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June 28, through July 12, 2024 E-Newsletter

Dear Friends and Family of First UMC Bonita Springs,


               Kim and I have made it safely up to Central Florida, where we expect to move into our new parsonage this coming Saturday. There is no way we can express how much we appreciate each one of you, and what you have meant to us over the past 2 ½ years. For all of the gifts, cards, strong backs, “junk” sorting, cleaning, meals, and friendship, we thank you.


               We came at a time when we were frustrated and broken; you provided a safe place for healing again. You yourselves were reeling from multiple pastors, COVID, and frustration; God provided us for you.


               We have laughed; we have cried; we have lived with confusion and with wonder. We marched with kazoos around Jericho; we learned to appreciate the Ten Commandments; we shot off poppers; we did The Wave!


               We fed the hungry; we visited the sick; we clothed the naked; we gave water to the thirsty.


               We learned to trust again – each other, the Conference, and those whom God keeps sending to us. 


               We began the process of turning the tide of faithful finances. We hired good people to serve at our church. We weathered hurricanes and termites and spinouts in our parking lot. We prayed with our neighbors. We learned their language. We provided the best in-person and online worship that we could. 


               Kim and I will always remember this time with joy and wonder. It is with a bit of trepidation that we enter our new appointment, but we trust that the God who calls us is able to provide. 


               It is the same with you – God will continue to provide new people, new pastors, new staff, and new life for you. It might seem strange and uncomfortable at times, but if our time together has taught you nothing else, it’s that “strange and uncomfortable” often leads to the greatest accomplishments!


               I leave you with a few of my favorite sayings: 


  • Nothing given to God is ever wasted.
  • How can I pray for you?
  • No matter what you’ve done, no matter what’s been done to you – Jesus is not ashamed to call you friend. 
  • How does this help people find hope and healing in Jesus?
  • Well, that’s another sermon for another time!


Peace and grace be with you all – we love you!


  • Bill and Kim

Service for June 30, 2024

Steve Lane to preach

"What do we do Now?"

1 Psalm 27:1-3, 46:1-3

Link For June 30, 2024 Live Service

Service for July 7, 2024

“Just Ben”

Matthew 22:34-40

Link For July 7, 2024 Live  Service

Mark your calendars for July 7

That is the day that First UMC Bonita will officially welcome Rev. Ben Richards as our pastor. You have seen his picture and his video, but this will be the first opportunity for many in the congregation to meet him. This will be his first sermon with us.  Before his sermon, though, we have plans for some more celebrating.  The Staff Parish Relations Committee will lead a special “Order for the Celebration of an Appointment” during worship time.

And what would a celebration be without coffee and cake?  During coffee time after worship, the United Women in Faith is organizing cake and other treats in Fellowship Hall. All are encouraged to join us. The women have also supplied Rev. Ben’s pantry/fridge with some basic items as he gets settled here in Bonita.

And all are encouraged to put a card of welcome in a basket for Rev. Ben.  And, if you would like to introduce some of your favorite spots in our community, feel free to add a gift card to one of those restaurants or activities.  After all, Rev. Ben comes to us from the northern part of Florida…he may not be familiar with what we here in Southwest Florida have to offer.  We do know he’s on the lookout for the best New York style pizza!

Our church family has a reputation for being welcome…so let’s put out our best welcome mat for Rev. Ben.  See you in church!

Hurricane Ian Repairs in 2024 and the grant that paid for them are excluded

above. Summer Reserve Funds are included above. Year to date offerings

remain ahead of plan and last year. Expenses for the year are above plan

partially due to hiring our pianist.

Women’s  Summer Lunches

The United Women in Faith have three interesting restaurants scheduled for our summer lunches, which are open to ALL women of the church.  The group will gather at 11:30 a.m. at the three restaurants all located on Old 41.  After newspaper stories about the many interesting restaurants on this road, the group decided to visit some of them this summer.  We did have to make an adjustment to our original list as The Causeway is now closed.  So, the restaurants we will visit this summer are  

Shangri-La Springs, July 16;

North Bonita Country Club, August 20.

  We will need to know the reservation numbers the Sunday before. Please let one of the UWF officers know if you will be joining us.   

July Book Club Selection

When the First UMC Book Club gathers on Wednesday, July 10, they will be discussing the book Save What’s Left: A Novel by Elizabeth Castellano.  Note that this is a change from the group’s usual first Wednesday of the month meeting.  This is to avoid the July 4 holiday week.  The place and time are the same:  the Royal Scoop (15 Eighth Street off Vanderbilt Drive) at 1 p.m.

The novel was a Good Morning America Book Club Pick and one of People Magazine’s best books of summer.  Save What’s Left has been described as the “un-beach read” as it “pulls back the curtain on life in a beach town revealing the true cost of a pretty view”.  After  Kathleen’s husband decides he is no longer happy with his life in Kansas and their 30-year marriage,  he is off to “find himself”.  So, Kathleen decides to move to a small beach community that always seemed so lovely in the Christmas letters her childhood friend sent.

It turns out this was not an accurate portrayal.  What Kathleen finds is neighborhood feuding taken to new heights.  TIME magazine says the book: “Brings tongue-in-cheek tone to the beach read genre.”  The story is told from the candid and irreverent perspective of a newcomer turned local.  It is a story of forgiveness, fortitude, and second chances, according to reviewers.

All are welcome to join the First UMC Book Club.  This is another book club kit from the Bonita Springs Public Library.  Books will be available before and after worship services. If you have questions or would like to request a copy, you may text Susan Atkinson (239-405-9078).  We don’t all have to like the same kind of books; it’s the discussion that makes book clubs so much fun.  Happy reading!

The Upper Room

The Upper Room magazine's mission is to provide a practical way to listen to scripture, connect with believers around the world, and spend time with God each day.

Click here for Daily Devotional

Carolyn Celine Nielsen, 81, a long-time member of First United Methodist Church of Bonita Springs, Florida, died June 17, 2024. She was a resident of Naples, Florida.

She was born August 3,1942, in Whiteville, North Carolina, to Charles J. and Atlas Victoria Shanley

She is survived by a brother Clifford Bates and a daughter Carrie.

A memorial service will be held July 9 at First UMC in Bonita Springs at 11am with lunch to follow. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Carolyn’s memory to First United Methodist Church or Cafe of Life, both in Bonita Springs.

Link for Memorial service for Carolyn Nielsen 11 am July 9


All information and last names will be kept confidential. Our list is updated weekly. If you need us to keep someone on the list, please send their name to

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Fridays at 9:30 am

Zoom and in the sanctuary


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Pat's family and friends

Carolyn's family and friends







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
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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