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May 17, 2024 E-Newsletter

This week's note from Rev. Bill

 What do you do when you have too much “stuff”? 


               As Kim and I are boxing things up for our move in just a few weeks, we have discovered that there are still boxes that we never unpacked to begin with! And it’s not necessarily things that we want to throw away – it’s just stuff we haven’t used for a while!


               Beach chairs, shrimp nets, old cookbooks, craft supplies – I have a hard time getting rid of something that is still useful. But the reality of “When am I ever going to use this?” sets in, and we have to make choices. Yes, those shrimp nets are still in pristine condition, but we haven’t used them in 10 years. And those craft supplies may come in handy someday – but they’ve been sitting in boxes for quite a while. 


               When I was growing up, we were taught never to throw anything away. My parents did not believe in the “disposable” culture. Everything could either be fixed or reused somehow. But the reality was that my sisters and I joked that all of our broken stuff went up on top of Daddy’s dresser to die. There was the intention on his part to fix everything, but life got in the way so many of those things never got fixed! So they would sit up there, gathering dust, until the next move where they would either be thrown away (or maybe put into another box?)


               Let’s take this to the spiritual realm – are you still carrying a lot of “stuff”? 


               I find that, when I start really studying the scriptures, I have a lot of old ideas that might be worth getting rid of! For instance, the idea that “Cleanliness is next to Godliness” – that is found NOWHERE in the scriptures! But somehow I have believed that a clean person is a “good” person, and a dirty, smelly person must be a “bad” person. 


               What about “Waste not, want not”? As a child I was taught that it was a sin to waste anything – food, money, time, etc. And while that may be a good maxim by which to live, it is not scriptural! 


               How about “God helps those who help themselves”? This was taught to me as a prod to do my own work, and not to just wait for God to take care of everything. And again, that may be a good intention, but that’s not the Gospel! The Gospel is that God helps those who CANNOT help themselves – all of us! God has a special place in God’s heart for the weak, the poor, and the needy. Those whom everyone else judge and say that they should just “help themselves out of their own messes”, Jesus says, “I will get into your mess and help you.”


               There may be things that you have been carrying for years that need re-evaluation – you are not the same person you were 40 or 50 years ago; what new things does God want for you to have now? Many times Kim and I have found that we can’t bring any NEW stuff into the house until we get some of the OLD stuff out! 


               So what old stuff are you still carrying around that needs to go? Bitterness? Grudges? Old ideas about yourself? 


               What new life does Jesus want for you to receive? 


  • Rev. Bill

Service for May 19, 2024

"Can These Bones Live?"

Ezekiel 37:1-14

Link For May 19, 2024 Live Service



               Pentecost has been called “the birthday of the Church”, because it was on the day of Pentecost that the followers of Jesus changed from being an inwardly-focused, isolated group to an outwardly-driven force to change the world! When the Holy Spirit fell upon the people, they lost their fear of strangers, death, and persecution and began to go out and freely share the hope and healing of Jesus with everyone they met.


               We will be celebrating this birthday with balloons, streamers, and party poppers! Please come dressed in your favorite party outfit – RED is always appropriate for Pentecost! We rejoice that God is still leading out into the world today!

On Wednesday Rev. Bill

will be

at the church office to guide our scripture study that we use to get a

"sneak peek" at the

sermon message for Sunday!


Link for Wednesday Bible Study at 3:00pm


Steve Lane here. It has been a while since we talked. I hope you will join me on Sunday 5/26/2024 at 10 AM when I’ll share the story of my journey, our journey. “A Walk with Faith and Prayer.” We’ll talk about a journey with Faith and Prayer leading to Hope.

Looking forward to seeing you in person or online. 

God Bless!



               Now that the General Conference (Worldwide) of the United Methodist Church has met, it’s time for all of the local conferences to get together. The people of Florida will be gathering in Lakeland June 5-8th. You are welcome to attend!


               Rev. Bill and Susan Atkinson will be representing our church. If you want to come for just a day (or for the entire time) you are welcome for all sessions. On Wednesday there will be several training/information sessions that you may attend, including a special “Pop-Up Party” from 5 to 7 that evening. You can find more information here -


               The Conference will also be live-streamed (so you can keep an eye on Susan and Rev. Bill!) – that link is here - (Note: you may have to download the Whova app on your phone for access). 


The Staff Parish Relations (SPR) team is the human resources arm of the local church. Our SPR team is helping with the pastoral transition that is upcoming July 1, 2024. The first step in this process is grieving for the loss of Rev. Bill and Kim. United Women in Faith will be hosting a farewell reception after Sunday morning services on June 16. There will be a basket to collect any cards or notes you wish to share with Rev. Bill and Kim. This is a celebration of their ministry with us.

If you wish, you may mail your card to FUMC Bonita office at 27690 Shriver Ave. Bonita Springs, FL. 34135.

SPR Team

Susan Atkinson, Russ Baird, Leroy Jones, Julie Kampmann, Jann Mier, Kathy Schmitt and Marianne Simons

SPR announced on April 14, 2024, that FUMC Bonita will have a change in pastoral appointment on July 1, 2024. Rev. Ben Richards will be our new pastor in July. Rev. Ben Richards is currently serving San Marco church in Jacksonville, Florida. He visited our campus on May 2, 2024, and met the staff, SPR, and a few others. This is a video he prepared to

introduce himself.

Calling for Volunteers

The First Bonita Church family needs YOU.  There are always opportunities to serve, but sometimes those needs are even greater when many of our church family head to their northern homes or our year-rounders take vacations.

One need has been raised by the Staff Parish Relations Committee (SPRC).  This team works as the human resources department for the church dealing with staff.  In the past, we have investigated hiring childcare workers for worship services.  You might be saying to yourselves, “But we don’t have a bunch of children in our church.”  On occasion we have had children – maybe grandchildren of our members or others.  We hope that we will attract more families with children.  So, until we have enough kids to justify hiring a childcare worker, we need to establish a list of volunteers who would be able to jump into action when children are present.  We do have a room that is ready and able to support this program.  Any volunteers would need to be trained and have approved background checks. If you are interested in being on an on-call list, contact Kathy Schmitt, SPRC chair, or call the church office.

Another volunteer need that becomes greater during “non-season” is for people to provide  refreshments during coffee time after worship.  It’s not difficult; instructions are clearly posted in the kitchen. Making coffee, providing cookies, cupcakes, fruit, or whatever sounds good to you are the primary jobs.  You can buy or bring homemade items. Volunteers should arrive in the church kitchen between 9-9:30 to have time to set up before worship service at 10 a.m. The United Women in Faith coordinate coffee time.  Unfortunately, during a recent Sunday, we had no one signed up…and that meant no coffee or fellowship time!   The sign-up sheet is on the board inside the kitchen.  Couples, men, and women are encouraged to sign up.  Like the need for childcare workers, the search for volunteers for coffee time is challenged by fewer regulars here during the summer. See Susan Atkinson, UWF president,  if you need more information.  

Lost & Found

We have a couple of items that have been misplaced. A camera and

some glasses, please stop at the office if you have lost any items

around our facilities.



               Thank you to all who have already begun to sponsor Rev. Bill for the 5K this year – and some of you have even said that you will holding your own 5K down here in Bonita! (Not running, just walking. But that’s okay, too!)


               The funds raised this year will be given to two worthy causes – the first is for Summer Camp Scholarships for our United Methodist Youth Camp in Fruitland Park (Leesburg), FL, and the second is for the Bishop’s Initiative on Hunger in Florida. You can read more about these two groups here –  For info on our Camping program – children, youth, and adults!  For info on the Bishop’s Offering Hunger Initiative


               Thank you for your generosity and support!


Hurricane Ian Repairs in 2024 and the grant that paid for them are excluded above. General offerings and Summer Reserve funding are both over plan and last year. Lower utility bills have enabled total expenses to be slightly below plan. Expenses are over last year due to filling three part time positions last March.



               Many of you have said that you would like to become members of our church here in Bonita, so we will be holding a New Member Orientation on Sunday, May 19, at 11am for those who are interested. This will give us a chance to get to know you better and to help you to find your place of joy and service here. Please call the church office (239.992.1312) so that we have your information ready!

Hablas Espanol?

Classes are on Tuesdays at 10:00 am in the


[Click for Spanish class ZOOM Link]

United Women in Faith

  The group’s monthly business meetings on the third Monday of each month focus on mission outreach and fellowship.

Our mission outreach at this time is gathering new shoes for the children at Bonita Springs Elementary School.  The request is for children’s  small sizes:  10-13 and 1-3. We invite the congregation to join us in purchasing a pair or two of shoes.  Please bring them to church by May 20 meeting. They will be sorted and displayed at church before being delivered to the school.  

UWF members will also play a role in celebrating the ministry of Rev. Bill and Kim.  A special coffee hour event on June 16 will celebrate our love for them as we wish them only the best as they travel to Rev. Bill’s new church assignment.  In addition to lots of tasty food (all donations welcome), a basket for cards/gifts for the Fisackerlys will be available .

In addition to saying goodbye to our current pastoral team, the UWF has traditionally provided some basic food/household items for each new pastor.  After the busy moving process on June 25, most are not excited for a grocery store run.  We will confer with the new pastor in case there are any specific food preferences/concerns.  

The next meeting will be May 20 at 3 p.m. in Fellowship Hall.  The group holds regular business meetings September-May.  During the summer months, the group enjoys a monthly luncheon at a local restaurant.  In May after we select the dates and locations of our summer lunches, we will publish them in the newsletter.  All women of our church family are invited.

Book Club Selection for June

Eight members of the First UMC Book Club had a great conversation as they met Wednesday, May 1, at the Royal Scoop to discuss the book Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng. We are delighted that more bibliophiles are joining us for our monthly discussions.


Please note that we will have a slight change in plans for the June meeting.   We will meet on Tuesday, June 4, at our regular 1 p.m. time (instead of on the first Wednesday for this month).  Our book for that session will be The Submission by Amy Waldman.  This book is described as “a wrenching panoramic novel about the politics of grief in the wake of 9/11.”  Others have said the author “has the emotional smarts to write a story about Islam in America”.  A major reviewer says the author “…brilliantly delineates the legacy of 9/11.” 

This is another book kit from the Bonita Springs Public Library.  The best part of any book club is good discussion.  While book club members don’t have to love all the same genres of literature (mystery, historical fiction, romance, etc.), it is always interesting to discuss what you have read with other careful readers.

The books will be available before and after church starting May 5.  See Susan Atkinson to get your copy or text her at 239-405-9078 with questions.  Remember that the books must be turned in by the meeting date (June 4) before another set of books may be checked out.


The places we go and the things we see!

Princess, Sunday was Mother's day, did you see the purr-tty flowers?

Just want to say Happy Mother's Day, I will love you fur-ever!

Tom, we should update everyone on the progress in the class room!

The floor went in Wednesday and it's so purr-ty!

The Upper Room

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Come Pray

Fridays at 9:30 am

Zoom and in the sanctuary


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Nancy F













Robert H

Prayer Request cards are on the rack at the back of the Sanctuary.

Altar Flowers

If you would like to honor family, friends, or loved ones for an anniversary, birthday, or memorial, contact the church office for details.

New Horizons Website
Meals of Hope Website
Click for Bonita Assistance Website

FUMC Bonita

Office Hours: Monday - Thursday, 9 AM - 12 PM

27690 Shriver Avenue, Bonita Springs, FL 34135

Office: 239.992.1312

Rev. Bill Fisackerly, Pastor

(941) 681-0557