship of Money

“While our society makes clear that money IS power, the Christian tradition reframes this notion to assert that money HAS power and can often have power over us. Stewardship is not simply paying our dues; rather it is tending our time, bodies, and our souls so that we can see our wealth properly as an instrument to invest in God’s kingdom.” (David King)

Our campaign this year will run from October 17th through November 14th. During the campaign, Pastor Susan and members of the congregation will explore this more holistic approach to giving through our prayers, our presence, our gifts, our service and our witness.

More on the campaign coming soon.

Masks in Worship- Susan Bresser

If one member suffers, all suffer together with it; if one member is honored, all rejoice together with it. Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. – 1 Cor 12.26-27 (NRSV)

The COVID crisis is far from over. The Delta variant presents a real danger, and it is expected that other variants will eventually follow. In Waukesha County alone, COVID case activity is very high (DHS-WI COVID data) and the risk level is very high ( We already know that the medical system is overburdened and that school districts must make difficult decisions. The burdens imposed on faith communities is also significant. We’re all tired, frustrated, and weary, and just want to return to the way it used to be.

The reality is that we will never go back to the way it used to be, so the Church adjusts and adapts. But the Church never conforms (or should never conform). In the most challenging of times, the Church has presented itself as an alternative to the ways of the world, and it is evident that we – the Church – are being called to do that now.

The biggest question lately is “Why do we have to continue to wear masks when we worship in community on Sunday mornings?” Because as people of faith, we know and understand that we are not merely individuals. My destiny is not separate from yours, and my health is not separate from yours, no matter how far removed we may be from one another socially. We are about the work of community, promoting a community-based vision of health and wholeness, rather than the individualistic mindset that seems to dominate how we in the US have approached most of the pandemic.

I’m sure there is some concern that if FUMC doesn’t resume pre-COVID ministries, we will lose people, revenue, and our ministry momentum. As important as all that is, we need to trust that God’s on it. God’s got it. The Church of Jesus Christs belongs to God and sits in God’s hands. The Church has survived more than this and will survive this current challenge. It might help us to change our mindset and start thinking in terms of “If we prematurely assume the time for precautions is over, we might participate in someone’s illness, or worse yet, someone’s death.”

Let us be mindful that there is no risk-free approach to gathering for in-person worship at this time; however, we will do our best to make FUMC a safer environment, by wearing masks. Yes, it’s hard to read our neighbor’s expression when wearing masks. Yes, it’s sometimes difficult to breathe and it’s hard to hear those around us who are speaking softly, but I encourage us to be united in masking; doing so with great love and compassion, with joy of being able to gather as safely as we possibly can, and with gratitude to God for God’s abundant blessings; even in these challenging and difficult times.

We mask because we love our neighbor. We mask because we love our children and those who are immunocompromised. We mask because COVID is a dreadful virus and has the power to cause great harm, even death. The US is averaging more than 2,000 newly reported deaths a day and is approaching 700,000 total coronavirus deaths (NY Times). We wear masks because it is highly recommended by our conference COVID task force and by the WI Council of Churches. Here at FUMC, we will continue to practice the Christian value of DOING NO HARM.

Just a friendly reminder: If you have not yet been vaccinated, please prayerfully consider doing so, as this is one of the best ways to offer protection for you, your neighbor, your community, and the world. The Connectional Table, a United Methodist leadership body, identifies COVID19 vaccine distribution as a missional priority for the denomination (

Forming Faith

On October 3, we are launching Forming Faith at First United Methodist Church. Because worship is central to a life of faith, all ages are encouraged to attend our 9:30 am worship service. Following worship, our Forming Faith time will continue with opportunities for all ages to learn and serve. Go to our website or the app to learn more about what will be available and look for signage on Sunday directing you to the different classes and events.

Celebrating Holy Communion on Sunday, October 3

First United Methodist Church will be celebrating the Sacrament of Holy Communion on October 3, World Communion Sunday, remembering our oneness in Christ with all our siblings around the world.

For those worshipping virtually: Before viewing the worship service, please have your elements ready in preparation for the Sacrament. We invite you to look through your own kitchen to find “bread and beverage.” While there is rich symbolism in the elements we traditionally use to celebrate the Lord’s Supper, the Church also has a long history of using the most fitting materials that are readily available in any given time and setting. So feel free to be creative and use what you have on hand.

For those worshipping in-person: Individual pre-packaged elements (gluten-free wafer and grape juice) will be available at the welcome tables (west and north entrances) when you come for worship. Please make sure you pick up a package of elements before entering the sanctuary. The communion elements (for both worshipping communities) will be consecrated during the worship service.

Environmental Stewardship from the Church and Society Committee

We are called by God to be stewards of the earth. Yes, many of us are already overwhelmed with the pandemic and all the changes in our lives. However, our earth cannot wait. That is why Church and Society has committed to breaking down the issues and giving you ideas of simple changes you can make now.

Let’s talk plastic!

Plastic is one of the most useful inventions of the past century. Today, plastic is found in thousands of products. Plastic makes airplanes and cars lighter, saving fuel. Plastic is found in medical devices and implants which save our lives. Computer parts and kitchen appliances are made of plastic. It is even found in our synthetic clothing.

So what’s the problem?

Plastic is so abundant that plastic waste and the chemicals produced in the manufacturing of plastic have overwhelmed our ability to dispose of them.

Many plastics cannot be recycled. Forty percent of plastic products produced each year can only be used once, including many marked with recycling symbols. Those that are recycled often can only be recycled once. And they do not break down into harmless chemicals . Plastic bags are only used for minutes or hours but can remain on the planet for hundreds of years. Each year millions of animals are killed by ingesting or becoming tangled in plastic. Chemicals from plastic and plastic production create havoc in humans as well. Once in our bodies, they can cause cancer, disrupt hormones, and disrupt bodily functions.

MIcroplastics have found their way into every corner of the earth from the highest mountain peak to the deepest depth of the ocean. Neither our bodies nor the environment are good at rendering plastic and plastic chemicals harmless.

The time to reduce our use of plastics is now!

Take action steps for this quarter:

1. Use reusable shopping bags. Yes, we have said this before, but keep trying to eliminate your use of single-use plastic bags. Keep reusable bags in your car or purse so they are handy. Use them for all types of shopping, not just groceries. Consider this. If 350 people used 5 fewer bags per week, 72,800 fewer plastic bags would enter our environment per year. When we join together we do make a difference.

2. Audit your plastic use. For one day, keep track of everything you use that is made of plastic. Once you realize how much plastic you consume, it is easier to make moresustainable choices. For example, rather than covering your leftover food with plastic, wrap could you put a plate over it?

3. Educate yourself about plastic. Here are two websites to help you quickly understand more about the danger of plastic.

Waukesha Unlocked

Waukesha Unlocked will be held on October 9 & 10 in celebration of the City of Waukesha’s 125th Anniversary. Community businesses, properties and organizations will be showcased for visitors to experience what each of 80 sites has to offer. FUMC will be a Waukesha Unlocked Site Participant on Saturday only from 10 am – 5 pm. Greeters are needed to welcome guests and direct them to visit the Timeline and a short presentation. Please contact Larilyn Carpenter if you are able to help. As per FUMC policy, masks are required for all.

Waukesha Area Symphonic Band Concert

The Waukesha Area Symphonic Band (WASB) is giving a concert benefitting two of our building partners, ACAP and Healing Hearts on Friday, October 29 at 7:30 pm. The concert will be held at Shattuck Auditorium and is entitled “America’s Musical Dairyland – Celebrating Wisconsin Composers”. Tickets are $10 in advance (see Cheryl Printz or ACAP. They can be paid by cash or check) or $15 the night of the event.

FUMC Worship and Communication Survey: CLICK HERE!

Please fill our this survey if you are able to. The purpose of this survey is to collect information regarding worship and communication methods.

United Methodist Women – Fall Rummage Sale and Cookie Walk Cancelled

As we continue to maneuver the path of COVID-19 including the spread of the Delta variant and in the interest of ‘Do No Harm’, the officers of United Methodist Women have decided to suspend the 2021 Fall Rummage Sale and the Cookie Walk. We want to do our part in not spreading the COVID virus and each of those activities have the potential to be a spreader.

Also, please do not bring rummage sale items to Church until further notice. Donate them to your favorite non-profit organization like Goodwill or The St. Vincent De Paul Store.

Thank you for your past support and we look forward to re-evaluating and initiating a form of these fund raisers in the future.


There have been a few members from FUMC that in the past year have gotten phone calls, emails and most recently texts from someone claiming to be Rev. Susan or Dan. These messages have most often been asking for gift cards. They are often stating that there is urgency and secrecy needed for the receiver to get them these cards or money.

PLEASE NOTE: NO FUMC STAFF OR MEMBER WILL CONTACT YOU DIRECTLY TO ASK FOR MONEY OR GIFT CARDS! Please do not give out your financial information or purchase anything the messages ask for.

If you ever receive a message like this or have questions regarding a correspondence, please contact the church office at or (262)542-4256.

Job Position: Worship Technology Leader

FUMC is looking for someone to lead and coordinate the technology aspects of worship. This entails enlisting volunteers to assist in efforts to enhance in-person worship with technology and to produce the streaming/recording for on-line worship. Additionally, this person will coordinate training of volunteers and participate in worship planning activities. This is estimated at a 10 hour per week position. The full job description can be found on the church website or on the downloadable button below. Please contact either Rev. Susan Bresser, Rev. Greta Hietpas or Melissa Freiberg, SPRC chairperson to set up an interview.

Download FUMC’s APP Today

FUMC’s APP is available to download in the iTunes App Store, Google Play and Amazon App Store. Go to our webpage to download the app or simply search “FUMC Waukesha” in the store to get started. Maintaining a community during this time continues to be challenging. The app will allow us to communicate with the entire congregation as well as specific groups regarding events and opportunities to grow in faith as disciples. Please download the app today and take a step towards rebuilding our community by staying connected to our church. If you need help with this process, contact the church office.

Attention Upper Room Readers!

Copies of the September/October Upper Room are available. We still have copies of the past months Upper Room available as well. If you’d like a copy, please contact the Office Manager, Grace Callen. Please indicate if you’d like to make an appointment to pick up your copy at the church or if you’d like us to mail your copy.

Sign Ups and Links

Sign Ups


FUMC Office Hours

Our office hours will continue to be:

8:30am-3:30pm: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday

8:30am-12:00pm:Wednesday, Friday

Have an Announcement You'd Like Featured in the Chimes? See below:

Articles for the next Tower Chimes are due to the Office Manager by 10/25 at 3:30 pm. Articles submitted past 3:30 pm will not be featured in the newsletter. You can email articles to If you don't have an email, feel free to call the church at 262-542-4256. You can also mail them, our address is 121 Wisconsin Avenue, Waukesha, WI 53186.